Author Archives: Dina Nazari

The Last of Us Part 2 new release date confirmed after story leaks emerge online

The release date for the Last of Us part 2 has been brought forward after its third delay because of coronavirus as well as story spoilers being leaked online.

Although NaughtyDog Studios and its Vice President Neil Druckmann were devastated by the spoiler leaks, they are still urging fans to look forward to the game and that nothing compares to actually playing the game yourself and taking in its emotional experience first hand.

The following video highlights all the key details including why the game was delayed and in an interview with WNOL, two gamers who came across the spoilers share in detail their thoughts on how they feel about the game.

WARNING: Video contains violence and gore from gameplay footage:

(Music by: bdProductions Royalty free Background Music Youtube)

(Feature image: TheSixthAxis)

(Leaves foliage and butterfly image in video by: @Naughty_dog_inc Instagram)

(Controllers and video game cover panning: Dina’s footage/recording)

by Dina Nazari

Coronavirus: Free video games for NHS workers

Thousands of NHS staff are being given free access to video games as a way of saying thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.

Some of the biggest game companies like Konami, EA, Sega and Xbox are involved in the Games for Carers initiative.

The studios say the games can be used by NHS workers when they want to relax and get some down time or wish to provide relief for their families.

The Games for Carers initiative is supported by UK industry body Ukie, marketing firm Keymeiler and dozens of other video game publishers and developers.

The UK games industry has helped to share the government’s Stay Home, Save Lives messages in some of the most popular games like Fortnite and FIFA during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Digital and Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said:

“We have worked closely with games companies to help keep people safe and I am delighted the sector is continuing to support the NHS in such an innovative way.”

If NHS workers wish to get access to their free games, all they have to do is visit the Games for Carer website and enter their NHS email address – even though the site went down for a few hours because of the high level of interest.

The Games for Carers initiative was the idea of Scottish video game journalist Chris Scullion, who was inspired after being sent a free gaming code himself and then contacted Ukie in order to involve major game companies on a mass scale.

She also said she hopes this initiative goes some way to help NHS workers understand how respected and valued they are.

(Image source: courtesy of Canva)

Coronavirus fake news: how to spot it before you spread it

It seems as though misinformation about the dreaded coronavirus is in its own way contagious.

It’s easy to hit share or ‘retweet’ or to even send a quick factoid you read about the virus to someone else and the temptation is just as understandable but spreading this fake news doesn’t help anyone and only scares people even more.

Many of the people who share these hoaxes and false information don’t do it to mislead – they think they’re sharing some truly valuable information with their family and friends.

From checking sources to verifying accounts, here are a few steps you can take to spot fake news and verify information correctly before you decide to share it.

REMEMBER: If you see someone on social media posting something that isn’t true, be gentle and kind when informing them or pointing it out. Correcting information that is false can sometimes backfire. People are likely to be defensive when they’re challenged so always make sure you’re kind during this tense moment.


Video sources


Five coronavirus health tips you should ignore and why

With coronavirus cases increasing across the world, people are turning to anything to help them cope with and avoid catching the virus and that includes sloppy health advice ranging from ineffective and harmless to incredibly dangerous.

Most of these popular claims are being shared online so it’s important to look at the science behind it and what it says.

1. Drinkable silver

Colloidal silver, which are tiny particles of the metal suspended in liquid, was promoted on US televangelist Jim Bakker’s show. A guest on the show claimed the fluid kills some strains of the coronavirus within 12 hours.

The idea that it could be a potential treatment for coronavirus has been speculating all over social media, especially on Facebook by medical freedom groups.

Supporters of colloidal silver claim it can help the immune system, act as an antiseptic and treat a variety of health conditions. Although there are occasional uses of silver in health care, such as in bandages applied to wounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effective to consume.

Advice from the US health authorities clearly state that there’s no evidence this silver solution is effective for any health condition let alone coronavirus. This is also because silver is not a metal that has any function in the human body unlike iron and zinc. Most importantly it could also cause serious side effects such as causing bluish-grey discolouration of the skin commonly known as Argyria.

People who are promoting the substance on social media for general health have found their posts now create a fact-checking pop-up warning from Facebook’s services.

2. Garlic

A majority of Facebook posts recommend eating garlic helps prevent coronavirus from entering your system and also lowers the chance of you getting it.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there’s no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the virus even though it is “a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties.”

Image from: EcoWatch

Even though they have the potential to be harmful, in a large number of cases these types of remedies aren’t harmful in themselves as long as they’re not stopping people from following evidence based medical advice.

A story of a woman who was left with a severely inflamed throat and who had received hospital treatment because she had consumed 1.5kg of raw garlic was reported by the South China Morning Post.

Even though we know in general that eating healthy foods such as fruit and veg and drinking water is good for staying healthy, there’s no evidence that particular kinds of foods could help fight this strain of the virus.

3. Homemade hand sanitiser

As many reports of shortages of hand sanitiser emerged in many countries, especially Italy, so did instructions for how to make home-made gel on social media.

Image from: Popular Science

But it turned out these recipes were alleged dupes of one of Italy’s most popular brands and many scientists pointed out they were only suitable for cleaning surfaces and not good for use on skin.

Hand gels that contain alcohol also contain emollients, which make them gentler on skin even though they have a 70% alcohol content.

Sally Bloomfield, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says she does not believe an effective hand sanitiser product could be made at home – including Vodka which has not been recommended to use as an alternative to hand sanitiser as it only contains 40% of alcohol and has proven to be ineffective.

4. Heat and avoiding ice cream

A variety of advice suggests that heat kills the virus, from taking hot baths to drinking hot water or absurdly enough, even using hair dryers.

A post that was falsely referenced to UNICEF that claimed drinking hot water and exposure to the sun will kill the virus was shared multiple times on social media in different countries. The post also suggested that ice creams should be avoided as cold things can increase the lifespan of the virus.

Image by: edexLIVE

Even though we know the virus doesn’t survive well outside the body during summer, we are still unsure on how heat impacts the virus. Many doctors have suggested that the virus could not die down during the summer or in hot temperatures as it is able to survive at the body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, outside the body, “to actively kill the virus you need temperatures of around 60 degrees Celsius”, says Professor Bloomfield.

However, washing bed linen and towels at 60 degrees Celsius is good as it can kill viruses in fabric but is not a good idea for washing skin.

5. Having a drink of water every 15 minutes

A post that has been circulating over Facebook as well as being posted by actor Jessie Williams on his Instagram story, quotes a Japanese doctor who recommends drinking water every 15 minutes to flush out any viruses that may have entered your system through the mouth.

Image from: Snopes

Coronavirus infections can enter the body through respiratory tracts when you breathe in. Even though some of them might go into your mouth, continually drinking water isn’t going to prevent you from catching the virus.

Trudie Lang, a professor at the University of Oxford, says there is “no biological mechanism” that would back the concept of washing a respiratory virus down into your stomach to kill it.

However, generally drinking water and making sure you stay hydrated is good medical advice.

Coronavirus and fake news: UK government to tackle misinformation

The government is tackling misinformation being spread about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Cabinet Office’s rapid response unit is working alongside social media firms to remove fake news as well as harmful content.

It will attempt to tackle a range of online issues such as criminals running phishing scams via email and “experts” who claim to be legitimate but are issuing false medical information.

The special unit is dealing with as many as 10 incidents each day.

Alongside emails, text messages are also being sent out by scammers to target people who are worried about the coronavirus outbreak.

On 24th March, for example, the government began sending text messages to people, urging them to stay at home. Hours later, numerous fake versions of the message began appearing on social media sites.

The only official text message sent to people by the government

Messages are also being sent that contain survival guides, offers on masks and false COVID-19 treatments such as CBD oil.

One of those messages that stated people had been fined for breaking the lockdown rules contained a link that is likely to take you through dodgy websites that attempt to install malware or steal private and personal information.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, said “we need people to follow expert medical advice and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The government have also decided to re-launch the “Don’t Feed the Beast” campaign which urges people to think carefully before they post content online.

It comes after the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s former chairman called it an offence to knowingly share misinformation about COVID-19.

Social media companies have announced efforts to fight the spread of misinformation about the virus outbreak.

Mr Collins is also launching an online service that allows members of the public to post screenshots of any information they’ve been sent relating to COVID-19.


Coronavirus: Five tips if you’re working from home

For many it might be just like any other week, but for some, working from home may be a challenge and a lot of people are likely to be doing it for the first time this week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

About 1.5 million people work from home and its becoming more popular all the time.

So, if you’ve been told to work remotely and you’re not self-isolating, what’s the best way to keep your spirits up and stay motivated?

1. Get dressed

For some people, the idea of staying in their pyjamas all day may seem to be the most enticing aspect of working from home. But the routine of washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind but will also psychologically prepare you to start work.

getting dressed.png

Whether its business attire or anything else, some people find that dressing formally is helpful and also helps when you need to dial into those Skype video calls.

Wearing respectable clothes helps increase motivation to leave the house just like changing out of work clothes when you clock off for the day helps your brain to understand the working day is over.

2. Establish boundaries

If you work for a company then you’re likely to have set hours of work and it’s important to stick to those hours when you’re working from home. Be prepared to start your day the same time as you would normally arrive at your office or workplace and finish your day at the same time.

At the end of the working day, make sure you switch off your computer and tidy away papers and other things around your desk. Space allowing, set aside a separate area in your home where you can set up – preferably with a properly adjusted desk and chair, similar to your workplace. You should also ensure you find a space where you’re not likely to be disturbed, especially if there are other people in the house.

The NHS advice is that your chair should be adjusted so that you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor.

3. Get out and about (if you’re not self-isolating)

Whether it be for a morning jog or a quick cycle around the park, it’ll help with your physical wellbeing as well as getting some fresh air. A different perspective will also help clear your mind and help you a fresh pair of eyes  with any tasks you’re struggling with.

if you can’t go outside, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing the atmosphere into your home with you by using apps like Calm to play background noises such as rain, ocean sounds or even a busy environment like cafe chatter or a busy office for those times your missing the workplace.

4, Pick up the phone

When you’re at work, you’re more likely to engage with colleagues, but when you’re at home, you could spend the whole day without talking to anyone which can be confining.

So, it’s important to make some time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation rather than relying on texting or emailing.

5. Take regular breaks

You should avoid being cemented to your screen all day. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from you desk and walk around or even stretch for a while.

Research has found that taking short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial than taking longer, less frequent breaks. Many home workers recommend the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method which which breaks your day into 25 minute chunks which is followed by a 5 minute break.