Monday, November 28, 2022

Bolesławiec Pottery

 

I saw this Polish Pottery on display at a store in the old town of Krakow while visiting the old town square this weekend. 

They are marked with the manufacturer logo, pattern, and 'Made in Poland' sign. The use of the Color Blue is evident in the white ceramicware, with floral or dotted patterns spread across, carrying a mix of other colors.

Since the design differs from the widely available English or Asian-style ceramicware, Polish Pottery carries some premium. The traditional pieces are stamped with 'UNIKAT.' At the bottom, it indicates it is a rare or better quality product that commands a higher price.


It makes for an excellent souvenir item to gift, but fragile enough to carry during travel.


Here's an article explaining pottery mark types in detail.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Fading Light

 Fading Light 

 Twilight Colours, captured at Rondo Mogilskie, Krakow, Poland

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Desi Paracetamol Conundrum

 

 
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner or an expert, observations shared in this post are based on research published by various news media outlets publicly.
 
“Indians take Paracetamol like Cadbury Gems.”

I have come across this meme statement on Twitter earlier and it is true in case of Indians consuming over the counter (OTC) paracetamol tablets for mild fever other common ailments like seasonal flu, body pain etc.

You should reconsider this habit because after COVID a specific paracetamol tablet has become a household name and I came across some articles which point towards possible risk of long term side effects which can impact our health. 
 
Some facts to consider from a recent 2020 study:

👉Widely sold paracetamol tablets contain Acetaminophen known to encourage risky behavior
 
👉Acetaminophen's effects on pain reduction also extend to various psychological processes:

✅ Lowering people's receptivity to hurt feelings
 
Experiencing reduced empathy
 
Even blunting cognitive functions
 
How does it encourage risky behavior? 

Feel less negative emotion when considering risky activities 

Increased risk-taking possibility due to reduced risk perceptions 

Impairing a person's ability to perceive and evaluate a risk situation effectively

The above observations don't make paracetamol tablet consumption unsafe. However, we come to the next part, where Indians have started consuming high-dose paracetamol tablets in general pre and post COVID

A study was conducted on paracetamol tablet sales data across 75 countries from 2007 to 2019

👉 Trends for India show we have increasingly moved from producing and consuming 500mg dosage towards 650mg dosage of paracetamol tablets.

👉1000mg is the max single dosage limit for an adult.

650mg dosage of paracetamol is not standard across many countries

For adults in the US, regular-strength paracetamol contains 325mg 

Extra-strength contains 500mg 

650mg is reserved for minor arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint pain.

500mg dosage of paracetamol is regulated in India for pricing. However, 650mg dosage is not 

Above points indicate that we might be unnecessarily consuming high dose paracetamol tablets as OTC medicine which could be coincidental considering the medical progress made over years OR a well thought business model which includes pharma companies, medical physicians, and pharmacy stores which puts the patient/consumer to a health risk in the long run.

Nevertheless, please ensure you always take any medicine, OTC or not under appropriate medical guidance and considering your age, other medical conditions etc. Do not rely on personal recommendations from friends and family in such cases.

We live in completely different times now and we are coming across cases where fit and healthy adults are passing away out of the blue with no serious medical history these days.

Sources:

Article 1  |  Article 2  | Article 3

Friday, October 28, 2022

Playing for Fun, not Knighthood: Gotham Knights Review

 

 

Sharing my observations based on initial gameplay on Xbox Series X, I have reached the campaign up to chapter 1.4, finished the S.T.A.R Labs mission featuring Mr. Freeze recently

Story:

The game starts slow; You begin with assignments based on the mystery clue that batman left after his death. I got enough time to get familiar with combat and explore the playing style of all four characters; there is no hurry to get going with the main story.

Red Hood behaves like the Hulk, Nightwing acts like Captain America, and Batgirl and Robin are the brains and tech in the pack. Alfred has decent cutscenes to build rapport with all protagonists while mourning Bruce’s death.

I started seeing more missions featured on the map after I completed the Harley Quinn Blackgate Prison chapter. After the Mr. Freeze mission, I feel the story will evolve into multiple layers as the game progresses, and side missions pack good variety.

Graphics:

Addressing the 30 FPS controversy first, I have zero issues playing this game at this frame rate, and that’s my take. I always wished Arkham Knight could get a 60 FPS upgrade which never happened, but I have played Marvel's Avengers in a much worse state @ 30 FPS; compared to that, this game is very stable at launch.

I think the 30 FPS outrage gained traction because developers were not forthcoming about this point, which they should have been. Current-gen consoles have been released with claims to mainstream 120Hz gaming experience, and we are still a year or two away from that reality.

Gotham City looks more colorful compared to the dark greenish/blue hues that Arkham Knight had for ambiance; that game carried a grainy screen effect when playing outdoors due to constant rain, it rains in Gotham Knights, too, but the weather effect is not that heavy.

The level of detailing shines in the photo mode. You realize that graphics are high fidelity around your player and NPC; distant environment graphics are mid-resolution class and smartly cloaked with ambient lights. The game sometimes struggles with real-time image rendering on Xbox series x when you grapple into a frame, and you can see billboard text blurred out, which normalizes in a few seconds.

Gameplay:

I only miss the fluid combat from the Arkham series, which set a benchmark for superhero games. I like the variety of combat moves between all four characters. In the beginning, I beat NPC thugs quickly; however, as the game progressed, it got crowded with multiple enemy waves, and I started getting sweaty palms during the combat.

One key difference I noticed is that games from the Arkham series encourage you to improve your reaction time; in Gotham Knights, you have to time your attacks and not just go around button-mashing and evading. The dodge move works fine, but when too many enemies surround you, it gets overwhelming, and you feel you are losing control, making it difficult to maintain the attack chain. If you time your light or heavy attack as programmed, you can knock down enemies in fewer blows.

I will have to train to get familiar with this combat style and unlearn the Arkham game series combat style, and I find Nightwing to be the most boring of all characters, even with his special moves.

I also like how various suits, melee, and ranged weapons unlock and upgrade as you complete challenges; the ability to mix and match outfit parts is also notable. I wonder why Marvel’s Avengers developers/publishers could not think of something like this.

Sound:

Sound design is a weak area for this game; it does not even come close to the Arkham series. There is no feeling of dread during tense moments when you are taking down enemies with stealth or epic sounds to complement your perfect takedowns etc. Riding the Batcycle plays music like the b-grade background score you hear in Greg Berlanti’s DC TV series like Flash, The Arrow, Supergirl, etc.

Final Verdict

I will rate this game a 7 out of 10 because I purchased Marvel’s Avengers in a sale for $25 in Nov 2020, and I felt it was not even worth that price then. So it’s for the gamers to decide if this game is worth spending $70

I am a sucker for the superhero genre when it comes to games, and I was hoping Marvel’s Avengers would have a turnaround in a few months which never happened. It pushed me into a useless grind that was not even rewarding, yet some gamers enjoy playing Marvel’s Avengers to date, which is okay.

I hope the game developers find a way to introduce a 60 FPS patch next year. I purchased a disc version of this game with zero expectations, expecting the worst, and it doesn't hit the ball out of the park, but it does not disappoint a Batman fan like me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Photomode Collection - 4K Game Wallpapers

 

I have enjoyed the 4K HDR gaming experience on Xbox Series X for close to a month. The stunning visuals and smooth gameplay have left me in awe, and I couldn't miss the opportunity of exploring in-game photography, which comes with games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel's Avengers. I found that even Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Theater mode found in the Barracks menu is an excellent option to capture sharp images of the in-game ambiance and graphics.

I am posting links to albums from my Flickr account, which you can use to download the high resolution 4K images if you would like to use them as wallpapers. I would update this post whenever I add a new game to the Photomode image collection list

VIRTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Call of DutyBlack Ops Cold War

Cyberpunk 2077

Marvel’sAvengers

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

(Please note that all the images are copyright by their rightful owners, and I have put up links for creative edits applied on the in-game captures from the game play for recreational purposes only.)