Food Review: Häagen-Dazs’ Cookies ‘n’ Cream Milkshake

I know my first food review was also a milkshake, but, well… I just really love milkshakes. I also really love cookies ‘n’ cream, so this was a match made in heaven.

On my first trip to see the Atlanta Braves at their new home of SunTrust Park, I had a fair bit of free time before the gates opened. When I stumbled upon a Häagen-Dazs shop in the Battery (a small shopping district surrounding the ballpark), I just had to get something.

The Cookies ‘n’ Cream milkshake is just what it claims to be. I watched the employees scoop cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake straight out of the bucket and into the milkshake mixer-shaker thing. I was given an option to have whipped cream or not, and of course I opted for the whipped cream. A cookie crumb garnish was then placed to top it all off.

I loved it! The ice cream could have had more cookie chunks in it, probably, but overall it was a very enjoyable milkshake. Häagen-Dazs’ ice cream has a very rich taste, and the whipped cream actually offered a light, fluffy alternative to that taste. I think the whole milkshake had the proper blend of flavors, and its richness caused it to last surprisingly long. Go try one if you ever find yourself near a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop!

Rating: 9/10

Food Review: Burger King’s Fruit Loops Milkshake

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I thought I’d post a quick food review (the first on this site) to break the ice.

A couple days ago, I decided to try Burger King’s new Fruit Loops milkshake. I admit that I had low expectations, and I only wanted to try the milkshake because it sounded unique (I once tried a chicken parm burrito in Savannah for the same reason, but that’s a different story entirely).

With the Fruit Loops milkshake, what you get is quite literally just a vanilla milkshake with crunched-up Fruit Loops mixed into it and some whipped cream on top. However, I enjoyed it. The Fruit Loops managed to add some good crunchy texture to the shake, and they also leant some fruity flavor to the otherwise base vanilla. Drinking a Fruit Loops milkshake is like eating the breakfast cereal as a dessert. It doesn’t taste like a normal milkshake, but it does taste good. Try it if you want something new for dessert sometime.

Rating: 7.5/10

Will Basketball Replace Football and Baseball as America’s Top Sport?

I haven’t posted for awhile, and honestly, I was just wanting to make any sort of basketball post. I’ve been playing a ton of basketball lately. It’s a fun game.

However, as the title says, I want to know if it can not just be a fun game, but the fun game. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@ATLknight7) obviously knows how much I adore soccer and the local club, Atlanta United, and I really do think soccer’s time is coming… just not yet. But the tides are shifting in American sports culture. 

Millenials are the generation which will determine which sport is the most popular in a few years when they are the largest television demographic, and quite frankly, a lot of millenials find baseball boring. I agree with them to the point that there are more exciting sports, but I usually watch baseball to relax, not to “get hype”. Millenials don’t generally watch baseball to relax, or even tv at all; they watch Netflix.

The problem on the football side is a bit different. Concussion awareness is good for keeping people safe, but it’s ruining the future of the game. People may love to watch football, but parents don’t want their kids playing football anymore. The effect isn’t going to be immediate, but as more and more good atheletes turn down football in favor of basketball and soccer, the quality on the field will decline. Football will be a business with a poor product, and Americans won’t pay to watch a bad show.

Now, what about basketball? It’s 1) exciting and 2) safe. Yes, you can get injured terribly playing basketball, but it’s not as common as football injuries. Moreover, basketball players don’t suffer from repetitive head trauma like football players do since basketball is a sport which is generally played upright. Basketball also doesn’t have any problem exciting its fans; we see that every NBA seasons, and we especially see that with NCAA’s annual March Madness tournament. Basketball is electric. The fans love it.

So what is preventing basketball from overtaking football and baseball? In my mind, nothing but time. 

Is Mace Windu Really Supreme Leader Snoke?

The Star Wars community has long been speculating about the backstory behind Episode VII, and with Episode VIII coming this December, I may as well start theorizing for myself and reviewing existing theories. I’ve got nearly a year left, so let’s get started.

It’s come to my attention in this video that there is a popular theory asserting that Supreme Leader Snoke is actually Mace Windu. The main points in the video (which I highly recommend watching) are as follows:

  1. Mace Windu was alive when Darth Sidious ejected him out of the window in Episode III. Since Jedi have been known to survive immense falls, it is conceivable that Mace Windu may have survived.
  2. Supreme Leader Snoke appears to be extremely disfigured, much in the way Mace Windu would due to the effects of Darth Sidious’ force lightning.
  3. Mace Windu, as symbolized by his red+blue=purple lightsaber, is a balance between the Dark Side and Light Side of the force. Snoke’s seems driven to find a balance as well, choosing to make another member of the Skywalker bloodline his apprentice.
  4. Mace Windu wants to get revenge against Anakin Skywalker for betraying him by ending the Skywalker family entirely. In order to do so, Mace Windu became Snoke and uses the Dark Side of the force to enhance his powers.
  5. Kylo Ren is the only character in the franchise other than Mace Windu to use a certain backslash lightsaber move, indicating the passing down of knowledge from Master to Apprentice.
  6. Finn is a descendant (likely the grandson) of Mace Windu. A family bond between characters is a key theme in the Star Wars universe.

So I’ll start off by saying: I like this theory. It’s not perfect, and I don’t agree with all of it… but some of the evidence presented is really quite compelling.

For me, I think the part about Mace Windu surviving is perfectly fine. Darth Maul survived a massive fall at the end of Episode I (which is canon due to Maul’s appearance in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels). Anakin jumped/dropped what appeared to be a great distance during the chase on Coruscant to begin Episode II. Luke dropped a long way in his duel with Darth Vader in Cloud City. It can be done. Also, Darth Sidious force lightning wouldn’t have killed Mace Windu, either, but it would possibly have disfigured him.

I also find the bit about Mace Windu wanting revenge against Anakin Skywalker to be decent. By taking on Kylo Ren as his apprentice, Snoke/Mace Windu would have one Skywalker readily at hand to dispatch as he pleased, and he could then use Kylo Ren to do his bidding in the meantime. Kylo Ren’s usage of Mace Windu’s backslash lightsaber attack also really only makes sense if Snoke is somehow Mace Windu.

However, I don’t think Finn is in any way related to Mace Windu. Finn doesn’t seem to remember any sort of childhood, only his First Order training. It seems plausible for a powerful force user to be able to erase large swaths of a person’s memory, but I don’t think there’s any canonical precedent for such an ability. It also seems highly unlikely that even a deranged, evil individual like Snoke would risk their descendant and possible force user by making them into a frontline Stormtrooper.

Star Wars has always been a story about continuity and family, so I think the real question on top of this post ought to be, “Does Mace Windu Being Snoke Really Fit into a Star Wars Storyline?” In my opinion, it could. I think there may be better theories around (I’ve not yet decided if I like the equally notorious *Darth Plagueis is Snoke* theory over this), but it’s I could see Mace Windu being Snoke. I highly doubt it, but I could see it. Neither of them has hair, after all.

I’ll give this theory a grade of B+ for entertainment, C- for plausibility.

(All photocredit to CJ Isherwood under the license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode )