'Shine', 'Awoo!' take 2021 Ursa Major Awards by landslides; K. Garrison wins three

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The results of the 2021 Ursa Major Awards were announced this Sunday, with motivated fan-bases driving decisive voting in certain categories, while others were finely balanced.

Littlefur/adult baby slice-of-life comic Shine by UK artist Star ran off with Best Graphic Story; coming second was a remake of Found, another of her works under the name Toddlergirl. Both had seen strong support in last years' Ursa Major Awards.

'Awoo!: Volume 1' Likewise, AC Stuart's Awoo!: Volume 1 (on Amazon) stormed the opposition for Best Other Literary Work, with four more first-preference votes than the other four nominees put together.

Netting twice the points of the next nominee for Dramatic Short Work was Frank Behring's "Nobody Does It Better", derived from Best Comic Strip Carry On. Artist Kathy Kellogg (KD Nightstar) also took Best Published Illustration for "A World of Our Own" — beating all other nominees by 50%.

Japan's 'Killing Stone' split in two, possibly setting powerful evil vixen loose

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sesshoseki.jpgOn March 5 this year, a large stone in the volcanic mountains near the town of Nasu in Japan's Tochigi Prefecture was found to have succumbed to what seems like a normal case of freeze-thaw weathering and split in two. Even setting aside that this occurred over two months ago (though, to be fair, that's a blink in the lifespan of your average rock), such geological processes are hardly news even for mainstream sources, much less a furry news site. But this wasn't just any rock.

The rock in question was the Sessho-seki (or Killing Stone), the rumored earthly remains of Tamamo-no-Mae, the Jewel Maiden, a legendary nine-tailed fox said to have spread chaos throughout Eastern Asia for nearly 2000 years before finally being hunted down in Nasu. Though finally killed and transformed into the stone, you can't keep a good evil fox spirit down; so her final resting place was obviously haunted by it, poisoning anyone who came near. Though she'd apparently calmed down a bit after an encounter with a Buddhist priest, the stone suddenly breaking in two is a bit ominous.

Flayrah moves to faster server, software; WikiFur to follow

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khyot's 'Of Inle' Flayrah has migrated to new North American hosting, with WikiFur planned to join it by the end of the year.

The 'new' server is based on a quad-core Xeon-D 1521 with 32GB RAM and four 2TB HDDs - 2015-era hardware, but double the capacity of prior hosting provided by Timduru. Base software has been upgraded from PHP 5.6 (first released in 2014) to PHP 8.1, resulting in major performance improvements, along with recent releases of nginx, Debian and MariaDB.

These features may be more important for WikiFur, which will be upgraded to a newer and more complex version of the MediaWiki software; with the intent to add Wikibase to process and visualize data about convention instances, as well as better-documenting "furspeech" words used within the fandom and languages such as Foxish, Lapine and Primal.

Digging Up Positivity - April 2022

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Hello everybody and welcome to the April edition of Digging Up Positivity! This episode is filled to the brink with charity events and fundraisers. And now that most of the world is slowly opening up again, the urge to go out and have fun again is real with many of us! When I visited some of them, like Elfia, it was like a reunion from a long lost time, and many conversations went like this [scene from the Witcher]:

I haven't seen you since the plague.

But besides new events, charities and just plain old outside fun, recently a new furry social network has been rapidly growing: Barq. And this social network has been founded by a Dutch Fur, Woutske, who is our featurette of this month, but now, without further ado: The charities.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale - Heartful, Artful, and another anthro 2021 Game that's wonderful

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Chicory.jpgWhile 2021 was a pretty crappy year overall, for anthro gaming titles it was certainly a renaissance. It also did an excellent job curb stomping my 2018 statements that visual novels seem to be the genre of choice for anthro game developers. In 2021 we had a Metroid-vania mixed with a brawler in Ursa Nominated FIST. We had an isometric top-down combat adventure in Ursa Nominated Death’s Door. Now we have a game that is a narrative and art focused 2D grid exploration and creativity game in Chircoy: A Colorful Tale. Unfortunately this one didn’t get a nomination, because I would not have complained if it did.

This game is interestingly one I would recommend to furries who are artists more than gamers. While it doesn’t require being an artist by any means, and traditional gamers would be able to complete the story just fine, the narrative has more reflection on the power of being a creative type and the stress of societal expectations that comes with artistic pursuits. Imposter syndrome, having people demand things from you for exposure, and other such tropes in the artist world are addressed through your character’s trials.

There is a full world to explore and color to your heart’s content and it's more about the journey than the conflict. But there is no art without some struggle. While your character named after your favorite dish may have started their adventure wanting to wield the magic brush of this world, heavy is the hand who wields.

To avoid spoilers stop reading at Art within the Art

Movie Review: 'The Bad Guys' (2022)

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The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, a DreamWorks Animation film directed by Pierre Perifel, should be a slam dunk, right?

With a voice cast of personal favorites such as Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Craig Robinson? Full of anthropomorphic animal characters in a kid-friendly Tarantino take-off? And there's even a furry vixen in the mix? What, is it my birthday? (Actually, that's Saturday.) [Happy Birthday! --The editors]

Featuring a criminal gang of five predatory animals, meet Mr. Wolf (Rockwell), Mr. Snake (voiced by Marc Maron), Miss Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Robinson) and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos).

After a television interview with the local governor, a vixen named Diane Foxington, Mr. Wolf is goaded into carrying out a ridiculously difficult heist. Which correspondingly goes ridiculously wrong. The gang are put in the care of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), a guinea pig who tries to teach them how to be good guys.

Review: 'Sonic the Hedgehog 2'

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sonicthehedgehog2.jpgSonic the Hedgehog 2 is that thing which, as a furry reviewer, I feel like I should run into more, but actually don’t. It is a perfectly acceptable kid’s movie. Which is a bit of a problem, because that makes it the worst type of movie to review. A movie that’s just okay. It’s fine. Alright, even.

I’m tempted to write more about how the Sonic the Hedgehog movies bookend the Covid-19 pandemic, which is just a coincidence, than this movie. I'll keep it short, but I want to make clear I’m a guy who reviews kid’s movies for adults, not a virologist, so while I may feel safe enough to go back to theaters, you do what you feel comfortable with.

It’s okay enough, and the Sonic franchise has a passionate enough fanbase, if you want to spend full price for a movie ticket, I won’t judge too much. But it’s not so good I don’t still recommend waiting until it hits streaming.

Do furries deserve conventions? Fandom assemblies in danger from foul behaviors

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A letter coming out of Motor City Fur Con highlights a situation that furry conventions may need to be made aware of, and to take actions protecting against. This opinion piece will go over this situation, and why it's important that our community address this situation, and against possible weaponization of it.

Primarily, conventions are a big deal in the furry world. These organized efforts of staff and volunteers are an excellent opportunity for friends from great distances to come together and meet one another. Something that can seem quite simple on the surface creates great stress to those at the helm. Earlier this year we found a small group of furs overburdened and liquidating a company when they took on too much workload. The tragedy being there was probably no ill intention, but their small group taking on too much created vulnerability and eventually it all came tumbling down.

Leaders of conventions, and those that volunteer, sacrifice a lot in order to keep these essential functions for our fandom running. This sacrifice was emphasized through recent news out of Detroit’s Motor City Fur Con when the convention chair of FurSquared announced that in order to attend Motor City Fur Con, he lost his job. Now Alkali, a convention chair who has done an untold amount of hours for charity work and running panels at other various conventions, looks for subscription support in order to focus on creating content for the fandom he loves with his spouse Xanni. And in spite of this rock to his world, he is still running FurSquared this very weekend.

While Flayrah has been critical of leadership of conventions in the past, today the focus goes in the other direction, toward the attendees. Because the loss of employment of one of the volunteers of Motor City Fur Con was followed up by another troubling letter from the same convention about how other attendees chose to spend their time.

'Huggy Wuggy' triggers police warning to horrified parents

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Dorset police are warning of the impact on young children of videos related to Huggy Wuggy, an anthropomorphic antagonist in the independently-developed horror game Poppy Playtime, released last year. The game itself is reminiscent of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach and has been rated 12+ by Common Sense Media. An official plush toy with Velcro paws was released mid-March.

Media featuring the character is proliferating, including a depiction of Huggy's reassembly on TikTok and 'Free Hugs', a multi-verse song from the monster's point of view. Reports indicate that the friendly nature of the character's name seems to be allowing their content to bypass filtering that would usually defend young viewers from such disturbing content, similar to issues before YouTube's COPPA implementation.

New Super Lucky's Tale - A casual but memorable 3D platformer

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NSLT.jpgNew Lucky’s Tale is through and through a 3D Platformer. It’s odd to play a game that so easily fits into one game genre after playing so many hybrids, but this game is what it is and it does it well. Each level has four challenges to complete: finishing the level, finding the hidden page, collecting the hidden letters L-U-C-K-Y in one run, and collecting 100 paw coins in the level. The coins can be used to buy new clothes for your character as well.

This game has a very light difficulty. If you want to introduce someone to the 3D Platformer genre this would be a good game to do so. By the time I had finished with the game I had gained a life count in the 60s. I don’t remember any games that I was able to acquire a 1-man count that high on the first play through. Extra lives are plentiful, and even the most challenging content that comes post-credits, the difficulty never gets higher than maybe being three quarters the way through a modern Mario game like Odyssey.

But if you’re fine with a relaxing and atmospheric platformer with fun and memorable characters, this one will not disappoint.

Newsbytes archive for March 2022

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, GreenReaper, and Sonious.

State Senator apologizes after defecating Nebraska Senate floor with disproven cat bin rumors

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In late January 2022, the internet was flooded with news stories about a concerned parent in a school meeting in Michigan. However the news of the inaccuracy of the salacious rumor didn’t seem to reach one State Senator in Nebraska by the name of Bruce Bostelman of District 23. He instead took the State Senate floor and defecated it with the rumor he, like the woman before him, was appalled by.

Digging Up Positivity - March 2022

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Hello and welcome to the March edition of Digging Up Positivity. Where one global challenge is slowly nearing its end, another is waiting in its place to take over. But together we stand strong, and remember, in darkness even the smallest ray of light shines the brightest. And with that, I would like to mention that some of this episodes causes are about the Ukraine situation, including this months’ featurette: Blajn.

This months’ episode is packed with so many amazing charities, and even more. It is good to see that there is still plenty of force for good in the world. And with that, let's go on with listing them all!

Every winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar, ranked

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WhoAreYouWearing.jpgThough it’s the baby of Oscar categories, the Best Animated Feature Academy Award will turn 21 this Sunday, meaning it would be old enough to drink alcohol in America, if it could actually do that. Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Raya and the Last Dragon will compete to become the next recipient of the award.

First introduced in 2001, Best Animated Feature is the only “new” category to be introduced this century so far. Like many new categories, a few animated features had earned "Special Achievement" Oscars, starting with the original American made animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with another going to 1997’s Toy Story, as well as one to the live action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Other movie awards followed the Oscars, adding their own animated categories, though the Annies, which are for animation, had obviously been awarding Best Feature for a few years.

Since 2001, 20 movies have won the award, which is a nice round number for doing a countdown, worst to best. The following ranking is based on my opinions, and my opinions only. But, even if you think my rankings are horrible, no good, absolutely wrong, well, I’ve also included a lot of factoids and trivia, so that might be worth reading. Also, not all of the winners have been particularly furry, but most have something of interest to furries going on in them.

From the Yerf Archive