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19 best Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips: Fake art, befriending villagers and more – CNET

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Nature Day is bring all sorts of exciting features (and visitors) to your island.


Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Redd, the art-dealing fox, is visiting islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the wildly popular island life simulator for the Nintendo Switch. Yes, telling authentic art from forgeries is a new entry on our long list of Animal Crossing obsessions, joining the hunt for rare fish, fossils, bugs and plants that populate the beloved franchise. As ever, Nintendo continues to mix the perfect video game cocktails to help us face the realities of social distancing and quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic — especially if you play online with friends.

Along with the fossils scattered around my island, I’ve dug up a few nuggets of wisdom to make the game smoother and more rewarding as you build your life on the island, and I’ve added more each day as I’ve explored. So here are a few tips and tricks for players of all kinds, whether you’re already hard at work filling your museum or buying the game is still on your personal horizon. I’ll update this post as more tips come along.


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Animal Crossing tips for Nature Day

Look out for fake art

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

The latest Animal Crossing update introduced Redd, the art-dealing fox that fans of the series may already be familiar with. Redd sells paintings that you can fill the new wing of your museum with, but he also tries to offload knock-offs on unwitting players. When you ask to inspect a painting before buying it, check it against guides like this one to see if you should lay down the money or keep your bells to your self. 

Get extra Nook Miles

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

During the Nature Day event, the Nook Miles app will offer daily challenges with big payoffs — usually offering rewards of at least 1,000 Nook Miles for simple tasks like planting some shrubs or making a flower crown. If you want lots of easy Nook Miles, keep an eye out for those daily bonuses.

General tips for beginners

Travel back in time before you move forward

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Time travel is a major topic of conversation in the Animal Crossing community, and it’s a controversial one. Since the game takes place in real time, you actually have to wait a real day for buildings to get built and plants to grow. And Animal Crossing: New Horizons starts slow. So if you suspect you’ll want a quicker start, consider setting your Nintendo Switch’s clock back 7 to 10 days. That way, as you play, you can bump it up a day every few hours to cover some of the early, slower-developing portions of the game more quickly.

By setting the clock back before you start rather than zooming forward afterward, you also give yourself the chance to get back on real time. That way you can pretend you never cheated (and you don’t have to have a wonky clock forevermore).

Don’t put off paying your debts

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Tom Nook, the wealthy business-raccoon funding your adventure and constantly pressuring you to spend more money than you have, puts you in what feels like deep debt on your first day. It takes a little time to build up Nook Miles — an achievement-based currency — early in the game, but work to earn them quickly and pay off that first debt ASAP. The faster you pay back your first loan, the faster Tom will build you a home and, most crucially, give you the extra storage you need for everything you’re about to start collecting.

Find every type of fruit

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

The first fruit you find on your island — I found pears — sells for 100 bells a piece. But as you get more “foreign fruit,” you can sell it for as much as 500 bells each. The problem is, finding those pesky fruit trees can be a challenge, even if you spend all your Nook Miles traveling to other islands in pursuit.

Since every player starts with different fruit on their island, though, one of the easiest ways to get all six types of trees growing at home is by sharing. If you have friends playing the game, you can travel to their island. If not, you can always look on Reddit for strangers sharing public codes so you can get a few new fruits to grow. And remember, if you don’t have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can always get a 7-day free trial to find what you need, then cancel before you get charged.

Fruit gives you superpowers

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

If you eat fruit, you’ll notice a counter in the upper-left corner of the screen. This indicator shows how many pieces of fruit you’ve eaten (up to 10), and for each one, you can perform a super feat, such as breaking a stone or digging up a full tree. Digging up trees helps make groves easy to pick, and when you visit other islands, it helps transplant new fruit trees without having to wait for them to regrow. All that said, DO NOT BREAK ROCKS! In fact…

DO NOT BREAK ROCKS

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Iron, clay and stone are all useful resources early in the game, but they’re hard to come by. When you hit a rock with an ax or shovel, it spits out one of these three resources. But you only get a handful. “So,” you’re thinking, “let me eat some fruit and hit a rock. Then I’ll get all the resources, right?” Wrong! When you break a rock, you will get a single resource, and you’ll have to wait for another rock to spawn elsewhere on the island (which, remember, takes real-time days). The two exceptions are if you’re trying to make space for another construction, or if you’re destroying rocks to get them to spawn closer to your home for easier harvesting.

Catch all the fish and bugs

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Another early tip: Catch every animal you see — which pretty much consists of fish and bugs. Keep an eye on flowers for stinkbugs and mantises, snag butterflies in the groves, and shake trees and rocks to find pill bugs and spiders. Here’s how my colleague caught the elusive stringfish.

As soon as you craft your first bug net and fishing pole, start handing over your collected critters to Tom Nook. Sure, you could sell these creatures to Timmy and Tommy, the island’s resident traders, but Tom Nook will send each unique discovery to his friend Blathers the owl, who lives off-island.

Long story short, after enough donations, Blathers the owl will come build a museum on the island and set you on to a much larger collection project, opening up the game considerably. 

Intermediate tips

Plant plenty of fruit (and even money)

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Fruit trees are a great way to get income early in the game, and once you get a shovel, planting a pear or apple tree is easy and pays off quickly. Another semisecret form of income: money trees! 

Around the island, golden beams occasionally shine up from the ground. Dig them up and you’ll find a bag of bells (the island’s primary currency). Instead of pocketing the bells and covering the hole, you can plant the bag to grow a money tree. In fact, if you select the bells in your inventory and portion out a bag of 10,000, you can grow a tree that drops bags of 10,000 bells when it grows up. If you do this once per day, you should maintain a consistent income of 20,000 bells per day, between planting and harvesting your money bags.

Take advantage of special visitors

Screenshot by David

Within the first few days of your island adventure, you’ll likely come across a unique visitor — such as Gulliver, the sea gull asleep on the beach, or Wisp, the easily frightened ghost. Each of these visitors will teach you something, sell you something or send you on a short mission. These missions will earn you unique item rewards.

My personal favorite visitor so far is C.J., a beaver-blogger who loves to fish. He’ll ask you to catch special fish for him, order fish decorations for you (from another unique visitor), and pay you extra for any fish you sell him. In a single day with C.J., I ordered a handful of fish decorations to hang on my walls and made nearly 60,000 bells just angling as usual. It was a good day.

Invite new villagers to your island (and befriend them)

Scott Stein/CNET

There are hundreds of potential villagers — all with their own personalities and unique designs — who can move to your island, but your little swatch of land can only accommodate 9 at a time. As you build on the barren island of the beginning of the game, hand-picking your cohabitants adds richness to your personal utopia.

To attract the first three townspeople, just buy Nook Miles Tickets to other islands from the Nook Stop machine in Resident Services. The first three islands you visit will feature a character excited to join your community. But once you’ve welcomed the first three newbies, Tom Nook will ask you to build a campsite, where tourists will stay for one day at a time. Invite campers, and they’ll also move to your island.

As a bonus, you can buy collectible Amiibo figurines or cards of your favorite Nintendo characters online, and they allow you to invite unique villagers with special attributes to your island. As those who have used Amiibo in other Nintendo games know, they’re not essential for the core game, but they add small elements to further personalize your experience, and sometimes even cross over characters between Nintendo properties.

Finally, befriend those villagers by talking to them every day, giving them gifts and sending them cards in the mail (do this at the airport). Not only do you earn Nook Miles by befriending villagers, but your new friends will also begin to give you more gifts, like clothes and medicine.

Use a stone ax, not an iron one

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

If we’ve learned anything over the past few millennia, it’s that iron cuts down trees better than stone does, right? Well, in Animal Crossing, you might not actually want to cut down your trees; you might just want wood, soft wood or hard wood for crafting. Luckily, the stone ax extracts those types of wood without chopping down the tree.

Learn to creep

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Catching fish takes a little practice, but I didn’t realize I was catching bugs wrong until a few days into the game. Instead of rushing up and swinging the net wildly, you can creep forward by holding down the A button when the net is in hand. Creeping is even more important for bugs like tarantulas and scorpions, which will poison you if you approach too quickly. Creep forward, pause when they enter a defensive stance, then keep creeping forward once they calm down. This will get you close enough to snatch up a bug before it tries to bite you or escape.

Make and use fish bait

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

As you go for long, peaceful walks on the beach, you might notice little jets of water spraying up from the sand. When you see them, get out your shovel and dig! Manila clams are hiding under the sand, and you can craft them into fish bait. When you’re angling for rare fish, you can use that bait to give yourself better odds, luring in more fish in specific spots like mountain streams and at the end of the pier.

Always hold a net while you’re shaking trees

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

During your first day or two on the island, when you’re running around shaking trees to get sticks (how else are you going to build that ax?), wasp nests will occasionally fall from the branches. Find yourself on the wrong side of a stinger without medicine and you’ll pass out. Once you build the bug net, though, it’s a good rule of thumb to always hold it while you’re shaking trees. Not only can you catch vengeful wasps, but you can also snag spiders and other creepy-crawlers dislodged from their homes overhead.

Advanced tips

Play the Stalk Market (once it’s worth the time)

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Playing the Stalk Market is a pretty reliable way to increase your weekly revenue. You can buy turnips on Sundays from Daisy Mae for prices that usually hover around 100 bells. For the rest of the week, you can check in the morning and the afternoon at the Nook’s Cranny store to see the rates for turnips. The goal is to buy low and sell high.

A few important notes: Turnips rot after a week, so you can’t just hoard them waiting for a giant payday. They also rot if you travel back in time. And checking prices twice a day takes time, so you probably don’t want to start investing in turnips until the time is worth the payoff. I don’t invest unless I have at least 50,000 bells. Then, even a small rise in prices can lead to a significant return. If you want to get intense about it, you can even check out websites that fans have built to calculate the trajectory of the Stalk Market across the week.

Organize your island

While you’re settling into island life, you’ll start developing a daily routine: exploring, collecting and building. But your routine can be much easier — and require fewer trips back and forth from your house to store what you find — if you organize efficiently. The easiest way to do this is by planting your fruit trees in clear-cut orchards. You can even label those orchards with custom signs, made using the design app on your Nook Phone, as one reader pointed out in the comments below. Once you organize, harvesting fruit in the mornings will be quick and profitable, and you can spend all the saved time exploring, fishing and collecting shells like you really want to.

If you want to get even more organized, you can break stones around the island until they spawn near your home — creating a little patch for easy stone, clay and iron harvesting. Plus, planting a field of flowers not only creates a beautiful space, but it also will cause cross-pollination, which sprouts new varieties of flower.

Keep your eye on the sky

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

At night, shooting stars will occasionally flash across the sky. If you look up and catch sight of one, you can press the A button to wish upon it. Wishing on stars makes star fragments wash onto the beach the following day, which can help you craft unique items, like wands.

Pay attention to morning announcements, because Isabelle will occasionally mention nighttime meteor showers, which are the perfect time to scoop up a dozen stars or more. Shooting stars seem to move in packs, too, so if you see one in the sky, keep looking up for a few seconds — you might get another handful of free wishes. Finally, depending on when you wish on stars, you might get unique Zodiac fragments. Only time will tell if these fragments combine to create special items, but I can tell you that’s what I’m wishing for with each shooting star.

Crafting is king (especially on the go)

Crafting tools and items out of the refuse you discover around the island is a huge element early in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and you’ll often want to craft while you’re roaming far from home. If you keep a workbench in your inventory at all times, you can just plop it down anywhere and get your craft on without the inconvenient trek back to your tent or house.

Once you put these tricks into action, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will truly begin to open up to you. Keep discovering and crafting, keep chatting with your island friends and most of all, keep destressing while you do it.

Now that you know how to jump-start your island getaway in Animal Crossing, check out some other tips for getting the most out of your Nintendo Switch and the seven other Switch games you need to play.

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You may have seen focaccia edible art on instagram… now learn to make it at home – iNFOnews

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Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread and one of the easiest breads to make at home. This no-knead bread is made in a single bowl with a rubber spatula and requires only flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil.  

Dating back to ancient times, focaccia, which means “cooked on fire”, is considered to be the precursor to the modern day pizza. Focaccia can be made with just olive oil and salt or with hundreds of toppings ranging from sweet to savoury. 

The ingredient combinations are endless – be creative.

Image Credit: Claire Sear

One of the biggest Instagram food trends of 2020 is beautiful focaccia bread art. Teri Culletto, a home baker from Martha’s Vineyard is credited with starting the focaccia art trend via her instagram account @vineyardbaker. Using raw vegetables and fresh herbs, Teri has created a series of Vincent van Gogh-inspired bread loaves she calls “Van Dough” and inspired thousands of home bakers around the world to create focaccia art.

Unleash your inner artist and enjoy creating your own delicious focaccia art at home. This is a great recipe to make with kids as they love decorating the focaccia.  

The baked version of the beautiful focaccia edible art!

The baked version of the beautiful focaccia edible art!

Image Credit: Claire Sear

Focaccia

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 – 3 cups warm water
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 ½ tsp Maldon Sea salt (Coarse sea salt can be substituted)
Suggested toppings: little sweet peppers, black olives, fresh chives, parsley, basil, capers, grape tomatoes, red onions, edible flowers, sesame seeds, and nuts.  Tip: dipping herbs in lemon water can help keep them greener in the oven.

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt and yeast. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of warm water to the flour mixture and stir.  Add additional water as needed until all the flour is incorporated and a sticky dough forms. Dough should be wet. 

Tip: Weather affects the amount of water and flour needed. Recipe measurements for water are general guidelines. You need to add as much water as needed to make a wet sticky dough. Do not be alarmed if you need more or less water than the recipe indicates.

Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a medium bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and roll and turn the dough over so that it is coated with the olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to two days.

When you are ready to bake the focaccia, line a 9 x13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the parchment paper with olive oil. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Tip: parchment paper just adds another level of guarantee that the focaccia won’t stick to the pan. If you don’t have parchment paper, brush the baking sheet generously with olive oil.

Using your hands, spread the dough out as much as possible to the edges of the baking sheet. If the dough is sticking you can add additional olive oil. Do not worry if dough doesn’t cover the full pan, it will once the dough has time to rise.

Place the dough in a warm place and let it rise until it has doubled in size. In the summer it may only take 30 minutes for the dough to rise. In the winter it can take over an hour. You want the dough to be room temperature and fluffy.

Preheat the oven to 410°F.

Using your palms, pat down the dough down to an even thickness of about 1 inch and then use your fingertips to dimple the entire dough. Drizzle with olive oil. Isn’t this is fun?

Unleash your inner artist and decorate your focaccia. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt.

Place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then rotate the pan back to front. If the bread is already starting to brown, turn the heat down to 375°F. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown. Transfer the focaccia on the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Slide the focaccia out of the pan, cut into generous slices and serve.  

Focaccia is best eaten the day it is made. If you do have leftovers, the focaccia can be frozen and then reheated. It is also excellent the next day served in soup.

Serve with a glass of B.C. rosé.

— Claire Sear is a Vancouver-based food, drink & lifestyle writer


We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won’t censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor. 

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PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism – Vernon Morning Star

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A protest against anti-black violence and racism took over the grounds in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday night.

Thousands attended the rally, which Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said was peaceful.

The protest Sunday (May 31) comes after nearly a week of protests in the United States, which were sparked by a Minneapolis police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe. Derek Chauvin was charged with murder Friday, and all four police officers present during Floyd’s death have been fired.

Floyd’s death was the latest in a series of confrontations, assaults and deaths of black Americans. On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, 26, was killed during a nighttime “no-knock warrant” by plainclothes Louisville police officers. On May 25, a woman called the police on Christian Cooper to tell them he was “threatening [her] life” when Cooper asked the woman to put her dog on a leash in New York’s Central Park.

In Canada, protesters also want answers about Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman fell to her death from a 24th-floor apartment when police responded to a 911 call. Korchinski-Paquet’s death is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Jacob Callender-Prasad, the organizer of the event, had called for Sunday rally to be peaceful.

“We do not need to riot in Vancouver, we do not need to destroy our community – that’s not needed here,” Callender-Prasad said in a video posted to the Black Vancouver Instagram page.

“It’s not the same as the United States. We don’t have cops going around causing damage here.”

Callender-Prasad has asked attendees to wear face masks and practice social distancing as COVID-19 precautions remain in effect in B.C. Organizers had expected about 1,000 to 2,000 people

Callender-Prasad said Sunday’s event would include a social media shoutout to U.S. President Donald Trump “to ask him to actually push the governor in Minnesota, to push them to charge those other three officers.”

Callender-Prasad said that although police brutality may be more prevalent south of the border, there are still issues in Canada to address.

“We still have instances in Canada of these unwanted and unfortunate events.”

The Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter said it was not the organizer of the event but stood in solidarity with those protesting.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Theatre and film are inherently political, say art critics – CBC.ca

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Dictators and autocrats on all sides of the political spectrum have always kept a close eye on what artists do and say. 

Oligarchs know that art is dangerous. Art is subversive and anything that makes people think, or question, is a threat to those who wield power.

Art is political. In a discussion recorded at the Stratford Festival last year, three New York Times journalists discuss the politics of theatre — the relationship between what’s on the stage, and what’s going on in the lives and the world of the people in the audience.

“What makes theatre inherently political is that it’s an art of conversation and it’s an art of being in a room watching people talk to each other and work issues out,” says Scott Heller, theatre editor of the New York Times.

“I think that that’s why, unlike digital forms or other visual art forms, there’s something small p-political about being involved in watching theatre that leads you to think big P- politically … the art of theatre is the art of people negotiating and that immediately leads to larger ways to think about politics.”

Theatre is at its best when it can both reflect back what is happening in the world and also lead the audience to find a common ground in understanding each other and agreeing on common societal values, says Heller.

Representation in film

The history of theatre suggests that this has pretty much always been the case. The very oldest written plays we have come from ancient Greece nd those plays evoke similar experiences to a play written yesterday: we see characters much like ourselves, onstage, working out personal dilemmas and family feuds, while larger social struggles of the times loom in the background.

All of which means that we don’t always need new plays to understand the present we find ourselves in. Old plays frequently give us unnerving insights into ourselves today, and the modern society we live in. Turns out, people haven’t changed much over the millennia — and nor has human society.

The “kissing-cousin” as it were, of theatre is of course film — a similar story-and-audience relationship being played out, but with some quite profound differences.

Cara Buckley covers film for the New York Times — a medium that puts a premium on new production, and on the relevance of what people see to their own lives.

“What happens on that screen is so important for the audience in terms of how they see themselves and how they relate,” Buckley explains.

” I remember…seeing a film with Meryl Streep about the suffragettes, and I’d never seen so many women on screen doing smart political things that I was kind of taken aback.”

[embedded content]

As a woman, Buckley says that experience speaks to the need for representation of different voices which she says is political. She adds the effect on the audience is profound when you see yourself reflected back to you by your own culture.

For both theatre and film, that question of the audience seeing themselves reflected on the stage or screen has become hugely important; in a ‘popular’ art form. The politics demands that the diversity of society needs to be represented in what we see.

“The response theatre had for many years was to try to speak to everyone at once. And that works when you have a big musical of a certain type, but otherwise it doesn’t work,” Jesse Green remarks. 

The co-chief theater critic for The New York Times says theatre now is heading in a different direction, one he adds is a good thing.

“Theatre makers are understanding the power of what the other art forms have done, fractionalising and speaking to smaller groups — whether to encourage them in something they already know or whether to show them something that they thought they knew but actually didn’t.”
 

Guests in this episode:

Cara Buckley is a culture reporter for the New York Times who covers bias and equity issues in Hollywood.  Previously, she worked as the Carpetbagger columnist, covering the campaigns and controversies of the film awards season. She has been a Metro reporter, covered the Iraq war and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues.  Born in Dublin, she grew up in Ireland and Canada, and lives in Brooklyn.

Scott Heller is the theater editor of The New York Times. He joined The Times in 2010 from The Boston Globe, where he had served as arts editor. Mr. Heller, a Brooklyn native, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he also earned an M.A. in American Studies.

Jesse Green is the co-chief theater critic for The New York Times. From 2013 to 2017 he was the theater critic for New York magazine, where he had also been a contributing editor, writing long-form features, since 2008. Articles he has written for these and many other publications have been recognized with nominations and prizes from the National Magazine Awards and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, among others.


* This episode was produced by Philip Coulter. It was recorded in 2019 in Stratford by Melissa Renaud. Special thanks to Ann Swerdfager and Antoni Cimolino.

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