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Civil Disobedience, a Love Story Yes, they met at BU, outside Howard Zinn’s office

Susan Silverman (CAS’85), an activist rabbi, and her husband, Yosef Abramowitz (CAS’86), a solar energy pioneer, are taking Israel by storm with their vision of a sustainable and just future. Photos by Rina Castelnuovo

He wants to be president. She wants Jerusalem to become the adoption capital of the world.

Ask 11-year-old Ashira what’s interesting about her family and she’ll tell you: “Everything!” Ashira is one of the couple’s five children. The raucous, high-profile family, who migrated from Newton, Mass., to Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev before settling in Jerusalem, are observant Jews and fervent Zionists unafraid to challenge religious orthodoxy and Israeli recalcitrance. In an age of cynics, they are unabashed idealists.

“Our family motto,” says Silverman, “is, ‘Don’t be a schmuck.’”

It’s September in the Holy City. The nights grow cooler and the High Holy Days spill into the lighthearted weeklong Festival of Sukkot. If one were to take Judaism’s heartbeat, the stethoscope would best be placed on this soulful, simmering metropolis. “I love this city’s immediacy,” says 51-year-old Silverman, who never expected to make aliyah, the Hebrew term for Jews returning to their spiritual homeland, when the family first came to Israel for what was to be a year’s sabbatical. Etched with the battle lines of secularism versus fundamentalism, modern versus old, Arab versus Jew, Jerusalem embodies one of Silverman’s favorite expressions: “If you’re addicted to meaning, Israel is like pure heroin.”

Where everybody knows your name

In Israel the two are becoming household names.

At 50, Abramowitz is president and CEO of the global energy company Energiya Global Capital, which is developing solar energy in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. The company just inaugurated its first commercial solar field in Rwanda. He is also cofounder of Arava Power, an eight-year-old company that built Israel’s first commercial solar field—18,500 photovoltaic cells over 20 acres—at the edge of Kibbutz Ketura. The kibbutz is near the southern city of Eilat, and the company hopes to soon supply 80 percent of the city’s power.

In April Arava Power launched five new solar fields, all larger than Ketura. In May Abramowitz announced his bid for the Israeli presidency, in the hope of modernizing and lending political and cultural muscle to the mostly ceremonial post. Historically a reward for decades of public service, the position has been held since 2007 by former two-term prime minister Shimon Peres, who is now 90.

After three years at Ketura, the family settled into a light-soaked duplex in Jerusalem’s prosperous Baka neighborhood, where the streets are named for the 12 ancient tribes of Israel. Here Silverman and Abramowitz, their children leaning in, routinely join an ongoing repertory of journalists, rabbis, politicians, and scholars to debate the state of the world over cast-iron pans of shakshouka at the local Café Itzik. Their passions can be burdensome and exhausting; where most people see cloudless skies as a reprieve, Abramowitz sees an inexcusable squandering of potential kilowatts. While most of us react to media images of war orphans with impotent heartache, Silverman has written a theological manifesto rallying fellow Jews to welcome those orphans into their families.

A precocious firebrand and a free spirit converge

The sun is fading into the eve of Yom Kippur, and around a family table long enough to accommodate a procession of visitors, the Abramowitz-Silvermans (except for daughter Aliza, who is studying at the Berklee College of Music) dive into platters of salad and pasta before the looming daylong fast.

Everything is interesting. Beside the traditional challah sits a plate of injera, the spongy flatbread of Ethiopia, birthplace of Susan and Yosef’s sons Adar, and Zamir, a hearing-impaired child they adopted at age four. In Israel Zamir received cochlear implants, and as Susan rounds up the kids for the walk to shul she reminds her son to “put on your ears.” In the spirit of atonement and starting the New Year with a clear conscience, they take turns naming the previous year’s wrongs. The children and teenagers share regrets about their obstinacy or not fully appreciating their parents. Abramowitz, who the Jerusalem Post named “one of 50 most influential Jews in the world” three years running for his accomplishments as Arava Power CEO and who is one of CNN’s 6 most prominent green pioneers worldwide, apologizes to his family for his difficulty in prying free from the demands of his work. Silverman softly says, “I’m sorry I’m so spacey.”

Silverman and Abramowitz converged at BU in the mid-1980s, when Abramowitz founded and led an antiapartheid and South Africa divestiture movement. Those were tumultuous years on campus, as students, faculty, and labor unions clashed with the administration of the late President John Silber (Hon.’95). Abramowitz was a precocious firebrand, a child of activists whose Zionism was solidified during the family’s three-year stint in Israel. He proved to be an unrelenting thorn in Silber’s side—their battle of wits immortalized in a 1986 US Supreme Court ruling (Abramowitz v. Boston University) supporting Abramowitz’s right to hang an antiapartheid banner from his dormitory window. (At the time BU had $22.3 million invested in South Africa.)

Abramowitz says he is grateful to Boston University for jump-starting “a lifetime of beating up governments for good causes.”

Silber “was my nemesis,” says Abramowitz, whose bold acts of defiance, along with Silber’s description of them as “temper tantrums,” dominated the headlines of the Daily Free Press and often spilled onto the pages of the Boston Globe and the national press. “He just wanted to get rid of me.”

“Yosef didn’t fit into any box,” recalls his College of Arts & Sciences Judaic studies professor and friend Hillel Levine. “He was a smart kid from Newton here on a scholarship, and he turned the place upside down.” For Abramowitz the BU years offered an education he came to be grateful for, jump-starting, he says, “a lifetime of beating up governments for good causes.” He’s been arrested twice; in 1985 he was arrested outside the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., on behalf of refusenik Boris Lifshitz, a young engineering student from Leningrad who was allowed to attend BU after a student group led by Abramowitz helped raise thousands for his tuition. Abramowitz was convicted, a conviction later overturned in a US Supreme Court ruling. Two years later, protesting on behalf of Ethiopian Jewry at the World Zionist Congress outside the Jerusalem Convention Center, he was beaten and arrested by Israeli border police. (He was released without charge.)

Silverman found the young Abramowitz to be “a totally original character.” Hailing from a liberal, secular family that was its own lonely Borscht Belt in a white-bread suburb of Manchester, N.H., Silverman was a free spirit. The oldest of four sisters, she and her siblings were eliciting gasps from Republicans with a rendition of Rocky Horror’s “Time Warp” at a local pub while Abramowitz was spending a high school year tending livestock on a kibbutz. She jokes that she majored in “smoking and drinking” at BU—psychology, actually—while Abramowitz designed his own major in Jewish public policy.

But since childhood Silverman had also felt a pull to embrace her faith. In Abramowitz, who was chair of the World Union of Jewish Students and an activist for the rights of Soviet Jews, she found someone who followed his own compass, a man for whom Judaism was synonymous with social justice. Both protégés of the late historian and social activist Howard Zinn, a CAS professor emeritus of political science, they showed up for the same rallies and sat together bleary-eyed at a four-day vigil against BU’s South Africa investments outside Silber’s office. Abramowitz says he first spoke to Silverman when she was coming out of Zinn’s office and he was on his way in. “I asked, ‘When do you graduate?’ and she said, ‘Next week,’ and I said, ‘Well, have a nice life.’”

Their actual first date is a matter of dispute. An occasionally rocky decade and many geographical separations later, when they decided to marry—the ceremony was performed by Levine, an ordained rabbi who has since presided over the bar and bat mitzvahs of several of the couple’s children—Abramowitz declared that their future together was destiny. Silverman’s take was, she says, “We’re so devoted to each other that we’ll thumb our noses at destiny.”

“We’re complete opposites,” says Silverman.

Shortening their name to just…Jews

Tall, athletically built, and prone to swearing, Silverman rails against injustice in a honey-coated voice nearly identical to that of her sister Sarah, who lives in Los Angeles near middle sisters Jodyne, a writer and producer, and Laura, who played Sarah’s sister on Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program.

Sarah, who famously managed to use the word “vagina” repeatedly in her speech at niece Aliza’s bat mitzvah, is also a serious and outspoken supporter of her sister and brother-in-law’s causes. She paid tribute to the couple early in her career in one of her few appearances on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” “My sister Susie just got married, and they took each other’s names,” Sarah announced. “So now she’s Susan Silverman-Abramowitz. But they’re thinking of shortening it to just…Jews.”

For all his defiance, Abramowitz appears bemused and slightly disheveled, his milkich complexion forever cowering under the Middle Eastern sun he has labored so hard to harness. His nature is forgiving. “He never wishes anyone ill,” says his wife. And from former colleague Palestinian-Israeli engineer Tareq Abuhamed, “I’ve never seen him get angry.” This isn’t necessarily seen as a virtue. Amir Cohen, at the time the chief operating officer of Abramowitz’s pre-Israel, multimillion-dollar media company, Jewish Family & Life, was quoted in a 2006 Jewish Week article as saying that Abramowitz “is almost oblivious to bad news. His half glass is always completely full. If he believes in Jewish peoplehood, he cannot imagine why this is not the thing everyone is fully committed to.”

One of Abramowitz’s forearms is obscured by a rainbow of rubber bracelets honoring various causes, and his résumé is similarly multihued. The former journalist, editor, and internet entrepreneur has amassed, Zeliglike, a string of right place, right time credits. These include winning the free speech ruling while at BU, engineering a gathering of thousands of Jews “left behind” in Ethiopia, being the last person to see Lubavitcher Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson—considered by his followers to be the messiah—alive, and immigrating to Israel already a candidate for the Knesset (he joined the unsuccessful ticket as a favor to a politically like-minded Israeli friend). For three years Abramowitz was president of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, and he was the keynote speaker at Russia’s 2004 national human rights convention. He helped to establish the Ethiopian Atid Ehad party in Israel and worked to bring solar energy to Israeli Bedouins.

There’s more. With a master’s from the Columbia School of Journalism, the young journalist single-handedly took down the leadership of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)—yes, the one Jewish children everywhere collect pennies for—after uncovering its creative financing. These revelations resulted from a freelance assignment Abramowitz, who had been an editor at Moment magazine, took on reluctantly because he needed the cash, but ended up costing him more than he was paid. In typical Abramowitz fashion, he threw himself into the story, hiring private investigators and paying for travel out of his own pocket. (The JNF has since become a vigorous supporter of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, an educational center and alternative energy think tank based at Ketura, where Arava Power was born.)

Battling cynicism, politics, and entrenched interests

Michael Cohen, a Vermont rabbi and director of strategic partnerships for Friends of the Arava Institute, the supporting American arm of the nonprofit environmental group, was among the founding faculty of the institute at Kibbutz Ketura in the mid-’90s, when Abramowitz brought his young family back to live in the community where he’d spent a year two decades earlier.

Cohen recalls Abramowitz “crumpling in the desert heat” and assuming that the kibbutz had, at the very least, solar-powered air conditioners. Abramowitz (a journalist, not an engineer) did some quick research and learned that his family had joined 150 others under some of the highest levels of solar radiation on the planet. From then on, no one could tell him that a solar field, which would initially use more power than it would generate, was a pipe dream. “People said, ‘You are a naïve American kibbutznik. If it was a good idea, someone would’ve done it already,’” Abramowitz recalls. “I said, ‘We’re in the middle of the desert. It makes complete sense to me.’”

In 2006, with office space donated by Arava Institute, Abramowitz teamed with American investor David Rosenblatt and longtime Ketura member Ed Hofland to “do the impossible: battle the cynicism, the politics, and the entrenched interests and push forward” to establish a solar power industry in Israel, says Cohen. Five years later, after the resistance of 23 separate agencies, the 49.5-megawatt Ketura Sun rose, the only solar field in the world with a mezuzah. (It also functions as a sundial.) Unfolding at the edge of the kibbutz like a Goliath-sized deck of cards, Ketura Sun is expected to offset approximately 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. And as Cohen observes, “it wasn’t just about energy—it was about peace. Arava teamed with Palestinians and Israeli Bedouins.” Arava is now a $20 billion industry, and Ketura Sun is one of six Arava-run solar fields, three on other kibbutzim in the south near Ketura and two in the northern Negev near Beersheba.

Abramowitz’s success with Arava has thrust him into the headlines of H’aaretz and the conservative Jerusalem Post, which report on his string of honors, most recently the Bonei Zion Prize, awarded by Nefesh B’Nefesh, or Jewish Souls United, a nonprofit that promotes aliyah from North America and the United Kingdom. It’s given to six Israelis from English-speaking countries who “encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism” by making a significant contribution to the state of Israel. Abramowitz was cited for his entrepreneurship and technology. In February the Jerusalem Post ran a story under the headline “Captain Sunshine mulling presidential run,” with a photo of Abramowitz standing with an arm thrown affectionately over the shoulder of Peres as Susan and Sarah Silverman look on. In the article, Abramowitz, who concedes he is mostly testing the waters for a more realistic pitch in 2023, said that if the Knesset “decides they don’t want the brand equity of the presidency to be an aging politician…they know who to call.”

Even with the seven-year wait for the next Knesset vote, Abramowitz would be Israel’s youngest president since the nation’s birth in 1948. “We’re a young, vibrant, innovative country that has a lot to offer the world,” he says. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if the president mirrored that?” Although the presidency would require him to step down from his executive roles, he wants it so badly that he can, well, taste it. “First of all, the president’s house would be vegetarian,” Abramowitz says. “We would have pluralistic Friday night services that would be televised. I’d create a Jewish Peace Corps–style program and export sustainable food and energy technologies to Africa. Every time ambassadors would come to present their credentials, I’d ask about the carbon footprints of their country and what’s being done to reduce them. And I’d ask about human rights for minorities in their countries.”

“And ours,” Silverman adds. “Yes,” he says. “And ours.”

A tactic passed down from activist Howard Zinn

Silverman has a terrible sense of direction, an inconvenient manifestation of her spaciness that forces her to backtrack along the cobbled byways of the Old City on her way to the Western Wall, or Kotel.

It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage dating back as far as the fourth century. In the past year Silverman has become a prominent voice for Women of the Wall. At one point Silverman and a companion dodge a raucous bar mitzvah procession, a kind of Semitic second-line parade with blaring horns and balloons in the blue-and-white colors of Israel. Passing through the security gate, where she faces a soldier’s scrutiny for her Women of the Wall T-shirt, she collides with another bar mitzvah, and frowns. At the Wall, all of the women—young girls, grandmothers, mothers—are on one side of a wooden barrier, teetering on plastic chairs and craning their necks to glimpse the jubilation of the men in their unrestricted area. Silverman is incensed. The right of women to pray, marry, and mourn freely, she says, “is not negotiable.”

In February 2012 Hallel asked to go with her mother to Rosh Chodesh, “the head of the month,” or new moon, when women protesters gather to don tallit and pray at the Wall. Silverman was booked on a flight to the United States that morning, but at the urging of her daughter and her husband, she rescheduled, and arms linked with her daughter, got arrested instead. (In May 2013 an Israeli judge ruled that a 2003 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting women from carrying a Torah or wearing tallit at the women’s section of the Wall had been misinterpreted, which put an end to the arrests there.) Hallel had learned the civil disobedience tactic of going limp, passed down through her mother from Zinn, and she used it as the police dragged her off. (Although the Zinns were not observant Jews, Howard’s wife, Rosalyn, referred to Silverman as “our rabbi.”) In awe of Zinn after taking his lecture class as a BU junior, Silverman began going to see the popular professor at his office. “He’d sit there eating his roast beef sandwich, and I’d ask him questions like, ‘How do you change the world?’” she recalls. “He’d take a bite and then flash this Howard Zinn sunshine smile and say, ‘One person at a time.’”

Silverman postponed a flight to the United States, linked arms with her daughter at the Western Wall, and got arrested instead.

Abramowitz first tore a page from Zinn’s book when he resisted, by peaceful means, the University’s efforts to remove that now-iconic antiapartheid banner. “Susan and I went to Hillel House and got big poster boards and made huge signs that said, DIVEST, which were promptly removed by Buildings and Grounds,” Abramowitz recalls. “So we hung another one, and when B&G came to my door, I put on my prayer shawl and tefillin and just stood in the doorway praying with my eyes closed. This poor guy didn’t know what to do, so he just left. It was unbelievable. I’d won a little battle using a tactic Zinn was preaching.” When Silber tried to evict Abramowitz from his dorm, the case caught the attention of a BU School of Law student named Steve Masters (LAW’86), who presented the case to the American Civil Liberties Union. With Zinn’s help, the law firm Hill & Barlow represented Abramowitz pro bono, leading to the Supreme Court’s free speech ruling in his favor.

At BU Abramowitz also caught the attention of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel (Hon.’74), BU’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, who despite his close relationship with Silber became a supporter and friend. “I was always scared to go see him because I never thought I was ready,” Abramowitz says of Wiesel. “But when this whole thing was heating up, I finally walked into his office, and Martha, his assistant, said, ‘It’s about time.’” Wiesel, says Abramowitz, “gave me chazakah,” Hebrew for strength. Years later, Wiesel would write the introduction to Jewish Family and Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children, a book coauthored by Silverman and Abramowitz.

In the 1990s, Silverman served two years at Congregation Or Chadash, a Reform synagogue in Germantown, Md., doubling its congregation. But the job was so all-consuming that one day she heard herself rushing her toddler past some flowers the child had stopped to smell. “I actually told my daughter there was no time to smell the roses,” says Silverman, and she decided then and there to phase out of the job.

These days, she says, “I have no pulpit, but it means that everything I do represents the Jewish people in some way.” She recently finished and is shopping publishers for a book called Casting Lots: How Raising My Children Helped Me Find God, a theology on adoption that is also a manifesto. As Levine observes, “It’s the most anti-Nazi policy—a vision where values matter more than blood.” Her website chúng tôi is a play on words: “Just Do It, and Justice,” she says. Adoption resources abound online, but Silverman sees her mission as coaxing people to consider international adoption, through stories, videos, and slideshows of adoptive families like hers. “It’s to inspire people,” she says, and to correct what she sees as pervasive misconceptions about international adoption.

Silverman, Abramowitz, and increasingly, their children are not shy about saying they want to change the world. But many of the barriers they face are homegrown: the Orthodox grip on Israel’s government, its resistance to renewable energy. Yet in spite of its problems, Israel is a perfect fit for Abramowitz and Silverman, who take a page from David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and one of Abramowitz’s heroes, who said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”

They revere what they call the country’s organic lifestyle for people of their values. “And considering the saga of the Jewish people, who were able to reemerge into history with power and ingenuity after 2,000 years of exile, is so inspiring,” says Abramowitz, “but I don’t believe in resting on our laurels. A friend of mine asks, how can Israel become a platform for solving global issues, and that’s what’s exciting to me. I feel privileged to be part of this story.”

A version of this story was published in the summer 2014 edition of Bostonia.

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When Every Etching Tells A Story

Andrew Raftery depicts the ordinary and everyday in his printmaking — but the process that goes into his work is anything but. In his recent series Open House: Five Engraved Scenes (2008), for instance, Raftery (CFA’84), who first discovered printmaking at age 11, takes planning and detail to a new level. To capture the images of people exploring someone else’s home, Raftery actually built a sculptural model of the house he was depicting and made wax figures of each figure in the engraving, then later drew all the aspects, like the people’s clothes and the rooms of the house.

The series is one of several on display at BU in the exhibition Boston University and Beyond: Twenty-Five Years of Prints by Andrew Raftery at the George Sherman Union’s Sherman Gallery. The exhibition begins with pieces of his student work from 1983 and continues through the most recent, revealing the different approaches and traditional etching and engraving techniques he has used throughout his career.

“There’s a whole range of techniques available to the printmaker, and each one has its own particular tools and requirements that influence the way the artist works,” Raftery says. “The technique that I’ve been attracted to is engraving. It’s a very direct medium, and it gives a high level of control, more so than any other printmaking medium.”

The Sherman Gallery exhibition also shows Raftery’s increased use of sequence over the years. As an undergraduate, he says, he would try to come up with a single image, but now he often makes a series of prints instead.

“I think that with the single image, I was always waiting around for that single image to come to me,” he says. “And there was so much pressure for that single image. But when working with multiple images, you think of one image and then another one will come to you. I think when working with multiple images, it is much more generative and much more open-ended to develop the story itself.”

“I do see my work as an experiment in fiction,” he says. “I can’t tell the same kind of story a novelist or a film can tell, but I’m always trying to think of what kind of stories can be told within the visual means I’m using. When you look at the Open House series in terms of its use of time, it’s actually a simultaneous experience because all five scenes take place at the same time. You get a sense of the people that are looking at the house. Then you also get to see the house by itself, to get a sense of the people who live there but that you don’t actually see.”

Raftery says his style of making prints of simple scenes from social and contemporary life originated during his time at BU. In his classes, he and other students spent time working with models, and their subjects were always the personal world around them. But, he says, BU gave him ideas for setting his prints in a newer, bigger context.

“When I was in high school and doing a lot of prints, I realized I was relying on techniques to give strength to my drawings,” he says. “But I realized I had to learn a lot more. I got to BU and was really challenged to be more observant and more skillful. It was very special. It gave me a lot of background as I then continued my research and started to learn new things.”

Boston University and Beyond: Twenty Five Years of Prints by Andrew Raftery is on display at the Sherman Gallery, on the second floor of the George Sherman Union, through Friday, March 6. The Sherman Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Davide Nardi can be reached at [email protected].

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Hextech Mayhem: A League Of Legends Story Game Review

Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story game review




Releasing beside Ruined King, Riot Forge’s second somewhat experimental collaboration seems a slightly odd choice. Compared to the other game’s semi-serious tone and deep, involving RPG mechanics, Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story feels a little incongruous.

It’s pretty far removed from the ghostly invasion of Bilgewater, instead of focusing on the rather upmarket, steampunk-flavored city of Piltover – coincidentally the setting of Riot and Netflix’s incredible Arcane TV series.

It also has nothing to do with role-playing games, turn-based or otherwise. Rather, Hextech Mayhem follows the exploits of Ziggs, a maniac explosive expert intent on reducing Piltover to a pile of smoldering rubble for kicks and giggles. Attempting to stop him is League Champion Professor Heimerdinger (also a prominent character in Arcane, by the way), who keeps popping up to try to talk some sense into the little pyromaniac.

Master blaster

Hextech Mayhem takes the form of an endless runner/rhythm game hybrid developed by Choice Provisions, no less. The team behind the Bit. Trip Runner series is a solid get here as Airship Syndicate was for Ruined King. Riot have spared no expense, it seems – and it has paid off, too.

While Ziggs moves forward, his other commands are down to the player. It’s a 3-button game best played on a controller and with headphones strapped on the bonce (as the game itself helpfully suggests). While that sounds remarkably straightforward, it’s anything but. Choice Provisions do an awful lot with those three buttons, and there’s a surprising amount to get to grips with.

For example, A causes you to jump, which is easy, right? Just press A when Ziggs is level with the green prompt. Hitting down on the D-pad will make Ziggs slam down into the ground, while X tosses a bomb. All very, very simple. But in practice, it’s anything but. The prompts come fast, and you’re timing needs to be nigh on perfect. Some you can afford to miss, while others will cause you to his a hazard. Walls, traps, Piltover Enforcers, explosive barrels – these all stand in your way and must be circumnavigated safely and swiftly.


Later, Hextech Mayhem mixes in a few other mechanics, such as Super Bomb Jumps, where you’ll need to hold down the A button to charge your jump. Not only this but there are visual prompts everywhere that you can utilize if your timing is right. A vent, for example, can be ground-slammed, while tossing bombs at enforcers or slamming through chests can reward you with even more golden cogs, the currency with which you open up levels. There are also collectibles to be found, including new skins for Ziggs.

More than this, though, the extra actions you perform all feed directly into the Mayhem Meter, which acts as a score modifier and affects the overall rating for each of the 30-plus levels. Boss fights (three in total) break up the action and do things like change the color of your action prompts, forcing you to intuit on the fly. Even simply following the instructions can be tricky in the later stages, and so this can really push you.

Once or twice, though, I found the button presses just didn’t register correctly. It wasn’t a case of me missing a prompt, either, as it would be during a sequence of buttons that I was confidently nailing that one would simply fail to register.

‘Splosion fan

I’d also argue that the prompts command your focus so much that you simply won’t see most of what’s actually happening on-screen. Ziggs will be leaping, bombs will be bursting and enforcers will be flying all over the place, but you’ll be hard-pressed to hit every prompt and still keep up with where Ziggs even is on-screen half the time.

There’s just an awful lot to like here for a game that’s ostensibly about jumping over obstacles and blowing things up. It has an almost retro feel, an old-school charm that comes through in the amazing soundtrack and over-the-top visuals. It’s bright and colorful and zany, with Ziggs embodying that early-Noughties charm that games have all but left behind. Even the cutscenes, which only feature Ziggs and Heimerdinger, have a distinct air of Crash Bandicoot about them.

Choice Provisions have taken their own simple concept and injected it with its own personality. The League of Legends dome that covers Hextech Mayhem casts its shadow, no doubt about it, but as with Ruined King – and even Arcane – you don’t need prior knowledge of the greater franchise to enjoy the content. It’s just a ton of fun to blow things up.

Completion and Achievements

Being primarily made for PC and Nintendo Switch, Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story doesn’t have a suite of trophies or achievements to unlock. There are nine skins to find for Ziggs, which requires the collection of a special white cog from each level. Finding them will take a considerable effort and a lot of exploration – you’ll also need to deviate from the set rhythm somewhat, and hit those hidden prompts.

You could blast through your first playthrough of Hextech Mayhem in just a few hours, but then you’d be missing out on a lot of stuff. With 36 stages, including 3 boss fights, all the hidden cogs, and a secondary, maximum Mayhem mode unlocked when you finish the game, there’s a surprising amount of content.

Final thoughts on Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story Pros Colourful and zany art style Ziggs and Heimerdinger are great Lots of replayability Cons Button presses occasionally fail to register The screen gets super busy

Final Score: 4.5/5

A simple concept in almost every way, Hextech Mayhem is given greater legs by its smattering of collectibles and easy replayability, making it a superb way to kill a few hours whether you’re a fan of the grander franchise or completely new to it.

Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story is available on PC via Steam and the Epic Store, and Nintendo Switch.

*Disclaimer: Review access provided by the publisher.

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Google Warns Of 6 Reasons They’ll Ban A Web Story

Google Web Stories is a feature that can bring more traffic to a web site. Google shared six reasons why they will disqualify a web story and block the it from appearing in the search results.

Google Web Stories

Web stories is a new kind of content, a new format. The web story format is meant for users who are on the go or killing time. It’s described by Google as snackable content. A typical user might be someone who is waiting for an appointment or on a subway on their way to work.

Google is showing web stories across all the different kinds of search, including news and Google Discover.

Creating a Web Story doesn’t guarantee that Google will show it and send traffic.

The following are six reasons that Google said will cause a web story to be blocked from being shown.

1. Copyrighted Content

Google stated that content that infringes a copyright is prohibited from participating in web stories.

Google says that they “may” remove infringing content and then links to their web page for reporting infringing content.

So it seems like Google is relying on publishers to alert Google when someone infringes on their content.

This is what Google says:

“…we may block it from appearing.”

2. Too Many Words or Too Much Video Content

Google’s guidelines for web stories is that web story pages are limited to 180 words. Google also encourages publishers to use video content that is less than 60 seconds in length.

This is how Google describes it:

“Web Stories may not be eligible if the majority of pages have more than 180 words of text.”

3. Low Quality Images and Video 4. Lack of Narrative

Google explains it like this:

“We don’t allow Web Stories that are missing a binding theme or narrative structure from page to page.”

5. Incomplete Stories

This is the exact requirement:

6. Overly Commercial Web Story

Related: Google Discover Updated With Web Stories Carousel

New Format – New Web Stories Guidelines

Similarly, Google is creating rules to ensure that the user experience matches what Google had in mind when they created web stories.

Knowing what’s disallowed is useful as it will help prevent being in a situation where Google blocks the web story from appearing.


Parties To The Suit: Civil Procedure Code Of India

The people are free to choose, a method for resolving their conflict. If one party to a dispute chooses to file a civil suit in court to resolve his dispute and seek legal remedies, the other party has to plead his defence and tell the court why he is not entitled to such a remedy. Now suppose the plaintiff is not aware of the party against whom he is entitled to get remedy. So in that situation, it would be difficult to do justice and give the remedy to the plaintiff. So in every suit, there must be at least one plaintiff who institutes the suit and one defendant against whom the suit is filed.

Provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908

The plaintiffs and the defendants are two necessary parties to every suit. However, there may be any number of plaintiffs or defendants in one suit, but at least one of each is necessary.

The plaintiff has to be careful in selecting the opposite party, i.e., the defendant, against whom he wants to file a suit for damages. Now suppose there is more than one person against whom the plaintiff is entitled to claim, but in the suit he has not mentioned that person as a defendant. And later on, he realises his mistake and wants to make him the defendant. The law permits him to do so.

The Code of Civil Procedure (1908), provides under Rule 1 of Order I, for the joinder of plaintiffs and Rule 3 of Order 1 Rule 3 for the joinder of defendants.

Who is a Necessary Party?

A necessary party is one without whom no order can be effectively made. Therefore, the “necessary party” is that party without whose presence the suit must fail. This way, a necessary party is a mandatory party to the suit.

Who is the Proper Party?

A proper party is one in whose absence an effective order can be made but whose presence is necessary for the complete and final disposal of the case.

To understand the concept of necessary party and proper party, let us consider a case where a tenant is required to be evicted from the tenanted premises by the landlord on the ground that he (tenant) has violated a provision of the agreement that he will not sublet the premises. So the landlord filed a suit for eviction against the tenant. In this case, the tenant is a necessary party; however, the sub-tenant will be a proper party.

Joinder of Parties

The main purpose for joinder of parties is to ensure that the suits can be finally and conclusively decided on merits in presence of all parties.

When Plaintiffs may be Joined

The provisions of Rule 1 of Order 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure provide who may be joined as plaintiffs in a suit. This Rule provides that all such people may be joined as plaintiffs in one suit who have, in their own right, a claim arising out of the same cause of action alleged in the suit. And if such people brought separate suits, a common question of law or fact would arise in all of them.

When Defendants may be Joined

The provisions of Rule 3 of Order 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure provide who may be joined as a defendant in a suit. This Rule provides that all such people may be joined as defendants in one suit, if there exists a claim against all such persons, whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative, arising out of the same cause of action as alleged in the suit; and if separate suits are brought against all such persons, then in all such suits any common question of law or fact would arise.

Striking out, Addition, or Substitution of Parties

As a general rule, it is the pleasure of the plaintiff to select his opponent. The courts should not interfere in it. However, the court also has a duty to ensure that all parties involved in the dispute are present in order to provide complete justice and avoid a multiplicity of suits.

Addition or Substitution of Plaintiff

The provision contained under Rule 10(1) of Order I, provides for adding or substituting plaintiffs. However, for adding or substituting a plaintiff, the following conditions must be fulfilled: (1) The suit has been filed in the name of the wrong plaintiff, a bona fide mistake. and (2) that the substitution or addition of the plaintiff is mandatory for doing complete justice in the suit.

Striking out or Adding Parties

The court has the power to strike out or add a party to the suit under the provisions contained in Rule 10(2) of Order I. The court must add a party if it appears to the court that he is a necessary party for doing complete justice in that case. Further, if it appears to the court that a party is not required for the complete disposal of the case and that party has been added to the suit unnecessarily, the court has the power to strike out such party from the suit.

How to add a minor to the suit as a party?

If a minor person has an interest in the subject matter of the suit, he may be added to it under the guardianship of an adult person who does not have conflicting interests with the minor’s. If the minor is to be named as a plaintiff, he must do so through a next friend.

As per the provisions of Rule 1 of Order XXXII, every suit by a minor shall be instituted in name by a person who, in such a suit, shall be called the next friend of the minor. And if a suit has been instituted against a minor without the next friend, the defendant may apply to the court to have the plaint, be taken off the file. In that case, the court may levy costs against the pleader or the person who filed the suit.

Further if the suit has been filed against a minor making him a defendant in the suit.  As per the provisions contained in Rule 3 of Order XXXII, the court shall appoint a proper person to be guardian of such minor for the suit.

Case Laws

In the case of Kasturi v. Iyyamperumal, the Supreme Court has laid down the following two tests to determine whether a particular party is a necessary party to a proceeding or not:

There must be a right to some relief against such a party in respect of the matter in issue.

It is not possible to pass an effective decree in his absence.

In Anil Kumar v. Shivnath, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the object of the rule of necessity is to bring on record all persons who are parties to the dispute relating to the subject matter so as to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and inconvenience. 


The object of the rule of necessity is to promote the cause of justice. It ensures that all the persons who have any interest in the dispute relating to the subject-matter, must be brought before the court at the same time for complete and final disposal of the matter, thereby avoiding multiplicity of litigation and inconvenience to the other parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the effect of the misjoinder or non-joinder of parties to suit?

Ans: According to Rule 9 of Order I of CPC, a suit shall not be dismissed because of the misjoinder or non-joinder of a party. However, if a party is a necessary party to the suit, then it is the duty of the court to bring that party on the record of the suit for the interest of justice.

Q2. Which provision of the Code of Civil Procedure provides for striking out one of the parties from the suit?

Ans: The provision contained under Rule 10(2) of Order I the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 is for the purpose of giving necessary powers to the court to strike out the name of the party improperly joined in the suit as well as to add the name of the party who appears to the court to be a necessary or proper party to the suit.

Q3. What is the procedure for adding a minor as a plaintiff to the suit?

Ans: According to Rule 1 of Order XXXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, a minor may be added as a plaintiff to a suit through a next friend, who must be a major and not have a conflict of interest with the minor.

Q4. What is the purpose of Rule 10 of Order I the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908?

Ans: The provision contained under Rule 10 of Order I the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 is for adding or substituting plaintiffs in the suit.

Summer Of Love Among Erp Rivals?

One of the more startling innovations that SAP failed to announce at a recent Sapphire user conference came in a presentation that showed the unshowable: a heterogeneous environment that included SAP and, in full, copyrighted glory, the logos of its two archrivals, Oracle and PeopleSoft.

The message was almost revolutionary. SAP will actively support integration with non-SAP applications, including those from its most bitter competitors.

An unwritten rule has dominated the enterprise software market since punch card days: deny the existence of competing products and, against all evidence to the contrary, promote the idea that customers can and will standardize on a single enterprise vendor to run their myriad business processes.

The contrary evidence has been what made this head-in-the-sand strategy so patently absurd. The majority of real-world IT departments are a hodge-podge of enterprise applications, and a huge amount of IT’s efforts are focused on making these applications work together.

SAP isn’t the only vendor that has woken up to this reality. PeopleSoft, Oracle, and even smaller upstarts like Sweden’s IFS AB are talking about making free use of the competitions’ applications and data. It’s starting to look like the summer of love all over again.

Or is it? While America is the land of redemption, I remain a little suspicious of how well any ERP vendor will manage this shift in attitude toward the competition. In the end, many of you will stick to what you’re doing now: a combination of duct tape and baling wire, supported by an open check to the systems integrator of your choice, with a big chunk of change tossed at your enterprise applications integration (EAI) vendor as well.

Part of my skepticism comes from the obvious absence of altruism in these ERP vendors’ actions. Indeed, support for heterogeneity goes straight to the vendors’ bottom line. The more integration they do, the more the vendor can claim a larger number of users in the enterprise. And the more users, the more licensing revenue. These born-again integrators also get to solidify their account control, particularly if the vendor’s single sign-on portal is used as the point of integration.

The vendors also get to capture consulting dollars. When you choose an ERP vendor’s integration solution, you cut the umbilical cord to your EAI vendor and short-circuit the systems integrator’s free lunch. Some of your budget will still flow in these directions, but more and more will likely be siphoned off to the ERP vendor.

The other problem is that I fear the IT blame game will only get worse. Who do you call when your SAP portal can’t launch a PeopleSoft application because an Oracle Financials process failed? All of a sudden your integrator or EAI vendor starts to look like your best friend.

Of course, this friendship comes at a price. The upside of letting your ERP vendor handle applications integration is that you may genuinely lower your integration costs. Baling wire, duct tape, integrators, and EAI technology are not the most elegant technology platforms for enterprise-wide applications. A pre-integrated applications environment should be cheaper to implement. And when things do go wrong, it’s nice to dial only one phone number before you get to start yelling.

As with most innovations on the vendor side, the impact on the user will be mixed. The vendors’ new-found love for integration will work best at greenfield sites and in adding incremental improvements to existing environments. There will be no winner-take-all conversions that make the wholesale replacement of heterogeneous systems a viable strategy for user or vendor alike. At best, this new-found tolerance for the competition will chip away at EAI vendor revenues; witness the recent shortfalls at WebMethods and Tibco.

So keep an eye out for the new promise of heterogeneous support. It’s a minor palace coup masquerading as a full blown revolution. But as palace coups go, it’s a good one. The outgoing regime had its head in the sand. The new one knows you need to support a multi-vendor world. All these vendors still need to prove that they actually play well with the competition. But admitting that customer needs might be more important than competitive positioning is a good first step.

Joshua Greenbaum is a principal with Enterprise Applications Consulting, a technology and marketing consultancy in Daly City, Calif.

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