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Tattoos a unique form of therapy for Oct. 1 shooting survivors – Las Vegas Sun09.29.20

Courtesy of Dean McAuley

Dean McAuley, firefighter from Washington State, is one of many One October shooting survivors who will receive a tattoo September 30 at Seven Tattoo Studio on Polaris Ave. for Healing Ink, an event in which 21 survivors and first responders will each receive a free tattoo as a form of therapy from one of 21 famous tattooartists.

By Sara MacNeil (contact)

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 | 2 a.m.

The terrifying moment a gunman opened fire on a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers is painfully etched into survivor Dean McAuleys memory.

Now he and others who escaped the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Strip are having healing images etched on their skin, something McAuley calls a reminder of survival and a badge of honor.

On Wednesday, 21 shooting survivors and first responders will receive free tattoos as a form of therapy at the Seven Tattoo Studio on Polaris Avenue.

The event, Healing Ink, is being organized by Artists 4 Israel, a nonprofit group that has provided therapy tattoos for survivors of terrorist attacks and mass shootings.

Artists 4 Israel perfected this unique trauma therapy. They can incorporate existing scars into works of art or create meaningful images that draw the eye away from wounds. This allows victims to reclaim their bodies and the stories they tell, the organization said in a statement.

McAuley, a Washington state firefighter, was among more than 20,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival when the gunman opened fire from a hotel tower across the street.

McAuley was about 25 feet from the stage where Jason Aldean was performing when the shooting started. He tried to pull people to cover and watched as victims dropped to the ground as they tried to scramble over a fence.

When the shooting finally stopped 10 minutes later, 58 people were dead and more than 800 injured. In the subsequent months and years, two more people died as a result of their injuries.

McAuley, who used his medical training to try to save lives that night, said hes never fully recovered from the trauma. He still has flashbacks.

At the scene of an accident where a girl was ejected from a car, he looked at her and it took me right back to Vegas, he said.

I worked on two girls who died in my arms, he said. You start questioning if you did everything right.

McAuley plans to get a tattoo of a guitar accompanied by the lyrics from a Jason Aldean song: When I got what I got, I dont miss what I had.

The tattoo is a reminder of survival. It becomes a badge of honor when you get on the other side of it, McAuley said, though he acknowledged, Ill probably never be completely on the other side.

Dylan Rosage, an artist based in North Carolina, will be tattooing a survivor who was shielded by a man who was shot at the concert.

Rosage said the way she described struggling with anger reminded him of a person losing a loved one.

The world keeps going and youre just walking around like, Do you guys know whats happened to me? he said.

Another survivor getting a tattoo is Natalia Baca, a 17-year-old concertgoer McAuley helped treat at the scene and get to a hospital after she was shot in the back.

Recounting the events in writing, Baca said McAuley put her into a random car and drove with her to the hospital. "He was watching my pulse, telling the driver to drive faster," she said.

After they arrived at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, Baca asked McAuley not to leave. "He says, 'I will see you again. I promise,'" she recalled.

And he kept his word.

Baca said she has little memory of what happened next, but when she came to in a hospital room, McAuley walked in and greeted her with a huge smile and a hug. "It was a very magical feeling," she said.

After Baca recovered, McAuley became a virtual part of her family.

"He got to watch me graduate high school and (we) always meet up and talk on the phone," she said. " I love Dean so much. He is in my heart and my hero forever."

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Beau Travail Finds the Rhythm of Life (and Dances Away the Pain) – The New York Times09.29.20

Is it a dance of death? A fantasy to become someone else? The solo that ends Claire Deniss film Beau Travail spotlights the repressed, tightly wound Sergeant Galoup in ways we have never seen him before: loose, relaxed, carefree.

His dance twists things up: Who is this Galoup? At this point in the film, about a group of French Foreign Legion soldiers, Galoup has been dismissed from military service and just moments ago he did not seem to be dealing well. He was lying on his neatly made bed with a gun in his hand as the camera panned over his tattoo: Serve the good cause and die.

While Galoups solo is the films most obvious dance moment, a singular choreographic consciousness runs throughout Beau Travail (1999), recently restored by the Criterion Collection. Throughout the movie, loosely modeled on Melvilles Billy Budd, bodies, more than words, tell the story.

Galoups downfall is brought on by his jealousy and obsession with and a beautiful young man in his unit; his suicide seems imminent. But in the dance, Galoup, played by Denis Lavant, transforms into a new body, one overflowing with life. As louche as Serge Gainsbourg but with the daredevil precision of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mr. Lavant uses his primal, low-to-the-ground physicality as a way to release Galoups pent-up emotions, which seep out of his skin through movement.

The dance begins on his bed with a close-up of his pulsing biceps and the faint, opening beat of Coronas The Rhythm of the Night; a moment later, he is transported to a nightclub. With one arm stretched up the side of a mirror twinkling with magenta lights, he takes a drag on his cigarette and edges his way toward the center of the dance floor where he walks in small circular steps as if marking his territory.

He spins suddenly and kneels, taking his time. He sways his arms and spins again, but this time in the air. His limbs loosen in gangly, euphoric freedom. Even after a brief interruption by credits, Mr. Lavant returns to spring up like a fish popping out of the sea before crashing to the floor with a splash and then rebounding.

For nearly 90 minutes in the film, Galoups body has been fixed and hard. Who is this untamed person, seemingly drunk on life, we see in the dance? Mr. Lavant, in a Criterion interview, said he viewed his dancing self as a projection of who Galoup might wish to be.

The decision to place the sequence at the end of the film came during the editing process. In the script, it was because he was leaving for good, Ms. Denis said in another interview. He wanted to go to the bar for the last time. He starts dancing like the last dance of his life.

Mr. Lavant told Criterion that he improvised the dance, which was shot in only two takes. (His rolling-off-the-floor exit came in the second take, Just to get off camera quickly!, he said.) But this extended solo wasnt his only dancing moment in the film; what made the role fun for him, he said, was the way he used his physicality to shift from realism to fantasy.

We see Galoup walking at night among the barracks, and Id take a little step or something, he said, adding that it was almost like dancing. That wasnt in character.

Mr. Lavant, who trained in the circus, is a natural mover: Remember his sprinting dance in Leos Caraxs Mauvais Sang, in which he runs to David Bowies Modern Love? (Frances Ha enjoys a dash down the street to the same song, too.) In Beau Travail, he isnt alone. The actors playing legionnaires include the films choreographer, Bernardo Montet, as well as a boxer, an opera singer and dancers. In an email interview, Mr. Montet said his job was to release the poetic power of their bodies.

With the dancer, as with the legionnaire, there is this idea of sacrifice, he added. Also this relation with the death: For one, its real and for the other one, its symbolic.

Neither, in other words, belongs in ordinary society. Mr. Montet sees the dancer in Galoup as a shaman who has nothing to do with the show world, dance as an entertainment.

The choreography of the group is as important as the landscape Djibouti, in East Africa which frames the men with the turquoise blue of the sea, the azure sky and the dusty earth. Military drills in which the men climb over walls or crawl under wires flash by with speed and efficiency; but even those moments of action seemingly everyday or pedestrian can be deceiving, changing meaning the longer we watch. In one moment, the men stretch on the ground, one leg forward and the other bent behind its as easy to see them as dancers limbering up as soldiers in training. But when they recline all the way with their arms raised overhead, the image takes a tragic turn; their bodies, limp and sprawled out, are lifeless.

Theres a purposeful double-sidedness, as if whats living within their muscular prowess is as unpredictable as Galoups nightclub dance. In one striking scene, dry grass blows in the wind and silhouettes give way to actual men, standing bare chested with their arms raised and eyes closed. They are still as the breeze moves them; they meld with nature, they become it.

Mr. Montet said that when Ms. Denis was looking for locations to shoot in the desert, she was inspired by the movement of the grass and asked him to create what he calls the grass dance.

Its a way to show their vulnerability, their fragility in these killer bodies, Mr. Montet said. They give their body to nature, to death, and they do it with full consciousness.

There are duets, too, like when the soldiers embrace and retreat their chests smack hard yet their eye contact and the quick squeeze, a millisecond, just before parting reveals something about their faith in their profession and in each other. In a hug, you can give all your being, Mr. Montet said. To love is to surrender.

But surrender is not a part of a legionnaires mentality. The circling duet, this one more predatory and ominous, is a face-off between Galoup and Gilles Sentain (Grgoire Colin), the young legionnaire he is both repelled by and attracted to.

They start standing apart on a cliff overlooking the sea and eventually take careful steps, moving clockwise as the gap shrinks between them; the wide shot switches to a close-up, first of Galoup, then of Sentain, who radiates innocence even in aggression. The shorter, stockier Galoup peers up at him, his lips grim and downturned.

Their relationship is told through choreography, but instead of using their fists, this battle builds through tension. They never touch. What I didnt notice the first time I saw the film is that in his final dance, Galoup though alone and lost in his own world actually dances as if someone were standing before him, and he reacts to every move of that phantom partner: Sentain.

There are reverberations from their duet, from the methodical opening steps to the circling pattern. But in the solo, Galoups gaze, while intent, isnt hard; his lips part, softening his mouth. He is more animal than human as he goes from being the watcher which hes been through much of the film to the watched.

How powerful can a dance be? Galoup spent most of the movie obsessing over someone else, but his dance flips that story. Through his wild metamorphosis, he becomes an object of obsession ours. It was just the right dance at just the right time.

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The Office: 10 Most Viewed Scenes (According To YouTube) – Screen Rant09.29.20

Sometimes, you don't want to re-watch the whole episode, but these scenes are the best, and most re-watched, from The Office.

The Office might have aired its last episode seven years ago but the series still has a very strong presence all over the internet especially for its dialogue and storylines. Despite the show referencing real events and pop culture elements of that time, most scenes are still relatable and a great source of laughter and happiness. That is why fans never get bored even after watching it multiple times.

RELATED: The Office: 10 Nicest Characters, Ranked

However, when there is not enough time to binge the entire series, luckily The Office's official youtube page has scenes from the series that capture the essence of the show. Below are ten of the most viewed ones among them.

When Martin Nash (Wayne Wilderson) an ex-convict who joined the Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch during the merger talks about his time in the prison, everyone comes to the conclusion that prison is better than their office. Obviously appalled by this, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) puts on one of his famous alter-egos Prison Mike to prove them wrong.

RELATED: The Office: Michael Scott's 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Alter Egos

His decision to just put on a bandana, change his voice a bit, and expect everyone to believe he is a different person who has been to prison before is by itself hilarious. On top of that, the others play along by asking him questions, escalating the humor. Michael's dialogue, "The worst thing about prison is the Dementors." is definitelyan unforgettable line from the series.

Following Robert California's (James Spader) instruction to Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms) to double the company's sale, Andy comes up with a point-based rewarding system. Although everyone initially finds the gifts not to be worth their work, Andy's rule that they can combine all their pointsand use 5000 points to tattoo anything they want on his butt gets them excited. What follows is the office bustling with work like never before as Andy gets nervous at how fast everyone is working towards their 5000-points-goal that they end up scoring in a single day. This scene surely is one of Andy's best moments as a manager.

After the server goes down, everyone in the office tries to figure out the password to continue their work. The only thing they remember is that the password made Michael laugh and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) angry. Following some guesses, they finally find out that their password is 'bigboobz.' This scene highlights the way Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branchdoes things quite different from a lot of other companies that would have had a professional password. Besides, the opening for this scene is also iconic as it perfectly demonstrates the way Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) exaggerates a situation. This time he tries to prepare everyone for an apocalypse after thepower goes out for only a few seconds.

With Michael realizing that he is not happy in his relationship with Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), he takes the advice of his female staff and breaks up with Jan. When Jan comes to the office to get back together with Michael. Michael calls for his female staff to the meeting room for their help where he is confident that his relationship with Jan is over.

RELATED: The Office: 10 Things About Michael and Jan's Relationship That Would Never Fly Today

However, when he sees that Jan got a boob job, he tells her that they should continue dating again. The way Michael quickly changes his mind and argues that it is not because of the boob job is the hilarity of this scene.

Although Michael is the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch, he is definitely the last person one would choose as the person to give sensitivity training to the office staff. When the entire office makes fun of him for falling into a koi pond, he calls them for sensitivity training. There, he writes down the things that each person, including himself, wishes that others would not make fun of.The scene's irony adds so much humor to itas they all joke about the things mentioned. For instance, with Dwight telling them he doesn't want people making fun of his tiny nose, Michael asks him if he sneezed it off.

Copying an internet trend called Parkour, Michael, Dwight, and Andyare seen jumping around the office, opening random doors, and walking on tables. As Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) rightly describes it, "Technically, they are doing parkour as long as point A is delusion and point B is the hospital." This is one of the best cold-opensthat captures the absurdity of the three aforementioned characters through both dialogues and actions.It also subtly touches on the way some people, in general, try to take part in pop-culture and internet sensations despite not being able to do it.

Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) enters the office, clearly pissed off at everyone especially Jim and Dwight for forgetting her birthday that was the day before. What follows is both Jim and Dwight trying to plan a birthday partyfor Kelly.

RELATED: The Office: 10 Times Jim and Dwight Were Best Friends

From Dwight's 'It is your birthday." sign to Jim getting a plain white cake,the two's least interest in throwing the party and their interactions with each other as they argue are some of the things that make this scene fun to watch multiple times. The other memorable moments from the scene include Dwight describing his birth as his favorite birthday and Kelly becoming happy when she hears the theme one hour of television or nap.

As the title of the video mentions, this cold open has to be one of the best introductions. With the members from the office taking part in a lip dub challenge, the characters are seen performing to Nobody but me by The Human Beinz. Be it Michael breaking out somemagic tricks, Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) not willing to participate, or Dwight performing with a knife, the scene can be seen as fragments that seize the individuality of each character. Besides, the musical quality of the scene is yet another aspect that makes it exciting.

In an attempt to prepare everyone in the office for a fire accident, Dwight creates stimulation of it. Following it, everyone is panicking and trying to escape as Dwight continues to give safety instructions that no one is paying attention to. With Dwight starting a real fire for the sake of training and the staff running around, the audience can envision the adrenaline rush of the characters. Kevin Malone breaking the vending machine for snacks is a notable moment from the scene. The scene's recent comparison to the year 2020 is also a reason for its high number of views.

The scene is packed with humor even breaking from the seriousness one would expect from CPR training especially witheveryone getting carried away byStayin' Alive by Bee Gees a song that the instructor suggests to help them keep track of timing. When the trainer declares that the person would have died by then, Dwight steps in asking to check for an organ donor card, for which Creed Bratton replies that the person does not have a purse. Dwight then cuts the face off the doll and puts it on his face. When called to interrogate, Michael defends him by saying that is why there is training so that Dwight knows not to cut the face of a real person.

NEXT: 10 Movies To Watch If You Love The Office

Next 10 Behind The Scenes Facts About The Cast Of That 70s Show

Renuka Kennedy is a journalism graduate with editorial experiences at Hong Kong-based lifestyle publications #legend and Gafencu. Now, with her passion for writing and interest in entertainment, she writes for Screen Rant. She can be reached @inner_zeal_out.

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The permanent bonds of family and friends in ink – The Canberra Times09.29.20

When Christine Hall's husband Stephen returned from Afghanistan in 2012, she felt compelled to capture the moment forever.

She had an image of a woman embracing an Australia soldier tattooed on her back as a permanent reminder of her husband's homecoming.

"Steve had just got back from Afghanistan, and I just wanted to commemorate that time," she said.

"It's such a big part of me now - I must have this tattoo - and if someone asks me about it I can explain and tell them our story."

Their story is told at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra as part of Ink in the Lines, a new temporary exhibition, the first of its kind at the Memorial, sharing stories of Australia's military veterans and their families, through their tattoos.

Christine met Stephen in Melbourne before he joined the army.

"I was 18 and he would have been 20," she said.

"I was just finishing high school and we were at a mutual friend's birthday party. They had terrible music on, and he was walking around with some Nirvana CDs so we tracked him down, and then we exchanged MSN chat details, and it just went from there.

"We've been together ever since."

They were married in the Dandenong Ranges in 2007, and Stephen joined the army a few years later at the age of 28. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as part of Operation Slipper, and then Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates in 2015.

"We got posted to Brisbane when I was 33 weeks pregnant with our first child and then he was on pre-deployment training to go to Afghanistan when our daughter was three and a half months old," Christine said.

"It's going to choke me up ... but I found it really hard.

"I didn't want to do the whole goodbye thing [when he went to Afghanistan], so I booked a flight for me and my daughter to go to Melbourne, and said, 'Just drop me at the airport; don't say anything; just go.'

"I could see his reflection as I was entering the plane, and the baby was fussing, and he went to come over, and I had to put up my hand [to say] don't, because I didn't want to lose it."

The Hall family's story is one of many told at the new exhibition, Ink in the Lines, on at the Australian War Memorial from 25 September 2020 to 27 January 2021.

She would do her shopping during the week to avoid seeing families together and would send care packages full of lollies to her husband each week as she anxiously awaited news from him.

"I used to wake up early and just check to see if he was online and wait for a message," she said.

"When casualties happened, the communications went into lockdown and you didn't hear from them for a few days until they had notified the families, and that's when you panic.

"You want the phone to ring, not a knock at the door."

She will never forget how she felt when he arrived home safe and well.

"The baby had grown a lot, and I was in a flood of tears," she said.

"You're just so relieved and happy to see them."

Today, her tattoo is a permanent reminder of these experiences.

"It's a representation of me and every other army wife and partner that has missed their partner when they're deployed, or even on exercise," she said.

"People who are serving are real people - they have families, and they do make sacrifices.

"They miss their families. Their families are missing them. You don't know what they are seeing over there. You don't know what they experience.

"We might think that our story is small, but it may mean something to someone else as well.

"The army touches a lot of lives, and I think everyone's got a story to tell.

"I'm just so happy he came back in one piece."

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COVID-19 infection rates become weekly ‘nail-biter’ for local businesses: Can they outlast pandemic? – The San Diego Union-Tribune09.29.20

As the countys public health officer this week methodically reeled off the latest COVID-19 case rates, it quickly became clear that business owners greatest fears of yet another shutdown of indoor operations would not be realized.

We made it through a nail-biter here today, county Supervisor Jim Desmond said of the news that San Diego had escaped having to leave its red-tier reopening status for the states most restrictive purple tier. Its kind of a small victory.

But was it? After six months of navigating the dips and surges of the novel coronavirus and nervously monitoring Californias ever-changing rules for what is and isnt safe to reopen, local restaurants, bars and gyms are questioning how much longer if at all they and their employees can outlast the pandemic.

Since March, theyve weathered a cycle of government-mandated closings and subsequent reopenings, as the state wrestles with the challenge of containing the COVID-19 contagion without crushing local economies. The latest set of rules, guided by a Byzantine color-coded system tied to positivity rates, covers more than three dozen business sectors, with some able to widely reopen once the virus substantially recedes and still others limited to operating at no more than half their original capacity.

While businesses like hair and nail salons, retail stores and shopping centers can continue to operate indoors albeit at reduced capacities even under the states most restrictive guidelines, restaurants, wineries, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and some personal care services like tattoo parlors cannot.

And as San Diego moves into cooler weather, making street-side dining and outdoor workouts less appealing, and federal loan assistance is exhausted, the future feels more perilous for those businesses.

Lets face it, as bad as the pandemic has been on people and their health, it has been equally devastating or even more so to a lot of small businesses, said Greg Cox, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors. The one concern I have is we really have to guard against a kind of yo-yo effect where this week were in purple (tier) and then we have to close things down for three weeks and then open them back up and close them back down. That not only is not going to protect the public health but it will have an adverse impact on any ability to recover from this economic crisis.

Lesley and David Cohn, in this 2017 photo, are the founders of the Cohn Restaurant Group.

(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Cohn Restaurant Group, San Diegos single biggest independent restaurant operator, currently has been able to keep all but two of its 23 local dining venues open for a combination of indoor and outdoor service. That indoor service, though, is limited to just 25 percent of a dining rooms capacity.

Come October, once the company runs out of the more than $560,000 in loan money it received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help cover wages and rents, its very possible the company will have to close a few more eateries, founder David Cohn said. Since being allowed to partially reopen, the company has hired back about 1,200 of the 1,800 employees it initially had to lay off, said his wife and co-founder, Lesley Cohn.

As we enter the fall and winter months, our restaurants cannot survive on 25 percent (capacity) even though we in California do have the ability to serve almost year-round outside, Lesley Cohn said in an interview this week. Based on the current color-coded system, it will be difficult to reach 50 percent occupancy, and were frustrated that theres no current state plan to get beyond 50 percent. How is that sustainable?

Unfortunately as of today, everything weve built over the past 38 years is in jeopardy.

Tensions in the business community have been building in recent weeks, to the point where a week ago some owners threatened to defy state mandates, as signs initially pointed to even tighter restrictions, prompting some owners to say they would continue operating indoors if faced with a shutdown.

Patrons Barbara Lartigau (left) and Deedee Simmons (right) enjoy lunchtime at Eastbound Bar and Grill on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Lakeside.

(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Ben Clevenger, who owns two East County restaurants, said he was prepared to keep his Eastbound Bar and Grill in Lakeside open for indoor service if San Diego County had moved into the purple tier that would have barred dining inside.

We believe the metrics have to be changed, said Clevenger, who is also president of the San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association. This back and forth, its been too much and were tired of it. We understand the severity of the virus. Were all about the sanitation but we dont think the numbers are increasing because restaurants are open to 25 percent capacity. Its stressful telling your employees, Weve got hours for you, and then saying, Sorry were getting shut down again and were going to take your hours away.

While there already have been some permanent business closures related to the pandemic, experts predict in the months ahead a tsunami of shutterings amid a virus that shows no signs of a rapid retreat.

Yelp, the crowd-sourced ratings website for restaurants and other small businesses nationwide, reports that between March 1 and Aug. 31, more than 1,900 San Diego County businesses formerly listed on the site have permanently closed, Since it began tracking temporary and permanent business closures in March, Yelp found that 61 percent of all the restaurants that closed temporarily across the country have transitioned to permanent closures. For bars and nightclubs, its 54 percent, and for fitness centers, 43 percent.

While there are no recent stats for restaurant closures alone in San Diego County, as of July 10, there were 226 eateries in San Diego County listed as permanently closed since March 1. A recent report from the National Restaurant Association offered an even more sobering statistic: Some 100,000 restaurants nationwide are already out of business due to the coronavirus. In California, the restaurant industrys trade group predicts that eventually, 30 percent of restaurants will close permanently.

As San Diegos economy continues to reel from the abrupt shutdown in March, the losses have been staggering, even as the county has seen some recent signs of improvement. As of early August, there were an estimated 250,000 San Diegans without jobs five times more than at the beginning of the year, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.

The countys gross domestic product is now forecast to decline between $10 and $15 billion, said SANDAG economist Ray Major. Thats a 4.5 percent drop, which he says effectively erases all of the gains of the last two years. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes the $10 billion a year restaurant industry, has been especially hard hit.

This is going to fundamentally change the restaurant scene in San Diego, Major said. If you ran a deli in a downtown highrise, for example, and depended on those office workers to patronize you, thats completely dried out. The person who ran the deli in our building downtown has told me theyre not going to make it. They ran through their life savings.

Inside North Parks Tiger!Tiger! tavern in 2016.

(K.C. Alfred)

One of the more surprising casualties of COVID-19 is the North Park gastropub Tiger! Tiger! The popular beer bar and restaurant permanently closed Sept. 18. Owners of the 9-year-old restaurant bar say they couldnt see a path forward in the limited-seating, uncertain times the industry is facing.

The ownership, however, will continue to operate its Blind Lady Alehouse, as well as Panama 66 at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Co-founder Clea Hantman, who launched Tiger! Tiger! with her husband Jeff Motch and Jenniffer and Lee Chase, declined to comment for this article but they posted a message on their Facebook page.

COVID-19 did us in, they said. Running a restaurant historically has razor-thin margins. Attempting to run a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic with mounds of debt piling up is nonsensical. We tried many different paths for this business over the last six months and each one took us down a dead end. With the end of our lease approaching fast, we all really believe we had no other choice.

Led by Junior Leoso, Pacific Beach Training currently offers both group classes and private lessons at its indoor facility at the state-required rate of 10 percent capacity.

(Courtesy of Pacific Beach Training)

Fitness centers, hit with one of the most stringent caps on occupancy under the states new tiered system, face especially challenging economics, given that they can only fill their buildings up to 10 percent of their total capacity. While many, if they have the space, have expanded to outdoors, it isnt a sustainable solution, say some.

You wouldnt know it by talking to him, but Junior Leoso is in a tough spot. The 40-year-old owner of specialty fitness gym, Pacific Beach Training, took on a new, much pricier lease in March for 2,500 square feet of indoor workout space.

Shortly thereafter he was forced to close his doors and become extra resourceful. And with no adjacent usable outdoor space available to him, his creativity has continued, meaning in-person classes were replaced by online classes and later supplemented with outdoor classes at not-so-nearby parks.

Currently, the gym can serve no more than 12 people per class inside the facility. To pay the bills, Leoso has needed to lean heavily on his side business, Dedicated Dads, a hybrid fitness and mental health program for fathers that has thrived online during the pandemic.

If we dont reopen the doors, or we cant go full bore and advertise by the new year, which is only three months away, were going to be in big trouble and will have to really reassess what the plan is moving forward, Leoso said. We cant sustain it on 10 percent capacity.

Michael Hamanaka (arms out middle), owner of The Movement Warehouse in Pacific Beach, works outside with clients.

(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Five blocks east, The Movement Warehouse has fared far better for one simple reason: ample outdoor space.

Weve never done better, said gym owner Michael Hamanaka, who added that memberships shot up when he reopened with outdoor classes. With access to 3,500 square feet of turf and limited competition, Hamanaka was able to sign on a record 45 new members in July.

He even raised prices knowing that his high-intensity weight-lifting gym was pretty much the only option in town. The Movement Warehouse is in a relatively cushy spot, with Hamanakas business far more immune to frequently changing government restrictions that have simultaneously crippled his friend Leosos similar-but-different fitness venture.

I think I sound OK because Ive definitely had my nights of kicking and screaming, and trying to figure this stuff out. Now its about survival, Leoso said. Its about doing everything we can and only worrying about the things we can control.

Flamin Pho & Sushi Bar

(Courtesy of Flamin Pho)

As stressed and anxiety-ridden and overworked as many restaurateurs are right now, many say they are determined to vanquish the fallout from the virus without sacrificing their businesses. Some, like Afghan immigrant Tariq Wasimi, are working long hours, filling in as servers and food runners, as a way to save money on labor.

Weve been able to break even because my business partner, Stavro Yousif, and I have put in 12-hour days for the last six months, said Wasimi, owner of Flamin Pho & Sushi Bar in downtown San Diego. Before COVID, his restaurant could seat 72. Now its been slashed to 28, all outdoors. We havent had a server, just he and I.

Here you go, Wasimi said to a customer, who was picking up an order, as he spoke with a reporter. Hi, can I help you, he asked another.

This year was on pace to be the 2-1/2-year-old restaurants best. But after taking in $650,000 in sales last year, Flamin Pho is currently at only a quarter of that revenue. Loans from family members have helped keep the business afloat, and despite the lean times, Wasimi remains determined to not let his business slip away.

Its nerve-wracking because Im just about to finally open inside dining and hire people, but I dont want to be in that stage where two weeks from now I have to let people go, he sighed. Im scared if the (coronavirus) rate goes up by a couple numbers and Im shut down again. But Ill be damned if I give up on this place. Ill do whatever it takes to survive.

Like Wasimi, longtime restaurateur Terryl Gavre has been working much longer hours, intent on keeping her venues open without incurring major losses. In a move to buy some time for the 10-year-old Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant she owns with chef-partner Carl Schroeder, they are closing temporarily after this weekend.

While they were able to do enough business to break even, that was no longer possible when their federal loan money that amounted to less than $250,000 ran out a week ago, Gavre said. The temporary closure of Bankers Hill is possible, Gavre said, because of the willingness of their landlord to give them free rent over the next several months as they regroup and await a wider reopening of restaurants.

Its all been very stressful. You are constantly running things through your head day and night, what if this happens, OK, then Ill do this, and what if this happens. You dont get any peace, said Gavre, who also owns Cafe 222, a small breakfast and lunch spot in downtown San Diego. Every time they make a change in the rules, you have to react by either finding your staff or laying them off again. So right now, with Bankers Hill, wed rather wait and hold onto all our assets until we have a fighting chance to make a profit. I know well be itching to get back in there.

Even more daunting is the road ahead for the many bars in San Diego that have never served food and have made no arrangements to do so in order to comply with the current state guidelines that would let them open indoors at 25 percent capacity.

Jasper JJ Sciuto is the lead bartender and manager for the Lamplighter, which has remained mostly closed during the pandemic.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

At the Lamplighter in Mission Hills, the lights are off and the mood seemingly even darker at one of San Diegos most well-known dive bars.

We would be so screwed if my dad didnt have other things going on, said Jasper JJ Sciuto, who helps run the bar with his brother Joe. The family business the senior Sciuto bought the bar in 1994 has been closed since March, save for a two-week window in late June when bars that dont also serve food were allowed to open.

For now, the Lamplighter must remain closed until San Diego enters the next tier, when the county is deemed to be at a moderate risk level and daily new COVID-19 cases are between one and 3.9 cases per 100,000 residents. Although without outdoor space, Lamplighter may have to remain closed until the county hits the even more seemingly out-of-reach yellow tier that means minimal COVID spread.

As a result, Lamplighters entire staff has been let go even the brothers, who are collecting unemployment. Still, Joe Sr. is able to make the rent payments, meaning the bar, best known for its late-night karaoke and stiff drinks, is in no danger of permanently closing anytime soon, JJ said.

We just keep waiting it out. My brother and I depend on this for jobs, JJ said. Were now at the point where we need to find (new jobs).

Zak Higson, left, his brother, Nate Higson, center, and friend and business partner, Grant Tondro, are the founders of 3 Local Brothers restaurant and brewery group.

(San Diego Union-Tribune)

North County restaurant owner Grant Tondro understands well the roller coaster ride that has defined the COVID-19 landscape for local businesses. Not only did he and his two partners, Zak and Nate Higson, have to temporarily close or reduce operations at a few of their dining and drinking venues in Carmel Valley, Rancho Bernardo and San Marcos, but they also had to abandon plans for a major expansion that involved seven new projects.

This last six months has been absolutely insane, between the constant changing restrictions and the overall public sense of fear, said Tondro, who co-founded the 3 Local Brothers restaurant/brewery company. Weve all got pivot fatigue because we have to reinvent our business every single day. Im not sleeping, Im eating too much and Ive been stretched in ways I didnt realize I could be stretched.

As the prospect of increasingly vacant storefronts becomes an unfortunate reality in the coming months, the question becomes, how will that affect the daily life and character of San Diegos mature, once vibrant neighborhoods.

There will be a big difference between how things look like in one year vs. in four years, says Bill Fulton, a former city of San Diego planning director and director of Rice Universitys Kinder Institute for Urban Research. In one year, its pretty grim. Were going to see huge, permanent closure of all restaurants, bars and gyms. But once the system swallows all that, I see no reason why restaurants, bars and gyms would not come back, but it will take several years.

Staff writer Gary Warth contributed to this report.

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COVID-19 infection rates become weekly 'nail-biter' for local businesses: Can they outlast pandemic? - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Chinese glam-mas are taking the internet by storm: Cooler than Ill ever be – Yahoo Sports09.26.20

A group of fashionable women over 60 have taken Beijing by storm. Dubbed "glam-mas," the women went viral this summer when a video of them strutting down the street in traditional qipao dresses garnered over 50 million views in a day, according to Reuters.

The group is made up of retired models who met at a modeling training course 20 years ago.Its club members embrace fashion and beauty at any age simply by sharing their divine outfits on social media.

Your life is grey if you are always afraid of aging and death, 64-year-old glam-ma member, Lin Wei,told Reuters. You are old, you have wrinkles, you dont have too much energy or your figure becomes baggy. But this is something you cant go against, so you need to face it with positivity.

When the pandemic meant that seniors had to stay indoors, the group began creating videos of their lifestyle and posting them online. They have since amassed over a million followers on Douyin, a Chinese video-sharing platform and 472,000 followers on TikTok under their handle, fashion_grannies.

The women mixtraditional and modern fashion,but no matter what theyre wearing its always chic. Some days they have coordinateddenim outfits, while on others theyre rockingornate hanfu garments.

Story continues

But the crewsmost popular TikTok video might be its most edgy. The women sport black qipao with black combat boots. Their looks are decked out with silver chain embellishments, trendy triangle sunglasses and leather belts. And like in all of their videos, the glam-mas have got attitude.

The video racked up 3.1 million views. TikTok users were dazzled.

Theyre cooler than Ill ever be,one user wrote.

I screamed. Theyre so beautiful,another said.

This is too much for my little heart,someone added.

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What’s the Path to Equity in Health? – Yale Insights09.26.20

Being a physician is already extremely time-consuming and takes a lot of training. How did you start adding equity in healthcare as a focus?

Yes, the clinical training on the route to becoming a physician is a real commitmentits intense; it is emotionally, psychologically taxing and draining. But along that journey, I dont know how I could have not become interested in equity, because youre witness to inequities every day, starting in medical school.

We didnt even really have the language back when I was a medical student. There wasnt the disparity language, we didnt have social determinative health language, we didnt have equity language or health justice language. But I was president of our Student National Medical Association, which is the student arm of the National Medical Association, which was founded essentially because physicians of African descent in the United States were excluded from organized professional societies, and basically were excluded then from getting privileges and licenses to practice in hospitals. That was one of the structural tools used to segregate healthcare.

So even though it wasnt explicit, the fact that the SNMA existed spoke to the legacy of discrimination and bias in our healthcare system. As a physician, I identify as somebody of African descent, understanding that I was trying to make my way in a system that had resisted, for so long, my presence. And understanding as well what it meant to be a patient of color moving through that same system that had, for a long time, resisted their presence.

I was compelled to think about healthcare inequity as a trainee, as someone not in a power position. If a patient of color saw me enter the room, 9.9 times out of 10, there would be a comment made before their discharge about how reassuring it was for them to have somebody of color on their care team. And a lot of the time, if it was a patient not of color, they would make lots of assumptions about my role. To this day, as an attending physician at Yale, patients are constantly handing me their trays and asking me if I can call their doctor. And Im their attending physician of record, and we have met several times.

The role and influence of race within the healthcare system was, to me, through my lived experience, dominant and overwhelming, and was a lens through which to understand clinical medicine.As I learned clinical practice, I also had to grapple with these social realities that manifest themselves within the healthcare system.

What was the point when you took on health equity in a more formal way?

In medical school, I had an opportunity through SNMA and some key faculty to understand a little bit more about what it meant to be a person of color in this profession. And during my residency, which was extremely eye-opening, I trained at Brigham and Womens Hospital. I think part of our hidden curriculum as residents was our duty to think about ways to improve health and outcomes for populations and communities, in addition to taking care of that individual patient in front of us.

I had just incredible mentors at the Brigham. I had Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, who was my official program advisor when I was a resident. She later went on to become the secretary of health and human services for the State of Massachusetts. She was a role model as a health equity researcher, advocate, policymaker. Paul Farmer was one of my attendings at the Brigham; he is someone who has made incredible imprints across the globe in terms of thinking about global health and global health equity. I was surrounded by people who were really motivated by that shared value of equity, so I started thinking about it a lot. Thats when I said, I need more training in this.

My big sib in the program was Sonia Angell, who is now health commissioner for the State of California. She was heading off to do the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, a two-year program for physicians giving you a skill set to become healthcare leaders. Sonia said, You should consider this program. I looked at the program and I came and interviewed at the Yale site and I was fortunate enough to be accepted.

The fellowship was amazing. Harlan Krumholz and Betsy Bradley were the co-directors at the time. Howard Forman, who I now work with on the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship, was one of my faculty members. Everything I learned about policy, I learned from Howie.

There was just amazing faculty talent in the Clinical Scholars Program. And that gave me the tool kit. I knew already that I was on a path to thinking about health equity, and thats what I wanted to focus on. And the fellowship program at Yale gave me that opportunity to build out that armamentarium.

When you are deciding whether to take something on, what are the values that you apply to say, This is worth my time?

I give advice to junior faculty members all the time about how you approach this. You have to answer the questions, Why you? and Why now? And the answer needs to be, Because there would be nobody else, and because the door will close if you dont do it. Thats the advice I try to take. Does it have to be me, essentially? Is there anybody else who can do this, who might be better suited to do this, quite frankly, than I am? Is it an opportunity for me to give a chance to someone else and try to continue to pay forward the sponsorship and mentoring that I received?

And then, Does it have to be today? Is this something that, if I say no to today, its going to circle back? Or is this just once?

My inclination is to say yes. The work I do, it can sometimes feel desperate. Reporters will often say, Oh, thats such a downer. But to me, theres optimism, theres hope, theres opportunity in the challenge, and I find the work just deeply joy making. So I do try to say yes, and probably say yes more often than I should.

How does the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship fit into your long-term personal project?

What so many of us enjoy about the work that we do is the opportunity for creativity. The inception of something, either a program or a research project, is this chance to just invent and imagine.

I remember very clearly that Howie and I were at the graduation ceremony for the Clinical Scholars Program, which is now the National Clinician Scholars Program, and Howie said, What would you think about us working on a proposal together for the Commonwealth Fund for a fellowship focused on health equity? Thats the stuff that gets you really excited.

Its been a real team effort with everyone at SOM to bring that program into being. This program is a tangible recognition that we all need to be focused on health equity; this isnt a concept that is siloed to, lets say a school of public health or a school of medicine. We need the skill set from across all these different professional graduate schools to really begin to make that progress that I think we can make to achieve health equity.

I also teach a class on population health and health equity, along with Brad Richards as my co-instructor, which is offered to the second-years in the healthcare track for the EMBA program. I think its pretty unique at a business school anywhere to say, Not only are we going to support a fellowship program that has the explicit mission of creating leaders in the healthcare equity space, but also that we see the value in having a curricular component that makes sure all of our healthcare students have an opportunity to learn more about disparities and about what they can do to promote equity.

Has everything that has happened in 2020 had an effect on your thinking about these issues and how to tackle them?

It seems like theres an awakening around this question of disparities, particularly when it comes to race and ethnicity. I have an appreciation for the curiosity that Im experiencing from people who are eager and hungry to learn more. I like now being able to get up in front of audiences and not having to justify my existence, which is what it can often feel like.

Its always going to be pushing a boulder uphill. Thats what it means to be in this business of healthcare equity, where we have to face hard questions about resource distribution. But the boulder is just a little bit lighter. If I have 45 minutes, maybe I dont have to spend the entire time trying to explain that disparities are real. Is this moment the opportunity to start conversations with how can we get to solutions? And where are those solutions and how can we find them?

We have an amazing network of health equity researchers across the country. I think everyone is holding their breath a little bit to see how much progress we can make at this particular moment in time so that we dont return to how things were.

This year, some people have said, Oh, itd be great to get back to where we were. And I dont think were trying to get back to where we were. Were trying to get to a different place that is better. I suffer from optimism and hope in moments like this, so I do think that were going to emerge differently.

When you talk to people, what do you tell them are the very top-line things that we should be doing to make a dent?

We need equitable access to high-quality healthcare. And every word in that sentence matters.

We need a lot outside of the healthcare sector. Its about all the structural realities that play into the realization of inequity more broadly. The disproportionate representation of brown and Black people in those low-wage, frontline jobs that were deemed essential during the pandemicthats a structural reality. To get to a place of equitable health outcomes, we have to have hard conversations about access to opportunity. Thats what we really need. We have a segregated, separate and not equal, educational system in this country.

When we talk about pre-existing conditions and COVID, theres one narrative that says, Oh, you have folks who are making bad choices with their diet and theyre not exercising, but theres never a mention of the fact that theyre living in neighborhoods exposed to environmental toxins. We dont speak to this. We dont speak to the fact that people live, not just in food deserts, but often in food swamps. I went blueberry picking yesterday. My kids have lots of fresh produce to eat. What does it mean to live somewhere where it takes you three buses and a train to get to somewhere that sells skim milk, or a fresh leafy green?

We have to step outside of healthcare if were serious. People always are shocked when I give this statistic, but we know that only about 20% of the variance in health outcomes we see is due to clinical care. So, as a physician, even though equitable access to high-quality healthcare is my tattoo, I still have to say that, at the end of the day, more than 70% of the variance is due to socioeconomic factors, to some of these behavioral factors that arent really choice-based at all. If you dont have a grocery store, you dont have choice.

If I had that magic wand right now, its about equitable access to high-quality healthcare and equitable access to opportunity.

Interview conducted and edited by Ben Mattison.

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Dallas Cowboys news: Defense is looking for improvements – Blogging The Boys09.26.20

Before we get to the links themselves, lets throw this out because it seems encouraging.

Now on to our regularly scheduled news roundup.

Cowboys' Everson Griffen admits pass rush is struggling, will make specific adjustment to 'generate pressure' - Patrick Walker, CBSSports.comEverson Griffen doesn't think it's just his stance that needs to be addressed, either.

"First and foremost, I feel like us as a group we have to get lined up correctly," Griffen told media in a Zoom call on Wednesday. "We have to get lined up correctly. We have to play our gaps correctly and we have to not beat ourselves. We cannot beat ourselves.

"We have to get lined up correct, make the tackles and make the calls. We've got to get the ball back for offense. Our goal for this week is keep Russell in the pocket, don't let him scramble and we have to do that by getting back there -- generating pressure. These past two games, we haven't been generating pressure that well to be honest with you guys and I feel like we've got to do a better job at generating pressure.

"If that's putting big guys in the middle to get more push in the pocket, if that's switching it up, doing whatever we have to do to generate that push in the middle, whatever we have to do."

Defense Eyes Adjustments After First Two Games - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.comThe entire defense acknowledges the struggles. They are actively looking to get better.

Thursday, head coach Mike McCarthy said it's possible the defense will scale back the volume within the scheme to help reduce missed assignments. After all, it's only been five weeks of actual on-field work since camp began.

(Linebacker Jaylon) Smith agreed that approach could help.

"It's about us growing each and every week," he said. "The coaches are on the same page, and the players are on the same page, and we're just trying to do whatever it takes to get that much better each and every week.

How McCarthys belief in players over system should help Griffen, Lawrence Jon Machota, The AthleticIt's probably a good idea that Griffen and DeMarcus Lawrence may be back to putting a hand on the ground, which should make them more productive. It's even better to see head coach Mike McCarthy means what he says.

When youre throwing away good players because they dont fit your system, you got to take a hard look at your system, McCarthy said in February. If the guy is a good football player, he can play for me.

It appears McCarthy is sticking to his word. One of the reasons for the slow start up front defensively is that Lawrence and Griffen are playing a different style than they have in the past. Nolan has implemented more 3-4 looks up front, meaning that instead of rushing from a three-point stance with a hand on the ground, the edge rushers come off the ball from a standing position. While thats a perfect fit for Smith, Lawrence and Griffen have become Pro Bowl players because of what they have accomplished as 4-3 defensive ends.

And it sounds like they are going to get an opportunity to get back to what works best for them.

Trysten Hill Making an Impact in his Second Year - John Williams, Inside the StarThere are a lot of people that owe Trysten Hill an apology.

After Gerald McCoy was lost for the season with an injury, Hill was immediately thrust into first-team reps on defense. He didnt disappoint, earning the starting three-technique defensive tackle job out of training camp. So far, in the early going of 2020, hes flashed multiple times in both weeks one and two and is showing the skill and promise that made him a second-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Writers Blocks: Daks Big Opportunity - David Helman, DallasCowboy.comDak Prescott gets some love.

Prescott is off to a wonderful start in 2020. He's sitting on 716 yards through two games, which means he has a real shot to hit 1,000 yards after just three weeks. He hasn't thrown an interception in six games. He made a statement leading the Cowboys back from certain defeat just a week ago.

That's all well and good, but now he's got a chance to put the league on notice. It's easy to argue that Russell Wilson is playing better than anyone in the NFL right now, and he's a huge part of the reason why the Seahawks are one of the most impressive 2-0 teams in the league. The guy has thrown nine touchdowns compared to just 11 incompletions through two weeks. He's just absurd.

Those of us that follow the Cowboys' every move know how good Prescott can be. But I don't think the rest of the world has woken up to the possibility that he is on that level.

I'm not saying it'll happen, but that would certainly change if he outduels Wilson on Sunday. If Prescott can build on his Week 2 performance in a win this weekend, he's going to rocket to the top of the league consciousness.

Teds Film Room: These three quarterback/play-caller duos need more respect Ted Nguyen, The AthleticMore on Dak.

Dak Prescott has been a very good quarterback since he took over as the Cowboys starter in his rookie year in 2016. Hes had his ups and downs, so its understandable that there has been hesitancy to call him elite. In his early years, the offense was focused around running back Ezekiel Elliott and the teams incredible offensive line. However, last season, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore took over and made Prescott the driving force of the offense. Prescott responded with his first 30-touchdown season. Still, that wasnt enough for the Cowboys to sign Prescott to a big extension, so he is playing on the franchise tag. This season, hes trying to prove that he deserves to get paid like an elite quarterback.

After a shaky start against the Rams with one of the top defenses in the NFL Prescott ripped the Falcons secondary to shreds without his starting left and right tackles. Against the Falcons, he aided his protection with disciplined pocket depth. Some young quarterbacks will start drifting too deep when they feel the heat, making it difficult for their tackles to block because it gives edge rushers an easier angle to attack the pocket. Prescott was very disciplined by dropping to the proper depth and stepping up into the pocket despite a lot of pressure early in the game.

With Seahawks up next, Cowboys need to find winning ways on the road - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPNThe famed 12th man is not going to be there when the Cowboys play the Seahawks on Sunday. Will that be a plus for Dallas?

Including the season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys have lost four straight road games, failed to score a touchdown in two of the games and have crossed the end zone five times in their past 45 possessions. Three of those touchdowns came in the fourth quarter of a 31-24 loss to the Chicago Bears that was not as close as the final score indicated.

"It's just very quiet," Moore said. "You've got to bring your own juice, energy, excitement while still playing simple execution football. We learned from the experience of going to L.A. and that unique environment. Obviously, at home it was awesome to have a little bit of natural enthusiasm of the crowd and with the energy that's in the stadium. We were able to benefit, hopefully, from that. Obviously, we're back to probably no crowd [in Seattle] and I think we'll be prepared for it."

Cowboys McCarthy Explains Why I Dont Believe In Gambling - Mike Fisher, SI Cowboys MavenThe Cowboys went for it on fourth down with a couple of failed fake punts against the Falcons, and some think those were foolish gambles. But Mike McCarthy doesn't see it that way.

"The Gambler''? No.

McCarthy made it abundantly clear: You do things with a preparation base behind it. ... It's about keeping the ball in the players' hands, and about them having the tools and the confidence ... Everything you do is done with good intent, with preparation.

"I'm not a 'gambler.' But I definitely would like to think of it as aggressive.''

Amari Disappointed With His One-Handed Catch - Jonny Auping, DallasCowboys.comIt was one of the most spectacular plays in a most amazing game. But it still wasn't good enough for Amari Cooper - and you have to love that.

"I wish I would have been able to run full speed," a frustrated Cooper said on Thursday. "I couldn't do what I wanted to do. Obviously it would have been a touchdown."

Cooper said that a lingering foot injury decreased his speed and was the explanation for what seemed like an overthrow. "It's a lot better [now]," Cooper updated the media on Thursday. "I've been running full speed."

Cooper has proven that he's thrived to get better since he arrived in Dallas via trade from the Raiders, and his progress and chemistry with Dak Prescott has surely helped the quarterback's young career as well. Cooper's ability to make a catch like the one he made against Atlanta wasn't luck and athleticism. It was the result of conscious and deliberate practice.

"I practice one-handed catches [as if] I can only catch them with one hand," Cooper explained. "Usually it sticks. But it didn't stick. So I had to bobble it and catch it."

Dallas Cowboys: How Ezekiel Elliott decided to get Feed Me tattoo- Jori Epstein, USA Today

Why is a tattoo such a news item? (Typed unironically while adding story about the tattoo to the news links article.)

Thats definitely Zekes personality and he does bring a lot of energy to the team because he has a mentality that he wants to be fed, wide receiver Amari Cooper said. Obviously, the world knows he wants to be fed and he wants to help the team in any way he can.

Cooper laughs recalling the July workout when Elliott showed up to Prescotts home less than 24 hours after Guzman completed the Feed Me tattoo. Elliotts abdomen was still freshly swollen.

You know, Cooper said, I like it.

Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott, Atlanta Falcons' Hayden Hurst to team up for suicide prevention - Todd Archer, ESPNSome things are far bigger than football. This is great to see.

Starting next offseason, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst plan to work together in suicide prevention.

Hurst approached Prescott after the Cowboys' 40-39 win Sunday in a moment that was caught on camera.

Hurst has been open about attempting suicide and dealing with anxiety and depression. Prescott's brother, Jace, died by suicide in April, and the quarterback discussed his feelings of depression during the early parts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott having career-best start to season while several top RBs have been lost to injury – The Dallas Morning News09.26.20

FRISCO The tattoo on Ezekiel Elliots stomach says Feed Me.

When the Cowboys' running back is asked what it means, hes direct: 'Feed Me' means give me the rock so I can go make a play.

And the Cowboys havent shied away from giving Elliott the ball during the first two weeks of the 2020 season. Through two weeks of the NFL season, hes third in rushing attempts (44), rushing yards (185) and touches (53) and fourth in all-purpose yards (249) and yards per game (92.5).

The 139 offensive snaps in which hes participated are the most in the first two weeks of a season in his career.

His increased usage, particularly as a receiver, has upped his touches. Coming into the season, the most Elliott touched the ball after Weeks 1 and 2 was 44 times his rookie year in 2016.

Elliott also does the little things, such as pass protection, an important element in 2020 with the Cowboys using rookie tackles in the early stages of this season. Elliott isnt afraid to get dirty, never has been, especially at the last minute to provide a block so quarterback Dak Prescott can throw downfield.

I think Ive had a good start this year, Elliott said Wednesday. Laid a good foundation for the season both as a runner and a blocker and out of the backfield. Yeah, just got to keep building on that.

Elliotts start is just another reminder how precious the running back position is in the NFL. Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey, two elite running backs, are gone to injuries. Barkley will miss the season with a torn ACL, and McCaffrey is on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. McCaffrey is expected to return at some point this season.

Durability is not an issue for Elliott. Hes missed just eight career games, because of suspension and rest, since coming into the NFL.

When a game is being played, Elliott is ready to set the tone. Its just one of many positive attributes he holds.

I think its just his ability to make an impact on every snap, right guard Zack Martin said. "I think we saw that on Sunday [vs. the Falcons]. Hes obviously running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield.

When you watch the tape, hes doing a lot more. He did a great job on protection, not only with his man but also giving some help. A couple of times with our tackles, he came down and cracked the [defensive end]. Not only is that setting the tone physically for us but also helps our guys out on the edge, a ton.

On Sunday, the Cowboys face a Seahawks defense thats allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in the league (139). The running backs Seattle has faced are Atlantas Todd Gurley and Brian Hill and New Englands Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, in addition to New England quarterback Cam Newton, who has the ability to get up field when the pocket breaks down.

But Elliott is the best running back Seattle will have faced so far.

Zeke looks in really, really good shape, and hes running the ball very, very hard, Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said.

Last season, Elliott held out of training camp looking for a new contract, which he got. He wasnt in football shape in the early stages, yet had 164 yards after two games. Even this season was a challenge for Elliott, with the pandemic keeping players away from team facilities and the offseason program.

Without a normal offseason, no preseason games and an abbreviated training camp, Elliott still reported in better shape in 2020.

I stayed the same weight, said Elliott, whos listed at 228 pounds. I slimmed [down] a little in the offseason because I didnt have the same access to the weight room and couldnt work out the same, so I naturally slimmed down a little. But once I got back in here and got that weight back on I know I am going to get a lot of touches, so my body has to be ready for that. I have done a good job in the past years [keeping my] weight to help me get through a season.

The Cowboys' star running back, a two-time rushing champion, is off to an impactful start that sort of fits that midsection tattoo.

Zeke obviously everyone knows as a runner, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said. A phenomenal runner, a physical runner [who] gets some positive yards out of some ugly things at times, and thats the beauty of him.

Heres Ezekiel Elliotts numbers after the first two weeks of a season in his career.

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Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott having career-best start to season while several top RBs have been lost to injury - The Dallas Morning News

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Time of possession key as Cowboys head to Seattle to face Wilson, Seahawks – KULR-TV09.23.20

The Cowboys have to feel great after keeping their composure last Sunday against the Falcons and stealing an unlikely 40-39 victory to cap off a memorable comeback.

But if momentum means anything, their opponent this Sunday is, frankly, bringing even more of it to the table.

The Seahawks are 2-0. Russell Wilson has thrown nine touchdowns. He's thrown 11 incompletions. So keeping the ball away from Wilson has to be a key to this week's game for the Cowboys.

According to Ezekiel Elliott, that means controlling the clock. "[Time of possession] is really big [this Sunday], and that's been an area that we have to excel in," Elliott said.

Ezekiel Elliott: Keep Building

The Cowboys have lost the time of possession battle in each of their first two games, and doing so increased the degree of difficulty in winning those games fairly drastically. "As an offense, we shot ourselves in the foot turning the ball over [last week]," Elliott said. "The week before, not finishing those drives and not converting third downs."

Elliott came into this season with a stomach tattoo that reads "Feed Me," and on an offense stacked with great receiving weapons and a franchise quarterback, the pace is still set by him. The Cowboys have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to playmakers, but keeping the offense on the field in between those big plays falls on Elliott.

"That starts with me," Elliott said Wednesday. "I touch the ball---not as much as Dak---but after him, a lot. It starts with me just making sure early in the game we're not wasting drives with ball security issues and making sure we're converting third downs."

So far, Elliott has been the sort of all-around weapon the Cowboys have come to expect from him. He's off to a better start than he was after two games last season. In 2019 he'd rushed for 164 yards, recorded 19 receiving yards and found the end zone twice. Against the Rams and Falcons, Elliott's rushed for 185 yards, recorded 64 receiving yards, and scored three touchdowns.

All this without the Cowboys getting off to a double-digit lead in either game. Elliott can break defenses when the opposing team is trying to play catch-up, as opposed to the other way around. But he plays perhaps the largest role in establishing that lead as well. Elliott tends to find himself on just as many highlights as his receiver teammates, but shouldering a heavy workload is ultimately his role on the team.

The running back said that he originally lost weight in the offseason as a result of not having access to the Cowboys' weight room and typical regiment, but that he put extra work in when training camp kicked off. "Once I got back in here, I definitely put the weight back on," Elliott said. "I know I'm going to get a lot of touches, so my body has to be ready for that. I think I've done a good job in past seasons being at a weight that helps me get through a season."

There might not be a game plan to stopping Russell Wilson the way he's playing right now. But if Elliott has his way, the Seahawks quarterback will have a lot less time on the field to keep his hot streak going.

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Time of possession key as Cowboys head to Seattle to face Wilson, Seahawks - KULR-TV

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