If you’re looking for a drink with a hint of class, nothing really beats a glass of wine.

Whether your choice of wine contains earthy tones or sports a fruity aroma, it is a bonafide way to bring a sense of elegance to your taste buds while also remaining free of requiring any pretentious and outrageous displays from your end.

No matter if you can afford a good bottle of Chateau Margaux with ease or can only spend a few dollars on a rosé such as La chapelle Gordonne, if you know how to pick your wines and how to pair reds with rich proteins and rosés with seafood, then you might not need to wish for a sommelier while choosing a bottle for your next social gathering – as that is where the enjoyment of consuming wine resides.

Just like nothing really beats a glass of wine, not many things can disrupt the feeling of bliss that one gets while being surrounded by their family or friends over a dinner table while discussing everyday matters over a good plate of food and an excellent bottle of wine.

Until someone lights a cigarette.

Here Comes the Sophistication Killer

Imagine yourself or a loved one bringing out their favorite brand of cigarette and lighting it with the air of sucking all the class, joy and relaxation from the table, which all goes into fueling that ghastly producer of smoke that everyone in the room would have to bear for the next few minutes.

As much as wine exudes class, cigarettes give off a show of annoyance like none other. A classic killer of sophistication, a cigarette cannot only make your presence in a room turned to sheer nuisance in mere seconds, but it can and will be working internally to be just as irritating to your inner, physical health as you consume it.

Needless to Say, Cigarettes are a Hazard to Your Health, and of Those Around You

You must have read this kind of information before, but let’s just go through it once more for the sake of nothing more than to advocate for your health.

According to the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), smoking remains the primary cause of premature death, topping other causes such as road accidents, drug overdose, and suicide. While this comparison might seem interesting by numbers, it remains logical when you put the fact into perspective that smoking is also the cause of 25% of cancer-related deaths, while contributing to instigating around 20% of all cancers – a statistic gathered by Cancer Research UK.

Smoking does not only pose a health hazard to the smoker but also to the people around them, which is not just a fuss thrown by everyone who doesn’t like the habit of smoking, but which is a fact as reported by the Royal College of Physicians, which gathers that over 300,000 pediatric consultations resulting in over 9,000 hospital admissions of children are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.

If those facts were not enough to turn you away from picking up your next cigarette, then don’t worry, we understand why.

No, We Really Do Understand

We also fathom the surprise you might have felt at our expression of understanding. And even your disbelief remains comprehendible, because as much as everyone likes to press these facts into the face of a smoker, no one realizes that while smoking starts out as a choice, it turns into an addiction long before the affected individual knows it – and in a few months’ time, they are craving for their daily nicotine fix each time they try to quit smoking.

While there have been quite a few “As Seen on TV” products to quit smoking in addition to nicotine patches that you can get from the drug store, the advertised products do not really work and remain a gimmick and the nicotine patches still leave you craving the habit of holding the smoking cigarette between your fingers.

That is where vaping comes in.

How Vaping Can Help You Quit Smoking

Started as a “trend for the hipsters”, vaping has grown out of being the center of new-age jokes and has since established itself a credible industry with proven health benefits in terms of cigarette smokers getting rid of their unseemly habit.

What vapes don’t contain has a lot to do with why vaping is so much better. These are are the many thousands of toxic chemicals, including up to 70 or more carcinogens, given off by burning tobacco. And vaping devices don’t produce smoke but vapor — hence the name 🙂 (Also, nicotine is not known to be especially harmful to adults, and has been compared to the effects of caffeine in coffee — you can google that.) Add to this the fact that it’s very easy to slowly lower the dose of nicotine, and in fact the more you do so, the better the flavor the vape has.

“The available data suggest that they [e-cigarettes] are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure.” A summary of a recent study by the institution reads.

It also mentions that “among smokers, e-cigarette use is likely to lead to quit attempts that would not otherwise have happened, and in a proportion of these to successful cessation. In this way, e-cigarettes can act as a gateway from smoking.”

The Royal College of Physicians is not the only credible organization that propagates the use of e-cigarettes, since a Public Health England review states that “e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more.”

The review also mentions that “e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country.”

Therefore, if you want to show that you really do care not only about the acceptance in your social circle but also your health and of those who are around you, then you should seriously consider using e-cigarettes as a substitute to smoking.

Where to Buy e-Cigarettes

Since the adoption of e-cigarettes has turned vaping into an established industry, you do not have to go to obscure hole-in-the-wall stores, in shady areas to obtain these products, but they remain just as widely available as traditional smoking cigarettes.

Even more easily in some cases.

Several vape shop websites are now available all over the world that not only provide a variety of products and flavors for those who have been vaping for a while, but sometimes also offer great discounts on starter packs for those who are making a switch from traditional cigarettes.

Similar to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes also have established brand names. One such entity is Juul, which is known for creating and distributing one of a kind products which vaping aficionados swear by. The brand’s products are also available easily, and selecting a brand which is widely in circulation also helps you with the sense of consistency that you might like with the flavors of something that you are consuming regularly.

Given the health benefits of smoking versus vaping as well as the easy availability of products without causing that panic of guilt in your guts, making the decision on which segment to go with should not be that difficult.

Try It Once, and You Might Just Stick With It

Just like many several other good things in life, you might not know what the other side of the door holds for you until you decide to go through it to check the facts for yourself.

Since vaping does not propose any additional health risks to smokers, you or your loved one with a habit of smoking may safely go ahead into making the switch to e-cigarettes.

You do not have to quit smoking altogether either. What you can do is gradually taper the amount of cigarettes that you consume each day while turning more and more towards your e-cigarette when you feel the need to curb that habit of smoking, and in a few weeks’ time, you would find that your remaining pack of cigarettes has been resting untouched in your desk drawer or in your coat’s pocket since quite a good while without you even realizing it.

By making the choice to adopt vaping over smoking, you will not only be regarded with respect for taking care of the health of others around you, but at your next social gathering, you will not have to put down that glass of wine only to entertain an unsightly cigarette in your pocket (because in all seriousness, who in their right mind would choose cigarettes over wine?).

Pinball can trace its origins back over many generations, indeed hundreds of years and to the time of Louis XIV in France. The game has come in a variety of incarnations, and remains popular in some quarters even today.

Pinball enjoyed a number of peaks in its popularity. In addition, in the 20th and even into the 21st century, the game of pinball and pinball machines took some unusual twists and turns, many of which are largely unknown today. Indeed, there are eight unusual facts about pinball that are likely to surprise you.

Pinball was Illegal in Many U.S. Cities

Perhaps the most surprising fact many people do not realize about pinball is that the game was illegal in many major cities in the United States for a period of about 30 years. From the 1940s into the 1970s, pinball was outlawed in numerous Americans cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Pinball was banned in these cities because it was regarded as a game of chance, rather than skill. In fact, until 1947, the flipper was not installed on pinball machines, leaving a great deal to chance.

New York Pinball Prohibition

New York Mayor Florio LaGuardia took a particularly harsh position when it came to pinball in his fair city. The Mayor went so far as to make confiscating illegal pinball machines the number one priority for the New York Police Department.

The Mayor ordered raids, quite like what was undertaken in regard to illegal alcohol and speakeasies. Thousands of pinball machines were confiscated by the New York police in this manner.

The mob was highly involved in bootlegging during the era of alcohol prohibition. It is also likely that organized crime figures involved themselves in illegal pinball operations as well.

Pinball Goes Underground

In a number of major U.S. cities, particularly New York, pinball went underground. Pinball machines ended up being tucked away in pornography shops, primarily in Harlem and Greenwich Village. The intense confiscation of pinball machines of the LaGuardia era did die down somewhat. However, the police in the Big Apple continued to conduct raids and confiscate pinball machines in the city into the 1970s.

Hollywood and Pinball

Because pinball was illegal for so long, its appearance in television, film, and on the stage, including in the 1970s, was used to demonstrate rebellion and youth. For example, The Fonz in the highly popular television sitcom Happy Days regularly can be seen playing pinball. The rock opera Tommy focused on pinball as a sign of rebellion and youth. Even the popular Fox television program The Simpsons has played on the theme of pinball as rebellion. A character in that show once remarked that television has ruined the minds of more young people than had pinball and syphilis combined.

Overturning the New York Pinball Ban

Pinball was finally legalized in New York City in 1976. The key to legalizing the game was convincing the City Council that it was a game of skill, and no chance. A young magazine editor, who was thought to be the best pinball player around, was brought to the City Council to play the game in front of them, as a means of demonstrating the element of skill. In the end, his efforts provided the catalyst that resulted in the City Council voting to legalize pinball. Other communities that had not yet legalized the game, did so in fairly short speed in the aftermath of the decision in New York City.

The Best Selling Pinball Game of All Time

There have been thousands of different derivations of the pinball machine. With that said, there is one pinball machine of game that ranks as the best selling one and has been in that position for decades. The Addams Family pinball game is the best selling, and has held the top position since 1991.

Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner was a Pinball Fanatic

Playboy founder, and longtime publisher, Hugh Hefner was considered a pinball fanatic. (One imagines he probably had the machines around his clubs even when they were classified as unlawful.) Hefner collected pinball machines. In addition, through the years, he worked with pinball manufacturers to produce Playboy themed machines and games, including some that featured his likeness.

Only One Pinball Manufacturer Exists Today

At this juncture in the 21st century, there is only pinball machine manufacturer. The company is called Stern Pinball, and it maintains a factory in Chicago. The company staffs a team of workers that assemble pinball machines manufactured by Stern, and do so mostly by hand.

Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more!

As we enter into 2018, as is the case at the beginning of any year, attention is being paid to the video games that have been slated for release during the coming 12-month time period. The reality is that, as is the case in any year, some of the games that have been scheduled for release in 2018, on already announced dates, may see their release dates pushed back.

If you are an experienced gamer, you undoubtedly have experienced a game you’ve been waiting for have its originally scheduled release date pushed back a month or two. Indeed, there are plenty of examples of games that have launched much further away from their initially planned release dates than a couple of months. In the end, that simply is a reality associated with new game design.

There are a number of games that have been set for specific release dates in 2018. Eight of these selections very well may see their release dates pushed back.

God of War

Sony’s sequel or reboot to God of War currently is scheduled for a Spring 2018 release. As we cross into 2018, the Spring release date for God of War seems unlikely for a number of reasons.

One sign that God of War will not be positioned for a Spring 2018 release is the press, who is already highly interested in this game, hasn’t had any “hands-on” time with it as of yet. That typically is a sign that a release date delay is in the offing.

The best bet at this time as to when you realistically might expect to see the release of God of War is sometime during the third quarter of 2018. Anticipate a tweet or some other type of social media announcement about the delay before the Spring.

Red Dead Redemption II

Red Dead Redemption II has been eagerly awaited. Red Dead Redemption II is the prequel to a highly popular open-world Western from Rockstar that released in 2010.

Red Dead Redemption II has already seen a delay in 2017. During that year, the release was pushed back to the Spring of 2018. Even with this delay, very little of the game has been shown in any manner to the public.

At this juncture, do not expect to see Red Dead Redemption II launched in the Spring of 2018. Expect another push back, likely to the holiday season this year. Indeed, you might even expect the release of Red Dead Redemption II to be delayed into 2019.


Anthem has been in development and construction for years. This is a game that is said to have a massive scope. The stark reality is that massive games like Anthem do not come quickly — ever.

The powers that be behind Anthem have said throughout 2017 that the game would launch in 2018. The window as to when in 2018 the game will be available has been left wide open.

With that said, with the small amount of the game that has been shared with the public, there is a growing consensus among industry watchers that a 2018 launch probably is not in the cards. 2019? Possibly, but not guaranteed.

Crackdown 3

Over the course of the past three years, Crackdown 3 has been under construction. The media finally got a look at the game at E3 2017. The response included some pretty significant criticism. This was particularly targeted at the all-important visuals. In the aftermath of that, the release date was pushed back to 2018.

At this juncture, no specific date has been provided for the launch of Crackdown 3 during 2018. There has been no additional push back in regard to the release date. However, with the significant nature of the items criticized when the game got a media and public look in 2017, a further delay sometime into 2019 certainly is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Days Gone

Bend Studio has had Days Gone in development and construction for more than a couple of years. Days Gone is a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Indeed, the game received positive reception at E3 2016 and E3 2017.

In 2017, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide President Shuhei Yoshida announced that the game would launch in 2018. However, the announcement was made with very little fanfare, far less than what was expected.

At this point, no specific time has been indicated for a release in 2018. Days Gone may in fact launch this year, but look for it towards the latter part rather than the beginning of 2018.

Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number one online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.