Ex-COD Dev’s New Shooter XDefiant At Ubisoft Delayed

XDefiant, the upcoming FPS from Ubisoft led by former Call of Duty boss Mark Rubin, has been delayed in what is the latest chapter of the game’s long and bumpy road to release.

In a social media post, Ubisoft said it hoped to release XDefiant by the end of March. However, there are “still some improvements” the studio has to make before it’s ready. Right now the focus is on an upcoming 12-hour stress test for the game’s servers, and Ubisoft is inviting its early access players to hop in and try to put the servers through their paces.

After this process, Ubisoft said it expects to be able to lock in a public release date and begin to discuss XDefiant’s post-launch content plans.

“Thank you again for standing by us,” Ubisoft said.

Just this week, Insider Gaming published a report containing behind-the-scenes info on XDefiant’s development process. In particular, the report called out a group of executives and directors on the project known internally as “The Boys Club.” These people reportedly “caused constant problems for the game’s development.”

“The Boys Club is a closed group of protected individuals who think they are better than everyone else and do as they please without any repercussions,” one developer said. Another worker said one person in particular “has a history of treating people extremely badly with more HR reports than I’ve ever seen.”

A source told Insider Gaming that the “constant changing of approved features,” among other things, led to the game being delayed “probably a year or so.”

A spokesperson for Ubisoft told Insider Gaming that it is “committed to the well-being and inclusivity of all our team members.” The statement added, “Our preventive approach includes promoting standards of respect and civility, awareness and training, and effective conflict resolution.” Ubisoft added that the company has an anonymous whistleblowing channel to help workers report bad behavior.

GameSpot has contacted Ubisoft for comment.

Previously, Ubisoft said XDefiant might launch in September or October 2023, but issues during the console certification process led to an earlier delay. Later, the game was delayed indefinitely.

Mechanism found to determine which memories last

Neuroscientists have established in recent decades the idea that some of each day’s experiences are converted by the brain into permanent memories during sleep the same night. Now, a new study proposes a mechanism that determines which memories are tagged as important enough to linger in the brain until sleep makes them permanent.

Led by researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study revolves around brain cells called neurons that “fire” — or bring about swings in the balance of their positive and negative charges — to transmit electrical signals that encode memories. Large groups of neurons in a brain region called the hippocampus fire together in rhythmic cycles, creating sequences of signals within milliseconds of each other that can encode complex information.

Called “sharp wave-ripples,” these “shouts” to the rest of the brain represent the near-simultaneous firing of 15 percent of hippocampal neurons, and are named for the shape they take when their activity is captured by electrodes and recorded on a graph.

While past studies had linked ripples with memory formation during sleep, the new study, published online in the journal Science on March 28, found that daytime events followed immediately by five to 20 sharp wave-ripples are replayed more during sleep and so consolidated into permanent memories. Events followed by very few or no sharp wave-ripples failed to form lasting memories.

“Our study finds that sharp wave-ripples are the physiological mechanism used by the brain to ‘decide’ what to keep and what to discard,” said senior study author György Buzsáki, MD, PhD, the Biggs Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Langone Health.

Walk and Pause

The new study is based on a known pattern: mammals including humans experience the world for a few moments, then pause, then experience a little more, then pause again. After we pay attention to something, say the study authors, brain computation often switches into an “idle” re-assessment mode. Such momentary pauses occur throughout the day, but the longest idling periods occur during sleep.

Buzsaki and colleagues had previously established that no sharp wave-ripples occur as we actively explore sensory information or move, but only during the idle pauses before or after. The current study found that sharp wave-ripples represent the natural tagging mechanism during such pauses after waking experiences, with the tagged neuronal patterns reactivated during post-task sleep.

Importantly, sharp wave-ripples are known to be made up the firing of hippocampal “place cells” in a specific order that encodes every room we enter, and each arm of a maze entered by a mouse. For memories that are remembered, those same cells fire at high speed, as we sleep, “playing back the recorded event thousands times per night.” The process strengthens the connections between the cells involved.

For the current study, successive maze runs by study mice were tracked via electrodes by populations of hippocampal cells that constantly changed over time despite recording very similar experiences. This revealed for the first time the maze runs during which ripples occurred during waking pauses, and then were replayed during sleep.

Sharp wave-ripples were typically recorded when a mouse paused to enjoy a sugary treat after each maze run. The consumption of the reward, say the authors, prepared the brain to switch from an exploratory to an idle pattern so that sharp wave-ripples could occur.

Using dual-sided silicon probes, the research team was able to record up to 500 neurons simultaneously in the hippocampus of animals during maze runs. This in turn created a challenge because data becomes exceedingly complex the more neurons are independently recorded. To gain an intuitive understanding of the data, visualize neuronal activity, and form hypotheses, the team successfully reduced the number of dimensions in the data, in some ways like converting a three-dimensional image into a flat one, and without losing the data’s integrity.

“We worked to take the external world out of the equation, and looked at the mechanisms by which the mammalian brain innately and subconsciously tags some memories to become permanent,” said first author Wannan (Winnie) Yang, PhD, a graduate student in Buzsáki’s lab. “Why such a system evolved is still a mystery, but future research may reveal devices or therapies that can adjust sharp wave-ripples to improve memory, or even lessen recall of traumatic events.”

Along with Drs. Buzsáki and Yang, study authors from the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Health were Roman Huszár and Thomas Hainmueller. Kirill Kiselev of the Center for Neural Science at New York University was also an author, as was Chen Sun of Mila, the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, in Montréal. The work was supported by National Institute of Health grants R01MH122391 and U19NS107616.

An indulgent Iftar itinerary



With the theme, ‘fasting by day, feasting by night,’ Samco outlets across the city bring the best of Iftar delights. Ibrahim Siraj, one of the owners of the hotel says, “This year’s Iftar box contains water, juice, dates, cut fruits, mandi, shawarma, parotta, chicken gravy, mutton samosa, haleem, BBQ chicken, gulab jamun. Nombu kanji is also included.” These delectable Iftar boxes are available from 4 pm at Samco branches in Alwarpet, Teynampet, Velachery, Anna Nagar, and Mogappair.

Dining, takeout and delivery options are available.

Price: Rs 599 (For more information, visit @hotelsamco on Instagram)

Atti Square

This Ramzan season, the city’s favourite shawarma spot – Atti Square– is bringing out a mouth-watering Iftar box. Starting with its signature shawarma, the delectable menu includes Hyderabadi chicken haleem, dates, grilled chicken, kozhi rice, crispy chicken samosas and roll, with a choice of kubooz, rumali, mayonnaise, Mexican dip, juice and a bottle of water. “This is the second year we are providing the Iftar boxes and people are loving it. This Iftar season has already covered 70-80% of last year’s total sales in the first 14-15 days itself. This is way more than we expected.” says MD Fareedudeen, marketing and branding head. “Also, we have taken special care in cleanliness and safe packaging, so Chennai can have a peaceful Iftar,” he adds.

Packed in an eye-catching yellow box, customers can directly buy this Iftar special from all 13 outlets of Atti Square for Rs 289 or can simply order through Swiggy/ Zomato.

Starting price: Rs 289

Exam Date, Application Form, Registration, Syllabus, Exam Pattern and More!

CLAT PG 2025 is all set to be conducted in December 2024. Read this post to know about the syllabus, exam pattern and more!

CLAT UG 2025 Latest Updates
About CLAT PG Exam
CLAT PG 2025 Exam Date
CLAT PG Highlights
Eligibility for CLAT PG 2025
CLAT 2025 Registration
Steps to Register for CLAT PG 2025
Steps to apply for CLAT PG 2025
Documents to be uploaded with the Application Form
CLAT PG 2025 Exam Pattern
CLAT PG 2025 Detailed Syllabus
CLAT PG 2025 Subjects
CLAT PG Previous Year Question Papers

Latest Updates 

Per official notification, the CLAT Consortium announced that the Annual Governing Body Meeting of the Consortium of National Law Universities was held on Saturday, 17th February, 2024 at Silvassa under the Chairpersonship of Prof. (Dr.) Vijender Kumar.

Prof. (Dr.) V.C. Vivekanandan, Vice-Chancellor, Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur took over as President from the Outgoing President Prof. (Dr.) Vijender Kumar. While Prof. (Dr.) S. Shantha Kumar. Vice-Chancellor, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar was elected as the Vice-President. Prof. (Dr.) Dilip Ukey, Vice-Chancellor, Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai was elected as Convenor, CLAT 2025.

About CLAT PG Exam

Are you gearing up for the CLAT PG 2025 exam and aspiring to pursue postgraduate law studies in prestigious National Law Universities? The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for postgraduate programs is crucial in your journey. This comprehensive post is designed to provide you with all the essential details you need to know about CLAT PG 2025, including the exam date, application process, registration guidelines, syllabus breakdown, exam pattern, and more!

CLAT PG 2025, or the Common Law Admission Test for Postgraduate Courses, is a national-level entrance exam conducted for admissions into various postgraduate law programs offered by esteemed National Law Universities (NLUs) across India. As one of the most competitive exams, CLAT PG evaluates candidates’ aptitude in areas such as Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, Contract Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, International Law, and more.

CLAT PG Exam Date 

The exam date for CLAT PG 2025 is expected to be announced soon by the Consortium of NLUs. Keep a watch here for the exam date!

CLAT PG Exam Highlights

Name of the Exam CLAT PG
Conducting Authority CLAT Consortium
Official Website https://consortiumofnlus.ac.in/
Mode of the Exam Online
Medium of the Exam English
Date of the Examination December, 2024
Total Number of Questions 120
Total Marks 120
Total Duration 2 hours
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions
Negative Marking -0.25 per wrong answer
Application Fee Rs 4000 for General/OBC/OCI/PIO candidates and Rs 3500 for SC/ST/ BPL candidates

Eligibility for CLAT PG 2025

  • An L.L.B. Degree with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent grade in case of candidates belonging to General /OBC/PWD/NRI/PIO/OCI categories and 45% marks or its equivalent grade in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST categories.
  • Candidates appearing for their qualifying examination in April/May 2025 are also eligible to apply.
  • There is no upper age limit for appearing for the CLAT 2025.

    CLAT 2025 Registration

    Steps to Register for CLAT PG 2025

    • The candidates are required to register themselves at the CLAT 2025 website by using their mobile number and e-mail ID. 
    • An OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number for validation upon registration
    • Once the mobile number has been validated, candidates can log in using the registered mobile number and the password provided at the time of registration.

    Steps to apply for CLAT PG 2025

    • Once you log in using the number and password provided at the time of registration, you can start filling up the application form. 
    • Fill up accurate and relevant information as asked for in the application form. 
    • Submit all relevant documents in PDF format only.
    • Pay the application fee [Rs 4000 for General/OBC/PwD/NRI/PIO//OCI candidates and Rs 3500 for SC/ST/BPL candidates ]

Documents to be uploaded with the Application Form

  1. Front facing passport size recent photograph with a plain background
  2. Signature of the candidate
  3. Category certificate if you are applying under SC/ST/OBC
  4. Relevant certificate issued by a competent authority if the candidate is applying under P.W.D
  5. Relevant certificate issued by a competent authority if the candidate is applying under the BPL category

CLAT 2025 PG Exam Pattern

Total Number of Questions 120
Total Duration 2 hours
Total Marks 120
Types of Questions Multiple Choice Questions
Negative Marking -0.25 per wrong answer

CLAT PG Detailed Syllabus

CLAT PG 2025 will test the comprehension skills of the candidates. The paper will consist of 120 multiple-choice questions based on different subjects taught in law schools. 

The candidate will be provided extracts from important court decisions, statutes, or regulations, and each passage will be followed by a series of questions that will test the ability of the candidate to demonstrate the:

  • Ability to read and comprehend the issues discussed in the passage, as well as any arguments and viewpoints discussed or set out in the passage;
  • Awareness of the issues discussed in the passage, as well as of legal issues and facts related to and arising out of the passage and the judgment or statute from which it is extracted;
  • Summarise the passage; 
  • Ability to apply the knowledge of the fields of law discussed in the passage

CLAT PG Subjects

CLAT PG 2025 tests candidates based on the following subjects:

Constitutional Law Criminal Law
Administrative Law Property Law
Family Law Company Law
Jurisprudence Public International Law
Law of Contract Tax Law
Labour Law and Industrial Law Environmental Law

CLAT PG Previous Year Question Papers

Your dog will have an anti-aging drug before you do

Before we have an anti-aging drug for humans, we’re likely to have one for dogs. Multiple clinical trials are currently underway to test potential anti-aging compounds on dogs, since our best friends have become a popular animal model for human aging. Fido also represents a potentially huge market. (Also read: Nutrition tips to boost mental health and well-being of your pet buddy)

Whether anti-aging supplements for dogs work or not, there’s likely to be demand, said Arthur Caplan, a professor of ethics at New York University.(Freepik)

The science could benefit both species, but premature claims are already causing a credibility problem.

Hindustan Times – your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

Recently, Harvard University biologist David Sinclair started marketing life-extension supplements for dogs, touting unpublished clinical trial data that others in the field found completely unconvincing. Earlier this month Sinclair, who didn’t respond to requests for an interview, changed the wording of a press release, which originally promised the chewy treats would “reverse aging.” Now it says they reverse the effects of age-related decline.

Sinclair’s trial used dog owners’ subjective assessments of cognitive changes in their older pets — and other scientists say the trials don’t show a consistent enough effect even for this more modest claim. (Sinclair became famous in the 1990s for some highly publicized papers tying aging to proteins called sirtuins — an idea that led to the now widely disputed belief that red wine has anti-aging properties.)

While the FDA is authorized to regulate veterinary drugs, it doesn’t approve supplements for pets or people, so these can be sold without going through tests for safety and efficacy.

Whether anti-aging supplements for dogs work or not, there’s likely to be demand, said Arthur Caplan, a professor of ethics at New York University. In the past, desperate dog owners have had their dead or dying dogs cloned — hoping the clone would be essentially a reincarnation of their dead pet.

Some researchers who study aging fear that the spectacle of a high-level professor hawking dog longevity supplements will further tarnish the reputation of a field already dragged down by self-proclaimed experts pushing fad diets and unproven anti-aging treatments for people.

There’s a lot to gain from a better scientific understanding of aging. Getting older is a risk factor for all the major killer diseases — heart disease, cancer and even severe Covid. And in the US, the ranks of people over 70 will swell within the coming years, creating a vast increase in the number of people suffering from dementia or other age-related problems.

But scientists don’t yet agree on what causes aging or what approach would work best to slow it down. While wear and tear will eventually affect all living things, some organisms live many times longer than others, even among closely related species. Some researchers think an animal’s aging rate is controlled by certain genes. Other experts cite the shrinking of the caps on the end of or chromosomes, called telomers. Others blame the degeneration of the packaging around our DNA — so-called epigenetic markers, which can activate or suppress certain genes. Some scholars blame damage caused by chronic inflammation. Still others, the buildup of cellular waste products.

Some of these possible mechanisms of aging can be altered with drugs in a way that endows worms, fruit flies and mice with longer lives. Which drugs should be tried in humans? Clinical trials to test their effects on longevity in people could take decades — long enough for the study subjects to live out the rest of their lives.

One way to identify the more promising candidates would be to see which ones also work in dogs. Dogs are long-lived enough to serve as a better model for human aging than mice, but short-lived enough that treatment can be tested in a few years.

Matt Kaeberlein, CEO of Optispan and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington, was among the most vocal critics of Sinclair’s dog longevity claims. He’s also in competition as co-director of The Dog Aging Project. That project involves collecting data on thousands of dogs as well as conducting a dog clinical trial with a drug called Rapamycin. It’s currently approved for people who’ve had organ transplants. At high doses, it causes mouth sores and other nasty side effects, he admits, but can extend the lives of mice and — at low doses — might do the same in dogs or humans.

A group of biohacker types is already taking Rapamycin off-label in the hope of life-extension, he said. He’s trying to get data from them, messy as it is, because there might be useable information there. (Caplan, the NYU ethicist, says he thinks it’s unethical for doctors to prescribe this drug off-label for longevity.)

Kaeberlein said the biological data they’re collecting from all those thousands of dogs could lead to an explanation for the fact that big dogs don’t live as long as small ones. “If you compare a Great Dane to a chihuahua on average, it’s at least a twofold difference in life expectancy,” he said.

But his project might be a victim of the field’s wider credibility problem. It had been funded by the National Institutes of Health, but he and his colleagues learned recently that a five-year grant established in 2018 and extended one year probably won’t be renewed. He’s now working to get private money.

Charles Brenner, a biochemist at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, is another vocal critic of Sinclair’s claims regarding dogs and humans. (Like most researchers on the forefront of aging, he has his own supplement ties as chief scientific advisor of a bioscience company called ChromaDex.)

Brenner is also skeptical of those who claim various treatments or drugs can reverse a person’s “biological age” as calculated through proxies measured in blood — including telomeres and epigenetic markers. None of these measure aging as well as walking speed, he said.

When I asked him about the Rapamycin study in dogs, he said it’s “worth a try” because the trial measures actual lifespan rather than some proxy. But he isn’t betting on this particular drug. He’s more optimistic about work done by a company called Loyal, profiled in 2021 by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Brenner says while Loyal has been secretive about the drug, he thinks what they’re now testing inhibits the production or action of growth hormone. Growth hormone, he said, is connected to the faster aging they see in larger dogs compared to smaller ones.

There’s promise in studying how and why animals age — not just dogs but clams that can live to 500, rockfish that survive until 200 and whales that reach 80. Once scientists understand the mechanisms of aging, they’ll be much better able to find ways to help us — and our furry friends — live longer and healthier lives.

But first, they need investors and the public to take them seriously.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

F.D. Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering science. She is host of the “Follow the Science” podcast.

European study finds popular ALS drug ineffective

A large clinical trial has found that a drug commonly used by patients with ALS is not effective at treating the nerve-destroying disease.

The trial enrolled more than 300 patients across 25 sites in Europe and took nearly four years to complete. High-level results released Wednesday show the drug, while generally safe, was no better than a placebo at slowing the disease after a year and a half of treatment.

The study also had a series of secondary goals looking at health measures like lung capacity, survival and the presence of a protein that research suggests is tied to nerve damage. But again, there were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups, according to the research consortium behind the study.

The consortium said it will further analyze the data to understand, among other things, whether there was a difference in how patients with slower- or faster-progressing disease responded to the drug. Those analyses will be presented at a medical meeting in June in Stockholm.

“We are very disappointed to see there was no overall benefit demonstrated,” said Alberto Albanese, the study leader and director of the neurology unit in Italy’s Humanitas Research Hospital. “Given the heterogeneity of ALS, it is important to explore whether the lack of effect was uniform across the whole trial population. Therefore, thorough analysis of subgroups based at intermediate time points is ongoing.”

The study evaluated a chemical known, in short, as TUDCA. In the U.S., it’s approved to treat certain liver diseases, but research indicates that it may also benefit people with neurodegenerative disorders like ALS. It has therefore become commonplace for doctors to recommend and ALS patients to seek out the drug, which can be bought online as a supplement for around $30 per bottle.

To date, the Food and Drug Administration has approved four medicines specifically for ALS. One of them, Relyvrio, is a pairing of TUDCA and another chemical called sodium phenylbutyrate. Relyvrio entered the U.S. market in the fall of 2022 and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales for its developer, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, which initially priced the medicine at $158,000 for a year’s supply.

By the end of September, nearly 4,000 of the roughly 30,000 ALS patients in the U.S. were on Relyvrio, according to Amylyx’s estimates.

The company may decide in the coming weeks to pull Relyvrio from the market, however, in response to a major setback.

Earlier this month, a large clinical meant to confirm the drug works instead found it no better than a placebo at combating ALS. The results were deeply disappointing to patients and caregivers, many of whom viewed Relyvrio as a source of hope in an area of research rife with failures. Even with available treatments, ALS patients typically live just two to five years following their diagnosis.

Amylyx is still wading through the data. In the meantime, the company has stopped promoting Relyvrio, while doctors have said they will no longer recommend the drug to their patients.

Prior to the study results released Wednesday, some prescribers had planned to switch their Relyvrio-treated patients onto TUDCA alone.

In a statement, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a U.K.-based charity focused on ALS research and care access, said patients currently taking TUDCA should contact their nurse or neurologist “if they require clinical advice following the release of these findings.”

“This is not the news we hoped for, and we understand that these trial results are extremely disappointing,” the association said.

What if we stopped immigration? Would that help our housing crisis?

Key takeaways

The Government has designed a Migration Program to address persistent and emerging skills shortages and boost productivity as Australia transitions to net-zero emissions.

While universities and colleges have benefited financially from the student boom, the surge in temporary migration has contributed to overheated rental markets. The government is keen to “import” migrants who will be paying taxes to help fund our ageing population and pension and healthcare systems.

If we cease immigration, Australia’s population could decline to 27.2 million in a decade, which would mean fewer consumers, less entrepreneurial spirit, and a potential decline in cultural diversity that fuels innovation. This would cause a potential crisis in aged care services.

Migration is a vital element of Australia’s identity and future prosperity. Politicians should embrace and manage migration for the benefit of all Australians.

We currently have a shortage of houses for rent or to buy, and this is causing prices to rise and rents to skyrocket and the housing crisis, the likes of which I’ve never seen in my 50 years of investing.

Of course, the main underlying factor leading to this challenge is that we are not producing enough dwellings for the strong demand, much of it related to our strong immigration.

Last year we experienced a record-breaking rate of net overseas migration, estimated to have reached 500,000 people in the year to September 2023.


The Government has designed its Migration Program to address persistent and emerging skills shortages and to attract people with specialist skills that are difficult to find or develop in Australia.

As Australia is building the domestic pipeline of highly skilled workers, the permanent Migration Program will help:

  • build resilience
  • boost productivity
  • support our economy as it transitions to net-zero emissions.

While universities and colleges have benefited financially from the student boom, as already mentioned the surge in temporary migration has contributed to overheated rental markets.

This situation is becoming politically sensitive and has led some people to ask: “Why can’t we just decrease demand by stopping immigration?”

I’ll answer that question in a moment, but first, let’s have a look at…

Population forecasts for the next decade

The federal government plans to fix Australia’s “broken migration system” and to “bring migration back to sustainable, normal levels”.

 Having said that, according to the Centre for Population, Australia’s population will still grow by around 370,000 people a year for the next decade.

This means Australia’s population will grow by 14% over the next decade.

Australia Population By Age In 2024 And 2034

Source: Demographer Simon Kuestenmacher in The New Daily

Our government sets immigration targets to control the migrant intake to suit our needs and requirements such as skill shortages, and it is suggested that over the next decade, three-quarters of migrants will be aged between 19 and 39.

We also know that the government is keen to “import” migrants who will be paying taxes to help fund our ageing population as well as the pension and healthcare systems.

We will be adding relatively few children, and even though we will need to add more childcare facilities, schools and sporting infrastructure, this will be at a lower rate than the total population growth.

On the other hand, population growth will be heavily driven by international students, and I can’t see the government closing our borders or stopping them from entering as they are too important as a funding source for our universities.

If we had fewer international students, the fees for local enrolments would need to rise significantly or the government would need to collect more tax dollars from other sources.

Clearly, neither of these options is politically acceptable, which means we should continue to expect significant massive numbers of international students.

We will also be importing many early career professionals aged 25 to 34.

About half of these will be working in “knowledge jobs” located in and around the CBD of our big cities and the majority of these will be renting for the first years of their residency here.

In general, they will want to live centrally for lifestyle reasons and to minimise their commuting time.

Today’s Wordle Answer and Clues (Sunday, March 31, 2024)

Wordle is the daily puzzle that keeps on giving. Despite Wordle having been going for years, many of us still try to beat it every day. Thankfully, we’re here with the answer to Wordle #1016, plus some clues in case you get stuck and don’t want to lose your streak.


Today’s Wordle (Puzzle #1016) Basic Clues

If you just want the answer to the Wordle puzzle for March 31, 2024, scroll down past the clues and the next spoiler warning. Otherwise, here are a set of clues to help you solve today’s Wordle somewhat on your own.

  1. Today’s Wordle contains two consonants and three vowels.
  2. One letter is repeated twice AND in succession.
  3. The first letter is T.
  4. The last letter is O.

Today’s Wordle (Puzzle #1016) Big Clue

The big clue for today’s Wordle is, “The word itself can be uttered openly, but its meaning should not”.


Today’s Wordle Answer for Sunday, March 31, 2024

If you still haven’t beaten today’s Wordle even with the clues provided above, the answer is below…

The answer to today’s Wordle is “Taboo“.

The word “Taboo” is primarily an adjective, but can also be used as a noun or verb. Regardless, the meaning remains pretty much the same; something that is banned or frowned upon due to morality, taste, or social acceptability. Examples of use include, “this particular subject is taboo,” and “they developed a taboo against it”.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the origin of “Taboo” is somewhat unclear. However, we know that it only entered the English language at the end of the 18th century. Some etymologists believe it comes from the Tongan “ta-bu,” which was used to mark something out as especially sacred.

Our Top Wordle Tips (to Beat It Every Day)

  1. Choose a good starting word. There are plenty to choose from, so pick one from our list of the best Wordle starting words.
  2. Try to eliminate all five vowels early. As there are only a handful of vowels, it’s best to use them all within the first 2-3 guesses.
  3. Use popular letters early. As well as the vowels, letters such as T, S, N, R, H, C, D, and L appear most commonly in English words.
  4. Take your time over your guesses. Wordle isn’t timed, so there’s no rush to complete it. You can even guess on paper first.
  5. Remember that letters can appear twice (and often do). Keep this in mind when guessing, as forgetting it can lead you to mess up.

Now that you have completed today’s Wordle puzzle (with a little help from your friends at MUO), you should check out some of the other free games from the New York Times.

Connections is a fun game that challenges you to find the associations between 16 words, splitting them up into four groups of four. To help combat the challenging nature of the game, check out our tips and tricks to help you beat Connections.

There’s also Strands, the newest addition to the New York Times’ burgeoning list of games. Just like Connections, it’s extremely challenging, but in a unique string-the-letters-together way. We recommend you check out our best tips for beating Strands to give yourself a leg up on the daily challenge.

Or, if you’re a Wordle purist and want more of the same, we recommend trying these awesome Wordle alternatives.

‘SNL’ host Ramy Youssef asks God to free Palestinians, hostages

Ramy Youssef, the rising star with a new HBO special “More Feelings” and a starring role in the recent Oscar winner “Poor Things,” flexed his sketch comedy muscles in his first outing as “Saturday Night Live” host. After a strong monologue, Youssef proved a versatile ensemble player, whether as the team captain of a losing basketball team with a pervy coach (Kenan Thompson); a husband on a game show called “Couple Goals” who is terrified he’ll be accused in his wife’s untimely death; or an immigrant dad who dotes on his daughter but disapproves of everything his son does (more on that one in a bit).

Youssef’s sharp timing and even his singing skills helped in sketches like an NPR Tiny Desk spoof in which 35-year-old intern Elliott (Bowen Yang) keeps interrupting, a scene about a homicide detective (Andrew Dismukes) who can’t stop repeating a bad joke, or this week’s Please Don’t Destroy music video, in which the host uses the unfortunate term “Twisted rockin’ ball” before an anxiety-filled night of revelry with Travis Scott.

As with Ayo Edebiri in February, this was an episode led by someone with not only onstage comedy chops but also TV comedy cred — Youssef created and starred in the Hulu series “Ramy.”

Musical guest Travis Scott appeared in and sang on that Please Don’t Destroy music video, as well as performing “My Eyes” and “FE!N” featuring Playboi Carti.

This week’s cold open started as an Easter-themed sketch about three Marys witnessing the Resurrection, but when the resurrected in question appears, it’s actually Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson). After ushering them off — “No more lines, bye bye” — Trump turns the conversation to the new $60 Bible he’s selling, which includes his favorite part: “the ending… how it all wraps up.” (He admits he kept waiting for the bunny to show up during the story of Easter, though). Trump says he’s selling Bibles for the glory of God, the pandering and mostly the money. He shows some illustrations from his edition of the good book, which include a baby Trump in the Moses basket and Trump as Adam, naked except for a fig leaf. Because this version of Trump is always reaching for pop culture references, he shouts out Beyoncé’s new album “Cowboy Carter” and says she’s God, Jesus is Kelly Rowland, and the Holy Ghost is “the Black Michelle Williams” (the singer), whom he says is as important to Black people as the white Michelle Williams (the actress) is to white people. The bit wraps up with a rambling Lord’s Prayer in which Trump asks for us to be led into temptation and to have our automobills paid (a Destiny’s Child reference), in the name of the father, the son and the Easter Bunny.

In his monologue, Youssef also shouted out “Cowboy Carter,” suggesting that with Easter, Ramadan and a new Beyoncé album all in the same week, “There’s just so many religions celebrating all at once.” Youssef, the man behind the first Muslim American sitcom, discussed how open and loving Muslims are; later, he recounted a call he received during the 2020 presidential election campaign asking him to rally Muslims for Joe Biden — and expects it to happen again this year. The host touched on other political topics as well. He joked that many candidates talk about change, but a trans woman president would walk the walk, and noted that the idea of the South as a region of divisiveness and racism isn’t quite accurate. “I don’t believe in ‘the South,’” he said, “The South is 45 minutes away from wherever you are.” (Including upstate New York, where he’s encountered Trump signs: “I went North, but I’m South!”) Lastly, Youssef said he’s often asked by friends to pray for them — including one hoping to get custody back of his pet dog and another wishing for an end to the violence in Gaza. The complicated prayer he ended up with asked, “Stop the suffering, stop the violence. Free the people of Palestine, please,” which got an applause break. He continued, “And please free the hostages, all the hostages… and while you’re at it… free Mr. Bojangles. He’s a beautiful dog.”

Best sketch of the night: Immigrant Dad Talk Show is sponsored by The Belt

Maybe it was the specificity of the sketch or the spot-on impressions from Youssef, Marcello Hernandez and Thompson, but the mock talk show featuring immigrant dads sitting in lawn chairs at a neighborhood barbecue was the funniest of the night. Each dad strongly supports everything his daughter does, even if it’s running up a hilarious $12,000 bill at Sephora (“I don’t even know what Sephora is!”), but can’t accept all the things their sons like that they shouldn’t, including computers, their dogs and paying for coffee. When a non-immigrant dad shows up (Mikey Day), he’s admonished for being too affectionate with his son. Best moment? The show is sponsored by The Belt, available everywhere you buy pants.

Also good: Ozempic for Ramadan is rebranded Ozempic

The pretaped commercial for a Ramadan version of Ozempic touts the benefits of using the diabetes/weight-loss drug to assist in fasting. Youssef, as the lead pitch person for the product, says that he used to struggle with fasting, but now, “As long as I shoot up before sunrise, it’s halal!” The product also works for converts and doesn’t include any pork. And, according to the pitch, if anyone thinks this is just regular Ozempic cynically marketed to a growing Muslim market, “That’s Islamophobic!”

“Weekend Update” winner: A celebrity owl’s widow warms up to Colin Jost

Chloe Fineman played a TikTok star, Piper Dunster, who regrets her badly aging hot takes, but it was Sarah Sherman as the New York widow of a recently deceased celebrity owl Flaco who stole the show. Dressed in full feather gear, Sherman said that she was shocked to learn her dead owl husband had a severe case of pigeon herpes — but maybe it wasn’t so surprising given that he had lots of sex with anything that had wings. “I once caught him dipping tip in a frozen turkey,” she says. As the widow, Sherman teases “Update” co-host Colin Jost about what it’s like being the spouse of a sexy famous person, suggests he has an underage mistress and concludes by suggesting that he’s just her type: “Nocturnal predator!”

How to Resist the Temptation of AI When Writing

Your local public library is a great source of free information, journals, and databases (even ones that generally require a subscription and include embargoed research). For example, your search should include everything from health databases (Sage Journals, Scopus, PubMed) to databases for academic sources and journalism (American Periodical Series Online, Statista, Academic Search Premier) and databases for news, trends, market research, and polls (the Harris Poll, Pew Research Center, Newsbank, ProPublica).

Even if you find a study or paper that you can’t access in one of those databases, consider reaching out to the study’s lead author or researcher. In many cases, they’re happy to discuss their work and may even share the study with you directly and offer to talk about their research.

Get a Good Filtering System

For journalist Paulette Perhach’s article on ADHD in The New York Times, she used Epic Research to see “dual team studies.” That’s when two independent teams address the same topic or question, and ideally come to the same conclusions. She recommends locating research and experts via key associations for your topic. She also likes searching via Google Scholar but advises filtering it for studies and research in recent years to avoid using old data. She suggests keeping your links and research organized. “Always be ready to be peer-reviewed yourself,” Perhach says.

When you are looking for information for a story or project, you might be inclined to start with a regular Google search. But keep in mind that the internet is full of false information, and websites that look trustworthy can sometimes turn out to be businesses or companies with a vested interest in you taking their word as objective fact without additional scrutiny. Regardless of your writing project, unreliable or biased sources are a great way to torpedo your work—and any hope of future work.

For Accuracy, Go to the Government

Author Bobbi Rebell researched her book Launching Financial Grownups using the IRS’ website. “I might say that you can contribute a certain amount to a 401K, but it might be outdated because those numbers are always changing, and it’s important to be accurate,” she says. “AI and ChatGPT can be great for idea generation,” says Rebell, “but you have to be careful. If you are using an article someone was quoted in, you don’t know if they were misquoted or quoted out of context.”

If you use AI and ChatGPT for sourcing, you not only risk introducing errors, you risk introducing plagiarism—there is a reason OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is being sued for downloading information from all those books.

Historically, the Loudest Isn’t the Best

Audrey Clare Farley, who writes historical nonfiction, has used a plethora of sites for historical research, including Women Also Know History, which allows searches by expertise or area of study, and JSTOR, a digital library database that offers a number of free downloads a month. She also uses Chronicling America, a project from the Library of Congress which gathers old newspapers to show how a historical event was reported, and Newspapers.com (which you can access via free trial but requires a subscription after seven days).

When it comes to finding experts, Farley cautions against choosing the loudest voices on social media platforms. “They might not necessarily be the most authoritative. I vet them by checking if they have a history of publication on the topic, and/or educational credentials.”

When vetting an expert, look for these red flags:

  • You can’t find their work published or cited anywhere.
  • They were published in an obscure journal.
  • Their research is funded by a company, not a university, or they are the spokesperson for the company they are doing research for. (This makes them a public relations vehicle and not an appropriate source for journalism.)

And finally, the best endings for virtually any writing, whether it’s an essay, a research paper, an academic report, or a piece of investigative journalism, circle back to the beginning of the piece, and show your reader the transformation or the journey the piece has presented in perspective.

As always, your goal should be strong writing supported by research that makes an impact without cutting corners. Only then can you explore tools that might make the job a little easier, for instance by generating subheads or discovering a concept you might be missing—because then you’ll have the experience and skills to see whether it’s harming or helping your work.