Trending March 2024 # Break Your Ubuntu Addiction: Three Strong Distros # Suggested April 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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No one can make the claim that Ubuntu isn’t becoming the de facto Linux distro out there in the world today. It’s becoming especially true when looking at those using Linux here in the States. For new and die-hard users alike, Ubuntu has all but captured the community.

Sadly, there is also a problem with watching Linux being tied to a single experience. Choice goes right out the window. The fact of the matter is that not everyone out there thinks that relying on a single distro is the way to go.

In no order of importance, here are my strongest Ubuntu alternative distros — no, they’re not based on Ubuntu in any way.

1) Simply Mepis is Simply Fabulous

I consider Simply Mepis to be among the first distro to get it “right” for people looking for a no-hassle, stable experience with a generally consistent environment from release to release.

At its core, Simply Mepis is created to make things easy to use right out of the box for any Linux skill level. Despite being a KDE-only distro based on Debian, Mepis allows the end user to setup their network, video configuration and other settings from the Simple Mepis “assistants.”

This is handy when you want to switch from the NVIDIA NV driver to a proprietary driver instead, yet wish to do so safely from a GUI environment.

Even better, you can repair a broken Xconfig, setup your various mouse needs (Wacom, Synatics, etc) and make display monitor changes all without ever touching the command line. For newer users, it’s got Ubuntu beat about a hundred times over.

You’ll find the same kind of goodness with Mepis’s networking assistant. For instance, it provides a wireless tab that allows you to easily (via a pull down menu) select your networking alias for wi-fi devices, and the networking preferences are available for ipv6, ndiswrapper and firewall protection – all in one area.

The icing on the cake is the troubleshooting tool. Hardware, associated drivers, both native and Windows (ndiswrapper) based. Did I mention you are able to blacklist drivers in the GUI too? Mepis destroys Ubuntu here. Completely decimates Ubuntu in this area.

The last killer feature Mepis provides is their user assistant. Repair, copy/export and delete all the settings associated with any given user easily. I also love how you can restore user preferred defaults, too. It’s very well done.

The rest of the particulars include a fairly standard KDE desktop install, featuring Firefox as the default browser with Synaptic as the package manager at large. I also appreciate the fact that Open Office is installed, rather than using the typical KDE defaults for all applications.

Simply Mepis is a great alternative to Ubuntu/Kubuntu for new users and those who prefer to stay away from excessive terminal usage.

2) Fedora for the Fast and Serious

Unlike Simply Mepis, you’ll find that this Fedora with KDE comes with a slightly different menu style than Simply Mepis. Also note the addition of PulseAudio and the elimination of Firefox, out of the box.

Other goodies like Open Office or Firefox, must be installed either from the package manager or from the specific websites offering the software.

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25+ Best Sad Anime That Will Break Your Heart

Anime can evoke a wide range of emotions among viewers. And while we have a myriad of inspirational and uplifting anime out there, we have an equal amount of sad anime that can tug at our heartstrings. Even an emotionally strong person can break down in tears watching these anime. Now, there is no lack of heartbreaking anime that deal with themes like love, war, catastrophe, death, and much more; having a lasting impression on us. So, in this article, let’s take an emotional ride and look at the best heartbreaking anime that will definitely make you sad and touch your soul.

1. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Title: Hotaru no haka

Author: Nosaka Akiyuki

Genre: Animation, Drama, War

Duration: 1 hour 29 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 8.5/8.5

As for the most heartbreaking piece of art to be created in the history of anime, it’s none other than Grave of the Fireflies. Studio Ghibli movies are known for their heartwarming stories but don’t get fooled by that common perspective here. Grave of the Fireflies is the tragic tale of a young boy and his little sister struggling to survive in a war-torn Japan during World War II.

This anime is not just highly praised by anime fans worldwide, it even got the attention of the greatest critics and cinema-goers and earned the title of one of the greatest war anime to be ever produced. Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse, this anime is based on a real-life incident and details the experience of the author in his early life. This movie might leave you weeping like a child for days.

2. A Silent Voice (2024)

Title: Koe no katachi

Author: Yoshitoki Ōima

Genre: Animation and Drama

Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 8.1/8.9

A Silent Voice is a comprehensive anime package that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. It portrays a youngster who bullies Shouko Nishimiya, his classmate. She is a deaf girl who decides to leave after being victimized by this boy’s bullying. Shouya Ishida, the young boy, then receives the cold shoulder from his classmates because of such behavior. Later in life, he comes to understand his mistakes and seeks absolution.

3. Fruits Basket

Title: Fruits Basket

Author: Natsuki Takaya

Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy

Episodes: 63

IMDB/MAL: 8.6/9.0

Fruits Basket is a sad slice-of-life anime where you’ll experience the most intense emotional ups and downs of your life. Subsequently, it rose to the position of becoming MAL’s all-time top-rated anime. when the show’s last season aired. That speaks a lot about the quality of this show. It is currently ranked among the best anime ever made which is a noteworthy feat, isn’t it?

Fruits Basket offers you valuable life lessons that you won’t soon forget in addition to offering sheer romantic fulfillment. While romance is typically depicted as a cheerful topic, this anime also addresses its darker aspects alongside the positive aspects of love. It becomes a melancholy anime at that point, and watching it often made my heart hurt every time when I watched it. So before you watch this anime, be sure to grab a box of tissues or a handkerchief.

4. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2024)

Title: Kimi no suizô o tabetai

Author: Yoru Sumino

Genre: Animation, Drama, Family

Duration: 1 hour 49 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 8.0/8.6

This anime has a beautiful pair that captivates you completely and the depiction of the growing bond between them is exquisite. It tells a simple story, but the characters and the animation take this anime movie to the next level. I bet you don’t come out of this movie without an aching heart, especially in the end.

5. Erased (2024)

Title: Boku dake ga inai machi

Author: Kei Sanbe

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Episodes: 12

IMDB/MAL: 8.5/8.3

He must unravel this mystery to save the loved ones in his life. The heart-wrenching story built around the age-old time-traveling concept is riveting to watch and keeps you glued to the screen. The character development is great to keep you connected to the story and feel the gravity of the emotions. That said, Erased only features 12 episodes, and you can easily binge-watch this anime in one sitting.

6. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (2009)

Title: Tôkyô magunichûdo 8.0

Author: Natsuko Takahashi Kazuya Murata

Genre: Animation and Drama

Episodes: 11

IMDB/MAL: 7.8/8.0

As the title suggests, this anime is about an earth-shattering earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 that hits Tokyo, Japan. Mirai Onozawa is a 13-year-old student who’s traveling with her younger brother Yuuki to a robot exhibit far from home. That’s right when the earthquake hits and leaves the two kids stranded in this devastated city. Luckily, they meet a motorcyclist named Mari Kusakabe who decides to help these poor kids. Now, this trio must survive amidst the chaos with the longing to reunite with their families.

Whenever we witness a story based on a natural-disaster theme, it always affects us no matter what. That’s exactly the case here, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 handles human emotions and realism well. It doesn’t get over the top and stays grounded, which makes for a gut-wrenching and realistic viewing experience of the aftermath of an earthquake. It’s only 11 episodes and another one of the best sad anime we have on our list.

7. Clannad (2007-2008)

Title: Clannad

Author: Jun Maeda

Genre: Animation, Drama, Comedy

Episodes: 49

IMDB/MAL: 7.8/8.0 and 8.6/8.9

One anime that has been warmly welcomed by both fans and reviewers is the Clannad series. Clannad, the first season, is about high school students trying to succeed in life by overcoming the various challenges in their path The second part is a continuation of that, showing how the protagonists are fighting to make ends meet. Called Clannad After Story, the second season concentrates on the hardships of adulthood. It largely emphasizes the difficulties faced in order to highlight the value of family.

8. Violet Evergarden (2024)

Title: Violet Evergarden

Author: Kana Akatsuki

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Episodes: 14

IMDB/MAL: 8.4/8.7

As every episode of this anime delivers an emotional tale, Violet Evergarden chips away at you with each episode, unlike any other anime on our list. The anime’s main plot revolves around the protagonist Violet Evergarden. Once the great war was finally over, she secured a new position as an auto memory doll in the postal service. Now, she embarks on a mission to assist others by writing letters that capture the client’s ideas and feelings. The major goal of Violet’s trip is to comprehend herself and the world, as well as her emotions.

Violet Evergarden is one of the most beautiful anime you will ever watch, as it offers spectacular and eye-pleasing visuals with numerous different emotional stories. The characterization of Violet has been done beautifully, helping you emotionally connect with her. This sad anime is thought provocative and will leave you longing for those you’ve lost.

To sum it up, Violet Evergarden is a must-watch anime. Additionally, it even has several movies, which are equally heartbreaking as the anime.

9. Plastic Memories (2024)

Title: Purasutikku Memorîzu

Author: Naotaka Hayashi

Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance

Episodes: 13

IMDB/MAL: 7.3/7.91

With his father’s help, Tsukasa Mizugaki is hired by Sion AI Corporation. The SAI Corporation is an AI business, well-known for creating and managing androids with human-like emotions termed Giftia. Isla is a stunning AI who Tsukasa is partnered with, but he begins to develop feelings for her. This situation is similar to the movie “Her,” where a human falls in love with an AI (which might soon become a reality with all the hype around ChatGPT and other AI assistants). And even though we know this anime will break our hearts in the end, it is still worthwhile.

10. Orange (2024)

Title: Orange

Author: Ichigo Takano

Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance

Episodes: 13

IMDB/MAL: 7.6/7.62

Orange is the right anime for you if you’re looking for an emotional high school drama. Talking about the plot, we see high school student Naho Takamiya having some difficulties adjusting to life in her senior year. One mysterious day, she gets a strange letter from her 26-year-old future self. In that letter, the future Naho expresses her deep regret for her previous errors and the desire that her younger self might correct those errors. This tale is engaging and draws you in for a typical slice-of-life anime ride.

All young anime fans should definitely watch this series as it will teach you valuable lessons about friendship, life, and other things. While Orange is a passionate anime that might occasionally leave you depressed, it ultimately uplifts you, making it a worthwhile anime to binge-watch. Also, it has a sequel movie, Orange: Mirai, which you ought to watch

11. Made in Abyss (2024 – )

Title: Made in Abyss

Author: Akihito Tsukushi

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Episodes: 25

IMDB/MAL: 8.4/8.66

One look at the poster might have you thinking that Made in Abyss is a kid’s anime. That is what everyone thinks, but you are totally wrong. It is a perfect example of Don’t judge a book by its cover. Made in Abyss is another highly-rated anime on our list. This sad anime has all the elements one would want from a story such as top-tier worldbuilding, excellent art style, and well-written characters.

Made in Abyss is perfectly balanced with light-hearted moments as well as gruesome content. That’s what makes it a wonderful anime that is appreciated by fans all over the world. Its last season aired recently and further attracted more fans to the story. You can start watching this hidden gem of an anime right away.

12. Your Name (2024)

Title: Kimi no na wa

Creator: Makoto Shinkai

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Duration: 1 hour 46 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 8.4/8.8

The movie’s story is about Taki Tachibana, a high school student who is struggling with his part-time job and studies. Meanwhile, Mitsuha Miyamizu is also a high school student who lives in the countryside and dreams of moving to the big city in the future. One day, as one can expect in such stories, the souls of these two individuals get switched.

Now, these high-school students are connected by this strange phenomenon and look forward to meeting each other to solve this mystery. What fate has in store for them is what the rest of the story focuses on. It’s an amazing tale of love that’s highly celebrated by the fans. So, it’s another must-watch heartbreaking anime.

13. 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

Title: Byousoku 5 Centimeter

Creator: Makoto Shinkai

Genre: Animation, Drama, Family

Duration: 1 hour 3 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.5/7.6

5 Centimeters per Second is the first breakthrough in Makoto Shinkai’s career. It was his first full-length feature film, and he delivered it well. This anime depicts the harsh realities and struggles of a long-distance relationship through the protagonists Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara’s eyes.

They are trying to work things out and stay together but life tears them both apart. Now, the question is – will they get reunited? Well, you need to watch this sad anime to find the answer. 5 Centimeters per Second is a wonderful anime with excellent animation and characters, so it’s another anime movie worth watching.

14. Your Lie in April (2014)

Title: Shigatsu wa Kimi no uso

Author: Naoshi Arakawa

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama

Episodes: 22

IMDB/MAL: 8.6/8.65

This anime is a tear-jerker as it’s completely moving right from the start. As much as it’s depressing in the end, it uplifts you with beautiful emotions and teaches you about moving forward in life. It focuses on themes of trauma, depression, and loss in the best possible way. It is an inspiring and heartbreaking anime and should not be missed at any cost.

15. Terror in Resonance (2014)

Title: Zankyou no Terror

Author: Shinichirō Watanabe

Genre: Animation, Crime, Drama

Episodes: 11

IMDB/MAL: 7.8/8.1

Terror in Resonance is not your typical shounen anime and delivers a palpable experience. The plot of the anime revolves around a horrific terrorist attack in Japan, where the only clue left behind is the word “VON” painted red all over the area where the attack took place. After a few months, a strange internet video appears as the next clue. In that video, two boys namely Nine and Twelve threaten the whole of Tokyo, as they are going to wreak havoc there with mass destruction.

These two boys are from a clan named Sphinx and have a tragic backstory. While the story of the anime is said to be rushed, the emotions are the same and will captivate you, especially the ending (said to be extremely emotional). This sad anime will keep you engrossed, and at the same time, make you sad with its backstories and ending.

16. Angel Beats (2010)

Title: Angel Beats!

Author: Jun Maeda

Genre: Animation, Action, Comedy

Episodes: 15

IMDB/MAL: 7.6/8.1

Angel Beats! may sound like it’s the name of a musical anime, but no! It tells the story of a young boy named Otonashi who discovers he is attending high school after he awakens in the afterlife. In an effort to defeat the student council president Kanade “Angel” Tachibana, God’s henchwoman, he teams up with a bunch of rebellious teenagers. This is the only Isekai anime with a heartbreaking story on our list.

17. Banana Fish (2024)

Title: Banana Fish

Author: Akimi Yoshida

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Episodes: 24

IMDB/MAL: 8.2/8.5

Banana Fish is the perfect pick if you are looking to watch a different type of anime. The manga series Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida was adapted into an anime of the same title. Here, the conflict between the Mafia leader Dino and a young person named Ash Lynx drives the narrative of this anime. It’s also one of the best BL anime of all time, as it explores the romance between Ash and Eiji Okumura when they are caught up in this war

The anime packs Mafia organizations and drug traffickers, which keeps the story engaging. As a result, there is a lot of action in addition to the heartbreaking tale of the boy’s love. Both Ash and Eiji try to work out their relationship amidst the chaos but will they have a happy ending? You have to watch it for yourself to find out.

Banana Fish is a sad anime that will see you go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Moreover, you can be sure that this anime is artistically amazing as it is made by MAPPA Studios, which has also developed works like Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and more.

18. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

Title: Ano hi mita hana no namae o bokutachi wa mada shiranai

Author: Mari Okada

Genre: Animation, Drama, Adventure

Episodes: 11

IMDB/MAL: 8.2/8.32

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day tackles the subject of “loss” and moving on from it. The core of this anime is the idea that everyone deals with loss in their own unique way. Five childhood friends decide to reconcile when one of them, Jinta Yadomi, claims to have seen the spirit of his late friend Menma. She asks her friends to fulfill all of her unfulfilled wishes, and the group works on it so that she might finally rest in peace.

19. Into The Forest Of Fireflies’ Light (2011)

Title: Hotarubi no Mori e

Author: Yuki Midorikawa

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Duration: 45 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.8/8.3

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a short sad anime with a run time of just 45 minutes. Hotaru is a young girl who gets lost in a forest one day. But luckily, a boy named Gin rescues her only to find out he’s a spirit. Gin then reveals that he is cursed by the human and that if any human touches him, he will disappear forever. Furthermore, these two started to get close as friends and their bond gets stronger over the years. But what awaits them as they start growing feelings for each other over time is the rest of the plot.

This anime provides a unique story and a unique set of characters, which is a fresh breath of air. Even with a short run time of 45 minutes, this movie connects you with the emotions of the protagonists. The bond shared between the two characters feels natural and is portrayed neatly. That said, Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is the one if you are looking for a short sad anime.

20. To Your Eternity (2024 – )

Title: Fumetsu no Anata e

Author: Yoshitoki Ōima

Genre: Animation, Drama, Adventure

Episodes: 38+ (Still airing)

IMDB/MAL: 8.5/8.37

To Your Eternity is a profoundly emotional anime that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is the latest famous work of “A Silent Voice” fame Yoshitoki Ōima. This anime, in contrast to her other work, is about a lone guy who wanders the snow-covered polar areas of North America. He meets a wolf, and the two get along beautifully and end up being wonderful friends. The youngster has an enigmatic history and an equally mysterious future. The rest of the anime explores what lies in store for him.

When this sad anime was aired for the first time, it was instantly termed the best-animated anime in a long time. With an appealing story and heartful characters, it instantly captivates you. As we mentioned earlier, it is extremely affecting and makes one emotional easily. To Your Eternity is a new-gen anime and the latest addition to our list of sad animes.

21. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

Title: Toki o kakeru shôjo

Author: Yasutaka Tsutsui

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure

Duration: 1 hour 38 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.7/8.1

Yet one should always keep in mind not to tamper with the time (“The Flash” knows), but in this case, Makoto chooses to do so without considering the repercussions. And she quickly begins to have an impact on both her own life and those around her. So, what awaits her and those around her?

This 90+ minutes-long anime movie is a worthy one to be on this list of sad anime. Although it was released way back in 2006, it includes a nostalgic factor and great animation with beautiful soundtracks. In the end, it moves us with an important message and should be watched by anime fans worldwide. Everything we do in our lives has an equal amount of consequences, and that is explored in this anime.

22. Wolf Children (2012)

Title: Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki

Author: Mamoru Hosoda

Genre: Animation, Drama, Family

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 8.1/8.6

While this anime’s poster may give off a Ghibli-esque vibe, it is not made by them. In fact, this anime movie is developed by Studio Chizu. That said, the story is about a mother who has to raise two of her kids after her partner dies in an accident. But the catch is that her partner was a human who could turn into a werewolf and her children rightly inherited his father’s trait. Now, she has to raise them in this modern world without revealing their true identities.

This anime movie talks about the hardships of single-parenting and overcoming the loss of a loved one. That is why it is a particularly hard watch, but it does deliver a beautiful message in the end. Moreover, it is always tough to let go of our loved ones and that part is handled in a mature way here, making it one of the best anime movies out there.

23. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Title: Hagane no renkinjutsushi

Author: Hiromu Arakawa

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Episodes: 68

IMDB/MAL: 9.1/9.1

FMAB is considered to be one of the greatest anime to be ever created and still ranks at the top in My Anime List’s anime rankings. That’s how much it is appreciated by the fans. It is a shounen anime completely packed with a brilliant story, unpredictable twists, and intriguing characters all over.

So for the sad part, this anime offers an extreme amount of heartbreaking moments throughout the show. The emotions are purely created and experiencing them tears you apart. That is one of the reasons why FMAB is called a perfect anime by the anime fandom. This is a must-watch and you should watch this if you’re looking for an unreal experience.

24. Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish (2024)

Title: Joze to tora to sakanatachi

Author: Seiko Tanabe

Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance

Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.6/8.4

Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish is an anime movie based on a short story of the same title by Seiko Tanabe. It is about a young man named Tsuneo Suzukawa, a marine biology student who aspires to go abroad to develop his career. But he is stuck without the necessary means and is saving up money via his part-time job. One day, he meets an old woman who offers him a caretaker job that pays well for his future.

He is assigned to take care of her granddaughter named Kumiko, who is a disabled person in a wheelchair. Kumiko likes to be called Josee and comes off as a bit of an annoying person at first. But these two start to understand each other and begin working on their dreams.

25. Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)

Title: Hoshi o ou kodomo

Creator: Makoto Shinkai

Genre: Animation, Drama, Adventure

Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.1/7.5

This is the follow-up movie by Makoto Shinkai after his first popular work, 5 Centimeters per Second. Yet another coming-of-age drama about young love but in a different setup. Asuna Watase discovers bizarre new music coming out of her radio, which was left by her late father. She follows it to discover a new hidden world along with a mysterious boy named Shun.

While this anime isn’t a flawless work like his Shinkai’s best works. It is an entertaining one and you will enjoy every bit of it. It also has a Ghibli-esque animation rather than Makoto’s trademark animation style. So for Studio Ghibli lovers should definitely watch this one. It is another anime that deals with the concept of the loss of a loved one and is heartbreaking to watch.

26. Weathering With You (2024)

Title: Tenki no ko

Creator: Makoto Shinkai

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Duration: 1 hour 52 minutes

IMDB/MAL: 7.5/8.3

Weathering With You is one of the most popular works of Makoto Shinkai. While there were lots of expectations for this movie after Your Name received worldwide appreciation, it certainly lived up to its expectations. Makoto’s usual rom-com story takes place in a rainy Tokyo with jaw-dropping animations and soulful soundtracks.

As for the story, we have a high school student named Hodaka Morishima who runs away to Tokyo and meets an orphaned girl named Hina Amano. Hina possesses a mysterious power that lets her control the weather at will. But as you all know, with great power comes great responsibilities. As they seem to enjoy using the powers, the situation changes once they learn the truth behind the power.

27. Oshi no Ko (2023 – )

Title: Oshi no Ko

Author: Aka Akasaka

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Episodes: 11

IMDB/MAL: 8.6/8.8

The Japanese music industry and idols are the subject of the anime Oshi no Ko. Several people drew attention to the first episode’s peculiar plot when it was airing. But don’t be deterred by the bizarre plot; be assured, it’s much more than that. The following is the story: Twins born to a prominent Japanese idol (musical artist) endure life as entertainers while navigating the rough seas of the music business. The strange thing about that is the fact that a doctor and his patient were resurrected as identical twins and born to that idol. What happens to them and what all uncovers is covered by the anime.

It comes from the person who made the high school rom-com Kaguya-Sama Love is War. While his most well-known anime was a bright one with fun themes, the tone of this anime is significantly different. It becomes exceedingly gloomy and depressing, which might easily destroy one’s heart. And for that reason, Oshi no Ko recently appeared on our list of depressing anime.

28. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2024)

Cyberpunk 2077 might have got mixed reactions from the audience, but the anime based on it became a sensation. Yes! you read that right, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime was created by Netflix and is set and based on Cyberpunk 2077’s world. This anime was a huge hit in that it won the Anime of the Year award at the 2023 Anime Awards. This impressive feat is a testament to how much of a masterpiece this anime is.

What is the saddest anime ever?

Based on the numerous anime we have watched, our pick has to be The Grave of the Fireflies. That anime is just heartbreaking of the highest order and breaks you into pieces.

What is the top 10 saddest anime?

We have mentioned down the top 25 saddest anime for you from The Grave of the Fireflies to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Which anime makes you cry?

All the anime we have mentioned above can be painful and can make one easily cry. So, if you’re a light-hearted person, make sure to have your handkerchiefs/tissues ready.

Top Linux Distros For Media Creation

I find it interesting how many existing Linux users don’t realize there are specialized distributions just for media creation. These distributions come with a bundle of special media-centric applications, a real-time kernel and other tweaks provided by default.

This article will provide a tour of these top Linux distros for media creation. I’m confident that even if you’ve heard of some of these distros, you might not be aware of what makes them unique when compared to a standard desktop Linux distribution.

Ubuntu Studio is in my humble opinion, the easiest and most reliable distro for media creation. Ubuntu Studio comes with a ready to go real-time kernel, great software for media creation and best of all, it’s a ready to go Linux distro that is PERFECT for anyone frustrated trying to get JACK audio working as needed.

Features of Ubuntu Studio include:

Audio – JACK audio is installed and configured right out of the box. This gives users access to low latency audio recording. You’ll also have instant access to Ardour for your Digital Audio Workstation needs. And of course, there is no shortage of Sequencers, Synthesizers and Virtual Guitar Amps.

Graphics – The graphics applications included are: Blender for 3D modeling, Inkscape for vector work, GIMP to manipulate your images and MyPaint to provide digital painting options.

Video – For video editing, rendering and more, you’ll find OpenShot, FFMPEG and DVDStyler provided by default. Additional applications such as Kdenlive are available from the software repositories.

Ubuntu Studio is best for:

Ubuntu Studio is simply outstanding for audio creation. It makes utilizing JACK audio easy without a lot of extra work. And because it’s an Ubuntu distribution, there is no shortage of software should you choose to make this your daily use desktop.

This means you can easily use Ubuntu Studio in a small business environment with LibreOffice or other office friendly programs if you choose. At its purist, Ubuntu Studio is Ubuntu with a real-time Linux kernel and JACK pre-configured. The rest of it is merely carefully selected pre-installed software.

If you prefer to run with a Debian Linux installation while still having access to great Linux media creation software, then AV Linux might be a good match for you. Perhaps the biggest selling point with AV Linux is that you get a genuine sense that its primary focus is getting up and running quickly for a professional audio recording environment. Additionally, AV Linux runs with a lightweight Xfce desktop environment. This means performance is the top priority and getting started is as simple as following the provided PDF user manual.

Features of AV Linux include:

Audio: Amsynth, Ardour, Audacity, Clementine, EasyTAG, FeSTige, guitarix, harmonySEQ, Luppp, Non suite, QMidiArp, Qsampler, Qsynth, Qtractor, Renoise, Rosengarden are all included right out of the box.

Video: Blender, Cinerella, DeVeDe, FFMultiplex, HandBrake, LiVES, Kdenlive, OpenShot, TV-Viewer, VLC Media Player, WinFF, Xine, Xjadeo, Totem, Cheese, and Desktop Recorder are all provided by default. I found the inclusion of Kdenlive and LiVES to be especially forward thinking. These are both extremely powerful programs when used by skilled hands.

Graphics: GIMP, Inkscape and Shotwell are provided for basic access to must have image programs. I actually prefer having limited programs because Audio/Video is where AV Linux really shines the most. Graphics work can be done from any Linux distro, not just a custom media creation distro.

AV Linux is best for:

AV Linux provides its users with a real-time Linux kernel, JACK audio, ample media creation applications and the ability to run with a Live environment or one that’s properly installed onto your hard drive. If you like having choices where you run your media creation environment, this is the distro for you.

I personally found it refreshing that the included applications weren’t merely the easiest to use, rather, the most powerful available. This bundled by the option of running a live environment that also had read/write privileges really makes this a fantastic option.

But perhaps what sets it apart the most is that it can be run from a live environment with read/write permissions on the mounted drive. This is huge for those who don’t want to install it onto their main computer. Now the more astute among you are likely wondering how this affects audio latency. In truth, it does add a touch of extra latency. But the live environment is setup to help counter some of this.

Thus far we’ve covered distros that are based on Ubuntu and Debian. But what about an Arch based distro that provides you with access to both PulseAudio and JACK audio servers with the Fluxbox window manager? Audiophile Linux is a distro that does just that. Keep in mind this isn’t a distro suited for producing audio content, rather listening to it in the purist, most real time environment possible.

At first I was a bit taken back by the notion of running two sound servers on the same machine, but running both Pulseaudio and JACK on the same PC is in fact doable. The secret is to use the provided documentation on how to best utilize each sound server.

Audiophile Linux is best for:

If you want a lightweight audio creation distribution that has all the extra stuff not needed for audio production removed, this is the distro for you. The final takeaway I loved about Audiophile Linux is that they offer an outstanding “Supported D/A” list. These are hardware based Digital to Analog converters that you can buy locally or online. To Point out that the list is extensive would be an understatement.

I see Audiophile Linux being ideal for revisiting audio content you produced elsewhere, but doing so with the purist listening environment possible in Linux. Low latency, real-time kernel and multiple options for listening to your produced content.

Obviously there are other media creation distros available. However the hard truth of the matter is that this is the best of the group. For newcomers, Ubuntu Studio is the easiest to use while I personally believe that AV Linux is the most robust and offers the best documentation.

How One Principal Builds Strong Relationships

An award-winning principal shares how she navigates social and emotional learning and community building at school.

Forging relationships with students, staff, and caregivers is critical to the success of any school leader. But what does relationship building really look like in action? How can leaders operationalize their educational missions to foster genuine support and collaboration in their learning environments?

These questions feel especially urgent in the wake of the pandemic, as many schools are encountering challenges related to social and emotional learning (SEL), and nearly 55 percent of teachers are considering leaving the profession. With so much in flux, cultivating a strong school culture is critical to creating dependable, supportive spaces for both learners and teachers. 

That’s why I spoke with Carise Echols, currently principal at Theodore Jones Elementary School and recipient of the 2023 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal Award for the state of Arkansas. The award is given to leaders who improve processes at their school and make meaningful contributions to their team, and Echols’s work demonstrates particular expertise in the realms of social and emotional learning, staff development, and community building. 

Here’s what Echols had to say about the power of relationships in school leadership and the strategies other leaders can use to take a similar approach.

BRITTANY COLLINS: How would you describe your approach to school leadership?

CARISE ECHOLS: A good principal never forgets what it’s like to be in the classroom. I strive to be a principal who is in the forefront with teachers—it’s about collaboration. I want to take things I’ve learned from people in my life, teachers I’ve had, and expand those lessons beyond the classroom.

COLLINS: Who was an impactful teacher for you? 

ECHOLS: Beth Shanks—she was my fourth-grade teacher. She passed away a few months ago. She was the teacher I kept in communication with—the teacher who showed up at my first teaching job with a gift in hand. She came to my wedding.  

The number one thing that stands out to me as her legacy would be her kindness. I remember getting a certificate from her for prettiest handwriting—she found something about each student that was unique to them. And that’s something I try to instill in my teachers, and do for my teachers.

COLLINS: How do you use that approach with teachers?

ECHOLS: As a first-year principal, my number one goal is to have everyone get to know me as much as I am getting to know them, to build trust as their leader.

I have a staff shout-out board in our teachers’ lounge where I write quick notes to teachers and set the trend for others to do so, too. It’s full now, from teachers complimenting other teachers, custodians, and staff. 

I write cards to stick in their boxes. And each teacher has a QR code on the back of their door that I can scan to give them feedback and encouragement: “I love how you did this today” or “I enjoy having you here as a teacher.”

At faculty meetings, I give shout-outs to showcase things I see teachers doing. Sometimes another teacher says, “Hey, that’s such a cool lesson. I would love for my colleague to showcase that at a faculty meeting.” 

COLLINS: Turning now to students, how do social and emotional learning challenges manifest at your school? And what interventions have you tried?

ECHOLS: We’re seeing this phenomenon of “I’m upset, but I don’t really know why I’m upset or how to express it other than crying or maybe throwing something.”

As a district, state, and world, we could do more [to help young people]. Here at school, we use an SEL program given to us by the state, and our counselor visits various classes weekly.

We also have character words of the month—“courage” is a recent example—and we teach lessons in connection with the word.

And we do positive office referrals: So often, in books and movies, the principal’s office is where you go when you’re in trouble. Instead, when students have demonstrated positive behavior, they’re nominated to visit me for a celebration. 

We also have a book vending machine where students can earn golden tokens and get a new book for positive behavior or academic excellence. 

COLLINS: It sounds like you’re very intentional about supporting students and your staff. How do you keep your own cup full?

ECHOLS: Being a principal can be a lonely job. I’m very blessed to have my husband, a principal, to share ideas with. I also have a good group of principals around the city with whom I collaborate often. Having that support is very important.

COLLINS: What are the greatest challenges you’re facing in your practice?

ECHOLS: Personally, I am eager to get into the classrooms to support teachers. I want to be in there, and when you become a principal, you just never know what the day is going to be like. You can say you’re going to Mrs. Johnson’s room at a certain time, and then you have an email, or a meeting, or a parent comes in. Things pop up, and you’re not able to get there. That’s hard for me. 

And it’s been a challenge since Covid. With the social-emotional aspects of learning how to communicate, share, and play with other children, it’s been tough figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. And it’s not just here in Arkansas; it’s everywhere.

ECHOLS: For teachers: Never be afraid to ask questions. We’ve all had a first year. You’re going to figure it out. Ask questions of your colleagues, your peers, and the principal. Remember that you were hired for a reason. You stood out in the interview process, and we hired you because we knew what you were capable of and saw your heart for children.

That’s the same for a first-year administrator. Educators have a calling, and it’s very evident when people have a passion for kids. We must do everything to benefit students—to make sure our kids are safe, learning, and loved. 

We’re all in this together.

Nasa Is Planning For Three

How can future missions to the Red Planet propel a new age in space exploration?

Mars has been a key interest for scientists for decades. Being our neighbor, possibility of liquid water on its surface, and having fairly similar atmospheric conditions like Earth, it does sounds like a viable option for being another hospitable planet. This is why we have numerous space missions to Mars to look for signs of life. It started with a flyby in 1965 to quickly evolving into remote explorations from multiple countries. Each mission has given astronomers more information about the planet’s geology and habitability potential. Recently researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Eindhoven University of Technology have introduced a three-agent robotic system that could further enhance the future Mars explorations. This system is composed of a Mars conventional ground rover, a helicopter, and an orbiter. This mission’s main objective is to test the feasibility of operating the copter on the red planet. According to the research paper, published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, if successful, the mission could pave the way toward other missions involving the deployment of Mars copters, which may produce more information about the ground, terrain, and obstacles ahead of the rovers. This system’s primary task is to identify an optimal path for the ground rover, which minimizes the localization uncertainty that accumulates as the rover moves in a given direction. The researchers found that the localization performance can be increased by selectively driving over types of terrain that are easy to localize (i.e., that have good localizability). In their research, the team used a localizability map captured by remote satellite technology to carry out a space search that combines the rover’s path with the copter’s actions to gather rich data about the surrounding environment. Additionally, the system considers the dynamic map updates collected by the copter. This is necessary for copter and rover to address where to map and drive, respectively, for minimizing the uncertainty accumulation in rover localization. Further, copter’s ability includes the ability to observe and map regions of the planet in 3D. The paper authors have also mentioned that the copter’s high-resolution data would aid the rover in locating small hazards such as steps and pointy rocks, as well as providing rich textual information useful to predict perception performance. The lower the altitude, the more accurate the observation is. After each measurement and observation, the satellite map is updated for the rover to use as it moves forward. Notably, the uncertainty the rover could face due to undiscovered territory decreases as the number of images captured by the copter increases, thereby enabling a smooth mission. As per the latest findings, the team has observed the system’s appreciable effectiveness in a series of numerical simulations, including both single-run and Monte Carlo simulations. These simulations were based on the map of the Mars 2023 mission landing site. They were explicitly designed to evaluate the planner’s effectiveness in reducing localization uncertainty when exploring Mars via a three-agent robotic system . They concluded that adopting this approach reduces localization uncertainty during rover path planning by 10 to 20%. One the other hand, a random mapping approach gave less than a 10% gain in uncertainty reduction. In the future, their system could help optimize the use of copters to enhance rover navigation during Mars exploration missions by considering the rover’s actions and copter in conjunction. Other Martian projects include the European Space Agency and Roscosmos planning to launch a rover named for chemist Rosalind Franklin , whose contribution helped decipher the DNA structure. The rover will drill into the Martian soil to hunt for signs of past and present life. Meanwhile, China’s Tianwen-1 aims to be the first Mars mission to drop a landing platform and deploy a rover. The rover will be equipped with a radar device that can detect water and ice beneath the surface, as well as a laser to track rock compositions.

Three Women And A Donor

Three Women and a Donor Single motherhood brings alum love, family — and book deal

The authors of Three Wishes, (from left) Carey Goldberg, Pamela Ferdinand, and Beth Jones (GRS’91), write about the agonizing decision to have a baby alone and the freeing power of that choice. Photo by Mark Thomas

A successful woman in herlate 30s wants a baby, willing father or no. She wrestles with the decision,purchases some vials of grade-A sperm, and begins the journey to motherhoodalone. Then she unexpectedly finds a man, and together they create a chúng tôi sperm is passed on to an unlucky-in-love friend.

Repeat thecycle two more times, and you’d start to think those test tubes contained themakings of a magic potion — or an interesting book.

“We wouldtell people the story,” says sperm recipient number two, Beth Jones (GRS’91),“and we kept hearing, ‘You should write this.’”

Afterlearning the premise for Three Wishes (Little,Brown, 2010), a joint memoir by Jones and old friends Carey Goldberg and PamelaFerdinand, it’s hard not to envision another title popping up on the bookstoreshelf: The Sisterhood of the TravelingSperm. Like those best-selling stories of four plucky teenagers and theirenchanted pair of jeans, Three Wishesis in large part a testament to the enduring power of women’s friendships.

But it’s alsoa case study of evolving perceptions of what it means to be a mother, to have afamily, and to find happiness. At the time, Ferdinand, an adjunct professor atCOM, and Goldberg were reporters, Ferdinand for the Boston Globe and Goldberg for the New York Times, and Jones, a graduate of BU’s Creative WritingProgram, was working as a freelance writer and educator in the wake of apainful divorce. Each realized her high-flying career left little time for ababy, an oft-depicted female fear. But their tale, Jones says, eschews theJanus-faced caricature of the single professional as coldhearted ladder-climberor hormone-crazed spinster.

“The stuffin sitcoms, soap operas — we defy that,” Jones says. “We’re three professionalwomen who recognize that by helping each other, we’re only going to helpourselves as well.”

And perhapsmost important to the book’s female readers, it’s true. “It’s hopeful, and it’sreal,” Jones says. “It’s not as if we’re manufacturing a fairy tale.”

Their storyof a quirky, hard-earned happy ending struck a nerve in the book world: a weekafter the three found an agent for their manuscript, they lined up meetings with fivedifferent publishers.

“Werecognize that ours is not a typical story,” Jones says with a laugh.

“I don’tnecessarily want to call it magic,” she says, “but there’s a power in makingdecisions and choosing things, rather than sitting back and waiting for them tohappen.”

But Three Wishes offers no miracle cure forunhappiness. It’s a straightforward account of an agonizing decision to have ababy alone and the freeing power of that choice. Jones and her friends achievetheir goals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer along the way.

Jones inparticular endures heartbreak, starting with the messy unraveling of her firstmarriage: her husband leaves her for his 21-year-old personal trainer (althoughJones prevails with a $10 million divorce settlement).

“We can saythat there’s a bit of an element of revenge in it,” she says of writing aboutthe divorce. Later, after she meets her eventual second husband, Phil, shelearns months into her first pregnancy that the fetus has Down’s syndrome, and sheundergoes an abortion.

Jones,Ferdinand, and Goldberg remain “deep and supporting” friends and businesspartners as they promote the book, Jones says. If nothing else, the experiencehas left a legacy for her now-five-year-old son.

“I have abook that’s basically about how much I wanted him,” she says. “I think I wroteit, whether or not I was conscious of it, with him in mind.”

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