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‘Targeted Hygiene’ Embraces Some Dirt and Germs

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Somewhere between the Mom who obsessively wipes down every knob and toy her child might touch, and the Dad who thinks rolling in the dirt is “good” for kids, there’s a healthy medium, British experts say.

“We have to find a way to protect against infectious diseases and harmful microbes, whilst at the same time sustaining exposure to the essential beneficial microbes in our world,” explained Sally Bloomfield.

Bloomfield is a member of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, and also the co-author of a new report that surveyed British adults on their attitude towards dirt and germs in the home.

The 2018 survey, from the Royal Society for Public Health, suggests people are confused about how much dirt is OK. A lot of that confusion is probably coming from the rise of the “hygiene hypothesis” — the notion that today’s homes are overly sanitized, and kids need contact with germs to build up healthy immune systems.

But this notion can be taken too far, as Bloomfield’s group found.

In fact, nearly one in four people polled agreed with the statement that “hygiene in the home is not important because children need to be exposed to harmful germs to build their immune system.”

Men were twice as likely as women to express that opinion.

On the other hand, misconceptions around the level of “danger” posed by dirt were also common.

Bloomfield’s team found that “almost two-thirds of those we surveyed (61%) said touching a child’s dirty hands after they have been playing outside was likely to spread harmful germs.”

But that’s simply not true. In fact, “there is little evidence that outdoor dirt and soil is contaminated with harmful microbes (unless there are animals nearby),” according to the report.

Different germs, different hazards

Bloomfield, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the key thing to remember is that all germs are not created equal.

Exposure to diverse microbes from other people, domestic animals and the natural environment do help build a healthy immune system and microbiome — the varied microbes normally living in the gut and respiratory tract, experts agree. However, exposure to the wrong types of germs can both weaken the microbiome and cause infections.

Continued

And if those infections require antibiotics, “good” bacteria in the gut get destroyed along with the bad, they pointed out.

So, how to find a balance between being a compulsive germaphobe who’s constantly cleaning or the lax parent letting kids chow down on mud pies?

Bloomfield believes a new, more nuanced model, called “targeted hygiene,” is probably the answer.

Targeted hygiene means intervening with kids and their environment, but only when you can stop the risk of infection. This doesn’t necessarily mean avid cleaning. Cleaning does get rid of visible dirt, but it won’t necessarily reduce the risk of infection.

What does? Handwashing.

Handwashing is a simple component of targeted hygiene, and should be timed to certain activities, Bloomfield said.

“Our own bodies, our food and our domestic animals are the most likely sources of spread of infection — so the times that matter are [times such as] when we handle raw food, when we use the toilet, when we care for our pets, when we are infected or caring for someone who is infected,” she explained.

So, be sure to wash your hands well:

  • when you first come home;
  • if you’ve been caring for or playing with a pet;
  • after toileting;
  • before eating or preparing food;
  • after handling raw meat, fruits or vegetables;
  • after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.

‘Common sense’ clean

Most — but not all — of the British adults surveyed seem to understand the value of hand washing, since “73% of respondents said they ‘always’ washed their hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet and after preparing raw meat,” the report found.

In addition to hand washing, Bloomfield said other important measures include cleaning surfaces that come into contact with food, cleaning surfaces regularly touched by many people, and washing dishcloths immediately after using them so they don’t spread germs.

Dr. Aaron Glatt is a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He reviewed the new report and said he “likes the idea of targeted hygiene.”

“Good common sense remains the best way to prevent infection,” Glatt said. “You don’t need to wash your hands 40 times a day, but appropriate hand washing needs to be stressed. If you’ve just come out of the bathroom or are going to be preparing foods, wash your hands.”

Continued

When it comes to routine cleaning, Glatt said the kitchen and bathrooms are two major areas that need attention.

He agreed that pets can potentially be a point of transmission for infection, but if they’re cared for properly, they shouldn’t be a concern.

“We even allow pets into the hospital for therapy,” Glatt said. “In general, kids and pets interact in a positive way.”

Again, common sense should be your guide: “Kids shouldn’t let a pet lick their plate and then eat from it,” Glatt said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, United Kingdom; Aaron E. Glatt, spokesperson, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and chair of medicine, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Long Island Medical Center, New York; June 2019,Too Clean or Not Too Cleanreport, Royal Society for Public Health

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pagination

WebMD Health

No diamonds in the dirt for burrowing Italian jewel thieves

The search for lucre was filthy indeed for six Italians jailed this week over a bid to burrow up from the sewers of Naples into luxury shops and make off with jewels worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

Three were caught in the act last November and dragged out of the underground tunnels in handcuffs by agents who specialize in underwater operations, Carabinieri police said. The same three, together with three accomplices, were detained on Monday and have been jailed pending trial.

The band targeted boutiques including jeweler Bulgari, and had expected to net 300,000 euros ($ 330,450) each from a foiled raid on upmarket jeweler and clothier Bruno & Pisano.

They slipped into the sewers through manholes in the city’s Spanish Quarter, traversed the honeycomb of tunnels below ground and dug judicious exit points under the shops.

Police found the holes and intervened to foil six robberies in all, police captain Michele Centola said, adding that five of the six thieves had already served jail time for the same kind of crime.

“It’s a deep-rooted problem here,” Centola sighed.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Dirt 3 Finally Drops Games for Windows Live, Gives DLC Away for Free

Dirt 3 has finally made the transition from Games for Windows Live to Steamworks, and as a thank you to players who waited over the last year, developer Codemasters is upgrading those who owned Dirt 3 to the Complete Edition, which includes all of the game’s DLC.

If you owned the GFWL version, the Complete Edition should already be in your Steam library. If you bought a boxed copy of the game, you can redeem it on Steam to get the Complete Edition.

You’ll still have the original version of the game in your Steam library, and Codemasters says that version will continue to work normally. Unfortunately, your save files will not transfer over to the Complete Edition.

“Due to the differences with the two versions unfortunately your save files will not be compatible with each other,” Codemasters said. “We know it sucks and we are sorry but it was unavoidable.”

Some players who bought their game through the Games for Windows Live Marketplace have reported issues redeeming their keys on Steam. Codemasters says that it’s looking into the issue and will have information next week. Other players also reported an issue with driving wheels, which go into full lock when they start the game. Codemasters is asking those players to provide more information here.

GameSpot’s review gave Dirt 3 a 9/10 for its fantastic presentation and great variety in event types.

GameSpot

PlayStation 3 | Dirt Showdown Review

UK REVIEW: There’s a spectacle to Dirt Showdown that flies in the face of racing tradition: the jumps, the drifts, the squealing doughnuts, and the blinding flash of fireworks. With each crumpled bumper and shattered windscreen, a vast arena crowd roars, eager to be wowed not with the shaving of valuable seconds from a lap time, but with pyrotechnic-laden displays of driving that are as much about showmanship and destruction as they are about skilful precision. It’s an intoxicating mix that forgoes the difficulty of simulation for a thrilling and beautifully presented arcade ride.

There’s nothing like a good smash-up to relieve stress.

The biggest difference between Showdown and its predecessors is that the handling is surprisingly forgiving. You can whip your car around the tightest of corners without ever easing off the accelerator, while even the most dramatic twirls of the steering wheel don’t send you hurtling headfirst towards a barrier like they used to. But there’s still a balance to be found. The skill lies in the timing of your turns and the judicious tapping of your hand brake and boost to perform impressive drifts and show-stopping doughnut rings. It’s a dramatically different feel, but one that lends itself beautifully to the events at hand.

Some, like the Hoonigan events, are all about precision and showmanship in licensed cars. The destructible blocks of Smash Hunter are intricately arranged to reward delicate turns and tight drifts, while a timer for high scores keeps the pressure on, and your speed up. There’s more challenge to be had in Trick Rush events, where drifts, doughnuts, and jumps are scattered throughout cleverly designed environments. With each trick your multiplier climbs ever higher, resulting in a mad dash to rack up points before the timer runs down.

Most challenging are the head to head Gymkhana events, where you take on the mighty Ken Block in a trick-filled arena course. The turns are tighter, the jumps larger, and the pyrotechnics even wilder. But while the bright, neon fireworks and explosive confetti cannons certainly add excitement to the proceedings, it’s the process of improving bit by bit, drawing ever closer to success and perfection that makes such events so entertaining and incredibly addictive.

But there’s another side to Dirt Showdown, one that sheds the skill for mindless and supremely satisfying displays of destruction: Demolition events. The licensed cars are ditched in favour of made-up machines that are turned into crumpled heaps of scrap as you’re launched into the centre of an arena to ram, slam, and boost your way into opponents, doing everything you can to whittle down their health bars and to score points. Enclosed arenas give you barriers to ram them against, while open arenas mean mistimed boosts send you spiralling out of control onto the surrounding sandy ground.

It’s all very dramatic, and heaps of fun, despite the incredibly cheesy and quickly grating quips from the commentator. There’s a sick satisfaction to be had from tearing into cars and ripping off bumpers, but of course, your competitors can do the same to you. And when a whole gang of them are chasing after you at once in Hard Target events, it becomes a tense battle for survival. There are more conventional events on offer, such as Lap Attack, Eliminator, and Domination races. But while cleverly designed figure-of-eight circuits and ramp-filled tracks keep the racing firmly in the arcade, these events are unremarkable when compared to the bombast of Gymkhana or the all-out carnage of Demolition.

A mix of all events makes up the Showdown Tour career mode. There are four stages to play through, each consisting of 15 events that take you on a tour of the world. There are the colourful lights and sharp corners of Tokyo; the dusty roads and sweeping drifts of the Baja California circuits; the slippery snow-covered slopes of Colorado; and the wide-open industrial spaces of Battersea. All are beautifully presented, showcasing the typically great circuit design that Codemasters is famed for. The ability to purchase new cars or upgrade their basic stats such as power and handling using money you earn is a nice incentive to progress, but without a narrative or character to develop, it can get a little tiresome.

The events really come into their own when you take them online or compete via two-player split-screen. Smashing AI opponents is one thing, but when it’s your friend’s car you’ve turned into scrap, that’s a whole other level of satisfaction. Even the race events are more enjoyable, thanks to the inevitable smashing of opponents’ cars as you drive around a circuit. There’s also the option to split into teams, thrusting you and seven other players into epic battles for destruction domination. It all comes together brilliantly, giving you the feeling that perhaps Showdown always was intended to be an online experience, even if the single-player is hardly a rush job.

That said, Showdown has one more single-player trick up its sleeve in the form of Joyride. Its large, free-roaming levels offer up a range of fun quick-fire missions for you to complete. Some are in the form of tricks like performing death-defying leaps or tight drifts. Others are speed challenges where you race through tight circuits as quickly as possible. There are hidden Showdown icons to collect too. With all there is to do, you can spend lots of time simply enjoying a drive around a Joyride level and picking off missions. Plus, your scores and times can be sent over to friends as challenges for them to complete, which is a nice touch.

Competing with friends really is the best way to enjoy Dirt Showdown. Sure, the single-player campaign is pleasant enough, but it’s nothing compared to the joy of online destruction and the satisfaction of nailing those most impressive of skilful driving tricks in front of an audience. And when it’s delivered via some of the smoothest and most stunning visuals in the racing genre, it’s easy to see how you can get lost for hours in Showdown’s bombastic world. If you’re looking for the next great rally simulator, you won’t find it here. But to ignore Dirt Showdown because of its arcade styling would be to deny yourself one of the most satisfying of pleasures: that of mindless, over-the-top, and–above all–deliciously addictive destruction.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Xbox 360 | Dirt Showdown Review

UK REVIEW: There’s a spectacle to Dirt Showdown that flies in the face of racing tradition: the jumps, the drifts, the squealing doughnuts, and the blinding flash of fireworks. With each crumpled bumper and shattered windscreen, a vast arena crowd roars, eager to be wowed not with the shaving of valuable seconds from a lap time, but with pyrotechnic-laden displays of driving that are as much about showmanship and destruction as they are about skilful precision. It’s an intoxicating mix that forgoes the difficulty of simulation for a thrilling and beautifully presented arcade ride.

The biggest difference between Showdown and its predecessors is that the handling is surprisingly forgiving. You can whip your car around the tightest of corners without ever easing off the accelerator, while even the most dramatic twirls of the steering wheel don’t send you hurtling headfirst towards a barrier like they used to. But there’s still a balance to be found. The skill lies in the timing of your turns and the judicious tapping of your hand brake and boost to perform impressive drifts and show-stopping doughnut rings. It’s a dramatically different feel, but one that lends itself beautifully to the events at hand.

Some, like the Hoonigan events, are all about precision and showmanship in licensed cars. The destructible blocks of Smash Hunter are intricately arranged to reward delicate turns and tight drifts, while a timer for high scores keeps the pressure on, and your speed up. There’s more challenge to be had in Trick Rush events, where drifts, doughnuts, and jumps are scattered throughout cleverly designed environments. With each trick your multiplier climbs ever higher, resulting in a mad dash to rack up points before the timer runs down.

Most challenging are the head to head Gymkhana events, where you take on the mighty Ken Block in a trick-filled arena course. The turns are tighter, the jumps larger, and the pyrotechnics even wilder. But while the bright, neon fireworks and explosive confetti cannons certainly add excitement to the proceedings, it’s the process of improving bit by bit, drawing ever closer to success and perfection that makes such events so entertaining and incredibly addictive.

But there’s another side to Dirt Showdown, one that sheds the skill for mindless and supremely satisfying displays of destruction: Demolition events. The licensed cars are ditched in favour of made-up machines that are turned into crumpled heaps of scrap as you’re launched into the centre of an arena to ram, slam, and boost your way into opponents, doing everything you can to whittle down their health bars and to score points. Enclosed arenas give you barriers to ram them against, while open arenas mean mistimed boosts send you spiralling out of control onto the surrounding sandy ground.

It’s all very dramatic, and heaps of fun, despite the incredibly cheesy and quickly grating quips from the commentator. There’s a sick satisfaction to be had from tearing into cars and ripping off bumpers, but of course, your competitors can do the same to you. And when a whole gang of them are chasing after you at once in Hard Target events, it becomes a tense battle for survival. There are more conventional events on offer, such as Lap Attack, Eliminator, and Domination races. But while cleverly designed figure-of-eight circuits and ramp-filled tracks keep the racing firmly in the arcade, these events are unremarkable when compared to the bombast of Gymkhana or the all-out carnage of Demolition.

A mix of all events makes up the Showdown Tour career mode. There are four stages to play through, each consisting of 15 events that take you on a tour of the world. There are the colourful lights and sharp corners of Tokyo; the dusty roads and sweeping drifts of the Baja California circuits; the slippery snow-covered slopes of Colorado; and the wide-open industrial spaces of Battersea. All are beautifully presented, showcasing the typically great circuit design that Codemasters is famed for. The ability to purchase new cars or upgrade their basic stats such as power and handling using money you earn is a nice incentive to progress, but without a narrative or character to develop, it can get a little tiresome.

The events really come into their own when you take them online or compete via two-player split-screen. Smashing AI opponents is one thing, but when it’s your friend’s car you’ve turned into scrap, that’s a whole other level of satisfaction. Even the race events are more enjoyable, thanks to the inevitable smashing of opponents’ cars as you drive around a circuit. There’s also the option to split into teams, thrusting you and seven other players into epic battles for destruction domination. It all comes together brilliantly, giving you the feeling that perhaps Showdown always was intended to be an online experience, even if the single-player is hardly a rush job.

That said, Showdown has one more single-player trick up its sleeve in the form of Joyride. Its large, free-roaming levels offer up a range of fun quick-fire missions for you to complete. Some are in the form of tricks like performing death-defying leaps or tight drifts. Others are speed challenges where you race through tight circuits as quickly as possible. There are hidden Showdown icons to collect too. With all there is to do, you can spend lots of time simply enjoying a drive around a Joyride level and picking off missions. Plus, your scores and times can be sent over to friends as challenges for them to complete, which is a nice touch.

Competing with friends really is the best way to enjoy Dirt Showdown. Sure, the single-player campaign is pleasant enough, but it’s nothing compared to the joy of online destruction and the satisfaction of nailing those most impressive of skilful driving tricks in front of an audience. And when it’s delivered via some of the smoothest and most stunning visuals in the racing genre, it’s easy to see how you can get lost for hours in Showdown’s bombastic world. If you’re looking for the next great rally simulator, you won’t find it here. But to ignore Dirt Showdown because of its arcade styling would be to deny yourself one of the most satisfying of pleasures: that of mindless, over-the-top, and–above all–deliciously addictive destruction.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Weekend Deals: Civilization V, Dirt, and L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

It’s an unexciting week for deals all around which isn’t good news for those who can’t afford to purchase any of the new, high-quality games coming out this month. It’s not the best of times to find a cheap distraction.

That’s not to say there isn’t anything worth your money. Amazon is offering the Men of War Collection for $ 10, a purchase that will get you a credit to purchase a digital version of Men of War: Vietnam for $ 10. If that’s not your thing, Amazon also has the digital PC versions of Battlefield 3 for $ 50.99, Civilization V: Game of the Year Edition for $ 39.99, and L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition for $ 39.99.

1UP NEWS RSS feed

Japan Review Check: Black Rock Shooter, DiRT 3



A selection of the most interesting games due to hit Japan next week, courtesy the review pages of Famitsu magazine:

– Black Rock Shooter: The Game (9/8/8/8, 33 points): The PSP action shooter, which got its start from a popular character seen around Japanese art sites, does remarkably well considering (or, maybe, because of) its nerdy roots. “The battles are simple but speedy, demanding snap decisions on your party,” Famitsu wrote. “They’re well-balanced, too, getting deeper as you combine your skills together. The story’s a must-see, too, a perfect mix of humor and seriousness.”

“It’s basically a character-focused game,” another writer admitted, “but the world and gameplay system are both well made nonetheless. There’s not much outside the linear path the game takes, but it’s speedy and well-balanced, especially for a game like this.”

1UP NEWS RSS feed

PlayStation 3 | Dirt 3 Review

When DiRT 2 was released in 2009 it boasted a lengthy and varied career mode, numerous multiplayer options, and uniformly excellent presentation. Its sequel loses none of those things and also makes some great additions to the formula. Split-screen multiplayer is now an option, there are more vehicle classes to choose from, gymkhana events and snowy conditions pose fresh challenges, and new multiplayer modes put interesting automotive spins on some first-person shooter favorites. Dirt 3 brings a lot of superb content to the table, and because it offers a plethora of customizable difficulty settings and assists, newcomers and veterans alike can enjoy its excellent off-road action.

Gymkhana events are a great addition to the Dirt formula.

Regardless of which difficulty level you play at and whether or not you take advantage of stability and braking assists, Dirt 3 handles like a dream. There are dozens of great-looking modern and vintage vehicles in the garage, and you race them on all manner of surfaces and in changing weather conditions, but getting behind the wheel of one that you haven’t driven before is never a problem. The controls are responsive, and while it’s certainly possible to mess up so spectacularly that your ride loses panels and becomes deformed to the point that it’s unrecognizable, there are gameplay mechanics in place that ensure you don’t feel the need to hold anything back. Even as you hurtle along narrow dirt trails and around icy hairpins, Dirt 3’s cars, trucks, and buggies encourage you to push them harder by using excellent audio and rumble feedback to let you know that you’re not quite on the edge yet.

Demanding new gymkhana events in which you’re challenged to perform tricks in specially designed arenas reinforce how excellent Dirt 3’s controls are. In these exciting sessions you score points for crashing through carefully positioned destructible blocks, and for performing donuts, spins, slides, and jumps. String different tricks together to get the crowd pumped, and you build up a score multiplier; display anything other than masterful control by colliding with something, and your multiplier goes down. It’s not entirely dissimilar to performing combos in a skateboarding game, except that the tricks are significantly less complex. Stringing successful tricks together against the clock is still plenty challenging, though, and as a result, gymkhanas are great practice for other events. Once you can make a car dance around a cone and slide at speed through a gate or underneath a truck, getting it around a corner in a race doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Every event in Dirt 3, whether it be a point-to-point rally through a Kenyan desert, a head-to-head race in the Aspen snow, or a circuit-based rallycross event that weaves in and out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, demands precise driving. You can get away with a few collisions here and there, particularly if you take advantage of the five flashbacks at your disposal to correct your mistakes, and it’s entirely possible that you might find finishing in first place too easy if you’re an experienced player. Turn off some of the assists, crank up the difficulty, and switch from cosmetic damage to realistic damage, though, and you’ll find that Dirt 3 is exactly as challenging as you want it to be. At the other end of the scale, if you’re new to off-road racing and looking for a way into the genre, Dirt 3 has you covered. In addition to the aforementioned assists and other options, it’s the first game in the series to offer a dynamic racing line like those seen in both the Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo series.

That racing line can be invaluable as you learn your way around Dirt 3’s 100-plus circuits and stages; position yourself poorly as you take a turn or jump over a crest, and you might make a subsequent corner unnecessarily difficult. Also invaluable in the events where she’s available is real-life co-driver Jen Horsey, who always delivers the information you need in a clear, concise, and timely fashion. (A male alternative is also available, as is an option to have either co-driver use more complex and detailed language.) If you listen to her carefully, rally stages that wind through the forests of Finland or around the lakes of Michigan don’t seem nearly as daunting. You still won’t have much time to admire the impressive scenery or to contemplate the foolhardy fans that occasionally run across the track ahead of you, but you’re far less likely to wrap your car around a tree or crash through a barrier and into the crowd.

Many of the events in Dirt 3’s lengthy Dirt Tour career mode span multiple back-to-back races at the same location, but the game does an excellent job of keeping the action from feeling stale. After finishing the first of three rallycross events in dry conditions, for example, you might race the next during a grip-changing downpour and then the final in wet conditions after the rain clouds have passed and your visibility is improved. And in point-to-point rallies, racing the same stages in different directions can make for a very different experience, especially if you’re under a desert sun one stage and having to use your headlights to cut through the black of night the next. Also lending variety to your career is that you invariably have several different events to choose from. The dozens of events that compose the Dirt Tour are organized into four seasons that must be completed in order, but your progress through each season is anything but linear, and you always have the option to return to events that you want to replay in an attempt to improve upon your position or best score/time.

GameSpot’s Reviews

PC | DiRT 3 Review

When DiRT 2 was released in 2009 it boasted a lengthy and varied career mode, numerous multiplayer options, and uniformly excellent presentation. Its sequel loses none of those things and also makes some great additions to the formula. Split-screen multiplayer with support for two controllers is now an option, there are more vehicle classes to choose from, gymkhana events and snowy conditions pose fresh challenges, and new multiplayer modes put interesting automotive spins on some first-person shooter favorites. Dirt 3 brings a lot of superb content to the table, and because it offers a plethora of customizable difficulty settings and assists, newcomers and veterans alike can enjoy its excellent off-road action.

Gymkhana events are a great addition to the Dirt formula.

Regardless of which difficulty level you play at and whether or not you take advantage of stability and braking assists, Dirt 3 handles like a dream. There are dozens of great-looking modern and vintage vehicles in the garage, and you race them on all manner of surfaces and in changing weather conditions, but getting behind the wheel of one that you haven’t driven before is never a problem. The controls are responsive, and while it’s certainly possible to mess up so spectacularly that your ride loses panels and becomes deformed to the point that it’s unrecognizable, there are gameplay mechanics in place that ensure you don’t feel the need to hold anything back. Even as you hurtle along narrow dirt trails and around icy hairpins, Dirt 3’s cars, trucks, and buggies encourage you to push them harder by using excellent audio and rumble feedback to let you know that you’re not quite on the edge yet.

Demanding new gymkhana events in which you’re challenged to perform tricks in specially designed arenas reinforce how excellent Dirt 3’s controls are. In these exciting sessions you score points for crashing through carefully positioned destructible blocks, and for performing donuts, spins, slides, and jumps. String different tricks together to get the crowd pumped, and you build up a score multiplier; display anything other than masterful control by colliding with something, and your multiplier goes down. It’s not entirely dissimilar to performing combos in a skateboarding game, except that the tricks are significantly less complex. Stringing successful tricks together against the clock is still plenty challenging, though, and as a result, gymkhanas are great practice for other events. Once you can make a car dance around a cone and slide at speed through a gate or underneath a truck, getting it around a corner in a race doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Every event in Dirt 3, whether it be a point-to-point rally through a Kenyan desert, a head-to-head race in the Aspen snow, or a circuit-based rallycross event that weaves in and out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, demands precise driving. You can get away with a few collisions here and there, particularly if you take advantage of the five flashbacks at your disposal to correct your mistakes, and it’s entirely possible that you might find finishing in first place too easy if you’re an experienced player. Turn off some of the assists, crank up the difficulty, and switch from cosmetic damage to realistic damage, though, and you’ll find that Dirt 3 is exactly as challenging as you want it to be. At the other end of the scale, if you’re new to off-road racing and looking for a way into the genre, Dirt 3 has you covered. In addition to the aforementioned assists and other options, it’s the first game in the series to offer a dynamic racing line like those seen in both the Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo series on consoles.

That racing line can be invaluable as you learn your way around Dirt 3’s 100-plus circuits and stages; position yourself poorly as you take a turn or jump over a crest, and you might make a subsequent corner unnecessarily difficult. Also invaluable in the events where she’s available is real-life co-driver Jen Horsey, who always delivers the information you need in a clear, concise, and timely fashion. (A male alternative is also available, as is an option to have either co-driver use more complex and detailed language.) If you listen to her carefully, rally stages that wind through the forests of Finland or around the lakes of Michigan don’t seem nearly as daunting. You still won’t have much time to admire the impressive scenery or to contemplate the foolhardy fans that occasionally run across the track ahead of you, but you’re far less likely to wrap your car around a tree or crash through a barrier and into the crowd.

Many of the events in Dirt 3’s lengthy Dirt Tour career mode span multiple back-to-back races at the same location, but the game does an excellent job of keeping the action from feeling stale. After finishing the first of three rallycross events in dry conditions, for example, you might race the next during a grip-changing downpour and then the final in wet conditions after the rain clouds have passed and your visibility is improved. And in point-to-point rallies, racing the same stages in different directions can make for a very different experience, especially if you’re under a desert sun one stage and having to use your headlights to cut through the black of night the next. Also lending variety to your career is that you invariably have several different events to choose from. The dozens of events that compose the Dirt Tour are organized into four seasons that must be completed in order, but your progress through each season is anything but linear, and you always have the option to return to events that you want to replay in an attempt to improve upon your position or best score/time.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Xbox 360 | DiRT 3 Review

When Dirt 2 was released in 2009 it boasted a lengthy and varied career mode, numerous multiplayer options, and uniformly excellent presentation. Its sequel loses none of those things and also makes some great additions to the formula. Split-screen multiplayer is now an option, there are more vehicle classes to choose from, gymkhana events and snowy conditions pose fresh challenges, and new multiplayer modes put interesting automotive spins on some first-person shooter favorites. Dirt 3 brings a lot of superb content to the table, and because it offers a plethora of customizable difficulty settings and assists, newcomers and veterans alike can enjoy its excellent off-road action.

The Racing line assist is one of many that’s included for newcomers to off-road racing.

Regardless of which difficulty level you play at and whether or not you take advantage of stability and braking assists, Dirt 3 handles like a dream. There are dozens of great-looking modern and vintage vehicles in the garage, and you race them on all manner of surfaces and in changing weather conditions, but getting behind the wheel of one that you haven’t driven before is never a problem. The controls are responsive, and while it’s certainly possible to mess up so spectacularly that your ride loses panels and becomes deformed to the point that it’s unrecognizable, there are gameplay mechanics in place that ensure you don’t feel the need to hold anything back. Even as you hurtle along narrow dirt trails and around icy hairpins, Dirt 3’s cars, trucks, and buggies encourage you to push them harder by using excellent audio and rumble feedback to let you know that you’re not quite on the edge yet.

Demanding new gymkhana events in which you’re challenged to perform tricks in specially designed arenas reinforce how excellent Dirt 3’s controls are. In these exciting sessions you score points for crashing through carefully positioned destructible blocks, and for performing donuts, spins, slides, and jumps. String different tricks together to get the crowd pumped, and you build up a score multiplier; display anything other than masterful control by colliding with something, and your multiplier goes down. It’s not entirely dissimilar to performing combos in a skateboarding game, except that the tricks are significantly less complex. Stringing successful tricks together against the clock is still plenty challenging, though, and as a result, gymkhanas are great practice for other events. Once you can make a car dance around a cone and slide at speed through a gate or underneath a truck, getting it around a corner in a race doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Every event in Dirt 3, whether it be a point-to-point rally through a Kenyan desert, a head-to-head race in the Aspen snow, or a circuit-based rallycross event that weaves in and out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, demands precise driving. You can get away with a few collisions here and there, particularly if you take advantage of the five flashbacks at your disposal to correct your mistakes, and it’s entirely possible that you might find finishing in first place too easy if you’re an experienced player. Turn off some of the assists, crank up the difficulty, and switch from cosmetic damage to realistic damage, though, and you’ll find that Dirt 3 is exactly as challenging as you want it to be. At the other end of the scale, if you’re new to off-road racing and looking for a way into the genre, Dirt 3 has you covered. In addition to the aforementioned assists and other options, it’s the first game in the series to offer a dynamic racing line like those seen in both the Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo series.

That racing line can be invaluable as you learn your way around Dirt 3’s 100-plus circuits and stages; position yourself poorly as you take a turn or jump over a crest, and you might make a subsequent corner unnecessarily difficult. Also invaluable in the events where she’s available is real-life co-driver Jen Horsey, who always delivers the information you need in a clear, concise, and timely fashion. (A male alternative is also available, as is an option to have either co-driver use more complex and detailed language.) If you listen to her carefully, rally stages that wind through the forests of Finland or around the lakes of Michigan don’t seem nearly as daunting. You still won’t have much time to admire the impressive scenery or to contemplate the foolhardy fans that occasionally run across the track ahead of you, but you’re far less likely to wrap your car around a tree or crash through a barrier and into the crowd.

Many of the events in Dirt 3’s lengthy Dirt Tour career mode span multiple back-to-back races at the same location, but the game does an excellent job of keeping the action from feeling stale. After finishing the first of three rallycross events in dry conditions, for example, you might race the next during a grip-changing downpour and then the final in wet conditions after the rain clouds have passed and your visibility is improved. And in point-to-point rallies, racing the same stages in different directions can make for a very different experience, especially if you’re under a desert sun one stage and having to use your headlights to cut through the black of night the next. Also lending variety to your career is that you invariably have several different events to choose from. The dozens of events that compose the Dirt Tour are organized into four seasons that must be completed in order, but your progress through each season is anything but linear, and you always have the option to return to events that you want to replay in an attempt to improve upon your position or best score/time.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Alex Sink pops two more ads against Rick Scott, relying on media to dish the dirt

another featuring Sink comparing her business record with Republican Rick Scott’s . The ad called “Trust” snatches quotes from television reports on Columbia/HCA’s “medicare fraud.” It quotes a television interview: “He took the fifth amendment 75
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