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Corporate Leadership Development for the Digital Age: Adapting to New Technologies and Disruptive Trends

2023.05.29 13:13 pragatileader Corporate Leadership Development for the Digital Age: Adapting to New Technologies and Disruptive Trends

The world of business is constantly evolving, and so are the technologies and trends that shape it. In this fast-paced digital age, corporate leadership development programs must adapt to new technologies and disruptive trends to remain relevant and effective. In this blog, we will discuss the best practices for corporate leadership development in the digital age and how to adapt to new technologies and disruptive trends.
The Importance of Corporate Leadership Development
What is Corporate Leadership Development?
Corporate Leadership Development is a process that helps organizations to identify and develop leaders within their ranks. It is essential for organizations to have a strong leadership pipeline to ensure long-term success.
Why is Corporate Leadership Development important?
Best Practices for Corporate Leadership Development Programs
Start with a clear goal
A clear goal is essential to the success of any corporate leadership development program. The goal should be aligned with the overall business strategy and should be measurable.
Customize the program to the organization's needs
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for corporate leadership development programs. The program should be customized to the organization's needs, taking into account its culture, values, and goals.
Focus on experiential learning
Experiential learning is a highly effective method for leadership development. It involves hands-on learning experiences that allow participants to apply their skills in real-world situations.
Include digital technologies
Digital technologies should be an integral part of any corporate leadership development program. They can be used to facilitate learning, track progress, and provide feedback.
Encourage collaboration and networking
Collaboration and networking are important components of any leadership development program. They allow participants to learn from each other and build relationships that can be valuable in the future.
Adapting to New Technologies and Disruptive Trends
The impact of new technologies and disruptive trends
New technologies and disruptive trends can have a significant impact on the business world. They can create new opportunities and challenges that require leaders to adapt and evolve.
Incorporating new technologies into leadership development programs
New technologies should be incorporated into leadership development programs to ensure that leaders are prepared for the digital age. Some examples of technologies that can be used include:
Preparing leaders for disruptive trends
Disruptive trends can be difficult to predict, but leaders should be prepared to deal with them when they arise. Leadership development programs should include training on topics such as:
Corporate leadership development programs must adapt to new technologies and disruptive trends to remain relevant and effective in the digital age. By customizing the program to the organization's needs, focusing on experiential learning, incorporating digital technologies, and preparing leaders for disruptive trends, organizations can ensure that they have a strong leadership pipeline for long-term success.
If you are looking for a corporate leadership development partner that can help you navigate the challenges of the digital age, Pragati Leadership is here to help. With our expertise in leadership development and cutting-edge technologies, we can help you develop the leaders of tomorrow. Get in touch with us now.
submitted by pragatileader to u/pragatileader [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:09 APFFN How I created a free AI Coach for Trail Runners and Ultrarunners - and how you can try it out

Hey, fellow trail & ultra runners!
I’m super excited to tell you about a project I’ve been working on for the past few months: it’s a free AI running coach called 8020UltraCoach that I designed specifically for trail runners and ultrarunners like us. It’s finally done, and I want you to be the first ones to test it out!
Full disclaimer: This is a fun/passion project, I'm not commercially affiliated with the platform I developed the AI coach on, and I'm not making money nor intending to make money with this.
My background: I’m a trail runner on my journey to becoming an ultra runner, and an AI enthusiast. I got into running in 2018, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and decided to change my lifestyle. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with running and everything related to it. I’ve read tons of books, listened to podcasts, and learned from this amazing Reddit community (and a few others). I’ve also been using TrainAsONE to get personalized training plans that suit my trail running, ultra running, and endurance goals. And of course, I’m a data nerd, so I track everything with my Garmin Fenix 6X Pro, Polar H9 heart rate strap, and Stryd power meter.
Anyway, I've poured my passion for running into creating this AI coach that specializes in trail running and ultrarunning. Drawing inspiration from the experiences of renowned coaches and my own research, I've crafted a unique approach that blends the best of science and personal insights. This AI coach has been fine-tuned to optimize your training, pushing you towards your running goals while keeping you injury-free and motivated.
What sets this coach apart is its ability to adapt to your needs and fitness level. Whether you're a seasoned ultrarunner or a road runner curious about trail running, this coach has got you covered. It embraces the principles of 80/20 running, ensuring you strike the right balance between intensity and recovery, so you can make progress without burning out.
In my experience, it's capable of offering concrete advice about training plans, nutritional advice, and to answer very specific questions (some of which were burning in my mind since forever, lol) with sensible facts. But the sky is the limit, try it out and let us know how it goes.
So, fellow runners, whether you're just curious or are looking to step up your game and tap into the power of cutting-edge technology, join me on this running journey with the AI coach. Let's support each other, push our limits, and celebrate the joy of running!
To access the AI 8020UltraCoach you need to use the Poe platform and to register for free there. Then, just visit the following page:
I hope it's useful for you too, and I'd love to hear your feedback. The 8020UltraCoach is a work in progress, so I'm looking forward to improving it further. Cheers!
tl;dr: I've created an AI coach tailored for trail runners called 8020UltraCoach. It's available for free. If you want to try it out and give feedback, comment below.
submitted by APFFN to trailrunning [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:09 kukusek Loan report 29.05. 22-23 Summary. Not yet championship edition.

Okaaay, so we're still shaking after the game, and already shaking before next season. Time to wrap things up.
Let's start with the Ladies team, they finished 6th and deserve some recognition. I don't follow WSL much, so i'll help myself with BBC Sport Emma Sanders quote:
"Their form dipped in the final few months and they still lack consistency but given they were fighting relegation last year, this can be viewed as a very successful campaign and they have solid foundations to build on. "
Also worth noting, our Women's team played their last game away at City, were losing 3:0 but still managed to scare them by going 3:2, knowing these 3 points don't matter to our place in the table. Their lost their last game of the season but put up a fair fight.
First full season under Leighton Baines ended at 4th place in the Under-18 Premier League North.
“For our lads, the development comes before the winning,” he said. “The winning still has to matter because they’re getting older and closer to the real game. We create that environment on a Saturday as balanced as we can. We work on certain things during the week and we’re willing to practise them on the weekend, even if it may be to a detriment of the potential outcome.
“At the same time, the kids play football, and they want to win. We’re not trying to create an overly sanitised environment where they don’t know how to win and where they don’t know how to play under pressure. We find a balance of those two things. What I’ve been blessed with this year, is that the lads have built a really strong bond and team spirit. I think that’s been reflected in some of those comeback performances and the ability to dig in." - Leighton words on his first coaching season.
Since last report - Two draws against MU, draw against Newcastle, and a home win vs Stoke.
Also our u19 team played at Nawi Mumbai PL Next gen cup last two weeks, in which their ended third in their group and lost their playoff game to go further. Some games were played in 37'C heat.
Youngsters finished eight in the PL2 _ Division 1. What is more impressive, they managed to get to quarterfinals in the PL International Cup, beaten by the final winners PSV Eindhoven U21, and to 1/16 in both PL Cup and EFL Trophy(beaten by Senior Lincoln team). That was first Paul Tait season as U21 coach. Results went downwards after the january transfer window, when Tom Cannon went on loan, and Joe Anderson and Seb Quirk joined Sunderland and Accrington Stanley on permament transfers. Some words from the coach:
“It gave the boys a lot of confidence they could go on and play men’s football,” he explained. “The likes of Tom Cannon, Joe Anderson and Seb Quirk all got good moves
“Tom played against these experienced players in the Papa John’s and then went on to have a really successful loan spell at Preston North End.”
“It was a huge transition between January and March," he added. "Players went out and we needed replacements, but I felt we found our feet again towards the end of the season.
“It’s not easy for some of the Under-18s transitioning through. They can find the jump hard, but they’ve done well. We’ve had lads like Owen Barker, Halid Djankpata and Roman Dixon coming through and impressing.
“Roman joined us in the past few weeks and knows the level that is required now. It’s important for these players to experience it. Ishe Samuels-Smith has been with us since the start and has been brilliant, as have Katia Kouyate and Francis Okoronkwo.”
Since last loan report: Win and loss against Leicester, and Loss away vs Arsenal.
João Virgínia (SC Cambuur) - Last time on the bench - 21.04 - since then probably they were sure of the relegation and preferred their own players. Joao last game played was 21.01 and it was a bad one. Then he was benched, and changing of manager didn't help him either. Even when new first choice keeper made multiple blunders, manager kept with him. Contracted till 2024
Andre Gomes (Lille OSC) - He found his place and a manager that uses him well. Lille sits 4th which grants them Europe league, with one round to play next week. They have to win with already relegated Troyes, otherwise they might fall even to 6th. Andre Played 5 matches from the 7 Lille played since last report - 3 wins and 2 draw. One loss and win without Andre. To end it on a happy note, here are some highlights, with two goals as beautiful as Andre is. Recommended ! Contracted till 2024
https://youtu.be/MQMj43reBmM - Andre bangers!
Jarrad Branthwaite (PSV Eindhoven) - He's the hope for us, won the Cup, and ended second with PSV Eindhoven. After a rough start he became a natural starter. PSV would love to keep him, but they would have to break all the banks in Netherland. Contracted till 2025
Since last report: 7 games, all with Jarrad. 6 wins, 1 draw against Heerenveen, PSV last home game(That wasn't a great game by Jarrad, but that happens).
https://youtu.be/g3hrvYMxB4M - Cup Final with Jarrad OG. Keeping Ajax in check was never meant to be easy. Love his sprint around 1:25 to provide support though.
Niels Nkounkou (Saint-Etienne) - That's our Second French league hot cake, and definitely not a fullback. ASSE is 10th with one game to go, and still can finish form 12 to 6th. They were dancing with relegation zone when he came there. I wonder what comes next for this guy. 6 goals 7 assists since january.
https://youtu.be/u1F3QCWb9R8 - assist vs Guingamp
https://youtu.be/Rhso0dEBgnM - goal Vs Metz
Dele Alli (Beşiktaş JK) - Last involvement in football - 26.02 match against Antalayaspor. For more news visit Celebrities rumours section of some shady journo outlet. Contracted till 2024. Ughh
Jean-Philipe Gbamin (Trabzonspor) - At least he's still involved in football, played in 4th of 5 matches since the last report. Always subbed on in the last 20 minutes. Two rounds to go. No idea about what to do with guy, but at least he's on the field sometimes. Contracted till 2024
Thomas Cannon (Preston North End) - After a great spell, with a lot of goals scored, there comes a slump. From 5 last games, PNE lost 4, and drew 1. Tom scored one goal in this time, against Swansea, but it meant nothing in the end (4:2 loss). PNE buried the small chance it had of getting to playoffs and finished 12th. 8 goals and 1 assist since January. His contract is valid till 2025.
https://youtu.be/n785ACurXI0 - goal against Swansea
Lewis Dobbin (Derby County) - Derby really lost their way at the end and landed in 7th place. Dobbin always played the role of a fresh energy sub, but didn't get an goal or an assist since the end of february. This season numbers: 3 goals, 1 penalty won, 4 assists. + one goal in a EFL Trophy, and one assist in a cup. He has a contract till 2025.
Lewis Warrington (Fleetwood Town) - 2 Wins, 2 losses, one draw since last report, all with Lewis playing. In terms of game time per season - clear winner, he missed only a few games. As a midfielder playing under Scott Brown, he surely learned something. Only one assist to his name, but also no red cards and no errors, and he mostly plays as the last midfielder, screening defence. Fleetwood Town ended season in 13th place. He could find a loan in the championship next year. Contracted till 2024
Ryan Astley (Accrington Stanley) - Haven't played since february, kept out by injuries. When healthy, played all the games he could. Accrington Stanley are relegated to League Two now, but i can see them, or even some League One club wanting him to play if healthy. He's out of contract this summer. Seb Quirk joined him and penned a deal with AS this january.
Lewis Gibson (Bristol Rovers) - I'm happy to finally see this kid play some football without injury. When he showed his quality, he quickly became a starter for BR, playing as CB and occasionally as LB. They ended 17th(5 losses and 2 draws since last report), and could sign him permamently as he's out of contract this summer. Surely some League One club will go for him.
Tyler Onyango (Forest Green Rovers) - He had to fight for his place during the Burton Albion loan, and played not regularly under Dino. Then he(with Everton club) took a gamble and sent him to Forest Green Rovers, to play under Big Dunc he knew very well. No one could have predicted the injury that kept him out after playing just 3 games for the Green team. Fun fact - Burton Albion fought against relegation when he was there, and they ended 15th, but Forest Green Rovers ended being relegated from the last place. He's 20y.o. contracted till 2025.
Harry Tyrer (Chester) - The National League North Team of the Season 2022/23
"The Everton loanee has had quite the season down CH1. Recruited last summer on a season-long deal, Tyrer was quick to show his key attributes.
His dominance inside the box was clear for all to see, as was his remarkable shot stopping. His distribution isn’t bad either – that assist for Kurt Willoughby’s winner at home to Bradford (PA) springs to mind!
A fan favourite from day one, his signature dive into the Chester fans after away victories became a highlight on the road. A record of 21 clean sheets in his 55 appearances isn’t bad either.
Harry evidently has a bright future in the game and has been a credit to the Blues both on and off the pitch – he will always be fondly remembered at the Deva." - Chester FC
Chester sadly lost against Brackley 0:1 in the promotion playoffs.
Harry has contract with the club till 2025
Thank You guys. Sorry for being chaotic, but with the relegation battle going on i couldn't focus on doing these regularly. It's gonna be a hard next season, but i look forward to how our academy will look like next year as changes made under Thelwell should be more evident.
submitted by kukusek to Everton [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:08 mallikmallu Full Stack Vs. Front-end Vs. Back-end Development: Which One Should You Pursue?

Web development is a profession where innovation and creativity combine to create remarkable digital experiences. Whether you're an experienced programmer or a curious beginner, you've probably come across the terms "full stack," "front-end," and "back-end" development. But what do they mean, and which one should you pursue?
In this blog, we delve into the realms of Full Stack, Front-end, and Back-end Development, guiding you through their distinct domains. Uncover the secrets and intricacies of each path, and gain the knowledge to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals. Get ready to unleash your potential and embark on a thrilling journey that will shape your future in the ever-evolving web development landscape. Let’s dive in.

Web Development – The Hottest IT Career

Web development is a field that involves creating websites with attention to their appearance, usability, and features. It includes different sub-domains, such as front-end, back-end, and full-stack development, each requiring specific skills.
Further, the web development sector is poised for significant growth in the coming years, according to Job Outlook statistics. With the number of workers projected to increase from 21,700 in 2020 to 27,100 by 2025, it presents a promising and stable career path within the ICT industry. This surge in opportunities makes web development an interesting choice for aspiring professionals seeking a rewarding and secure future.
Moreover, job stability is a key factor that makes web development an attractive career choice. As the demand for web applications and websites continues to surge, professionals in this domain remain highly sought after by businesses across industries. With the constant evolution of technology and the growing reliance on digital platforms, web developers play an integral role in shaping the online landscape and driving businesses forward.
If you're considering a career in web development, it's important to understand the responsibilities of each sub-domains, top skills and tools every web developer should master to enhance your chances of succeeding. So let’s begin by comparing the Full stack Vs. Front-end Vs. Back-end Development.

Full stack Vs. Front-end Vs. Back-end – The Comparison

  1. Front-End Development
Front-end development focuses on the user-facing part of a website or web application. It involves designing and implementing the visual and interactive elements that users interact with directly.
  1. Back-end Development
Back-end developers primarily deal with the server side of web development.
  1. Full Stack Development
Full stack development refers to the practice of working on both the front-end and back-end of a web application. Full-stack developers are well-versed in multiple programming languages and frameworks, allowing them to handle client-side (front-end) and server-side (back-end) development tasks.


Skills and Technologies

  1. Full-stack developers possess a varied skill set, including front-end and back-end technologies. Generally, they are proficient in the following:
  1. Front-end developers who work on client-side component need:
  1. On the flip side, Back-end developers who focus on server-side components require:

Career Path and Opportunities

Salary Outlook

While salaries in web development can be lucrative, the earning potential varies among the different professions. On average, back-end developers earn around $115,437 annually, front-end developers make approximately $101,876 yearly, and full-stack developers have an average salary of $101,612 annually.
Now, let's look at how front-end, back-end, and full-stack development are similar.

Full Stack Vs. Front-end Vs. Back-end – How are they Similar?

While these specializations have unique aspects, they also share similarities that make them interconnected in the world of web development.
  1. Core Web Technologies:
Front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers all rely on core web technologies. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript form the foundation of web development and are essential skills for all three specializations. Understanding these technologies is crucial for building interactive and visually appealing websites and applications.
  1. Importance of User Experience (UX):
While front-end developers are the primary custodians of user experience, back-end, and full-stack developers also play a crucial role in shaping it. Regardless of your specialization, understanding how users interact with the application and creating a seamless, intuitive experience is paramount. It's about putting yourself in the user's shoes, empathizing with their needs, and crafting a digital journey that keeps them engaged and delighted.
  1. Continuous Learning:
Web development is a dynamic realm that constantly evolves, introducing new frameworks, languages, and techniques. Regardless of specialization, continuous learning is a superpower you must embrace. So, stay curious, explore emerging technologies, and stay updated with the latest trends.
  1. Problem-Solving Mindset:
Front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers require strong problem-solving skills. They encounter challenges specific to their specialization, such as debugging front-end code, optimizing database queries, or ensuring secure data handling. The ability to analyze issues, identify solutions, and implement effective strategies is a shared trait among successful developers.
  1. Understanding User Experience:
Full Stack Vs. Front-end Vs. Back-end Development: Which One Should You Pursue?
While front-end development primarily focuses on user experience, back-end, and full-stack developers must also consider how users interact with the application. All three roles ensure a smooth and intuitive user experience, whether through front-end design, efficient back-end logic, or seamless integration of front-end and back-end components.
Although front-end, back-end, and full-stack development have unique areas of expertise and focus, these shared aspects show the interconnected nature of web development and the importance of collaboration and a holistic approach to delivering successful digital solutions.

Can I Transition From One Specialization To Another Later In My Career?

It's common for developers to transition between specializations as their skills and interests evolve. For example, a front-end developer might decide to learn back-end technologies to become a full-stack developer, or a back-end developer might develop front-end skills to enhance their understanding of the complete development process.
The key is to keep learning and expanding your skill set over time. The more versatile you become, the more opportunities you'll have to explore different roles and projects.

So Which one Should you pursue?

The choice between Frontend, Backend, or Full Stack specialization is not merely a decision about the tools and technologies you will employ. It shows your commitment to excellence, insatiable thirst for knowledge, and unwavering dedication to designing amazing digital experiences.
Remember, the world of web development is an ever-evolving realm where new frameworks emerge, technologies advance, and user expectations soar to new heights. Embrace the spirit of continuous learning, for it is through this pursuit that you will elevate your skills, adapt to industry trends, and position yourself as a catalyst for innovation. If you are looking for good online resources to learn, Learnbay has the Best Full Stack Developer Course, which is designed in collaboration with IBM and Microsoft. Visit the site to learn more about the program.
Lastly, it is not just about Front-end, Back-end, or Full Stack. It is about having an impact, solving problems, and creating transforming experiences. So, go into the world of web development, choose a path that aligns with your goals, and let your journey serve as an incredible monument to your intelligence and innovation.
submitted by mallikmallu to FullStack [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:05 PoojaMIBI Master Ethereum Development with the Certified Ethereum Developer Program

Best Ethereum Developer Course
Are you interested in building decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain? Do you want to learn how to create smart contracts and build decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)? Look no further than the Certified Ethereum Developer Program from the Indian Blockchain Institute!
This course is designed for both beginners and experienced developers who want to become experts in Ethereum development. You will learn how to build and deploy smart contracts using Solidity, the most popular programming language for creating Ethereum-based applications. You will also learn how to work with Ethereum's various tools and technologies, including Web3.js, Truffle, and Ganache.
Get upto 50% off on joining Ethereum Developer Program https://indianblockchaininstitute.com/product/certified-ethereum-develope
The course is taught by industry experts who have years of experience in Ethereum development and blockchain technology. You'll have access to live lectures, one-on-one coaching sessions, and a supportive online community of fellow students and mentors.
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certified Ethereum developer credential, which is recognized by top employers in the blockchain industry. You'll be well-equipped to start building decentralized applications on your own or join a team of blockchain developers.
Enroll in the Certified Ethereum Developer Program from the Indian Blockchain Institute today and become a skilled Ethereum developer!
About Us:
Indian Blockchain Institute (IBI), the training division of Snapper Future Tech was founded with the primary goal of developing a productive and efficient Blockchain talent pool for the industry. With this goal in mind, IBI provides an entire ecosystem for upskilling in Blockchain through its range of training services for individuals, corporates, and academic institutions.
Contact Us:
[email protected]
[email protected]
submitted by PoojaMIBI to u/PoojaMIBI [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:00 AutoModerator Weekly “Help Me Coast FIRE!” thread. Post your detailed information for advice and mentorship on your Coast FIRE plan

For those who are new, welcome to coastFIRE! This thread is intended to be our weekly watering hole for advice, feedback and mentorship related to Coast FIRE. Please try to keep the discussion related to Coast FIRE as financialindependence has their own weekly "Help me FIRE" thread if you are more full-FIRE-inclined.
If you are new to Coast FIRE, we recommend you check out the WalletBurst Coast FIRE Calculator and this article by The Fioneers.
In this thread you can share your personal case study and ask for advice on your plan. Here are some personal data points you can share to help us help you:
Thanks all, have a great week!
submitted by AutoModerator to coastFIRE [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 13:00 AutoModerator PS5 Help and Questions Megathread Game Recommendations, Simple Questions, and Tech Support

Looking for info about M.2 SSD expansion drives? See the megathread.
Sometimes you just need help. But often times making a new post isn't needed. For the time being, around launch and perhaps in the future. We will use a single thread for helping each other out.
Before asking, we ask you to look at a few links. Some question can't be answered and only official PlayStation support can help you.
PlayStation Official
Community Help
Google and Reddit Search is also a great way to find an answer or get help. View all past help and questions threads here.
For all future help, tech support and more, we ask that you create new threads on PlayStation instead of here on PS5.
Can't decide what to play next? Is your favourite game underappreciated and more people need to play it? Need a new TV and not sure what to buy?
Share (and request) your recommendations here!
submitted by AutoModerator to PS5 [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 12:58 vsilvestrepro Updates and Call for Modders' Help - Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Mod Manager for Yuzu

Hey again, Yuzu community!
I wanted to provide you all with an exciting update on the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Mod Manager for Yuzu and share some future plans. Your support and feedback have been invaluable, and I'm thrilled to announce some new features, improved stability, and an opportunity for modders to contribute to the project's growth.
New Features and Enhanced Stability:
  1. Versioned Mod Updates: We've implemented a new feature that allows for seamless mod updates within the mod manager. Modders can now adopt a configuration file with a "version" field, ensuring that users can easily update their mods without any compatibility issues. An example of how to implement this can be found in the modmopet\mod_example repository on GitHub: mod mopet example Repository
Roadmap for the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Mod Manager for Yuzu:
  1. Merge Mods: To optimize mod loading and prevent duplicated code, we're working on introducing a feature that allows the merging of mods. This will ensure a smoother experience for all mod enthusiasts. Support of pchtxt is my first priority.
  2. Support for More Games: Our long-term goal is to expand the mod manager's compatibility beyond Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. To achieve this, we're seeking the support and collaboration of modders and the wider community. If you're a modder interested in contributing or if you have suggestions for games you'd like to see supported, please reach out and let's make it happen together.
  3. Dark Mode: A frequently requested feature, we're excited to announce that we have dark mode support in the works! Stay tuned for more information on this addition.
  4. Gamebanana Integration: We're actively exploring new providers for mods. This collaboration will broaden the range of available mods and provide an even richer modding experience.
Please share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comments below. Modders, your help in adopting the configuration file for versioned updates and supporting additional games will be crucial to our growth.
You can see changes on the TOTK mods collection here : https://github.com/HolographicWings/TOTK-Mods-collection/pull/65/files
Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm. Stay tuned for more updates and happy modding!
submitted by vsilvestrepro to yuzu [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 12:57 Finzombie The Thing in the Cracks - Part 1

By Fin
“Holy crap.” James Talbot stepped back from his handiwork. It was beautiful. It made him want to scream.
Talbot was a chemist, the modern form of an alchemist, and he’d discovered something as wondrous and terrible as the most extreme postulations of his forbearers.
This was it. The culmination of all his works. This is what he’d fought for decades for, why he’d abandoned connections with everyone he’d ever known. But now it was all worth it. He would reveal the Masterwork at the Grand Chemistry Convention. It would steal the show, and he would be revered beyond every other human being who had ever lived.
It had taken Talbot long enough to assemble the Masterwork that he’d shed the title of ‘young’, not to mention most of his non-gray hair. Although it was hard to tell whether that was from aging or from what he’d beheld in his long sojourn. He was only 45, after all, and the rest of his body still held firm from decades of outdoorsmanship.
Talbot stood before a wall, upon which was painted the most intricate design any human had ever seen. It was a diagram of… unknown things. A chart of runes, maps, and artfully painted lines. There was no text in any living language on the diagram, but the harmony within the full tapestry visually sang, imparting something unfathomable in a way that Talbot could somehow fathom. The man who’d made it, who’d studied it for 15 years, barely understood it himself. But he knew that it was the ultimate solution to the entirety of philosophy, containing the answers to every question humanity had ever seen fit to ask. It had existed in his notebook for a while, in bits and pieces, but today had been its first full assembly, and it was magnificent.
He had to keep it hidden, or someone would take it from him.
He retrieved a tarp and threw it over the wall, nailing it in at the top so it hung down to cover his designs. Just to be sure, he moved his desk to block the wall, then locked the door to his office when he left for the day. James Talbot was more excited than he had ever been, and he celebrated that night with a fireplace and a large bottle of whiskey.
Of all the people at his office to commit espionage, Talbot never would’ve suspected the night janitor. This may stem from the fact that he also never suspected the night janitor to be part of a massive secret organization dedicated to keeping humanity as ignorant as possible in matters of the Higher Order.
But no matter what Talbot suspected, Tim Willis was indeed part of this society, and after he’d entered Talbot’s office with his master key to do some routine cleaning, the obvious secrecy surrounding the wall at the back of the room worried him. So he moved the desk out of the way, lifted the tarp, and inhaled sharply.
This was bad. A tapestry of the Higher Order more complete than any he’d seen before, or any reported by the other Censors of the Agency for the Preservation of Humanity.
Willis quickly replaced the tarp and desk. As soon as he’d locked the room, he pulled out his phone and dialed the number for an Alexander Talc.
Talbot arrived the next morning with a song in his heart and a latte in his hand. The former died horribly as soon as he entered his office only to find someone sitting in his chair, and the latter died horribly as it fell from his fingers, limp in shock.
The person in question was a short, slight man who wore thick glasses and a dark gray suit. He was sitting on Talbot’s office chair, facing the now uncovered back wall with all of its eldritch calculations. Talbot’s desk had been moved to the side of the room, left askew with the tarp crumpled up on top.
As Talbot entered, the stranger spun the chair around so he was facing the chemist, a broad smile on his face. He was undeniably attractive, in a delicate sort of way.
“Ah! You must be the aspiring alchemist?” He spoke softly and cheerily, but with an unnerving edge. Talbot couldn’t identify any specific aspect of his voice that disturbed him, but upon further consideration he concluded that it was the incongruity of the situation, the warm friendliness of his tone grating against Talbot’s unease.
Talbot took a step back, shaken. “I don’t… what-”
“Quite an impressive display here. You’ve managed to glean a quite large amount of knowledge about the Higher Order, especially considering you’ve never consulted us at the APH.” He pronounced it phonetically, like Aff.
“What are you-”
Talbot heard a click from behind him, and turned to see Tim Willis, the night janitor, closing and locking his door. He could barely register the betrayal.
“Ah, yes. Tim is working for me. For us. The Agency for the Protection of Humankind really frowns upon anyone attempting to learn the Higher Order.”
Talbot, finally able to form a full sentence, asked, “What’s the Higher Order?”
“You know what it is, of course, although you may not have heard the term. It’s what we call the mechanics of the very fabric of the universe itself. The questions about ‘why are we here?’ and ‘is there a god?’ and all the stuff like that. All theoretical philosophy, basically. And you, apparently through sheer dumb luck,” He turned to admire the mural again, “have managed to find more of it than any human being ever, including us! Quite impressive. Big hand.” The man slow-clapped for Talbot. The small sweet-looking man being sarcastically condescending was jarringly incongruous.
Talbot felt a surge of anger, and it helped him produce a full sentence. “Dumb luck?!?” He advanced on the man. “My Masterwork is the product of 20 years of research and experience! This is the greatest thing anyone has ever done, and how dare you say I achieved it through dumb luck!”
The man raised his hands placatingly. “Okay, okay!” He chuckled. “Years of research, whatever. You found the Higher Order. That’s where we come in.”
“Ah. Well, you see, the reason that no one’s found the entire Higher Order is simple. It’s because we stop them.”
Talbot was incredulous. “What?! Why would you stand in the way of progress like that?!” As a scientist, the possibility that there could be anyone actively against gaining knowledge was incomprehensible to him.
The man grimaced, as though he was about to break some terrible news. “Well… there are some parts of this tapestry you’ve assembled, specifically here...” The man pointed at a small segment of the diagram, a thick horizontal line with four thin lines crossing perpendicularly that turned into five lines on the other side, “That grants access to some other planes of existence. Planes of existence that are home to some very dangerous things. And due to some logistical aspects of the Higher Order,” He gestured at another segment of the diagram entirely composed of square symbols, “if you muck about in their domain, they are able to muck about in ours. The Law of Equivalent Interference.”
“But… how would our finding answers count as ‘mucking about in their domain’? If we knew the danger, we just wouldn’t go there.”
The man was silent, then answered Talbot’s question with a question. “Tell me, Talbot. If humans discovered another dimension, do you really think they’d be able to stay out of it?”
“Fine. But then why do you have to censor the whole thing? Why not give them the benign parts that would still forward human progress by centuries?”
“Because the Higher Order is like Algebra. Or a logic puzzle from Highlights magazine. If you give someone smart enough just a few clues, they’ll eventually assemble the whole picture. Which we desperately want to avoid.”
There was a long and heavy silence.
“Ok.” Said Talbot, wrapping his head around the new information. “So the APH stops people from finding the answers to these questions so our world isn’t destroyed by Fourth Dimensional entities?”
“Exactly!” The man nodded, delighted at Talbot’s comprehension. “Well, they’re technically Fifth Dimensional. The existence of time in our reality means that this is the Fourth Dimension.”
There was another silence.
“Sorry, what was your name again?” Talbot asked.
The man looked utterly devastated. “Oh no! I can’t believe I was so rude!” He vaulted the desk and approached Talbot, stopping just short and shaking his hand. “Alexander Talc, Class 2 Censor Operative for the APH.”
“Censor as in… ?”
“Yes, I censor things. People too, if necessary.”
“So what,” Talbot asked, “You’re here to kill me?”
Talc gasped. “What?!?! No! As if we’d be so barbaric! We’re here to recruit you.”
Talbot’s eyes widened. “Wait, really?”
“Of course! You know more about the Higher Order than any human outside of the APH, and probably more than a majority of those inside of the APH. Your expertise could be vital in preventing a breach in our reality!”
“What would this job entail?”
“Well, we’d need you to fake your death, change your name, burn your research-”
Talbot recoiled.
“Now I know that sounds like a lot,” Talc backpedaled, “But allow me to let you in on a little secret.” He leaned in conspiratorially, then glanced around as though to make sure nobody was listening. Satisfied, he whispered, “The dental is off-the-charts.”
Talbot shook his head. “What happens if I don’t take the job?”
Talc winced. “Things get considerably less pleasant. I have to call in a Class 3 Purge Operative, and that’s always a hassle.”
Talbot chose not to inquire into the purpose of a ‘Purge Operative’.
Talc gently laid a hand on Talbot’s shoulder. “It’s a lot to take in, I know. How about we move to some place more hospitable and you can think it over?”
Talbot nodded, his mind elsewhere. Talc gently guided him out of the room, Willis following and closing the door behind them.
Talbot stared down into his conical paper cup, filled with water that tasted plasticy. The three men were in the lobby of Talbot’s workplace, leaning against a table adorned with donuts and a water cooler.
Talc bit into a day-old bear claw as Talbot swirled his water and considered the situation.
If he accepted the offer, he would be shipped off to another state, away from his home in Bedford, where he would join whatever on earth APH was. Talbot hated the idea of working for an agency whose entire purpose was to destroy knowledge. On the other hand, if he didn’t accept the offer, they’d likely kill him.
Purge Officer…
Would working for the APH really be so bad? Talbot liked Talc enough. Maybe they could be friends. Or… more than friends. And if the APH truly wanted Talbot to be able to suppress the Higher Order, he’d have to know the Higher Order. Which meant research. He could essentially continue on exactly as he was.
Except he would never be recognized as the genius he was. Talbot involuntarily crushed his paper cup as he realized that, if he took the offer, he’d never win a Nobel prize. He’d never present at the Grand Chemistry Convention. He’d never write a revolutionary scientific paper. He would be forgotten.
He knew what he had to do. He couldn’t say no, or he would be killed. He couldn’t accept, or he would be forgotten, which was worse. He had to escape.
But how? This was some sort of world-ruling secret agency. They probably had eyes everywhere. What could he possibly do to get away?
His eyes wandered towards the stairs. The stairs that led to his office, which held the key to every single natural law.
Talbot tossed his cup in the trash, then approached Talc.
“I think I’m ready to make my decision. But first, can I go to the restroom?”
Talc nodded. “Of course! Take all the time you need!”
Talbot nodded and jogged toward the restroom. In the tiled floor under him, he saw Willis’s warped reflection following him discreetly.
He entered the single restroom and quietly opened the window. He could see Willis’s shadow under the door as the man hovered just outside.
Talbot waited a couple seconds, then flushed the toilet, turned on the sink, and silently crept through the window. He fell a few feet to the alley below, and had to suppress a grunt.
Now what? He needed to escape, but his notebook was still upstairs. All his research was in there, and he couldn’t leave it to the APH.
The only ground level entrance to the building was the main lobby door, which was directly in Talc’s sightline. However, who said he had to enter on ground level?
Talbot’s gaze rose to the old fire escape above him. The bottom of the structure was a platform that lined up with the second floor. A ladder was folded up on the platform, an old rusty latch keeping it from reaching ground level. Talbot couldn’t reach the latch from where he was on the ground, so he looked around for a solution.
He had a bum throwing arm, so he couldn’t toss anything up to break it. Unless…
Talbot considered Talc’s words. The very mechanics of the universe itself... He felt a flare of pride as he realized how little Talc truly understood.
The sigil that granted access to the Fifth Dimension was just one of several such Seals. Over all Talbot’s years of study, those portions of the Higher Order were the most applicable. They did not just show universal aspects of reality. They represented those aspects. They were symbolic, and like all symbols, they were powerful.
They were simulacra of natural laws, and could be manipulated in order to manipulate those laws themselves. It allowed anyone who knew the Seals to weave a sort of magic, ignoring the laws of time, space, or gravity by sketching and then destroying the corresponding runes, temporarily destroying that Law’s influence over oneself. Talbot’s hypothesis was that there was a single Greater Seal for each law that controlled that law anywhere and everywhere. If that one was found and destroyed, the laws of reality would change forever.
For greater, wide-scale application, Talbot had scrawled in his notebook, The Greater Aspects must be located and manipulated.
Talbot dropped to the ground and dragged his finger through the alley gravel. He assembled the rocks into a facsimile of a tiny part of the Higher Order, one that he’d experimented with a lot. He looked around for a suitable vessel, settling on a rock. He poured all his mental energy into the stone, and used his hands to scatter the pebbles that made up the Seal of Velocity.
The rock sprang from the ground and soared upwards, clanging against the ladder before anticlimactically falling into a dumpster. From inside, Willis banged on the bathroom door and said something indistinct. Talbot’s second telekinetic toss hit the ladder before falling onto the platform itself. He broke another Seal, and his third throw smacked into the latch, splitting the rusted thing and shooting the ladder downwards.
It made a lot of noise, and Talbot could hear Willis pounding on the bathroom door inside. He seemed to be breaking it down, as Talbot heard wood split with a crunch. Talbot quickly mounted the ladder and climbed up to the platform, trying not to think about the alarming creaking sounds the old construction was making. From there, he took the stairs two at a time, spiraling up and up until he reached the sixth floor.
Six flights of stairs only had him a bit winded by the time he reached his floor. He tried the door to the inside, and found it unlocked.
Talbot entered the hallway outside his office quietly. He considered how this would play out. Willis and Talc would be storming up here at any moment. He had to move quickly.
Talbot entered his workroom, dragging his desk over to block the door. He took a moment to gaze forlornly at his Masterwork, because he would never be able to take it with him. All the same pieces and diagrams were in his notebook, but the full Masterwork was a thing of beauty, one that he would never behold again.
He snapped a picture of it with his phone. It wasn’t the same, but it’d have to do.
Talbot grabbed his notebook, its leather-bound pages bulging with decades of research. Some of the sheaves of paper stuck out at odd angles, newspaper snippets and glossy photographs glued into the most faithful companion Talbot had ever had.
Was there anything else he needed?
The door began to rattle.
Talbot grabbed a sheet of blank paper from his desk and rapidly sketched as many Seals as he could. He had an idea of how he could escape, but he needed to harness his work to do it. Using the Masterwork as a reference, he scrawled the Seal of Time, the Seal of Space, the Seal of Gravity, and, after considering it, the Seal of the Fifth Dimension.
Just in case. He thought.
With a crack, his door burst open, shoving the desk out of the way. Talc and Willis stood there, the latter looking enraged, the former strangely calm.
“Talbot, this doesn’t have to happen this way.” Talc appealed, but Talbot was done listening. He would not be forgotten. He would be immortalized, through his work.
Talbot ripped a corner off of his Seal sheet, and glanced down at the Seal of Time. With a glare at Talc, he stuck it in his mouth and began to chew.
Talbot disappeared with a pop, as Willis lunged towards where he’d just been.
Willis stopped short, then turned to Talc. He was noticeably upset at losing their quarry.
“What do we do now?”
“Well, we follow him.”
Talc approached the Masterwork. “It’s simple. I’m sure Talbot understood that time travel doesn’t work the way everyone thinks it does. Cause and Effect are inextricably linked, and cannot be put out of order. Traveling through time actually just creates another dimension, a splintered facsimile of your original where things play out differently.”
“So… to follow him do we just use the Time Sigil?”
Seal, Willis. And no. That will just create another splinter plane. Now that the reality has already been established, we need to follow him. Using this.”
Talc’s thin fingers traced the outline of another Seal, one Talbot hadn’t thought to inscribe.
“There are many ways to traverse the Multiverse.” Talc said, “Using Seals to rip open the barriers between planes is one of the simplest.”
Talc sketched down two copies of the seal, then separated the two and handed one to Willis. The two locked eyes and nodded in unison. They both rent their sheets in half and disappeared.
Talbot didn’t ‘land’, per se, but he still felt off-balance when he blinked into existence in his office. He staggered, but caught himself before he could fall. The world felt… different here.
Out of everything Talbot had discovered, Multiversal travel was his least considered. He’d been too cowardly to experiment with anything but the Space, Gravity, and Velocity Seals, so this experience was new to him. Naturally, as any scientist does when faced with something unfamiliar, he started taking notes.
Effects of Time/Universe Traversal:
–Slight nausea. Somewhat noticeable. Temporary?
–World overall feels discordant. Silence sounds different than back home. My tinnitus is in another key. Feels like I don’t belong.
–Different frequency hard-coded into every reality?
Before he could assemble an entire thesis on the underlying resonance within the multiverse, he realized with a start that he had to get out of here. Talc and WIllis were likely following him, and even if they weren’t, there were copies of them in this dimension.
Talbot had willed himself about 10 minutes back in time, and it seemed like that’d worked. His Masterwork was complete and the desk and tarp were off to the side. The trio were likely downstairs in the lobby, where Past-Talbot was thinking over the pros and cons of their offer. At least, he thought so. Time travel seemed to create a splintering reality, one that maintained consistency with his original up until the point where he showed up. There were plenty of unfamiliar worlds out there, but the Seal of Time created one quite familiar. Right now Past-Talbot-
Past-Talbot doesn’t sound right. Pretty soon it’ll be my present, then my future. How about Talbot-2?
After settling upon a name to call his double, Talbot exited his office and left through the door that led to the fire escape, in too much of a hurry to close it. He scrambled down the stairs, knocked the latch off the ladder, climbed to the ground, popped open the bathroom window, and climbed inside. Right as he got his arms through, the door opened.
Talbot-2 walked in, then stopped short as he saw himself dangling halfway through the window. Talbot put a finger to his lips, and indicated Willis-2 with his eyes. Talbot-2 silently shut the door, locking Willis-2 outside.
Talbot-2 opened his mouth to speak, but barely got out one word. “What-”
“I’m you, from the future. Well, not from your future, but from a future.”
Talbot-2’s confused expression was replaced with excitement. “So the Time Seal Worked?! Fantastic! What’s it like?!”
“I’d tell you all about it, but I’m currently stuck in a bathroom window and being hunted down by two government agents. Although I don’t actually know if they work for the government…”
Talbot-2 pulled him through the window into the bathroom. “Sorry.”
Once he was in, Talbot glanced at the door behind Talbot-2.
“Okay. Here’s the thing. Some version of Talc and Willis will be here any minute. Whether mine followed me from the future or not, yours will catch on soon. We need to get out of here, and get the Masterwork to somebody else.”
“Wait, which Talc and Willis will show up?”
“One of them… or both of them. It doesn’t really matter! Do we know anybody we can send our notes to?”
Talbot-2 considered it. “Davis?”
Talbot frowned, and opened his notebook to an early page.
Dr. Wilson Davis
–Spineless fool. He calls himself a chemist, but refuses to venture outside the conventions of the industry. No true scientist works a cushy chemical production job! We journey! We endeavor!
Talbot shook his head. “He’d never publish something like this. If they tracked him down, he’d probably take their oppressive offer.”
Dr Monica Johnson
—Chemist and conspiracy nut. Super gullible, but generally a good person.
“She’ll believe anything.” Talbot said. “...Which is actually probably a good thing in this case. If she thinks it’s real, she’ll distribute it, and she’s earnest enough to leave my- our name on it.”
Talbot-2 nodded. “Sounds like a plan. Actually, it sounds like an idea, not a plan. What is our plan?”
Talbot thought for several seconds. “Here’s what we do. You pretend to accept their offer, and do whatever they tell you. If all else fails, you’ll get a cushy job working for the government. Meanwhile, I get this,” Talbot indicated his notebook. “To Johnson, and then…” He paused.
Someone knocked on the door.
“And then?” Talbot-2 prompted in a whisper, glancing behind him.
“Then… I’ll figure something out.”
Talbot-2 nodded. “Alright. Are we ready to go?”
“I think so.” Talbot replied.
Talbot slipped out of the window, and Talbot-2 opened the door to greet Willis-2.
The man peered around him. “Who were you talking to in there?”
Talbot-2 shrugged. “Myself. You know, crazy scientist stuff.”
Talbot dropped to the ground, then produced his sheet of Seals. He picked out one specific design, a circle bisected by a thin line. On one side of the line, a stylized forest thrived, and on the other a pictographic city loomed. Talbot ripped the Seal of Space from his paper and stuck it in his mouth, once again disappearing with a pop.
Talc and Willis appeared in Talbot-2’s workroom, and quickly exited. Both spun in the hallway outside, and both spotted the wide-open door to the fire escape. They both moved down the rickety metal construction and found themselves in an alley behind the building.
“See that?” Talc pointed at the window.
“Yeah. Did he go in through it?” Willis asked.
“Of course. But if he used the Seal of Time to try to come back and alert himself, I’m guessing he came through here to talk to him…self, but he couldn’t have left. The only point at which he was in the bathroom, you were right outside. He popped in, popped out, popped another Seal.”
“Is there any guarantee that he came back to alert himself? He could’ve gone to any point in time.”
“I know his type. The out-there intellectual. He’s been burned by everyone but himself. He’ll only trust himself. And if he came to himself before we’d arrived, he wouldn’t believe him.”
“Sorry, who wouldn’t believe him?”
“Him! Aren’t you-” Talc took a moment to consider the context. “You know what, nevermind. The point is that this reality’s Talbot is now in league with our Talbot, and that’s not good.”
“What do we do?”
“Well firstly, we need to cut it down to one Talbot. Two is too many to deal with.” Talc pushed on his earpiece, then spoke. “Hello? Can you hear me, Talc?” There was silence, until something dawned on him. “Ah, dammit. I can’t call my own earpiece.” He adjusted something on his earpiece. “Willis! Do you copy?” Willis heard Talc both from right next to him and through his earpiece. He didn’t hear the reply, but his earpiece buzzed as its exact copy broadcast something. Willis took his earpiece out and squinted at it, curious about the exact Multiversal properties that bonded it to its clone.
“Yes, this is Talc. But not your Talc. Listen, Talbot ran off to this dimension, and we believe he’s working with your Talbot. We need to meet up, then dispose of the dupe.”
Talc listened for a response, and Willis’s earpiece vibrated as his double presumably replied.
Talc turned to Willis. “Alright. They’ll meet us back in Talbot’s office. There we can get rid of the redundant one and track our quarry.”
Their quarry was currently depositing a large package of brown paper in a big blue mailbox.
Talbot paused as he lowered the boxy parcel. This was his life’s work, his notebook and all his scattered papers, and was the second-most important thing he owned, next to the wall that contained the Masterwork itself, which was likely being dismantled by his enemies at that very moment. This was the last 20 years of his life, and he was about to gamble it away to a crazy woman on the off-chance that his legacy might live on. Talbot wished he’d spent more time with reasonable scientists, if only to expand the pool of people he could mail his book to.
With a deep breath, Talbot released the book, wincing at the gentle ‘paff’ sound it made when it fell onto the envelopes at the bottom of the box.
His job complete, Talbot slipped the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and disappeared into the afternoon.
Guns are inelegant, Talc told his subordinate often. They’re loud, messy. Tools of thugs and soldiers, not agents of a higher purpose.
But there’s a downside to not carrying a gun, Willis countered silently. The difference between shooting a person and being forced to kill them more intimately is palpable, and not often a positive.
Willis considered this as Talbot-2 stopped struggling and finally went limp in his arms. Willis released the garotte from around the man’s throat, then lowered him to the floor of the office.
An irritated sigh came from behind him. Willis turned to see Talc shaking his head and walking toward him.
“No, you need to finish the job.” The man said. He kneeled, took Talbot-2’s forehead in one hand, his chin in the other, then jerked his head to the side, snapping his neck.
“If you stop garrotting when he goes limp, he’s just unconscious.” The other Talc, Talc-2, stated.
Willis nodded, numbly. He didn’t really hear the man.
“I know this is hard,” Talc said, shifting into a gentler tone, “But this is all for the good of humanity. If we let these ideas run wild, we’d all be dead.”
“Worse than dead.” Talc-2 added helpfully. “Our very essences would be consumed by dark beings from beyond our world.”
Willis nodded again. He’d heard it all before. So why did he still find it so hard to hurt people?
“So where’s the other one?” Willis-2 asked, seemingly unaware of his double’s predicament.
“That’s the big question, isn’t it.” Talc-2 mused, “However, before we can ponder it, first things first. We need to get a CC team in here to handle that wall.”
All four men were familiar with the APH Cognito Containment Teams, mysterious individuals in surgical masks that took away artifacts of forbidden knowledge to be stored or disposed of.
Talc-2 clicked his earpiece, then said a series of numbers and codes that were unintelligible to either Willis. He finished by saying, “Please send a Class-4 CC team. Over.”
He turned to the others. “They’re on their way. We need to secure Talbot’s place of residence.”
“Do we know that’s where he’ll go next?” Willis-2 asked.
“Not necessarily,” Talc-1 responded, “But it’s quite likely he’ll at least stop there to retrieve personal effects before going somewhere else.”
Both Willises nodded, almost in sync. The logic made sense. They would lock down Talbot’s house first.
All was silent in the small house several miles outside of town that Talbot called his abode. Then frantic footsteps sounded from outside, as someone ran up the footpath leading to the front door. Then, a faint scratching as Talbot scrambled to fit his key into the lock. A quiet clacking came next, as Talbot’s cat descended his cat-tree and approached the door to see what was happening.
Talbot swung the door open and gently pushed the cat out of his way with his foot.
“Sorry Ozzy,” he muttered.
He produced his debit card and snapped it in half, having extracted all the money from his account before arriving here. He pulled several thousand dollars from his pockets and shoved them in his wallet, his backpack, the pocket on the inside of his jacket, and his shoes.
He grabbed a spare toothbrush and tube of toothpaste from the master bathroom, shoving them into the backpack as well. He was going on the run, for god knows how long.
He paused as his eyes fell on his set of keys. He wouldn’t be taking his car or his house, so they’d likely not be necessary.
But I might as well just in case. Talbot grabbed the jangling key ring and slipped it into the inside pocket of his pants.
His cat mewed at his feet. After a moment’s hesitation, he grabbed his carrier and bowl, both monogrammed with a matching ‘Ozymandius’.
He knew bringing Ozzy was objectively a bad choice. It was impractical and stupid. The cat was loud, and would slow him down. But Talbot couldn’t bear leaving his baby here to be subjected to whatever evil ideas Talc and Willis had in mind.
Talbot coaxed Ozzy into his crate, then picked up the cat and donned his backpack. He took one last look around his house before he opened the front door and was immediately grabbed by both Willises, one of which held a chloroform rag over his mouth until he went limp.
Talbot awoke with a start. He glanced around, disoriented, and immediately registered that he was in some sort of interrogation room. His chair was metal, and bolted to the floor. Before him was a table, and above that table a blinding light mounted on the ceiling shone directly into his eyes. On the wall across from him, very much breaking the theme, was a ‘Hang in there!’ poster and a wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser.
Talbot tried to stand, only to find that his wrists and ankles were strapped into the chair. He strained against the bonds, cursing as the straps held strong.
He thought he heard faint snickering.
He turned to glare at the mirror to his right. “What are you planning to do to me?!”
“What are you planning to do to my cat?!?”
More silence.
The Talcs and the Willi were standing behind the one-way mirror on Talbot’s left, looking at the back of his head as he shouted at no one. Talc looked mildly amused at Talbot’s complete misunderstanding of the room’s orientation.
Willis-2 glanced at Talc-2, who shrugged and motioned for Talc-1 to enter the larger room. Talc-1 did as asked.
The door at the front of the room opened, and Talc stepped out. He took a seat across from Talbot, and cleared his throat.
“First off, the most important thing. Your cat will be well-cared for, no matter the outcome of this conversation. Great name, by the way.”
Talbot refused to thank him for the compliment.
Talc cleared his throat, and there was a long silence.
“What about my first question?” Talbot asked, his voice trembling.
Talc sighed, then reached below the table.
Several seconds later, he came back up, notably with some difficulty. He slammed Talbot’s notebook down on the table. Next to it, he laid the sheet of seals Talbot had used to traverse space and time.
Talbot was stricken. “How did you-!?”
“Find this? Simple deduction. I’m frankly insulted that you didn’t consider that we’ve been tailing everyone you know for months. Johnson was the only person you could send this to.”
“What did you do to her?!”
“Nothing! We’re not the bad guys here, Talbot. We pulled the package from her porch before she ever got involved. We’d never hurt anyone.”
“Then where am I?” Talbot spat, then rephrased. “I mean… where is the version of me from here? Wait, are you from here or there?”
“I’m from there, assuming you mean your original reality. And Talbot-2 is fine. He’s in the next room.”
Willis winced behind the mirror.
“You never actually answered my question.” Talbot said quietly.
Talc pursed his lips regrettably.
“Well… here’s the thing, Talbot. What I’d like to do is offer you a chance to redeem yourself. I’d like to let you join the APH and help us protect humanity. But you’ve made it clear that that’s not what you want, and if we let you into our fold now, we’d forever be looking over our shoulders, wondering whose side you were truly on. And we can’t just let you go, no no. Your theories would largely be regarded as crackpot, but there are ways to prove these things, and you would certainly find them.”
Talbot swallowed. “Couldn’t you just… you know… erase my memory?”
Talc stifled a laugh. “Unfortunately, this is not Men In Black. Actions have consequences. There are no take-backs. And I’m sorry, Talbot, but this is it for you.” Talc stood, turned on his heel, and left.
“Why the hell’d you wake him up just to tell him that?” Willis muttered behind the glass.
“Hey, wait!” Talbot screamed at him as he departed, but there was no response.
Talbot tried to stand again, but slammed back into his chair as the bonds held.
Willis entered a few minutes later, holding a syringe. He winced at the sight before him. Talbot was hunched over, resting his head on the table. His shoulders were bobbing as though he was sobbing quietly.
Willis approached Talbot and tightened the strap on his right wrist. He moved around him and reached for his left hand, only to see that the strap had been sawed apart, and Talbot’s hand was free.
Willis grabbed his elbow, but Talbot struggled against the man’s grasp. The scientist was trying to keep it firmly on the table under his face.
Frustrated, Willis grabbed Talbot’s head and lifted it back, so he was sitting up straight.
As he beheld Talbot’s face, Willis felt a bolt of fear lance through him. The man was smiling, but it was not a happy smile.
It was the smile of a trapped animal that knew it would take a limb before it went down. With his eyes, Talbot indicated downwards. Willis slowly lowered his vision to the stainless steel tabletop. In Talbot’s hand was a housekey, the teeth worn down from sawing through the leather strap and scratching a symbol into the table. Right under his hand, the surface was pockmarked with the Seal of the Fifth Dimension.
Willis lunged for Talbot’s wrist, but it was too late. The alchemist brought the key across the symbol, carving another scratch to break the Seal and the boundaries between their reality and one far darker. Neither man had time to scream.
Talbot felt himself slip free of the chair, and out of the leather strap around his wrist.
Willis’s grip loosened, and it felt like he was flung across whatever intermediary pathway connected the fourth and fifth dimensions.
Part Two posted promptly!
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2023.05.29 12:54 mysticmage10 NDE & Religious Similarities

The ffg verses resonate well with these phenomena found in nde reports. I dont endorse the blind following of nde reports as fact or blind following of any scripture as fact.
Death analogy as slipping off tight shoes or clothes found in some nde accounts
As a person sheds worn-out garments and wears new ones, likewise, at the time of death, the soul casts off its worn-out body and enters a new one Bhagwad Gita 2:22
Self judged Life review
And it will be said,˺ “Read your record. You ˹alone˺ are sufficient this Day to take account of yourself Quran 17:14
So, whoever does an atom's weight of good shall see it and whoever does an atom's weight of evil shall see it Quran 99:8-9
I experienced a very vivid life recall. … It was both painful and exquisitely beautiful. It was like viewing a film, filled with precise detail. Every single thought, word, deed, decision, and action was brought forth and re-experienced and re-examined. It was self-evaluation, with total transparency and honesty. Throughout, I was never judged by any of these divine beings. They simply held me in [l]ove, with complete compassion and acceptance. … In this review, I realized that I was every single person I’d ever encountered or thought of. As I merged with and became them, I felt exactly what they experienced as a result of my loving or unloving thoughts and actions. I saw it all from their point of view, not only how my actions affected them, but then through them [how that] affected others they encountered, as the effects kept on going. … I saw that the love we express ripples out, creating an everlasting beauty that is often unbeknownst to us at the time. … It felt as if we are living inside a grand game, which is perfectly designed to always give us another opportunity to get it right this time. … I saw that everything we do makes a difference. The impact we have on one another is profound. … In this process of ruthlessly honest self-reflection, nothing went unnoticed. Nothing was able to be hidden. Nothing. Not one single thing. This life review was like going through everything with a fine-tooth comb, looking under every rock, leaving no stone unturned, seeing into each crevice with a [d]ivine [l]ight that revealed every hidden place. And through the entire process, it was all looked at and discerned through the lens of [l]ove NDE 1
I had a life review where I saw ever single event from my life. I saw every act of goodness and kindness. I saw every act of spite or ill-will. I also got to see it from the other person's point of view. Although time did not exist, this life review took forever but in reality it was only a blink of a second NDE 2
Divine love or bright light
who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever 1 Timothy 6:16
God has promised the believers, both men and women, Gardens through which rivers flow, therein to abide, and blessed dwellings in Gardens of perpetual bliss; and greater than that is Gods pleasure with them. That indeed is the supreme triumph quran 9:72
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, The lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star, Lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, Neither of the east nor of the west, Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light.God guides to His light whom He wills Quran 24:35
Those who believe and do righteous deeds, the Most Merciful will bestow on them love Quran 19:96
He is the source of light in all luminaries, and is entirely beyond the darkness of ignorance. He is knowledge, the object of knowledge, and the goal of knowledge. He dwells within the hearts of all living beings Bhagwad Gita 13:18
Anybody who’s ever gone into the light comes back to talk about this … unconditional love and bliss that they experienced in the light. … Most people when they describe it, they say it’s the most incredible … loving experience, they feel full of love and what I experienced, it was kind of like, it was almost as if I had turned into champagne, and I was bubbling. You know like my molecules were bubbling and love was going through my molecules and then coming back out from them. And when people describe that, they say it’s the most incredible thing in the world. Well it is, but, it gets better. … Merging into the source was the most intense experience I had ever had. And that is one of the attributes of unconditional love, its intensity. The emotions that we have when we’re out of these bodies are far more intense than everything we ever experience in the body. The bodies really filter out a lot of emotions that we’re capable of. … Have you ever been moved to tears by something? Like maybe by love, or beauty, or gratitude? Or just had that feeling where you were just so moved that you literally cried? You know how strong and vibrant that is, and how cleansing and all-consuming it can be? The unconditional love that we feel in the afterlife is like a hundred or a thousand times more intense than that. Take that feeling and take away the tears and substitute joy, and so make it a joyous love … that you’re feeling[.] … And that will give you a tiny little taste of what unconditional love feels like NDE 3
And a lot of experiencers talk about love, about this being a place of love, and I’ve tried to think of adjectives to describe this, the intensity of this love, you know. Unconditional, pure, powerful. The only one that I can think of that works is infinite. It was infinite. … It was infinite love. If you can imagine your baby that you love, imagine like the most intense feeling of love you’ve ever had, your mother, or your dog, whatever, whatever it is, imagine that … infinite! No end. So powerful and so absorbing. Wave after wave after wave of cleansing white love washing over me, and I became, I was the light. It was so beautiful, it was so beautiful NDE 4
So I went into the light, and as I was moving up into the light, I just started to feel so good. You know like I can’t, words can’t explain it. Like the higher that I went into the light, and the more that I moved up and further away from Earth, the better I felt. And the feeling of pleasure does not really apply to this Earth, like nothing can compare. Like if you took everything that you were in favor of, like maybe getting a massage, in a hot tub, your favorite music, your favorite food, your favorite drink, everything that you love, happening to you all at once, no matter what it is, all at once, it would not even closely compare to the pleasure that was just within that light. And as you moved further into, like further away from this Earth, the pleasure felt even better. So you just moved up it felt better and better, it was insane NDE 5
I saw the white light, which was, you know, the best experience I’ve ever had. Like, basically, all the love that ever was, and all the love that ever will be, forever, for all of eternity, literally being poured onto me like a waterfall. … I’m literally saying that’s what it was NDE 6
World as a dream/illusion/virtual reality
And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter - that is the true life, if only they knew Quran 29:64
Then Godwill ask them: "For how many years did you stay on earth?" (23:113) They will say: "We stayed for a day or part of a day. Ask of those who keep count of this." (23:114) He will say: "You stayed only for a while, if you only knew that. Quran 23:115
You understand on the other side that this part, life, is actually the dream, and you just wake up after. It’s no different than one dream you had last night, out of a lifetime of dreams. This life that you’re having right now is just one, it’s just a blip NDE 6
It’s like living in a two-dimensional black and white world here, … compared to multicolor, multi-sensory VR immersion there. … And so once you’ve been in that place, coming here, as beautiful as it is, and I live in an extraordinarily beautiful place on purpose, so that I can get as close to beauty as I possibly can, but even that it’s just, like, ‘Oh well, you know, that’s really pretty.’ But not the same as ultimate divine beauty. … [Even sunrises] were ugly for a while, … the first year was very difficult NDE 7
The minute that I kind of woke up on that hillside in heaven I knew that that was more real than any time I’ve ever spent here on Earth. … And I knew instantly that my time here was really but a dream. … It’s real to us when we’re in it, but once I was there … in heaven I realized that’s more real, that felt more real, and it made much more sense to me than anything here. This is kind of nonsensical at times. … In heaven, it’s so clear, so real, so rational, so logical, but yet emotional and loving at the same time. Immediately I knew that was real and this was not. Immediately NDE8
I mean, looking back at human life from that vantage point I could not believe that I had ever thought this was real. And so the same sense of unreality that we get about dreams while we’re here in human form, I had while I was there about human life. So there is no doubt in my mind that it was real, and that’s true reality. This is a virtual reality game, a role, a play, a dream, an illusion, a character that I’m playing NDE 9
The physical [world] resembled a black and white movie in comparison with the world in front of me[.] … That’s what it felt like, waking up from a dream, waking up to who I truly am and this life was nothing but a dream NDE 10
Altered States of Super Consciousness
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him 1 Corinthians 2:9
No soul can imagine what delights are kept in store for them as a reward for what they used to do Quran 32:17
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it Matthew 13:45
Now, what heaven looks like? ‘O m g’ doesn’t even describe how beautiful this place is. Heaven is, there are no words. I mean, I could sit here … and just not say anything and just cry, and that would be what heaven looks like. … There are mountains of beauty, there are things in this realm, you can’t even describe how beautiful this place is. There are colors you can’t even imagine, there are sounds you can’t even create. There are beauties upon this world that you think are beautiful here. Amplify it over there times a billion. There are, it’s incredibly beautiful, there’s no words to describe how beautiful this place is, it’s incredibly gorgeous NDE 11
Humans choosing to incarnate on earth Surprisingly I expected to find something like this in Hinduism and buddhism but haven't found anything except this from the quran.
Indeed, We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they ˹all˺ declined to bear it, being fearful of it. But humanity assumed it, ˹for˺ they are truly wrongful ˹to themselves˺ and ignorant ˹of the consequences quran 33:72
And in that moment I remembered that my soul chose to come to Earth, I remembered where I was before I was born, I remembered that all of our souls choose to come here, that this is a wonderful university, that we’re not here by random accident, we’re not here as victims, that we come here to choose to study, to learn, and to grow. And that on some level this is like a wonderful theater, it’s like a big university, we all play our part, and when our time to go comes, we leave NDE 12
These three pure Beings spoke to me in a different language. They used my thoughts but it was different than thoughts. They reminded me that I had chosen to be incarnate on Earth and that I had to go back. I already knew that by being by their side, everything was coming back to me. They gave me so much love. I was at home and I badly wanted to stay. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to go back. That’s how it had to be. I remember laughing a lot with them. They understood me. They knew the difficulty of an incarnation, as well as I knew it before I incarnated on Earth NDE 13
Cosmos & Vegetation being alive/sentient
The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done. Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next. They don't speak a word, and there is never the sound of a voice. Yet their message reaches all the earth, and it travels around the world Psalm 19:1-4
The heavens praise your wonders, LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones Psalm 89:5
And there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification Quran 17:44
Then He turned to the heaven while it was all smoke. He said to the heaven and the earth: “Come into being willingly or unwillingly.” They said: we come into being willingly Quran 41:11
I look down and I see myself standing in a very gentle river, and all around me is a very beautiful, very peaceful forest. And this is where it gets hard to describe because it was a rush of all, it was everything wrapped into one. … And feeling immense awe and bliss and love and relief. … And there was no other being in my NDE, it was just me, but I didn’t feel at all alone. It was the least alone I’ve ever been in my life. It was like the place itself was alive, and it was telling me things and it was loving me NDE 14
I was taken by the hand and led into another realm. It resembled [E]arth because there were trees, sparkling sand, and aquamarine water. There were fruit-laden trees, lush foliage, and vibrantly colored birds. Everything was alive – each flower and every glistening grain of sand. Floral fragrances filled the air NDE 15
I was shown non-intelligent species. I was shown splendors of every kind, like waterfalls and being taken into the heart of a burning flame. I skimmed the surface of a sun, playing in the shifting energy and heard its jubilant joy at giving life to so many wonderful things. It was the most joyful, beautiful, wonderful, amazing experience anyone could possibly have. The size, the scope of it cannot be expressed. I met with incredible, spiritual beings like my attendant, friend, and my guide. They all were filled with contentment and joy NDE 16
The breeze blew against the tall golden wheat stalks, and as it did I could feel the spirit of all things living around me: animals, plants, the elements. I was one with them. I looked up and saw a huge ball of light that cast the purest, warm light all around me and felt God touch my skin NDE 17
Pluralism/Multiple Pathways to Divine
Whatever purpose is served by a small well of water is naturally served in all respects by a large lake. Similarly, one who realizes the Absolute Truth also fulfills the purpose of all the Vedas Bhagwad Gita 2:46
We have revealed to you this Book with the truth, as a confirmation of previous Scriptures and a supreme authority on them. So judge between them by what God has revealed, and do not follow their desires over the truth that has come to you. To each of you We have ordained a code of law and a way of life. If God had willed, He would have made you one community, but His Will is to test you with what He has given ˹each of˺ you. So compete with one another in doing good. To God you will all return, then He will inform you ˹of the truth˺ regarding your differences Quran 5:48
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven Matthew 7:21
I asked about religion and the vastness of it all. The only answer I could recall afterwards was the word "dogma." This word stood for the concept that the truth was muddled by man's feelings. Although coming from our good intentions, it was inhibiting others from spiritually growing NDE 18
Interconnectedness with Higher Power & Creation
The embodied souls in this material world are My eternal fragmental parts. But bound by material nature, they are struggling with the six senses including the mind Bhagwad Gita 15:7
When I have completed shaping him and have breathed into him of My Spirit Quran 15:29
He exists outside and inside all living beings, those that are moving and not moving. He is subtle, and hence, He is incomprehensible. He is very far, but He is also very near Bhagwad Gita 13:16
The UNIVERSE in expression, and the Universe was within me, I was shown this, I KNEW this intimately. I was shown through energy that I was ONE with ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT EVER WAS and ALL THAT WILL EVER BE. ALL THAT EXISTED was within me. I was shown this and experienced this within every fiber of my Being. EVERYTHING WAS CONNECTED. I WAS EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE; omnipresent, omniscense! I KNEW in this place of ONENESS that I was connected to everyone and everything. There absolutely was no seperation NDE Anna
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2023.05.29 12:50 WileyED5B Psychometric Assessment Useful to Increase Inclusivity, Communication, and Sustainability

Organizations today are legally obligated to increase diversity and inclusivity in the team members. Whether you are a national company or an international company, you are required to diversify your team. This category is not only to increase the participation of disadvantaged groups but also to bring together different experiences and skills so that there are productive solutions to problems. It is also how organizations remain unbiased regarding the hiring process. Discrimination in various forms is always present in every system. Researchers are now focused on increasing ethnic and socio-economic diversity in organizations. An interviewer always has a preconceived idea about the community the interviewee represents. To avoid such biases, a psychometric assessment is an effective tool for understanding the personality and the skills that match the organizational culture. It is a great way to increase inclusivity by bringing in diverse groups of people with different experiences who can provide an out-of-the-box view of the problems and issues.

Psychometric Assessment and Sustainability

The hiring process involves a lot of time and cost, which does not always lead to successful outcomes. Often, employers are left with an employee who does not have the suitable skills to match their organizational roles and responsibilities. Psychometric assessment is a viable tool that can be used to provide opinions regarding investment sustainability preferences. Sustainability is all about going with the flow, making changes according to external transitions, and using investments that will give us proper returns in the future. Assessment can be used on different lines to understand their approach and preferences towards investment.
A conceptual framework of the values and beliefs of the clients
The decision-making process which considers the impact
The clients’ views on how an investment can impact the environment and the society
Based on these questions, an organization can derive essential insights into their clients, which will help them to organize their projects more effectively. Additionally, they can derive insights from potential employees and understand their priorities that may or may not match the culture of the company.

Culture of Teamwork and Psychometric Assessment

The culture of teamwork is a vital ingredient of an effective long-term sustainable organization. Without teamwork, there is no collaboration which decreases the quality of project success. Psychometric assessment is an effective tool to increase the culture of teamwork in a company as it offers insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each individual and provides a report on how different personalities can amalgamate together to increase performance. Gathering information about your employees can help you gain perspective on motivating your employees best to increase productivity. Today workforce expectations have changed exponentially, and leaders must evaluate how to encourage employees to work toward a goal while also balancing their priorities. Harmonizing workplace culture is crucial to instill trust and build a supportive environment. Therefore, psychometric assessments are used by a large number of agencies today to increase positivity and the culture of unhindered creative growth.
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2023.05.29 12:50 whipits_ Depression Rehab

Depression rehab is a treatment program designed to help individuals who struggle with clinical depression. Depression is a mood disorder that affects the emotional, mental, and physical health of the afflicted person. Individuals with depression often feel sad or hopeless, lose interest in once pleasurable activities, and experience significant disruptions in their daily lives, such as sleep or appetite disturbance. It is a comprehensive program typically involving cognitive-behavioral therapy, individualized treatment plans, group counseling, and medication management where appropriate. The goal of it is to provide people with the support, guidance, and tools they need to regain control of their lives, manage their symptoms, and work towards a more positive future. With the right approach and support, individuals with depression can achieve long-term recovery and lead fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, consider seeking the help of a depression rehab facility today.
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2023.05.29 12:47 DenCooper89 How does a crypto presale work?

In the world of cryptocurrencies, a presale (also known as a pre-ICO or token presale) is an early fundraising event conducted by a cryptocurrency project before its official initial coin offering (ICO). The purpose of a presale is to raise capital and generate interest in the project before it is made available to the general public. Here's an overview of how a crypto presale typically works:
  1. Announcement: The cryptocurrency project announces the presale event, usually through their website, social media channels, or specialized cryptocurrency platforms. They provide details such as the start and end dates, the token or cryptocurrency being sold, the fundraising goal, and any associated bonuses or incentives.
  2. Whitelisting/KYC: Interested participants are often required to go through a whitelisting process. They provide their personal information and undergo Know Your Customer (KYC) verification to comply with regulatory requirements and prevent fraudulent activities.
  3. Minimum Investment Requirement: The presale may have a minimum investment requirement, specifying the minimum amount of cryptocurrency or fiat currency that participants need to contribute to participate in the presale.
  4. Token Sale and Pricing: During the presale, participants can purchase the project's tokens or cryptocurrency at a discounted price compared to the future ICO or public sale. The price and terms are usually defined in the presale announcement. The project may set a maximum cap on the total amount of funds they aim to raise during the presale.
  5. Bonuses and Incentives: To incentivize early participation and larger investments, presales often offer bonuses or incentives to participants. These bonuses can come in the form of additional tokens, discounted prices, priority access, or exclusive benefits.
  6. Fundraising and Token Distribution: Participants send their contributions, typically in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), to the project's specified wallet address. Once the presale ends, the project team distributes the purchased tokens to the participants' wallets based on the agreed terms.
  7. Lock-up Period and Vesting: In some cases, there may be a lock-up period or vesting schedule associated with the tokens purchased during the presale. This means that participants may not be able to immediately transfer or sell their tokens, ensuring stability and long-term commitment to the project.
It's important to note that participating in a presale carries risks, as projects at this stage may still be in early development and not fully proven or regulated. It's advisable to conduct thorough research, review the project's whitepaper and team, and consider the associated risks before participating in any cryptocurrency presale.
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2023.05.29 12:46 SquirrelsAteMyBread Chapter 22 Excerpt

Chapter 22
Change Your Thinking: Do More, Not Less
To get to where I am today, I had to change my thinking and my actions. I had to look at the little money I and my wife had as not just something we used to buy things. Every dollar became an investment, and every dollar spent became a cost of ownership. I had to do more, not less, to reach our goals. At various points in time, I had to work 80 hours per week or more, not 40. I had to save more, not less; work more, not less; invest more, not less.
I used to tell my children: you can have money, or you can have things. Money can grow through investing, but things break and get thrown away. Then you are left with nothing. When you are poor, you can’t have both. Money may not be the first priority in your life, but you need money to secure your and your loved ones’ futures. It’s easier to care for your loved ones when you have money. Take care of your money so you can take care of yourself and those you love.
Some people think that money is evil. Money isn’t evil. It’s a way to store the value you have created by working and investing. Money is a part of every society in every country in the world. There is no country in the world without a monetary system; a system that is used for storing and exchanging value.
“The Squirrels Ate My Bread”
by Kirk D. Russell
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2023.05.29 12:42 flelli Useful resources for the development of your thesis and/or supervision of master students (AMA and feedback wanted)

I am sharing with you a list of articles that I normally use when supervising my master (and bachelor but mainly master) students. I hope you will find them useful, and I welcome your feedback (i) in order to improve them, (ii) to have new ideas and (iii) anything else that you would like to share.
I tried to keep these articles fairly general, but my perspective come from supervising students in Computer Science/Engineering, Data Science, Information Management and Software Engineering. Therefore, apologies if they may sound alien to your discipline, however, if that is the case please let me know. Over the years they have grown in quantity, and I categorized them in 2 groups:
What follows are the one of the “better thesis” section:
Attitude mindset and lifestyle
  1. Take a moment to reflect to right approach for the challenge ahead.
  2. Mens sana in corpore sano: Take care of yourself, in particular do not neglect of your physical health
How to do a good thesis: before you start.
  1. Start from considering these tips for improving the quality of your proposal. They will help you in understanding how to think scientifically including if you do not have to write a research proposal.
  2. Check if you are aware of all the players around you thesis and what is their interest
  3. Understand how adopting good scientific practices can improve your grade.
How to do a good thesis: the openings moves.
  1. Ask yourself what you want to do when you will “grow up”. This article will help you understanding how you can take the most from your thesis for your future goals.
  2. (Optional) Get a grasp of what kind of mentor I am. It will help you in understanding what I write in these posts and/or if we are compatible in case you are considering pursuing your thesis with me.
  3. Set up theproper communication tools with your supervisor, so that you will have a better quality time with him/her.
A Note on Writing:
  1. Writing a scientific endeavor has its rules and best practices
How to do a good thesis: literature research and related work
  1. Look at these heuristics for understanding if a paper is worth reading or you should move forward to the next one.
  2. Understand how to select good venues (conferences or journals) where you can search for good publication.
  3. Learn how to read a scientific paper faster and more effectively.
  4. Master the right features in MS-Word for handling the related work and managing the growing complexity of the task.
  5. Get more insights about related work, literature review and survey papers.
How to do a good thesis: the experimental and scientific part
  1. If you feel stuck: get an idea on “how to warm up your research engine” and do your first step.
  2. Get some inspiration from the work of other scientist and learn how to properly categorize the literature review.
  3. Familiarize with sources that can provide Data for your (master or bachelor) thesis.
  4. If you plan to write some programming code there are several free resources that can help you.
  5. If you plan to write some programming code, get familiar with these best practices.
  6. If you plan to use a survey for scientific research you may want to consider these tips and suggestions.
  7. Do this simple feasibility check if you plan to use an interview approach in your case study research
How to do a good thesis: the last mile
  1. Did you produced the first final draft of the thesis? Here you can find a simple set of rules and a checklist that can help you.
  2. Are you close to finishing the thesis? Put your current draft to a (stress) test.
The End Game
  1. Deal with the submission of your thesis and its defense in the proper way
  2. Understand what is Open Access and how you can make the most of it
  3. Consider the benefit (and the extra work) of publish your thesis. Is it worth it?
  4. Now that your thesis has been submitted is about preparing a killer presentation for the defense!
The End of the Journey
  1. Publish your thesis using the University Library. It will take less then one hour and will ensure some extra visibility to your work.
  2. Learn what the future of your thesis could be

Thanks for taking the time to read such a long post! Based on your experience, is there anything missing or that require some improvement?
P.S: you are also welcome to repost this reddit in any subreddit that you may think is suitable.
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2023.05.29 12:41 devex_com Exclusive: Global south thwarts UN future summit plans

At the United Nations, the future may have to wait. Secretary-General António Guterres had hoped to cap off 2023 with a summit of world leaders to “forge a new global consensus on what our future should look like, and how we can secure it.”
But a coalition of lower- and middle-income countries have thrown a wrench into proceedings, pressing to halt the event’s preparations until next year and contending the U.N. must focus this year on implementing its existing, and faltering, development goals, according to U.N. diplomats and internal U.N. documents reviewed by Devex.
🔸 FREE TO READ: Global south thwarts UN future summit plans
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2023.05.29 12:41 EmbarrassedDig4422 I don’t know what I live for

I asked myself what is a purpose of my life, what I want to do in the future and I don’t have answers for that. Sometimes I think that it’s easier to end my life but maybe I’m too scared of it. But recently I’ve found very interesting kdramas which should have season 2 in the future so I decided that I would live to have a chance to see it. And it became my aim of life. Maybe it sounds ridiculous but it helps me a little not to feel bad and to live on.
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2023.05.29 12:37 vantagefinancialwi Elevate Your Financial Future: Discover the Top-Rated Expertise of Vantage Financial

Elevate Your Financial Future: Discover the Top-Rated Expertise of Vantage Financial

Are you seeking to elevate your financial future and achieve your long-term goals? Look no further than Vantage Financial, the premier financial planning firm renowned for its top-rated expertise. In our blog, "Elevate Your Financial Future: Discover the Top-Rated Expertise of Vantage Financial," we delve into the unparalleled services and solutions offered by Vantage Financial. With a team of experienced and knowledgeable advisors, Vantage Financial is dedicated to providing personalized financial planning strategies tailored to your unique needs and aspirations. Whether you're planning for retirement, building wealth, or navigating complex financial decisions, Vantage Financial has the expertise to guide you on your journey.
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2023.05.29 12:36 Internal_Argument673 Is it possible to be an extra in Canada if you're not a citizen there?

There's a popular tv show that's coming out soon, & it would be a dream of mine to be in the show in the future. I'm not an actor, I do practice it for fun by myself but I just really want to be an extra for the show. The show just finished filming in Vancouver & it looks like that's where they'll be filming for their future seasons. However, I live in the States, way way over on the east coast. And according to the people involved in the show's casting, there are laws in Canada saying that you have to be living there to be an extra (I guess because they won't fly you if you live elsewhere).
But my problem is that even though this may sound crazy and economically inconvenient, I'm still willing to travel there as long as I need to because I love the show and it would be a big dream of mine. But I don't know if non-Canadian citizens can still be extras if they pay for their own travel, or if you actually do have to be a citizen regardless, or if it depends on other factors. There used to be open calls for non extra roles but sadly all the speaking roles for the upcoming seasons have changed to closed calls and I don't know if I could get an agent in the future. I'm not even that confident in auditioning for a role yet anyway so I was really looking forward to being an extra. I'm sorry I don't expect anyone to have all the answers to what I'm talking about but if anyone has any ideas at all, that would be helpful. Sorry this is so long
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2023.05.29 12:35 AmrLou A mini experiment with u21 squad.

A mini experiment with u21 squad.
It all started when I asked myself, could I play with the same tactics but with less powerful players? I normally play possession style with alot of short ground passes, I don't play high crosses and almost all of my tactics require is a player who can pass and position. It doesn't seem like a high end requirements, and so I started to create a plan of a mixed really generational u21 talents, and an average u21 with above average ball control/balance ability, the rules were clear, I will try to play with the same playstyle but with a far inferior quality squad, and see how it goes.

The exceptions were elshennawi (the gk) and percassi, that was because I wanted to complete the list and didn't find a good substitutes in these positions.
Did it succeed? No of course it didn't.
I was having a dreadful run of 3 matches were I couldn't even have a one on target shot, it wasn't easy beating 1v1 with less paced players who move like they're already in their last of their career.
I took alook at my main formation and started to understand why, the problem was with my transitions from the second third to the last one, in my main formation, I used de jong with pedri and gundo as a trio, they are just the gods of everything it has to do with holding possession, having enough acceleration to start a transition, and of course, having a very powerful ball control and passing abilities. It wasn't any hard to build up and transition from the second third to the last one easily.

Cruyff contract expired the last week when I was experimenting with the u21 squad.
But when it comes to the u21 squad, it was almost always the unorganized hypermovement of glimour and ramsey, especially gilmour whose positioning was just shit, their acceleration and ball control stats didn't help either. Gilmour was actually a no10 but from a previous experience playing with eriksen in the same role I thought it gonna work, However, It didn't so I started to play miretti instead of him, the results was better, but still lakced the ability to hold ball in the last third enough to create real chances, I changed to normal 4-3-3 with more space between players, and I would say that really helped a lot.

Ofc gilmour wasn't only the one who was replaced, but also ramsey who is now playing as a f9, with almada who is also playing as a creative winger rather than a real one, ESR was introduced to the midfield. The purpose of all these changes was to be able to hold possession more in the final third, I couldn't say that results wasn't satisfying, but it wasn't enough, I stopped utilizing the flanks in 1v1 because I can't dribble but depend on acceleration and speed, ramsey also wasn't the best f9 and he stopped being involved when it comes to runs into the box, on the other side carvalho wasn't better. I solved the problem of possession, with a good pressing structure, but when it comes to touches in the box, or even being in a goal situation, It was just a nightmare...



These two pics of my english tour campaign tells it all. It was before I implemented my complete changes and started to play consistently with the new style.

The results then got better, but it didn't last, I run into another dreadful run of three matchs without scoring goals, The inconsistency was due to the unability of providing a consistent chance or threatening situations, and that was as I said, no one is entering -or willing to- the box.
I would say that the experiment wasn't with no outcomes, I learnt the most important lesson very late, efootball mobile wasn't the suitable game for this, First, the potential system doesn't allow the players to reach their real potential, they're limited to their irl performance and that doesn't help much in it. Second, the formations were limited and there was no ability to freely modify it, or even to accuire custom roles to players. This makes the game very limited to playing with a generic playstyle with a less defined and clear approaches, because the game isn't just made for this, it's made to be an online game, and that brings the irony, I've never played a single online game with this squad, I didn't even play a single online game in efootball since two years.
Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed the challenges of playing with a less abilited players, finding a solution for the build up problem and then, the holding possession, I tried my best to work out with the creating chances problem, but at the end it wasn't meaningless, I truly enjoyed feeling the struggle of not having easy solutions and having to find one by yourself.
At the end, if I were to choose certain players as a starters in my team, I would say they will be:
- Rico lewis: Pretty surprising, he is so good despite his relatively low stats, his full back finisher playing style helped with that, not to say he is joao cancelo but based on his stats... I'm definitely using and trying him again and again and will be waiting his new cards.
- Sergio gomez: He isn't a capitan for no reason, he is the most consistent player in the squad, his defending is very very good, but tbh he is not that good offensively. However, I would say that city got their future of fullbacks secured for the following decade.
- Miretti: His presence was all over the pitch, gave a glimpses of de jong with his good ball control and the ability to position good, he is also good defensively and will provide a smooth experience in the midfield, the main downside I could see of him was his relatively low stamina, considering my playstyle, I use the anchor midfield to build up, hold the possession, and tracking back in the defence. So he didn't last any match anyway, and was substituted often around 70 min.
- Ramsdale: I was already having him playing for some matches before I started this experiment, and tbh, he is quite good, I mean he is really good that I almost didn't missed alisson when he was playing, I liked him as a shotstopper and for the most of time as a good build up keeper, how many times did I used him to break the first line of pressure, or to start a very speed transition by passing a straight good long ball to one of the flanks. He definitely deserves to be tried if you're heavily building up using gks.
Players that I won't start but have a good performance:
- Eric garcia: He was a literal disaster in my first two or three matches, he is so bad in man marking and could find himself wandering at the edge of the box in crosses. I started to pressure with him upfield, strangling any chance to cross by creating a 3v2 and 4v2 situation where crossing is nearly impossible and depend on badiashile good air ability to cover. He turned then to be an absolute beast with this new role, I liked him and his very good passing abilities, I even tried him once in the dmf and he didn't disappoint. He is more of an anchor man/destroyer rather than a real cb.
- ESR: I was desperate and thought of playing with pedri, I thought this was a cheat considering how is pedri a generational talent and how i've already three or four non-default players in my squad. So started to play with esr as ramsey is f9 now. ESR proved himself to be very good with being available to decompress, but he is kinda limited in transitions also he won't engage alot in defending.

Tl;dr: thought I was de zerbi and tried to play with u21 players a tiki taka style, It ended up learning the hard truth that is 99% of your game is due to having a good players and not because you're a good player.
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2023.05.29 12:34 Striking_Working7908 "Digital transformation in education and its impact on the future of education"

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اعراض الحمل بعد 14 يوم من الابرة التفجيرية عالم حواء
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2023.05.29 12:31 privateinvest1 How To Choose The Right Private Detective In Malaysia?

How To Choose The Right Private Detective In Malaysia?
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