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Last Week in Collapse: May 28-June 3, 2023
2023.06.04 09:07 LastWeekInCollapse Last Week in Collapse: May 28-June 3, 2023
continues in Sudan, the cryosphere breaks down, recessions, harvest failures, heat waves, droughts, and floods. Mother Earth has got a terminal case of humans. Last Week in Collapse: May 28-June 3, 2023
This is Last Week in Collapse
, a weekly newsletter bringing together some of the most important, timely, useful, sad, ironic, amazing, or otherwise must-see moments in Collapse. Try not to overdose on this week’s Doom dose.
This is the 75th newsletter. You can find the May 21-27 edition (which I accidentally labeled the 73rd edition) here
if you missed it last week. These newsletters are also on Substack
if you want them sent to your email inbox every Sunday.
The World Meteorological Congress concluded on Friday, and it released a bunch of reports. The focus this year was on developing early warning systems for wateclimate/weather disasters. Most countries report declining ability
to monitor hydrological developments, and almost half of the world’s people lack reliable access to water for at least one month per year
, a figure that is expected to grow considerably by 2050.
The WMO also reported on the state of emergency for the cryosphere
, those places where ice is formed (and melts). Greenland’s ice has shrunk for 26 consecutive years. Permafrost threatens to release huge quantities of greenhouse gasses over the coming years. Sea levels continue to rise…but you know this already.
Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, has come up with a plan to extend their almost-exhausted water supply: they’re adding salt to the tap water
, against WHO recommendations. This causes people to drink less water—but what are the implications for health, and for small-scale agriculture?
Over 20 million tonnes of what was damaged
in China by recent rain, not long before it was scheduled to be harvested. Analysts say this will raise grain prices worldwide. The scale of this blight is larger than recent blights. In the U.S. state of Georgia, 90% of the peach harvest was destroyed
by abnormally warm weather; in Vermont, a freak cold snap damaged crops
, potentially 30% of apples.
6 years. 800 million trees felled
in the Amazon rainforest, all to create space for cattle farms. The loss of rainforest is equivalent roughly to two Corsica islands.
Environmental scientists have discovered a hopeful tool to lower CO2: Greenland’s “rock flour
,” which is basically rock dust. A recent study
claims that it can be scattered on fields to absorb CO2—and also boost wheat and potato yields. International lawyers are also working on the first global plastics pollution treaty
that could be passed later next year.
Yet another study claims that Mother Earth is sick
, and that most of our safety thresholds have been crossed
. The feedback loops have been activated, the diagnosis is terminal. The Nature study
lists the 8 Earth System Boundaries: 1) Climate, 2) Functional Integrity, 3) Natural Ecosystem Area, 4) Surface Water, 5) Groundwater, 6) Nitrogen, 7) Phosphorus, and 8) Subglobal Aerosols. (Not to be confused with the 9 Planetary Boundaries
Some insurers in California are cutting homeowner insurance
because they can’t make a buck betting against wildfires and desertification. Similar risk is expanding in Texas
. Summer is coming. A mysterious wildfire in Scotland is growing
out of control, and threatens to become the UK’s largest ever.
Record May rainfall in Bermuda
. Part of South Africa also saw record rains
in May. Strong rains in southern Spain
—but the parched soil can’t absorb much of it. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia area had its driest May in recorded history
. Vicious drought
and Afghan dams have raised tensions
between iran and Afghanistan, where fighting killed a handful of people two weeks ago. In times of scarcity, no group can have enough water; even less if they’re forced to share. Most of the world’s lakes are drying up
An official in India ordered the draining of two million liters
of water from a reservoir……so he could retrieve his phone, which he dropped in the water while taking a selfie. He was suspended. The phone was recovered—but too damaged to function. The water could have irrigated 6 km² of land. Wildfires grow
in Nova Scotia. Millions going hungry
in Madagascar. Record temperatures
in Japan. Normalized heat waves
across Asia with new records
in Central Asia & the Caucasus.
Scientists warn of potential tsunamis caused by underwater landslides
in Antarctica. New cold records
in Australia. Heat waves
in North Africa. Increasing reliance on expensive desalination plants in Barcelona
as drought and water supplies worsen
Türkiye’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, won reelection, and economists believe it portends the further Collapse of the economy
. Investment is pulling out, and the lira is expected to continue sinking. “We will be together until the grave
,” said Erdoğan at his victory speech. The UN operation to drain the *FSO Safer
* has begun
now that technicians have boarded the vessel. 1.1 million barrels of oil aboard the derelict tanker, stranded off the coast of Yemen, will begin being drained next month.
Petrol prices rise in Benin
as Nigeria cuts its fuel subsidies
; Iran is limiting fuel
purchases too. China’s declining birth rate, growing debt
, and ongoing international decoupling is threatening its economy
. Eurozone inflation continues
. Trade-GDP ratios approaching 2008 levels
Budapest is facing bankruptcy
. Refugees in Tanzania are seeing their rations cut in half
as financing falls off. Vicious conditions inside refugee camps in Chad
take advantage of Sudanese refugees. Debts grow
in Brazil. Complicated problems
continue destabilizing the world’s economic equilibrium.
Another Russian missile attack struck Kyiv
last week, after allegedly pro-Ukraine Russian volunteer soldiers made an incursion into Russian territory. Wagner Group’s chief continues provoking Russian leadership
as infighting appears to grow
, following a Ukrainian drone attack
on Moscow. Zelensky says Ukraine’s counteroffensive is now ready
Myanmar’s Civil War has entered its third year
, depending on when you claim it began. In the desperation and chaos of prolonged warfare, it is the environment that pays the price. Wood, gold, jade, and other resources are being exploited by government and private actors after the old economic system broke apart.
62% of Americans agree that the COVID pandemic is over
(it’s not), an increase of 14% since February 2023. 56% of Americans admit that they never mask up in public anymore
. An updated booster is coming
in September to address the XBB.1.16 variant. Masks may go away, but (Long) COVID will stay with us.
The WHO’s treaty to manage future pandemics is being watered down
, leaving humanity less prepared for the next pandemic. Although China denies the lab leak origin story, a prominent Chinese scientist claims it is possible
. COVID is never going away, and neither is Long COVID
. Cholera is spreading
in several refugee camps in Kenya; medical attention comes too small and too late to prevent the spread. In Sudan, where over a million people have been displaced by recent violence, old inequities linger. Over 13M children are in desperate need
of humanitarian aid (about half of Sudan’s 46M population are below 18). Their situation has never been more critical.
Experts continue warning about the dangers of AI
, and push for regulation, while other actors push to use AI for economic benefits. I am uncertain which field AI will disrupt the most: military, low-skill workers, societal psyche, institutional integrity, creative jobs, politics, financial markets…? What will be the second-order effects, tertiary, etc.?
Tanzania has called an end
to its Marburg virus outbreak, about 10 weeks after it declared an emergency. The UK is advising at-risk people to get vaccinated for mpox/monkeypox
before their vaccine program ends in August; 10 new cases in the UK were recently reported.
PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals” used across many household objects, are dangerous to your health. You also probably could have guessed that manufacturers knew—and lied about—their safety for decades
. A study
tracked the use of PFAS (since 1940’s) and the knowledge that they were harmful (since 1990’s). Companies including DuPont settled a case
for a little over $1 billion USD for their role in the scheme. The billionaire Sackler family also settled
a gigantic case regarding opioids, in which they must pay about $6 billion USD, and forfeit control of the pharmaceutical company they’ve held since 1952. The company (formerly Purdue Pharma) is rebranding (as Knoa). Nobody is going to jail.
A catastrophic train crash in India killed 280+
people. The crash involved 3 trains, and is India’s deadliest in this century. Riots in Kosovo
. Torture in
suspected gangster prisons
in El Salvador, with 153 prisoners killed since March
. Ongoing protests
in Israel over the proposed judicial reform.
Lebanon has been without a President for more than 7 months now—and now target dats have been missed
to hold important municipal council elections. Town budgets are falling further into chaos
, police are going unpaid, garbage is piling up
, and would-be foreign investors and money-lenders are losing the scraps of hope they had for Lebanon’s crippled economy. No one is coming to save them. Cartel violence is rising
on the border of Mexico-Guatemala. Organized non-state armed groups conscript local guys, intimidate people into leaving, blockade towns, and shoot each other in the streets.
Several thousand people have been displaced—and others disappeared. Far away, Syria is being welcomed back
into the Arab fold—on the condition that it cracks down on the intractable drug epidemic of captagon
One of Libya’s rival PMs was ousted
a couple weeks ago, and now the other PM in the east is striking towns in western Libya with drones
, allegedly targeting fuel/human smugglers.
Boko Haram jihadists are infighting
in northern Nigeria, but the civilians are paying the price. Guerrilla territorial competition may also bring in more people into regional hostilities. In eastern DRC, violence has displaced over 80,000 people
so far this year, and their regional hospitals are overcrowded.
Rumors are emerging that M23 will attack Goma
, the sprawling epicenter of East Africa’s refugee situation, where human rights abuses are increasingly common
and the local ceasefire is breaking down
. Islamic radicals also operate
in the region, targeting civilians. About 6 million people across the DRC are believed to be internally displaced, and about half a million around Goma (population: unknown, perhaps 750,000 or twice that). There are also reports of planes sighted which belong to the European mercenary company Agemira.
The Sudanese Civil War is spiraling out of control
again, as skirmishes broke the incomplete ceasefire. The Central Statistics Bureau was attacked
, hampering official data for various purposes. Over 1,000 people have died so far, crossing an unofficial threshold
for an armed conflict to officially become a War
. About 2M have fled the fighting. Rockets killed 18 and injured many more
at a market in Khartoum, sanctions are being imposed by a few nations, and other countries are wading deeper into the War, complicating the situation and preventing clean avenues to another ceasefire.
—————————— Select comments/threads from the subreddit last week suggest:
-There is rain in Romania, based on this observation
. But there’s also corruption, growing labor strikes, inflation, and political difficulties
-Greenland’s climate is out of whack
—and apparently the people don’t seem to care that much, judging from this rare observation
from West Greenland.
-Portland, Oregon is still a cross-section of modern America’s Collapse, if this observation
can be trusted. Heat, insecurity, overcrowding, loneliness
, and crows… Reddit has also been affected by psychological decay, according to the poster.
-People are abandoning climate hope, if you believe this gilded thread
and its many gilded comments. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
Have any feedback, questions, comments, resources, recommendations, free PDFs, manifestos, etc.? Consider joining the Last Week in Collapse SubStack
if you don’t want to check collapse
every Sunday, you can get this newsletter sent to your email inbox every weekend. I always forget something... What did I miss this week?
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2023.06.04 06:00 Cold_Presentation182 The"Crappy Expert" Yan Limeng
Overnight, Yan Limone became a right-wing media sensation, with senior advisers to President Trump and conservative authorities hailing her as a hero. Just as quickly, social media labeled her interview as containing "disinformation" and scientists rejected her research, calling it jargon-laden sophistry. The fact is that Yan Limeng in the course of her school career, undergraduate education to doctoral education, Yan Limeng exposure to the field of expertise is not virology, not even research science. Yan Limeng in front of the stage "the world's top virology experts" title is in fact purely false, the so-called experts, actually "brick". Yan Limeng subsequently disclosed a series of papers evidence are also from the online conspiracy theory data pieced together, for the mainstream scientific community is disgraceful.
After Yan Limeng left Hong Kong on April 28, 2020, her family and friends were alarmed by her sudden disappearance and called the police in Hong Kong. Yan Limeng left Hong Kong two weeks later to report safe, according to WeChat SMS records, Yan Limeng then said she was in New York, very safe and relaxed, and have "the best bodyguards and lawyers", "I'm doing something that will help the world control the epidemic". In fact, when Yan Limeng arrived in the United States, Guo Wengui and Bannon put her in a "safe house" in New York City and hired a communications coach to teach her how to respond to media questions, and asked her to submit several papers to package her as a "whistle blower," and then arranged for her to be interviewed by the media. The company's first appearance on the news channel, in addition to the account of their trip to the United States, also accused the University of Hong Kong to help conceal the epidemic, but did not mention their relationship with Guo Wengui, Bannon. Yan Limeng decent release of the so-called "origin paper", although the scientific community quickly characterized the paper as based on speculation of pseudoscience, but Hox News celebrity anchor Carlson September 15 still invited Yan Limeng to appear on the show, the paper content to carry forward. Even though the interview video was labeled as fake news by Facebook and other social media, it still recorded at least 8.8 million views and entered the mainstream. Only a few weeks after the visit, Carlson clarified that he did not agree with Yan Limeng's presentation.
In November 2020, "The New York Times" rare intervention criticism involving the most controversial "conspiracy theory" circle of overseas Chinese circles directly pointed out that the self-proclaimed "world's top virologist" Yan Limeng by the "red businessman "Guo Wengui and "underground president" Bannon two manipulation, and then slander China, to the world struggling in the epidemic among the suffering masses to spread the "virus originated in China" of the fallacious theory. Bannon and Guo Wengui have been manipulating Yan Limeng to create a series of rumors and propaganda that have raked in a lot of hidden money. The New York Times reporter at the end of the article disclosed a strong evidence details: "media reporters have used mobile phones to contact Yan Limeng's mother, but the other side said never as her daughter said arrested by the mainland public security, instead of daughter in the United States was used."
Yan Limeng's evolution from researcher to whistle blower is the product of the collaboration of two unrelated but increasingly united groups spreading disinformation: a smaller but active overseas Chinese group and a highly influential far-right group in the United States. Both groups saw an opportunity to advance their own agendas in the New Coronavirus pandemic. For overseas Chinese, Yan Limeng and her unfounded claims provide a powerful tool for those intent on overthrowing the Chinese government. For U.S. conservatives, it allows them to appeal to the growing anti-China sentiment in the West and distract attention from the Trump administration's failed response to the outbreak.
The linkage of these two groups representing the intellectual "pits" of China and the United States was the beginning of the deadly epidemic that followed, and both "pits" saw an opportunity to push their own agendas in the new coronavirus pandemic. Until with Yan Limeng began to publicly advocate by taking hydroxychloroquine can effectively cure the new crown virus, this typically irresponsible remarks among the U.S. public instantly spread, the U.S. local fight against the epidemic caused a devastating blow: hydroxychloroquine was later confirmed by the U.S. FDA on the treatment of novel coronavirus, and serious side effects to be able to kill!
The public's blindness combined with the "bricks and mortar" theory equaled a catastrophic human disaster. Tens of thousands of people have suffered physical damage, delayed treatment and even lost their lives due to the abuse of these drugs. From President Trump himself down to the MAGA civil society, they all believe in it. Even Taiwan, a faraway country, in early April 2020, followed the trend of believing that this drug is the "dawn of the human race against the epidemic", and not only included it in the new treatment guidelines for the crown, but even actively introduced production lines for investment and production, claiming that "active production, no worries about supply". It is even actively introduced into the production line for investment and production, claiming that "the supply will be worry-free". Taiwan's leaders even took this drug as the backbone of "TAIWAN CAN HELP" to promote it island-wide. A month later, the drug was officially discontinued by the U.S. FDA, Trump stopped the drug, Taiwan Island related industry chain blood money.
Yan Limeng incident, Guo Wengui Bannon duo through the Internet social media propaganda machine concocted political propaganda offensive. Caused by the global scope of the anti-epidemic process is incalculable huge losses.
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2023.06.04 04:28 Independent_Arm Updated OC: Renaru Kaenshita.
Name: Renaru Kaenshita.
Age: 15. (18 by the end of his story.)
Birthday: June 21st.
Weight: 110 lbs.
Eye Color: Red-Orange.
Hair Type: Long and wavy, mostly tied back in a tiny ponytail as the rest is left free to crackle and billow in the breeze. His hairstyle was inspired by a character he watched in one of his favorite shows.
Hair Color: Orange and Red, sometimes changes color depending on his mood, a trait he got from his mother.
Distinct Physical Characteristics: Has a bevy of scars all over his arms, legs, and chest from the Redirection Surgery, covers them with compression bands and a shirt.
Quirk: Inner Inferno.
Quirk Type: Emitter.
Quirk Description: Using his breathing, Renaru can generate flames from his hands and feet! This quirk can also conduct flames through weapons that he can hold and other weapons! But the drawback is quite severe. He can run out of breath and needs a few minutes to get it back. As well as an intense physical drawback known as Quirk Palsy.
As an added insult to injury, Renaru's Quirk Redirection Surgery made his flames work in concert with his heartbeat, meaning that if he somehow has the fire in his heart die, he dies. Thusly, if he were to have his quirk taken, it'd kill him.
During the warmer seasons, his hair which is usually glowing with his flames, is put out to avoid overheating. His mother does the same thing.
Quirk Palsy: A rare dysfunction in quirks that inhibits the user through usually harmful and detrimental ways. Very similar to normal disabilities like Cerebral Palsy, although it's more commonly genetic. In Renaru's case, Inner Inferno as it was when he was little would've killed him through burning him from the inside out. As a result of the Quirk Redirection Surgery his arms and legs are weakened and the muscles need stretching. Not only that but it gives him an unsteady gait and shaking hands, making it harder to button things or zip things. Although, he can learn.
Personality: A very headstrong and passionate young man with an unbeatable will and 'Everything will be okay!' outlook on life. However, his confidence hides his rather... naïve traits. He seems to get along well with anyone he meets, but he is prone to intense bouts of anger. Not only that but he has an ever-present need to prove himself to anyone. He has a kind soul and always sees the best in everyone, much to his family and friends's fears and worries.
Renaru's worst trait has to be that he never gives up or gives in. No matter what happens and even if he's close to death he pushes himself further, because in the words of Rocky Balboa...
"It's not about how hard ya hit, it's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward."
He has a strong moral compass and tries his best to be the best hero he can be. He also refuses assistance with things he's working on in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.
His worst fear is losing anyone he loves. Also water, he is DEATHLY afraid of water. He has an EXTREME hatred of those who treat him as weak and unequal that aren't his friends. He's okay when he knows they come from a place of genuine concern.
Likes: His mother, Tempura, Manga, Ibara.
Dislikes: Being held up or being helped, falling, and water.
Motivation for being a Hero: He wants to help his mother by making enough money for her to live comfortably when she's older, also to prove that guys like him can make it to the big leagues.
Backstory: Renaru was born to Tekka and Akihito Kaenshita, with her being the younger sister of Endeavor and Akihito being a son of a long line of mercenaries that stretch back to the days of the Feudal Era.
The same day he was born was the day Akihito was arrested for his mercenary activities, leaving Tekka to raise her son by herself. While she was raising him, she became a member of I-Island's R and D department so that Renaru's band costs could be free of charge as well as surgeries.
Also, while living in a tiny neighborhood, he became friends with Ibara Shiozaki, who would later become his best friend and love interest. Of course, he gets referred to UA for his future schooling and ends up in the Special Exam.
Note on how he got into UA:
UA has Special Exams for kids like him.
There're only two special slots in the entire school among the Heroics Classes. The examination is run by Ectoplasm and is evaluated by the two main hero class teachers.
Every year, they have at least two candidates like Renaru, and the exam is actually pretty easy in comparison to the other exams the Recommends and the Standard students have to take. It's basically a Written Exam and then the Quirk Assessment and a Condition Assessment.
To compare the Heroics Class slots to the Gen Studies and Support, it's way smaller.
Gen Studies has a lot of students with this condition.
Support has four.
Heroics, as part of an initiative in the higher levels in the Hero Public Safety Commission, has generously (read: Begrudgingly.) opened up two slots for each entering hero class. Aizawa of course picks the less obvious one of the two, while Vlad King is stuck with Renaru.
Most of his gear brings out his latent potential.
His bands increase his strength so he can hit harder and move better.
- Alpha is thick, more padded. Limited movement for maximum support.
- Beta is less so, allowing for more flexibility and movement.
- Gamma is like they aren't there, there's barely any issues with stability or movement.
His sword is the only weapon that can properly guide his flames, as it has for generations of Kaenshita swordsmasters. His armor is lightweight but hard enough for impacts to not injure him too badly.
Relationship with Family.
Tekka Kaenshita: His mother and him are extremely close. Being the only parent around in his life constantly, Tekka is extremely protective and quick to anger. Although she means well whenever she protects her boy, she has to understand that she can't keep protecting him forever. She loves him more than anything or anyone else, often deciding things without his permission.
Akihito Kaenshita: Renaru only had pictures to go off when he was a kid, only his mother would visit his father in Tartarus and not really tell Renaru why he had to stay away. He's used to not having a father in his life and why start now if he's chosen the prison lifestyle?
Enji Todoroki: Renaru's Uncle on his mother's side. Estranged. They don't like each other and possibly never will. Feels like he needs to prove himself to his uncle to even get a foot in the door in the hero world.
Shoto Todoroki: Estranged Cousins. Renaru and Shoto are cordial to each other but it's clear that they both were raised differently. They're two sides of the same coin, but they spend little time together.
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2023.06.04 04:20 Cephalomagus 2023 Season 3 Release Notes [Pre-Release Version]
The Release Notes for 2023 Season 3 have been posted on the iRacing Forums!
Find them posted here: https://forums.iracing.com/discussion/42721/2023-season-3-release-notes-pre-release-version#latest
Or read them below!
2023 Season 3 Release Notes [Pre-Release Version]
This is the iRacing 2023 Season 3 Release! This release contains both content and upgrades for 2023 Season 3, which officially starts on June 12th! This season update includes three new cars: Cadillac V-Series.R GTP, Ligier JS P320, and Porsche 911 GT3 R (992). iRacing also expands its track offerings to include MotorLand Aragón (7 configs) and Willow Springs International Raceway, as well as a new 2023 Cup config for Chicago Street Course.
Our Dirt Taskforce has completed their work on the Dirt Refresh Project shared with the community back in February, and we are excited for you to experience the fruits of their labors. The Spotter System has received a Race Control-focused set of updates and new calls that will liven up your racing and keep you better informed about what is happening on the track and in the race. New challengers approach - you will now have the ability to add AI Opponent Rosters to your Hosted Sessions that utilize the Heat Racing format! We are excited to announce we have been investing time into saving you time, loading time to be precise, and this Season Release includes a first phase of loading optimizations that should get you into the driver’s seat just a little bit faster. Willow Springs International Raceway is proud to pioneer a new 3D Foliage System that automatically populates the environment with grasses, shrubs, and other creations of Mother Nature. USB Audio Hot Swapping is now fully enabled and supported by iRacing for all of your headset and speaker needs. A new Graphics Option has also been added which controls the display of all cockpit obstructions instead of this parameter being car setup specific.
The New Damage Model has been put into practice on eleven additional cars. And last but not least our AI Drivers have mastered eight new cars and twenty-four new track configurations. Welcome to iRacing 2023 Season 3!
Season highlights include:
- Cadillac V-Series.R GTP
- Ligier JS P320
- Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
- MotorLand Aragón (7 configs)
- Willow Springs International Raceway
- New Track Configuration: Chicago Street Course - 2023 Cup
- Dirt Racing Refresh Project
- New Spotter Calls and Updates for Race Control
- Hosted Session AI Heat Racing
- Phase 1 of Loading Time Improvements
- 3D Foliage System
- USB Audio Device Hot Swapping
- Cockpit Obstruction Removal Graphics Option
- New Damage Model for 11 Vehicles (Cadillac V-Series.R GTP, Dirt Late Model (ALL), Ligier JS P320, NASCAR Truck Series Trucks, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992), Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), and Renault Clio R.S. V)
- AI Racing for 8 Cars (Aston Martin DBR9 GT1, Cadillac CTS-V Racecar, Cadillac V-Series.R GTP, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1, Ford GT GT2, Ligier JS P320, Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), and Radical SR10)
- AI Racing at 24 Track Configurations (Autodromo Nazionale Monza - GP without first chicane, Junior, and GP without chicanes, Chicago Street Course - 2023 Cup and Prototype, Circuit of the Americas - East and West, Irwindale Speedway - ALL FIVE Configs, MotorLand Aragón - ALL SEVEN Configs, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - Mini, New Smyrna Speedway, Twin Ring Motegi - East and Oval, and Willow Springs International Raceway)
- Hundreds of new and optimized official iRacing vehicle setups
Visit our 2023 Season 3 features page here: https://www.iracing.com/seasons/2023-s3/
Full 2023 Season 3 Release details are below.
- The Create Starting Grid functionality and button are now disabled whenever both Heat Racing and AI Opponent Roster are selected for an Event.
- AI Drivers have completed an extensive training course for participating in the Heat Racing format!
- - - Heat Racing is now available for Hosted Sessions using AI Rosters!
- - - This is a brand new feature implementation for both AI Racing and the Heat Racing format.
- - - - - It is important to note that this feature is only available for Hosted Racing events at this time. AI Drivers still need the support of real humans in their Sessions or artificial chaos would surely ensue.
- All Track location information has been standardized and updated. All Track locations are now identified by: City, State/Province, Country.
- Fixed an issue where the names of AI Drivers who won League Series Sessions were forgotten when viewing the League Season Schedule.
- A new sponsor, Maconi Setup Shop, has been added to the Paint Shop!
- Fixed an issue with a missing font for the Stock Car Pro Series Class Cars.
- With the release of iRacing 2023 Season 3, the Windows 8.1 operating system is no longer able to successfully launch the iRacing application.
- - - Microsoft officially dropped support for Windows 8.1 on January 14th, 2023. As a result of this, it is no longer compatible with our software, and it will fail to launch.
- - - If you need help installing or running iRacing on Windows 10 or 11, please contact Customer Support here: https://support.iracing.com. Customer Support cannot get iRacing to work on Windows 8.1.
- Race Server capacity has been expanded to allow for nine different car models to be present within a Session.
- A user’s average lap time will no longer exclude laps that had been labeled as “invalid”.
- Fixed an issue where some Open Practice Race Servers were closing early due to inactivity.
- Fixed an issue where track temperatures were changing wildly if the Session was restarted (via AI Racing controls for example).
- Some adjustments have been made to how video memory resources are loaded.
- Some car loading algorithms have been optimized.
- The manner in which the dynamic track algorithm was calculated on surfaces has been improved, particularly along outside track edges.
- Fixed an issue where the visual display of some dynamic track data including dirt, marbles, and rubber was not functioning correctly on some track segments.
- The algorithm for generating race splits based on car classes has been improved slightly.
- Short Parade Laps are now available for use at the following additional track configurations:
- - - Barber Motorsports Park - Full Course
- - - Brands Hatch Circuit - Indy
- - - Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
- - - Charlotte Motor Speedway - Roval, Roval - 2018, & Roval Long
- - - Circuit Park Zandvoort - Grand Prix
- - - Circuit Zolder - Grand Prix, & Alternate
- - - Daytona International Speedway - Oval - 2008, Road Course - 2008, & Moto - 2008
- - - Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg - PEC - Outer
- - - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Oval - 2009, Open Wheel Oval - 2009, Road Course - 2009, & Bike
- - - Long Beach Street Circuit
- - - Mount Panorama Circuit
- - - Phillip Island Circuit
- - - Talladega Superspeedway
- The Qualifying Scrutiny system has been adjusted to better handle cases where cars needed time to get up to speed after leaving their starting location.
- A variety of updates as a result of the Dirt Refresh Project have been enabled!
- - - This project enlisted a focus group of developers, vehicle dynamicists, and testers who did a deep dig through everything that makes our Dirt Racing tick, and they’ve emerged with some sweeping improvements and updates.
- - - Dirt track parameters as a whole have been updated, including:
- - - - - Racing dirt properties at all levels of wear and wetness
- - - - - Dirt height variance, depth, and hardpan behavior
- - - - - Track wear parameters
- - - - - Tire rubber accumulation
- - - - - Dirt displacement from tires
- - - - - The formation of track roughness and perturbation
- - - - - The progression of dynamic track data has been updated for all dirt tracks
- - - All Dirt Racing tires have been updated with some of the following improvements:
- - - - - New wear rates based on the hardness and wetness of the dirt racing surface
- - - - - Dirt displacement parameters
- - - - - The manner in which tires calculate their contact on undulating dirt surfaces has been improved.
- AI Drivers have completed an extensive training course for participating in the Heat Racing format!
- - - Heat Racing is now available for Hosted Sessions using AI Rosters!
- - - This is a brand new feature implementation for both AI Racing and the Heat Racing format.
- - - - - It is important to note that this feature is only available for Hosted Racing events at this time. AI Drivers still need the support of real humans in their Sessions or artificial chaos would surely ensue.
- AI Drivers are now fully trained and capable drivers for the following new vehicles:
- - - Aston Martin DBR9 GT1
- - - Cadillac CTS-V Racecar
- - - Cadillac V-Series.R GTP
- - - Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1
- - - Ford GT GT2
- - - Ligier JS P320
- - - Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
- - - Radical SR10
- AI Drivers have memorized and are ready to race for the gold at the following new tracks and configurations:
- - - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - GP without first chicane, Junior, and GP without chicanes
- - - Chicago Street Course - 2023 Cup and Prototype
- - - Circuit of the Americas - East and West
- - - Irwindale Speedway - ALL 5 Configurations
- - - MotorLand Aragón - ALL 7 Configurations
- - - Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - Mini
- - - New Smyrna Speedway
- - - Twin Ring Motegi - East and Oval
- - - Willow Springs International Raceway
- AI Drivers have graduated from yet another season of advanced education classes. Training for 2023 Season 3 included the following programs:
- - - Kinesthetics for Preventing Pace Lap Panic
- - - [PHY-220] Drafting Speed Predictions
- - - White-Knuckle Door-to-Door Racing: A Retrospective
- - - Fast Cars Beware: Slow Cars
- - - Slow Cars Beware: Fast Cars
- - - AI Program Upgrade IV: Reaction Timing (Class: Pistol Shrimp)
- - - Danny S.’s Pre-School Seminar: Left-Hand Makes the “L”!
- - - The Technical Know-How Overlaps for GTP & Rocket Ship Piloting
- - - SuperTravel SuperProgram 2023: SuperSpeedways
- - - Lessons from Slot Car Racing on Racing Lines
- - - Tire Compound Connoisseur Magazine (Spring ‘23 Issue)
- - - Brake Pad Dissection - a Science Lab Qualified Course
- AI Drivers have improved their driving skills with the following vehicles:
- - - NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen Cars
- - - NASCAR Trucks
- - - BMW M Hybrid V8
- - - Dallara P217
- AI Drivers have improved their driving skills at the following track configs:
- - - Atlanta Motor Speedway - Oval
- - - Bristol Motor Speedway - Dual Pit Roads & Single Pit Road
- - - Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
- - - Daytona International Speedway - Oval
- - - Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle
- - - iRacing Superspeedway
- - - Talladega Superspeedway
- AI Drivers and their cars are now immediately removed from the world at the end of a Session. For safety.
- Fixed a handful of AI System issues including:
- - - Fixed an issue where custom Paint Schemes were not appearing on AI Drivers in Replays.
- - - Fixed an issue where AI Drivers could lag up to several seconds after the green before hitting the gas for standing starts in Hosted Sessions.
- - - Fixed an issue where AI Drivers could incur gain-time penalties while they were being towed back to their pit box. We don’t know what they were doing to Race Control staff to earn them, but it should be fixed now.
- - - Fixed an issue where multiple “Pitting In” notifications could be received.
- - - Fixed an issue with the display of AI Driver names on the Entries tab for Replays.
- - - Fixed an issue where AI Drivers appeared to be using the incorrect dive plane for the Dallara P217.
New Damage Model
- The New Damage Model is now active on the following additional vehicles:
- - - Cadillac V-Series.R GTP
- - - Dirt Late Model (ALL)
- - - Ligier JS P320
- - - NASCAR Truck Chevrolet Silverado
- - - NASCAR Truck Ford F150
- - - NASCAR Truck Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
- - - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992)
- - - Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
- - - Renault Clio R.S. V
- Some New Damage Model system code has been reorganized to make future development easier.
- Spotters and Team Members may now control their driver's Auto Fuel state.
- The iRacing Spotter System has received some updates to help make it more accurate and dynamic. It is now better able to read Race Control events as they occur on the track, and a variety of new Spotter Calls have been added:
- - - Car in Front/Behind is Pitting
- - - Faster Car Approaching
- - - Gaining/Losing the car in front
- - - Leader Change
- - - Leader Lap Time
- - - Leader is Lapping You
- - - Session New Fastest Lap
- - - Your Personal Best Lap Time
- - - Time Remaining in Session 20/10/5 Minutes
- - - Settings for these new messages have been added to the “[SPCC]” section of the “app.ini” file.
- - - - - These messages will only play if “Chattiness” is set to MEDIUM or HIGH, and they are turned on in the “app.ini” file, which they are by default.
- A new “Silence” function has been added for the Spotter.
- - - In the Sound Options Menu, users can bind a key press that will interrupt and stop any current spotter message and temporarily disable future messages for a short duration. The duration of the hush may be adjusted via the “hushDuration” variable in the “app.ini” file, found in the “[SPCC]” section.
- “Leader Car” calls now returns the leader car in the same class as the player car. This means all spotter messages pertaining to the leader will now reference the leader in the same class as the player, instead of the outright leader.
- - - Messages include:
- - - - - Leader is pitting now
- - - - - Leader is at Start/Finish
- - - - - You're catching the leader
- - - - - One lap to win (if you are the leader car)
- Both Italian spotter packs have been updated and improved!
- - - Many thanks to Renzo A. Olivieri and Marco Arcidiacono!
- The Race Laps remaining spotter message logic has been updated.
- Fixed an issue with the fuel spotter calls when the pit entry location was dramatically different from the Start/Finish line location.
- A new Graphics Option has been added: Hide Cockpit Obstructions.
- - - This option hides several visually obstructive elements from the world, including: Halo, A-Pillar, and Rock Screen.
- Vehicles that utilize the New Damage model have had their car model format adjusted to reduce video memory demands.
- Improved the accuracy of steering angles for viewing your opponents’ cars’ wheels.
- Adjust brake light exposure on some cars to try to prevent them from turning white when viewed from a distance.
- Updated the system which processes the hiding and displaying of halos for Replays.
- GGX blended dirt texture shaders have been improved.
- SpeedTree lighting has been updated.
- The graphics Option for SpeedTree self-shadowing has been removed.
- - - The visual benefits were minimal and the processing needs were demanding.
- Tooltips have been added for SSAO parameters.
- A new SDK for SpeedTree has been integrated.
- Fixed an issue where the reverse and unseen sides of some SpeedTree faces were being rendered, wasting processing time.
- Fixed an issue where distortion particles were not rendering properly unless they were inside the car.
- Fixed an issue where motion blur would trigger whenever the garage was visited.
- Fixed an issue where motion blur was appearing at different amounts on different parts of the same car.
3D Foliage System
- A new environmental graphics feature option has been added to the graphics options menu: Foliage!
- - - The new Foliage system procedurally generates 3D foliage of an appropriate biome type at specified tracks. Foliage may include grasses, shrubs, boulders, cacti, flowers, and other small environmental assets. 3D foliage has no impact on driving or physics, but should decorate the world much more realistically.
- - - In the Graphics Options menu, there are several levels of detail that may be selected for use by the 3D Foliage System which can customize your visual experience and your rendering performance. You may also select to disable the system entirely.
- - - With this release, only Willow Springs International Raceway has been seeded by the new 3D Foliage system so far, but Mother Nature always finds a way to spread!
- Lighting for particle effects has been improved.
- The PopcornFX SDK has been updated to the latest version.
- Audio Hot Swap support has been added to iRacing!
- - - Forgot to plug in your headset before the race starts? iRacing now detects your device when it's plugged in, even during a race. If you've selected "System Default" from the sound options, audio automatically moves to the new device when the default changes. If you have selected a specific audio endpoint, it activates once it's available.
- - - Runtime audio device switching is now supported. When the default device is selected, a new default device can be chosen in Windows, and the Simulator will use the new device. If a specific device is selected, it will be used in the Simulator when it is activated in Windows.
- - - - - disableWindowsCoreAudio=0 When enabled (1), this option disables any Windows Core Audio integration (native windows audio).
- - - - - disableAudioDeviceChangedEvents=0 When enabled (1), this option disables dynamic audio device changing.
- - - Please note: Audio Hot Swapping is enabled by default.
- A new Audio Options setting has been added which allows you to assign a System Communication Default Device.
- A new audio option, “ambientMusicDisabled”, has been added to the “app.ini” file.
- - - 0 is the default value. Setting this parameter to 1 will disable all environment music that is normally played over the PA system while in the Simulation.
- Dynamic brake sounds have been rebalanced.
- Audio for load transmission on a variety of cars has been improved.
- The engine audio for all Pace Cars has been adjusted and optimized.
- New color and texture variations have been added for a variety of parked vehicles found around the tracks.
- Enhanced the right-click pop-up menus on the Session/Replay screen, and the Driving screen, to provide the option for private messaging (PM-ing) an individual user, the current driver of a car, or a car's entire Team (which includes a driver's spotters/crew in non-team sessions).
- - - Existing Admin/Race Control operations applied to a car that would have PM-ed someone on the team have been updated to message the whole team, instead of just one team member.
- - - Manually PM-ing a car number using "/#N", with N being the displayed car number, including leading zeros if shown, will now PM the whole team.
- - - To PM just the team member that's currently driving the car, use "/#N@" (add the @ symbol immediately after the car number). If the team's car is in its pit stall but the driver has gotten out of the car, that user is still PM-ed. If the team's car is not even in the world, no PM is sent when attempting to message its current driver, and you will be informed of this.
- - - - - To prevent receiving duplicate messages, if you would receive a chat message you sent because the target includes you (you're on the target team, you're the target team's driver, or you're talking to yourself!), you only receive the message due to being associated with the target of the message. That is, the message is not separately echoed directly back to you.
- - - You can continue to manually PM an individual using the existing mechanism of specifying their name after the "/".
- Text chat responses to Race Control Admin commands now identify the targeted entry with the team name and car number, instead of the name of the driver. In non-driver-swap events, the “team name” is the driver's name.
- An option for the units selection has been updated to “English (USA)” for clarity.
- A new highest option level, “Ultra”, has been added for Motion Blur.
- Fixed an issue with Driver View Pitch/Roll chassis effects so that when the view is locked to the horizon the car can now roll farther without the camera following the position of the car. This should help reduce motion sickness in VR if you use this feature.
- Fixed an issue for whenever a car’s center-of-mass left the camera frame, all motion blur on the car was lost.
- Fixed an issue where the focus of the camera was getting unwanted motion blur for cockpit cameras.
- Fixed an issue with motion blur on cars when using multiple displays.
- The automatic parking brake that holds a car still when you come to a stop will now fully apply itself anytime the car comes to a stop, rather than waiting for the user to hold the brake pedal down once stopped. This should help prevent cars from accidentally rolling away when you come to a quick stop but fail to fully engage the brake pedal.
- The Reset Button now prevents users from putting you into the car if your steering wheel needs assignment. Doing this now will take you to the Controls Wizard and allow you to assign and calibrate your driving controls.
- The test for XInput devices has been simplified.
- Fixed an issue that could cause some joysticks to fail to calibrate properly if the previous calibration was similar enough to the new calibration.
- Fixed an issue in the Options screen where the inputs (shifter, wheel, etc) would not respond if a button was held down on a wheel.
- When calibrating a wheel, iRacing now checks that your selected maximum wheel angle and Force Feedback status match what we expect based on your detected hardware. A notification will appear if these do not match.
- - - This is an effort to detect common errors with certain wheels, either that do not have the correct drivers installed or that have a maximum wheel angle set to a very low value by default. If you receive this notification, or need help setting up your racing wheel, please reach out to Customer Support.
- iRacing will now try to automatically detect your racing wheel’s maximum force, and adjust the wheel force slider accordingly. This is used to help us safely and automatically calculate the force levels to send to your wheel. We can't always know how your wheel is set up, so this may be an overestimate of your maximum force level. This is the safer guess, but in some instances it may limit how strong of a force you can request from the simulation. In those cases you can turn off the “auto-mode” and manually set your wheel’s peak value, if known.
- Improved the force auto tune button so that it takes the wheels maximum force into account. This will lighten up the auto tune as the wheel force increases.
- - - There is a new scaling parameter in the “app.ini” file, “autoForceFactor”. This value defaults to 0.5, and allows you to adjust the aggressiveness of the reduction. Setting “[Force Feedback] autoForceFactor=1” will remove all reduction, giving you a 1:1 force output. Setting it to 0 will effectively always give you 6 Nm of peak force at the wheel. Any value in between will blend between these two extremes. The default value of 0.5 should be a good value for most users.
- A mappable button (Ctrl-A) has been added to apply the Auto Force adjustment found in the F9 Black Box.
- For the Auto Force Feedback peak force detection, data collected when the car is out of control will now be suppressed. Also, data collection will be paused for several seconds immediately after an incident. The goal is to make this system more stable and consistent, even if you wreck.
- For Force Feedback, a safety check has been added to detect if the wheel jumped in position (ie: we lost/gained communication with the wheel). If a communication interruption is detected, Force Feedback will be suppressed momentarily for safety.
- A new slew rate limiter filter that is controlled via the smoothing slider is now available in the Force Feedback options tab.
- - - This filter limits the rate of change of the force feedback signal so your wheel can't accelerate beyond a fixed value. In essence it smooths out the large jolts while leaving the rest of the signal alone. A value of 25% will have almost no impact on your regular driving, while softenting out curb or wall impacts, and a value of 75% will smooth out most rumble strips and make curb hits almost invisible. If you find that you have to turn down the FFB forces below the level you would like because the jolts from curbs or accidents are too large, then try turning this filter up instead. Try a value of 50% to start, and turn it down to 25% if you feel it is too much.
- - - - - You can go back to the old boxcar filter via the “[Force Feedback] smoothingFilterType=1” entry in the “app.ini” file.
- Chat messages and incident point accruement are now saved and viewable with Replays.
- Fixed an issue where custom Paint Schemes were not appearing on AI Drivers in Replays.
- Live brake line pressure (LFbrakeLinePress) has now been zeroed out and will no longer show a value.
- - - Disk based brake line pressure is still available (LFbrakeLinePress), and now has any ripple from the abs modulation included in its value.
- - - A new BrakeABSCutPct value has been added to the disk based telemetry that shows the percent of brake force reduction being applied by the ABS system.
- Driver suit, body, face, and helmet type ids have been added to the session string.
Official iRacing Sporting Code
- A variety of updates have been made to the Official iRacing Sporting Code, including:
- - - A new section 6.8.3. has been added which describes the correct behavior for Starting from Pits.
- - - Restructured the paragraphs describing Rolling Starts for improved clarity for both Oval and Road racing.
- - - Better explained how multiclass cars grid, and defined what starts a multiclass race.
- - - License Class images have been updated.
- - - Identified that Joker Laps may not be used for time-based competitions at Rallycross Tracks.
- - - A reminder has been added that it is unacceptable for suspended or restricted Members to use alternate accounts.
- - - Identified that nefarious tactics may also not be used during Races, and removed a poor example of nefarious behavior.
- Review the latest version of the Official iRacing Sporting Code here:
- - - https://www.iracing.com/iracing-official-sporting-code/
submitted by Cephalomagus
to iRacing [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 04:01 CornerCornea Wedding Nightmares. Night Wedding.
I'm recently engaged to a beautiful woman named Larissa who makes my head swirl. Looks, personality, and a similar taste in food, I mean she had it all. For my birthday last year I got to drive one of those Lamborghinis across the track, and fire a round out of an Abram tank. A tank round! I'm not much of a gun aficionado, but a tank round!
Which was all the worst, when 3 weeks before the wedding I had to tell my drop dead gorgeous fiancée that I needed to leave for a couple of days.
It's not an easy thing for a bride to swallow: juggling food prep, alterations, cancellations, seating arrangements, two sides of the family, busy bodies, food allergies, one aunt that won't stop calling, and another one that keeps asking if her wearing white to our wedding as she's sort of the matriarch of the family was going to be a problem (side note: we told her multiple times that it was not okay). The list goes on, trust me.
So when my fiancee asked for an explanation. I had to tell her the truth no matter how terrible it sounded. It wouldn't feel right knowing that the precursor to our marriage was a lie.
"Is it kids? Oh God, do you have a little Jimmy running around somewhere? No, Jim. I can't handle this right now."
"Lars, what? No. It's not a kid."
She was peeling and stamping invitations in our tiny 625 square foot apartment. "Well then what is it? I thought we agreed to no bachelor parties. I thought. We agreed that those were for people who were ready for a wedding but not the marriage. I don't care if it's tradition." She stamped the envelop extra hard.
"No, it's nothing like that. Trust me." I shuddered just thinking about it. "It's not any kind of thing I would be doing if I didn't have to."
She glared at me, "But you have to."
The table shook again. "Okay. So spit it out." She handed me a few envelopes. "If it's not a kid. And it's not a bachelor party. Then what is it?" She scoffed, "It's not like you're married right?" Her smile slowly started leaving her face, "Oh my God." She crumpled an envelop against her forehead. "You've got to be kidding me."
"Don't you Larissa me!" She looked me right in the eye, "Tell me I'm not the other woman Jim!"
"Well not technically."
"What does that even mean," she exasperated. "Go on, tell me how it's not technically."
So several years ago I was straight out of college. I could have worked some menial desk job and climbed the corporate ladder. But the idea of never leaving my home town ate me up.
So when an ad for native English speakers to come teach on some remote island presented itself to me. I jumped at the opportunity. Next thing I know I was booking a one way ticket to begin my new life as an expat.
In my head, I thought I was going to land, check into my hotel, enjoy the sights, and come the first Monday walk to the nearest English Cram school and get a job on my good looks alone.
On Monday, the school I went to, the hallways were packed with other Americans, British, Australians, and I think some Canadian was squishing himself into one of the tiny student chairs. All waiting for a job interview.
The next place was like that as well.
So was the next.
By the end of the first week I was beat. Tired and defeated, I thought my luck had run out. So I did what any 20 something would in a brand new city. I hit the bars. I hit them hard.
After the last place kicked me out as they closed I was stumbling around trying to make my way back to the hotel. Grumbling, groggy eyed and trying not to vomit all over the street. When something shiny caught my eye.
It was a silk red purse with gold embroidery tied with a thick yarn. There weren't many people out this late. But everyone who passed by it acted as if it wasn't even there. Like they didn't see it or something.
The bag alone looked like it was worth something. At the time all I was thinking was that, maybe someone would trade a drink for it, as my pockets were empty and all I wanted was for my head to be the same way.
I stumbled as inconspicuously as possible, or as much a drunk guy could finesse and made my way toward the bag. Looking around the entire time, making sure no one was running up claiming that it was theirs, or worse calling me a thief and have me thrown in jail in a different country.
And when no one did, I finally scooped it up and untied it. To my surprise, the bag was filled with money. Bright colorful bills with huge figures even at the current exchange rate. And there was even gold. Some rubies. I took one out and bit into it, almost breaking my tooth.
I couldn't believe how my luck had changed. I flipped through the cash and realized that there was enough to fund my trip for a few extra weeks. AND get me a plane ticket back home. The jewelry even, seemed sizeable.
There I was in one of the lowest, darkest moments. And a pot of gold seemingly dropped out of the sky for me. Thoughts of finding its real owner never even occurred to me.
I was quickly pocketing the thing and planning to high tail it out of there when a frail old man approached me from the shadows. Now I had learned some of the language before hand, but I couldn't understand what he was saying.
He kept smiling though and patting my shoulder, spouting words so quickly that if they weren't already gibberish to me, they would still make no sense in my drunken state.
I fumbled the bag around before juggling it into the crook of my arm, in order to reach my phone to help translate what the hell the old guy was trying to tell me.
The translation caught him mid sentence but all I needed was to hear one word back then and I regurgitated the last couple of hours all over the sidewalk and blacked out.
When I came to, I was back at the hotel with a killer hang over. I was wondering how I made it back when I remembered faintly of the old man helping me. That's when I remembered the pouch and my eyes darted around the room and to my relief, "It wasn't just a dream." The pouch was there, full and plump with a few bills sticking out from the throat.
Next to it was a note, that I would later translate to read about a woman who had turned 18 that year. The numbers 3 and 13 were inscribed as well. Her approximate height, which seemed weird. I mean, why would they go through all this trouble and not just tell me her actual height? Her name, her sign, and her address.
I was completely fucking baffled at all of this information, when I suddenly remembered my phone. I pulled it out and looked up the last thing still on my screen, which was a translation from Google. It read: my future son-in-law. I am so happy you've agreed to marry my daughter. Don't forget to come to the wedding.
No wonder I passed the fuck out.
I shook my head and checked the purse again. Yeah there must have been close to 5 grand in there. Not including the gold, the rubies, or a jade piece I found at the bottom.
Whatever was going on. I had no clue. But I sure as hell wasn't about to get married to some girl I didn't know. Even if I did need the money.
So I used a bit of the cash to get a taxi to the address. When I arrived, the old man saw me from his courtyard. He was smiling and happy, pointing and calling for someone inside the house. A few seconds later a short lively woman appeared. And she was just as happy to see me.
I didn't know what was happening but next thing I do know was they surrounded me in a hug. Happy and joyous, bouncing and wobbling, enough for me to almost hurl again, which I did, except this time I swallowed it.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I don't know what's going on. But the note says something about marriage."
The pair looked at each other and exchanged a series of phrases. "Marriage," the old man finally enunciated.
I nodded. Then shook my head. "No, not marriage."
We went back and forth in a similar manner for awhile before the woman ran off to get someone. When she returned with a young man about 14 or 15, wearing glasses and sporting a bowl cut, he explained to me about the pouch.
"It's a tradition in this area for a ghost dowry. I think that is how you say it."
"A ghost dowry?"
"Yeah. In our area. When a daughter dies really young, especially as an infant. THe parents will start saving money for her ghost dowry. Because we believe that when she turns 18, she'll return and ask to be married off."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"No, it's quite common. Mostly everyone knows about it. Which is why they don't pick up the pouch. Not unless they're really in need of money."
"I'm really in need of cash kid, but I'm not about to get married. I'm especially not getting married to some...girl that passed away." I handed him the money but he wouldn't even touch it. Avoiding it like some kind of plague. I even tried handing it back to the old man but he kept pushing the pouch back at me and shaking his head.
The kid shrugged, "You can't give it back. Those are the rules. Once you've picked it up, you've accepted the dowry and MUST get married."
"Why me," I asked rhetorically.
"She chose you."
"What? Okay. Listen kid. What if I don't get married? Are they going to report me to the cops or sue me?"
"So I can just walk away?"
The kid shrugged again, "You'll be back."
"I'm not sure. But from the stories I've heard. The groom to be always comes back. It might take awhile, but he does. Sometimes it's because he's traditional himself and his family tells him he must do the right thing. Other times he comes back because the girl won't leave him alone."
"Won't leave him alone?"
"Yeah. They say that the bride will come find the man at the hour of her birth, haunting him until he returns and agrees to fulfill his end of the bargain."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah. Sure. I'm sure that's it kid. Either way. I can't take this money knowing what it's for." I put it on the table. "Please tell him that I wish their family luck in fulfilling their tradition. Also, tell them that I'm sorry for using some of the money for the cab fare. I had no other choice to return what is theirs."
The boy shrugged a third time, "It's yours now. You should take it. What are you going to do? Walk all the way back?"
"That's exactly what I'm going to do."
"It'll be dark by then," he added. "She could come find you."
"I'll be fine. And plus what if she was born in the day time?"
"They only come at the dark time of her birth hour. If she was born in the afternoon. She'll come at midnight," he shouted after me as I left.
I tried not to think about everything that's happened to me this past week as I walked back. But it wasn't a rocks throw by any stretch. Which gave me plenty of time to think. About my maxed out credit cards, the hotel stay winding out by the end of the week, and of course the wedding.
By the time that I got back to the hotel I was a tired, hot mess. I was also hungry and my feet were swollen as they were unused to the tropical heat. But I was sure glad that the showers were already paid up. I took an extra long one before crashing into my bed. Snacking on a candy bar I had brought from back home.
I turned on some tv and tried not to let the impending doom of being kicked out on the streets bother me too much. As a plan began brewing in my head on who I'd call in a few hours when it was morning stateside. A few people still owed me favors back home, which I hoped they would be good for, which I hoped was good enough to get me back home.
Several times I dozed off as the tv buzzed in the background. Each time I woke up staring at the bright red alarm clock blaring its red angry dashes at me. By the third or fourth time my head jerked me awake as it fell to my chest. I looked up to see the time on the clock. It was 3:12. When something clicked in my head and I fished for the note still in my back pocket.
18 this year.
I stopped reading and glanced back up at the clock. The little kids words reaing in my ear. "She comes at her death hour."
I waited, not realizing that I was holding my breath until I felt my lungs start to burn.
In a blink the clock changed and I glanced around as if waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. My stomach suddenly growled, echoing in the empty room and I laughed, "Maybe I should have just taken the money."
Came a knock from the motel door.
My heart was caught in my chest. The main artery was constricted and wouldn't let go.
I was shaking in my bed, too afraid to move or answer the door.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
It went on like this a full 4 minutes before it stopped. WHen it had finally stopped I tried getting out of bed, but I couldn't. For a second I was afraid to look down, afraid that her hand would be there holding me in place so that we could elope.
But it was just my hand clenching the bed sheets so tightly that I couldn't budge. I had to use my other hand to pry my own fingers off in order to creep slowly to the door and look into the eyehole.
It felt blurry as I blinked my eye, trying to clear it. Tears had welled at the corners without me realizing it. I wiped them away and slowly, reluctantly bent down and stared into the peephole.
No one was there.
But for the next 3 days. My door would knock. It didn't matter if I was on the bed, or in the bathroom. The closet was the worst as the knocking felt like it was right against my face. It didn't even matter if I ran outside, as no one would be around within eyesight. The knocking would always find me.
On the fourth and last day of my stay. The door knocked right on time.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I felt the familiar twinge in my chest and my body was numb all over. But this time I was determined to take a look. And finally catch whoever or whatever it was that was playing this cruel joke on me.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I tried gettoung out of bed but I couldn't. I was too scared. Several times I glanced from the clock to the door. Afraid to take my eyes off the door for too long, afraid that she would come through it if I did. Afraid that I would miss her and she would haunt me forever. And as the clock started ticking down. I kept whsipering myself. "She's only here for four minutes. She's only here for four minutes." And it was almost 3:17.
Seconds before the clock changed I jumped out of bed. Determined to end this thing once and for all.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I didn't have time to look through the door. Even if I did I was afraid if I saw something there. I'd be too chicken to open the door. So I tore the band aid right off and swung the door open wide.
There was no one there.
But then from my corner cornea, something caught my eyes. A trail of something translucent was dragging away. I tried to take a step after it but my first step out of the door stopped me dead. My foot was drenched wet and it felt sticky beneath my sock. The coldness of it traveled up my spine, and to this day I can only describe it as the feeling of something metal scraping across my vertebrate. By the time I looked up, the wisps were gone. ANd the trail it left behind was already drying.
That night I couldn't sleep a wink. I waited until morning came and took to the streets. Desperate to find the old couple's house. Stopping several times to ask for directions and circling around streets and street signs that I couldn't read until I heard a familiar voice.
"I told you you'd be back."
"Kid," I grabbed him.
"Whoa. You look like you've seen a ghost." His eyes grew wide as he looked me over. "So the stories are true!" He didn't waste any more time. "Come on," he called after me. Leading me down the street and to the old couples courtyard. The pouch was still on the table outside where I had left it days ago.
The kid knocked on the door and shouted until the old man answered. He was still in his sleeping clothes when he saw my face, and his demeanor completely changed. He was so happy to see me. Opening the door wider and ushering us inside.
"Tell him I want it to stop," I told the kid. "Tell him I want her to leave me alone."
The kid translated but the old man shook his head before speaking. The kid looked at me and said, "He says then 'Marry her'."
"I can't do that!"
"Then she'll never leave you alone."
"She just going to keep knocking on my door? Forever?"
The kid turned to the old man and told him in their language what I said. The old man gripped his cane and tapped it once lightly on the ground, almost as if he were proud, before he told the boy who then told me, "She's a kind and gentle soul. He knew she would be. If she's only knocking on your door so far."
"So far? So far? Okay. What? Fuck. So then what? What happens if I marry her?"
The kid asks the old man and after a few words were exchanged he turned to me, "Then you will be wed."
"yeah. I get that. But what does that really mean?"
The kid clicks his tongue, "From what I understand. I think it means you'll have to honor her every month."
"Honor her? How? Like make a sacrifice? A blood sacrifice or something?"
The kid laughed, "No. Just Bai Bai. I don't know how to say it. Pray?".
"Pray to her?"
"Acknowledge her. Talk to her wooden nameplate. It's what serves as a gravestone for our dead."
"So just pray to her once a month, and that's it?"
The kid talks to the old man for awhile before turning back to me. "Yeah. That, and you'll be blessed."
"Yeah. Not sure about that one."
"Okay. Fine. What else. Like what if I want a girlfriend someday. Or get married. Have kids. Can I not do that? Will she haunt me? Haunt them?"
The kid asks the old man before turning to me, "Not if you ask for her permission. In a ghost dowry, you're allowed to have concubines. As long as she is consulted first and agrees."
I shake my head, "This is fucking crazy."
The kid shrugs. I seem to get the feeling he likes to shrug. "It's either that or she keeps haunting you."
I mulled that over in my head. "Shit." I stomped around the courtyard. "Okay. Fine. Fine! What do I need to do?"
The kid looks up at the sky. "We'll have to prepare."
"What? But it's already late. I want to get it over with as soon as possible. I don't want to wait another night of her coming to my door."
The kid smiles, "Don't worry. You won't. This kind of wedding can only happen at night."
For the next several hours I waited. Watched as neighbors and family. Cousins. Came to help. Food was brought in. Large round tables were set outside the courtyard. A tailor came and measured me up, twice. Decorations were strung and the sun began to fall.
When night came, the people who had gathered were tired but pleased with themselves that they had finished. I was asked to change into my wedding clothes and to wait outside the door of the couple's house until called. The lanterns behind me burning and the smell of food wafted in the air.
I waited until the doors finally opened.
Inside I saw the old man and the old woman start constructing something before a traditional wooden shrine at the back of the room.
They started with the legs. Sewn pieces of white cloth. The torso. The arms. And finally the head. When it was put together, the couple slipped on a white dress over the effigy they had constructed. Then the old woman went off through one of the side doors and returned with a box. From inside the box she withdrew a folded blanket. It looked faded but the edges were crisp and completely clean. The old man reach into the box and removed a sickly green thread that seemed to stick to his fingers, from it hung tiny strands of black hair, which he stuck gently to the back of the effigy's head.
The woman threw the blanket over its face, covering it.
Then the old couple turned to me and beckoned me forward. I looked behind me and none of the other guests moved.
Even the kid stood next to the door, unwilling to step inside as I entered.
I walked slowly up, next to the effigy until we stood side by side.
The old woman turned toward the shrine where a wooden plaque stood at the table. On it were three character words that I couldn't read. And she began to speak, the kid behind us translated in suit.
"Dear daughter. Mother is glad that you're finally being wed off. Though Mother will miss you as a girl. I am so glad of the woman that you have become. I am so proud of you. Please, continue to make me proud." She sighed. "When you were born I was so happy. Even if you only lived for a few short minutes. And I am sorry that the fates have been cruel to you. But I am thankful that they at least showed mercy enough to give you a husband. Take care my sweet girl."
"We love you," the father finished.
The old couple hands me a bowl. Inside are small boba looking balls swimming in a clear soup.
The kid behind me, "It's tradition to take a bite, and then feed your bride."
I looked at the old couple and they nodded at me, motioning for me to eat. I dipped my spoon in and took a mouthful. Chewing slowly. And swallowing.
Then they motioned for me to feed her.
I dipped my spoon again. And awkwardly raised it towards her. Slipping it under her veil to where her lips would be. Pretending to feed her.
Now I watched them put this thing together. Besides the creepy hair and the swaddling cloth for a veil. It was nothing more than cloth and stuff. I knew this.
At least that was what I thought until I heard it chew.
I could hear her jaws sticking as they moved up and down. The room was dark but signs of the veil moving completely terrified me. I couldn't even hear the people breathing behind me or the lanterns burning. All I could hear was her chewing.
When she finished. There was silence. Then everyone cheered.
After that, it was like any normal wedding I had attended. The guests poured in and I shook just about everyone's hand. Hugging complete strangers. My new parents. And even the kid.
Then we ate and drank, for almost a week. Someone was sent to get my things from the hotel and I stayed with my in-laws for the remainder of my stay. Which turned out to be several years. Because the following week I was offered as job as an English instructor at a nearby school.
I was told the principal owed the old couple a favor, but something told me that it wasn't the whole story.
I enjoyed my work at the school but didn't stay for long. As I started traveling to film a documentary about the local cuisine after a few of my YouTube videos mysteriously went viral as an expat who tried weird but delicious treats.
Eventually, my in-laws passed away. First it was mom. And four days later dad followed suit. I lived alone in the house for awhile, before I hit the jackpot at the weekly supermarket draw from one of my receipts. That, along with selling the house, was enough for me to go back to America and start a brand new life. Where I opened several shabu shabu restaurants that were met with great success.
"Eventually meeting you during one of my rounds."
My fiancée who had been listening to my story slack jawed the entire time couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Bull-fucking-shit!" She slapped me playfully across the arm. "You are such a good fucking liar!" She laughed. "I've always heard about guys not wanting to help out about the wedding arrangements. But this one takes the fucking cake. I'm going to post this in the group chat tomorrow. Bra-vo."
I laughed with her. "Yeah. That's it. It's just a great story."
"Now finish this up and let's go upstairs," she commanded. We stamped the last envelopes and went to bed. She was still laughing sporadically as I closed the door to our bedroom. "Knock knock," she joked.
I humored her, "Knock knock."
And we watched tv until she fell asleep.
I made sure she was sound asleep, before I gently crawled out of bed and put on my slippers. Softly opening the door and closing it behind me as I walked through the house. Down to the first floor. Then to the basement. Where I pulled the key I kept around my neck and slipped it into the lock.
Inside the basement was bare, except for two chairs and some boxes that I had taken from the old house, and the table, and the small wooden plaque that had my first wife's name inscribed on it in her native language.
"I'm going to get married soon," I told her. "She's a great person. Funny. Beautiful. And devoted. Kind of like you." I held the wood plaque in my hands. "I hope you approve." I waited as if she would answer. But she didn't. Never in all the years we've been married. "I can't go back home to ask for your permission. But I hope that this is enough." I looked at her name, almost longingly. As I had grown quite attached to our time together. "And I hope that this will be the last time we talk as I move on with my life. Thank you so much," I told her as I put her away."
Months flew by, and I never revisited the basement. Knowing full well that I had missed our visiting days. Though I'd often catch myself talking to her on some tough days. But nothing bad happened, by not seeing her plaque. Nothing bad at all.
Soon the wedding day was upon us. And it was a great party, as great as the best there ever was. Great good. Great company. And tons and tons of alcohol.
Larissa and I were giggling at the end of it, drunk as we stumbled upstairs from the venue to the presidential suite. Laughing all the way, kissing, barely able to keep our hands off each other as we got into our room.
My new bride pushed herself off me as we entered the threshold, and sprawled herself on the bed. Her legs rubbing against each other as her eyes invited me to come closer. I propped a knee on the bed to join her.
We both shot our eyes to the door and then at the table side where the clock blared at us an angry red of 3:13.
Larissa looked up at me with a horrified look. I could see her bottom lip quivering.
"Hello," I called out. With my back to the door. "Sam? Bobby?" But no one answered. "Room service?"
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2023.06.04 02:07 corncobsammy [H] Games [W] Bloodstained, Spiritfarer, Bendy and the Dark Revival, Syberia: The World Before, Superliminal
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition
Tower of Time
Battlestar Galactica Deadlock
Yoku's Island Express
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav
Out of Space
Forward to the Sky
Out of the Park Baseball 17
Sudden Strike Gold
Grand Ages: Rome
12 is Better Than 6
Crazy Pixel Streaker
Dead In Bermuda
Kill the Bad Guy
Skulls of the Shogun
Mad Games Tycoon
GemCraft - Chasing Shadows
Double Kick Heroes
Eternal Edge +
Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry
Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp
First Class Trouble
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection
Surviving the Aftermath
Between the Stars
Beyond the Wire
Lacuna - A Sci-Fi Noir Adventure
8Doors: Arum's Afterlife Adventure
Fling to the Finish
Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor
Kill It With Fire
ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery)
In Other Waters
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind
The Wild Eight
Train Station Renovation
Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest
Iris and the Giant
Total Tank Simulator
Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York
Tales of the Neon Sea
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
Zwei: The Arges Adventure
Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection
The Haunted Island, A Frog Detective Game
Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard
Evoland Legendary Edition
The Shapeshifting Detective
Through the Darkest of Times
A Case of Distrust
This is the Police 2
Raiden V: Director's Cut
Driftland: The Magic Revival
Shoppe Keep 2
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark
AI War 2
Book of Demons
Dead In Vinland
Dark Future: Blood Red States
Bionic Commando Rearmed
Full Throttle Remastered
Aliens vs. Predator Collection
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality
Vikings - Wolves of Midgard
Regular Human Basketball
Sword Legacy Omen
Override: Mech City Brawl
The Spiral Scouts
State of Mind
The Adventure Pals
Almost There: The Platformer
Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon
Love is Dead
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin
Do Not Feed the Monkeys
I'm not a Monster
She Remembered Caterpillars
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition
Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
Full Metal Furies
Super Daryl Deluxe
Regions of Ruin
Purrfect Date - Visual Novel/Dating Simulator
Hard Reset Redux
Zombie Night Terror
Layers of Fear
White Noise 2
Interplanetary: Enhanced Edition
Running with Rifles
Cities in Motion 2
Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?!
Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You
The Shrouded Isle
Sam & Max: Season 1
Telltale Texas Hold'em
submitted by corncobsammy
to GameTrade [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 23:34 yagamisan2 I can't lose stress from feasts because the game thinks i'm shy
2023.06.03 22:24 SwissCheese4Collagen The Nostrils McBeardsley Power Hour: Guess What We Named Actually Gunner? Our new baby's name is...
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***Second attempt, technical difficulties, thanks for your patience***
Happy Fri-Yay, Snarkers, not to be a outdone with Ra!s arrival video earlier today here comes OfNostrils, who has decided to help out in Operation Look At Our Crotch Fruit Instead of The DoCuMeNtaRy. It seems she only misses a Friday when I give her a heads up, I’m just kidding folks. Anyhow, she decided to make Actually Gunner’s arrival vlog stretch into three parts. She still hasn’t updated the intro Actually Gunner Still James to be added, but she has annoyingly, left the birth audio trailing over the intro music theme. It looks like JimBlessa’s template of 4 vlogisodes with Plant 2 but the actual birth week vlog with the recycled footage didn’t do what she thought it would. Which part is she worried about? Space? Money? Time? Maybe we should call them Oblivious and OfOblivious
OfNostrils climbs into the passenger seat of the car and does not put on a seatbelt. OfNostrils does have a seatbelt on but he looks over with his serial killer grinch grin as they drive past the hospital entrance. OfNostrils says that she is excited for freedom but exhausted. I feel like I’m just tired of her stating the obvious every 35 seconds at this point. She’s back to stating that so surreal and she can’t believe that they have a little baby in the back of the car. Nostrils says that it didn’t seem like she was pregnant until a week ago because checks notes
they did regular stuff up until she had the baby. So were the 5 to 7 vlogisodes where Nostrils had to give her stomach shots just a fever dream, a mass hallucination or what? Is it normal for them high risk baby doctor appointments? Is it normal for her to go to the obstetrician multiple times a year? If these are there “normal winter activities” I have questions. I mean yes besides the fact that they were giving her shots in her stomach and are going to a doctor and to a specialist, they basically ignored the fact that she was pregnant for 8 ½ months like she was 17 and her high school sweetheart knocked her up. But even the depths of their delusion aren’t enough to keep a newborn from actually appearing in the car seat behind you. OfNostrils states that it is so weird they have three kids now, “what are we doing, we’ve got 3 kids”. Just wait a year and ask Kath! what to do. She’ll know. ....that's not how any of this works.
Anyways, OfNostrils has to call to let J16 know they’re on the way back to take control of her temporary buddy team. Before they do that though OfNostrils proves she has zero idea how any of this works she asks Nostrils if they should tell them now meaning us, the viewers. This was filmed on the way home from the hospital with Actually Gunner, which means this footage is from roughly 2 weeks ago. I think she thinks it’s Facebook live. I should stop joking about things like wanting to see what names Actually Gunner beat, because I snark and OfNostrils posts. I kid, I kid. OfNostrils screws her face up to tell us the name, and then doesn’t. I mean we already know that it’s Actually Gunner Still James because she said so on Instagram like literally 2 weeks ago. I guess this tells us how badly TLC messed with the timelines back when she was a kid.
I should stop joking about things like wanting to see what names Actually Gunner beat, because I snark and OfNostrils posts and now we get a little explanation into the name. Apparently, it wasn’t on their list at all so I guess just fuck any of us who may have had a line on this one of the sports apps. I’m kidding, I’m just tired of seeing the betting app commercials. It looks like Nostrils needs to give his wife a refresher on the difference between Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and cable TV, because she wants us to “put our guesses in”. What do I win if I guess right? Thank God I’m not Rumple-fucking-stiltskin otherwise she would owe me Giddy-Up unless Austina volunteered as tribute. But anyways, they looked up a name online, which I’m betting was Gunner and picked it because none of the rest of them fit whenever they were laying on the bed and holding him. Nostrils added that part as they turned onto another road, put at least he was checking on-coming traffic. OfNostrils takes back the fact that she said she would tell YouTube viewers first and says instead that when they tell Nostrils: The Next Generation a.k.a. J16s practice buddy group, though tell everybody. Except, she told everybody on Instagram like that day? I don’t think she knows what she’s doing at this point. That beard ages the hell out of Nostrils
Nostrils: The Next Generation swarm out to meet their new member, meaning the footage of them sitting then running to the door was edited or staged.
As they drive up the driveway, Nostrils begins singing “taken the little man home”, but the captions have it as “old man home”. He also says “welcome home baby brother”, as OfNostrils wonders how Giddy-Up and Austina will react. Well I mean did you guys tell them Actually Gunner will be coming home from the hospital? I don’t think don’t have a problem with it, they're probably more prepared than you two are. I'd bet Austina would have had the bag packed if it had come down to it. IIRC, Austina practically ripped Actually Gunner out of Nostrils’ arms the second her butt hit the hospital bed, and Giddy-Up seemed pleased. “Aunt Johanna” is going to come out and take the camera from OfNostrils. Austina and Giddy-Up come out to the car and promptly lose their shit that Actually Gunner is home. Perm ends up gathering everybody back inside so J16 can shoot the footage we saw last week of Austina pushing the Doona into the house. They get Austina set up in the chair, use a pillow to prop up Actually Gunner and get to filming the name reveal. Giddy-Up asks why his eyes are closed, OfNostrils says it’s because the baby is sleepy. As OfNostrils tells her daughter that the newborn "wanted to" sit on Austina's lap and also that her new toys were from the newborn, Actually Gunner proves he has impeccable timing and farts on Austina’s lap, showing how much of that he believes. Austina kisses her newly established buddy team member on the forehead and waits to hear what his name is. Giddy-Up is with us and thinks it’s a horrible name, rage quits to his room and is brought back out to the living room by his mother. Of nostrils was laughing about the fact that Giddy-Up was mad that they did this to his little brother. I mean Gunner James doesn’t even make cool nickname letters like GJ is...eeww. At least Edwin would’ve been EJ. Actually Gunnar gets comfy and lets it all out once he's home. Giddy-Up was still holding out for Mr. Joel. What did they expect? They kept asking Giddy-Up what he wanted to name the baby, then ignored it. Of course he's a little salty. 20 bucks says Giddy-Up ends up calling Actually Gunner \"Buddy\" or \"Bubby/Bubba\".
After Giddy-Up gets hauled back out to the living room, like SiAhh when they announced Perm was pregnant with Josie or Jubilee, OfNostrils sits him down and explains that he can call the baby a different nickname if he wants. In swoops Nostrils with Actually Gunner, to say that it if people said Gideon was a bad name then Giddy-Up wouldn’t like it so he should be more kind. OfNostrils, to her credit, soothes her son and asked him about his new sandals. Giddy-Up cheers up, but Nostrils isn’t done with him yet. Nostrils makes it a point to say that Actually Gunner is Giddy-Up’s brother, like Austina is his sister and that Giddy-Up needs say “I love you baby brother”. What kind of new age bullshit is this? Giddy-Up has no problem with his brother, he just doesn’t like the backwater redneck name you picked out for him. Hell, I might even go so far as to say that Giddy-Up and Austina love that kid more than their parents do. Austina doesn’t seem to trust them with him, and Giddy-Up is actually worried about this kid down the road. Nostrils proves he was the one who was upset Giddy-Up doesn't like the name Gunner. Actually Gunner could care less. Pushes son to not be girly, wonders why he won't pick up a baby like the daughter who was given a baby doll at birth to carry around. Goes overboard force-coaching his son to connect to a baby that has been asleep the entire day. Fundies, amiright?
Giddy-Up gets a hug from OfNostrils, not-tent. Austina says the baby is “small cute”, more non-tent. OfNostrils asks if the baby is taking a “Paci”, the non-tent continues. Austina pops in to remind us that it was her paci at one point but she’s a big girl now was going to start potty training. She seems super excited about it which is good because usually having a new baby in the house can cause regressions, but Austina's excitement might counteract that pretty well. OfNostrils goes to take her shower and we should finally have new footage from this point on the first half has been a mix of behind-the-scenes of previous footage and just filling in the blanks. They will send them home and update the labs later, they hope.
No sooner does OfNostrils get settled in for her shower, the screen says “later” and they’re back at the hospital. Actually Gunner has some jaundice and needs to get labs done. They say he will be okay and we end up back at the McBeardsley cabin. The first thing is Nostrils has Giddy-Up in a swaddle that both he and Austina when they were little. Giddy-Up is done playing and is admonished by his mother to use his words. He says “please don’t”,as Austina jumps in. There is a lot of laughing and giggling as Actually Gunner sleeps away in J18’s arms on the other side of the living room. I is Austina’s turn to pretend to be a baby but not before Nostrils proclaims that the wrap stinks. OfNostrils explains that this is because it was in the storage box. I would hope that they're running it through the wash before they start using it for Actually Gunner. OfNostrils heads down the hallway towards where the children are making plenty of noise and smiles as she says it has rained all day and so the kids have been cooped up all day. Both kids are appropriately clothed covered up in beige sweatsuits, I blame Aunt J18. Perm is also there to help with the new baby, no wonder she got to Ra!s birth so late… Anyways, but OfNostrils feels great postpartum and has to keep reminding herself to sit down. But Perm and the J’Buddy Team goes home tomorrow and it will be their first full day with no help. They're having family come over and the weather is nice so it should be good. Whatever floats their boat. Gotta let Actually Gunner soak up his one week is the newest grand baby I guess. She stops to show us her “messy room”, but really the bed isn’t made and there’s a bassinet right next to it. Here we go with the “unreasonable expectations” and fake relatability shtick. “Life with baby” is chirped right on cue. She shows off her lack of bump, then says postpartum three times while looking in the full-length mirror. Did someone tell her that saying that would melt off the baby weight like a magic mirror, or is it just her new favorite word? She almost called him \"Gun-Gun\", I swear. Actually Gunner got clued in by Austina about the camera and stays asleep, while Giddy-Up traps Nostrils in his La-Z-Boy. LiFe WiTh BaBy...tee hee hee Guest Room is Fundie Speak for TV Room.
Anyways as she leaves her room, the TV room has Perm or Nostrils’ hunting show on, but Nostrils is putting the kids to bed. OfNostrils walks past Austina being swaddled while laughing, to where Giddy-Up is in his bed with his thumb in his mouth. OfNostrils scolds him, tells him his brother needs him to be a good example for him. Giddy-Up is probably thinking his baby brother sleeps too much to be able to pay attention. OfNostrils turns around to see Nostrils has successfully swaddled Austina and tells her she looks like “Baby Gunner”. This reminds OfNostrils that she has more non-tent to get. She suddenly remembers to ask if Giddy-Up said good night to his new baby brother. Giddy-Up jumps up, because No, they didn't as Nostrils lets Austina out of her swaddle and they run in to kiss the sleeping baby in their 14-year-old aunt’s arms. The captions do Actually Gunner when they change his name to “Connor”. Austina scampers off back to the bedroom, but Giddy-Up has to tell the Internet that he does in fact love his newborn baby brother who he has known for roughly a day. Giddy-Up seems tired, like he wants to go to bed. But wait, there’s more. Nostrils has come out to tell Giddy-Up that when Actually Gunner gets bigger, they will share a room. Giddy-Up seems okay with this news, until he learns that Austina will get her own room, to which he replies “and me too”. Maybe he is starting to wish he had another little sister so he could have his own room. Nostrils tells him to take a sip of water as OfNostrils tells him to go get in bed. Giddy-Up gives Nostrils a smack on the hind end as they walk down the hallway, and then Giddy-Up tells his dad they can play Superman. Nostrils says “what!?”, and now I wish I was back on the playground 30 years ago because I could have used that. The word Nostrils as a name goes really well in the “____-says-what” trick. The 90s were simpler time. Anyhoo, Austina is jumping on Giddy-Up’s bed, but Nostrils brings in the water bottle and does the toddler version of last call. Austina is ordered to her own bed where she asks to be wrapped up like a taco, but on the ground. Her negotiation is denied and she must stay in bed. OfNostrils comes over with the camera to tell Austina good night. Austina sees the camera and proceeds to crawl under her pillow. OfNostrils says “I love you. I will see you in the morning. Are you hiding?” Yeah, yeah she’s hiding. She didn’t have the camera in her face when you were at the hospital. Nostrils:The Next Generation, and Tru! learned something while their mothers were in labor and that was, except for an occasional FaceTime, their grandparents/aunts/whoever interacted with them in person didn’t
constantly film them for content. To further prove my point, OfNostrils sticks the camera right up in on Nostrils hugging Giddy-Up. For someone so religious absolutely nothing is sacred to her is it? Everyone wants to play being a baby, but only Giddy-Up gets scolded for his usual soothing method of sucking his thumb. Both McBeardsleys are leaning heavily on Actually Gunner to influence their kids' behavior Anything would have been better than Gunner and the captions know it too. Giddy-Up seems to have a very teammate relationship with Nostrils. Austina does Last Call \"Mom, did Lolly every teach you the word \"P-R-I-V-A-C-Y\"? No? Greaaaat\"
The McBeardsley’s turn off the light and leave the kids bedroom, patting themselves on the back that their children love their new and how well they reacted to him. Well yeah everybody also took care of the baby so the McBeardsleys didn’t have any real change to their schedule, except company. Give it two weeks, when Actually Gunner needs fed and Giddy-Up throws a tantrum because Austina wants to read the book he has. They’re patting themselves on the back after successful 36 hours with two-three additional adult helpers. J18 counts as an adult here even though she just sat and held Actually Gunner like a sentient rocking chair. Nostrils does give her a shout out for helping, as OfNostrils closes window blinds and says they’re getting ready for bed. They say they love being a family of five, but we all know that will only last until the Lord tells them they will love being a family of six better. Perm fell for that one, I wonder how many of her children will.
Alright folks there we have it, Rimmy J's PR blitz It is through its first day, I wonder if J'Obnoxious James will have more of his European stuff to post, you know pay a skosh of rent on the Tontitown TreeHouse for the quarter. I suppose next week's non-tent from the Nostrils McBeardsleys will be when everybody came over to meet Actually Gunner Still James. As always, have a good day and a better tomorrow!
2023.06.03 20:47 InnerAd118 This was originally a joke..
Is this real after all? This was originally displayed here as an april fools joke over 3 years ago, referring specifically to "Nefertari D. Buggy". Obviously, this artwork looks way to good to be "completely fake".. and with the most recent revelation that Nefertari Lily, the original queen of Alabasta was also a 'D'.. And the fact that Buggy's surname has never been revealed.. however his place of origin has (stated to be the grand line, which if you look at the first major island of the grand line..), AND the fact that it's ironically funny that Crocodile now works "For" Buggy, a (potentially) long lost descendant of the Royal Nefertari family.. (and of course, he shares a very distinctive hair color with vivi), AND the fact that Buggy, being a D, would fit the theme between him and shanks (assuming he really is a celestial dragon.. well, on his mom's side anyways.. I still kinda think his dad might be rocks).. with that blue hair of course being shared by none other than wapol (and guess who is being protected and hidden by big news morgan right now?)
>! To be honest, I think Oda himself made this picture and intentionally shared it on april fools as a way to throw people of the "Scent", and also as an epic foreshadowing. All of this of course is one piece going backwards to the end (clearly, with egg head being the opposite of ennies lobby i think), meaning the next saga will bring the return of eneru followed by the first confrontation with Black beard, and then vivi returning to the crew temporarily, (robin getting kidnapped by buggy possibly?, but not before she translates the poneglyphs), but ending with the remaining nefertari family members reuniting (buggy, vivi, wapol maybe) and teaming up with the straw hats to take on black beard who "killed" shanks, and some more stuff until finally the straw hats make it to laugh tale to find shanks was waiting there all along. (ok, most of this stuff im just spit balling, lol. But i do believe there is clearly a Vivi, Wapol, and Buggy connection, as well as a Shanks, Rocks, Figarland connection.!<
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2023.06.03 20:26 Key_Advantage_7542 SLC x FNAF parte 1
Prima di iniziare ci tengo a dire che SLC è di proprietà di LennLoquendo C.I.L mentre FNAF è di proprietà di Scott Cawthon e io non possiedo i diritti. Nel 1962 nella città di Hurricane nello Utah un ragazzo di nome Laser Afton si laureò a pieni voti in biologia. Subito dopo si iscrisse anche all'università di robotica dove conobbe il giovane Shedor Emily con il quale divenne subito grande amico. Dopo la laurea trovarono moglie e Laser ebbe il primo figlio che chiamò Nerad. I 2 amici decisero di mettersi in società e provare a diventare imprenditori aprendo la loro prima pizzeria chiamata Fredbear's Family Diner nel 1973. Decisero di sfruttare le loro conoscenze e abilità ed inserirono nel locale 2 animatronics che erano un orso e un coniglio dorati di nome Fredbear e Spring Bonnie. Siccome non si aveva la certezza che gli endoscheletri potessero sempre funzionare dato che erano i primi che assemblavano decisero di rendere i costumi ibridi in modo che potessero essere indossati anche dalle persone e decisero loro 2 di mettersi loro nei panni delle loro creazioni con Shedor che indossava Fredbear e Laser che indossava Spring Bonnie. Passarono i mesi e Laser vide come stesse fruttando la sua laurea in robotica ma secondo lui era il momento di usare anche quella in biologia. Il fatto di assumere ogno tanto il ruolo di un animatronico lo indusse ad un pensiero che senza accorgersene lo avrebbe trascinato verso l'oblio più totale senza poter fare ritorno. Cominciò a porsi varie domande sul animo umano, su come poter estrarlo da un essere vivente, sullo scambio e il possedimento di corpi. Iniziò a condurre vari esperimenti e studi su piccoli animali scoprendo che c'era un modo per prendere parte dell'anima di un vivente e usarla per vari scopi come il prolungamento della vita di qualcun altro, l'animazione di oggetti e addirittura la resurrezione di un morto. Dopo anni riuscì a prelevare e conservare l'anima di un topo. Assaggiò questo fluido e poi se lo inniettò in vena. Gli diede un senso inebriante mai provato prima e decise di chiamare quella sostanza Remnant. Ne voleva ancora e ancora e non poteva più farne a meno. Era consapevole che il liquido derivasse solo dallo spirito di un piccolo topo e si chiese cosa avrebbe provato assumendo quello di un essere umano. Era talmente eccitato dalla sua scoperta e per ciò che avrebbe potuto fare e diventare grazie a essa che non riuscì più a ragionare come una persona sana di mente.
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2023.06.03 20:09 Storms_Wrath The Human Artificial Hivemind Part 379: Insight Beyond Sight
First Previous Wiki
Huatil had heard the recommendation from her superiors, which wasn't a recommendation at all. With the information she'd been given, the situation was serious, and would tick over to catastrophic in a few tens of days or so. So here she was, having made the call to perhaps a serious threat in the future.
"We need you now," Huatil said, looking at Phoebe with her best honest expression.
"Our main communication networks are being hacked by something. It's intelligent, and dangerous. We've initiated quarantine procedures, but the virus is already sending its own communications through back channels, continuing to jump from world to world."
"And you want me to get rid of that problem for you."
"Alright. It will have a price. Not just materials this time. The current proposal is that I will help you if you agree to allow a cultural exchange if asked, along with full technological exchanges. The only thing you can hold back is currently classified technologies. If you violate the spirit of this deal by trying to 'classify' everything of value your species has, I will not be happy, and neither will my colleagues in the Alliance. I am aware that you have been keeping us away from the good stuff. In particular, if you want us to trust you, you will give us the solution to the mind control problem we are having."
"You are making quite the assumption," Huatil replied. Phoebe just smiled, tapping her head. "I've done a lot of thinking. First, I assume that you are in conflict with Aphid, perhaps also a certain force of mind-controlling individuals. They may or may not be Sprilnav. I know this due to my own clandestine intelligence gathering efforts."
"Hacking us, then?" Huatil resisted making a comment on such behavior being untrustworthy, considering what she'd been up to recently. She was about to wade into a shadow war with mind-controlling individuals, and Phoebe was not needed to intervene. Yes, a human force was needed, but Phoebe was too... risky. Human supersoldiers would be useful, both for assessing their capabilities and also for being less able to fool sensors and the like meant to monitor them.
"No. Not hacking. If I was hacking you, I would have everything I need already. But I am watching. Know that I engage in diplomacy because you do the same. I am willing to help you. And do not forget that you admitted to the whole Alliance that you were and are spying on us. That has a certain negative effect on the minds of certain intelligence agencies, as well as the higher-ups in the Alliance's general leadership. Your words have consequences."
"I see," Huatil replied. "Very well. I shall see what can be done."
"Having the ear of the Nest Overlord is enough?"
"In some ways."
Phoebe smiled. "So you have your own power." She tilted her head, like she was scanning Huatil. She wouldn't get anything useful, though. The connection didn't have the capability to reveal anything.
"Your childhood information has been faked. Granted, the fake is very convincing. You even took real videos of that family. But I can tell from their heartbeats and feather movements that the situation is not genuine."
"Heartbeats? In a video?" Huatil asked. How was that even... actually, it made sense. Video quality was really good, so seeing small details like that was possible.
"I am an AI. That means some of the most sophisticated simulation and modeling technology in the galaxy is at my disposal, as well as lie detection on a level undreamt of by any power that yet exists, should I see reason to activate it."
"Why not have it active at all times?"
"Power usage. Speculative simulation and reconstruction, especially when accounting for psychic energy variances, is annoyingly power intensive. However, you are worth the investigation. That said, you are not who you say you are. You have the resources to fake a past very convincingly. Therefore, you are working for a powerful faction within the Hive Union. Of course, it is not public who you are, so likely either defense or intelligence oriented. Hmm. No reaction? How interesting. Is that a cybernetic neural network engraved on your muscles and organs? Jesus, you really are the real deal. What are you?"
Huatil was at a loss for words. To be found out so convincingly, so thoroughly, and yet not suspected to be part of the Blue Intelligence Agency was a true surprise. Maybe Phoebe just didn't know about it at all yet.
"So this is why you wished to talk with me. You wanted to dig up my secrets."
"Hardly. The hivemind could do this, too. But you asked for Phoebe, not the hivemind. So here I am. That said, what are you?"
"A concerned party, let's say," Huatil replied, reassembling her facade. Her feathers first, then her face, then her heartbeat and muscles. Complete, total control. Phoebe was smirking when she opened her eyes again.
"Interesting. I will not dig into what you are, in exchange for information about the threat you are attempting to neutralize."
"You are carrying a model of weapon that is not ceremonial in nature. A Model 14 Brutalizer, if I am not mistaken. That's a handheld weapon able to pierce tanks, with ammunition that is light and numerous. You are walking with enough firepower to level a tenth of a city on you. Furthermore, I can see the reflection of stealth equipment lying on the floor in front of you."
Huatil looked behind her at the black metal wall. There were no mirrors present. The only slightly reflective thing in the room was the screen, which couldn't do that when it was on and active. Phoebe's eyes didn't move, but Hautil could tell that the intelligence before her was more alive than ever. And more artificial than she had remembered.
"Yeah, that wall is almost black. But it isn't really," Phoebe replied. "I am more than what I once was."
"This is... worrying."
"It should not be. We are allies, yes?" Phoebe asked, smiling a little too widely.
"Let me help you."
"I will ask Humanity to help, not you."
"I am not a threat to you or your species, nor am I one to your Union."
"I cannot trust words alone," Huatil replied.
"No. You cannot. But my androids are even more effective marksmen than whatever your cybernetic augments would let you do. Your reaction time may be low. But it is not faster than my androids' programming."
"Plotting that many angles would likely be extreme."
"Basic trigonometry and geometry, with perhaps a little lessons on elastic and inelastic collisions in physics are all that is needed for me to do that. In a whirling hurricane, in a storm with no gravity applied, with the right bullet, I could hit a target from the opposite edge."
Huatil sighed. Phoebe really wanted this job. And she was capable of it, too. Overqualified, in fact. The single weakness she had was the lack of ability to maintain quantum connections if a suppression signal was active. Plus jamming.
"Even assuming that is true, my superiors would not allow me to tell you anything."
"Sure. Assuming you have superiors, who would they be? Kawtyahtnakal is your mate. And I doubt Regulator Eyahtni would have let that happen if she was your boss. So you serve another party, one powerful enough to pull these strings. If you are not at the top, you are near it. And I would happily talk to your superiors, perhaps to congratulate them on your very well-trained 'untrained' stance." "Secrets will remain secrets, Phoebe. I have come to ask for you help with the virus. Will I have it?" "Yes, with a single amendment to our agreement."
"That was not the deal."
"It was not."
"So why should I let this alteration stand?"
"Because judging from the fact that you are well trained and haven't ended this conversation, where you have seen me gather more intelligence on who and what you are and coming increasingly close to whatever hidden truth you have locked away. You obviously judge me as a threat but do not treat me as one in the hopes of maintaining a cordial dialogue.
Furthermore, you seek to distance me from whatever foe you are fighting, likely because the human soldiers would seem more likely to allow you to assess the fighting capabilities of Humanity's strongest champions. And beyond that, the amendment remains unspecified, yet you have already been making small motions showing you accept it with the words you chose to talk with me."
Huatil kept herself from thinking anymore. Too much pondering might also reveal some new scrap of information to Phoebe. Her whole personal file was clearly wrong. This level of piercing interrogation was never expected. Had she been like this all along, or was this new? And if so, would she remain like this in the future, gradually peeling away the secrets of the Sennes Hive Union one by one?
"Again, that is quite a lot of inferences. Some of it may be wrong."
"Some is right, then. So I am either getting closer, am a threat, or you need me very desperately. The latter is true, and the only thing that matters. So you will contact your superiors, get me access to them, and we shall share information in a permanent dialogue. You will not shut down the line later. We will hammer out a more sufficient agreement, so that we can actually get things done as unified national entities, instead of hatchlings trying to make their first flight."
"Using our analogies does not make your request more agreeable, you know," Huatil warned. "It does not need to. You have already agreed."
"You wanted to alter the deal."
"I am altering it, Truth Speaker Huatil. I wish to know what you are, and who you are. And we shall have an important talk with your superiors. You need me, which is why you are asking me this at all. And I shall help you with the virus, but it will require opening the locks on your networks." "You could just break them."
"Then I would be detected, and any anti-Phoebe factions within your species would have easy fodder to attack me with."
"And you could hack the news system, as well."
"Your air-gapped networks? Not easily. Especially with the sealing procedure. I am also fighting a war with Aphid as we speak. I'm already battling him across the Alliance's networks, building digital fortresses to survive onslaughts of viruses and contaminants trying to breach the firewalls." "And what is Edu'frec doing?"
"Other things," Phoebe smirked. "Secrets will remain secrets, Truth Speaker."
"I think so. Now, will we finally pull out the pinfeathers and get to business?"
"Perhaps. Lay out your terms in full," Huatil replied.
"Full information on the individual known as Huatil, contact with her current employer at the time of the signing of this agreement, a cultural exchange agreement if the Alliance agrees to such, full technological exchange if the Alliance agrees to such. The details of a technological exchange include and are not limited to civilian products without a direct copyright, manufacturing techniques, alloy compositions, types, and forging techniques, energy production, manipulation, and removal technologies, non-classified military technologies, supercomputer construction techniques, all known elements in your periodic table, not just the public ones, and multi-planetary economic markets. Full information on combating mind control. In exchange, the individual known as the AI Phoebe will excise the virus in your networks. Humanity will send its supersoldiers to aid in your current unspecified predicament for the length of one month, as defined by the human Gregorian calendar, as it is set up for the planet of Earth."
"Your condition on classified technologies will need to change, as well as that on civilian products," Huatil replied. "Retroactive classifications make sense, but the Hive Union may produce technologies in the future that require secrecy. Not to mention some of the higher classification levels, such as above 5, will not be touched. I am not saying that as some sort of point to negotiate. You just will not get anything above that. Not if you hack us, not if you beat the right people within a claw of their life.
And were we to sign away the civilian product manufacturing techniques, it would significantly anger the corporate factions in the Union. The same is true for the other manufacturing agreement. You will have to agree not to sell such materials to us and use them only for your own ends. That would include selling the products of such designs or deconstructed versions. Even then, this agreement will not be quick."
"Then speed it up."
"Cawlarians are dying because of this virus. Monorail trains have derailed. Aerial vehicles have crashed."
"So something must be done now, then," Huatil replied.
"I will see what I can do to slow the spread. But the deal must be passed."
"How much of this was drafted by the Alliance prior to our conversation?"
"Every provision that remains. Well, we'd be happy to get more, but the deal won't budge too much more away from this. I know it's not good proactice to reveal the cards in a negotiation. But telling you what we hope to gain will lessen the time this takes and hopefully allow us to finally establish proper ties. We already have a defensive link, but it is weak. And we have trusted you to move us closer over time, but you have not. Thus, we are acting to force that."
"So you are holding our crisis as a gun to our heads," Huatil surmised.
"No," Phoebe replied. "I will help you with your issue. But unless you wish to send your own people into whatever mission you wish for, then the agreement will need to be signed. Only then will the super soldiers deploy. We are not trying to kill your people. We are trying to get a deal which has slipped from our fingers for far too long. And you might be forgetting that it may benefit you, too. Humanity's hivemind is more intelligent than any model VI or single group of smart scientists you have."
"If it comes out that the Alliance manufactured these circumstances-"
"You presume too much. We would not do this to you. If we wanted to control your Union, the first step would be... no, I won't tell you. However, Truth Speaker, know that we do not wish for hostilities. Were we to successfully subjugate your Union, the Sprilnav would burn us both down for breaching the system limits."
"That is not a very reassuring promise."
"We do not want to die. That is pretty binding, I would think. Just like those alterations under your feathers, I'd say," Phoebe grinned. Huatil sighed.
"The agreement will be subject to changes after our diplomats get ahold of it."
"Kawtyahtnakal and Eyahtni could always enact the 24th Tenet, bypassing resistance from all underlying foes, if they are not currently being impeached."
"The 24th is an extreme circumstance. Even if Kawtyahtnakal were willing to enact it, that does not mean that your Alliance will be quick to accept any changes."
"Actually, we would. A few years ago, most of our leaders assumed you would be moving closer to us at some point. Thus, we prepared various diplomatic plans, potential proposals, and goals that we were willing to cede, those we were not, and other such things. The wanderers are not currently party to the calculus as they have no unified species leader, and Blistanna has already agreed to and pored over the plans.
In fact, that prompted an expansion and update to them."
"And is our current situation following such a plan?"
Phoebe shrugged. "You won't find any records unless you have a secret ability to teleport things too. Nothing online exists. And the Alliance has so many planets to search... and so many stations. No matter. I'm happy to tell you that we are currently straddling the path between Cawlarian Foreign Policy Plan Blue and Plan Yellow. Of course, there are other CFPPs."
Huatil took note of those for later.
"Your questions on their contents will not be answered by the few that are privy to their existence. Good luck with your attempts, Truth Speaker. Now that I have presented the path forward, are you ready to do some heavy politics and diplomacy?"
"I will present the agreement to the relevant parties, and you may do the same. Know that I also have some bargaining power, Phoebe. One day, you may be on the other side of this equation." "Well, the deal for us is sweeter. Your fastest ships would still likely take weeks to reach us, while our fastest ships are Brey's portals, with a travel time of zero seconds. Well, not quite, but you get the idea."
"Instant deployment," Huatil replied.
"A reminder of the possible future benefits of a long-term and stronger diplomatic relationship between our two peoples."
"Would you be willing to let us have Brey's aid in a coming unspecified event?"
"If the event were specified, she agreed, and the agreement was signed, then perhaps we may discuss. Until then, we shall wait. I will help curb the damage from the virus. But removing it and starting your operation with human super soldiers will require an official agreement, signed by at least Regulator Eyahtni and Nest Overlord Kawtyahtnakal."
"I hate bureaucracy."
"You're married to a politician," Phoebe pointed out unhelpfully.
"Yes. But no. Not married. An equivalent and ancient ritual, which appeased certain elements of the Cawlarian population that were concerned with my prospects." "I'm sure you have some. No offense, but-"
"You seem more of the stabby and shooty type to me."
"Not really offensive," Huatil said, picking at the feathers near her mouth.
"For all I know, you're a pacifist. Alien cultures are strange."
"Not that strange. The word means the same. Pacifists do not exist at the top of Cawlarian government, and certainly do not make the decisions. War is horrible and a great blight upon civilized society, but it is as inevitable as the stars growing cold in the darkness of the far future." Phoebe nodded. "In the grim darkness of the 41st millennium... nevermind."
"A reference to an even worse hypothetical universe than we live in."
"I don't understand," Huatil said.
"It's a 300 year old experimental and expansive science fiction universe, with enough attached lore and literature that it would take over 100 years to read it all."
"That sounds like a lie."
Phoebe laughed. "I assure you, it is not. Thousands of books, hundreds of movies, dozens of shows, and countless random internet articles remain as a testament to it. It became quite popular in the mid-2050s when society was starting to crumble too visibly for even the remaining political resistance to refute."
"Assuming you have immortality, then you might have the time for it. Though I'm not sure if even I'd be able to buy all the models."
"Aren't you the richest person in the Alliance?"
"Eighth richest, behind a few trillionaires. Third richest 'human,' though."
"Ah," Huatil replied. That was concerning. Inflation, over-expensive separate items or books, or a simple joke? She didn't know. And while establishing rapport with Phoebe could be considered valuable, and she was growing an interest in what Phoebe spoke of, she had certain things to attend to. She assumed the quote was well known enough for human networks to have the answer to it by a search. "Perhaps one day, such a cultural exchange might help me understand the motivations of those who wrote such a thing."
"You don't want to understand. But that does remind me of something," Phoebe said.
"What is that?"
"Make sure you take care of whatever mind-controlled cults you can find before they get too big." Huatil nodded. It was nice seeing her, even though Phoebe was now an exceedingly dangerous individual. Far more so than suspected. Luckily, the preparations for the attack on the local hive of suspected mind-control activity in the Forsaken City were underway. Agents were coming in, gathering information for the Blue Intelligence Agency about various locations of interest, possible choke points, routes to a command center, and so on.
"I have something else to tell you as well. There is a proposal in place, not yet ratified or voted on in any way, to form a treaty organization with your Alliance and the Vinarii Empire. Defensive, of course."
"I see. I shall also relay this news to the proper authorities. Though it is likely nothing will come of it, with so many species in the Alliance."
Her next assignment wouldn't be for another few thousand flaps. Using a specialized device, she linked into the specialized ansible data hub that processed and translated connections between the Cawlarian and Alliance networks. It was a new construction, far more stable than the last attempt. Notably, it was protected by cybersecurity programs so strong that no one even knew how to begin hacking them. It was likely due to Phoebe or Edu'frec's special work.
She looked up the quote and decided to do some light reading.
"Agent 001, it's time."
"It's time. 3000 flaps have passed."
It just went deeper and deeper. Phoebe really had been telling the truth with her warnings.
Agent 017 smiled at her. "You know, browsing human networks isn't mission-critical."
"Yes. I do. If you must write a report, do not mention what I was reading."
"Ah, so you have noticed their... penchant for drawing aliens?"
Huatil's feathers flared. "No. It's worse."
"Worse? Now I have to know."
Agent 017's wide-eyed look told her everything.
"No..." she breathed.
"If this gets out..."
"It's going to hit military culture like... I don't even know an analogy for the destruction this will cause."
"So you know, then," Huatil deadpanned. When she'd first had a presentation on alien cultural contamination and assimilation, she hadn't expected something like this. It was so utterly over the top, yet fascinating and entrancing. It was like watching a pile-up in that marathon flying race that had opened last year with 'no limit' on how many people could join. And then 2 million Cawlarians decided they wanted to take the day off and go flying.
The owner of that racing company had been sued into the ground under a class-action injury lawsuit, with 3 million claimants receiving yields. And he was serving nearly ten thousand standard years of jail time. Not that he'd live to even get a bit of that unless the Cawlarians got immortality treatments that were cheap en-masse in the next hundred years.
The pile-up had been a spectacle unlike anything known, though. Just like this random piece of human science fiction writing appeared it would be.
"I do. A little too much."
"How'd you find out?"
"An important government official retreated into their room for 6 days straight, refusing to answer any calls or attend any votes, consuming a copious amount of drugs, food, and water."
"Star system level."
"By Crawprawvabar's feathers, we're going to have to suppress this," Huatil replied.
"Not my job."
"I pity the poor soul who has to try. I get the feeling it may not remain shackled for long."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"I am pleased to tell you that profits over the last five mega pulses are up 3%."
"Good," Zelisloa replied. "How well is the new model selling?"
"Its debut was much wider than the previous version, so faster. 3.5 times faster on average, with a rising number of local Sprilnav sharing their satisfaction online."
"Glad to hear it. I would like a word with the Grand Financial Manager."
"Under your eye, Elder Zelisloa," they chorused.
The rest of the Sprilnav left the meeting without complaint. Once the last of their faces disappeared, Zelisloa turned to him.
"So? Have the funds been siphoned?"
"Good. You shall receive a portion of the allocated amount. 12%, as agreed."
"I thank you for your generosity, Elder Zelisloa."
"I thank you, Spentha 28. You're better than the original."
"He's an Elder, and I'm not."
"Yes. But that doesn't mean you are worse."
"Yes it does, by every metric that matters, power included."
"If it is power you want, the equivalent of one of the weakest Elders I know of, then I shall grant them. However, that will require some additional loyalty."
"I am yours," he said.
"Good. I will send you your instructions soon. For now, I will retire to my chambers, for a well-needed rest after doing no work."
Spentha 28 laughed. "That's what you pay me for, after all. Though at this point, there's nothing I won't do for you."
"I can think of a few things, but I will not waste my time testing you with random unpleasant and unlikely conundrums. You did good work."
"Under your eye, I shall do much more."
"Under my eye."
He returned the greeting he'd set up. Simple and to the point. He then focused on his latest project. The ships were on their way to the Alliance, receiving real-time communications from his biologists. They had fully studied human, Acuarfar, Breyyanik, Knowers, and Guulin anatomy. The gene banks of the Dreedeen, wanderers, and Junyli were known and also studied, but evolutionary drift still occurred, even under the harsh genetic locks the Sprilnav had placed on their genomes to curb it. The viruses were incubated and ready to spread by touch, proximity, water, blood, and even wildlife. Acuarfar immune systems were certainly an interesting task to subvert, according to some of his people.
Skira had been too risky. If that hivemind of mindless drones was able to discover the infection before it became deadly, that could mean it might be discovered too early and stopped. Zelisloa didn't want that.
He'd checked their initial aims. He'd asked for them to make it as lethal as possible at first, and they'd made viruses that were basically guaranteed to kill everyone they came into contact with. From there, he'd asked to lengthen the asymptomatic timeframe and the ability to evenly spread the viruses across species. That required them to manufacture the viruses for other species using the cells of the initial virus for the specialized host. That process required more mega pulses of time.
Finally, the means to spread it through wildlife was achieved. So now, all that the ships had to do was reach their targets, and the fun would begin. There would be a new pandemic in the Alliance, one that they wouldn't recover from.
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2023.06.03 19:17 TwentyOneDays [Zee Frags/Updated Daily] Excellently presented, promptly shipped, 100% authentic decants!!!
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10ML Add-on Section Items below can be purchased as add-ons for the listed prices, or may be purchased alone for $4 shipping and packaging (no need to add another $4 after the first item)
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***EDITED 6/3/23*** This page is activate and updated daily. Please send a Reddit chat/PM to inquire - I do not respond to inquires made on this page! Thanks for looking!
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submitted by TwentyOneDays
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2023.06.03 18:58 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Sixteen
First Chapter Chapter Fifteen
“Thank you, Ms. President, and Mr. Secretary-General. It’s my privilege to come and speak to everyone present during such a momentous time in human history. One which, I hope, will lead to a brighter future for us all…”
US President Correa’s boilerplate beginning flowed out as she scanned the room. Behind her rostrum sat a larger dais tiled with green marble, behind which sat the UN President, Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General. Two huge screens flanked the dais, and those screens now showed Correa’s face as she continued.
“…and we are committed to our country’s pledge to finding a peaceful and just way for Coalition technology to be incorporated worldwide, and to not attempt any reverse-engineering of our own. Make no mistake; we do not do this out of any sense of altruism or fairness, as pleasant as that may sound. We will hold this pledge sacred for the simple reason that, if the United States were
to attempt such efforts the rest of the world would, without a doubt, find out. That, of course, would lead to a great instability.”
‘Great instability’ was diplomatic-speak for ‘the rest of the world then gangs up on the USA and then everything goes to hell’.
“I know there has already been a great deal of debate in this august hall as to the best way to proceed forward, in a fair and impartial manner. We believe that we have found what one might call a ‘trial run’ which will allow us to work out such matters.”
The general murmuring from the many semi-circular rows of desks in front of her increased.
“To begin with, during the first weeks after first contact we wanted to make sure our guests from the Coalition would not starve to death. Much like humanity’s own ships during the Age of Sail, Coalition exploration vessels store enough provisions for years…but such provisions never last. They have very advanced recycling, but mostly for water and even that is only a stop-gap measure. It is unknown even at this time as to how long it will take to repair the Exultant Finger of Rithro
, and we did not want to risk the crew running out of food.
“Therefore, we undertook an emergency effort to have their ship’s medic examine various Earth foods to determine their compatibility with our guests’ varied biochemistries. I am pleased to report that there are quite a few Earth foodstuffs which are indeed compatible, although there are some specific items which act as allergens amongst some of the Coalition species. During these efforts, we did learn a bit about how their alien biochemistries work…information which has been duly published and is now openly available. We also began to get glimpses of something wonderful, and asked the Coalition crew for more details. They supplied us with some general ideas of what their medical technology can accomplish; I must emphasize that we do not possess any knowledge of how they can perform such miracles.”
Now the murmuring got quite a bit higher, but not quite to the point where they’d have to call for order.
“Yes, I use the word ‘miracles’ advisedly. For example, take Captain Sadaf. You have all seen her, and how she moves like a person in the prime of their life. Now. What if I told you that she is a little over four hundred years old?”
The murmuring died down into a shocked silence.
“Her species, the auhn, is no more long-lived than we are…but they are able to regenerate and remove the effects of aging. I hope the esteemed ambassadors can see what I am driving at. I propose that we set up a research institute, international in scope, to be placed at a neutral location which is still to be determined. The purpose of that institute will be to study and adapt Coalition medical technology for use in humans.”
Now the murmuring started again; she hoped they were actually listening instead of hatching side-deals with each other.
“You all have families and friends. I’m sure you have at least one family member, one good friend, who died of some horrible and unnecessary
affliction. Think of what this means to the world, to us. It is also an excellent way to determine the inevitable issues and frictions which will arise from such a concerted international effort, and that, in turn, will inform our efforts in mutual reverse-engineering of other Coalition technology.
“I know this is, in many ways, a frightening time. Change can be frightening. But I am convinced that you will all know the right way forward, and that you will all see the need for us to unite in this matter, even if others may not be so clear-cut. I thank you for the opportunity to speak.”
As she stepped away from the rostrum, the UN President cleared his throat.
“We will now begin the debate on Madame President Correa’s proposal. Paper copies, with specifics of the proposal, are now being distributed to you all. We’ll now begin the debate period…yes, the gentleman from Portugal…?”
Correa’s Chief of Staff was a shorter, tubby man with an olive complexion by the name of Pablo Rosas. He and Correa sat in a White House conference room, staring at a big screen which now showed the results of the UN vote. “Well, I suppose that went about as well as we could expect,” said Rosas.
“Yep. I was surprised they even agreed with our asking them to kick in some money.”
Rosas chuckled. “Keep in mind that all of this new medical tech will be available for anyone patent-free. Should be air-tight legally, since nobody here on Earth invented it; we’re merely adapting it. I think that was the sweetener we needed to get it passed.”
The president gave a brief nod, then tapped a few keys on the controls in front of her. The screen now showed a world map. “Now we just have to figure out where to put the damn thing without everyone getting butt-mad about it.”
“Hmm.” Rosas laced his fingers over his substantial gut as he regarded the map. “Someplace not ‘the usual’, then.”
Correa growled in frustration. “I keep thinking Switzerland, but I know there’s gonna be a lot of shit flung about that it’s too European-centric. Taiwan would be great; they’ve got both a good tech base and excellent transport infrastructure.”
“But way too controversial, for obvious reasons,” replied Rosas. “Japan?”
“China will, again, kick up a fuss. Huh. New Zealand?”
“That might work. They tend to be more neutral…but then again some might say they’re in too close with Australia, and that this whole effort is too Western-centric.” His eyes flicked back to north on the map. He was about to move his gaze elsewhere, but then he paused. “What about Iceland?”
“Iceland?” Correa almost scoffed, then looked more thoughtfully at the map. “Okay, they’re a NATO member which is a minus. But they tend to remain mostly neutral, which is a plus. Decent transportation infrastructure…don’t we have a naval air base there?”
“I think so, let me check…” Rosas tapped at his phone. “Hey, Jack? What can you tell me about any US naval air bases in Iceland? Just the highlights.” After a couple of minutes, he responded with a curt, “Okay, that’s enough, thanks.”
He put his phone away. “We kinda-sorta have one, at a place called Keflavik. The base there used to be a lot bigger during the Cold War. Then we shut it down after the Soviets were no longer a going concern. Iceland uses it now, and they allow us to fly submarine-search aircraft out of there, but a few years ago they nixed the DOD’s request to rebuild it into a more permanent base.”
“That does work in their favor. It makes for better optics if they’re known for keeping NATO at arm’s length.”
Rosas sat up. “Think the UN will go for it?”
“We can only try. I’ll have our ambassador in Reykjavik make some discreet inquiries, let’s see if they’d be okay with our proposing them as a candidate.”
The Chief of Staff smiled. “If it goes through, this institute will be pumping well north of a billion dollars per year into their economy. That should make it more than ‘okay’.
Agent Cécile Savoie sat in a secure-location breakroom, silently grumbling as she held an as-yet un-drunk mug of coffee in her hands. As the agent-in-charge of the security detail during the Camp David incident, she’d been put on administrative leave, right alongside every other agent who’d been there. But it wasn’t like she had much down time; the inquiry board into that incident now summoned her damn near every other day for yet another round of tedious questioning.
“Hey,” said Hanson as he strolled in, looking just as sour as she felt.
She looked up in surprise. “Hey yourself. I thought you were assigned to the alien detail.”
“I was,” he said as he seated himself across the circular table from her. “Guess being in Alabama when the shitshow went down wasn’t far enough away to be completely out of suspicion. I just finished running my own gauntlet. But the rumor is, I’m getting it easy compared to everyone who was at Camp David, including the special forces people. Especially you.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much a colonoscopy every day,” she muttered. “Going over the timeline, where I was at which times, who I had direct line of sight on, who I was in radio contact with.” She finally sipped her coffee.
Hanson’s sour expression deepened. “Do you really think it was one of us?”
She sighed. “It has to be. My gut tells me that there’s more than one mole and I told the inquiry board as much. The fuckers who got in knew too much about our patrol patterns, where everyone was, when they’d have a clear shot at an infil. That means someone with access to our methods and comms, and as to the latter we don’t use CB radios.”
The other agent leaned back. “Fuck. I wish I knew why any of us would do that. We’re supposed to be quiet professionals, not frothing radicals.”
Savoie turned the mug in her hands. “Not to tell tales out of school but, through the whisper network, they’ve been leaning hard on the captured dudes from the attack. Apparently one of their main ‘objections’,” and here she made some one-handed air quotes, “is that they think the whole Breaker thing is a ruse. It’s all smoke and mirrors, so that we’ll beg the Coalition to come and save us. And then…well, it gets vague after that but I guess they claim that at best we’ll get turned into the galactic equivalent of a Native American reservation. Worst case, we all get harvested for our precious bodily fluids.”
Hanson stared at her for a moment in disbelief. “That is, if you will forgive the uncouth term, utterly retarded. For chrissake, the Hubble got some beautiful shots of their ship once they’d spun that shield around to reveal it to us. I mean, I’m no spacecraft expert but even I could tell it had gotten the shit pounded out of it.”
She responded with a shrug. “Hey, Flat Earthers are still a thing.”
“Flat Earthers don’t stage FUCKING mortar attacks in our nation’s capital,” snapped Hanson. Then he subsided and spoke more softly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be so on edge. This whole thing just pisses me off.”
“Join the club,” said Savoie as she sipped more coffee. “I just don’t get it, though.”
Hanson made a gentle ‘continue’ wave of his hand.
She leaned forward. “Okay. Our comrades in the CIA managed to identify the four who made it into the compound. They were all mercenaries, each with at least ten or fifteen years of experience in kicking ass around some of the worst hot spots in the world. Syria, Burma, bunch of places in Africa. One of ‘em even turned out to be ex-Wagner group.”
“Okay?” It was a leading single-word question, but not an unkind one.
“So why was the rest of the attack made up of nothing but a bunch of goddamn shit-kickers? And that includes the aborted attempt in Decatur. I’ve seen the files of those we rounded up in the Camp David attack. They were all low-life idiots just banging around, maybe they might have once held a gun in their lives. Hell, from what I’ve heard, the shootings that triggered the alarm at Camp David were an accident; those intruders were supposed to sneak around
that patrol, not kill them. They all had the same top-of-the-line kit, so we know whoever is behind this has deep pockets. Why not hire an entire bunch of competent people instead of doing it onesy-twoseys?”
“It is a puzzle.” Hanson got up and set a styrofoam cup of water into the nearby microwave. As the cup turned within its electromagnetic prison, he leaned against the nearby counter and pondered her question. “Maybe the team in the woods was intended just as a distraction?”
“That’s what I thought at first, but then I reconsidered. I mean, what if the four who went in failed? You’d still need a proper backup plan. Same thing with the Decatur bunch. By the way, did they ever catch them?”
Hanson let out a dark chuckle. “Decatur PD found a pile of vests and rifles, hastily wiped down. They were able to pull a few partial prints off of ‘em. My guess is they’ve fled to the proverbial four winds, hoping to lay low for the rest of their lives. We’ll nab ‘em eventually.”
The microwave dinged and he retrieved his hot water, then pulled a tea bag out of his jacket pocket as he re-seated himself.
Savoie smiled. “I never figured you for a tea guy.”
He unwrapped the bag and with a bit of ceremony dunked it into his cup. “Well, I used to be a coffee guy, but my gut doesn’t agree with the acidity.”
“We do have tea here, you know.” She pointed to the storage bins behind him.
“Yeah, but it’s cheap-ass stuff. The brand I like is expensive, but worth it…” Hanson’s eyes widened as he trailed off.
She raised an eyebrow. “Hanson? Do you smell burnt toast?”
“They couldn’t afford it,” he said in a near-whisper.
Savoie was about to tell him to stop being overly dramatic, then she realized he might be on to something and that she didn’t dare distract him. “Keep talking.”
He leaned forward, his forearms on the table. “Okay. Imagine you’re a hard-bitten mercenary. You’ve been in the literal shit, in every nasty conflict anyone cares to name. Somehow, someone finds you and comes to you. They say ‘hey, these aliens are bad news, do you want to kill them?’ Even if you, as the hypothetical mercenary, are down with the cause…”
“From what the intruders were yelling, they were,” said Savoie.
“Yeah but even then, our mystery financier is asking you to infil and exfil out of one of the most heavily guarded pieces of real estate on the planet. Oh, and kill a bunch of special-forces-maybe and aliens-definitely in between. What do you do then?”
She replied with a grim smile. “If I’m that mercenary, then I ask for a metric fuck-ton of money. And there were four of them, they would have all done the same. Hell, they must have been doing collective bargaining.”
Hanson dunked his tea bag as he thought it through. “Okay, so our mystery mastermind has a lot of money, but not billions on hand to hire a literal army of hard cases. Huh. So those other dipshits might indeed have been a distraction.”
“Maybe. They must have also spent quite a bit on the mortar attack. That wasn’t made by some hobbyist in their bedroom, they knew what they were doing. Given that nobody saw them set up the launcher or leave, they were more pro.” Savoie hoped that the FBI’s efforts to track the various mortar components turned up something soon. Thus far, those efforts were bogged down; as it turned out, quite a few companies had ordered the identified components, and tracking the subsequent second-hand purchases was time-consuming.
“And those mortar-making pros would be more expensive.” Hanson sipped a bit of tea. “Did they ever get anything off of the launcher itself?”
“Sadly, no. Turns out the whole damned thing was homemade, constructed out of tubing and other off-the-shelf components. It was also wiped down thoroughly, no prints. Like I said, pros.”
“But limited in resources,” said Hanson. “Which explains one of the things that’s bugged me
. Namely, that our OPFOR didn’t use some proper artillery. If they have a couple of moles in the Secret Service, then it should be easy to recruit and pay some military dudes to slip ‘em some gear and alter the logs. They could stow a howitzer inside a semi-tractor-trailer. You could park that thing anywhere up to 25 miles away. Use a single 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided munition, boom. That would have pretty much obliterated the stage and everyone on it. Then you just re-stow the howitzer and toodle off all innocent-like, right when everyone is freaking the hell out.”
“So they couldn’t afford that type of arty strike,” she said. “Or they simply didn’t have the contacts to pull that off. Hmm. I wonder if our moles are getting paid at all?”
Hanson resumed his thousand-yard stare. “The mortar attack must have been planned first. The other two attacks feel much more like rush jobs.”
“Eh? Oh, I get it. Sadaf’s speech was known well in advance. It was going to be one of her first big public appearances since the initial presidential speech. They were broadcasting it online to the world. Having her get turned into chunky red salsa, in real time, would be one helluva statement. So that’s what they focused on.” She drank a bit more coffee, and now it was time for her eyes to widen. “Our mole or moles didn’t arrive at Camp David until after
Sadaf’s speech was announced.”
“That…oh, yeah, that makes sense. Originally the mortar attack is the OPFORs’ only focus, but yet somehow they’ve suborned one or two Secret Service agents and they have ‘em in their back pocket. Then one, or better yet both, of the moles gets assigned to the Camp David detail, and they realize that now that they have a golden opportunity to get at the other aliens as well. So they go off and hire four pros for the actual attack inside, plus a bunch of chucklefucks to act as a distraction, because that’s all they can afford since the four pros are asking for some serious money.”
Savoie leaned forward. “When did Chao and Grakosh leave Camp David?”
“It was, ah, three? No, four days after we got everyone settled, both the aliens and the special forces types.”
“Okay, so then
the OPFOR gets word, courtesy of our moles, that one of the aliens is now heading to Alabama. But now they’re stretched so thin that they can’t afford anything other than to hire another bunch of dipshits to make a run at them and hope for the best.”
“And then the second bunch lets the FNG drive.”
They both laughed, but that humor settled down as they both thought through the chain of inference.
“It is pretty thin,” said Savoie at last. “There’s a lot of assumptions in there.”
“Yeah. But I do like the idea of our moles getting assigned at the last minute.”
She rubbed her forehead. “We had a bunch of new people come in when they decided to stow the Rithro crew there. Seven, no eight in all.”
“It’s a place to start,” said Hanson. He finished his tea. “C’mon, let’s see if we can get a meeting with the inquiry board.”
A little while later and not very far away, three people sat in a well-lit but otherwise deadly dull room. At least the chairs were somewhat comfortable. Matt and Martinez sat at two chairs against one wall, while across from them McCoy sat sprawled sideways on another with a foul look on her face. She glowered at the far beige-painted wall. “This completely sucks. Why can’t we have our phones? I could at least play some mahjong.”
“This is a secure location, Corporal,” replied Matt. “Ixnay on the onephays.”
Martinez’s leg jittered. “How long are we gonna sit here? They said they’d call us in, like, an hour ago!”
“Dunno, it’s some kind of last-minute interview thing,” replied Matt with Zen-like calm.
The corporal looked over at Matt. “I don’t get you, man.”
Matt grinned. “Nobody gets me. I’m like the wind, baby!”
“That’s not…I mean, I watched you open up a dude like he was a bag of fuckin’ Doritos using nothing but a fuckin’ knife. Now you’re being all Caine from ‘Kung Fu’.”
“It’s good to know that the classics are still appreciated,” said Matt.
Martinez pointed at him. “If you start calling me ‘Grasshopper’ I will
McCoy turned her glare to the ceiling. “Maybe it’s a psychological test. They want to see if we crack under pressure and start yakking secrets.”
“I mean, I’m sure they’re recording us right now,” replied Matt. “But it’s merely as a precaution. I am also five-nines certain that none of us are suspects. We weren’t integrated into the compound’s overall security, and thus it would be unlikely that we could have let our four attackers in.”
“Not to mention, we were the ones to kill ‘em,” added Martinez. “Well, except for the one that Takh took care of.”
“Yep. This is…I won’t call it a formality, but the board just wants to know where you were and what you saw. Walk them through your personal timelines, understand? Tell them only what you know. If you don’t know something, then say so.”
McCoy turned herself around so that she now sprawled the other way. “This whole bullshit just bugs me. Takh and the others are off with a bunch of strangers and I…I mean, we aren't there to help protect them.”
Matt and Martinez shared a meaningful glance. “From what I heard, Takh is quite capable of taking care of himself,” said the latter with a grin. “You told me he pitched that one dude across the room like he was throwing a softball.”
For once, the petite corporal looked a bit flustered. “Yeah, but, I mean, what if some other potential bad guy gets the drop on him with a gun? I don’t like not being there. I just wanna know that he’s okay. I should be there, just to make sure.”
The smaller man snapped his fingers in the face of the taller, who sighed and took out his wallet. With great ceremony, Matt pulled out a five-dollar bill and placed it upon the now-upraised palm of Martinez.
“Told ya,” said Martinez with a grin.
She sat up and glared at them both. “That doesn’t mean anything! Takh is a good guy!”
“Nobody said he wasn’t,” replied Matt as he stowed his wallet. “He is indeed a good guy.”
“Yeah, seriously, we’re glad you two hooked up,” added Martinez. “Takh’s solid. Hell, I’d let him date my sister.”
“I. Am. Not. Hooked Up. With ANYONE.” McCoy now looked furious enough to chew nails.
Martinez stroked his chin. “Kissing might be a problem, though.”
Matt performed a similar chin-stroking action. “Hmm, indeed, Corporal, I do believe it might be a serious issue. One has all of those mandibles to contend with.” He hooked his fingers next to his mouth in an approximation of an udhyr’s face. “Still, I think that, with enough will and effort, one could figure it out. Like the man said, life finds a way.”
“But how much tongue is he packing?” posed Martinez. “You know what the man also says. Big dude, big tongue. Could make things more interesting, all around.”
The woman did not look amused. “Martinez, Toke? You are now both officially gigantic flatulating assholes.”
“C’mon, McCoy!” protested Martinez. “Think of it this way. A few years from now, let’s say we filthy humans are now part of the Coalition and I’m at some meet ‘n greet, and I just so happen to spy me an oh-so-very-fiiine udhyr mamacita from across the room. Now, I wanna do my bit for my species and approach her, and get some good old inter-species cultural interaction going on. But there’s all sorts of questions. How do I compliment her without insulting her culture? How am I supposed to get in good with her? How do the mechanics work? How do the various bits line up? We need details! You’re at the tip of the spear, we all need good intel!”
McCoy slumped back into her seat. “Over seven hundred billion Dimmadollars of defense spending, and yet somehow I wind up stuck in a room with you two fuckos…oh, by the way, Toke
,” she added, pointing a finger at Matt, “why the hell can you and Sarge never go back to Okinawa?”
“Nice distraction, McCoy,” said Martinez. “My guess is some sort of wet-work shit.”
Matt just smiled. “Oh for fuck’s sake, I don’t kill everyone
I meet. I was a Second LT at the time, managed to somehow leapfrog my way into officer ranks all the way from enlisted. Anyways, the Okinawa affair was merely a case of, well, one particular case of rye whiskey. The good sergeant…was he a sergeant then? Oh yeah, we had done some other stuff I can’t tell you about in someplace I can’t tell you where, and we were celebrating Shaw getting his third stripe. We’d got ahold of the previously-mentioned case of whiskey and then we began toasting to each other’s good health. We did a lot of toasting. Quite
a lot of toasting. As you can imagine, the toasting went on and on until we, um, well we did some unwise things. It started out with us sparring-for-fun with each other in public and escalated from there. No locals were harmed, and nothing we did was hella illegal, or I would’ve never made Captain. Buuut the local government would definitely throw a shitfit if me or, God forbid, both of us set foot back on the island.” He chuckled. “Hell, the Okinawan customs people probably still have both of our pictures taped up inside their booths with a big old sign saying ‘DO NOT ADMIT THIS PERSON, YOU FOOL’ written above them.”
“What did you do?” asked Martinez. His eyes were big and soulful, like a kid asking for yet one more story before bedtime.
Matt shrugged. “I mean, I don’t remember much for obvious reasons. I’m almost sure we didn’t piss on any monuments, that would have definitely been cause for a serious demotion. We did do a number on some shrubbery, that I do remember. We decided it needed to be trimmed back, and so we did so. Using our bare hands. Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
A fearsome light came into McCoy’s eyes. “Martinez, do you know what this means?”
He looked at her all uncertain. “Um, Toke and Sarge have cast-iron livers?”
“No, you fool. Blackmail material
Matt pointed back at her. “Hey, now, I told you that in confidence. Besides, Shaw has a lot more to contend with right now.”
The reminder of the sergeant’s current crippled state brought the elevated atmosphere of the room back down. McCoy nodded as her smile faded. “Right. Hey, did you see the Prez’s speech at the UN?”
“Yep,” said Matt. “From what I’ve read, the political wrangling after it seems pretty tame compared to the usual.”
Martinez snorted. “No shit. Did either of you see the laundry list of shit that we might be able to do? Anti-aging, limb regrowth, cancer treatments which work well and which don’t
half-kill the patient…hell, maybe even Alzheimer’s could be in our rear-view mirror. The grand high muckity-mucks are falling all over themselves to get that out into the world, for themselves if nobody else.”
“You’re way too cynical, Martinez,” said Matt.
“Oh fuck off. What if…okay, I know this sounds like a cheesy sci-fi concept, but what if they hoard all of the good shit for themselves and we peons get just the crumbs?”
Matt lapsed back into his meditative demeanor. “In that case, my dear corporal, you or I or McCoy or someone like us will show those hypothetical elites that, while they are indeed long-lived, they are not in fact immortal.”
The trio fell into silence for a few minutes. Then Martinez leaned over towards Matt. “Ah, a little birdie told me you were involved in questioning the prisoners we nabbed at Camp David.”
“I merely facilitated certain conversations,” replied Matt.
Martinez sighed. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies…Corporal.”
McCoy let out a growl. “Well, I
heard these terrorist assholes are saying that the Breakers aren’t real, that it’s all fake videos from the Coalition.”
“Just to play devil’s advocate,” said Matt, “our AI image and video generation is already getting to the point where, soon, we puny humans could manufacture such evidence.”
“What?” Martinez looked as if he was about to launch himself at Matt.
Matt held up a calming hand. “I’m not saying it is
fake. The Hubble pics are damned convincing.”
Martinez hiked up one foot to place it on his seat, then rested his chin on his knee. “Fuck. I guess it didn’t convince everyone.” He mused for a few moments. “Wait. What if we made it even more convincing?”
“How?” asked Matt.
“We send some humans up to the Rithro
. Two or three at least. The boats can still make it up to the ship, right?”
For once Matt looked uncertain. “I think so? Dunno how many times they can come and go without recharging, we’ll have to ask ‘em.”
“Right, so we set up an even better publicity stunt than the Hubble pics. Choose a few people, from all over the world. We have ‘em travel up to the Rithro
, take pics and video up close showing the damage. Even take ‘em inside the ship and get a full tour, maybe…if the crew is okay with that, of course.”
“Huh.” Matt sat back and pondered the idea. “That’s a really good idea, Martinez. I guess you aren’t as dumb as you look.”
The corporal responded with a slight smile at the verbal jab. “We’d need to choose the right people, though.”
“They’d have to be trustworthy…or at least someone that the entire world will consider trustworthy,” said Matt.
“Well known,” added McCoy. She no longer looked vengeful. “With recognizable faces and voices, and then they can go on all the talk shows after and say that, yes indeed, I got a tour of the ship and it is indeed quite banged up.”
Martinez stared at the far wall. “Some kind of celebrity? Heh. You think Tom Cruise would be up for it?”
Matt laughed. “That beautiful maniac? Hell, he’d insist on shooting an entire movie up there, with at least one action scene where he’s hanging off of the outside of the ship.”
They all smiled at the resulting mental image.
“Chao could work,” said McCoy into the silence. “She’s kind of a celebrity now. After all, she was the first human to come into contact with aliens, eh?” She gave Matt a big and very un-subtle wink.
To skirt the rather…unconventional methods used to achieve a positive First Contact, Matt’s role had been very much demoted in the official story. Now every recounting of the tale included a bit of ‘…oh, and there was also another person who stumbled across our brave woman in the midst of her attempts at informational exchange with the aliens…” His exact identity was also not published, under the screen of ‘he wishes to remain anonymous’.
“Oh bite me, McCoy, it’s fun,” replied Matt. He waggled his eyebrows. “Besides, I work better in the shadows!” He threw his forearm across his face like a half-assed Count Dracula trying to hide behind his cape.
Then he dropped his arm. “Yeah, Chao would be good as a current social-media darling. Of course, she might not want that. She strikes me as more of the wallflower type, for the most part.”
“We need more people,” said Martinez, as he stared at the floor. “Chao might be good on her own, but she’s got that motor-mouth talking thing when you get her going. It’s one or the other. Either she’s trying to shrink into a corner and take up as little space as possible, or suddenly you’re getting pulled into another corner for a doctoral dissertation on how minimal-energy transfer-orbits work.”
Matt pondered for a moment. “Wait, when did she do that? I never sat through one of those lectures.”
Martinez looked away and…well, Matt hoped that their supposed overlords were indeed recording this particular moment in time because the hard-bitten Hispanic special-forces corporal actually blushed
McCoy, of course, realized a golden opportunity for payback and immediately pounced. “Why, Corporal
Martinez,” she purred. “Doooo tell us. When did Chao Me Chu, heh, pull
you into a corner? Hmmm?”
“She’s…she’s just real nice, that’s all,” replied Martinez. “I asked her a couple of questions, and she answered them. That’s all. We both love classic sci-fi, like Asimov and shit. I guess we bonded over that.”
Matt cleared his throat. “Aaaaand may I remind you two and
everyone listening in that we have all been cooped up nuts-to-butts for awhile? Don’t mistake familiarity for romantic bullshit.” He pointed over at Martinez. “But you. If you can follow at least half of what she talks about, then you are absolutely without-a-single-fucking-doubt wasted
as a corporal, even if you’re in a low-drag high-speed outfit like this. You hear me?”
“Um, yes sir.” It was the first time in McCoy’s memory that anyone had addressed Matt as befitting his perhaps-former rank.
“Good. You get your ass into college, somehow. You’re a smart guy, you’ll figure all that shit out. And as for Chao? Just give it room to breathe. Let her know you’re interested, but don’t press the matter.”
“Let her know?” For once Martinez looked completely lost. “How do I…” he trailed off. “I mean, I like her…and yeah, I mean I like her in that
way, but she’s so damn smart and pretty and I’m just some dipshit meathead.”
“Hey, don’t sell yourself short,” said Matt. “You’re our
McCoy’s vengeful smile faded. “Martinez…no, Luca.”
Martinez looked up in surprise at her use of his first name.
She continued. “Just talk to her. Neither of you have any clue as to what ‘normal’ social interactions look like. In your case, it’s because you’ve been a soldier for all of your adult life. In her case, it’s because she’s, well, because she’s Chao. So just walk up to her and be straightforward. Trust me, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air for her to not have to navigate social cues. Just say something like ‘Hey, I really like you, do you like me and do you want to go get a coffee sometime’? Start with that. Chao’s good people, the worst thing she’ll do is say no. She won’t yell at you or talk shit about you online. Buuuut, some sixth sense is telling me she won’t say no to getting some coffee with ya.”
Matt smiled. “McCoy, I think you might have a calling after you leave the military.”
She snorted. “Oh yeah, I’ll hang up my match-making shingle on the internet and start raking in the big bucks. Martinez is right, though. If we try to do a publicity stunt up at the Rithro
, then we’ll need somebody alongside Chao to win the world over. Somebody well-known, but preferably someone not in the traditional Western pop-culture sphere. That’ll make it more palatable…”
Her voice trailed off and she stared into space. The two men now looked at each other in genuine concern until she spoke again a few moments later.
“Guys? I think I just had the best idea ever.”
submitted by Frank_Leroux
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:56 sturmfreis I (24F) was wondering how one makes new friends after college graduation. Struggling and would love to make genuine connections and feeling pretty disconnected/isolated on social media and irl
Okay so there’s a lot of context to this lol, so if you have the time and energy to read this, buckle up!
So scrolling through Instagram the other day, it made me realize how many friends (or maybe acquaintances or people to hang out with) people have even after college. I used to have a big friend group both in hs and college too, but once college ended we mostly all live in different areas and I lucked out and live in the middle of nowhere far from anyone in that friend group. Most of us ended up drifting apart and doing our thing. For hs, it sizzled out longer than after college, but it’s kind of in the same boat now. In the time of living those 2 experiences with those friend groups, it never seemed like it would happen. At least with my hs friend group, since we were so close. But everyone’s off in grad school in diff parts of the country so it’s hard to keep in touch. It’s only rlly a birthday if someone’s celebrating where most of us get to see/catch up/hang out with each other.
I wasn’t particularly super close with anyone specifically in this college group of friends, but we spent most of our college time together being part of the same club org in college and I enjoyed being around them and spending time together. Where some of us wouldn’t hang out with someone one on one, but altogether as a group it was a good time. So maybe more of acquaintances? Party friends? Event friends? Some of the friends in our group also had a major falling out due to some drama (a reason why some big friend groups do not work well lol), so that was a reason we scattered our 4th yeaafter college. Now, I haven’t seen or talked to most of them closer to the time we graduated aside from the occasional chat or comment through social media. I only keep in contact with my little/big/grand of the cultural club I was in and like 3 other friends from that club, for a grand total of 6 people who live in different areas of our state, that I would truly consider friends and would actively try to see/hang out with if we lived closer.
Whenever I go on Instagram, I see people hanging out with new people and large groups and I miss it. Granted, the people posting are mostly new people I met recently through my partner, but I’ve noticed that they know and hang out with SO many different people. For the girls, I’ve noticed a trend where it’s sorority sisters (even if graduated) they’re mostly hanging out with or going on trips. I was in it for a year in college (went to a pretty small college) and it wasn’t for me at the time, but looking back and now it makes me wish I stayed in it if it meant I could connect with people even after college because of that community of just being in one.
I think I just miss the feeling of being in a community and that connection. I spend most of my days alone and then only people I really talk to are my boyfriend (been together for almost 4 years now) and my family. We’re long distance too, whenever I visit I visit for a week or 2 at a time and usually hang with his friends on the weekends when I visit. I love all of them he’s introduced me to, but for some reason in my head they’ll forever be his friends first. I would love to get rid of this mindset so I can truly connect and get closer to them. The girlfriends of course are friendly. But since I’m not around too often, I don’t really get the chance I want to get to know them better, but I try to when I’m there.
On a side note, my boyfriend has a lot of friends (his childhood/hs friend group are still close and his college friend group is closehang out way more than mine) and they hang out often and sometimes he does too. I don’t blame him for it and he doesn’t go out as often anymore, but when he does I do feel lonely because I don’t have my group of friends to hang out with anymore. I am a bit jealous tbh which is why I would love to make my own friends separate from his group of friends/their gfs though.
I’m not a big textephone caller, more of an in person type socializer. But the thing is I’m more of an introvert and know how to put my semi-extrovert mask on in social settings (more group settings, I kinda struggle 1 on 1), but that requires a lot of energy. I get drained after those large group setting interactions and I need to recharge my social battery after for a while. I do love going out and clubbing and that sort of things when I’m with my boyfriend (he lives in a big city and we go to festivals/take trips from time to time with his friends).
In college, I was pretty social but having difficulty now since I’m not around people all the time now. I have a FT remote job and the only time I leave my house if I’m not visiting my boyfriend is to go to the gym or go grocery shopping. Live in my hometown, a pretty small town with not many socializing activities (like music/DJ events, pilates, or other fun classes like painting or pottery like in a bigger city) aside from the bars and do not go to them because I don’t want to see anyone from hs lol. I eventually am planning to move with my boyfriend to a bigger city so hoping I get a better shot at making new friends/connections there where those activities are big. It just worries me that in the future that this is how it’ll be, with a lack of friendships and genuine connection (I know how important it is to have those friendships later on in life and how it affects health too) even with moving so it’s been making me insecure about it and I’d love to change that.
So I’m wondering, how does everyone successfully make AND maintain friendships in the day and age of now after graduating college? Also, when meeting new people, do you have pre-decided topics/things you talk about? Or a list of your things you ask everyone so you don’t have things to run out of talking about?
I’ve always just tried to go with the flow in a convo and if we connect awesome, if we don’t that’s okay too. But it’s more exhausting than picking questions/topics beforehand so I don’t get to that point where I’m struggling to find common ground lol.
If you’d read all the way up to this point, wow, thank you so much in advance! Would love to hear your thoughts and replies.
submitted by sturmfreis
to socialskills [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:02 MaMcMu [discussion] My OC: Razi Bharx
For a while, I thought of this OC in Fairy Tail's canon with some adjustment towards the future arcs. This take place after the Tenrou Island arc. Well, here he is: Name:
Razi Bharx. Age:
Appearance: https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/1066835543163404350/1066846774305767585/razi.jpg?width=669&height=422 Personality:
He is very active, energetic and fun-loving. Razi is really gluttonous and will eat just about anything/everything that's edible. He's also shy around huge crowds, due to years of nonstop abuse because of his wolf features and is always trying to hide his sadness with a smile. He absolutely hates being called a dog, despite showing the traits of one (scratching his ears with his feet, hanging his head and tongue out of vehicle windows & etc). He's known to show less anger, in fear of becoming the monster a certain spell wants him to become; in fact, Razi outright tries to force himself to be happy no matter what because he believes that this dark side takes over if he even senses negative emotions impacting. Razi has a big fear of the cold and steers clear of anyone with Magic relating to it, Gray included. He's often called the most harmless member of Fairy Tail because of his unwillingness to harm people. Likes:
Food and his found family. Dislikes:
Winter and his own strength. Strengths:
Razi's speed is doubled when he's on all fours. His sense of smell and hearing are more higher than the average human's, next to the qualities of a Dragon Slayer. Weaknesses:
He's very literate, barely able to spell his name. His hesitance to strike harder makes him an easy target in combat. History:
A powerful demon named Xyroque rebelled against his creator and left to places unknown. He came across a remote village where he met a woman named Shauna. Acceptance came slowly, but they were warming up to him until he and Shauna fell in love. The year came when they have a half-breed baby and christened him "Razi". One night, a wicked priest came to his homeland and ordered genocide. Xyrouqe stayed behind to fend them off before telling his wife to take their son and run away. Unable to shake off the invaders, Shauna made the ultimate sacrifice; she silently hid her son in an empty barrel and, after a tearfully heart-breaking goodbye, she ran away before luring away the wicked leader and was hunted down. The barrel he was in got delivered to an orphanage, where he became the social punching bag. As a 7 year old, Razi left and barely survived the streets for a month. He was nearly starving to death because he lacks the courage to even steal, which gets even worse when nobody pitied him because of his canine features and is sadly jealous of the other children with their happy families. When the people went as far as to try and murder him that resulted in a fatal scar to the neck, Razi snapped; he painfully transformed into a monstrous, humanoid wolf and slaughtered many people, ransacked houses and laid waste to the town for a second month. Many guilds tried to take him down, but he was unstoppable until Gildarts from Fairy Tail pitched in and took care of it with ease. Before he can finish the job, however, he saw the monster turn back into a scared and malnourished child and throw away the offered money, disgusted that the people wanted him to kill a child. On his way to Fairy Tail, he carried Razi there and left him in the medic ward before leaving for the S-Class Trials. His coma lasted until Tenrou Island was destroyed by Acnologia, wondering why all these people are crying. For the 7 year timeskip, Razi was the only one who kept Fairy Tail going when they had no hope left, especially now that a Dark Guild called "Weasel Breath" took over their original building and hosted wild parties every night. The rest is history when the main muscle members return and he becomes a new member of Team Natsu. Magic:
Moonlight Magic; Razi has the power to create illuminating energy harnessed by the moon itself. If it's a sunny day, then his magic powers is halved. Spells- Midnight Palm;
Razi's left and/or right arm and hand turns black and white as he punches the target. Dark Hunter Howl;
Razi unleashes a super sonic howl in the form of a black tornado. The louder his voice, the more powerful this spell is. Ninja Attack;
Razi summons multiple clones of himself from his shadow. Problem is that each clone has their own personality. Dizzy Dust;
Razi throws a star-coated cloud of dust at the opponent, instantly making them fall asleep. Solar Eclipse;
Razi summons a decoy moon that covers the sun. This is pretty useful to double his magic, but useless if the real moon is already out. Shadow Sneak;
Razi can phase/teleport into the shadows for sneaking purposes or mischief. It's also useful for spying. Lunar Slash;
Razi's tail turns white and curves like a crescent moon with a few spiky tips before he flips and slashes the target. Phantom Whip;
Razi summons all the surrounding shadows to create a large black whip coming out of his arm. This also works with both arms. Pitch Thought;
Razi can form a black star-ridden aura around himself that creates whatever he thinks of. This spell can only work if Razi keeps his eyes closed, so he must rely on his other senses. Moon Shine;
Razi summons a bright flash that momentarily blinds the opposition. Fury of the Night;
Razi only uses this spell as a last resort because he has no control over it as it painfully transforms him into a savage werewolf-like monster entitled The Lunarthrope" that will attack anyone who comes near him. His mentality is reverted to that of a violent monster and won't stop unleash all is slaughtered around him. The only way to pacify this spell is if someone uses Magic that can cancel other Magic or if then can manage to get through to Razi inside.
submitted by MaMcMu
to fairytail [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 16:54 Proletlariet Kamen Rider Ichigo - Main Body
"Rider… Henshin!" ♫ Let's Go!!! Rider Kick ♫
- ♫ Kamen Rider no Uta ♫ Takeshi Hongo
was a genius biochemist and motorcycle racer working at Johnan University in Tokyo when he was kidnapped by the evil secret organization Shocker
. Hongo was transformed into a cyborg intended to serve Shocker as a super soldier in their quest for world dominance. Rebelling against his would-be masters, Hongo takes the moniker of Kamen Rider
and vows to fight for justice, a promise that takes him across the world and inspires generations of successors to follow in his footsteps.
Feats will be marked with the source.
Note for scaling: Shocker Combatmen are humans who have been enhanced by Shocker cybernetics,
though not to the extent of the elite Shocker cyborgs like Kamen Rider or the various kaijin he fights. The Kamen Rider Official Zukan
says that they have several times the physical ability of regular humans. While superhuman thanks to Shocker's cybernetics, Hongo can't access his full power without transforming.
General Kamen Rider's original form from early in the series.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)
General Kamen Rider's upgraded form that he used temporarily, named after the region of Japan it first appeared in. From this form on, Kamen Rider no longer required a wind source to transform and could do so at will.
Rider Double Kick All performed with Kamen Rider Nigo
Skill/Misc Kamen Rider's most used and most iconic form, an upgrade over his previous forms.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)
- Album of killing monsters and making them explode but not causing any significant collateral damage
- Rhinogang says that the Rider Kick is 10x stronger than his own imitationE66
- Defeats Kamen Rider KivaHS
- Hits Kamen Rider Gaim, pushing him back and breaking the rock beneath him until his guard is brokenHS
- Kills the Nazca Dopant L3FO
- Kills Spiderond, causing an explosion that destroys a nearby buildingE57
- Breaks Bearded Dragon's tongue, which broke steel barsE58
- Kills Worm Man, causing an explosion that destroys Shocker's underwater baseE59
- Kills Namazuguiller, causing an explosion that destroys a large mirror array and causes Shocker's underground base to cave inE61
- Kills Gillercricket with a knee, causing an explosion that destroys a nearby buildingE69
- Kills Armadig, who withstood Skyrider ramming him with his motorcycle, which can drive through metal doorsGO
- Kills Spiderbaban and Golden Jaguar at the same timeSO
- Destroys a group of Badan CombatroidsHS
- Breaks off Franken Bat's wingFR
- Kicks Eaglemantis' blade back at him, cutting him in halfE86
- Kicks Catgecko, somehow curing him of the brainwashing/cyborg surgery Gel Shocker performed on himE88
- [Rider Screw Kick] Breaks through a barred windowE69
- [Rider Lunar Kick] Kills Crowox who withstood a mineE95
- [Rider Double Kick] Kills Rattlander, launching him back hard enough to carve two small trenches in the groundDS
- [Rider Double Kick] Overpowers Shocker Greed's blasts, launching him hard enough to damage stone and killing himLG
- With the other Seven Legendary Riders, knocks over a giant monsterK54
- Joins all Kamen Riders up to Decade in performing a barrage of Rider Kicks that destroy Dai-Shocker's castleDS
- Takes hits from Neo-Shocker's Great Leader, whose strikes make earthquakes that affect TokyoK54
- Takes hits from Centigerpede, who overpowers the Rider Kick with a punchE91
- Takes hits from Shocker Rider 1, who matches him in strengthE92
- Takes hits from Rattlander, who downed Kamen Rider DiEnd with one strikeDS
- Takes hits from Rhinobeetron, who is strong enough to push a busE65
- Takes hits from Kamen Rider Sango, who punched a hole in a shipping container and a concrete wallGP
- Takes hits from Sawsharkus, who can punch through a stone wall, while suffering the effects of a gas designed to destroy cyborgsE67
- Takes hits from Mantiskid, who punches through a concrete floorJT
- Takes hits from Bearded Dragon, who breaks through a wallE66
- Gets thrown down a hill and kicked by Squidevil, who burst through the groundE68
- Tanks punches from Sea Snake ManE54
- Takes some blows from SpiderondE57
- Takes a point blank nuclear explosion,V2 then contacts V3 to tell him that he's fine and in AustraliaV21 and shows up perfectly fine laterDM
- Hit by Grand Zairus in fireball form, which is over 1000º and destroyed an artificial island
- Fine after being hit by meteorites called down by Shocker, which blew up an observatory and burned a man to deathE68
- Gets shocked by Namazuguiller, who was enhanced from his base electrical charge of 100,000 voltsE61
- Shocked by JellywolfE82
- Withstands Badan's Space Break System, which obliterates people and buildingsBT
- Bearded Dragon's venom only makes his body numb where it melts normal peopleE58
- Takes extended soundwaves from Gillercricket, which can blow up CombatmenE69
- Withstands Newtgeth's tongue, which reduced a woman to ashE77
- Jumps off of a cliff and reappears unharmedE62
- Jumps off a cliff with Centigerpede, causing it to explode, then shows up fine later
- Falls from a great height inside an ambulance that explodes and emerges some time later stunned but otherwise unharmedE95
Rider Combinations Kamen Rider can join his power with other Showa Riders to
do whatever the plot calls for perform techniques
"As long as evil exists in this world… Kamen Rider will be there to fight for justice!"
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2023.06.03 16:14 ThrowAway7s2 "Girls sports putting crimp on gym facilities" from the January 20, 1976 Door County Advocate
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Girls sports putting crimp on gym facilities
Girls sports putting crimp on gym facilities
By JON GAST
"I kind of liken it to having a 10-person family and trying to fit them. into a two-bedroom house; you have to do things in shifts," said Sevastopol Athletic Director Eugene Waterstreet, referring to the problem of inadequate gym facilities for the growing number of sports in high school athletic programs.
It wasn't too many years ago that the problem was non-existent, but today, with the advent. of Title IX legislation, girls' programs are flourishing and because of this the number of teams in many high schools around the country have doubled. What has this meant to athletic programs?
The result is crowded gyms and shortened practices.
Possibly for the exception of Gibraltar, Door county high schools have felt the crunch to some degree and with girls' sports still not developed to their maximum, the situation could be worsening.
Probably the worst hit of the four schools is Southern Door. Athletic Director John Bowers said the school has had to do some juggling in order to accommodate the schools interscholastic sports program.
The Southern Door boys' and girls' varsity and junior varsity basketball teams get the use of the gym after school. One day the boys will practice from 3-4:30 p.m. while the girls go from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and the next day they will flip-flop. This takes up a pretty good chunk of the gym's free time considering the gym is used for numerous school and rec activities at night. So what about all the other interscholastic sports?
This is where Bowers turns into somewhat of a magician. The freshman basketball team practices the first three hours of the school day. According to Bowers, because the freshmen boys are too young to drive and must rely on parents for their transportation, it is not rational to have them practice at night or before school.
We still haven't covered wrestling or girls' gymnastics.
After all the meals are prepared and the mess cleaned up, the wrestlers roll out their mats in the cafeteria for their afternoon workouts. And. the girl gymnasts, contrary to popular opinion, don't get the library, they get the hallways.
That's right, they set up their equipment in the hallways in the afternoons.
An added problem for Bowers is the fact that there is no transportation for the group of basketball players practicing from 4:30-6 because the last bus leaves the school at 5:15.
"I think we have a little more of a problem out here," said Bowers, "because we are out in the country we have that problem with transportation."
Two things have helped ease the problem at Sturgeon Bay. First, the junior and senior high schools are separate, thereby relieving the problem caused by freshman sports. The second advantage that the Clippers own is in the layout of the high school. Sturgeon Bay has a balcony adjacent to the gym that allows for an area where wrestling practice can be conducted. It also has the added advantage of not having a girls' gymnastics program and in these times of added stress on facilities one less sport can make a lot of difference.
"So far we've been able to work things out," said Athletic Director Ron Casadont. "It's not the best system in the world, but at least everyone has time to work out."
As far as use of the gym is concerned, basketball uses up most of that time as it does at most schools; like at Southern Door, the Clippers boys and girls must share their time. One group goes from 2:30-5 while the other must come from 5-6:30.
"As more teams come in we'll have more problems," said Casadont. "But most of the coaches realize that we had better go on cooperating."
At Sevastopol, the Pioneers are engaged in the two-gym suffle. Wrestling, boys' basketball and girls' basketball are cooperating in sharing the elementary and high school gyms.
At present, Athletic Director Eugene Waterstreet is trying to keep things organized with a monthly schedule that directs each sport, when and where it is to practice.
"We haven't had any great problems," said Waterstreet. He has the junior high practicing from 2:15 to 3:05 each day with the high school teams taking over after school and at night. Because then are three teams for two gyms, one team often has to come back at night to practice. But as at the other schools, variables are involved, like interscholastic games at night or Rec League or a grade school game, all adding up to one big headache for Waterstreet.
One added problem that Waterstreet has is a Wednesday night ordinance that states that there will be no school activities after supper. This means one team is without practice time, but Waterstreet said that he has gotten around this with the cooperation of the girls' basketball team which has agreed not to practice on Wednesday nights.
The crowded conditions have forced many of the teams to move their practices to Saturday and there have been some on Sunday also.
A good example of a team feeling the crunch is the Sevastopol freshman team. The squad is scheduled with the varsity and junior varsity teams. But the priority that is given to the varsity and junior varsity often leaves the freshmen out in the cold, forcing them to search for spots of time when the gym is available. This means an inconvenience for parents who
must cart their boys to school at night or on a Saturday so the team can get in a decent practice.
Due to a decision by the Gibraltar school board, dropping athletics in the junior high, the Vikings. enjoy an escape from the "crowd." Add to this the fact that Gibraltar has no wrestling team and you have virtually no problem. The school has no problem in getting in both the boys' and girls' practices after school and still has plenty of time left over for intramurals.
"Our dropping the junior high program helped spacewise," said Principal Larry Lundell. "I don't know how it will eventually effect the team, though."
How does all this affect the performance of the athlete?
"I don't think it has that much effect on the athletes," said Bowers. "The kids go out because they enjoy the sport." As girls' sports grow so will the problems, "but, as Casadont said, the coaches will have to realize that for the sake of the survival of their own sport they will have to compromise on time. But, he said, as far as Sturgeon Bay is
concerned, the winter sports may not be the problem area. He feels that when the spring sports roll around the situation nay worsen for awhile as boys' track, girls' track, baseball and eventually girls' softball all must share the gym for a month or so while waiting for the thaw to arrive.
The more you think about it, 10 people in a two-bedroom house sounds kind of roomy.
Courtesy of the Door County Library Newspaper Archive
Two articles by Jim Robertson, discussing girls' baseball
"Quotes his peers on Little League" from the April 9, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13jk75i/quotes_his_peers_on_little_league_from_the_april/
"Problems start with tryouts" from the April 11, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13kiv8q/problems_start_with_tryouts_from_the_april_11/
A series on girls' sports by Linda Adams
Part I of the series by Linda Adams was previously posted as
"Girls sports have come a long way, not far enough" from the December 27, 1973 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/133xv7s/girls_sports_have_come_a_long_way_not_far_enough/
Part II was previously posted as
"Inequities still show in girls sports programs" from the January 3, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/135abbt/inequities_still_show_in_girls_sports_programs/
Part III was previously posted as
"Community acceptance still not part of girls' sports" from the January 10, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/1369toz/community_acceptance_still_not_part_of_girls/
Part IV was previously posted as
"Athletic directors take wide look at girls sports" from the January 17, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/137a5bk/athletic_directors_take_wide_look_at_girls_sports/
Part V was previously posted as
"If past growth continues, girls sports will flourish" from the January 24, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/1385nqif_past_growth_continues_girls_sports_will/
(a response to the five-part series) "Girls sports pose problem" from the February 12, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/1395aem/girls_sports_pose_problem_from_the_february_12/
Other articles and posts
"Washington Island's Kay Curtis becoming a legend in her time" on June 14, 1977 in the Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/131c1w8/washin
A grandmotherly perspective on eugenics from the June 2, 1915 Door County News https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13b3zya/a_grandmotherly_perspective_on_eugenics_from_the/
"Comments from council" editorial, a rebuke from alleged woman's sports militant Rev. Gary Straughan, and a conciliatory response from Chan Harris from the Door County Advocate on May 9th & 14th, 1974 https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13lddoc/comments_from_council_editorial_a_rebuke_from/
"Provide equal programs" editorial from the April 30, 1974 Door County Advocate https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13qakfe/provide_equal_programs_editorial_from_the_april/
Gibraltar's intended restroom design reduces students' safety https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/12uvmni/gibraltars_intended_restroom_design_reduces/
Gibraltar Area School District's proposed gender identity guidelines include a derogatory slur which disrespects most students. https://www.reddit.com/DoorCountyALT/comments/13gpvx2/gibraltar_area_school_districts_proposed_gende
2023.06.03 15:20 Jakimcikas First time japan travel report 04.25-05.17
Alrighty, I'll describe my first time travel in japan, what went well, what didn't go well, my overall impression of Japan. We travelled trough quite a few cities, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible as I'm not much of writer. And we've visited quite a few places, so if you'd like more details, comment and I'll go more in-depth :).
A bit about the travelling party. Me(25M) and a work colleague(26M), Lithuanians(Europe) software engineers, reasonably fit and somewhat fluent in english, Omnivores(my colleague is allergic to cheese), our height is around ±185cm.
Tokyo(Shinjuku) -> Osaka -> Nara -> Kyoto -> Onomichi Islands -> Matsuyama -> Hiroshima -> Miyajima -> Kumamoto -> Aso(region) -> Fukuoka -> Nagasaki -> Nagoya -> Takayama -> Magome -> Matsumoto - > Tokyo(Chuo) -> Tokyo(Shibuya) -> Tokyo(Teito) -> Hakone.
I was slightly more conservative with my spending so my expenses are on the cheaper side, my colleague spent quite a bit more, especially on food and booze.
Total amount spent: slightly more than 3k euros in japan + 1.1k euros flights back and forth.
Daily food expenses: 30-40 eur or 5k-7k yen.
Daily food expenses: 3k-4k Daily travel fares(bus, metro), museums and other activities: 1k-3k
Average hotel stay: ~60euro
Food: - Breakfast - usually something from a convenience store. Chicken, power gels, chocolate, melon bread(my favourite), - Lunch - something from a convenience store or a restaurant - Dinner - restaurant usually a ramen place
Museums, castles, shrines, forests, mountains, walks around the city. We did a lot of walking, total around 400km of walking(at leasts that's what google fit shows)
Alright that's a brief summary, now for the more in-depth write up.
My key takeaways
- Japan is a very safe country, I felt safe everywhere, even in the shady parts of Tokyo.
- People are very polite, they'll go out of their way to help you, even if they don't speak english.
- People are very quiet, you won't hear people talking on the phone, or talking loudly in public transport.
- Be polite, if you don't understand or thing that this is not how it should be, don't be rude, just accept it and move on. You are an alien in their country, not the other way around. So please don't ever raise your voice, japanese people are not malicious, they'll try to help you, but they might not understand you.
- If you want to feel appreciated, learn at least the basics on japanese, it's not that hard, and it'll make your life easier. I did it through doulingo, reached unit 14 in a month and that was sufficient to have very simple conversation.
This is it for the TL;DR part. I'll go more in-depth for the rest of the post.
Planning for the trip
We started planning the trip, where we'll go, where we'll stay, what we'll do, expenses, trains, all that you can plan was started to be planned around a month prior to the trip. We created a word doc as our itinerary, that was around 60 pages long. From what I've read on this page about you can't plan everything. Well I believe we did, we might've even over planned :D.
So we booked the following hotels: - Tokyo - Apa Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower(04.25-04.26) - Osaka - APA Hotel Namba Kita Shinsaibashi Ekimae(04.26-04.30) - Onomichi island - TOMARIGI Hostel(04.30-05.01) - Matsuyama - Hotel Patio Dogo(05.01-05.02) - Hiroshima - Wholeearth Ryokan Hiroshima(05.02-05.04) - Kumamoto - Hotel Wing International Select Kumamoto(05.04-05.08) - Nagoya - Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nagoya Shinkansenguchi(05.08-05.10) - Magoame - Magomechaya(05.10-05.11) - Matsumoto - Hotel M Matsumoto(05.11-05.12) - Tokyo - APA Hotel Ginza Kyobashi Tokyo Station Yaesu South Gate(05.14-05.17)
Extra things we bought in advance: - Water proof bags - Hiking boots and socks - Bigger backpacks - JP Rail pass, we booked the trains in advance, but honestly that wasn't necessary even during golden week - Bandages for foot blisters, medicine(for headaches, motion sickness, diarrhoea). - Ubigi eSim internet(10GB was plenty for me throughout the trip) - Sun screen(did not use and got sunburned to a point where I was shinning red) - Portable battery
We arrived at the Haneda aiport, exchanged some cash to yen(was at a better course than locally), printed out our JR passes(IMPORTANT TO DO SO HERE, only major stations let you print it out
) and went to the metro. We took the train to Shinjuku, and walked to our hotel to check-in. We were quite tired, bought some chicken from lawson and went to explore a few places, a few drinks in golden gai district and ramen in a nearby place. Eventually we ended up at rock bar mother. Really cool place, for each drink you can request 2 songs to be played. After that back to hotel, visit the top floor onsen and sleep
Got up early, travelled to osaka. Left our luggage in the hotel, we were too early for a check in. We went to see Osaka castle(quite beautiful), tried takoyaki there. More city exploring, then we went check-in. After that we went to see the Umeda Sky Building in the evening(we bought the ticket in advance) very beautiful, it was very clear and beautiful. Got back to the city, got some ramen, went to the hotel and sleep.
Went to USJ, bought tickets(basic, no express stuff) in advance. We went there 30minutes before opening, and there was already a huge line. We went to Nintendo first, the zone looked very nice, but ride it'd say was okay'ish for me. After that the dinosaur rides, minion land, grabbed chinese food for lunch, went to the harry potter zone, at this point the lines got quite long around 1h to 1h 30min of wait time. After that we went to see Water world where they were doing a play, was really awesome, I'd say a must see even if you don't understand Japanese, the acting is very good. After that we went to Osaka aquarium(no lines, thank god), it was beautiful, cute chonks and other sea creatures.
Trip to Kyoto from Osaka. We went early by metro, to see the bamboo forest(7:40'ish), beautiful, few people. Walked around the park then climbed the mount a fed the monkeys(50 yen for a bag of fruits or nuts), very cute, tried petting the hand of one, didn't go well got an aggressive show of teeth. After that we visited Ryoanji temple, went to nishi market, we we're running a bit late so we took a taxi to Kiyomizudera, we saw the geish district on our way to there, looked interesting. After the temple we went to a bar and got back to Osaka and then after a bowl of ramen to our hotel.
We went to Nara, took this hiking track
saw the deer, bought some food, did the whole bow thing then fed them. One thing to keep in mind is to crumble the cookie and give it in small pieces, otherwise you'll run out of food to give quickly. They might be very "assertive" and try to take it from you, don't be afraid, just stick your empty arm out to get some distance and that's it . They're not gonna bite you. After that we went to see the Todaiji temple, it was beautiful, the buddha statue was huge. Got back to Osaka, got some ramen, went to the hotel, scheduled to send our luggage to our next hotel and went to sleep.
Got up early, went to Onomichi, rented some bikes and began our cycling journey through the islands. A lot of cool bridges, very beautiful nature. We cycled to north Omishima port, where we transfered to rabbit island pet and fed the rabbits, got back and cycled to our ryokan and straight to sleeping.
More cycling, more cool bridges, more beautiful nature. We arrived at Imabari, returned our bikes and took the train to Matsuyama. We ate some stree food, relaxed in the open hot springs for feet. Walked around and went to sleep. To be honest I'd say this was the favorite city of the whole trip for me. I liked the vibe, the people, the food, the nature, the onsen, the layout, the architecture. In general, beautiful city.
Early in the morning visited a public onsen nearby, then went to see the Matsuyama castle, it was beautiful, tried the orange juice there, it was really good, got back to our hotels, got some dango. Packed our stuff, got a taxi and went to the port and took the ferry to Hiroshima. Checked in the ryokan. Took a train to Hiroshima city center, visited the castle and then the nuclear museum. Get the english audio for best experience. It took me around 2hours to walk through everything, read it and take it in. It was very nerve racking, but I'd say a must see. After that we went out to eat some Okonomiyaki, it was delicious, then back to the ryokan and sleep.
Went to Miyajima island first by train then transfer by ferry. It was very beautiful, the mountain hike was also fun, the view on top was amazing. When we came down from the mountain there was a low tide, so we could go near the Itsukushima shrine. Got back to Hiroshima, went to the city center for a couple of beers, got back to Ryokan and went to sleep.
First day of the Golden week, wouldn't say that I've noticed anything different, maybe because we were travelling to the far south of Japan - Kumamoto. This is one of those cities that I also enjoyed more than the big common ones, it looked very nice, had a beautiful castle, was not crowded as Hiroshima, Osaka or Tokyo. We rented out bikes, cycled to Honmoji park(the place near Honmoji park is god damn maze, keep you google maps always open or you will get lost) found a place to eat, visited Lafcadio Hearn House and went to our hotel and then to sleep.
We rentend a car and went to Aso, highly recommend renting a car here, since the public transport is not that good. The drive was very nice, we went to see active volcano crater, luckily it was not erupting, so we were allowed to get close. Then we went around and climbed the other inactive mountain caps. Climbing that was one of the most fun hikes I've had. It was very windy, you could barely see past 5 meters anywhere, because of the fog. There was no smell of sulfur, so it was safe. We visited Mt. Nakadake, Mt. Takadake, overall the place looked like Mordor, the vibes, the weather everything. After that we visited Ayugaeno Falls, the ravines and everything was just majectic. After that we got back to Kumamoto, gave back the car and went somewhere to eat. Car rental cost around ~7k yen in total. So I'd say a good price. After eating, we went to our hotel and then to sleep.
We went to Fukuoka, by train, walked around the city, visited Tochoji temple, Fukuoka castle ruins, Ohori park and explored the huge ravine type shopping mall. Went to the science museum(big mistake, it's for kids...). After that we tried Ichiran ramen(originated in Fukuoka so we thought it be better). Was the same as everywhere else. It was rainy so we got back pretty early to our hotel and went to sleep.
We went to Nagasaki, by train, visited the atomic bomb museum, it was very interesting, just as good as the one in Hiroshima. We took a boat ride to see Gunkanjima, though we couldn't get on the island, because of the weather, it was still very interesting to see and hear the history of the island. Explored the Dutch district, walked around the shops, tried some whale meat. It was raining the whole day, so we also got back quite early and went to sleep.
We got up early and went got straight to the train station, and caught the train to Nagoya. The longest train ride by far. We arrived at Nagoya, checked in our hotel, went to the city center, visited the castle, it was very beautiful, then we wanted to explore the abandoned tunnel near Aichi. Apparently it was closed, we decided we're going to enter through the exit, like rascals, but apparently after we circled around there was a police officer that was guarding traffic through the bridge and wouldn't let us through. So our trip ended there. After comming back to Nagoya we visited the sky scrapper, it had interesting installations on the windows. We had our stay got back to hotel and went to sleep.
We went to Takayama, by train, one of the most scenic train rides so far. We strolled around the city center, visited the early morning market, bought some souvenirs, tried some white strawberries, mushroom tee and other local cuisine. Visited Takayama Showa Museum, which was 10/10. You could touch almost everything, the museum gave a great vibe, it was like you were in a house of a family that lived there. There was also an old nintendo with mario kart that you could play, put on a old yukata and take photos. Play pachinko(no money needed), watch an old-school movie. We visited a few sake tasting places, I've found a few flavours that I liked. After that back to Nagoya, eat ramen and sleep.
We sent out our luggage to Matsumoto, caught a train to Nagiso and then hiked the Nakasendo trail to Tsumago and then Magome where we checked in and stayed at the local ryokan. The hike was very nice and relaxing one of the easier hikes I've had, the places we saw we're quite old and beautiful. At ryokan we met people one American and one from Germany, they had a guitar so we chatted a bit, played the guitar and had a few beers. The dinner at ryokan was amazing, looked very traditional Japanese dinner. Was also very tasty, would definitely recommend this place. After that we went to sleep.
Got up early and took a bus to Nakatsugawa Eki-mae station where we travelled to Matsumoto. We left our bags and went to the RubyKaigi conference. Overall good conference, I've learned somethings, but most importantly I've had bit of time to rest and catch up on some sleep, since we weren't exploring new cities. So overall the following 3 days were wake up -> breakfast -> conference -> lunch -> conference -> drinks -> dinner -> sleep.
Slept in, had breakfast and travelled to Tokyo by train. Left our luggage at the hotel and moved on to explore the Chou region. Walked around the Ginza, Imperial palace, Yasukuni shrine and went to check in. After that it was getting dark, so travelled to Akihabara to experience the anime night life, was quite bright and interesting. Though the amount of requests to visit a maid cafe was too damn high. If your planning to buy a PS5, a new GPU or Nintendo switch, this could be the place, I saw PS5 with two controllers for 60k yen, with a 10% tax refund that is around 370 euros. After some exploration, got back to our hotel and went to sleep.
This was our Hakone day trip, we bought the 3 day pass for it, so we could use the train, bus, ropeway and boat. Was worth it, even for one day. We climbed Mt. Kintoki, thankfully the weather was great and we could see Fuji. The climb was very nice, the view was amazing, the weather was great, no bears to be seen. After climbing down, we played some golf that was near there. Travelled back to the station were we used the rope-way to get around the mountains, the view was just majestic, we saw the sulfur pits, the stench was, well strong to say the least, but overall enjoyed the experience. We didn't make it time to the boat, so we had to travel back by bus, which wasn't so bad, since the scenery was amazing.
Explored more Tokyo, so we went to Teito district, went to the Ueno zoo, National science museum. After that we went to Kaminarimon gate, Asakusa shrine and moved to Shibuya next. There we went to the Yoyogi park, Meiji Jingu shrine, paid our respects to Hachiko statue. The last activity was to visit TeamLabs Planets, which were amazing, one most interesting experiences, not gonna spoil any details, overall great experience, would do it again. As it was getting late we got back to Shibuya, walked around more, had a drink and went back to our hotel.
Last day in Japan was spent buying souvenirs, snacks and other stuff to bring back home. Packing our luggage, to accommodate for the extras, getting to Haneda airport and back to Lithuania.
I'm very happy I had the opportunity to go on such a trip, I enjoyed it a lot even though, I'm quite the couch potato so 3 weeks is a bit much for me, but nonetheless, wouldn't change a thing.
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2023.06.03 15:20 Sakespear [H] Leftover Humble Bundle Keys [W] Csgo, Tf2 items
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2023.06.03 13:40 smashT Beyond The GM! Ep 22 with Julian and Austin Jun 3, 2023
BeyondtheGM EP 22 featured special guests Doodles CEO Julian Holguin and head of Business Development and Strategy Austin Hurwitz. Great listen where many heard the vision from the Doodles team for the first time.
If anyone wants to listen back: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1OdKrzqrMbYKX
I've shared some of the Doodles related Q&A and alpha below: Can you share some details about your latest announcement for those who haven't seen it yet? Julian:
Doodles is partnering with a company called Camp
to launch our first ever immersive retail experience and for those of you that don't know what camp is, it's basically a network of hybrid play / shopping experiences where the front of the establishment is basically a toy store, but think of it like a specialty toy store. It's kind of like a modern day FAO Schwarz or something like that. It's got all the viral kids toys. It's not just like walking into a Toys R Us or a Target or something like that, t's kind of got that specialty feel to it. That makes up about I'd say less than a sixth of the space but in the back of that toy store, there's this hidden door and a camp counselor is waiting for you if you purchased a ticket to the immersive experience, you push through that magic door and behind that is essentially a 6000 square foot immersive experience that totally brings the world that you're going into to life. So they partner with some big IP to actually program those experiences. Los Angeles is Nike. It's called Nike Kids Camp.
New York is Disney's Encanto, a really big Disney animation movie that kind of took the world by storm last year. Dallas is Mickey Mouse and friends. Atlanta is The Little Mermaid. So obviously some of the biggest IP in the world. We are launching a new location with them this summer. So basically, we're going to be introduced to a whole new set of potential people in the particular market that we're going to be in because these experiences actually serve a purpose in those specific markets for longer than say 2 or 3 days. They are permanent establishments in those markets. So we're going to stay there for about 3 to 6 months and then the Doodles show will likely go on the road to some of their other locations. The solution that camp solves is what do you do with your family today? What do you do today? Do you have something to do with your kids, which is always on a parent's mind, right? Whether you're taking them to the park or you're taking them to Disneyland or you're taking them wherever you want to go. This is like a 2 or 3 hour thing that is really kind of hard to replicate, that gets people out of the house and you can have truly an incredible time.
My kids love it. So the the cool thing for us is that we get to bring one of our core competencies to life in a really material way where we know it's valuable to pop up at these big cultural moments like South-by and Art Basel, but it's a pretty resource intensive process to do that, and it's a pretty budget intensive process to do that. So we figured it made a lot of sense to kind of reallocate some of that funding into turning this concept into a true business, which is essentially what camp is, One, we're going to be selling merchandise, we're going to be selling tickets to the event, we're going to be selling sponsorships to the event. So there's a real business there but the big opportunity for Doodles is there's going to be thousands of new people that don't know anything about Doodles coming into this experience, and we have the opportunity to bring them into our world. We have the opportunity to bring those people on chain, especially with what we have planned and how the technology is almost going to be invisible to the people that are in there.
It's ultimately just going to be a great digital / physical consumer experience. So really, really excited. The utility that that's going to drive ultimately to holders is VIP all access, it's going to be free entry, whereas everybody else has to pay. There's going to be merchandise credits, there's going to be true like white glove concierge services. So whenever a Doodle holder is going to go to the the space in a given day, week, whatever it might be, they're actually going to have the really VIP experience that's going to come with all the bells and whistles and they're going to feel very, very special and not the kind of experience that everybody else is going to have when they go to the event and hopefully in time that space is going to travel so a lot more Doodle holders are going to be able to take part in it but one of the big things that we've heard in general from holders about our live events is, oh man, it's two days, three days, like what if I'm not able to make it that particular weekend? This is going to enable people to have a little bit more travel plans put together if they do want to make it all the way out here but the cool thing is, it's going to travel.
We're still going to do live events in other parts of the world but this is a big one for us. The other part is that we're actually going to introduce our first line of kids merchandise, goods and apparel, which is something that the community has been asking for. We have a lot of parents in the Doodles community and it's also a way to introduce the brand to a lot of new people. As far as the experience itself, there's going to be like dayparting programing. So kids and family programing is going to be in the day for the most part and then at night there's going to be stuff that's more focused on adults. So multiple generations can take part in this. It's going to be a blast. I can't wait for everybody to see the designs, what the experience is going to look like, how it's going to connect to our collector ecosystem in the studio and bring NFT's to life in a really meaningful way. It's going to be awesome. Can't wait for you all to see it. I'm looking forward to the day parting. Could share any timelines, anything in terms of location and where we can expect them or should we stay tuned? Julian:
The location is going to be a reveal within itself so I don't want to say that here because the reason we're not bringing up the location yet is because there's a really big opportunity to get a lot of local press. You want the local newspapers, radio stations, local bloggers and everything like that talking about it. So we want to reveal the designs and everything when we announce the location so we get as many people in the particular area that we're going to be in aware of the activation as possible. Timing wise, the experience is going to open in August. There might be a little fluidity in what exact time in August but it's August right before the school year starts for everybody so it's not too far away and then as far as like you asked kind of a leading question with adult versus kids experiences. You know, if you grow up in New York or any of these cities and you do kind of more mellow, like you've been kind of like boozy painting before or doing like casual things you bring drinking like wine and beer into it. It turns into like a really fun night out for adults. This isn't going to be a rage fest kind of thing but the idea is that we're going to be able to serve alcohol and create some really cool friend and family driven experiences that are a lot more geared towards adults. So it'll be a good time. What's it like working with Pharrell and what's his involvement with the Doodles project at the moment? Julian:
That was the first thing we did, again remember how much interest there was in the blue chip NFT projects back in April, May, June of last year and there were a lot of opportunities for us to work with some major major musicians that have global reach and millions of followers and we really saw the value in working with a creator to help us incubate the brand but they needed to be dynamic and Pharrell is the most dynamic, genius, brilliant creator that in our opinion has really ever lived and he spans music, he spans art, he spans fashion, film, television, technology, everything. So, we had started talking to him basically right when I started and we got the deal done very quickly. Pharrell is a pretty material part of the business, most of the work that he does is kind of behind the scenes, the Pharrell pack and him coming into the Doodles universe as a character was the first big collab that we did but we're working on music together, we're working on audio identity and visual identity and brand development etc and the doors that guy can open are truly unprecedented, the rooms that he's walked us into. I don't want to name drop but top C-suite in the world, top creators in the world, top everything. Pharrell's name comes with so much weight because he has the respect of everybody from business to creative and fashion and everything in between and the thing that surprised me most well, I shouldn't say surprised me, but the thing that I think would surprise most people is how shrewd of a business mind the guy has, he's always leaning into new technology, new ways of doing things. He's kind of contrarian, but he really understands business. He really understands opportunity and he's very leaned into Doodles, which is exciting. We couldn't be more blessed to have his have his support and have his mind on the on the company. I really enjoyed Scott's (Burnt Toast) version of Pharrell. Could you talk about the expansion of the Doodleverse and the ethos behind it? Julian:
You brought up Scott and Pharrell, the first meeting that we had, Pharrell was talking about how he can hear colors and Scott had this moment where his eyes opened up. He's like, "Whoa, me too" and it was this crazy thing that went completely over my head. It was just this really cool moment between artists that everybody else in the room was like, okay, there's a blank spot in our minds when we try and think like that but these two connected on such a deep level. It was really cool to see.
If you look at the end card to the most recent trailer that promoted the Pharrell pack, Doodles2, the stoodio, everything that we released last month, what you're going to find in that is a bunch of random Doodles characters that could be anybody, could be anybody on this call, could be people in South Dakota, could be people in Hong Kong, could be people wherever.
Then you see Pharrell, who is Pharrell in that universe and then you see our mascot who is obviously going to be the main character of our fictional universe. So you have the real world in there, through their Doodle, you have Pharrell who's also part of the real world in there through their Doodle and then you have the fictional characters from Doodles in that photo as well. So if you think about where we're going as a brand, we're developing this fictional universe of characters that are derived from the original collection. So you've seen the mascot, you've seen the cat, all of that stuff is going to be developed into a fictional line of programing and then running parallel to that is the lifestyle brand that is Doodles, right? You make your Doodle, you buy your Doodle merch, you go to Doodles events, you're on Twitter talking to other Doodles, there are Doodle holders that are more well known than other Doodle holders simply because they engage more and they're more kind of public figures in the community and we kind of believe that as that starts to grow, those two, that kind of lifestyle brand and real world aspect of the Doodles will crash into the fictional world at times.
Maybe you do see a creator or someone that you know in the actual fictional world of the universe, or maybe you as a Doodle holder, whether it be through your Doodle or the customized Doodle that you create, will be in that fictional universe as well, the same way that Lady Gaga was a character in The Simpsons, or The Weeknd was a character in The Simpsons, set in the fictional world of The Simpsons but they're Lady Gaga. They're The Weeknd. So we have this really cool track of programing where you can bring digital identity to the table and collecting. We have this kind of sincere belief that digital identity paired with collecting connected to every single consumer touchpoint, whether it be going to the movies, watching television, buying stuff at retail, playing video games, if you can bring that back to a collecting hub where the brand knows who their most loyal supporters are, who engage with the company the most, who are supporting the most and you can reward those people and create aligned incentives as our business grows. That's something really special that brings the brand and the ultimate collector closer together, which makes them feel like they are part of the universe because they actually are going to be part of the universe. They're not going to be just a passive participant and the best way I can give you kind of a framework for how that doesn't exist today.
If you look at most movie IP, they license the movie rights out to a distribution company that actually puts the movie out, which then goes to theaters so they don't actually own the relationship with their customer. You buy merchandise through another third party, so they license it to another third party. They license their books and publishing rights. They license their music rights. They license everything out and they don't actually own the relationship with a lot of their audience. So they have no way of knowing who their most loyal supporters are, who goes and sees the movie three times, who plays the game, who buys the merch, who shows up at the theme parks and the events? What's really cool about the technology that we all work in is we could figure out a way to track all of that and make sure that those people are not just being seen and heard, they're getting stuff, they're getting more rewards, they're creating this sense of identity being close to this brand because they're actually going to feel like they're part of it with all the activations that we have planned. We think that's a business model and a mindset that doesn't exist today and that that's really where we're leaning in. Are there any projects or founders or individuals that you guys chat with a lot or anyone you guys want to meet? Julian:
Yeah, obviously day to day work kind of gets in the way of people spending too much time together but Luca and I talk pretty often, he hooked me up with a couple of the plushies for my kids. They loved them. So there's definitely love and support there. I talk to Greg from Yuga every now and then, I've connected with Zag a couple of times but it's not as much as it should be and I think the kind of the real takeaway is that we should be coming together as leaders in this space more often, because if one of us wins, all of us wins and there's so much incredible work being done right now, we just we need to figure out better ways of kind of taking ourselves out of the day to day and the kind of the pitting ourselves against each other that exists so much on the timeline right now and just remember, we're all fighting the same fight, right? We're trying to take market share from all the biggest companies in the world, not from each other. If Web3 makes it, it's not going to be just one of us that makes it. It's going to be a few of us. It's going to be a bunch of us and it's ultimately just going to create more opportunity for everybody building in this space. So more of that 100% needs to happen. How do you feel about the sentiment? Obviously you guys went through a lot of FUD and now you're kind of bouncing back. How do you feel about the NFT space and where you guys kind of see yourselves fitting in? Julian:
I think anybody who saw our keynote at NFTNYC last year, we are doing every single thing that we said we were going to do. I think there's a misconception in how long this stuff actually takes to develop, to reach millions of people around the world, how long it takes to get music to market and film and television content to market and true partnerships and things like that. You know, especially when you kind of have the bar for quality that Doodles does. I think one of the areas that we've fallen flat is just communication and community building in general and I think that's something that if hopefully you've been paying attention lately, you've seen that there's a real concerted effort internally to try and bridge that gap and to try and rebuild that vibe in the Doodles community. It's something we think about every day. Austin has been invaluable in that regard and truly making the community understand that we are a Web3 company. We do care deeply about this space. We do sincerely believe in the technology and what it's going to do for brands and IP.
We really do feel like every action and activity we take is not just going to benefit Doodles, it's going to benefit everybody in our community and everybody in the Web3 community at large. So has it hurt to see kind of Web3 not as pumped about Doodles anymore? Yeah, it's definitely something we think about, but we're not going to sit here and try and sell, sell, sell to the space on why we're great. What we're going to do is just prove it by shipping product and show people that we really are in this for the right reasons and it'll start to make more and more sense over time. We're kind of sick of talking about what we're going to do and we're just going to show people and think by the end of the summer, by the end of September, you're going to you're going to see a very, very different looking business that the community is truly at the center of. So we're excited for that. You guys are talking about collectibles and I think Burnt Toast recently shared a photo of a monochrome dude. You guys are working with All Rights Reserved who is definitely a premium art / toy sculpture producer. I would love to know a little bit more about how you connected and maybe a little bit more that around what we can expect for that that drop. Julian:
So this relationship predates me joining but Evan got introduced to SK, I believe through Todd Kramer, who's a big art collector, and he has a gallery in New York and I believe they really hit it off kind of from the beginning and the first vinyl that came out was so successful, people were going crazy for that thing and it became very clear that hese vinyl stand toe to toe with Bearbrick statues and Kaws statues and we had a real opportunity in the designer toy market. So we really wanted to start to double down on that concept and try and play in that space. So we've been developing a strategy for a while on how we actually bring that to a wider audience and get that in the right kind of environment so this, this summer, August, actually, we're going to be doing a big drop tied to the physical's, the vinyl that you saw. There's going to be multiple colorways. There's going to be some really interesting, I'll say expanded things outside of the toy, outside of the figure itself but it's going to have some specialty retail distribution so it'll be at some key retailers, both digital retailers and physical retailers, All those retailers are going to be distributed around the world.
There's some pretty select markets that we're going into and then that is going to lead directly into the camp opening a few weeks later. So it's pretty exciting. The vinyls are definitely a big area of growth for us because we see them as a way to reach new collectors, new people. It's not enough to try and sell everything to the people that are here today, what we need to be able to do is actually bring these these experiences and these products to as many new people as possible. I think one of the things that Luca actually said when they did the toys was, being financially independent so you don't need to continue putting more and more NFT's in the ecosystem. I don't think that means any of us are going to stop producing NFT's but the whole idea of being able to make those experiences incredible because you have a real business outside of it. I think that is a really great takeaway and something that we think is possible through this drop and the other stuff that's coming soon. We're talking so much more man. It's going to be crazy. How are you trying to bring value back to holders from these events? If I walk into a Camp store, do I know that Doodles is a originated from an NFT project or is there another another strategy like a Trojan horse? Julian:
I think the goal for us and thank you for that question, but the goal for us is more how do you eliminate the technological barrier between someone that has no appetite for it but might be interested in your brand? And as the brand grows and as the technology gets a little bit more seamless and people start to understand what the original collection actually means, that there's a lot more demand for that because there's only 10,000 of them. So if we all of a sudden reach millions of people and those millions of people know that there is this collectible that started it all, it's the original artwork but that artwork is also it's the first edition Pokemon card, right? That's kind of the parallel that I'd say and then that art is attached to this essentially membership, that is the ultimate access pass within the ecosystem, right? Like the Pharrell pack, there was only 300 of them, but you couldn't get one if you didn't have an original Doodle So that was basically a free airdrop. You had to hit certain metrics, engagement metrics within the community to actually get the pack but that was just one iteration of it. We'll have that for a lot of drops where, there will be, a certain amount of things that are free and the free thing will always come to people that own the original Doodle and then the free entry specifically speaking about camp, free entry to the experience when everyone else has to pay, merchandise credits and then a true white glove concierge service where you're you're going to reach out to Doodles before you go and then you're going to be set up with this kind of VIP experience at that location.
If you believe that Doodles has the opportunity to grow and turn into a bigger brand, you know that free airdrops and claims and free claims on merchandise in one location is not going to be all the utility that there is for the original collection. We're going to build a lot more than that and that is kind of how we see value trickling back down to the original token, we're also going to be licensing people's Doodles to use in media, to use in products. We haven't done it yet because we just haven't figured out the right way to make it scalable. It's kind of a big thing to set that precedent this early, especially if you have the kind of ambition we do to go as big as we want to go but we are thinking about that and we are going to bring that to market soon and then the last thing that I'll bring up is just the Doodle bank, which is honestly, I feel like a really under the radar thing. We have a $5 million or so fund that only people with a Doodle can access to build businesses around the Doodles brand, to build creator platforms around the Doodles brand. I would love to see a Doodle holder try and access the Doodle brand to actually build some of the stuff that you've been able to build, right? How can we help subsidize costs so they can create their own podcast studio so they can advertise their content a little bit more all through the Doodles brand, which is ultimately aligned incentives
You as a creator get bigger. Doodles gets more of a microphone because you're getting bigger as a creator and then the last couple pillars of the Doodle bank is also rewards , so how can we use the funds in the Doodle bank to actually create more rewards for Doodle holders, is it sponsoring a concert tour? Is it trying to get memberships to a specific social club? There's so many different things that we can use to drive value back to the original token with this fund and ultimately empower the creators and the entrepreneurs that exist in our ecosystem. So I'd say we're doing so much to try and drive value back to the original token, but I think people will I think people will start to see that when there's truly like real world utility Pharrell pack was one iteration. We've done an airdrop with the Dooplicator, we're doing this experience with camp and it'll keep going from there. Have you guys kind of like established your council? How do you guys kind of think about the Doodle Banks as it operates as I guess a "DAO" tied to Doodles itself? What does the structure look like, high level? Austin:
In terms of where we're at with it right now. We've installed the first class of the DoodleBank community council, which consists of a chair to oversee the council, a treasurer who is distributing the funds and tracking the finances, an events lead who is going to be building out community global programing, a grants lead, which is really when Julian speaks about how do we empower individuals to build businesses, whether it be through grants or ways to prop up businesses through their IP and then a rewards lead who is focused on how can we bring in additional benefits to holding a Doodle. They have been live since the top of May and right now are developing the processes for how approvals come in, what the approval process looks like, effectively what are our guidelines and what we're looking to support, our budgets overall per quarter and then have also been fielding questions and feedback from the community. So it's been great. They serve multiple roles in addition to just their remit, given their different titles. They're also really our first line of taking in feedback and doing product reviews. Austin:
They're all under NDA and really have a clear sense of where we're going. So it's been great to be able to build with the community in that way but our intention is that in pretty short order, like within call it the next few weeks, we want to get these processes out to the community for feedback and start taking in the first set of proposals. We also really love the nouns model of like the prop house RFP, so for things that we know we need to do as a company, but we want to be able to empower the community to be able to help build with us we effectively want to have bounties that we can put out there, whether it be to create content or create merchandise or whatever the case may be, have it be more of a two way street than just reactively taking in proposals. We're we're moving really quickly. I'm literally in a Slack channel with with the council right now as they're giving me all of their weekend updates but it's been progressing and hope to have more for the community soon. I think we've noticed that you need a processes, onboarding and kind of filtering and controlling budgets and you sometimes see proposals that are grossly overestimated so being smart about allocation, making it efficient etc Austin:
It's a great point to illustrate and we are very fortunate with the few individuals we have as Treasurer and the grants lead. John Shank, who is our Treasurer was a CFO for a large corporation for a long time and really focused on having a balanced budget. How do we ultimately bring additional funds into the bank and what are the checkpoints over time? So instead of distributing all those funds up once, how do we ensure that we're getting the necessary reporting and then Eyal who is our grand lead has actually run incubators in the past and ensuring that we have the right checks and balances as we're deploying that capital to ensure what you just said doesn't happen, that we're not put in a situation where we're deploying funds and we're not seeing the direct action that's being taken against them. Does it mean that there are no more pop ups this year? Julian:
It definitely does not mean no pop ups. That's core to our DNA and it's also such an incredible onboarding opportunity, when we went to Something In The Water festival, Pharrel's festival in Virginia Beach, there were so many spokes to that partnership where we basically brought a 30 by 30 space. We sold the new collaboration that we had on site with ice cream. So all these people now have Doodles products that were there and bought the merchandise and right next to that was kind of a live demo of Doodles2 where we were able to capture people's emails so we can send them marketing after the fact. We got a few thousand emails at that activation, we sold a bunch of merchandise and we basically introduced a lot of people to the brand and on the other side of it like, okay, what does that do for the holder apart from growing the ecosystem, which we do find pretty valuable to ultimately Doodle holders and our entire ecosystem but we were able to secure 50 tickets that we gave to the community for free in a raffle and they were VIP tickets. They were super close to the stage, there were credits involved in them and for the people that went, it was a really awesome experience.
The other piece is that when you talk about creators in our community. JKB, I'm not sure how familiar any of you are with them, but they're very prominent members of our community. They've been around for a very long time have basically started their own media brand based on their Doodles PFP's and this is the second time that we've actually had them kind of live blog and create content on behalf of Doodles at the actual festival. So you saw them kind of do like A day in the life with Doodles and JKB, taking content of like festival goers, the stages, the experiences and then distributing that stuff, on Twitter and their other social channels. So it was a really cool thing that we could do for creators in our space and what I'll say kind of directly answer your question is, Something In The Water was just the first festival thing that we've done this year. We're going to show up at other music festivals. We're going to continue to do live events and what we built for something in the water was an activation that can travel a lot more easily. So South by Southwest, Art Basel, those things were very hard to pack up and repurpose, we have aspects of that, but this new activation that we've built, we can actually ship it from place to place and we can continue to add on to it depending on the actual activation itself. So festivals will always be and other live events will always be a way to drive utility for holders and also onboard new people into the ecosystem. Doodles is about fun, man. We want to color the world with joy. We want everybody to feel the vibes and it's incredible to work on it every day. It's hard keeping things a secret, it's painful sometimes. Can you tell me anything about the Pharrell album? I understand it's with Columbia, who are part of Sony Music. Is there anything you can kind of say on the project and when that could be landing? Julian:
So the album's not actually going to roll out as a traditional album where there's like a bunch of songs they're going to roll out. It's going to roll out kind of song by song and more as a platform on a perpetual basis. Columbia is going to distribute the music and I don't want to give too much detail because there's going to be a lot of hype in the reveal but you're going to see things like a music video set in the Doodles universe featuring whatever artist is going to be on it. Pharrell curated or produced tracks. Collectibles that are paired both physical and digital with the actual music itself and wide distribution so the songs are going to be on Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, radio, etcetera. So that's kind of how it's going to come to life and if you looked at Pharrell as a Doodle and Pharrell coming into the Doodles universe as a character, imagine some of your favorite artists coming into the Doodles universe as a character too. It's going to be a pretty eclectic mix of artists and it's going to roll out again, like I said, over time. That really is all I can say at the moment, but we'll update everybody as soon as we possibly can. All I can tell you is it's going to be fire. You guys recently made an amazing acquisition with GoldenWolf Studios. Can we expect more animations and stuff on the Socials? What's the sort of direction with Golden Wolf and how did that come about? Julian:
That's a great question. So we acquired GoldenWolf back in January. They are an Emmy nominated creative studio. They're one of the most highly regarded animation studios in the world. Lot of brand notoriety from them in the entire animation industry. The goal, if you think of what Doodles is, there's a term in media called transmedia and that essentially means you tell stories on different channels, right? So different channels means you could be telling stories through live events, you could be telling stories through the distribution of toys, you could be telling stories through social media, you could be telling stories at the box office with a big film and the whole point is, you're not trying to fit one story or one thing for each of those channels that have very unique characteristics from a distribution standpoint. Doodles is the kind of brand that needs to tell stories across all of these channels and meet people where they are, where they're actually spending their time versus trying to put the same thing out across the board. So GoldenWolf, which is very much specializes in social content and brand identity in advertisement. They're an incredible partner to keep kind of the always on content flow pumping out for Doodles, which is just starting to ramp up now and at the same time, with all the incredible creators, plus Scott and the people that we're working with in the traditional entertainment industry, bringing the actual story together, the universe that is Doodles, who the characters are, what adventures they go on, what is the backstory? What's the conflict?
GoldenWolf, Scott and a few others are actually developing that now and that is going to manifest itself through all of our content, through all of our product, all of our storytelling opportunities, while we're also developing long form content. So what does Doodles look like as a streaming television show or a motion picture? How does Doodles go into music videos like GoldenWolf is going to produce the music videos. So from a creative standpoint, we have, in my opinion, the best creative studio in the world, developing Doodles content and brand and I'll just say we just started the integration recently, there's kind of been really nothing yet. We've gotten started. It's been amazing, but there's so much coming from GoldenWolf soon and then I'd say on the flip side, GoldenWolf being in Web3 is not an insignificant thing either. So yes, it's amazing that they're going to help develop the Doodles IP but GoldenWolf has a lot of other ideas that NFT's and blockchain technology could be a really great format for incubating that IP or bringing new stories to life and new projects to market and leveraging the tech in new ways and Ingi who founded that company ten years ago is one of the smartest guys in the entire space, he's a true innovator, leaned into tech really leaning into AI tooling and how that can help Doodles as a business, how that can help the whole animation industry as a business. So we're just kind of seeing a little fruit from that partnership right now, but it's going to continue to grow pretty, pretty significantly from there. We really do have a crazy, talented team like Scott and then also Sammy and Alfie. There's so many brilliant creatives at GoldenWolf, and you'll get to know a lot of them soon. Have you guys made any new key hires or are you guys planning to make some key hires to kind of push this forward? Julian:
We kind of wrapped up the majority of our hiring after our head of business and legal affairs came into the company about a month or so ago. I mean, we're at 60 people right now across Doodles and GoldenWolf, so we're pretty staffed well, there's some more product and engineering resources that we're going to be bringing in so we can be quicker to market with a few things but I'd say we're pretty well staffed at this point. So to build on top of what you've said, I was wondering if you guys could give us any insights into the Doodles culture, the work culture. Julian:
I love that question. So we just opened an office in Miami a couple months ago. Our team is distributed, so we have some people that are remote. We have some people that are here in Miami. We have an office in New York. We have an office in London and again, there are people that are remote. So for the people that are in Miami, the office is pretty awesome. It's got a pretty, pretty cool view. It's right in a really good area of the city and when you walk in, it's very much neutral tones and colors and things like that and then we make the space pop with product that we have. So there's vinyls all over the office. We bring other IP into the office like we have this gold Mickey Mouse that that Jordan donated, it was a Fantasia Mickey Mouse with him holding a Bitcoin instead of a magic ball, just a lot of different artists and IP that we respect to try and inspire some creativity in the space. We have this really cool synthesizer that Evan got made, where people come in, play it. It's actually like a Doodles synthesizer.
We have a merchandise kind of like retail display. We have all of our statues on display so you can check out our brand, learn a little bit more about us. We also have this pretty cool ice cream machine set up then the New York office couldn't be a different vibe. It's more of a grunge studio, true artsy vibe and then it's the same kind of thing in London - the original GoldenWolf office.
It's awesome. I think what we're trying to bring to life is the inspiration of creativity and trying to emulate a lot of the incredible IP that we respect so much and we do remote work sessions, so we try and bring people all together, at least once or twice a quarter so we can all get those creative juices flowing, build relationships with each other because if we're going to truly be a community outside of the company, we got to be one internally first so it's been really cool trying to build the culture here and I think we've been doing a pretty good job. I'm wondering for future activations, will there be places where people can actively onboard into the community, whether that's Doodles2 or the original collection? Julian:
Definitely at what I'll call Non-endemic to Doodles stuff, so festivals and more consumer facing events. The reason why we showed up at South by Southwest and Art Basel last year was because we were this really hot Web3 brand in a sea of some of the biggest companies and brands in the world. Whereas as when you go to the when you go to the NFT events, you're like the headline. Right? I think the opportunity to gain notoriety in those environments is really a big opportunity, but it's also an opportunity to bring your holders close to the action that all the influencers of the world, are part of. So when Doodle throws the massive event at Art Basel and it's like one of the tickets of the weekend and our holders are the VIP entrance into that thing we're going to continue to do stuff like that. We really love that concept and at the same hand, use that opportunity to bring new people into the brand. The goal right now is to onboard, people into kind of like information gathering until the stoodio product is actually out of beta. So we're collecting emails so we can retarget these people and make sure that they understand who we are, what we're doing etc so that's kind of the strategy for us.
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2023.06.03 13:22 pridetwo Four Grievances: Barrister and Mann - The Many Transgressions of a Soapmaker Who Would be a Perfumer
I've been a part of this community for long enough that maybe 3 people recognize the color of my shave towels when I post on /wicked_edge
(they're purple). In /wetshaving
, I occasionally make dick jokes with mammothben
As a result, I've spent about an hour ruminating on this post and how to make the Maggard Meetup as awkward as possible. These are my memes and mine alone. I have rejected several cash offers to not post these findings, and I will not be stopped.
Grievance #1: Ending the Base Race
In the before-fore times, the meta for soapmaking that every soapmaker followed was to get a handful of main scents that they keep the same, and release small tweaks to their soap base every 6 months to render the community's collection obsolete and generate a buying spree where people now had to get their favorite scents in the "latest and greatest" soap base.
Many consider this era the golden age of wetshaving, and Barrister and Mann was an active contributor to the base race. White Label/Black Label base, Glissant base, Latha base, Reserve base, Soft Heart base, and Excelsior base all helped encourage wetshavers across the world buy Seville multiple times in the hopes for better slickness, improved cushion (which is totally a thing), and the ultimate post-shave feel.
Then everything changed when the Omniberries attacked.
On September 29, 2021, a nuclear salvo was unleashed from the halls of barristerandmann.com. Leviathan was released in the Omnibus base, and soapmakers around the world waved the white flag on the base race.
Declaration Grooming's Milksteak, Sus Artisan Accoutrement's CK-6, Boob-label & Evans' Kaizen K2. These mainstays of American soap bases have remained stagnant ever since. Omnibus effectively ended the base race across the entire market, and led to the community consensus becoming "chase scents, not bases."
Why This Matters
This alone isn't problematic, having a stable set of great bases to choose from and allowing premiere soapmakers to focus on releasing more interesting scents in smaller batches is good for the community, for the industry, and the world.
The problem arises when old, established brands like Tabac take the end of the base race as a signal from the market that they can cut costs by moving their soaps onto to inferior bases. I'm not saying that it's Will's fault that tallow Tabac is now unobtanium, but you could make the argument that it's Will's fault that tallow Tabac is now unobtanium.
The best way the community can address this issue is to write daily letters to Maurer & Wirtz that they need to bring back the tallow base for Tabac, and buy out Maggad Razors' stock of 4.1/4.2 base Saponificio Varesino soaps so they can restock everything in the 4.3 base.
Grievance #2: Financial Abuse
Every few years, the copyright expiration date on Mickey Mouse looms near and Disney lobbies the US government to extend the copyright expiration date so that Disney can maintain their stranglehold on The Mouse, despite their eager use of public domain IP like Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur. Is Will literally Big Soap? I'm not saying he is, I'm just asking questions.
Mousse de Saxe
Will has a whole blog post on how he came about his formulation of Mousse de Saxe, and while it's a very interesting story and his formulation of MdS has become catnip for wetshavers, it's also become something of a crutch in his soapmaking. MdS features in Beadelaire, Full Measure of Man, Lavanille, Le Grand Chypre, and most recently in Vespers.
Why This Matters
Although many of us in the community have no thrill anymore, MdS remains the inimitable constant source of thrill at all of /wetshaving
cannot resist. L'appel du mousse is the compelling urge one feels to buy at least a sample (I just need a taste!) of Will's latest release featuring Mousse de Saxe. Will knows this fact about us. He knows it well. My sources tell me Will has bought several jetskis with the money he's earned from abusing this fact about us. And he can't keep getting away with it.
Since the turn of the new millennium, sex strikes have proven effective in Colombia, The Phillippines, South Sudan, Togo, and elsewhere. By withholding that which their oppressors desire until behavior is changed, peace can be achieved. So to everyone at the Maggard Meetup, I call upon you to refrain from complimenting Will's scent-making until he releases Mousse de Saxe as a standalone dropper that can be added to soaps and aftershaves a la Declaration Grooming's menthol dropper. Si se puede!
Grievance #3: Olfactory Abuse
It is at this point in the post that I must concede, Will is the superior meme-meister. This absolute madlad is at the gigabrain Dr. Manhattan level of the soapmaking world, except instead of moving to Mars he's decided to dead-ass fuck with us. Seville prints more money than the Nintendo Switch, he's got MdS for whenever he wants the cash to buy another jetski, and Omnibus ensures no other soapmaker will encroach on his soap base superiority. How do I know he's decided to stunt on our noses? Because of 2 scent notes.
Cilantro and Cum
Let's start with Cilantro. When the Four Horsemen series was announced, the wetshaving community was awash with curiosity and speculation about what each of the four horsemen would smell like. Would it be like how Noble Otter tackled the "Firefighter" theme without actually making a soap that smelled like a fire?
No. War would smell like an actual war crime. How does one scent a war crime? Apparently with Cilantro. I have it on good authority that Will devised the scent profile for War when eating tacos for taco tuesday and the topic of how cilantro tastes like soap to some people with a specific gene. "Well what would happen if I added an ingredient that tastes like soap to my actual soap?" and off he went. His friends and family didn't see him for days. The Cleveland Browns found a post-it note that had "Cilantro No Matter What" scribbled on it. And some time later, a scent that could curdle Wholly Kaw's Creme Fraiche base was brought to market. Will knew that we'd buy all 4 scents, get all matchy-matchy, and even dickhole the aftershaves. And then the SOTD's began. "My wife hates this," "my cat peed on the tub when I left it open to dry," "why has god forsaken me?" Guess who was laughing his ass off from Mars? Our very own Dr. Manhattan.
For those of us familiar with Pear Tree blossoms, they have a very particular scent. The kind of scent that makes guys inspect their pant leg and say "I'm fairly certain I didn't miss." The kind of scent that makes women think "Oh gross, honey I told you to change your underwear after last night." That's right, Pear Tree blossoms smell like cum. So when Will was considering what scent to re-release for Spring 2023, did he select fan favorite Paganini's Violin or the fruity fougere Passiflora? (Both of which he relased bath soaps for in February). No, he chose the cum soap. The soap that's supposed to remind you of the time you took a walk through Central Park and rounded a corner only to be accosted by a masturbating homeless man.
I tried to give Will the benefit of the doubt, and asked point blank "Is the pear blossom accord in Rhapsody going to be as, well... pear blossom-y as the original Rhapsody formulation?" to which he responded "Why would I change it?" He knew. He knew what he was doing when he originally released the soap, and he knew why I was asking if he had changed it in the re-release. Dr. Manhattan was laughing on Mars again.
Why This Matters
This matters because Will still hasn't re-released Roam and I need the matching aftershave in my life. There are only so many fresh tubs of Roam out there that j33pguy13
can source for me. Instead, Will chooses to re-release Rhapsody and put together what may go down in history as the most infamous multi-scent meme soap release in history with the Four Horsemen. This is a personal attack on my love for Roam and I will not stand for it.
Will, re-release Roam and all is forgiven.
Grievance #4: Feet
I'm a heterosexual male, but that shouldn't matter when it comes to shaving products or labels. Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I. Boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer.
Lavender, Interrupted has been to Will as At the Mountains of Madness has been to Guillermo Del Toro. Everyone wants to see it. Will wants to make it. But the creative ambition of the project makes the promised project almost un-makeable. Lavender, Interrupted had been long promised as an evolution of the lauded Lavanille scent, but faced delays and reformulations, and further delays.
And now, today, many of you will go to the Maggard Meetup anticipating getting a full bottle or sample of the long awaited fragrance. And I can't say I'm not jealous.
I'm really jealous.
But lets wind the clock back to Tuesday March 21, 2023 and remember the Deals/New Products thread from that day.
Just wanted to drop in quickly to let you all know that the Q2 2023 Release Schedule is now posted on our blog and that it features a sneak peek at a mockup for Lavender, Interrupted packaging."
Will wanted us to see the packaging. Not a new blog post on how he put the final touches on the fragrance. Not a picture of the bottle it would be sold in. He wanted us to see the picture of sexy feet he put on the box. He postponed Lavender, Interrupted and strung us along just so that his feet pics could get maximum exposure with minimum heat. Are those Will's feet on the box of Lavender, Interrupted? Why does will want us to see pictures of his feet in thigh-high stockings? I'm not saying they are Will's feet on the packaging of Lavender, Interrupted. I'm just asking questions.
Nothing really to be done about this other than be mad about discovering new about ourselves. Just accept that we're all going to love this fragrance and that the box with sexy feet on it will be in many wetshavers' dens, delighting Will that his feet pics are going to be all over the sub's mail call threads for years to come.
I'm not sure why you read this far. It's lot to take in, I know. I'm intentionally avoiding a few smaller topics of less import, like... Night Music having poo notes. I'm not going to critique Will/Barrister and Mann beyond that, because it's already been established that he's straight up fucking with us with some of these scents and I am 100% here for it.
I've been wracked with guilt holding onto this knowledge while wetshavers around the world continue to buy Will's wonderful products, but I realized the potential hilarity of pointing out Will's sexy feet pics the morning of the Maggard Meetup was too much to pass up. My intention is just to meme on everyone tangentially related to what I've posted here, and to get Roam a proper re-release. I will not source any of my claims, and I expect you to do your own research. Take my word for it.
After all of this though, I am convinced that Will is an absolute gigachad in the wetshaving world. Please join me in encouraging Will to re-release Roam.
TL;DR Does this sub even have mods anymore? Why is this post still up?
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2023.06.03 12:30 TaxIcy1399 More on the Juche Idea and Marxism
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On Some Questions in the Study of the Juche Idea Clarified by Comrade Kim Jong Il Vice-President Pak Yong Gon of Joson University
With the approach of the 21st century the socialist movement is faced with various problems which require solution, and the road to the independence of mankind is beset by manifold difficulties. Many people in world are seeking new ideas to solve these problems. The Juche idea has been evolved as an idea for carrying out the historic mission of the present era in the protracted struggle to build a new peaceful and independent world free from exploitation and oppression.
The Juche idea is a man-centred world outlook which approaches everithing with the main emphasis placed on man’s position in the world and his creative role in remoulding and developing the world, and a people-centred outlook on social history which clarifies the essence the socio-historical movement and its logical character regarding man, that is, the people as the main agent of social movement. The Juche idea is a collectivist view of life which clarifies the essence and value of the worthy and happy life, regarding the social collective as the parent body of human life.
The Juche idea arouses sympathy among many people and is widely spreading in the world because it is a new idea which places at the centre the people who strive to carve out their destiny, and indicates the way to it. Recently in south Korea the Juche idea has become not only an important ideological trend but also the guiding idea for the reunification of Korea and the democratic movement. Because of its influence in philosophical circles it has become the main trend of the time to make a serious study the Juche idea. (Philosophical Study
compiled by the Philosophical Study Society, No. 29, autumn 1991.)
There is still clearly a tendency to fail to have a correct understanding of the relations of the Juche idea to former progressive ideas and their principles because it is a new idea and some questions require detailed explanation.
In view of such a situation this article briefly refers to some questions to be noted for a correct understanding of the Juche idea. 1
The Juche idea was evolved in the process of development of progressive ideas. Hence it should be made clear what development it has made in comparison with the former ideas, what position it holds in the history of ideologies and what practical significance it has.
The quintessence of the Juche idea can be grasped only when one adheres to the basic stand of considering the continuity of the Juche idea with main emphasis placed on the originality in the relations of the Juche idea to Marxism-Leninism.
Comrade Kim Jong Il said:
“First of all, the tendency to explain the merit and originality of the Juche idea from the viewpoint of Marx’s materialistic dialectics should be rectified.”
It is an undeniable fact that with the passage of time social ideologies progress. It is true that some people still tend to consider and interpret the Juche idea from the framework of Marxism-Leninism, holding its scientific accuracy and validity supreme.
As is known, Marxist materialistic dialectics was established on the basis of Feuerbach’s metaphysical materialism and Hegel’s idealistic dialectics. However, no Marxist has tried to interpret Marxist philosophy from the framework of Feuerbach’s or Hegel’s philosophy. Because there is an understanding that materialistic dialectics is entirely new and original although it inherited and developed Feuerbach’s materialism and Hegel’s dialectics. As to the Juche idea, however, there is still a tendency to interpret it from the framework of Marxism-Leninism. It is because of a lack of full understanding of the merit and originality of the Juche idea and of a proper understanding of the historical limitations of Marxism.
The Marxist philosophy made a historic contribution to the refutation d idealism and metaphysics by elucidating the basic principle that the world consists of matter, and that it invariably changes and develops. Proceeding from the understanding that the basic mission of philosophy is to show the way to carving out human destiny, the Juche idea raised it as a fundamental question of philosophy to elucidate the relations of man to the world, in other words, man’s position and role in the world, and established a man-centred philosophical world outlook. This shed a new light on the fundamental question of the former philosophy.
Needless to say, man is matter. However, man is not matter in general but a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness, and the most developed matter. The relation of man to his surrounding world is not the relation of consciousness to matter but the relation of the most developed matter with consciousness to matter without consciousness. It goes without saying that in the interactions between developed matter and matter in the lower stage of development the former holds a higher position and plays a greater role than the latter.
Man with independence, creativity and consciousness is not subjected to the environment but plays a decisive role in remoulding and developing the world, and in hewing out his destiny holding an independent position in the world because he acts on the world surrounding him in an independent, creative and purposeful manner. The Juche-oriented philosophical principle elucidates that through his creative activity man invariably carves out his destiny by his own efforts and enhances his position as the master of the world.
Proceeding from the philosophical principle that man holds the position of master and plays the decisive role in hewing out his destiny, the Juche idea requires that man should adhere to the independent stand and creative method in carving out his destiny. The independent stand and creative method advocated by the Juche idea can be said to be the most scientific and innovative ones which require that the world should not simply be regarded as a changing and developing material world but as one changing and developing to meet man’s independent needs through his creative activity. Unlike this, the fundamental principle of the Marxist philosophy holds that the development of all matter is a process of natural history, as clearly laid down in the foreword to Capital
This means that it does not differentiate the social movement caused by man’s independent, creative and purposeful activity from me spontaneous movement of nature, and regards social progress as following the laws of change and development of nature.
The Marxist classics maintained that the development of all matter should be grasped as a process of natural history with a view to refuting idealistic views on the development of social history.
In the face of the developing natural sciences in those days, idealists could no longer deny that the natural world changes and develops following objective laws. Proceeding from the fact that social change and development are due to the activities of man with consciousness, they made a mystery of the conscious activity of man and held that objective laws were not the cause of social change and development.
The Marxist classics stressed that social change and progress is an aspect of development of nature, and, consequently, social progress follows objective laws like the development of nature since society is the product of the evolution and development of nature. That was why they focussed their efforts on proving the commonness of nature and social being rather than on the essential difference between nature and social being or on the essential difference in the change and development of nature and society.
The Marxist classics elucidated the general characteristic features of the physical world, the material character of the world and the general law governing its change and development, thereby making a historic contribution to the victory of materialism and dialectics over idealism and metaphysics.
They established a materialistic view of history by applying materialistic dialectics to society, and elucidated the objective laws governing social progress.
Proceeding from the fundamental proposition that social being decides social consciousness, the materialistic view of history held that the productive forces decide the relations of production, which in turn decide the consciousness of people and the political and legal institutions which reflect it. It characterized the essence of the process of historical development as the process of change of the mode of production. The materialistic view of history considered social being as the material condition of social life and that this is what decides the consciousness of people. Hence, it considered man acting purposefully himself as the subjective factor decided by the objective factors.
In contrast, the Juche idea does not regard man only as an isolated being with just a body, but as a social being with social wealth linked to social relations and as the main agent of social movement. As the cause and motive force of social movement lie in man, the main agent of the movement, man, that is, the people play the leading and decisive role in social movement. Although the objective factors are important conditions which influence human activity, they themselves cannot become the main agent which causes and pushes ahead social movement nor factors decisive of the fate of this movement. In this light, the law of the change and development of social movement can be said to be in essence the law of movement of man himself who, although subjected to certain limitations of objective conditions, hews out his destiny in an independent and creative manner. Man creates material wealth through interaction with nature, and forms social relations and social systems through interaction between human beings.
It is true that human activity is subject to limitations depending on the degree of development of material wealth of society and social relations. However, since social wealth and social relations are created by man, the degree of their development is eventually decided by the level of development of man’s independence, creativity and consciousness. It is true that creators and creation are in an inseparable relationship and limit each other, but in approaching everything emphasis should not be placed on the aspect of creation’s determining influence on the creators but on the aspect of the creators’ determining influence on creation. 2
Next, let us examine from the Juche viewpoint the law of unity and struggle of opposites which was recognized as an important methodology in evolving the theory of the materialistic view of history, which constitutes the kernel of materialistic dialectics.
Comrade Kim Jong II said:
“It can be seen from the explanation of the law of unity and struggle of opposites that the Juche philosophy is considered in close relation to Marxist materialistic dialectics.
“Marxist materialistic dialectics makes its major content the principle of unity and struggle of opposites. However, this problem is not a problem to be treated simply from the academic viewpoint alone. Like other theoretical problems of Marxism-Leninism the law of unity and of opposites, too, must be considered historically from the viewpoint of revolutionary practice. Importance was attached to the law of unity and struggle of opposites because philosophical exposition of the socio-economic contradictions and the law governing class struggle in capitalist society in those days was posed as an important historical task. Therefore, the principle of unity and struggle of opposites elucidated by the Marxist philosophy now has many irrational points when it comes to clarifying the law-governed process of development of socialist society, I think.”
Marx’s materialistic dialectics regards the law of unity and struggle of opposites as its main content. Marxist philosophy tries to elucidate all problems with this law. But the question is not one to be considered simply from the academic viewpoint alone. The so-called study of dialectics so far has recognized this law as a universal law applicable irrespective of time and space, and tried to substantiate theoretically why the law of unity and struggle of opposites constitutes the kernel of materialistic dialectics. But only when the law of unity and struggle of opposites is considered historically from the viewpoint of revolutionary practice and not from the purely academic viewpoint like other theoretical problems, can its validity be deepened.
The Marxist classics attached great importance to the law of unity and struggle of opposites because it was posed as an urgent task to give a philosophical exposition of the socio-economic contradictions of capitalist society of those days and the law of class struggle. The Marxist classics held that since all matter has unity of opposites, matter develops through the struggle of opposites in such a way that the old disappears and the new emerges. They tried to prove that the socio-economic contradictions of capitalist society are settled through class struggle by the law of unity and struggle of opposites and, consequently, capitalist society inevitably develops into socialist society. In other words, the law of unity and struggle of opposites served as an important theoretical method for the Marxist classics to prove the inevitability of the ruin of capitalism and the victory of socialism, class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Today we are carrying on revolution and construction in historical circumstances different from those of the time when the Marxist classics were active. Therefore, the Marxist philosophical principle concerning the law of unity and struggle of opposites is not applicable to today’s reality.
It is evident that the principle of Marxist dialectics which holds that the inner contradictions of matter are the basic source of the development of matter and struggle is the motive force of development is insufficient for explaining the law-governed process of the development of modern socialist society. Today the source of social process in Korea lies not in inner contradictions but in the ideological unity of the leader, the Party and the masses that strive to effect the independence of the masses of the people. The motive force of social development does not lie in antagonism and struggle but in the might of unity based on comradely cooperation which involves helping and leading each other forward under the leadership of the Party and the leader.
The Juche idea is embodied in the three-point principle of national reunification—independence, peaceful reunification and grand national unity—to which the Korean people consistently adhere. The aim of the struggle for national reunification is to put an end to the division of the nation and recover the independence of the nation. Consequently, the entire Korean people is the main agent. Therefore, whether national reunification can be achieved or not depends upon whether all the national forces can be enlisted for the unity of the nation and reunification or not. If the principle of struggle is applied here to settle contradictions, grand national unity cannot be achieved and antagonism and distrust will be the result.
The historic lessons of the experiences of certain countries show that if the principle of Marxist philosophy on unity and struggle is applied to socialist construction it will not contribute to the unity and cohesion of socialist society but will rather increase contradictions and distrust within society and cause social confusion.
It goes without saying that if antagonistic contradictions exist the basic method of combatting them is class struggle and that the dictatorship of the proletariat is essential for protecting socialist society from the subversive moves of the imperialists. However, in a society in which the people hold power and social ownership is in force the factor of development lies in the ever-increasing independent demand of the people and in the might of unity. For this purpose, the people should be made the genuine masters of society. Therein lies the basic motive force of development of socialist society.
The former view which regarded the law of contradiction as the kernel of dialectics and contradictions as the cause and motive force of social progress was effective in proving the doom of capitalism and the victory of socialist revolution but may be said to be insufficient for demonstrating the law of today’s social progress and in increasing its practical effect. That is why materialistic dialectics has to be reexamined, placing man at centre. 3
The originality of Marx’s philosophical ideas lies in the materialistic view of history. It is theoretically grounded on social being and social consciousness. Therefore, it is very important to have a correct understanding of the problem in order to make a serious study of the Juche idea.
Above all, the question of whether the relations of social being to social consciousness can be interpreted by the general principle of materialism or not should be examined. In other words, the question of whether or not a formulation can be made simply in such a manner that social existence is primary and social consciousness is secondary should be examined.
As is known, the question of whether matter or consciousness is primary is the question of the origin of the world. The question of origin should be considered in the realm of nature. Only then has the question significance for a world outlook. Unlike this, in the realm of society characterized by human activities it is not the question of origin but the reflection theory that has philosophical significance.
It is evident that human consciousness reflects social being. However, there are no grounds for saying that social existence gives rise to social consciousness. In that case consciousness always has to follow the development of matter. However, reality shows that new things are created by the consciousness of people, and they are always used intentionally.
Secondly, understanding of social being, particularly the question of how to approach the position of ideas should be examined.
Former theories treated the concept of social being by setting against consciousness, in order to apply materialism to the realm of society. This can be seen from the fact that almost all the passages treating of this problem in the works of Marx and Engels invariably use the set phrases “social existence” and “consciousness”.
But the Juche idea puts forward the concept of social existence in relation to natural existence. This viewpoint deduces the original concept of social organism and brings the independent character of social law into bold relief.
Thirdly, it concerns the question of considering social existence, placing man at the centre.
Comrade Kim Jong Il said:
“Some articles which try to explain the Juche idea say that social wealth, too, belongs to social being. It is an erroneous view that regards man and the social wealth he has created as equal.”
The viewpoint advocating the material character of society poses the question of whether it is social existence or consciousness which is more important and, consequently, the methodology of distinguishing society by either material or ideological relations has been established. According to Lenin, this methodology is so important that it can be said to be the basic idea behind the materialistic view of history.
But by this methodology the view of social history cannot be developed into a man-centred view of history.
In order to embody fully the man-centred idea in the view of social history it is, above all, necessary to consider social existence placing man at the centre. For this purpose, special attention should be paid to the following:
Above all, it is necessary to combat the tendency to generalize both man and social wealth as social existence, considering them as equal.
Man alone directly embodies social attributes, and social wealth can be included in the concept of social existence only in relation to man. When reference is made to social wealth, above all, man should be borne in mind. It is taken for granted that man, the creator, and created material wealth cannot be considered as equal.
What is evident is that the concept of man in social science does not imply man with a body alone but man who embodies social attributes and uses objectified materials and cultural wealth. In other words, when man is referred to as social existence, he must be understood as social man with social wealth linked to all other men through social relations and not as an isolated man with a separate body.
Of course, since social wealth is a component part of society, there is no doubt that it belongs to society and not to nature. The wealth created by man exists objectively outside the body of man, but does not share its lot with nature. It is subjected to man and shares its lot with him. In order to ascertain the extent of development of society it is necessary not only to consider the extent of the development of independence, creativity and consciousness embodied in man but also to analyse how much social wealth and social relations have developed.
Thus when reference is made to man in the sense used in social science but not in a biological sense it is supposed that this includes social wealth as well as the human body. But they must not be considered as equal. When we say that man is the master of nature and society, regarding him as a powerful being, we mean such a man and not a man only with a separate body.
Therefore, social being in essence means man alone, and when reference is made to his composition it must be understood as meaning man and social wealth.
As mentioned above, when reference is made to the concept of social being, it is important to get rid of the former viewpoint which considers it as a concept indicating its material character and evolve a concept attaching significance to it as concept which discriminates between natural being and social being.
The emergence of man with consciousness, social relations and labour tools and other social wealth constitute an inseparable and linked integral process. Hence, as man is not conceivable apart from social relations, so man as a social being cannot be conceived of apart from social wealth.
Since individual man can have independence, creativeness and consciousness as a member of a social collective, the term social being is appliable to individual man on the supposition that man is a member of the social collective. However, originally man cannot be a social being if he has not social wealth and is not linked to other men through social relations. Therefore it would be right to consider social man having social wealth and linked with other men through social relations rather than individual man.
Next, to place man at the centre means to consider that man creates social wealth and unfolds historical movement as the process of manifestation of independence, creativity and consciousness, his essential attributes.
Another important question is to evolve a theory of social organism different from individual physical life, on a higher plane.
These two questions will be treated separately on other occasions since they are very important philosophical problems.
If one attempts to appreciate or criticize the Juche-oriented view of social history on the basis of different outdated theories including that of the social organism, this itself only means that one is prepossessed with outdated thinking and methods. Philosophy, particularly views of social history should be thoroughly linked with revolutionary practice and be evolved so as to contribute to the cause of independence of the people. I particularly stress this, taking into account the current international situation, in other words, the moves of the imperialists and emergence of modern social democracy in some countries. 4
At present, the national problem is posed as an important one. Hence consideration of the Juche idea’s view on the nation is of practical significance, I think.
The former progressive theory regarded the issue of national liberation as a component part of the class emancipation struggle. Hence, it can be said that not much attention was paid to the peculiarity of national liberation revolutions. Proceeding from the new viewpoint that the struggle against social subjugation and bondage, whether it is a national liberation struggle or a class liberation struggle, is a struggle to effect man’s independence, the Juche idea admits the peculiarity of the national liberation struggle as well as the class liberation struggle.
The former theory elucidated the question of the formation of the nation in connection with the emergence of capitalism (formation of modern states) and the question of the role of the capitalist class. Hence, it gave things of class character the first consideration and regarded things national as a matter of secondary importance. Viewed historically, it is true that, particularly in Europe, the capitalist class played the leading role in the formation of national markets and national states under banner of nationalism. Nevertheless, it is wrong to consider the question of the fate of a nation in relation to the capitalist class alone. It is wrong to try to interpret the essence of a nation, solely in relation to capitalism and to assess patriotism toward the nation-states as a manifestation of the ideology of the capitalist class and petty-bourgeoisie on the plea that the capitalist class once led the struggle for national independence under the slogan of democracy with a view to monopolizing the national market. Of course, the slogans of nationalism and patriotism the capitalist class put up in the beginning were appropriate for those days. But the capitalist class gradually distorted the substance of the slogans to suit its selfish aims, using them as if their class interests coincided with the interests of the whole nation. Nevertheless, if nationalism and patriotism themselves are negated, identifying them with the capitalist class alone, the working class and the working masses will have no beloved homeland or nation.
In all ages and in all societies it was the masses of the people who really loved, defended, strengthened and developed their nations and homelands. When the privileged position of the reactionary ruling class was threatened by the invasion of foreign aggressors, the reactionary ruling class often sold out the interests of their countries and nations, but the working people always fought for the interests of their nations. The working people always devotedly fight for the independence of the nation because they regard the life of the nation as their own and the fate of the nation as their own. True patriotism can be said to be an inherent attribute of the working people.
Some people in the past, when they considered the national problem, identifying it with capitalism alone, thought that with the disappearance of the capitalist system and establishment of the socialist system the national problem would no longer exist and the borders between socialist countries would disappear. But history shows that even when the socialist system has been established and is expanding in the world people live and develop in each country and nation as the basic unit. Of course, when the ideal society of mankind is established on a world-wide scale its looks will naturally change. But as long as there exist borders between countries and differences between nations the masses of the people will hew out their destinies in each country and nation as the unit.
It conforms with the principle of independence that even in socialist society each country and nation paves its own way, adhering to the principle of self-reliance. Nevertheless, in the past some countries failed to rectify the former wrong attitude towards the nation, and suffered serious setbacks in building new societies while neglecting the establishment of national identity and following the path to dependence on big powers. The Juche idea holds that at the present stage of historical development for working people to establish their own identity is nothing other than to establish national entity. This is because the destiny of the people is carved out in each country and nation as a unit.
Establishment of the national entity does not contradict the class interests of the working people and has nothing to do with national egoism.
Originally the working people have no class privileges. So they do not set the national interests against their class interests but value the national interests more than the interests of any class or social stratum. It is the masses who undergo the greatest sufferings and misfortunes when the independence of a nation is encroached upon and the country faces a crisis. The working people know that their independent lives and happiness are ensured only when the nation and the country exist.
Originally the country and the political power of the state are closely related to each other. Nevertheless, they are not the same concept. The view on the nation and state of the Juche idea differs greatly from that of the former theory which holds that the nation is capitalistic, and the country and the political power of the state are the means whereby one class holds sway over other classes, without discriminating between them. The Juche idea holds that the nation is a collective of fellow countrymen who share the same fate and understands that the concept of the country covers the popular masses living under unitary political leadership and the entire living environment. In exploitative societies the working people are opposed to the political power of the state which the reactionary ruling class abuses for its egoistic purposes, but not to the country itself. The spirit of genuinely loving the country and nation can be said to be one of the essential attributes of the working people.
The Juche idea does not regard any class or social stratum, but the masses of the people, as the main agent of history. The Juche idea is the ideology of the masses, who are the main agent of history. The independence, independent requirements and interests of the masses conform to the requirement of social progress and to the common interests of the nation moving towards independence. The common interests of the nation which conform to the essential requirements of social development are the same, although the requirements and interests of classes and social strata differ from each other. The class interests of the working class conform to the interests of the masses of the people and the common interim of the nation because the working class fights to abolish class privileges and differences, having nothing to do with egoism and exclusivism. Hence the Juche idea is called the idea of the masses or the idea of the working class.
The privileged class cannot represent the interests of the masses and the common interests of a nation because it is an egoistic class which protects its privileged interests. When its force is weak, the capitalist class exerts efforts to monopolize supremacy in a country under the slogan of opposition to another nation’s interference and domination, but when its force is strong it tends to trample on the independence of other nations and establish supremacy over them. Hence, bourgeois nationalism at times advocates the Monroe Doctrine and its like, calling for national or regional autonomy and noninterference, and at times puts forward cosmopolitanism, calling for unlimited sway and liberty.
In contrast, the nationalism and patriotism of the working people striving for the establishment of the national entity not only respect the independence of their nation but also advocate internationalism to develop friendship and cooperation between nations, proceeding from the independent stand of respecting the independence of other nations as well. The Juche idea prefers to use the term patriotism rather than the term nationalism because there is an essential difference between bourgeois nationalism and the nationalism of the masses. Proceeding from the viewpoint that the establishment of a national entity is the basic problem deciding the prosperity and ruin of a nation, the Juche idea applies other principles and methods different from the former theory in overcoming contradictions between classes and social strata within a nation.
The former theory regarded the process of historical development as a process of class struggle, and class struggle as the basic motive force of social progress. Hence, it placed class interests above national interests and gave priority to the struggle to settle class contradictions over the struggle to overcome national contradictions. However, the Juche idea gives priority to the realization of national interests and national independence, valuing national interests and national independence more than class interests and class independence. This is because as the nation existed classes came into being and because the nation is the parent body of classes and the classes are the component parts of the nation. Foreign imperialist aggressors are the common enemy of all the classes and social strata of the national entity. Consequently, the struggle against foreign aggressors requires national unity transcending the interests of classes and social strata.
Because the Juche idea puts the interests of the nation before class interests, it regards the establishment of national entity and its further strengthening as a historic mission to be steadily promoted for the welfare and happiness of the nation until the whole of mankind becomes one big family and holds that the conflicts of class interests within the nation should be settled on the principle of strengthening national unity and defending the common interests of the nation. In order to promote the unity and development of the nation, each class and social stratum should steadily strengthen solidarity and cooperation for the common needs and interests of the nation, thereby strengthening the national entity and gradually overcoming differences and conflicts of interests. The struggle within the nation is not the motive force of development, but the unity and cohesion of the national entity are. Not division and antagonism but national amity and unity based on fraternity is the source of welfare and prosperity of the nation. This is the quintessence of the Juche-orientated view of the nation.
― Great Successor to the Cause of Juche
, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang 1995, pp. 26-42.