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[Table] Iama guy who has been living alone in an abandoned ‘ghost town’ for over 6 months. I bought the town just over two years ago. AMA! (pt 2/3)

2020.11.24 00:10 500scnds [Table] Iama guy who has been living alone in an abandoned ‘ghost town’ for over 6 months. I bought the town just over two years ago. AMA! (pt 2/3)

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Hey, I don't really "follow" anyone, but I've seen you in passing a few times (via the internet), and love what you're doing. I think the most recent thing I saw was your video making a "sitting room" in one of the mines. Do you ever sleep in the mines? It seems like it would be eerily quiet, for some reason I want to do it. Weirdly enough, I actually spent the night in a mine about a week ago. From 6pm - 8am. I used the old hoist cage to go to a lower level of the mine and had them bring up the cage so there was no way for me to chicken out.
I'm not afraid of a lot, but that was spooky. Really weird experience...
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I know elsewhere someone asked about paranormal experiences and you had that cool story about the bunkhouse. Any spooky experiences in the mine? Last night I wanted to push the issue, so I went into a mine after it was already dark out. It shouldn't matter, because inside the mine it always looks the same, but it added a weird element to it. I was more jumpy that I normally am. And when it came time to leave, to not see the 'light at end of tunnel' was weird...
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Them? Who's them? I thought you were alone. Someone needs to operate the hoist (elevator) to let you into lower levels of mine. They came for that weekend to fix the water that pools at the 700 level of the mine
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Very cool! I have an old friend who has explored many abandoned mines in his day. He is an artist and would do plain air paintings underground within the mines. He would set up his portable isle around some interesting artifacts and then paint them with oil. I own one! I think what you are doing is really awesome! That's cool. Have a link to any of his work?
What does it mean to "buy a town"? Do you own the land and the buildings? Are you responsible for suppling water, electricity and other services etc? If someone were to move in and set up a business do they pay you tax? I own the land, buildings, mineral rights under the town, etc. It's approximately 380 acres total, surrounding by BLM land. So no real neighbors for a very long ways!
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What exactly is Black Lives Matter land https://www.blm.gov/
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Haha you just made my day! I’ve seen some similar towns driving through the Rockies in Colorado and you’re fulfilling a dream of mine! Congrats on having the guts to chase your dreams, I hope you enjoy every day and have great success! Thank you!
What motivates you to go through this? A weird sense of obligation. Maybe it's being by myself or here at the property too long, but I feel a heavy sense of obligation to make sure this town is restored for generations to come. I think it's an important town, with an important history, and somehow adopted it as my duty. Things are easier to work on when you think they're important. And I think this town is important.
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If I didn’t have like a family and a life I would totally just come run the saloon - I would just polish bottles for 8 hours a day and say “howdy stranger” every time you show up, lol And it would be a good time for sure.
I remember your other post! So cool. Have you done research as to what it looked like before and trying to replicate or are you recreating it as you like? Will you open it to visitors once done? Thanks for sharing your experience! I am trying to put back some buildings where they once were! I have some photos of the old layout and an idea of what each building was. Slowly we'll get there...
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Do you have a historian or researcher involved to help establish some of the information about the houses, such as the architecture or families that lived in them? Yes, we have the help of two historians who (literally) wrote the book about the town. Whenever I have questions, I shoot them a note. It really helps piecing everything together. And appreciating everything more.
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What is the name of the book? Curious to read it Cerro Gordo - Pictures of America. Roger and Cecile Vargo.
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I congratulate and wish you the best of luck and success in your journey. I have a few questions for you. 1.) What made you decide to buy Cerro Gordo? I understand it was once a silver mining town, and out of all the ghost towns their are in CA, why did Cerro Gordo stick out? Thanks! The history. There are other plots of land with old buildings on them, but none (in my opinion) have what Cerro Gordo has. I love history and particularly American Western history, and Cerro Gordo is about as real-deal Western town as you can find.
2.) You mentioned the town had a lot of murders and other misfortunes back in it's day. While those types of places might have been fun to visit, they aren't as much fun to live in. How do you plan on convincing people to move and start businesses at Cerro Gordo? I don't envision people moving here fulltime. More like visits with overnight accommodation.
3.) What are some of your best accomplishments so far, and what do you think you'll struggle with the most? I think finding and retrieving water was huge. Water has been the missing piece at Cerro Gordo for a long time, and it was very difficult/dangerous to get, but we went down and got it. It will bring a lot of benefits to the town
How do you deal with tresspassers? Do you let urban explorers in? Right now it's weird because of the pandemic. Of course I want people to experience the town, but it's also my home. So when someone comes up unannounced, it's a bit weird. Like imagine if I walked into your home with no announcement.
My email address is very public. If people arrange ahead of time, I have no issue.
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I drove the old Swansea Cero Gordo Rd at the beginning of May. I planed to stop in and say hi, but the large 'Private Property' sign definitely kept me out. I recently saw one of your videos published arounf that thime where you stop and say "We have a visitor" and then "Oh well" as I motor by. Dang! The Salt Tram road? How was that? Feel free to stop and say hi. I'm always here...
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When you google the town it comes up as a business listing with hours/reviews, so maybe for the time being you can switch it to "temporarily closed" to help with the unannounced guests. I've tried, but Google has the phone number tied to some phone we don't have access to. It's been an ongoing thing...
Have you tried pitching this to any producers/networks? Someone living in and reviving an abandoned ghost town is right up the Nat Geo / Discovery / HGTV alley. I'd watch it. Some production companies have approached. It always seems to go sideways because I guess that's how that industry works?
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I hope that if you ever do get picked up by a major network, that you don't stop uploading to YouTube. Your videos feel so genuine and interesting on your own, and I feel like a major network would over dramatize every little thing you do there. Thank you! I'm glad you like them. They take me a while to make and I try to put a lot of effort it. I'm also learning how to do all that while on the go...
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I was up there a year or so ago, we couldn't explore much of the town because there was a small film crew doing their thing. Cool town though. I'd live to go back and check it out more. Come check it out again. Lots of new things up here...
What happened to the old caretaker? I can’t recall the elderly gentleman’s name, but he was certainly a character. Robert! He went home early in the pandemic to be with his wife. So I've been filling in for 7 months or so...
Binge watched all your video a few days ago and I have to say that I love the story of the town and how you show it on the channel. I am thrilled to see how the town will look soon and about your future adventures. My question is, how are the kittens and the goats doing? keep up the good work, love from europe. Wow! Thank you for checking out the videos! That's cool Kittens and goats are good! Just fed both of them. The kittens grow so fast. They eat soft cat food now, so not as difficult as bottle feeding...
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Great project; please lose the cats, the nice furry pussies who get fed and still look to kill anything that moves, all day and night...- (The raptors will help you with the cats if you keep 'em going). Good luck with a great project. But we have a serious mice population that I was hoping to chip away at with the cats. I'd rather have cats than mice, you know?
I watched that one video of you going down into the mine where all those people died and the exit was caving in a bit, my butthole was awful clenched. Have you/will you ever go back? I just did that two weeks ago. No, I don't think I'll go back to that level of the mine. It's too dangerous and I went to every corner of it. I didn't find the exit I was looking for, so will search for exists in different places. So as long as I own the town, the 200 level will remain closed.
Have you poked around with a metal detector around the old buildings? I used a metal detector and found some old Chinese coins in an old stone cabin a month or so ago. Some photos here
How much did the town cost and how were you able to afford it? $1.4M. I put essentially my life savings into it, convinced a lot of other people to put in, and took short term loans in order to close.
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Have you seen Schitts Creek? haha, I've seen an episode.
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So if you’re living there alone, what do the other investors get out of it if they don’t live there? Vacation/get away spot? Hopefully eventually some type of revenue if we have overnight accommodations. Also yes, a place to come relax when needed.
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Where do you get your water? Isn’t the groundwater super contaminated from the mercury and other chemicals used in the processing of gold/silver? Right now we truck it in. But we're exploring other options like water that pools down in the old mine. Obviously it will be thoroughly tested first...
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Who did you actually buy it from? Was it necessary to buy the whole town or could you have bought sections. What is the size of it, assuming in acres. It was about 380 acres. We purchased it from the family who had owned it for 20-30 years prior.
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How will you convince businesses to set up shop there? Or what’s your end-goal now? I can't see other shops setting up. More like an overnight retreat for people. Limited amounts of people staying overnight, more people visiting during the day to learn about the history and enjoy the natural beauty...
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Who did you purchase it from? A family who owned it for 20 or 30 years.
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Curious, looking back, do you think you overpaid? No way. It's become my life's work and calling and that isn't easy to find. For me at least...
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Kossimer: This isn't an investment with an anticipated return, is it? What were you convincing them of exactly? Rpanich: “Dude it’s gonna be sweet!” Basically.
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No, in all seriousness, in addition to collateral you need to show any qualified lenders (e.g. banks, etc, not friends and family) a proper business plan to assure them that you'll be able to have the cash flow and profit in order to secure a loan. You don't have to get into specifics, but what is your plan to be able to repay those loans? Meaning what do you intend to do to the town to improve it and have the revenue needed to repay the loans? It looks like a pretty neat place (I remember your previous AMA) and I'm really curious how you plan to monetize and what you've done and intend to do. I'd love to be doing what you're doing. :) Also, didn't you mention there is an old caretaker you've let stay? Or was that a different AMA I'm confusing your's with? I hope by next summer to have overnight accommodation options. Hopefully that will show the cashflow to refinance with a more traditional lender... Caretaker is back home with family because of pandemic. I've been filling in for 7 months!
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Have you thought of renting out the town as a Hollywood movie set? Tremors 8 beckons... I would! I think it would make a great set...
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Once you get overnight accommodations you could offer a free stay to a big ghosty YouTuber in exchange for them filming and talking about the history there. So much potential. Sam & Colby came up. They're pretty big. And also great guys.
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Let Reddit know when it opens. I’m 10ish hours away and Me and my girlfriend love all the paranormal stuff so it’s something we’d both love to do. Will do!
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I'm a field trained wendigo expert that has recently been flirting with banshee trapping if you need me to move into your ghost town. Important to know a good wendigo guy.
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Hey, so you're talking about next summer (rough time to be opening anything right next to Death Valley). Do you guys have a plan to open any campsites in the meantime? I've been trying to plan out a Death Valley trip for a long time, but the first-come/serve and limited camping in the park has my friends skittish we'll be stuck. Luckily the town is up at 8,500 ft, so it's a lot more temperate that it is down in the valley. Probably 30 degrees cooler or so. I would love to have camping options on the backside of the property. It is much more heavily wooded and has amazing views of Death Valley Park.
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What are you anticipating being able to offer people that would convince them to go there and stay? A lot of history and stunning natural beauty. The town is up in the mountains overlooking Sequoia National Park and Death Valley National Park. It's absolutely stunning here.
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Have you considered making it a movie set? I feel the town is a pretty good movie set as it is. Would love to get some more filming up here.
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Can always resort to renting space to canna growers. If you have it, they will come. No water...
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So now that you have made this investment, what do you plan to do to make a return on investment? I’d like to move there, but hospital access and internet seem like the first problems. How do you even feel safe in such a deserted place? If your appendix suddenly burst, it seems you are screwed. Any other unforeseen health emergency seems equally deadly. I actually had appendicitis 2 months ago, so that issue hits close to home. I was luckily able to drive myself to the hospital about 2 hours away.
We don't plan to have long term residents, but overnight guests. More of a retreat/lodge. I imagine we'll have to have some medical staff on staff, but larger emergencies we'd have to drive them or get a helicopter worst case scenario.
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Commenting on the top post to say I love your TikToks. Whenever one pops up I squeal a little bit. I hope you find an old Levi's storage depot with 300,000 pairs of immaculate jeans. hahaha, thank you! I appreciate it. I too hope to find immaculate jeans soon.
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Similarly, what sort of liability did you accept when you bought it? I'm thinking of any potential environmental hazards left from the mining company, or the structures deteriorating, leeching lead or oil or asbestos or whatever. And liability to people driving through, coming to visit, etc. There's a lot of liability with an old mine. The one I'm most concerned with is people falling in old mine shafts. We have signs at the entrances of most and barb wire, but it's still a threat. In terms of environmental, they had inspected before and not raised issue on the property.
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Consideration for you: There are a lot of mine explorers/caving groups who would love to come up and explore your mines. Why not post up that it's available, it's got camping etc available, and that you're looking for people? Because I know plenty of guys who'd jump at the chance to come visit. Added bonus: you get to curate who comes thanks to the EXTREMELY insular nature of caving/mine exploring I've thought about it, but have a few issues with it. When we first bought the town, I was approached by a very 'credible' mine exploration group. These guys were supposed to be as good as they come. The deal was they could explore the mine, but they had to get me photos of the water and the pump. Well, they showed up and they aren't pros at all. Complete amateurs and their recklessness could have gotten themselves killed. I don't want that type of liability. Also, they didn't get my water photos. Also, they spray-painted the town and left their stupid exploration cards in all the mines they went into. It (obviously) left a bad taste in my mouth. I know that isn't representative of all mine explorers, but I just don't want to risk it. Also, most are good, but some want to take stuff home. I don't do that. Anything here stays here. It goes in the museum. I've seen videos (before I owned it) of guys exploring the mines and taking stuff home. It drives me nuts.
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That sounds like you ran afoul of "goontubers", as they're unaffectionately nicknamed in the UK. The easiest method to beat this is to get in touch with your state's cave rescue organisation, then ask them for volunteers to explore your mines. The reason I suggest the cave rescue group is because they're usually the best cavers, and have an exceptional wealth of knowledge about caving and all the risks associated. If you were in the UK, I could signpost you to some people who would be exactly what you need, but unfortunately you're not! haha, 'goontubers' - I hadn't heard that. But yeah, these guys were them.
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SkivvySkidmarks: Ya, you really need to vet these types as best as possible. So many people are Class A bullshitters and outright charlatans that you need to proceed with caution. Look no further than that Fyre Festival joker that bilked everyone out millions. TommyToad: Or the dude that tricked people into investing in a $1.4M old dead town Ha! Yeah, exact...wait a second
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The spraypainted the town? Wtf? How? Also leaving their cards sounds dumb AF, anyone down there wouldn’t need their help to explore it? Not even useful cards! Just playing cards with their logo on it. As if to show "look we've already been here" - so dumb
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I'm no caver, but next time I'm in the area I'd like to find every single one of those cards and burn them. That is such a dick move holy shit. I take them and rip them up whenever I find them. So infuriating
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Report them for littering. Get those fuckers fined $500 for every card. Not a bad idea.
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Since you own a town can you have a police department and ticket people? I've tried throwing friends in 'jail' for being too drunk last summer. They didn't oblige. I should issue a warrant for their arrest...
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Do you have one of those sheriff star badge thingies? Pretty sure it would work if you had one of those. Two! Gotta regulate somehow
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OMG I'm mad for you! Who referenced them as "as good as they come"? A few people. They have a decent YT channel. They're good at spinning themselves as real explorers, etc...
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Oh wow, this is even more disrespectful than leaving shitty business cards around. It’s like pre-planned littering. That is a good way to describe it. It's pre-planned littering.
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Did you catch one of them taking something, crack your whip, and say "IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!" ? Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?
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I saw a video recently on tube where they visited the mine there on the 200 level where apparently 30 people died from a cave in. The vid description mentioned he was back living there as caretaker due to the pandemic. Is that your channel man? Ghost town living? That's me! Howdy. Did you like the video? Any others I should make?
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Hey! That video man was so fascinating. A lot of history down there. That has to be one of the more creepy mines I have seen on YouTube. Glad you came back safely. How deep does that mine actually go? I'm guessing there is a normal entrance that others before you have used to explore a little and then the cage way of getting down that you used? Other videos.. you mentioned here about some buildings still left in the town. Not many compared to the hay day but would be interesting to see more of them, what their purpose was, an idea of how they lived etc. I haven't had a chance to watch much else on the channel so you might already have that stuff there! The main union mine goes 900 ft down. There are 6 levels to the mine that each have miles of mine at them. Only way to get into that specific mine is that old hoist cage...
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Dude I love how you literally purchased and then moved into a remote ghost town and still managed to find THAT FUCKING GUY who always manages to be present no matter where you are in the world. Like they literally just came out to litter in your mines for fun lol. right??
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Was this this group? https://www.meetup.com/SoCalX/ Here's a video of the card they left in a mine: https://youtu.be/RnAs9HKyqoA?t=870 No, different group. But annoying to think multiple groups do this. Especially on someone else's property, after they've been nice enough to let you explore there.
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Out of curiosity, this wasn't the Sam and Colby crew, was it? I watched that video a few weeks ago but Idk when it was filmed. No, they were great. This was a year or so ago. Way before them...
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I live near there (not like right next door, but close enough) i have 4x4 vehicles, any chance i could very respectfully visit? Shoot me an email with some potential dates? Possible depending on dates. [email protected]
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Hi Brent! I’ve been following you from Austin, and I wish you the best of luck. Appreciate that!
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Do you have governmental authority? Can fine/convict them for littering or defacing the place? I can't, but I could call county about stuff.
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Late to the party, but check out the guys from the "Mines of the West" YouTube channel. They're a lot more low-key and actually know what they're doing. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOlnSz4KfPqAuOPRBUnzayw I know them! We chat on Instagram occasionally.
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As far as I know, Underground Explorers are the only ones doing this stuff as a legit business. I can't believe a recognizable group would do that to Cerro Gordo and leave their names as evidence. People sure can be terrible. Ding ding ding.
Are you aware of Cerro Gordo's significance in the sport of hang gliding? "In July 1977 Jerry Katz, flying a Pacific Gull Alpine, launched from Cerro Gordo in the Inyo mountains on the east side of California's Owens Valley. Four hours eighteen minutes after take-off he landed at Betty's, a house of ill-repute in the Nevada desert, ten miles north of Benton Station. At 103 miles, it was the first hang glider flight longer than 100 miles, and was a world record." I'd been passively told this, but never saw it in print. Thank you! That is awesome. I weirdly haven't met any hang gliders since being up here for 2 years. Maybe they assume it isn't possible because it's privately owned. I like the idea however...
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As I understand it Cerro Gordo was a popular launch in the 70s because of its location at the south end of the Inyos, which enabled pilots to stay up on the thermals over the high mountain peaks as they drifted along in the prevailing south wind, maximizing distance flown. The reasons it declined in popularity were apparently that (1) the launch point is pretty far back from the valley floor, so if a pilot encountered serious sinking air they would have to land in rough terrain and (2) it faces west, so pilots have to wait until early afternoon, when the upslope winds start, to launch--which is usually fine for hang gliding but not when you're going for a distance record. In the 80s a new launch was discovered across the valley at Horseshoe Meadows, which faces east and allows much earlier starts, so the long distance pilots refocused their attention there. Ahhhh, interesting. Thanks for that info!
Ever have the thought that you died in that town in a past life and that's what's drawn you to it? Weird you say that. I never have until really recently. I've never felt a 'calling' before, but definitely feel one here. A responsibility to a task. And feel at peace when working on it and anxious when not here...
Holy cow Brent, it's wild seeing your name here today. Just today I watched the video of the aftermath of the hotel fire after learning about your channel a couple of weeks ago and inching through what you've shared so far. 1) You are an inspiration, truly. I think what you are doing touches several sorts of yearning most of us feel; the desire to dedicate yourself to a place and honor it, to build something consciously together, to seek harmony with nature, to strive to make something better....all of it is lacking in most of our lives or we're too caught up in systems that flat out do not allow for most of these factors to enter our day to day. 2) You're in a really special corner of the states - as I know you know - if you have time any time soon, be sure to get yourself to the Saline Valley hot springs just on the other side of the Panamint Mtns. You wont regret it, though the journey is tough. 3) I'm trying to move back to SoCal as soon as I'm able (COVID tosses and turns sent me across the country for work) and whenver that happens - a year from now, maybe three, I intend to come see this place if I can and make myself available for build days. Again, what you're doing touches something special and true and I want to lean into that. In the meantime you can expect a few bucks here and there as finances allow. I want you to see this through. Questions: Have you got a library or a library of sorts in mind? Any particular sorts of music that you feel fit with the place? You say the time spent there has changed you, can you say more about how? What do you view differently now than you may have before moving to Cerro Gordo? I'll be reading the thread now, apologies if you've already answered some of these. Again, bravo, keep going, and thanks for taking a risk and seeking a life that shines a light. oh wow, thank you for watching the videos! This part of the country is definitely very special. The whole 395 corridor is one that I didn't know well before moving here, and now can't envision living without. I do have a library of sorts here. I have a lot of books related to the area or the mine (Silver Seekers, From This Mountain, City Builders, The Boys In The Sky Blue Pants, Water Seekers, etc). I hope to fill it with many more books. I feel a lot more connected with the property now of course, but also generally that I've slowed down. And that I'm OK with slowing down. I don't fill my day with needless tasks. I sit with ideas longer. Generally think I'm more happy. Probably?
Did you own Cerro Gordo when Ghost Adventures filmed there? What was that experience like? I did!
They were fine. It was a big production. I didn't get to participate in any real way, but they respected the town and rules outlined
How do you get wifi there? I use an ATT hotspot. It isn't perfect, but works just fine for reddit.
ATT has a tower on a surrounding mountaintop...
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Okay, so now knowing this and seeing your other post about going in the mines, you really should have an emergency contact who will call search and rescue if you don't check in by a certain time. I know you've got experience now, but plan out your trips, make an itinerary and give it to your emergency contact with instructions to check with you by a certain time, and if they can't get ahold of you, to call the sheriff. I typically tell my friend when and where I'm going into a mine. He knows the property so understands where I'll be. I usually say if I don't call in X hours for him to be concerned.
You may have had this question already, but does the lack of human contact not drive you insane with loneliness or boredom? I've never lived alone and I'm pretty extroverted, so I can't even imagine not having housemates let alone being alone in a town lol. If it does get to you sometimes, how do you deal with it? Sometimes, but I think it is an interesting time to be alone. Because most my friends aren't hanging out with each other anyway because of the pandemic. So the FOMO of hanging with friends is a little bit relieved because of that.
I can still call them, email them, etc when I need to.
I also have found myself more introverted, so I don't mind the time alone...
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How do you bathe? I use a camp shower. Basically a bag of water you put in the sun to heat up, then has a nozzle on the end to bathe under...
Kind of a weird question.....What’s it like living with no trees? Cuz, I can’t se any trees..... It's a good question. Most the trees were chopped down for firewood around the main town. They are pinyon pines too, so they take hundreds of years to regrown.
On the backside of the property there are quite a few trees. So if I'm missing trees, I just shoot back there
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Are you planning to replant trees? That would be a good site. I would like to, but have to figure out the water issue first. Pinyon Pine and Juniper trees are frequent here. Both take a really long time to grow...
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"They are pinyon pines too, so they take hundreds of years to regrown." By which you mean 10 or so years to mature...? Not from what I've seen. I have a friend out here who grows them from seeds. A 10 year old tree might be 2-3 ft tall.
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To be fair, that's likely due to the dry climate and poor nutrients. If the trees are watered and fertilized artificially occasionally during the first, say, 5 years, you would probably be able to get a tree that's at least 10ft+ tall in that time (or more, depends on how fast the tree can grow, whether you add fertilizer, etc) I'm down! Tell me what to give these things and I'll give them whatever they need to get a forest going back up here again.
Why do your friends not live in Cerro Gordo? Those with whom you bought the town. They all have lives and obligations elsewhere
Oooo I think I follow you on Tik Tok! Is that annoying reporter still waiting on your property for his interview? 🙂 hahaha, I ended up giving the interview and actually gave him a beer and some dinner. He's cool dude. Wasn't bothered at all to be waiting. He was just enjoying relaxing in a cool place...
Hi, I asked a question on the last AMA and didn't get the answer I wanted, so I'll ask again. Have you reinstated the weekly murders? Only of mice.
Carried out by my 7 cat coconspirators.
Have you considered promoting it as a film location? It’s pretty amazing. There have been a few films and TV shows shot here!
Most notably, the scene in Iron Man where he is blasted out of the bunker in 'Afghanistan' and driven along the road was filmed at Cerro Gordo. The blast happened here.
The movie "Nevada Smith" with Steve McQueen was filmed here as well.
Since we've owned it, Jeff Goldblum shot an episode of his "World According To" here and "Ghost Adventures" also shot here...
[deleted] To make sure the town is standing long after I'm gone. And that more people get to know about its history, its impact on California's history.
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Right, but how do you intend to do that? I mean you just bought an old town that realistically is missing most of the stuff that would allow you to turn it in to some sort of vacation area (water, sewage, etc), so how do you intend to actually monetize this? Let’s be real, you’ll have to monetize it to ensure it’ll be standing after you’re gone. Offer overnight accommodations. Hopefully by next summer. We have approved plans from county to truck up water. So we will have 5-6 rooms available to rent. Plus people coming for the day to take tour of town
the below is a reply to the above
I commented elsewhere about having a big water tank at a higher elevation but if you’re going to trick water up that’s even better to get you started. Gravity fed water is absolutely the easiest way to get water pressure. Also, and this might be in your plans already, goats do a great job of clearing brush and that can create a good fire break naturally plus goats don’t need the same amounts of water as cows if you want some dairy or meat. Totally. On the money with both those. The water tanks are a good ways above the main town. Gravity does the trick. And one of the main reasons for the goats (outside the companionship) was to eat away brush from the buildings for fire prevention...
Have you ever lived anywhere that routinely gets snow? Respectfully, while watching your video and seeing you say you were snowed in, I thought that is nothing but a Tuesday in January where I am at. I think you will find over time you will get used to it and get better at navigating it. I grew up in Florida and lived in Texas before this. So no, I was not used to snow. Also I had a 2WD base model Tacoma that weighed nothing and would spin out on a sprinkle of rain, so I definitely wasn't fully prepared.
This winter will be different. I'm much more prepared and I've learned a lot in 6 months. I think I've changed a lot.
I too laugh when I watch that first video these days. I was so new at it all...
My wife and I think that you should have a dog or two. Why no dog?! :) I grew up a dog person, so I'd love to. The cats are mainly practical. As in, I need them to hunt mice. The dog would be a great companion, just sometimes I go hiking for 12 hours or so at a time. I'd have to get an outdoor type dog...
the below is a reply to the above
Holy crap. Of all the craziness I’ve read here, you not having a dog is craziest. I’d feel way safer with a dog. Plus, that’s hell of a life for a dog. What type should I get?
the below is another reply to the original answer
I see you have goats, but why no chickens? Easy to care for and lay daily once developed and eat all your table scraps. Just getting the hang of the animals thing. Need to get a good coop to keep the bobcats and such out. But I'd LOVE to have chickens long term.
Who picks up your garbage? Me, mainly. I bring it to a transfer station in a neighboring town when it piles up enough
Does all work and no play make Brent a dull boy? Here's.......BRENT!
Damn, doesn't quite hit the same haha
Just wanting to let you know that for the past 2 weeks I have been watching your video's since I've been home sick with covid (positive test and some pretty nasty symptoms) and your amazingly high production quality video's really inspired me to do some soul searching as to what kind of things I want to be doing with my life in a couple of years. And for that I can't thank you enough! God bless you and your future endeavours (also please be careful on your own exploring). As for question: how severely haunted is the town, specifically that one shack, actually and have there been more weird things going on? Oh wow. Thank you! I appreciate that. Weird things happen occasionally. I think if you're in a town expecting to hear nothing and see nothing, if you see anything or hear anything it is really weird.
Last summer I visited Cerro Gordo during a road trip with some friends and got a legitimately fantastic tour given by Robert(I believe). Is he still around, or...? Robert is the best! He is still around, but just back with his family for 7 months or so because of pandemic. I think he's coming to visit next week
Who or what entity actually owned the town before you? I'm curious how the chain of title worked. I've never seen a whole town for sale. The town was passed down from individual owners for a while. A family owned it before us that had it for 20+ years. When the parents died, the children had lives of their own elsewhere and searched for the right party to buy it. Luckily they chose us...
Can I visit when the plague is over? Sure!
[deleted] I'd like to think I'm the Mayor, but there has never been an official ballot...
the below is a reply to the above
I’d vote for you. Absolutely amazing job you’ve done; you are living my dream. Thanks for adopting an important piece of history and wanting to keep it as is for generations to come! Thank you!
Have you started building the New American Hotel? Indeed! We just got final permits on the 23rd to officially build and operate it, so it's full speed ahead
You allowed Sam and Colby to visit with their friends. Did they respect the property? They did. I outlined some basic rules and they followed them. I like those guys. We've stayed in touch...
What’s a normal day like for you? I wake up, feed the animals (goats and kittens). Make breakfast. Check/send emails for an hour or two. Go work on the property for a while (currently I'm clearing a site that I hope to build a new cabin on). Then I come back for lunch/more emails. In the late afternoon I leave the phone behind and go hiking to find an abandoned mine or some other cool thing out there. Treasure hunting. Then I come back, make dinner. Maybe look at the stars for a while. Go to bed.
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2020.11.23 19:20 ShrunkGiant Ukrainian Mail Order Brides on camera by BrideCams

Yet the difference, of course, is that the company is making a massive profit from the men making fools of themselves, and while lots of ladies are earning money out of the schemes also, it is unclear that it is helpful to them in the longer term. Anastasia International, while not straight conspiring in the frauds, runs a very profitable business version that allows them to grow. While actual and long-term liaisons do sometimes form through the site, regularly it only serves to boost the concentric circles of skepticism, dissatisfaction and also heartbreak for all entailed. Anastasia urges that it weeds out scams whenever it discovers them, and also has actually banned some women from the website. It also states it will certainly reimburse customers that succumb to scams, and provides recommendations on how to prevent them.
Regardless of attempting to find out English as rapid as she could, when she first got here Wilson can not comprehend what her new other half stated to her. Her marital relationship is better now, she states, due to the fact that they can truly talk. italina Wilson had never ever planned to marry an international male whose language she did not speak. Nor did she intend to relocate 6,000 miles far from her family to a country she understood absolutely nothing regarding. She had a really good task in the audit division of a big importer in her indigenous Ukraine. She was also separated, after weding at 21 to a male whom she refers to as "not fit to domesticity". Her ex-husband had a tough time working as well as made points "tough" for her, she says softly before moving on to happier subjects.
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After calling a mail-order company, most of Filipina mail-order brides met their spouses by going to "show-ups", a meeting in which a group of Filipina ladies are brought to meet a Korean man that is searching for a spouse. At the show-up the Oriental man selects a bride-to-be from among the group, and in an issue of days they are married. Asian men likewise worked through mail-order firms to discover partners as they functioned overseas in the 1800s. Trick variables establishing the partnership in between movement and also marital relationship were demographics, legal plans, cultural perceptions and modern technology.
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Imbalances between the number of offered women and the number of men desiring partners produced a need for immigrant females. As a result of this inequality, a brand-new system of "picture brides" established in mainly male negotiations. In the early 20th century, the establishment of "picture brides" established because of migration constraints. The Japanese-American Key Arrangement of 1907 enabled Japan to approve passports to the spouses of immigrants to America. As migration of single Japanese ladies to America was successfully disallowed, making use of "picture brides" given a system for ready ladies to obtain a ticket to America, while Japanese employees in America can acquire a women helpmate of their own nationality.

Which country has the most Affairs?

This list prepared by the mirror.co.uk shows the countries that are most often cited as having illicit affairs. 1. Thailand 56% But it's Thailand which grabbed the top spot with 56% of the population admitting to being unfaithful. 2. Denmark 46% 3. Italy 45% 4. Germany 45% 5. France 43% 6. Norway 41% 7. Belgium 40% 8. Spain 39% More items•
Listed here are six indications you have actually obtained nice dating rules as well as are prone to make an excellent impression-- and valuables you would possibly require to consider doing in your ukraine brides next day, should you aren't already. We are the pursuers and it gets on us men to stimulate some feeling of destination in the woman we want. There have actually been a number of murders of mail-order brides in South Korea. In June 2013, The Philippine embassy in Seoul reported that it had obtained several issues from Filipinas that have married Korean males via mail-order, frequently coming to be "sufferers of grave misuses". The Philippine police rescued 29 mail-order brides on their means to marry South Korea men whom Principal Superintendent Reginald Villasanta, head of an organised criminal activity job pressure, says were "deceived into promises of an immediate well-off life through marriage with Oriental gentlemen". The ladies were advertised in online and offline "magazines" to South Oriental men.
For the women as well, although hundreds of them earn a living from the rip-offs, it is not a simple emotional burden to bear. Other females were really searching for a young and fascinating partner and wished to leave Ukraine, yet invested hours chatting with senior men in order to make money. I was able to uncover specifically how the rip-offs function because of an opportunity encounter with Alina, among the women entailed, who really felt born down by her collusion in what she called "emotional prostitution". A number of them feature absurd assumptions, obviously, but I am unsure that any person deserves this therapy. Equipped with this info, I was completely expecting to invest a week being offended by unpleasant males taking advantage of susceptible females, as well as there were absolutely a few on the journey whose misogyny got to prize-winning levels. I opted for a firm called Anastasia International, which is no dingy basement procedure, however a significant company with a projected income last year of $140m (₤ 84m). It has countless women in Ukraine and across the globe on its books, readily available for conversations as well as in-person conferences with lonely bachelors throughout the world looking for a spouse.

How much is a Ukraian bride?

An average middle-class, university-educated Thai lady deserves a dowry of 100,000- 300,000 baht. A dowry of a million baht for an uneducated lady of modest means is just ridiculous. Thai dowry prices fall drastically if your bride-to-be has been previously married, already has children, or is not a virgin anymore.
A worldwide marriage company is a service that ventures to present males and females of various nations for the objective of marriage, dating, or communication. Most of these marriage firms are based near ladies in creating nations.

Options For Systems In Ukraine Mail Order Other Halves.

Nevertheless, economic elements are not the only driving aspect for ladies in Asia to go into the mail-order sector. Filipina ladies often went into the mail-order industry in the hope of weding abroad and afterwards funding their family members for migration. Sometimes ladies were recruited based upon their physical appearance, with a focus placed on young people as well as virginity. This is discovered among store companies, the majority of which deal with well-off males from various other Oriental nations. The majority of Eastern mail-order brides originate from the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Taiwan, as well as China. The Korea Times reports that annually, thousands of Oriental guys register for matches with Filipina brides with firms as well as by mail order. Based on data from the Oriental government, there are 6,191 Filipinas in South Korea who are wed to Koreans.
Because the collapse of the Soviet Union, large numbers of eastern European women have actually promoted themselves in such a way, mostly from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. Men that list themselves in such publications are referred to as "mail-order husbands", although this is a lot less typical. As internet dating has actually gone mainstream over the previous years, Anastasia is attempting to rebrand what was when called the "mail-order bride" market as something modern and modern. This is no longer the protect of seedy and unscrupulous guys looking for vulnerable women from poor backgrounds to work as a longterm sex servant, the marketing suggests. This is "international dating", a way to locate romance without borders. As soon as you solve you are going to offer it a shot, the initial point it is a good idea to do is develop your profile.
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Though lots of guys claim they desire a smart, amusing, or moral Russian female, those aren't the search terms they use. " hot Russians" as well as "Russian brides" are two of the top key words in the Russian dating sector, and also as we are an on the internet organization we naturally intend to capture that web traffic. And also, intelligentrussianbrides.com or beautifulrussianbrides.com simply doesn't have the very same ring to it.

Q: Would You Take Into Consideration An Objective For These Ladies To Come To Be A "Bride" To Be The Need To Leave Russia?

Although these marital relationships can be successful, in many cases immigrant wives are maltreated, misunderstood and separated from their Oriental spouses. One technique men use when selecting girls as spouses is "Like a court in an elegance contest, the guy interviews the females, a number of them 20 years younger than he, as well as chooses". The term "mail-order new bride" is both slammed by proprietors of international marriage firms and used by them as an easily well-known term. A mail-order bride-to-be is a female that provides herself in brochures and is chosen by a man for marriage. In the twentieth century, the pattern was mainly towards ladies residing in developing nations looking for guys in more industrialized countries. In the 21st century, the pattern is now based mainly on internet-based gathering place which do not per se certify as mail-order new bride services. The majority of the females listed in the twentieth-century as well as twenty-first-century services are from Southeast Asia, nations of the previous Eastern Bloc and also from Latin America.

You've Seen Hot Ukrainian Brides.

International dating sites supply a wide variety of on-line interaction, including instantaneous messaging, email letters, webchat, phone translation, digital gifts, live games, as well as mobile-based chat. International marriage firms are often described as "mail-order bride" companies. Nevertheless, lots of take into consideration the term "mail-order bride-to-be" negative and feel it demeans foreign females by comparing them to commodities to buy and by falsely indicating that, they exercise no judgment over the men they satisfy as well as would certainly wed anyone from a relatively rich country. Many international brides originate from establishing nations in Asia. The countries the ladies come from are confronted with joblessness, malnutrition as well as inflation.

Q: What Kind Of Woman Usually Enroll In This Solution? Age? Are They Truly Warm?

See the next ukraine mail order brides web page to get going, as well as be shown what online dating resembles, figure out exactly how it actually works as well as obtain some valuable ideas concerning making your online dating experience risk-free and effective. In passing IMBRA, Congress was replying to claims by the Tahirih Justice Facility, a lady's campaigning for group, that mail-order brides were vulnerable to domestic abuse due to the fact that they are not familiar with the regulations, language and customizeds of their brand-new home. The TJC firmly insisted that unique legislation was needed to safeguard them.

Men who live with mail-order brides reveal what life is REALLY like - Daily Mail

Men who live with mail-order brides reveal what life is REALLY like.
Posted: Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:00:00 GMT [source]

International Marriage Company.

Oftentimes nonetheless, sufferers were fed incorrect info regarding the history of their future partner and family members, and endured abuse southern Oriental guys, which brought about "desertion of the marriage house, splitting up and also divorce", Villasanta stated. The New York Times records, "On a monthly basis, thousands of South Korean males fly to Vietnam, the Philippines, Nepal and Uzbekistan on special journeys. An agent accompanies each guy to see many ladies in a solitary day, often all gathered in the same hall".
International marriage agencies motivate ladies to register for their solutions, and also help with interaction and also conferences with men from created areas of North America, Western Europe, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and also New Zealand. This network of smaller sized worldwide marriage agencies is frequently connected with web-based worldwide dating sites that have the ability to market their services on a bigger range, in compliance with guidelines such as the International Marriage Broker Guideline Act. Experian, a marketing research firm, reports that the top 10 international dating websites attracted 12 million visitors in March 2013, up 29% from March 2012.
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2020.11.23 14:41 FlexJobs How to work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years with their new remote work program.

As beneficial as remote work has been in helping companies and workers weather the pandemic, there’s no denying that some of the benefits of remote work—like being able to live the life of a digital nomad—have been sharply curtailed amid the global health crisis.
Thankfully, several countries are opening their borders to remote workers, allowing you to work from a new home—in paradise.
Note: FlexJobs is a subscription service for job seekers that features flexible and remote jobs. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the monthly subscription costs allow us to fully vet and verify all of the jobs on our site—ensuring that customers have a safe and positive job searching experience.

Welcome to the Cayman Islands

If you’re going to work remotely somewhere other than your current location, why not go to a warm-weather destination where you can swim with stingrays on your days off and spend your lunch hours luxuriating on the beach? That’s exactly the kind of work-life balance you can find when you work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years with their new remote work program.
Located 480 miles south of Miami, Florida, in the western Caribbean, the Cayman Islands provide ample opportunities for sun-drenched recreation, along with the chance to experience “Caymankind,” the spirit of the islands.

The Global Citizen Concierge Program

Launched on October 21, the Global Citizen Concierge Program (GCCP) enables digital nomads to live and work from one of three islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, or Little Cayman) at a time when it’s very difficult to visit the territories due to tourist travel restrictions. While this program does give you unprecedented access to a beautiful island paradise, it comes with some stringent requirements and guidelines.

Income Requirements

The program is catering to a fairly well-off crowd for this remote work program, with the income requirements prove it. You must make a minimum of $100,000 per year to apply to the program as a single applicant. If you’d like to bring a spouse or partner, you need to make at least $150,000 as a household, and if you’re bringing dependents, the figure climbs to $180,000.

COVID-19 Guidelines

The Cayman Islands have managed to successfully control COVID-19 to the extent that they have no social distancing requirements and masks are only mandated in healthcare facilities, home care facilities, prisons, airports, and taxis,
However, they do have strict quarantine guidelines for all inbound travelers, who must:
What’s more, travelers must either quarantine at a government-sponsored facility, a privately-run facility (to the tune of several thousand dollars!), or at a residence while wearing a monitoring device.

How to Apply

If this sounds exactly like your kind of “home” office environment, you’ll need to provide:
Planning to bring dependents? You’ll also need a marriage or civil partner certificate, along with their birth certificates, proofs of identity, background checks, and health insurance coverage proof.
As soon as you have all your documentation in hand, you’re ready to apply to receive a Global Citizen Certificate! Annual application fees are $1,469 for two people, plus $500 per dependent.

How the Program Works

Once approved, you’ll have 12 months to begin your stay, and the Certificate is valid for two years from arrival in the Cayman Islands. If, however, your employment is terminated, the Global Citizen Certificate will expire on your date of termination. (More detailed GCCP regulations explain other possible reasons for revocation of the Certificate.)
After you’ve begun your stay in Cayman, you can come and go from the islands as you please and travel anywhere, as long as you spend a total of 90 days there each 12-month period. Upon returning, however, you’ll have to abide by any current quarantine regulations.
The GCCP will help you book travel arrangements to the Cayman Islands and will also provide information to help you choose accommodations for your stay.

Things to Consider

Before you get too attached to your Caribbean dreams, check with your employer to see if your remote position is location-specific or if you truly can work from anywhere. Up to 95% of jobs require workers to be based in a certain location for a variety of reasons, so make sure you know before you go.
Because your Certificate expires immediately upon termination of your job, it also makes sense to assess the stability of your position. If your company has been experiencing layoffs or furloughs and the future seems uncertain, it may not be the time to embark on a Cayman remote work adventure.
The GCCP also requires that any dependent children be either enrolled in a local private school on the island or in a homeschooling program.

Remote Work Your Way

If working at home is starting to feel more restrictive than freeing, it may be time to consider taking your job on the road as a digital nomad. Remote work programs that enable you to travel and explore new locales can be just the balm you need to refresh your mind and your career.
Looking for a remote job? FlexJobs can help! We offer remote jobs in more than 50 career categories.
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2020.11.23 01:34 DarthEquus Circumcision: The Uniquely American Medical Enigma Edward Wallerstein

The continuing practice of routine neonatal nonreligious circumcision represents an enigma, particularly in the United States. About 80 percent of the world's population do not practice circumcision, nor have they ever done so. Among the non-circumcising nations are Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, the U.S.S.R., China, and Japan. People employing circumcision do so either for "health" reasons or as a religious ritual practiced by Muslims, Jews, most black Africans, non-white Australians, and others.
The origin of the ritual practice is unknown. There is evidence of its performance in Israel in Neolithic times (with flint knives) at least 6000 years ago.38 Jews accept the Old Testament origin as a covenant between God and Abraham,18 although it is generally agreed that the practice of circumcision in Egypt predated the Abrahamic Covenant by centuries.55 Ritual Circumcision is not germane to this discussion except insofar as the surgical ritual impinges upon accepted medical practice.65
So called "health" circumcision originated in the nineteenth century, when most diseases were of unknown etiology. Within the miasma of myth and ignorance, a theory emerged that masturbation caused many and varied ills. It seemed logical to some physicians to perform genital surgery on both sexes to stop masturbation; the major technique applied to males was circumcision. This was especially true in the English-speaking countries because it accorded with the mid-Victorian attitude toward sex as sinful and debilitating.64
The most prolific enumerator of the health benefits of circumcision was Dr. P. C. Remondino.50 In 1891 this physician claimed that the surgery prevented or cured about a hundred ailments, including alcoholism, epilepsy, asthma, enuresis, hernia, gout, rectal prolapse, rheumatism, kidney disease, and so forth. Such ludicrous claims are still disseminated and possibly believed. The book was reprinted in 1974, without change, and the Circulating Branch Catalogue of the New York Public Library (1983) listed the Remondino book, showing a publication date of 1974. One physician, writing in Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality (1974), called the book "pertinent and carefully thought out."63
Remondino was not the only one expounding such views. In 1911, Dr. Joseph Preuss, in a monumental tome, Biblical-Talmudic Medicine, claimed that Jewish ritual circumcision endowed health benefits; his sole source was Remondino46 Some espoused more extreme views; in 1910 an article in J.A.M.A. described a new circumcision clamp. The authoinventor claimed that with this device, the operation was so simple that men and women could now circumcise themselves.30
In the 75-year period (1875 to 1950) there was virtually no opposition to routine circumcision in the United States. Instead there were many articles in medical journal and textbooks extolling the practice; the issue was ignored in the popular press. Yet in the more than a century of acceptance of routine circumcision in the English-speaking countries, from 1870 to the present, no other country adopted newborn circumcision.
The first serious questioning of the practice did not occur until late 1949 (in England with the publication of Gairdner's "The Fate of the Foreskin."17 which began to affect the practice of circumcision by the British. In 1963, an editorial in J.A.M.A. called the attitude of the medical profession paradoxical and confused, and admitted that the facts about circumcision were still unknown.14 This was followed by several critiques of circumcision such as those by Morgan (1965 and 1967)38 and Preston (1970).45 In 1968 Øster confirmed Gairdner's findings,42 as did Reichelderfer and Fraga,49 who presented a comprehensive study of circumcision. Yet some physicians continued to support circumcision for surprising reasons. For example, Dr. Robert P. Boland, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1969, compared circumcision with tonsillectomy, calling both procedures "ritualistic," and "widely performed on a non-scientific basis." He opposed routine tonsillectomy but concluded vis-a-vis circumcision: "Little serious objection can actually be raised against circumcision since its adverse effects seem miniscule."5
Table 1. Estimated Newborn Nonreligious Circumcision Rates in English-Speaking Countries.
Great Britain New Zeland Australia Canada America
1 10 30 30 80
In the 1970's, a change seemed in the offing. In 1971 and 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision declared: "...there are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."2 In 1978, the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics was endorsed by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.64 In 1983 both groups jointly reaffirmed their positions.1 The "firm" firm declarations should have caused a marked drop in the United States circumcision rate. They did not.
To explore the circumcision rate in the United States, it is essential to compare the American experience with the other English-speaking countries. Anticircumcision articles appeared in the medical press in all of these countries. Gairdner17 and Øster42 were published in journals in England; Morgan (1967) was published in Australia.39 In 1971, the Australia Paediatric Association recommended: "Male infants should not as a routine be circumcised."13 In 1975, the Canadian Paediatric Society stated, ". . .there is no medical indication for circumcision in the neonatal period."57
Although there is no precise data on circumcision from any country,approximated rates for the English-speaking countries reveal that in Great Britain, the practice has virtually been abandoned; New Zealand follows closely behind. (In a 1982 visit, a number of physicians were apologetic for the "inordinately high" rate of 10 percent. Several physicians stated categorically that they refused to perform routine circumcisions.) The rates in Canada and Australia appear to be declining at about 10 percentage points per decade. The United States stands alone as the only country in the world in which the majority of newborn males are circumcised, purportedly for health reasons.
Before addressing the phenomenon of circumcision in the United States let us examine the Canadian and Australian data. In Canada (Table 2), there are considerable rate differences among the provinces but the overall rate is clearly declining, and in Quebec the practice has been virtually been discontinued. In Australia (Table 3), unlike Canada, the rates by states are relatively uniform, but clearly declining. In 1978, the Australia government recommended that payments for circumcision be reduced or eliminated.71 (In a visit to Australia in 1982, I was told that a national campaign was planned to reduce unnecessary surgery; circumcision was high on the list.)
Table 2. Hospital Inpatient Male Newborn Circumcision in Canada by Province (data from British Columbia and Newfoundland not reported)* 1970 to 1978 by Rank Order of Percentage change
1970 1979 Change (% rounded)
Total 64,015 44,853 -30
Quebec 12,995 3,077 -76
Nova Scotia 2,477 1,004 -60
New Brunswick 1,543 673 -43
Alberta 10,857 9,608 -12
Manitoba 5,006 4,424 -11
Ontario 24,476 26,283 +4
Saskatchewan 3,276 3,655 +12
Table 3 Estimated Neonatal Circumcision Rate in Australia by State, 1973-74 to 1979-80(%)* Adapted from Wirth, J.L.: Current circumcision practices in Australia. Med. J. Aust., 1:179, 1982.
1973-74 1979-80 % Decrease
Total 49 39 10
New South Wales 52 42 10
Victoria 39 28 11
Queensland 62 51 11
South Australia 47 41 6
Western Australia 51 38 13
Tasmania 68 43 25
Although nationwide data on circumcision for Canada and Australia are admittedly imperfect, precise data for the United States are virtually non-existent. The H.E.W. Hospital Records Study excludes neonates.70 The Cycle III Health Examination Survey, conducted from 1963 to 1965 among youths aged 12 to 17, reflected the practice of circumcision in the early 1950's.70 The total circumcision rate was 765 (whites, 80 percent; blacks, 45 percent); regional differences were also noted.
In 1980 Wallerstein provided a crude compendium of circumcision rates reported in the literature.64 This was updated in 1981 by King and Roebuck.29 Since these compendia, other reports from individual hospitals have been noted in the literature (Table 4).25 Of the five hospitals reporting, the lowest rate was 80.7 percent; the other rates ranged from 90 to 98 percent. These data are static, that is, reported within a fixed period, making it impossible to discern a trend. Several hospitals reported longitudinal changes. One New York City maternity center stated that "in the past" the rate was 90 percent; in 1980 it was 60 percent.35 Other reports are more precise, indicating changes from 1978 to 1980, and 1975 to 1979 (Table 4, last two hospitals).3 The year-to-year changes were negligible; clearly there was no precipitous decline. This stability of rate was confirmed by the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities, which publishes annual data based on projections from atypically large hospitals.72 They show a 1970 rate of 88 percent and a 1980 rate of 86 percent. The mean rates from 1970 to 1975 and from 1976 to 1980 are identical (86 percent).54
Table 4. Circumcision Rates, Selected Hospitals
References: 25, 29, 27, 34, 3, 41 respectively
Hospital Years Rates(%)
New Britain General Hospital, Connecticut 1976-77 80.7
Southern Illinois Hospital 1979 95
John Hopkins Hospital 1980 97.6
St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore 1981 96-98
Hershey. Pennsylvania Hospital 1983 90-96
George Washington University Medical Hospital 1979 79
1979 77
1980 81
Largest Hospital in Salt Lake County, Utah 1975 92
1976 93
1977 92
1978 92
1979 93
In 1982 Slatkowski and King approached the question of circumcision rates specifically with respect to the pronouncements of the American Academy of Pediatrics on the practice of circumcision in Illinois.54 They obtained data from 18 Chicago-area hospitals; the rates ranged from 27 to 92 percent (mean 78 percent). Five of the hospitals reported rates from 80 to 88 percent; five from 90 to 92 percent; the rates ranged from 74 to 97 percent, with a single exception: one hospital reported a rate of 4.5 percent. Upon further query, that hospital reported a circumcision rate decline beginning after 1974-75.
These United States data reveal no significant national decline in the circumcision rate desperate the pronouncements of the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. However there are instances of sharp declines in several hospitals. Dr. Joan Hodgman, director of the Newborn Division of the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center, reported in 1983 that their circumcision rate is zero. Similarly, J.H.T. Chang, pediatric surgeon at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, the largest in the city, stated in 1983 that circumcision is not performed even if the parents demand it.24
Why have most United States physicians persisted in the practice? One reason is that the medical and popular literature abounds in serious errors of scientific judgment, equivocation, and obfuscation. Space limitations permit a brief examination of four issues: pain, venereal disease, cancer, and hygiene.
PAIN
Pain of circumcision is not a debatable question; it is a fact.21 However, a perusal of writings in the popular press (1982 and 1983) reveals confusion. Proctor and Gamble, one of the nations largest advertisers, promotes Pampers to parents by offering the Expectant Parents Information Kit (1982), which contains the following statement: "You may be surprised to learn that circumcision will not be painful to your baby because, at this early stage of development, the penis does not yet have functioning nerve endings."15
A contrary view was found in American Baby (May 1983), in which parents were told that "Newborns who undergo circumcision experience a great deal of stress and pain . . ." Parents were advised that it was now possible to employ local anesthetics to alleviate such pain.36
Mother's Manual (1982) argues against local anesthesia because ". . . it swells the area to the extent of making an unsatisfactory circumcision too likely."7 Genesis, published by the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, carried an article in 1982 in which two writers who attended a Jewish ritual circumcision described the surgery as bloodless, painless and stressless. They suggested that non-Jewish parents explore the possibility of employing ritual circumcisors.11
Parents who read such an array of literature are bound to be bewildered.
VENEREAL DISEASE
Prior to the turn of the century, little was known about venereal disease, either causes or cures. Understandably, the false claim could be made with impunity that circumcision prevented sexually transmitted diseases.64 These claims persisted beyond the middle of the twentieth century: Urologist A. Ravich titled his 1973 book Preventing V.D. and Cancer by Circumcision.18
Within the past decade there has been virtually no statement that circumcision prevents syphilis or gonorrhea; the present day "whipping boy" is genital herpes. Even a cursory exploration of a link between circumcision and herpes reveals that such claims are without foundation; the presence or absence of the foreskin neither aids nor deters the transmission of herpes. A definitive statement regarding this claim was made in 1979 by Y.M. Felman, director of the New York City Bureau of Venereal Disease Control: ". . . I don't believe that circumcision is of any value in preventing genital herpes, as this disease is quite common in circumcised males and their female sex partners."16
Yet in 1981, Warner and Strashin wrote: "Herpes genitalis appears to be the only sexually transmitted disease associated with circumcision status."67 Strashin defended his statement the following year.68 If circumcision prevents herpes or deters its transmission, how can we explain the phenomenal rise in the incidence of this disease to epidemic proportions, particularly among the most sexually active males, ages 15 to 25, of whom perhaps 75 percent are circumcised? Nevertheless, the 1975 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force reported: "Adequate studies to determine the relationship between circumcision and the incidence of venereal disease have not been performed." This statement is obvious outdated.
PENILE CANCER
Few diseases strike greater fear than cancer, and no site is more potentially alarming to males than the penis. It is not surprising, therefore that when newborn circumcision is presented as an absolute prophylaxis against penile carcinoma, it is a potent argument for circumcision. Wolbarst wrote in 1932: ". . . cancer of the penis does not occur in Jews circumcised in infancy. There is no case on record."73 Subsequent research indicate that there are such cases on record.4
The understatement of the incidence of penile cancer in Jews should be contrasted with the overstatement in regard to the uncircumcised people of India and China. In 1973, deKernion and colleagues wrote: ". . . the disease accounts for 12 percent of all malignancies among the Hindus of India."12 In 1977 Kaplan claimed, "In China, penile carcinoma accounts for 18 percent of all carcinomata."28 In a visit to the Peoples Republic of China (1976) and India (1982) the incidence of penile cancer was discussed with health officials. They stated that no nationwide health data was available; more specifically, no National Cancer Registries were maintained (much as they would like to do so). They remarked that no reputable scientist in their country would provide such data. Precise data on penile cancer are available from countries in which a National Cancer Registry is maintained. The United States does not maintain such a Registry, and so its data are imprecise. The data from Japan, Norway, and Sweden are compared with the United States' estimates (Table 5). The largest difference in incidence is between the United States and Sweden, three cases per million males; for death rates, the difference between the United States and Japan is one case per million males, small differences indeed. It is worthy of note that in countries in which a National Cancer Registry is maintained and precise incidence or death rates is known, routine circumcisions continues not to be practiced. There is no acceptance of the claimed epidemiologic relationship between circumcision and penile cancer.
Table 5. Penile Cancer: Comparison of Approximate Incidence and Death Rates per 100,000 Males for Selected Countries*
*Data from Cancer Deaths 1980 Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan for Japan. For other countries; Wallerstein, E.: Circumcision an American Health Fallacy. New York, Springer Publications. 1980.
Country Year Incidence Death Rate
America 1972 0.8/100,000 0.3
Japan 1980 N/A 0.2
Norway 1967 1.1 N/A
Sweden 1968 1 1 N/A
It could be argued that in Japan, Norway, Sweden, high standards of hygiene are maintained. The variable in penile cancer prophylaxis may be hygiene, not retention of foreskin. This is essentially the position taken by the 1975 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force, which denied a relationship between circumcision and prostatic cancer and stated that "non-circumcision is not of primary etiological significance" in cervical cancer.2 In regard to penile cancer, they wrote: "There is evidence that carcinoma of the penis can be prevented by neonatal circumcision. There also is evidence that optimal hygiene confers as much or nearly as much protection" (emphasis added)2 In 1981, 6 years later, Grossman and Posner took a more forthright position. Writing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, they stated: "No one today seriously promotes circumcision as a prophylactic against cancer in any form. No significant correlation between cancer and circumcision has ever been proved."22
The claim that circumcision is related to penile cancer is based upon the "fact" that smegma is a carcinogen. Smegma in infancy consists solely of desquamated epithelial cells, and in adulthood additionally of the secretions of the Tyson's glands. Many attempts have been made to prove a simple cause and effect between smegma and cancer; all failed but one. In 1947 Plaut and Kohn-Speyer "demonstrated" that smegma was a carcinogen. Of the animals examined, 27 percent of those treated with smegma developed cancer whereas 15 percent of the animals treated with cerumen developed cancer.44 Is it now possible to claim that cerumen is also a carcinogen with only one half of the carcinogeneity of smegma? This study is deficient in conceptualization, methodology, execution, gathering of data, and analysis.44 Understandably, the study has largely been ignored; however, as recently as 1981 it was accepted in one medical journal article without question.23
Penile cancer scare techniques are still with us. In 1980, Kochen and McCurdy stated that ". . . uncircumcised men are uniquely at risk . . ." They "demonstrated" that the predicted lifetime risk among uncircumcised men was one in 600.31 They did not address why 599 out of 600 at risk" males will not contract penile cancer in their lifetime. More importantly, Kochen and McCurdy based their calculations on the 1968 Stern and Lachenbruch study of one cancer detection center in Los Angeles.59 Their 1968 data are obviously skewed in age, ethnicity, religion, social class, and so forth, and are admittedly non-random. Such inadequate local data should not be extrapolated to a national statistic.
The threat of penile cancer hangs over the discussion of circumcision like some mystical demon. It deserves to be exorcised, not circumcised.
PENILE HYGIENE
In several studies, mothers were asked why they agreed to their son's circumcision. The answer given most frequently was "hygiene."53 (In a 1981 United Nations study of female genital surgery in Africa, one reason given for such surgery was "hygiene."19 ) Why is male genital hygiene viewed with such alarm in the United States that prophylactic surgical intervention is necessary?
For over a century, and to this day, mothers have been warned that proper penile hygiene involves full retraction of the foreskin to clean the glans of smegma, and this procedure should start almost at day one. Such a task is virtually impossible, because in almost all infants the foreskin is attached firmly to the glans. Separation occurs normally within a few months or several years. Separation may be forced but this literally involves tearing the tissues apart, which is usually painful and may result in bleeding. No sane mother enjoys causing distress to her child. No wonder there is fear and reluctance about retraction of the foreskin. This has created a foreskin phobia. Forced retraction of the foreskin may lead to complications, and may well be the reason for so many postinfancy circumcisions (only in the United States).
The problem with this hygienic technique is that it is totally in error. Care of the foreskin is not exceedingly difficult; it is exceedingly simple: leave it alone. The foreskin in infancy should not be retracted. In 1977 Kaplan wrote, " . . . freeing 'adhesions is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment and is unfounded physiologically or medically."28 Development of the foreskin and the inadvisability of forced retraction was noted by Gairdner (1949),17 Øster (1968),42 Reichelderfer and Fraga (1968),49 and others.
Many, if not most, American physicians are ignorant of proper care of the foreskin. This was demonstrated by Osborn and colleagues in 1981, who queried Utah pediatricians and found that 67 percent estimated that the foreskin should retract easily by one year.40 This is contrary to all findings of studies of the foreskin. Only 3 percent said the newborn foreskin should never be retracted. In interviewing a small sample of mothers of uncircumcised boys, Osborn and colleagues also found that retraction of the foreskin caused such anxiety that 40 percent of these mothers stated that they would have their next male infant circumcised.
The problem is not limited to Utah. In a study of physicians in the Chicago area, Patel and colleagues reported in 1982 that "only 49 percent of the physicians [in the total sample] were aware of the AAP's [American Academy of Pediatrics position."43 Among the pediatricians and obstetricians in the sample, 62 percent were aware of this position. The major reason given for recommending circumcision was "hygiene" (90 percent). In a 1982 study by Stein and colleagues conducted in San Diego, they noted, "Only 36 percent of the responding physicians were aware that the newborn's foreskin is characteristically not found retractable."58 When asked "if a nonretractable foreskin is an indication for circumcision," 47 percent of all respondents answered incorrectly. Such incorrect responses were mare likely to be given by those in family practice (50 percent), obstetrics (55 percent), and general practice (67 percent) than by those in pediatrics (13 percent). At the Spring 1983 meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Philadelphia, an exhibit on circumcision was conducted. The most frequently asked question related to proper care of the foreskin.
If physicians are ill-informed about care of the foreskin, how can parents be well informed? There are thousands of books, pamphlets, and articles available to parents relating to child care. Almost none devotes attention to proper care of the foreskin. Discharging a circumcised child without informing the parents of proper wound care constituted negligence. Discharging an uncircumcised child without informing the parents of proper care of the foreskin is equally negligent. Osborn and colleagues reported that the only written information they could find on the subject was this statement in a 1978 book: " . . .retract the foreskin gently and return the foreskin to its normal position to prevent constriction and swelling."8 To begin to correct this lack of information, in 1982 Wallerstein wrote a pamphlet entitled "When Your Baby Boy is Not Circumcised."66 Boyce also addressed the subject in an article entitled "Care of the Foreskin (1983).6 The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a pamphlet entitled "Care of the Uncircumised Penis" (1984).
The issue of hygiene is obfuscated by the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force Report in two ways. As noted earlier, the Report stated that to prevent penile cancer, "optimum hygiene was necessary. The reader, lay public or physician may ask: What constitutes "optimum hygiene? Can parents guarantee such optimum care? If not, isn't it better to play it safe and circumcise? The Report also cautions that retention of the foreskin requires "lifelong" hygiene. This statement is not incorrect; it is incomplete. All body parts require lifelong hygiene, body bathing, hair shampooing, oral hygiene, labial hygiene, and so forth. The discontinuance of any aspect of hygiene may well have deleterious effects. Why single out the foreskin?
The crux of the circumcision/hygiene rationale had its origin in the fear of the "effects" of masturbation; this may persist in attenuated form. Today, however, it is basically a lack of knowledge: the foreskin and glans in infancy are essentially fused, and should not be retracted forcibly, and smegma is not a carcinogen.
Another claimed hygienic benefit is that thousands of United States servicemen, particularly in the South Pacific required circumcision. Would it not be better to circumcise in infancy and thereby avoid the more troublesome operation in adulthood? However, Japanese soldiers were fighting in the identical environment, and the Japanese did not practice newborn circumcision. When Japanese health officials were visited by Wallerstein (1982), they stated that to the best of their knowledge, Japanese military surgeons did not find it necessary to circumcise after World War II. More to the point, in the event of thermonuclear war, the role of the foreskin will pale to insignificance.
Thus, much of the current circumcision misinformation, both lay and professional, is false and misleading. In 1971 and 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics appeared to take definitive positions; actually they did not. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on the Fetus and Newborn noted in 1971 that "there are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."2 in 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics Ad Hoc Task Force on Circumcision reported that there was no basis for changing this statement and concluded, "There is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn."2
However, as previously noted, the use of the words "optimum" and "lifelong" with regard to to penile hygiene and the stated uncertainty of a possible link between circumcision and venereal disease represented equivocation. An additional equivocation is found in the 1975 Report: "A diagnosis of phimosis cannot be made with assurance in the newborn period because the cleavage plane between the glans and the deep preputial layer of the penis is not developed at birth. There is a real need for research which will improve diagnostic accuracy in this area."2
In 1983, this statement was challenged by Thompson, who chaired the ad hoc Committee. He wrote: "One major reason used to justify neonatal circumcision - correction or prevention of phimosis has been shown to be untenable by serial studies from birth to adulthood."62 Furthermore, overwhelming epidemiologic evidence from countries that never adopted circumcision or abandoned the practice obviates the need for further study.
Thompson also provided the setting for the equivocation and the absence of a more definitive position: "The ad hoc commmittee was sharply divided in its opinions, and the resulting statement was a compromise that stated that there was no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn.' The words absolute and routine were meant to convey a different impression from the conclusion of the AAP Committee on the Fetus and Newborn, but this has no always been the interpretation of readers."62
If the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee was sharply divided and the report subject to misinterpretation, how can physicians and parents take an unequivocal position on circumcision? They cannot. And if the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics is equivocal, the position of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is even more so. When the American Academy of Pediatrics committees reported, the statements were published.56 The endorsements of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were not published in their journal.64 Moreover, in 1978 Grimes raised an unanswered question: " . . . the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc., warns that 'physicians who assume responsibility for the health of male patients for operative or other care will not be regarded as specialists in obstetrics-gynecology . . .'"20 It is well known that obstetricians perform a large percentage of circumcisions.
The acceptance of circumcision was noted by Herrera is 1983, who reported on a nationwide survey of 400 pediatricians and obstetricians; 50 percent believed circumcision indicated in the newborn, 33 percent opposed, and 17 percent were undecided.26 As to advice to parents, there was acquiescence; 15 percent encouraged it, 19 percent discouraged it, and 66 percent remained neutral. "This is one reason why nearly every male neonate is circumcised," Herrera wrote.26
Ambivalence on the part of physicians about circumcision was illustrated in one study by a Canadian hospital in 1983 where there were two patients with a serious complication of circumcision, denuding of the penile shaft that required plastic surgery. A formal proposal to suspend neonatal circumcisions was made but rejected because of anticipated adverse community reaction. However, the circumcision rate in that hospital dropped from about 40 to 20 percent as a result of the mishaps.61
Judging from the record, American medical professionals are not truly opposed to circumcision; they perform about 1.25 million annually. Some continue to insist that there are health benefits. Some physicians place the responsibility on the parents. In 1983 Maisels and colleagues wrote, "If circumcision practices are ever to be changed, such changes will likely result from organized advocacy of lay groups . . . rather than from the efforts of the medical profession."34 However when physicians demonstrated that routine tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy were unwise, the rate dropped. No amount of parental pressure would cause an ethical physician to perform such an operation if it were unnecessary.
Some charge venality, possibly true for some physicians, but not for all, and impossible to document. Some of the highest circumcision rates are to be found in military hospitals, where the doctors are salaried. Contrast this with the abandonment of routine tonsillectomy; some physicians had reduced revenues, but no one clamored for the reinstatement of the procedure to refill the coffers. Venality may not be dismissed entirely; in private practice, circumcision results in a fee, and there is loss of time convincing parents not to have their sons circumcised.
Then there is the Jewish question. Some non-Jewish physicians may be hesitant to question routine "health" circumcision in the mistaken belief that this stance may offend Jews. However, according to Jewish theologians, the Jewish ritual has nothing to do with health.64 Obversely, occasional private comments suggest that Jews are responsible for nonreligious circumcision. This is a canard.
The "enigma" lies in the United States medical profession's apparent inability to come to grips with the simple fact that there are no demonstrable health benefits of circumcision, and there are risks. (Space limitations preclude delineation.) It should also be noted that the foreskin is useful erogenous, and protective tissue. Smegma, both clitoral and penile, is beneficial, not detrimental. Meatitis is not uncommon in circumcised males; rare in the uncircumcised. Moreover, the penis is the only organ subjected to routine prophylactic surgery.
One explanation for holding to outmoded views was provided by a medical professor who told his students, "It takes less than five minutes to print an article in a medical journal and 50 years to erase it." In 1979 Colletti approximated this estimate. He noted that efforts to reverse current circumcision practice "will need at least a generation of widespread education, coaxing, and encouragement to succeed."10 Warner and Strashin are even more pessimistic, based upon an erroneous premise: "As for the likelihood of a successful hygiene education program we can only point to our own profession's impotence in combating smoking and obesity."68 This approach overlooks the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars are expended annually to promote smoking and food intake. No such effort on behalf of circumcision exists.
As scientific evidence mounted to dispute each of Remondino's exaggerated claims, physicians clutched at straws to retain at least one "health" benefit. Now that all such claims have been refuted, circumcision today has become cultural surgery, not very different from ear- and nose-piercing and tattooing. The extreme to which such cultural surgery is carried may be found in the 1983 warning given by the British Social Service Secretary to Harley Street surgeons who charged up to $1500 for a clitoridectomy performed on young girls from Africa, where such surgery is traditional.69 More serious examples were found in France in 1982.52
The medical profession was successful in eliminating routine tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. This is precisely what is needed for routine circumcision. It is necessary to overcome ignorance and the emotional superstructure surrounding the penis, not very different from ancient (and present phallic worship. It is necessary to accept scientific facts; it is necessary to discard myths about circumcision: the foreskin causes premature ejaculation, it keeps the penis from growing, some disaster will befall the uncircumcised child, the uncovered glans is more esthetically pleasing (that is the foreskin is ugly). The special myth that the boy's penis must be identical to his father's ignores the historic truth that no objection was raised, and no problem arose when circumcising millions of boys whose fathers were uncircumcised.
To resolve the problem, the positions of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists should become definitive statements that circumcision is unnecessary surgery, not to be undertaken except in rare medical circumstances. Endorsements of this position should be obtained from all relevant medical groups. This information should be disseminated to the entire medical profession, to all hospitals, nurses and nursing associations, childbirth educators, and most certainly to parents via the popular press. Meetings professional and lay persons should be called on local, state and national levels to discuss circumcision. With such an approach, routine newborn nonreligious circumcision will soon pass from the scene to join blood-letting and cupping in medical history.
As Prucha observed in 1980, "The history of these few millimeters of skin is utterly fascinating."47
submitted by DarthEquus to Intactivism [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 15:03 AmericanNewt8 Begun, the Drone Wars have: Turkey, Libya, Syria, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, and how drones are changing warfare

When you were voting, I studied the drone. When you were having coronavirus, I mastered electronic warfare. While you wasted your days at the firing range in pursuit of vanity, I cultivated force projection. And now that the world is on fire and the barbarians are at the gate you have the audacity to come to me for help.
--Anonymous Redditor, 2016 [translated by AmericanNewt8 into 2020ese]

A new kind of warfare has taken the world by storm this year. While most of us were preoccupied with the election, the coronavirus, and the other exciting events that have taken place over this year when decades happen, a small number of people have kept a close watch on distant battlegrounds in the Middle East; where the face of war has changed since January in ways that few would have predicted--and with it the region as a whole.

1. In the Beginning

But let's go back a ways; to the ancient world of circa 1980. Drones were not a new technology in any sense of the word--but they weren't particularly of interest beyond hobbyists, target drones, and occasional odd military projects like the D-21 reconnaissance drone. However, things were changing with the introduction of digital cameras and increasingly capable processors and transmitters as computers rapidly developed--and so it was only a matter of time before someone took advantage of that. That someone was the Israelis. Israel has a high level of technical expertise, large defense needs, but a relatively small industrial base, so it often pioneers technologies of this sort, and so it did with the Tadiran Mastiff.

This innovation quickly proved to be of significant utility in the First Lebanon War. Besides spotting Yasser Arafat, leader of the PLO, they played a crucial role in the still-infamous "Bekaa Valley turkey shoot" in which Israeli aircraft supported by UAVs destroyed a massive quantity of top-of-the-line Soviet hardware--almost 90 Syrian aircraft and 29 surface-to-air missile batteries at the total loss of minor damage to a pair of F-15s and one UAV shot down. Electronic warfare and AWACs control also proved crucial in this conflict, which in many ways paved the way for the successes of Desert Storm and the 2003 Iraq invasion; and reportedly shattered the self-confidence of the Soviet Union in its air defenses.

Since that first incident; UAVs have become an increasingly prominent part of the arsenal, particularly of the United States; though Israel and China also manufacture numerous UAVs and theirs are more popular in the export market due to lower prices and fewer scruples about "human rights" or "political stability". UAVs have become key reconnaissance assets and popular for precision-strike counter-insurgency missions. However, neither the United States nor China can claim credit for the latest developments--and Israel, at best, has played a peripheral role. The nation that everyone is watching now is Turkey.

2. Turkey

For most of history, Turkey; or at least the geographical area of Anatolia, was a great power of some shape or another. The modern Turkey, however, rejected the idea of empire and foreign adventurism under Ataturk; the father of the Republic. While it has generally tended towards the West--directed in that way both softly by the allure of Europe and drive for modernization; and with great force by the military, which has tended to depose any government that even hinted at reintroducing religious or Middle Eastern aspects back into the aggressively secular Republic, Turkey has not been a particularly major player in the past century. Despite joining NATO for protection against the Soviet Union--which despised Turkey's chokehold on the Bosporous--it never had much appetite for interventionism.

In the era of the "Great Convergence", where nations seem to be returning to historical norms of influence and power, it should be no real surprise then that Turkey has become more assertive. It has grown much wealthier thanks to its association with Europe; and that wealth is actually created by the Turks, not dug up out of the ground like it is in much of the Middle East. It is more educated; more progressive [this of course being a rather relative term] and, importantly, much better at fighting, than most of its neighbors.

Turkey has been working to build a domestic armaments industry with great success--barring a handful of key items like jet engines which hardly anyone can manufacture well, Turkey can do most things. In between indigenous development and picking up knowledge from South Korea, China, Ukraine, and so on, Turkey has one of the world's better arms industries--I'd say it's about reached the level that South Korea was at ten or twenty years ago, which is pretty good. Its drone program, however, started because of a different problem.

The Turks wanted drones back in the early 2000s for what we in the business call "reasons". Evidently the United States saw through this; because, despite allowing Turkey to license-assemble F-16s and build parts for the F-35, it did not sell Turkey drones for fear that they would be used against the Kurds[a perception that proved to be correct as Turkey has indeed used its UAVs against Kurdish insurgents]. As a result, Turkey decided to do it themselves, and started building up their own drone program from scratch. By the beginning of 2020, Turkey had a large drone program and advanced electronic-warfare equipment. But nobody was really paying attention to their drone program; it was a sideshow of limited interest compared to the big players, that would presumably be of some utility but not a game-changer. I mean, their premiere drone literally used an engine made for homebuilt aircraft and was the size and weight of a smart car. Nothing too impressive. That is, until January.

3. Libya

The Libyan conflict is a deeply convoluted one that is difficult to explain. In essence; Libya has been in some sort of civil war since Gaddafi was deposed in 2011, but the most recent division is between the GNA, or Government of National Accord--the UN-recognized government of Libya located in Tripoli--and the "Tobruk Government" which acts as a rubber-stamp body for Gaddafi wannabe General Haftar. Haftar started off this year with things looking pretty good. After breaking the second cease-fire agreement in as many years, flush with cash and support from the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and France, Haftar was on the move, pushing for Tripoli itself. It was going to take a while, but nothing could stop Haftar from defeating the ragtag GNA militias.

Nothing, that is, until Turkey unexpectedly showed up because of a completely different dispute over rights to the seas around Cyprus. Libya [the GNA to be precise] was willing to delineate its boundary with Turkey in a way which cut off Greek and Cypriot claims, and, in return, Turkey arrived after a highly contentious vote in the normally placid Turkish Grand National Assembly, with Syrian mercenaries in tow; but also a large number of drones--mostly the Bayraktar TB2-- and KORAL land-based standoff jammers.

What happened next was a deep humiliation for Russia in particular. Russia and the UAE had supplied General Haftar with a number of its premiere short-range air defense system, the much-vaunted Pantsir which was designed to shoot down UAVs, cruise missiles, and other small munitions. Unfortunately, the Pantsir proved much worse at shooting down Turkish drones than serving as target practice for them. Estimates suggest 23 systems were destroyed [Turkey even captured one system and presumably picked it apart for intelligence] while perhaps ~16 Bayraktar TB2 drones were destroyed--which doesn't sound terrible until one remembers that those drones caused significantly more destruction than the air-defense systems and come in at a third of the price; and becomes even less favorable when one realizes that as the conflict went on the ratio flipped increasingly in favor of the Turks. Ultimately, the Turks achieved their goal, with Haftar being pushed back to Sirte and another cease-fire agreement being signed. This conflict, however, has contributed significantly to the increasing rift between France and Turkey, and their respective relations with Russia.

4. Syria

Russia likes to test its luck--to see what exactly it can get away with. Invading Crimea, shooting down a civilian airliner, attempting to murder exiles with Novichok. Often, it does get away with it. But when nations actually push back, they often find great weakness--for instance, the infamous incident where Americans killed 200 Russian "mercenaries" in Syria after Russia denied they were Russian soldiers, or when American cyberwarriors shut down Russian trolls during the 2018 election. Nowhere is this more illustrated than in Syria, where, early this year, a "Syrian" airstrike killed 29 Turkish soldiers even though Russian involvement was an open secret.

What followed was not the usual vague condemnation and angry letter-writing that one might have expected. Instead, Turkey responded with a substantial escalation of force, again largely done by drones. Ultimately, around 200 Syrian government soldiers were killed in this short offensive--along with 45 tanks, 33 artillery pieces, 33 transport/utility vehicles, 20 armored vehicles, a pair of Su-24 aircraft that attacked a Turkish drone, and several SAM systems, which again proved largely ineffective against Turkish drones. While the conflict stopped before it went any further, the lesson was clear: Turkey was willing to escalate beyond where Russia was willing or able to respond, and there wasn't anything they could do about it.

Besides having a nice moral--extremely hard pushback is the best way to respond to Russian provocation, because they aren't expecting it and can't fight back since they lack effective escalation methods--this conflict proved again that Turkish drones were highly effective even against a state actor [albeit a weak one, like Syria]. The world watched--but nowhere else as closely as Azerbaijan.

5. Artsakh

Artsakh is; or perhaps more aptly was, an Armenian state--not recognized by any other state--within the borders of the former Azerbaijan SSR. It emerged out of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, one of the nastier conflicts resulting from the breakup of the Soviet Union. In short; the Soviet Union put an ethnically Armenian area in the Azerbaijan SSR that was semi-autonomous; called Nagorno-Karabakh, that Armenians viewed as rightfully part of Armenia. When the Soviet Union broke apart--even before it had done so completely--Armenia and Azerbaijan were already engaging in low-level fighting; and in scenes reminiscent of the Partition of 1949, Azeris living in Armenia fled the country--as did their Armenian counterparts in Azerbaijan.

Then, as the Soviet Union properly collapsed, both sides geared up for war. The Soviet Union had left quite a lot of stuff lying around as it collapsed; and Azerbaijan ended up with the bulk of it due to the disposition of Soviet forces. Both sides bought black-market weapons and armaments from conscript soldiers in the confusion of the the collapse. And then they went to war.

The result was a years-long, brutal conflict that killed tens of thousands of people--in two relatively small countries--and, despite Azerbaijan having more equipment, more men, and more foreign support--from Turkey, which never had much love for Armenia and was building ties with the Turkic peoples of Central Asia [of whom the Azeris are one], and from Israel, who saw a potential new partner in a dangerous region. Armenia had some support from Russia, largely due to connections through a shared religion, nervousness about the Turks, and feelings among the Russian elite that were more sympathetic to Armenia.

However, against all odds, the Armenians emerged victorious. In 1994, with the Armenians poised to break out of the mountains and attack the heart of Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan exhausted from years of war, a cease-fire was signed.

From that day onwards; both nations began preparing for the return of conflict. It was only a matter of time. Armenia had not only taken Nagorno-Karabakh, they had taken large portions of ethnically Azeri land as well, including sites that were of paramount cultural and historical importance to the Azeris. They also engaged in ethnic cleansing, and to this day Azerbaijan, at least nominally, has hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conflict.

In the intervening years, however, things changed. In particular; Turkey rose to a newfound regional prominence, and Azerbaijan, though being careful to always maintain a measure of proximity to Russia sufficient to not cause its rulers concern, slowly drifted towards Turkey and Israel. Ties with Turkey stretched to a mutual defense agreement. Ties to Israel included offering potential basing in Azerbaijan, the sale of oil [not many nations would sell Israel oil until recently] along with shadowy intelligence connections--Mossad operations in Iran are believed to be launched out of Azerbaijan [for a number of reasons, Iran and Azerbaijan don't like each other very much]. And Azerbaijan, noted for its oil reserves as far back as the Second World War; collected large revenues which it sunk into military spending. Meanwhile, Armenia, despite making large purchases from Russia, fell behind in military readiness, and in its economy--not helped by the fact that, because of a mix of pro-Azeri Turkish policy and Armenian distrust and even hatred of Turkey [thanks to the fact that Turkey argues over whether even discussing "those unfortunate events of 1915" is okay], the Turkish border remains closed--meaning that trade can only go via Iran or Georgia.

Meanwhile, the peace process dithered on, with occasional small skirmishes breaking out. The regular theme was that Armenia would hand over the Azeri-majority [now unoccupied] territory it captured, and Nagorno-Karabakh would, in return, be recognized, or become autonomous, or something of the sort. The Minsk Group led these efforts; though not particularly well--all three members had significant biases. The Russians were pro-Armenian though not anti-Azeri [mostly, they were in favor of the status quo, which favored them], the French were pro-Armenian [on account of disliking Turkey and having a politically influential Armenian population much like the Cubans in Miami], and the Americans were sufficiently pro-Azeri that they created manuals like this and defending the fictional nation of Atropia [which just happens to be an oil-rich, pro-Western autocracy that is exactly where Azerbaijan is] against foreign invaders became a meme among the US military--you can buy "Atropia Veteran" swag, and it became so transparent that Europeans complained about "defending autocrats" in the exercise and Turkish officials complained that "Limaria" [Armenia] included areas that should have been in "Kemalia" [Turkey].

Ultimately, by 2020, a few things had changed. After victory in clashes in 2016, and purchases of new arms, Azerbaijan was confident that it wouldn't fail due to military incompetence like last time. Armenia had elected a new leader, more distant from Russia [especially since he came to power in a 'color revolution'], complicating any Russian response. Not only that, but Armenia had begun settling in territory that was formerly ethnically Azeri, and had attempted to rewrite history so the land they had taken was somehow always Armenian, making a land swap less tenable--especially after the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was renamed to the Republic of Artsakh. Domestic protests about a lack of action on the issue further spurred action, but perhaps the most decisive factor was Turkey's drone-fueled rampage and Russia's no good, very bad year elsewhere [from the domestic economy to the chaos in Belarus].

So at the end of September 2020, they went to war.

6. Curb-stomp battle

Course of the conflict by Liveuamap

Initially, the war looked like it was serious, but not out of line with previous escalations. Azeri and Armenian forces clashed along the border--but then Azerbaijan made a major incursion along the southern border, which is flat and nearly completely unpopulated, and through the rest of the war pushed through there until they ultimately cut the single road leading to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia when they recaptured Shusha. At that point, Armenia capitulated.

While the exact details of why this happened are of relatively little importance, what does matter is what drones did. Armenian air defenses proved completely defenseless against the onslaught of Azerbaijan, with even larger and heavier systems like Russia's S-300 being destroyed by Turkish-manufactured drones. Even the An-2, a literal Soviet 1940s cropdusting biplane, proved lethal to air defenses when rigged with the right equipment.

As a result, Azerbaijan swept across Armenian forces with drones, targeting anything larger than a bicycle, destroying tanks, artillery pieces, and surface-to-air-missile systems alike. While initially Azerbaijan didn't advance, they pursued a strategy of attrition against Armenian forces--and were quite successful at it. Nowhere was safe for Armenian infantry--even miles behind the front, drones were still a risk. After a few weeks of this, Azerbaijan began their offensive. This was interrupted by several ceasefires, the most successful of which lasted around fifteen minutes.

In the meantime, Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in tactics reminiscent of the War of the Cities. Armenians made rocket attacks on Azeri civilian targets, and even ballistic missile strikes with SCUDs and Tokchas against Ganja, an Azeri metropolis, with later attacks also taking place against Barda and other targets. Virtually all sources agree that Armenia conducted a deliberate policy of targeting civilians in retaliation from the advance of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, meanwhile, adopted what I would characterize as a callous indifference to Armenian civilian lives. We have relatively little documentation on exactly what they did, but it is likely that major war crimes were committed against Armenian prisoners. However, we do know that rockets and cluster munitions were used against civilian areas of Stepanakert. By and large, though, Azerbaijan's government is mindful of global sensitivities and would rather avoid making itself a bigger villain than it has to be.

7. Ending

By the first week of November, despite appearances, it had become clear Armenia was losing. While they still held most of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azeri forces were rapidly closing in on the major road [1 of 2] that connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia proper. Armenian forces were demoralized and lacked heavy equipment. Civilians fled; with most of the population of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, fleeing before the road was cut. Analysts had few doubts that, within another few weeks, before winter arrived, Azerbaijan could take all of Nagorno-Karabakh.

But fortunately, several factors coincided. First, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan realized the situation Armenia was in, and presumably began talking about peace. President [and resident dynastic autocrat] of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev had achieved most of the territorial gains he wanted, but as far as I can tell had little to no interest in making his country notorious for what would surely be the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of people. Russia was interested in making sure that any deal possible happened that could salvage its privileged position in the region. And since Azerbaijan had acheived its major goals, Turkey was alright with suing for peace as well.

The final impetus was provided by the Azeris taking Shusha, the second-largest city in the region [and one of tremendous cultural importance to the Azeri people], and, at around the same time, the Azeris accidentally shooting down a Russian attack helicopter on the border.

The ultimate deal was incredibly favorable to the Azeris, which should be expected given that they could have taken the rest of the region with relative ease. It involved Armenia vacating most of Nagorno-Karabakh and all the ethnically Azeri land they had taken, bar the Lachin Corridor. Of particular importance to Turkey, and to the Azeri economy, was that the deal created a corridor through Armenia to Azerbaijan's western exclave, and hence to Turkey, for transit. While still an indirect route, it is nowhere near as difficult as traveling around through Georgia. Russia also got to pretend like it still mattered by deploying a few thousand peacekeepers for what seems likely to be a limited time.

Azerbaijan celebrated. As far as anyone was concerned, they had won. Turkey also celebrated--they had, in their view, not only supported the Turkic Azeris in a victory against the Armenians, but also won a battle against Russia to see whom was the real dominant power in the Caucasus. Russia didn't celebrate, but felt that it had at least maintained some sort of influence in the region when initially things looked like they might ultimately sideline Russia entirely. Armenia, however, unsurprisingly, was enraged, and rioters smashed government buildings and forced Prime Minister Pashinyan into hiding; however, it looks like the Armenians realize that they really had no chance of winning and aren't going to resume the conflict.

8. What Now?

In a strange twist of fate, there is some speculation that peace is now more likely than it was before the war. In particular, some think that Turkey will be interested in finally coming to terms with the Armenians and opening its border with Armenia--which would significantly reduce Russian influence in the region and promote economic development--and some speculate that Azerbaijan may now be willing to make a lasting peace deal since it has, essentially, all that it wants.

This war chronicles one of this year's themes--the decline of Russia, and rise of Turkey. I would expect to see more conflict between them in the future, and I'd expect to see, in a strange historical irony, Turkey coming out on top. Russia has not had a very good year at all and I think this conflict is really just the latest example of how far it has fallen in its military capabilities and political influence despite what Putin shows off.

Small drones are now the obsession of every military planner, as is trying to figure out a way to shoot them down reliably. Already a number of nations have expressed interest in buying the Turkish drones that had such a decisive impact on these conflicts. It seems likely that this will especially transform lower-end conflicts where foreign powers can now intervene without risking more than a few million dollars in equipment, and where local powers can now field their own drones and precision-guided munitions while being, for the moment, largely unopposed.

Whatever the ultimate impact, though, it is undeniable that this change in warfare has been one of the more important and interesting bits of 2020 thus far, though it's behind some truly massive things. Unlike the coronavirus, or Donald Trump, however, these trends are probably with us to stay for a while. I don't think we've heard the last of the drone-warfare revolution yet.
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2020.11.19 08:35 Chroments What you are looking for is..... (Link in the Desc.)4

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2020.11.18 23:31 Toastsucksatlife copypasta

Story time 📷 📷 sisters 📷 ‍♀ 📷 ‍♀so basically I was in class listening to billie eilish 📷 📷 and my headphones got unplugged 📷 📷 and it played bad guy out loud 📷 📷 so anyway it was playing out loud and all the girls 📷 📷 were completely vibing to it 📷 📷 and they were like slayyyyy 📷 📷 sisterrr☠☠and i was gonna say something back when a boy🤮🤮approached me and said🗣🗣 "uh billie eilish is so cringe why don't you listed to xxtentacion?" 🧐🧐 and i was SHOOK 📷 📷 and completely flipped the F OUT 🤬🤬 i said "you dumb ignorant MALE billie liter ally saved my life 📷 📷 i was cutting myself for my DEPRESSION since daddy didn't get me tickets to coachella 📷 📷 and a pentagram ⛧ formed on the ground and billie rose up from it🧖‍♀🧖‍♀ and she said "put your faith in allah for he is the most merciful 📷 📷 " and then she left and i was so inspired that i read the korean promised to slay every infidel in my path🧕🧕 until shariah law was implemented world wide" he then was like I won't allow a mujahid to spread the gentle message of mohamabamba and then summoned a djinn 🧞‍♂🧞‍♂ in the shape of jahsehs foreskin and he said he was the servant of shaytan 📷 📷 well i wasn't going to let blasphemy 📷 📷 go unpunished and chanted oh allah the most kind and beautiful please banish these heathens back to hell 📷 📷 and suddenly the heavens opened and we loooked and it was billie🤩🤩she said "i am allah and i was disguised as billie to give hope to all 14 year old girls" 📷 📷 but then i felt an evil force rising 📷 📷 it was xxxtentacion 📷 📷 he said "spotlight uh moonlight uh beat woman cos they have no rights uh"🤦‍♀🤦‍♀ and then allah and X fought and of course allah won 📷 📷 and spread World peace 📷 📷 so anyway that's the TEA sisters 📷 📷 stay tuned for my fenti beauty 📷 📷 giveaway 📷 📷 and remember praise allah everyday🤗🤗
Not funny I didn't laugh. Your joke is so bad I would have preferred the joke went over my head and you gave up re-telling me the joke. To be honest this is a horrid attempt at trying to get a laugh out of me. Not a chuckle, not a hehe, not even a subtle burst of air out of my esophagus. Science says before you laugh your brain preps your face muscles but I didn't even feel the slightest twitch. 0/10 this joke is so bad I cannot believe anyone legally allowed you to be creative at all. The amount of brain power you must have put into that joke has the potential to power every house on Earth. Get a personality and learn how to make jokes, read a book. I'm not saying this to be funny I genuinely mean it on how this is just bottom barrel embarrassment at comedy. You've single handedly killed humor and every comedic act on the planet. I'm so disappointed that society has failed as a whole in being able to teach you how to be funny. Honestly if I put in all my power and time to try and make your joke funny it would require Einstein himself to build a device to strap me into so I can be connected to the energy of a billion stars to do it, and even then all that joke would get from people is a subtle scuff. You're lucky I still have the slightest of empathy for you after telling that joke otherwise I would have committed every war crime in the book just to prevent you from attempting any humor ever again. We should put that joke in text books so future generations can be wary of becoming such an absolute comedic failure. Im disappointed, hurt, and outright offended that my precious time has been wasted in my brain understanding that joke. In the time that took I was planning on helping kids who have been orphaned, but because of that you've waisted my time explaining the obscene integrity of your terrible attempt at comedy. Now those kids are suffering without meals and there's nobody to blame but you.
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Your momma is so stupid she wasn't able to take care of herself.
She has been living in the street for months. She refuses to seek help becuase she believes god is on her side and she doesn't need anyone else. Yesterday, she had enter the hospitals cuz she caused a disturbance in the parking lot. She w as shooting and screaming at innocent costuner and the store manger has to call 911 to remove her. She is still at the pysch-ward at Northridge. You can visit her between the hours 6 pm - 8pm. Make sure to bring her flowers. It'll make her feel better
yes the creeper meme very funny indeed. i laugh when i see creeper in my discord server then i say aw man and then someone messes it up! and thats funny awesome sauce epic. the creeper meme is so good because its minecraft!!! minecraft is super duper funny awesome sauce. when i see minecraft related posts in my server i LAUGH because its so gosh diddly darn funny! revenge by captainsparkles is my favorite minecraft parody! not because its nostalgic or because its catchy or because its a parody of dj got us falling in love instead is because ITS FUNNY EPIC MINECRAFT HAHA!!! CREEPER AW MAN! i piss my pants when i see people saying revenge lyrics in chat! rofl lol xd i love this meme!
"oh yeah I sure can't wait to eat a Pringle~ Wait... WHAT THE FUCK!.
NIGGA DID YOU EAT MY PRINGLES
(heavy breathing)
You know what ... Im gonna fucking beat you to death you stupid fucking whore~"
IM NOT JOKING THIS ISN'T A METAPHOR IM GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU FOR EATING MY GODDAMNED PRINGLE.
(punching and crashing noises)
YOU HAD THE DAMN NERVE TO LEAVE THE BOX IN THE PANTRY YOU STUPID BITCH
(Angel noises)
P-pringle man?!
I've heardith someone ate the last Pringle
YEAH HELP ME BEAT THIS WHORE TO DEATH!
(More beating noises)
(Yoda death sound)
بلاه بلاه بلاه عدد الجيران هذا الجار عدد أريد أن معالجة المشكلة الحقيقية هنا. لماذا ديك صغير جدا وكيف يمكنني إصلاحه؟
Gaah! It's rewind time. Yeah, if I controlled rewind I would want... Fortnite and Marques Brownlee. Is this what you wanted? You know who I would have asked for? Quit horsing around! Play me some of that jumping music. Okay, did you say jumping music? Jumpin' music? (Everybody, off!) Not even a thank you? Is that Marques? (I want Liza) Yeeaaah!
Shut the fuck up you stupid fucking bitch. Did you really think I was going to play along with your old annoying ass unfunny joke. God you fucking degenerate filth. You discugst me in every way possible and I will hang you for your crimes.
God I fucking hate you, you stupid fucking whore. I hear your voice and vomit. I acknowledge your exsitance and vomit. Everything you've done and will do in your life will cause nothing but suffering, you stupid fucking bitch. You cannot fathom how much I fucking hate you. If I had a choice to shoot you or Hitler after Hitler shot my whole family and all my friends and ate the last Oreo I would still shoot you.
WARNING! Carry on reading! Or you will die, even if you only looked at the word warning! Once there was a little girl called Jessica, she was ten-years-old and she lived in a mental hospital, because she shat on the Walmart urinal during closing hours, She got so bad she went to kill all the staff in the hospital so the government decided that best idea was to get rid of her so they set up a special room to eat her ass as humane as possible but it went wrong the machine they were using went wrong. And she sat there in agony for hours until she died. Now every week on the day of her death she returns to the person that reads this letter, on a monday night at 12:00a.m. She creeps into your room and chews on your uthera by cutting you and watching you bleed to death. Now send this to ten other people on this one site, and she will kill someone else who doesn't
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- Barack Obama at the studio listening to his hommies music 2012
Yeah, no fucking shit sherlock. People like you literally go and tell little fucking kids to go DIE because they have a picture of an animal as their picture. I hope you feel fucking proud of yourself jack ass.
Sucks that there are super young furries out here that have to deal with this shit lol, this is honestly disgusting. A little kid shouldn't be bullied because of what video game or what tv show they like, or anything of that kind. Looking at all this makes me want to fucking puke, for you to treat "furries" as something so low. You're absolutely fucking gross, you're worse. I believe when you judge someone else you're actually judging yourself, fucking look at yourself, does this make you proud? Does this make you feel better about yourself? All I did was quote something that was kinda funny and I get a bunch of little kids fucking telling me I'm DISGUSTING? HAHAH WHAT A JOKE.
I fucking hate Ronald Mc Donald oh my fucking god he's so annoying I want him to put his head in a hydraulic press because thats how much I fucking hate him his commercials are so fucking gay I cant even deal with that wacky ass clown I literally want to rip his testicles right off of his body with my fucking teeth oh my god
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Shut the hell up bitch, go kill yourself go sit in the middle of the road and let a car run over you. You’re ugly, you are disgusting, I’m going to kill you. You’re an alcoholic.
-Dr Phil
bruh i fucking hate little furries i wanna beat them up for liking a certain thing
Haha yeah I'd never touch hands, thighs or feet with you during the prayer lol 📷 .... unless there's no one in the mosque other than us🙄🙄🙄..... Haha jk I would just pray alone in the corner 📷 and feel lonely.... unless you follow me outside the mosque 📷 ‍♂.... Lmao jk, even if we exchanged numbers it would be just to help each other with reciting Quran 📷 📷 ... unless one night during Ramadan.... I feel very lonely and nobody's answering my texts and then I text you: "I can't forget your smell".... Haha I'M JUST Joking wtf that's a really weird message that would make you block me immediately and tell everyone that I'm gay and tried to hit on you!!!... unless you reply: "I was bending over really hard while praying on purpose, to let you get a whiff of my butt".... ROFL THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN it's gay and homosexuality is a sin in Islam.... unless we find a liberal Sheikh who issues a fatwa that homosexuality isn't a sin and we start dating.... Hahahaha it's so dumb I'm literally laughing so hard rn, like even if we started dating, our relationship would go nowhere since gay marriage is illegal in Islamic countries.... unless we move to the US and start a new life and adopt a child and name him Saddam.... OMG that's so dumb our families would disown us and we'll lose everyone's respect.... unless we don't tell anybody and we build a mosque and become Imams and everyone in our community will love us for being God's men and building a mosque in a western country.... Lol what a stupid idea hahaha like how are we even going to live together afterwards, everyone will suspect that we're gay... unless we buy houses that are next to each other and build an underground tunnel that connects them.... LOOOOL I'm such a goofball, like that's not a good environment for raising our son Saddam!!!.... unless that's the point of having a son named Saddam, he will have a damaged childhood that will lead to him becoming a merciless dictator just like Hitler...... Lol no I would never
You know what fucking annoys the shit out of me? People who do shit like this. People who negate others suffering with their own, the people who think they got it bad. We all got it bad! We all suffer and feel bad. Everyone’s got problems but you know what the difference between most people and people like the person who made the original picture?
Most people don’t try to compete or downplay other people’s sufferings. Mental illness and hell, even emotions are like fucking storms. Yeah, you may have suffered so much because of various factors, but you don’t know how the other person feels about their own problems. Something trivial to you could be stressful or even depressing for another, and it’s downplaying others like this that causes issues to deepen and become bigger problems than they were initially.
Instead of trying to win the problem Olympics how about you put your issues aside and actually try to connect to another person and understand their perspective. That way you’ll gain someone who can listen to you as well. Of course, that’s probably impossible for a socially inept asshole like you.
Also fuck furries I guess.
⬛⬛⬛⬛
⬛ 📷 📷 ⬛
⬛ 📷 📷 ⬛
⬛ 📷 📷 ⬛ ⛏
⬛⬛⬛⬛ 📷
18 happy friends at a slumber party, Big fat fluffy pillows wanting to be hugged, 18 friends wanting to love!
Happy friends at a slumber party on their feet wanting to pillow fight, Slumber parties are all right! Happy friends with their pillows super soft Happy friends are about to have a dance off! Big happy friendly friends.
Sleeping at the slumber party telling scary stories in their bed Like a book wanting to be read! Hugging each other it's getting real deep Friends even kissing on the cheeks Slumber parties are all right Friends LOVE pillow fights.
18 happy friends at a slumber party, Big fat fluffy pillows wanting to be hugged, 18 friends wanting to love!
Happy friends at a slumber party on their feet wanting to pillow fight, Slumber parties are all right! Happy friends with their pillows super soft Happy friends are about to have a dance off! Big happy friendly friends.
Dicks awe so cute omg(⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)⁄ when chu howd one in youw paw and it stawts twitching its wike its nyuzzwing chu(/ω\) ow when dey pewk up and wook at chu wike" owo nya? :3c" hehe ~ penyis-kun is happy to see me!!(^ワ^) and teh most adowabwe thing evew is when spewm-sama comes out but theywe wwwy shy so u have to wowk hawd!!(๑•̀ㅁ•́๑)✧ but when penyis-kun and spewm-sama meet and theywe bwushing and aww wike "uwaaa~!" (ノ´ヮ´)ノ: ・゚hehehe~penyis-kun is so adowabwe (●´д`●)・
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
behi azadini w galal bugha faya qawmi hubu lidarbil kumah
fa ima hayatun tasurul hudah wa ima ma'matun yughighul uda
wa ima ma'matun yughighul uda
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
faqum yaw'faya lidarbin naja lilamdi saweeya nasudul ghuza
wa narfa umajida wa nu'leh jiba abat antadila be ghairil ilah
abat antadila le ghairil ilah
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
il al haqi haya da'ana lewa
li sahil manaya be harbi aydah
faman ma ta'minna fi dan an himah
bi janati khuldin sayaghdu azah
bi janati khuldin sayaghdu azah
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
saleelul sawarim nasheedul ubah
wa darbul qitaly tariqul haya
fa baynaq tihamin yubidu tugha
wa kateem musawtim jamilun sadah
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📷📷Outlaw Obama📷Read more 0 Reply 08/28/19📷Darquesse
Obama octahedron
0 Reply 08/28/19📷SamsterAuthor
Please fuckin make this pinnable
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Bigmantyrone

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2020.11.12 00:03 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.31]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
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Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Ironwing, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, DaPorkchop, Benjamin Durbin, Siddabear, and everyone supporting me on patreon.
-----
“Feels different, doesn’t it?” Winters asked, standing just beyond Veera’s old farm and looking out at the site his pod used to occupy. The lush grasses of Mara’s plains had already reclaimed the impact site after a year of growth, obscuring the entirety of the disturbed ground save for the small, square area where the pod itself had rested. Nearby, nature had also begun its work of reclaiming Veera’s farm. The polymer irrigation system they had built for her was still in fine shape, but here and there stones were missing in the rock wall, having fallen into the tilled soil or rolled down the nearby hill towards the river. All manner of assorted grasses and weeds grew there instead of dato, making good use of the otherwise pristine plot of land left unattended.
‘No need to be so modest, sir. It looks different,’ Io agreed. The AI was resting casually in one corner of his HUD, taking a break before they left for the morning hunt. The early light of sunrise was just peaking over the horizon to the west, and so she donned a simple button down shirt over her underwear while she ‘enjoyed’ some coffee. He glanced at her, then lingered.
“Trying to give me a case of jump bone before we get started?” he chuckled. Instead of coming back with a witty retort as was so often her forte, she stared into her cup.
‘Sorry. I’m glad you like this form though.’
Russell breathed deeply and reached his hand for his neck, finding his armor and quiver of arrows instead. He had his knife, canteen, and pistol at his waist, but had left the rest of his gear back in the village. “You wanna talk about it? Shy isn’t really your thing, especially when you’re half naked.”
‘My reputation precedes me it would seem. I wouldn’t know where to start,’ Io admitted, taking another sip as he sat on one of the western facing walls to watch the sun come up on a cool, slightly overcast day. ‘Yesterday changed everything.’
“Alright, well answer me this then. How long did it take you to start after we got on board the Event Horizon? Did you wait until I was off the shuttle at least?” Russell asked with a cheeky smile.
‘Du barbar! I waited until it became clear we could trust Natori to at least not cave to the whims of the Ghaelen emissary aboard his ship. But yes, construction began shortly thereafter,’ Io admitted.
Russell slipped his knife from its sheath and began playing with the point. “And he’s been helping you on this project since then?”
‘Russell, I told you this wasn’t a matter of trust,’ Io pleaded. ‘Please, don’t say it like that.’
The Jumper felt a small pit open up somewhere near the base of his stomach. He tapped his foot against the sod beneath them. “Yeah, I guess that’s what I sounded like, didn’t I? Sorry, Io. I think I understand. Let’s just say I would never want Veera to see some of my baby pictures, any of them really. Hey, that goes for you too!” he insisted as Io’s eyes lit up.
‘But surely you were super cute!’ the AI wagered. He groaned.
“Yeah sure, if you consider human babies to be cute. I wouldn’t know; I was a fat little poop machine.”
‘I suppose we should all be thankful that your father and mother didn’t see it the same way?’ Io proposed. He nodded.
“That’s the AI I know and love. I think… I’ll enjoy having little fluff balls instead,” he admitted. “Does that make me a bad person?”
Io tossed her coffee over her shoulder as she threw her hands up in frustration before summoning it right back, steaming softly and inviting her to take another sip. ‘You and your emotionally laden single sentences,’ she groused. ‘But it is an opportunity to talk about you instead of myself, so I will take it eagerly. I do not think it makes you a bad person, sir, though I must warn you there will still be ample excrement. Your sister was similarly enamored with Cauthan infants, to say nothing of the well documented human tendency to protect small and soft critters. As for your own cubs, I would find it quite odd if you preferred the idea of human to Cauthan infants since you now have two to claim as your own. They say everything changes when they’re yours. I assume this is true.’
“I guess I do have a choice, but I don’t feel like I do. The only course of action is to accept it,” Winters insisted. “Probably naive, but I don’t think Veera slept with another Cauthan. It’s just difficult to speak about with her around, you know?”
‘She does have more claws than you do, more talons as well,’ Io agreed before looking sincerely at him. ‘When those cubs are born they will be some combination of black and gold, I’m sure of it, sir. However, you have my word that should you need to vent or express darker emotions about the situation, I am an open ear and a closed mouth. It must be difficult to balance your misgivings with your desire to support her.’
“Darker emotions, huh?” Winters repeated, watching as a wave of wind carried across the fields that stretched out before him. He wondered where Veera’s tribe was, whether they were already moving south for the winter. “Not sure I’ve even decided on them yet, even if it weren’t for yesterday. Feel like filling me in now?”
Io sighed and took another sip. ‘I guess I can’t stall forever, can I?’
“You can, I’m not sure I’d appreciate it though,” Russell replied evenly.
‘Yes yes, I get it. I don’t really know what there is to say though, sir. I have desired such a thing for a long time,’ she admitted quietly. He nodded.
“I know. Remember that hunt of ours way back when, saying I wanted to hold you and everything?” Russell felt himself flush slightly inside his armor. “I think it felt more poignant in the moment, maybe because I never thought it would be possible. Right now it’s a tad awkward to be honest, thinking you actually look like that.”
‘My dear Jumper you wound me,’ Io told him. ‘But if it is uncomfortable-’
“It’s not, Io. Yesterday was just… I don’t know. We’ve talked about it gods know how many times but then suddenly there you were, right in front of me, me and Veera. I could touch you, hold you. Do I sound like an idiot? I sound to me like I sound like an idiot.”
Io smiled gently, feeling his heartbeat subtly accelerate within the Aegis. ‘I understand how much I’m asking from you when I ask for the truth, Russell. You have a wife. You will have children. But you and I have both professed to love one another, and now that some aspect of that can be physical I’m asking you again. And then I’ll tell you whatever you want to know about my body.’
Russell looked at her for a long while, at her milky legs curled under her in that chair and the loose fitting shirt over her body. It was easy to focus on her eyes though. “After what we’ve been though? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love you, but don’t count on someone like me to understand what that implies.”
‘You forget that I have this,’ she reminded him, setting down her morning beverage and summoning forth the neural map of his reaction to Veera’s confession of love. ‘I know it’s true. I just wanted to hear it again. I understand yesterday was not the time or place, however.’
“Well now you have, Io. So what was under the Aegis then?” Russell wondered. She shook her head.
‘An unfinished mess, sir. And to think I once had hopes of a fully human body. You asked about the Admiral? His primary contribution has been to ground me and my expectations, sir.’
“How real are we talking here? Like artificial womb levels of real?” Russell demanded, cursing himself internally for being stuck on that particular function of the female body. He felt little choice in the matter for the time being. Io glanced away from him.
‘The thought did cross my mind, though I did not need outside input to quickly determine that such fancies are a pipedream for the time being. Eventually, even things like a working digestive system fell by the wayside in favor of a body that is outwardly human with simplistic innards.’
“Well mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned,” Russell said approvingly, recalling the warmth of her cheek and the way she’d blushed and cried as they’d touched for the first time. “I honestly couldn’t tell the difference.”
‘I am so glad to hear that, sir. However, the fact remains that even when it’s completed I estimate that body will need to be serviced every couple weeks or so to remain at an acceptable level of humanity, let’s say, as opposed to functionality. I have said this before, I am sure, but the human body becomes more and more incredible the more faithfully one attempts to replicate it. The amount of technology I would have to invent just to digest food and turn it into both energy and suitable biomass at an efficiency even close to natural is staggering. I think it’s safe to say that even now, current HEL battery technology is not nearly as efficient as the cellular engine of humanity. It’s on the list, but substantially below hugging you and Veera.’
“And where does it rank relative to showing off your legs like that?” Winters followed up with a cocked brow.
‘Ah… below that as well,’ she admitted, extending one of them for his inspection. ‘In my defense I have very nice legs, and it’s significantly simpler to make them smooth, shiny, and well defined than to try to miniaturize a nano-forge!’
“I’m sure it is simpler. And I never said I was complaining either,” Russell clarified. “So what’s the plan then, beyond yesterday’s spontaneity?”
‘Well, per Antoth’s request I have every intention of having a fully functioning body by the time the harvest festival rolls around. I had hopes for various semi-biological systems to be integrated by that point, but after spending some time in the Aegis I think power concerns will be my primary focus. I have been given access to all available information on the power core recovered from the Forge, and Natori has requested that I collaborate with his researchers, when I am not hunting with you, of course.’
“That sounds… dangerous,” he replied uneasily. She nodded in agreement.
‘And what I wouldn’t give to touch you now, and to ask that you place the same faith in me that you placed in me to live at all, sir.’
Russell threw his head back and laughed, perhaps a bit too emotively but he felt some relief in its wake. “I’m never going to win another argument in my life between you and her, am I? Io? Hey, don’t go quiet on me now.”
‘My apologies, Russell. It’s just when you say those things, treat me the same as the woman you took as your wife, I… well I’m not sure if I misunderstand or simply hope for too much. But at a minimum, I take it to mean you’ll trust me if I need that sort of power?’
Russell rested an elbow on his knee, propping up his chin like a Rodin sculpture. “Sure, let’s contemplate a complete revolution of humanity’s technological playing field. That actually sounds less dangerous than… you and Veera? Oh boy.”
‘You know that even if I succeed, that invention might not make it anywhere, sir. We still don’t know what the HEL will do with me when we return,’ Io pointed out, allowing him to remain focused on technology for the time being. She did not know exactly what it was like to have a stomach, even with her new body, but the conflicting subroutines were more than enough to set her heart beating quickly even as she avoided the other subject. A part of her had yearned for him ever since her handful of teenage days, and yet the idea of being directly compared to his wife struck her with dread far beyond even Natori seeing her half constructed or taking a look at her code.
“Yeah but let’s be honest, I’m not sure Natori is the kind of person to keep something like that under wraps even if he does hide you out of concern or some sense of duty. I can never get a bead on that guy. I suppose at this point all I can say is that if you do decide to try and stick a nuclear reactor into that body somewhere, be careful?”
‘Oh yes, what would I do without my dear operator? Why I was just considering using radium to make my eyes glow and get just a bit more green out of them!’ Io remarked sarcastically before bobbing her head and addressing him with more sincerity. ‘Of course I will be careful, sir.’
Russell nodded and looked to the western skies as the sound they’d been awaiting finally reached them. “I guess we’ll have to table the rest of this discussion for another time, Io. Looks like our hunting partner has arrived.”
‘Try not to sound like you want to kill them when you say hello, or that you were unpleasantly surprised when Natori approved this idea?’ she advised with a smirk.
“Is it that bad?” he asked, standing from the stone wall and stretching his hands above his head before grabbing his bow.
‘Oh I can assure you it is, sir. And while I certainly understand your perspective, perhaps it is time to be the bigger man, so to speak? I am aware of just how… robust that one Private is but my point still stands.’
“Alright alright, point taken,” Winters agreed as he walked over to where the shuttle was touching down nearby. As though jinxed by Io’s previous statement it was none other than Rex who hopped out before smacking the side of the aircraft to signal Natalya that she could be off.
“Private… Rex,” Winters said, returning the Private's salute quickly because it was a preferable alternative to punching him straight in the helmet. He made a mental note to ask Io to look up the man’s last name sometime when they were all bored.
“Lieutenant Winters.”
“I had hoped to get going a bit earlier, Private,” Winters began, causing Io to roll her eyes and change into her hunting gear, muttering about men and animals.
“Sorry sir,” Rex said with zero concern. “I would have left earlier but those doors in that Forge of yours just really needed someone standing in front of them for several hours at a time.”
“Did you try headbutting one?” the lieutenant wondered sarcastically, prompting Rex to bark with laughter.
“Yes sir. Even gave it a whack with my hammer, here. Didn’t seem to work very well.”
“So you figured a little jaunt in the forest with me was preferable to standing around waiting for someone to science their way past one of those bulkheads?”
“Yes sir.”
“Have you ever been hunting before?” Winters wondered, turning for the bridge and assuming Rex would follow after. He certainly had no intention of babysitting.
“No sir,” the Private replied. That gave Winters a momentary pause.
“Your father never took you?” he wondered, looking over his shoulder when Rex didn’t reply. “I asked you a question, Private.”
“What father, sir?” the burly Jumper growled back. Winters glanced at Io, who shrugged.
‘Don’t look at me, I let it go when you put him in the hospital. Given his size I think it will be necessary to share our little program, unless of course you wish to take a stroll through the forests all day and come back empty handed on account of his lumbering bulk.’
“Sure, fine by me,” Russell agreed before addressing Rex again. “Apologies, Private. Didn’t mean to bring up unpleasant memories. While under other circumstances I wouldn’t mind wandering around Mara for a day I have a pregnant wife and wild dog to feed, so consider yourself under orders to learn and utilize the program that was just pushed to your Aegis.”
‘And before you wonder how he managed to do so, it was me,’ Io added, taking a curious look around. ‘Hmm, looks like the Mark 3 didn’t upgrade much in the way of digital infrastructure.’
“Hey wait a second, aren’t you the digital chick that was screwing with the Admiral a while back? I thought you had a body now. What gives? And how did you get in here?” Rex demanded, only to feel the joints of his armor lock and his HUD flash an angry red.
‘I may not be in possession of any sort of official rank but you will address me with respect, Private. I am no ‘chick’, and what I do or do not do with my body is none of your business you meatbag! Now review the program before I decide to lock your armor somewhere in the forest so my operator and I can hunt in peace!’
In a remarkable display of prudence, Rex did not make any sort of smart aleck reply as Io huffed her way back onto Winters’ HUD. “What happened to letting it go?” he inquired with a chuckle.
‘I am not a chick!’ she insisted with crossed arms, showing him a rather cute pout. ‘I am the greatest marvel of human scientific achievement to date!’
“And you have great legs,” Winters reminded her with a coy smile.
‘Only for you!’ she yelped before throwing her hands over her mouth and blushing to the tips of her ears. To Winters’ credit, all he did was raise both of his eyebrows to the point he could feel the resistance of his helmet pushing back on the wrinkling of his forehead. ‘This was a mistake.’
“Let’s just go hunting, yeah? Speaking of which, when were you going to tell me about Rex? Feels freaking awkward now, like I’m trying to play daddy.”
‘For both of our sakes, never say that again,’ Io requested. ‘As for the Private, I know that both you and Natori would be much more disappointed in me if I went digging for personal information on people we didn’t have a good reason to go snooping for.’
As they entered the forest proper, exchanging scattered morning sun for the cool shade of the trees above, Winters nodded sagely. “Yeah, that’s a good point Io. Well here goes nothing, I guess. Everything working on your HUD, Private?”
“Isn’t this cheating?” Rex asked incredulously. “I thought the point of hunting was, you know, the hunt?”
“We don’t know each other well enough for you to drop the customs and courtesies, Private Rex,” Russell replied easily, taking a moment to string his bow as Rex huffed inside his armor and restated his question, reminding himself that it was better than sitting around inside that old alien tomb.
“Isn’t this cheating, sir?” he tried again.
“Yes, Private. It’s cheating,” Winters replied with no hesitation. “I told you already, the only thing I care about is feeding people. Watch your step.”
True to Winters’ warning, Rex’s visor began flashing red to warn him of a nearby branch that, if stepped upon, would alert nearby wildlife. He stepped around it, wondering just how much to press a certain issue. “So you mentioned… that Cauthan woman. She’s pregnant?”
“My wife, you mean? Yes, she is,” Winters confirmed icily, walking onward and waiting for Io’s program to pick up the trail of a chesko or hyrven. Either would do. It was a while before Rex spoke again.
“And you’re going to raise them, the kids I mean?” he wondered. The Omega Jumper stopped walking and stood straight, not bothering to look back at him.
“I’m going to raise my cubs, yes,” he affirmed, as though challenging Rex to drop any number of criticisms. There were plenty to go around in military life, especially when surprise pregnancies were the topic of conversation. Io felt the need to interject at that point.
‘I could attempt to explain if you wish?’ she offered. Russell shook his head firmly.
“Doesn’t matter, Io. It’s not worth it. And of all the people I don’t feel the need to explain myself to, he’s top of the list,” Russell explained before adjusting his radio to speak to Rex again. “Let’s move on, Private.”
To their collective surprise, Rex seemed rather amenable to the suggestion. “Yes sir. Didn’t mean to imply anything. Any chance we can hunt one of those bears?”
“An ursae?” Winters questioned, glancing at Io with no small amount of dread in his eyes. “If you manage to find one out there maybe the Admiral will let you go after it, but count me out. Once is enough.”
-----
Contrary to the expectations of both men, the morning proceeded without incident. Rex, despite his bulk, was still a Jumper and managed to avoid doing anything that would prevent Russell from making a kill. The chesko was brought down shortly before midday, and the two men took a pause to partake of ration bars, dried meat, and water while the carcass was drained of blood. Winters himself was no veteran huntsman, but experience had proven the greatest of all teachers.
"Not going to lie, Private, I could have used you on my first outing."
"Why's that, sir? Enjoyed having someone walking behind you all morning?" Rex wondered sarcastically. Per Io's recommendation, he allowed the comment to slide and instead explained how on his first hunt he'd not field dressed his kill. Rex chuckled in spite of himself when Winters explained how he'd been hunted in turn by a starving hyrven.
"So there I was with two dead animals and not much daylight, definitely an experience," Winters recalled, screwing the cap back onto his canteen before drawing a hunting knife he'd had made back in the village and carving into the chesko.
"That sounds more like my kind of hunt," Rex said. "Let the beast come to me and snap its neck? Easy."
"Most hunts are pretty easy when you've got an Aegis," Winters pointed out. "But you may get your chance. Most of the hunters don't bother field dressing kills. Getting back to the village before a hyrven pack gets to you is more important. I got lucky it was just the one. Still would have been in the shit without my armor. Keep a lookout, would you?"
"Yes sir," Rex groused, finding himself employed in the same task he'd left back at the Forge.
"I could teach you how to gut a chesko if you prefer," Winters offered with a shrug.
"No offense, Lieutenant, but we're not good enough friends to be doing that father son shit."
"Didn't think we were friends at all," Russell replied as Io rolled her eyes.
"You talk a lot less than Lipper, which is a positive far as I'm concerned."
"Thought you two were dating."
"Even I can make exceptions. He's not my type though," Rex declared, leaving Winters silent for a moment. "Jesus Christ, Lieutenant, neither are you if that's what you're worried about."
"Duly noted, Private. You want to take that call?" Winters asked as the two men received a hail from the bridge of the Event Horizon. Rex nodded once and accepted.
"Admiral? There haven't been any accidents if that's what you're wondering," he said into his radio. Natori nodded with a thin smile.
"You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that you and Lieutenant Winters managed to go several hours without trying to kill one another, Private Rex. I hope I'm not intruding on boys time, but there is a situation the two of you should be made aware of."
"Patching the Lt in now, sir. Is it one of those bears?" Rex asked almost eagerly.
"Ursae," Russell corrected.
"Yeah, whatever, those things."
"It is not, gentlemen. It is a rescue mission," Natori informed them with a suitable level of gravity. "Let's just say i heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend."
As Russell continued to remove certain bones and guts from his chesko, he and Rex listened to Admiral Kaczynski's description of a little game of telephone that had begun around the watering hole back at the village. Sentaura had been chatting with a friend, the wife of one of Ratha's more experienced hunters. He'd been expected back that morning, but had yet to return. Lachlan either overheard the conversation or was told directly by Sentaura. He then filled Alice in, who made the decision to get in touch with Natori.
"And so you want us to find him?" Rex guessed. "Not sure if you can tell, sir, but this forest is pretty damn big."
"I am well aware of that, Private," Natori assured him. "I have asked my watchstanders to assist us in this endeavor."
"Ratha's going to be pissed," Russell opined. Rex scoffed.
"That the one who wanted Lipper's head?"
"Yes."
"She'd be upset?"
"Yes."
"The fuck… sir?"
"You get used to it. Not saying we shouldn't, just don't expect a thank you," Winters warned. "Do you have anything, Admiral?"
"Not yet, Lieutenant. I was hoping to pick your brain on the subject," the Admiral replied, regularly glancing away from them to review some reading or another on his holoscreen.
"I don't think I'm any better equipped to locate a dead body than you, Admiral," Russell said as Io looked downcast, taking some time to review what data was available thanks to the Event Horizons sensors, the vast majority of which were trained on the forest north and west of the village.
"Of that I have no doubt, Lieutenant. For now, however, I would prefer to operate under the assumption that our missing alien is alive. You would know best what steps someone in his position might take."
Russell looked at Io, hoping she might have something insightful to add. "I wish I did, sir. If he was attacked or wounded but somehow survived, he'd probably be doing his best to avoid the hyrven. It's already been a day. I’m not sure how long he could last. For what it’s worth I’ve never really had to learn how to survive out here against normal fare. Aegis is pretty handy for that."
“I suppose it would be,” Natori acknowledged with a nod, stroking his chin. “Very well, I will have my crew monitor the few groups of these animals that we’ve picked out, as well as scanning for individual lifeforms. A difficult task, but perhaps not impossible.”
“I’ll go,” Rex volunteered suddenly, gesturing to the day’s kill. “The Lieutenant hauled a lot more than that back when he needed to.”
“Not really your call, Private,” Winters reminded him, wrapping the choicest parts of the animal in its skin to carry back to the village. Natori’s news had put a sense of urgency behind his actions, and he found the task proceeding faster than he was accustomed to. “But it’s not like I called you out here to be a pack mule either. I’m sure Lance Corporal Mendes has that more than covered. I don’t need him, Admiral. If he wants to, that’s up to you. I can scout around as soon as I get this back to the settlement. I’m always down for an opportunity to annoy Ratha.”
“Sir?” Rex demanded again. The Jumper was growing visibly agitated, pacing back and forth over loosely packed dirt and undergrowth. Winters and Io both nodded to Natori.
“By all means, Private Rex,” the Admiral agreed, prompting the Jumper to take off and a brisk run without so much as a thank you. The dark-skinned commander of the Event Horizon shook his head apologetically. “You’ll have to forgive the Private, Lieutenant. He enjoys being active and has a… rather complicated past. Both the Lance Corporal and I thought it would be best to have him join you instead of Private Orlova or Private Lipper.”
Winters waved off the apology, shouldering his kill and planting his feet as he hefted it into a comfortable position and pushed himself upright. “Not a problem, sir. I’d never say it to his face but he was a fine enough companion today. As for his background, he’s a foster kid, right? Probably got abused once or twice?”
Natori’s stone-faced silence told Russell all he needed to know about the accuracy of his prediction. Io’s hands made their way to her hips as the Admiral glanced at her instead. ‘Don’t look at me, Natori. That was all the Lieutenant.’
“I am simply surprised that Private Rex chose to confide in you is all,” Kaczynski replied, sounding very much like a father discussing his own wayward son. Russell shook his head.
“Sorry to burst your bubble, sir, but he did no such thing. He just wears his emotions on his sleeve and reminds me of a few people from my past. There was only one public high school in my district. We took everyone.”
“I see,” Natori replied shortly before glancing away from their conversations. “Yes Patel, what is it? Understood. Lieutenant, Io, I must be going. While such things are out of my control I hope that today will not color your opinions of Private Rex too strongly.”
“Even if it’s a good thing?” Russell asked pointedly as he set off for home. “We’ll radio when I’m ready to head back out, sir. I hope you find him.”
The Admiral blinked slowly before smiling and acknowledging the message. “Very well, Lieutenant. Please proceed at all possible haste. Kaczynski out.”
-----
When Russell returned to the village a most pleasant sight awaited him. He waved to the Cauthan guard atop the gates, grinning as her black and gold plumage began waving when she recognized him. Scampering down the ladder to the gatehouse, she was there to meet him when the gates opened. He allowed her to remove his helmet and give him a long kiss.
“Our family will eat well tonight,” she said quietly, a thrum of excitement coursing through her at the implications. He nodded in agreement, though his happiness at meeting her there seemed short lived. “What is it, Russell?”
“Walk with me? Just to the temple and back,” he offered, not wanting her to think he was dismissing her or suggesting that she abandon her post. With a quick signal to her compatriots, Veera followed and Russell explained the situation out in the forest.
“Another one? This year has been very difficult,” Veera lamented before she and her husband began negotiations with one of the butchers. Most hunters who survived Valta’s trials over the years remained with the guild, processing kills, smoking and curing meats, crafting tools, and otherwise performing the necessary but less flashy functions to keep the group operational. Given that Winters had become something of a regular customer, they were in and out in a few minutes, with promises of fresh steak for dinner, bacon and cured strips for breakfast, and ample jerky and smoked meat for the weeks to come. Back at the gates they were met by none other than Fenrir, who seemed more excited than usual to see his master. The reason was apparent the moment Winters took a knee to greet him, with the hyrven sidestepping his outstretched hands in favor of licking his armor clean. Russell could only tisk and look up at his wife, who was similarly laughing at their ‘dog’.
“Can you believe him?”
“I can,” she replied. “You should take him with you. You never know if he’ll be of help.”
“Does Ratha know?” Russell wondered. Veera’s crest laid flat against her head.
“If there’s one Cauthan who doesn’t need to be told when something happens to one of the hunters, it’s her. I’m sure she realized the moment he didn’t return last night.”
“And Antoth would be furious if she went out looking, to say nothing of Valta.”
“Good thing you serve Valta’s father,” Veera agreed, helping him to his feet and hugging him tightly. “I know you’ll be fine, but please be careful all the same.”
“When did I ever say I serve Kel?” he wondered quietly. She nipped his ear as the sun beat down on both of them, burning brightly through the cloud cover as early afternoon arrived in the village.
“Enough with that! Promise me.”
“You know I’ll be careful and that I’ll come back,” he replied. “I came back from the ursae. This will be nothing.” To his surprise, Veera smashed her fist against his armored chest.
“Don’t tempt the gods with your pride, Russell! My parents are gone. I’m going to have cubs. I cannot lose their father too. Take this with you, please. And I’m sorry for being like this,” she finished, reaching into her satchel and removing one of her old, carved wooden idols, the shield of Uthos. Io began sobbing in his ear.
‘Repent for your hubris, you monster!’ she wailed hysterically. He felt, with justification, she was only half joking. He couldn’t help but wonder if the stereotype of female behavior while pregnant had much more to do with the anticipation of being a mother than any particular batch of hormones.
“Don’t be sorry,” Russell told Veera, taking the idol gently from her and holding it in his hand for a moment, gazing at the whittling marks on the wooden surface. He stashed it safely in his pack before returning his attention to her. “I’m just going to refill my canteen and then head out. Not sure I’ll be back by dinner, but if it’s going to be a very late night I’ll let Alice know. She’ll find you. We already have one of the others out there looking for him.”
“We won’t turn down help when it’s given, even if I still don’t like them very much,” Veera replied. “Go then, darling. If I get hungry I’ll eat without you.”
“Alright. Fenrir, let’s go buddy. You don’t get to skip out on both hunts today. Don’t look at me like that!” Russell ordered as his pet proceeded to lay down in the street, his tongue hanging out. He rolled his eyes at Veera. “I swear he doesn’t even know he’s a hyrven. Alright, you want to be that way? Come on then.”
Veera waved goodbye as Russell grabbed Fenrir by the collar and literally dragged the hyrven out of the village, nevertheless rewarding the beast with a bit of dried meat when they reached the trees before disappearing back into the forests. Atop the wall, Veera pulled her summer cloak’s leather hood over her feathers to shelter herself from the sun. She rummaged around her pack until she found and retrieved her idol of Valta, a Cauthan-like goddess reimagined as the apex predator of Mara. “I know you and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on things, but please see him safely home,” she prayed. Out in the forest, Io made contact with the Event Horizon.
‘Admiral, we have departed the village and are ready to assist with the operation. Where should we begin?’ she requested. Natori replied shortly thereafter.
“I’m sending you the data now,” he said as a map of the surrounding forests was pushed to Russell’s armor. The crew on the bridge were busy filling it in with topographical information as well as marking the presence of chesko, hyrven, and other points of interest. There were several markers that indicated possible locations where the missing hunter might be located, and Russell set off at a trot for the nearest one with Fenrir loping alongside him, no doubt wondering what the special occasion was. In the relative coolness of the forest shade, he was suddenly more alert and active. Kaczynski continued. “If you could please investigate these areas? As you can see, Private Rex is already handling some of the further flung regions. I would send the rest of the team to join you, but they are investigating the Forge’s control room at this time.”
‘Mein Gott, they’re what?’ Io demanded.
“Please don’t worry, Io. They’ve reviewed all relevant footage, including your reports on the robotic Cauthan.”
“It’ll be alright,” Winters agreed. “Let them handle this one, Io. I’m sure if they come across anything important they’ll need you there in due time. We have our own mission right now.”
‘Yes sir,’ the AI agreed. ‘I have my own tasks as well, after all. Admiral, we will make contact again as soon as we arrive at the nearest site.’
“Very good you two. Godspeed,” Natori wished as he was hailed by one of his watchstanders.
“Sir, one of the hyrven packs seems to be exhibiting standard documented hunting behavior. Private Rex is closest to their location.”
Natori shook his head and touched his forehead as he took a look at the distances involved. “Send him immediately. Endurance running is not exactly his strong suit.”
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2020.11.11 15:53 Telnet_to_the_Mind The Great Nutrition Post for Echelon'ers!

Go Echelon Diet

Introduction to diet

Diet is probably the most important single factor in your health, body composition and overall appearance.
Food determines how big you are. If you consume more calories than you expend, you will get bigger. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, you will get smaller. If you meet your maintenance needs, you will stay the same. Regardless of your metabolism, body composition, genetics, or whatever, your body must obey the laws of physics and biological imperatives. Now, your calorie needs can change over time. But in the end, it really is calories in and calories out. Everything else is just fiddling around the edges of this basic fact.
You can't get big if you don't eat big. That goes for muscle, fat, whatever. You can lift huge weights 10,000 times a day, and if you don't eat more calories than you expend, you won't gain a milligram of mass. Conversely, if you burn 10,000 calories a day and eat 11,000 calories a day, you will gain weight. Exercise and food selection plays a big role in what that extra weight becomes (fat or muscle), but the weight comes from food.
With that out of the way, what should you eat?

General dietary advice

Before going into the nitty-gritty of calorie counting and so forth, you can improve your health a great deal by changing the staples of your diet and your patterns of eating. This sounds like a big deal, but is actually pretty simple and relatively painless. I'm not going to tell you to eat tree bark and fungus, for instance. That kind of extremist dieting is for morons.
First, the obvious stuff: fast food and soda. Cut it out.
Fast food is almost always extremely unhealthy, high in saturated fat and trans fat, very calorie-dense, and should thus be avoided by everyone. The occasional burger is harmless in the grand scheme of things, but if fast food is a staple of your diet, cut it out.
Soda is the other thing that should be massively reduced by almost everyone. Soda is extremely calorie-dense, has no nutritional value, and for various reasons, you shouldn't be dumping massive amounts of simple sugars into your system. There is debate over if diet soda is neutral or still bad for you; my suggestion is to limit it, too. There are a lot of unsubstantiated negative myths about diet soda, and although it's still healthier than regular soda, it may keep you in a habit of preferring overly sweet food. It's still probably best not to drink diet soda. Drink water instead, with the occasional coffee or tea for variety. After a few months of this, your soda cravings will slowly dissipate.
For those with a sweet tooth, all kinds of sweets are calorie monsters. But the worst of the worst may be ice cream, especially premium ice creams - a pint might give you a few days worth of saturated fat and half the calories you should be taking in. You don't need to never eat something sweet again - that's ludicrous. Just eat it rarely and in smaller amounts.
Finally, be aware that many "frappuchino" coffee beverages are made almost entirely of dairy fat and syrup, and can have absurd amounts of calories. Brewed tea and coffee are almost calorie-free, and a packet of sugar only adds about 20 calories, but some of these blended "coffee" drinks have on the order of 400 calories.
Focus your meals on traditionally cooked food. Try to consume the least amount of processed junk you can and try to only eat whole, naturally occuring foods. Eating these will keep you more full than the processed stuff and for less calories. There is a bunch of discussion about certain pieces of food being bad, and others good. As a rule of thumb, if it was part of a traditional diet, if you could make it by hand, it is good (eggs, butter, olive oil, oatmeal, fruit, …), if not, it's not (margarine, soda, pizza, gummi bears …).
Many people make the first steps towards weight loss just by cutting out soda and dropping the Big Mac content of their diet. Aside from being made of unhealthy ingredients, fast food and soda are so awful because they make it easy to ingest immense calories without being especially aware that you're doing it. I'm not telling you that you need to abandon everything you like forever. You just can't have obviously unhealthy foods be a main component of your diet. Having a reasonably-sized portion of something "unhealthy" that you really like 1-2 times a week is not a problem if the rest of your diet is in order. But for too many people, unhealthy foods are their diet.

Macronutrients and more

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all known as macronutrients. All are necessary, and none are evil per se. To summarize:
Carbohydrates ("carbs"). 4 calories per gram. Despite what you may have heard, these are not evil. They are a necessary source of energy for your body. The problem is that people over-consume certain sources of carbohydrates, most notably simple sugars from soda and candy, and starches from white bread. However, if you have to cut down on one macronutrient, cut down on carbohydrates. People in Western cultures consume far too many carbohydrates on average.
Proteins. 4 calories per gram. Protein is formed by a linked chain of amino acids, which are necessary for your body to maintain and repair damage to its muscles. Most people get enough protein, though an intense exercise program may call for eating more for optimal results. Protein helps you lose fat[1][2], build muscle, fills you up so you're less hungry[1][2][3], supports lean body mass (muscle) over flabby and unhealthy body mass (fat)[1][2], helps you recover better from all kinds of exercise, decreases soreness, and helps to keep off weight loss (combating the yoyo effect).
There are a number of myths floating around about protein, so let me try to clear some of them up. First of all, no, it isn't bad for you or your kidneys[1][2][3][4]. You want around one gram per pound of bodyweight worth of protein (e.g. if you weigh 150lbs, eat 150g protein. If you get a little less, it won't matter, but 1g/lb of bodyweight is a good rule of thumb)[1] [2] [3] [4][5]. You want your protein to come from high quality sources[1] [2], like the ones listed in the "specific kinds of foods you should eat" section.
If you cannot manage to take enough protein into your diet via natural sources, protein powder may be the key. Optimum Nutrition is my recommended brand (don't get too crazy with the flavors, my favorite after ten years of experimentation is the standard Double Rich Chocolate). If you're looking for a cheaper option, I've also had good results with MyProtein, a UK-based brand. There are a number of different protein powder options available with a myriad of prices: Hydrolized whey, one of the more expensive options, goes through a denaturing process, giving it a sweeter taste and helping the powder dissolve more easily in water or milk. Whey isolate has additional branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) in it, eliminating the need to buy a separate, more expensive, BCAA supplement. If you're on a budget, though, the cheapest option generally does the trick.
Fats. 9 calories per gram. Fats are not evil, either. Eating dietary fat does not mean that body fat will instantly appear on your gut or ass; your body doesn't work that way. Fats perform a variety of necessary functions. The problem is that people over-consume saturated fats and trans fats, which raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol, and under-consume healthy fats like monounsaturated fats (found in high concentrations in olive oil and canola oil) and Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, flax seed oil and other sources). Fats also have more calories ounce-for-ounce than carbohydrates and proteins, making very high fat foods very calorie-dense, which is where the bad reputation often stems from.
Other notable nutrients:
Alcohol. Alcohol itself has calories (7 per gram), and some alcoholic drinks are very calorie-dense due to their sugar content. If there's anything like a useless source of calories, alcohol is it. Alcohol consumption has been consistently shown to result in sustained, significant decreases in testosterone and growth hormone levels. In addition, it also directly inhibits how the body processes proteins. If you're trying to build muscle, it is best to cut down on alcohol consumption. Some is fine, but an excess isn't. You can even get away with getting smashed every so often if you follow the protocol described here.
Cholesterol: I'm including this here as a subset of fats, though technically it isn't a macronutrient. Cholesterol in food does not directly translate in into high blood cholesterol for most people. For those with high cholesterol, specifically high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, focus on cutting saturated and trans fats, which contribute to cholesterol production in the liver.
Dietary fiber: This is a subset of carbohydrates, though people don't usually think of fiber that way. Dietary fiber has many health benefits, and almost everyone should eat more of it. Fiber is most easily obtained from vegetable sources, which is another good reason to eat more greens.
Water: Drink more water. Water regulates virtually every bodily process in some way. Drinking more water is a simple, virtually cost-free thing you can do to improve your overall health. Drinking water replaces lost fluids from the body during perspiration, urination and other bodily functions. Mental and physical tiredness is a short term side-effect of dehydration with long term dehydration leading to the risk of kidney stones. Finally, drinking plenty of water is essential to getting the most out of your workouts in a safe manner, and it gives us the ability to absorb nutrients from food and transport them throughout the body. The recommended amount differs from person to person (If you've heard anything about 8 glasses a day, it's bunk), but there's virtually no danger in drinking more, as you'd have to drink a pretty improbable amount to do actual damage.
Many diets have ideal percentages/”macronutrient ratios” as a large component of their philosophy. Your body doesn't care about ratios, it cares how much protein you are getting irrespective of total calories. A lot of talk is made about carbs vs fats. First of all, the topic is less important than most think, secondly, it largely varies from person to person. Get your protein and vegetables, and then see how many carbs and fats (and maybe even more protein) you want to add to get the rest of your calories from. Experiment a bit, see what works best.
Finally, fad diets: keto, zone, no fat, no protein, that-weird-thing-your-mom-does. Many of these are centered around carb vs fat balance, others are about a specific piece of food. As you should know, there is no evidence that any of these are better than others. If you believe in these diets, go do them, just remember that in the end, it’s about persistence, patience, protein and calories. If your diet of choice gets these 4 right, it will work. If not, it wont.

Vitamins & minerals

Micronutrients are nutrients your body needs in small quantities, like vitamins and minerals. In general, most people do not need to heavily supplement these, provided that their diet is optimal. However, few people have an optimal diet, and there is scientific evidence that, in some cases, supplementation can provide concrete health benefits. Just remember to always put diet, training and rest before supplementation. This goes for spending money as well: cash is better spent on gym and food before buying supplements.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is a reasonable baseline for most vitamins and minerals, but keep in mind that it is a minimum value for preventing nutrient deficiency, not the optimal amount for the best possible health or performance, and does not take into account the most up-to-date research. As a result, taking a multivitamin supplement that gives you a flat 100% RDA dose is not necessarily the best way to go, but it is a reasonable and conservative way to cover any deficiencies in your diet.
Keep in mind that men will want a multivitamin without iron, while women will want one with iron. In fact, 11% of women between the ages of 20 to 49 have an iron deficiency.
Since writing this guide, several people have asked me about sodium. Sodium is generally something that most don't need to be concerned about. Your body needs a small amount of sodium to function. However, an excess of sodium can cause major heart problems down the line if your kidney can't filter it fast enough. Though the US dietary guideline of no more than 2300mg a day of sodium is dogma, realistically, most people are fine with anywhere from 2000 to 5000mg per day (see this study31376-X/fulltext) for more information).
One supplement that is extremely beneficial and backed up by a ton of scientific evidence is Omega-3 fatty acids, most commonly supplemented through fish oil. If there is one supplement that everyone should take, this is it. Don't focus on total mg of fish oil; instead, take enough fish oil to get a total of approximately 720mg of EPA and 480mg of DHA a day. If you're in North America, the Kirkland Signature brand is going to give you the best bang for your buck.
Another is Vitamin D[1][2][3][4][5]. Vitamin D is created by the body naturally when it is exposed to sunlight, so if you don't live in an area with a lot of sun, chances are you’re deficient in it. Supplementing with Vitamin D strengthens bones, prevents cancer, and raises testosterone levels, and most Vitamin D supplements are fairly cheap, as well. There is, again, some scare about Vitamin D being poisonous in higher dosages, but it's actually quite hard to poison yourself on Vitamin D as you would need to take more than 10000 IU/day[1][2][3]. Make sure you buy it in Vitamin D3 form (cholecalciferol). I recommend the NOW Foods 5000 IU version, which will cover you with one capsule a day.
Lastly, creatine is a safe and effective supplement which will help a bit with strength[1][2][3]. Get it in monohydrate form only - it is just as effective (or more) as the other forms, and a lot cheaper[1][2]. Take 5g (1 teaspoon) every day at any time. No need to load or cycle[1][2][3][4].
But what if you want to go beyond that and try to get closer to "optimum" nutrition through supplements? Going deep into this subject is beyond the scope of this guide, but there are a few basic things you should keep in mind:

  1. The tolerable upper level (UL) is a reasonable place to start when trying to determine the maximum amount of a vitamin you should take. That doesn't mean that you should take the UL value of every vitamin, just that if you stay below the UL, you aren't in risky territory in terms of overdose. Note that the UL is often much higher than the daily recommended value. Consult the Council for Responsible Nutrition's Vitamin and Mineral Recommendations for a list of daily values and tolerable upper levels for a number of vitamins and minerals.
  2. Put some thought into what you're taking, and why you're taking it. Look for scientific studies supporting the value of taking more than the RDA of a given vitamin or mineral. And don't just fixate on one study; look for a consensus among credible sources. Examine is a great site that compiles a number of scientific studies around different fitness topics.
  3. Remember, they're called supplements for a reason. Researching and buying supplements is not something for beginners to concentrate on. Focus on getting your diet in order first. You’ll most likely gain more out of working out a bit harder and eating a bit better than by even thinking about a certain supplement.
Keep in mind that I'm not saying you need to do any of this to be healthy or get into shape, though Vitamin D and an Omega-3 supplement are highly recommended. Other supplements are worth looking into, but are not essential by any stretch of the imagination. If you are interested in doing more in-depth research about supplements, I highly recommend Examine.com's Supplement-Goals Reference Guide, one of the only unbiased, complete sources of information about supplements in existence (yes, it costs money, and yes, you can help support this guide by buying it with my reference link, but it's certainly not a necessity if you're just starting out).
Finally, if you see a supplement being promoted that you're not sure about, use the Snake Oil chart for reference. It charts popular supplements by the amount of scientific evidence backing them. The stuff you should be taking is at the very top.

Specific kinds of foods you should eat

Note that the list below does not account for condiments and toppings; it just lists good food items. For instance, turkey breast is very good for you. Turkey breast covered in heavy cream sauce or deep fried in lard is not. Use your brain here.
Your dietary staples should include:

Notes for vegetarians

Not eating meat or animal products does not guarantee that you are eating a good diet. Aside from omitting animal products, the same basic advice applies to you as to everyone else: eat a variety of foods, eat whole grains, limit your saturated fat and trans fat intake and stick to healthy oils. However, vegetarians have some other issues to consider:
Vitamin B12. This is a nutrient that vegetarian diets can be deficient in, because it is a bacterial product that is not very prevalent in vegetable matter. You will probably want to take a supplement containing B12 or soy milk fortified in B12. Lack of B12 can cause a form of anemia.
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA. These are essential fatty acids that you have to make a point to get into your diet. Soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil are good sources of other essential fatty acids, but not DHA. Your best bet is probably to take a vegetarian Omega-3 supplement that specifically includes DHA as a primary ingredient. Non-vegetarians normally get a passable (though sub-optimal) amount of essential fatty acids from eggs, fish and shellfish.
Calcium. It can be more difficult to obtain enough calcium if you do not consume dairy products. Leafy green vegetables (not lame iceberg lettuce, I mean the dark green stuff), soy, almonds, oats, most beans and sesame seeds can be good alternate sources of calcium. You may want to consider a supplement containing calcium. Non-vegetarians usually get enough calcium; it is just from dairy sources high in saturated fat.
Iron. Iron is available in many plant products like whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables. However, iron is often not as easily absorbed from these sources as it is from sources like red meat. The good news is that adequate consumption of vitamin C, which vegetarians can easily get plenty of, greatly aids in the absorption of iron. Non-vegetarians usually get enough iron from meat, but it is usually from meats high in saturated fat.
A good mix of foods and a vegetarian multivitamin can essentially negate most of the presumed negatives of even the strictest vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism doesn't relegate you to being a scrawny noodle; there are even vegan bodybuilders. You have some additional things to consider nutritionally, but you will also tend to avoid pitfalls of non-vegetarian diets, most notably dangerously high saturated fat consumption. Note that almost all supplements are now available in vegetarian versions.
As far as gaining muscle, vegetarians will need to look harder to find protein. Dairy, protein powder, eggs, and tofu can help with this. Vegans have it the hardest of all: pea, hemp, lentil and soy protein are all available, although studies have shown these forms of protein to be biologically inferior to milk proteins.
More information on vegetarian diet needs can be found at the Vegetarian Resource Group.

Healthier cooking methods

The methods below are generally healthy ways of cooking because they add little or no unhealthy fats.

The best advice I can give is to learn how to cook so you can control your diet better. It is actually very easy to do, and is guaranteed to impress potential mates. Any number of beginner-oriented cook books can get you started. It is hard to not improve your diet just by cooking your own food; restaurant food is generally not much better than fast food, and they give you way too much of it.

Counting calories

Diet really boils down to eating the right amount of calories and getting the correct protein intake. As far as the other macronutrients, eat more of them if you want to gain muscle and eat less of them if you want to lose fat [1][2][3][4][5]. No, you can’t do both at the same time - at least not unless you’re a total beginner (for a short while), using steroids, or willing to wait a decade to see significant changes. The body just does not do that. If you want to stay lean while gaining muscle, you need to do two things: eat a lot of protein and exercise.
To gain muscle, go for [16-18*(current bodyweight in pounds)] calories per day, every day. For example, if you're 150lbs you want to aim for [16-18*150], so 2400-2700 calories per day. You want to gain about 4lbs per month, any more and you're just getting extra fat, any less and you're not building muscle fast enough; so adjust calories accordingly, upwards to ensure growth, or downwards to prevent excessive fat gains. Yes, you may gain some fat along the way; that’s the way things are. Yes, you will probably have to eat way more than you are comfortable with. The people that say "I eat a lot and I'm still skinny!" aren't eating enough or aren't correctly counting their calories.
To lose fat, go for [10-12*(current bodyweight in pounds)] calories per day. For example, if you're 200lbs, aim for 2000-2400 Cals/day. Make sure to keep protein high to spare lean body mass, and reduce your carbs and fats. Yes, you're going to lose some muscle; that's the way things are. Yes, you will still need to lift weights 3x per week.
To maintain your current bodyweight, aim for [14-15*(current bodyweight in pounds)] calories per day [1][2][3].
The best tool I've found to calculate these numbers is the Fat Loss Calculator from Scooby's Workshop. Fill in your data there, and then look at the "Daily calories to maintain weight (TDEE)" box. Use that number to set your goal. If you'd like to lose one pound (~3500 calories) per week, subtract 500 calories from that number. If I need to eat 3000 calories a day to maintain my weight, I will lose one pound a week eating 2500 calories a day. Conversely, I will gain one pound a week eating 3500 calories a day.
Many people use a calorie calculator to assist with counting their calories. Some good ones are Fitday, Cronometer and The Daily Plate. A very useful website that allows you to get the nutrition information of individual foods is WolframAlpha (i.e. if you wanted to find the nutritional content of 1 cup of cottage cheese, just type "1 cup cottage cheese" and it will generate your results).
This link provides an explanation of food nutrition labels for those in North America.
Almost everyone over-estimates the calories they burn. Your early workouts feel really hard, but you probably aren't actually exerting yourself that much; your body is just over-reacting to your sudden desire to not be a lazy slug. Also, if you don't time yourself, 10 minutes can easily feel like 30 for your first few workouts. Use a watch to time your workouts, or if you have a smartphone, there are a variety of applications available. I've heard good things about RunKeeper.
Almost everyone under-estimates the calories they eat. This is because the actual servings people eat do not correspond to the generic serving sizes on nutrition labels or calorie counting sites. For instance, you might eat an 8oz steak, but the standard serving size is typically something like 3 oz. This goes for almost everything, so try to get a handle on the real quantities you are consuming.
If you follow the numbers exactly, there's no way to fail. That's the beauty of thermodynamics.

How often/when should I eat?

It doesn't matter. Although many will claim that you can speed up your metabolism by eating more meals a day, a review of pertinent studies reveals that this is not true. Common sense dictates that three meals a day should be fine. If you are trying to force yourself to eat more so you can gain weight (e.g. for bodybuilding), you will probably need to eat more big meals per day just to get enough calories into your body. As long as you get your necessary calories in by the end of the day, you're okay. It all comes down to personal preference. Experiment and see what works best for you.
The same applies to meals late at night. Sure, if you eat a big plate of pasta, you may have problems falling asleep, but that's about it. The idea that eating after a certain time will cause the body to store such calories as fat is a myth.
Pre- and post-workout nutrition is a hot topic in the fitness community, mostly from people trying to make a living out of selling post workout supplements. Guess what? They’re biased. Keep it simple: have some protein and carbs 1-3 hours before, and some protein and carbs 0-1.5 hours after. You can follow this protocol if you need exact numbers. It doesn't need to be immediate. In fact, you don't even need protein post-workout assuming you're not lifting in a fasted state[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. If you can’t stomach anything around workouts, get a whey shake and some carb source like banana. Even while cutting carbs to lose fat, you want to eat protein and carbs around workouts; eating some before will allow you to train harder, and you want to eat some afterwards because working out induces both protein synthesis as well as breakdown, and to inhibit this, some carbs and a good serving of protein are needed.

Starvation is bad, OK?

Weight loss is largely a matter of reducing calories and increasing activity. So if 500 fewer calories a day than you need to maintain is good, 2000 less is better, right? Not really. Because below a certain threshold, your body thinks you are one of those starving refugees on TV, and does a bunch of things that hurt your long-term weight loss.
Read that again: starving is a bad way to lose weight.
Why this is so:

You want to run a clear-cut, but tolerable calorie deficit to sustain weight loss over the long term. Very obese people may be put on very low calorie diets by their doctor, but these are medically supervised and designed for people who need to lose weight now or suffer severe health problems. Be safe and stick to 500 fewer calories a day than you burn, which is the equivalent of one pound lost per week.
More info on bad dieting:

Female nutrition

Women's nutrition is about 99% the same as men's. Some exceptions to note:

submitted by Telnet_to_the_Mind to go_echelon [link] [comments]


2020.11.10 13:24 thanksgiving24 2019 年全国普通高等学校招生统一考试 上海一考 英语试卷

2019 年全国普通高等学校招生统一考试

上海一考 英语试卷

考生注意:
  1. 考试时间 120 分钟,试卷满分 150 分。
  2. 本考试设试卷和答题纸两部分。试卷分为第 I 卷(第 1-12 页)和第 II 卷(第 13 页), 全卷共 13 页。所有答题必须涂(选择题)或写(非选择题)在答题纸上,做在试卷上一律不得分。
  3. 答题前,务必在答题纸上填写准考证号和姓名,并将核对后的条形码贴在指定位置上, 在答题纸反面清楚地填写姓名。

第 I 卷 (共 100 分)

I. Listening Section A

Directions: In Section A, you will hear ten short conversations between two speakers. At the end of each conversation, a question will be asked about what was said. The conversations and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a conversation and the question about it, read the four possible answers on your paper, and decide which one is the best answer to the question you have heard.
  1. A. In a church. B. In the man’s home. C. In a restaurant. D. In a furniture store.
  2. A. She was excited. B. She was very nervous.
C. She was very confident. D. There was something wrong with her heart.
  1. A. She is full. B. She doesn’t like that snack bar.
C. She is ill. D. She is going to see the doctor.
  1. A.150 pounds. B.110 pounds. C.50 pounds. D.100 pounds.
  2. A. He couldn’t spell the words. B. He did well in spelling.
C. He reckoned that it was hard to say. D. He didn’t do well in contest.
  1. A. Concerned. B. Satisfied. C. Relaxed. D. Depressed.
  2. A. They are talking about a fitness coach.
B. They are discussing about the former firm.
C. They are talking about their former colleague.
D. They are talking about their friends’ school.
  1. A. Young people weren’t satisfied with the lecture.
B. The lecture was very successful.
C. Drinking water was banned in the lecture.
D. The lecture made people feel thirsty.
  1. A. The boss. B. Tom. C. The woman. D. The man.
  2. A. He already has one calculator.
B. He doesn’t like the solar-powered calculator.
C. He is good at calculating.
D. He would like to have a different present.

Section B

Directions: In Section B, you will hear two passages and one longer conversation. After each passage or conversation, you will be asked several questions. The passages and the conversation will be read twice, but the questions will be spoken only once . When you hear a question, read the four possible answers on your paper and decide which one is the best answer to the question you have heard.

Question 11 through 13 are based on the following passage.

  1. A.1938. B.1939. C.1942. D.1948.
  2. A. Because most Australians couldn’t afford it.
B. Because the war broke out.
C. Because the flying boats were out of dated.
D. Because land-based aircraft had developed rapidly.
  1. A. The price of flying boats. B. The development of Rose Bay.
C. The surprising history of flying boats. D. The advancement of flying boats.

Question 14 through 16 are based on the following passage.

  1. A. They have various skills. B. They are well organized.
C. They can solve difficult problems. D. They have creative ideas.
  1. A. Disorderliness might result in creativity.
B. Creativity might lead to messiness.
C. Smarter people believe that cleanliness is not important.
D. Messiness helps cultivate creativity.
  1. A. The qualities of intelligent people.
B. The misunderstanding of creativity.
C. The relationship between creativity and messiness.
D. The components of creativity.

Question 17 through 20 are based on the following conversation.

  1. A.A new research into the human brain.
B. The advantages of men and women.
C. The different connections in brain in men and women.
D. The study on two sides of the brain.
  1. A. In men’s brains, there are stronger connections in two sides of the brain.
B. In men’s brains, there are stronger connections in each half of the brain.
C. The connections in men’s brain are not so strong as those in women’s brain.
D. There is nothing different between male and female brain.
  1. A. Multitask. B. Map reading. C. Cycling. D. Performing a single task.
  2. A. The different-connection theory is not convincing.
B. He holds a neutral attitude to the research findings.
C. The connections inside the brain will not change immediately.
D. He disagrees with the new findings and thinks the connection inside the brain is complex and changeable.

II. Grammar & Vocabulary Section A

Directions: After reading the passage below, fill in the blanks to make the passage coherent and
grammatically correct. For the blanks with a given word, fill in each blank with the proper form of the given word; for the other blanks, use one word that best fits each blank.

Start With the End and Work Backwards

When Jason Hoelscher was an undergraduate of fine art studies, there weren’t any professional development classes. So ambition and the timely realization (21) he would have to determine “what’s next” on his own urged Jason to engage his future self to find direction. It was 1996,and he was finishing his BFA(Bachelor of Fine Art) in Denver. He was faced with the choice of sitting back to wait for something (22) (happen),or pursuing a path into the unknown. He chose the latter.
Jason set up a plan that in five years he (23) (show) his work in the top gallery in that area of the country. This five-year goal gave him a starting point (24) which to work backwards.
By setting the goal, all of Jason’s efforts (25) (point) in the same direction. He showed up at different art show openings, and researched as best he could to make (26) familiar with the market environment.
As a result of showing up, Jason took opportunities (27) got him closer to his goal. He sent work to a student show and was accepted by Robin Rule, the owner of Rule Gallery.(28) (inspire),Jason spent the next month making new work.
In April of 1997,Jason went back to Rule Gallery with his new work.(29) scared
to death, he looked confident at the gallery meeting. When he left, he left as the newest addition to the Rule Gallery roster (花名册),He had his first exhibition there one year later.
Jason could have stopped with the show selection, but what he really wanted was gallery representation. He struck while the iron was hot, and in (30) (do) so, shortened his five-year plan into a year-and-a-half.

Section B

Directions: Fill in each blank with a proper word chosen from the box. Each word can be used
only once. Note that there is one word more than you need.
A. repetitive

B. continually

C. alerts

D. pattern
E. locate

F. mental

G. challenge

H. network
I. evolving

J. reversely

K. literacy

Bill Drayton believes we’re in the middle of a necessary but painful historical transition. For millenniums most people’s lives had a certain 31 .You went to school to learn a trade or a skill-baking, farming or accounting. Then you could go into the workforce and make a good living repeating the same skill over the course of your career.
But these days machines can do pretty much anything that’s 32 .The new world requires a different sort of person. Drayton calls this new sort of personal changemaker.
Changemakers are people who can see the patterns around them, identify the problems in any situation, figure out ways to solve the problems in any situation, figure out ways to solve the problem, organize fluid teams, lead collective action and then 33 adapt as situations change.
For example, Ashoka fellow Andrés Gallardo is a Mexican who lived in a high crime neighborhood. He created an app, called Haus, that allows people to 34 with their neighbors. The app has a panic button that 35 everybody in the neighborhood when a crime is happening. It allows neighbors to organize, chat, share crime statistics and work together.
To form and lead this community of communities, Gallardo had to possess what Drayton calls “cognitive empathy-based living for the good of all.” Cognitive empathy is the ability to perceive how people are feeling in 36 circumstances. “For the good of all” is the capacity to build teams.
It doesn’t matter if you are working in the cafeteria or the inspection line of a plant, companies will now only hire people who can 37 problems and organize responses.
Millions of people already live with the mind-set. But a lot of people still inhabit the world of following rules and repetitive skills. They hear society telling them: “We don’t need you. We don’t need your kids, either.” Of course, those people go into reactionary mode and strike back.
The central 38 of our time, Drayton says, is to make everyone a changemaker. In an earlier era, he says, society realized it needed universal 39 .Today,schools have to develop the curriculums and assessments to make the changemaking mentality universal. They have to understand this is their criteria for success.
Ashoka has studied social movements to find out how this kind of 40 shift can be promoted. It turns out that successful movements take similar steps.

III. Reading Comprehension Section A

Directions: For each blank in the following passages there are four words or phrases marked A,B,C and D. Fill in each blank with the work or phrase that best fits the context.
More people are travelling than ever before, and lower barriers to entry and falling costs means they are doing so for 41 periods.
The rise of “city breaks” 48-hour bursts of foreign cultures, easier on the pocket and annual leave balance has increased tourist numbers, but not their 42 spread. The same attractions have been used to market cities such as Paris, Barcelona and Venice for decades, and visitors use the same infrastructure as residents to reach them. “Too many people do the same thing at the exact same time,” says Font. “For 43 ,the city no longer belongs to them.”
This starts with marketing, says Font, who notes that Amsterdam has started advising visitors to seek 44 outside of the city centre on its official website. “That takes some balls, really, to do that. But only so many people will look at the website, and it means they can say to their residents they’re doing all they can [to ease congestion].”
But it also 45 a better way, it is called “detourism” :sustainable travel tips an
46 itineraries for exploring an authentic Venice, off the paths beaten by the 28 million visitors who flock there each year.
A greater variety of 47 for prospective visitors ------ ideas for what to do in off-peak seasons, for example, or outside of the city center ------ can have the effect of diverting them from already saturated landmarks, or 48 short breaks away in the first place. Longer stays 49 the pressure, says Font. “If you go to Paris for two days, you’re going to go to the Eiffel Tower. If you go for two weeks, you’re not going to go to the Eiffel Tower 14 times.”
Similarly, repeat visitors have a better sense of the 50 , “We should be asking how we get tourists to 51 ,not how to get them to come for the first time. If they ‘re coming for the fifth time, it is much easier to integrate their behavior with ours.”
Local governments can foster this sustainable activity by giving preference to responsible operator and even high-paying consumers. Font says cities could stand to be more selective about the tourists they try to attract when the current metric for marketing success is how many there are, and how far they’ve come. “You’re thinking, ‘yeah but at what cost...’.”
He points to unpublished data from the Barcelona Tourist Board that prioritizes Japanese tourists for spending an average of 640 more per day than French tourist as a(n) 52 that fails to take into account their bigger carbon footprint. 53 tourists are also more likely to be repeat visitors that come at off-peak times, buy local produce, and 54 to less crowded parts of the city------all productive steps towards more 55 tourism, and more peaceful relations with residents.
41.

A. longer

B. shorter

C. wider

D. clearer
42.

A. environmental

B. national

C. economic

D. geographic
43.

A. locals

B. tourists

C. visitors

D. cleaners
44.

A. transports

B. accommodation

C. restaurants

D. service
45.

A. addresses

B. paves

C. proposes

D. receives
46.

A. separate

B. individual

C. alternative

D. objective
47.

A. reform

B. guidance

C. invitation

D. support
48.

A. convincing

B. discouraging

C. preventing

D. resisting
49.

A. pace

B. escape

C. withstand

D. ease
50.

A. culture

B. knowledge

C. entertainment

D. ability
51.

A. take over

B. bring up

C. come back

D. lay off
52.

A. distinction

B. harmony

C. association

D. comparison
53.

A. French

B. Italian

C. Spanish

D. German
54.

A. carry out

B. give into

C. spread out

D. impact on
55.

A. slight

B. complex

C. temporary

D. sustainable

Section B

Directions: Read the following three passages. Each passage is followed by several questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one that fits best according to the information given in the passage you have just read.

(B)

MT.LEBANON ICE CENTER *900 CEDAR BOULEVARD*
PITTSBURGH,PA 15228
(412)561-4363 www.mtlebanon.org

WHO: Skaters of all ages and abilities. Must be 3 years of age and potty trained.

Any Preschool & Kindergarten age child who has never taken lessons at the Mr. Lebanon Ice Center needs to be evaluated.
The On - line registration feature does not apply to evaluation registration.
Evaluation dates and times are listed below.
EVALUATIONS: Evaluations help to determine both readiness and class placement. Upon completion of the evaluation, it is recommended that you register for classes with an associate located in the ice center booth. A variety of days and times for the evaluations are also listed online and at the Ice Center.
Evaluation registration may be done in person or by phone at 412-561-4363.
DAY

EVALUATION DATES

TIME

EVALUATION FEE
Saturday

June 2,2018

12:00 p.m.

$5.00
Sunday

June 3,2018

12:00 p.m.

$5.00
Monday

June 4,2018

10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

$5.00
Wednesday

June 6,2018

10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

$5.00
Thursday

June 7,2018

10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

$5.00
Additional evaluation dates may be offered for session II
REFUND POLICY: Refund requests must be made a minimum of 7 days prior to event. See
www.mtlebanon.org for details.

REGISTRATION:

In person—Stop by the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center, ground floor, Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. or Sunday 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
By Phone—Call the Ice Center at (412)561-4363 to schedule your skating evaluation appointment Make checks payable to: Mt. Lebanon, PA Visa, MasterCard, &Debit Cards accepted QUESTIONS: Please call the Mt. Lebanon Ice Center staff at (412)561-4363
LeboALERT—A FREE notification service(phone, text, e-mail).In the event of an emergency and to provide you with updates about cancellations and recreation department programs and events. Please visit www.mtlebanon.org and sign up for LeboALERT. All recreation participants should sign up, and at minimum select the “Cancellations” category.
  1. What’s the passage manly about?
A. To introduce a skating program.
B. To advertise a skating center.
C. To serve as a skating assessment schedule.
D. To issue a free skating notification.
  1. Mary’s mother wants to registers the evaluation for her daughter. Which time as follows is suitable for her to go to the center?
A. Monday 8:30 a.m. B. Wednesday 2 p.m.
C. Friday 9:30 p.m. D. Sunday 6:00 p.m.
  1. Which of the following is true according to the passage?
A. The evaluation is intended for all preschool and kindergarten children.
B. Refund requests can be accepted within 7 days after the registration.
C. Participants who sign up for LeboAlert can receive free notification about the event.
D. Evaluation registration can be done in person, by phone or on-line.

(C)

Everything about nuclear energy seems terrifically big: the cost, construction and decommissioning—and the fears of something going badly wrong.
The future, however, may well be much smaller. Dozens of companies are working on a new generation of reactors that, they promise, can deliver nuclear power at lower cost and reduced risk. These small-scale plants will on average generate between 50MW and 300MW of power
compared with the 1,000MW-plus from a conventional rector. They will draw on modular manufacturing techniques that will reduce construction risk, which has plagued larger-scale projects. Supporters believe these advanced modular reactors(AMRs)—most of which will not be commercial until the 2030s—are critical if atomic power is to compete against the rapidly falling costs of solar and wind.
“The physics hasn’t changed. It’s about much cleverer design that offers much-needed flexibility in terms of operation,” said Tim Stone, long-term industry adviser and chairman of Nuclear Risk Insurers, which insures nuclear sites in the UK.
Since the Fukushima meltdown in Japan in 2011,safety fears have threatened nuclear power. But the biggest obstacle today is economic. In western Europe, just three plants are under construction: in the UK at Hinkley Point C in Somerset; at Flamanville in France; and at Olkiluoto in Finland. All involve the European Pressurized Reactor technology of EDF that will be used a t Hinkley Point. All are running years late and over budget. In the US, the first two nuclear projects under way for the past 30 years are also blowing through cost estimates.
The UK, which opened the world’s first commercial nuclear reactor in 1956,is one of the few western nations committed to renewing its ageing fleet to ensure energy security and meet tough carbon reduction targets. It is seen as a proving ground, by many in the industry, of nuclear power’s ability to restore confidence.
However, the country’s agreement with EDF to build two units at Hinkley Point—which together will generate 3.2GW of electricity—has come under severe criticism over its cost. The government is looking at different funding models but said it still sees nuclear power as vital to the country’s future energy mix. Small reactors, it believes, have the potential to generate much-needed power from the 2030s.
A nuclear sector deal, unveiled last month, promised up to ₤56m in funding for research and development into AMRs and attracted interest of start-ups from around the world. The government hopes the funding will give the UK a lead in the global race to develop these technologies, helping to provide energy security while also creating a multibillion-dollar export market for British engineering companies.
  1. Which of the following is true about the advanced modular reactors (AMRs)? A.AMRs produce more power than traditional reactors.
B. Small in scale, AMRs rose more safety risks.
C. So far, most AMRs have not been put into use yet.
D. Governments prefer energy of solar and wind to that of AMRs.
  1. In paragraph 5,the author mentions the plants in Western Europe and the US to .
A. prove that nuclear power has been threatened by safety concern.
B. show that the construction of nuclear power plants cost more that the budget available.
C. indicate the construction of nuclear plants are slow in speed.
D. point out that most power plants have adopted the latest nuclear technology.
  1. What can be inferred from the passage?
A. Some people have lost confidence in the development of nuclear plants.
B. The UK government seeks to reduce the negative impact of nuclear power on its economy.
C. The plan to build two power plants in Hinkley Point has been deserted.
D. A kind costs for small modular reactors would be higher relative to large nuclear reactors.
  1. Which of the following can serve as the best title of this passage?
A. Britain counts on nuclear energy to keep lights on
B. Traditional nuclear plants boom with mini reactors
C. Nuclear ’s share of power generation remain steady
D. Nuclear power looks to shrink its way to success

IV. Summary Writing

Directions: Read the following passage. Summarize the main idea and the main point(s) of the passage in no more than 60 words. Use your own words as far as possible.

Where are the bees?

Bees are essential to the production of food we eat. Bees make honey, but they also pollinate large areas of crops, such as strawberries, apples and onions. About a third of the food we eat is a result of pollination of the bees. Unfortunately, bees have been disappearing at an alarming rate.
In 2006,bee keepers started reporting about something called Colony Collapse Disaster(CCD).The main sign of CCD is the loss of adult honey bees from a hive. In October of 2006,some beekeepers reported that they had lost between 30 and 90 percent of their hives.
There were many theories for the disappearance of the bees. But the most convincing one has to do with pesticides and lifestyles of bees today. Nowadays, beekeeper get most of their income not from producing honey but from renting bees to pollinate plants. This means that the life of the typical bee now consists of travelling all around the country to pollinate crops as the seasons change. That means a lot of traveling on trucks, which is very stressful to bees. It is not unusual for up to 30% of the hive to die during transport due to stress. In addition, bees that spend most of their time locked up on trucks are not exposed to what they usually live on. Instead, they live on a sweet liquid from corn, usually polluted with pesticides.
The exact reason for the disappearance of bees is not sure, but losing bees is very costly to the economy. The bee pollination services are worth over $8 billion a year. With no bees, pollination will have to be done by hand, which would have effects on the quality of food and increased food priced. We hear a lot about big environmental disasters almost every day. But one of the biggest may just be the loss of that tiny flying insect.
第 II 卷(共 40 分)
V. Translation:Translate the following sentences into English, using the words given in the brackets.
1.究竟是什么激发小王学习电子工程的积极性?(motivate)
2.网上支付方便了客户,但是牺牲了他们的隐私。(at the cost of)
3.让我的父母非常满意的是,从这个公寓的餐厅可以俯视街对面的世纪公园,从起居室也可以。(so)
4.博物馆疏于管理,展品积灰,门厅冷落,急需改善。(whose)

VI. Writing

Write an English composition in 120-150 words according to the instructions given below in Chinese.
假如你是明启中学的李华,你的朋友李楠给你写了一封信,告诉你他要开发一个新的 APP,
用这个软件共享衣服,想要征集大家的看法,你是否愿意共享你的衣服,给出理由(信的格式已给)。
2019 年上海市春考试卷参考答案
  1. that 22. to happen 23. would show/would be showing/would have shown
  2. from/on/at/after
  3. had been pointed/had pointed/were pointing/pointed/were pointed
  4. himself 27. which/that 28. Inspired/Having been inspired/Being inspired
  5. Though/Although/While/Not 30. doing 31-40 DABHC IEGKF
41-55 BDABC CBBDA ADACD
56-59 XXXX 60-63 BBC 64-67 BBAB 68-71XXX
72.What on earth has motivated Xiao Wang’s enthusiasm/ initiative to major in electronic engineering?
  1. Online payment brings convenience to consumers at the cost of their privacy.
  2. To my parents' satisfaction, the dining room of this apartment overlooks the Century Park opposite the street and so it is with the sitting room.
或者 What makes my parents really satisfy is that they can see the Century Park from the dining
room of this apartment, so can they from the living room.
  1. This museum is not well managed, whose exhibits are covered with dust, and there are few visitors, so everything is badly in need of improvement.

The museum whose management is reckless, whose exhibits are piled with dust and whose lobby is deserted, requires immediate improvement.

Writing

Dear Li Nan,
Hearing that you have developed a new app of students sharing clothes, I feel truly proud of your novel idea. Personally speaking, I am willing to share my clothes on your app. The reasons are as follows.
To begin with, it will be wonderful for me if I learn that someone that I barely know of can share my happiness of wearing my clothes. It feels like you are emotionally connecting someone in your clothes. Then I may naturally wish to know more about that particular “someone” and probably further deepen our relationship. In the end, a good friendship between me and my clothes mate might be built based on our common clothes. What’s more, if other students can try my
clothes through the app. In turn, I also can try their new clothes. Therefore, students can wear different types of clothes without actually spending any money.
What’s more important is that sharing my clothes will take full use of them. In today’s material society, there are so many parents who prepare lots of clothes for their beloved children for
different occasions, such as a dress for the party, gym suit for indoor sports. Moreover, the clothes can only realize their true value after they are put on a person’s body.
To summarize, sharing my clothes on your app benefits others and me.
Yours, Li Hua
听力原文
I. Listening Comprehension Section A
  1. W: This table is reserved for you, sir.
M: It looks like a nice table, but it's too close to the kitchen door. O: Where does the conversation most probably take place?
  1. M: Isaw you on TV yesterday. You were ever so good. You didn't look nervous. W: To be frank. When it was my turn to speak, I really had my heart in my mouth. Q: What does the woman mean?
  2. M: Shall we go and try that snack bar around the corner? W: I can't eat anything. My headaches.
Q: What can we learn about the woman?
  1. W: A single room is fifty pounds per night, and a double room sixty pounds per night. Stay two nights and you'll get another for free.
M: A single room for three nights, please.
Q: How much should the man pay for his room?
  1. W: How did you do in the writing contest? M: If only I had paid more attention to spelling. Q: Whal can we learn about the man?
  2. M: Hey. Joan, what's up?
W: Nothing much. It's my son! It doesn't seem easy for him to get used to the new school Q: How does Joan most probably feel about her son?
  1. M: Have you heard from Mary lately? It'ssaid she is not working as a fitness coach.
W: I got an email from her last week. She has been working at a school since she left our
firm.
Q: Who are the two speakers talking about?
  1. W: How did the lecture go?
M: Oh, you should have seen those young people. Thirsty for knowledge, drinking in my
wisdom.
Q: What does the man mean?
  1. M: Look at the menu. Everything looks great, but that's too expensive. W: Have anything you like? Tom said it's on our boss.
Q: Who will pay the bill?
  1. W: David, I got you a present, a solar-powered calculator. M: I don't need a calculator, Mom. I have one
Q: What does David imply?
Section B
Questions 11 through 13 are based on the following passage.
The calm waters of Rose Bay in Sydney are disturbed only when a seaplane comes into land and take off again. In some way, Rose Bay has witnessed the surprising history of flying boats, type of early seaplane. On the fifth of Julv, 1938, an empire class flying boat departed from here, Australia's first international airport. It was heading for England and mark the start of the golden age of flying boats. Over ten days, with thirty stops along the route, passengers enjoyed a first
class service, including breakfasts of fruit, steak, juice and wine.
But the flight didn't come cheap. Tickets were far beyond the reach of most Australians at a price that was equivalent to an annual salary. The service was suspended in 1942 as war took hold and the planes were officially-used by the air force. By the time normal life started again after the war,land-based aircraft had developed rapidly, and flying boats were looking increasingly out of date. However. Sydney and its vast waters remained well-placed to exploit their resources, and so began a new age for the flying boats
Questions:
  1. When did the golden age of flying boats start?
  2. Why was the service of empire class flying boats stopped in the early 1940s?
  3. What is the speaker mainly talking about?
Questions 14through 16 are based on the following passage.
According to some psychologists, intelligence is the ability to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, understand and handle abstract concepts, and use knowledge to change one's environment. Skills like learning, memory, reasoning, and problem solving enhance these abilities. Therefore, certain habits may be evidence you've got these skills. For example, it is commonly thought that those who are intelligent are organized and have everything in their workspace arranged neatly. But that's not the case.
In an experiment from the University of Minnesota, people in a messy setting came up with more creative ideas than those in a neat space. Kathleen Watts, study author says disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce the fresh idea. Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage following traditions and playing it safe. But according to JonathanWhite, a research scientist at Duke University, creativity is one of the qualities that smarter people tend to possess, and it may actually lead to messiness. He says it's not messiness that helps creativity, but creativity which may create messiness. Such people tend to get lost in thought while focusing on a problem or issue. And cleanliness becomes of less importance that focusing on the problem at hand.
Questions:
  1. According to the passage, what are intelligent people like in most people's eyes?
  2. According to Jonathan White from DukeUniversity. Which of the following statements is
true?
  1. What is the passage mainly about?
Questions 17 through 20 are based on the following conversation.
W: James, have you read about the new research into the human brain? M: Not yet. What does it say?
W: It says men are better at some things like map reading and finding direction, while women are better at other things like remembering words and faces.
M: Interesting! Now I understand why I'm the one of my family who does all the map reading.
W: The research was done by a team from the University of Pennsylvania. They looked at the brains of nearly one thousand men and women and found they are wired differently
M: Wired differently? You mean"connected in different ways"?
W: Right! In males, the stronger connections run within each half o the brain. In women. The stronger connections are between the two sides of the brain.
M: I see.
W: The difference might explain why men are better at learning and performing a single task, like reading maps or cycling. But women are often better at doing several things at the same time. They can also concentrate on a task for longer.
M: Now. I can understand why I cannot do several things together.
W: But not everyone agrees. A professor from the University of Oxford said the connections inside the brain are not permanently fixed, and the brain is very complex. Without sufficient data, you can't jump to any general conclusions.
M: I guess the professor is right now. (Now, listen again.)
Questions:
17: What is the conversation mainly about?
18: Compared with women's brains, what does the new research find out about men's brains?
  1. According to the new research, which of the following are women better at?
20: What does the professor from theUniversity of Oxford think of the new research findings?
submitted by thanksgiving24 to Chinaedu [link] [comments]


2020.11.09 13:21 xXnova16poguex Do you guys think Herman Mashaba unseat the ANC?

This is a post I made on Libertarian
There's a looming Libertarian Party in South Africa in Herman Mashaba's party, ActionSA
Herman Mashaba is South African businessman born August 26, 1959 in Hammanskral South Africa. He grew up poor during Apartheid, yet overcame the odds by selling hair products to become a successful millionaire. I'm not going to really talk much of his business life but if you'd like to know more https://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/staffulty/speakers/herman-mashaba/.
Besides his other business ventures, Mashaba was a member of South Africa's Free Market Foundation Who's listed goals were to
promote and foster an open society, the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic and press freedom as fundamental components of its advocacy of human rights and democracy based on classical liberal principles
He revoked his membership from the FMF when he went into politics, to avoid a conflict of interest.
His political career began when he decided to join the country's second largest political party, the Democratic Alliance. The DA's ideology is centre-left, though they are much more Free Market friendly than the ruling, who are socialist but seem to be inching more towards full blown communismevery year.
Even with the more Free Market friendly party Mashaba's Libertarian ideals made him an outlier
Less than a month after winning office as Johannesburg's mayor, Mr. Mashaba is already energetically putting his free-market ideas into action. He is distributing thousands of title deeds to impoverished residents, trying to create a new class of landowners. He is plotting with private developers to turn the city into a vast construction site, and he is pledging to use small businesses to slash the unemployment rate.
Mr. Mashaba is probably the only avowed libertarian to become mayor of a major African city. He's even more of a free-market fundamentalist than his political party, the Democratic Alliance. The DA supports a minimum wage, for example, while Mr. Mashaba scathingly denounces it as "an evil system to deprive poor uneducated people of the opportunity to advance."
Despite capitalism still being seen as western and heartless to many poor black South Africans, Mashaba still sees himself as pro poor, and will not dive into the political tactics of the ruling party.
His highest value, he says, is "individual freedom." He rails against the "culture of dependency" and excessive regulation in South Africa. "I'm just asking the government to leave us alone," he says.
When a Globe and Mail interviewer suggests that he must be a lonely voice as the only libertarian mayor in the country, he laughs. "I was born alone. My life is not shaped by other people."
Mashaba states he never would have gotten involved into politics if it wasn't for the ruling party's rampant corruption and incompetence abusing this country.
Until two years ago, Mr. Mashaba had never joined a political party. He finally joined the DA in 2014, angered by the corruption scandals and race-baiting rhetoric of President Jacob Zuma. But if anyone had suggested he might end up as mayor of a city of five million people, he says, he would have asked them what they were smoking. Political pundits sneered at his weaknesses as a campaigner, predicting he would never become mayor.
Within one year, Mashaba acted his campaign promise of making corruption Public Enemy #1. What impressed me about those stats is that he achieve that only 1 year into office as Mayor, and a lot of pushback from the corrupt ruling party he had inherited the city from. Unfortunately there's not much to find about his fight against corruption after that before he resigned due to internal party disputes.
A newly established corruption-busting unit in the City of Johannesburg has investigated over 2,500 cases of corruption, uncovering fraud and corruption worth over R16 billion. More than 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 City employees have been suspended or dismissed. Thirteen more have resigned.
Despite only serving 3 of his 5 years in office before resigning, Mashaba has a lot of achievements to be proud of. Most notably,
Home ownership
“We have delivered 5 145 title deeds to the residents of Johannesburg, giving over 5 200 of poorest residents the dignity of home ownership,” said Mayor Mashaba.
Roads(unfortunately this is a big deal in South Africa)
The road network has been a priority of this government. The City has repaired 181 000 potholes across the City and resurfaced 520km of roads.
Crime
In few months, Operation Buya Mthetho has brought in a total of R341 million. The K9 Narcotics Unit, which was launched at the end of 2016, continues to grow from strength to strength. To date, the unit has achieved 1 193 arrests, recovering 123 illegal firearms, 136kg of drugs and over 1 000 hijacked vehicles.​
Unfortunately his Mayorship ending in late 2019 when he had a falling out with the direction the inner circle of the DA wished to take the party. He resigned claiming the DA had been hijacked by far right Apartheid admirers, a sentiment shared by most black South African. This is the reason why despite cleaner governance, competency and efficiency the DA will never be able to unseat the ANC(ruling party) any where else besides the Western Cape province. Which for some reason is the most well run and productive province if the country.
On December 6 2019, Mashaba launched a movement in The People's Dialogue, where he asked and was contacted millions of South Africans on what they felt were the biggest problems in South Africa. Unlike many of the career politicians and political parties in South Africa who insist only politicians can solve the country's problems, Mashaba went a different route in this regard. He consulted doctors, nurses and other members of the healthcare industry on how we can fix our healthcare. He had discussions with retired lawmen, judges and lawyers on how we can heal our justice system. He brainstormed solutions with retired detectives and policemen, as well as PIs on how we can cut crime in South Africa. He conversed with fellow business owners and CEOs on how South Africa's economy can grow. Mashaba seems to be the only mainstream South African politician who understand he does not have all the answers, and will consult and trust the citizens to improve their own lives.
There is a lot more to this guy, and granted he does have his flaws, but ever since I learned about him earlier this year he never struck me as this disingenuous politician. This is more than I can say for most South African politicians. His life story is that he is the better version of Trump, in nearly every way, and his performance as the Mayor of Johannesburg allowed for an already large following and a good reputation. He launched his party ActionSA on August 29th of this year. And despite being a young party, his strategy of targeting the apathetic voters of South Africa seem to already be working. To give context, if you're already familiar with SA politics, you'd know it's a shit show.
The two largest parties the ANC(socialist inching towards communist) and EFF(full blown communist) have ideas that are the last thing this country needs. They have braindead ideas such as land expropriation, which will essentially assassinated the property rights of anyone in South Africa, even black people. These guys can say they just want to give land to black people, but black people are already being harrassed by government officials on state farms to pay bribes, nobody ever talks about how this is also bad for black people. They support higher taxes, minimum wage,business and labour regulation, nationalization of State Owned Enterprises(despite all of them having failed through corruption), race based quotas such as Affirmative Action and BEE, which makes it harder for white people and other minorities to get education and employment opportunities. They also demonize white people every chance they get, the ANC mostly to deflect from their failures and the EFF because they really hate white people.
The majority of black people in South Africa aren't racist. They only vote ANC because of the anti Apartheid loyalists who can't accept that the ANC does not care about black people(or anyone), and choose to ignore the rising number of radical racists in the party who seek to demonize white people so they can keep stealing from them while they're distracted looking for invisible racist white people. The EFF is a party started by already notorious racist politician Julius Malema in 2013 after being kicked out of the ANC. He is far more racist and radical than the ANC and often talks violently of white and Indian South Africans. But at the end of the day the ANC only got 10 million out of 36 million votes in last year's election and the EFF only got 1.8 million out of 36 million votes. I believe with the performance of the ANC and the craziness of the EFF, Mashaba could take many votes from them. The most important part however, is that he will be attracting the apathetic 18.5 million voters who didn't see a single party worthy of their vote last year. He also had a lot of support from white people of all ages, which hasn't been seen of a black politician in South Africa since Nelson Mandela.
On every social and economic aspect Herman Mashaba's ActionSA is on a higher level than these two parties. The 7 core values of the party are simple yet effective ideas that will help heal South Africa.
•Non-racialism •Social Justice •Economic Prosperity •Rule of Law •Electoral Reform •Quality Education •Ethicical Leadership
As a black 18 year old South African I started getting involved in politics last year by searching online, watching videos about local politics, as well as looking at and participating in online discussions. I also started listening to US politics, and after discovering people like Ben Shapiro, Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman and listening to their brilliant commentary and ideas, I noticed I was becoming more Libertarian. When I realized this I started to become more pessimistic about the direction in which South Africa was headed politically and socially, the ruling party was losing votes but still maintaining the majority and forming coalitions with the EFF so they could implement their braindead socialist ideas. The intellectual capital, of all races in South Africa were being driven away by low opportunities and crime levels. My personal experiences is that nearly every person in my school, of any race, flat out plan to leave the country when they finish their degree because they feel corruption, incompetence and crime is killing this country. But I only became optimistic when I discovered Herman Mashaba earlier this year, and found out he was starting his party. As I did more research on him and found out he was a Libertarian I couldn't believe it, it just seemed to good to be true. But when I followed him on Twitter and saw his tweets and ideas I know longer had doubts. Once I saw him retweeting a Thomas Sowell quote I knew South Africa was going to be in good hands.
I personally think he can do well in the next elections.
My questions for southafrica are
  1. Do you think he can get it done?
  2. How do you think South Africa will do as a Libertarian country?
submitted by xXnova16poguex to southafrica [link] [comments]


2020.11.08 18:05 xXnova16poguex South Africa could become a Libertarian country

There's a looming Libertarian Party in South Africa in Herman Mashaba's party, ActionSA
Herman Mashaba is South African businessman born August 26, 1959 in Hammanskral South Africa. He grew up poor during Apartheid, yet overcame the odds by selling hair products to become a successful millionaire. I'm not going to really talk much of his business life but if you'd like to know more https://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/staffulty/speakers/herman-mashaba/.
Besides his other business ventures, Mashaba was a member of South Africa's Free Market Foundation Who's listed goals were to
promote and foster an open society, the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic and press freedom as fundamental components of its advocacy of human rights and democracy based on classical liberal principles
He revoked his membership from the FMF when he went into politics, to avoid a conflict of interest.
His political career began when he decided to join the country's second largest political party, the Democratic Alliance. The DA's ideology is centre-left, though they are much more Free Market friendly than the ruling, who are socialist but seem to be inching more towards full blown communismevery year.
Even with the more Free Market friendly party Mashaba's Libertarian ideals made him an outlier
Less than a month after winning office as Johannesburg's mayor, Mr. Mashaba is already energetically putting his free-market ideas into action. He is distributing thousands of title deeds to impoverished residents, trying to create a new class of landowners. He is plotting with private developers to turn the city into a vast construction site, and he is pledging to use small businesses to slash the unemployment rate.
Mr. Mashaba is probably the only avowed libertarian to become mayor of a major African city. He's even more of a free-market fundamentalist than his political party, the Democratic Alliance. The DA supports a minimum wage, for example, while Mr. Mashaba scathingly denounces it as "an evil system to deprive poor uneducated people of the opportunity to advance."
Despite capitalism still being seen as western and heartless to many poor black South Africans, Mashaba still sees himself as pro poor, and will not dive into the political tactics of the ruling party.
His highest value, he says, is "individual freedom." He rails against the "culture of dependency" and excessive regulation in South Africa. "I'm just asking the government to leave us alone," he says.
When a Globe and Mail interviewer suggests that he must be a lonely voice as the only libertarian mayor in the country, he laughs. "I was born alone. My life is not shaped by other people."
Mashaba states he never would have gotten involved into politics if it wasn't for the ruling party's rampant corruption and incompetence abusing this country.
Until two years ago, Mr. Mashaba had never joined a political party. He finally joined the DA in 2014, angered by the corruption scandals and race-baiting rhetoric of President Jacob Zuma. But if anyone had suggested he might end up as mayor of a city of five million people, he says, he would have asked them what they were smoking. Political pundits sneered at his weaknesses as a campaigner, predicting he would never become mayor.
Within one year, Mashaba acted his campaign promise of making corruption Public Enemy #1. What impressed me about those stats is that he achieve that only 1 year into office as Mayor, and a lot of pushback from the corrupt ruling party he had inherited the city from. Unfortunately there's not much to find about his fight against corruption after that before he resigned due to internal party disputes.
A newly established corruption-busting unit in the City of Johannesburg has investigated over 2,500 cases of corruption, uncovering fraud and corruption worth over R16 billion. More than 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 City employees have been suspended or dismissed. Thirteen more have resigned.
Despite only serving 3 of his 5 years in office before resigning, Mashaba has a lot of achievements to be proud of. Most notably,
Home ownership
“We have delivered 5 145 title deeds to the residents of Johannesburg, giving over 5 200 of poorest residents the dignity of home ownership,” said Mayor Mashaba.
Roads(unfortunately this is a big deal in South Africa)
The road network has been a priority of this government. The City has repaired 181 000 potholes across the City and resurfaced 520km of roads.
Crime
In few months, Operation Buya Mthetho has brought in a total of R341 million. The K9 Narcotics Unit, which was launched at the end of 2016, continues to grow from strength to strength. To date, the unit has achieved 1 193 arrests, recovering 123 illegal firearms, 136kg of drugs and over 1 000 hijacked vehicles.​
Unfortunately his Mayorship ending in late 2019 when he had a falling out with the direction the inner circle of the DA wished to take the party. He resigned claiming the DA had been hijacked by far right Apartheid admirers, a sentiment shared by most black South African. This is the reason why despite cleaner governance, competency and efficiency the DA will never be able to unseat the ANC(ruling party) any where else besides the Western Cape province. Which for some reason is the most well run and productive province if the country.
On December 6 2019, Mashaba launched a movement in The People's Dialogue, where he asked and was contacted millions of South Africans on what they felt were the biggest problems in South Africa. Unlike many of the career politicians and political parties in South Africa who insist only politicians can solve the country's problems, Mashaba went a different route in this regard. He consulted doctors, nurses and other members of the healthcare industry on how we can fix our healthcare. He had discussions with retired lawmen, judges and lawyers on how we can heal our justice system. He brainstormed solutions with retired detectives and policemen, as well as PIs on how we can cut crime in South Africa. He conversed with fellow business owners and CEOs on how South Africa's economy can grow. Mashaba seems to be the only mainstream South African politician who understand he does not have all the answers, and will consult and trust the citizens to improve their own lives.
There is a lot more to this guy, and granted he does have his flaws, but ever since I learned about him earlier this year he never struck me as this disingenuous politician. This is more than I can say for most South African politicians. His life story is that he is the better version of Trump, in nearly every way, and his performance as the Mayor of Johannesburg allowed for an already large following and a good reputation. He launched his party ActionSA on August 29th of this year. And despite being a young party, his strategy of targeting the apathetic voters of South Africa seem to already be working. To give context, if you're already familiar with SA politics, you'd know it's a shit show.
The two largest parties the ANC(socialist inching towards communist) and EFF(full blown communist) have ideas that are the last thing this country needs. They have braindead ideas such as land expropriation, which will essentially assassinated the property rights of anyone in South Africa, even black people. These guys can say they just want to give land to black people, but black people are already being harrassed by government officials on state farms to pay bribes, nobody ever talks about how this is also bad for black people. They support higher taxes, minimum wage,business and labour regulation, nationalization of State Owned Enterprises(despite all of them having failed through corruption), race based quotas such as Affirmative Action and BEE, which makes it harder for white people and other minorities to get education and employment opportunities. They also demonize white people every chance they get, the ANC mostly to deflect from their failures and the EFF because they really hate white people.
The majority of black people in South Africa aren't racist. They only vote ANC because of the anti Apartheid loyalists who can't accept that the ANC does not care about black people(or anyone), and choose to ignore the rising number of radical racists in the party who seek to demonize white people so they can keep stealing from them while they're distracted looking for invisible racist white people. The EFF is a party started by already notorious racist politician Julius Malema in 2013 after being kicked out of the ANC. He is far more racist and radical than the ANC and often talks violently of white and Indian South Africans. But at the end of the day the ANC only got 10 million out of 36 million votes in last year's election and the EFF only got 1.8 million out of 36 million votes. I believe with the performance of the ANC and the craziness of the EFF, Mashaba could take many votes from them. The most important part however, is that he will be attracting the apathetic 18.5 million voters who didn't see a single party worthy of their vote last year. He also had a lot of support from white people of all ages, which hasn't been seen of a black politician in South Africa since Nelson Mandela.
On every social and economic aspect Herman Mashaba's ActionSA is on a higher level than these two parties. The 7 core values of the party are simple yet effective ideas that will help heal South Africa.
•Non-racialism •Social Justice •Economic Prosperity •Rule of Law •Electoral Reform •Quality Education •Ethicical Leadership
As a black 18 year old South African I started getting involved in politics last year by searching online, watching videos about local politics, as well as looking at and participating in online discussions. I also started listening to US politics, and after discovering people like Ben Shapiro, Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman and listening to their brilliant commentary and ideas, I noticed I was becoming more Libertarian. When I realized this I started to become more pessimistic about the direction in which South Africa was headed politically and socially, the ruling party was losing votes but still maintaining the majority and forming coalitions with the EFF so they could implement their braindead socialist ideas. The intellectual capital, of all races in South Africa were being driven away by low opportunities and crime levels. My personal experiences is that nearly every person in my school, of any race, flat out plan to leave the country when they finish their degree because they feel corruption, incompetence and crime is killing this country. But I only became optimistic when I discovered Herman Mashaba earlier this year, and found out he was starting his party. As I did more research on him and found out he was a Libertarian I couldn't believe it, it just seemed to good to be true. But when I followed him on Twitter and saw his tweets and ideas I know longer had doubts. Once I saw him retweeting a Thomas Sowell quote I knew South Africa was going to be in good hands.
submitted by xXnova16poguex to Libertarian [link] [comments]


2020.11.04 14:18 GamingGideon Yakuza: Like a Dragon - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Platforms:
Trailer:
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: SEGA
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 87 average - 94% recommended - 55 reviews

Critic Reviews

ACG - Jeremy Penter - Wait for Sale
"The turn-based combat is a welcome change however combined with some weird decisions and a somewhat bland story its not all sunshine and rainbows for this new kid on the street."
Attack of the Fanboy - Joshua Garibay - 4 / 5 stars
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a bold shift in direction, one that succeeds more than it stumbles in the pursuit of its new design.
Bazimag - Sina Golabzade - Persian - 8.6 / 10
The transition from a top notch brawler to a JRPG feels totally seamless. The gameplay have all the good parts we expect from a JRPG translated to the language of the Yakuza series but it also has some of the bad parts like the need for grinding and some unfair boss fights. The story and new characters are presented in a way that make this new journey for the franchise very well worth taking.
COGconnected - Jaz Sagoo - 86 / 100
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the perfect update for a flagging series. Its clever storytelling, bizarre substories, and engrossing gameplay makes this one of the strongest entries in the franchise. Mixing deep societal messages with references to popular culture, the game is both hilarious and thought-provoking. It is very clear to see that with Ichiban Kasuga, the series is in safe hands
Cerealkillerz - Nick Erlenhof - German - 8.5 / 10
Yakuza: Lika A Dragon goes a different way but follows what made the series so great. The new protagonist, the story (besides some weak points), the crazy mini games, battle animations, summons and Ichiban Kasuga offer so much fun and action. Some boring dungeons in the middle of the game and balancing issues are the only downsides you should expect. Even if you are not a fan of turn based combat or haven't touched the series yet, you should give this a shot.
Daily Mirror - Eugene Sowah - 4 / 5 stars
Yakuza: Like a Dragon has definitely made some drastic changes to the series but without losing its original charm. The fast pace turn base system has so much added depth while still feeling like a Yakuza game.
The graphics are the best the series has seen to date, players will fall for the ridiculous Ichiban who is a well-worked new hero to the series. Other than the lag between different sections of the games and slightly clunky animations it's really hard to fault this reimagining of the legendary series.
Destructoid - Jordan Devore - 7.5 / 10
Like a Dragon isn't my favorite Yakuza, and its fresh turn-based combat eventually grows stale, but I have a lot of love for it. If it's your first game, it'll quickly initiate you into this wild, one-of-a-kind series.
Digitally Downloaded - Matt Sainsbury - 5 / 5 stars
Who knows if this wild experiment will bear fruit and become its own series. Yakuza: Like a Dragon has everything it needs; an excellent crop of new characters, and even a new playground to base a series in, as we hadn't been to Yokohama previously. The future of the series would depend on how turn-based combat sells in comparison to action brawler combat, I would assume. Either way, though, Like a Dragon is a delight. It's a parody-homage to every turn-based JRPG trope you've ever known, set against brilliant character writing and the traditional urban playgrounds that have built this series into something beloved. I hope the development team is rewarded for the inherent risk that they took with this undertaking.
Eurogamer - Malindy Hetfeld - No Recommendation / Blank
Like A Dragon pulls off an impressive JRPG makeover while simultaneously taking on all the flaws of the genre.
Everyeye.it - Giuseppe Carrabba - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Like a Dragon is the story of a carp that turns into a dragon, of a gang of scapegoats who decide to defy the established order and come to the head of a desperate situation. Ichiban Kasuga is an individual far from dojima's stoic and serious Dragon but has an equally kind soul and crackling personality, which makes him - along with his strange clique - the symbol of Yakuza's rebirth. A rebirth that passes through a fun and enjoyable but also improveable role-making formula. With this seventh chapter, in other words, the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has shown us the potential of what would seem to be his idea for the future of the series, which with the advent of next-gen consoles could give us great surprises.
GAMEtainment - Dennis Röger - German - 8.7 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon has made the leap into the RPG genre with flying colors. The story is kept exciting and you can't stop following Ichiban's vendetta.
The abundance of side tasks can be a bit overwhelming for the player at the beginning. But once you have played the game for a few hours, you know the most important points in the city. Time passes very quickly when playing darts or karting. By no means you need to believe that these actions are a waste of time. You get personality points which finally strengthen the fighting actions.
The fights bring a breath of fresh air to the row and put a smile on the players' faces. Through the different creative classes you attack the opponents with pigeons or wrestling moves instead of casting disdainful fireballs. Unfortunately, the invisible AoE range of abilities spoils the fun of the game. Also the unusually long races until a comrade reaches the enemy seem strange. A timeline showing the next actors would have been helpful too.
If you like the Yakuza series and are open for new things, you definitely have to go for Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Game Informer - Jeff Cork - 9.3 / 10
It's a new direction for the series, but Like a Dragon captures the essence of what came before while setting out on its own journey.
Game Revolution - Jason Faulkner - 4.5 / 5 stars
Yakuza fans were anxious about whether the series would survive without the glue of Kiryu Kazama to hold it together. However, Ichiban Kasuga is a worthy successor to the Dragon of Dojima, and Like a Dragon is a great new start for this fantastic series that will please long-time Yakuza fans and newcomers alike.
GameMAG - Russian - 9 / 10
You should look at Yakuza: Like a Dragon through the lens of it's protaginist. This game is unapologetically brash, unmistakable bold, life-affirming and insanely charismatic. The legend of Ichiban Kasuga journey, like a bright flame, tells us one familliar, but sweet and romantic idea - each and every one of us can become a true Hero, even if you have to fight the fate itself, while making your way through hundrends upon hundreds of random encounters.
GameSkinny - RobotsFightingDinosaurs - 10 / 10 stars
Yakuza: Like A Dragon isn't just a great Yakuza title - it's legitimately one of the best modern role-playing games there is.
GameSpew - Richard Seagrave - 8 / 10
Ultimately, despite all the changes that have been made, Yakuza: Like a Dragon feels very much like a Yakuza game. The combat may now be turn-based, and the scenery might be different, but this is still a game full of drama, thrilling battles, and a huge amount of side content, all smothered with an ample amount of humour. And I never thought I’d say this, but I didn’t miss Kazuma Kiryu one jot while playing it; Ichiban Kasuga is simply a more likeable fellow with more depth. So, if you like the Yakuza series, consider Yakuza: Like a Dragon a must-have.
GameSpot - Michael Higham - 9 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon's cast of misfits makes the wild RPG combat, absurd humor, and dramatic storytelling soar.
GameWatcher - Gavin Herman - 9.5 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon reminded me why I loved video games to begin with. I cannot think of a game this year that has gripped me this tightly and didn't let go. Here comes a game brimming with joy and excitement that is earnest with its drama and comedy. It's the sort of game you can gush about for hours, and I will long after this review is published. Anyone who loves RPGs, open world games, comedies, crime dramas, and games PERIOD should have a lot of fun with the newest Yakuza.
Gameblog - Romain Mahut - French - 9 / 10
As the Yakuza franchise is still trying to become a household franchise in the West, the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio decided to flip the switch and create a turn-based RPG. The result of that experiment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is a resounding success. The "dynamic RPG" gameplay fits the Yakuza universe and tropes like a glove and its mechanics are surprisingly deep. And the fact that the game's new characters are lovable doesn't hurt. The turn-based gameplay will probably put off some gamers but Yakuza: Like a Dragon truly deserves a shot. The Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio made the JRPG genre proud.
GamesRadar+ - Hirun Cryer - 4.5 / 5 stars
Yakuza: Like a Dragon impressively pulls off the switch to an RPG in style, providing an excellent combat system supported by loveable characters, and a tantalising main storyline with meaningful side quests.
GamingBolt - Pramath - 9 / 10
Yakuza is reborn in this brilliant and compelling new addition to series canon that recontextualizes series tropes and mechanics for an entirely new genre, delivering one of the best outings the series has ever seen.
GamingTrend - David Flynn - 95 / 100
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has topped themselves once again with Yakuza: Like a Dragon! This new take on Yakuza brings a lot of fun, new ideas to the table while remaining its heartfelt self. Turn based combat is somehow a perfect fit for this new direction, the characters are all instantly loveable, and the story is endearingly melodramatic.
Generación Xbox - Adrian - Spanish - 9 / 10
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is a great turn-based RPG that will keep you hooked on the screen for many hours. One of the best games of the genre on Xbox.
God is a Geek - Chris White - 9.5 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a phenomenal entry into the Yakuza franchise, with an interesting new protagonist, a compelling story, and a combat system that constantly mixes things up.
Heavy - Elton Jones - 8.8 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon largely succeeds at moving the series forward in a bold new direction. Kasuga and his band of unlikely heroes are incredibly interesting and make it so easy to care about their crazy antics. The new main locale is massive and plays host to so many compelling things to do. Getting wrapped up in everything Like a Dragon has to offer is worth it and you’ll easily pour 30+ hours into its captivating tale. The turn-based battle system works in parts, but its annoying character placement issues and faulty summons system keep it from being a total victory. Like a Dragon is still worth hopping into if you’re looking for an amazing parody of RPG tropes, however. It’s a Yakuza sequel that signals a bright future ahead for the beloved franchise.
Hey Poor Player - Francis DiPersio - 4.5 / 5
No doubt about it, SEGA took some considerable risks when they decided to change their established formula so radically for Yakuza: Like A Dragon. But in the end, I think the gamble paid off. Ryū ga Gotoku Studio's latest offering may not pack the punchy, moment to moment gameplay of its predecessors. Still, it makes up for that with its more in-depth brawls, an engaging job system, and a story that focuses not just on a single protagonist, but on several compelling heroes with their own complex motivations. While beat-'em-up fanatics may find this change in direction blasphemous, I couldn't be happier. If you're a Yakuza fan who loves JRPGs, adding this underworld epic to your PS4 library is a no-brainer.
Hobby Consolas - Rafael Aznar - Spanish - 90 / 100
It keeps the great narrative and setting from the Yakuza series, using a new protagonist, a city that has more life than even Kamurocho and turn-based combats. It suffers from some of the classical troubles of the J-RPG, but it is a breath of fresh air and a great example of how to reinvent a franchise.
IGN - Tristan Ogilvie - 7 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon takes some bold steps in a new direction for the series but neglects to maintain its balance.
IGN Italy - Biagio Etna - Italian - 9.1 / 10
An extraordinary and courageous restart for the new Sega title, an extraordinary JRPG that lays the foundations for even more prosperous growth.
IGN Spain - Álex Pareja - Spanish - 8.5 / 10
Yakuza Like a Dragon is a real and huge JRPG who knows how to maintain the essence of the saga. Fun fighting system and deep script with too many ups and downs to justify the new playable elements. I hope this new formula that works and gives new wings to the franchise will be repeated.
Inverse - Jen Glennon - 9 / 10
Like a Dragon is right up there with Yakuza 0 in terms of sheer fun-factor and an almost dizzying abundance of stuff to see and do.
Metro GameCentral - Nick Gillett - 7 / 10
The turn-based battles don't fully convince but the new protagonist and bizarre mini-games still feel distinctively and entertainingly Yakuza.
Noisy Pixel - Azario Lopez - 9 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon makes for an excellent new entry in this long-running series. The developers took a chance on a new protagonist and battle system, which forces fans out of their comfort zone for a very different yet, familiar Yakuza experience. Although the opening exposition can be a bit overwhelming, this is a standout video game on its own with plenty of emotional story beats, insane sub-stories, and plenty of ways to spend your time around Ijincho.
PC Gamer - Andy Kelly - 72 / 100
A fun, charming, and occasionally brilliant Yakuza game, let down by an overabundance of repetitive turn-based battles.
PCGamesN - Ian Boudreau - 9 / 10
An utterly charming yarn about friendship and kindness that breathes gritty modern life into the quaint JRPG format of classic Dragon Quest.
Pixel Arts - Arman Akbari - Persian - 8.5 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a very good sequel to the popular Yakuza series which shows that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios still manages to create a great story and narrative. The game's turn-based battles are good in themselves, but due to the extreme use of enemies in the environment, they soon became repetition.
PlayStation Universe - Joe Apsey - 8.5 / 10
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is an impressive and quality JRPG that successfully acts as a jumping in-point for new fans and also ties itself to the series' past in exciting and engaging ways. The turn-based combat has been infused with some mechanics that help retain the action and over-the-top hilarity the series is known for. Mini-games once again shine and there is a lot packed into Ijincho. Like A Dragon paves the way for a bright future for the franchise.
Player2.net.au - Stephen del Prado - A or higher
It was a gamble on Sega’s part to make such major changes to a tried and true formula, even more bewildering given its recent meteoric rise in Western markets. If Yakuza: Like A Dragon proves anything, it’s that fortune does indeed favour the bold.
Polygon - Kazuma Hashimoto - Unscored
Like a Dragon's story attempts to touch on certain social issues that are relevant in present-day Japan, such as classism, social status, sex work, and government corruption on a prefectural level. However, the writing often lacks the nuance or range to address the topics at hand, and doesn't give any of them adequate room to breathe. The second half of the game gains some measure of focus as plot threads tie together and result in genuinely surprising twists, but when Like a Dragon drops the ball, it drops it hard. Despite this, the Japanese cast's performances sell the story with evocative deliveries that breathe life into the characters. The finale is an emotional one that brought me to tears and moved me, just as most previous Yakuza games have.
PowerUp! - Greg Newbegin - 9 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon, when all of its pieces are taken together, is not only a fantastic new direction for the series, it's also one of its best titles.
Press Start - Kieron Verbrugge - 9 / 10
Yakuza Like a Dragon is both a fresh start and a shot in the arm that caters to series veterans and newcomers like. It bears all the hallmarks of a great Yakuza game, while making a damned good case for its revamped battle system. After Yakuza 6 topped the rest of the franchise with a matured and succinct focus it feels even more exciting to see the whole thing blown wide open again and have Ryu ga Gotoku just run wild. Kudos is deserved at Sega of America for their commitment to the game's localization as well, which is incredibly considered and comprehensive. I think I've found a new favourite Yakuza game.
RPG Site - 7 / 10
With a new battle system and new main character, Yakuza: Like A Dragon aims to be a new entry point to Yakuza newcomers even though it is anything but that.
Rocket Chainsaw - Adam Ghiggino - 4.5 / 5 stars
So, the takeaway is this – Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a successful experiment. So successful that I think it should be the template for much of the series going forward.
Saudi Gamer - Essam Al-Shahwan - Arabic - 9 / 10
A brilliant reinvention of the series that still manages to faithfully capture its essence, with an eclectic cast of characters, the star being Ichiban himself. A great entry that goes toe-to-toe with Yakuza 0.
Shacknews - Donovan Erskine - 8 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a successful pivot from traditional Yakuza mainstays. The game goes heavy on style, while still packing in enough substance to keep players satisfied. The party system and new RPG elements give players more ways to play than ever before. The turn-based combat is solid, and never feels too foreign. Longtime fans of the franchise will appreciate what Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and SEGA have to offer in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Siliconera - Graham Russell - 9 / 10
Much like Kasuga’s dragonfish tattoo feels like a quirky but faithful successor to Kiryu’s dragon, Yakuza: Like a Dragon rebuilds the franchise by leaving a lot of it in place. The new protagonist doesn’t feel like he has seven games of story in him, but his eagerness to join the fray could carry the next few entries.
Stevivor - Matt Gosper - 8 / 10
After the culture shock of such a total change to the Yakuza recipe, I’m extremely glad the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio team took such a big leap when Kiryu’s tale came to an end. Like A Dragon is a revitalised game full of fresh ideas and proves that the series won’t be re-treading the same ground with Ichiban in the driver’s seat. If this is the first step into the new age of Yakuza, I can’t wait to see how bonkers the next game will be.
TechRaptor - Robert Scarpinito - 8 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon refreshes the action with a turn-based JRPG that retains its charming identity, but it falls into some pitfalls that are emblematic of the genre.
The Games Machine - Danilo Dellafrana - Italian - 8.2 / 10
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an interesting new entry into the criminal universe created by SEGA, and undoubtedly represents the most courageous and anarchic chapter so far. It's not entirely convincing, but what works bodes well for the future of the series.
TheSixthAxis - Thomas Hughes - Unscored
Yakuza Like a Dragon is an enjoyable new twist on the series, although it's not hard to imagine that many long-time fans of the series will be put off by its slow pace. In a day and age where video game companies rarely take risks, Like a Dragon is a refreshing change of pace for a series that risked starting to feel stale.
TrustedReviews - Jade King - 4.5 / 5 stars
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a triumph, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio should be commended for redefining such a seasoned franchise, despite the backlash it might have received. Leaving Kazuma Kiryu behind hasn't been easy, but Ichiban Kasuga and company have crafted a compelling path into the future that I cannot wait to see continue.
VideoGamer - Josh Wise - 9 / 10
This is the crux of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It is fascinated by the way that games lurk at the soft verges of life, vesting our days with dreams.
Wccftech - Kai Powell - 9.1 / 10
The mean streets of Yokohama offer the opportunity for a new cast, a new suit, and a new hero. Ichiban Kasuga might not be the role model in the same way that Kiryu-chan was, but this dragon's quest might be the most fun Yakuza title to date!
Windows Central - Zackery Cuevas - 5 / 5 stars
Yakuza: Like a Dragon feels like everything I ever wanted in a game. Once the game stomps on the gas, it very rarely slows down. Its unique cast of characters and gameplay had me hooked and wanting more, and it almost feels like it never stops giving. Even after the story ends at the 45+ hour mark, I was ready to fight more, complete more side missions, and squeeze out every drop of gameplay that this game has to offer.
ZTGD - Ken McKown - 9 / 10
The Yakuza series continues to grow and expand in the gaming world. I love its quirky humor and deep narratives. This new entry begins a new saga and I cannot wait to see how the story of Ichi evolves over time. If it is even half as good as Kiryu’s the studio will have another series of great games on its hands. Everything about this title feels good and for those worried about having previous knowledge, don’t be concerned. Like a Dragon is a wonderful jumping in point for the series and also one of the best titles in it to date. Don’t sleep on this game, it is worth digging into.
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2020.10.28 13:13 OmprakashSelvam6 15 Best Places to Visit in India

15 Best Places to Visit in India

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1. The Taj Mahal, Agra
India's most recognizable building, the Taj Mahal is also the world's most famous testimony to the power of love. Incorporating many elements of Islamic design including arches, minarets, an onion-shaped dome, and black calligraphy inlaid around the entrance, the Taj Mahal is largely constructed of white marble decorated with delicate inlaid floral patterns and precious and semi-precious stones such as jade, lapis lazuli, diamonds, and mother of pearl.
The best time to visit is either at dawn or dusk when the atmosphere is brilliantly altered by the change in lighting. If possible, try to catch a view of the Taj Mahal's reflection from the far bank of the Yamuna River-it makes for a memorable (and safe) selfie.
2. The Holy City of Varanasi
A major pilgrimage center for Hindus, the holy city of Varanasi has long been associated with the mighty Ganges River, one of the faith's most important religious symbols. Dating back to the 8th century BC, Varanasi is one of the oldest still inhabited cities in the world.
It offers many reasons to visit, not least of them the chance to explore the Old Quarter adjacent to the Ganges where you'll find the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, built in 1780 (the New Vishwanath Temple with its seven separate temples is also of interest).
3. Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Founded in 1577 by Ram Das, Amritsar is an important hub of Sikh history and culture. The main attraction here is Harmandir Sahib, opened in 1604 and still often referred to as the Golden Temple for its beautiful gold decoration. The holiest of India's many Sikh shrines (it also attracts many Hindus and people of other faiths), the temple was built in a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles, its lower marble section featuring such flourishes as ornate inlaid floral and animal motifs, while the large golden dome represents a lotus flower, a symbol of purity to Sikhs.
4. The Golden City: Jaisalmer
So named for the yellow sandstone used in most of its buildings, the Golden City of Jaisalmer is an oasis of splendid old architecture that rises from the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. Once a strategic outpost, today the city is filled with splendid old mansions, magnificent gateways, and the massive Jaisalmer Fort-also known as the Golden Fort-a daunting 12th-century structure that rises high above the town.
5. The Red Fort, New Delhi
Built by Shah Jahan in 1648 as the seat of Mughal power-a role it maintained until 1857-the magnificent crescent-shaped Red Fort in New Delhi, named after the stunning red sandstone used in its construction, covers a vast area of more than two square kilometers, all of it surrounded by a large moat. Highlights include its two largest gates: the impressive Lahore Gate (the fort's main entrance) and the elaborately decorated Delhi Gate, once used by the emperor for ceremonial processions.
6. Mumbai: The Gateway of India
Standing an impressive 26 meters tall and overlooking the Arabian Sea, the iconic Gateway of India is a must-see when in Mumbai. Built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and his wife Queen Mary in 1911, this stunning piece of architecture was opened with much pomp and ceremony in 1924 and was, for a while, the tallest structure in the city.
  1. Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad
Construction of Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, one of the world's largest mosques-and one of the oldest in India-began in 1614 during Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah's reign and took almost 80 years to complete. Large enough to accommodate 10,000 worshipers, this beautiful mosque's 15 enormous arches and pillars were each wrought from single slabs of black granite dragged to the site by huge cattle trains reputedly consisting of up to 1,400 bulls.
8. Amer Fort, Jaipur
Amer Fort (often also spelt "Amber") was built as a fortified palace in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh I and has long served as the capital of Jaipur. Carved high up into the hillside, the fort is accessible on foot via a steep climb or by shuttle rides from the town below (better still, let an elephant do the work). Highlights include Jaleb Chowk, the first courtyard, with its many decorated elephants, and the Shila Devi Temple, dedicated to the goddess of war. Also of note is the adjoining Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am) with its finely decorated walls and terraces frequented by monkeys.
Just above Amer Fort is Jaigarh Fort, built in 1726 by Jai Singh and featuring tall lookout towers, formidable walls, and the world's largest wheeled cannon. Be sure to also spend time wandering the walled Old City of Jaipur with its three fully restored gates and splendid bazaars, as well as the delightful City Palace, a massive complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings.
9. The Beaches of Goa
Goa's more than 60 miles of coastline is home to some of the world's loveliest beaches, each with their own particular appeal. For those looking for peace and quiet, isolated Agonda Beach is a good choice, while Calangute Beach is by far the most commercial and crowded.
Long known within India as the "go-to" destination for those seeking a great beach holiday, Goa's beautiful western coastline, overlooking the Arabian Sea, has only recently been discovered by tourists from overseas.
Also worth a visit is Divar Island, accessed by ferry from Old Goa. Highlights include Piedade, a typical Goan village and home to the Church of Our Lady of Compassion with its interesting stucco work, Baroque plaster decorations, and altars, as well as stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
10. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Madurai
One of South India's most popular tourist attractions, Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is centered around a lake built by British engineers in 1895 for irrigation and to provide water to the city of Madurai. Established in 1934, this beautiful park is home to numerous species of mammals, including a large free-roaming Indian elephant population, wild boar, otters, the lion-tailed macaque, and more than 20 Bengal tigers. Bird watching is a popular activity with frequent sightings of species such as darters, storks, kingfishers, hornbills, and racket-tailed drongos, along with many interesting varieties of butterflies.
11. Agra Fort
Built as a military structure in 1565 by Emperor Akbar with later additions by Shah Jahan, the stunning Agra Fort (also known as Agra's Red Fort) is an interesting mix of both Hindu and Muslim influences. Located a little more than two kilometers from the Taj Mahal, the fort is entered through Amar Singh Gate with its low outer wall and dogleg design built to confuse attackers. Once inside, you'll see two large interlinked sandstone buildings, Akbari Mahal and Jahangiri Mahal, the largest private residence in the complex.
12. The Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
The famous monumental Ellora Caves were built between the 5th and 10th centuries by Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu monks, and make for an excellent excursion from Mumbai, some 300 kilometers to the west.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this remarkable collection of 34 carved monasteries, chapels, and temples-12 of them Buddhist, 17 Hindu, and five belonging to the Jain faith-were built in close proximity to each other, a reflection of the religious tolerance that existed during this period of Indian history.
The Hindu caves are much more complex and were carved from the top down, so scaffolding was not necessary. Of these, the best is the Kailasa Temple, an enormous rock-cut temple representing Mount Kailasa and requiring the removal of 200,000 tons of rock.
13. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Dominating the old city of Jodhpur, the massive Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest fortifications in India, was built in the 15th century to safeguard the people of the famous "Blue City," as Jodhpur is still known - a name derived from its indigo colored houses, painted blue to deflect the heat.
Built on top of a towering outcrop, Mehrangarh is an amazing feat of construction, its massive walls all but impenetrable. Access is via one of seven splendid gates, including Jaya Pol and Fateh Pol (the latter still bears scars from cannon attacks).
14. Mysore Palace
Completely rebuilt in 1897 after a devastating fire, this beautiful three-storied palace features highlights such as its elegant square towers and domes; the many ornate ceilings and pillars in Durbar Hall; and the splendid Marriage Pavilion, with its glazed floor tiles, stunning stained glass, artworks, and displays of jewelry (it's also where, on special occasions, the exquisite Golden Throne is exhibited).
The sprawling city of Mysore is a delight to explore thanks to its eclectic mix of fine old colonial architecture; regal Indian palaces; and lush, well-manicured gardens. While those inclined towards shopping will enjoy spending time in the city's famous silk and sandalwood bazaars, the main attraction is magnificent Mysore Palace.
15. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, considered the world's holiest Buddhist site, attracts thousands of visitors each year, all drawn to participate with the resident monks in meditation and prayer. The focal point of this place of pilgrimage is stunning Mahabodhi Temple, built next to the very spot where Buddha came to Enlightenment and formulated his philosophy on life. Constructed in the 6th century and restored numerous times since, the temple is topped with a beautiful pyramidal spire and houses a large gilded statue of Buddha.
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2020.10.27 14:24 Einmariya 💀👻🎃 Samhain & the Blue Full Moon - October 31 🌒🌕🌘

Welcome to the latest sabbat informational post! Throughout the year, we will be posting up these threads to share general information about the next upcoming sabbat so WvP's witches, new and old, can prepare for the holiday. These posts will contain basic information about the holiday and open up for the floor for further questions or discussion.

Special Note About Halloween & Samhain:

For the sake of this post, I'm going to assume that WvP's witches are familiar with the basic principles of the modern Halloween and that it is derived from a conglomeration of older, pagan rituals from around Samhain. After all, Halloween is a pretty basic cultural concept at this point (pop or otherwise), having spread itself globally via media and the internet to places where it was barely heard of even a decade ago.
As such, I'm not going to be talking about Halloween and its connections with Samhain at all in this post. Samhain itself is, after all, a very important witch's holiday in its own right and deserves its proper consideration by itself aside for its current popular holiday connections.
If there's interest, I could put together another post (later, after Samhain) that goes a bit more in depth about particular aspects of Samhain and how they're related to modern Halloween celebrations. But this post as it is will certainly be long enough on its own, I assure you!

💀👻🎃 Samhain & the Blue Full Moon - October 31 🌒🌕🌘

What and When is Samhain?

Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in) is one of the eight sabbats of the modern pagan Wheel of the Year. It is one of the "greater sabbats", falling approximately halfway between an equinox and a solstice. The others are Imbolc (mid-Winter), Beltane (mid-Spring), and Lughnasadh (mid-Summer). Samhain also has extra importance due to being the beginning of the Celtic New Year.
In the northern hemisphere, Samhain falls on November 1st, but it is an almost universal practice to celebrate it beginning at sunset of October 31st. According to the original Celtic calendar, days begin at sunset, and because Samhain is such an important holiday, this sunset starting time stuck around longer than it has for other holidays.
For our Southern Hemisphere witches, the next holiday is Beltane, the beginning of the Light half of the year, and its celebrations traditionally fall on November 1st. For more information, check out our earlier Beltane post!

What's all this now about a Blue Moon?

The next Full Moon also falls on October 31st this year, and since it is the second Full Moon within the calendar month of October, it counts as a Blue Moon! It's also the Hunter's Moon and a "micromoon" (meaning that the moon is at its further point from Earth, the opposite of a "supermoon").
Due to the conjunction of a Blue Full Moon and Samhain/Beltane falling on the same date (and of course given the current state of, well, everything), many witches around the world have been using this as an opportunity to add more potency to their spells and rituals, or are otherwise doing more than they might otherwise.

Samhain: History, Connections, and Modern Practice

In historic Gaelic tradition, the year was split into two halves, the dark half and the light half. The dark half of the year began on Samhain, and following the tradition of dates starting with darkness, Samhain also marks the beginning of the New Year as well. It was celebrated throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, and similar celebrations can also be seen in Wales and parts of England. Based on historical records, we can tell that the original festival likely lasted for more than a single day, with estimates going as high as a full seven days (three days before and after Samhain, plus the day itself).
Samhain is a liminal time, when the veil to the Otherworld is thin, and such it is a perfect time to venerate ancestors and the dead. The fair folk are also more active at this time, as are other spirits and entities. Much was done to both honour the dead and the spirits and other entities, and also to protect one's self from them. Some of these practices included leaving out a dumb supper for the dead, mumming and disguising to hide from spirits (or collect food on their behalf), sacrificing livestock that would not have survived the winter, or otherwise leaving food or other offerings and sacrifices.
Another benefit of the thinning veil is that Samhain is the perfect time for divination of all sorts. Traditionally, this was primarily done in and around the Samhain bonfire. One Scottish ritual involved placing stones in ash around the fire and seeing if any were misplaced by morning. Apples and hazelnuts were also often used in divination rituals, with apples in particular having a strong connection to the dead and being at the height of ripeness.
As you might expect from such an important holiday, Samhain also crops up frequently in Celtic myths and legends. In some cases, such as with the Nemedians in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Samhain was a time of great sacrifice and may have been used symbolically to represent the harshness of the winter months. Later on, Samhain marks the start of the Second Battle of Mag Tuired when the Tuatha Dé Danann finally defeat the Fomorians, and finally, Finn McCool defeats Áillen on Samhain, ending his 23-year cyclic fiery destruction of Tara.
Samhain is connected to a few different locations in Ireland, such as Oweynagat ("cave of cats") in Rathcroghan, or Tlachtga ("hill of ward") in the Boyne Valley. The Hill of Tara has an especially notable connection at the Mound of Hostages, as the entrance passage is aligned with the sunrise during astrological time period around Samhain.
Many deities also have connections to the holiday, or various aspects of it. In Celtic Mythology, we have The Morrígan and The Dagda (via their encounter before the Second Battle of Mag Tuired), and Tlachtga (a deity or druidess who gave her name to the hill mentioned above). In Scotland, the Cailleach begins her rule. In Wiccan tradition, Samhain marks the death of the Horned God (don't worry, he'll be reborn during Yule) and the Goddess is strongest in her Crone phase. Other deities from traditions around the world are also connected to this time, such as Persephone whose primary myth also involves a split between the dark and light halves of the year, or any other deity associated with Death or Darkness.
As Samhain traditions have managed to survive into the current times so well, modern witches have a wealth of information to pull from for Samhain rituals and celebrations. Although the livestock- and harvest-related aspects of the holiday are less important to us, we can all appreciate and make use of the thinning of the veil, and taking time out of our lives to honour our ancestors, other dead, and all the fairies and spirits and other denizens of the Otherworld that are at their strongest during this time of year.
Honouring our ancestors and other dead spirits is one the most important aspects of Samhain and something almost every witch will try to take time to do in some shape or form during this time. One of the simplest and most common ways to do this is to make an extra meal during Samhain and leave it at an empty space at your dining table, to offer the food for any ancestors who wish to visit during this time. Many witches may also visit graveyards, both of known ancestors or to otherwise honour the forgotten dead who may not have anyone else to visit.
Additionally, just like our ancestors did, now is the perfect time for witches of all ages, knowledge, and skill to brush up on their divination. It's a perfect time to start learning a new divination technique or hone an existing one. Pick up a deck of tarot cards or a pendulum. If you have no talent or inclination towards divination on your own, you may wish to hire a small business witch to do a reading for you.
Aside from traditional Celtic celebrations, many other cultures around the world have their own ways to honour the dead and the coming winter. One of the most well-known examples of this is the Mexican Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), which was itself based on earlier Aztec festivals honouring Mictēcacihuātl, "Lady of the Dead". Check out the Festival of the Dead page on Wikipedia for a more comprehensive listing of other autumnal, death- and ancestry-related festivals. Especially when honouring ancestors, you may wish to include aspects of some customs they might have known during their lives.
One other pagan aspect of this time of year that I'd like to touch on quick is the Wild Hunt. Chasing the pre-Christian history of the Wild Hunt is far beyond the scope of this post, but it has roots through much of western Europe and is connected to many of the same deities and themes that are so prevalent with Samhain as well, as autumn gets deeper, the dark gets darker, and the spirits become more restless and powerful. Some practitioners of different types of European paganism like to encorprate aspects of the Wild Hunt into their devotions and rituals for this time of year.
Check out our section below for some more specific ideas and examples of ways to celebrate Samhain with yourself, or maybe even a few (properly distanced) family or friends.
As a part of the Wheel of the Year, Samhain follows Mabon, and the beginning of the Dark Half of the year is starting. By now, everything should be harvested and the cattle should be brought to their winter pastures. It is a time to reflect on and honour the dead, and prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for the long, cold, dark winter coming up ahead.
If you look at the sabbats as a reflection of the self, Samhain is the beginning and the end. It is a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, and to begin looking ahead to what is coming. Mother nature will come alive again in spring, and in the meantime, we need to get right with ourselves, each other, and the world, to set us up for the best chance of success when we begin to sprout again in a few months. Think about what long-term goals and intentions you'd like to work on and take the initial steps towards planning them out.
Symbols: Skulls/Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack-o-Lanterns, Brooms, Cauldrons, Acorns/Nuts Colours: Black, White, Purple, Orange, Red Plants/Herbs: Oak, Rowan, Hazel, Rosemary, Mint, Calendula, Sage, Wormwood Foods: Apples, Pumpkins/Gourds, Nuts, Turnips, Breads, Soul Cakes

Simple rituals and ways to celebrate Samhain include:

  • Honour your ancestors and any other dead you personally wish to honour. This may include visiting graves, hosting a dumb supper, or perhaps following some specific cultural traditions as part of a Festival of the Dead or other Ancestor Veneration. This is a personal thing, so do what works best for you.
  • Honour the Forgotten Dead, those who have no one else to remember them. You may wish to follow a ritual, by yourself or with others, or perhaps something more low-key would suit you, like visiting an old graveyard and speaking to any spirits who may be near.
  • Build a ritual bonfire, a great way to celebrate and stay warm while social-distantly visiting with family and friends. One popular Samhain bonfire ritual is to write something you wish to discard on a bay leaf or piece of paper and symbolically burn it in the fire while thinking of a positive thing with which you'd like to replace it.
  • Perform a divination technique to make the most of the thinning veil. Seances, ouija boards, and other "direct" spiritual communication is popular during this time, or you may prefer something more concrete such as tarot or casting runes. If you've been drawn to divination but not started, now is a great time to give it a whirl! Or you might like to support a small business witch to do a reading for you.
  • Setup, clean, and/or refresh your altar for Samhain. Check here or over at tumblr if you'd like ideas or inspiration.
  • If you want something a bit more old school than the traditional jack-o-lantern, try making your very own turnip head!
  • Make an ancestral altar or shrine with physical mementos of loved ones. This doubles as a great space to make any further ancestral offerings during the season. Remember, you don't only have to only your blood kin, but any others who have passed on can be honoured.
  • If you're not sure what to offer the dead, bake a batch of Soul Cakes.
  • Cook some other Samhain-inspired goodies to unleash your inner Kitchen Witch; here are some suggestions. Freshest is bestest!
  • Perform a Samhain seasonal rite/ritual. Here is a good example of a solitary Samhain ritual, for practicing witches without a coven. This is an example of a simple group ritual that can be customized to fit your needs. This post also contains some nice seasonal spells, rituals, crafts, and rites.
  • Perform an ancestor-related ritual or ceremony. This page contains a number of simple examples to build off of.
  • If you're celebrating Samhain with children, find some ways ways to include them in the holiday, such as by making some child-friendly Samhain crafts.
  • You can also try your hand at another traditional Irish craft, the Parshell Cross, which is very similar to a rowan cross.
  • Celebrate by eating and cooking with seasonal produce.

Tips for New and/or Broom Closet Witches

Samhain can be an intimidating holiday for a new witch, especially one with a religious family and/or one still in the broom closet in any respect. On one hand, the massive pop culture explosion of Halloween has brought death and spookiness into the mainstream for October, and it's easy to blend in. On the other hand, that same popularity can make it difficult to separate out and enjoy the more spiritual aspects of the holiday. Further, there are a great many misconception in the general public about witches and Samhain that can make things particularly uncomfortable.
That said, one of the most important things about Samhain is also the simplest and easiest to do in your own personal way, whatever that is: honouring the dead. Visit a cemetery, look at pictures, leave out an offering of food, think, remember. There are so many ways to honour and connect with those who have gone before, and everyone can do this in their own way. It's also a good way to help come to terms with our own mortality.
In more fun news, this is the perfect time for witches of all types to have fun buying "seasonal" products for year round use. Halloween is perfect for finding lots of witchy, gothy, spooky stuff for altars or deity veneration, jewellery, or even just going full a e s t h e t i c and decorating your space however you like.
Witchy seasonal baking is also in full swing this time of year, and everything pumpkin is super in season, so dig right in! Apples, nuts, dense breads, corn, these are all great foodstuffs that are seasonably appropriate and can be used in a variety of dishes, pastries, drinks, or anything you'd like. Closeted witches may find themselves extra clumsy this time of year, "dropping" food on the floor can't be eaten any longer and must be disposed of (a decent way to disguise offerings, if done in moderation).
Much of the importance of the Wheel of the Year is to really incorporate yourself with nature and the earth's yearly cycles. For most of the temperate, northern part of the world, autumn is definitely in full swing, and some places are already seeing snow flurries. Enjoy the changing colours of the leaves and the brisk freshness of the air during a forest walk, if you can. Now is a great time to spot mushrooms, gather acorns and rowan berries, and to enjoy the stillness of mother nature going to sleep. How are the animals and plants in your neighbourhood preparing for the coming winter? What do you still need to prepare yourself for the coming cold and dark?
Feel free to ask any questions you might have below or otherwise use this post for discussion about Samhain (northern witches), the upcoming Blue Full Moon, or Beltane (southern witches)!
submitted by Einmariya to WitchesVsPatriarchy [link] [comments]


2020.10.27 13:53 Nathan13Darr I have a Document on my Phone with the COMPLETE timeline for the ENTIRE Trilogy, and here it is. If I missed anything lmk

EDIT: I HAVE THIS IN A BETTER FORMAT ON GOOGLE DOCS! IF YOU WANT THIS DM Me and I WILL SHARE IT WITH YOU 1885 • Thursday, January 1: Dr. Emmett Brown (of 1985) accidentally arrives from 1955 and appears at an altitude of about fifty feet over the future location of Lyon Estates (about two miles south of Hill Valley). Despite damage to the vehicle's flying circuits, Doc and the DeLorean are not seriously damaged by the landing. Doc then goes into town and sets up as a blacksmith in Hill Valley. (In so doing, Doc may interfere with the normal timeline by replacing another blacksmith or stealing business from other blacksmiths in town or other towns — however, it is possible there would have been no blacksmith at all if Doc were not there.) • Date unknown between January 1 and September 3: Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen (the great-grandfather of Biff Tannen) asks Doc to shoe his horse but does not pay for them. A shoe would later fall off, leading Buford to break a whiskey bottle and subsequently shoot the horse in frustration. • April: William Sean McFly born, first son to Seamus and Maggie McFly and the first of the McFly family to be born in America. • Saturday, July 4: Doc passes out after drinking one shot of whiskey at the 4th of July celebrations. • Saturday, August 29: There is a meeting of the townspeople over who will pick up the new schoolteacher on September 4. Originally, no-one volunteers. In the altered timeline with Doc, he volunteers; and in the timeline without Marty, he picks her up. • Tuesday, September 1: Doc buries the broken DeLorean time machine in the Delgado mine and writes a letter to Marty McFly, who is stranded in 1955. • Wednesday, September 2: Marty McFly arrives in 1885 to rescue Doc and accidentally rips the fuel line in the time machine. While running from a bear, he hits the fence of the McFly farm, leading him to meet his ancestors Seamus and Maggie McFly. • Thursday, September 3: Marty runs into Buford Tannen and upsets him, causing Tannen to nearly hang Marty (going under the name "Clint Eastwood"). Doc saves Marty in the nick of time. • Friday, September 4: Doc tries repairing the DeLorean, and accidentally saves the life of Clara Clayton, who was supposed to originally fall into Shonash Ravine (which would have resulted in the ravine being renamed Clayton Ravine). It is love at first sight. • Saturday, September 5: The Hill Valley festival, and the inauguration of the newly built courthouse and its clock. Doc and Clara dance. Originally, Buford Tannen shot Doc here, causing Doc to die two days later, but thanks to "Clint," this is avoided. • Sunday, September 6: Doc and Marty prepare to go back to the future. Doc says goodbye to Clara and tells her the truth, but she doesn't believe him, and he brokenheartedly goes to the Palace Saloon. • Monday, September 7: • Marty goes into town to find Doc in the saloon. Doc passes out after drinking a single shot of whiskey; and Marty, Chester, and Joey attempt to revive him. • Tannen shows up in front of the saloon right as Doc awakens; he demands that "Eastwood" come outside and face him. Marty and Doc are ready to escape through the back door when Tannen calls Marty "yellow"; Marty decides not to face Tannen, showing an incredible amount of growth from a mere day earlier. Tannen's gang gets ahold of Doc and threatens to shoot him after Doc and Marty attempt an escape. • Marty then decides to face Tannen, and survives thanks to a trick learned from the Clint Eastwood movie A Fistful of Dollars. He and Doc then flee to catch the train. • Meanwhile, Clara, on a train to San Francisco, hears someone talking about a man talking about her, and she stops the train and jumps off to find Doc. She discovers clues at the blacksmith shop and runs to the spur line Doc and Marty are using; • Doc and Marty use a stolen train's locomotive to push the DeLorean up to 88 mph toward Shonash Ravine to go back to 1985. Marty goes back to the future; but Doc, who went to Clara's rescue, is forced to stay behind. • Tuesday, September 8: • Clara Clayton's funeral was to occur on this day had she fallen into the Ravine. • Tuesday, September 15: • Emmett Brown and Clara Clayton get married. • Tuesday, December 1[1]: Had Clara fallen into the ravine, it would have been renamed for her on this day. Since "Clint" is presumed to have crashed along with the locomotive, he enters the town's folklore as the man who beat "Mad Dog" Tannen and stopped bandits from stealing a locomotive, and Shonash Ravine is instead renamed Eastwood Ravine.
1955 • Saturday, November 5th: • Marty McFly used the DeLorean time machine to escape Libyan terrorists and accidentally traveled back in time to the very day Dr. Emmett L. Brown conceived of the possibility of time travel: November 5, 1955. Where the Twin Pines Mall would someday stand, Marty arrived at the Twin Pines Ranch and crashed into Otis Peabody's barn. • Marty escaped gunshots and ran over one of the two pines at the entrance of the farm. Apparently, this caused the Mr. Peabody to rename his ranch as the "Lone Pine Ranch", and the mall to be renamed "Lone Pine Mall"). • Marty drove onto a highway that passed by the future Lyon Estates. • Marty hid the DeLorean behind a sign and walked two miles to town. • Marty attempted to call Doc at Klondike 5-4385 and got no answer (and, fortunately, did not inadvertently disrupt Doc's revelation concerning the flux capacitor) • Marty ordered a coffee at Lou's Cafe and encountered his father George McFly. • Marty tracked George down and saved him from being hit by Sam Baines's car. • Marty was hit by the car instead of George, changing history. • While hanging a clock in his home bathroom, Dr. Emmett Brown slipped and hit his head on the porcelain sink and had an epiphany: a vision of the flux capacitor, which he theorized could make time travel possible. He was only able to realize his dream after 30 years of toil and, in 1985, he built a time machine out of a DeLorean. • Marty woke up later that day in Lorraine Baines's bedroom and became known as "Calvin Klein". • Marty had dinner with the Baines family while they watched the premiere of The Honeymooners episode "The Man From Space", and found the location of Doc's mansion. • Marty convinced Doc that he was from the future and they recovered the car • Marty arrives in 1955 from the original 1985, on Otis Peabody's farm (a.k.a. Twin Pines Ranch) on the future site of the Twin Pines Mall/Lone Pine Mall. Peabody's son, Sherman, thinks Marty is an alien and Otis chases him out. Marty knocks down one of Old Man Peabody's two pine trees. Peabody later reported that he saw an "alien", but was declared insane and was sent to the County Asylum. • Marty accidentally prevents the first meeting of his future parents, George McFly and Lorraine Baines. • Sunday, November 6th: Doc realizes that Marty has interfered with his parents' first meeting and that he and his siblings will be erased from existence unless Marty can get them together. • Otis Peabody was sent to the County Asylum after claiming to officials that a "space zombie" crashed into his barn. • Marty McFly hooked up the JVC camcorder to Doc Brown's television set, after they had brought the DeLorean Time Machine back to Doc's garage, at about 12:30 in the morning (according to the clock in the garage). After initial despair that a source could ever be found to generate 1.21 gigawatts to send Marty back to 1985, Doc and Marty learned that a bolt of lightning would strike the Clock Tower on November 12. Soon after, they realized that there was another problem to solve; Marty's interference with his parents' first meeting was jeopardizing his existence. • Doc went to a local Sears & Roebuck store, where he purchased clothing more appropriate for Marty to wear in 1955. • Monday, November 7th: Marty, as "Calvin Klein", goes to Hill Valley High School to try and get George and Lorraine together, but she has a crush on Marty instead of George. • On the first day of school after Marty McFly was hit by a car, Marty went to Hill Valley High School to tried to introduce George and Lorraine to each other, but she has developed a crush on Marty instead of George. Marty notices the poster for the Enchantment Under the Sea dance that his parent have to attend. • Marty discovered that George wrote science fiction stories in the school cafeteria, and defended Lorraine against Biff's unwelcome advances. • After failing to change George's mind about asking Lorraine out as he followed George home, Marty made plans to scare George while dressed as a space alien later that night. • Tuesday, November 8th: • Marty, wearing a radiation suit and describing himself as "Darth Vader, an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan", visits George in the middle of the night, to try and convince him to take Lorraine to the dance that Saturday. • Marty defeats Biff Tannen in a skateboard chase around Courthouse Square, causing Biff and his gang to crash into a parked manure truck. • Lorraine tells Marty, "I was wondering if Marty you would ask me to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance". • George tried to ask Lorraine out at the cafe, but when Biff interrupted, Marty defeated him in a skateboard chase • Doc used a demonstration model to explain to Marty his plan to use lightning to power the flux capacitor, and Lorraine asked Marty to ask her to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance • Wednesday, November 9th: Marty and George come up with a plan for Saturday night that will see George become a "fighter" for Lorraine. • Saturday, November 12th: • Original timeline • Accompanied by her friend Babs, Lorraine Baines goes to Ruth's Frock Shop to pick up a dress she had made. • Lorraine kisses George McFly for the first time at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. One week earlier, George had been struck by a car driven by Lorraine's father, Sam Baines, and Lorraine looked after him during his recovery. Lorraine accepted George's invitation to go the dance. Marvin Berry & the Starlighters play popular music during the entire dance, such as "Night Train" and "Earth Angel". • During the famous Hill Valley Thunderstorm, a bolt of lightning strikes the Clock Tower at precisely 10:04 p.m., and it hasn't worked since. • Altered timeline • Biff Tannen goes to Western Auto to pick up his newly-repaired car (which had hit a manure truck days earlier). Shocked and bothered about the $302.57 bill, Biff and Terry, the mechanic, have a heated argument. • Biff approaches Lorraine and Babs as they emerge from Ruth's Frock Shop nearby. As Biff tries to coerce Lorraine into going with him (instead of with "that bug George McFly" or with "Calvin Klein" [Marty]) to the dance later that night, she rebuffs his advances. A persistent Biff then boasts to her about someday marrying her. • Doc Brown sets up electrical wiring at Courthouse Square as part of a "weather experiment" • Marty writes a letter to Doc to warn him about his untimely death in 1985. • Marty drives Lorraine to the high school dance as part of a scheme to get her and George McFly back together. • Biff, still very angry over his car's $300 repair bill, comes to the school dance in search of Marty. • George McFly punches out Biff and wins Lorraine's romantic interest back, sparking a change in their future relationship. • Marty plays "Earth Angel" and "Johnny B. Goode" at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. • Marty McFly travels back to 1985 after speeding the DeLorean time machine up to 88 miles per hour (and harnessing the lightning bolt that strikes the Clock Tower), leaving behind a pair of fire trails. • Second altered timeline • Biff of the 2015 timeline arrives in the time machine. He then ventures into town, witnessing his younger self picking up his newly-repaired car from Western Auto. Assuring his younger self: "Today's your lucky day!", Old Biff gives him the Grays Sports Almanac, thus creating the 1985A timeline. • The football game UCLA vs. Washington took place ending 19-17, thereby verifying the reliability of the Grays Sports Almanac • Third altered timeline • Doc and Marty return to 1985 and see it altered. They then travel to 1955 to prevent Old Biff from giving the Sports Almanac to his younger self. • While at Western Auto, Marty (having followed young Biff into town) climbs into Biff's newly-repaired car (without bering seen by 1955 or 2015 Biff). Young Biff, in the middle of the argument with Terry, throws cans at Marty, who is hiding in the back seat. • Doc Brown encounters his 1955 counterpart while on the way to free Marty from Biff's garage, but is able to prevent his younger self from recognizing him. • Marty recovers and destroys the Gray's Sports Almanac, restoring the space-time continuum to the original 1985 timeline. • Time circuits on the DeLorean scramble and the DeLorean is struck by lightning, sending Doc to 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 1885. • Western Union delivers a letter from Doc Brown to Marty instructing him on where to find the time machine and giving him explicit instructions to return to 1985 and destroy the DeLorean. • Immediately after the first Marty had been sent back to October 26, 1985, the second Marty returns to the Courthouse Square and scares the 1955 Doc into fainting. • Complete final timeline • DeLorean D = From 1885. November 12th, 1955: • 6:00 AM - Marty 2 and '85 Doc arrive from 1985A in DeLorean C and land the DeLorean behind the advert 2 miles away from Hill Valley. • 1:40 PM - Old Biff arrives from 2015 in DeLorean B. • 2:00 PM - Marty 2 follows '55 Biff to the town centre. • 2:06 PM - Old Biff gives '55 Biff the Almanac. • 6:38 PM - Old Biff goes back to 2015 in DeLorean B • 8:30 PM - '55 Doc is setting the cabling up in the Town Square. • 8:50 PM - '85 Doc arrives on a Bicycle at town square. He gives '55 Doc a 3/4 wrench and leaves. • 8:54 PM - '55 Biff arrives at the Enchantment under the Sea dance. Marty 2 is hiding in the back of his car. • 8:56 PM - Marty 1 arrives at the dance (with Lorraine) in '55 Doc's car. • 8:57 PM - '55 Biff, still upset over the $300 damage to his car, grabs Marty 1 and hands him over to Match, 3-D, and Skinhead, who trap him in Reginald's car. • 8:58 PM - Biff tries his way with Lorraine. • 8:59 PM - Marvin Berry injures his hand while forcing the trunk of Reginald's car open to free Marty. • 9:00 PM - George goes to save Lorraine from '55 Biff, and knocks him out • 9:01 PM - '85 Doc begins to fly DeLorean C to the dance. • 9:10 PM - Marvin Berry and the Starlighters (with Marty 1 playing guitar due to Marvin's hand injury) sing 'Earth Angel'. Marty begins to fade out of existence as Mark Dixon steals Lorraine by pushing George away. • 9:28 PM - '85 Doc leaves to pick Marty 2 up at Hill Valley High School • 9:30 PM - George pushes Mark Dixon over, resumes dancing with Lorraine, then kisses her for the first time. Marty and his siblings reappear as they are now born again. • 9:30 PM - Marty 2 enters the dance. '55 Biff's goons are following him. Upon not being able to find him, they plan to jump Marty 1 (who is playing Johnny B. Goode on the stage). • 9:34 PM - Marty 2 drops some sandbags on the goons. Marty 1 finishes his guitar solo and everyone looks at him like he's an idiot. • 9:36 PM - '55 Biff finds Marty outside the dance and calls him 'Chicken' • 9:38 PM - Marty 1 runs out of the door, hitting Marty 2 in the face and runs away without noticing. Biff picks up the Almanac from Marty 2 and drives away in his car. • 9:39 PM - '85 Doc arrives at the dance in DeLorean C and picks up Marty 2. • 9:48 PM - '55 Biff crashes into a manure truck. • 9:51 PM - Marty 2 burns the sports almanac. History is changed back to normal. • 9:53 PM - DeLorean C (with '85 Doc in it) is struck by lightning and sent to 1885. • 9:54 PM - The western union man arrives and gives Marty 2 '85 Doc's letter (that '85 Doc wrote in 1885 after being sent there) • 9:55 PM - Marty 2 begins running two miles back to the Clock Tower • 9:55 PM - Marty 1 arrives at the Clock Tower. • 9:56 PM - '55 Doc inputs the destination time 'OCT 26 1985 01:35 AM' into the time circuits of DeLoreanA. • 9:57 PM - A gust of wind blows down a tree branch, breaking the cable's link. • 9:58 PM - '55 Doc climbs up to the top of the Clock Tower. • 10:00 PM - The clock tower bell rings and scares '55 Doc. Marty 1 makes his way to the starting line in DeLorean A. • 10:01 PM - Marty 1 inputs the new destination time into DeLorean A's time circuits: 'OCT 26 1985 01:24 AM' (Note the time circuits display for 'Present Time' in this scene are incorrect, as they display '09:56 PM' when the clock tower has obviously just rung 10 O'clock) • 10:01 PM - DeLorean A (with Marty 1 in it) stalls. • 10:02 PM - DeLorean A starts, and Marty 1 drives towards the clock tower. • 10:02 PM - '55 Doc accidentally disconnects the cable from the OTHER END as well. Part of the ledge below the clock's face breaks under Doc's feet, forcing him to hang on to the cable. • 10:03 PM - '55 Doc loops the cable around the minute hand. • 10:03 PM - Doc slides down the cable and fiddles with the connection. • 10:04 PM - Lightning strikes the clock tower, and it stops at exactly 10:04 PM • 10:04 PM - '55 Doc reconnects the cable • 10:04 PM - The connecting hook on DeLorean A hits the cable, and the electricity goes into the flux capacitor, sending DeLorean A and Marty 1 to 1985. • 10:04 PM - Marty 2 arrives and tells '55 Doc he's back from the future. '55 Doc faints. • 10:05 PM - Marty 2 puts '55 Doc into Doc's car and begins driving him home. • Estimated 10:15 PM - Marty 2 arrives at 1640 Riverside Drive and takes Doc inside. • Sunday, November 13th: 1955 Doc reads the letter his older self in 1885 has written. • Monday, November 14th: Marty and Doc uncover the DeLorean from the Delgado mine at the Boot Hill Cemetery, where the 1985 Doc was buried in 1885. • Tuesday, November 15th: Doc repairs the DeLorean. • Wednesday, November 16th: Marty leaves 1955 and heads back to 1885 to rescue Doc.
1985 Timeline 1 • Friday, October 25 , 8:15 a.m.: Marty arrives at Doc's house, with the clocks saying 7:50. He plugs in his guitar. • Doc calls Marty and tells him that he and Einstein are away. • Jennifer and Marty are given slips for tardiness. • Marty fails the Battle of the Bands. • Marty witnesses Biff bully his father and is told the car is damaged. He is told by his sister that Jennifer tried to call him three times, with Lorraine, his mother, explaining that she never did what he was doing with George. • Marty accidentally falls asleep. • Saturday, October 26, 1:00 a.m.: • Doc calls Marty. • Marty arrives at the Twin Pines Mall with his camera. • Saturday, October 26, 1:15 a.m.: • Marty arrives at the Twin Pines mall. • Saturday, October 26, 1:16 a.m. • Einstein arrives in the DeLorean. • Saturday, October 26, 1:20 a.m. • Marty and Doc put plutonium in the time machine. • Saturday, October 26, 1:30 a.m. • Doc is shot by Libyan terrorists. • Saturday, October 26, 1:35 a.m. • Marty arrives at November 5th, 1955 after accidentally going to 88 mph. • Timeline 2 • Saturday, October 26, 1:36 a.m.: Marty McFly arrives from November 12th, 1955, 10:04 p.m., and witnesses Doc being shot again, and himself going back in time. He arrives and learns that Doc faked his death with a bulletproof vest after reading Marty's letter after November 12th, 1955. • Marty wakes up from his previous day, and sees Jennifer who he hasn't seen for 9 days. • Doc arrives and brings them back to the future. • Timeline 3 • Saturday, October 26, 6:00 p.m.: Marty, Jennifer, Doc, and Einstein arrive from October 21, 2015 after saving Marty Jr. • Marty arrives at Lyon Estates, with him realizing that he was in the wrong house. • Marty discovers that his father, George, was killed in 1973. • Timeline 4 • The DeLorean's time circuits as they appeared one minute after the first demonstration.​​ • Saturday, October 12: Libyan terrorists steal plutonium from the local power plant, but it is dismissed by the FBI as a "simple clerical error". • Friday, October 25: • About 8:23 AM - Marty McFly enters Doc's garage and turns on the CRM-114 amplifier. • Due to a slight overload, he destroys the amplifier. • Doc Brown calls and tells him to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1 AM, Saturday. • Doc's clocks all chime at 8:25 a.m. • Marty rushes to Hill Valley High School and is late, receiving a tardy slip from principal Stanford S. Strickland. • Marty and his band The Pinheads audition for the Battle of the Bands. • Marty gets Jennifer Parker's grandma's number and plans to go up to the lake. • Marty arrives home and sees the car which has been wrecked by Biff Tannen while drinking and driving (at the same time!). • George McFly watches The Honeymooners episode "The Man From Space". • Lorraine announces that "Jailbird" Joey Baines failed to make parole again. • Dr. Emmett Brown asks Marty to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 a.m. the next morning. • Marty fails his Battle of the Bands audition with his band, The Pinheads. • Lorraine McFly's brother, Joey Baines, fails to make parole again. • Saturday, October 26: • Originally planned as the date on which Marty and Jennifer were going camping at the lake; their time traveling adventures would ultimately cancel these plans. • Original timeline • Doctor Emmett Brown calls Marty McFly after midnight to come down to Twin Pines Mall • Marty picks up Doc's JVC recorder and arrives at the mall after 1 am. • Doc unveils his DeLorean time machine. • Doc creates the world's first temporal displacement test at 1:20:00 am, sending his dog Einstein one minute into the future. • At 1:21:00 am, the car reappears and the test is a success. • Doc places another pellet of plutonium in the car. • Libyan terrorists arrive and kill Doc. • Marty escapes in the DeLorean, activating the time circuits, and accidentally travels back to 1955. • The Libyans crash into a photo booth. • Revised timeline • Marty arrives back in 1985 early to save Doc, but the car dies and Marty runs down to the Lone Pine Mall. • Marty watches Doc get shot again and his other self travel back in time. • Marty finds that Doc was wearing a bulletproof vest, as a result of reading Marty's letter to him warning of his death. • Doc drives Marty back to his house. • Doc travels roughly 30 years into the future. • Marty wakes up to find a completely different family and life. • Jennifer Parker arrives. • Doc returns in an improved DeLorean from 2015 and takes them with him. • Biff Tannen watches the DeLorean take off and reach temporal displacement. • From about 1:18 a.m. to 1:35 a.m., in the parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall, Doc demonstrates his new DeLorean time machine. His dog Einstein becomes the world's first time traveler at 1:20 a.m. The Libyans find, shoot and (seemingly) kill Doc. Marty flees in the DeLorean and accidentally departs for 1955 at 1:35 a.m. • At 1:24 a.m, Marty returns from his first trip to 1955, runs from Courthouse Square over to what is now the Lone Pine Mall, and discovers that Doc lived because he'd been warned by Marty in 1955 via a letter (which he had torn up, but later stuck back together) about the Libyans. • Marty wakes up in the morning and finds that the interior of his house has changed, and the lives of his family members have also improved, due to his altering the events of his mother and father's first meeting each other in 1955. • Doc travels to the future, then comes back at about 10 a.m. and takes Marty and Jennifer to 2015. • Sunday, October 27: • Marty arrives back in 1985 at 11 a.m. from 1885 and the DeLorean is destroyed after being hit by a locomotive. The ravine that the railroad bridge travels over is now called Eastwood Ravine instead of Clayton Ravine due to time-changing events that took place in 1885. • Marty originally races Douglas J. Needles and crashes into a Rolls-Royce, negatively affecting his future; but through his time-traveling adventures Marty has learned much and ultimately avoids the race, thus changing the future. • Doc, Clara and their sons arrive in the Jules Verne Train to visit Marty and Jennifer, before departing for times unknown. • OctobeNovember: George McFly's first novel, A Match Made in Space, is published. The cover alludes to young George, young Lorraine, and "Darth Vader" (Marty's anti-radiation suit, utilized as a costume in 1955).
2015 • Timeline 1: • Saturday, August 8: • Doc and Einstein arrive from 1985. • Note: The following section is considered non-canon or is disputed in canonicity • The Hill Valley 1980s Car Expo is held. Doc enters his DeLorean and wins first prize, 10% off a hover conversion at Goldie Wilson Hover Conversion Systems. To get the money he needs for this and the Mr. Fusion, he searches the internet for the best investment to make, then travels back to April 18, 1938 to pick up several new copies of the first issue of Action Comics. • Non-canon or disputable information ends here. • Wednesday, October 21: Marty McFly Jr. is arrested after being set up for a robbery by Griff Tannen. • Thursday, October 22: Marty Jr. is tried, sentenced and convicted to 15 years in the state penetentary for the robbery. • Wednesday, October 28: Marty's daughter Marlene attempts to break her brother out of prison. She is sentenced to 20 years in jail. • Dates unknown • Note: The following section is considered non-canon or is disputed in canonicity. • After picking up several new copies of the first issue of Action Comics in 1938, Doc returns to an unknown time in 2015 where he sells one of the comics. He then uses the discount he won to get a hover conversion by Goldie Wilson III, has his DeLorean outfitted with a Mr Fusion, and establishes a fake identity under the name Leroy Brown. Then he travels to another point in 2015 to sell another of his Action Comics at Southby's Auction House for $2.5 million dollars. • Non-canon or disputable information ends here • Doc undergoes personal rejuvenation surgery and learns as much as he can about Marty Jr.'s meeting with Griff on October 21. Doc also places Einstein in a suspended animation kennel. He places the remaining money in a bank. Eventually, Doc leaves for 1985 to pick up Marty and Jennifer. • Timeline 2: • Friday, October 9: Holomax Jaws 19 debuts at the theater: "This time, it's really really personal." • Wednesday, October 21: • The Chicago Cubs win the World Series. • Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker arrive in 2015 to save Martin McFly, Jr. from being set up for a crime by Griff Tannen. • Marty poses as Marty Jr. and manages to change future history for the better by causing Griff and his gang to crash into the Hill County Courthouse, resulting in their being arrested. • 2015 Biff Tannen steals the DeLorean time machine and heads back to 1955 with the sports almanac, then returns the DeLorean without either Doc or Marty noticing. • The 47-year-old Marty, dared by Needles, illegally lets Needles scan his card, and subsequently gets fired by Mr. Fujitsu. • Thursday, October 22: Griff and his gang are sent to jail for wrecking the Courthouse Mall.
EDIT: ARGH It didn't do it in the bullet point formula I wanted. I have it on a google doc if you want it in bullet point form just let me know and I'll share it with ya. If i missed anything or want me to add anything let me know!
submitted by Nathan13Darr to BacktotheFuture [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 00:45 cheryldlovejoy Your Astrology Language Reviews: Accurate Zodiac Sign Readings?

Your Astrology Language Reviews: Accurate Zodiac Sign Readings?
“Your Astrology Language” is a product and website founded by astrological expert Sarah Lee, who has devoted her life to understanding the mystical connection between the heavens and our own bodies. Specializing in Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui since her studying began in the 1980s, the same readings and expert advice are offered to Sarah’s customers. The site and shop offer many single healing products such as crystals, guides, and charms to help soothe one’s soul. The product in question here is Sarah Lee’s reading and guides.
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Your Astrology Language is a service that uses Chinese zodiac signs and readings of the four obstacles that consumers may be facing. This answer is based specifically on their Chinese zodiac sign and the consumer’s birthdate as a way to detail the possible problems, what is in store for the future, their love life, and more that individuals could face in their future.
What Exactly is Astrology?
Astrology believes that the alignment of stars and planets affects every individual’s mood, personality, and environment, depending on when he or she was born. The zodiac history is based on the Chinese calendar, which is associated with Chinese astrology and ancient religion. Babylonians developed their own version of horoscopes about 2,400 years ago. Then 2,100 years ago, astrology caught on and moved to the eastern Mediterranean, becoming very popular in Egypt, which was under the control of a dynasty of Greek kings.
The landing page of the site offers a lot of information about the product to be free. When first visiting the website, Sarah offers you a free reading determined by your birth date that goes very in-depth to tell you all about who you are and why that may be. Your birth date is analyzed according to the astrological positioning of constellations, planets, stars, and Earth itself. Because this would be hard to do on our own, some smart Asian men did it for us a long time ago, now we just use the same techniques to carry on the tradition and the knowledge that they were so kind to pass down. This knowledge is what Sarah Lee holds and uses to give a reading customized to your special day.
The reading first categorizes you according to one of the twelve Chinese calendar years, which gives an assigned animal. This animal is then broken down into elements, and together, the assigned animal and elements will reveal to Sarah very special details about you, which she then conveys to you. Sarah explains in the reading that the animals and elements are part of some big, complicated charts that the Asian men made. Without keeping in mind that the future Western culture would want to use them as well, so she does all of the heavy lifting for her customers and interprets them for us.
The reading begins when a long seemingly, vague detail about your life is given and exposed to you. This part is typically where most people become suspicious about the authenticity of astrological readings because the medium will say something like, “Oh, you are intelligent; and will be very successful this year. If you want to know-how, the stars will tell me more for a small payment of $100!” While some individual fall for this, and thus have the medium business become commercialized full of fakes, Sarah wants the knowledge to be common, so she goes even further in-depth before asking for anything.
Going down the page, suspiciously small details are revealed that seem like complete chance, but according to astrological enthusiasts, are simple science. I took the reading myself, and at first, it gave me the usual about how I am intelligent, and if I work hard enough, I can easily make myself successful. Being used to this and knowing that if anyone applies themselves correctly, they can fit that definition, I ignored it but kept reading.
When reading my own, it began to give me things like my lucky number and lucky colour. I know these things could be anything and there are many options for both of them, but somehow mine seemed to actually fit. The reading told me my lucky number was nine, and coincidentally, that has been my favourite number for years. It also told me my lucky colour was green, which again “coincidentally,” used to be my favourite colour all throughout childhood, only recently making a switch to adoring purples and grays. This information had me convinced enough that I would at least read the full reading, where many things were discussed that seemed to apply to me, and others that I hope will be fulfilled soon. It was thorough, detailed, and by far the best free reading, or even paid reading, I have ever received in my life. The authenticity of Sarah’s work was proven to me right there, but that does not speak for her productsImperial Zodiac Metal Rat Guide
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At the end of the reading, Sarah offers a personalized Imperial Zodiac Metal Rat Guide. Even after the reading, that seems like a bunch of words thrown together to those without astrology knowledge. To those that do, they would know that the Metal Rat is the symbol for the 2020/2021 year. The year of the rodent, there could not be a better word to describe the year 2020. No doubt has been a tough year for everyone, which is why Sarah is offering her a guide on how to cope with these troubling times. Her guide will help us to sail through the year of the Metal Rat (2020/2021) and through future events
The year 2020 is coming to an end, but 2021 is only two months away; it is still untested, leaving plenty of reason to want a guide to help work through the remainder of the Metal Rat year. I was shocked, personally, that Sarah even had information left to give me after my free reading but, I was very interested in learning more about what she could teach to anyone after the depth of detail her free portion goes into.
Sarah compares the products with those of other sellers, showing the scams that are put abroad by fake mediums and astrologists. Sarah is offering the Metal Rat Guide; and six additional reads, all valued at over five hundred dollars ($500), and she is giving them away for only twenty dollars ($20) at the moment after completing your reading. A session alone with an “expert” such as Sarah would usually cost around $300, and she basically exposed a session’s secrets in minutes on her sight with a free, personal reading.
What is Your Astrology Language?
Many skeptics are unsure what to make of astrology, even though it has been used for centuries. There are many versions of what this actually means but understanding astrology can unlock secrets about an individual that is unlike anything else. Most people have seen the daily predictions for their zodiac sign for the day, week, or month, and many services break down what romance and fortune are in their future.
Your Astrology Language offers a different opportunity – the ability to get a free reading on the four obstacles that consumers may be facing. This answer is based specifically on their Chinese zodiac sign, which they can select on the homepage. After the user makes their selection and states their gender, they’ll also be asked for the name given at birth and when they were born. All of these factors will determine the placement of each planet in the universe when they were born. Even what time an individual was born can make a difference in the user’s forecast.
The website will generate a reading based on these details. The reading shows users their Eastern zodiac sign and their element, breaking down what this combination means for the user’s personality. After this breakdown, the user will also have the chance to learn about their Auspicious Luck Cycle.
The Auspicious Luck Cycle opens the door to the struggles that consumers have faced, showing how they can attract positive changes in their life. Furthermore, the creators allege that this part of the reading will expose users to the truth behind what it will take to make them happy. Still, the only way to get access to the in-depth details is to purchase the Imperial Zodiac Guide 2020/2021 Edition of the report.
Buying the Imperial Zodiac Guide 2020/2021 Edition
With this purchase of the Imperial Zodiac Guide, consumers will learn what they need to do to align their Qi and how to establish inner peace. The report also details the best times to make decisions, the best time to avoid them, and how to keep their psyche aligned with the universe.
The report includes:
  • A trick to improve the way that others are attracted to the customer
  • Lucky numbers to bet in lotteries
  • Tricks to revive their energy
  • Changes to make to their furniture arrangement.
  • How to improve relationships
By purchasing the report now, users can also get six bonuses that won’t be available for long. The reports focus on the extra benefits that users get from the report, including a book on feng shui and decluttering the home. While the bonuses easily increase the value to $497, the actual price tag is substantially smaller – only $19.
If the user doesn’t feel like they received everything that the creators advertised, they have up to 60 days to ask for a refund.
For consumers that would like to contact the company can do so by email at:
[email protected]
Bottom Line
Your Astrology Language and the Imperial Zodiac Guide 2020/2021 Edition report are helpful ways for consumers to learn more about themselves. Created by founder Sarah Lee, users will get an in-depth report for free on the website before any payment is required, which may be an effort to demonstrate how much more users can get. This opportunity won’t be available permanently, but it is offered relatively low to encourage other users to buy it.
Get Your Free 2020 Personalized Forecast Reading Here
The rest of the products also feature a 60-day money-back guarantee for any interested, allowing time to explore the guide and see if it is worth keeping into the 2021 year. This should combat any who are still skeptical but do not want to waste money, as it seems worth a try. While astrology is still in scientific question, I encourage you to take the test yourself, and see if you still question the authenticity of astrology, and how much you want to see a personal guide on how to deal with the mess we are all in right now.
submitted by cheryldlovejoy to AffiliXpro_Review [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 10:12 Giora_Thorntree New Cultural Properties in Japan

Some good non-pandemic news here in Japan: the country's culture ministry is back working as usual, and has designated new buildings as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties (ICP's) for the first time this year.
Background
Japan has a complicated system in place to protect buildings of historic and architectural value, but the two most important designations giving protection are issued by the national government. There are roughly 2500 designated ICP's (a single designation can consist of multiple buildings at the same site, so the total number of actual buildings protected is about double that), of which 228 are National Treasures - considered the most important buildings, culturally speaking in the country.
There's a special committee that decides on new designations, and they usually meet twice a year, in spring and in autumn. In recent years, they've been designating roughly 1 new National Treasure building each year, and a dozen or more new ICP's. This spring, because of Corona, the committee didn't meet. But they had a meeting recently, and they've now announced the first (and presumably only) new designations of the year. There is one new National Treasure, and 16 new ICP's.
This year's designations are a bit unusual. They're very heavy on infrastructure, with lots of lighthouses and bridges, in particular. Most of the buildings are modern as well, from the 20th century, and several are post-WWII. They may well have doubled the number of post-WWII ICP's in the country with this new designation. Anyway, here's what they are:
National Treasure
The country's newest National Treasure, number 228 for buildings, is the main Honden of Yasaka Jinja in Kyoto, better known as the Gion Shrine. The shrine dates back to the Heian period, and is probably best known for being the center of the Gion festival. It's also in the heart of the Gion neighborhood, and so popular with all kinds of different tourists. The Honden is fairly recent, dating only to the mid-17th century. It was built by one of the Shogun, and is apparantly modelled on older, Heian versions of the building.
In addition, 26 other buildings around the shrine have been newly dedicated ICP's.
Important Cultural Properties
There are 16 completely new ones. They include:
LIGHTHOUSES - Four lighthouses are on the list, all built by Brunton in the early Meiji era (Brunton was a British lighthouse engineer who spent several years in Japan in the early Meiji period, traveling all over the country and building a few dozen lighthouses in strategic spots. Many of his lighthouses still stand. He's considered the father of modern lighthouses in the country.) Two are either side of the Kanmon Strait between Kyushu and Honshu; one is nearby, further up the coast on an island in Shimonoseki City; and one is at the easternmost point in Kanto, in Choshi, Chiba. This latter lighthouse is the only one I've been to, as I visited it this summer.
ROAD BRIDGES - Two road bridges have been dedicated. A concrete arch bridge over the Tenryu River in Nagano Prefecture, and a steel arch bridge linking an island with the mainland in the vicinity of Sasebo, Nagasaki. The former dates from the 30's, while the other is decidedly recent, dating from the 1950's. As it happens, I've driven over both of them before.
RAIL BRIDGES - Two rail bridges on the defunct Takachiho Railway in Miyazaki are designated as a single ICP. They're a mix of concrete and steel, and date from the 1930's.
SAPPORO COURT OF APPEAL - From the 1920's, a grand, Western-style stone building has been designated. Built as a courthouse, it today houses a museum.
MEIJI JINGU - Numerous buildings at the heart of one of Tokyo's best known shrines have been designated. The shrine's buildings burnt down in WWII, and were rebuilt after the war. I believe it's the first time a post-WWII era shrine has been designated in this way.
KANAGAWA MODERN ART MUSEUM - On the grounds of the well known Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu in Kamakura. Originally built as a modern art museum, it's used for a different museum today. It's a modernist building, designed by Junzo Sakakura, a Japanese architect who trained with Le Corbusier.
SHIRAMINE HOUSE - Shiramine is a traditional mountain village on the slopes of Mt. Hakusan, which flourished as a base for silk production. It already has one ICP house, but now has another. It's a very grand, 3-storey house, necessary for dealing not only with raising silk worms, but also with the copious amount of snow that falls in the region.
NARAI HOUSE - Narai is arguably Japan's finest and most interesting post town. It already had one ICP house, but now it has another.
HASSHOKAN - This is a rather unusual designation. It's a very grand modern Japanese villa, built in very traditional style. Dating from the mid-Meiji period, it was originally the residence of a local logging magnate, but was converted into a restaurant in the late Meiji period, and has been operating as one ever since. One of the restaurant's rooms was built especially for Hirohito, who visited in the 1950's.
MOMIJIDANI WORKS - Another rather unique listing. Miyajima is best known for its temples and shrines, but this designation on the island is a series of river works designed to prevent erosion and rock slides down the river. It dates from after WWII, and is the first example of such a post WWII system designated. What makes it unusual is that the location - Momijidani - is a very popular tourist spot for visitors to Miyajima. So in addition to establishing weirs and embankments to tame the river, the designers also had to make it look nice. It uses lots of large rocks (rather than concrete), and is designed like a traditional Japanese rock garden.
TOKUSHIMA HOUSE - Tokushima has few ICP's, but now it has another one. It's a very grand residence, with many buildings, put up by a family who specialized in the indigo trade. It's right next to the main branch of the Yoshinokawa River, in the delta.
ITO RESIDENCE - Mr. Ito made his fortune in the coal mines of the Chikuho region of Fukuoka, which for many decades was a major coal producing area. He built a very large and grand modern Japanese style house, which is now open to the public.
submitted by Giora_Thorntree to ThornTree [link] [comments]


2020.10.18 18:15 llaverna Weekly Round-Up: October 12th - October 18th

Weekly Round-Up: October 12th - October 18th
/bangtan Weekly Round-Up
Previous thread: October 5th - October 11th
This round-up is for everything that happened in the /bangtan realm within the past week, compiled for your convenience! If you have feedback, please leave a comment or send me a PM.
The latest weekly round-up is linked on the sidebar of the subreddit. The link to the archive of past round-up posts can always be found in the wiki index.

Special

Date Thread
201013 Jawsh 685 AMA

Megathreads

Date Thread
201013 Happy Jimin day! [Birthday Compilation thread] - 2020
201014 BTS @ the 2020 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs)

News & Information

Date Thread
201012 Big Hit Entertainment says that a total of 993,000 viewers from 191 countries watched "Map of the Soul ON:E" on Oct. 10 & 11
201011 MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E Customer Experience Survey
201012 You can now connect your ARMY Bomb 'Ver.3' and 'MAP OF THE SOUL SPECIAL EDITION' to 'Persona' Comeback Trailer MV
201012 'Savage Love' (Laxed – Siren Beat) [BTS Remix] is #1 on Billboard Hot 100
201012 'Dynamite' is #2 on Billboard Hot 100 for its 7th week
201012 BTS is the first group to simultaneously rank at #1 and #2 on the Hot 100 in over a decade
201015 KPop Herald: Live reporting of BigHit IPO listing (thread)
201015 Bloomberg Asia: K-pop group BTS's agency, Big Hit, soars up to 160% more than its IPO price
201016 MAX- Blueberry Eyes (feat. Suga) will be promoted to US Pop radio starting next week (Oct. 19)
201017 Recording Academy member Natalie Nicole confirms in a tweet BTS submitted 7 nominations for Grammys 2021, 4 for Dynamite and 3 for Map of the Soul 7
201017 "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" has added English subs to all BTS performances
201017 'Dynamite' receives 19th music show win on this week's MBC Music Core!

Merchandise news

Date Thread
201012 “Map of the Soul ON:E” livestream purchasers-only special merchandise is now available to preorder on Weverse Shop Global
201012 “Map of the Soul ON:E” concert merchandise is now available for all customers to preorder on Weverse Shop
201012 BTS POP-UP : MAP OF THE SOUL Online Store GLOBAL Guest Information & Purchasing Guide
201014 BTS Pop-up: MAP OF THE SOUL Online Store Press Release
201014 beWATER with BTS will be available to order on October 15 from 12PM KST on Weverse Shop Global (Korea delivery only)
201015 Limited Edition CD With Dynamite and All Remixes On Sale Now
201015 BigHit Official Merch: [BTS POP-UP : MAP OF THE SOUL Showcase in Seoul] Pre-reservation Guide
201016 BigHit Official Merch: Do your thang with me now #BTS_POPUP #MAP_OF_THE_SOUL #BlackSwan
201017 BigHit Official Merch: 가져와 Bring the pain oh yeah #BTS_POPUP #MAP_OF_THE_SOUL #ON

Expired news

Date Thread
201011 US Army: Reminder about Target's "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" deal that starts today and ends Oct 17! You can consider pre-ordering BE and/or SKA:LA from here.
201015 Big Hit IPO ceremony will broadcast live for 15 minutes from Big Hit YouTube Channel at 8:50am KST

Official Media

Type Date Link Thread
Bomb 201016 [BANGTAN BOMB] 'Dynamite' Stage CAM (BTS focus) @ BBMAs 2020 Thread
Bomb 201018 [BANGTAN BOMB] Who's That Shadow? Thread
In the SOOP 201013 [Behind] In the SOOP BTS ver. EP.8 Back to Our Everyday Life: Behind-the-scenes Thread
Teaser 201013 [PREVIEW] BTS (방탄소년단) 'Skool Luv Affair Special Addition' Thread

New Releases

Date Link Thread
201018 Docksim's Soundcloud: Save Me (ghost band interpretation) Thread

Official SNS

Date SNS Link Thread
201012 Weverse j-hope Thread
201012 Twitter Namjoon Thread
201013 Twitter Jimin Thread
201013 Twitter BigHit Entertainment Thread
201013 Twitter BTS Official Thread
201016 Weverse Compilation
201017 Weverse Compilation
201017 Twitter Seokjin Thread
201017 Twitter Bangtan Thread

CF & Partnerships

Date Thread
201012 [Hyundai Motors X BTS] BTS' QUALITY TIME!
201014 BODYFRIEND X BTS 2nd Behind The Scenes Teasers

Articles

Date Publisher Article Thread
201013 ET Online Lea Salonga Talking About the Power of BTS Thread
201013 The New York Times BTS Honored Korean War Sacrifices. Some in China Detected an Insult. Thread
201013 Forbes BTS Used to Benefit From Western Pop Stars Featuring On Their Songs. Now the Tables Have Turned Thread
201014 The New York Times BTS’s Loyal Army of Fans Is the Secret Weapon Behind a $4 Billion I.P.O. Thread
201014 BBC The BTS fans investing in their favourite K-pop band Thread
201014 TIME BTS's Parent Company Is Going Public. Here's How the Music Industry Could Replicate Its Massive Success Thread
201016 LaineyGossip BTS: Top Charts, Top Stocks Thread
201017 Slate The Strange, Globetrotting Story Behind America’s New No. 1 Song. Thread

SNS Mentions

NOTE: Entries with 💜 have new content directly involving BTS
Date 💜 Link Thread
201012 Kildren - 'V'Lack Thread
201013 Lionsgate: BTS x Lionsgate Universe Thread
201013 Michael Jackson Thread
201012 Bee Gees tweeted about BTS! Thread
201013 Son Sung Deok Instagram Thread
201012 BBMAs Who'd You Rather with Kelly Clarkson (She'd rather have BTS and ARMY bail her our of jail than the Jonas Brothers) Thread
201013 Chung Sye-kyun(정세균), South Korea’s prime minister, posted a message congratulating BTS for their #1 and #2 on the Hot 100 chart Thread
201013 💜 BBMAs: Now boarding with nonstop service to the #BBMAs! @BTS_twt hits the stage TOMORROW at 8/7c on NBC. #BTSxBBMAs Thread
201014 💜 BBMAs: Time to light the #BBMAs stage up like DYNAMITE! 💥 Thread
201015 💜 Charlie Puth (ft. JungKook) Thread

Other media

NOTE: Entries with 💜 have new content directly involving BTS
Type 💜 Date Link Thread
Cover 201018 BTS's Dynamite was performed on MBC King of the Masked Singer Thread
Photos 💜 201012 Kpop Herald: More photos from @BTS_twt' Map of the Soul: ON:E Thread
Video 💜 201012 BTS' special video message for BBMAs Thread
Video 💜 201012 Billboard Music Awards: We asked BTS a few questions before their performance this Wednesday... Thread
Video 201012 STREET DEBATE: Korean Men Discuss Whether BTS Should Receive Military Service Exemption Thread
Video 201016 [ENG] The reason why MV director apologized to V of BTS? / Comment Defenders / AYO / Reaction Thread
Other 201017 BTS - Black Swan Concept (Motion Graphics by Undesigned Museum for BTS Pop-Up Map of the Soul) Thread

Milestones

Type Date Thread
Charts/Sales 201012 BTS's "Filter" has now sold over 200,000 units in the US
Charts/Sales 201012 BTS' "Dynamite" extends its reign as the longest running #1 single on the Digital Song Sales chart this year (7th week; 94K sold)
Charts/Sales 201012 BTS Dynamite Has Surpassed 1mil Pure Sales In The US
Charts/Sales 201012 Forbes: BTS Claim The Two Bestselling Songs In The U.S. With ‘Dynamite’ And ‘Savage Love’
Charts/Sales 201012 "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)" also hits No. 1 on this week's #Global200 chart for the first time
Charts/Sales 201012 "Dynamite" is #3 on the Billboard Global 200
Charts/Sales 201012 "Dynamite" is #2 and "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)" debuts at #3 on the Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.
Charts/Sales 201014 "Skool Luv Affair Special Addition (re-issue)" by BTS was the #1 most sold album on Hanteo today with 81,888 sales!
Charts/Sales 201015 "Dynamite" has now spent 7 weeks at #1 in South Korea Gaon Digital Chart, the first and only song by a group in history to achieve this
Charts/Sales 201016 ‘Skool Luv Affair (Special Edition)’ has re-entered US iTunes!
Followers 201017 BTS Have Surpassed 30 MILLION Followers on Twitter & remain the Most Followed Korean Act on the platform
Likes 201018 With 19.655 million likes, "Dynamite" Official MV of @BTS_twt has now surpassed "Gangnam Style" and become the most liked MV of an Asian artist on YouTube
Streams 201014 BTS Is The #1 Most Streamed Artist On Global Spotify Date On October 12th With 22.24mil Streams
Streams 201015 BTS's "Jamais Vu" Has Now Surpassed 100 MILLION Streams on Spotify (41st song to do so)
Streams 201016 Dynamite Audio has surpassed 40M streams on YouTube Music. First BTS audio to do so.
Streams 201018 BTS's "Dynamite" has now surpassed 300 MILLION streams on Spotify
Streams 201018 "Dynamite" by BTS is now the fastest song by a Korean act to surpass 300 MILLION streams on Spotify (58 days), surpassing Boy With Luv! (194 days)
Views 201016 “ON" has now surpassed 200 million views on YouTube
Other 201013 BTS is now the first and only artist in history to spend 200 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Social 50

TinyTAN

Date Link Thread
201012 TinyTAN: We can be small or big, and also fluffy! All you have to do is pick! ⏰October 14, 2020 3PM (KST) Thread
201014 TinyTAN merchandise for the month of October is now available to preorder on Weverse Shop Thread

BT21

Date Link Thread
201012 BT21 PLAYLIST - Song From Planet BT Thread

BT21 merchandise news

Date Thread
201014 BT21 Baby Digital Clock
201016 BT21 BABY Boucle Blanket & Cushion

Misc

Date Thread
201013 UPDATE: Data Visualization of BTS Twitter Engagement (December 2015 - September 2020)
201017 [Fan account] My First Ever BTS Experience!

Subreddit

Rolling /bangtan Awards 2020 nomination form

Community posts

Top Discussion Posts

  1. [+180] I miss when BTS used to do covers of other songs at year end performances
  2. [+136] Favorite Jimin moments?
  3. [+132] How long did it take for you to learn their names?
  4. [+131] Waste It On Me
  5. [+104] New to BTS - Asking for Army's Guidance towards my BTS Journey

Weekly threads

Fanart

Here are past week's top 5 fanart posts from our sister subreddit, /heungtan!
Submitter Thread
AUOGil82 This year’s birthday drawing for Jimin~!
ilumoone Suga monochrome sketch
CrankyPilots Here’s my drawing for Jimin’s birthday! 💜 It’s based off of Serendipity and Lie
dandydellion Dynamite Fanart, I'm in love with the MVs colorgrading so much, and of course, with them haha
ilumoone Jimin drawing - Happy Birthday 🐣✨
submitted by llaverna to bangtan [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 14:11 StevenStevens43 King Art Oenfer & the boys

King Art Oenfer & the boys
King Art Oenfer & the boys:
In this article, i will still be leading up to "thee" King Arthur.
I will attempting to sort out more legends and trying to identify how they fit in to known contemporary history, whilst dealing with the denials of historians and scholars that oppose, and do not trust, traditional British history.
However is very much connected to the legends of King Arthur, it would be a good idea to first read the previous articles, before reading this one, as opposed to reading the book backwards.
The links are below.
King Art Oenfer & Son - Part 1
Gallus the Mac - Part 2
King Art Oenfer III & the barbarcia conspiriato - Part 3
King Art Oenfer IV & V - Part 4
King Art Oenfer VI - Part 5
King Art Oenfer & the historia francorum - Part 6
Link for photo
King Arthur
Fergus Mor:
So, this article will be dealing with the closest associates of King Arthur.
Fergus Mor in early sources
.[2] While it was suggested some believe Fergus claimed lineage to Arthur, the historian John Morris has suggested, instead, that Fergus was allowed to settle in Scotland as a federate of Arthur, as a bulwark against the Picts.
First king of Scotland:
I will begin with the claim that Fergus Mor was the first king of Scotland.
Fergus Mor
Fergus Mór mac Eirc (Scottish Gaelic: Fearghas Mòr Mac Earca; English: Fergus the Great) was a legendary king of Dál Riata. He was the son of Erc of Dalriada. While his historicity may be debatable, his posthumous importance as the founder of Scotland in the national myth of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland is not in doubt. Rulers of Scotland from Cináed mac Ailpín until the present time claim descent from Fergus Mór.
Alba:
However, modern day historians and scholars have made the first error in only the second paragraph.
Fergus Mor being the first king of Scotland, would indeed be a myth.
But, Fergus Mor being the first Scot to rule in Alba, is not the same thing as Fergus Mor being the first king of Scotland.
And Scots and Irish people are only using the term Scotland, so that they are understood by the modern English readers, that are not fluent in the traditional British language.
But, they do infact mean Alba, not, Scotland.
And at that, only certain parts of Alba.
Fergus Mor in later accounts
Andrew of Wyntoun's early 15th century Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland says that Fergus was the first Scot to rule in Scotland
Sally Foster:
Now, the first expert opinion on the subject, comes from Sally Foster.
Apparently the Annals of Tigernach can easily be debunked by quite simply pointing out the fact that the writers of the annals were obviously not even aware of the real name of Dal Riata, when referring to Dal Dalom as Dal riada.
Fergus Mor in early sources
The historical record, such as it is, consists of an entry in the Annals of Tigernach, for the year 501, which states: Feargus Mor mac Earca cum gente Dal Riada partem Britaniae tenuit, et ibi mortuus est. (Fergus Mór mac Eirc, with the people of Dál Riata, held part of Britain, and he died there.) However, the forms of Fergus, Erc and Dál Riata are later ones, written down long after the 6th century.
Link for photo
Dal Dalom 580 AD
Dal Dalom:
But i wonder if Sally Foster has the hindsight to understand why she referred to Dal riada as Dal riata?
It is because the audience she is narrating to, now know Dal riada as Dal riata.
And that is the exact same reason that the Annals of Tigernach would have referred to Dal Dalom as Dal Riada.
Name
The name Dál Riata is derived from Old Irish. Dál, from Proto-Celtic \dālom*, means 'portion' or 'share' (as in 'a portion of land')
Link for photo
Ulster & the hebrides (apologies i said it in English)
unauthentic:
Now, Sally Foster makes one heck of a "statement" without farther elaborating.
She "declares" that the theory that the Scots invaded Alba from Ulster, is "unauthentic".
Fergus Mor in early sources
The record in the Annals has given rise to theories of invasions of Argyll from Ireland, but these are not considered authentic.[1]
Cambridge press:
Yet, according to Cambridge university, at least some Scots originally lived in Ireland, and came over to Argyll and established the kingdom of Dal Riata.
Notes (3)
The inhabitants of what is now Co. Antrim, Ireland, were known as the Scots, a name they transported to what is now Argyll and the adjacent islands where they established the kingdom of Dál Riata.
Link for photo
Satellite image of Dal Riata
Mac Nisse Mor:
Next, Sally Foster wishes to question Fergus Mor being known as Mac Nisse Mor in a different dialect.
Apparently because it was something written in only the 10th or 11th century it cannot be trusted.
Fergus Mor in early sources
The Senchus states that Fergus Mór was also known as Mac Nisse Mór. These sources probably date from the 10th and 11th centuries respectively, between 20 and 30 generations after Fergus may have lived.
Buchanan's king!!:
Now, straight away, we can see that Sally Foster is taking quotes directly from a book that was written at a time when politics in Britain were such that a kings ancestral claim could be dismissed upon nothing more than national identity.
Though, Sally Foster does unintentionally throw up a conundrum.
Her version of history is opposed by King James VI who claims descent from Fergus Mor.
Fergus Mor in later accounts
Buchanan's king, James VI, shared the scholar's view of the origins of his line, describing himself in one of many verses written to his wife Anne of Denmark, as the "happie Monarch sprung of Ferguse race".
Link for photo
King James VI
King James VI:
So, who was king James VI?
Well, he was King of Scotland, that later became king of England and Ireland.
During his reign we saw the union of the Crowns, which was the first step towards the formation of Great Britain as a political entity.
King James VI & I
James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland, and thus a potential successor to all three thrones. James succeeded to the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, after his mother was compelled to abdicate in his favour. Four different regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland,
Link for photo
Union of the crowns
Colonisation of the Americas:
British and Irish expats in USA today, actually have King James VI to thank.
No sooner did King James VI take over the three crowns and begin campaigning for a united Britain and Ireland, he also began sending Ulster Scots over to USA and was setting himself up to add America to his titles.
King James VI
from 1603, returning to Scotland only once, in 1617, and styled) himself "King of Great Britain and Ireland". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for England and Scotland. In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster and British colonisation of the Americas began.
Link for photo
King James VI on Scottish gold coin
Guy Fawkes:
Unfortunately, it appears certain secterianists, nationalists, and loyalists, did not want "Buchanan's" protestant king of Scotland, Ireland, England and USA that swore Dal Riatan ancestral roots.
So bring on 5th of November, an assassination attempt was launched.
Guy Fawkes
A dissident Catholic, Guy Fawkes, was discovered in the cellars of the parliament buildings on the night of 4–5 November 1605, the eve of the state opening of the second session of James's first English Parliament.
Link for photo
Guy Fawkes autograph
Holyrood Palace:
Now, whilst i appreciate the professionalism of Sally Foster (was that her name?.. Scrolls back up to make sure i got her first name correct) in being discerning and not simply believing what she is told, i must however counter her doubts by trying to be equally as discerning.
In holyrood palace there was portraits of Scottish monarch's dating all the way back to Fergus I.
Now whilst i cannot find the Portrait of Fergus I, i can find the portrait for, Fergus II (Mor).
Fergus Mor
Nor was James VI the last ruler to share this belief. The Great Gallery of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh was decorated with eighty-nine of Jacob de Wet's portraits of Scottish monarchs, from Fergus to Charles II, produced to the order of James's grandson.
Fergus II

Fergus II
Ancestry:
Now, the problem this presents me, is i actually have holyrood palace assuring me that this is a genuine portrait of Fergus Mor, and on the other hand i have Sally Foster and a secterian loyalist, assuring me that Guy Fawkes knows more about British history than George Buchanan.
There is also the fact that Sally Foster is accusing Holyrood Palace of forgery.
But, Sally Foster should have still declared that there is infact supposed to be original evidence of Fergus Mor, and then explained why she believes it to be fraudulent.
Now, i will move on to the next claim.
The next claim is that Fergus Mor's ancestry can be traced waaaay back, and forty six generation farther.
Fergus Mor in early sources
The Senchus and the Duan name Fergus's father as Erc son of Eochaid Muinremuir. A Middle Irish genealogy of the kings of Alba gives an extensive genealogy for Fergus: [Fergus] m. h-Eircc m. Echdach Muinremuir m. Óengusa Fir m. Feideilmid m. Óengusa m. Feideilmid m. Cormaicc, and a further forty-six generations here omitted.[2]
Link for photo
Holyrood palace
Crimthann Mor:
Now, historians and scholars need to get working on what system they are using to determine whether or not someone is historical or not.
Take for example the 4th Century Crimthann Mor.
Which part of him is considered mythological, and which part is not?
(And i wish they would stop using the term Scotland.. In the 4th Century it was Caledonia).
Crimthann mac Fidaig
Crimthann Mór, son of Fidach /ˈkriːvən ˈmɔːr mæk ˈfiːaɪ/, also written Crimthand Mór, was a semi-mythological king of Munster and High King of Ireland of the 4th century. He gained territory in Britain and Gaul, but died poisoned by his sister Mongfind. It is possible that he was also recognised as king of Scotland.
Link for photo
Cornish harbour thought to have been used as an Irish port
Tintagel castle:
And i would think it is very likely, that the fortress that archaeologists believe Crimthann Mor built, translated from Dinn Tradui, to tintagel.
Dind Tradui
According to the Sanas Cormaic,[3] Crimthand Mór mac Fidaig built a great fortress in Cornwall known as Dind Traduí or Dinn Tradui (Dun Tredui/e, fortress of the three ramparts).[4] There appears to be little doubt that it existed,[5]
Like for photo
Archaeological remains of Tintagel castle
Conaire Mor:
Of course, by the time we get to 63 BC, the time of Conaire Mor, we are definitely back to mythology again.
History
The chronology of Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn dates his reign to 63–33 BC,[3] that of the Annals of the Four Masters to 110–40 BC.[4] A descendant of Íar mac Dedad, Conaire belonged to the legendary Clanna Dedad, the legendary royal family of the Érainn. His descendants in Ireland and Scotland were known as the Síl Conairi. The last Gaelic king of Scotland from the line from Conaire Mór was Alexander III of Scotland.
Link for photo
Connor Macleod
Constantine I of Picts:
Now, whilst Fergus I appears to have control of the West portion of Scotland, i am very interested in whoever it is, said to have control of the east portion.
Fergus Mor in early sources
[2] While it was suggested some believe Fergus claimed lineage to Arthur, the historian John Morris has suggested, instead, that Fergus was allowed to settle in Scotland as a federate of Arthur, as a bulwark against the Picts.
Polydore Vergil:
According to George Buchanan, and Polydore Vergil, it was Constantine I, reigning from 457 AD until 479 AD.
And as you will have read the previous articles, i will not have to explain who Uther Pendragon was.
Nor will i have to explain the connection with the Constantine dynasty.
Fergus II to Kenneth II
Constantine I 457 Polydore Vergil (Anglica Historia, 1555) gives from here a succession close to Buchanan.[38]
Pendragons:
An i will just say this.
The Pendragons were not the real names of the sons of Constantine III of the Western Roman empire.
Obviously, their surnames would have been consistant with their fathers, in any number of abbreviated forms.
But the Pendragons was a nickname they invented themselves.
So, could Uther have been Constantine I?
Epithet
[5] and the cycles based on his work, it was Uther's older brother (elsewhere called Aurelius Ambrosius) who saw the comet and received the name "Pendragon", Uther taking his epithet after his death.
Link for photo
Uther Pendragon
6th Century:
But, whether Constantine I of Picts was Uther Pendragon, or whether he was not, is not something i am going into farther in this article.
That will be for "thee" king Arthur article.
Instead i will move forward to the "horrific" journalism presented by modern day historians and scholars, that appear to be merely pretending to have an actual grasp on the subject.
They say that there is no evidence of anyother king in Scotland (Alba Girrrr) apart from Ceretic of Alt Clut, who apparently met Saint Patrick.
Fergus Mor in early sources
These sources, while they offer evidence for the importance of Fergus Mór in Medieval times, are not evidence for his historical career. Indeed, only one king in the 6th century in Scotland is known from contemporary evidence, Ceretic of Alt Clut, and even this identification rests upon a later gloss to Saint Patrick's Letter to Coroticus.
Link for photo-_stained_glass,_Saint_Patrick-_detail.jpg)
Saint Patrick
Pope Celestine I:
But what i want to know, is how on earth could Saint Patrick have met Ceretic in the 6th century?
(A) there is no evidence for the existence of Saint Patrick.
(B) It was Saint Palladius that was sent to Ireland in 431 AD by Pope Celestine I in 431 AD, allegedly helped by Saint Patrick who acted as a missionary.
And in Scotland, Saint Patrick is known by his official name, as recorded by the Bishops of Rome and the Vatican, Saint Palladius.
Pontificate
He sent Palladius) to Ireland to serve as a bishop in 431. Bishop Patrick continued this missionary work.
Link for photo#/media/File:St_Palladius_Fordoun.jpg)
Saint Palladius church, Aberdeen, Scotland
Patrick the Elder:
Though i am not going deep into this either.
Even in Ireland, Saint Palladius was regarded as Patrick the Elder.
However Patrick the junior was not "Saint Patrick".
It was a pagan Patrick from 370 AD.
Dating
[17] A variety of dates are given for his death. In 457 "the elder Patrick" (Irish: Patraic Sen) is said to have died: this may refer to the death of Palladius, who according to the Book of Armagh was also called Patrick.[17]
Strathclyde:
But the point is, they know nothing about Patrick.
They cannot even get the century correct.
And Ceretic Guletic was a king in Stratchclyde, western Scotland.
He must have reigned prior to 457 AD, as Saint Palladius died in that year.
Ceretic Guletic
Ceretic Guletic of Alt Clut was a king of Alt Clut (modern Dumbarton) in the 5th century.
And it continues:
And now, all of a sudden, King Clut is actually not the only king they can be sure of.
They can now be sure of a whole host of Fergus Mor's descendants, even though earlier in the article Sally Foster appeared to think even the mere existence of Dal Riata was debatable.
But, even though they appear to have evidence for his grandsons and and great grand children, they can still apparently see no connection with Fergus Mor.
Is this denialism?
Fergus Mor in early sources
The first kings of Dál Riata whose existences are reasonably sure are Fergus's grandsons Gabrán mac Domangairt and Comgall, or perhaps his great-grandson Áedán mac Gabráin.
Stones of stonehenge:
Now, in my previous article, i "deliberately" left out Merovech bringing the stones of Ireland to Stonehenge.
I was not being naughty, i simply did not want to bring it up in that article.
Historia
With Aurelius on the throne, Uther leads his brother in arms to Ireland to help Merlin) bring the stones of Stonehenge from there to Britain.
Geoffrey of Monmouth:
Now, whilst Geoffrey does mention Salisbury as the location of the giants ring, i would like to see documented proof from historians and scholars that Geoffrey was indeed talking about the stones of stonehenge when he wrote about the boys bringing the stones back to Britain.
Only there allegedly was a stone brought from Ireland to Britain during this period.
Origin and legends
One story concerns Fergus, son of Erc, the first King of the Scots in Scotland, whose transport of the Stone from Ireland to Argyll, where he was crowned on it, was recorded.[3]
Link for photo.jpg)
Replica of the stone of Scone
Stone of Destiny:
The stone was a coronation stone, used to coronate Scottish kings.
Stone of Scone
The Stone of Scone (/ˈskuːn/; Scottish Gaelic: An Lia Fáil, Scots: Stane o Scuin)—also known as the Stone of Destiny, and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone—is an oblong block of red sandstone that has been used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland
Link for photo
Scone palace
Scandinavia:
Now, apparently Fergus Mor was actually raised in Scandinavia.
Fergus Mor in later accounts
Fergusius II according to Buchanan's count, was raised in exile in Scandinavia. He later fought with the Franks, before eventually returning to Scotland and reconquering the Scottish lands.
Basina:
So what i am looking for, from contemporary accounts, is a Danish family from this period, that are considered royals, and have something to do with fighting Franks.
This could only be one family, really.
Basina of Thuringia
Basina or Basine (c. 438 – 477) was remembered as a queen of Thuringia in the middle of the fifth century,
Link for photo
Basina & Childeric I
Bisinus:
However, Basina left her husband Bisinus to marry king of the Franks, Childeric.
Biography
She left her husband, king Bisinus and went to Roman Gaul. She herself took the initiative to ask for the hand of Childeric I, king of the Franks, and married him. For as she herself said, "I want to have the most powerful man in the world, even if I have to cross the ocean for him".[1]
Ragnachar:
And it is likely that Ragnarach, who became a Frankish king, did so due to his close familial relationship to Basina.
Mother? Sister? Who knows.
However those that know the Arthurian legends well, should be by this point, penny dropping.
Ragnachar
Ragnachar or Ragnarius (died 509) was a Frankish petty king (regulus) who ruled from Cambrai. According to Gregory of Tours, Ragnachar "was so unrestrained in his wantonness that he scarcely had mercy for his own near relatives".[1] According to the Gesta episcoporum Cameracensium, Clovis and Ragnachar were related through Clovis's mother, Basina, a Thuringian princess.[2]
But, who Ragnachar is, and what relation to King Arthur he is, if any, shall have to wait for now.
Summary:
I would welcome Sally Foster to produce original source material to prove that historians and scholars doubting the legitimacy of Scottish, Irish or Welsh kings, pre-dates the King James IV campaign.
submitted by StevenStevens43 to AhrensburgCulture [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 10:45 PointMan97 [The Jackal Guards] - Chapter 4 (Beta Reader Test)

Chapter 4: First to Fight

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
June 1st, 2025, 03:15 Hours
Belisarius sat inside the cargo bay of the A400M with his fellow robots, about 116 of them including himself. He looked out of the window to see the starry sky and misty cloud outside. The plane was approaching the airport of Brazzaville at low altitude for landing, each of the robots sat on their chairs on each side of the plane as it came in for landing. “Anubis, what’s our plan when we’re on the ground? Beside meeting the Gaulois and German forces that are supporting us.” Belisarius curiously questioned Anubis who sat next to him.
“We’ll be part of their offensive into the Congo to shake things up for Oriental Security. The situation on the ground is chaotic. I’m afraid.” Anubis replied before Belisarius heard a deafening artillery howl and detonation nearby. He cringed at first as the blast of the shell vibrated upwards, affecting the A400Ms that were coming down to Brazzaville’s airport. “I think I get the point, further briefing once we’re on the ground?” Belisarius asked before looking out of the plane’s porthole to the sight of a burning and smoking Brazzaville. “Exactly, once we got the situation under control, you’ll continue your hunt, and I’ll sort out the arrangements.” Anubis sighed as he looked out the porthole at the Chinese shelling of Brazzaville.
“Affirmative, sir, I’ll get it done. Any backups just in case the fight turns grossly against our favors?” Belisarius asked cautiously, to which Anubis looked over to the neighboring city of Brazzaville just on the other side of the Congo River. “We do, the Germans have already placed a brigade of their Panzergrenadiers on the ground with the French Foreign Legion 2nd REP.” The mere mention of the word Legion got Belisarius ears to perk up his eyes and seemed peaked with interests as to what this might mean. “Legion? I never thought the idea of Roman Legion would survive to this day.” Belisarius bluntly remarked.
As the plane landed on the runway, they felt the wheels skidding and slight turbulence vibrating through the fuselage before finally coming to a halt as the first A400M was on the ground before taxiing into the nearby parking lot. Its cargo ramp dropped down, and before the robots disembarked in droves, they already heard the howling howitzers shells and the tremors from the impacts. The robots quickly sprinted out with their equipment in hands, rucksacks, and magnetically attached backpacks shuffled along with their movements. Buildings around them were still standing, somewhere struck by shelling that left a permanent scar. Any structures taller than two-story were almost certain to lose at least half of their form.
They were using HK416A5s assault rifles with HK417A2s battle rifles for the most part. Some of them were carrying HK MG5 to provide suppressive fire on enemy targets behind hardened covers, while others were carrying the M27IAR as the fireteam’s Automatic Rifleman. In addition to those, some of the bots were carrying Carl Gustaf M3 Recoilless Rifles as the anti armor specialists of their respective units.
The robots ran a system diagnostic of their tactical and strategic internet system, at a fireteam level they had the PAN (Personal Area Network) wherein a handful of robots nearby can instantly exchange data at an instant. From a squad to platoon level, they had a specialist carrying a magnetically strapped backpack for modem and LAN equipment.
At the Company to Battalion level and above, the same specialist would carry a similar backpack but with a parabolic antenna link with satellite systems in geosynchronous orbit. Together these formed their ARGOS (Augmented Reality Ground Operations System), the pinnacle of digital military information systems. Most of the robot wolves made their ways to the riverbanks of Brazzaville with their mortars and machine gun teams. There, they set up a base of fires and defilade positions while mortar crews rain precision fire on Chinese defenders by the docks of Kinshasa.
Belisarius double-timed with Anubis towards a jeep and boarded it. Other robots were either busy disembarking from their planes or assisting human evacuations from the city. In the chaos of the moment, the French Foreign Legionnaire who drove the jeep for Anubis and Belisarius kept his eyes on the road. No time for pleasantries, let alone introduction even when he was the chauffeur for a being beyond his wildest imaginations.
"Back in 2023, Europa began their Second Rush to Africa. They aim to overthrow pro-China satellite states in the region and reform the long corrupt regimes of the continent to a more, shall we say, stable and open democracy. Spearheading this is France, one of the most significant colonial owners of the region in the last century." Said Anubis as they passed through the streets of Brazzaville.
Belisarius listened to Anubis while looking around him, seeing the sight of civilians battered by shells, surviving infants and toddlers crying incessantly at their dead parents, half-buried under the rubbles, their cries attracted relief aid workers coming to their rescue. "Our job is to help open the path into Congo, start by taking Kinshasa. That's where you come in." Anubis spoke in a steady tone as they arrived at the Ile M'Bamou, a massive island in the middle of the Congo River where the French Foreign Legion and German Panzergrenadiers were busy with building pontoon bridges to ford across the river to assault Kinshasa's N'djili International Airport.
As they were coming close to the construction site of the pontoon bridge, mortar bombardments began to intensify with the loud bang and booms of mortar shells hitting the dirt, kicking up debris and soil into the air. Occasionally, a human flew into the air with their limbs decapitated. The worst cases were the complete obliteration of their bodies, leaving nothing to identify. One such shell exploded next to the PVP armored car, knocking them over instantly. The shock of the blast left Belisarius dazed along with Anubis. The driver was unconscious, with his arms resting on the wheel and window of the PVP.
Belisarius grunted as his thigh compartment switched open. He reached his hand in and grabbed the hilt of the Gladius saber. Acting quickly and decisively, Belisarius slashed off the seatbelts that were holding him back. He then cut the belts for Anubis and the driver, allowing the Jackal to escape. "Thanks, old friend. I'll take the driver to the treeline, you get to the pontoon bridge and help them." Anubis grabbed the knocked out driver by his wrist and pulled him out of his car seat. The Jackal jumped out of the vehicle, Belisarius followed suit and sprinted towards the pontoon bridge under the unremitting mortar barrage.
Shells howled through the sky, tearing down trees and digging up soils, forcing soldiers and civilians to run for cover, hiding underground, in foxholes, or just under a treeline. As Belisarius came to the Pontoon Bridge construction site, he saw the German Pioneers and French Army Engineers were busy with bridge layer vehicles to set down a proper bridge on the Congo River. The troops there were shelled incessantly by the Chinese on the other side of the rivers.
"Who's in command here?" Belisarius instinctively asked one of the German Panzergrenadiers there. The Efreitor hastily pointed Belisarius to an observation post sitting on an elevated position of the isle. "Es ist Kapitän Kleinenberg! Er ist im Beobachtungsposten versuchen, für Gegenbatterie zu rufen. Wer bist du?" The Efreitor asked confusedly looking, at the seven feet tall Belisarius.
The translation software in Belisarius quickly provided the wolf with a rough translation of the Bundeswehr saying. His voice then received a synthesized version to communicate with the soldier in German, albeit lacking a distinctive dialect or accent. "Your reinforcement." He uttered tersely before sprinting up the hill towards the Observation Post much to the shock of the combined Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. The robot werewolf opened the door and entered the OP before crouching down to avoid being sniped by a Chinese marksman or trained sniper. "Are you Captain Kleinenberg? I'm told you could use a hand." Said the wolf who caught the captain and his aides off-guard.
"Who the hell are you? And who permitted you to participate in this operation?" Captain Kleinenberg asked confusedly to Belisarius as he cringed under the shock and pressure of sustained mortar bombardment. "Introductions are for later. What do you need help with right now?" Belisarius insisted to the Captain, who then relented as he felt the barrage pressuring on his head. "I need some sharpshooters to take out those fucking mortar crews. They live, the bridge collapses. Get me?" The Captain ordered Belisarius, who nodded in acknowledgment, "I don't care how many, only where." He replied tersely, impressing the Captain with his can-do and no-nonsense attitude. "Alright, our scouts reported the mortars are firing from the marshes next to the airport."
Taking a moment to study the map, Belisarius saw that he could expect tree lines obstructing his views and dispersed mortar positions hiding in the shrubs. Perhaps some snipers to spot targets as well. "I need a weapon," Belisarius stated, prompting a Lieutenant to guide him out to the weapon rack. "Right this way." The Lieutenant gave Belisarius an MSG-90A2 sniper rifle with a bipod. "We're a bit short on ammo here. Radio jamming is making it difficult for us to get resupplied in time. Hopefully, our runner isn't dead before delivering his message." Said the Lieutenant as he handed Belisarius some spare magazines for his MSG-90 rifle. The robot wolf took the magazines and a plate carrier vest to carry the ammo.
"What's your name?" Belisarius asked the Lieutenant before following him out to the battlefield. "Anton, Leutnant Anton Gruber. Whatever you do out there, do it fast. We need the bridge consolidated before the tides pick up." Anton spoke urgently to Belisarius, prompting him to nod before sprinting out and took up a position near a French Foreign Legion's Pioneer foxhole. He laid down on his stomach and scanned the opposite bank with the MSG's scope.
He spotted the first mortar crew wearing camouflage from top to bottom with their weapon lobbing shells over the water. The robot wolf aimed down sight and began to calculate variables such as distance, gravity, rotation of the Earth, and so on. He fired once the calculation concluded, with the bullet landed on the mortar shell's wooden crate. The following detonation killed the entire mortar crew and their weapon.
Belisarius quickly switched on his thermal vision and aimed down the MSG's scope. He scanned the riverbank and opened fire on the enemy mortar crews and snipers. One by one, the Chinese dropped like flies before they began to fall back under a hail of automatic lead from NATO forces. "They are retreating. The bridge is safe now, time to move across and take the airport." The Lieutenant declared eagerly as the French Foreign Legion began to cross the pontoon bridge with German Leopard 2A7+ tanks to support them. Belisarius accompanied the Legionnaire as their shock trooper. He received a FAMAS FELIN rifle with fourteen magazines from one of the Legionnaire.
His curiosity grew as he held the bullpup assault rifle in his hand. The robot wolf managed to identify the cocking handle on the top side of the FAMAS and pulled the bolt down to check his ammo. His HUD ran a scan of the weapon and fed him information on its effective range, rate of fire, ammo capacity, fire modes. Once he had digested the technical performance and instructions, he cocked his head aside and began to head out with the humans. "Sledgehammer here, we have eyes on an enemy short-range SAM system. Engaging now." The Leopard 2A7+ Commander reported on the coms network. The crew loaded the 120mm Rheinmetal's L44 gun with a SABOT round as the main gun aimed at the HQ-12 missile truck.
With a booming thump sound, the gun muzzle breathed out a gust of flame, and the SABOT round flew towards the missile truck, and the vehicle exploded into a flaming wreck. However, the victory was short-lived, for the defending Chinese troops began to retaliate with machine-gun fire at the assaulting troops, and ATGMs flew towards the Leopard tank. "Leopard Zwei under attack! Request immediate assistant, over!" The commander called over the coms as the French Legionnaire took up firing positions and assaulted the ATGM nests.
"Lieutenant Gruber, where is the enemy jammer?" Belisarius asked while propped up against a tree. "About two 500 meters from where we are, the Chinese set up their jammers near the airport to mess with our coms." Hearing this while under a hail of enemy machine gun fires and the constant pressure of their automatic grenade launcher made Belisarius cagey.
The sooner they got rid of that jammer, the sooner they can call in Artillery from German howitzers. "Alright, Lt. Gruber, I'll destroy the jammer, and you call in artillery on the enemy position. Understood?" With only a single nod from Gruber, Belisarius sprinted away towards the edge of the airport. His robot wolf mobility and the digitigrade legs made his rapid advance incredibly fast, passing through the thick foliage and treelines. The Chinese were left bewildered by the lighting movement. He came barreling through the treelines and fell into a Chinese trench with his foot planted into one of their faces. His feet generated crunching sounds as they crushed a Chinese skull. Belisarius swiveled his body over to spray on the Chinese manning the HJ missile system.
As the Chinese defending that particular trench died a brutal and swift death, Belisarius grabbed their ATGM system and rotated around to aim at the Oriental Security operated Type-90 APC. The wolf fired the missile while keeping the weapon sight fixed firmly on the vehicle to guide the ATGM. The result was a violent penetration of the vehicle's hull and concluded with a fiery fireball with the crew screaming inside their steel coffin.
"Did you take out an enemy APC with their ATGM?" Gruber asked excitedly over their coms. However, the message came through garbled by the jammer. "Say again, Gruber. I can't hear you." Belisarius asked as he moved forward ahead of the others. The French Foreign Legionnaire followed up with their VABs and VBLs supporting the assault.
The Leopard 2A7 tank had another HJ-12 missile flown at it. This one came close only to be swatted down by the vehicle's APS system intercepting it. The French Foreign Legionnaire reacted quickly and opened fire furiously at the hiding position of the AT crew. M2 machine guns opened fire furiously to suppress the AT crew while the main gun fired an HE shell that blew away the vegetation of the riverbank.
As Belisarius led the assault further towards the airport, the vegetation gave way to a clear sightline of the airport's runway filled with J-11B jets with PLAAF markings. But what concerned Belisarius the most was the lack of cover from where he was towards the Jammer near the tarmac building.
As the Leopard 2 tank crept up to the edge of the forestry with the French Foreign Legionnaire following to support it, Lt. Gruber came up behind Belisarius, looking exhausted by the constant stress and running from before. "Hey, you have a way with charging ahead, don't you? Anyway, you got eyes on that enemy jammer?" Gruber asked while looking through his binoculars at the Chinese made Electronic Jammer. "I do. Resistance is light so far, but that doesn't seem right." Belisarius remarked as he laid down on his stomach, scanning the runway ahead of him. "Nein, they're moving reinforcements in to knock us back. We must take the tarmac. I can call in artillery support from there."
"Well, consider it done. I'll clear the way for you. Just rain fire at first sight of the enemy." Belisarius replied and stood up. The Legionnaire formed up behind him with additional troops moving in to back them up. These being German Panzergrenadiers with their Puma IFVs. The Chinese defending the airport ran behind their sandbags and barricades to set up firing positions. With machine guns and grenade launchers, they waited patiently for the NATO assault to inevitably come at them. Belisarius came over to the Leopard 2 and climbed aboard it to get the commander's attention. "Don't waste your shot on infantry. Aim for the jammer first. Leave the infantry to me." Belisarius instructed the commander, who acknowledged the coordination and relayed the instruction to his crew.
Sledgehammer's loader put an APFSDS round into the chamber. The gunner trained his sight on the mobile jammer array, and the commander permitted them to fire. The shell flew out of the 120mm main gun and slammed into the PLA's jammer array. The Electronic Jammer violently erupted into flame and burned down. Panicked, the Oriental Security troops were scrambling to douse the fire before it spread to the J-11s.
The defenders on impulse fired desperately at the attackers behind the treelines, cutting down branches, twigs. Some bullets ricochet and hit the French Foreign Legionnaire, either killing or wounding them. Gruber, on instinct, ducked down and held his helmet with both hands, groaning and gritting his teeth under the machine gunfire.
At the very least, communication for NATO troops had become much less arduous. Belisarius quickly called Anubis on their cyber coms to get a situation report. "Sir, we've destroyed the enemy's Jammer. Assault at the airport is on-going. What support do you have for us?" Anubis, on the other end of the line, quickly responded to the report with great urgency in his tone.
"Belisarius! The Chinese are sending reinforcements towards the airport. I'm sending the 108th to assist you now, but they need time to get across the Congo River. ETA: 10 minutes." He knew that it was too easy for their initial assault. Why didn't the Chinese scramble their J-11s jet remained unknown, but he could infer one possible reason being to avoid escalation. Even then, it was a rather flimsy excuse, even on the Chinese part.
Being the ever punctual robot, Belisarius quickly took potshots at the Chinese machine gunners. Before the MG crew could resume fire, he fired some more accurate shots at their heads, knocking them down one by one while the Foreign Legionnaire crept up. They opened fire at the Chinese defenders of the Airport and made flanking maneuvers with support from German Puma IFVs laying down suppressive fire. Belisarius sprinted with one such squad, making a beeline towards the tarmac and gunning down the defenders effortlessly. Lt. Gruber quickly ran up the tarmac with his spotter team before eventually arriving at the top to set up an OP.
"Hammer, this is Muninn. We have eyes on a large concentration of enemy armored forces situated on the clearing to the south of the airport. Request immediate Anti-Armor barrage on my coordinates over." Gruber urgently called on the PzH2000s while peering through his binoculars to the sight of the incoming enemy armor. As they watched Chinese Type-96 tanks rolling towards them with various APCs support, Gruber felt like he was about to be run over by armored treads.
Belisarius, on the ground with other French Foreign Legionnaires, was digging into fighting positions. They parked their tanks and IFVs by the choke points into the airport's runway. "Verstanden Muninn, feuern Sie dichtes Artilleriefeuer auf Ihre Zielkoordinaten ab." Gruber then transmitted the coordinates to the crew using a stylus pen on a command tablet he had with a few taps and swipes.
Once the crew received their target coordinates, they fired off barrages of 155mm guided Anti Armor rounds at the incoming Type-96 tanks. The artillery roared a thunderous bellow, with their shells soaring through the sky, tearing through clouds like Thor's Mjolnir hammer. They soon came down on the Type-96 tanks and knocked out a large portion of the Chinese tank platoon, sending turrets flying into the air like Lego pieces. Vehicle components smashed to smithereens. The following APCs met the same fate, with the Leopard 2s scoring direct hits upon direct hits. Some of the Leopard 2s even scored a double kill with their shells penetrating through multiple APCs that happened to line up.
“Muninn, das ist Hammer. Können wir eine KBE?” The artillery crew asked the now much more invigorated Lt. Gruber as he watched the artillery shells raining death and destruction on the Chinese tank formations. "Hammer, das ist Muninn. Feindliche Panzer nahmen schwere Verluste, mehr Fahrzeuge zerstört." Additional infantry struggled to wade forward, only to curl up in a fetal position under the constant barrage. Others tossed up smoke grenades to cover themselves, then pushed forward under the cover, only for them to be cut down by machine gunfire. The dug in, Panzergrenadiers, and French Foreign Legion had the benefits of thermal optics to pierce through the thick smokescreen and dust clouds kicked up by the artillery shells.
Even Belisarius could do little other than to pick off enemy stragglers as they came close to his position. The French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers around him kept up their fire. Occasionally, they pass over a spare magazine to keep him in the fight. Constantly pressuring their enemies and breaking their will to fight.
Their method, while seems excessive and brutal, was efficient since the enemies broke and ran for their dear life. For a moment, Gruber felt exhilarating, a thrill, and high of victory rushing over him as he watched the Chinese breaking off and ran as far as possible. But as Gruber and his Forward Observer team celebrated their victory, a mortar shell came crashing down on the tarmac.
Belisarius had a knee jerk reaction as he recoiled under pressure and shock by the barrage. The Chinese mortar barrage came like a downpour of steel and explosives on NATO troops holding the Airport. Many of them have to duck down and wait for the mortar barrage to die down. The howitzers from the German side of the battlefield soon counter-battery the Chinese mortars, silencing them with a steel rain down on the slums south of the Airport.
"Damn it, Gruber? Gruber? Gruber!" Belisarius called out to the Lieutenant as he ran out to search for him under the rubbles. What the robot wolf found after digging through the debris was a gnarly and disfigured remains of the Lieutenant. His right arm and leg were no more, just fleshy remains with a pool of his blood. His head and torso remained intact. But no hope for the man to regain conscient. He had gone to God in Heaven now.
"Requiescat in Pace," Belisarius uttered before closing Gruber's eyes and continued his search around the place for the remains of the Forward Observer Team. Save for the twisted and scattered bits of flesh and blood. Their helmets and body armor saved a good deal of their corpses for identification. As the French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers pushed up with their reinforcements, they began to clear through the surrounding building blocks in quick and dirty firefights with pockets of Chinese defenders.
The Oriental Security mercenaries, however, were less than thrilled with the idea of facing a trained and well-equipped hostile force. Many of them surrendered without a fight, while some others fired sporadically before falling back. Belisarius participated in the action, chasing the enemies up to the bridge over the river dividing the city's downtown area from its western suburbs and slums.
As the day wore on, Belisarius returned to the airport with the 108th Regiment to rest. The latter was busy with rescuing civilians in Brazzaville and keeping the enemies occupied in the harbor areas of Kinshasa, feigning preparation for an amphibious landing. Belisarius went into a casualties collection tent, counting the dead and wounded they had sustained so far. He estimated their casualties in the area of 20 KIAs and an additional 25 WIAs. While far from unacceptable casualties figures, Belisarius could tell from the looks on the survivor's faces, each loss was a toll on the survivors. On the front and at home.
The 108th Regiment, in the meantime, proceeded to convert the Airport into their base of operation in the Congo. The A400Ms from subsequent flights began to land on the runway with various reinforcements, supplies, vehicles, and infrastructure support. As they worked and toiled around the clock, Anubis came to Belisarius, accompanied by the German General and a French Colonel, alongside them was a robot wolf with a rod of Aescelpius symbol painted on his pauldrons. Belisarius took notice and glanced over, noticing the German officer appeared to be a Brigadier General Hans Holzer. And the French Colonel to be Colonel DuBoise, French Foreign Legion 2e REP. "You must be Belisarius, the one who saved the crew of the Calypso?" Holzer asked as he extended a hand out to Belisarius.
"Yes, that I am. You must be the commanding officer of the expeditionary force." Belisarius inferred, to which Holzer burst into a chuckle at the robot's observation ability. "Ja, I am appointed by Berlin to lead the Bundeswehr contingent. He is Colonel DuBoise, leader of the French Foreign Legion 2nd Parachute Regiment." Holzer introduced DuBoise to Belisarius. The French colonel was wearing his green-covered helmet of the 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. His insignia and rank were kept low-key by design to avoid being a sniper bullseye. "Monsieur, Paris is in your debt for your selfless service today." Colonel DuBoise stated to Belisarius as he shook the robot's hand. "It was nothing, just doing my job," Belisarius replied humbly.
"He's quite humble, it seems. Is this normal for the robots you made?" Holzer asked Anubis, to which the Jackal seems to make a rather reserved expression and attitude. "Not really. Some are more boisterous and boastful. Others like Belisarius are soft-spoken gentlemen. Their personalities varied from unit to unit, especially after deployments and accruing personal experiences." Anubis calmly explained to the bewildered NATO officers, who could not believe their ears.
"They develop personalities? Is it possible for A.Is to do so? I thought they were only far-flung future fantasies." Holzer exclaimed, confusedly to Anubis. He saw Anubis nonchalantly nodded to him, "Indeed, they can. How are they supposed to perform half as good as human soldiers if they can't gain experiences and develop personalities?" Anubis asked rhetorically, to which neither Holzer nor DuBoise had an answer.
"But how do you create these A.Is and program them?" Holzer asked curiously, to which Anubis glanced his eye over to the corpses of the dead German Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaire. "A human soul's fragments and an A.I symbiosis. A method that no current human-computer algorithm or programming technique can catch up." The jackal deity spoke coldly, his hand reaching out to the body bag of Lt. Gruber and unzipping it to inspect the corpse. "A human soul? Surely, you can't be serious?" Holzer nervously inquired. Anubis didn't seem at all jesting with the NATO officer when he turned to them. His robot jackal face and optics shot them a glare that said it all. "Never was. I can demonstrate if you are willing to see."
To both Holzer and DuBoise, it sounded like a morbid invitation, the childlike curiosity with the desire to learn more of these robots. And yet, in the back of their minds, they could not help but feel something gnawing at them. A feeling that whatever they might learn would not look or sound so well to the public. "How long do you think it will take for this one?" Anubis asked the Physician robot. The white wolf with the blue rod of Aescelpius then bent over to inspect the corpse, putting his palm on Gruber's chest and head. "A day of work, no more, no less. I can salvage his brains and vital organs like the heart, lungs, digestive and reproductive organs." The doctor spoke bluntly. Holzer and DuBoise were shocked to hear of the process's specific details sounding like organ harvesting.
"Is this organ harvesting? Are you going to dissect his remains to take his organs out? How does that have anything to do with your robots?" DuBoise protested, being rather outraged by the grotesque idea Anubis had in mind. The Jackal deity didn't seem to care much for the Frenchman's fuming rage and simply crossed his arms before his chest. "Synthetic organ components. The Nanites I developed will assimilate them into robot components. Get it done." Anubis ordered the physician, who then zipped up the body bag and picked him up, carrying him away to a mobile lab module at the airport's east side. "I do not consent to this. The German public and government do not consent to this. How are you- am I supposed to explain to them?" Holzer furiously asked as he followed Anubis and the physician while Belisarius accompanied them to witness the process.
"Let me handle the public outrage and banana journalists." Anubis sternly remarked before seeing the corpse of Gruber being placed on an operating table by the physician. "You may want to step back." The physician suggested to Belisarius, who sighed out but conceded. They spectated from a shielded section of the lab module.
Inside the operating room, automated medical arms dissect his body, carefully scalped his head, and open his skull to extract his human brains. Each organ was placed inside a canopic jar-like container by the physician. Filled with preservative liquid, he continued his work vigorously as he began to open a large cylinder container, revealing a robot wolf frame on standby. Holzer and DuBoise saw it was a seven feet tall robot body, with chrome grey and silver armor plates top to bottom.
The physician then tapped the buttons on nearby keyboards to open the cylinder, letting cold liquid nitrogen hissing out. They saw the cranial unit open up several flaps. The human brain and organs, in turn, were injected by the physician with a strange liquid metal substance. The grey and silver metal goo once made contact with the preservative liquid, began to fill up the containers, and began the assimilation process.
The brain and organs began to turn synthetic with green circuit boards outlines. The physician then picked up the brains before inserted it into the cranial unit, and the flaps closed in, sealing the morphing brain tightly inside the cranial space. The mechanical arms surgically removed the robot armor plates and cut open the stomach region, allowing the physician to graft the organs into the body, with the Nanites inside moving them into position with the endoskeleton.
With that done, they saw a tendril latched into the back of the robot wolf's head, where his neck and head met. The tendril lodged itself deeply into the neural outlet port. Holzer and DuBoise saw a computer monitor displaying a text reading "Programming process: 0%". "Phase 1 is complete. This unit will be ready by tomorrow for review. Till then, there won't be much to report. I'll let you know what I managed to salvage from Lieutenant Gruber." The physician summarized to Anubis, who nodded to the robot.
"Thank you. Keep me posted." Holzer and DuBoise were less than thrilled. They were both disgusted by the surgery and the idea of robotizing their dead. It was effectively giving Gruber, a dead man, no rest from life. For now, they retired to have a meal until reports of the process stream in.
Horus was in the cafeteria attending lunch with the troops on board the Tartarus. The falcon crown prince sat at a table with Temujin and an odd red robot wolf. The red one looked almost identical to Temujin in build, if it weren’t for the red armor plates with the gold eagle emblem on his pauldron with a pair of crossed swords. His serial number and code appeared to be CLU-00591 GUNTER. They saw a news report from the Congo, showing Anubis and the robot wolves were in combat with the Chinese Oriental Security troops. “Will ya look at that. Anubis is having a field day with the press if he likes to be caught on cam as you.” Gunter stated in a gruff Texan voice and smirked while eating his meal.
“Yeah, only he never does like the attention. Always the dark knight, he is. Get in then get out, leaving no traces behind.” Horus remarked to Gunter as the crown prince ate his bird seeds from a small bowl and some hot meal on the navy tray. “I can’t fault him on that. But I think he could still use some publicities, might help bring in the cold hard cash to spend on the boys.” Said Gunter with a chortle as he ate the meal in his tray. Horus turned over to the red robot wolf and asked him.
“So what are you going to do once we’re on the ground? Ground pounder or Airwolf?” Gunter took notice of Horus’s question and tossed up a coin he had in a leather pouch. The coin spun in the air, flipping between Head and Tail before landing in Earl’s palm and it’s a Head. “Well, ground pounder it is. At least they gave me infantry training. In my lifetime, a pilot got basic firearm training and SERE. But man, when ya a robot with a robot brain, learning is as easy as shoving installing a software.”
Horus nodded to Gunter and patted his back in a friendly manner. “Even then, we still play it safe. You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Catch you later Earl.” Horus commented before getting up and returned the lunch tray to the cafeteria, before heading back to his cabin on the Tartarus. He was afforded the officer quarters with a fairly spacious room on a ship. The room had an old analog clock hung on the wall, with a board for Horus to pin a world map, and photos of relevant individuals like Kong, Faisal, LeMonde, and the Nordwyrm Virus into place.
Horus pinned Kong's photo on Ethiopia with red strings connecting him to the Nordwyrm Virus, LeMonde, and Faisal. The extra photos were in the HVIs category so he can quickly keep track of them. He sat down and marked the days left before arriving in Somalia when He suddenly received a call from Anubis on their communication nexus and quickly answered.
“Hey bro, what’s up? Looks like you got one helluva press media storm in Kinshasa, huh? Any plans for press coverage and publicity stunts?” Horus asked in a playfully friendly manner, adding in his taste of jests. “Besides the usual phrase of no comments, and some trophy displays, not much. Besides, I got something I need to go over with Belisarius. He did well today, at least."
“Yeah, about that, go easy on him Anubis, if anything it’s my fault that got us all into this. He’s trying to fix the problem before it gets worse. But are you sure that I have to be there? I’ll be out in the open with zero deniability.” Horus inquired with a sigh as he laid down on the bed. “Trust me, you’ll need it. If you want to be a king, learn the concept of consequences first. Otherwise, we’ll have a bastard son on the throne, and I’m sure that neither you nor anyone else sees that as a good sign.” Anubis sternly stated, prompting Horus to make a thick gulp and nodded to Anubis’s harsh words.
“I understand, I won’t let you down Anubis.” Horus, however, heard Anubis made a quick comeback to his promise. “No, Horus, don’t disappoint yourself. May the Hidden One guide your path to the throne.” Anubis replied with Horus nodding to the statement. “You too, Anubis. I love you, take care of yourself and Belisarius as well.” Horus then hung up the call to contemplate the information he had, by now he was roughly two days away from arriving in Somalia.
But before he took a slumber, he pulled out a drawer and grabbed his onyx black tablet computer, and switched on the screen. The screen had a photo of Horus and Anubis standing by their chariot, a prized family possession. The vehicle had an azure blue color with gold ornate Isis figure on the front. The wheels were wooden and reinforced by iron hubcaps, a rarity for what was once a bronze civilization.
Horus stroked at the screen gently, trying his best not to scratch or dent it. He sighed out melancholy, looking at a simpler time when they had time for fun and games. Back then, he would race wildly around the Hippodrome as the champion of Egypt against others like Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gaulois, and Thracian. The Crown Prince then entered the password of his device and went into a file folder to go over intel reports about Somalia.
The first report that came to his attention was timestamped September 5th, 2022, by the Information Warfare Command of the Jackal Guards. This one had an attached photo of a red banner with a yellow hammer and sickle symbol in the middle. The report's headline pronounced, "Somali People's Liberation Front, a Chinese footprint in East Africa, and possible strategic targets." Horus then began to read through the report, going over paragraphs and sections outlying what these factions were.
"Formed by unknown and never before seen leftist provocateur and activist, who goes by the name Mohamed Burhaan. The SPLF champions a cause of Somali unity against perceived 'Imperialist aggressors.' Their method of recruitment lately has been to align elements in the country's society under their Socialist umbrella. Mainly the DAESH linked Al-Shabaab militants, clan militias, and pirates to intimidate the populace from accepting aids from AMISOM III Coalition."
The report read, and Horus grew more and more intrigued by the information it had to offer. He began to go through the various details like the supposed alliance of religiously motivated militants like Al-Shabaab would align with the supposedly Socialist SPLF coalition. One adjective was highlighted in yellow by the IWC Inquisitors for him to notice. "Tenuous." A word that gave insight into the nature of the alliance in question, Horus himself could surmise that one had the gunmen, and the other had the heavy weapons for the prolonged insurgency.
"Al-Shabaab militants have entertained the thought of acquiring up-to-date weaponry, modern flak jackets, equipment as well as an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles. The SPLF, through their connections to Oriental Securities in Ethiopia, provides such weapons. Along with technical expertise to train and maintain those weapons as well as the growing crop of Type-59 tanks. While woefully outdated, it would make for terrifying encounters for the AMISOM III troops who did not expect such weapons in Somalia."
Horus grew more and more intrigued by the report as he went through the highlighted words and paragraphs. "A debt-trap diplomacy move. Too bad Al-Shabaab is a useful idiot, so are the SPLF." Anubis commented while reading the report. He stroked his worriedly, however, knowing that Al-Shabaab's fanatical militants would not go down without a fight even if it meant suicide vests against one robot wolf. "Better keep an eye on Temujin and Earl, no telling what those savages would do to them." Horus murmured cautiously before putting the tablet back into the drawer and dozed off.
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2020.10.15 10:44 PointMan97 The Jackal Guards (Beta Reader) Chapter 4

Chapter 4: First to Fight

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
June 1st, 2025, 03:15 Hours
Belisarius sat inside the cargo bay of the A400M with his fellow robots, about 116 of them including himself. He looked out of the window to see the starry sky and misty cloud outside. The plane was approaching the airport of Brazzaville at low altitude for landing, each of the robots sat on their chairs on each side of the plane as it came in for landing. “Anubis, what’s our plan when we’re on the ground? Beside meeting the Gaulois and German forces that are supporting us.” Belisarius curiously questioned Anubis who sat next to him.
“We’ll be part of their offensive into the Congo to shake things up for Oriental Security. The situation on the ground is chaotic. I’m afraid.” Anubis replied before Belisarius heard a deafening artillery howl and detonation nearby. He cringed at first as the blast of the shell vibrated upwards, affecting the A400Ms that were coming down to Brazzaville’s airport. “I think I get the point, further briefing once we’re on the ground?” Belisarius asked before looking out of the plane’s porthole to the sight of a burning and smoking Brazzaville. “Exactly, once we got the situation under control, you’ll continue your hunt, and I’ll sort out the arrangements.” Anubis sighed as he looked out the porthole at the Chinese shelling of Brazzaville.
“Affirmative, sir, I’ll get it done. Any backups just in case the fight turns grossly against our favors?” Belisarius asked cautiously, to which Anubis looked over to the neighboring city of Brazzaville just on the other side of the Congo River. “We do, the Germans have already placed a brigade of their Panzergrenadiers on the ground with the French Foreign Legion 2nd REP.” The mere mention of the word Legion got Belisarius ears to perk up his eyes and seemed peaked with interests as to what this might mean. “Legion? I never thought the idea of Roman Legion would survive to this day.” Belisarius bluntly remarked.
As the plane landed on the runway, they felt the wheels skidding and slight turbulence vibrating through the fuselage before finally coming to a halt as the first A400M was on the ground before taxiing into the nearby parking lot. Its cargo ramp dropped down, and before the robots disembarked in droves, they already heard the howling howitzers shells and the tremors from the impacts. The robots quickly sprinted out with their equipment in hands, rucksacks, and magnetically attached backpacks shuffled along with their movements. Buildings around them were still standing, somewhere struck by shelling that left a permanent scar. Any structures taller than two-story were almost certain to lose at least half of their form.
They were using HK416A5s assault rifles with HK417A2s battle rifles for the most part. Some of them were carrying HK MG5 to provide suppressive fire on enemy targets behind hardened covers, while others were carrying the M27IAR as the fireteam’s Automatic Rifleman. In addition to those, some of the bots were carrying Carl Gustaf M3 Recoilless Rifles as the anti armor specialists of their respective units.
The robots ran a system diagnostic of their tactical and strategic internet system, at a fireteam level they had the PAN (Personal Area Network) wherein a handful of robots nearby can instantly exchange data at an instant. From a squad to platoon level, they had a specialist carrying a magnetically strapped backpack for modem and LAN equipment.
At the Company to Battalion level and above, the same specialist would carry a similar backpack but with a parabolic antenna link with satellite systems in geosynchronous orbit. Together these formed their ARGOS (Augmented Reality Ground Operations System), the pinnacle of digital military information systems. Most of the robot wolves made their ways to the riverbanks of Brazzaville with their mortars and machine gun teams. There, they set up a base of fires and defilade positions while mortar crews rain precision fire on Chinese defenders by the docks of Kinshasa.
Belisarius double-timed with Anubis towards a jeep and boarded it. Other robots were either busy disembarking from their planes or assisting human evacuations from the city. In the chaos of the moment, the French Foreign Legionnaire who drove the jeep for Anubis and Belisarius kept his eyes on the road. No time for pleasantries, let alone introduction even when he was the chauffeur for a being beyond his wildest imaginations.
"Back in 2023, Europa began their Second Rush to Africa. They aim to overthrow pro-China satellite states in the region and reform the long corrupt regimes of the continent to a more, shall we say, stable and open democracy. Spearheading this is France, one of the most significant colonial owners of the region in the last century." Said Anubis as they passed through the streets of Brazzaville.
Belisarius listened to Anubis while looking around him, seeing the sight of civilians battered by shells, surviving infants and toddlers crying incessantly at their dead parents, half-buried under the rubbles, their cries attracted relief aid workers coming to their rescue. "Our job is to help open the path into Congo, start by taking Kinshasa. That's where you come in." Anubis spoke in a steady tone as they arrived at the Ile M'Bamou, a massive island in the middle of the Congo River where the French Foreign Legion and German Panzergrenadiers were busy with building pontoon bridges to ford across the river to assault Kinshasa's N'djili International Airport.
As they were coming close to the construction site of the pontoon bridge, mortar bombardments began to intensify with the loud bang and booms of mortar shells hitting the dirt, kicking up debris and soil into the air. Occasionally, a human flew into the air with their limbs decapitated. The worst cases were the complete obliteration of their bodies, leaving nothing to identify. One such shell exploded next to the PVP armored car, knocking them over instantly. The shock of the blast left Belisarius dazed along with Anubis. The driver was unconscious, with his arms resting on the wheel and window of the PVP.
Belisarius grunted as his thigh compartment switched open. He reached his hand in and grabbed the hilt of the Gladius saber. Acting quickly and decisively, Belisarius slashed off the seatbelts that were holding him back. He then cut the belts for Anubis and the driver, allowing the Jackal to escape. "Thanks, old friend. I'll take the driver to the treeline, you get to the pontoon bridge and help them." Anubis grabbed the knocked out driver by his wrist and pulled him out of his car seat. The Jackal jumped out of the vehicle, Belisarius followed suit and sprinted towards the pontoon bridge under the unremitting mortar barrage.
Shells howled through the sky, tearing down trees and digging up soils, forcing soldiers and civilians to run for cover, hiding underground, in foxholes, or just under a treeline. As Belisarius came to the Pontoon Bridge construction site, he saw the German Pioneers and French Army Engineers were busy with bridge layer vehicles to set down a proper bridge on the Congo River. The troops there were shelled incessantly by the Chinese on the other side of the rivers.
"Who's in command here?" Belisarius instinctively asked one of the German Panzergrenadiers there. The Efreitor hastily pointed Belisarius to an observation post sitting on an elevated position of the isle. "Es ist Kapitän Kleinenberg! Er ist im Beobachtungsposten versuchen, für Gegenbatterie zu rufen. Wer bist du?" The Efreitor asked confusedly looking, at the seven feet tall Belisarius.
The translation software in Belisarius quickly provided the wolf with a rough translation of the Bundeswehr saying. His voice then received a synthesized version to communicate with the soldier in German, albeit lacking a distinctive dialect or accent. "Your reinforcement." He uttered tersely before sprinting up the hill towards the Observation Post much to the shock of the combined Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. The robot werewolf opened the door and entered the OP before crouching down to avoid being sniped by a Chinese marksman or trained sniper. "Are you Captain Kleinenberg? I'm told you could use a hand." Said the wolf who caught the captain and his aides off-guard.
"Who the hell are you? And who permitted you to participate in this operation?" Captain Kleinenberg asked confusedly to Belisarius as he cringed under the shock and pressure of sustained mortar bombardment. "Introductions are for later. What do you need help with right now?" Belisarius insisted to the Captain, who then relented as he felt the barrage pressuring on his head. "I need some sharpshooters to take out those fucking mortar crews. They live, the bridge collapses. Get me?" The Captain ordered Belisarius, who nodded in acknowledgment, "I don't care how many, only where." He replied tersely, impressing the Captain with his can-do and no-nonsense attitude. "Alright, our scouts reported the mortars are firing from the marshes next to the airport."
Taking a moment to study the map, Belisarius saw that he could expect tree lines obstructing his views and dispersed mortar positions hiding in the shrubs. Perhaps some snipers to spot targets as well. "I need a weapon," Belisarius stated, prompting a Lieutenant to guide him out to the weapon rack. "Right this way." The Lieutenant gave Belisarius an MSG-90A2 sniper rifle with a bipod. "We're a bit short on ammo here. Radio jamming is making it difficult for us to get resupplied in time. Hopefully, our runner isn't dead before delivering his message." Said the Lieutenant as he handed Belisarius some spare magazines for his MSG-90 rifle. The robot wolf took the magazines and a plate carrier vest to carry the ammo.
"What's your name?" Belisarius asked the Lieutenant before following him out to the battlefield. "Anton, Leutnant Anton Gruber. Whatever you do out there, do it fast. We need the bridge consolidated before the tides pick up." Anton spoke urgently to Belisarius, prompting him to nod before sprinting out and took up a position near a French Foreign Legion's Pioneer foxhole. He laid down on his stomach and scanned the opposite bank with the MSG's scope.
He spotted the first mortar crew wearing camouflage from top to bottom with their weapon lobbing shells over the water. The robot wolf aimed down sight and began to calculate variables such as distance, gravity, rotation of the Earth, and so on. He fired once the calculation concluded, with the bullet landed on the mortar shell's wooden crate. The following detonation killed the entire mortar crew and their weapon.
Belisarius quickly switched on his thermal vision and aimed down the MSG's scope. He scanned the riverbank and opened fire on the enemy mortar crews and snipers. One by one, the Chinese dropped like flies before they began to fall back under a hail of automatic lead from NATO forces. "They are retreating. The bridge is safe now, time to move across and take the airport." The Lieutenant declared eagerly as the French Foreign Legion began to cross the pontoon bridge with German Leopard 2A7+ tanks to support them. Belisarius accompanied the Legionnaire as their shock trooper. He received a FAMAS FELIN rifle with fourteen magazines from one of the Legionnaire.
His curiosity grew as he held the bullpup assault rifle in his hand. The robot wolf managed to identify the cocking handle on the top side of the FAMAS and pulled the bolt down to check his ammo. His HUD ran a scan of the weapon and fed him information on its effective range, rate of fire, ammo capacity, fire modes. Once he had digested the technical performance and instructions, he cocked his head aside and began to head out with the humans. "Sledgehammer here, we have eyes on an enemy short-range SAM system. Engaging now." The Leopard 2A7+ Commander reported on the coms network. The crew loaded the 120mm Rheinmetal's L44 gun with a SABOT round as the main gun aimed at the HQ-12 missile truck.
With a booming thump sound, the gun muzzle breathed out a gust of flame, and the SABOT round flew towards the missile truck, and the vehicle exploded into a flaming wreck. However, the victory was short-lived, for the defending Chinese troops began to retaliate with machine-gun fire at the assaulting troops, and ATGMs flew towards the Leopard tank. "Leopard Zwei under attack! Request immediate assistant, over!" The commander called over the coms as the French Legionnaire took up firing positions and assaulted the ATGM nests.
"Lieutenant Gruber, where is the enemy jammer?" Belisarius asked while propped up against a tree. "About two 500 meters from where we are, the Chinese set up their jammers near the airport to mess with our coms." Hearing this while under a hail of enemy machine gun fires and the constant pressure of their automatic grenade launcher made Belisarius cagey.
The sooner they got rid of that jammer, the sooner they can call in Artillery from German howitzers. "Alright, Lt. Gruber, I'll destroy the jammer, and you call in artillery on the enemy position. Understood?" With only a single nod from Gruber, Belisarius sprinted away towards the edge of the airport. His robot wolf mobility and the digitigrade legs made his rapid advance incredibly fast, passing through the thick foliage and treelines. The Chinese were left bewildered by the lighting movement. He came barreling through the treelines and fell into a Chinese trench with his foot planted into one of their faces. His feet generated crunching sounds as they crushed a Chinese skull. Belisarius swiveled his body over to spray on the Chinese manning the HJ missile system.
As the Chinese defending that particular trench died a brutal and swift death, Belisarius grabbed their ATGM system and rotated around to aim at the Oriental Security operated Type-90 APC. The wolf fired the missile while keeping the weapon sight fixed firmly on the vehicle to guide the ATGM. The result was a violent penetration of the vehicle's hull and concluded with a fiery fireball with the crew screaming inside their steel coffin.
"Did you take out an enemy APC with their ATGM?" Gruber asked excitedly over their coms. However, the message came through garbled by the jammer. "Say again, Gruber. I can't hear you." Belisarius asked as he moved forward ahead of the others. The French Foreign Legionnaire followed up with their VABs and VBLs supporting the assault.
The Leopard 2A7 tank had another HJ-12 missile flown at it. This one came close only to be swatted down by the vehicle's APS system intercepting it. The French Foreign Legionnaire reacted quickly and opened fire furiously at the hiding position of the AT crew. M2 machine guns opened fire furiously to suppress the AT crew while the main gun fired an HE shell that blew away the vegetation of the riverbank.
As Belisarius led the assault further towards the airport, the vegetation gave way to a clear sightline of the airport's runway filled with J-11B jets with PLAAF markings. But what concerned Belisarius the most was the lack of cover from where he was towards the Jammer near the tarmac building.
As the Leopard 2 tank crept up to the edge of the forestry with the French Foreign Legionnaire following to support it, Lt. Gruber came up behind Belisarius, looking exhausted by the constant stress and running from before. "Hey, you have a way with charging ahead, don't you? Anyway, you got eyes on that enemy jammer?" Gruber asked while looking through his binoculars at the Chinese made Electronic Jammer. "I do. Resistance is light so far, but that doesn't seem right." Belisarius remarked as he laid down on his stomach, scanning the runway ahead of him. "Nein, they're moving reinforcements in to knock us back. We must take the tarmac. I can call in artillery support from there."
"Well, consider it done. I'll clear the way for you. Just rain fire at first sight of the enemy." Belisarius replied and stood up. The Legionnaire formed up behind him with additional troops moving in to back them up. These being German Panzergrenadiers with their Puma IFVs. The Chinese defending the airport ran behind their sandbags and barricades to set up firing positions. With machine guns and grenade launchers, they waited patiently for the NATO assault to inevitably come at them. Belisarius came over to the Leopard 2 and climbed aboard it to get the commander's attention. "Don't waste your shot on infantry. Aim for the jammer first. Leave the infantry to me." Belisarius instructed the commander, who acknowledged the coordination and relayed the instruction to his crew.
Sledgehammer's loader put an APFSDS round into the chamber. The gunner trained his sight on the mobile jammer array, and the commander permitted them to fire. The shell flew out of the 120mm main gun and slammed into the PLA's jammer array. The Electronic Jammer violently erupted into flame and burned down. Panicked, the Oriental Security troops were scrambling to douse the fire before it spread to the J-11s.
The defenders on impulse fired desperately at the attackers behind the treelines, cutting down branches, twigs. Some bullets ricochet and hit the French Foreign Legionnaire, either killing or wounding them. Gruber, on instinct, ducked down and held his helmet with both hands, groaning and gritting his teeth under the machine gunfire.
At the very least, communication for NATO troops had become much less arduous. Belisarius quickly called Anubis on their cyber coms to get a situation report. "Sir, we've destroyed the enemy's Jammer. Assault at the airport is on-going. What support do you have for us?" Anubis, on the other end of the line, quickly responded to the report with great urgency in his tone.
"Belisarius! The Chinese are sending reinforcements towards the airport. I'm sending the 108th to assist you now, but they need time to get across the Congo River. ETA: 10 minutes." He knew that it was too easy for their initial assault. Why didn't the Chinese scramble their J-11s jet remained unknown, but he could infer one possible reason being to avoid escalation. Even then, it was a rather flimsy excuse, even on the Chinese part.
Being the ever punctual robot, Belisarius quickly took potshots at the Chinese machine gunners. Before the MG crew could resume fire, he fired some more accurate shots at their heads, knocking them down one by one while the Foreign Legionnaire crept up. They opened fire at the Chinese defenders of the Airport and made flanking maneuvers with support from German Puma IFVs laying down suppressive fire. Belisarius sprinted with one such squad, making a beeline towards the tarmac and gunning down the defenders effortlessly. Lt. Gruber quickly ran up the tarmac with his spotter team before eventually arriving at the top to set up an OP.
"Hammer, this is Muninn. We have eyes on a large concentration of enemy armored forces situated on the clearing to the south of the airport. Request immediate Anti-Armor barrage on my coordinates over." Gruber urgently called on the PzH2000s while peering through his binoculars to the sight of the incoming enemy armor. As they watched Chinese Type-96 tanks rolling towards them with various APCs support, Gruber felt like he was about to be run over by armored treads.
Belisarius, on the ground with other French Foreign Legionnaires, was digging into fighting positions. They parked their tanks and IFVs by the choke points into the airport's runway. "Verstanden Muninn, feuern Sie dichtes Artilleriefeuer auf Ihre Zielkoordinaten ab." Gruber then transmitted the coordinates to the crew using a stylus pen on a command tablet he had with a few taps and swipes.
Once the crew received their target coordinates, they fired off barrages of 155mm guided Anti Armor rounds at the incoming Type-96 tanks. The artillery roared a thunderous bellow, with their shells soaring through the sky, tearing through clouds like Thor's Mjolnir hammer. They soon came down on the Type-96 tanks and knocked out a large portion of the Chinese tank platoon, sending turrets flying into the air like Lego pieces. Vehicle components smashed to smithereens. The following APCs met the same fate, with the Leopard 2s scoring direct hits upon direct hits. Some of the Leopard 2s even scored a double kill with their shells penetrating through multiple APCs that happened to line up.
“Muninn, das ist Hammer. Können wir eine KBE?” The artillery crew asked the now much more invigorated Lt. Gruber as he watched the artillery shells raining death and destruction on the Chinese tank formations. "Hammer, das ist Muninn. Feindliche Panzer nahmen schwere Verluste, mehr Fahrzeuge zerstört." Additional infantry struggled to wade forward, only to curl up in a fetal position under the constant barrage. Others tossed up smoke grenades to cover themselves, then pushed forward under the cover, only for them to be cut down by machine gunfire. The dug in, Panzergrenadiers, and French Foreign Legion had the benefits of thermal optics to pierce through the thick smokescreen and dust clouds kicked up by the artillery shells.
Even Belisarius could do little other than to pick off enemy stragglers as they came close to his position. The French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers around him kept up their fire. Occasionally, they pass over a spare magazine to keep him in the fight. Constantly pressuring their enemies and breaking their will to fight.
Their method, while seems excessive and brutal, was efficient since the enemies broke and ran for their dear life. For a moment, Gruber felt exhilarating, a thrill, and high of victory rushing over him as he watched the Chinese breaking off and ran as far as possible. But as Gruber and his Forward Observer team celebrated their victory, a mortar shell came crashing down on the tarmac.
Belisarius had a knee jerk reaction as he recoiled under pressure and shock by the barrage. The Chinese mortar barrage came like a downpour of steel and explosives on NATO troops holding the Airport. Many of them have to duck down and wait for the mortar barrage to die down. The howitzers from the German side of the battlefield soon counter-battery the Chinese mortars, silencing them with a steel rain down on the slums south of the Airport.
"Damn it, Gruber? Gruber? Gruber!" Belisarius called out to the Lieutenant as he ran out to search for him under the rubbles. What the robot wolf found after digging through the debris was a gnarly and disfigured remains of the Lieutenant. His right arm and leg were no more, just fleshy remains with a pool of his blood. His head and torso remained intact. But no hope for the man to regain conscient. He had gone to God in Heaven now.
"Requiescat in Pace," Belisarius uttered before closing Gruber's eyes and continued his search around the place for the remains of the Forward Observer Team. Save for the twisted and scattered bits of flesh and blood. Their helmets and body armor saved a good deal of their corpses for identification. As the French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers pushed up with their reinforcements, they began to clear through the surrounding building blocks in quick and dirty firefights with pockets of Chinese defenders.
The Oriental Security mercenaries, however, were less than thrilled with the idea of facing a trained and well-equipped hostile force. Many of them surrendered without a fight, while some others fired sporadically before falling back. Belisarius participated in the action, chasing the enemies up to the bridge over the river dividing the city's downtown area from its western suburbs and slums.
As the day wore on, Belisarius returned to the airport with the 108th Regiment to rest. The latter was busy with rescuing civilians in Brazzaville and keeping the enemies occupied in the harbor areas of Kinshasa, feigning preparation for an amphibious landing. Belisarius went into a casualties collection tent, counting the dead and wounded they had sustained so far. He estimated their casualties in the area of 20 KIAs and an additional 25 WIAs. While far from unacceptable casualties figures, Belisarius could tell from the looks on the survivor's faces, each loss was a toll on the survivors. On the front and at home.
The 108th Regiment, in the meantime, proceeded to convert the Airport into their base of operation in the Congo. The A400Ms from subsequent flights began to land on the runway with various reinforcements, supplies, vehicles, and infrastructure support. As they worked and toiled around the clock, Anubis came to Belisarius, accompanied by the German General and a French Colonel, alongside them was a robot wolf with a rod of Aescelpius symbol painted on his pauldrons. Belisarius took notice and glanced over, noticing the German officer appeared to be a Brigadier General Hans Holzer. And the French Colonel to be Colonel DuBoise, French Foreign Legion 2e REP. "You must be Belisarius, the one who saved the crew of the Calypso?" Holzer asked as he extended a hand out to Belisarius.
"Yes, that I am. You must be the commanding officer of the expeditionary force." Belisarius inferred, to which Holzer burst into a chuckle at the robot's observation ability. "Ja, I am appointed by Berlin to lead the Bundeswehr contingent. He is Colonel DuBoise, leader of the French Foreign Legion 2nd Parachute Regiment." Holzer introduced DuBoise to Belisarius. The French colonel was wearing his green-covered helmet of the 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. His insignia and rank were kept low-key by design to avoid being a sniper bullseye. "Monsieur, Paris is in your debt for your selfless service today." Colonel DuBoise stated to Belisarius as he shook the robot's hand. "It was nothing, just doing my job," Belisarius replied humbly.
"He's quite humble, it seems. Is this normal for the robots you made?" Holzer asked Anubis, to which the Jackal seems to make a rather reserved expression and attitude. "Not really. Some are more boisterous and boastful. Others like Belisarius are soft-spoken gentlemen. Their personalities varied from unit to unit, especially after deployments and accruing personal experiences." Anubis calmly explained to the bewildered NATO officers, who could not believe their ears.
"They develop personalities? Is it possible for A.Is to do so? I thought they were only far-flung future fantasies." Holzer exclaimed, confusedly to Anubis. He saw Anubis nonchalantly nodded to him, "Indeed, they can. How are they supposed to perform half as good as human soldiers if they can't gain experiences and develop personalities?" Anubis asked rhetorically, to which neither Holzer nor DuBoise had an answer.
"But how do you create these A.Is and program them?" Holzer asked curiously, to which Anubis glanced his eye over to the corpses of the dead German Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaire. "A human soul's fragments and an A.I symbiosis. A method that no current human-computer algorithm or programming technique can catch up." The jackal deity spoke coldly, his hand reaching out to the body bag of Lt. Gruber and unzipping it to inspect the corpse. "A human soul? Surely, you can't be serious?" Holzer nervously inquired. Anubis didn't seem at all jesting with the NATO officer when he turned to them. His robot jackal face and optics shot them a glare that said it all. "Never was. I can demonstrate if you are willing to see."
To both Holzer and DuBoise, it sounded like a morbid invitation, the childlike curiosity with the desire to learn more of these robots. And yet, in the back of their minds, they could not help but feel something gnawing at them. A feeling that whatever they might learn would not look or sound so well to the public. "How long do you think it will take for this one?" Anubis asked the Physician robot. The white wolf with the blue rod of Aescelpius then bent over to inspect the corpse, putting his palm on Gruber's chest and head. "A day of work, no more, no less. I can salvage his brains and vital organs like the heart, lungs, digestive and reproductive organs." The doctor spoke bluntly. Holzer and DuBoise were shocked to hear of the process's specific details sounding like organ harvesting.
"Is this organ harvesting? Are you going to dissect his remains to take his organs out? How does that have anything to do with your robots?" DuBoise protested, being rather outraged by the grotesque idea Anubis had in mind. The Jackal deity didn't seem to care much for the Frenchman's fuming rage and simply crossed his arms before his chest. "Synthetic organ components. The Nanites I developed will assimilate them into robot components. Get it done." Anubis ordered the physician, who then zipped up the body bag and picked him up, carrying him away to a mobile lab module at the airport's east side. "I do not consent to this. The German public and government do not consent to this. How are you- am I supposed to explain to them?" Holzer furiously asked as he followed Anubis and the physician while Belisarius accompanied them to witness the process.
"Let me handle the public outrage and banana journalists." Anubis sternly remarked before seeing the corpse of Gruber being placed on an operating table by the physician. "You may want to step back." The physician suggested to Belisarius, who sighed out but conceded. They spectated from a shielded section of the lab module.
Inside the operating room, automated medical arms dissect his body, carefully scalped his head, and open his skull to extract his human brains. Each organ was placed inside a canopic jar-like container by the physician. Filled with preservative liquid, he continued his work vigorously as he began to open a large cylinder container, revealing a robot wolf frame on standby. Holzer and DuBoise saw it was a seven feet tall robot body, with chrome grey and silver armor plates top to bottom.
The physician then tapped the buttons on nearby keyboards to open the cylinder, letting cold liquid nitrogen hissing out. They saw the cranial unit open up several flaps. The human brain and organs, in turn, were injected by the physician with a strange liquid metal substance. The grey and silver metal goo once made contact with the preservative liquid, began to fill up the containers, and began the assimilation process.
The brain and organs began to turn synthetic with green circuit boards outlines. The physician then picked up the brains before inserted it into the cranial unit, and the flaps closed in, sealing the morphing brain tightly inside the cranial space. The mechanical arms surgically removed the robot armor plates and cut open the stomach region, allowing the physician to graft the organs into the body, with the Nanites inside moving them into position with the endoskeleton.
With that done, they saw a tendril latched into the back of the robot wolf's head, where his neck and head met. The tendril lodged itself deeply into the neural outlet port. Holzer and DuBoise saw a computer monitor displaying a text reading "Programming process: 0%". "Phase 1 is complete. This unit will be ready by tomorrow for review. Till then, there won't be much to report. I'll let you know what I managed to salvage from Lieutenant Gruber." The physician summarized to Anubis, who nodded to the robot.
"Thank you. Keep me posted." Holzer and DuBoise were less than thrilled. They were both disgusted by the surgery and the idea of robotizing their dead. It was effectively giving Gruber, a dead man, no rest from life. For now, they retired to have a meal until reports of the process stream in.
Horus was in the cafeteria attending lunch with the troops on board the Tartarus. The falcon crown prince sat at a table with Temujin and an odd red robot wolf. The red one looked almost identical to Temujin in build, if it weren’t for the red armor plates with the gold eagle emblem on his pauldron with a pair of crossed swords. His serial number and code appeared to be CLU-00591 GUNTER. They saw a news report from the Congo, showing Anubis and the robot wolves were in combat with the Chinese Oriental Security troops. “Will ya look at that. Anubis is having a field day with the press if he likes to be caught on cam as you.” Gunter stated in a gruff Texan voice and smirked while eating his meal.
“Yeah, only he never does like the attention. Always the dark knight, he is. Get in then get out, leaving no traces behind.” Horus remarked to Gunter as the crown prince ate his bird seeds from a small bowl and some hot meal on the navy tray. “I can’t fault him on that. But I think he could still use some publicities, might help bring in the cold hard cash to spend on the boys.” Said Gunter with a chortle as he ate the meal in his tray. Horus turned over to the red robot wolf and asked him.
“So what are you going to do once we’re on the ground? Ground pounder or Airwolf?” Gunter took notice of Horus’s question and tossed up a coin he had in a leather pouch. The coin spun in the air, flipping between Head and Tail before landing in Earl’s palm and it’s a Head. “Well, ground pounder it is. At least they gave me infantry training. In my lifetime, a pilot got basic firearm training and SERE. But man, when ya a robot with a robot brain, learning is as easy as shoving installing a software.”
Horus nodded to Gunter and patted his back in a friendly manner. “Even then, we still play it safe. You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Catch you later Earl.” Horus commented before getting up and returned the lunch tray to the cafeteria, before heading back to his cabin on the Tartarus. He was afforded the officer quarters with a fairly spacious room on a ship. The room had an old analog clock hung on the wall, with a board for Horus to pin a world map, and photos of relevant individuals like Kong, Faisal, LeMonde, and the Nordwyrm Virus into place.
Horus pinned Kong's photo on Ethiopia with red strings connecting him to the Nordwyrm Virus, LeMonde, and Faisal. The extra photos were in the HVIs category so he can quickly keep track of them. He sat down and marked the days left before arriving in Somalia when He suddenly received a call from Anubis on their communication nexus and quickly answered.
“Hey bro, what’s up? Looks like you got one helluva press media storm in Kinshasa, huh? Any plans for press coverage and publicity stunts?” Horus asked in a playfully friendly manner, adding in his taste of jests. “Besides the usual phrase of no comments, and some trophy displays, not much. Besides, I got something I need to go over with Belisarius. He did well today, at least."
“Yeah, about that, go easy on him Anubis, if anything it’s my fault that got us all into this. He’s trying to fix the problem before it gets worse. But are you sure that I have to be there? I’ll be out in the open with zero deniability.” Horus inquired with a sigh as he laid down on the bed. “Trust me, you’ll need it. If you want to be a king, learn the concept of consequences first. Otherwise, we’ll have a bastard son on the throne, and I’m sure that neither you nor anyone else sees that as a good sign.” Anubis sternly stated, prompting Horus to make a thick gulp and nodded to Anubis’s harsh words.
“I understand, I won’t let you down Anubis.” Horus, however, heard Anubis made a quick comeback to his promise. “No, Horus, don’t disappoint yourself. May the Hidden One guide your path to the throne.” Anubis replied with Horus nodding to the statement. “You too, Anubis. I love you, take care of yourself and Belisarius as well.” Horus then hung up the call to contemplate the information he had, by now he was roughly two days away from arriving in Somalia.
But before he took a slumber, he pulled out a drawer and grabbed his onyx black tablet computer, and switched on the screen. The screen had a photo of Horus and Anubis standing by their chariot, a prized family possession. The vehicle had an azure blue color with gold ornate Isis figure on the front. The wheels were wooden and reinforced by iron hubcaps, a rarity for what was once a bronze civilization.
Horus stroked at the screen gently, trying his best not to scratch or dent it. He sighed out melancholy, looking at a simpler time when they had time for fun and games. Back then, he would race wildly around the Hippodrome as the champion of Egypt against others like Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gaulois, and Thracian. The Crown Prince then entered the password of his device and went into a file folder to go over intel reports about Somalia.
The first report that came to his attention was timestamped September 5th, 2022, by the Information Warfare Command of the Jackal Guards. This one had an attached photo of a red banner with a yellow hammer and sickle symbol in the middle. The report's headline pronounced, "Somali People's Liberation Front, a Chinese footprint in East Africa, and possible strategic targets." Horus then began to read through the report, going over paragraphs and sections outlying what these factions were.
"Formed by unknown and never before seen leftist provocateur and activist, who goes by the name Mohamed Burhaan. The SPLF champions a cause of Somali unity against perceived 'Imperialist aggressors.' Their method of recruitment lately has been to align elements in the country's society under their Socialist umbrella. Mainly the DAESH linked Al-Shabaab militants, clan militias, and pirates to intimidate the populace from accepting aids from AMISOM III Coalition."
The report read, and Horus grew more and more intrigued by the information it had to offer. He began to go through the various details like the supposed alliance of religiously motivated militants like Al-Shabaab would align with the supposedly Socialist SPLF coalition. One adjective was highlighted in yellow by the IWC Inquisitors for him to notice. "Tenuous." A word that gave insight into the nature of the alliance in question, Horus himself could surmise that one had the gunmen, and the other had the heavy weapons for the prolonged insurgency.
"Al-Shabaab militants have entertained the thought of acquiring up-to-date weaponry, modern flak jackets, equipment as well as an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles. The SPLF, through their connections to Oriental Securities in Ethiopia, provides such weapons. Along with technical expertise to train and maintain those weapons as well as the growing crop of Type-59 tanks. While woefully outdated, it would make for terrifying encounters for the AMISOM III troops who did not expect such weapons in Somalia."
Horus grew more and more intrigued by the report as he went through the highlighted words and paragraphs. "A debt-trap diplomacy move. Too bad Al-Shabaab is a useful idiot, so are the SPLF." Anubis commented while reading the report. He stroked his worriedly, however, knowing that Al-Shabaab's fanatical militants would not go down without a fight even if it meant suicide vests against one robot wolf. "Better keep an eye on Temujin and Earl, no telling what those savages would do to them." Horus murmured cautiously before putting the tablet back into the drawer and dozed off.
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