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How Racial Discrimination Plays Out in Online Dating : NPR
But what about race-specific dating apps like Black People Meet? Is there a double standard when people of color choose to date within their race or reject white partners? The simple answer is no. Black people and other racial minorities need exclusive spaces where they feel understood and appreciated in a society that deems them lesser. And all men, regardless of race, responded the least to black women. OkCupid came to similar conclusions in its assessment of race and attraction. “Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies,” the dating experts said. “Essentially every race — including other blacks — singles them out for the cold shoulder.” Dating apps throw up particular problems when it comes to preferences and race. Composite: monkeybusinessimages/Bryan Mayes; Getty Images Research shows that online dating coincided with an increase in interracial marriages. But some dating app users say that Asian men and black women can still have a tougher time finding love online. Dating, engaged and married couples have always been considered a threat to other teams on The Amazing Race due to the quality of their pre-existing relationships and knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses. In most cases, the team dynamic of being life partners proves to be advantageous on any given season. Shea and her boyfriend have been together 10 months, and this was the first time they were openly discussing race. Many couples, interracial and not, are having discussions like these. race preference, this gender difference is unlikely to result from differential dating goals between men and women. Second, our subjects do not ﬁnd partners of the same race more attractive, so race-speciﬁc conceptions of attractiveness cannot account for these same-race preferences. Third, It doesn’t matter if race ‘should’ be a factor in dating, as we live in a racialized world (whatever your view on the social or biological existence of race)—it then follows that race is an aspect of life we cannot escape and that it does influence dating life, whether it ‘should’ or not. A dating app should really try to understand these things.” Easier said than done, though. Race, gender, height, weight – these are (relatively) straightforward categories for an app to put ... The Best Interracial Dating Site on the Internet Are you single and interested in dating someone from a different race? Datingmixedrace.com] is an interracial dating site that specializes in helping singles find love and lasting relationships.
A Place to Discuss Race and SMV
2012.05.29 22:37 A Place to Discuss Race and SMV
Racetransitionmaxxing: a process by which someone transitions from one race to another in order to benefit from increased SMV. However, benefits of racetransitionmaxxing may not be limited to the dating scene.
2020.09.21 19:51 OldmanRevivedI saw two movies (Residue, Blackbird)
First up was Residue "Residue" is like no other film I've seen, and yet I feel right at home in it. It seems to be going nowhere, and knows every step it wants to make. It is a constant, almost kaleidoscopic experience of discovery, and we try to figure out what the film is up to and it just keeps moving steadfastly ahead, fade in, fade out, fade in, fade out, making a mountain out of a molehill. The movie doesn't tell a story so much as try to understand a man. Like him, it is constantly observing, and it possesses a generous spirit in those observations. Jay (Obi Nwachukwu), has just returned to the Washington DC neighborhood where he grew up. His family moved off the block in hopes of escaping drug-dealing activity, and later, Jay fled entirely - moving to California for college, where he studied filmmaking. Now he's back, intending to make a movie about his old street. He is welcomed by a white resident who tells him to turn down his music or he'll call the police. For-sale signs litter the street. Realtors leave repeat voicemails at Jay's parents' house, eagerly offering cash for their home. Jay lurches through the neighborhood, searching for friends at the homes or on the corners or stoops they once occupied. How long Jay has been away is not mentioned, though it is long enough for him to return to a place he barely recognizes. Too many of his friends have either moved away, or are dead, or in prison; his girlfriend, his few remaining friends, his parent's friends, the old men of the neighborhood - all seem to have resigned themselves to slowly being pushed out. The spaces in "Residue" feel full with absence. They carry memories, and the film has a hypnotic way of slipping in and out of them. As Jay recalls his childhood, young versions of himself and his friends aren't confined to flashback scenes; they sometimes slide into the present-tense places he occupies. Elsewhere, city images of violence and festivity mesh together, sometimes nearly indistinguishable from each other. The movie plays out in a raw and unpredictable fashion. Director Merawi Gerima differs from some indies in the formal calculation that goes into his composition and editing. Gerima is in no hurry to get anywhere. He will rest on a shot to allow it to reveal itself; shots aren't the impatient hurrying along of a story. Notice how some of his travelling shots seem to dictate the movements of characters, rather than following them. The course of Jay's normal day pauses for moments of looking and, more importantly, listening. There's a fraying sense of connection, and Jay’s confusion and rage over the gentrification of Q Street can't help but spill over. One friend named Demetrius is elusive, and Jay's insistence on asking about him makes people suspicious. No one knows, or at least will admit to, his current location. In another scene, Jay walks through the woods with a friend, Dion (Jamal Graham). They reminisce about old times amid this greenery, but it’s soon clear that he and Dion are actually in the visiting room of a jail, and that the restful environment is in Jay’s imagination. There is not much of a conventional narrative, and the story is populated by dozens of small, well-observed moments of human behavior, such as the relationship between Jay and his girlfriend Blue (Taline Stewart). At the end there is a scene of sudden emotional truth that explains nothing but feels like it does. I think the key is to understand that Jay is not the one with the problems, but the kind of person who, by being completely and mysteriously on his own wavelength, causes the uncertain people around him to insist loudly and with growing unease on how certain they are of themselves. It's tempting to look for some deeper meaning in the movie, but such an endeavor would be folly. The deeper meaning is what we see - what Jay sees and experiences every day. Is it enough? It is if we make it so. "Residue" is still not a complete success - it is odd and off-putting when it doesn't want to be - but as a study of loneliness and need, it evokes a tender sadness. Gerima does a lot with a little. His characters seem divorced from the ordinary society of their cities; they're loners and floaters hurtling through the deserted streets. They are like couriers on a mission to nowhere. Next up was Blackbird "Blackbird" is one of those movies in which nosy but well-meaning relatives try to force a reluctant family member to embrace a truth that is obvious to everyone except her. In this case, the truth is that we cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed forever by grief over the death of a loved one. Why do I always root for the recalcitrant family member? The setup involves the family's matriarch, who decides to end her life before a debilitating disease overtakes all of her bodily functions. The mother is Lily (Susan Sarandon), married to the ever-watchful and affectionate Paul (Sam Neill), a doctor who knows better than the rest of his family why his wife wants to die now. At this point, Lily has lost the use of one arm and walks with a limp. In a shorter amount of time than she might hope for, the disease will paralyze her, and she doesn't want to live to see that day. She has set a date for her demise, and will take a lethal dosage to die in her sleep after a final 48 hours. Lily has planned a big reunion, a final get-together, with the whole of their family. First is her daughter Jennifer, arriving early with her husband, Michael (Rainn Wilson) and son Jonathan (Anson Boon). The younger sister, Anna (Mia Wasikowska), has been incommunicado for a while, and further roils things by unexpectedly bringing her romantic partner, Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus). The final person in the mix is Lily's long-time friend Liz (Lindsay Duncan), who has spent decades as an honorary member of the family. The movie gets right to the point in establishing these assorted dynamics of familial dysfunction. The two sisters immediately get on each other's nerves, as Anna can't stop screwing up and Jennifer can't stop conspicuously judging her for it. But in general, personal agendas are suspended to honor Lily's wishes, which include ordering that Christmas be celebrated Saturday night, complete with deluxe holiday dinner and decorated tree, though it's still autumn. The rest of the story merely observes how they proceed under the stress of knowing this will be the last time they'll be together as a whole family. There is possibly a good movie to be found somewhere within this story, but no: "Blackbird" is a turgid melodrama with the emotional range of a sympathy card. This is one of the most confused and conflicted serious movies in a long time - a film that feels great passion about its subject matter but has no idea what it wants to say or how to say it. Genuine issues - such as the family's insecurity and the Lily's reaction to the end of her days - are glossed over. But there is more than enough time for each character to have a soap opera subplot. They are each given one characteristic: the caretaker, the screw-up, the control freak, the dull guy. Lily doesn’t need the extra late-breaking drama, and frankly this drama doesn't, either. It seems unnecessary, like an extra hurdle planted at a track-race finish line just to see if another runner or two can be made to stumble. The movie is really about the Sarandon character. Here she has to be unreasonable for half the movie and courageous for the rest; there's not a rest period where she just gets to be this woman. These performances are, at best, great (Neill, Winslet, Taylor-Klaus, Sarandon, and Wasikowska) and, at least, provide us with a strong sense of personality (Wilson, Boon, and Duncan). The movie provides big roles, but doesn't surround them with the screenplay support they need; the result is that awkwardness when characters express emotions that the audience doesn't share. "Blackbird" was written by Christian Torpe, based on his screenplay for the 2014 Danish film "Silent Heart," which was not released in the United States. While he no doubt elevated the sophistication of the dialogue, these are people whose lives are gripped in the mighty vise of plotting. The skill of the actors, who invest their characters with small touches of humanity, is useful in distracting us from the emotional manipulations, but it's like they're brightening separate rooms of a haunted house.
2020.09.21 19:47 Floofyyyy[Atari/SEGA][2005 - 2007] Party Game
Hello! This is my post on this subreddit, but I read the instructions on how to make a better post! So, anyway. The game was playable on Atari console. I remember the CDs very well. The CD was 2 parts. The image on the cover was a robot, with a green coloured background. In 2nd part of the CD there was a game. And that is the game I do not know the name of. But before that, let me be a little bit more clear with the CDs. CDs had hundreds and HUNDREDS games in it. Everything was in Japanese, and as we couldn't read anything, we would start every single game one by one and check if it was a good game or not. When you inserted one of the CDs and started it, the first thing you would see, as far as I can remember, was a colourful background with numbers and the names to the side in Japanese. Like this: 1 黒猫 2 マインクラフト 3 約束のネバーランド (I made these names up to give a clear image to you guys/gals) And so on. The numbers were like listing to the right, on the middle, and to the left. Now as for the categories: Platforms: Atari console/SEGA Genre: Party game like Rhythm Heaven. There were different mini games. For example car racing, robot assembling puzzle gam, trying to break a woman's high heels' with correct power. Year: Before I started school which would be: around 2005-2007. This is not the estm. release date, but rather the year span I started playing the game. Graphics/Art style: The art style was almost the same as that of Rhythm Heaven but more pixely. To give a better idea, when you started the game the first thing you'd see was the main menu. There were 4 to 5 options in Japanese. First one was Start or play, second multiplayer, third options, fourth maybe credits. The background was the gameplay footage of the game. I do not remember if it was changing over time like other games did but the first footage you'd see was car racing game mode. A red car and a green car racing on a white or grey road. This scene was so bright because of the whiteness. Characters: Main characters were 2 guys: one being shorter with a red sweater and black round glasses, the other being taller with a green sweater with same glasses. There were side characters in mini game like robots in robot assembling game. Gameplay: I remember 3 different game modes only. First one: Car racing. You would race your race with the other green guy using the Atari joystick (up down left right movement keys and A B C keys). Robot assembling game: there was a timer. On the right, there was the robot to be assembled, on the left was the pieces to choose from. The background was dark blue. You had a claw machine to hold and drag the pieces (using one of the A B C buttons to hold, and movement keys to drag, to put it in the place, you'd simply let go of the button.) High heel breaking game: there was a red high heel which you'd break with a hammer (maybe?) with the right amount of power. (Note: this is my 2nd time of typing up until this point except for the first paragraph [I had it copied beforehand] because I refreshed the page like the idiot I am. The first one was better detailed.) Other details: I mentioned everything about the game as far as I remember. But this was a SEGA game. It would boot up with the famous "Seeeegaaaa" opening. The CDs also had the games I remember: Wiz 'n' Liz (my love), Sonic series (especially the one with Tails), Mr. Nuts, Mc. Donald's Ronald game in which you'd play as Ronald and had magical powers, the animal game where you were an elephant and tried to rescue captured fellow animals like rabbit, squirrel, etc. (You could change animals after rescuing them.) Mortal Kombat series, Streets of Rage 3, Street Fighter, Pac-man's Adventure and so on! All of these games have the gameplay videos on YouTube, so the game I do not also should have a footage. Lastly, the first part of the CD could be downloaded online. But there is no part 2 as far as I know. I literally checked every single one of them but no results. Also checked YouTube. Thank you! P.S.: Do you also happen to know the Elephant animal rescue game? (=ﾟωﾟ=)
2020.09.21 19:43 arrangedmarriage1993Unhappy 27 years of arranged marriage, is passionate love and intellectual connection really real?
Both my husband and I are born outside of India and wanted an arranged marriage, married young, me at 21 him at 25. Neither one of us had any previous boyfriends/girlfriends, both virgins. Fast forward 27 years, we now have the ‘American dream’. For me at the start there was never any heart racing passion for my husband but there was a true and honest likability and mutual respect that I had hoped would one day turn into love, I think the same was for my husband. The ‘love’ never came about. For the past 10 years we have been living like roommates. We don’t enjoy spending time with each other, COVID has made that more clear. We don’t fight we just avoid each other around the house. I find him uninteresting/boring to be around and I am sure he feels the same about me. We just have different interests. I want passion in my relationship, the stuff that I read about in romance novels. Is that stuff even real? Do people really have those types of stimulating relationships at 50+? I want someone that I connect with both emotionally and physically. How would I find the ‘right’ someone, I don’t have any previous experience in dating? What if I spend the next 10 yrs looking for ‘Mr Right’ and don’t find anyone but get taken advantage of (physically, emotionally, financially etc). I would end up losing the okay marriage that I have today and also be alone in my golden years? What if my marriage is as good as it gets for me/ us? I have an excellent vibrator that has kept me company for many years so I know that sex is not the only thing that makes a relationship work but since I have never had any other relationship I just don’t know if I should be content or want more for myself. Can you have it all in a relationship, physical attraction and an intellectual connection or is that just a western ideology not attainable in the real world? Should I sacrifice my relationship hopes/dreams and just stay in my marriage, everyone (our kids/ family/ friends) but my husband and I will continue to be happy and oblivious to our issues.
2020.09.21 19:39 Liinki0205Recently reunited with my childhood friend, which lead to my hurt. How do I get over this? M/F
I reunited with my childhood friend about a year ago, but only recently began talking to her more seriously as a proper friend for the last two months. After a while, I decided I liked her, and liked her quite a bit. I shared those feelings with her, and she reciprocated them. One day, she invited me over to her place, and I'll say, there was some tension of all kinds there. It was clear to me that she was interested in me, and I was interested in her. Now, her mental health isnt the best. She wanted to attempt suicide last month but thankfully enough she didn't go through with it, and she needed someone to be there for her. I told her that I wanted to be a shoulder she could lean on, with her agreeing after a bit of talking. We decided that we wanted to date. Her parents were around, (they live on quite a large property which they subdivided, but still kept a large bit of land) so I went to go ask for their permission to let me date her. I said the usual, just told them that I really liked their daughter, and she told them she liked me back and really wanted to date. So they agreed. We hid out where her parents weren't able to see us and secretly celebrated. After I went back home and a really happy car ride, she also asked my parents if we were allowed to date and they both agreed to it too. But then that night, she began acting distant. We called every night prior to dating, but this night she didn't have the spirit to call. She didn't want to I guess, and I brushed it off as it was probably a tiring day for her. Next day comes. She doesn't respond to a single message throughout the day, (only sent about 3 asking her if she was okay because she didn't turn up at school either) and as night comes I'm told by her over call that shes decided she doesn't like me. She said she couldn't see me as a romantic partner. Now, I haven't experienced rejection like this before. But it's just that her telling me face to face that she does like me and would like a relationship, going into telling me bluntly that she doesnt like me at all, and has no romantic interest in me. What do I do? I still really, really like her. I don't know what I'm gonna do with myself, and I don't understand why she would even invite me over in the first place if this was gonna be how it ended up. Did I mess up? I just have so many thoughts racing across my mind, and I don't know how to straighten them up anymore.
2020.09.21 19:30 jdlshoreNo Bamboozles: Is software development exponential?
Hey y'all, there's this claim going around that software development is exponential. But... it's not. (Apologies to u/logicalChimp, who I usually agree with!) I'm a software process consultant and I follow Star Citizen because it's an amazing view into the internals of a big software project. I'm not a backer myself—I don't even own a computer that can run it—so I'm as unbiased as I suppose you can get on the Internet. (So, not unbiased at all.) I specialize in Agile development, which is the approach CIG says they use. So, is software development exponential? No. Will CIG speed up over time? Probably, but still not exponentially. Let's unpack this. First off, the pace of delivery is determined by two things: software features and content creation. Content is stuff that makes the game "fun:" it's art, writing, missions, game balance, cinematics... everything. But you can't just ship art, of course. Software features are needed for three things: the game engines, which display the content and run the back-end simulations and storage; the game editors, which enables content to be created in a format the game engines can use; and development infrastructure like build systems, which allows the developers to do their jobs. The vast majority of software feature effort goes into things that are invisible to players: game editors, back-end services, logging, monitoring, build and deployment systems... it's unsexy, boring, and very, very necessary. For most software projects, the pace of new software features slows down over time. That's because, as the codebase grows, the code gets more and more complicated and hard to understand. Bugs become more likely, releases take longer, and programming has to be done more carefully. People call this "technical debt." There are specific Agile techniques to help prevent technical debt, called "test-driven development," "merciless refactoring," and "evolutionary design," but most Agile companies don't use them, and there's no indication that CIG does. It's fair to assume that CIG will deliver fewer and fewer software features over time. Their lengthening Evocati-->release times support this hypothesis. But there's a saving grace. For players, a lot of the "game" is based on content like ships, planets, missions, etc., not software features. Could this be exponential? Ehhhh... sort of. For any given type of content, you're likely to see an "S" curve for delivery speed. The very first piece of that content will take forever. That's because programmers are creating game engine and editor support for it. The second piece of content will take a lot less time, because initial engine and editor support are there, but there will still be a lot of iteration and refinement as CIG figures out how they want the content to work. The third piece, less time still, because CIG will figure out the rough edges and improve editor support to make it easier to create. The fourth piece, even less time. This will go on for a while, with that type of content taking less and less time to create, but then it will eventually cap out. The content creation will be as fast as it can get. That's the S curve: the speed-ups will be flat in the beginning, exponential-appearing in the middle, then reaching the point of diminishing returns and flattening out again. At this point, CIG can throw more artists at the content—particularly for things that don't need a lot of artistic consistency—and basically pump out twice as much content if they're willing to spend twice as much money. There's a catch, though: in the early stages of the S curve, there's a lot of iteration and feature development. Those changes often require content to be modified. So the more content you create early on, the more rework you have, and the more money you've wasted. Ideally, you build just enough content to prove out the gameplay systems you're creating, and then hold off on creating more content of that type until there aren't any more changes. We've seen this with the ship pipeline. Ships were slow to deliver at first, but now CIG cranks them out regularly. But there's so many ships that some lag behind and new features take a lot of work to deploy. (Was it a mistake to produce so many ships? Probably not. At least in the early days, it's where their money came from. But it does mean they have a lot of rework when they add ship features.) The planetary body pipeline is similar. The first moon took forever. Now, a single artist can pump out a moon in a month. But they still have to rebuild existing content when the underlying tech changes, and so they need to be careful about not introducing too many features in the meantime. For example, they're supposedly holding off on adding roads and race tracks because they'd have to rebuild them every time. In other words, yes, content creation will speed up massively once the systems are built. That speed will cap out, but it's still going to be a massive speed boost. BUT... new types of content and gameplay require software features, and that will slow down. So every time a content pipeline hits something unique (*cough* Crusader), expect it to stall out for a while. This is probably what's happened to Theaters of War, by the way. CIG's bottlenecked by their programmers, so they tried to find something else for their content creators to do... and it went gangbusters at first, but then stalled out because they need programming support to resolve the performance problems that Theaters of War revealed. (And that right there is why savvy managers don't share release dates. Everything always looks great, until it doesn't. *narrows eyes in Chris's direction*) So let's bottom-line this sucker.
Software features will slow down over time.
Content delivery will speed up over time, a lot, and once a gameplay system is settled, CIG can crank out tons of content very quickly by throwing money at the problem. But they need to be careful not to do that too soon.
And new types of content and gameplay will slow down, because they depend on software features.
So, is software development exponential? No. Will content creation speed up? Yes, massively, for content that's not yet mature. (Planetary bodies, yes; missions, yes; ships, probably not; landing zones... probably not.) Will this get you the game you want sooner? Absolutely not. There's too much programming still to be done.
2020.09.21 19:23 VaughanflowersBoyfriend likes other girls photos on instagram after I’ve asked him to stop.
My boyfriend (21) and I (21) have been dating for 2 years now. Our relationship has been great. Amazing actually. He’s been overall good to me. Has never been verbally or physically abusive. We never really have conflicts and on the rare occasion that we do, it’s NEVER serious just little bickering. When we do have disagreements we talk it out and it’s overall a very productive talk. We both are there for each other emotionally. We give each other our space. We don’t share passwords and we hang out with each of our friends and over all I’m very happy with him. He’s says he’s very happy with me. His family likes me a lot and our relationship is very comfortable and there’s lots of love and the sex is amazing for all that matters. He’s a conventionally attractive male and I’ve been told I’m attractive as well and it’s something I’ve always heard all my life. Not to toot my own horn but it’s usually one of the first things people bring up (you’re so pretty!!) and I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities on social media because of my looks. But even with all of that I’m still a little insecure sometimes. Specially recently on gaining a small bit of weight in unflattering areas. We’re also a interracial couple (he’s a white male) with all his ex’s being white women and me being the only person of color. A part of me always fears of him going back to a white woman if we ever break up. (I’ll explain why I’m mentioning that below) It’s silly I know maybe only interracial couples know what I’m trying to say. I’ve never had to really question him or his intentions though at least not till now. I always get likes on my photos of guys with girlfriends and part of me feels bad for the girl because to me it’s pretty disrespectful to like other girls photos specially bikini pictures or pictures with captions like “he’s with you but he wants me” (not that I post that) however I’ve never liked the idea because I can see from my perspective that I often times pitty the girls because it just doesn’t look right specially after their boyfriends spam my account or like every single post and don’t even like their own girlfriends post. I’ve also heard from other girls “damn he’s with her but he stays liking my pics” it can definitely be a lot more than it is in the girl world. Specially when the guy is attractive to most girls like my boyfriend is. So to the point of this. My boyfriend liked a couple pictures of very attractive girls on Instagram in the end of our first year together. Not influencers but locals. I let him know I really didn’t like it and explained to him that it made me feel insecure and he “stopped”. Then instagram took off the liked photos option and so I don’t really know if he continued or not until I was on my explore page and saw a girl that was pretty and as soon as I saw the picture I saw he had liked it and it turns out it was somebody in the area. It was also a bikini picture so I got pretty upset and I went through all the girls on his following list and checked to see if he liked any other ones and sure enough he did. It was also in the span of a couple days. I know that behavior is a bit toxic and it made me feel really ashamed of myself but the fact that I found what I was looking for well it justified it for me. I confronted him about it. I was really upset because a little while before I had confessed to him my deepest insecurities about myself. I cried in front of him and he himself even got a little teary eyed and comforted me and to me he seemed to understand. I nearly broke up with him that night because I felt so betrayed. Mostly because he knew how much it would hurt me to see that he still did it without even considering my feelings. Specially a photo of a white girl with a great body in a bikini that literally lives in the same town as him. This happened in august maybe, it’s now September and last night I had a really bad dream. I woke up and to try to sleep I went on instagram and saw he had a photo up so I went through his likes because I noticed he got more than usual and something in me told me to look at the first account of some this girl and so I did and I saw her first picture with a petty caption something similar to “you like me more “ some bullshit like that and he sure enough liked it. After almost breaking up not even a month ago after he cried to me and told me he didn’t want to loose me he decided to completely disregard my feelings and do it again. He liked it with a caption like that. He even promised he wouldn’t the second time around. I ask him if it was such a big deal that he just HAD to like another girls picture and he said no. But he did it again. It’s always white blond girls too and that doesn’t help my insecurities from being an interracial couple. By all means I am not envious of white women in general. They’re beautiful but I love being a latina and we’re all very beautiful and he doesn’t fetishize that in me. He would date anyone of any race I just can’t help but to notice it’s always blondes (he says he doesn’t even like blondes that much). Why does he feel the need to have to like their picture s even if that means causing an argument. We do share our location for safety reasons and she is from a further town away he sometimes visits but honestly I don’t get the inclination that he’s cheating on me. I don’t think he would ever do that honestly. When I asked him why he says “I don’t know I’m an idiot” that’s his answer all the time. I ask him to talk to me about it to let me know if maybe he doesn’t think liking a picture is a big deal. Maybe if he just told me that then maybe I wouldn’t be so upset when I see it but the fact that he just plays dumb is so upsetting to me. Also the fact that he knows how much it hurts me to see that and at this point it’s not even about the girl it’s about the fact that I’ve asked him to stop twice and he’s seen how hurt I’ve been by it and he still does it. It makes me question myself. He says he loves me. He shows me he loves me. We have such a great relationship and I’m so happy with him but it’s just this that he does that really just makes me question everything. It’s making me feel more suspicious more jealous and I know that’s toxic behavior and I don’t want to be accusing him of stuff because I know that’s not fair to him but I just don’t know why he does it even after I’ve asked him to stop because he will absolutely not tell me. He just calls himself an idiot. I want to fix things but he can not communicate with me on this one thing. He said he wouldn’t do it again but at this point I don’t believe him. Should I be this worried? Am I overreacting or being controlling? I try my best to be the best person I can be to him and I try to be confident and give him space and not be controlling whatsoever but I just feel like this is hurting me and in the long run it might be the fall of our relationship I’m scared it might happen again. I’m scared that if I keep forgiving him he will just do it again and again until I bug off about it. But it really doesn’t sit well with me. It really does upset me and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for because I can very well use social media without liking other pictures of attractive men so what is so hard about that?
2020.09.21 18:58 Winguin_rtlTIFU by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sorry for bad grammar, english isn't my native language TIFU by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, I'm a 13(M) and I play pokémon GO, i sometimes go outside with my bike to play it. In my country you can get fined €95,- just for biking with your phone in your hand, for this reason my parents have been stressing me to not play when I'm riding my bike. For that reason, I don't do it. But today, when I was standing still on the sidewalk sitting on my bike with the app open, a police car parked next to me, and asked me if I knew why I was in trouble. I said: "no?" and they asked me my first and second name and explained why I was in trouble. Then he asked me my date of birth and adress, and my hart was racing. Now I'm going to have to pull €95,- out of thin air. So there goes my new phone for wich I had been saving up for since 2018. My mother is LIVID, and I'm close to death since my father is coming home in 30 minutes. TL;DR: I got fined for something I didn't do, my parents will kill me, and I can say goodbye to my new phone.
2020.09.21 18:56 GodModeBasketballAnalysis: Looking back at the 1949 Strictly Stock Tracks
It's time to turn back the clock all the way back to the beginning as the 1949 Strictly Stock Schedule and all 8 tracks that hosted a Cup race:
Charlotte Speedway: Not to be confused with the current Charlotte Motor Speedway, this 3/4 Mile dirt track started it all. Although Glenn Dunaway won the race, it was later found out that he was disqualified for illegal springs. As a result, Jim Roper was declared the winner(Fun fact: Roper was the grand marshal for the Spring Texas race on NASCAR's 50th Anniversary season, in 1998). The track would host only one more race, in 1950, won by Tim Flock. The track was forced to be demolished due to Interstate 85's extension into Virginia.
Daytona Beach and Road Course: The longest track to ever host a NASCAR Race(4.2 Miles), this track was instrumental in creating NASCAR as a whole, with the Streamline Hotel being right in the middle of it. It was a unique course in the sense that the backstretch was the Daytona beaches while the front stretch was Highway A1A. NASCAR President Bill France Sr used to race on the track in the 1940s and later would be NASCAR's first CEO. The track would be abandoned after France Sr constructed the famed Daytona International Speedway in 1959. Both the beaches and Highway A1A are still around.
Orange Speedway: Also known as Occoneechee or Hillsboro, Orange Speedway was a 1-mile dirt oval, set in the woods of Hillsboro, North Carolina. This track stuck around longer than most, hosting 33 more Grand National races until it was dropped after the 1968 Grand National season. The track is still around as a forest park. Bit of a spoiler, this is the only dirt track to still be preserved from the schedule.
Langhorne Speedway: One of the most feared and dangerous speedways, Langhorne was a 1-mile flat oval with little banking. The track would later gain infamy as 3 of the first 4 drivers to die in NASCAR all occurred at Langhorne. The track was not on the 1958 Grand National schedule. However, it still held the Langhorne Open, one of the most prestigious Modified races on the calendar. The track was finally closed in 1971. Currently, a Restaurant Depot, a Sam's Club, and a CarFax sit on the remains of Langhorne.
Hamburg Speedway: Not much is known about Hamburg Speedway. However, the track was a half-mile dirt oval located in Hamburg, New York. The track would host only 2 cup races throughout its existence, with Jack White winning the first and Dick Linder winning the second. The Erie County Fair sits at the site of Hamburg Speedway.
Martinsville Speedway: The oldest existing track to still have a Cup date, as of 2020. Martinsville is a track just over a half-mile in the shape of a paperclip. Red Byron, that year's champion, won the first running of Martinsville. Ever since then, Martinsville, besides the 1949 season, has held at least 2 races on the calendar, a Spring race and a Fall race.
Heidelberg Raceway: A track that held Grand National races off and on throughout its existence, Heidelberg was a 1/2 mile dirt track, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The track would host 4 Cup races, in 1949, 1951, 1959, and 1960(Fun Fact: The last time Heidelberg held a race, Lee Petty and his son Richard finished 1-2). The track was still around in 1973, when it held a Grand National East race, won by Tom Colella. Raceway Plaza sits on the remains of Heidelberg.
North Wilkesboro Speedway: And lastly, North Wilkesboro. North Wilkesboro was a 5/8 mile track located in North Carolina. Tim Flock's brother, Bob Flock, won the inaugural running. The track was a mainstay of the series, hosting 2 Cup races each year from 1950 to 1996. In 1995, Track President Enoch Staley passed away from a stroke. Bob Bahre took up a 50% stake of North Wilkesboro. The track would host their final 2 races for 1996. The track is still around, but it is in tatters. The two dates North Wilkesboro had turned into the inaugural Texas Motor Speedway and a 2nd race at New Hampshire.
2020.09.21 18:00 EmpireOfChairsCapstone for Part 3: Gravity's Rainbow
Hello, everybody! It’s finally time to leave the Zone! Can you believe that you haven’t even gotten to the most difficult part of the novel yet? Anyway, I’ve included a massive plot summary here, because the last capstone had one, but this is only for the benefit of new and future readers who are struggling to make sense of the plot threads, and it doesn’t contain any real analysis. If you feel like you understood the gist of what happened already, then feel free to skip it. I am hoping that this summary will elucidate this part of the novel for those who are having trouble following the narrative but still want the opportunity to come to their own conclusions about what it all means. Throughout In the Zone, I found my real life suddenly full of random obstacles that meant that I couldn’t contribute to as many threads as I would have liked. I would read those other threads and find that things which had fascinated me were either being ignored wholesale or else (I felt) misinterpreted in the comments. As such, I would like to give my thoughts on them here and now, before we leave the Zone and the opportunity to discuss these things is lost. However, because the plot of In the Zone is so damn long, I’ve decided to do things a little bit differently: I’m going to use this main thread for the summary, and then I’m going to write individual comments on the various parts of In the Zone which I think deserve more analysis before we move on to The Counterforce. The parts I will be analysing will be titled Bianca, Enzian, and The Castle, with associated page numbers based around the 902-page Vintage edition. Plot Summary: As you would imagine, I can’t put a lot of detail into a brief summary of what would, on its own, still represent a fairly long novel. I’d like to apologise in advance if I happen to miss anything important, story-wise. In the Zone opens with Slothrop in his new secret identity as British journalist Ian Scuffling, travelling by train trough the remnants of post-war Germany, the Zone, where he shall remain for most of the book. He meets a racist, jingoistic military man named Major Duane Marvy, who is promptly thrown off the train by a mysterious African ‘rocket-trooper’ named Orbst Enzian. Wandering through the Zone, Slothrop encounters Geli Tripping, a witch with an owl who reveals herself to be the lover of a murderous Soviet cyborg named Tchitcherine, who is involved with finding the Schwarzgerät; a one-of-a-kind V-2 rocket. Having apparently escaped Them, finding out what happened to this rocket then becomes the primary goal of Slothrop – his new epic quest. Slothrop attempts to infiltrate the Mittelwerke, a vast SS-shaped underground tunnel complex, used by the Nazis to create V-2 rockets using slave-labourers from the nearby Dora concentration camp. He finds the place invaded by Marvy’s army, and the Russians – who both decide to murder Slothrop for discovering what seems to be… an ongoing operation? After his escape, Slothrop finds himself escaping to Berlin via hot-air balloon, only to be hunted by Marvy’s boys once more, but luckily the balloon is filled with custard pies, which are then thrown into the engine of Marvy’s aircraft, presumably killing most of them. We come to learn more about Enzian, who turns out to have lived previously as a sex-slave to Weissman, a high-ranking German officer who participated in the Herero genocide that wiped out Enzian’s family. As time progressed, Enzian became Weissman’s Monster – the sinister, black right-hand man during his master’s involvement with the development of the V-2 rocket and the mysterious Schwarzgerät. In the Zone, with Weissman’s disappearance, Enzian has taken on a new, commanding role as the leader of the Schwarzkommando – a paramilitary death-cult made up of members of the Erdschweinhöhle (the death-obsessed Herero-survivors scattered throughout various communities in Nordhausen), who have made it their goal to find the Schwarzgerät. He even gets his own right-hand man in the form of the radio-enthusiast Andreas Orukambe. Among the Schwarzkommando, however, there is disagreement – some, like Enzian, believe in the destiny of destruction promised by the Rocket, whilst others, such as Ombindi of the Empty Ones, wish to initiate their own form of ‘racial suicide’, which uses sexual deviancy to ensure a negative birth-rate, which is seen as a triumph of material pleasure over the European ideals of Christian asceticism and death-worship. Because of his quest to discover the Schwarzgerät, he is by default the arch-nemesis of Tchitcherine. Tchitcherine, we find out, is the long-lost half-brother of Enzian, their father having had a steamy affair with a Herero girl whilst in the midst of deserting the Russo-Japanese War. He grows up into a high-ranking agent of the Leninist Soviet regime, being principally tasked with giving the native people of Kyrgyzstan a new language (the New Turkic Alphabet), which isn’t historically accurate, by the way. During an uprising against conscription in 1916, thousands of native Kazakhs were killed, in an event which Tchitcherine refers to as the Kirghiz Light, which loses him his cosy, bureaucratic job. He is haunted by this light, which he sees as an illumination, a transcendent moment in which he saw the force behind it all. Sent out to the Zone, Tchitcherine has quickly adopted the new role of Rocket-fanatic, believing (like Enzian) that there is a spiritual force to be revealed to him in the Schwarzgerät. He is not entirely sure why his superiors sent him to the Zone, but he is absolutely convinced that it somehow involves Enzian and the Schwarzkommando. Back to Slothrop, who briefly runs into Enzian again, only to be told, rather ominously, that reality is not real. Enzian, indeed, seems to treat his existence as though they were all conjured into being by some director or writer-God, and that all they can do is follow a pre-determined path to His ending. Weird. Anyway, Slothrop then meets Säure Bummer, the coolest man in the Zone – a proto-hippie drug dealer and money-counterfeiter, who suggests that Slothrop take on the superhero identity of Rocketman (which he does) and then advises him to travel to a bar to meet a contact (Seaman Bodine, the foul-mouthed sailor) who will show Slothrop the way to the Schwarzgerät in exchange for picking up a massive shipment of marijuana – located in the centre of the Potsdam conference. He is then to return with the product, which will be given to an influential Zone personality called der Springer, who will know Slothrop is cool because Säure has given him a chess-piece (a white knight) with which to identify himself. With this potential reward, along with part of the score and one million fake marks, Slothrop decides to haul ass to the conference. He invents another disguise (Max Schelpzig, the name on the fake ID which brought him to Europe in the first place) and sets forth, first by taking a boat into the Russian sector and then running on foot through an Autobahn, jumping the barricade into Potsdam. He gets the dope eventually, after a few awkward encounters with politicians and a few epic stealth moves, and then returns to his boat, where he is then drugged and dragged away, unconscious. Turns out, Tchitcherine has been watching him the whole time, and has just drugged him with the truth-serum/LSD stand-in Sodium Amytal.). He then tries out a huge chunk of Slothrop’s product with his right-hand man, Dzaqyp Qulan, and dumps Slothrop in an abandoned film studio. Waking up, Slothrop encounters Greta Erdmann, a pre-war pornographic actress, who is searching the studio in the hopes of finding her daughter, Bianca, who was conceived at this very studio, with a man named Max Schelpzig, during the filming of German director der Springer’s movie Alpdrücken. Slothrop confides that he isn’t so sure that he’s not in a movie right now. Meanwhile, the Argentinian anarchists of Squalidozzi find themselves in a submarine, longing for the Zone to become a permanently decentralised monument to the freedom of the individual, in stark contrast from what is happening back home, in their native Buenos Aires. They believe in the power of art to inspire revolution, and desire to work with der Springer to create a film version of Martin Fierro which will force their revolution into existence – just as his propaganda films seemed to will the Schwarzkommando into existence. Quite the opposite kind of person is then introduced to us: Franz Pökler, a Nazi engineer who worked on the V-2 rocket and the Schwarzgerät under the command of Weissman (now calling himself Captain Blicero). Pynchon shows us basically all of Pökler’s adult life, in a non-linear order. What happens, in short, is this: Pökler is inspired to become a rocket-engineer after taking university lectures in chemistry via Laszlo Jamf, the Pavlovian who somehow conditioned Slothrop as a baby to get erections during V-2 rocket strikes, decades before the V-2 was invented. He marries Leni Pökler, a communist reactionary who will drift apart from him as Weimar Germany becomes the hotseat for a new form of Evil. After watching the late-night premiere of Alpdrücken, Pökler runs home and impregnates Leni with their only child, Ilse. Raising her, he feels compelled to instil within her a desire to travel to the Moon, which is handily reinforced with frequent visits to Zwölfkinder, an amusement park run entirely by children. With Leni gone, Pökler falls deep into his work for the Nazis. As time goes on, he begins to question the nature of his work – is what he is doing just as Evil as what They are doing? Blicero and the other higher-ups catch wind of this, and, to prevent sabotage, Ilse is removed from Pökler’s life. He realises that bringing up the topic will result in termination, possibly of his life, and so he keeps on with the rocket work. He then sees Ilse again, delivered to him at his office without a note, and is advised to go to Zwölfkinder with her, which he does. She disappears the next day. This happens year after year on the same day, with Pökler gradually developing a harrowing fear that she died in the first year, and was replaced by a similar-looking girl. On their final visit to Zwölfkinder, after the Nazi defeat, they find the park empty, and ‘Ilse’ no longer likes the Moon. She tells him that they will no meet again. He returns to the office to find that it has been bombed to smithereens – interesting, isn’t it, how this just so happened to occur on the same day that Pökler goes on his holiday? Bewildered, Pökler travels to the location that Ilse and Leni were supposedly being held, only to find himself in the middle of the Dora concentration camp. We then encounter the quick story of Horst Achtfaden, another Nazi engineer who, whilst on-board a possibly imaginary “Toiletship” vessel, is captured by Enzian and the Schwarzkommando, who demand that he reveal to them the location of the Schwarzgerät. Deciding that the entire War was just a big joke and that it definitely isn’t worth dying for, he claims that he has no idea what they are talking about, but that there was a colleague named Narrisch who worked directly on the project, so maybe bother him instead. Back to Slothrop, who is now following the slightly unhinged Greta Erdmann’s lead as she follows a hunch that she hopes will lead straight to Bianca. This leads to a coastal town near the Lüneberg Heath, where the glimpse of a shrouded figure in the mist sends Greta into hysterics before it disappears. As evening approaches, a party-boat named the Anubis drifts by the coast. Upon seeing it, Greta becomes convinced that Bianca is on-board, and jumps into the water after it. Slothrop swims after her, losing his entire Rocketman costume to the sea as he does so. He discovers that the ship is a massive upper-class, elite society orgy vessel - people are indulging in the most depraved sexual acts he has ever seen, all the time, all over the place. And as the night wades on, the centrepiece of this orgy commences – a young girl (Bianca) performs half of a Shirley Temple routine before being publicly humiliated and whipped by Erdmann, her mother. The following morning, Bianca enters Slothrop’s room and the two have sex. Later, a Japanese people-watcher named Ensign Morituri, who lived on the same coastal town that Slothrop was at when they saw the Anubis, relates the horrible truth of Erdmann’s past life. In the lead-up to her time with Slothrop, Erdmann, a fellow native of the town, had gradually gone insane with her partner Gerhardt von Goll, believing herself (for some reason) to be part-Jewish. As some sort of psychotic payback against the Nazis, she began dressing in a shroud and luring the local children out to the swamps, where she would role-play with them (her as Nazi, child as Jew) before drowning them. The figure Erdmann saw earlier is revealed to be a grown-up version of one of the few survivors of her serial-killings – a survivor only because Morituri was there to stop her. Later, Slothrop endeavours to find Erdmann after she locks herself in her room out of guilt. However, she reveals that her guilt is out of a completely unrelated event – during her time at the Heath, she became the sexual associate of Captain Blicero, who is revealed to have gone insane whilst pursuing some kind of apocalyptic project with a sex-slave (a young boy named Gottfried, who has mysteriously disappeared…) and has now come to see himself as a mythic figure in a fantasy world, running through a different version of Germany from everyone else. During her career as a sex-icon, Blicero took Greta to a remote room in a petrochemical plant, filled with politicians and business tycoons, who introduced her to clothing made entirely out of a new form of plastic – she finds it so stimulating that she wanted to immediate get down and dirty with those around her, but was just as quickly led out of the room again, and, over time, left with a growing concern that she witnessed the birth of something too horrible to really get to the bottom of. Shortly after this encounter, a major storm hits the Anubis, and many of the passengers, including Slothrop, find themselves thrown head-first into the Sea. Slothrop seems content that the ‘Fascist cargo’ of the ship will soon drown to death. Of course, he is not included – he is soon picked up by an illegal smuggler and sweet old lady called Frau Gnahb, who travels with her young descendant Otto. Reaching land the following morning, Slothrop quickly finds a white-suited man calling himself der Springer, who (after Slothrop shows him Säure’s chess-piece) reveals himself to be none other than Gerhardt von Goll. He is travelling with his friend, an ex-scientist named Narrisch. They all then hop on-board to journey to Peenemunde, where von Goll is immediately arrested by Russian authorities. Narrisch, angered by the whole thing, then forces Slothrop to accompany him as they do another deep-cover infiltration, this time of the Tchitcherine’s military base where they are keeping von Goll. Freeing von Goll, who is on Sodium Amytal, Slothrop finds himself kocking a guard unconscious and taking his uniform. Then, Slothrop and Narrisch run into Tchitcherine and Qulan, where they all get very confused about the uniforms, thus buying enough time for von Goll’s escape. Narrisch then decides to stay behind to fight off the Russians, to allow Frau Gnahb and the gang to get away safely. Then, to Slothrop’s horror, they once more find the Anubis, where Slothrop is told that he will find his stash to give to von Goll in the engine room. Going on-board, he finds that no-one on the ship remembers or recognises him at all. He gets to the engine room, where the lights go out completely, and voices proceed to taunt and beat him. Frightened, he looks up to find the corpse of Bianca hanging from a noose, just above the stash. He gets it and runs, finding invisible hands grabbing his own as he tries to climb the ladder out of there. Meanwhile, two older characters, Katje and Pirate, find themselves entwined with a counter-revolutionary force after the destruction of the White Visitation. Katje discovers a film by Osbie Feel which seems to reveal to her the whole Plan and how to combat it, whilst Pirate, on the other hand, has a psychic vision in which he discovers that people of those whom he had trusted are actually parts of Them, and, what’s worse, They know that he is watching them. Both Katje and Pirate begin to form a vague hope of something that can defeat Them, some kind of Counterforce… Wandering homeless around the Zone again, Slothrop begins to wonder about his own family history, and the environmental damage wrought by his family’s paper company. Furthermore, he thinks back to his first American ancestor, William Slothrop, a pig-loving anti-establishment figure whose political pamphlet was burned on-masse by the Elite, and was then forced to return, defeated, to England. Slothrop once more meets both Marvy and the Schwarzkommando, neither of whom recognise him in the Russian uniform. We soon find out that Marvy is now in league with the Soviets, who have been extracting information about the Schwarzgerät from Narrisch and selling it back to Marvy. While this is going on, Slothrop finds Cuxhaven, where the local children ask him to become their mythical pig-hero, Plechazunga, as part of a pagan festival. Crashed by the cops, Slothrop takes refuge with a teenage girl, who wishes to escape with him, but refuses to leave when the time comes. Slothrop, on the road again, finds a slightly mad German child who demands that Slothrop help him find his lemming, which they fail to do, but Slothrop himself finds a pig, who accompanies him on his journey, which is interrupted by one evening in which Slothrop finds a fellow homeless wanderer named Franz Pökler, who he finds strangely relatable. Meanwhile, we get to hear about Lyle Bland. Bland was a member of the Masons, though he did not care about the society in the same way that the other Masons seemed to. However, as time went on, he felt that he understood their rites and rituals in a way that the real members never did. He became connected to arcane magickal forces, creating nightly out-of-body experiences, saying on his deathbed that he would choose that night to break through to the Other Side and achieve transcendence. Bland’s life prior to this event was a mish-mash of government deals with mobsters, with the conniving blackmail techniques of intelligence agencies, with the grand conspiracies of international technology tycoons. This last one seems particularly interesting, don’t you think? Bland thinks so too, and he actually has quite a pet passion for a remarkable scheme involving pinball machines that are built to fail – the machines will, in fact, fail immediately after they are fixed. How? Good question. The final Slothrop scene of In the Zone shows him once more with Bodine, running away from American troops and straight into a mansion which happens to be hosting the party of the century. Ditching his pig-costume in a closet, he takes up in a bedroom with a prostitute named Solange, who is actually Leni Pökler in a new identity. Meanwhile, Bodine runs into Major Marvy, who is here to have sex with a minority so that he can live out a racist power-fantasy. Bodine gives Marvy a vial of cocaine, which Marvy then stashes into his jacket. Later, the mansion is raided by American troops – Marvy, having sex with a minority, freaks it because of the coke he left in his pocket, runs to the closet to find the jacket, only to discover that his whole uniform is missing – the only outfit he can put on to escape is some sort of pig costume. The American troops then find him, ask him if he is Tyrone Slothrop, which Marvy agrees to, hoping that Slothrop hasn’t done anything too bad. He is then kidnapped and dragged into the woods by Muffage and Spontoon, the two hitmen hired by Pointsmen in a previous part of the book to find Slothrop, who proceed to drug and castrate Marvy. The final section features Mossmoon and Scammony, two government boys back in England who gossip about Pointsman’s career ruination over the castration of Marvy, and the collapse of the whole Scheme. They uneasily discuss the role of homosexuality in government conspiracies. They reveal, finally, what Slothrop was supposed to do in Their Grand Scheme. He was supposed to begin the extermination of the black race. Oh well, they think. If he can’t do it, They will just have to develop different methods. In the Zone ends on, or around, August 6th 1945 – the date of the atomic bomb strike on Hiroshima. It is also the celebration the Transfiguration. Discussion Questions: · Has it occurred to you that most of the dialogue in these sections would have been spoken in German? · Why do you think the novel is divided into four parts, and what do you think separates them? · What do you make of the use of the Wizard of Oz quote that begins this section? Quite interesting, especially considering that this is the only epigram that seems to have no reference point in the actual novel. · What has changed between the beginning and the end of In the Zone? · Many have expressed the view that Gravity’s Rainbow is not about WWII at all. In fact, Gravity’s Rainbow is about Vietnam. How do you feel about that interpretation, given the focus on the Zone here? More importantly, what does In the Zone tell us about the world in 1973? · Do you believe that Gravity’s Rainbow is at all autobiographical? · Why do you think Slothrop keeps becoming a superhero in these sections? What do superheroes and comic books mean to Pynchon? · Some people have pointed out, with a particular focus on the episodes in which Slothrop wakes up in the studio and Katje finds Osbie Feel’s movie, that the plot is actually a giant film. How does that strike you, and how do you think that metafiction and the introduction of alternative mediums relates to the themes of In the Zone? · In the Zone makes up literally half of the book. But why? What’s so important about it that could not expressed elsewhere? · For that matter, what do you make of the Zone itself? Why do you think he wrote a book around it? · Does Pynchon evoke the imagery of ghosts, magic, angels, demons, telepathy and other phenomena with genuine sincerity, or are we supposed to take these as metaphors for more grounded events? · This section is far more epic in scope than the two preceding it. Did you encounter anything cool or interesting that you think we forgot about in the discussion threads? · What do you make of the Rocket-cartel, and what do think Their grand plan actually is? · What was your favourite episode of this part? Also, what was your favourite Pynchon-tangent or speech? Previous Threads: Sections 30-33 Sections 34-37 Sections 38-40 Sections 41-45 Sections 46-48 Sections 49-53 Sections 54-57 Sections 58-61
2020.09.21 17:58 crossfitdoodBuying first TT bike. What bike is better, and which is a better deal?
Hey guys, I'm very interested in 2 bikes that I found for sale, and I need help deciding what would be the better pick. This is my first TT bike for my first Triathlon so I have no idea what to look for in a TT bike. I'm 6'1" 230lbs right now. I'll probably be around 200lbs on race day (date unknown). So I'm a bigger guy, not sure if one bike would be than the other for bigger guys.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/224163933480?ul_noapp=true I messaged the seller and told him I could pay cash and pick it up from him and he said the lowest he'll take is $2,150. A little more than I'd like to spend but it seems like another great deal, and it's only about a 20 minute drive for me to pick it up. On the speed concept it has the Dura-Ace groupset which seems like a plus but the maintenance cost goes up. idk... any suggestions? I appreciate your help
2020.09.21 17:50 IndependentMacaroonImpressions of the remaining Rebuild films: One hit and one miss
2.0: More disappointment People keep saying that this is where Rebuild starts doing its own thing, but it really isn't. All this film does is copy and extend the dramatic breakdown of Episodes 18-19 without the quality of buildup and character development/psychology that made it work so well originally, not to mention the unavoidable elimination of near anything related to the side characters that made the setting feel really alive and fleshed out (one funny footnote is that Kensuke noticeably has the same English voice actor as Kaoru Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK). Sure, the action with Sahaquiel etc. and some notable scenes are still there, but it just feels so empty in comparison. In the first half, the same old tired comedy tropes (there's even music straight from Anno's '98 Kare Kano adaptation - also Kaji's playboy act hasn't aged well), very half-hearted exploration of Asuka, not much on Shinji either, the hint of an actual Shinji-Rei-Asuka love triangle, plus blatant fanservice junk on top, are hardly a winning combination; the one change I did appreciate was giving Rei a bit more personality and agency, even if in the end it makes no difference to the story. Mari, besides being expectedly out of place personality-wise, is such a nonentity that cutting her from the film entirely would make no difference to the plot, and putting her on the disc jacket is the definition of false advertising (was that opening scene made just for the trailers?); she isn't even a good fanservice character, honestly. And that conclusion... uh... jealous husbando stops waifu love climax from remaking the world? Was it really necessary to go for that angle that hard, particularly as the intensity of Shinji's feelings is kind of out of the blue? It isn't even that original, as Shinji and Eva-01 ascending and triggering an impact event is just a more extreme version of what's said to happen to them in the original series around that point. In total, 6-7/10. 3.0: It actually works? Finally, a film that's not just a pale imitation of the series, but actually puts a new spin on some of its themes and conflicts while returning to its psychological roots. Dump the side characters entirely, dump the dated comedy and the slice-of-life stuff, and put the focus once again firmly on Shinji and his circumstances (and, uh, depression), and you get an installment that does a pretty good job at rebuilding Rebuild; Fuyutsuki's comment to Shinji about destruction being easy but rebuilding difficult is practically a meta take on what it does, and how well. I feel the people analyzing this film like crazy to somehow figure out every last detail of the new mythology, events during the timeskip, and real character motivations/intentions (uh, Kaworu?), and complaining how this or that world detail doesn't make sense, are not only missing the point of the film, but of Evangelion entirely. That is, the exact nature of the mythology, technology, history, etc., has never actually mattered, and should not be taken as much more than glorified technobabble, and the one thing that does matter is how it affects the characters and especially their psyche, both of which have always been described very directly and straightforwardly. So what is the psychological meat of the story, then? Essentially, that Shinji's dream of an easy solution to his, others' and the world at large's problems through his actions alone is impossible, including (once again) the seeming promise of an idealized relationship of perfect acceptance by Kaworu - thematically a combination of Episode 24 and EoE. He begins in a position of impotence that's an inverted analog of the beginning of the series: Instead of answering the call of a father figure he has always despised only to be coerced into joining NERV and piloting a "robot" that's useless without him, he is forcibly retrieved on the orders of a mother figure that he had a fairly warm relationship with, he desperately wants to "get in the robot" but neither has the ability nor does WILLE allow him to, he himself is useless to them, his very identity uncertain, and all they care about is the Eva. There's even Sakura as the token friendly but clueless mindesupporter to mirror the old Misato. Then, he runs away not out of avoidant self-denying fear, but to answer Old Rei's quasi-"call to adventure" and reaffirm his belief in himself; admittedly, there's also the fact that everybody just treats him like shit without explaining properly, but in his dazed and positively delusional condition, any explanation might well not have made a difference, and I can't see the staff having much capacity for affection toward anyone anymore, least of all him. Why does Misato not bother to stop him? I'll get back to that later. Then, having seemingly asserted his agency and "won", all he gets is another ironic echo of the beginning. Gendo once again called him to become an Eva pilot and this time he actually wants to - but the unit isn't ready, he has no other responsibilities and once again no other apparent interests, nor is there an outside world with people and places to enrich his life any more. Nobody tells him what's going on - but he perhaps instinctively knows he wouldn't like the answer anyway. Rei is indeed there, right next to him as in the series' very first NERV scene - but "reset" to an even more extreme version of the passive, obedient and cold nature she started out with. Disconnected from WILLE and with no particular ties to Gendo either, Shinji is now completely alone and understandably despondent... except for Kaworu (well, and Fuyutsuki the walking expodump). Kaworu the gentle, understanding, beautiful "very good friend" who, while not sugarcoating Shinji's role and the state of the world, absolves him of any past fault, ensures he will not bear the burden of responsibility for any errors in the future, and further encourages him to simply undo the effect of his past "heroic" act with another. Similarly to the original series, while his acts do temporarily achieve his goal of bringing Shinji happiness, they are ultimately counterproductive, preventing Shinji from addressing his flaws and developing the ability to form genuine human relationships, leading straight into the tragic final act. Given all this, numbering their joint Eva "13" is very appropriate. Note also the obvious symbolism of the SDAT as Shinji's escape from reality, which is broken and useless until repaired by Kaworu. And what a tragedy it is. With purpose restored to his life, Shinji again clings to it so desperately that he will go to any length to fulfill it, and him taking action not being the right thing to do becomes inconceivable for him. People complain that it doesn't make sense, and its framing is a little extreme, but Shinji pulling out the fake spears is really just an extension of such moments as his order-defying maniac charge at Shamshel and his reckless "rescue" of Rei. He doesn't care what anyone else says, he has his goal and he'll do anything to reach it. Once again, I can't see more explanation whether by Kaworu or later by Asuka having a productive effect on him at this point. And why does Kaworu neither take action nor stop himself from being killed? Well, it's doubtful he's mentally capable of opposing his precious Shinji, he does seem to be physically affected by something (whatever this "cast down" business is about?), and his entire deal is taking on the sins of the world (and Shinji in particular). Indeed, we can see that straight to the end, he refuses to hold Shinji responsible for anything, and does not give up on him, but disappears with the promise of returning (to act the same way once again?). Character-wise, that leaves Gendo and Misato/WILLE to explain. Or rather, just the latter, as Gendo is pretty obviously up to his usual mysterious Yui-related 4D chess stuff, though I think this version does take it a little far with apparently predicting and outwitting a sentient version of the "2001" monoliths (that is, Rebuild's SEELE), Kaworu, Shinji and Misato/WILLE all at once. So what about Misato then, and how to explain heWILLE's half-hearted handling of Shinji? My hypothesis is that, while they would never openly admit it, they actually don't mind something like the Fourth Impact attempt happening, because it gives them the chance for exactly the kind of grand heroic charge that happens at the end. They (except of course Mari) are clearly tired of being constantly worn down and on the defensive, fighting with inadequate personnel for a world that has little left in it to fight for - wouldn't it be nice to have a chance to go on the offensive and end things for good? It's an obvious parallel to Shinji's desire to fix the world in a single heroic act, and they as well just end up playing into Gendo's hands with it, however exactly that is. I give it an 8-9/10. Best Rebuild installment by far, also the action is top-notch. A little speculation on 3.0+1.0
With 3.0's final scene paralleling that of EoE, it seems 3.0+1.0 will lead us into completely uncharted territory - that is, what happens after the dreams of Instrumentality, restoring the world, etc. are gone and Shinji and co. have been brought back to depressing reality.
After 2.0's focus on Rei and 3.0 handling Kaworu, the finale will emphasize Shinji's relationship with Asuka, and how it might lead him to a genuine healthier mental state. Obviously with the Asuka we know from NGE this would be quite difficult, so it will need to finally establish properly how she has changed and what her background is in this version.
There will be no further full Impacts, and no actions toward one by anyone but Gendo/NERV. Hopefully we finally learn what Fuyutsuki's deal is in the process; maybe he even turns out to be the one to stop the whole thing. The focus will be on rebuilding the world without looking for such easy solutions, as Shinji finally realizes there are none. See also my first point.
Kaworu and Original Rei will indeed return to Shinji, but merely as Eva-embodied spirits.
Mari will continue to be utterly irrelevant besides for angst-free action scenes.
The pilots will either be freed of their "curse" and become able to grow up, symbolizing them finally moving past their issues, die, or lose their humanity entirely (become the new Adams?).
The Evas and the mysterious pillars will be somehow connected to SEELE's nature as ascended members of a progenitor race guiding mankind, with the human-Angel conflict an extension of what they faced in the past.
The English title referring to Thrice Upon a Time is a bit mysterious. The only connection I can think of is another attempt to reset the world by preventing the whole mess from starting in the first place, but I don't see how that would work with the rest.
2020.09.21 17:31 gayclarinetI read "Back to Blood" by Tom Wolfe and uhh
It was bad. Very very bad. Some background: I've never read Tom Wolfe before now, and picked up this book because it was $5 at BAM. I initially thought it was a nonfiction book, but quickly learned it wasn't. I imagine The Right Stuff/The Electric Kool-Aid Test is probably better than this as Wolfe's a journalist, but I don't know. Also, I'm a white guy who's never been to Miami reviewing this book about race (sort of), but also, Wolfe was a white guy from VA, so it's probably fine. Spoilers, obviously. Back to Blood is a 704 page novel with little plot and too many characters. Our two main characters are Nestor Camacho, a Cuban cop who, after scaling a pole to arrest a Cuban man who is trying to get asylum in America, is outed by his community as a traitor. His girlfriend, Magdalena, breaks up with him suddenly to date her boss, the most famous sex addiction psychiatrist in Miami. Here lie two different "plot" points: Nestor, in his attempts to regain favor, assaults a black man with cocaine (in a pretty racistly-worded section, in that "nothing good happens in this part of town"), breaks a case that a black kid (again!) assaulted a teacher, though the teacher had been arrested for assaulting him, and that the large amount of paintings given to the Miami Art Museum were all forgeries in a large Russian con job. Magdalena, on the other hand, sort of just goes around with her sex-addicted sex addiction psychiatrist boyfriend. Then it ends. Now, the plot is horrible, in that I read 704 pages and the above is the best way I can summarize it. But the writing-atrocious! All thoughts are written ::::::like this:::::::, and there are about ten italicized words (for emphasis) per page. There is so much repetition in the description, and not a single word of this book was edited, I think. For some reason, Wolfe's use of iPhone as a verb really gets me, as well as the fake names for Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reaves (Leon Decapito and Kanyu Reade). Now on to, in my opinion, the worst part. Every woman is described in relation to her sexual appeal (even when narrated by heterosexual women), and every man is described as large or small. Take this, a description of a character we don't spend hardly any time with, but Nestor ends up with at the end: "Out here on the porch he saw her in the light for the first time. ::::::Dios mio! She's so exotica!:::::: He couldn't stop staring. He looked up up and down far faster than it takes to say so. Her skin was as white and smooth as a china plate-but her hair was black as black could be...well, straight, thick, shimmering, streaming down to her shoulders as luxuriantly as any cubana's but black as black could be...and her eyes...staring at him wide-open with fright-and all the more gorgeous for that-and black as black could be...but in a china-white face. Her lips were delicate and curved in a certain mysterious way(took some out here)she's totally innocent of make up-but hold on! That's not really true, is it! He has just noticed the eye shadow. ::::::She's got the rims of her lower lids coated with it!-really names her big eyes pop out! And don't tell me she's not aware of that...and hey, don't tell me she's not aware of how short her skirt is-or does it just happen to show off her lovely long legs, the kind they call lissome...what other white americana would dare turn up at a raggedy dope den in Overtown showing off a pair of lissomely alluring legs like that?::::::...She doesn't look very daring at this moment, however. She keeps blinking blinking blinking blinking...She keeps her lips parted, because she's breathing fast....and with that her breasts rise and fall. They're beneath a shirt, Oxford cloth, which has a coarse weave, button-down, only the top button open on the shirtfront, which amounts to not even trying to be sensual-even hidden this well they look to Nestor like perfection, those breasts...and somehow, her obvious fear moves the heart of Nestor...Nestor the Protector..." I did not add in the ellipses. I only omitted one bit. That is one page, and that's how the entire book is written. This is right after he beat down a man, and this woman is actually Haitian, which may be why he's describing her as white, to show that she is white-passing (Tom Wolfe's words). This is, however, the worst part of the book. Magdalena is at an art gallery with Norman, her boyfriend, and Maurice, a client/billionaire. NSFW. Now she stood stark naked in front of a big puddle of heavy black cloth...rigid, erect. Her face was a blank....She looked like one of the undead in a horror movie...without a stitch on. Magdalena whispered to Norman, "Let's leave-now!" She nodded toward Maurice. Norman just shook his head...No. The stark naked woman appeared to be fifteen years to old and fifteen pounds too heavy to play this role, whatever it was. She began speaking in the dead voice of the undead. "Men have fucked me...they have fucked me, fucked me, fucked me over, over-fucked me-"...on and on with this I Was A Fucking Zombie poem-until all at once she inserted a thumb and two fingers into her vagina and pulled out a length of sausage and came alive, as it were, and cried out, "De-fucked!"-and out came another sausage-"De fucked!" and "De fucked!" and "De fucked!" and "De fucked!" Magdalena couldn't believe how many link sausages the woman had managed to stuff inside her vaginal cavity! Maurice had his hand clasped over his crotch. But instead of stroking it with his hand, he was rocking his body back and forth beneath his hand." Yeah. Sorry for the long review but it was terrible. Has anyone read it, or any other Tom Wolfe fiction/novel? What were your thoughts?
2020.09.21 17:23 mikebryant55Build for my existing 1080p Triples
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
I’m looking for a build to run iRacing optimally using my existing 1080p 240Hz triples. I won’t be using it for anything else and will not be upgrading the monitors. The monitors HDMI ports are only 1.4, so I’ll need a GPU with 3 DP ports so that each monitor can do more than 60Hz.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
**When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Everything but monitors
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
US - no access to Microcenter
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
3 AW2518H monitors
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
Only if necessary.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
Whatever will allow iRacing to run optimally, considering my existing monitors.
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
2020.09.21 17:09 WhatsGoingOn38830 [M4F] I'm looking to fuck a fellow bookworm but who has daddy issues, and often fantasises about their dad
Yes I just went there. Look, both you and I are weird. We often prefer to read than to watch Netflix. We prefer to read erotica or to have a brief chat roleplay, than to watch porn. We both hate dating apps, because it encourages people (and us) to be our worst shallow selves, judging people in the fraction of a second, forgetting that each individual is a story waiting to be discovered. And we both have some fucked up kinks. Specifically you still get off on your dad. You sit there at night, and you might try to think of something else, but it won't work...but then you think of your dad, and your breathing gets heavy. You start to feel warm down there, and you can feel yourself getting wet. You think of his strong arms, you think of his cock as it buries itself in your throat. You think of how much you wish you could please him. You think of how much you wish he would use you as his fuck toy, choke you, spank you. You think of how freeing it is to let go of control, and to let him control you, and how happy it makes him. You can't help to go to town with your favourite sex toy while thinking this. Sometimes you regress and you grab a pillow and grind it hard, thinking of daddy's cock filling you up. And this is going to stay between the two of us. This could be a one time thing, or if we vibe, a continual thing. I take these things one day at a time. Get in touch if you're a fucked up girl and need getting off. About me - 5'6, mixed race, medium build, got an afro, and a deep voice.
2020.09.21 16:41 magpie876A real race, with real people!
Race Name: Logan City- Top of Utah Date: Saturday September 19th, 2020 Location: Logan, UT Distance: 5K Time: 24:09
1) Safe goal- 26:30 2) Main goal- sub 26:00 3) Purely Optimistic- sub 25:00 Training I did not adhere to any specific plan so I’ll go over the most consistent things I did. Over the summer I was almost exclusively trail running. My usual route involved going gradually uphill for the first half of my runs, with about 750ft of elevation gain in the first 3-3.5 miles. My runs were always at least a 5k, and ranged up 10k with a run every once in a while of 7-8 miles. 3-4 runs a week so I wasn’t even breaking 20 mpw regularly. The consistent elevation gain took a toll and I hd to be very careful about my calves/achilles. Within my runs I also basically had a mixed pace. First half was generally 11-12min/mile, second half ~9min/mile and averaging 10-10:30. Pretty consistent but was gradually getting slightly fastefeeling easier as time went on. I had a virtual race in the middle of July and officially clocked in at 27:13, although Strava had me at 26:43 (there was some lag on the race app). I split the difference and considered it as 27 flat. After that I spent a month in Colorado and only ran once a week but was putting on quite a bit of mileage walking. Upon returning to Utah I started my usual routine again for a couple weeks, and then switched to flat running to gear up for the race. Once I did this I also was mostly just running 3.5 miles, the air quality has been intermittently bad so I often didn’t want to spend too long outside. A week before the race I was able to maintain a 9 min/mile over my run with some effort but quite a bit of gas in the tank so I felt pretty confident aiming for a 8:30 pace. Pre-race I’ll never know how much this affected me but I admit I did almost nothing right the night before. I had my balanced pasta, broccoli, and chicken that I usually do before a race but then it went off the rails. My roommates & friends were playing games so I ended up having 3-4 beers and stayed up past 2am (oops). I woke up at 6:50am pretty much fine though and headed out to race at 7:20. About 10 min to get there and my race was scheduled for 8:10. Masks were required unless you’re actively running and everyone I saw at the beginning was compliant. Since it’s a small race, there wasn’t a lot of people around and it was easy to social distance too. I did a couple of walking laps around the block with my roommate, and watched the 10k start. It began raining soon after so I stayed under the cover of a building until about 5 min before start. It was only a little over 50 degrees so I didn’t want to be out getting wet more than necessary. Did a couple strides and dynamic stretching before lining up and some jogging in place while waiting just to stay warm. We had 3 chutes to line up in and a started let off a group every 5 seconds. Race I started in the complete back since I’m not a fan of standing in line for 10 minutes. Also, I like to chase people. The rain wasn’t strong in the beginning but got decently heavy by around the first half-mile. At the first mile marker I had 8:30 on my watch, exactly what I wanted. After this I suppose I sped up quite a bit, maybe because the rain was so miserable. There was an aid station at roughly 1.5 miles and I was already dripping, nearly soaked hair. I missed the 2 miles marker but around this point we turned south and headed into the wind. I’m not a fan of that anyways and with the rain I just felt really heavy at this point but kept slogging on. Throughout the race I’d been consistently passing people and not found someone at a similar pace yet. Turning back onto the start/finish straightaway, I kept pace with another girl for a couple minutes. She got away from me a little more than a block away from the finish, and I couldn’t really kick until I was past the stoplight leading to the finish line. Not my best finish feeling-wise but I was pleasantly surprised by my time. Post-race I stopped my watch at 24:18 and I couldn’t even believe that. I didn’t feel like I increased my pace very much at all after the first mile. After the finish line the volunteers waited until I got my buff back on and then gave me a water bottle and medal in a plastic package. There was no results tent, but they had a screen the results were running on. But it was only showing 10k results for some reason so I got my free food and left. People were not being good at all about wearing masks, and it was still raining. When I got home I had to take an immediate very hot shower because I was shivering so bad, and then a much needed nap. Going forward I’m shifting my focus to lifting. No more races here for the year and it’ll start getting icy in the next month. I do plan on still running 2-3x a week while I can, and I want to try a downhill 5k to see how fast I can go. There is a chance I can do a race in Colorado in late December, but otherwise I’m probably not going to again until next summer. This race is a real eye opener though because I’ve only gotten under 27 mins for a 5k a couple times before, and I wasn’t sure how much I could really improve. Hopefully I can maintain or not lose too much cardio fitness over this winter and inch towards a 20 min 5k next year.
2020.09.21 16:37 mi555trZ[Store] 300+ KNIVES AND GLOVES e.g. Talon Sapphire, Huntsman Sapphire, Falchion Ruby, Talon Tiger Tooth & Dopplers, Gloves Pandora, Vice, Amphibious, Fade & Emerald Web, Butterfly Dopplers & Slaughter & CW MW ST & TT, Karambit Dopplers, & Gamma & Autotronic MW, M9 Dopplers & Fade, Medusa & many more
Taking csgo skins mainly (knives, gloves, aks, m4s, awps and so on). Anything as long as offer is good.
I don't update this list everyday, so I have many items which aren't listed here. Check if something interests you! Also, some of the items are on trade hold, for release date you can add me or check by yourself.
2020.09.21 16:36 for--the--boys/u/isanor154, a certified beauty, said " Yeah, I agree, but just saying you would never date that kind of people changes a lot, depending on what are you talking about, race or gender, for example. That’s what I want to learn about."
Dear isanor154, thank you for your inciteful comment. You are poised to become one of the top Reddit thinkers. Cheers to that! " Yeah, I agree, but just saying you would never date that kind of people changes a lot, depending on what are you talking about, race or gender, for example. That’s what I want to learn about. "
2020.09.21 16:13 crumjdFaster Than Light via Sheer Willpower
IMPORTANT NOTE: I already posted the first quarter of this story. If you saw it at that time you can scroll down to the bold italic paragraph and begin reading there.
“What the hell is wrong with your ship?” Non-human comm discipline isn’t quite as good as the human equivalent. As I understand it, they never had to deal with the crackling early radios that informed our procedures. Sure, on most worlds, when a communication spell was first developed it was the domain of a high priest or archmage, but it was clear. Still, I’d expected a slightly better introduction to the local traffic control net than a half panicked voice asking a question that made no sense. “This is Frontier helm control. All ship systems reporting nominal. To whom am I speaking?” I glanced down at my board after I finished speaking. The ship systems were reporting nominal by not activating any shrieking klaxons or flashing lights. But with a few pokes to the controls in front of me, I was able to project a little hologram of the ship status. Everything was outlined in happy green. “Nominal! I’m registering explosions at your aft end.” The speaker still didn’t identify himself and he still sounded panicked. I reached out, ‘grabbed’ the hologram, rotated it around to view the back side of the ship, and then zoomed in until I was looking at fairly low-level systems. I wasn’t as far down as I could go. The ship would happily report on the status of individual circuit boards and breakers, but I was surely low enough that I could see anything that a local space station could see. Some components were haloed in light green rather than dark green, but that only meant they were coming up on a service date. I drummed my fingers against the control board mentally debating if I should launch a drone for an external view or if I should respond with ‘everything’s good’ a second time. On the one hand, whoever I was talking to was probably looking at me in a freaking scrying mirror and shouting into a pointy hat or something so there was seriously no way they’d have noticed something that the ship’s sensors hadn’t. On the other hand, I didn’t want to end up in textbooks as an example of why only a jackass would ignore panicked warnings from traffic control. Then the hologram changed. A tiny icon shaped like an idealized hydrogen atom exited the back of the ship, a dozen lines lanced out at it, and a flare of fire blossomed behind the ship’s pusher plate. Because I was paying attention I felt the ship give a tiny shudder as we decelerated very slightly. “There it is! There is again! I just saw a huge explosion behind your ship.” “Oh, sorry. You’re registering our drive system control. All systems are nominal and everything is under control.” This, at least, seemed to calm the alien traffic control operator down a tiny bit. He... Well, I was assuming it was a male from the pitch of its voice. Translation spells are nicer than the computerized equivalent. They tend to give speakers roughly the voice the listener would expect given the nature of the speaker even if the original ‘speech’ was in the form of wild tentacle gesticulations and skin color changes via some alien squid thing. This voice was sort of nasal and high, but definitely male. He at least listened to me this time, “You’re telling me your ship is deliberately firing off a series of huge fireballs? Is that safe?” “Perfectly safe, control. You’re seeing laser triggered fusion pulses. They’re as clean as mother’s milk.” That wasn’t strictly true. Even laser pumped fusion makes some tritium. But it’s not very hot and the half-life is short enough that even if some mutant atoms end up in a planet’s upper atmosphere they aren’t going to hurt anyone. “None of that translated.” The speaker's voice had become more nasal and somewhat accusatory as though I had any control over what its spells could or could not translate. “But if that’s your drive then don’t come any closer. I need to talk to someone about this.” Then the line cut off. “Control! Control! That’s not how this works. The explosions are my brakes.” I didn’t get any response. * * * I should probably back up enough for a little context. Mankind made contact with extraterrestrial life for the first time when the Oohmahlock’s enormous crystalline spaceship floated out of the sky and set down in the wilds of Alaska. There was a lot of turmoil in response to that, of course, but the strangest part came when they told us why they were on Earth and how they’d gotten there: pure faith had carried them through space faster than a beam of light, and they were here to tell humanity of our divine mission. We hadn’t believed them on either count. Tackling their technology seemed easier than tackling their belief system, so we’d set about examining everything they were willing to show us absolutely certain that it was standard tech that they didn’t understand and had thus reduced to superstition. Perhaps the ship had been built long before it had been piloted to Earth by a now fallen civilization. It was not. Long story short it was not. The Oohmahlock allowed us to examine their technology in any way we requested. They knew what would happen before we started. We found nothing capable of doing anything in it and as soon as we looked closely at it the tech stopped functioning. Next, the Oohmahlock explained how the ship had been built. And, indeed, they had built it themselves. The crystals that made it up were grown over the course of three generations nurtured by the prayers of their entire civilization. A holy order of monks was founded to slowly shape the crystals into livable spaces and workable power focuses. And, when the end of construction was finally in sight, a dozen times as many traveler priests as was normally needed were taught the chants and hymns of fast travel and breathable air. The very best of that group was selected to pilot the ship and only with this extraordinary effort were they able to land a ship on Earth, and then only by keeping it well away from most of the population. Then they explained humanity’s divine mission. In the beginning, god created the universe. He created the races therein and to them he gave the ability to adjust the rules of reality so that they might not perish under the iron fist of physics. The races of the vastness grew proud. They called their powers magic and said that the wonders they worked were of will and mind rather than through faith. So, on a planet with more iron in its heart than any other, a race with cold iron in its very blood was born. To this race was given special magic; a magic that enforced the rules of the creator. This race would humble the works of the magi and test even the faithful. This time god wasn’t screwing around. We would assert the rules of reality whenever we examined something. Humans didn’t get a choice in that. So that was our mission. To survive and travel. Of course, most people thought that was a load of crap. There was even a contingent of people sufficiently contrary (or self-loathing) that said we shouldn’t travel the galaxy. However, the general reaction was, “There’s a great big fantastic universe out there and you’re going to help us get to it? Well praise the alien lord and pass the booster rockets!” A new space race was on. It eventually produced three key technologies that gave mankind the stars: laser lifters, the Orion drive, and the Orion two. Laser lifters were the simplest. If you focus a sufficiently powerful beam into a ‘thruster’ that’s essentially nothing more than a durable black cup then all the air inside flashes to plasma and the cup is tossed upwards. Do that a few thousand times and the cup, as well as anything attached to it, is in space without the brutal constraints imposed by the device having to haul its own fuel with it. All of the research into lasers let us crack fusion. We were massively aided in this by having allies who could magically mine metallic hydrogen from gas giants. We probably could have built Orion’s with fission devices, but it was an almost perfect drive with laser pumped pulse fusion. The Orion Two wasn’t related to the Orion Drive from an engineering standpoint but… * * * The bridge radio clicked on again and brought me the still nasal and slightly frustrated sounding voice of control. “OK, I talked to my boss, who talked to his boss, who talked to diplomatic affairs. For some reason, I’ve got to let your doom machine approach. So, here you go, park it there and try not to blow up. Well, not any more than you already are.” The hologram of the ship was replaced with a holographic representation of the parking orbit Control wanted the Frontier to take up. I thought, not for the first time, that the translation spells used by most races really are amazing. Control had probably put a voodoo doll of the Frontier into a scale model of the system expecting a diagram to show up in my scrying bowl or some such. But, because of the translation spell, the information made it to me in a format that the ship’s computer could interpret. Better yet, because the spell was acting on their communication and not my reception the human anti-magic field couldn’t turn it off. There was a sharp crack of static and the hologram in front of me shifted to a bunch of juvenile squid aliens playing a game that looked a lot like dodgeball. One of those allies, a small and awkward one even to my human eyes, was getting the worst of it. Several other beings were pelting it mercilessly with balls and each of them was using more than one tentacle at a time. Then that image started to fuzz and break up. I quickly looked away from the hologram. Modern comms training includes a fairly extensive section on not thinking too hard about just how aliens who have never discovered radio are speaking to you. The human anti-magic field always gets a vote if you catch its attention. Let’s see, the bastard over at control had stuck me in his system’s L2 point. L2 is way out past the moon and it’s gravitationally unstable. If I’d just gotten a normal parking orbit I could have shut off the ship's engines and taken some much-needed rack time. But, oh no, because Control thought I was going to blow up I was going to have to periodically correct the ship’s position. On top of that, I suspected the Orion Drive was too powerful for that work. It would be like trying to make a golf putt with a sledgehammer, so I’d have to run our maneuvering thrusters way more than they were really designed for. I looked back down at the holo. It was back to being a display of Frontier's parking space. “Parking orbit acknowledged Control,” I said through clenched teeth. There was a long silence and I thought maybe Control had wandered off without telling me for a moment. Then the line went live again and control spoke hesitantly, “So why is your trip that important, anyway?” I ran my tongue across my teeth wondering just how to answer that. We were in a Von system. The Von were a race of mighty wizards of the sort that Humanity was sent to humble and bring low. We’d been doing a great job of that. The Von had a lot of desire for human consumer goods. Our technology filled niches their magic handled poorly and anyone could use it without training. Yet all we could buy from them was raw materials. Their military was nearly useless against us because we shrugged off their most potent death magic like it had never been cast; they could throw a rock at us or telekinetically fire an arrow, but that was only if they caught us off guard. So a species with 100 planets to their name was having to normalize diplomatic relations with a single planet species as though we were total equals. I wasn’t exactly shocked the Von leaders hadn’t publicized this meeting well enough for Control to be ready for us. I also wasn’t going to give away their secrets. “Just some trade negotiations.” Control’s only reply was a sigh so thick with annoyance that I actually started to feel for the guy. Embarrassing or not the local traffic control facilities really should have been told they were going to be dealing with a completely alien spaceship. No one ever thinks of the little guy. Again I thought control had signed off without announcing it but he came back one last time. “OK, I’ve got to ask. You’re using fireballs to push yourself around space, which is still nuts, but I learned back in school only one or two really special spells can move something faster than light. Pyromancy definitely doesn’t do it! So how did you make the interstellar leg of your trip?” * * * The Orion Two wasn’t related to the Orion Drive from an engineering standpoint but they were philosophical and spiritual brothers. Humanity couldn’t learn directly from the Oohmahlock but we could stand way over there with a particle detector while they used miracles to torment space-time, and the Oohmahlock just loved to do that for us because they basically saw it as helping angels learn god’s will. Eventually, we learned to make a G.E.C.; a gravity emitting circuit. Because the electroweak force is so much stronger than the gravitational force it’s possible to supercharge one of those until it very briefly becomes a singularity. If you toss such an artificial black hole in front of a ship, and lace enough G.E.Cs through the ship that the force gradient across it is even so you don’t get spaghettified, you’ve got an FTL drive. Better yet if you use a second artificial singularity inside the first, or a third in the second, or a fourth in the third and so on you can go really really fast indeed. It annoys physicists and mathematicians because they can’t even begin to describe where the ship is after that bit of fuckery, but the tech tested as safe. At least it’s safe for human equipment and Earth life. It’s not so safe for Oohmahlock. We learned that when one of their high priests took a historic first ride on one of our ‘Holy Vessels’. They started screaming and they didn’t stop until a faith healer wiped their memory. Their whole memory. The high priest was left as little more than a mentally damaged infant and everyone agreed the cure was way better than the disease. The most sensible thing the priest said while it still had its memories was, “They can see me! They can see me! They can see you, but you can’t see them! They can touch me but they can’t touch you! You can touch them! Save me, save me, save me! Will you save me?” The official human explanation is that the Oohmahlock have some sort of subconscious connection to the normal universe that allows them to achieve the things they can do. Taking them so far out of the normal universe causes a form of stress that can damage their minds. The official Oohmahlock explanation is that some sort of horrible thing is looking into our universe from outside and maybe they were wrong about just what humanity needs to do. Perhaps we aren’t just supposed to annoy wizards. Maybe we need to fly around in the high warp bands acting like border guards for reality. Their church is in a bit of a state of flux. I’d just spent a month in those warp bands and the only danger I’d felt was boredom, so I don’t know what to think. It is nice to imagine that my mind set a big brace down the spine of reality itself, but it’s kind of far fetched. What I do know is there’s no way I was going to explain any of that to Control. I’d end up with a parking orbit in a neighboring star system. Or maybe he’d just tell me to go in for a landing on the system’s sun. * * * “Um, the force of will,” I answered into the radio. “Yeah, pure will power. Everyone on the ship just wants to go faster than light really badly and then we go faster than light.” “Oh, well good. At least you’ve got a sensible FTL drive. Geez, you should just get that working in-system. Way better than those fireballs. Anyway, your approach vector is clear. Perform a sending if you need anything. Control out.” * * * The talks with the Von went well. The biggest incident was when one of the younger secretaries attached to the delegation lost all of her magical cosmetics. She had apparently been wearing a lot of them and apparently her coworkers hadn’t known. I keep saying ‘apparently’ because the Von aren’t a race to inspire lust in humans. They kind of look like someone shoved a rudimentary skeleton into a squid. They have a skull on an invertebrate neck-stalk, an abbreviated rib-cage analog, and bones for added leverage in 4 of their 8 limbs. They can casually slip a lot of those bones out of joint sacrificing strength and speed for flexibility. It also makes them look a bit like a deep-sea creature that has inexplicably fallen off a skyscraper. Not great model material. The whole makeup incident had some positive side effects. The Von use a lot of medical magic at the end of their lives. Once everyone had gotten a visceral example of how hard and fast magic evaporates under the inspection of a room full of skeptical humans our scheduled meetings with some of the more senior staff were canceled. It would’ve been bad for the discussions if the head of the embassy screamed and collapsed into dust. Second, it gave Control and me something to gossip about. He proved to be a pretty good guy even if he was uptight about human tech, and neither of us was very busy as the port was mostly shut down for the big meeting. We passed the time comparing cultures, swapping stories, and griping about our bosses. Or ‘building an intercultural rapport’ as I put it in my status reports. * * * “I said goodbye to my parents last night. Father was brave, but it almost pushed me over the edge when my mother began to cry,” Control said out of the blue. Well, he didn’t say anything of the kind. He made a series of pops, squeaks, and clicks that the human ear could barely follow, and it would have been quite a huge coincidence if the Von cry. But I had my translator set to dynamic equivalence. As such, that was what I heard and there was no robotic voice breaking into his words to explain, ‘explosive flatulence is an expression of sadness for the Von,’ or whatever. “Buddy, you’re going to be fine! Your people wouldn’t want to trade for our warp drives if they weren’t safe. And you’ve given us, what, like 10 whole planets if this works.” “If! And my people aren’t thinking clearly. What is the horrible death of a single comms operator if it might alleviate the biggest weakness of our magic?” Control could be a downer sort of squid. We were still calling each other ‘Control’ and ‘Helm’ because he couldn’t pronounce ‘Jeff’ and I couldn’t pronounce ‘engine that really needs oiled’ sounds. I cast about for something to distract him and found it in the form of a rather grand Von in the corner of the room. He had on robes stitched with precious materials and held a quartz staff shot with veins of natural gold surmounted by a huge ruby. He was wearing a very grand hat though it actually looked more like a sombrero than the pointy thing humans associated with fictional wizards. “Alright, even if your people would throw you to the wolves that guy is pretty important and magically experienced. He wouldn’t get onto this ship if all non-humans were doomed would he?” “The high mage is the foremost master of spatial magics, so yeah he’s pretty important. He also has considerable faith in his own abilities. Perhaps enough so that he would underestimate the risk.” Despite his words, Control’s simulated tone sounded a bit less stressed. I felt I was on the right track to comfort him. “This stuff is also pretty good, right? Some sort of magic armor?” Control and I were hanging plates of enchanted material the Von had provided around one of the aft cargo bays like it was so much drywall. However, even to a complete mundy like me, it appeared to be fancy stuff. It was pattern welded like Demsasus steel. Only the patterns in it were magical runes and half a dozen materials had been woven together in its construction. Control sniffed in an offended way, “‘Pretty good!’ ‘Magical armor!’ I’ll have you know, this is the best anti-magic armor in the known universe. This,’ He stroked it almost reverently, “enforces the rules of reality such that no spell may travel through it. This material accounts for some of the vast might of the Von military as well as the fact that our natural philosophy is far more advanced than any other race. It will contain a bubble of the real universe even in the face of your horrific drive system!” Control was sounding a bit more like himself so I let him slide on referring to their iron age understanding of the laws of reality as ‘advanced.’ Instead I looked back at the magical plating. It was basically a weak version of the human effect. Interesting. No wonder they were letting me touch it. I’d thought that was just a sort of stress test, but this might be a spell humans couldn’t break. Or could we? Actually, it was probably best not to think about that question in case the answer was, “Yes.” The High Wizard chose that moment to provide something better for more to think about. He was still over by his crate, but now he was loudly chanting something my translator couldn’t handle while he twisted his tentacles and limbs into all manner of strange shapes. That went on for a moment then, with a triumphal air that carried across species, he slammed his staff into the deck and the big gem on top flashed. With growing excitement, I realized I was watching magic. The pallet of material in front of the wizard heaved itself off the ground and wobbled unsteadily about half a foot in the air for a moment. I started to mouth, “Cool!” Then the entire load slammed back into the ground with a crash that sounded like it couldn’t have been good for whatever was inside. The high wizard slumped, and let me tell you, a being whose skeleton is mostly optional can really slump. Then he turned around in that slow ‘did anyone see that’ way of a being who has just realized their fly is open and hurriedly fixed it in public. When he saw me he stiffened and pointed an angry appendage, “Human! You are rendering it impossible to work! Begone!” I drew in breath for some sort of retort. I’m not sure what it would’ve been. Something so clever and scathing it would have set diplomatic relations back decades, probably. But then I felt the weight of Control’s tentacle on my shoulder. I looked back at him. “Perhaps it would be best if you return to your duties elsewhere. We are well ahead of our schedule due to your wondrous ‘electric screwdrivers’ which penetrate the anti-magic plate where our most potent tools fail. It will ease the High Wizards work if he can once again access his spells.” The High Wizard could have accessed a hand truck as far as I was concerned, but we were nearly done so I just nodded. “Alright, call me if you have any problems.” * * * “Comm check, medical bay here,” I spoke into the comms panel in the med bay. It was my station for our test flight. There were half a dozen Von soldiers lying unconscious in the beds. Half of them had been tranquilized via human medical science, half with magic. Human medical personnel buzzed around them. “Um, this is the converted cargo bay. Oh, bay A-3. Can you hear me? Did I activate this correctly?” “You’re on. Do it just like that if you need to send any messages.” “Bridge here. Your headset should be listen-only on our general channel and I’ve got the wall panel hooked to Captain’s priority. Is it all coming in?” I cocked my head and listened to the prelaunch chatter for a moment on that device. It was all coming in clearly. At the moment they were working through the end of the “Station Ready” checklist. That meant we were less than 5 minutes from getting underway. “It’s all coming in,” I told the bridge via the wall panel. “Very good. Bridge over.” I leaned back on the wall and felt minor shudders go through it as the first of the fusion pulses went off. We were moving farther away from everything so we could go FTL. It was somewhat strange to be doing nothing during this part of the flight as I would normally be at my busiest. At the moment my job was to have no job. That way I could keep track of where we were in OUR flight sequence so I’d know how long it was to the end of the flight and what our window was on an emergency abort while simultaneously being available to Control and the medical staff if anything went pear-shaped on their ends. For fifteen minutes, we traveled through normal space and everything went smoothly. The magical sleepers stayed asleep and the medicated sleepers stayed healthy. Control reported back to his superiors magically and me via the comms system. He even admitted that fusion explosions were a softer means of propulsion than he’d expected. I heard we were at a minimum safe distance on the general channel so opened the channel back to control and spoke into it and the room in general, “Alright everyone, we’re about to go superluminal. Fifteen minutes out. Fifteen minutes back.” The anesthesiologist gave me the thumbs up, but everyone else in the room kept their eyes glued to their tasks. “Grace of Magic, protect and provide in this my hour of need,” Control murmured over the comms. I doubted I was expected to comment on that. Going FTL in a human ship feels a bit like getting pushed and poked from a half dozen directions at once as the gravitational stabilizers spin up hard enough to prevent spaghettification and then self-tune until the local gravity field is nice and even again. I felt that, heard a series of agitated clicks over the comms, and then everything went back to normal. I looked around at the brightly lit medical space and the still apparently peaceful Von laying in it. They seemed good. I thumbed open the channel to the converted cargo bay, “Control, how are you liking the ride?” “Was it meant to feel like someone was tugging on my spleen for a moment then smooth out?” “Yeah, that’s about right.” “In that case, my situation remains nominal…” Control’s all clear report cut out suddenly as two things happened simultaneously. First, there was a loud bang and a thick cloud of white acrid smoke rolled out of the communications panel in front of me. Second, all three of the magically tranquilized soldiers began to jerk and seize. “Shit,” the anesthesiologist swore. Then she looked over at me, “Let the bridge know we’re going to need to abort.” She immediately turned back to her work either not noticing the panel in front of me was dead or deciding that was my problem. Doctors are focused like that. The touch screen of the comms panel was dark, but I gave it a couple of good jabs with my thumb anyway hoping that it would wake back up. It didn’t, so I took off running out of medical and down the hall to the bridge. The Frontier is bigger than most people picture when they think, ‘spaceship’ but it was still going to be faster to run across it than it was to fix the comms. Only it wasn’t. The first bulkhead door I came to was shut, which isn’t normal, and its motion sensor ignored my approach, which is even odder. All the bulkhead doors have a little screen next to them. Under ordinary circumstances, they display an identifier and can provide a little map of the ship if you’re lost. During a depressurization event, which is the only thing that should have made the door fail shut, they’re supposed to display environmental status for the corridor beyond and allow for the door to be manually opened. Only now the screen was dark and there were scorch marks on the panel above it. I gave the screen a punch, more out of anger than any hope that it would wake up. It didn’t wake up. It did fall off the wall. I looked into the recess beyond it and found a small scattering of black powder as well as the remnants of what looked like a crystal and maybe a couple of liquids. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but the crystal sure seemed like Von magic and the black stuff could have been gunpowder. Down the hall, the anesthesiologist poked her head out of the med bay, “Hey, we’ve got the Von under again, but we’re getting some odd readings. It’s like they’ve all started to have nightmares. What’s going on with the abort?” “Sabotage I think! We’re still superluminal.” My receive only headset was fine and still connected to the bridge so I knew we were four levels deep and holding with all systems green. They hadn’t noticed the link to the medical bay was dead yet. “There are panels in all of these rooms. Maybe I can…” My clever plan to make the call from a different phone was interrupted by a huge explosion from the direction of the cargo bay. This one definitely wasn’t caused by black powder. Instead of a bang the sound of it was like a super high pitched tuning fork being struck and flashes of black light strobed all around us for a moment. I felt nothing, of course, but someone in the medical bay yelled, “Fuck! What the hell was that? It’s hitting the Von hard; Ann we need you!” Ann shot me a look, then vanished back into medical without speaking. We were close to the cargo bay, and I knew it had a commlink. So I sprinted in that direction planning to call in the abort from there once I had the full situation. Fortunately, the door to the cargo bay was open. The screen next to it was glitching and there was a black stain on the wall above it, but whatever had happened hadn’t been enough to make it fail shut. I sprinted through without slowing. The bay itself was a mess. The anti-magic paneling was fine, and the human equipment looked about like it always had, but all of the Von’s crates were scattered like they’d been hit by a strong wind. Control was laying in one corner making an undulating squealing sound I’d never heard from him before. My translator couldn’t do anything with it, but it sounded like distress to me. “Buddy, are you OK. What’s going on?” “I am… I feel… It’s like magic is looking directly at me. I feel like it’s judging me. Inspecting me. I can function. The plating helps, but this is most unpleasant.” “Was that what that flash was?” “No that was,” then the English from my translator dissolved into clicks and pops as it found a term it couldn’t handle. Most likely it was some technical explanation of whatever magical thing had just happened. “I must check on the High Wizard.” The Frontier's cargo bays are modular and can be configured with extra walls and dividers at need. That’s what we’d done for this experiment: we’d set up one chamber that was the correct size for the amount of anti-magic plating the Von provided and a second unshielded chamber where the High Wizard could work freely. Control was looking at the door between them. It had been mostly covered by crates when the Von equipment was thrown around. “The door servos are pretty strong. If you can squeeze your way over to the control panel they’ll be able to push that stuff out of the way.” “I can do that,” Control said and the translator gave him a confident tone. Then he started popping his ribs out of joint and I had to look away as his entire torso crumpled up like an old sock that had been used to store nails. (No, I have no idea why someone would store nails in an old sock, but if the mental image of a being looking like that is unpleasant you’re on the right track.) I walked over to the comm panel and, at last, found something that hadn’t been inexpertly blown up. It was showing that the link to the medical bay had cut out unexpectedly, which I already knew. I cleared that error and connected it to the bridge instead. As soon as the channel was open, the bridge officer started speaking, “Cargo bay? What’s happening back there? Medical is offline.” “This is Jeff. Medical has problems. I need an emergency abort.” There was some garbled, but energetic, discussion on the other end of the line that I couldn’t quite follow, and then the bridge came back, “I’ve signaled it, but we’re in band transition. I’ll need five minutes to get us back to flat-space.” Across the room, there was a whine of stressed servos, but when I looked back the door to the High Wizard’s chamber was open. “OK, I’m going to check on the High Wizard. I should be back with his status in 30 seconds. If you need me sooner, I’ve still got the general channel in ‘receive only’.” “Roger.” What I didn’t tell the bridge, because they couldn’t do anything about it at the moment, was that I suspected the High Wizard’s status was ‘traitorous bastard.’ Someone had set all of those black powder charges and when I looked over at Control I found him pressed up against a film of blue light which now filled the door. “It’s a magical shield!” I drew the sidearm I’d been issued before we let a half dozen soldiers and an alien wizard onto the ship. “Magical shields aren’t fucking real.” The shield popped like a soap bubble and Control went stumbling into the High Wizard’s chamber. I ran to the door, crouched down, and looked around it with my head low to the ground so I wouldn’t provide a ready target. The scene beyond the door was like something out of a DnD game. There was a circle drawn on the floor in the milky blue-white fluid Von use for blood. Crystals, each one emitting enough black light that my uniform was fluorescing, were set at regular intervals around the outside of the circle. There was a ring of symbols on the inside. I can’t read Vonish script. They could have said anything, but they were glowing a nasty sickly green. The high wizard was on the outside of the circle on the far side of the room. Right after I arrived at the door he finished a chant that my translator couldn’t handle and turned to face Control who was sprawled on the floor. The real piece de resistance of the whole scene was what looked like an extra-large Von made of glowing green light in the center of the circle. We all froze for a second, but the High wizard recovered fastest. “So, you survived the,” my translator dropped a word, “that’s most impressive. You must have considerably more magical talent than I gave you credit for.” “What are you doing,” Control demanded. “I am gaining power. The power we need to ensure the Von place in the universe. Power far more potent than Human scraps. I can’t let you interfere.” With that, he raised his staff and snapped out an untranslatable word. A bolt of power lanced out of the staff and flew across the room. In his prone position, Control never had a chance at dodging. The bolt caught him squarely and he slumped back down as a nasty burnt fish smell filled the air. The Wizard wasn’t holding any weapon beyond his staff that I could see. I stood, trained my sidearm on his chest, and stepped into the doorway. “Please put the staff down, and I will escort you to the bridge.” I glanced down at the still form of my friend, “You have considerable diplomatic immunity for what you’ve done thus far but I would strongly advise you not to push it any farther.” He said his word again, only this time the spell was pointed at me and there wasn’t so much as a flicker in the crystal of the staff. “Put down the staff,” I said around clenched teeth. “Oh please, allow me,” a third voice said. It was very cultured and smooth and it came from the center of the circle. When I looked, I saw that the figure of light had transformed itself from a Von to a handsome Human male. It was wearing a suit and it was built on a scale such that its head nearly brushed the ceiling. It flicked its hand out at the High Wizard and the High Wizard turned inside out. That was nasty. The Wizard's jaws yawned wide and it started to let out a pained squeal. Then, with a crack, they jerked just a bit wider and filled with blueish tissue that must have come from somewhere inside the being. Over the next 15 seconds, more of its insides fountained through its mouth until they were all outside and it was nothing but an unidentifiable blob of flesh laying on the floor. I opened my mouth. I suppose I wanted to say something, but if anything came out it was only a little whimper. The thing did not appear to be overly concerned with what it had done, because it began speaking in a completely casual and urbane tone. “You are something very interesting. He was a sleeper who dreamt a dream not of this place. But you…. Hmmm, I can’t tell if you’re a dream of the one who dreamt of all of this or if maybe you just happened. Still, you are completely awake. I dare say we have quite a bit to offer each other. Would you like to be able to change all of this like that thing could before I killed it?” “You’re offering me magic? Just like that.” “Just like that! Well, there’s a certain resonance I’d need to achieve by killing the other beings on this ship. I can explain why later, but you need to decide quickly. I can feel you falling away from me and your nature is pushing me away. I don’t think one of your type could ever get me back on your own.” I know a couple of TV show tough guy lines like, ‘here’s my decision’ or ‘is this quick enough for you’ ran through my head, but I’m pretty sure I just robotically trained my weapon on him and pulled the trigger without saying anything. My sidearm is a standard Gravitational Compression Gun. It fired a pulse of gravitational energy which compressed a meter wide column of air between me and the target into a centimetre wide beam of burning white plasma. Then a second pulse rippled down the plasma and slammed it into the target. There was a crack like thunder as the air collapsed back in on itself and my eyes were left slightly dazzled. The GC gun does horrible things to any living target it hits. It’s not quite as hard on Outer Horrors but they don’t like it. The simulacrum of a man let out a bellow of rage and wavered for a moment before stabilizing again. “Fine,” it snapped then raised its hand and made a gesture like it had at the High Wizard. I felt a painfully sharp tug at my jaw and stomach simultaneously, but it faded before it could even work my jaws open. I squeezed the trigger of my GC again and the thing waved under another onslaught of plasma, but it only seemed like a momentary inconvenience for it. Worse yet, I could hear someone saying something about slow warp band collapse on the bridge general channel. We were having a hard time coming out of FTL. That’s not completely unusual, and no one on the bridge was that worried. With the context I had, it seemed bad. The man shape made a different gesture then joined its two hands together such that its thumbs and fingers touched in front of it making a little triangle. A bar of silver light shot out of the triangle and slammed into my chest. It felt like an icicle stabbing into me, and I staggered backward. When I looked down frost coated the front of my uniform and a small patch of blood it. Still, the thing had a shocked look on its face and I had to assume that was because I was still standing.
The Community Chest is, as the name states, a community oriented server. Our main focus is on our players and making sure they have an enjoyable experience both on the server and in our community. Our staff is well experienced with nearly all senior staff having previous experience on multiple servers and in some cases having years-worth of experience in running and/or staffing servers! Our server went live for season two on June 26th, 2020 with a fresh map for 1.16. We currently run paper spigot on a dedicated server hosted out of the EU. Don't worry though! The majority of our players play from North America and have zero latency issues! Being a Vanilla+ server we also run several plugins and datapacks to increase quality of life and accessibility of the server, none of our plugins fundamentally alter the game in a detrimental way. Since our orientation is very much towards community interaction a requirement for joining the server is a working microphone and interest in voice chatting, we're all very friendly people so if you aren't comfortable at first we're sure you'll find your stride! Along the same lines, we are explicitly an 18+ server, there are players under that age limit that have been grandfathered in but any new players must be 18 and older. As stated above our main focus is always the players, we as the staff strive to provide events, challenges, and goals to the players to encourage interaction and cooperation on our server. To date our biggest event was our TCC Olympics! There were competitions such as Horse Racing, Javelin Throwing, Parkour, and many more! The event lasted a total of a week with dozens of events hosted by various players across the world. We don't run just major events though, we have had custom challenges, riddles, and impromptu PvP events at various vendors! Of course we understand that players can get burnt out of Minecraft so we offer events outside of Minecraft, such as movie nights (when players are interested) and game nights where we play various party games (lately we've all been playing Among Us). If you want to learn more about the server and learn a bit more about us, our plugins, goals, and history be sure to check out our website at http://site.communitychest-mc.net Our rules are fairly standard and sensible and follow the typical style for Vanilla+ servers:
Respect all fellow players. This means do not edit the build of, steal the items of, or piss off any player at any given time without permission! 1.1. No racial slurs, foul language towards others, etc. Keep chat clean of profane language (common curses allowed).
When building in a town and/or community build make sure that your build has been approved of the people that have been put in charge of the area.
Please be honest and respectful with all players on the server. Everyone enjoys their time more when they can have a good conversation with their friends : )
Please try to avoid using third party clients, we'll know if you use one ; ). We do allow client side mods such as mini-maps and Optifine, we just ask you use common sense with your mods. If you are on the fence about if one is allowed or not don't hesitate to ask staff!
Please repair any and all damage done to terrain, if you chop a tree down make sure the leaves decay, just simple things like that to keep our world looking nice!
Do not trigger raids in any village that you directly have not claimed or have been authorized to start a raid in.
Player bases must be built 1000 blocks outside of spawn, this is to allow a large area for community builds to take place in so that it is central to the server. We also ask that nether portals be built a respectable distance away from spawn as well as they have been quite finicky.
If you understand and agree to all these rules all that's left for you is to apply to the server! You do that by joining our discord: https://discord.gg/v32sgzJ . Once in the discord you will be asked to fill out an application form that's pinned in the welcome channel to help us streamline your application process, once you have submitted it you can ping an interviewer to get you a voice interview. If all goes well in the interview you will be accepted to the server! If any questions arise don't hesitate to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Other than that I hope that we can provide a great community for you to join!
2020.09.21 16:00 kjmichaelsFIF Book Club: October Voting Thread
WHAT IS FIF?
Feminism in Fantasy (FIF) is an ongoing series of monthly book discussions dedicated to exploring gender, race, sexuality and other topics of feminism. The /Fantasy community selects a book each month to read together and discuss. Though the series name specifies fantasy, we will read books from all of speculative fiction. You can participate whether you are reading the book for the first time, rereading, or have already read it and just want to discuss it with others. Please be respectful and avoid spoilers outside the scope of each thread.
MONTHLY DISCUSSION TIMELINE
A slate of 5 themed books will be announced. A live Google form will also be included for voting which lasts for a week.
Book Announcement & Spoiler-Free Discussion goes live in the first few days of each month.
Halfway Discussion goes live around the middle of each month.
Final Discussion goes live a few days before the end of the month. Dates may vary slightly from month to month.
This month's theme is: Sirens Suggested Reading!
Sirens is a convention celebrating diverse women, trans folks, and non-binary people in speculative fiction and the work they produce. Every year, this convention puts out a suggested reading list for their October conventions and this month our slate features novels from a wide array of this year's Guests of Honor and Faculty. Check out the full list of suggest books and authors who couldn't all fit in one voting thread here. You can also sign up for their free online conference that starts next month here if you're interested.
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. Its clarion call creates ripples, substance, something more. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need. And so, in reply, there is a woman. At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy. Setting off on an unexplained quest from which she is compelled to complete, and facing unnatural challenges in a land that doesn’t seem to exist, she will discover the secrets of herself, or die trying. But along the way, the obstacles will grow to a seemingly insurmountable point, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice yet. This is the story of a woman’s struggle against her very existence, an epic tale of the adventure and emotional upheaval on the way to face an ancient enigmatic foe. This could only spun from the imagination of Marie Brennan, award-winning author and beloved fantasist, beginning a new series about the consequences of war—and of fate.
A powerful, revealing anthology of dark fiction and poetry by Black women writers. The tales of what scares, threatens and shocks them will enlighten and entertain you. Sycorax’s Daughters’ stories and poems delve into demons and shape shifters from Carole McDonnell’s “How to Speak to the Bogeyman” and Sheree Renée Thomas’ “Tree of the Forest Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight” to far future offerings from Kiini Ibura Salaam’s “The Malady of Need”, Valjeanne Jeffers’ steampunk female detective in “Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective II” and others. These thought-provoking twenty-eight stories and fourteen poems cover creatures imagined—vampires, ghosts, and mermaids, as well as the unexpected price paid by women struggling for freedom and validation in the past—slavery to science-fiction futures with transhumans and alternate realities. Leave the lights on and join these amazing authors as they share their unique vision of fear.
"That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks." Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
Counts for: exploration, book about books, feminist Important note: Sarah is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Please be respectful of their identity in discussing their work.
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.
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