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Covid-19 Update for November 24: 1,115 new cases, 916 recoveries, 16 deaths + Announced Restrictions to Limit Covid-19 Spread
Data is taken from the Covid-19 portal and today's media availability by Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Dr Deena Hinshaw. Minister of Eduation Adriana LaGrange, Deputy Minister of Eduation Andrew Courbold, and AHS CEO Verna Yiu were also present, but did not speak. Dr Hinshaw will be available every day this week. There are currently enhanced measures in effect for multiple regions of Alberta. This link provides a quick summary of which ones are in effect for different regions of Alberta. Top line numbers:
For values where "Current" and "Total" are the same, I have left results under Total
Cases with "Unknown source"
7,538 (88.0%) in last 7 days
+13,617 (~8.19% positive)
+20/+15 based on yesterday's post/portal data
+4/+1 based on yesterday's post/portal data
+16 (3x 60-69, 70-79, 10x 80+)
Spatial distribution of people tested, cases, and deaths (since yesterday):
All other values are compared with respect to yesterday
New People Tested
Spatial distribution of cases for select cities and regions (change since yesterday) (cities proper for Calgary and Edmonton):
High River county
I.D. No 9 (Banff)
Wood Buffalo municipality
Rest of Alberta
Municipalities with 10+ active cases is given at this link Schools with outbreaks are listed online. Quick numbers (since yesterday):
65 schools are on Watch (+1)
117 schools have 2-4 cases (+3)
Spatial distribution of hospital usage (change based on yesterday's post):
Hospitalization zone are where the patient is receiving care, not zone of residence
Statements by Premier Kenney Opening Statements
Pandemic is "once in a century" event that has affected everyone
Has received lots of heartbreaking/heartfelt letters and read some out of them in the meeting last night
Letters include concerns about family impacts and economic impacts, as well as the loss of life
Has phoned front line healthcare workers over weekend and sought out their advice
Has noted the hesitation of further restrictions before and focus on targeted measures. The vast majority of Albertans have worked to the guidelines
Spread is speeding up and is significant at long term care. We need to do "everything we can" to protect them. That requires dedicated work from the community
Must also protect healthcare system. Healthcare system is at risk, and Edmonton Zone is an example of the trade offs that now must be made. Other services will have to be put on hold if the trend continues, even with the spending in it
Measures below were not taken lightly. These are the "minimum restrictions needed" right now to protect healthcare system and avoiding widespread damage to livelihoods
Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency in the province of Alberta
Series of mandatory measures also approved:
For social gatherings: No indoor social gatherings will be permitted in any setting and outdoor social gatherings will have a limit of 10 people
For funerals and weddings: 10 in-person limit and no receptions will be permitted
Social events have been one of the biggest driver of cases. Weddings and funerals are one of the biggest widespread drivers of transmission ("This is just a reality")
These social gathering restrictions are province-wide and can be subjected to fines
An emergency alert will be sent to all Alberta phones this week to make Albertans aware
Gatherings of worship services will be capped of 1/3 of Fire Code with mandatory masking if region is under enhanced status. This is now mandatory. This will be evaluated mid-December
Effective Friday, for regions under enhanced status, three temporary restrictions will be added at businesses and services:
(1) The following will be closed: banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, concert venues, community centres. All levels of sport too, but must apply and have an approved exemption
(2) Retail businesses and services will be limited to 25% of occupancy limit
(3) Hair salons, personal wellness services, hotels, and professional services will be limited by-appointment
In-person dining and bars can continue, but must abide by guideline. Each dining tables will be limited to 1 household
Asking all workers that can work from home to do so. Government of Alberta will do so
These will be reviewed in mid-December
On November 30th, Grades 7-12 will end in-person schooling for 2020 and Winter break will begin December 18. In-person learning will be delayed until January 11, 2021
Effective immediately, masks are mandatory in Edmonton and Calgary Zone
The measures are tough, but necessary to protect Albertans from a "crushing lockdown"
Knows this will be hard and encourages people to shop local
Will give a chance to review before Christmas
If the measures do not have meaningful impact, further restrictions will be made in December
Q&A - Announced Restrictions
Alberta has had some of the least stringent measures and highest cases rates. Is today's announcement that it failed? Why are we doing the "minimum"?: Thinks the response has been effective for a long stretch of time. Obviously an issue has cropped up in the past few weeks. Also notes a "chase after 0 [cases]" shutdown won't be the goal and that restrictions and interventions, in accordance with Charter of Rights, should be limited to minimizing infringement of rights to achieve a goal
How will you enforce gathering restrictions?: No "snitch line", but will be expanding enforcement officers (Level 1 and 2 peace officers) to enforce orders and writing the tickets (up to $1,000/person). Anticipates officers will see if obvious "large gathering signs" will be noticed
How is in-person dining not "indoor gatherings"? How do you feel about doctors recommending closing in-person dining?: Notes dining is one household and limited spread in dining centres and asks those with a secure paycheck ("particularly a government paycheck") to think about those who sink life savings in dining services
Why are stores being restricted if they are not a significant cause of spread?: Compares well to other provinces who have fully closed retail. Thinks it was a grave mistake to allow big box stores to remain open because they had grocery/pharmaceutical sections while small businesses must close. That said, restrictions must be made to limit social spread
Due to challenges with Albertan spread information, what data is being used to make the decisions?: Points to data from previous 8 months
Are you confident that these measures will control cases by December 15?: Yes. Notes the challenging balance between infringement of rights and controlling cases. Also hopes this will be a "wake up call" to those not following the guidelines
(Interjection - I felt this was important and it needs to be separated from the above question). Kenney recognizes he will get quite a few people "on [his] Facebook page" angry at the restrictions. Wants to emphasize this is not a lockdown. Nor is this an abstraction. If you know someone waiting for surgery, this is to protect them. It's not about politics, but for them. It's not something he wants to do and is upset about the situation. But it's not enough to complain. Challenges people to explain how to grapple with timely healthcare access if Covid continues to spread and more need care
Q&A - Future Restrictions
How bad will it have to be to announce a lockdown?: Would like to avoid it if possible. Key metric will be hospitalization (in particular, ICU), measured against capacity. (Interjection - The wording of the rest of the response was focused on more targeted measures if these restrictions do not limit spread within 3 weeks)
Are there specific thresholds for lift measures/add more measures?: On 15th of December, reproductive value (R) must be <1 to lift measures. Ideal target is 0.80. We are currently at 1.3 in Edmonton, 1.1 in Calgary
Q&A - Other
Where is Alberta when it comes to vaccine and rapid testing?: Alberta depends on the federal government. Notes disappointment in the slow roll out of rapid testing (though 577,000 tests have been delivered). Hopes to announce more roll out details in the week. For vaccine, Oxford trial has also headed to mass production (giving Canada 3 incoming vaccines). When it arrives, will likely begin with healthcare workers and vulnerable populations
Statements by Minister Shandro Further details on the above guideline
Indoor social contact should be limited to you household. If you live alone, you may have two non-household social contacts
Indoor social gathering gatherings doesn't apply to home based services
Funeral/wedding gathering limits can result in $1,000 fine, up to $100,000 through courts
Additional details for restaurants/bars/pubs/lounges: Must follow 4 points: (1) 6 person/table limit, all from one household, (2) same note as above for single person household (and limited to the same two people), (3) only seated eating/drinking allowed, (4) no other services are allowed (e.g. billiards/darts)
Encourages takeout/delivery/curbside pick up when possible
Enhanced screening of measures will begin
Retail services extends to bingo halls, fitness, pools, etc. No group fitness is allowed, nor team practice or games
Casinos can be open for slots only and follow the liquor laws of bars and casinos
High all! I really recently fell in love with the Fallout Universe, with all its complexities and unique stories. In particular, I very much enjoy the subjectivity of interpretations of the games and their outcomes, and I wanted to create my own personal contribution by writing a story specifically set after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. The Courier is referenced once in passing and there's no mention of a next of kin for the Courier. The story is completely original with entirely unique characters that I've made and it takes place after a non-specific timeline in which Mr House wins the fight for the Mojave Desert. I wanted to share some of my work with my fellow Fallout fans and see what you think. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Beginning: After the guns fell silent during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, the world was forever changed. Mr House’s City State of New Vegas gained full sovereignty and control over the Mojave Desert, and his Securitron Army pushed the exhausted NCR and broken Legion out. In the following years, Mr House rapidly expanded the city of New Vegas, and reignited the production of old Pre-War Technology automobiles, bus lines, and a high speed train line appeared. The Strip itself expanded beyond the Three Families; Strip clubs, pubs, casinos, all you can eat buffets filling the area, with some residential apartments and houses now beginning to be sold to the highest bidder, just as it was in the old world. The expanded city of Vegas outside the Strip itself however is a slum, crime, inequality, and denigration is all but abundant, and unrest is growing. Following the removal of President Kimball, his Vice President Donald Watson took over and inherited a State in crisis. Faith in the government had rapidly deteriorated, and the economy of the NCR began to suffer as many relocated to the Strip to live a life of luxury and excess. The NCR is now a shadow of its former self, with Military Police now required to keep order on the streets of its towns and cities. The poverty level is rising. In the East, Caesar’s Legion too is changing, and not for the better. With the Western Campaign a failure by all accounts, resources dwindling, questions about the strength of their Leader Caesar are cropping up in the minds of those closest to him. By 2295, the pieces had fallen into place. The fate of these States and the people who uphold them is uncertain. One thing is for sure. Whatever happens, the Wasteland will be changed unlike it has ever been before. ‘I appreciate your respectful and restrained response to my contact. It is a pleasure to interact with the less agitated members of your State.’ Aminta barely heard Mr House, and instead stared out the windows of the Lucky 38. The skyline of the Strip extended seemingly forever, pushing away the surrounding darkness with neon light. Just beyond the city outskirts, the silhouette of Mr House’s newly created Launch Pad. It was one of five, and she could just see the other four, each slightly further away from the city than the last. She scrutinised them, and was struck by the boundless possibilities of such technology; the opportunities provided. How exciting it would be! Mr House’s voice then cracked her thoughts and brought back to the present. She listened, without comment. ‘Roughly 18 hours ago, a team of five extraordinarily skilled individuals ascended Hoover Dam from the base of the structure,’ The ostentatiously large screen in which Mr House’s face sat suddenly changed to show grainy footage. ‘This was captured by one of our cameras on the perimeter of the dam. I apologise for the bad quality, it has been surprisingly difficult obtaining improved camera lenses, and As you can see, they used some kind of Grapnel Launcher and ascended via the rope.’ On the screen, it was possible to just make out five distinct figures at the base of the dam. They were clearly dressed in dark clothing, though the quality was too poor and the camera was too far away to make out any of the fine details of the material. Aminta scrutinised the footage, watching intently as the five figures used an oblong object, reminiscent of a hunting rifle to fire a rope, or cord up the side of the dam; high enough to catch the top. The operator of the device then disconnected it from the gun, and pressed it into the ground. It appeared to stick. They then ascended the rope. The camera feed then cut to show three of the attackers subdue and restrain two security guards. Due to the light, it was clear that the clothing the criminals were wearing was Recon Armor, though there were no insignia or identifiable characteristics. The two men were then held down by two and clubbed across the face by the third member with the butt of a 10mm pistol. He then turned to the computer and retrieved something from his pocket. Then the screen went black. ‘At this point, at roughly 1:27 am a Trojan was fitted onto the system. It temporarily disabled all the security cameras in the sector. It was one of the strongest Trojans I’ve ever come across, but I was able to get the system back up and running within 15 minutes. Unfortunately we cannot recover any footage from the corrupted data files that detail how the robbers escaped. I hope you can understand why I decided to contact you.’ Aminta pondered to herself. Why would Mr House, a man who controlled Rockets and owned and governed an entire city and it’s enterprises, would need to contact the New California Republic for assistance in a robbery? From where they were standing, he appeared to be in a position any high ranking NCR official would kill for. She didn’t say anything. There had to be more to this meeting than what Mr House was implying. She looked to her left, trying to be casual. Sitting next to her with an overexaggerated grave look on his face was Political Officer Neville Dawson, and next to him was Dennis Crocker, former Ambassador to the Strip. They too were quiet, their faces frustratingly hiding what they were thinking. Not sure where to look, Aminta turned back to the screen Mr House’s caricature face was on. She had to say something. ‘Mr House, why exactly do you think these people targeted Hoover Dam? There are many casinos and places full of money on the New Vegas Strip. Is there anything of massive value at Hoover Dam?’ ‘Well Chief Aminta Marr, no, ostensibly speaking, there is nothing there of real value to anyone, unless they have the ability to take and control the Dam and source it’s hydraulic generated electricity,’ ‘Then why would someone do this?’ Aminta said curtly. She tensed up, not meaning to sound dismissive. ‘Well Aminta, they did take one thing from what we've deduced,’ Mr House said, appearing to ignore her tone. ‘And what was that Mr House?’ Neville cut in. He was leaning forward, hands clasped tightly together. He was trying - and failing - to ease the tension in the room. ‘Well, before I contacted you Neville, and to answer your question Aminta, I ran through my storage records from 2285 to the present. I had Mr Harvey Shwarze, my ‘Representative in Government’ review them in paper form in our archives. Three things - completely inconsequential things mind you, were missing. Three Platinum Chips.’ ‘Three Platinum Chips?’ Neville said concertedly, as if he knew exactly what Mr House was talking about. ‘That’s right. It’s a data storage device, well it was a data storage device. Designed by me before the Great War of 2077. Perhaps once upon a time this would’ve been valuable to somebody, but after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam I had access to all kinds of ruined facilities all over the Mojave to reform to working order. I began reprinting hundreds of Platinum Chips which were variations of the original Platinum Chip. They continuously upgrade and encrypt my software to prevent any outside programmers from accessing my highly sensitive data. I have no idea what a group of hooligans would want with three. I can easily replace them, and since they’re only usable on my systems, well they would simply be useless.’ ‘Perhaps they wanted to sell them,’ Aminta proposed. It wasn’t impossible, she thought. People pay top dollar for things with perceived value, isn’t that the cardinal rule of the Strip? ‘To whom?’ Mr House replied. ‘The point still stands. Nobody has any use for them but me.’ ‘Well, perhaps they thought they were valuable.’ Dennis remarked. ‘In any case, they will soon learn they are not valuable.’ ‘If you have no problems with this Mr House,’ Aminta cut in. ‘Why do you need us here? The NCR has its own problems, big problems, and from where we’re standing, you seem to have everything under control.’ ‘That’s precisely the issue!’ Mr House exclaimed. ‘The very fact they managed to steal anything from me at all is deeply disconcerting! I spent days and nights running statistical simulations for all possible scenarios in and formulated the best plans for countering every scenario I came across!’ ‘I guess my point is, I do not understand, in any capacity, why you, YOU of all people would need to call us for assistance in a matter that you - whether intentional or not - have spent the last fives minutes telling us it isn’t an issue.’ The room fell quiet. Aminta pulled her hands back from the table and into her lap, and looked down at them, pretending to be occupied analysing them. She had exposed the true, unspoken meaning of this meeting, and they all knew it. She bit her lip. Dennis wiped the sweat off his face. Neville breathed in deeply, as though he was going to speak. But Mr House did first. ‘As I understand it, the NCR has fallen on hard times since the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. My Lieutenant after the battle was admittedly curt in regards to handling our relations, and since then it seems your economy is really struggling with extremely poor unemployment and satisfaction levels,’ Mr House paused. Neville looked at Aminta with a look of understanding, and regret but he didn’t say anything. Mr House was right. Of course he was right. ‘It just so happens that while it may look from the outset I’m doing well, with the occasional launch of one of my experimental rockets, crime in Greater New Vegas is extraordinarily high. To be clear, the Strip is not, but the extended city state with the newly constructed buildings - those areas are. I want to make a proposition for the mutual benefit of the NCR, and New Vegas. Neville, think carefully about what I’m about to say.’ Neville spoke up. ‘Alright, I’m all ears.’ ‘Dennis Crocker here can once again become the Ambassador to the Strip, and the NCR can once again have an Embassy. I will also give the NCR access to some of my technologies to help your state re-stabilize after everything that’s happened. In return however, I would like Aminta here, who is your Chief and Commander of both your military and normal police forces, to assist my Securitrons in patrolling Outer Vegas. Securitrons don’t make the best police, and security guards are in short supply and are not equipped, in any sense, to be police. I also would like your help in tracking down the culprits of this robbery; that being an extension of the aforementioned policing stipulation. Such a breach of security cannot happen again. Neville Dawson, I’m willing to sign a treaty pertaining to these terms, or any terms the NCR may propose, unless of course it does mutually benefit both states.’ Aminta felt her twang strike her deep in her heart. For years, the NCR Police Force had been absorbed into the Military Police Unit, and they could barely contain black market dealings of Chems and military grade weaponry on the streets of NCR’s cities. They did not have the resources or power Mr House seemed to think they did. For nearly 3 years straight she had been bombarded with evidence of killings by her own subordinates, illegal incarcerations, and illicit behavior between colleagues within her own chain of command, with no power to rehabilitate or prosecute those involved. Meanwhile, those that had the money to escape fled to New Vegas, desperate to find a life of comfort. It was possible that through re-establishing trade and mutual respect with Mr House, they could rebuild the NCR’s respectability on the international and internal level. She found herself hoping the treaty would be signed. ‘This... is a huge proposition. I hope you can understand the overwhelming nature of what you’re telling us, it’ll take a bit for us to come to a conclusion.’ Neville exhaled, as though he had been holding it for the last minute. ‘I understand.’ Mr House responded. ‘Maybe I ask,’ Donnie piped up. ‘What specific kinds of technology will you provide to the NCR?’ Mr House ran down a checklist. ‘Vehicles. Remade pre-war cars. Excavation machines. Cement mixers. Would provide jobs and improve your infrastructure in the process, whilst also giving me business and improving the situation here. Mutually beneficial for both sides.’ ‘I see.’ Aminta struggled to contain her happiness. She had become a police officer to enforce safety and protect those who abide by the law. This was a way back to such operations, in which she could help those in need, rather than sit idly while their situation worsened. ‘I’ll also be willing to give 10% of the electricity produced by Hoover Dam to the NCR. It produces more than I need.’ Mr House offered. Dennis shifted his weight, and opened his mouth. It was a second before anything came out. ‘15% would be great, if possible.’ ‘Done.’ Mr House concluded. ‘Well, we’ll definitely have to confer this back to President Watson. As previously said by Mr Dawson, this is a huge offer.’ ‘I understand. Aminta, I can only hope you also support this.’ Aminta smiled. ‘I am willing to establish a NCR Police Force here in New Vegas, and assist in establishing prosperity and stability, for the benefit of both states.’ ‘Excellent. I’ll arrange for a Taxi to take you back to the border.’ ***** Nobody said a word in the ride in the elevator down to the entrance of the Lucky 38. There was a perpetual sense of being watched, and listened to, and Aminta supposed they probably were. She sensed from the stiffness of Donnie and Neville’s postures they felt the same way. As the three left through the ground level of the building, the desolate casino indicated a time long past, preserved in pristine condition yet uncannily lifeless; inhabited only by robots. Aminta felt a shiver flow throughout her body, prompting her to hurry outside. Upon exiting, Aminta was greeted by the fantastic lighting she had seen from the Lucky 38. Buildings stretched high into the now night sky, perpetually lit up and calling for you to spend a few short hours in their luxurious suites and lose all the money you have without knowing it. She had visited the Strip a couple of times before the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. Back then, whilst still grand, its exterior walls felt cobbled-together, layered pieces of steel to preserve what glory the pre-war days had. Now, the Strip felt open, almost a complete return to complete pre-war glory, though there was no way of her knowing what such a time looked like. Polished, beetle like cars with extravagant interwoven pieces of silver and gold making up their hubcaps cluttered the road, filled with nicely dressed young women chattering incessantly. Boys, ranging from teenagers to old men stumbled around, drunk and happy, their legs falling beneath them as though they were wet noodles. To the left, the Ultra Luxe Casino hotel stood at the far end of the street, intoxicatingly ostentatious and alluring for any hoping to climb the social ladder, despite the many rumors of cannibalism attempting to tarnish the brand. The fountain outside the front sprayed sparkling water into the night air which caught the light of the strip and reflected it like the jewels the building it was in front of was embroidered in. However, Aminta was not taken by the hotel, and watched two NCR troopers, still in their military uniforms be forced to dance in front of a crowd of onlookers. They were pushed and shoved as they struggled to dance, their arms and legs barely keeping to any rhythm as they fell to the ground, vomiting a putrid yellow substance onto the asphalt. She looked away in disgust and embarrassment for the two men. A man in an expensive looking suit and bowtie greeted the three. Behind him stood a long polished black car. ‘Shall I take you to the crossing point?’ ‘Yes.’ Donnie answered. Aminta and Neville followed his lead. He had more experience on the Strip than the majority of the tourists around them. She started the car once they were all inside, the engine barely kicking as it began to drive. Aminta marvelled at its power, it’s sleekness, at the strength and confidence of its movement and the luxury of it’s exotic wood plated interior. The chauffeur drove to the large South Gate of the Strip, passing multitudinous buildings of similar grandeur and spectacle, all the same though uniquely different, until they all blurred into one mix of different colours and moving forms. The chauffeur leaned out of the side window, showed an identification pass to a Securitron, and the gate opened. Aminta’s car was the only car that left. As the gate closed, the car picked up speed and tore through the rest of Vegas. Immediately outside the Strip, the buildings were noticeably more dilapidated. Aminta watched as the varied prosperity of the Strip curtailed rapidly into a mess of buildings, barely recognisable as residential or industrial, though they were unmistakably new creations. She almost didn’t notice it at first, but they were all the same. Row after row of buildings with the same geometric exterior, though placed at odd angles to each other, as if a child had been playing with them and haphazardly threw them into where they now stood. As the car moved further and further away from the Strip, lights in these buildings became scarce, and the brickwork became exposed to reveal pipelines and shreds of electrical appliances, some still spitting sparks. When the light of the Strip was nothing more than a flicker of light on the night horizon, the copied buildings were replaced with houses, roofs sagging, walls crumbling. As the car zipped passed, Aminta caught wisps of figures; people moving about the ruins and the darkness like ghosts, until they passed the last house, and all that could be seen was the night sky and desert shrubbery.
I've dreamt in/on the same imaginary island group for 21+ years
This is my first reddit post, but I think I've finally found the right place to share my experiences. ALSO I know reddit loves to call 'false' on anything long and well written, but this is so long and SO detailed because I've literally been seeing/living these places and events every night for about 2/3 of my life. This is absolutely a true, though incredible, account. The way I dream is a subject that has baffled me since around the age of 12 when it became what it has been since then. I've asked lots of different people through the years if they have ever known anyone else who has experienced what I have, and nothing. I figured maybe this would be the right place to find someone with a similar experience, and if nothing else, I know y'all will at least appreciate the story. So when I was somewhere around 12, I started noticing that I was going back to the same large city in my dreams every night. I knew it was the same place because there were a few key structures that were HUGE and featured at least somewhere in the landscape of my dreams. One of these was a crazy, massive tangle of impossibly high/swooping highway over and underpasses and upside-down loops that was TERRIFYING to navigate, but essential to use to get from one area of the map to the other. The second and third key structures were what helped me discover that I was actually on a small series of islands. They were a long swooping bridge that almost touched the water below with bright lights all along it on both sides, and the tall, champagne glass shaped island that was on the other side of the bridge. The top of the smaller island was flush with the cliff edge where the bridge attached to the main island, so the bridge was basically a giant U that went straight down and then straight back up. The little island was entirely crowded with skyscrapers with the tallest being a kind of caricature of the Space Needle. I dreamt in this extended city stretched between a small island and the coast of a bigger one for some years, I started to get to see areas of farmland and dense forest further inland on the big island. I should say at this point, I'm never in control of where I am going or what I am doing. That is to say, I can't lucid dream. I've tried many times in my life and I just can't quite get it. Just wanted to say that so I don't have to get a bunch of questions about it. I wish I could lucid dream so bad guys, believe me, I've tried lol. SO... it's hard to really remember exactly when the first big shift happened. I wanna say it was around 18-19. Suddenly my dreams were filled with devastating natural disasters. Floods were common, but not as common as these huge swirling storms of tornadoes. There would be hundreds of CRAZY tall tornadoes touching the ground all around as far as the eye could see all swirling around each other destroying everything in sight. At one point in this time period there was a flood happening and I was helping someone escape from this super tall round tower prison that was just off the coast, but away from the small city island. It had one long walkway to get to the tower and was surrounded by rough water. It went on like this for awhile, and then I was suddenly dreaming in an area of thick almost rainforest with a wide river running through it. I spent another few years exploring this 'new' area. The river ended up getting narrower and turned into a rapids further downstream. It led to a waterfall and along that edge of the forest (turned out) was also the far edge of the farmland that I recognized from my old dreamscape. There was a long highway that I had never been to the end of in my old dreamscape, but the end of it was here on the opposite coast of the island. It went over the same steep ledge that the waterfall was part of, but there were now these big... air buses?? that carried people over the edge and floated them down into the big city on the beach that was on this side of the island. Around the time of finding this new city and the road and realizing that I never left the original island, I had a series of dreams where I went back with a group to the 'old city' and the tops of all the highway loops were gone, the bridge was broken on the side that had attached to the smaller island and was in the water so I couldn't even get to the smaller island anymore. There was overgrowth everywhere and everything street level looked like it had been through disaster after disaster. It was surreal. I now dream mostly in that big beach city and the surrounding poorer areas. The 'big city' is actually made up of like 6 or 7 mind-bendingly big like, SUPER buildings. Each is essentially it's own small enclosed city under the name of a giant casino chain. But they each have their own casino, hotel, mall, golf course, airport, amusement park, amphitheatre, literally like everything, but on a massive scale. The areas just off the beach are more like lots of small rundown houses, warehouses, less noise but also less color. There have been some floods and fires recently and I have moved a little further inland and uphill and have now been in a kind of grand victorian ish area that I hadn't seen until now. I've been going back to the beach city too, but I haven't really been in the slums in awhile, just this new hoity-toity place where everything feels too expensive for me and my giant casino town. Also I did have a very short series of dreams (3 maybe 4 nights) where we (I was with a team) launched from the beach city in a ship that I can only describe as a thick soap bubble held in with a very thin metal frame and adventured through space. We visited another planet that had very Dr. Seuss vegetation and coloring, which I feel like was the main mission, and then had some sort of issue that caused us to be way off of where we were supposed to be and almost didn't make it home. I can still see the surface of that planet like I actually walked on it. Oh! And I've also learned how to fly the air buses, which is really fun. Does ANYONE have a similar, I don't know, second dream life I guess? It's the fact that the things that happen to my dream world when I'm dreaming STAY that way permanently that seems to be the thing that makes my experience unique. At least according to anyone I've talked to about it. Can anyone offer any insight?
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American. I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses. Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California. I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it .... After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out. Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house? I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo). Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting. Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms. Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side. My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door. This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs. You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less. Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost. > I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes. > I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood. > If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable > Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare. > I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit. Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American. I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses. Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California. I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it .... After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out. Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house? I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo). Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting. Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms. Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side. My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door. This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs. You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less. Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost. > I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes. > I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood. > If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZxskJojRLY > Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c07aIV-ddR0 Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare. > I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit. Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
What is SINT? Well, SINTx Technologies has a wide variety of products; "Biomedical Field: Wound dressings, knees, hips, and spine. We are the only FDA registered and ISO 13485:2016 certified silicon nitride medical device manufacturing facility in the world. Aerospace: High-quality, advanced turbine engine components. Defense: Missile components such as radomes and fins. Transportation: In the transportation space such as advanced turbocharger rotors." now on top of this, SINTx has a huge footprint in the COVID sector as well.. back on June 20.. they released some pretty incredible news. - "today announced that in a controlled laboratory study, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was inactivated when exposed to SINTX’s sintered silicon nitride powder." this however was just the start.. 4 days later, SINT released updates regarding the previous PR. "today announced positive testing results demonstrating the anti-viral properties of its silicon nitride which may be useful in the reduction of the spread of COVID-19. The study results demonstrated that SINTX’s unique grade of silicon nitride inactivates the SARS-CoV-2 virus within a minute after exposure, and has the potential to decrease the risk of viral disease spread on surfaces. Studies have shown that coronavirus spreads between humans when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Also, the virus can remain active on a variety of commonly touched surfaces for hours to days. SINTX believes that by incorporating its unique composition of silicon nitride into products such as face masks, and personal protective equipment, it is possible to manufacture surfaces that inactivate viral particles, thereby limiting the spread of the disease. SINTX envisions incorporating its silicon nitride into high-contact surfaces such as medical equipment, screens, countertops, and doorknobs in locations where viral persistence is a concern, such as homes, casinos, and cruise ships." Now this is where things get interesting. SINT is working toward incorporating its silicon nitride into face masks, PPE, medical equipment, countertops, and doorknobs in places such as homes, casinos, cruise ships and more.. this is great news as it can aid in not only re-opening the country, but VASTLY reducing the number of COVID cases due to virus inactivation within minutes..examples, go out to eat.. waitress then uses SINTx silicon nitride and within a minute the table is ready for the next patron with zero risk of covid exposure.. same goes for hotels, cruise ships, schools, etc. "We believe that incorporating our material into a variety of commonly-touched surfaces will discourage viral spread, and contribute to global health by reducing the risk of disease." Everything then began falling into place in August. "O2TODAY Announces Agreement to Develop Antimicrobial Face Masks with SINTX Technologies, Inc. to Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19 and Other Viral Diseases" "we aim to make effective masks more readily available within the US to help reduce the spread of virus transmission, and other airborne threats. The collaboration with SINTX is intended to develop and bring to market a much-needed product in the fight against COVID-19.” - "The company’s products are distributed through airport and travel retailers, direct-to-consumer, and enterprise, and medical channels." - "O2TODAY has established a new production facility in Salt Lake City, close to SINTX’s manufacturing plant, to produce a range of products including surgical and N95 health care respirator masks as well as replacement filters for its line of reusable face masks." - "O2TODAY anticipates being able to produce up to 100,000 single-use masks or filters daily beginning September 1, 2020, with the ability to rapidly scale to meet growing demand." Tomorrow, August 19 at 3:00 PM EST, SINT is holding a conference call to provide business updates. Expectating new partnership/contract news as well as updates on the partnership with O2TODAY. To listen in, Toll-free 877-524-8416 International 412-902-1028. Low float, traded at $2.77 in premarket Tuesday..setup looks primed for a breakout. support at $2.40, resistance at $2.57, keybreak at $2.66 for the gap up.
Angélica Gorodischer - Three Stories [Translated by Lorraine Elena Roses and Marian Womack]
The Resurrection of the Flesh [Tr by Roses]
These first two tales published in Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women Writers of Argentina and Chile, edited by Marjorie Agosin (White Pine Press, 1992):
She was thirty-two, her name was Aurelia, and she had been married eleven years. One Saturday afternoon, she looked through the kitchen window at the garden and saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Men of the world, those four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And good-looking. The first from the left was riding a sorrel horse with a dark mane. He was wearing white breeches, black boots, a crimson jacket, and a yellow fez with black pompoms. The second one had a sleeveless tunic overlaid with gold and violet and was barefoot. He was riding on the back of a plump dolphin. The third one had a respectable, black beard, trimmed at right angles. He had donned a gray Prince of Wales suit, white shirt, blue tie and carried a black leather portfolio. He was seated on a folding chair belted to the back of white-haired dromedary. The fourth one made Aurelia smile and realize that they were smiling at her. He was riding a black and gold Harley-Davidson 1200 and was wearing a white helmet and dark goggles and had long, straight, blond hair flying in the wind behind him. The four were riding in the garden without moving from the spot. They rode and smiled at her and she watched them through the kitchen window. In that manner, she finished washing the two teacups, took off her apron, arranged her hair and went to the living room. "I saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden," she told her husband. "I'll bet," he said without raising his eyes from his paper. "What are you reading?" Aurelia asked. "Hmmm?" "I said they were given a crown and a sword and a balance and power." "Oh, right," said her husband. And after that a week went by as all weeks do--very slowly at first and very quickly toward the end--and on Sunday morning, while she made the coffee, she again saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden, but when she went back to the bedroom she didn't say anything to her husband. The third time she saw them, one Wednesday, alone, in the afternoon, she stood looking at them for a half hour and finally, since she had always wanted to fly in a yellow and red dirigible; and since she had dreamed about being an opera singer, an emperor's lover, a co-pilot to Icarus; since she would have liked to scale black cliffs, laugh at cannibals, traverse the jungles on elephants with purple trappings, seize with her hands the diamonds that lay hidden in mines, preside in the nude over a parade of nocturnal monsters, live under water, domesticate spiders, torture the powerful of the earth, rob trains in the tunnels of the Alps, set palaces on fire, lie in the dark with beggars, climb on the bridges of all the ships in the world; finally--since it was sadly sterile to be a rational and healthy adult--finally, that Wednesday afternoon alone, she put on the long dress she had worn at the last New Year's party given by the company where her husband was assistant sales manager and went out to the garden. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse called her, the blond one on the Harley-Davidson gave her his hand and helped her up onto the seat behind him, and there they went, all five, raging into the storm and singing. Two days later her husband gave in to family pressure and reported the disappearance of his wife. "Moral: madness is a flower aflame," said the narrator. Or in other words, it's impossible to inflame the dead, cold, viscous, useless, and sinful ashes of common sense.
The Perfect Married Woman
If you meet her on the street, cross quickly to the other side and quicken your pace. She’s a dangerous lady. She’s about forty or forty-five, has one married daughter and a son working in San Nicolas; her husband’s a sheet-metal worker. She rises very early, sweeps the sidewalk, sees her husband off, cleans, does the wash, shops, cooks. After lunch she watches television, sews or knits, irons twice a week, and at night goes to bed late. On Saturdays she does a general cleaning and washes windows and waxes the floors. On Sunday mornings she washes the clothes her son brings home—his name is Nestor Eduardo—she kneads dough for noodles or ravioli, and in the afternoon either her sister-inlaw comes to visit or she goes to her daughter’s house. It’s been a long time since she’s been to the movies, but she reads TV Guide and the police report in the newspaper. Her eyes are dark and her hands are rough and her hair is starting to go gray. She catches cold frequently and keeps a photo album in a dresser drawer along with a black crepe dress with lace collar and cuffs. Her mother never hit her. But when she was six, she got a spanking for coloring on a door, and she had to wash it off with a wet rag. While she was doing it, she thought about doors, all doors, and decided that they were very dumb because they always led to the same places. And the one she was cleaning was definitely the dumbest of all, the one that led to her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door and then it didn’t go to her parents’ bedroom but to the Gobi desert. She wasn’t surprised that she knew it was the Gobi desert even though they hadn’t even taught her in school where Mongolia was and neither she nor her mother nor her grandmother had ever heard of Nan Shan or Khangai Nuru. She stepped through the door, bent over to scratch the yellowish grit and saw that there was no one, nothing, and the hot wind tousled her hair, so she went back through the open door, closed it and kept on cleaning. And when she finished, her mother grumbled a little more and told her to wash the rag and take the broom to sweep up that sand and clean her shoes. That day she modified her hasty judgment about doors, though not completely, at least not until she understood what was going on. What had been going on all her life and up until today was that from time to time doors behaved satisfactorily, though in general they were still acting dumb and leading to dining rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms and offices even in the best of circumstances. But two months after the desert, for example, the door that every day led to the bath opened onto the workshop of a bearded man dressed in a long uniform, pointed shoes, and a cap that tilted on one side of his head. The old man’s back was turned as he took something out of a highboy with many small drawers behind a very strange, large wooden machine with a giant steering wheel and screw, in the midst of cold air and an acrid smell. When he turned around and saw her he began to shout at her in a language she didn’t understand. She stuck out her tongue, dashed out the door, closed it, opened it again, went into the bathroom and washed her hands for lunch. Again, after lunch, many years later, she opened the door of her room and walked into a battlefield. She dipped her hands in the blood of the wounded and dead and pulled from the neck of a cadaver a crucifix that she wore for a long time under high-necked blouses or dresses without plunging necklines. She now keeps it in a tin box underneath the nightgowns with a brooch, a pair of earrings and a broken wristwatch that used to belong to her mother-in-law. In the same way, involuntarily and by chance, she visited three monasteries, seven libraries, and the highest mountains in the world, and who knows how many theaters, cathedrals, jungles, refrigeration plants, dens of vice, universities, brothels, forests, stores, submarines, hotels, trenches, islands, factories, palaces, hovels, towers and hell. She’s lost count and doesn’t care; any door could lead anywhere and that has the same value as the thickness of the ravioli dough, her mother’s death, and the life crises that she sees on TV and reads about in TV Guide. Not long ago she took her daughter to the doctor, and seeing the closed door of a bathroom in the clinic, she smiled. She wasn’t sure because she can never be sure, but she got up and went to the bathroom. However, it was a bathroom; at least there was a nude man in a bathtub full of water. It was all very large, with a high ceiling, marble floor and decorations hanging from the closed windows. The man seemed to be asleep in his white bathtub, short but deep, and she saw a razor on a wrought iron table with feet decorated with iron flowers and leaves and ending in lion’s paws, a razor, a mirror, a curling iron, towels, a box of talcum powder and an earthen bowl with water. She approached on tiptoe, retrieved the razor, tiptoed over to the sleeping man in the tub and beheaded him. She threw the razor on the floor and rinsed her hands in the lukewarm bathtub water. She turned around when she reached the clinic corridor and spied a girl going into the bathroom through the other door. Her daughter looked at her. “That was quick.” “The toilet was broken,” she answered. A few days afterward, she beheaded another man in a blue tent at night. That man and a woman were sleeping mostly uncovered by the blankets of a low, king-size bed, and the wind beat around the tent and slanted the flames of the oil lamps. Beyond it there would be another camp, soldiers, animals, sweat, manure, orders and weapons. But inside there was a sword by the leather and metal uniforms, and with it she cut off the head of the bearded man. The woman stirred and opened her eyes as she went out the door on her way back to the patio that she had been mopping. On Monday and Thursday afternoons, when she irons shirt collars, she thinks of the slit necks and the blood, and she waits. If it’s summer she goes out to sweep a little after putting away the clothing and until her husband arrives. If it’s windy she sits in the kitchen and knits. But she doesn’t always find sleeping men or staring cadavers. One rainy morning, when she was twenty, she was at a prison, and she made fun of the chained prisoners; one night when the kids were kids and were all living at home, she saw in a square a disheveled woman looking at a gun but not daring to take it out of her open purse. She walked up to her, put the gun in the woman’s hand and stayed there until a car parked at the corner, until the woman saw a man in gray get out and look for his keys in his pocket, until the woman aimed and fired. And another night while she was doing her sixth grade geography homework, she went to look for crayons in her room and stood next to a man who was crying on a balcony. The balcony was so high, so far above the street, that she had an urge to push him to hear the thud down below, but she remembered the orographic map of South America and was about to leave. Anyhow, since the man hadn’t seen her, she did push him and saw him disappear and ran to color in the map so she didn’t hear the thud, only the scream. And in an empty theater, she made a fire underneath the velvet curtain; in a riot she opened the cover to a basement hatchway; in a house, sitting on top of a desk, she shredded a two-thousand-page manuscript; in a clearing of a forest she buried the weapons of the sleeping men; in a river she opened the floodgates of a dike. Her daughter’s name is Laura Inés, her son has a fiancée in San Nicolás and he’s promised to bring her over on Sunday so she and her husband can meet her. She has to remind herself to ask her sister-in-law for the recipe for orange cake, and Friday on TV is the first episode of a new soap opera. Again, she runs the iron over the front of the shirt and remembers the other side of the doors that are always carefully closed in her house, that other side where the things that happen are much less abominable than the ones we experience on this side, as you can easily understand.
The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets [Tr by Womack]
Translated for the first time in Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016):
The news spread fast. It would be correct to say that the news moved like a flaming trail of gunpowder, if it weren't for the fact that at this point in our civilization gunpowder was archaeology, ashes in time, the stuff of legend, nothingness. However, it was because of the magic of our new civilization that the news was known all over the world, practically instantaneously. "Oooh!" the tsarina said. You have to take into account that Her Gracious and Most Illustrious Virgin Majesty Ekaterina V, Empress of Holy Russia, had been carefully educated in the proper decorum befitting the throne, which meant that she would never have even raised an eyebrow or curved the corner of her lip, far less would she have made an interjection of that rude and vulgar kind. But not only did she say "Oooh!," she also got up and walked through the room until she reached the glass doors of the great balcony. She stopped there. Down below, covered by snow, Saint Leninburg was indifferent and unchanged, the city's eyes squinting under the weight of winter. At the palace, ministers and advisers were excited, on edge. "And where is this place?" the tsarina asked. And that is what happened in Russia, which is such a distant and atypical country. In the central states of the continent, there was real commotion. In Bolivia, in Paraguay, in Madagascar, in all the great powers, and in the countries that aspired to be great powers, such as High Peru, Iceland, or Morocco, hasty conversations took place at the highest possible level with knitted brows and hired experts. The strongest currencies became unstable: the guarani rose, the Bolivian peso went down half a point, the crown was discreetly removed from the exchange rates for two long hours, long queues formed in front of the exchanges in front of all the great capitals of the world. President Morillo spoke from the Oruro Palace and used the opportunity to make a concealed warning (some would call it a threat) to the two Peruvian republics and the Minas Gerais secessionist area. Morillo had handed over the presidency of Minas to his nephew, Pepe Morillo, who had proved to be a wet blanket whom everybody could manipulate, and now Morillo bitterly regretted his decision. Morocco and Iceland did little more than give their diplomats a gentle nudge in the ribs, anything to shake them into action, as they imagined them all to be sipping grenadine and mango juice in the deep south while servants in shiny black uniforms stood over them with fans. The picturesque note came from the Independent States of North America. It could not have been otherwise. Nobody knew that all the states were now once again under the control of a single president, but that's how it was: some guy called Jack Jackson-Franklin, who had been a bit-part actor in videos, and who, aged eighty-seven, had discovered his extremely patriotic vocation of statesman. Aided by his singular and inexplicable charisma, and by his suspect family tree, according to which he was the descendent of two presidents who had ruled over the states during their glory days, he had managed to unify, at least for now, the seventy-nine northern states. Anyway, Mr. Jackson-Franklin said to the world that the Independent States would not permit such a thing to take place. No more, just that they would not permit such a thing to take place. The world laughed uproariously at this. Over there, in the Saint Leninburg palace, ministers cleared their throats, advisers swallowed saliva, trying to find out if, by bobbing their Adam's apples up and down enough, they might be able to loosen their stiff official shirts. "Ahem. Ahem. It's in the south. A long way to the south. In the west, Your Majesty." "It is. Humph. Ahem. It is, Your Majesty, a tiny country in a tiny territory." "It says that it is in Argentina," the tsarina said, still staring through the window but without paying any attention to the night as it fell over the snow-covered roofs and the frozen shores of the Baltic. "Ah, yes, that's right, that's right, Your Majesty, a pocket republic." Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov, some kind of councilor and, what is more, an educated and sensible man, broke into the conversation. "Several, Your Majesty, it is several." And at last the tsarina turned around. Who cared a fig for the Baltic night, the snow-covered rooftops, the roofs themselves, and the city of which they were a part? Heavy silk crackled, starched petticoats, lace. "Several of what, Councilor Kustkarov, several of what? Don't come to me with your ambiguities." "I must say, Your Majesty, I had not the slightest intention--" "Several of what?" The tsarina looked directly at him, her lips held tightly together, her hands moving unceasingly, and Kustkarov panicked, as well he might. "Rep-rep-republics, Your Majesty," he blurted out. "Several of them. Apparently, a long time ago, a very long time, it used to be a single territory, and now it is several, several republics, but their inhabitants, the people who live in all of them, all of the republics, are called, they call themselves, the people, that is, Argentinians." The tsarina turned her gaze away. Kustkarov felt so relieved that he was encouraged to carry on speaking: "There are seven of them, Your Majesty: Rosario, Entre dos Rios, Ladocta, Ona, Riachuelo, Yujujuy, and Labodegga." The tsarina sat down. "We must do something," she said. Silence. Outside it was not snowing, but inside it appeared to be. The tsarina looked at the transport minister. "This enters into your portfolio," she said. Kustkarov sat down, magnificently. How lucky he was to be a councilor, a councilor with no specific duties. The transport minister, on the other hand, turned pale. "I think, Your Majesty...," he dared to say. "Don't think! Do something!" "Yes, Your Majesty," the minister said, and, bowing, started to make his way to the door. "Where do you think you're going?" the tsarina said, without moving her mouth or twitching an eyelid. "I'm just, I'm going, I'm just going to see what can be done, Your Majesty." There's nothing that can be done, Sergei Vasilievich thought in delight, nothing. He realized that he was not upset, but instead he felt happy. And on top of everything else a woman, he thought. Kustkarov was married to Irina Waldoska-Urtiansk, a real beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Holy Russia. Perhaps he was being cuckolded; it would have been all too easy for him to find that out, but he did not want to. His thoughts turned in a circle: and on top of everything else a woman. He looked at the tsarina and was struck, not for the first time, by her beauty. She was not so beautiful as Irina, but she was magnificent. In Rosario it was not snowing, not because it was summer, although it was, but because it never snowed in Rosario. And there weren't any palm trees: the Moroccans would have been extremely disappointed had they known, but their diplomats said nothing about the Rosario flora in their reports, partly because the flora of Rosario was now practically nonexistent, and partly because diplomats are supposed to be above that kind of thing. Everyone who was not a diplomat, that is to say, everyone, the population of the entire republic that in the last ten years had multiplied vertiginously and had now reached almost two hundred thousand souls, was euphoric, happy, triumphant. They surrounded her house, watched over her as she slept, left expensive imported fruits outside her door, followed her down the street. Some potentate allowed her the use of a Ford 99, which was one of the five cars in the whole country, and a madman who lived in the Espinillos cemetery hauled water all the way up from the Pará lagoon and grew a flower for her which he then gave her. "How nice," she said, then went on, dreamily, "Will there be flowers where I'm going?" They assured her that there would be. She trained every day. As they did not know exactly what it was she had to do to train herself, she got up at dawn, ran around the Independence crater, skipped, did some gymnastic exercises, ate little, learned how to hold her breath, and spent hours and hours sitting or curled into strange positions. She also danced the waltz. She was almost positive that the waltz was not likely to come in handy, but she enjoyed it very much. Meanwhile, farther away, the trail of gunpowder had become a barrel of dynamite, although dynamite was also a legendary substance and didn't exist. The infoscreens in every country, whether poor or rich, central or peripheral, developed or not, blazed forth with extremely large headlines suggesting dates, inventing biographical details, trying to hide, without much success, their envy and confusion. No one was fooled: "We have been wretchedly beaten," the citizens of Bolivia said. "Who would have thought it," pondered the man on the Reykjavík omnibus. The former transport minister of Holy Russia was off breaking stones in Siberia. Councilor Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov was sleeping with the tsarina, but that was only a piece of low, yet spicy, gossip that has nothing to do with this story. "We will not allow this to happen!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin blustered, tugging nervously at his hairpiece. "It is our own glorious history that has set aside for us this brilliant destiny! It is we, we and not this despicable banana republic, who are marked for this glory!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin also did not know that there were no palm trees or bananas in Rosario, but this was due not to a lack of reports from his diplomats but rather a lack of diplomats. Diplomats are a luxury that a poor country cannot afford, and so poor countries often go to great pains to take offense and recall all the knights commanders and lawyers and doctors and even eventually the generals working overseas, in order to save money on rent and electricity and gas and salaries, not to mention the cost of the banquets and all the money in brown paper envelopes. But the headlines kept on appearing on the infoscreens: "Argentinian Astronaut Claims She Will Reach Edge of Universe," "Sources Claim Ship Is Spaceworthy in Spite of or Because of Centuries-Long Interment," "Science or Catastrophe?," "Astronaut Not a Woman but a Transsexual" (this in the Imperialskaya Gazeta, the most puritan of the infoscreens, even more so than the Papal Piccolo Osservatore Lombardo), "Ship Launches," "First Intergalactic Journey in Centuries," "We Will Not Allow This to Happen!" (Portland Times). She was dancing the waltz. She woke up with her heart thumping, tried out various practical hairstyles, ran, skipped, drank only filtered water, ate only olives, avoided spies and journalists, went to see the ship every day, just to touch it. The mechanics all adored her. "It'll work, they'll see, it'll work," the chief engineer said defiantly. Nobody contradicted him. No one dared say that it wouldn't. It would make it, of course it would make it. Not without going through many incredible adventures on its lengthy journey. Lengthy? No one knew who Langevin was anymore, so no one was shocked to discover that his theory contradicted itself, ended up biting its own tail, and that however long the journey took, the observers would only perceive it as having lasted minutes. Someone called Cervantes, a very famous personage back in the early years of human civilization--it was still debated whether he had been a physicist, a poet, or a musician--had suggested a similar theory in one of his lost works. One autumn dawn the ship took off from the Independence crater, the most deserted part of the whole desert republic of Rosario, at five forty-five in the morning. The exact time is recorded because the inhabitants of the country had all pitched in together to buy a clock, which they thought the occasion deserved (there was one other clock, in the Enclosed Convent of the Servants of Santa Rita de Casino, but because the convent was home to an enclosed order nothing ever went in or out of it, no news, no requests, no answers, no nothing). Unfortunately, they had not had enough money. But then someone had had the brilliant idea which had brought in the money they needed, and Rosario had hired out its army for parades in friendly countries: there weren't that many of them and the ones there were weren't very rich, but they managed to get the cash together. Anyone who was inspired by patriotism and by the proximity of glory had to see those dashing officers, those disciplined soldiers dressed in gold and crimson, protected by shining breastplates, capped off with plumed helmets, their catapults and pouches of stones at their waists, goose-stepping through the capital of Entre Dos Rios or the Padrone Giol vineyards in Labodegga, at the foot of the majestic Andes. The ship blasted off. It got lost against the sky. Before the inhabitants of Rosario, their hearts in their throats and their eyes clouded by emotion, had time to catch their breath, a little dot appeared up there, getting bigger and bigger, and it was the ship coming back down. It landed at 06:11 on the same morning of that same autumn day. The clock that recorded this is preserved in the Rosario Historical Museum. It no longer works, but anyone can go and see it in its display cabinet in Room A of the Museum. In Room B, in another display case, is the so-called Carballensis Indentic Axe, the fatal tool that cut down all the vegetation of Rosario and turned the whole country into a featureless plain. Good and evil, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Twenty-six minutes on Earth, many years on board the ship. Obviously, she did not have a watch or a calendar with her: the republic of Rosario would not have been able to afford either of them. But it was many years, she knew that much. Leaving the galaxy was a piece of cake. You can do it in a couple of jumps, everyone knows that, following the instructions that Albert Einsteinstein, the multifaceted violin virtuoso, director of sci-fi movies, and student of space-time, gave us a few hundred years back. But the ship did not set sail to the very center of the universe, as its predecessors had done in the great era of colonization and discovery; no, the ship went right to the edge of the universe. Everyone also knows that there is nothing in the universe, not even the universe itself, which does not grow weaker as you reach its edge. From pancakes to arteries, via love, rubbers, photographs, revenge, bridal gowns, and power. Everything tends to imperceptible changes at the beginning, rapid change afterward; everything at the edge is softer and more blurred, as the threads start to fray from the center to the outskirts. In the time it took her to take a couple of breaths, a breath and a half, over the course of many years, she passed through habitable and uninhabitable places, worlds which had once been classified as existent, worlds which did not appear and had never appeared and probably would never appear in any cartographical survey. Planets of exiles, singing sands, minutes and seconds in tatters, whirlpools of nothingness, space junk, and that's without even mentioning those beings and things, all of which stood completely outside any possibility of description, so much so that we tend not to perceive them when we look at them; all of this, and shock, and fear more than anything else, and loneliness. The hair grew gray at her temples, her flesh lost its firmness, wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her mouth, her knees and ankles started to act up, she slept less than before and had to half close her eyes and lean backward in order to make out the numbers on the consoles. And she was so tired that it was almost unbearable. She did not waltz any longer: she put an old tape into an old machine and listened and moved her gray head in time with the orchestra. She reached the edge of the universe. Here was where everything came to an end, so completely that even her tiredness disappeared and she felt once again as full of enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. There were hints, of course: salt storms, apparitions, little brushstrokes of white against the black of space, large gaps made of sound, echoes of long-dead voices that had died giving sinister orders, ash, drums; but when she reached the edge itself, these indications gave way to space signage: "End," "You Are Reaching the Universe Limits," "The Cosmos General Insurance Company, YOUR Company, Says: GO NO FURTHER," "End of Protected Cosmonaut Space," etc., as well as the scarlet polygon that the OMUU had adopted to use as a sign for that's it, abandon all hope, the end. All right, so she was here. The next thing to do was go back. But the idea of going back never occurred to her. Women are capricious creatures, just like little boys: as soon as they get what they want, then they want something else. She carried on. There was a violent judder as she crossed the limit. Then there was silence, peace, calm. All very alarming, to tell the truth. The needles did not move, the lights did not flash, the ventilation system did not hiss, her alveoli did not vibrate, her chair did not swivel, the screens were blank. She got up, went to the portholes, looked out, saw nothing. It was logical enough: "Of course," she said to herself, "when the universe comes to an end, then there's nothing." She looked out through the portholes a little more, just in case. She still could see nothing, but she had an idea. "But I'm here," she said. "Me and the ship." She put on a space suit and walked out into the nothing. When the ship landed in the Independence crater in the republic of Rosario, twenty-six minutes after it had taken off, when the hatch opened and she appeared on the ramp, the spirit of Paul Langevin flew over the crater, laughing fit to burst. The only people who heard him were the madman who had grown the flower for her in the Espinillos cemetery and a woman who was to die that day. No one else had ears or fingers or tongue or feet, far less did they have eyes to see him. It was the same woman who had left, the very same, and this calmed the crowds down at the same time as it disappointed them, all the inhabitants of the country, the diplomats, the spies, and the journalists. It was only when she came down the gangplank and they came closer to her that they saw the network of fine wrinkles around her eyes. All other signs of her old age had vanished, and had she wished, she could have waltzed tirelessly, for days and nights on end, from dusk till dawn till dusk. The journalists all leaned forward; the diplomats made signals, which they thought were subtle and unseen, to the bearers of their sedan chairs to be ready to take them back to their residences as soon as they had heard what she had to say; the spies took photographs with the little cameras hidden away in their shirt buttons or their wisdom teeth; all the old people put their hands together; the men raised their fists to their heart; the little boys pranced; the young girls smiled. And then she told them what she had seen: "I took off my suit and my helmet," she said, "and walked along the invisible avenues that smelled of violets." She did not know that the whole world was waiting to hear what she said; that Ekaterina V had made Sergei Vasilievich get up at five o'clock in the morning so that he could accompany her to the grand salon and wait there for the news; that one of the seventy-nine Northern States had declared its independence because the president had not stopped anything from happening or obtained any glory, and this had lit the spark of rebellion in the other seventy-eight states, and this had made Mr. Jackson-Franklin leave the White House without his wig, in pajamas, freezing and furious; that Bolivia, Paraguay, and Iceland had allowed the two Peruvian republics to join their new alliance and defense treaty set up against a possible attack from space; that the high command of the Paraguayan aeronautical engineers had promised to build a ship that could travel beyond the limits of the universe, always assuming that they could be granted legal immunity and a higher budget, a declaration that made the guarani fall back the two points that it had recently risen and then another one as well; that Don Schicchino Giol, the new padrone of the Republic of Labodegga at the foot of the majestic Andes had been woken from his most recent drinking bout to be told that he had now to sign a declaration of war against the Republic of Rosario, now that they knew the strength of the enemy's forces. "Eh? What? Hunh?" Don Schicchino said. "I saw the nothingness of everything," she said, "and it was all infused with the unmistakable smell of wood violets. The nothingness of the world is like the inside of a stomach throbbing above your head. The nothingness of people is like the back of a painting, black, with glasses and wires that release dreams of order and imperfect destinies. The nothingness of creatures with leathery wings is a crack in the air and the rustle of tiny feet. The nothingness of history is the massacre of the innocents. The nothingness of words, which is a throat and a hand that break whatever they touch on perforated paper; the nothingness of music, which is music. The nothingness of precincts, of crystal glasses, of seams, of hair, of liquids, of lights, of keys, of food." When she had finished her list, the potentate who owned the Ford 99 said that he would give it to her, and that in the afternoon he would send one of his servants with a liter of naphtha so that she could take the car out for a spin. "Thank you," she said. "You are very generous." The madman went away, looking up to the skies; who knows what he was searching for. The woman who was going to die that day asked herself what she should eat on Sunday, when her sons and their wives came to lunch. The president of the Republic of Rosario gave a speech. And everything in the world carried on the same, apart from the fact that Ekaterina V named Kustkarov her interior minister, which terrified the poor man but which was welcomed with open arms by Irina as an opportunity for her to refresh her wardrobe and her stock of lovers. And Jack Jackson-Franklin sold his memoirs to one of Paraguay's more sophisticated magazines for a stellar amount of money, which allowed him to retire to live in Imerina. And six spaceships from six major world powers set off to the edges of the universe and were never seen again. She married a good man who had a house with a balcony, a white bicycle, and a radio which, on clear days, could pick up the radio plays that LLL1 Radio Magnum transmitted from Entre Dos Rios, and she waltzed in white satin shoes. The day that her first son was born a very pale green shoot grew out of the ground on the banks of the great lagoon.
$BTDG featured in article write-up along with Dick's Sporting Goods >>
The Contrarian Opportunity in Sports Stocks (CHDN, DKNG, BTDG, DKS) https://biopharmajournal.com/2020/10/01/the-contrarian-opportunity-in-sports-stocks-chdn-dkng-btdg-dks/ Experts continue to see a coming vaccine for the virus behind the pandemic, and hospitalizations and deaths continue to diverge from case numbers, which is another very positive potential signal, despite mainstream clamoring about a looming “twindemic” disaster, as a purported second wave coincides with cold and flu season. All of this may add up to risk for bear bets in the market, especially those targeting the sports industry, which has been reeling from a lack of public participation in live events. That may represent a potential opportunity for access to long-term growth potential at a discount at present prices. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the most interesting stocks in the space, including: Churchill Downs Inc (NASDAQ:CHDN), Draftkings Inc (Nasdaq:DKNG), B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG), and Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS). Churchill Downs Inc (NASDAQ:CHDN) is a prime specimen for bears looking to bet against live events due to a lack of public perception of safety. The company has the double whammy of also being part of the gaming industry, which has taken a big hit as well. The company bills itself as an industry-leading racing, online wagering, and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. The company owns and operates Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. It also owns and operates the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and sports betting and iGaming through its BetAmerica platform in multiple states. CHDN is also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Churchill Downs Inc (NASDAQ:CHDN) most recently announced its plans to open simulcast and historical racing machine operations at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel in Oak Grove, Kentucky, to the public on Friday, September 18. According to the release, Oak Grove will debut 1,325 state-of-the-art HRMs with some of the best themes from Ainsworth, Scientific Games and International Gaming Technology. Dining and beverage options include Garrison Oak Steakhouse, two quick serve eateries, a coffee house, sports bar and luxurious lobby bar. The second phase of the Oak Grove project will open in October 2020 and will include a 128-room hotel, equestrian center, amphitheater, and RV Park. “We have an exceptional team poised to deliver a premier entertainment experience and regional destination for Western Kentucky and nearby Nashville, Tennessee,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We are committed to investments like Oak Grove that will help support live racing at Kentucky racetracks by generating larger purses and attracting better horses.” And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 12% in that time. Churchill Downs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHDN) managed to rope in revenues totaling $185.1M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of -61.2%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($699M against $488.2M). Draftkings Inc (Nasdaq:DKNG) is well aligned with the fate of the NFL at this point. And, given recent news of virus outbreaks for the Titans and Vikings, and possibly others, the stock has held up quite well, but may still have further to squeeze if we see contrarian positives on the virus front in the near term. In a nutshell, the company provides users with daily sports, sports betting, and iGaming opportunities. It is also involved in the design and development of sports betting and casino gaming platform software for online and retail sportsbook, and casino gaming products. The company distributes its product offerings through various channels, including traditional websites, direct app downloads, and direct-to-consumer digital platforms. Draftkings Inc (Nasdaq:DKNG) most recently announced that Erik Bradbury has been named the Company’s Chief Accounting Officer and principal accounting officer effective September 10, 2020, reporting to Jason Park, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Bradbury, who brings more than 16 years of experience in corporate accounting to DraftKings, was most recently a Partner with Ernst & Young and served as a Professional Accounting Fellow at Financial Executives International. “We are thrilled to have Erik join DraftKings at this exciting time,” said Jason Park, DraftKings Chief Financial Officer. “Erik brings a breadth of expertise working with public companies applying U.S. GAAP, IFRS, and SEC reporting requirements, which will enhance our already strong corporate accounting team and help scale this function as the Company continues to grow.” And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 19% in that time. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 51% in that time on strong overall action. Draftkings Inc (Nasdaq:DKNG) brought in over $71 million in its last quarterly financial data. B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) is “the premier development league in MMA”. That’s a pretty good spot. Especially considering that the company is verticalizing on the media side, creating strong marketing and distribution agreements to showcase its top talent across the country and around the world. The company operates live events, pay-per-view media, gyms, and other resources to maximize the development of future stars in the MMA sport. B2Digital operates a number of fighting events brands, including Pinnacle, HRMMA, Strikehard, and others, and has developed and deployed the systems and technologies for the operation of the B2 Fighting Series. This includes social media marketing, event management, digital ticketing sales, digital video distribution, digital marketing, PPV, FTV, merchandise sales, brand management, and financial control systems. B2Digital owns all rights for TV, internet, social media, media, merchandising and trademarks, and branding for the B2Digital companies. B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) most recently announced that its Pinnacle Combat 32 MMA event in Farley, Iowa, on Saturday, September 26, featuring a combination of top amateur and pro fights, was another successful venture with a solid pay-per-view presence and sold out in-person attendance. According to the release, the event drove larger in-person revenue levels on a per-ticket basis due to an increased in-person attendance allowance. The event also generated higher overall margins on each attendee ticket sold than in the Company’s prior event in Alabama. “Iowa was a huge success that dramatically exceeded our expectations despite the headwinds presented by the difficult context,” commented Greg P. Bell, Chairman & CEO of B2Digital. “That success was driven by strong organic growth as our brand continues to rapidly expand. But it was also likely aided by a sense of pent-up demand for live MMA action. The other big success we saw on Saturday was a very strong performance from our new B2InstaStore marketing program. We gave our fighters, fans, and followers a resource for driving ticket sales and they have responded.” B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) has shown strong sales growth, and more importantly, has put in place a number of strategies pointing to accelerating breakout growth ahead, including innovations on the marketing front and an aggressive schedule of live PPV events this fall. Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) operates as a sporting goods retailer primarily in the eastern United States. It provides hardlines, including sporting goods equipment, fitness equipment, golf equipment, and hunting and fishing gear products; apparel; and footwear and accessories. The company also owns and operates Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream, and other specialty concept stores; and e-commerce websites, as well as GameChanger, a youth sports mobile app for scheduling, communications, and live scorekeeping. As of May 02, 2020, it operated 726 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores. Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) just announced that it will expand its nationwide footprint with the opening of one DICK’S Sporting Goods store, one combination DICK’S and Golf Galaxy location, and one Golf Galaxy store in September. These new stores will bring approximately 150 collective jobs to communities through the hiring of full-time, part-time and temporary associates for the stores. According to the company’s release, DICK’S Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy locations will offer top-of-the-line in-store services and exclusive offerings in apparel, footwear and equipment from the Company’s own private brands, such as DSG, Tommy Armour, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, Field & Stream and Fitness Gear, as well as popular national vendors like Nike, adidas, YETI, The North Face, Callaway and TaylorMade. The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 9% in that timeframe. Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) managed to rope in revenues totaling $2.7B in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 20.1%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($1.1B against $2.3B, respectively).
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 14 Raymond Vs Cy
The results are in for Match 12. “Well, now, that was a treat, wasn’t it? Alright, everyone, get ready for the main event! Bursting into the lane, ready for her adoring fans, give it up loud and clear for…TD/MD!” The crowd went wild, then, as the star emerged, wearing a brightly-shining silver top dotted in acciaccatura symbols, blue shorts and long silver and black socks on her right and left legs accentuating the graceful form of TD/MD. Her eyes, already discolored so drastically from one another, were accentuated with asymmetric eyeshadow, gray and blue, blue dots of makeup underneath the latter left eye, and as she emerged, her left hand, clad in a blue glove with a black line through its center, stretched towards the crowd, her right in a silvery glistening glove moving towards the black headphones around her neck, blue acciaccatura symbols on either outside as other musical symbols, smaller, less prominent, dotted the rest of the thing. There was an obvious extravagance in the outfit made more impressive by its components being relatively simple: a t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, and gloves, really. “Whoa, talk about a tough act to follow… And that’s coming from me!” Metra Doria laughed lightly, having emerged to an immensely lively, astonished, applauding audience, applauding the avant-garde show which had led up to her. “Sound’s Garden, am I right? The people this place attracts are some of the most interesting performers I have ever known, and what we all just witnessed, I think, is a perfect preamble, a summation of everything we should aspire to be, of the power to move hearts and souls that music can have! I seriously feel like I need to give the best damn concert of my life now just to be worthy of headlining here… And of course, I can’t play everything alone. Before we start, let’s hear it for my backing band!” “My bassist, Stella Starlight, my drummer, Scott Sundquist, annnnd…” Melodically, that ‘and’ trailed until one of the stagehands from before, clad now in a totally new outfit, emerged. “Luna, on the synth!” With the band introduced to cheers, TD/MD, then, sat before a piano which the rest of the stagehands had moved onstage while the crowd’s eyes were on the star, and a cloud of smoke in their path. “So, Los Fortuna, are! You! Ready?!” The first of many songs that night began. In the chaos of these two disparate teams, both quite surprised by the realization of who they would be sharing their stages with, their independent plans, nonetheless, blended together seamlessly to tell classical comedies of ancient kings and heroes, of fighting and rejecting a tragic end, a bizarre prog rock gymnastic live weapons show tale of the human spirit at its finest. It was often that, thanks to the mishaps of the manager Thutmose, the acts before TD/MD went down in memetic legend, the stuff people spoke about often both on social media and in shady, smoky backrooms. Usually, however, they were spoken of as disasters saved by her star performance, to the point where some wondered if it was on purpose to hype her up more at some poor bastard’s extent. That night, however, a certain performance pierced the hearts of the crowd and brought about complete adoration, even matching the attention of the headliner. As her own show, grand, perfect, putting a tear in the eye of the man who sat beside Tigran Sins in a special box, drew to a close, and the crowd called for an encore, TD/MD spoke into the microphone. “Alright, Los Fortuna, I think I definitely have time for one more song, but… I haven’t forgotten who you were all cheering for earlier. In the time it’s taken, we’ve already seen to it… I’m going to welcome some people back on the stage to join me for this!” Directing her hand stage left, she declared, “‘Nureyev,’ Admiral Pineapples ‘Orpheus,’ ‘Hades,’ and all the best stagehands in the world, get back up here, the whole of you! Let’s close the night off in the best way possible!” The winner is Everyone, with a score of 79!
Masters of Funky Action
There were a record number of tie votes this match, but in the end, just barely, MFA pulled ahead in popularity by a singular vote.
After the show, Metra asked the quartet to wait for her outside her green room so they might speak in private as she dressed back down into more casual getup, the four of them and manager Thutmose conversing outside all throughout. “That was legendary,” Rudolf said first, “feel like we really moved hearts out here tonight!” “Even if only for a little while…” Admiral Pineapples agreed, looking over the Highrollers. “It was very nice to work with you, even under such strange circumstances.” “Tens of thousands… It’s still surreal,” Alexis added, “they were cheering for us almost as hard as they were for TD/MD… And I heard they usually end up laughing off the act right before the big headliner?” Cybil simply allowed a smug smile. “I was advocating for you, Alexis, so of course I knew you would defeat such superstitions…” And then, she offered the manager a frown. “Mr. Thutmose. I hope now you’ve learned a lesson about fooling around with people. It is only because we were so amazing that you still have your job right now.” “How humble…” Thutmose answered, chuckling nervously and running his hands through his hair. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll go straight now… I didn’t realize how much this was upsetting Metra, either-” “Thutmose, my boy,” a self-important voice said, announcing his presence an instant before his garish demeanor could assault the eyes of the hangers-around. Tigran Sins, in his gold-yellow checkered suit, approached, that muscular brunette right hand of his, Fox, close by, a sort of warmth on his still quite intimidating face, “you really do know how to pick ‘em. Miss Antoine, Mr. Pavlova, Admiral, and Alexis, you were… I must say, almost sort of in the league of our star.” “Not even close, really,” Fox answered, stepping forward then, a massive bouquet in his hands, a vinyl tucked neatly under his arm, “anyway, Thutmose, let us through. We need to speak with her now… That show was her greatest yet, and she needs to hear it personally from-” “TD/MD isn’t seeing anyone else tonight,” Thutmose answered, the young man standing firmer now, though all four of his companions noticed that he seemed to be shaking. “She’s exhausted after her show, and already needs to make time for others…” He moved to yoink the flowers out of his hands. “I’ll give these to her on your behalf, though, and tell her who it’s from… But she won’t be seeing you.” Like that, the warm demeanor on the intimidating-looking man’s face grew tenser again, and even Tigran seemed to grow frustrated as well, answering next, “are you certain she can’t make time? Fox really needs to speak with her in person.” “Hey, hey, you heard the twink,” Rudolf interjected, stepping in now (“Twink..?” “Yep!”), raising a bathrobe-covered arm, “let’s keep things excellent here and not freak the poor lady out. I hear she’s got a perfect pitch, ya know, so she’s gonna hear it if we’re ruinin’ her night!” Fox folded his arms, Tigran himself looking contemplative, almost stressed, before his accompaniment turned away, seemingly aware of the numbers on the meek man’s side. “Next time, then.” The pair left, and like that, Thutmose nearly collapsed into the wall, exhaling. “I just defied Tigran to his face… Hhehhhh…” He shook his head. “She should be ready by now. I’m gonna go burn these flowers… Maybe start online shopping for walking sticks, ‘cuz I feel like my kneecaps are gonna notice this…” A voice called from the inside, seemingly concurring with the manager’s point. “Coast clear? Alright, come in!” The four entered, seeing Metra sitting there casually in a black hoodie, more fit for the cool evening, with blue sweatpants covered in silver spirals, relaxing into her chair and nursing a bottle of some sports drink with the label peeled away idly. “You four have all shown me pretty definitely what you stand for tonight… You’re cool. I think I can trust you. Have a seat, alright? Let’s hang out, chat a bit. I don’t think I need to tell you there’s a lot in Sound’s Garden that needs talking-about.” For interested parties, as of this going up, there is still a day left to vote in a match between masters of lawful bastard and chaotic bastard energies, both vying to get the other thrown out of a resort. Scenario: A former speakeasy in Hotel Delmano - North Island, Downtown Los Fortuna. Late morning The Baker Street Rat Pack had a good few ideas to advance forward juggling in their heads, now that the city’s issues were rapidly beginning to juggle themselves more and more. North Island PD was still more aggressive under the galvanizing rhetoric of Council Chairman March, none of which seemed to be stopping the serial killer who ran rampant in the region, the districts west of the Wormwood seemed a hotbed of wars between gangs, unions, and the bulk of ODIN’s security forces, and that wasn’t even getting into issues which the BSRP had no relation to, but were indeed aware of. The matter most currently relevant to Cy Syntheta, however, was listening to the concerns and fleeting research of Peter “Treagon” Bequasimodo. “I just don’t get it,” Peter said to them, looking fleetingly at his laptop. “I can’t use my Stand to get out of the city, and now I try to use it to look into this ‘Institute’ here, and can't get into there either. It’s like… They have some sort of Stand User Firewall, in simple, un-hacker terms.” Cy had been sitting and chatting with the self-styled treasonous vegan, having been of the mind of late to actually do something useful, and remembering the hacktivist had been hot on somebody, something or another’s trail. “So you have a clue as to what that ‘from the Institute, Oh No,’ thing meant?” “Better than a clue,” Peter answered, “turns out it literally wasn’t even a riddle. Just a straightforward signoff.” Like that, he stylishly spun his laptop around on a nearby surface, stopping it as the screen faced Cy. “Look for yourself.”
Pezzetti di Cavallo (55, M) - Professor and Representative of School of Law, Chief Prosecutor
CaraMel Dansen (26, F) - Notable Alumnus and Representative of School of Culinary Arts, Acclaimed Confectioner
Million Dollars (37, F) - Professor of Economics, Representative of School of Business, Multimedia Producer
Willard Drankwater (108, M) - Professor of Chemistry, Representative of School of Medicine, Nobel Laureate, Oldest Man in Los Fortuna
Theodore Lloyd (35, M) - Dean and Representative of Arts College, Former Adjunct Professor
Oh No (Age Unknown, M) - Head and Representative of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute
Venus York (47, Other) - Professor of Sociology at College of Social Sciences
“This is…” Cy was catching on quickly. “The ‘University Board’ of Midnight Sun? Hell, I knew they were kind of a big deal, but looking over these names back and forth…” “Yep,” Peter answered, “and these are the basics I could dig up on most of them… This No guy, though, other than existing? Practically a ghost. Apparently sometimes doesn’t even show for meetings in person.” “And we have definite signs this guy knows about people’s Stand abilities, and hangs out with that ‘Golden Sins’ guy you punched out? ‘Parapsychological Research,’ too… Sounds like Stands without outright saying Stands.” “Think I might have to go physical again,” Peter answered, “if an agent of Neoliberal Academia is on us, we gotta know their intention. With those types you never know if they’re with you or gonna sell you out. Think I was gonna start by checking out some Institute libraries.” “Wait,” Cy answered in turn, “you say they know about you and you’ve been trying to break in already… Then it might be too much heat on you to storm the castle. Let me take care of it.” “Oh, man, really? That’s super cool of you, Cy. If you find anything, I owe you one.” “Don’t think of it like I’m being nice to you for its own sake,” the assassin answered, “this is something that affects me, too, especially if we screw it up, and a physical infiltration is the kind of thing I’m more suited for than you… Though I will remember what you just offered.” Midnight Sun University Town - A Street Decked out for Pride Raymond “Ray” Delwyn Shimizu, meanwhile, had discovered similar information to Cy under what can be called vastly different circumstances: rather than suspicious, experience and perspective had taught him to have a cautiously optimistic approach to the clear power over the Metropolitan area the University Board held. To the Speedwagon Foundation, this Parapsychological Research Facility has always been an enigma, since it’s always been a risk to send many operatives to Los Fortuna, but I have a ‘feeling…’ A ‘feeling’ that tells me they are not going to be so dissimilar to us. I can’t help but wonder, then, like how my team is dealing with Cairo now, if SKADE can’t have its ‘talents’ assisted by some University grants and allianceship as well… Our ‘contact’ within ODIN didn’t have a bad word to say about them, so it likely won’t cause trouble with them, either. But first, Raymond knew, he could not simply walk blindly into such an alliance, much like his team had needed first to figure this Cairo out a bit more before adding their resources to their mission. A place worth starting to do such homework, then, would be in the records of their little research institute. As he walked along, Raymond soon passed by a frankly adorable-looking building, a sign out front of the place reading in bubbly letters: ‘CaraMel’s Confection & Bakery’ To that end, then, he thought, oh, tempting… Maybe I’ll stop by on the way back from the library, bring donuts or weird candies or something back to the gang. I have to imagine they’re delicious… Peering through the window, he saw the place absolutely bustling, loaded with the kind of crowd that speaks to waiting nearly an hour in line, and more going in. Urgh, and maybe there’ll be less of a line by then. After thinking that to himself, then, Raymond continued onwards, still making sure to eye every little oddity and incongruity of the area he could. Peaceful as the college town largely seemed, strange phenomena that could only amount to Stand usage also felt especially concentrated, even compared to the rest of this city. I’ve heard rumors of all number of notorious members of the Stand underworld in the region, and I’m sure I’m not the only one out here seeking this library out… or the one with the worst of intentions for it. Midnight Sun Parapsychological Institute Research Library - 1F Lobby Much to Raymond’s surprise, the place seemed… A pretty ordinary research library, all things considered. He hadn’t gotten terribly far in yet, of course, but then again, he didn’t really know what he was expecting. A receptionist with braided dark-red hair, round, spiraling glasses, and a blue vest over a short-sleeved black button-up sat at the front desk, guarding his way from a pair of doors behind him. Off to one side, gated from entry, sat a stairwell, visibly enticing, yet with a sign before it very overtly communicating: NO PUBLIC ENTRANCE. Ah, well, he could at least get an idea by looking around what sort of face they were willing to show anyone who entered. “Erm… S-sir?” The young woman at the entrance asked, seeming intimidated by his tall form. “Did you need to find something in particular? I’m, uh, I mean we… We’re not, uh.” She blinked. “What did you want again?” The sight practically made Ray roll his eyes, but he was able to let through a straightforward, “I didn’t say, actually…” Crap, he hadn’t thought this far, either. Of course a place like this would want to know why people were looking into it. Still, though, Ray was nothing if not smooth and even-faced, and in the span of the time between that ‘actually’ and opening his mouth again, he had thought convincingly of what wasn’t a lie, but didn’t actually say much of anything either. “I want to look into some cases this Institute has worked for this city. This is a pretty big place, and I know it’s a storied institution, so I thought I should get acquainted with some of them.” “R-right! Of course! So nothing in particular? Okay, cool..! I’m, uh… P-please, don’t hesitate at all if you need me…” The young woman pressed a button by her desk, and the doors clicked, unlocking from this side. As Ray began towards it, though, he was interrupted. “Oh, and one more thing!” He could practically see the ‘menacings’ emanating off of her, those adorable glasses practically shining as she spoke more clearly now. “There are two types of research library… Ones which only allow ‘reference,’ and ones which allow ‘lending’ to guests. We’re not a lending library, so don’t let us catch you taking anything out of here… Do you understand me, sir?” “…crystal clear.” This girl is a Stand User… For a moment, I almost let it slip my mind where I am. “Great!” She said, back to her somewhat nervous, bubbly demeanor. “Oh, and, uh… Don’t make too much noise either, ‘kay? I won’t be able to tell, because these walls are soundproofed, but we can’t be held accountable for what happens if you get other library patrons angry..!” There, she sounded more honest, even a touch exasperated to Raymond, as if exactly that had happened too many times to count, and she was resigned to it happening again. “I understand.” Curious as he stepped in, Raymond tested the door… Seemed it did, at least, open from the inside, so no fire hazard or Stand trap there even if it was locked externally. The library interior was hardly bustling, per se, but there were, regardless, a few faces about, all of whom struck Raymond as people it might or might not be a worthwhile idea to fuck with, including but not limited to a tall, balding, androgynous figure with an eyepatch over their forehead, a very average-looking young woman in a purple beret, a red-clad teenager in an aviator hat with a feather plume, round glasses, and long facial features, a tall twentysomething in too many coats with hair like a palm tree, a balding, dark-haired, bespectacled, bearded figure in a stupid black cap and loosely-worn red tie with simultaneously an utterly unhinged and utterly vacant look in his eye, and a blond, stubbly-haired twenty-something six-foot-something in sunglasses and a vest with shoulder sections that wriggled down his arms. Raymond thought little of the colorful characters around as he went to start picking out some reference material to sit at a desk with, but as he did, he happened to glance across the aisle, seeing there someone who he definitely knew was probably trouble: a short-haired, taller-than-him, androgynous blond with chin-length, face-covering bangs, which had an almost plastic sheen to them. They wore a form-fitting crop-top, shoulder-length cloak, jorts, leggings, and an armful of plastic bands. No way… I’ve heard of this person before! The foundation says that Cy Syntheta is a ruthless sellsword who’ll work any job. What could a person like that want in a place like this? Who are you doing research for? I smell trouble here… I’m going to need to apprehend them, dead or alive, before someone gets seriously hurt. I must say, as a swordsman myself, though, I’m almost excited… Almost. Cy Syntheta, minutes ago, had received a similar spiel for a similar non-explanation of their intentions, though theirs even vaguer, given the fact that the assassin was entering fully prepared to find information which led them to view the Institute as some sort of enemy. Their hunt for information about the hotel they occupied had led to a fascinatingly thorough history of its paranormal and criminal oddities, but nothing which referenced any of them. Nothing written about Heartache Casino where you’d expect, except a very brief mention of an assault from an ancient king when they tried to display some kind of ancient slab in the early 2010s… Nothing about us, either, when we know they definitely have something on us. Ugh. Is that on the more confidential floors..? Maybe I do need to start figuring out how to break in… And then, a moment later, their head perked up with a realization. There’s eyes on me… Someone is watching me right now, and close. Their head, then, darted across the aisles, and directly across from them stood a tall, broad-looking figure glancing their way with a clear, sneering suspicion. Everything about this guy screamed ‘fed,’ or at least something adjacent. Looks like my reputation has caught up to me again… Well, that’s just great. I’m gonna need to take this guy out then… How annoying. Hopefully, all these other guys stay out of it so I can get back to what I was doing. OPEN THE- Shhh! Open the game… Location: A public floor of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute Library. The area here is 32 by 32 meters with each tile being 2 by 2 meters. Players are represented by their tokens with Raymond on the center left and Cy on the center right. The purple rectangles are bookshelves that are each around 2 meters tall. The brown rectangles are desks complete with chairs and lighting. The green circle is the help and resources desk. The plus signs are computer desks and the cone shapes on the bottom sides of the map are printers. Goal: RETIRE your opponent! Additional Information: They’re minding their own business, but the Institute Library is sparsely populated with a number of Stand Users among the general civilians. If you make too much noise or actively try to involve them in your fight, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. If you try to trick them into thinking your opponent is antagonizing them by using your own abilities to somehow try to make them look bad, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. On the other hand, though, as long as you’re not actively aiming for them, even the non-stand users in this area are pretty savvy people to be actively researching here in the middle of a fight; chumps, cowards, and charlatans will have already fled before they’re in any danger, leaving only people who know the score. They can generally reliably avoid being hurt, and as long as you aren’t too loud, will not under any circumstances besides aforementioned loss conditions use their various Stands to kick your ass.
“My name is ‘Kira Yoshikage.’ I can’t remember when or how I died… but one thing I can say is I feel certain I will not go to Heaven.” This parapsychological research library has some truly morbid, fascinating stories from which to draw inspiration. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
“I saw a book, seemingly unpopular, titled ‘The Elephant Who Lost His Nose.’ I thought to myself… Now why in the world would he lose his nose?” You’ve found your way to an absolutely fascinating source of unusual parapsychological knowledge, and as an agent of SKADE and of the Foundation alike, you aren’t going to take this opportunity for granted. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
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