Traditional bread warming set

AAI is way better than AAI2

2023.06.06 05:11 Significant_Neat_689 AAI is way better than AAI2

Gonna write a 10-page essay for 2 comments and a 33% upvote rate but whatever
It's true.
The Ace Attorney fanbase is generally more analytically intelligent than most other visual novel fanbases, so it's very disappointing to see so many people lulled by AAI2's cheap parlor tricks while failing to grasp the beauty of AAI. Truly the biggest L for this subreddit.
Let's start with the overarching story: AAI is about an international smuggling ring, and AAI2 is about a man who tricks people into committing murder. That alone should dictate which game is better, but everyone seems to love Simon Keyes because of how random and unpredictable the twist was. I fail to see why the smuggling ring is so slept-on; perhaps it's too realistic or down-to-earth and the community would rather have a final villain plotting to steal the moon? But more on that later.
AAI has the biggest cases of "Seinfield is unfunny" in the series, because AAI2 is an unofficial translation and thus more accessible to people. On the other hand, AAI is only available as a DS cartridge (rather expensive), the only game not available on the 3DS eshop or Steam. Of course most people played AAI2 before AAI. SO MANY things got ruined by AAI2. I honestly think this is one of the reasons AAI2 did not get a localization.
Let's see some of the highlights:
The Great Thief Yagatarasu - Hit the hardest by this. Kay Faraday parading around the fact that she is the Yagatarasu in AAI2 is vastly different from her doing the same in Kidnapped and Ablaze. In AAI, starting from the first case, the Yagatarasu is this mysterious thief that supposedly has a lot of intel on the smuggling ring and we only get to see his silhouette and calling card. And don't forget his theme, Yagatarasu - The Gentleman Thief, which really does set the mood and fit him perfectly during the fleeting moments it plays. Kay only pretended to be the thief in two cases. I think the scarcity of the Yagatarasu appearances is what really makes the reveal so intriguing.
Yeah, and the final reveal: be honest here. The twist of it being Byrne, Calisto and Badd would have hit much harder on everyone's first playthrough of AAI without knowing anything from AAI2. What really dampens the Yatagarasu is the fact that he is brought up too many times by Kay in AAI2 (and even just her soundtrack name). Also the fact that the Yagatarasu calling card is the inverted version of the smuggling ring leader's instruction cards, to send a message that the Yagatarasu was only a few steps behind the ringleader, was absolutely brilliant and a much better last-minute twist than anything else the series ever came up with.
Calisto Yew/Shih-na - She was with Lang for his first appearance, and every consecutive one. That's what made her reveal so impactful. After AAI2 came along, she was just another one-off character. To be honest, the twist that she was Calisto Yew was completely unexpected, although maybe I should have realized beforehand. I also think the way she is finally cornered is pretty awesome. Setting alight the coat to reveal the Bahbalese ink burning green, pretty symbolic of her smuggling acts finally brought to light.
Shi-Long Lang character development - I'm surprised how no one mentions this. It's on the same level as Sebastian's development, and I think the only reason it's so slept-on is because in AAI2, the cases are normally so dull that you have no other choice but to focus on the characters, while AAI Lang shares the stage with the rest of the plot. The way he goes from respectfully hating on prosecutors as a super serious officer to "Lang Zi says: ...just go already!" and supporting Edgeworth in his trial after the credits is super awesome. Him getting fired from Interpol is worse than Yuri Cosmos getting demoted after Turnabout For Tomorrow in terms of discomfort food. I feel like the way Lang is introduced in AAI2 really does discredit all his character development in AAI.
Now let's compare all aspects of each game:
Case 1 (general): Visitor > Target. Visitor is the most underrated case in the series, and Target is a 3-hour long snooze-fest. Target is a case 1 yet fails to be an intro case and thus is not good, that's what it boils down to.
Case 1 (witnesses): Visitor == Target. Visitor brought back Maggey who is one of the blandest characters in the series, but Target's defendant wasn't any better. Target also managed to fumble de Killer's appearance into a very boring confrontation, so they are about tied.
Case 1 (culprit, single-case): Portsman > Knightley. The prosecutorial interactions were much more fun than that overconfident bodyguard.
Example --
Portsman: It's a possibility. Maybe your salary's been cut so much that life is getting a little too rough to handle...?
Gumshoe: I'll have you know that I eat three square meals every day, pal! ...OK, so all three of them happen to be instant noodles, but...
Portsman: Poor thing. What an evil prosecutor you were paired up with. And what a motive, no?
Case 1 (culprit, whole game): Knightley > Portsman. Sure. The case 1 culprit can have a huge impact on the overarching story. Knightley was one of the better plotwise characters of AAI2.
Case 2 (general): Airlines > Imprisoned. Airlines just edges out Imprisoned slightly, but I admit Imprisoned is the only AAI2 case that deserves all the praise it gets. But I think the twists and turns were just a bit better for Airlines, especially the final Logic flashback segment as Lablanc slowly fell over the railing.
Case 2 (witnesses): Airlines > Imprisoned. Zinc Lablanc carries the entire case, like Luke Atmey did. Rhoda Teneiro was also cool. Jay Elbird and Frank Sahwit can't compare, and even Keyes' performance in this case, even knowing that he manipulated Knightley's death, doesn't quite reach Airlines' level of beautiful simplicity here. Dogen was just a plot device in this episode.
Case 2 (culprit, single-case): Meele == Roland. Both had godawful motives and mild characters.
Case 2 (culprit, whole game): Roland > Meele. Of course, because Roland got a whole other backstory while Meele stayed the same.
Case 3 (general): Inherited > Kidnapped. Yeah, alright. Who knew that letting you play as Gregory Edgeworth in the events leading up to DL-6 would be more interesting for the audience than actually coming up with an original idea? F for effort, I guess.
Case 3 (witnesses): Inherited > Kidnapped. Mainly because Ema Skye was absolutely useless in Kidnapped. Lauren Paups was also pretty bad. Inherited only had some meh witnesses, nothing outstanding, but still better than Kidnapped.
Case 3 (culprit, single-case): Gustavia > Lance. Well, yeah. Lance did kill only in self defense, while Gustavia and Dover had a whole storyline going. I feel like Kidnapped was meant to be a breath of fresh air from the constant murder grind, like Stolen. Too bad neither case ended up being great.
Case 3 (culprit, whole game): Lance > Gustavia. Well, not quite Lance himself, but the effect it had by prompting Ernest Amano to forge evidence, get caught and questioned, and give up the evidence to the KG-8 incident was pretty impactful. Gustavia, while the first of many things that ticked off Keyes, was also the only part of his story that wasn't really carefully intertwined with anything else.
Case 4 (general): Reminiscence == Forgotten. Interestingly, the one case everyone seems to like in AAI is actually not that great, all things considered. Forgotten was a very slow case with boring investigation sequences all around, but Reminiscence had terrible character interactions and was paced horribly.
Case 4 (witnesses): Reminiscence > Forgotten. Detective Badd blows everyone else out of the water. The Judge was alright, and Gumshoe was pretty subpar. But still, better than whatever AAI2 was trying to do with Lotta Hart and Nicole Swift.
Case 4 (culprit, single-case): Calisto == Blaise. I can't really say one was better than the other. Calisto's double murder and escape managed to top the previous 3-4 for "best loose end", but Blaise was no slouch either.
Case 4 (culprit, whole game): Calisto > Blaise. Doesn't need an explanation.
Now for the opinion that will get me downvoted. Turnabout Ablaze is a better case than The Grand Turnabout, both as a finale and in general.
Firstly, Colias Palaeno was a better final plot device character than John Marsh. Palaeno was introduced as this very suspicious character, only to later become the most helpful witness in the entire series, and the only person who didn't lie, ever. Despite overdoing his coupon-dealing gimmick, it never really got old or tedious. And come on, he was just a cool guy all around. His interactions with Alba were also very interesting considering the history between their countries. Palaeno is the perfect example of how to write a compelling plot device character.
On the other hand, John Marsh never really made an impact and his edgy teenager persona was just meh. Him refusing to take revenge on Dogen in the end was cool, but he was still not as good a character overall. His kidnapping was mainly to develop Courtney's character, but even she was not that interesting in the end. And his twist of being the president's son was very underwhelming, if I'm being honest.
Every case 5 is traditionally the resolution of two different murders. For AAI, it was Ka-Shi Nou murdered in the Allebahstian embassy, and Manny Coachen murdered in the Bahbalese embassy on the same night. For AAI2, it was the body double's murder out of the blue and the real president's murder 12 years ago. Surely Ablaze has a much better premise already.
Ablaze is a very symmetrical, well-organized case with the themes of duality. Allebahst has strict migration laws and an old army general as the ambassador, who appears to be a kindly old man. Bahbal is a very lax tourist country with a young advertising ambassador who is suspiciously cheerful. And yet, Ambassador Alba is the villain behind the smuggling ring while Ambassador Palaeno is hopelessly clueless about his secretary Coachen. I really like the dynamic amongst the characters here. Even Coachen gets characterization from Palaeno's relationship with him and sadness at his death.
Honestly, I thought the premise of the country split in two was a very intriguing setup. Even for people who aren't super interested in history-esque topics, the case should provide a novel setting. The competition to see which embassy had the legitimate statue, the goodwill ambassadorship involving the Steel Samurai, the reuniting of Cohdopia, everything really felt like something big and exciting was happening.
How many people actually played Ablaze fully? I bet half the people who hate on Turnabout Ablaze here don't even know that the embassy was set on fire in the case. They only watched Alba's breakdown, went on the wiki to find out the two victims, and called it a day before formulating their opinion. They missed out on everything, like the safe-opening puzzle and the secret of the Yagatasaru key/"knife", and figuring out how the two statues and the body got transported between the embassies.
Unlike Ablaze's very uniform and straightforward setup, The Grand Turnabout is just a speed-rap of a case with very sporadic events that feel like it's just thrown at you randomly so you never get bored of one single topic. So right after exposing Blaise as the killer, you find the president of Zheng Fa is murdered. You go to question someone, but she is currently judging Roland's trial for the murder of Knightley. Then Blaise turns out to not get in any trouble for what happened in Forgotten. Then Marsh gets kidnapped and you decide to join the trial and help Sebastian. He then runs away and you stall for time until Marsh is found and Sebastian comes back and proves that Blaise tampered with evidence. So he gets arrested after all and Roland is guilty. Then you get a mysterious radio call telling you to go to an orphanage, where you find out that the real president (along with some other guy) was killed there 12 years ago. With a very tedious Little Thief investigation sequence. Now you trace back who called you on the radio and pin every single crime in the game onto him. And Dogen helped, a bit. The end.
There were zero compelling aspects of the case. It feels like the case was entirely written to showcase character development for half the cast, and the actual plot points are half-assed and not bothered with. The final reveal is just a cheap cop-out by going "oh actually A and B are connected. Wow!". I feel like The Grand Turnabout is actually the worst-written case of AAI2 in terms of sheer writing. Every event is random until the final reveal. The way the events proceed is also very weird and feels very unpolished. The investigation drags on way longer than Alba's confrontation does. No way people like this mess of a case more than Ablaze just because it has more rewarding/overstimulating moments at times and uses shock value.
It's funny that AAI has the overarching plot be straightforward and each individual case have its twists and turns, while AAI2 is the exact opposite. Each case basically feels like the game just leads you along a long, drawn-out and boring path to the answer while the actual overarching plot is this convoluted, improbable steaming mess of a story.
I really don't think Keyes was all that special. Sure, there were minute hints scattered throughout the game before he is revealed to be the mastermind. Sure, he had a compelling motive. But in the end, it all boils down to "oh remember all that? well, the major twist is that they are connected!". Just a weak cop-out finale that manages to be flashy enough to woo half the audience. But what I really dislike about Keyes is the way he was caught. I personally think that final villains should try to not get caught. Keyes was so cocky that he was toying with Edgeworth on purpose. Kidnapping Kay and John, teasing Edgeworth over the radio, he basically flew too close to the sun and paid the price. Alba, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with Edgeworth or the rest of the cast.
I think half of what makes a compelling villain is how they try to avoid being caught. Alba managed to stay low and avoid detection for 10 years, while still running the smuggling ring. His confrontations felt very calm and collected, and just overall very professional at maintaining his innocence. Unlike Keyes who just keeps laughing at you and mocking you. Sure, both characters had high egos, but bottom line: Keyes got too cocky from a few successful manipulations while Alba maintained his confidence in his position which he has decades of experience in.
Yes, Alba was very stubborn and makes the final fight drag on, but that should be a good thing for his character. Shows he is very experienced and well-prepared for law enforcement. Honestly, my one complaint is that his fight didn't drag on even longer; I think that him losing his ambassadorship was a bit too easy and he should have put up more of a fight regarding that. People say Alba was too generically evil, but I think that he is actually unique in the way that he is the first pure villain as afinal villain. Remember, von Karma and Gant were not full-time criminals; they were law enforcement who killed once and then were caught trying to cover up their crime. Engarde was an actor who only cared about publicity. Godot was, well, not exactly a criminal. Gavin was a lawyer who did anything to win his case and held grudges. Up until then, we never had a professional criminal as a final villain until Alba. Taking someone like him down should be expected to be difficult, long and tedious. Also his breakdown was much more rewarding than Keyes' getting beat up by animals, mostly because Keyes kinda deserved more than that. If Keyes had been punished harder, his breakdown might have been more satisfying than Alba's, to be fair.
AAI also has a better soundtrack than AAI2, and you can fight me on that. AAI2 may have some earwormy tracks, but it's like this: AAIs soundtrack actually sounds like it was composed for the game. Tracks like the Yagatarasu's theme (not Kay, the actual Yagatarasu) and Torn Apart Countries fit the mood and set the grandiose atmosphere perfectly. AAI2s soundtrack is just the artist taking a picture of the character, showing it to a composer, and going "make a theme for him". The Man Who Masterminds the Game may be more catchy than The Enemy Who Surpasses the Law, but the latter definitely suits its respective character and confrontation as a whole more. And I just gotta appreciate a fitting theme more than an earwormy one.
Honestly, Objection 2009 was better than Objection 2011 just because it felt so much more satisfying in a calm, procedural manner, like "Okay, so we figured this out. Make a mental note of this for later". Objection 2011 is a TV-show opening for Edgeworth. It might be very catchy, but I honestly think it doesn't fit a single moment in which it is played and is just an overstimulation.
Also I will get ostracized for saying this, but Lying Coldly was a perfect take on how a pursuit theme for Edgeworth would sound, that Wanting to Find the Truth completely ruined in favor of sounding more like a generic pursuit theme. It may be a good song, but it has none of the charm that Lying Coldly had.
AAI2s translation team, to be honest, did a pretty bad job. (Preface: yes I know criticism like this is mean and uncalled for but since AAI2 isn't even their game, I think it is fair to criticize their take on it after they imposed themselves onto Capcom's game.)
Let's start with the voicelines. Sebastian Debeste's voice actor was the only one who did a good job. Everyone else's voices were way too "high-quality sound" to fit AAs theme. Like, especially ProZDs take on Gregory Edgeworth, who sounds like a 20 year old with a smoking problem and a mouth that's 2cm in diameter. It especially contrasts von Karma's voice in Inherited and is clearly out of place. Sorry, but ProZD was an absolute garbage casting choice for Gregory. I don't care what you say, Courtney is not British. Knightley and Shields' voices are just too realistic and not AA sounding. Keyes and Blaise are the only other objections that almost fit the bill, almost.
Again, though, massive props to Sebastian's voice actor. He absolutely nailed his voiceclip.
On a related note, I think Alba and Calisto's objections are actually not bad because remember, they are (Alba definitely, Calisto I assume so since she works for him) foreigners who originate from Cohdopia. It makes sense for them to have an accent when speaking English, and with only one word to go off of, their accent sounds exactly like one would expect. It's surprising how most people can't make that basic connection and instead go straight to mindless hating. Ace Attorney's fanbase is supposed to be smarter than that.
Okay now back to the translation team, the overall dialogue for AAI2 feels much more dry. It's not as easy as you'd expect to capture the tones of each character during the translation, and the translation team kind of failed at that. The dialogue for the returning characters, especially Gumshoe and Kay, feel much more uniform and really lack the charm that AAIs official translation had. Try playing AAI and AAI2 in alternating cases side-by-side and the difference becomes clear as day.
Not just the dialogue in general, but also the quips and banter during the investigation sequences between main characters. Especially that one time in Inherited in which young Shields quotes Godot's "blacker than a moonless night" soliloque, for Gregory to think to himself "note: coffee has a bad effect on lawyers". If you really think about it, this took place before T&T and there is no way Godot would just quote Shields, so it's a really weird continuity plothole that both people say the same thing, like a 4th wall break. It's supposed to be a joke, but come on. Capcom wouldn't actually do something so unprofessional like that, and the translation team really had to make that weird joke a permanent part of Capcom's game. It's an official game so it's supposed to be more professional than using 4th wall breaks like that. This may seem nitpicky, but again - official Capcom game.
Of course, people can like whatever they like. You may prefer a culprit that is over-the-top crazy more than a down-to-Earth one. You can like an unpredictable, convoluted overarching story more than a well-written one. But objectively, from a critical, unbiased point of view, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is a much better-written, higher quality work than Gyakuten Kenji 2. No amount of rose-colored glasses can change that, sorry.
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2023.06.06 05:00 luckytron New Terran Refugee (Pt - 20) : An NOP fanfic

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New Terran Refugee (Pt - 20) : An NOP fanfic
Thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for letting people write fanfics.
This is just a fanfic of course.
This chapter went through several iterations, I might have let myself think I could release it 1 week late (and failed). Also, I might have gotten sidetracked with other non-writing thing, oops.
“OOPS! All Rewrites! And side projects!” – Me
In any case, here’s the chapter:
Memory transcription subject: Tayla, Venlil Widow
Date [standardized human time]: October 18, 2136
The first thing I became aware of was that I had awoken enveloping a richly warm pillow with a soft surface from above, and that not only was it hot but that it was also soft and squishy but without too much give, in fact it was somehow firmer below the surface, I snuggled closer to the material that was emanating heat below me and drove off my mind’s attempts at waking me up, this was too blissful an experience to stop suddenly.
The second thing I became aware of was that I didn’t remember replacing my heated pillow as the cold wind season was still expected to be a good deal of time away and that I had much more important things to spend my limited budget on.
The third thing I became aware of was that I wasn’t hugging a pillow, this only happened when I noticed that it wasn’t moving because I was snuggling into it, but rather moving in a steady motion against me, like when someone breathes while asleep.
The fourth thing I became aware of, were the memories of what led me into this situation ‘Just gonna close my eyes for a moment’; Why did I lie to myself like that?
The final thing I became aware of snapped me out of my musings, it was the reason I woke up, and the reason I had crashed so hard into sleepiness.
The consequence of drinking copious amounts of [shade root] tea to keep watch over Jorge until I could call the number in the email during the schedule it had included beneath itself, this was made worse by the cans of ‘Twilight Energy’ I had drank at the end when more drastic measures had to be taken.
I couldn’t ignore it I couldn’t help but feel the pressure mounting inside my bladder as I peeled myself off from on top of Jorge. Why did I move so much while asleep?
Oh Protector, I missed his warmth already…
I made a mental note to look into repairing my heated pillow for cheap due to a sudden urge to sleep with something warm more frequently, the abrupt thought jogging loose some memories about contact information of some local repairvenlil I’d called before for one reason or another, along with the memory of the number I called before… napping with Jorge…
A great feeling of chagrin manifested along with my bloom while closing Jorge’s bathroom door behind me as I remembered the text beneath the schedule, ‘Extended working hours during emergency situations’, the aftermath of antimatter bombing definitely applied… especially since that Mrs. Bennet sounded so exhausted so soon after the supposed start of her work claw.
I decided to chalk up my lapse in judgement to have been due to how Jorge’s expression before he sealed himself in had left my thoughts racing and heart pounding in worry over him.
With my thoughts somewhat settled, I examined the strange toilet that had been installed, before throwing caution to the winds when the urgency I felt reasserted itself with force.

After closing the lid and washing my paws, I finally found what had to be the equivalent of the pulley and chain, a small, recessed button parted into 2 asymmetric parts on the top middle part behind the seat.
I pressed both parts at the same time just in case.
A small eep escaped me but was drowned out by the noises that were still coming from the strange toilet!
Finally, the ruckus ended, letting me calm down from the unexpected loudness. Wait, did that noise wak-
A bigger eep escaped me as I jumped a little into the air; However this time it wasn’t drowned out by another noise.
“¿you ok in there?” I could barely make out Jorge’s voice through the door, like he was putting in the barest effort needed to speak.
“Y-yeah, j-just startled…” I opened the door as I trailed off, a sudden realization had me asking him a question, “I guess I know how It felt w-when I s-startled you h-huh?”
His normally expressive face remained still, the only reaction to my attempt at lightening the mood a brief exhale from his nose; He simply slipped past me as I left the bathroom and muttered something I didn’t quite hear just before shutting the door softly.
I went back to the bed and turned on his pad, after a few seconds of waiting for it to turn on, and a few more waiting for my translator to parse the strange [date and time] format the humans used (Honestly, who separated the [hours] and the [days/months] like that?) I felt a bit of relief as I sank a bit into the still warm bed.
According to the pad, I’d just taken a short nap, I still had plenty of time until my children came back home, hopefully I had enough time to actually have some kind of talk with Jorge.
I’d have to somehow get him to talk about last Paw’s… reaction of his, and find a way to convince him to talk about his family, It’d be good for him to recognize that pain, maybe he’d even hold onto it like me…
That thing that the humans called a toilet interrupted my train of thought before I could do more than think of the barest of ways I could breeze into such heavy topics, the small delay between the toilet’s sound, the groaning of water travelling to the faucet, and the door opening wasn’t even enough to get back on my mind’s [zephyr].
A quick focus on Jorge’s face made my determination start to breeze away a bit, it was much easier to think of how to talk to him when I couldn’t see just how heavily everything [to wear down like a long strong gale would] on him.
Jorge deflated slightly but visibly at how I apparently froze up at the sight of him.
“well, thanks, i… feel better, you can just… leave me be for now”
Jorge stood still, averting his eyes from me until he shrugged strangely after turning to look at the barricade, he then shuffled over and started to shift it to the side a bit, evidently wishing to put it back in place after I left.
“ah” he cleared his throat, “sorry, you can leave now” he returned to averting his eyes from looking at me and awkwardly motioned towards the wide opening he had made after dragging the barricade as he stepped away morosely.
“Jorge.” I paused to breathe; I’d managed to huff out his name just as I needed to exhale.
Jorge stood still for a moment before tentatively focusing on me, a strangely vulnerable expression sat on his face.
I patted the bed (an appropriate and proper distance away from me) with my tail before curling it away from the spot, he seemed to get the message and soon he had sat down beside me, brief moment of hesitation notwithstanding.
I turned my head towards him as I’d seen him do when talking, he flinched a little when his eyes met mine, closing them and averting his face, I reached out for his nearby claw with my tail and put it down gently on top.
I waited patiently for him to start talking; Thankfully the wait was short.
“this… ¿is this about… my reaction yesterday?”
“Yes,” I squeezed down on his claw softly with my tail in a comforting gesture, “I wanted to speak with you about that sooner, but for now…” another gentle squeeze, “I’m just glad you seem to be doing a little bit better.”
Silence enveloped us as Jorge seemed to mull over what I’d just said.
A small hint of a hunch had me examining him more closely, it seemed he was anxiously waiting for me to talk some more.
I chastised myself internally, ‘Of course he wasn’t going to be feeling very talkative…’, how could someone jump straight into talking about such a topic? It’d probably be better to start with other stuff and gauge things from there; With that my mind sifted through possible topics until one stood out.
“S-so, I kind of… used up a lot of your powdered ingredients… heh…” I took in his features, he seemed halfway here and halfway far away.
Maybe… Maybe if I somehow mentioned the call to remind him that there were more humans he could try talking to? Just in case he was getting tired of my clumsy attempts at talking with him…
“I, uh, didn’t think of asking Mrs. Bennet about their availability when I called her this Paw, s-sorry about that… b-but I’m sure they’ll get some more that you can use soon, right?”
That got a reaction, a small one, out of him; His eyes widened. It… felt wrong.
“o-oh, well, i’d better get started packing then…”
An impossibly heavy weight settled deep inside my stomach as he moved his claw out from under my frozen tail tip, my throat clenched up as Jorge got up and limply started wading to his bag.
I stared in mute horror as he dumped his clean body coverings into it, trying to communicate anything to him, and failing miserably as the sheer disbelief of just how horribly I had miscommunicated kept me frozen, while the pain and betrayal I could imagine him feeling kept my mind reeling.
He stopped just as he reached his bag, his claws clenched for a moment before he unclenched them slowly and turned around to look directly at me.
He’d shed more tears, his eyes were an ugly and fresher shade of red.
“y-you were waiting down here for me to wake up again just to have this conversation as soon as possible. ¿am i right?”
Th-this wasn’t supposed to go like this!
“I… I was-”
“I!” interrupted Jorge with an elevated tone of voice, “…Earlier, I woke up and went back to sleep a few times, I could see you sitting on the stairs, sometimes you and your pad would be missing, I kept thinking that maybe you were worried about me ¿you know?”
“I-” An intense look from him kept the rest of my response in my head; ‘I was!’ I wanted to plead.
“I guess you didn’t plan for me falling asleep after crying…” He trailed off and seemed to go into deep thought for a moment, before his eyes narrowed dangerously. “¿Did you just bring me that Atole to soften the blow?” He held up one of his claws towards me while making a stabbing motion with it, his voice came out as a much lower growl than normal from him. “¿Or was putting me to sleep part of the plan?”
My face felt as if I’d been hit by an icy gale. ‘Did he just insinua-?’
“You’re fucking heartless.” That last sentence from him was punctuated by a fresh set of tears from his eyes, though no sobbing came from him as he let himself fall backwards down onto the floor, like a puppet with its strings suddenly cut.
My heart was beating wildly, and my eyes stung from the horrible accusations that he was making, and from how I’d probably be doing just what he had said if this had happened a few days ago…
I gave myself a moment to recollect myself, I’d thought similar enough things when I was alone in the hospital after losing my family, not nearly as extreme but… my circumstances back then and his right now weren’t comparable.
I shuddered internally at how much worse I’d have fared if it had been Venlil Prime that had been attacked; I’d probably… I’d have tried to do what he tried last night…
With a sigh I focused consciously on Jorge, who was breathing a bit more steadily now, as I picked up the bottle and moved steadily towards his alert gaze.
I sat down in front of him and opened the bottle, he narrowed his eyes even further in response, making the redness and glistening more pronounced, the patches of fur above his eyes changed position as well; I didn’t quite know what it meant, but it couldn’t possibly have been from him feeling happy or at peace.
I pushed through the sense of fear that was starting to form from being under his stare and took in the rest of his body language… I readjusted my position and observed as he flinched away from me…
I slowly raised the bottle and drank; The patches of fur over his eyes returned to their normal position, overshot and stayed raised while the intensity of his stare diminished. Finally, he tilted his head ever so slightly.
After a few gulps more I stopped drinking and offered him the bottle, he still wasn’t accepting it; I wiped my lips and prepared to speak.
“…I wouldn’t do that to you…” A small quiver at the end made me trail off until I was certain my voice wouldn’t fail me. I wouldn’t do that now. “None of those things, I mean… Even after all I did… You gave me a chance…”
“When you put it like that…” Jorge wiped his eyes. “I mean, I don’t know what came over me…” He looked to the side and deflated a little.
“I understand… I was like this too…” A small shiver traveled through my spine, thinking about it always did… I ignored the shiver by standing up and offering him the bottle again, this time he grabbed it and drank deeply.
He trailed behind me, we sat down on opposite sides of the bed, him hugging his legs as he sat against the wall, and me with one leg over the edge of the bed with the other one crossed over it.
Dozens of starting points were flurrying in my head, I couldn’t decide on one, so I cleared my throat and let myself say whatever came out first.
“I’m married.” Jorge became extremely visibly confused. “I-I’m a Widow, I meant to say…” The familiar sting of pain grounded me as his expression changed into one I could recognize even from him, pity.
“He-” died “…It happened 11 years ago, I… I lost my family at the same time…”
Jorge’s expression softened even more, no longer out of pity, but out of understanding… of the pain we shared…
“It was my dad’s idea, he’s always wanted to have a big family homestead… when the latest batch of colonies were finally cleared for habitation he bought a plot immediately, my sister and her husband went with them first, then my brother and his wife, and finally me and…”
This whole talking thing was much harder than I thought… I cleared my throat; I couldn’t go on just omitting any names in my retelling…
“Krayla, that’s my mother’s name.” I paused, waiting for his reaction, he ‘nodded’ slowly, solemnly. “Tavk’io, my dad; Talnum, my b-brother; Tahyiya, m-my sister; …a-and Glim, m-my husband…”
I buried my head in my paws, this was too much…
A moment passed, I felt something brush against my tail; Opening my eyes I saw that it was Jorge’s claw, he patted the tip gently until his eyes met mine.
“Emiliano José Cauich Ayala, t-that’s my father’s name.” He paused to breathe and wiped his eyes. “Ixchel Paola Rojas Canul, that’s my mother’s name.”
We stayed in silence for a while longer, at least in my case recovering from the emotional toll that I had just gone through.
“S-shortly after we arrived at the colony,” I began. “I l-learned I was p-pregnant, G-Glim and I celebrated it with my family, we were going to name our baby after my brother and his wife, Kiyomi. It… It was something we had all come up with [years] before, everything was going just like we had dreamed and talked so much about…”
I squeezed my tail against myself, all those nights at the colony laughing and joking with each other about increasingly outlandish names (ones that we’d never use of course), gone just like that…
“G-Glim and Talnum were busy helping the colony expand by clearing new plots for development and as buffer zones, I helped around with Taylee and Talim when needed but I helped dad with the house most of the time; There were always things that needed to be taken care of after all. Th-then one day in the colony, I f-fainted while picking up Taylee and Talim from school, a f-few [weeks] after that… I had to be sent back here since the colony’s hospital had lost their last equipment shipment to an Arxur raid.” I paused and lowered my voice. “G-Glim stayed behind to take extra assignments, t-to cover expenses, h-he… he was… he was on his last pawful of shifts b-before leave wh-when…”
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“…D-dad was at home looking after the kids, he’d sprained his leg while doing some maintenance, he called me early in the morning there, Talnum and Glim were in some kind of assignment together, and my mother had taken everyone else to get stuff from the market to prepare a farewell meal f-for Glim…” And after that… “The call disconnected abruptly, it had happened before so I… I j-joked to m-myself a-and the nurse that it was p-probably j-just the signal failing because I wasn’t there to maintain things p-properly…”
Tears started forming in my eyes again, Jorge shuffled closer, put his soft claw on my shoulder and gave a light squeeze, his warmth spread throughout me.
“…A few claws later I learnt the truth, that the colony had been raided and that the shelter had been breached, shortly after that, I… I lost my…” I did my best to look him directly in his eyes. “After that… I started planning how to get to the hospital’s roof…” There, a glint of recognition and pain in his eyes. “I was just waiting for the rescue fleet to finish up there, just in case, thankfully… my dad hid Taylee and Talim in one of the [Kitchen] cabinets after taking down the family pictures, since he couldn’t take them to the shelter, he… Taylee told me that he… he begged her to keep quiet before closing the cabinet. She stayed in there with Talim for I don’t even know how long… She… She hasn’t talked about it ever again.”
Another squeeze, then silence and cold as he retracted his claw back towards him, his face turning to another side while taking on some kind of thoughtful intensity.
“S-So… What I’ve been trying to say was… I kind of understand what you’re going through… A-and if you want to talk… I-I’m here?”
A small ‘nod’, and more silence. My eyes were beginning to feel heavy again, that nap hadn’t been enough it seemed.
Jorge harrumphed, causing a bolt of wakefulness to course through me as he began speaking, filling in the silence that had fallen on the room.
“…I don’t think I’m ready yet…” His face turned towards me once more. “But… thank you, for sharing, and for worrying about me, I… If you hadn’t been there when I drifted into and out of sleep…” His eyes widened in a flash. “Wait. ¿You haven’t slept right? ¿Are you feeling OK?”
“I-I t-took a nap after you f-fell asleep…” B-beneath him… “Y-you left a lot of space…” He did, but I couldn’t get to it from under his legs…
“Good, good…” His eyes flicked between me and the door. “Well… I suppose you’ve got stuff to do now. ¿Am I right?” Somehow, the expression that sat now on his face felt forced in a way. I kept quiet as I rummaged through my memories of The Aftermath.
Of course, he was trying to get me out to wallow in peace, just as I did…
That was the last thing he needed right now.
I needed to find a way to get him out of this room…
“Actually… I’m free until my kids get back, I’m used to taking care of chores quickly.”
“Right…” Jorge seemed to slowly steel himself, if I didn’t interrupt me, he’d just ask me to leave directly…
I tried to think faster, but the drowsiness was returning in force, it was no use… Unless…
“H-Hey!” My exclamation startled him, I pressed on to keep the momentum strong. “I uh, I kind of went through my whole supply of [shade root] tea to stay awake…” I didn’t. “And… I don’t really want to drink more energy drinks this Paw, I don’t suppose you have something to stay awake with you?”
Jorge blinked, again, once more, and again one last time before responding.
“¿I… think I have some coffee I could make?” He tilted his head adorably to one side as he scratched his head with one claw.
“Sounds perfect! Would you please make me some?” I stood up before he could even answer, reached for his idle claw and tugged at it towards me; He stood up in what seemed like a daze out of reflex.
We spent the next few [minutes] browsing the intact shelf, whatever this coffee was, it wasn’t there, the tentatively positive mood that had formed cracked a little as Jorge looked at the shelf barricade before he trudged over to it, stopping beside it where he gestured at vaguely with his claw.
We stepped past the barricade, tried not to look at each other, failed, shuffled in place for a moment and began sifting through the items strewn about the floor in an unspoken agreement.
It wasn’t long until I found myself holding a container that my translator insisted was labeled ‘Instant Coffee’. “Hey,” I started while turning, “is this the ri-” Jorge was looking intensely at something on the floor, I followed his gaze and saw it, the broken remains of the flame projector.
“J-Jorge?” I extended my tail cautiously towards his arm, his claws ceased to strain against themselves following the subtle flinch he had when the tip of my tail made contact with him.
I gave him the ‘Instant Coffee’ I was holding and scooped up the remains to dispose of them properly this time; Jorge held up the container and murmured an affirmation at me, I gestured for him to lead the way and proceeded to follow him to the [kitchen].
I raced my way directly to the trash container, separated the single-use fuel cannister from the remains I was holding, and dumped the inert bits inside; I’d have to take this last part to a proper disposal collection point in town some other time. For now, I glanced at Jorge and tucked it into a discreet spot in the cabinets when he wasn’t looking. Only after that did I notice what a mess I’d made up here despite my best efforts at cleaning up…
Jorge’s eyes were scanning all over the [kitchen], taking in every splotch, every spill and every crusted over utensil I’d used, he lingered noticeably longer on the open and haphazardly arranged containers of his that I had used, finally he stared at the Vanilla Extract bottle with a soft expression, it was the only container that had remained completely spotless and didn’t have a significant amount of its contents drained.
Yet another unreadable expression had settled on his face as he took a big pot and barely put any water in it, the other more reasonably sized ones just too dirty to deal with quickly, before putting it to boil on the [stove top].
“Uh…” He shifted his weight from one leg to the other a few times. “I… never did thank you for the drink earlier ¿Didn’t I?”
“N-no but there’s no ne-”
The patches of fur above his eyes furrowed together.
“You… mentioned before that you entered the program for money…” He looked confused. “¿Why didn’t you just… ask for me to be picked up? You’d have gotten someone else in no time… Hell, I’d still understand if you did it now. You don’t have to go through all this trouble for me.” The confused expression deepened as he gestured at the messy remains around us.
He was waiting for an answer.
“I… w-well I d-did enter for the money… b-but… I don’t want to just replace you… I like being around you. I d-don’t know if we’re there yet… But I’d like to be… f-friends! W-with you someday…” Oh Protector, I couldn’t be more obvious unless I just came out and said it…
“Well for what it’s worth… Thank you Tayla, you don’t know what that means to me right now.” He was looking directly at me, with raw emotion and palpable aliveness, my face started to feel as if I was standing under sunlight…
“I-It was the l-least I could d-do…” It was worth it even though he didn’t seem to understand quite what I accidentally meant before…
I was spared from further embarrassment by the pot of water sizzling violently behind Jorge who turned around in a blur to turn the heat off, while he did that I grabbed two (clean) mugs and set them down near him, though I didn’t move my paws quite fast enough as his claw brushed against me while he moved the mugs closer to him to pour the water on them.
He let the water cool down a little as he put his sugar and ‘Instant Coffee’ containers close to the mugs; He poured the less-than-boiling water into the mugs, stirred in a measure of ‘Instant Coffee’ and a measure of sugar as well.
He passed me a mug with a cryptic warning. “If it’s not to your taste, let me know.” Then he grabbed the other one, sipped a little and waited.
The mischievous glint in his eyes left me no choice, I’d have to play along for now; I raised the mug and sipped…
I futilely attempted to remove the grimace from my face; Strangely, the roar of laughter I expected was nowhere to be heard, I found myself looking at Jorge with some amount of concern, though the clear, if understated, smile he sported calmed me down somewhat.
Wordlessly, Jorge reached for my mug and the can of powdered coconut milk, he then proceeded to mix in a little of it in both mugs, turning the liquid from a dark oily brown to a much lighter tone. Finally he mixed in a single drop of his Vanilla Extract in each mug and gave me back mine.
I gave him the best glare I could manage as I pouted at him, he took a deep drink from his own mug and held it up for me to examine.
With a sigh I tried mine again.
Warm. Flowery. Smooth. Bitter but not too much, like a perfectly harvested root. But most importantly of all, I could feel myself waking slightly more already, whether it was just self-suggestion or the drink having an effect so soon I couldn’t tell.
Once more, the reaction I expected from Jorge was missing, this time he seemed to be lost in thought, staring at a distant point in the air.
I took a moment to examine him, whatever he was thinking, it was starting to fester. It’d be better to get him talking “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s no-” He shook his head. “It’s just… I… my dad… he liked to drink his without adding anything, no sugar, no… coconut milk…, and… me and mom used to tease him about it…” He was retreating into himself once more.
I kept drinking my coffee; There had to be something else I could talk with him about…
Jorge straightened up, something about his posture, about the way he held himself had changed.
“Say… Tayla… ¿Can I ask you for a favor?” Despite the confidence he exuded he was running one of his claws over the back of his mug repeatedly.
“W-what kind of favor?”
“There’s something I want, no, something I need to make for the end of the [month], and… I’m going to need your help getting the stuff, I’d just ask you to get it all for me, but honestly that wouldn’t be right.”
“O-ok, but you still haven’t told me what the favor is?”
“I need to buy flowers, candles, a good tablecloth, and see what dishes I can actually make here that’d be good enough.”
“W-What for?” W-Was he? My heart was beating wildly in a peculiar mix of elation, nervousness and apprehension.
“I’m going to make an Altar for Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), it’s the least I can do for my family all the way over here.”
submitted by luckytron to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:56 harpofpak ANC earbuds, gym/running, that don't extend far into canal

Hi team!
Looking to upgrade my general earbuds to an ANC pair for use in gym, running, cycling.
Traditionally, I haven't liked earbuds that are pushed in deep into the canal. My current pair are an older Jabra set which has the band that goes behind the head. They tend to just sit in the ear but don't extend into the canal. They're nice, but it also means lots of sound getting in, volume up high etc.
Interesting to hear recommendations or comments as to what my options are. I'm not opposed to ones that go in a bit, but I don't want the situation where the only way they stay put is if they're shoved right in tight. So ones with a clip or little hook would be good.
Budget up to 300aud.
submitted by harpofpak to HeadphoneAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:49 waynerad GeniusTrip.AI -- Use AI to plan your vacation

It asked me where I wanted to go. I put in "Mons, Belgium", because, why not?
It asked for travel dates. I said July 12 to July 27 of this year. Nice 2-week vacation.
It said "Choose your budget." Options were: low, medium, high, and luxury. I chose "low". Though I'll bet Mons, Belgium is a place where you could do "luxury".
It said "Choose your vacation type." Options were "Relaxed" and "Packed". I picked "Packed". (Can you actually picture me relaxing?)
It said "Choose your category." Options were "Romantic", "Adventure", "Touristic", "Party", "Family", "Cultural", "Mixed". I picked "Adventure", though I was tempted by "Party".
It said, "Choose your dietary preference." Options were "Vegan", "Vegetarian", "Pescatarian", "Halal", and "No preference". I picked "No preference". Vacation isn't the time to be picky, right?
Never heard of the word "pescatarian" before but the "fish" icon makes me think it means fish.
Anyway, I clicked "Submit".
Recommended accommodation: Hotel Lido Mons Centre

Day 1:
Recommended transport mode: Taxi
Arrive at Brussels Airport and take a taxi to your hotel in Mons. Spend the day exploring the city on foot, visiting the Grand Place, the Belfry, and the SainteWaudru Collegiate Church. For dinner, head to Le Pain Quotidien for some delicious vegetarian options.

Day 2:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Start your day with a visit to the Mons Memorial Museum to learn about the city's history. Then, take a walk to the Van Gogh House, where the famous artist lived for a short time. For lunch, try some traditional Belgian cuisine at Le Pain Quotidien. In the afternoon, take a stroll through the Parc du WauxHall and enjoy the beautiful scenery. For dinner, head to Le Pain Quotidien for some more vegetarian options.

Day 3:
Recommended transport mode: Train
Take a train to the nearby city of Tournai and spend the day exploring its beautiful architecture, including the NotreDame Cathedral and the Belfry. For lunch, try some local specialties at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, take the train back to Mons and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 4:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Explore the city's art scene by visiting the BAM Beaux-Arts Mons museum and the Mundaneum, a museum dedicated to the history of information and communication. For lunch, try some delicious vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Theatre Royal de Mons for a show.

Day 5:
Recommended transport mode: Bicycle
Rent a bicycle and take a ride through the beautiful countryside surrounding Mons. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some traditional Belgian cuisine. In the evening, head back to the city and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 6:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Take a walking tour of the city's many parks and gardens, including the Jardin du Mayeur and the Parc du Beffroi. For lunch, try some vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Grand Place and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars.

Day 7:
Recommended transport mode: Train
Take a train to the nearby city of Charleroi and spend the day exploring its many museums and galleries. For lunch, try some local specialties at a restaurant in the city. In the evening, take the train back to Mons and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 8:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Explore the city's many churches and cathedrals, including the SainteElisabeth Church and the Saint-Nicolas Church. For lunch, try some vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Theatre Royal de Mons for a show.

Day 9:
Recommended transport mode: Bicycle
Rent a bicycle and take a ride through the beautiful countryside surrounding Mons. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some traditional Belgian cuisine. In the evening, head back to the city and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 10:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Take a walking tour of the city's many museums and galleries, including the Musée François Duesberg and the Musée du Doudou. For lunch, try some vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Grand Place and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars.

Day 11:
Recommended transport mode: Train
Take a train to the nearby city of Namur and spend the day exploring its many castles and fortresses. For lunch, try some local specialties at a restaurant in the city. In the evening, take the train back to Mons and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 12:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Explore the city's many parks and gardens, including the Jardin du Mayeur and the Parc du Beffroi. For lunch, try some vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Theatre Royal de Mons for a show.

Day 13:
Recommended transport mode: Bicycle
Rent a bicycle and take a ride through the beautiful countryside surrounding Mons. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some traditional Belgian cuisine. In the evening, head back to the city and enjoy dinner at Le Pain Quotidien.

Day 14:
Recommended transport mode: Walking
Take a walking tour of the city's many churches and cathedrals, including the SainteElisabeth Church and the Saint-Nicolas Church. For lunch, try some vegetarian options at Le Pain Quotidien. In the evening, head to the Grand Place and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars.

Day 15:
Recommended transport mode: Taxi
Take a taxi to


Weirdly, it cut off that last entry. I assume back to the airport for the flight back.
Also weirdly, it thinks I want to eat at Le Pain Quotidien every day. Which actually means "The Daily Bread" in French. The bread must be just ridiculously awesome?
It does look like the trip ought to be rather low cost, with lots of walking and biking and the occasional train. Some of the attractions look like they're low-cost, like biking in nature, visiting churches and parks and gardens. Some might be expensive like art galleries. Most of the cost, though, probably just goes to getting a hotel that is so close to the center of the city. I suppose it's worth it to get so much within walking distance.
No idea how this system works. I'm guessing it's using a generative AI model, but what it generates is based on a database of destinations and attractions and is shoe-horned into the format of a trip plan. Wonder if they trained a model from scratch or fine-tuned a model from somewhere else.
submitted by waynerad to u/waynerad [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:40 TwistedMonkeySiz Gaming Setup Recommendations

I recently decided to upgrade my gaming setup from the traditional tv/console style. I purchased a gaming laptop (razer brand) and a acer gaming monitor (as well as razer huntsman elite keyboard and razer naga mouse). I also have a PS5 that I play frequently.My conundrum is figuring out how to set this all up to where it is ready to go and doesn't require me to constantly move my HDMI cord from laptop to PS5.
Razer laptop: 3 - USB 3.0 ports 2 - USB C ports (thunderbolt) HDMI port
Acer monitor: 1 - HDMI port 1.4 1 - DisplayPort 1 - DVI (w/HDCP)
Currently I move the HDMI cord from laptop to PS5 when I need to swamp, however this will be hard to do soon as the new desk I bought has a mounted back for the monitor and custom shelves for me to set my laptop and PS5 on. I know daisy chaining isn't an option, however it would be easier for me to plug/unplug the cords from the back of the consoles vs the monitor. I've researched HDMI to DisplayPort's for a possible solution but I am not sure if this would work, and if it does would it work ok with the PS5 connection?
Or would this item be a viable option?
Can anyone help me? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
submitted by TwistedMonkeySiz to gamingsetups [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:39 lordofthemax [EVENT] A Quiet Night in Riga

26 December, 1519
The sun was setting over the bay, as an old, retired merchant-turned-mayor sat in his manor's parlor room, watching his grandchildren play and listening to his daughters discuss how the year had treated them, and their husbands their various business ventures. Emma and Anna had both married several years ago, the former having three children to the latter's one. Anna's pregnancy had come with serious issues, though, so no one blamed her for not trying again yet.
As the old, retired mayor watched over his family, his heart grew warm, and as he looked outside at the great pine tree the city had put up for this year's Christmas festivities, he knew that he'd done well. By Riga. By the Hanse. And, most importantly to him, by his family. The same family that was now helping itself to the food Ada had spent the last hour agonizing over (she was insistent her daughters not help her; they'd come all the way out here for her after all).
Former Mayor Rupprecht Adler's time had long since come and gone for Riga, but his legacy would be remembered. Both in the city he cared so much for, and the children he'd cared so much for.
And that was more than enough for an old man like him.
R.I.P. Rupprecht Adler, September 1466 - January 1520. No moderation needed.
Edit: fixed dates
submitted by lordofthemax to empirepowers [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:35 Dismal-Jellyfish CFTC Alert! CFTC approves Cboe Clear Digital, LLC to Clear Margined Digital Asset Futures. Order permits Cboe to provide clearing services for digital asset futures on a margined basis for futures commission merchants, in addition to the fully collateralized swaps previously authorized.

CFTC Alert! CFTC approves Cboe Clear Digital, LLC to Clear Margined Digital Asset Futures. Order permits Cboe to provide clearing services for digital asset futures on a margined basis for futures commission merchants, in addition to the fully collateralized swaps previously authorized.


This is on the Agenda for Wednesday's OPEN meeting, I guess they are just doing it?

Statement of CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero Regarding Cboe Clear Digital, LLC’s Expanded Clearing of Digital Asset Futures:

I support Cboe Clear Digital, LLC’s (“Cboe”) amended order of registration (“Order”), which authorizes Cboe to expand its clearing of futures contracts on crypto assets, while staying within the traditional U.S. futures intermediated market structure. The Order is accompanied by prudent risk-mitigation measures implemented by Cboe to complement policies and practices meeting DCO regulatory requirements. As the regulated digital asset derivatives market evolves, the Commission has a critical role to play in ensuring that any risks associated with that evolution are appropriately addressed by customer protections, guardrails and safeguards. The Commission should assess the risk that flows from any application, determine if that risk can be adequately mitigated, and require risk-mitigation measures.
In my review of the Cboe application, I requested additional measures for critical risk-mitigation, and only with those measures am I able to support the application. I appreciate the staff and Cboe constructively engaging with my office to accommodate my changes to the Order and Cboe’s rulebook, policies, and practices to strengthen cybersecurity and promote market integrity. I also appreciate the staff working with me to create the newly released Division of Clearing and Risk (“DCR”) Advisory on “Review of Risks Associated with Expansion of DCO Clearing of Digital Assets.”[1] This advisory sets forth an approach to our supervision of a number of heightened risks related to the expansion of the regulated digital assets market—which I have called for multiple times this past year.[2] The staff will be able to monitor, supervise, and step in should the risks associated with Cboe’s expanded registration Order cause concern of potential harm to customers and/or markets.
I. Cboe’s futures contracts will continue to be listed, traded, and cleared within the traditional derivatives markets structure and CFTC regulatory framework, limiting certain risks.
Under Cboe’s application, Cboe will operate squarely within the parameters of the traditional broker-intermediated market structure and regulatory framework that has proven effective for decades in protecting customers, clearinghouses, and markets from risks.[3] Under this market structure, regulated brokers who are clearing members will manage and bear risks related to the clearing houses, and interact with customers, providing critical customer protections (including customer bankruptcy priority) and promoting financial stability. This market structure performed well through multiple stress events, including Russia’s war against Ukraine, the pandemic, and the 2008 financial crisis.
Cboe’s application stands in stark contrast to FTX’s application for a bespoke disintermediated direct-to customer market structure. The proposed FTX model was never adopted by the Commission, but it put at risk customers’ bankruptcy priority, other customer protections, and financial stability. In October, while FTX’s application was pending, I gave a speech saying:
The CFTC should continue to use its existing authority, following a “same risk, same regulatory outcome” approach. This starts with establishing the basic foundation of customer protections and guardrails that investors and customers are familiar with, and expect from other regulated financial products and markets. Crypto companies seeking to come within the CFTC-regulated derivatives markets should expect the application of our existing regulatory framework because it has a proven record of reducing financial stability risk. As companies seek bespoke treatment, I will be guided in my decisions by the twin pillars of financial stability and customer protection, in particular for retail investors. Crypto companies set up for an unregulated environment will need to change to look more like a regulated entity. On balance, regulators must be careful in allowing bespoke treatment that could increase financial stability risks—risks that are well in check with our existing framework.[4]
Cboe’s application also differs from other registrants and applicants that have proposed bespoke market structures that could introduce financial stability risk and other risks.
Cboe does not seek bespoke regulation that differs from the time and stress-tested traditional market structure. CBOE’s amended Order provides fair competition, without opening the door to novel and complex risks that could flow from an untested market structure.[5]
Additionally, Cboe’s clearinghouse itself has been registered with the Commission since 2019, and its parent company Cboe has more than fifty years of experience operating exchanges across regulated futures, options, foreign exchange, and equities exchanges.[6] This experience can further serve to limit risk with the financial and human capital, as well as risk management expertise, that Cboe has in executing the responsibilities associated with regulated trading and clearing in other asset classes.
Finally, in connection with seeking the expanded authority under the Order, Cboe has agreed to hold itself to a higher financial-resources standard than the law requires.[7] This recognizes the heightened risks associated with clearing in a nascent marketplace, like crypto, and acts to limit risk.
II. Strengthened customer protections, cybersecurity and clearing-system safeguards and guardrails.
The customer protections, cybersecurity, and clearing-system safeguards and guardrails of the futures markets will be strengthened by four significant measures that my office advanced.
Staff Advisory on Supervision of Heightened Risk
First, last week, the staff issued an advisory warning of certain heightened risks associated with the expansion of clearing into the digital-asset space—a supervisory action that I have advocated for this past year, and worked closely with the staff to release.[8] That advisory is a critical step in implementing heightened supervision of crypto exchanges and clearinghouses where there is heightened risk.
The advisory makes clear that the Commission has existing authorities it can use to supervise areas of heightened risk. It identifies cyber resilience and systems safeguards, conflicts of interest, and physical settlement risks as key areas in which the staff intends to emphasize its general supervisory authority, application review authority, and examination authority.[9] The comprehensive oversight approach reflected in the advisory will continue to be critical in monitoring markets and supervising risks for those regulated entities where we have approved applications, such as CBOE. It will also be critical as the Commission considers other applications to expand clearing into digital assets or for new registered entities.
Strengthened Cybersecurity Related to Cboe
Second, because Cboe wished to expand to physically delivered crypto using an unaffiliated, experienced third-party custody provider, and out of my concern for the high rate of cyber hacks in crypto, Cboe worked with my office to strengthen a key cybersecurity and operational risk protection both for itself and third parties. In February, soon after the cyber attack on ION Markets, I gave a speech on strengthening cyber resilience, saying, “One of the lessons learned from last week is that a firm’s cybersecurity is only as strong as its most vulnerable third-party service provider . . . . Firms owe it to their clients—and I would say the markets—to have ongoing communications and other due diligence with third-party service providers to understand their cybersecurity controls and any weaknesses that could put the firm at risk. One path firms can consider is to request regular updated Systems and Operational Controls 2 (“SOC 2”) audits and opinions that the third party service provider has met, and better yet, exceeded, standards.”[10]
CBOE has agreed to annual SOC 2 audits, giving it regular reports and findings with respect to the design and effectiveness of Cboe’s own financial and operational controls. These audits will serve as a useful oversight tool both for Cboe and the Commission and are a best practice to reduce cyber and operational risk. Commission staff will receive the reports and benefit from information and findings therein due to conditions that have been memorialized in the Order at my request. Cboe has submitted a representation letter to the Commission at my request that it will continue to engage these audits on an annual basis. In the letter, Cboe stated its belief that annual SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports constitute best practices.
Strengthened Cybersecurity Related to Third Parties
Cboe also worked with my office to strengthen cybersecurity by amending its vendor management framework to improve third-party risk management of custodians and wallet providers. Under the revised framework, Cboe will require all “high risk” third-party services involved in custodial or wallet services to provide their own SOC 2 Type II reports to the clearinghouse on a regular schedule.
This third-party cyber risk control will provide Cboe with an independent view of the controls environment at key custodians and wallet third-party providers involved in its digital assets businesses. Key to this important due diligence requirement, of course, is the definition of “high risk,” which Cboe defines to include a broad array of disruptions to Cboe’s ability to deliver services or satisfy compliance or regulatory obligations. It also includes all services with unsupervised access to, or hosting, highly confidential information.
This control comes as a lesson learned from the ION Markets attack. In a discussion of the lessons learned from the ION Markets attack in the Technology Advisory Committee (“TAC”) that I sponsor, TAC member and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Todd Conklin, who leads Treasury’s cyber portfolio and worked on the ION Markets attack, presented the lessons learned from the attack.[11] DAS Conklin said, “You have this potential sprawling impact zone for a firm that, we found later, many institutions didn’t even classify necessarily as a ‘critical’ third-party vendor. Right? So many firms who onboarded ION didn’t use the highest-level scrutiny that they use for their most critical third-party vendors.” The Commission should pay close attention to these definitional issues across all registrants.
Market Integrity Safeguards
Finally, Cboe worked with my office to change its rulebook to protect the integrity of derivatives markets. Cboe agreed, in particular, to amend Rule 301(f) of its rulebook relating to General Eligibility Requirements of Clearing Members to disqualify any applicant for clearing membership if it, any affiliate, or any associated principal is subject to statutory disqualification(s) under section 8a(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act.[12] In other words, Cboe will not admit any clearing firm that has been found to have violated a provision of law identified by Congress as significant enough to prohibit a firm—without a hearing—from engaging in a CFTC-regulated business.
These four measures collectively protect customers, the clearing system, and markets.
III. Conclusion
I have been vocal about the benefits of bringing appropriate crypto activities into the regulated space in order to protect customers, but in a way that supports oversight, accountability, transparency, and risk management (among many other public interests). I also have been vocal about my concerns with respect to firms seeking bespoke regulation that has not been tested for risks. Too often in recent years, crypto firms have sought to take a business model or market structure that exists in an unregulated environment and port it over to the regulated environment. The CFTC does not have a window into the risks associated with models or structures in an unregulated environment. Cboe has not done that, instead operating within the parameters of the traditional futures market structure and regulatory framework. It has constructively engaged with the staff and my office to address concerns related to risk, and implement risk-mitigating measures. For these reasons, along with the staff advisory that recognizes our existing authorities in a supervisory framework for continued monitoring and supervision of heightened risk that could harm customers and markets, I approve.


  • CFTC approves Cboe Clear Digital, LLC to Clear Margined Digital Asset Futures. Order permits Cboe to provide clearing services for digital asset futures on a margined basis for futures commission merchants, in addition to the fully collateralized swaps previously authorized.
  • Under this market structure, regulated brokers who are clearing members will manage and bear risks related to the clearing houses, and interact with customers, providing critical customer protections (including customer bankruptcy priority) and promoting financial stability.
    • "Cboe’s application stands in stark contrast to FTX’s application for a bespoke disintermediated direct-to customer market structure. The proposed FTX model was never adopted by the Commission, but it put at risk customers’ bankruptcy priority, other customer protections, and financial stability. "
submitted by Dismal-Jellyfish to Superstonk [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:31 Plus_Victory7690 Innovative Technologies for Efficient Storage Space Optimization

Innovative Technologies for Efficient Storage Space Optimization
In today's digital age, the demand for storage space is ever-increasing, with data being generated at an unprecedented rate. As a result, the need for effective storage space optimization has become crucial. This article explores various patent technologies aimed at saving storage space. These innovative solutions leverage intelligent algorithms, compression techniques, and data deduplication to maximize storage efficiency. In the following sections, we will discuss these technologies in detail, highlighting their benefits and potential applications.
I. Intelligent Data Compression
1.Lossless Compression:
  • Definition and operation of lossless compression.
  • Detailed explanation of algorithms like Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) and Deflate.
  • Benefits: Reduced storage footprint while preserving data integrity.
  • Applications: Archival storage, document management systems.
2.Lossy Compression:
  • Definition and operation of lossy compression.
  • Overview of popular algorithms like JPEG and MP3.
  • Benefits: Significant reduction in storage size with acceptable quality loss.
  • Applications: Multimedia storage, image and audio databases.
II. Data Deduplication
1.Inline Deduplication
  • Explanation of inline deduplication and its advantages.
  • Discussion of block-level and file-level deduplication techniques.
  • Benefits: Elimination of redundant data, maximizing storage efficiency.
  • Applications: Virtual machine backups, file servers.
2.Post-Process Deduplication
  • Definition and implementation of post-process deduplication.
  • Overview of deduplication methods like content-defined and fixed-length chunking.
  • Benefits: Enhanced data deduplication without impacting primary storage performance.
  • Applications: Backup systems, data archives.
III. Intelligent Storage Tiering
1.Automated Data Tiering:
  • Explanation of automated storage tiering concepts.
  • Introduction to hot, warm, and cold data classification.
  • Benefits: Optimized utilization of high-performance and low-cost storage tiers.
  • Applications: Enterprise storage systems, cloud storage.
2.Predictive Analytics for Tiering:
  • Utilizing machine learning algorithms for predictive data analysis.
  • Discussion of factors influencing data access patterns and usage.
  • Benefits: Proactive data tiering based on anticipated demand, reducing costs.
  • Applications: Big data analytics, content delivery networks.
IV. Thin Provisioning
1.Thin Provisioning Overview:
  • Explanation of thin provisioning and its advantages.
  • Comparison with traditional storage allocation methods.
  • Benefits: Efficient utilization of available storage capacity.
  • Applications: Virtualized environments, cloud-based storage.
2.Space Reclamation Techniques:
  • Description of space reclamation methods like zero-page reclaim and thin reclamation.
  • How these techniques help in recovering unused storage space.
  • Benefits: Preventing storage waste and optimizing resource allocation.
  • Applications: Virtual machine environments, large-scale storage deployments.
In conclusion, efficient storage space utilization is essential in managing the ever-growing volumes of data. The patent technologies discussed in this article offer innovative solutions for saving storage space. Intelligent data compression, data deduplication, intelligent storage tiering, and thin provisioning are powerful techniques that can significantly optimize storage efficiency. By implementing these technologies, organizations can reduce storage costs, enhance performance, and improve overall data management. As data continues to proliferate, it is crucial to leverage such advancements to ensure effective utilization of storage resources.
Popular Technical Efficacy Phrases
reduce stressgood qualitygood corrosion resistancesave storage spacelow failure ratereasonable formulaprotect environmentavoid safety hazardsgood sealingreduce manual labor intensity
submitted by Plus_Victory7690 to space [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:29 Heavy_Key2552 “Water Only” setting on Baby Brezza dispensing too much

I’ve been using my Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced for two months now. We’ve been struggling to find a formula that works for our son with allergies, and with this latest switch I didn’t have time to swap the formula in the container so I’m just using it for the warm water (and mixing in the formula manually). This is when I noticed that when I set the ounces to 4, the “water only” setting is actually dispensing closer to 4.25 oz of water. I see a lot of complaints about incorrect formula being dispensed, but I’m specifically concerned with just the water measurements.
We even ordered a new one from Amazon and it’s doing the same thing. I’ve measured it in a separate measuring cup just to make sure the bottles weren’t mislabeled or something. Anyone else have this issue?
submitted by Heavy_Key2552 to FormulaFeeders [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:24 dragondead9 Need Ideas for Quick DnD Adventures during a Burn/Festival

I am running an RPG-themed camp at an upcoming burn/festival, and I'm looking for very short (5-30 minutes) DnD roleplaying adventures.
There are two types of adventures I'm envisioning:
  1. Around a Table Adventure: This is a "traditional" DnD game where me and at least 1 other person are playing at a table.
  2. In the Field Adventure: This is more akin to LARPing as we would be playing in a field as I walk around the fairgrounds.
For the Field Adventure type, I'm wondering how I can make the encounter fun and engaging using a super minimal rule set that somehow brings physical movement into the action.
Curious if anyone else has tried something like this and what you came up with.
Any help is appreciated!
submitted by dragondead9 to DnD [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:21 WorthwillAustralia Aluminum Corrugated Sheet: Serving Different Purposes with Strength and Versatility

Aluminum Corrugated Sheet: Serving Different Purposes with Strength and Versatility
Title: Aluminum Corrugated Sheet: Serving Different Purposes with Strength and Versatility
Introduction: In the realm of construction and industrial applications, aluminum corrugated sheets have emerged as a popular choice due to their remarkable strength, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. These sheets, featuring a distinctive wavy pattern, offer a myriad of benefits and serve various purposes across different industries. This blog post aims to explore the diverse applications and advantages of aluminum corrugated sheets, highlighting their versatility and contribution to numerous sectors.
  1. Construction Industry: The construction industry widely utilizes aluminum corrugated sheets due to their exceptional durability and lightweight nature. These sheets are commonly used in roofing applications for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. With their corrugated structure, they offer enhanced strength and rigidity, ensuring the integrity of the roof while providing protection against weather elements such as rain, wind, and snow. Additionally, their lightweight nature simplifies the installation process, reduces structural stress, and lowers overall construction costs.
  2. Industrial Applications: Aluminum corrugated sheets find extensive usage in various industrial sectors due to their excellent properties. They are often employed as cladding materials for walls, partitions, and ceilings in factories, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. The sheets' strength and resistance to corrosion make them an ideal choice for protecting structures and equipment from harsh environments, chemicals, and corrosive substances.
  3. Transportation and Automotive Sector: In the transportation and automotive sector, aluminum corrugated sheets have gained prominence. They are used for manufacturing trailers, truck bodies, and shipping containers. The sheets' lightweight nature enables the construction of robust and fuel-efficient vehicles, resulting in improved performance and reduced operational costs. Moreover, their corrosion-resistant properties ensure longevity, making them ideal for outdoor transportation applications.
  4. Agricultural and Rural Applications: In rural and agricultural settings, aluminum corrugated sheets find various uses. They are extensively employed in the construction of sheds, barns, and agricultural storage facilities. The sheets' resistance to rust and corrosion safeguards these structures from the elements, ensuring the protection of valuable equipment, crops, and livestock.
  5. Decorative and Architectural Applications: Beyond their practical applications, aluminum corrugated sheets are also valued for their aesthetic appeal and versatility in architectural design. These sheets can be used to create unique facades, interior wall cladding, and decorative elements. The wave-like pattern adds texture and visual interest to buildings, contributing to their overall appeal and character.
Advantages of Aluminum Corrugated Sheets:
  • Lightweight: Enables easy handling, transportation, and installation.
  • Strength and Durability: Provides structural integrity and long-lasting performance.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Offers protection against rust, making them suitable for outdoor applications.
  • Thermal Insulation: Possesses insulating properties, regulating temperature and reducing energy consumption.
  • Cost-effective: Lower installation and maintenance costs compared to traditional alternatives.
  • Recyclability: Aluminum is highly recyclable, promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness.
Conclusion: Aluminum corrugated sheets have emerged as versatile building materials, finding applications across a wide range of industries. Their strength, durability, lightweight nature, and aesthetic appeal make them an attractive choice for roofing, cladding, transportation, and architectural design. With their corrosion resistance, thermal insulation properties, and recyclability, these sheets are not only practical but also contribute to sustainable construction practices. As the demand for durable and visually appealing building materials continues to rise, aluminum corrugated sheets will undoubtedly remain a valuable asset in the world of construction and industry.
submitted by WorthwillAustralia to u/WorthwillAustralia [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:19 pennypacker89 New to Central AC with Questions

Hi there,
So I have never lived in a house with central AC before. I currently live in Michigan, in a house that is 2000 sq ft (1400 first floor and 600 upstairs). I recently had a new 2.5 ton Trane AC system installed, and really have no idea what to expect. This past week, the weather was about 90°, and I turned the system on for the first time. The first day, the house was 80° inside when I first turned it on. After running afternoon/evening it was only able to cool the house to 78°. At night, outside temps dipped to around 60°, at which point the AC was able to cool the house. On the second day I left the unit at 68°, which it was able to do. However, I had been working outside and 68 just wasn't cool enough to help relax when I came in so I turned it to 64°. Like the day prior, it was not able to cool down from 68 until overnight when outside temps dipped down. So finally, on the third day I just started with the thermostat set to 63°. It was able to hold that temp all day, but the unit ran literally the whole day long with no break.
So my question is, is this normal? I know 63° when it's 90° is asking a lot, and I'm not expecting that, but I would have assumed the AC could cool an already warm house down. Or does central air need to be used with some planning, where you turn it on ahead of time to maintain cool temps? My parents house has AC, and it can cool the house drastically in 30 minutes. But they also have a small house surrounded by shade trees. My house is laid out in a ranch style where the air has to go across the whole house, and is in full sun. I know there's a million variables, and I know my house isn't well insulated in the attic either which I'm sure doesn't help, and I'm sure I could use more air intake vents, but it is an older house designed for heat only.
My other concern is that is it possible my unit is undersized? Having no idea about any of this going into it, I never questioned the estimate for a 2.5 ton unit, but now I'm wondering with my size house if I needed larger?
Again, this is all very new to me, and I've been trying to learn as much as I can from this subreddit. I just don't want to call them and look like an idiot if this is normal and how AC works, lol.
Any help, tidbits, or advice is greatly appreciated! I'm just hoping I didn't spend $5k on something that isn't right, lol
submitted by pennypacker89 to hvacadvice [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:10 IllustratorSimple635 Opinions needed please

Opinions needed please
Looking to replicate the style in picture #1, not the table itself per se. I have a ambrosia maple slab I’ve been working on (90” x ~14” x 2.5”, about 50 lbs). I want to do similar legs and have a shelf underneath. I bought some 8/4 hard maple, and 4/4 ambrosia maple for the shelf. I’m planning on the table being 24” tall with the legs being 8” wide. I’m thinking the legs will be I set from the outer edges about 15” and the shelf will be about 10-12” high.
Does those sound like a good rough plan or does the placement of legs/shelf need to be different to support the weight of the table? Any recommendations on the angle of the legs? (Haven’t calculated that just yet) also haven’t sorted through how to attach the legs yet either so any input would be appreciated
Picture 2 & 3 seem to be more traditional and “straight forward” in terms of attachment, and angles etc. but thoughts on these two instead?
submitted by IllustratorSimple635 to woodworking [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:10 jafd4444 Inisheer Irish Dancers Open House

Inisheer Irish Dancers Open House
Are you ready to try something new and fun? Ready to get out and move? If you are, then join the Inisheer Irish Dancers as we welcome you for two introductory workshops.
2-3pm Sean nos (Old Style) Irish step dance
Sean-nós step dance is characterized by its "low to the ground" footwork, improvised steps, free movement of the arms with high value placed on personal style.
3-3:30pm Break for socializing: tea, Irish soda bread and other treats!
3:30-4:30pm Irish Set dancing - The Connemara Set!
Irish sets are danced by four couples in a square, and are derived from French Quadrilles which were brought to Ireland in the nineteenth century. Irish dancers adapted the figures to their own music and steps to form dances with great drive and enjoyment.
You can participate in one or both of the workshops There is no fee, but donations appreciated Everyone who participates will get a free Inisheer Irish Dancers T-shirt
Inisheer Irish Dancers are based in Gainesville, Florida since 2003 and perform at festivals around North Florida.
We welcome ALL regardless of religious belief, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means, education, and political perspective.
Instructor: Piper Call [email protected]
submitted by jafd4444 to GNV [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:10 MikeFjord An open letter with proposals to the UN from Mike

Hello, dear representatives of the UN.
I have several ideas-suggestions that are not related to each other.
  1. I propose to develop laws at the international level on the need to provide each projectile, mine, missile with a built-in video camera that will not affect the ballistic and other properties of projectiles. The video recording would be turned on when the projectile was moving. Since the projectiles are stored in boxes, the movement of the projectiles from place to place would be kept secret. Subsequently, when a projectile was used in combat, for example, during an artillery strike, video data from this projectile would be transmitted via a special military channel to the satellites of the country to which the projectile would belong.
And then there are a lot of options. Since when a projectile hits a residential building without visible signs of air defense or other options for changing the trajectory of a missile or a projectile that hit the building, we will get a desire to hide, deny the involvement of any of the parties to the conflict, then at least you can create a committee of representatives of all UN member states. Data from the satellite will be duplicated to the server of this committee, but access to the server will only be collective and of course you will have to encrypt the data very carefully. After a projectile hits a residential building with civilian casualties, this committee holds an emergency meeting and discloses information about the guilt of the party.
  1. There are many crimes against children. I propose to introduce the ubiquitous wearing of video cameras in clothes, hats or other accessories. Access to parents will be closed, as well as to everyone else. All data from cameras on children's clothes, on hats, for example, will be recorded on a server that will be accessed only in case of disappearance of children or other circumstances. I emphasize that access to parents will be prohibited. For example, parents are Nazis, and their teenage daughter is an anti-Nazi, and of course all her conversations with friends, business, and pastime should be hidden from parents who may try to break the child's psyche and set her up on an anti-humanistic, misanthropic path. Children should know for sure that parents will not see the recordings under any circumstances, except just circumstances tragic for the children themselves. This proposal of mine will reduce the number of crimes with children at times.
  2. The most important proposal for the exchange of citizenship of people. At the international level, it is necessary to come up with, write, publish and ratify the following idea: in every country in the world there are dissatisfied with the government, but such people may be politically passive or active, but represent a minority, while such people may be low-income, and not be able to leave the country. In this case, it is possible to adopt the 1x1 citizenship exchange scheme. Each citizen fills out a certain questionnaire, where he indicates his skills, financial condition, assesses health both objectively from the point of view of doctors, and subjectively, tells about all his income. Then such a citizen indicates the countries in which he would like to obtain citizenship, renouncing his own. If a person with similar indicators of finances, health, etc. appears in the country in which he wants to obtain citizenship, then citizenship is exchanged. Every country benefits from it. This may be less beneficial to the international community, because unipolar countries with certain radical conservative guidelines will be formed. But let's be honest and objective: there is already a trend towards radicalization and conservative traditional guidelines in the world. The countries will be objectively happy. For example, a person, a US citizen, is on welfare and hates the USA. And there is a person sitting in Russia, a citizen of Russia, also receives benefits and hates Russia. They fill out questionnaires and then, if everything suits them, they exchange citizenship. Russia gets a person loyal to Russia, and the USA gets a person loyal to the USA.
Please convey my suggestions to the UN representatives, thank you.
And thank you for your attention,
Best regards,
submitted by MikeFjord to UnitedNations [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 04:04 PorcelainDalmatian Sorry Folks, But We Need To Talk About Religion

BACKGROUND: I wrote this post as a comment on another thread, but thought it deserved its own post. This is the #1 issue the Bulwark (and to be fair most of the mainstream media) is failing to deal with right now.......

The real problem is that the GOP no longer exists as a political party. They didn't even bother to put out a party platform in 2020. What political party does that? None I've seen in my 52 years on this planet.
Todays' GOP has morphed from a political party into a fundamentalist religious cult comprised of Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Rad/Trad Catholics (SCOTUS, FedSoc) and to a much smaller extent, Orthodox Jews - hellbent on forcing their beliefs on others. Fundamentalist religion affiliation - not race, age, socio-economic status, or geography - is the most accurate predictor for being MAGA.
Because we are afraid to discuss and/or criticize religion in this country, we give this Christian fundamentalist jihad the absurdist euphemism, "Culture Wars," in the same way we now call lies and propaganda, "Misinformation." Nothing today's GOP focuses on has anything to do with traditional politics: Transgenderism, abortion, the Green M&M's choice of footwear, "masculinity," vaccine denialism, Target's choice of merchandising displays. These are RELIGIOUS issues.
Q-Anon, the anti-vax lunacy, Stop The Steal, the trucker convoy, the "groomer" panic, anti-trans protests, abortion bans, book bans, Dobbs - it's ALL coming out of the churches. None of this has anything to do with traditional politics. Go to one of Mike Flynn's"Re-Awaken America" rallies - there are fundamentalist Evangelical altar calls right in the middle of them!
In America we think we are immune to jihads because we aren't a Muslim country. But there are fundamentalists of every faith. Yes, there can be an "American Taliban" - it's just comes in the name of Jesus instead of Allah, wearing a suit and tie instead of a Dishdasha.
What drives me insane is the mainstream media's (including the Bulwark) reticence to face this obvious truth head on. We act as if the 1st Amendment's protection of religious liberty renders the Christian faith immune from discussion or criticism.
It doesn't.
We have to get over the age-old axiom of "Polite people don't discuss religion or politics." If we can discuss politics on the Bulwark why can't we discuss religion? Stop worry about offending Christian jihadists, and start concerning yourself with the truth. It's the only thing that will set us free.
submitted by PorcelainDalmatian to thebulwark [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 03:57 LordBloodrevan Anders I- Rising Sun (Open to King's Landing)

Anders Dayne

He had awoken bright and early at the first sign of the morning sun. The feel of the ocean underneath him kept him sleeping relatively easily even if King's Landing hardly slept. Anders Dayne threw on a tunic that he usually reserved for sparring and rough pants, had he not strapped his ancestral sword on his back, he might have been taken for someone who wasn't highborn.
Anders had found a local bakery, and the night before offered them double the cost for all of their food if they would sell it exclusively to him. There was no reason for them to decline, and so they didn't. The last thing he needed was a cart. He went to a local carpenter for that too.
"Hello, my good ser." Anders said upon entering the shop, ducking down slightly to avoid bashing his head on the tools that hung from the ceiling. "Do you happen to have a cart I can rent?"
"Rent? No. Sell? Yes." The man replied.
"I truly don't need it for longer than today. If you'd allow it, I'll give you a stag for your trouble and if any damage is inflicted on it I'll purchase it." Anders would counter.
"Hmm, alright." The man replied. "It's out back, locked up. Meet me there."
With a slight bow to show his appreciation as well as avoiding the sharp tools once more, he stepped out of the shop and headed towards the alley behind the shop, where indeed there was a cart. He noticed it was a handcart, not one meant to be pulled by a horse, that was fine by him.
"Perfect. I'll have it back to you by sundown." Anders replied with a smile, grabbing the large poles of wood that were intended to be handles and began pulling it back to the bakery.
When he arrived he began loading all of the bread and baked goods that he'd ordered onto the back of the cart. He was pleased to see quite a few meat pies alongside the breads. The people of Flea Bottom would need more than bread to satiate them.
When the cart was loaded, Anders once again began to pull it behind him, making the treacherous journey down into Flea Bottom. He received a few askew glances, and even noticed a few children dashing forward and grabbing something from the cart before running away. He simply chuckled at that.
There was a small courtyard he'd find after a few minutes of walking. It was there he parked the cart and sat on the edge of a fountain that could use a deep cleaning. The first person to approach was a young boy, no older than six. He was covered in dirt and had more than a few scrapes.
"Are you hungry?" Anders would ask.
The boy nodded quickly.
"Okay, come here." Anders smiled broadly. "Let's get you the best thing I have on here. I have a nice warm meat pie. Make sure you eat it here, or people may take it from you."
"If you don't mind, before you eat however." Anders reached back into his cart for a jug of water and a bolt of fabric he'd use as a towel. "Let's clean your hands up at least. I'd hate for this meal to taste of dirt."
The boy complied, allowing Anders to wash his hands and face. "Can I really have it milord?"
"Ser." Anders corrected gently. "You may, and I'd like you to tell every child you know to come get some as well. I'll be here all day."
The boy ate the pie next to Anders, who regaled him with stories of the Sword of the Morning descriptions of the Torrentine.
Before long, Anders would have nearly the entire courtyard full of children, all listening in awe as they chewed on their bread and meats with their freshly washed faces and hands.
Always be the knight you'd have looked up to. Rang his father's voice in his head. He missed him.
submitted by LordBloodrevan to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 03:55 CedarWolf Large capacity bicycles or trikes/rickshaws for adults?

Howdy, y'all.
I have a friend who is on disability and has limited mobility. He can't really get around very well, but he can support and scoot himself about with a little cart. The problem is that he can't balance himself on a scooter or a traditional bike, and he can't afford one of those powered chairs. A little powered bike or trike would be perfect for him, but he's heavier than the weight limit on most of them.
I gather he doesn't want to be in a wheelchair because he finds it insulting, and I can definitely understand that. I think if he had a bike that would work for him, he would have a lot more freedom and he wouldn't have to be cooped up in the house so much. We've both considered a cheap motorcycle and he likes the little Vespa scooters, but neither of us can afford one and he'd probably hurt himself on a motorcycle. He's a nice guy, but he's a big guy, and that presents some difficulties.
Similarly, my partner has limited mobility due to a different set of health concerns, and that limits how far she can go when we're out doing stuff. We'd like to go see the National Mall some day, but that's a lot of walking and a lot of stress on her joints.
I looked at tandem bikes, but most of them seem to top out at around 300-400 lbs, which seems a bit light for two adults. What happens if we clip a curb? Would the frame bend or break? Or worse, what happens if we fall and she gets hurt?
If I could find something like a trike or a rickshaw which is rated for adults, then my friend could pedal himself to his mailbox or around his neighborhood, and I'd be able to pedal my partner around the National Mall. It wouldn't be a perfect fix, but it would extend both of their ranges considerably.
Most of the rickshaws and such that I've seen online seem to be rated for an adult with child passengers. They're not rated to carry 450 lbs of two adults, and I have no idea where I'd be able to find a bike or trike that's capable of carrying a 300+ lb person.
Any advice?
submitted by CedarWolf to cycling [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 03:54 ollismom Night Sweats for 6+ months

My Fiancé (M24) and I (F23) moved into a new to us house (1960’s with a recent remodel) we only rent it so we didn’t have an inspector or anything- and landlords aren’t always the most honest, so I’m truly not sure if the house has any known issues.
When we moved in, it was winter, we had been sleeping under a comforter in our old home and often had to sleep close to stay warm. Once moved into our new home, we used the same comforter and within about a week neither of us wanted it because of how hot we were getting and switched to lighter throw blankets, since then the blankets have gotten lighter, the AC has been turned colder and colder, we’ve got fans, cooling blankets, everything. but we both still have HORRENDOUS night sweats. no other real symptoms besides some mental health flares but I’m not sure I can entirely blame those on any one thing.
My question is- what could cause this suddenly? my thoughts was black mold- but I’m truly not sure. any input would be appreciated! I’m setting up an appointment with my doctor soon, any tests I should request he run? Thanks!
submitted by ollismom to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 03:43 ShadowDragon88 I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! Ch. 5

Hey there, readers! Here's chapter five for your reading pleasure! Please consider leaving a comment or review as those really do just pick me right up!
I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! (Chapter 5)
A fine drizzle was coming down on the town of Starlight Rose. A familiar wolf-kin beasta in red robes that appeared to be shimmering despite the cloudy gloom of the day was walking along the main road. In his right hand, he held a long polished oak staff, topped with a red glowing gemstone the size of his fist. In his left hand, held away from his body, was a tan leather satchel, the drawstring tied in a knot. It appeared full, and seemed to shudder and wriggle. Felixin smiled and nodded to passing villagers.

"Hey there, Felixin," came the rumbling voice of Earl Shatterknuckle. The blonde dwarf, presently wearing just simple brown leather trousers, fell in step beside his taller friend. Felixin looked down at the dwarf, whose smaller frame was bulging with muscles, with blue and gold glowing tattoos tracing intricate spider-web-like symbols across his chest and arms, smiling back.

"Good day to you, Earl," the wolf said. There was a spitting-chittering sound coming from the bag, making Felixin pause and frown before giving the satchel a good whack with his magical staff. "Quiet, you!" he hissed at it.

"Caught yourself another evil spirit, eh?" Earl said with a smirk.

"Oh yes, and this one was quite the nasty piece of work. I'm on my way back to my lab to properly dispose of it. I think it's from some destroyed remnant of Eld technology, one of the ones that gained sentience, or at least some spiritual semblance to it," Felixin said as he gave the bag another whack when it started to make some electronic beeping sounds.

"Oh?" Earl asked, curious. "I remember more than once we had some nasty run-ins with Eld-tech back when we were adventurers."

"I remember you and Melthi being the ones to turn the blasted machines on, both times when cautioned not to," Felixin said pointedly, making the dwarf chuckle.

"What can I say? We're both curious by nature!"

"Yes, that's one word for it," Felixin said with a smile, remembering his adventuring days and the party of friends he would regularly travel with. "Anyways. For some reason, about six years ago, they suddenly became much more prevalent. Thankfully, their numbers have been dropping back down over the years."

"What makes you think this one is from Eld tech?"

"It kept saying 'Does not compute!' over and over again, while also identifying some kind of rabbit threat." Felixin's mood seemed to shift and his ears laid back on his head, while his tail dipped, almost long enough to drag on the ground behind him. "And when it mentioned rabbits, it made me think of my little princess."

Earl rolled his eyes as he reached up and clapped the town wizard on the back. "Ah, Kiana'll be back to visit before you know it."

"I know... it's just, one minute she was this little delicate baby girl, and the next minute, she was this amazing young woman, all ready to up and go out."

"Didn't Kiana kick down a couple of brick walls when she was a baby?" Earl asked, scratching his head. Felixin waved a dismissive paw at that.

"Pure coincidences. Those walls were clearly unsound and improperly constructed, so much so that when she was having one of her tantrums just a little punch or kick was enough to send them tumbling down. We're lucky she wasn't hurt or scared, just confused and curious more than anything. Anyways, I just get so worried when I think of her, out there on the open road. Just so... vulnerable. Thankfully I made sure to instill in her a proper sense of caution." Earl snorted at that.


Kiana let out a roar of fury as her trusted tetsubo connected with the raised steel shield of the bandit before her. The metal dented and warped just as the bandit, shield and all, became airborne. They traveled in an arc straight towards a stone tower connected to an old run-down fort the bandits had holed up in. The screaming man smashed into the top of the tower, crumbling it, his screams instantly going silent.

"Fire!" Kiana heard a deep voice shout. There were several blasts and, thanks to Kiana's speed, she watched as five cannonballs headed in her direction. To the ordinary person, the black metallic spheres were probably nearly impossible to follow. To Kiana, it looked as though they were moving incredibly slow. She simply stepped aside from four of them, letting them explode into the nearby hillside. As the fifth one hurtled her way, she crouched slightly, raising her tetsubo like a baseball bat. She swung and smacked the cannonball, her tetsubo making a loud DING, and sent it flying right back where it had come from. The two bandits manning the cannon were obliterated along with the weapon itself, as well as a good chunk of the fort wall.

"She's some kind of demon!" one of the bandits cried. The man, really more of a boy, no older than Kiana, leapt down from the fort wall onto a carriage they had recently stolen from some traveling aristocrats. He then leapt onto the ground and sprinted out into the forest, stripping off the black cloak with the red eye in the center.

"DAMMIT!" the bandit leader cursed, pulling off his tricorn hat and dabbing his bald sweaty head with a handkerchief. While the remaining men were busy barring the windows or reloading and firing the cannons, he was gnashing his teeth. After a moment's hesitation, he pointed to a nearby subordinate. "You! Follow me. We'll unleash the troll on her."

The other bandit paled, audibly gulping. "Th-the troll? Are you sure th-that's wise?" Just as he finished asking that, another cannonball destroyed another cannon, making the entire structure shudder.

"We don't have any other options. Hopefully, after it kills her, it'll be injured enough for us to finish it off... or the other way around if she kills it." The other bandit grimaced at the options laid before them, but nodded solemnly. Outside, Kiana smacked another cannonball back at the cannon that fired it, being careful not to send it flying towards the base of the tower. According to one of the kidnapped merchants that had managed to escape and make it all the way to town, the cells where the bandits were holding their ransom victims were all on the ground floor. Kiana stopped when she heard a loud guttural roar, followed by a rapid series of loud BOOMs. Bandits ran by the windows and open holes of the fort, while the front gate slowly opened.

Out stumbled a massive creature. Its flesh was a dark brown, and had a texture not unlike tree bark. Its long arms and legs were thicker than the old oak trees in the forest near Starlight Rose. Its gnarled hands, with thick thorn-like protrusions sticking from the knuckles, balled into fists, fists that were as big as Kiana was tall. Its barrel-chest heaved, with white criss-crossing scars in its bark-flesh. It didn't have much in the way of a neck, and its head looked just like a tree stump, complete with root-like tendrils wriggling back and forth. It's mouth was partially concealed by the tendrils, until it reared back and opened its gaping maw, revealing rows of broken yellow teeth, to let out a bellow that shook the ground. From the top of its head grew two slightly spiraling branch-like horns.

"These idiots somehow managed to get a forest troll?" Kiana asked out loud, a smirk appearing on her face. "And this was only a gold-ranked quest? Something tells me I'm in for a sweet bonus."

The beast stopped as its knot-like eyes, of which there were at least seven, caught sight of the bunny girl. Up above from the second story windows and holes and from on the roof, the remaining bandits, many of them injured, looked down. Most were smirking, some of the more foolish ones shouted out taunts. The bandit leader stood there, looking grim-faced, but taking some satisfaction in knowing that despite their losses today, the annoying source of their problems was about to end, one way or another.

Kiana stuck the end of her tetsubo into the dirt, large and surprisingly quick thudding steps shaking the ground. The beast was lumbering towards Kiana, who didn't look the least bit afraid. While not intelligent enough to be truly sentient, the troll did have enough sense to know that its prey should be running. And the fact that it was just calmly standing there, staring at it, only angered it further. With a final roar, the forest troll charged forward. It balled up a massive fist, and swung straight for Kiana. Kiana swung her own fist, the two colliding.

There was a very loud, sickening crunch and pop. The bandits looked down in shock and horror as where the now screaming troll's fist and forearm had been, there was a bloody and jagged stump that ended just above the right elbow. The troll screeched and lunged at Kiana, hoping to impale her on its horns. But the bunny girl simply kicked, knocking the head clean off the rest of its body. The head bounced off a tree and rolled for a bit, settling in the dirt, a look of surprise on the stump-like face. The rest of the body tumbled over three times before coming to a rest near the make-shift stables, where the carriages and horses of the abducted nobles were kept. Kiana looked back up at the fort, making the majority of the bandits shrink back and shudder. A few of them began to wave white tablecloths hastily tied to sticks and tree branches.

A short time later the bandits, now in shackles, were being marched to the mechanical cart as the local sheriff and his deputies led them. Except for the severely injured ones, who were shackled to stretchers and loaded up into a seperate mechanical carriage. Kiana looked on as bodies were checked for possible survivors, there being very few to find, as the merchants and a few nobles were led by deputies out from the fort. Kiana smiled at them and nodded to their looks of awe, some of them having gotten a good look at the show of force the petite bunny girl had demonstrated. Ignoring the ones who shrank back away from her in fright, Kiana spotted the sheriff, a large older man in his mid-fifties with salt and pepper close-cropped hair and a matching mustache. He was wearing the classic green cloak, directing his deputies. He turned to face her as she approached.

"I think that's all cleared up," Kiana said, her voice chipper, belaying the fact she had a smattering of blood and gore staining her fur.

"I'd have to agree with you, young lady," Sheriff Tonsol said, his voice even. In truth, he had tried to avoid enlisting the aid of any adventurers until pressure from various merchants and nobility forced his hand. And even then he had expected it to involve a large party and, more than likely, some lives lost from the hostages. He was a little surprised when the girl reached into her satchel to produce a clipboard with a form on it, as well as an ink pen.

"In that case, would you mind signing this form indicating that I completed the job satisfactorily?" Tonsol looked at the form for a minute, and then his mouth curved upwards. He let out a chuckle and signed his name on the indicated line, writing in the date as well.

"Satisfactorily is putting it lightly, miss," he said, handing the clipboard and pen back to the bunny girl. "I had no idea that they had a forest troll in their possession. I went ahead and bumped up the reward."

"Oh wow, thank you, sir!" Kiana said, looking excited.

Tonsol smiled, something his deputies claimed to be a rare sight to behold. "Well, you earned it. I'm just glad you were able to get them to surrender without harming any hostages. Well, without them harming any more than the ones they did last time someone came out here to free them."

"I'm glad I could help!" Kiana said, bowing a little. "Now, I'm going to head back into town." She spread her arms wide and indicated to herself. "I'm really in need of a bath at this point."

"If you don't mind waiting a minute, you can ride back to town with us. It's faster than walking."

"Oh, thanks for the offer, but I'm good." Kiana waved, before jogging back to where she'd left her tetsubo and pack, Mirabelle coiled around it protectively. She grabbed the items up, quickly looking through the travel pack to make sure she still had everything, and nodded to herself, satisfied. She slipped the pack onto her back, then scooped her pet snake into her arms, and started to jog down the road in the direction of the town of Hengecliffe. Picking up speed, she rapidly became a blur, and in just a few seconds she was coming to a sliding stop in front of the town gates, startling a couple of bored-looking guards.

She greeted them and let Mirabelle down before they let her inside. They stared at the snake with the big pink ribbon around its neck slithering obediently behind the bunny girl. She stopped off at the local guild hall to drop off the signed paperwork and collect her now even heftier reward. She noticed a few stares in her general direction, and some unhappy grumbling from some fellow adventurers, but otherwise no one said anything.

Kiana then headed to the town inn where she still had a room for another night. Thankful again that this world had indoor plumbing, with hot water to boot, Kiana wasted no time in stripping off her gore-coated clothes, which she would wash in the laundry room down the hall, and enjoyed a nice steamy shower. She didn't have to worry about possible intruders, as Mirabelle sat coiled on the bed, ever vigilant.

"Today was a good day," Kiana said, stepping out of the shower and drying herself off, a feat that took several minutes with a towel. This left her gray and white fur all fluffed-out, which led to her brushing it out. Kiana had grown accustomed to the care and maintenance of her fur, taking pride in keeping it clean. She then donned her underwear and a cream-colored sundress from her pack, carefully putting her dirty clothes in the laundry sack in her pack. She smiled and stroked Mirabelle's head, the snake letting out a contented purr-like hiss.

"I'm going to go out and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in town. You stay here and guard the pack, okay?" she asked, slipping her mithril knuckles into her dress pockets, along with a small money pouch. Mirabelle hissed, thumping her tail on the bed in response, curling up tighter around Kiana's belongings.

"Good girl," she praised, before heading out, locking the door behind herself for good measure. Kiana smiled as she stepped out onto the paved sidewalk, carriages passing by on the street. Hengecliffe was much larger than Starlight Rose, with paved streets and even streetlights. Centrally located in a region of plains, it served as a trading hub. Kiana walked along, noticing a few men and women looking her over. Some seemed to do so with distaste, more than likely not enjoying the sight of a beasta. But most seemed to be pleasant people observing a new face.

"Well now, if my eyes are not deceiving me, it seems that an angel from the heavens has decided to grace us mere mortals with her presence." Kiana's ears twitched at the sound of the male voice. She paused and turned, looking down an alley, where a man leaning up against the side of a building stood, looking her over. He was wearing brown leather trousers, a white linen shirt, and a belt with a large buckle which, matching the large buckles on his boots, made him look a bit like a pirate. The goatee and the cutlass sheathed at his side were also not helping.

"Hello, beautiful," he said, giving Kiana a wink. Kiana rolled her eyes, and moved to keep walking, only to find a squat bald man standing in her way, grinning sinisterly. Kiana checked behind herself and saw another man, a larger one with a completely shaved head, arms crossed with a club under one arm. "Now, how about we all go somewhere more... private," the pirate-looking moron asked, giving Kiana a smug wink.

"Wow, you idiots have no idea just how badly you messed up," Kiana said, walking into the alley, the two guys following right behind her. The men chuckled. Passersby stopped when they heard three loud thuds coming from the alley, all of which made the nearby buildings shudder. They saw a bunny beasta girl walking out, brushing some dust off her sundress. She smiled and waved and continued on her way, leaving behind three broken figures. Two were lying in craters in the pavement of the alley, while the third, this one with a cutlass laying at his booted feet, was standing... his head laying all the way back in a hole in the brick wall right behind him.

Later that evening...

Kiana was sitting just outside the town walls on a hill, watching the stars come out. After sixteen years, it still mystified her to look up at the night sky, and not see any of the old constellations. She smiled as a shooting star streaked its way across the sky. Suddenly, Kiana felt a surge of energy just course through her. Her eyes faintly started to glow with the blue light, and she felt a strange pulsing in her chest. Looking around, she felt a strange magnetic pull coming from the south.

Starting as a jog, Kiana soon found herself sprinting outright across the countryside. She ran, as a blur, following the pull, her eyes gradually glowing brighter and brighter, shining with the crackling blue energy. Then, she came to a stop. She stood at the foot of a mountain, itself part of a larger range. Looking up at the mass of rock and ice, she could see broiling clouds up over it, flashes of lightning briefly illuminating the rocky and snowy peaks. With one such flash, Kiana saw something move. Something big. Kiana's glowing eyes went wide.

"Oh wooooooooow," she said, her jaw hanging open. There were rumbles as the giant coiled mass shifted. Several avalanches were caused by the serpentine body, buried under tons and tons of snow. At the very peak of the mountain, a gargantuan head rose.

"Is that a giant... cobra?" Kiana asked under her breath. Indeed, that was what the creature that seemed to dwarf the Spire appeared to be. In the light of the lightning, she saw that its scales were a deep blue, almost purple. There were stripes running down its back, but they were glowing a bright bioluminescent blue. That same glow radiated from the creature's reptilian eyes, and the inside of its hood. The same glowing blue as Kiana's eyes.

"What... are you?" Kiana asked, quietly.

I can ask the same of you, little one, a deep female voice hissed in Kiana's head. She winced and looked around. She then looked back up at the creature, her veins flooded with adrenaline. There was another flash of lightning, and in that very instant, the creature's head was bent down low, right in front of her. Kiana almost jumped back, but stopped herself. As the snake-entity looked her over with an eye that was twice as tall as she was, Kiana felt a sense of calm overtake her.

"Are you... a storm dragon? A real storm dragon?" Kiana asked, reaching out and touching the creature's cheek with her hand. It flicked out a blood red tongue, its mouth curling up a little at the corners.

That is something that little ones like to call my kind, she said. Kiana figured right then and there that this was a female.

"A monk said that... my spirit is like one of yours," Kiana said, breathlessly.

Your soulsong feels similar to one of our kind, little one, she said, turning her head and gently nuzzling the top of Kiana's head, making her ears lay flat. The storm dragon's head was almost as large as the entirety of her hometown.

"My... soulsong?" Kiana asked. The monk she had met hadn't said anything about them.

The song of your innermost being. It stands out from the loud and noisy cacophony that happens when most little ones gather together in large groups. Yours is beautiful, and a little... fluttery. The dragon gave her a wink. She reared up and opened her mouth. Electricity danced between the dragon's fangs, before she shot out a sonic boom. The raging storm above abated, the clouds dispersing, leaving only a crystal clear night sky for miles and miles around. She then turned and looked down at Kiana. The bunny girl felt the storm dragon's gaze. She felt a radiating warmth coming from her. It reminded Kiana of her mother.

It was so nice to meet you, little one. It was quite the pleasant surprise to awaken to. She let out a proud roar, and her body began to undulate. Sections of the mountain range began to crumble as large sections of mountain were crushed and smashed by the body slamming into them. The body of the dragon rose into the air, beginning to gracefully slither about. Levitating there, partially coiled, the sheer size of the storm dragon just boggled the bunny girl's mind.

"Will I see you again?" Kiana asked, feeling a little sad. She had just met this beautiful and amazing being, and already they were leaving.

Of course, little one, the mental voice in her mind chuckled warmly. I have listened to your beautiful soulsong, and I have shared my soulsong with you.

"I... I don't understand what that means," Kiana said, confused.

You will, little one, she said, you are still young, but my soulsong has resonated within you. When you stop and listen, it will become easier and easier to hear it. And thus, the bond has begun to form. In time, you shall understand. With a flick of the creature's tail, there was a flash of lightning that radiated from within the hood, and she was gone. Kiana stood there, her eyes readjusting to the dark.

"This world is so awesome," she said, a smile on her face, as she began to job back towards town. She figured that if the town gates were closed and locked, she could just jump over the wall.


The lone figure stood in the dark, staring at where the great serpent had been levitating. They were sitting on a log in a small clearing, where they had set up camp. The individual in question was polishing their armor when a gray blur had shot right past them. And then, where it had been heading, the giant serpent, an actual storm dragon, arose. They sat there in stunned silence. They knew right then and there, that it had been a sign from the gods. As they unsheathed their katana, it began to thrum with magical energy, the blade becoming engulfed in bright purple flames.

The light of the purple flames illuminated his green face, glinting off his polished tusks. "Soon, the war shall begin," said the orc, sheathing the blade and cutting off its purple light. The same purple light shone from his eyes.

Name: Kiana

Species: Beasta (Rabbit-Kin)

Age: 16

Skills: Sibling Wrangler, Babysitter, Puppy-Dog Eyes, Master Martial Arts, Brawling, Heavy Weapon Proficiency, Sarcasm Mastery, Eyerolling Mastery, Beast Taming Level 3

Class: (Official) Master-Level Dragon Monk: Storm Dragon School, Storm Dragon Hatchling.

Str: 141
Int: 12
Dex: 140
Cha: 12
Wis: 10
Con: 172
Languages: Common, Draconic

Equipment: Adventurer's Pack, Steelwood Tetsubo, Mastercraft Mithril Knuckles (x2), Rope (25 Ft.), Canteen (Full), Road Rations, Spare Clothes, Bedroll, Health Potion (x2), Books (x3)
I really hope that you enjoyed the new chapter! Thank you for reading so far!
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2023.06.06 03:30 TarotLessTraveled The Abandoned Papesse (repost)

Starting from the left: 1st, Nicolas Conver preserved in la Bibliothèque nationale de France; 2nd, Nicolas Conver from Phillipe Camoin’s private collection, printed from the 1760 plates in the late 1800s, so after a century of wear; 3rd, the Conver-Ben-Dov restoration (2010); 4th, the 2019 Anna Maria Morsucci Marseille Tarot
La Papesse is probably the most difficult of all the TdM trumps to talk about, so over the years, people writing commentaries and revamping historic decks have discovered all kinds of creative ways to not talk about the image or subtly (or not so subtly) rework it to bring her into alignment with what they want her to be. Alejandro Jodorowsky, as an example of the not-so-subtle, gives her an egg to hatch and claims this to be the restoration of a detail lost to the inevitable corruptions of time. His student, Yoav Ben-Dov, lands on the more subtle side: although his card appears to be an exact reproduction of the Nicholas Conver, Ben-Dov makes the slightest alteration at the corners of her mouth, so she appears to be smiling. He also gives her a more human appearance by adding a bit of color to her face – warming her up, so to speak.
Ben-Dov does not explain these modifications in his book The Open Reading; he does say in his introduction, “The CBD Tarot de Marseille [is] an edition of the cards that I restored from the most influential historical deck originally published by Nicolas Conver in 1760.”
It may seem like a small thing; however, it changes the way we respond to the figure on a subconscious level. Though Conver did not have the technology available in 2010, when the CBD deck was published, he did have the ability to add flesh tones to his decks. While the Popess’s face is white, her hands are flesh-toned; further, the woman in the 17th arcanum, Le Toille, is flesh-colored, as is le Diable and the world dancer in XXI Le Monde. In XX Le Jugement, the figure rising from the dead is bluish, but the man and woman kneeling in prayer by the coffin are flesh-colored, as is one of the dogs in La Lune and the two children in Le Soleil. We can only conclude that the choice of a white face was by design and not due to practical considerations, and Conver’s choice was in keeping with the tradition begun by Noblet, Dodal, and Madenié. The only historical TdM type-I or type-II deck I am aware of that shows la Papesse with a flesh-colored face is the 1736 Francois Chosson (though he does not have her smiling).
The CBD Popess is more relatable and approachable than her counterpart in the 2019 Morsucci TdM, also based upon Conver, allowing Ben-Dov to present her as a kind of guardian of secrets, a modernized Sophia. When her face is white, however, she appears drained of warmth, passion, life.
Other figures in the parade of trumps also have white faces, but they do not appear as lifeless as la Papesse; le Bateleur, for instance, is engaged in his performance; le Pape is teaching or giving a sermon; l’Hermite is seeking truth; the charioteer is preparing for a journey. La Papesse has an open book on her lap, but she is not absorbed in reading it: the card captures her in a moment of inattention. Some construe this as meditation, and it is possible, though her white face and her lack of expression seem to belie this interpretation.
Everything about her is suggestive of oppression: she is cloistered, presumably alone; her heavy robes hide every trace of her feminine nature (only her face and hands are visible); not a strand of hair escapes her wimple; and a quick Google search for how much her papal tiara weighs yields a result of 18 lbs. Le Pape, arcanum V, wears the same crown, but in that card, he is acting in his role as Pope; the three-tiered crown is a symbol of his office, so we understand why he has it on. (We can also imagine he removes it the moment he is alone.) Since there does not seem to be a reason for la Papesse to subject herself to its weight when she is by herself, reading a book; we might reasonable conclude that its presence is symbolic of a ponderous burden.
Ben-Dov writes, “The title band at the top of the card is exceptionally narrow, which makes the tip of the Popess’ tiara extend high when compared to other cards. This may indicate a higher kind of wisdom or intuition from a sublime source.” It is an attractive inference, though I wonder whether he would have thought it had he been forced to wear an 18 lb. weight on his head for a lengthy period of time beforehand.
Ben-Dov makes a connection to Sophia; other commentaries associate La Papesse to other deities that make even less sense. Alice Ekrek writes in the guide packaged with her 2020 TdM, “The High Priestess is also described as the veiled Isis. In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, she is seated between two pillars which represent the great universal principles and mark the entrance to the great temple…” She evokes Isis not because anything in her card stimulated the association but because she has no interest in La Papesse whatsoever and does not even try to hide the fact and defaults to the Waite-Smith card; she even calls her TdM figure The High Priestess, and she is not alone in making this connection. Sallie Nichols writes in Jung and Tarot:
“Although she is called the Popess, she is not literally the pope’s wife. Since, in sequence, she follows the Magician, who is a priestly wise man, or magus, we may think of her as a High Priestess, which is what she is actually called in some of the modern decks. The Magician represents the primary yang, or masculine creative principle. The Popess can be seen to symbolize the primary yin, or feminine aspect of the godhead. She embodies the qualities of Isis, Ishtar, and Astarte, all goddesses who reigned over the rituals of women’s mysteries. In her spiritualized aspects she appears as the Virgin Mary and as Sophia, Divine Wisdom. Her number two is a number sacred to all female deities.”
It is baffling. Isis is most frequently depicted as a young mother suckling her infant son Horus, but she is in many other images portrayed as a winged goddess. If la Papesse was ever a mother, that identity has long since been left behind; she does not have wings, nor can we imagine her escaping the bonds of gravity and soaring through the heavens. Ishtar is a spirited goddess, associated with love and war; we see her standing upon a lion in one ancient representation; with her white face and lack of expression, la Papesse appears void of passion. Astarte displays her naked breasts, for she is a goddess of fertility; la Papesse denies her carnal nature by submerging herself in her papal robes.
Isis wall painting in the tomb of Seti
Isis left and Nephthys right as kites attending mummy 13th century BCE
There was a time when feminine deities were powerful and vital; they would not recognize the Popess as one of their own. The patriarchal religions have all but eliminated feminine spirit from their orders; what little remains is sexless, joyless, anemic.
Ishtar and La Papesse from Marteau deck preserved at Yale (deck Nichols was using)
La Papesse is one of the two saddest cards in the Tarot de Marseille parade of trumps. The other is Le Mat, the mad man who wanders not because he has a deep desire to see the world, but because the world has moved on without him, and he has no place in it. He is dressed as a court jester, a position that had been all but eliminated during the period when the Tarot de Marseille imagery was being developed. The skills that had served him so well for centuries were no longer desired as Europe moved through the final years of the Renaissance, except in a few courts, primarily in Russia, Spain, and Germany. We see some of the Fool’s sadness in Shakespeare’s King Lear, and though the play itself supposedly took place sometimes around the 8th century B. C., the end of the tradition was at hand in Shakespeare’s England; it pervaded the collective psyche and Shakespeare’s writing.
La Papesse never had a place. There was a never a time when she would have been accepted in the Catholic Church. There was a popular legend about a Pope Joan – a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to become a priest and then move up through the Church’s hierarchy to occupy the pope’s throne: predictably, it did not end up well for her. I imagine the tale appealed to people’s sense of the absurd, particularly in juxtaposition to such a serious and powerful institution as the Catholic Church The tale is well-known and mentioned in many commentaries, as is the story of the very real Manfreda Visconti, pictured in the second trump of the Visconti-Sforza deck (c. 1492). For a more comprehensive treatment, I recommend Michael S. Howard’s blog:
But all this deflects from the card before us represents a poignant melancholy. It is an unpleasant reminder that the realities of life, often, fail to meet our aspirations. This realization leaves us feeling deflated, wondering what meaning is left for us to discover; it is little wonder that we have tried to leave la Papesse behind. Waite and Smith de-aged her, gave her robes of flowing water, replaced her papal tiara with the cow’s horns and sun disk of Hathor, put the crescent moon at her feet, and named her The High Priestess, making her divorce from the Church final. Crowley once again bares her breasts that she might reclaim her original power; Robin Wood puts her, a young woman with long, flowing black hair, outdoors in a clearing on the night of the full moon with a crystal ball in her hand.

High Priestess from Waite-Smith (left); Allister Crowley's Thoth deck (center); Robin Wood tarot (right)
Perhaps this evolution was inevitable and necessary, yet it is not part of Tarot de Marseille tradition and wanting it to be will not make it so. The Popess illustrates the feeling of being trapped in an inauthentic life which most, if not all, people experience at some point in their lives. It is not pleasant, but it is entirely human.
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2023.06.06 03:30 Firm-Cardiologist-25 My Jomashop Sale Excursion Fragrance Reviews

So I went a little crazy on the Jomashop sale and blind bought some fragrances I thought would be sure bets. I’ve sampled some Tiziana Terenzi and Xerjoff and was lusting after Memo Paris as well (embarrassingly because of those damn bottles but I’ve also heard good things about the scents), so those are the brands I was checking out. Here are the results of the spree:
Tiziana Terenzi Vele: I underestimated how green this would be and assumed the tropical fruits listed in the notes would mean it would be more like Kirke (a sparkling tart ambroxan passion fruit scent I’ve sampled). This is so far from Kirke (probably should have just purchased Kirke; it was on sale too). This is GREEN! I mean, green!!! It has taken a few wears to get used to because it smells exactly like plant trimmings or leaves. Very tropical though, so I just try to imagine I’m strolling through a tropical greenhouse or emerging from the rainforest. Some reviews mention a powderiness, creaminess, and fruitiness and I get that a little in the dry down, although that may just be the power of suggestion because what I mostly get it GREEN. 😂
Tiziana Terenzi Borea - this is a creamy beachy white floral but I wanted to smell the pear, coconut, and almond in the notes, and I really don’t. It’s blended smoothly and I kind of don’t like that quality because I like different pops of notes coming through not just like a uniform solitary scent. I wore this next to my Kayali Utopia Coco Vanille and I found Utopia to be much more special with its warm ambery touch. Unfortunately Borea is a little dull to me but still pretty and wearable. It’s summery but I’ll try it out in the cooler weather too and perhaps some of the nuttiness others pick up will emerge. I’ll also experiment layering it with different body care. Worst case scenario, I won’t touch it until I go through my Kayali Utopia and then it will be a nice change of pace from that one. But just like with Vele, I don’t think I would buy this again.
Tiziana Terenzi Delox - oops again 😅. I should have read more about this. I remembered a reviewer describing it as a coffee fragrance (which is missing from my collection) but atleast on me the coffee note is almost undetectable. This is a sugared rose scent, just like Roses Vanille by Mancera and Montale Intense Cafe. I’m not huge on rose but don’t dislike it. This strikes me as almost too sweet. I haven’t worn it much yet but there is something yummy about it so I’ll have to play around a little more.
Xerjoff Allende - This is part of the shooting star range and actually comes with a small fragment of meteorite which is kind of badass. Allende is vanilla and magnolia, super simple scent but unique. Many reviews describe it as smelling like a high end lotion and I agree. I find it very cozy. Its very dry for a vanilla scent, I detect only the faintest sweetness and the magnolia is prominent. Its not a green fresh floral or like a sharp white either; its smooth and almost dark smelling and quite creamy sort of like iris but still its own unique kinda vibe. i guess you just gotta know the smell of magnolia to understand. Finally a winner! Not necessarily a repeat buy but definitely something I am really enjoying and will love having in my collection for a time.
Xerjoff Bouquet Ideale - Quite spicy and sweet and powdery. I really detect the tobacco note in here not because its forefront but because I happen to be sensitive to tobacco. For this reason it reminded me a lot of the scents in the Penhaligon's trade route (or travel themed?) discovery set i got this past year. I still have some Ive yet to wear because of that note. Bouquet Ideale i think is more wearable though because of the smooth vanilla and sweet cinnamon. Im excited to try this more in the fall.
Amouge Sunshine Woman - many reviews of this describe it as kind of apricot-y from the osmanthus but I really just get a sweet light black current syrup and a vanilla dry down. Not something I’d buy again because I don’t find it that unique but I’ve really enjoyed wearing it so far and it is the most crowd pleasing out of this bunch.
Memo Paris Marfa - this one is so popular and I love the bottle and love tuberose, so I thought this would be a sure thing. But it will really have to grow on me. It’s a very strong, dry, and a bit sharp white floral. The kind of tuberose I like is sweet and bubblegum-y like Armani My Way and JHAG Lili Fantasy. This is classy though and I will keep trying it. The bottle is really gorgeous. 😍
What I’ve learned…sample and don’t blind buy. Don’t be taken in by a sale. And I knew this but had quite a moment a weakness, heck, maybe a manic episode. Something is so exciting about the gamble though and just getting mail is fun as well. But I suppose I need to set some better rules for myself.
Do you have any of these fragrances? What are your thoughts?
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