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Since there’s so many Trump fans here all of a sudden...
Walk me thru why y’all go so hard for him. And I’m hoping someone can address the arguments below directly “YoUrE jUsT a LiBtArd” I’ll start off by saying I’m not a libtard,(I do act retarted sometimes) and I guess if I have to assign a political affiliation it’d be more center, but this is all just to say I don’t have a pony in this race. My view is that we live in a corporate oligarchy and that the presidential election is corporate sponsored theater pumping two distinct narratives via diff news orgs to sow division. Now that that’s out the way, Trump has built a career exploiting the middle class with worthless hotels and casinos for decades. His business dealings have always been brand first. For one, his real estate dealings are full of cut corners including a construction site that used Polish illegals for $4-5 an hour (google the Polish Brigade) “BuT hEs dOnE sO mUcH fOr bLaCks” thats called saving face bc when the Justice Department sent black testers to apply for one of his apartment complexes they were denied the same apartments that would later be shown to white people. They reached a settlement later but shady at best “hEs a BuSiNeSs MaN” hes more like a debt machine. The man has accrued billions of dollars of debt for various projects and unconfirmed creditors in the last decade or so. Most notably Deutsche Bank, a relationship Donald abused so much they sued him for 500 mil in 2005 for a loan he defaulted on and eventually fired the executive in charge of his portfolio. That man was Thomas Bowers, he died last year of an apparent ‘suicide’ (https://mfi-miami.com/2019/11/deutsche-bank-executive/) if you wanna travel down THAT rabbit hole So yeah I can go on but THIS is the guy? This is the swamp drainer? This is the man whose world is made up of bank loans, vanity projects and shit talk? The only thing he seems good at draining is Deutsch bank. I get that it’s nice to not see a career politician and someone who openly criticizes the media. But to think that this man gives one spec of a shit about working class families all of sudden is laughable. He’s not worth simpin for him like you do, but if you think he is, explain
[WM] Winter Wonderland (Write-Up for The Long Way Home)
The Long Way Home DM: CJ. J Players: Josh Z. (Sawyer), Savannah S. (Tiff), Idan H. (Fib), Jacob S. (Esuna), Brandon Q. (Ziggy) "So, it started out simple enough-- we're goin' with a priest to his hometown in Kostroma to help with some kinda demon problem. Usual business, y'know? This was the first time I've ever been up there, and good god it was freezing. I dunno how people live durin' those winters." "He's a Civous guy, left home because there wasn't much fer him back there. Some kinda family drama-- somethin' to do with what happened to his friend. She made a deal with a devil, he killed the devil to break it, and that ended up gettin' him into hot water with his wife, but the town worshiped him. So they were lookin' fer him to handle whatever issue popped up." "Boat ride took ages, but it wasn't too bad-- I knew everyone on board this time at least. We landed on the coast and headed towards the town on foot-- half of the town had been evacuated 'cause of the demons, so we met up with the townsfolk in the eastern side." "His mom and uh... his mom's husband were there, more drama, but they gave us most of the details on where the demons were. Scoutin' the area wasn't hard, there were these like... shadow people... some goat guys... Nothin' too tough to deal with, but we spent a lotta time lookin' around fer them." "Now, Esuna, bless her heart, is set on not killin' these things. I understand where Noizu and the rest are comin' from with not killin' people, but I mean, these are demons. I don't think we gotta feel guilty about it. She's interrogatin' them mostly, a lot of 'em have different stories and aren't too keen on peacefully givin' up." "We head down to the general store, kill some demons over there, and Nyx hears somethin' hidin' in there. She starts sniffin' around, and that's where she finds the girl. Wants to run away from home on account of... accidental god powers? I ain't sure how it works, you'd know better than I would. I dunno what we do with her, so she sticks around and hangs back fer now." "After we clear out the general store, we take a break in his old house. It's, uh, kinda awkward with his folks there, but it's over with quick enough. Last spot is the temple, there's a li'l bit tougher one down there, but Tiff managed to finish him. There was some weird orb in there too-- I scanned it, and apparently it's meant to attract demons to yer location. Someone left it there to get all these things into town, and we still dunno why." "All's said and done when the girl says she still wants to go. Ain't too keen on stayin' in town, and doesn't really care about... y'know, the continued livin' of everyone in there. We're sorta talkin' in circles fer a while, 'no you shouldn't go', 'I want to go', that kinda thing. Main issue is, we dunno who's gonna take care of her." "We think on the temple fer a li'l bit, then I think Fib proposed that she get a job around town. And that's how we got to the casino. ...She's stayin' at the temple right now-- imagine Cyrus don't want her to be workin' full time down there, but if I could convince you... Yeah, part-time, you don't gotta give her food and shelter, just have her wipe tables or somethin' and pay her, that's all. Well, think on it, I'd feel a li'l better knowin' she had somethin' to fall back on. See you around, Orville."
Shu Ming Leung (Shu is just fine), Lucky Child of Tyche
||Audentis Fortuna uivat, baby. ||
General Name: Shu Ming Leung (No, Ming is not their middle name.) Gender: Non-Binary; they/them Sexuality: Asexual Birthday (in case anyone wants to get them a present): 23 July, 2018 Birthplace: Thackerville, Oklahoma Languages: Greek, Latin, English, Cantonese, Alignment: chaotic neutral Hobbies: Making bets with whoever's feeling lucky , sleeping, vaping, and researching about whatever they are currently hyperfixated on Ailments Disabilities and disorders: Dyslexia, ADD, addiction, moderate depression Family Mommy dearest: Goddess Tyche; Lady of chance, providence, and fate Father: Li Jun Leung Appearance Height: 5'5", but slouches until they are 5'3.5" Eyes: Dark brown, sometimes mildly bloodshot, but no one can ever determine if it's from weed or crying Hair: Thick, wavy cinnamon brown hair, kept short and loose Skin tone: Warm ivory Style: Shu dresses very casually most of the time; in loose hoodies, jeans, and a worn out pair of vans. They do enjoy spicing up their plain clothes with accessories they find in various places. Seldom seen without their vape pen. At CHB, they wear the standard T-shirt with a loose pair of joggers, opting for more practical running shoes. Personality Reckless and willing to do anything if someone prefaces it with "I dare you..." or "I bet you..." , rarely ever takes anything seriously with the 'rarely' put there for curtesy, sociable, and rather charming. Shu tries not to be predictable, leading them to to be friendly one day and colder the next. Aside from this, they do have moments of introversion during depressive episodes. Powers
Extreme luck. (passive)
Allows for a higher ability to dodge hits and more general opportunities; not death defying
Ability to see others' luck. (active)
Must yield complete attention to the target; appears as faded numbers above the target's head
Ability to boost the likelihood of specific outcome. (active)
Takes an immense amount of energy and concentration; does not guarantee results
Ability to change someone else's luck. (active)
A very draining ability that can increase or decrease someone's luck; a temporary measure
Backstory "See, my dad met... Her, at a casino. Call it luck, a curse, whatever you want, but it was the only time he stayed away from those places. Too bad She left me alone down here. How unlucky for me." Born to a single father with an appalling gambling addiction, Shu spent their early life neglected and left to be, essentially, raised by their wonderful neighbour and mother figure, Ms. Stephanie Davis. As they grew older, they started acting out to gain their father's attention. Despite having a child, Li Jun continued to spend his time outside of work at their local casino. His luck got worse as Shu grew up, but nothing could stop his problem. They begun to do reckless things, hoping one of these incidents will get their father to spend more than an hour at a time with them. They tried drugs, shoplifting, property damage, and vandalism; unfortunately, Shu's impeccable luck kept them away from serious consequences. The only time anyone ever called Li Jun was when they skipped school for more than two weeks. Shu was considered a very problematic children and student due to their reckless behaviour and learning disabilities, but even that did not waver their father's attention. They are smart, at least, that is what Ms. Davis and school guidance counsellor says, they just needs to apply themselves. They are lucky, which is more accurate, so says the police. They can never seem to catch Shu or gather enough evidence to take them in for questioning. Their calling was rather late compared to their peers but, sure enough, Ms. Davis sat Shu down one evening, while Li Jun was at the Palladium. "My dear... Do you ever miss your mother?" "I mean, it's not like I ever met her. Dad doesn't even have any pictures of her." Shu slumps further down in their seat. "Just stories." Ms. Davis stood up suddenly, a look of determination crossing her face, and took off her long skirt. Underneath her stood a pair of elegant goat legs. In shock, Shu continued to sit still and simply stare. Ms. Davis trots over to her guest room with three bags. "I took the liberty to pack up your things." Ms. Davis smiled as if nothing strange is happening. "It's getting a bit hard to mask your scent." Where are they now? Shu stares at towering arch, the true start to their new life, with their expression twisted with doubt. "You know, I used to think summer camp is for kids with rich parents, but I guess it's for ones with deadbeat ones, huh?", Shu says. "Sorry. I'm kind of nervous I guess..." They take their first step into Camp Half-Blood.
Ever wanted to buy a stock before it's a rocket or 10 bagger? SBW got you covered.
Hello, you may know me from DD posts about IVZ and 3DP. I'm still heavily in these. But today I bring you SBW. Ok for real, this might be the laziest DD you've read because it was copy pasted direct from hotcopper. But it will also be the best DD you've read (no offence to u/bigjimbeef recent DD on this but he's always drunk and while his DD did get me interested in this, I think maybe some people didn't take his post seriously because the post read like he had a beer in one hand and his dick in the other). But I've been thinking lately... wouldn't it be nice if I could, for once, jump on a stock, before it rockets? Like... Every stock I've been in so far has holders who are already 10 bagging. How do they find these stocks and how can I become one of them? Well, here is your chance. Full disclosure, I'm in at 26.5c, closing price today is 24.5c. It IPOd at 35c so we are still at bargain prices. No rocket yet. If you can think of a reason not to buy, please say so, before I take a larger position tmw morning, as I am trying to keep myself from getting overly keen on yet another stock but so far I can't find a good reason to put money anywhere else. Copy pasta below: I thought it was about time that I made the “Ultimate Guide to SBW” and consolidated months of research and analysis into one comprehensive post. Then we can add bits to it from there as more positive news develops. Let us start with capital structure. Capital Structure and Why This Is Important! There are currently 139 million shares on issue, sitting at a price of 32 cents. This gives a Market Capitalization of approximately ~45 million AUD. Keep this in mind when we discuss partners and peers later - it’s arguably a more important metric than share price. The Top 20 shareholders of SBW (which includes key management as the Top 2 holders) have about 90% of the stock on issue. The interests of management are well-aligned with shareholders. What does this mean in plain English? It means management are extremely incentivized to perform, and are not just idly sitting by collecting an easy paycheck like so many other ASX companies. They have as much at stake as you do! Probably more. The Core Business The core business is a profitable operation which has been selling weighing systems to both retail and healthcare sectors – with reliable recurring revenue from customers including, but not limited to, household names like Toshiba and Fujitsu. SBW have a combination of weighing + artificial intelligence + advanced mathematics which cannot be easily duplicated. The company was first founded in 1971 and was one of the first to shift from mechanical to digital weighing and ultra-thin IoT load sensors. If you are interested in reading up on some of their patents, please see this link: https://patents.justia.com/search?q=Shekel scales I found 11 separate patents here, which are probably not an exhaustive list, but ranging from weighing vehicles in motion, to load cell devices (this is the flagship technology), point of sale apparatus and infant weight systems (for their medical customers) SBW's three main technology pillars, including patented ultra-thin high precision load sensors, can distinguish between Coke, Fanta & Pepsi - even if they are all in 1.5 litre bottles! The Hitachi Project (Hitachi’s Market Cap = roughly ~33 billion USD at time of writing, SBW = ~45 million AUD) http://hlds.co.jp/product-eng/1079 [Translated from Japanese] Hitachi-LG Data Storage. Inc. exhibited in “NRF 2020 Retail’s Big Show” which took place at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York from 1/12-1/14/2020, where Unmanned Store solution using 3D LiDAR(TOF) was jointly exhibited with Hitachi America, Hitachi Vantara, and Shekel Brainweigh (Israel). Some quotes I found from Hitachi themselves “Micro-markets are the fastest growing segment of convenience shopping. We see them exploding in high traffic areas, such as workplaces, campuses, train stations and airports,” said Hideki Hayashi, Sales and Marketing Manager, Hitachi EU Ltd. “Deploying the joint Shekel-Hitachi solution enables retailers and micro-market operators to provide the 24/7 frictionless shopping experience consumers demand without sacrificing accuracy, performance or profitability.” “As the manager responsible for LiDAR products in EMEA markets, I consider the R&D and commercial collaboration with Shekel Brainweigh to be the perfect partnership as we both bring our respective capabilities to develop a seamless consumer shopping experience. We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Shekel Brainweigh, which we believe is the best digital weighing technology developer globally." “The collaboration builds on our expertise in optical motion sensors, together with Shekel’s advanced Product Aware Technology, and further strengthens our commitment to overcome the challenges, and address the significant opportunities, in global retail store automation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-uxk2Ycoqw The Open Retail Initiative https://www.lfedge.org/2020/02/13/n...ensor-fusion-for-intelligent-loss-prevention/ For the one-year anniversary of ORI, six initiative members Edgify, Flooid, Shekel and LF Edge members HP, IOTech and Intel inspired by the initiative, worked together on a demo for the Intel booth that showcased the value of Real Time Sensor Fusion for a loss prevention use case at self-checkout. The retail environment has become incredibly complex. The latest technologies enable data-driven experiences and unlock business value like never before, yet there is still a lack of interoperability making it difficult for retailers to deploy integrated solutions with speed and ease. The demo illustrates how integration roadblocks can be a thing of the past. The demo pulls together real time data through the EdgeX middleware from different common systems including POS real-time transaction log, CV-based object detection, scale solution, and RFID, and data fusion—all in a single pane of glass. Here are some PowerPoint slides of IBM, Intel & Hewlett-Packard talking about the joint solution https://wiki.edgexfoundry.org/downl...amp;modificationDate=1579904283000&api=v2 The Fast Track Project https://www.edgify.ai/retail/ Reduce time at till and selection at self-checkout by up to 98%. Computer vision-based product recognition, that continuously learns directly on the till, so the accuracy of the detection always increases. Friction-less stores are great in theory but extremely complicated to scale in practice. Our edge training solution makes autonomous stores scalable, by having all the AI train directly on the camera. No infrastructure costs and no added complications. Reduce incorrect selections by up to 90%. Either intentional or unintentional, use computer vision that is trained directly on the SCO itself to reduce loss by more than half! No barcodes, no packaging, no worries. Simple USB cameras can detect the produce at close to 100% accuracy. Use as a decision support for cashiers, or to avoid consumers having to go through long and confusing menus. https://www.edgify.ai/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Retail_Intro.pdf https://twitter.com/Edgify_AI/status/1277859718413930505 https://twitter.com/Edgify_AI/status/1230534216133332997 Shekel’s Visual Recognition Platform embedded with Edgify’s machine-learning training framework is the world’s first cloudless software that automatically recognises products, including fresh produce, at a retail self-checkout. This ~45 million AUD Market Cap company allows retailers to potentially bypass expensive cloud services from Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Sending data to the cloud is a very costly process with the Google Cloud Platform charging 1,000 stores more than US$7.2 million in cloud computing power per annum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrpZ56IdFtg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpqwqQ1tJ4A You can see the Shekel system 35 seconds in. Patnership with Madix (2nd Largest Retail Shelves Manufacturer in NA) https://www.bloomberg.com/press-rel...ade-product-aware-cabinets-to-retail-industry NEW YORK -- January 13, 2020 Madix Inc., the second largest retail shelves manufacturer in North America, and Shekel Brainweigh Ltd. (ASX: SBW), the leader in advanced weighing technology, today announced the availability of ready-made Product Aware shelves and solutions for the retail industry. “By seamlessly integrating Product Aware shelves into our hardware, our customers are armed with accessible data giving them reliable inventory visibility and assisting them in addressing over-stock and out-of-stock problems, as well as better control over shrinkage” said Steve Kramer, VP Sales, Madix. “For the retail industry, this is a defined competitive edge that promotes the opportunity to increase profitability.” Conclusion So, remember - the core scales business is what drives the revenue we see today, but the innovation division is where the real potential resides. That will take a few more months/years to play out. I think most people are buying for the fully autonomous frictionless retail technology which comes with a huge addressable market. That’s still being undervalued in my humble opinion. Considering there are quite a few ASX-listed tech companies with no revenue and over 100 million market cap (some even @ 1 billion market cap right now… I don’t see why SBW couldn’t move past ~45m market cap in the near future. Now if you read all this - links included- I commend you for your diligence. It should be obvious now that the Capsule (in partnership with Hitachi) is the “crown jewel” or “holy grail” of retail disruption technology plays (look at the success of Amazon GO for example). So you are probably thinking: "This sounds great @verce but it’s all just aspirational and hypothetical. When will it be put into operation?" Well I’m glad you asked. The answer might surprise you. And it may be sooner than you think. The SBW Half Year Report from 31 August 2020 had a little snippet that I think a lot of people missed. Specifically, the following text: “Flagship micro-market project Capsule is in an advanced stage of pilot in Europe, and expected to be open to the public for trial in the second half of 2020.” Now you are probably wondering: "That’s great but what if it’s just some obscure insignificant corner store somewhere?" Again, the answer may surprise you, and requires a little digging. Enter Groupe Casino. A historic player in French retailing since 1898, the Casino Group is one of the world leaders in food retailing with more than 12,200 stores worldwide, located in France, Latin America and the Indian Ocean and a turnover of 37.8 billion euro. In their Annual Report this year, they mentioned an exciting new disruptive project they were working on with a relatively obscure company. https://www.groupe-casino.fwp-content/uploads/2020/06/RapportActivite_Casino_2019_EN.pdf And we have some commentary from SBW featured on Page 42-43 of their Annual Report plugging "the first fully autonomous store in Europe". I'll leave it to readers to determine the significance of being mentioned in the Annual Report of a leading mass-market retail group with billions of Euro in revenue. The same group who claim to be the source of many innovations such as the first distributor's brand in 1901, the first self-service store in 1948 or even the display of a sell-by date on consumer products in 1959. They are always pushing the boundaries of innovation, and it's an exciting partner to have. It’s also worth keeping in mind that issuing shares are not the only mechanism by which to raise money. And that a placement at a premium to a sophisticated cornerstone investor can yield great results. Kind of like what happened with 3DP and IHR. If I was them, I’d be asking Hitachi to chip in. SBW also have the luxury of generating enough revenue (we are talking USD millions) in 2H20 from the core scales division, that a capital raising may not actually be necessary at this point in time. So they can wait for a better outcome. Source: “Post 30 June 2020, the business has seen a resurgence of orders for Shekel’s products, resulting in July 2020 sales exceeding July 2019 sales by approximately 18%.” The final thing I would like to add (if you have in fact read my other two posts which are worth reading) is coming to an appropriate valuation. This is the tricky part, especially with microcap stocks which are valued on their future potential. We do know that there are medium to high barriers to entry, and that SBW have accumulated a competitive edge with their technology iterated over several decades, with certain patents in place. We also know that the opportunity is global in scope with a huge total addressable market (TAM) - and that traditional retail is ripe for disruption. Remember when there were more human checkout lanes at supermarkets than self-checkout? Now it's the other way around. We are even starting to see self-checkout in Bunnings. The trend for autonomous and friction-less shopping - what some term "Grab & Go" - was inevitable. And coronavirus has only accelerated this trend. https://www.ibtimes.com/5-tech-tren...-end-year-result-coronavirus-pandemic-3011819 5 Tech Trends Expected To Shape Retail Through The End Of The Year As Result Of The Coronavirus Pandemic “Retailers and brands will need to collaborate more than ever with technology startups to futureproof their businesses and be better equipped to meet fast-changing consumer demand and behavior,” Coresight said. Coresight reported the pandemic has piqued consumer interest in cashierless models. Technology firm Shekel Brainweigh said 87% of respondents to its global consumer survey indicated they would choose stores with self-checkout over those with only cashier lines. So if you ask me, when you consider all the different technology projects SBW are working on - most of which we now know are "close to commercialisation*" - is 45m AUD market cap really fair value for something that has the potential to roll out globally? I personally think it is still undervalued, but the market will eventually decide one way or the other. Even at 70 cents per share, the implied market cap with only 139 million shares on issue is about ~97 million AUD. Which is still less than 100m. And still quite low when you compare SBW's proven technology and revenue to a lot of unproven technology companies with no real customers whatsoever. And extremely low when you compare SBW's market cap to their collaborative partner Hitachi (ranked 38th in the 2012 Fortune Global 500). Even at 32 cents as it currently stands, we are still below the IPO price when SBW first listed at 35 cents per share. How does that make any sense?
An unnecessarily long analysis as to why I think Ride or Die is the best written book in Pixelberry's library
Okay, I want to start this by saying that while Endless Summer is my favorite book due to emotional attachment (Yeah, this is no longer the case as of October 31st, ROD GOAT) I still think that Ride or Die comfortably surpasses it and every other Choices story when it comes to writing quality. I've been consuming some truly kino media like Steins;Gate, The Last of Us Part II and Better Call Saul in the past few months but seeing that the tumblr side of the fandom was having a ROD Appreciation Week made me have the book constantly wrestling for time in my mind along all those other things that I greatly enjoyed (Obviously, I'm not trying to imply this is anywhere near the same level of quality as these other pieces, cause that'd just be stupid) but yeah, I've been wanting to talk in depth about why I hold Ride or Die in such high regard for a long time now, so this post is for me, for anyone else that might be big fans of the book or even for people that didn't like it and don't understand why it's a fan favorite. It's also my late, not proofread contribution to the appreciation week since I can't really draw for shit. PREMISE AND THEMES Quick summary, it’s a story about growing up and finding oneself that focuses on an 18 year old girl in her last weeks of high school that joins a criminal crew without even realizing it due to her sheltered life making her feel like she missed out on her teenage years for the past 5 years since, after her mother’s death, her dad became incredibly protective of her. As she grows attached to the crew she gets deeply immersed in their world until she realizes what the pursue of freedom, fast cars and bad boys/girls truly entails. Of course, you all know that. So, themes. Most Choices stories don’t have any big, noticeable theme that encompasses the entire story they’re trying to tell, which is completely fine since you can still write a good, compelling story without it (Unless you’re David Benioff). Of course, while not necessary, overarching themes elevate a story a lot more in my eyes if executed properly and I feel like Ride or Die excels at it. And what are these themes? Well, obviously, it’s up to every individual’s interpretation but to me the three biggest stand outs are freedom, obviously; the choice between someone’s own past and future; and how the typical Bad Boy Romance is not always the cheesy, idealized life most of us are used to. I’ll explain how the story presents these themes in the following segments. ELLIE WHEELER, aka THE MC I’ve raved about her at almost every chance I get because I feel like I can make a pretty compelling argument as to why she’s the best MC and one of the best characters PB’s ever written, but it’s about time I finally sat down to properly explain this stance. I might refer to her as Ellie at times instead of MC since I just don’t like having an essay this big and introspective and just referring to her as MC, even if I didn’t actually keep her default name myself. So, let’s start from what most of the ROD MC masterrace knows about, she’s different from 95% of the MCs. She has a clear goal, a clear personality and, one of the most rare traits in MCs, her dad’s an actual character and he has an actual relationship with her. She’s also far from perfect, she’s an incredibly smart young woman that lacks “street” knowledge and as she gets in deeper and deeper with the MPC, her previous and new relationships suffer because of it, because she doesn’t know how to juggle both sides of her life. The hardships Ellie has to face are both products of the environment she lives in and a product of her mistakes, which acts as a nice balance so that she doesn’t come of as a bumbling idiot that fucks up everything for everyone and an overly perfect protagonist who’s only flaw is that the world just plots against her so that there can be a story to tell. Her goal is a pretty simple one, she wants to go to Langston university, her dream school. The thing that stands out to me is how she never betrays her dream and it’s always present in the back of her mind, well, technically you can choose to skip out on all of her classes but that always seemed really out of character to me, so I’m not really taking that into account, since she expresses that she loves to learn and she sees it as a challenge to be better than herself from yesterday. She manages to involve Logan into her school life so she isn’t fully distracted from her studies and even when she’s living on the Gramercy Garage, she still finds time to study for her finals. Even when everything goes to shit and she starts losing sight of who she is, Logan, Colt and Mona know that being a criminal is not the life she’s meant to live and it isn’t until after prom that she realizes who she really is. There’s so many choices throughout the story that, while ultimately not relevant to the outcome, I feel can add a lot of character to her if you’re willing to “headcanon” a bit, so minor things such as picking the color of her car due to it being the same as Logan’s or the one Colt or Mona suggested, choosing to listen to rap music as she’s driving the MPC around since it can be seen as a rebellious sort of music that her dad probably wouldn’t have approved of, treating Brent’s party invitation as something of no importance to her, getting a tattoo… wait this one’s supposed to be big, why does no one acknowledge it dammit? Then there’s also some bigger choices such as her being able to tell Riya that she’s most excited about being able to leave LA on the first chapter or being able to choose to stay with Logan and help him fight Salazar, choosing to focus on her studies even when living with the MPC, and so on. Now, how is she tied to the themes I mentioned above? Well, it’s clear that her desire for freedom and independence is what initially leads her to want to be a part of the MPC’s life, when Kaneko brought her to the garage for the first time she didn’t quite see them as criminals, but as people that lived as they wanted and were still, well, humans. She’s constantly seeking her own freedom from her dad’s overbearing presence and from her own boring life and she achieves it twice, one is the fake freedom she got when she ran away after her dad found out about her involvement with the MPC and the second one is what I like to think of as her true freedom. The definition of true freedom is tied to the second theme I mentioned, the choice between past and future, after the Brotherhood attacks her and her LI after prom she realizes that she can no longer try to keep on living both lives, the nerdy valedictorian girl and the criminal that gets a thrill by being behind the wheel, the inability to choose between one and the other is what initially landed her into that mess and it’s only by finally choosing that she’s able to get herself and everyone else from the MPC out. It’s a very unique way of showing a character being strong, she got herself out of the mess she herself helped cause and she did it without the conventional strengths of MCs such as being a warrior queen, a part of an alien entity that transcends time or a literal vampire. Ultimately, she chose to embrace her future (And her past, in a roundabout way), her long time dream, which meant letting go of the life and people that once made her feel so free and alive and by doing so, she got the freedom she desired so much while also finding who she truly was and what she valued in life. That’s also tied to the third main theme I mentioned, in the end she couldn’t keep on living an idealized version of the bad boy romance where you get to keep a good life out of living on the wrong side of the law and while I could definitely go more in depth about how she embodies this theme, I’ll do that when I talk about other characters, since I’ve already talked about about Ellie a lot. LOGAN The cover boy, the boy with the car, the “bad boy”, the mandatory “good boi” LI, the only Love Interest that has managed to rival Quinn Kelly in terms of how much I love them. I feel like the love for all 3 LIs is mostly evenly distributed on this sub but I’ve definitely seen some people say that Logan is kinda boring compared to Colt and Mona and honestly, that just couldn’t be further from the truth in my mind. Prepare for another long ass analysis. Being a fan of the anime/manga series Attack on Titan has made me gain a great, great appreciation for story recontextualization and that narrative element is exactly what Logan brings to the story at the end of Chapter 10 and boy, did Luke and the team knock that shit out of the park with how they implemented that tool into their story. ROD Ch. 10 is notorious for being the chapter that officially turned the book from an initially hated book that people were slowly warming up to, to a current fan favorite as far as online communities are concerned, seriously, you can look up the discussion for that chapter in the search bar and the first comment you’ll see if someone taking back everything negative they said about the book and then it’s just constant praising for the next 6 weeks. Why did all of that happen? Because of how much starts making sense or becoming clearer because of the reveal that Logan initially started dating (?) MC because he was trying to get whatever intel her dad had on them from her, seriously, everything becomes so clear after the end of the chapter, everything starts falling into place like a carefully crafted Lego build, be it for the stories’ themes or for characterization of characters like Colt, Mona, Kaneko, Jason and Logan himself. Let’s focus on Logan for now though. A couple of chapters in, as we start learning more about his life, we can see that Logan is someone that’s never truly had someone in his life that could show him true human love and bonds, the closest he has to that prior to Ellie is his “cousin” Vaughn. Initially, it seems like a weak attempt at making the titular bad boy seem like a layered character, specially since he seemingly just fell for a random girl that literally stumbled upon him on a high school parking lot, but in reality the reason his fake interest in Ellie started to become reality was exactly because of the lack of proper, meaningful connections, which we couldn’t have known until after Colt reveals the truth. As we know, Logan always had the mentality that, no matter how good a crew might be, he should always be ready to bail when the heat is too much, that’s a philosophy that he adopted and he knows that any criminal that’s as good as him will share the same sentiment, which proves to be the case when the MPC immediately disbands after Kaneko’s death... but Ellie isn’t a hardened, professional criminal, she’s a girl that, while certainly enamored by the allure of their life, still sees them as people, not as mere means to an end that are just fun to hang out with, which is why she doesn’t run away after the escape from the mall or the encounter with Salazar’s crew at the drive-in cinema, that’s not something Logan thinks people are capable of, why would such a saint of a girl not get away from them after things like that? That’s when Logan’s guilt enters the scene. He tries to undo what he now considers to have been a great mistake since he’s slowly catching real feelings for the girl that was just supposed to spill all of Detective Wheeler’s info and leave them as soon as she realized how dangerous their life was, but how is he supposed to do that now when doing so would mean losing this person that’s so incredibly unique in his world? We see how his guilt starts weighing on him more and more as the story progresses, until he almost does something very stupid by almost revealing the truth right before the stadium job, so he probably wouldn’t have lasted much without revealing it but, for better or worse, Colt was the one that did it for him and once again Logan turns Ellie’s whole world upside down. For the rest of the book, he does everything in his power to show her that, while he was lying in the beginning, he actually did come to care for her a lot (even if his actions might’ve pushed her into the arms of Colt or Mona, or at least acted as the final push in their routes). After the MPC disbanded there was only one person I could see appearing on Riya’s doorstep when I played through ROD during release and that was Logan, because it just made all the sense in the world in my mind. Backtracking a bit, we know from his two diamond scenes on the early chapters that Logan dropped out of high school but he always liked to learn about random stuff, hence him reading while on the road, and that he always toyed with the idea of going back (He also says that he’d probably be graduating that year if he hadn’t dropped out, which tells us that he’s the youngest of the 3 LIs, which is a neat detail), so I always saw that as him showing up not just for Ellie’s sake but also for himself in a way, since it’d be a good way to live out the life he never had, even if just for a few hours. Speaking of prom night, I absolutely adore how when he tells Ellie he loves her, she can reply with “Logan… no you don’t.” since it’s only natural she wouldn’t believe him 100% since not only did they get together through a web of lies spun by him and Kaneko, but because as far as she knows, Logan can’t possibly know what real love feels like. Fast forward to the final chapter and it’s time for the MPC to go their own ways, for real this time, to avoid getting entangled with the FBI and, even if Logan wasn’t your actual LI he still shows that he’s completely accepting of the fact that he isn’t the one Ellie loves, and on both cases he shows that he also grew to truly love her by deciding to not be a part of her life any more, because it just isn’t feasible for her to pursue her dreams while also being involved with potential suspects on the FBI watch list, so he chooses her future over his because he can’t and he won’t let her risk her future for something as small as a space rock lucky enough to burn up in her atmosphere for a moment and with that, a heartfelt kiss, an explicit and tacit declaration of love, a request for Troublemaker to give ‘em hell and a brief but tense showdown with Detective Wheeler, Logan speeds off into the night. COLT KANEKO The actual leather wearing bad boy of the story that sauntered his way into the hearts of many fans, both as a character and a love interest, he’s sarcastic, he’s funny, he’s soft-ish only with the MC and he’s also a multilayered character, how could he not be liked? I want to preface this section by saying that, just like with really popular LIs such as Jake Mackenzie, Damien Nazario or Ethan Ramsey, I could never bring myself to like Colt in a romantic way, even though I can certainly see the appeal of their route but even then, just like the aforementioned gentlemen, he’s still one of my favorite characters of the series regardless of that, simply because of how much he brings to the table. So without further ado, let’s get started with Mr. “Christ, who caaares?” Kaneko’s unnecessarily long essay. Right off the bat we can see that Colt has a bone to pick with Logan due to their relationship with Kaneko, he’s always butting heads with Logan and Kaneko at the beginning because he resents both, the latter for sending him away to college and not being willing to let him in on the family business and the former for, in his eyes, being the son Kaneko always wanted, not knowing that the only reason his dad kept him away from the business and seemingly replaced him with Logan was because if Jason actually harmed the MPC he could live with the loss of Logan on his conscience, but not Colt’s. As time goes on Colt finds himself slowly warming up to Ellie, even if he initially just thinks of her as one of his dad’s mistakes waiting to blow up in their faces, and even if he does relentlessly teases/annoys her it’s very obvious that he can connect with her because of her complicated relationship with her dad and she can understand him, they both love their dads immensely but they severely disagree on the view they have of their respective child. And against Colt’s predictions, Ellie proves herself as a valuable asset to the crew (Not knowing until later on just how deep that rang true) and he eventually starts falling for her as well, which is what sets the Chapter 10 plot twist in motion. After the MPC manages to steal the super cars for the Brotherhood, Kaneko opens up to the idea of letting Colt into the business, since it’s clear he won’t just pack up and leave for college anymore, especially after Kaneko is shot and threatened by the Brotherhood and he has to rely on Colt’s plan of kidnapping one of their members and at some point he reveals the truth about their current situation to his son, where Colt finds out about the truth behind Logan and Ellie but it isn’t until after the stadium heist that he makes shit hit the fan by starting a fight with Logan and spilling his secret. That always seemed to me that it came from a place that’s equal parts being mad at Logan for using Ellie like that but also him seeing it as a petty opportunity to sow discord between them, which is why she later has the choice to unload on Colt for deliberately keeping the truth to himself until the right moment. This also marks the moment where the somewhat toxic, somewhat supportive, somewhat wholesome and entirely complicated romantic relationship between them can start to flourish, since Ellie obviously doesn’t see Logan in the exact same way she did 24 hours before and depending on the player, she could’ve actually started to develop her relationship with Colt (Or Mona) prior to the reveal. Something I haven’t seen being mentioned about Colt’s arc is how him being misjudged and misunderstood by both Ellie and Kaneko plays a huge role in it. After Ellie leaves the MPC, he decides to put the rest of his plan in motion, luring The Brotherhood into an illegal casino’s vault using the member they kidnapped and kill them via gassing. Toby completely disagrees with their actions and decides to recruit Ellie to help him stop the crew from crossing a line that they seemingly haven’t crossed yet, yes they’re criminals but much like Ellie’s initial impression of them, they’re not psychos and much less murderers, they’re still good people; so she sets out to stop them with the help of Toby and a Logan that’s desperate for atonement, but her biggest mistake was assuming that Colt isn’t the kind of person that can kill another person if it means protecting those he cares about. This is where it gets incredibly interesting and compelling to me, since not only does her misjudge of character ruin Colt’s entire plan but there’s also the possibility that she had been working for Jason and the Brotherhood the whole time, so in some cases they might’ve actually escaped the trap directly because of her and it doesn’t stop there, since as a result the MPC lose their entire advantage and are once again being targeted by The Brotherhood and that directly leads to not only another huge reveal from Kaneko’s part but also his death, him sacrificing himself so that the crew could escape as he let’s Colt know that he wishes for him to just let go of this life and do something better for himself. Before the rest of the MPC reunites at Gramercy Park, Colt tells Ellie how he plans to kill them all, to rebuild the garage and kill them all before finally breaking down on her arms as his loss catches up to him, right before the Mercy Park Crew splits up after their loss against Jason. In the end, the two people Colt cared about the most failed at truly understanding him, his dad kept him at an arm’s length for a long time, missing out on time with his son because he never considered the fact that what he wanted for Colt was not what he wanted for himself, despite of all the risks it might entail, and Ellie played a part in Kaneko’s death by not realizing that Colt would be willing to cross such a fucked up line if it meant protecting the people and legacy he cared about so much. Those two factors play a huge role in the rest of the book since they’re the reasons why Colt is pushed dangerously close to a downward spiral that will most definitely only bring him more pain at the end of the book. After Jason is dealt with, he laments the fact that he and Ellie met under such circumstances and not in a classroom where they could annoy each other and become friends and/or significant others but he doesn’t lament his current situation, he’s dead set on becoming the king of LA, on carrying on his father’s legacy, now more than ever. I’d argue Colt Kaneko is the biggest cautionary tale in this book about the dangers of the often glorified life of the bad boys and fast cars and how it can consume you, he was very special to Ellie and Kaneko but they didn’t fully understand who he was, how he was shaped by his ideal future and they couldn’t see how the most important thing for him was his past, his legacy and as a result, he’s alone against a dangerous world, but that’s a danger that he very much welcomes. If any of you have done Colt’s romance route and feel like I missed out on anything, do let me know in the comments, I feel like my appreciation for him only grew more as I wrote his section. MONA The bad girl, the loner, what even is her real name? I’m also going to dedicate an analysis to her but I also want to direct you to a post from a few months ago by user u/elbenji who has reviewed ROD from a WLW perspective that I think you should also check out if you’ve got the time. Anyway, Mona’s turn. So, who’s Mona? Well, she’s kind of the Drake Walker of the book, which is a role that you don’t usually see being filled by a female LI. She doesn’t seem to like anyone, she’s pessimistic, she rarely misses the chance to mock people, she’s damn good at her job and she’s loyal to no one but herself, to some she might actually be the worse person of the 3 LIs during the early chapters but as everything else in this book, the layers to her start to show the more the story advances. She shares Logan’s worldview of everyone only being out for themselves but unlike Logan, she knows that not everyone is necessarily like that but in her eyes those people are in for a rude awakening from the world at some point for being dumb enough to think that they can count on someone else and that’s why she’s borderline condescending towards Ellie when the topic of interpersonal relationships comes up between them. If Colt is shaped by his future, Mona is shaped by her past. Once upon a time she used to be little Miss Perfect like Ellie, honor roll, on the path to valedictorian, the whole thing, until she met a girl that she fell in love with, a criminal that made her enjoy life to its fullest and ended up becoming her whole world until one day they got caught and were taken to interrogation separately where Mona, fully trusting of her partner, lied about their involvement but was still arrested because her girlfriend ended up giving her up in exchange of freedom. That event shaped Mona’s entire philosophy, when it came down to it, people would always put themselves above everyone else and after Kaneko gave her back her freedom that’s the only code she stuck by, her own personal freedom and survival became the most important thing in Mona’s life, even when the man that saved her was in danger she considered multiple times to just leave the MPC to their luck. That is, until she met Ellie Wheeler. Obviously, in typical Pixelberry fashion, Mona doesn’t have as much screen time as her male counterparts but what she lacks in screen time she more than makes up in both narrative and thematic relevancy. As mentioned previously, Mona’s always reminding Ellie how out of her depth she is and treating her like a dumb girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing (Which, to a certain extent, is true) but when shit goes south after the stadium heist it turns out that she’s the only LI that never actually played with Ellie’s feelings and was always straight (Heh) with her. It's things like this that I love immensely about ROD, the 3 love interests have so many layers to them, they do good and bad things and they feel like actual people that exist in this fictional Los Angeles, their actions are a product of what’s established as their characters, not just as stuff that happens because the plot needs it to. Back on track, just like with Colt, this is the point where Ellie and Mona’s relationship really takes off if the player chooses to and unlike Colt, her going after Ellie feels like it comes off from a place of actual concern since she understands what she’s going through, regardless of whether their relationship is platonic or not at that point, she still sees a girl that feels like she’s got no one left that she can trust in, so she takes it upon herself to be there for her, slowly shedding her walls that she’s put up for so long, probably without even realizing it. After the failed job at the casino, Mona once again contemplates leaving the MPC in the middle of the shit storm but Ellie manages to get her to help since she owes Kaneko that much at the very least, only for her to find out a few minutes later that Kaneko knew The Brotherhood were corrupt cops from the beginning and never confided in them with that information and, in another cruel twist of fate, Kaneko ends up sacrificing himself so that Ellie, Logan, Colt and Mona could run away, once again, giving Mona her freedom even after completely betraying her trust. As the MPC discuss their course of action after that, she breaks and let’s out what’s probably my favorite quote in Choices: ”You wanted freedom? The fast cars, the bad boy, that whole life? This is it… and it’s not for you. Go home, for everyone’s sake.”, in that moment she let’s the entire pressure of the situation get to her and unleashes on Ellie, the main reason why they’re all in that whole mess. It’s an incredibly cathartic quote that perfectly encapsulates what ROD is all about, the criminal life is not something one can just juggle as if it were a part time job that’s there for the thrills, it can only lead to a life that most people, if presented with the choice, would never want for themselves. When I read that for the first time I completely forgot that I was just reading a story on a free Visual Novel app where you’d never expect to find writing of such quality. I can perfectly feel Mona’s anguish and anger in that quote, the whole weight of the events of the book finally come crashing down on us after we read those words and it’s just such a great feeling that I’ll never stop praising. Let’s get to prom night though, much like Mona going after Ellie on Chapter 11, I feel like her showing up for her prom is still really fitting and the diamond scene that follows after is arguably the best wlw dirty thirty in the app, the dialogue during it is just top tier to be honest. But even better than it to me is the scene after that, where she decides to join The Brotherhood if it means Ellie gets to run away from them since they’re obviously looking to tie up lose ends, it is especially hard hitting if she’s your LI but the version with Colt or Logan is still amazing and I especially love how she uses the hot wiring skills Mona taught her to run away. After the Mercy Park Crew’s last ride together, Mona ends up taking a bullet for the girl that reminded her so much of herself and as Ellie drives her to the hospital she talks about how hard she’s going to be to forget, before reaching the hospital and walking herself inside, knowing that she’d be imprisoned once again before the day is over. I’ve seen a fair share of people that were unhappy with Mona having to deal with such harsh consequences but I personally love, love the end of her route since Mona’s always been about self preservation and only being there for herself but meeting Ellie gets her to slip, she starts caring for her and in the end chooses to give up on her freedom if it means Ellie gets to walk away with hers, in a way being for Ellie the complete opposite of what her ex-girlfriend was to her all those years ago (The dramatic irony can be turned to 11 if you choose the options that show her slowly adopting Mona’s philosophy during the final chapters, so she can slowly become more cynical as Mona slowly sheds her cynicism). In the end, Mona might not be free but she’s still on her element, she’ll be on a place where she’d have to count only on herself and while she’ll definitely have to face some time for her crimes, I’m pretty sure she’d thrive in prison. End of Part 1 Okay, I initially wanted to talk about the supporting characters as well but this shit is truly living up to its title at almost 5K words, that’s already a decently sized one shot, so I’ll stop here since I still want to post it close to the appreciation week, though I might make some edits here and there as I reread it later on but I'm too lazy to do that right now. If I see there’s a good reception for a stupidly long post like this I’ll probably get to work on the second part where I talk about Kaneko, Jason, Detective Wheeler, Toby, Ximena and Riya and Darius, as well as maybe analysis for other books that I hold in really high regard such as the Endless Summer trilogy, Open Heart or It Lives Beneath. If you actually made it all the way here, I just want to thank you for taking the time of your day for reading my semi-coherent thoughts and definitely let me know what you think, if you agree, if you disagree, if you think I should go outside, etc. Thank you for your attention.
Background During the opening Ceremony to a Buyers event, a Free Spirit was accidentally created while asking for assistance with Illusion Magic. It then peered into the minds of several guests and stumbled on the mind of a Penangolan, corrupting itself and making it berserk. The illusions became all too real when combined with the Penangolans fear aura and wreaked havoc on the hired runners. Meet Backstage, the Johnson was nice, in his office he was crude and to the point. He is clearly of two different personalities Run The runners attended multiple events with the other guests and successfully gambled while carousing with othe guests. During a party, one of the Triad twins lost a game of Russian Roulette to the Johnson. On investigation, the Johnson invited the runners to play againstt the other. Knocks accepted and bravely faced down death until the other Triad twin lost. His reward was 20,000 nuyen, and the Triads lost sister that they were playing for. While the party was going on, Slade astrally projected and dealt head on with the twisted astral space, getting lost temporarily. After warning the others not to investigaate the Astral Space, Typhon Assensed the area while standing next to the Pennangolan in disguise, the hrrible visions he encountered caused him to screech in fear and his fight or flight response caused him to shove Lt. Spencer off the balcony. The Pennangolan managed to escape and fly off, presumably to restart it's life, but Typhon was ejected from the event without pay. While the astral was no longer distorted from the aura of the Pennangolan, the Free spirit still wreaked havoc on the remaing runners who dealt head on with their pasts and fears. Knocks clubbed Mr. Strongs assistant in his panic, but when confronted by the spirit Slade was quick do subdue and destroy the Corrupted Spirit. The Johnson was upset by the events, but reluctantly allowed the remaining runners to complete their work and paid them upon leaving. Aftermath Several organizations were able to make weapons contracts with Mr. Strong, including the Triads, The UCAS, the Taiwanese Gov't, and the Sichuan Gov't. Some organizations were able to secure permissions for Smuggling supply lines, including the Lakota Mafia, the Tamanous, and the Triads. Most of the Runners dealt with Personal Trauma, Knocks is now responsible the deceased Triads sister Expenses 10,000 nuyen Lost in gambling by Typhon 1,000 nuyen lost in gambling by Knocks (Correct me if I'm wrong)
Opposition: Horrible World Altering illusions, Free Spirit
Casualties: Li Wang (GM Story Kill)
Collateral: List any collateral damage or if PCs burned edge.
Synopsis: Drive up Prices, Nightmare Illusions Happened
Run Rewards: 40,000 Nuyen and 10 Karma to all
Background During the opening Ceremony to a Buyers event, a Free Spirit was accidentally created while asking for assistance with Illusion Magic. It then peered into the minds of several guests and stumbled on the mind of a Penangolan, corrupting itself and making it berserk. The illusions became all too real when combined with the Penangolans fear aura and wreaked havoc on the hired runners. Meet Backstage, the Johnson was nice, in his office he was crude and to the point. He is clearly of two different personalities Run The runners attended mulltiple events with the other guests and successfully instigated competition between them, allowing the Johnson to drive up the prices of the waepons contracts he was marketing on the backside of his casino. During a party, one of the Triad twins lost a game of Russian Roulette to the Johnson. While the party was going on, the spirits corrupted soul was sickening The Johnson's wife, and the runners were ordered to find the problem. A strange fog rolled in as they were retracing her steps and the kitchen staff had gone missing and wasn't feeding the guests. Investigation of the kitchens was met with monstrosities and evidence of cannibalism, as the runners went to report this to the guests the world shifted and distorted around them, causing them to panic. They got lost in the distorted world briefly, but made their way to the Johnson, where they came into contact with the Corrupted spirit, and battled their own pasts. Job absorbed the corrupted spirit, locking it in his own mind and the effects on the area faded away. The Johnson was able to finish his sales and the runners were rewarded bonuses for their hard work Aftermath Several organizations were able to make weapons contracts with Mr. Strong, including the Triads, The UCAS, the Taiwanese Gov't, and the Sichuan Gov't. Some organizations were able to secure permissions for Smuggling supply lines, including the Lakota Mafia, the Tamanous, and the Triads. Most of the Runners dealt with Personal Trauma, Job has absorbed a corrupted free spirit Expenses No major Expenses have been made by the Runners
Lipinets is not going to let a change of opponent alter his plans of again fighting for a major title. Lipinets now has his sights set on unbeaten Custio Clayton, Saturday night, at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 12-round fight will headline a three-bout Showtime telecast (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).
[WM] Tales from the Thorngage Tavern (Mamma Mia, No More Ore, Motherly Love, Mountain Dungeon: Four-Quest Write-Up Extravaganza)
Mamma Mia! DM: M.E H. Players: Josh Z. (Sawyer), Jacob S. (Sixer), Nick H. (Hestos), Evan H. (Theneas), CJ J. (Naoise), Cameron P. (Cirio) "Alright, alright, so it's me an' a couple of other folks. First job up here, so I figure it ain't nothin' we gotta be too worried about. Says we gotta find a baby and take it back to its momma. Sound easy enough? Well thing is, the 'orphanage' is really an 'animal shelter', and this baby is an owlbear cub. None of us are too eager to go messin' around with an angry momma owlbear, and we don't really know where to look." "Lady says she found it in the woods, so good enough of a place to start as any, right? Sixer lives out in the woods-- hardly the strangest livin' situation up here--, so we set up camp there and start lookin' out for momma bear. Some snakes try to rear up on us, but they weren't no trouble. After a while, we find a lil' cave, and the cub seems to know what's up, so we try leavin' it there and stakin' out for momma to show up. Nothin' happens. Figure we ain't got no choice but to keep lookin'. " "Cave leads into some old ruins, I dunno what for, but they're the same ol' story, full of traps. Just some floor puzzle or somethin', but the important part is that we find momma bear in a nest, and we put back the cub. For our trouble, she actually gave us some potions-- I still got mine actually. So we head on back to the 'orphanage'. Sixer may not lookit, but she's a robot, and she tried jumpin' on Hestos' back-- centaur fella. Went 'bout as well as you expect. Hey, barkeep, another round over here!" No More Ore DM: Ethan M. Players: Josh Z. (Sawyer), Ben T. (Tangier), Eli W. (Alan Deere), Emma R. (Aevum), Daniel M. (Denis) "Next boss was a lady passed out drunk on her desk. This may shock you, but I greatly admired her, though she don't take too well to when you point out her quirks. Had to go down to Radchaai, you ever heard of it? Never been myself, but my whole damn life I've heard bad stories 'bout the place. I'm inclined to agree, but for different reasons. All the roads are cobblestone, you got folks walkin' shoulder to shoulder, and those damn stairs-- why do city planners build up and not around?!" "Couple of blacksmiths needed us to gather ore, they were havin' some trouble up on their big mountain. So we go up there, fuck around in caves, then we get jumped by ghosts and I almost bite it. Yeah yeah, muck it up, I'd like to see you deal with it! We come up near empty and have to try again the next day. This time we go way up high, and up there we find some little folks. Kobolds. We get a good number of ores from tradin' for shinies, so we figure, hey, where's the harm in sleepin' up here for the night?" "Two giant spiders, big as that table over there. What do you think it looked like, it looked like a bigass spider! Takes a li'l bit of doin', but they go down, and next day we trade off for some more ores. Made a tidy profit, and I even brought home a souvenir. This beaut' right here. Yeah yeah, I know what I said, don't care for the city, but I ain't got no quarrel with the folks; good smithin' is good smithin'. Played some poker on the way there and on the way back. Word of advice? Don't leave a window open." Motherly Love DM: Ethan J. Players: Josh Z. (Sawyer), CJ J. (Naoise), Ethan M. (Noizu), Dylan H. (Dust), Brandon Q. (Ziggy), Savannah S. (Tiff) "Yup, 'nother round, over here. Now this--hic--this is where things get complicated. Some fancy fella comes'a knockin' this time-- wants us to go to a place called Hallavard, wayyy out west. And this bunch don't feel like payin' for a ride, so we end up walkin' the whole damn way. Now, I, I had met most of these folks before, but two of them were new. Ziggy was some... some kinda magic guy-- wizard or somethin', and then you had Tiff. Now, I didn't know much 'bout her, but she seemed nice enough, pretty girl who's somethin' of a goody two-shoes, didn't see no problem." "So after 'bout two weeks, we pick up a boat to get to this bigass tree, right? I ain't never been on a boat before, and neither did Ziggy or Tiff, so we're all findin' our, fuckin' uh... sea legs? Sea legs. An', an' this tree, it's a whole damn city. Sound neat? Well it ain't, because we had to climb more damn stairs. Alright, it was kinda neat, but I don't care for climbin' all these damn stairs!" "Who was it... ah, yeah, some elf fellas up at the top of the tree told us about terrorist cults in the city or somethin' like that. Said they were plannin' to hit the market, so we decide to head down that way. We split up, I head off with Tiff, and we get to talkin'. Two weeks and the whole time, I didn't realize she was an Iraklidis. Yes, that Iraklidis! The problem was that my folks and them gotta history, and Tiff? Tiff takes this whole thing real serious. She don't know me, but how am I s'posed to apologize for shit that happened before I was born?!" "Uh, what happened? Oh yeah, I tried lookin' for some shady folks, found 'em, but they didn't lead us anywhere, the other four had better luck. They had bombs set up, but we caught 'em beforehand, and we managed to disarm the powder. Next day, 'round the scheduled time, we park up in the market, and the cult shows up right on cue. We take care of them, but one guy tries doin' some weird shit with his arm, and summons a fuckin'... Devil, or demon, or somethin', I don't give a damn what the difference is. Lucky for us, thing gets cut in half by the portal closin' when this guy gets knocked out." "Tiff interrogates the guy, and after a long while, we don't know much 'cept that he wanted to waste our time. She did catch he says their cult god is their mother or somethin', all that stuff goes over my head. Noizu said not to get violent, but I can't help myself from introducin' his face to my crossbow 'fore we leave. There's a lower part of the city where some kinda... plant... thing came out-- swallowed Dust and was in general a real pain in the ass, but after a while it went down, mostly real tough to damage, but I don't gotta worry 'bout gettin' too close." "We start headin' back, and I figure, hey, maybe I can bake Tiff a cake? Feel like she'd appreciate it as a peace offerin'. Yes I bake cakes, what's it to you? Bet I could outbake your ass anyday! Anyway, I try to ask what kinda cake she likes, the others hear it, now I owe like four folks cake. Without eggs or milk. Yeah, go figure, maybe you'll get some ideas 'fore me." The One Mountain Dungeon I Promised Over the Summer pt. 1 DM: Ethan M. Players: Josh Z. (Sawyer), Eli W. (Wyk), Idan H. (Fib), Josh D. (Beryl), Peyton L. (Genevieve) "So... So the, the uh, next thing is, we go to Radchaai... and there's an Iraklidis there... again... this one's Tiff's grandma, girl named Cynic tells me she's real, fuckin' uh, headstrong, but she seemed amimable... amibable? Amicable enough. No, she's an Aaracockra, of course she's an Elf! Whose human grandma do you see goin' around on... fuckin'... stuff!" "We go back to Radchaai, but this time we don't go down the... the stairs. So it ain't too bad, I guess. Police chief or somethin' says they want us to map out the big mountain. The one? From the ore? But lower, y'know? And unlike all these, y'know, elves, and uh... Whatever Wyk was, I can't see for shit down there. So yeah." "God, how much shit did we fight? There were these fuckin' uh, big... bird... things... Big birds, that's what they were! And some nasty slime things, and these... fire people and fire bats and uh... yeah, some weird shit under there. There was trees and light like 3 miles down or somethin', it was weird. Wasn't all bad, there was this uh... skeleton brushing its... hair? It didn't have hair, but there was also this uh, this magic sword that said uh... stuff. I need to brush up on Genki... It's a book about-- it doesn't matter! It said stuff, alright?! And there were these, these harpies and some rough lookin' folk, but they weren't no trouble if we handed over supplies, and there were some kobolds down there... Y'know, from up there? Earlier?" "Interestin' folks, never met any of 'em before this job... Fib's got uh... he's got, uh, bongos... I should play guitar with him. Yes, I do play guitar! It's just, fuckin', been a while! And Beryl's alright, turns into spiders a lot, and you know them. Helped me see in the dark, I really needed that. We mapped out the whole floor, so we headed back up and went home, didn't get no pay from the chief, but we got to keep all the uh, stuff, we found down there." "And yeah, that's... that's the, uh, the thing... about it... That's about it, I mean. I'm s'posed to be savin' for a casino... Not mine, it's, uh, this... this new casino that's comin' out... yeah. You've been real helpful, you want a... want a horse? I gotta horse... But I gotta pay the... the fee for... Hey, bartender, can I get uh..." [At this point, Sawyer passed out at the bar. He was not brought home until the following morning.]
From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1
PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the relatedappendix posts.Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste. Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing. The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense. So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory." I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist. And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this. I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda. I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here. One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all... BREATHE. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind. That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it. I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts. I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and... MONEY. We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact? There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money. They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger. Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world? Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline. Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on. Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
The "Slow Walk" - If a large, unexpected piece of information is given suddenly, people tend to react poorly and irrationally. Also known as "letting them down easily," this technique restricts the flow of information to prevent the audience from balking or being overwhelmed
The "Steady Drip" - This technique involves keeping your audience subjected to a constant stream of the desired information, so that they become accustomed to it and it becomes "normalized"
The "Firehose" - A deluge of information flying out at full blast, designed to overwhelm the audience so that they cannot focus on anything else
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse. Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all. However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Pandemic In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick. I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that. I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January. We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was. There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus. We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true. Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS! But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it: Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play. Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine. And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood. What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution. With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails. Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Billionaires and Coincidences Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world. The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well. So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires. Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us? Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today. Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here) The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world. And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak. Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - "Why didn't I hear about any of this?" That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us. As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering. It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear. Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of. Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight. Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible. Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse. Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
RealID - The Real ID law requires people to show security-enhanced IDs to pass through airport security checkpoints or to enter certain federal facilities.
Traffic Cameras - Most people know that there are traffic cameras in an increasing number of areas, some of which can assess your speed and issue you a ticket automatically.
Automation Everywhere - Beyond assembly lines, robots are continually performing more types of tasks from ever more companies, replacing human employees at an increasing rate.
Automated Trucks - Autonomous trucks are coming soon that can see forward over a half mile, farther than any other autonomous system in the world, and run during the day, the night and even in the rain.
Global Satellite Internet - Elon Musk's SpaceX recently launched its fourth batch of internet-beaming satellites, as the company builds a broadband internet business by deploying thousands of satellites into orbit
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency - As digital payments become more and more prevalent, digital currency uses cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as to control the creation of new units of a particular cryptocurrency.
Voluntary Nanochipping - People are having microchips implanted into their bodies so that they don't need to carry key cards, IDs, and even train tickets.
Programmable Viruses - As antibiotic-resistant bacteria becomes a greater problem, viruses are being engineered to fight the bacteria in targeted ways
Facial Recognition Technology - Airports are using facial-recognition cameras to confirm passenger identity. Mobile phone makers are using face recognition for biometric security. Retailers are using it to prevent violence and crime, and for advertising.
Thermal Scanners - Airports, casinos, and grocery stores are screening passengers for sickness. In China, this data is being used to control traffic.
ID2020 - Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is developing human-implantable capsules that have ‘digital certificates’ which can contain financial data, medical records, tracking tech, and more.
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues. Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Many of you know that Ursa likes to communicate with her fans and often answers their questions, but since there are always hundreds of comments under her posts it's quite tiring to search them all. So, the enthusiats have gathered all her answered questions and posted them in the vk group related to Chasing you. That's gonna be a long post. And spoilers are ahead. General answers.
Where does the story take place? England.
What's time of year the events take place? Spring, end of April.
How many seasons do you plan? At the moment we plan 3 seasons.
Why not 5 or 6 seasons? Why to drag out the good story when we can write a new one?
Who's the murderer? The murderer is a person who commited a murder. Wait for the logical resolution.
How many episodes do you plan to release in the update? The amount of episodes depends on their difficulty. Sometimes even a month isn't enough for one chapter, sometimes not.
Why do the first episodes promise us "the real detective" but in the other we've got more romance? Because the main suject of our app is in its name "Romance club". We can't leave romance without attention.
Where does the title "Chasing you" come from? The detective and romantic parts of the story are interwined there.
Questions about working process.
How do you create the characters? The designers create characters based on authors' description. Sometimes it turns out better than you expect, sometimes otherwise.
The authors only write the text, afterwards there's a whole other process of a teamwork.
Why do we have to replay the whole season in order to replay one episode? Sadly, technical limits.
Who makes the translations to other languages? Full-time translators.
How do you create soundtracks for the stories? The sound engineer creates them from scratch.
Where's your office? Moldova, the main bulk of team is from Chisinau.
Does Play Market stand in light of the writers with their demands by creating some kind of restrictions? PM has its rating limits and they can block the app if there are a lot of complaints about the content, but the main part of censorship that we have is inner.
Main questions about the story.
How many Lis are in the story? Two main Lis (in the 1st season) - Sam and Alexander. There will be more Lis further ahead and Ellia is one of them.
How long will we be able to fool around with different LIs? You'll have a choice to choose one LI. Until this choice pops up you are free to fool around with anyone you want, wherever you want.
Stats are not connected with the Lis, choose the path you want.
Is there a point to gather the stats equally? You can do as you like, but you must understand that there will be a point when it will not be possible to choose the answers with equally distributed stats.
Yes, we have collaboration with HS, but we don't have a possibility to make it more significant as it takes a lot of strenghs and resources.
Will we go to a different city/country? Yes.
Agatha's surname is just a popular English surname, no other references. But her name - yes, and I advise you to get acquainted with Agatha Christie's books.
Will the murder be stretched out through 3 seasons? By the end of season 1, the plot will be more clear.
Could Annett stage her death? No.
What did Annett want to change in her will? Our characters will guess about it, but I don't want to tell about it now as it will kill the part of the intrigue and you don't need that.
How will the female LI influence the will? You'll get the clear answer in the game, somewhere by the 3rd season so that you could make your choice having all the information.
Should we wait for a wedding? The ending is very controversial, there are moments which are not evident right now. Also the plot development after the wedding usually stucks and maximum that we can allow ourselves to do - one single episode to connect all the dots. Thus we can say, that the finale we will "sculpt" as the problems arise.
If the MC decides to stay single, what will happen with the inheritance? Depends on your choices.
Will the guys' outfit change? Yes, from time to time we will change them.
Will we see more Swedish words from Alexander? Should we expect the same from Sam? Not necessarily, as I don't have anyone around who could consult me in Japanese.
What does "lilla katten" mean? Little cat/kitten.
Should we expect threesome with Alex and Sam? No.
If we choose Sam/Alex, won't the other one stay single? Don't worry, the first one is a grown up and self-sufficient boy, the second one will always have those who hunt him.
Will the other person disappear from our life if we don't choose them? (Like Adam in Q30>! if you choose Richard!<). I haven't thought about that yet, let's cross this bridge when we come there.
Does winning or losing in the casino influence the story somehow? It does, but how much you'll find out in future.
Was it intentional that the date on the ultrasound scan was torn away? No, just usual negligence.
Will Agatha get the make up? We'll try her to have one.
A tattoo/BDSM outfit from Alexander? It's the same situation as with the make up, we'll try to get her one, because the situation with the outfits isn't an easy moment.
Will Agatha really get into prison? Yes, pack your suitcases.
Will someone try to save her? Yes.
Is it true that Alexander will have eyes for someone else apart Agatha? Or can we avoid this stranger if we have good relationship with him? Yes, Alexander will have one more object to put his eyes on. The girl will appear regardless of your relationship with him but the size of catastrophe will depend strictly on your choices.
If we have bad relationship with the guys, will they save us anyways? Yes.
When will be said about the relationship with our LI? As soon as it will make sense in the plot.
Questions about Agatha.
What's her height and age? She's 175 cm, 22 yo.
When's her birthday? Her birthday is your birthday.
What's her breast size? 18-20 cm breast cup size D.
When did she lose her virginity? At the age of 17, it was a big love.
Will her sleep-walking play any role? Yes, a little bit.
What was her mom's name? Irma. She's 7 years younger than Annett.
Will we learn more about Agatha's past? We don't plan to pay attention to it, because it's not goint to influence the story.
Why did Agatha gift two tickets to her aunt and not a single one? Will we use this gift? It's bad manners to gift one ticket anywhere, we need to assume that the person whom we make a gift has a companion. It's not known yet if we're going to use it.
Is Agatha an athletic girl? Agatha is an athletic girl, she tried power lifting and did some track and field athletics in her childhood, sadly, because of her breast size it was quite hard for her. She does jogging. She often tries new things and never rejects adventures.
Questions about Alexander.
What's his height and age? 180 cm and 25 yo.
When's his birthday? 14th of August. Leo.
Does he have a prototype? He was designed from the sratch, but his character is based on someone close to Ursa.
Will we learn the story of his scar on his body? Yes, this scar is a part of significant event in his life.
Did Alexander have a hard childhood? I wouldn't say so.
When did he lose his virginity? He successfully stopped being an innocent boy at the age of 15.
What kind of girls does Alexander like? Smart, a bit cynical, the ones who can put him in his place.
Could Alexander hit Agatha in a burst of tempeemotions or go too far during sex? He would never hit Agatha, he could immobilize her - yes, but no beating. In intimate relations - strictly controlled pain according to safety rules and discussed in advanceю He's pretty responsible, Rachel was wrong saying otherwise.
What does Alexander feel for Agatha? He thinks about his feelings for her.
Where did he learn to steal so craftily? He has stolen several times from the MC! He always thought that the good detective should know how to expropriate daintily here and there.
Why didn't we have actual sex with him? He doesn't throw himself at every girl he sees right away.
What did Alexander think about their attic scene? He thinks their sex will be good.
What will be his reaction if he finds out he's going to be a father? He'll need time to acknowledge what happened but in any case he'll take responsibility for his actions and will make everything in order to stay with the future mother and his child.
Will we see his family? You'll see his mom for sure.
Will he change his hairstyle? In nearest time - no, maybe we'll do something with it in season 2.
Will we have normal sex with him by the end of season 1? Yes.
What's his favourite colour? He doesn't have a favourite colour. He likes pineapples and girls without make up.
Does he like reading? What genres? Yes. Detectives, crime novels and sci-fi, documentaries.
What about his music preferences? He likes classical music, he'd like to listen to more of rock, but his strict upbringing makes him go back to Bach.
Questions about Sam.
What's his height and age? 178 cm and 24 yo.
When's his birthday? 9th of September. Virgo.
Sam is Japanese.
Does he have brothers and sisters? Yes, a brother and a sister.
When did Sam lose his virginity? He's a decent guy, so at the age of 18.
If we don't pursue him as a LI will he try some dirty tricks on us during investigation? No.
Will he open up more to our MC? Yes.
Yes, Sam is a "bad boy" inside, but he self-consciously goes to the image of "dandelion", not very successfully though.
Can they become friends with Alexander and stop teasing each other? I think there's a possibility for it.
Will we lose Sam? This blasphemy won't be forgiven, so we're not going to kill him off.
Will Sam react to our infidelity like Alexander? The relations with Sam will develop in its own way, which is different from Alexander's. Every LI has his unique scenes and if Alex is attentive, notices every detail and shows up jealousy that Sam might not notice. And vice versa can happen.
Can Sam be jealous? Yes, Sam can be jealous, but he thinks it's inappropriate right now and secondly he's Japanese, it's typical for them to hide their feelings up until the certain moment.
Will there be another girl for Sam that we'll have to fight with? There will be something worse and deadlier.
What about his music preferences? Sam respects Japanese yakuza and often secretely listens to some hard/rough music, which is popular among their kind, but in public he pretends that likes Japanese, Korean and American rock.
When will he and Agatha start serious relations and will they show it? Sam is a well-brought-up boy. Agatha is a girl who recently lost her beloved guardian, got accused in the murder and got into lots of "adventures". Will gentelmanlike Sam force himself on her with the serious relations or will he sit and torment himself with the thoughts like: "We fucked, does it mean we have a relationship? Or not? Or yes?"
Questions about Rachel.
What's her height and age? 165 cm and 24 yo.
When's her birthday? 12th of October. Libra.
How long does she know Alexander? Since childhood.
What's wrong with her health? You'll find out in the next update.
Did she have sex with Alexander? You'll find out in the next update.
Will we be able to become friends with her? Yes.
If we become friends with her, won't she need Alexander? No matter who is your endgame, those two will not have a falling out.
AlexandeSam can be with Rachel? That's a very spending event, after the update many things will become clearer to you.
Questions about Dylan.
What's his height and age? 180 cm and 20 yo.
Will we become friends with Dylan? Good relations with him is still in doubt, but if everything goes according to the plan, he will initiate a very interesting turn of events and will appear at the very same moment when everyone forgets about him.
Is Dylan really Annett's son? Yes. He isn't a doorbell baby and wasn't stolen from some playground. He's Annett's son for sure.
What kind of relations does he have with Ellia? They are friends.
Questions about Ellia.
What's her height and age? He's 2 metres high and 25 yo.
Will we have a branch with him? Yes.
What did his phrase about "the challenge" mean? The same thing it means in life. He's not going to back down.
Questions about Dante and Eliza.
Will you change their outfits? Unlikely.
Why did they stop appearing? They receded into the background, as their alibi have been discovered. They will still appear, but later. And now in the foreground there is something more important... an arrest, well, or the same killer.
What's with their branches? The fate of branches is still under consideration because a lot of people are prejudiced against them and we have a plan to add more LIs soon, and it's really hard to write 5-7 LIs per episode.
Questions about Frederick.
How old is Frederick? He's 54 yo.
Where's he from? He's Norwegian, but got to live in Sweden and England and other places as well.
What kind of business did he have? We'll find out in 2nd season.
Questions about Annett.
How old was Annett? She was 52 yo.
When's her birthday? 21st of April.
Can we expect to see her funeral? Yes, we have in plans to arrange her funeral in the last episode of the season.
What kind of business did she have? You'll find out in season 2.
Questions about other characters.
Has Martha played her role? Not yet.
Will we see Egor again? Egor is an episodic character, but anything can happen.
Who do you like more: Sam or Alex? In the game - Alex, in life - Sam.
If your characters would have graduated from Angels and Demons Academy from HS, which side would Alex and Sam they pick? That's a hard question. Both of them have enough of angelic and demonic points in their souls. We need a bigger story to understand it. What do you think?
If your characters would study in Hogwarts, to what faculties would you send them? Agatha - Ravenclaw, Alex - Gryffindor, Sam - Hufflepuff.
Can we combine Adam and Alex in one story? Adam is too dumb for Alex, he would mock the barbarian up until the moment he would have shot him.
What do you think of SIF? That's the first RC story which made the first audience to the app. I appreciate and respect that talent of its writer to create complicated and far-ranging branches.
Do you read fan fiction? I read one, you can see it on my wall. I don't have time for it.
Will you write a book about the fate of your characters? All the characters and stories, published in the app, are the intellectual property of the company and cannot be used by me in commercial activities. I can promise you: if I write a book in my free time, it will have other characters, a different plot, a lot of bad humor and a disregard for PG, PR and so on. And yes, I will announce this on my page.
What's your personal take on Sam and Alexander? Are they like your “virtual children” once they are out of your pen? Or do you treat them only as LIs, like any other Agatha? Are you jealous of them? Each and every one of my characters is more or less a child, only I have the right to love someone more, and someone less. All LIs - without an exception, are my little crushes, and again, someone more, and someone less. I don’t know how to write about love for a person if I’m not in love with myself, therefore I religiously fall in love with my LIs and joyfully root for everyone. And I'm not jealous of them, no. I am pleased to see falling in love with my LIs, because, damn, that means I have a good taste X))))
[Counter Response To] THAILAND IS RACISTS BECAUSE FARANG CAN'T BUY LAND and THAIS GET DISCOUNTS AT PARKS.
Thailand is not a Democracy yet I feel more free in the Kingdom than in California. Another day another thread or comment is posted on reddit about a FARANG talk crap about Thailand. Yet THAILAND has 3 of their cities in "Most Traveled to Cities in the World" Visa did a stats on this and many other sources corroborated. Why is that? Racists? Xenophobe? Rude culture? Then why do people come? Allow me to play Devil's advocate: 1) FARANG can't buy land not because of racism but because of CAPITALISM. THAILAND PROTECT KING'S LAND for ITS PEOPLE to purchase at affordable price per Rai. Examples: Look at California coastal cities to Oregon to Washington to Vancouver BC. Most of THE LANDS ARE OWNED BY MULTI NATIONAL CORPORATIONS BANKERS. It baffles me when citizen of its own country who parents live in the area cannot afford rent where they grew up. Some old ass landlord dude bottleneck the whole zip code innovation from young people by purchasing up all land and making rent more than 50% of young people's income. People work to pay rent rather than live their life doing passion or other services. So many people are now doing "VaN LiFe, LiveLovePrayTraveltoThailand90daysVisaHopsElepahantPants" Young people suffers from: No private property, no care, no sense of belonging at all. So much pressure for young men, so high suicide rates and divorce due to RENT. It's always comes down to roof over your head. Look at Facebook owner Zuckerberg. He owns half the island in Hawaii. Look at Jamaica and other islands around it. All resorts own by few rich dudes. People can't access most beaches only one public beach. Look at Manila. Homeless Citizens everywhere eating PAG PAG aka throw away KFC in trash while landlords gets fat. Same constitution as USA. Facsimile. Look at Burma, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Rich military men has multiple wives Helicopters for medivac. Regular citizen get snake bit in the field. No BTS. NO SPEED TRAIN. Good luck fighting cobra bite on motor bike for 45 minutes to "Hospital". 10 Families own half Florida land mass. Al Jazeera UK usually anti Thailand just released in Youtube video praising Thailand Swiztzerland has program sending their elder to Thailand to lives rest of their lives with nuero disease. It's great news but it's kinda funny how they outsource their elder to other country and Switz and Sweden supposed to be best country in the world LOL. Thailand last resort https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7yeiO-UZoM Read the comments how many Switz praise Thai ways of respecting elder. Look at California. City of Irvine. 4th safest city in United States. 90% own by Irvine Company. It's a big slum lord company with crazy HOA with high tax. You can never own especially with student loan. Look with San Francisco. You can make 100k per year and live in a shack 3k per month. You think an average Thai can afford that life style? Western born people even can't afford land in country like the United States land of the FREE so how can Thai? Unless you wanna live in Tornado alley where your life saving can be wiped in 1 shot. Then yes you cann buy a Mcmansion for a 100k. You yourself will likely pay way more once Thailand becomes democracy. Lands are not gonna be affordable like you think. With outside money, China will swiped right the whole coasts and turn it into Casino like in LAOS, Cambodia and Vancouver Africa. Those videos that FARANG JOE posts on youtube for $200/month BEACH FRONT RENTAL PROPERTY IN PRACHUAP KIRIKHAN etc will be all GONE. It will be like $200 a night bungalo cut out from street with all kind of HOA laws and everything will costs 3 times more due to permit. 30 BAHT street food bowl of BAH MEE MOO DANG from mom and pops shops? Low rent means cheap food. LMAO now 90 BAHT with RENT MARK UP TO GO TO IPO COMPANY WHO JUST ENTERED SP500. Look at USA LANDSCAPE nothing but malls, starbucks, and amazon warehouses. It takes 16 licenses to open a lemonade stand in California. Costs ramification is a lot to an average person. It's not racism at all. Thailand wants Thai to be self reliant and proud business owner. Capitalism kills small businesses Ask Jeff Bayso who during COVID 19 Earnings in first three months equivalent to $33m an hour. If you want to own property buy condo or buy land but do it the right way and marry a good woman or man. You gonna pass it on to your sons and daughters anyway so who cares. Make babies, plant flag and hold down your land with your wife. If you marry a bar girl and she leaves you, you cannot blame Thailand. You lost your virginity and felt in love with your first warm cherries pie and then it's on you. Bar girls slept with 10,000 dudes by the time she retires at ripe age of 30. I get some people don't care about body count as long as no STD but generally they are harder to bond with. Think about it, would you hire someone to manage your business who leaves his job every week for a new job on his resume? No loyalty. They will run and find another sucker. Don't blame anyone but yourself. 2) Thailand has CONSCRIPTION aka ALL MEN MUST SERVE. United States has VETERAN DISCOUNTS almost everywhere and has PX for active duty services and VET only electronic stores and booze and cigarettes no tax. Memorial days discounts and perks. Wear a dress Blue??? Free meals all day. A group of Marine got on the same boat with me and my buddies from Long Beach to Catalina island fishing for scorpion fish. We paid $100 each for 4 hours fishing. Marines all paid 25% less than us due to military discount. I AM PERFECTLY FINE WITH THAT. They served, gave up few years of their youth for service. GOOD FOR THEM HOORAH. Many average male in Thailand including your sons has to serve unless u hide him from Thailand until he is 30 years old. Many of them also has to be a monk one season for "GrAnDPaRenTz GoeS To HeavEn FamILy HappY" My point is they don't just get the perks. They have to serve 2 years guarding Cambodian, Laos, Burma, and Malaysia boarder and has to be a monk too. I AM ABSOLUTELY OKAY WITH PAYING 100 BAHT AKA 3 BUCKS to enter National Parks and Somchai can pay 30 BAHT aka 1 DOLLARS. I did not serve. My GDP is higher. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH PAYING FARANG PRICE. The Thais are not racists but are weeding out unorganized grab-asstic Cheap Charlies and sociopath takers who pack the attitude to be confrontational in their beloved Thailand. If you can't save up 800k BAHT aka 27k USD, you have no business leaching and retiring in other countries that you didn't put into the system. People who qualify to retired in Thailand TODAY has a lot higher quality of life than the former Thailand of 20 years ago. Seems like many Farang with Asian wife in particular ran from Neo-Liberalism-Bigbrother-nopersonalfreedom politics with high tax high rental costs and high divorce rate in the west. So why try to make Thailand Democracy like your home you ran from? Which eventually becomes high propety tax like California. Stay out of politics. Everytime USA bring Democracy, someone gets bombed. You're a guest go fix your home. Old people can't even afford medicare copays and rent off SSA. What kind of society just let their elder dies in massive body count during COVID19 in USA hospice. Thais cares way more about old people and even bow to them and answer KRUP OR KRA after every sentence. CHUCKIE AND PAIGE from NOTIME2BESAD just paid 1k PER YEAR for PPO INSURANCE in THAILAND. Thai doctors can make a dude turn to hot ladyboy. Your tumor or nose job is nothing. Them surgeons working in King's hospital are mostly Farang and or Western Medical Educated Thais and only cost a fraction of the US pricing. Retired at 50 years old no need to work hard all your life to 70 years old and break health to make money, then the spent the made money to save health.
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