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Arts, Culture, Festivals, Parties and Markets - June 2023 Round-Up
2023.06.01 13:28 Terrible-Court-7773 Arts, Culture, Festivals, Parties and Markets - June 2023 Round-Up
Birmingham Fair's June 2023 Arts & Culture Round-Up!
A regular non-exhaustive snapshot of creative events we've found going on in Birmingham this month...
Soho House and Blakesley Hall Reopen with Blood & Fire: Our Journey Through Vanley Burke’s History
FOKA WOLF: WHY ARE WE STUCK IN HOSPITAL?
(The Exchange) until 17th
We Don't Settle: Poetry Jam Live!
(Symphony Hall) STARS - AN AFROFUTURIST SPACE ODYSSEY
2 Digbeth First Friday
(multiple venues) Open Studios & The Growing Project Sale
(Grand Union) Sonic Signals and God-Pocket
(Eastside Projects) Nela Milic Wedding Bellas
Free Jazz Fridays: Daisy Houlder
(Symphony Hall) UK Games Expo
(NEC) until 4th Community Fun Day
(Burbury Park, Newtown) Midlands Air Festival
(Ragley Hall) until 4th
3 Burger Fest
(The Bond, Digbeth) Fighting Spirit Film Festival
(The Mockingbird) Community Open Day
(Lifford Reservoir) Walkspace 23
: Opening Night Party (Artefact, Stirchley)
Birmingham Art Zone: Art Festival
4 MAC Arts Market
(Midlands Arts Centre) Highbury Hall Craft Fair
Still Walking: Relics of New Street Dancing Out
(Compton Verney, Warwick)
8 B-Side Hip-Hop Festival
(multiple events) until 14th Birmingham Design Festival
(The Rep) until 9th
Fatt Butcher: Tw*ts
(Old Joint Stock Theatre) until 10th
9 Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changes The World
Special Screening (Part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival) (Birmingham Hippodrome)
Free Jazz Fridays: Maddy Coombs Trio
10 Wolverhampton Pride Balsall Heath Second Saturday
(multiple events) Zine-Making Workshop
with Rachael House (Grand Union) Birmingham’s Craft & Flea
(Custard Factory) Windrush Tapestry Project
(Old Print Works) BAR4BAR Cypher
Supersonic Kids Gig: ICHI
(Symphony Hall) Growing Up Green Festival
(Highbury Orchard) Breakin', poppin', lockin' and Hip-Hop Battles
: Prelims & Qualifiers (Part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival) (Arcadian Car Park) All Styles & Waacking Battles
: Prelims & Qualifiers (Part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival) Frequency Summer Festival
(Luna Springs) 50 Years of Hip-Hop Block Party
(Thorp Street) FLUXCON
: 50 Years of Hip-Hop (Part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival) (Birmingham Hippodrome) Lark in the Park
(Manor Farm Park, Northfield) SPASMS AND SAVAGERY; 30 YEARS OF DOWNWARDS
(Centrala) Tin Tent Festival
(Rock N Roll Brewhouse)
11 Dance Championship Finals
(Part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival) (Bullring) Kings Heath Artisan Market
12 Force of Nature Exhibition
(Birmingham Botanical Gardens)
13 Collage Club Social
(The Steam Room, Harborne) Windrush Caribbean Film Festival
: Young Soul Rebels + Shantaye’s World (Midland Arts Centre)
16 Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul House Party
Free Jazz Fridays: Cherise & University of Birmingham Jazz Orchestra
(Symphony Hall) Moseley Food Fest
(The Village, Moseley)
17 Stirchley Community Market
Celebrating Sanctuary: Refugee Week Family Festival
(Midlands Arts Centre) Amok
: Experimental Performance and Music (Artefact, Stirchley) Pop Lovers Summer Outdoor Festival
(Luna Springs) Paperdolls Summer Market
(Custard Factory) until 18th Sinfonia of Birmingham in Barnt Green
Still Walking: 666 Places in Birmingham That You Shouldn’t Miss
(Black Sabbath Bridge)
20 VERVE Open Door
: Poetry Event for all (The Hive Cafe & Bakery)
Ex Cathedra’s Summer Music By Candlelight
(St Paul’s Church) (until 21st)
22 First Songs in the Orchard...
with B'Opera (Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens)
Hannah Sawtell: Useful Tools
24 Bournville Village Festival Earth Markets
(Martineau Gardens) Congolese Independence Day Celebration 2023
(Midlands Arts Centre) ‘Parade – The Giant Wheel’
by Autin Dance Theatre (Walsall Arboretum)
25 Harborne Carnival Vegan Market and Garden Party
(Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens) The Flapper Summer Market
Birmingham Settlement Neighbourhood Futures Festival 2023
(Edgbaston Reservoir) until 1st July
Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023: New Brit-Asian Shorts
(Midlands Arts Centre)
Friday Lates: Your City, Your Story
(Wolverhampton Art Gallery)
Free Jazz Friday: Birmingham Jazz Orchestra
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2023.06.01 10:25 vythathin Trip report: 12 days in Japan as vegans (Tokyo, Yudanaka, Hida Furukawa, Kyoto, Hakone, Tokyo)
I found lurking on this forum really useful for planning our trip, so thought I'd return the favour by posting about our trip here - with some extra tips for travelling as vegan or vegetarian! We just got back a few days ago and I'm already itching to go again. I think our interests generally align with what many people want when they go to Japan - nerdy stuff, food, temples and pretty locations. I hope the below is useful to someone, and happy to answer any questions (whether on food or just something we visited!). **General tips:*\
* 1) Learn some basic Japanese:
I've seen this one come up quite a few times and can only echo it - while there certainly are Japanese people with excellent English skills, it will smooth the way so much more if you learn to speak some Japanese. Any attempts at Japanese were always met with a much friendlier response than tourists we saw speaking English, and it was especially helpful in the two ryokans we stayed at, where we had much more conversation with our hosts and they seemed much more comfortable communicating in Japanese (also we got some free apple jam!). Personally I taught myself from the basics because I had time/that's how my brain works (hiragana, katakana, then learning vocab + grammar) - but learning some modular phrases will help, e.g. '____ doko desu ka?' (where is ____?), '____ arimasu ka?' (is there ____?), and 'kore wa hitotsu/futatsu/mittsu o kudasai' (one/two/three of this please). 2) For dietary requirements, do your research and book in advance:
There are quite a few helpful guides online for vegan diets, including the IG account 'tokyoveganguide', the website 'isitveganjapan' (https://isitveganjapan.com/food-on-the-go/507-2/
), Vegewel (https://vegewel.com/en/area/
) and some articles on matcha-jp (https://matcha-jp.com/en/7716
). We ate really well while out and about and could pick up certain street snacks - but again, being able to communicate in Japanese helped a lot here (see tip 1). As you probably know, vegan diets aren't well understood in Japan, and they're often shocked to find out you won't eat fish OR fish-based dashi. I've mentioned some of the standout places we ate at below. At conbini/kiosks, plain rice and salted onigiri, as well as the salted ume (plum) onigiri are typically vegan. Mochi are also often a good bet, as are jelly sweets (tend to use agar rather than gelatin). It can be helpful to know the kanji for fish (魚), meat (肉) and eggs (卵). Milk products are often listed in katakana as cream (クリーム) or similar, but could be listed as cow's milk (牛乳). Translate apps can be helpful but it's about 50/50 helpful versus 'hilarious result'. 3) As a vegan, don't expect your western-style hotel to provide breakfast (but a ryokan will!):
We generally found that big western style hotels just.. did not provide anything viable for breakfast. You might have been able to negotiate a bowl of plain rice and a piece of fruit, but ultimately we ended up eating breakfast elsewhere (but see tip 4!) and in the future I wouldn't bother opting in for breakfast unless I could verify with the hotel in advance that they had options. However, ryokans were very accommodating so long as you communicated with them in advance, and the two we stayed at provided a list of dietary requirements at the start of our stay that we could tick to indicate what we could eat. 4) Most coffee shops/food places won't open until 10am:
It was a bit of a struggle to find places open early enough for us to have breakfast before heading out. We did bring a few cereal bars for this eventuality! But if you research you can find a few places that open at 7am (in Tokyo we went to Komeda Is in Ginza, in Kyoto, the IMU hotel). 5) Always have some cash:
We didn't need a phenomenal amount of cash on our trip, although we were also not skimping on spending (we took out 70,000 yen, or about £400, and that was about right) - many taxis, shops and restaurants took cards if needed. However, cash-only purchases did pop up unexpectedly - for example, in one of our very nice upmarket hotels that 100% had a card reader, sending our luggage by takkyubin for some reason was a cash-only purchase. A lot of smaller shops and little cafes will take cash only. If you want to use a card, you can check at the till with the phrase "caa-do wa ii desu ka?" (is card ok?). 6) Be prepared to walk:
I know this one is said a lot - it depends what you're used to. We did in the range of 15-30,000 steps a day, and I was fine with a pair of foldable ballet flats and a pair of Vans. However we did bring blister plasters and a blister stick just in case! We also found lots of fun little shops/places by simply walking instead of taking transport, so if you have time it's highly recommended. As you will see below, we broke up the two major destinations (Tokyo/Kyoto) with smaller, slower-paced places. That helped a lot! 7) Build in extra time for navigating public transport:
Yea, you probably think you're used to big transit systems - we certainly did. However it's just not always clear which exit you want to get to or how to get there, especially if you're not familiar with the station and surrounding area. Whenever we were pressed for time (for example, when transferring to shinkansen or needing to grab snacks before getting a train) we looked up a map of the station first to plan our route. You probably already know this, but I promise you are NOT ready for Shinjuku station. 8) If you're worried about temple fatigue, collect goshuin:
This has been written about extensively elsewhere although I'm happy to share my experiences. Goshuin are a stamp/calligraphy combination you can get at many temples and shrines. They're a very beautiful memento. You need a special accordion-style book (goshuincho) for them that you can buy in advance (I did) or at your first temple (usually 1200-2000 yen). Collecting a goshuin usually costs 300-500 yen and a couple of minutes of your time. You should only collect a goshuin after paying your respects at the temple. Generally the process is just to approach the desk (it's generally quite obvious, and there may be pictures of goshuin on the window of the booth - in some places you choose which one you want), and present your book with both hands, open to the relevant page, asking 'goshuin o onegaishimasu'. They might take your book and give you a number (in which case, you need to wait), or they might do the goshuin then and there - it depends on how busy the temple is. 9) You probably won't be able to check-n early:
Of all the places we stayed, only one allowed us to check in before 3pm. However, you should be able to leave any bags with them - just be prepared! If you want to drop off your bags, you can say the following: "Nimotsu o azukatte mo ii desu ka?" (more or less: May we leave our luggage here?).
**Brief trip report:*\
* Day 0:
We got our flight to Tokyo (14h). We flew Japan Airlines - the vegan meals were.. ok? But the snack was the infamous (iykyk) banana. Everyone else got an interesting snack, so it was sad to just have a banana. I would pack my own snacks next time! Day 1:
Land in Tokyo. Staying in the Ginza area. We got in to the airport relatively late (6pm) so we grabbed a snack locally once we got to our hotel (2foods Ginza) and went to sleep! Day 2 Tokyo (~26,000 steps).
Breakfast at Komeda Is, Ginza. Kokyo Gaien National Gardens
(near to our hotel), then walk around the Yanaka
Old District, bought some tea/crackers (often vegan but check), train to Asauksa
to see Senso-Ji (there happened to be a festival on while we were there so it was packed, but I got a special goshuin!), then across to Akihabara
. It started raining but was mostly ok as we were running from indoor shop to indoor shop. We had lunch at a shojin-ryori place in Akihabara station. In the evening we went on a vegan ramen tasting tour
(highly recommended!) in Shibuya/Shinjuku. Day 3 Tokyo (~25,000 steps).
Breakfast at Komeda Is, Ginza. Then to Team Labs Planets
(we had tickets for the earliest entry). Despite some of what I've read on here, we really enjoyed the experience (happy to say more if asked!). Then we headed across to Shibuya
, wandered around, went to the Pokemon Centre and Nintendo store in Shibuya Parco, had lunch at Izakaya Masaka in the basement of Shibuya Parco (highly recommended) and headed over to Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu and walked up through Harajuku
. We continued walking up through to Shinjuku
and walked around there for a while, including going up the Tokyo Government Metropolitan building (free) for a view over Tokyo. We had dinner at Wired Bonbon. Day 4 Yudanaka (~12,000 steps).
We sent our bags via takkyubin to Kyoto, and then got the train over to Yudanaka
(we had breakfast at Komeda Is again - honestly, great menu! and picked up onigiri in the train station for the train ride). At Yudanaka, we travelled over to the Snow Monkey Park, and then back to our ryokan to chill in the bookable private onsen. Our feet needed the rest! We stayed at Seifuso in Yudanaka, which was lovely and inexpensive - our host drove us over to the park (we got a bus back). The food was excellent. Day 5 Nagano and Hida Furukawa (~11,000 steps).
We travelled from Yudanaka through to Hida Furukawa, stopping off at Nagano
on the way to visit the Zenko-Ji temple. For lunch we picked up oyaki from Irohado in Nagano, which were delicious (there are 3 shops - one in the station, one in a mall outside the station, and one by the temple)! By the time we got to Hida Furukawa
it was relatively late, so we just had dinner. We stayed at one of the Iori Stay apartments, which provide dinnebreakfast (vegan if specified in advance). Day 6 Hida Furukawa and Takayama (~15,000 steps).
We went to Takayama
in the morning to visit the markets and see a few temples, as well as pick up some traditional sashiko for my mother-in-law. Then in the afternoon we chilled and walked around Hida Furukawa
(shrines, shops and so on) - we had lunch at Sobasho Nakaya in Hida Furukawa, which has clearly marked vegan options. A number of other traditional soba shops have vegan options. There was a little sweet shop near the main street with the koi carp that sold yam-based mochi-type sweets and had a full list of ingredients you could look at. Day 7 Kyoto (~20,000 steps).
We arrived in Kyoto
at about 1pm (picked up onigiri and snacks on the journey), and walked from our hotel (located on Shijo Dori) to Nijo Castle and then to the Imperial Palace gardens. We had dinner in AWOMB Nishikiyamachi, which was excellent (sushi). Day 8 Kyoto (~30,000 steps).
For breakfast today we found out our hotel couldn't accommodate our diet (whoops) and we ate cereal bars and mochi from the nearby Life supermarket. We mostly stayed around the Gion area
this day and visited a lot of the temples and shrines there - Yasaka Jinja, Kyomizyu-dera, Kodai-Ji (picked up some dango here), Kennin-Ji and others. There is a little bamboo forest at Kennin-Ji which is much quieter than Arashiyama and in my opinion, nicer. We ate lunch at Uno Yukiko (vegan and gluten-free ramen). We also went to the Pokemon Centre in Kyoto! In the evening we ate dinner at the IMU Hotel (you had to book via instagram), and then headed over to Fushimi Inari
at night. It was very quiet and highly recommended. We walked up to the first viewing point where you can see across Kyoto (my phone registered this as about 40 floors). Day 9 Kyoto (~25,000 steps)
. For breakfast we headed over to the IMU hotel who alternate Japanese/Western breakfast by day. It was only 1000 yen, and really good. In the morning we headed to Arashiyama
, and did the usual - the bridge, the bamboo forest (it was fine, very busy even early on) - and had matcha shaved ice with mochi for lunch nearby. Very healthy..! In the early afternoon we had a calligraphy class
. After that, we went to Kinkakuji
, then slowly walked across to the Kyoto Imperial gardens, stopping off at shops and for coffee on the way. We had dinner at Kanga-An - our most expensive meal, but delicious. You have to book in advance. Day 10 Hakone (~12,000 steps).
We sent our bags by takkyubin to Tokyo. We had breakfast at the IMU hotel and then travelled over to Hakone
. It was not a clear day but we saw about 2/3 of Mt Fuji out of the window (you need to be in seats D/E on the shinkansen). Based on conditions we decided not to go down to Lake Ashi. We went to the Open-Air museum
which was honestly a lot of fun, then hung out in our amazing ryokan (Fukuzumiro). We had our own private onsen and I wish we had spent another night here! It was not a cheap stay but it was wonderful. Day 11 Tokyo (~23,000 steps).
We arrived in Tokyo
at about 11am, and went to our hotel to drop off our backpacks - and were able to check in early! To note, this is the only time we could ever check in before 3pm, although we could always drop off our bags. We were in Ginza
again, and had lunch at Ain Soph Ginza (expensive compared to everywhere else, but tasty - you must book, it's very small). We visited a little shrine and then walked to Hamarikyu gardens
were we had matcha and wagashi in the tea house. Then we walked down to the Tokyo ToweZojo-Ji
to have a look around. Finally we headed back to Shibuya to wrap up any shopping and sightseeing, have dinner at Izakaya Masaka (so good we went twice!) and then did a little karaoke at Joysound by the station - a great end to our trip. On our way back we stopped off at Don Quijote Ginza for any final bits. Day 12 Fly home.
Because of changes to flight paths, our flight home
ended up being much earlier than it was when we originally booked (moved to 9am). So we couldn't do anything that day but go to the airport. We flew with Japan Airlines [edit - from Tokyo Haneda airport] and everyone can go into the Sakura Lounge who flies with them - nice and quiet, with a few limited vegan options for food (pasta). The vegan meals on the flight back were much better than the flight there - our snack on the way back was a sandwich, much better than a banana!
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2023.06.01 08:44 ElSquibbonator Question about this C-54 Skymaster
2023.06.01 05:13 TheOriginalCelestial I feel stuck in a friendship and am trying to cut them off, does anyone have any advice
Hi! So as the title say I feel stuck in a friendship and am trying to end the relationship, but am having issues and feel really guilty because we've been friends for almost six years. For background I'm 19 (NB) and my friend is 20 (F), I'm going to use the name Sarah when I reference her (not her real name). We've known each other since we were freshman in highschooler, she transferred to my school at the end of the first semester, I noticed no one was talking to her and she seemed kind of lonely, so I approached knowing how it feels to be the new kid, extending an olive branch so she wouldn't feel so alone in a completely new school and new community. I had done stuff like that several times, helping new students and kids open up and start making more friends and most the time we simply lost touch just because the social circles changed, but when that started to happen with Sara, she started hanging with a group with some questionable idealogies (I'm talking like racist, homophobic, sexist, ect.) and I wasn't comfortable so I started distancing myself from her, I'm guessing she noticed or realized she didn't really vibe with those people because she removed herself from that group adding herself into my very close friend circle. It didn't really bother me as much because she seemed like a decent person but she would butt heads with a couple of my really close friends. I should also say during most of my life I was a bit of a push over, people pleaser and didn't really enforce boundaries with anyone until my junior year after starting therapy. So our dynamic was dominant/aggressive (Sarah) and Submissive/passive (me) and over the six year friendship this dynamic has stayed almost the exact same, despite us both changing and its frustrating. I've tried addressing it with her, but she shut me down with comments like "this just works for us!" on top of the fact she constantly disrespected me and my time, and still does, she was one of the first people I came out to and she still deadnames me and misgenders me, knowing how uncomfortable my deadname makes me, after trying to correct her for six months i just gave up and just put up with it. Recently she has done both of those but has also begun disrespecting my relationships with my partners (I'm poly, she's very well aware of this) we took a weekend trip after not seeing each other for over a year to try and she kept changing the plans last minute and didn't confirm our tickets after i asked her multiple times to make sure we weren't wasting time and money to go to a city for a specific thing, she told me the night we got there that she didn't have the tickets, and guilted me into spending almost $300 dollars for a ticket, but the thing that bugged me the most is when we started talking about relationships, she has been taking a break from relationships after going through a couple bad ones, which is fair, I even encouraged her to take time for herself instead of jumping into another relationship. She decided to do a couple hook-ups to meet her needs which makes sense and she was always honest with the guys she was hooking up with, however she values certain assets in a relationship, ending very good and healthy relationships over the guys not meeting that asset. And it wasn't that weren't listening to her or her needs, which is an understandable thing to end a relationship over, it was about things they couldn't change about their body, which rubs me the wrong way because she takes it to such an extreme. We have very different needs/wants for our relationships, considering I'm demisexual/graysexual (meaning i don't really value sex as a necessity and that it makes me very uncomfortable most of the time and i have to feel very emotionally connected to the person). While on this trip I expressed how I really loved my partners and could see myself with them for the rest of my life, she took the conversation into intimate areas asking what all me and my partners have done, when I responded nothing much past making out and that we hadn't gone all the way yet, she looked at me, and in completely seriousness asked me, if you haven't f*cked how do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with them, when I told her that kind of thing isn't all that necessary in a relationship for me she kept prodding insisting I couldn't love my partners if I hadn't gone all the way with them, even going a far as to say I had to get with a guy with a big asset, I expressed how, I'm not interested in cis men, and that kind of asset actually turns me off and makes me feel uncomfortable, she refused to let it go, until i had to aggressively force a change of topic. I've tried distancing myself and have tried enforcing boundaries but anytime i do she gets really nasty, even getting upset with me about my chronic illnesses because i had a severe episode on our weekend, then she repeated suggested things I had already told her wouldn't work. She got so upset with me she started giving me the silent treatment, after she dragged me along to a brunch, mall and Disney springs after I only agreed to brunch, when I expressed I didn't want to go to all of them because i wasn't feeling well, making her get upset at me. And no I couldn't leave because I was her ride, and she didn't have another ride or transportation readily available, I have severe anxiety and trauma, and hate driving on highways and main roads after dark, something I told her about. I also told her that, I had things to do at home and needed to be home by three p.m. I couldn't leave until 8 p.m. because she kept running off, the people she had guilted me into meeting up with said they would take her home and that I could leave since I was obviously tired, and starting to struggle with my chronic issue and mobility issues. These people were actually great and treated me better than Sarah did. The only reason I haven't cut her off or expressed all of my concerns and issues is because she has a history of going ballistic air people's personal information when that upset her. And that scares me because I have a lot of medical issues and have gone through some really dark times while knowing her, nothing I've told her is bad, but plenty of it is extremely personal and are not things I want shared with people I don't know. I feel stuck and have been trying to slowly remove myself but she constantly blows up my phone and socials if I don't respond, and she only ever reaches out if she wants to complain and its always one way, even if i try to make it a two way conversation. I don't know what to do, so any advice would be great.
P.S. - I apologize it this kind of rambles its a lot, and I know it jumps around a lot. If anyone needs any clarifications or any questions just ask!
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2023.06.01 03:23 georgex7 Evil Forces are Stripping Technology from Our Spaces
Hey everyone -- I have written on this subreddit about quitting the internet, and recently there have been some encouraging developments with regards to limiting technology in certain spaces. Rather than take the traditional style of writing, I wrote the following piece sarcastically because it highlights the positive direction we are heading in as a culture while simultaneously highlighting the frustration I still feel with it. You can also read this here for different formatting as well as photos.
--- Last week I found myself at a crossroads—taken and deposited there by a friend—and now I am left to think. Yohanna was the beginning of a problem because she brought me to a small street that cramped buildings squeeze together. In what could only have been a mistake of urban planning, there was no highway running through it—to the contrary it was shut down for antiquated sauntering over inefficient cobblestone that left a bitter taste in my mouth. On this little planet there were no skyscrapers and the air was arid from the dearth of infinity pools. All of the buildings were covered in chipped paint. We persevered and went on. A steep staircase led us to a room full of silvers who drank wine by the bottle, and to my dismay I noticed a few young couples driven by the desire to do something different, to feel the dying pulse of past generations. Things got worse. The club was decorated in the style of the 1920s, a time long before people were creative enough to think up the fruits that have paved society’s evolution to the present day. I did not see any flat screen televisions, there was no pedestal surrounded by mirrors to pose in front of, and the female attire neither adequately exposed the bust nor the curve. We persevered and went on. A little while later—after ordering a drink in an attempt to mainline some pleasure—a group of people made their way on-stage. They carried metal objects in their hands (one was even holding wooden sticks), and when they stood in front of the traditional red drapes I recognized from pictures, the crowd used their itchy hands to applaud instead of photograph, undoubtedly confusing the point of the matter. The group commenced and—against my wishes, only for the sake of journalistic integrity—I am forced to admit that for the time that they played time itself disappeared, swallowed by the whole audience’s undivided attention. But when I felt myself falling into too deep a state of immersion, I snapped back with a gleeful thought: the music was of an outdated sort known as jazz that not even Jesus himself could promulgate—there is no way to really dance to the stuff. § In retrospect the event was traumatic—to the point of requiring the requisite therapeutic intervention—because it reminded me of what we had a firm grip on only one or two decades ago. Then, the constraints of technology did not enable the populace to film entire concerts themselves, and the paupers did not have the ability to freeze the ephemeral moments we effortlessly make permanent. I have heard some state that the acme of culture and technology came right before the turn of the millennium, but on them I shine the simple irrefutable light at the end of man’s search for meaning: What is the point of living moments that our children cannot find in the fossils we create? There is none. We did not cross over the precipice into modernity because it was easy, but because it was hard. I have video footage of when I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I met the girl at the bar because I liked her story. I broadcasted to the world that I too saw the Mona Lisa. There is a different energy that blossoms in spaces where the only escape is into the activity, and we must prevent the wheels of culture from rolling back to a time where it is easily accessible. Such environments cannot be created alone because they require a widespread dedication to preserving an experience, so we must stand together to prevent them from occurring. Just as we use phone checks to crack the depth of conversation, we must block the passages to immersive fields that can only be entered with the entire group’s consent. Thankfully, to reach these rarefied realms requires both time as well as focus, so it is essential to use interruptions to break them with the force of detonating buildings. But as of late, I am growing worried. Historically, we have seen successful regulations reduce the prevalence of vital activities like cigarette smoking, and similar intervention is beginning again. Last week, the Surgeon General warned that social media poses a “profound risk” to the youth; earlier this month the American Psychological Association issued its first-ever health advisory on social media use; and next month Florida public schools are likely to block access to social media through their networks. On the cultural front, trendsetters are resurrecting film cameras alongside the vinyl record sales that keep on climbing—up another 20% in 2022 to the sickening tune of $1.2 billion. As I wrote in Keep Modernity, Exit the Metaverse—celebrities such as Aaron Paul and Aziz Ansari are endorsing base alternatives to smartphones that are without the frills that define our civilization; and—in what surely must be the work of propagandists—all sorts of research is indicating that humanity is unhappy with the current state of affairs: one poll claims that 70% of concertgoers do not think screens belong at concerts; another lies that 66% of people are turned off by texting on a date; a couple of charlatans state that phones make dinner more insipid. I am terrified. This sort of latent demand for change—this irreverent disappointment with the direction of our culture—is becoming more widespread. If one listens closely to the silence of our generation and studies the arc of history, a possibility emerges that we might only be living through a fantastic blip more akin to a short-term reaction to our wonderful developments than a calculated long-term adjustment. Musicians such as Tool and Placebo are designating specific areas for phones at their shows, and a nightclub called Berghain has instituted a backwards no-picture policy. The changes are coming fast and we must act get back on track. If we do not, college students might begin branding parties as phone-free, and museums might disallow them for one day each week. Restaurants may provide spaces to deposit devices, and bars could even go as far as recreating anachronistic booths. Before our very eyes they will redesign our establishments and create social stigmas that prevent our access to technology. We find ourselves at the beginning of a wave poised to fight splendor and replace it with soot. To prosper in modernity we must put a stop to the madness—before it is too late.
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2023.05.31 22:43 Joadzilla House debt ceiling vote nears, necessary to avert default; Biden and McCarthy both confident of passage
WASHINGTON (AP) — The default-averting debt ceiling and budget cuts package headed toward a crucial House vote Wednesday as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a coalition of centrist Democratic and Republican supporters against fierce conservative blowback and progressive dissent.
As debate began, Biden expressed optimism that the agreement he negotiated with McCarthy would pass the chamber and avoid an economically disastrous default on America’s debts.
“I think things are going as planned,” he told reporters. The president was to depart Washington Wednesday evening for Colorado, where he is scheduled to deliver the commencement address Thursday at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“God willing by the time I land, Congress will have acted, the House will have acted, and we’ll be one step closer,” he said.
Biden sent top White House officials to the Capitol to shore up backing. McCarthy worked to sell skeptical fellow Republicans, even fending off challenges to his leadership, in the rush to avert a potentially disastrous U.S. default.
“Everybody has a right to their own opinion, but on history, I’d want to be here with this bill today,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said as he arrived at the Capitol.
Despite deep disappointment from right-flank Republicans that the compromise falls short of the spending cuts they demanded, McCarthy insisted he would have the votes needed by the evening roll call.
He characterized the package as “just a small step” toward getting the U.S. debt load under control, and announced he would next be working to set up a bipartisan commission to more deeply address budget imbalances.
“Today, America is going to win,” he said
Quick approval by the House and later in the week by the Senate would ensure government checks will continue to go out to Social Security recipients, veterans and others and would prevent financial upheaval at home and abroad. Next Monday is when the Treasury has said the U.S. would run short of money to pay its debts, risking an economically dangerous default.
The package leaves few lawmakers fully satisfied, but Biden and McCarthy were counting on support from the political center, a rarity in divided Washington, testing the leadership of the Democratic president and the Republican speaker.
One boost came Wednesday morning when the bipartisan congressional Problem Solvers Caucus announced its endorsement, likely bringing dozens more votes to the tally.
Overall, the 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes policies, including new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose. It bolsters funds for defense and veterans.
For more than two hours late Tuesday as aides wheeled in pizza at the Capitol, McCarthy walked Republicans through the details, fielded questions and encouraged them not to lose sight of the bill’s budget savings.
The speaker faced a sometimes tough crowd. Leaders of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus spent the day lambasting the compromise as falling well short of the needed spending cuts, and they vowed to try to halt passage.
“This deal fails, fails completely,” Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said, flanked by others outside the Capitol. “We will do everything in our power to stop it.”
A much larger conservative faction, the Republican Study Committee, declined to take a position. Even rank-and-file centrist conservatives were unsure, leaving McCarthy hunting for votes.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said after the “healthy debate” late into the night she was still a no.
Ominously, the conservatives warned of possibly trying to oust McCarthy over the compromise.
“There’s going to be a reckoning,” said Rep. Chip Roy of Texas.
Biden was speaking directly to lawmakers, making calls from the White House.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the spending restrictions in the package would reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade, a top goal for the Republicans trying to curb the debt load.
In a surprise that could erode Republicans’ support, however, the CBO said their drive to impose work requirements on older Americans receiving food stamps would end up boosting spending by $2.1 billion over the time period. That’s because the final deal exempts veterans and homeless people, expanding the food stamp rolls by 78,000 people monthly, the CBO said.
House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said it was up to McCarthy to turn out votes, even as he assured Democrats would prevent a default. In the 435-member House, 218 votes are needed for passage
“It is my expectation that House Republicans would keep their promise and deliver at least 150 votes as it relates to an agreement that they themselves negotiated,” Jeffries said, a high bar for McCarthy to hit.
Liberal Democrats decried the new work requirements for older Americans, those age 50-54, in the food aid program. And some Democratic lawmakers were leading an effort to remove a surprise provision for the Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project. The energy development is important to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., but many others oppose it as unhelpful in fighting climate change.
The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, said including the pipeline provision was “disturbing and profoundly disappointing.”
On Wall Street, stock prices were down.
The House aimed to hold procedural votes Wednesday afternoon with final action expected in the evening. It would then send the bill to the Senate, where Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican leader McConnell are working for passage by week’s end.
Schumer warned there is “no room for error.”
Senators, who have remained largely on the sidelines during much of the negotiations between the president and the House speaker, began inserting themselves more forcefully into the debate.
Some senators are insisting on amendments to reshape the package from both the left and the right. But making any changes to the package seemed unlikely with so little time to spare before Monday’s deadline.
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2023.05.31 21:28 PapaXan Weekly Discounts and Bonuses - June 1st to June 8th (Not Live Until 4AM EDT on June 1st)
Weekly Challenges: PS5 and XBox XS Only
- Widowmaker (10%)
- Precision Rifle (25%)
- Pump Shotgun (10%)
- Carbine Rifle (10%)
- Knuckle Duster (10%)
- AP Pistol (10%)
- Minigun (10%)
- Flare Gun (10%)
- Sticky Bomb (15%)
- Pipe Bomb (15%)
(These are just the ones that everyone will have, each player will also have 2 random daily objectives to complete)
- Thursday: Participate in the Featured Series.
- Friday: Participate in a Freemode Event.
- Saturday: Play a round of Golf.
- Sunday: Participate in Stockpile.
- Monday: Participate in an Air Race.
- Tuesday: Participate in a Freemode Challenge.
- Wednesday: Participate in the Pursuit Series.
Luxury Autos Showroom:
Deluxe Motorsports Showroom:
Discounts: Properties: 20% Off
Vehicles: 20% Off: 30% Off: 35% Off:
- Hangars (+ Upgrades and Modifications)
Bonuses: 2X GTA$ an RP: GTA+: GTA+ Website Prime Gaming:
Other Resources: Official Rockstar Websites: Thanks To:
- Discontinued as of March 31, 2023
- Tez2 (The Man in the know)
- RDO.GG (Tuneables Updates)
- GTA Wiki (All Things GTA)
- GTACars (All Vehicle Top Speeds and Lap Times)
- GTASeriesVideos (Walkthroughs, Showcases, and more)
- GTAWeb.eu (Locations of Collectibles, Daily events, and much more)
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2023.05.31 21:06 AnonymousBlabber My experience at my first Indy 500
First of all, I took a 22 hour Amtrak from New York City. The Greyhound on the way back was delayed over 12 hours in 3 legs, so instead of taking 16 and a half hours, it took about 29 hours to get home.
That aside, it was pretty amazing. I ended up switching hotels because of a cancelation, so I got $243 credit for another hotel which was right near the downtown shuttle. Technically, that room was overpriced by 2 or 3 times the normal rate, but still great I got the discount. I took the shuttle to the race which left at 8AM and got to the track around 8:50. You could see a lot of people walking as you got closer, but the shuttle bus zoomed through a ton of cars and was waved through an express lane.
I was carrying 3 giant bags, way more stuff on me than anyone else i saw at the speedway. I went to the museum for almost an hour, then rushed like crazy around almost the entire outside of the track, (the outdoor space is MASSIVE, WAY bigger than it appears on TV) to the track and walked onto the track around 10:28, right before they stop people around 10:30. I got a great pic of me on the track. I saw 10 or 12 race cars slowly enter the track only 5 feet in front of me.
The actual race was amazing. I was in the front row but there was a row with folding chairs in front of me that was almost empty. I stood up watching for 25 minutes or so which I am sure obstructed some people's view but a lot of other people were doing the same thing. You could also walk down a flight of steps and get even another 10 or 15 feet closer to the track. Guards in yellow shirts are spending the entire race stopping people from standing. Before the race started, the second wave of fighter jets flew low right above me which was an awesome experience. I believe the second wave of jets had not flown before in any previous Indy 500.
The few things that stood out for me in the race was 1, in one instance, 2 cars were only about a foot away (1 was about a foot or less in front of another) and both going 220 or 230MPH, so that blew my mind. Like if the lead car slows down a fraction it is an accident. Another time, 3 cars were jockeying for position but all very close to each other going top speed. Those 2 moments stood out.
I did it for the experience of seeing different states, although I spent the majority of time there and back watching from windows or wasting time in Greyhound stations. From seeing the Greyhound stations in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, you notice that when i was there, at least 3 or 4 people in each station appeared to just live in the stations. There is heat and air conditioning I believe (although not the best quality), but it made me feel lucky that i have an apartment with some amenities. Very stuffy in Greyhound stations. It is sad that there are people who have to pass their time in greyhound stations year after year because they don't have money or opportunities. Trust me, if you spend over 10 hours waiting in Greyhound stations like i did, you start to notice things like that.
I will not go back but for me the trip was totally worth it, despite the terrible delays on the way back, I would not change a thing.
On the way there, one stop was "Staunton, Virginia." Virginia has a lot of small towns, but for some reason that town stuck out. It was almost something you would see in the Wild West or a Twilight Zone episode. Like it had not changed much in the last 300 years. I am sure there are decent people living there, but it was like I stepped into a time warp.
At the Greyhound stop in Indianapolis, instead of it leaving at 8:15PM, it left at 2:45AM, and my ticket did not scan. The woman driver literally pushed me out of the way and refused me, but i begged the greyhound ticket guy to convince her to let me on, explaining that I waited over 6 hours and my ticket was valid. She let me on, if not I would have had to wait until 4PM the NEXT DAY. At one point, she ran out of gas and we had to wait outside at around 4AM in the middle of nowhere while she left and found gas somewhere. Another time she stopped over an overpass because some suitcase started falling out of the luggage on the side of the truck. It was almost enough to start laughing hysterically if i wasn't so tired.
In Baltimore, my last train was delayed again, and a Peter Pan bus guy from another company said, just give me $60 cash and you can ride, so I didn't even use the Greyhound ticket. The guy might have charged $20 more than the going rate and pocketed the money but he saved my life, because who knows when the next greyhound was really going to arrive with the delays. Greyhound technically owes me around $100 because I paid for an express bus I never took and another bus from Baltimore to NY that i never took. I still was up $243 from the hotel and got an early check in and 2 free buffet breakfasts. Overall, I paid a fraction of what most people paid to go to the Indy 500 so I am not complaining. I actually was awake over 48 hours straight aside from naps on buses for 3 or 4 hours. I woke up before 5AM and sunday and didn't go to bed until after 5AM TWO DAYS LATER, because of all the delays.
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2023.05.31 21:02 Trash_Tia My friends participated in a “special screening” for a well known game which has been almost ten years in the making. I don’t recognize the people who came back
Three days ago, my housemates were alive.
And I wasn't losing my fucking mind.
Three days ago, I awoke to my housemate, Misty, shaking me.
Misty was usually the last to roll out of bed out of all of us, so I figured it was something important. My housemate wouldn’t get out of bed for nothing. She valued her sleep—often comparing her bed to a safe haven. Her place of solitude. I was right there with her, until she startled me out of slumber. I opened my eyes to find her face roughly three inches from mine, her expression lit up with excitement I couldn’t justify this early in the morning.
She smelled of toothpaste breath and her raspberry scented body wash. Her thick black curls framing her face were still damp from what I presumed was a shower, hanging in tangled knots in front of wide, almost unseeing eyes. When I first met her, Misty Kang had been my crush for a while. With a Korean father and a Texan mother, she definitely caught eyes when we hung out. We had a thing in freshman year, which quickly fizzled out once we started living together. Never date your housemates.
I will just say that.
Over the last few years, Misty has become one of my closest friends.
When she knew I was at least conscious, my housemate was grabbing my arm and yanking me out of bed. “Get up!”
I was barely awake, and those were the only words I could fully distinguish.
I shooed her away for a moment and swung my legs out of bed, taking a minute to blink sunlight out of my eyes coming through the blinds. “Sam.” Misty was in front of me again.
I don’t think she understood the concept of being half asleep.
She wouldn’t leave me alone, waving her arms wildly. Her shadow under the soft morning light almost reminded me of one of those inflatable tube guys.
“Huh?” My voice was a low croak, and her smile widened.
“Guess who’s just scored tickets for an actual screening of the first five minutes of gameplay for the most anticipated game of the decade?”
“What?” Her string of words wasn’t making sense in my caffeine deprived mind. It just sounded like gibberish to me, initially.
Like we were in some cheesy commercial, she was the lead, and I was the confused NPC with the WTF expression. But when I went over it in my head, words started to slide together like a jigsaw puzzle. Misty didn’t get excited about video games. Well, she did. Though, my housemate was one to get excited on behalf of someone else. After living with her for a while now, I had concluded she was a follower.
By that, I mean whatever others thought or did or said, she copied it. If her Twitter followers were mad at bad takes, she would drop all of her own opinions on said follower and focus on what other people said. We had Korean barbecue for takeout the other day, and Misty clearly did not like it from the creased look on her face, and her very obviously spitting it politely into a napkin.
Jay, my other housemate, liked it.
And so did I. So, naturally, Misty announced she wanted more.
I had to watch her suffer through two more portions before she excused herself—presumably to throw up. Blinking at my housemate who was clearly excited for Jay, I resisted the overwhelming urge to roll my eyes.
“Slow down. What game? What are you talking about?”
I got out of bed and threw on my robe, half aware of the mess from last night on my desk. Another attempt to finish an essay which just wasn’t happening. The monster energy cans and takeout Chinese wrappers were embarrassing. I got a basic run-through as I headed downstairs with Misty right behind me, practically breathing down my neck. From what I understood, there was a Reddit post.
That was all I got from Misty’s squealing. She leapt down the stairs after me with a spring in her step. The clock above the front door told me it wasn’t even 9am. The smell of bacon, however, was quick to arise me from the dead.
Jay was in the kitchen making breakfast. I noticed his laptop was open on the table, and every so often he’d peer at it with wide, almost disbelieving eyes. Jay and Misty were complete opposites, which made them great people to live with. Jay was a quiet book who was slightly on the pretentious side, routinely quoting something philosophical to piss me off.
He had rich parents on the other side of the world, but the guy himself was fairly humble and had mostly detached himself from said family.
My housemate was usually well put together. In fact, I barely saw him in his pajamas, excluding game nights. That morning, however, he was a disheveled mess, still in yesterday’s clothes.
He offered me a grin. I glimpsed sauce from last night’s dinner still staining his chin. Jay hadn’t brushed his hair or even put on deodorant.
I caught a whiff of BO when he ducked in front of me, his gaze glued to his MacBook. It was rare when Jay ignored basic hygiene, so yeah, I was going to guess this was a pretty huge thing. “I did tell her not to wake you up, y’know.”
His slight aussie accent was always refreshing on a morning. Born in Australia and moving to the states when he was ten years old, Jay still had a slight tinge in his accent. I had seen pictures of his family, and the guy had definitely gotten most of his dad’s genes, thick brown hair, and freckles. While his dad was built like a pro wrestler however, Jay was leaner like his mom.
I shrugged. “I was already awake.”
“Liar.” He didn’t look away from his laptop.
Looking closer, I glimpsed the Reddit homepage.
“So, you have won something.”
Jay didn’t answer. I could tell he was excited by the way he could barely keep still, bustling around the kitchen, barefoot. “Coffee?”
His voice was more of a Misty-like squeak, and I half wondered for a moment if they had switched bodies, or he had at least become one with my other housemate through a chemical explosion. In our kitchen, which was yet to be cleaned after a cooking disaster several nights ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if something was living on the countertop. I nodded, slumping into a chair. “What’s going on? Why is Misty freaking out?” I nodded at his laptop. “She said you’ve won something?”
As if my housemate couldn’t hold it in anymore, he nodded, turning his screen towards me. “You know____, right?”
“Yes.” I sipped my coffee, eyeing a toaster strudel sitting on the countertop. "You mean the game which has been coming out for a decade."
He ignored that. “Well, what if I told you one of the developer’s posted on the official sub this morning?”
He nodded with a grin, and I wondered it this was one of those rare times when Jay was blindly looking through a red flag to see what he wanted. I had heard of these types of scams, and Reddit was a breeding ground for them.
Gamers were pretty intense. I didn’t realize I was pulling a face until I caught his lips curving into a smile. Jay was usually the skeptical one.
“You don’t believe me.”
I downed my coffee to avoid replying. When I had drained the cup, he was still staring at me with amused eyes.
“You think it’s bullshit.”
I shrugged. “You said it,” I said. “I’m pretty sure that game isn’t even partway through development. Didn’t Twitter leak a still last year? Also, they’ll be bringing out a new console before that game comes out.”
I leaned back in my chair. “It’s more of a pipe dream, at this point.”
“The leaks were fake,” Even he didn’t look sure. “Anyway, that’s not the point. One of the dev’s posted on the official sub this morning. He asked if we were all excited for the new game, asked if we could post some of our favorite NPC dialogue, and he’ll DM winners.”
“Uh-huh.” I nodded at the screen. I had already checked my phone for an internet meltdown concerning this post, but there was nothing. “And where is that post now?”
Jay didn’t look at me. “It was deleted. So it only reached a certain number of people.”
“Oh, it was deleted?” I couldn’t resist a smile. “What a coincidence.”
When I laughed, Jay scowled, showing me his screen—navigating his trackpad to his Reddit DM’s.
To my surprise, there was actually a message from what I guessed was a throw-away account.
While I was skim reading the DM, Misty hurried in, all dressed and ready for the day. I peeked at her outfit from Jay's laptop. Cute.
Extravagant, but cute. My housemate cranked the radio up before bouncing between us, a toaster strudel hanging out of her mouth.
Misty was a living animated character. Ignoring her wide smile, I turned back to the screen. “Congratulation!!” The DM started with capitals.
It took me reading it twice to realize there was a clear spelling mistake. I sent Jay a pointed look, but he was too busy practically vibrating with excitement. If the guy had any more caffeine, he was going to explode. “Since when did winning DM’s start with a typo?”
“I knew you were going to say that.” Jay curled his lip. “They were clearly excited when typing the message.”
“But this is supposedly an official,” I said. “Surely they would make sure it’s professional?”
My housemate didn’t reply, shooting a look at Misty, who rolled her eyes.
“Wow.” I squinted at the screen. “I am so sorry for caring about your safety. You do realize these types of scam’s usually end up with you being sold on the black market, right?”
I shuddered. “I’ve heard horror stories about underground markets specializing in illegal organ harvesting.”
“Or…” Jay’s eyes were glued to the screen. “You could be happy for me?”
I frowned at the rest of the message, which was just a capitalized freak-out about the upcoming release of the game, before inviting Jay (and a friend!) to a five-minute preview of gameplay, as well as a Q&A. There was a location and a time, which was brow-raising. “10 at night.” I said. “Who hosts a gaming convention at 10pm?” I leaned my chin on my fist. “Unless they wanted to lure as many gullible people as possible, and ship them to some organ harvesting factory on the other side of the world.”
Jay scoffed. “That’s dark.”
“You’re actually considering going to a 10pm gaming convention in the middle of nowhere. I’m trying to wake you up.”
Jay nudged me that time. “It’s real. Relax.”
“And.” I pointed to the screen. “No phones? Why would they ask you not to bring your phones?”
“To stop us filming content,” Misty sang. “Duh.”
I groaned, leaning back in my chair. “You’re on his side? This is clearly shady!” I didn’t get mad unless something was seriously pissing me off, and this was one of those times. Jay was a smart guy. There was no way he was falling for this bullshit. I thought he was joking around when he spent the day tracking the location on Google Maps. I went to class like normal and got updates through text. At lunch, Jay agreed with me and said it was in fact shady, and he wasn’t going. By afternoon classes, he was texting me in paragraphs explaining his own skepticism but had found several “friends” on an online forum who were also going and had changed his mind once again. The guy couldn’t make up his mind. He was driving me crazy.
Misty sent me several videos of Jay pacing the kitchen with his MacBook in his hands. She was broadcasting his mental breakdown via Instagram stories. But then she started to send me pictures of herself in different outfits, asking me for my opinion on each one. At that point, I turned my phone off. My housemates had lost their fucking minds. I did my own research though, just to make sure I wasn’t actually going to lose them to a shady cult.
I searched for the game itself, but just as I thought, it was shown as still in development. Every “update” was just fan speculation.
There were YouTube videos and TikTok’s of fake leaks, but nothing was real. It was either AI generated, or badly edited. By the time my classes had ended and I had turned my phone on, I had a barrage of missed calls and texts.
Most of them were from Misty with her outfit changes, and Jay changing his mind again.
This time he was convinced it was all a scam, his texts full of typos and crying emoji's which he never used. Before it hit me that Misty was most likely using his phone to text me.
I was right. When I walked through the door, I was greeted by both of them sitting on the stairs. Misty was scrolling through Jay’s phone, while the boy had his head in his hands. According to Misty’s last text, he was back to being excited to go.
From the look on his face, eyes shadowed with sleep circles, light brown curls slipping from under his hood, I wasn’t sure what Misty meant by “excited”. The guy looked the complete opposite. His mind had been consumed by the game, and the idea of seeing new content.
When I dropped my bag and folded my arms, fixing the two of them with my best disapproving parent look, Misty jumped to her feet. “Sam!” she waved Jay’s phone at me. “Did you get my texts? We’re actually going now!”
The 100+ texts on both messenger and iMessage said otherwise.
I nodded, my gaze on Jay. “Both of you do realize it’s a scam, right?” I softened my tone despite growing progressively more irritated. We were grown adults, not kids. I could understand a group of teenagers falling for it, but two twenty-three-year-olds?
This time, I ducked in front of Jay. “Hey.” I pulled down his hood, and he groaned, burying his head in his knees. “I don’t want to freak you out, so listen to me, okay?”
I exhaled out a breath. “I’m not saying something bad is going to happen to you, because it most likely won’t—and yes, I admit I’m being paranoid.” When he lifted his head, blinking through bedraggled curls, there was a faint smile on his lips. “But.” I said. “You are most likely going to end up disappointed. Which I don’t want, because you won't shut up about it for weeks."
I was only partly joking.
For a moment, I thought my housemate was going to wake up, and nod, laughing at how crazy it was.
Before shook his head and jumped up.
“I’m going to take a shower, alright? I should start getting ready."
I admit, I exploded at him.
We argued while he was in the shower, and I paced up and down the hallway, coming up with multiple reasons why he was definitely going to die, and only two positives if it was in fact real. In the end, I gave up worrying all together. I didn’t say anything when the two of them were hurrying around looking for shoes and missing car keys. I didn’t realize they were gone until the door was clanging shut, and a text was coming through. I didn’t look at it until an hour later, and I had calmed down.
Jay: 1h ago: Stop worrying, lmao. We’re good! I’ll keep my phone just in case. I’ll make sure to avoid the organ harvesting 😉
Another from Misty a few minutes later: “Love you! Chillll, kay? 😭😭 It’s going to be fun! I’ll take pics!”
Followed by: “Oh shit, we can’t. I’ll try to sneak some!"
Attached to the text was a photo of the two of them. Misty with a wide smile and a peace sign, and Jay who looked like he was mid-shout, his eyes on the road.
Those texts were… at least comforting, I guessed. Maybe they were right. I figured I was paranoid, and they in fact would really be okay.
But that didn’t stop the anxious coil in my gut when I tried to force down takeout pizza. I attempted to focus on my essay to distract myself, but I couldn’t stop glancing at my phone, and checking Twitter. There was a hashtag on the DM, which was just “PlayStationGO.” When I searched for it, however, nothing came up.
Sure, it was a private convention and only a select few knew about it, but nothing could escape Twitter.
Somewhere, someone must be talking about it. After scrolling through endless tweets though, I realized I was wrong. There was nothing.
That put a bad taste in my mouth.
10pm came, and I held my breath all the way through a Netflix TV show I was forcing myself to watch, half asleep, slumped at my desk.
I could barely distinguish the plot.
I just had a vague idea of the character names, and some of their motivations.
Midnight passed, and I was struggling to stay awake.
I glanced at my phone.
No messages, just a notification from Spotify reminding me my favorite band was playing nearby.
Still nothing. I fell back to sleep.
This time, I stayed awake for a few minutes glaring at my phone before my eyes grew heavy.
My phone buzzed with a text from Jay, but I could barely desipher it: "can't feel help my head hurts Canshdhsn727272_6798mi/!! _&go home please. (Sent from: PlayStationGo™️ BETA)."
3:54: am. I was wide awake, blinking at a notification which had popped up from an unknown number. I was trying to figure out what number it was, when my phone vibrated again and I almost jumped out of my skin.
After a moment of hesitation, I answered it.
I was trying so hard not to think of the possibility of it being the emergency room, or even worse, the cops.
All of my worst nightmares had come true in a single second.
“Hello?” I whispered in a croak.
“Are they in the house with you?” The stranger’s voice came through in a hiss of interference.
His words sent my mediocre dinner lurching back up my throat. “What?” I managed to get out. “Who?”
“Your friends.” He said, and I leapt to unsteady feet, my gut twisting and turning.
“No.” I found myself taking slow strides toward the window, brushing back the curtain and peering out into the night. “Why? Did something happen to them?” I paused.
“How did you get my number?”
“That does not matter.” His voice rattled in my ear as I rushed downstairs, almost stumbling down the bottom two. “I need you to get out of that house. Now. Get as far away as possible.”
I could hear his rapid breaths.
He was driving. I could hear the rumble of the engine. With my phone pressed to my ear, I obeyed his instructions, pulling open the door and stepping out into the cool night, a brisk breeze grazing my bare arms was just enough to stop my thoughts spiraling.
I was barefoot, in nothing but a robe, staggering down the driveway. The night was calm and silent; our neighborhood was asleep, each window drowned in darkness. I couldn’t breathe, my clammy fingers wrapped around my phone, as this stranger broke down over the phone. “Whatever you do,” he gasped out.
“Do not, I repeat DO NOT remove the PlayStationGo—shit!! He hissed out, static rattling the call. The guy seemingly got ahold of himself, and the wheel, and continued. I started to walk—where I was going, I had no idea.
The stranger lit a cigarette. I heard the click of a lighter and his exhalation of breath. “It was a BETA version, but we had to rush it. This was not my idea. My boss is a greedy man. He wanted to release the game last year, which would have meant widespread infection. Luckily, that did not happen. We did manage to delay it, but only by a year.” His words barely made sense to me as I struggled to get a word in, peering in the dark. “It was supposed to be a virtual experience of the game—a whole new angle of gameplay. But testing was difficult. First, on monkey’s, we lost multiple subjects. Tonight was supposed to be a…well, I guess you could call it out first attempt on human subjects,” his laugh was bitter. “I knew the tech wasn’t finished. And I tried. Believe me, I fucking tried. I tried to blow the whistle, but these bastards know where my parents live."
Something squirmed its way down my spine.
“So my friends were lab rats?” I said stiffly. “You used them?”
I fucking knew it.
I knew it was too good to be true.
“Yes and no. Listen to me, the people I work for are hunting them down. Trust me, I don’t want my bosses to find them because a life of experimentation will await them. Torture. Do you hear me? It does not matter if subjects fail. They don’t care. As long as there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel for them, they will see it as a win, and bring the publication date closer. They will not be treated as humans. Your friends signed a contract before trying out the tech, where the small print stated that, under section 3, player engagement, all subjects must agree to offer themselves as participants in later updates. I silently cursed Jay for always skipping the terms and conditions when buying games." The man stopped to breathe.
“I have told you multiple times, and I won’t say it again. Get as far away from that house as possible. I will take care of them. I will make sure of it." The sound of squealing engines, and I stopped power walking, coming to an abrupt stop. The silence of the night around me, compared to the sound of the highway he was on, traffic horns and the wind rushing through the window was an eerie contrast, a disturbance to the heavenly bubble we were trapped in.
“What do you mean ‘take care of them?” I had to swallow a yell. “Hey! What are you talking about?
“I’m sorry.” Was all he replied with. “I’m afraid it is too late. There was once an opportunity to save the mind during the initial level of the demonstration. However, once the PlaystationGo has been fully attached to the base of the subject, we no longer have control of it. Once integrating itself into the cerebral cortex, the PlayStationGo can only be removed by signing out of the player’s account,” his breath was heavy. “On this unfortunate occasion, however, your friends are unable to navigate the system due to a malfunction which scrambled their brains,” He trailed off. “Which has left them stranded in the game."
I let out a breath. “Right.” I said. “That’s.. bad. I mean, it’s a fucked-up piece of technology, but they’re just playing a game, right?”
There was a pause, before the man laughed.
“Young man, I don’t think you understand,” he said. “The PlayStationGo was created to give the player a full virtual experience of our game. The PlayStationGo is not a physical object. Created with nanotechnology, it attaches itself to the subject’s brain and is supposed to create a personal gaming experience for each player. As I said, however, it is not finished. It is yet to be released to the public, and of course, we are expecting certain ethical arguments due to the controversial—”
I pulled the phone away from my ear, shaking my head. I didn’t need to hear his attempts at trying to save his own skin.
“You need to help them,” I whispered. “Do you hear me? Can you do that? Can you help them?!”
“That is what I am trying to tell you,” He said.
“I know you are upset and confused, and believe me, I offer my apologies. But you need to listen to facts. During initial testing, our subjects were conscious enough to know where their home was. We are unsure why this happens, though we have linked it to territory, as well as the main character of the game heavily influencing their actions. I have been tracking them from the testing facility, and they are incredibly close. Please get as far away from there as possible. If you are no longer in the vicinity of the house, I can end this quickly and quietly before we gain attention.”
I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. Maybe start fucking screaming at him, because he was talking about getting “rid” of my friends, after their mistake.
“Do you understand me?” He said, when I couldn’t reply. “Your friends are lost causes!”
Before I could answer, though, headlights were suddenly coming around the corner, and I found myself paralysed to the spot. The car which swerved twice, crashed into several trash cans, before reversing and coming straight towards me, was not Jay’s car. Jay’s car was an old hunk of junk he’d gotten from a scrapyard. Jay’s car had doors which were practically hanging off, and a stereo which exclusively played either static gibberish, or old tapes I had no idea how to use. This car was bright yellow, and definitely had an option to drive itself. When the car came to a stop, inches from careening into me, I lost all control of myself.
I was vaguely aware of my phone slipping from my fingers and hitting the sidewalk. But I was too busy staring at the two shadows in the front of the car. The driver, and the passenger.
And the muffled screaming coming from the trunk.
When the door swung open, a figure stepping out, I did not recognise my housemate.
The stranger told me I wouldn't, but I didn't believe him.
Jay had left the house in casual jeans and a sweater, bearing the game's logo.
Now, I found myself face to face with a man with my housemate's face and features, his smile and eyes-- but something had been severed in his eyes and twisted in his expression. For one, Jay was wearing a suit I knew he couldn't afford, the sleeves torn, collar pulled open, smears of red staining the front.
His pants had cufflinks, and the Rolex on his wrist had definitely been pulled off someone's corpse.
The silver was stained a revealing scarlet. Drinking in his face, he looked like Jay. His curls hung in front of his eyes, freckles speckling his cheeks, but everything else wasn't. It wasn't until I was glimpsing what was moulded into the flesh of his hand, did I remember how to move. But then I was taking all of him in, everything my mind had intentionally skipped, because I didn't want to believe the stranger on the phone. Nanotechnology, the man had said in a hiss.
Fiction, I had thought.
Before I saw the reality of it, a writhing metallic like substance glued to the guy's temple, and slowly, very slowly, inching down his cheek, already forming around the bridge of his ear, a very faint blue light flickering.
Something must have alerted him. His cavernous eyes left mine, and he twisted his head—and I heard the sound of his neck snapping, his head lolling to the left slightly, his eyes flickering. I watched his whole body seem to sway back and forth, ready to fall forwards.
Before the newly formed device on his ear turned red, then green.
It was almost like he was… rebooting. As if coming back to life, Jay lifted his head at an awkward angle, before looking straight through me. The blood vessels in his eyes had popped, rivulets of red beading down his face. He should have been dead, I thought. No. No, he was dead. That… that thing was keeping him alive. “Well, shiiiittt,” he said. I could sense the game dialogue which had taken over him, forming on his mangled tongue.
“I’m a man on a mission.”
In jerking movements, he turned and marched back towards the car, opening the door, and sliding into the front seat.
I remembered how to move, ducking to grab my phone, before something slammed into the back of my head—and I saw stars.
I didn’t remember hitting the floor, only the soft sound of her voice, a seductive murmur repeating NPC dialogue, and her kitten heel sticking into my spine, forcing me onto my face.
Misty. I was expecting her to get it over with. But when she dragged me to my feet, sticking the barrel of a gun into the flesh of my neck—I figured she was still playing the game.
Twisting around to meet her eyes, lifeless and empty, only filled with light from the device which had taken over half of her face, I felt sick to my stomach. This thing wasn’t a games console or a virtual reality headset.
It was an attempt at coercing and programming something you already don’t understand, to do something impossible.
I could see that in the way the things had visibly chewed and eaten through her flesh, devouring her from the inside and out. I could see what was left of the dress she had worn earlier, but something must have gone wrong with her too. Because Misty had thrown on another outfit over the top, a diamond necklace hanging from her neck.
I caught a thin river of red pooling down her right temple, trying to ignore the twitchy way she moved, just like a character. From the way Misty walked, stumbling, I already knew she was gone. My housemate had newly acquired strength, throwing me in the trunk of the car where three other hostages were, and slamming it shut on my attempts to reason with her. She didn’t tie me up or restrain me.
In the dim light I could just make out though passing streetlights, I could see the trunk opened from the inside. Which was too easy.
Still though, Jay was driving recklessly, and every time I tried to throw the damn thing open, I was knocked backwards, rolling into a screaming girl, who was bound by her hands and feet. It took me multiple attempts before I had the trunk open, freezing cold air blasting me in the face. I untied the other hostages, but when I told them to come with me, they just stared blankly at me, and continued begging for their lives—and it only took me glimpsing what was attached to their temples, a familiar writhing metal plate, for me to understand. They too were playing the game. This time, as NPC hostages.
I found myself gingerly touching the trembling metallic flesh of the girl's fingers bound in rope. It had a slimy consistency, and I swore, I felt something bite into me.
No way, I thought.
This thing was sentient, yes. But it wasn't living.
Listen, I wish I could tell you what it was like to jump out of a moving car, but I can’t.
I remember it as lunging out of the trunk, hitting the freezing cold air, before hitting the ground head first, neutron star collisions exploding in the backs of my eyes.
What I do remember is waking up on the side of the road. Hours later. The sky was bright blue, a scorching sun blinding me when I managed to force my eyes open.
The early morning rush hour flew by as normal, and I wondered how ignorant American people had to be to ignore someone knocked out on the side of the road.
It’s not like I was nowhere near civilization. There was a fucking Subway right next to me.
When I had gathered myself, I remembered I had no phone. I couldn’t go home in fear of running into my rogue housemates playing their own fucked up version of _____ in their head. My plan was to try and find my phone, get in contact with the stranger who blew the whistle on my friends being dangerous, and find them. They couldn’t be far., right? And even if they weren’t themselves… someone would be able to save them.
If someone could do this to them, surely they could reverse it.
I felt sick, tired, and I was starving.
So, with some loose cash I’d found in my pocket, I bought a Subway and a Coke.
The woman at the counter smiled widely at me. She leaned forward, with a wink. “Nice cosplay!”
I didn’t understand what she meant until I swore I felt something… move its way up my pant leg. I ignored it, and it happened again, this time it felt like something was… biting.
A bug, maybe? I had been laying on the side of the road for around six hours.
When I went to the bathroom, though, I found myself staring at an all too familiar glint of silver creeping its way across my temple. Like it was sentient, parts of it sider webbed towards my ear while the rest writhed into my hairline.
I pulled up my pant leg again, and there it was, a fungus-like metal substance which had already formed in two solid metal masses on my knees. I remember grazing two fingers across the thing beginning its slow feast of my flesh. I remember trying to pull it off, hissing in pain when I risked ripping off my own skin with it. I remember shaking my head and being in denial, even when the lights dimmed above me, and the bathroom door in front of me became more of a shadow. When I strode back through the Subway store, I began to see slight flickers of light above each person, highlighting something not quite there yet.
I could see it already starting, beginning to take over my thoughts. Cars which sped past were suddenly highlighted, and at the corner of my eye, if I concentrated, the outline of a map was starting to appear. Even now, when the room is almost completely taken over by shadow, and my thoughts are half my own, and half not—when a metallic device is beginning to form over my eyes—I know if I hold on, this thing won’t take me. I have considered killing myself, but that wouldn’t… be right.
How could I kill myself when there is so much left to do?
This developer was right. I don’t even know where I can sign out. There’s what looks like the beginning of some kind of index when I look up, but it’s not… finished. I can still see entangled pieces of code struggling to load what I’m guessing was log out. Whatever this thing is, it’s taking over me. Fast. Like a fungus, like a virus, it will not stop until it’s dragged me into the game, until it's leeched itself onto me.
I can feel it happening right now. It's been slow.
Almost painfully slow.
But maybe that is the point. Maybe part of the game is to feel my own thoughts beginning to unravel in favor of something else entirely.
Time is going by…. Fast.
Five minutes ago… I was trying to get home. But I can’t remember where I live.
I can’t concentrate.
I can’t think straight.
I have a phone—but I don’t know how I got it. Did I steal it?
Every time I move, the slowly emerging map comes to life at the corner of my eye jerks with my movement. There is a car parked nearby.
I know it belongs to the man with a child.
But a confusing blur of light is highlighting it to be something of importance. Reality is crashing in front of me, replaced with contorting shapes and bursts of color I have to blink through.
I keep hearing... sirens.
Jay is messaging me.
On what, I'm not sure.
But I need to find him.
I’m sure one mission won’t hurt, right?
submitted by Trash_Tia
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 20:09 Make_One_Up Itinerary Help 8/24 - 9/8; Plus Some Logistical Questions
Hello! First, thanks to anyone who offers help and information, it is much appreciated!
Myself, one other adult, and two kiddos, aged 19 and 11, are traveling to Japan at the end of this summer. The trip will be first for all of us and the primary purpose of the trip is a belated High School graduation gift for my oldest Son. Below is my itinerary. My primary questions/concerns are:
Does each day seem plausible?
In terms of transportation, would a JR Rail Pass be a good idea? I have used the JR Rail Pass Calculator, but what is unknown for me is how much of the local travel we'll do would be applicable to the JR Rail Pass.
Can anyone help me understand using the Suica card? I understand it can be added to an AppleWallet, but what about for my 11 year old? She's the only one of us without her own AppleWallet.
I am still confused about admission to the Studio Ghibli Museum. I have read several things which contradict each other. So far it seems like US citizens CAN purchase tickets, and that can be done on the 10th of the month before. Is that correct?
We're coming from Seattle, to LAX and then to Narita in Tokyo.
We are staying at an AirBNB in Minato City in Tokyo. It appears the closest transit are:
We are planning to travel from Tokyo to Osaka via the Shinkansen, but are open to other suggestions. Our flight home departs from Tokyo as well, so well will take the same transit back to Tokyo on our departure day.
We are staying at the Liber Hotel in Osaka, which seems like it will be close enough to walk to USJ.
Itinerary: Thursday 8/24
Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) via Delta
Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT) via Singapore Air Friday 8/25
Arrive at 5:50pm
Airport to AirBNB via Skyliner Saturday 8/26
Gundam Base Tokyo; Akabanebashi Station to Daiba Station (40-60 minutes)
Gundam Statue Gundam Café (take-away only) Gundam Base Store Sunday 8/27
Pokemon Center Tokyo; Akabanebashi Station to Oshiage (Skytree) Station (30-50 minutes)
Pokemon Café (RESERVATIONS CAN BE MADE @ 1800 31 DAYS PRIOR) Pokemon Center
Takeshita Street; Azabu-Juban Station to Harajuku Station (30-40 minutes)
Candy A-Go-Go Totti Candy Factory Marion Crepes Iyoshi Cola
Jingumae Food Hall Monday 8/28
Akihabara; Kamiyacho Station to Akihabara Station (30-40 minutes)
Bandai Namco Gashapon Store Anime Shops Maid Café? Kanda Myojin Shrine? Super Potato Owl Café? (MAKE RESERVATIONS AS SOON AS WE DECIDE) Tuesday 8/29
Tokyo Disneyland; Kamiyacho Station to Maihama Station (40-60 minutes)
(PURCHASE TICKETS 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE) Wednesday 8/30
Tokyo Disneyland; Kamiyacho Station to Maihama Station (40-60 minutes)
(PURCHASE TICKETS 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE) Thursday 8/31
Studio Ghibli Museum (50-60 minutes); Azabu-Juban Station to Kichijoji Station (60-70 minutes)
(TICKETS GO ON SALE @ 10AM JAPAN TIME (which is 5pm the day before in Seattle) ON THE 10TH OF THE MONTH BEFORE) Friday 9/1
Tokyo Skytree; Akabanebashi Station to Oshiage (Skytree) Station (30-50 minutes)
Kirby Café (RESERVATIONS CAN BE MADE ON THE 10TH OF THE MONTH FOR THE FOLLOWING MONTH) Saturday 9/2
Takeshita Street; Azabu-Juban Station to Harajuku Station (30-40 minutes)
Candy A-Go-Go Totti Candy Factory Marion Crepes Iyoshi Cola
Jingumae Food Hall Sunday 9/3
Shibuya Parco; Akabanebashi Station to Shibuya Station (30-60 minutes)
Nintendo Tokyo Pokemon Shibuya Pokemon Sweets (RESERVATIONS CAN BE MADE @ 1800 31 DAYS PRIOR) Shibuya Crossing Monday 9/4
Tokyo to Osaka via Shinkansen (2.5 hours)
9AM – 11:30AM
(PURCHASE TICKETS 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE)
Check in: Liber Hotel at Universal Japan, Superior Twin Room x2
9/4 – 9/8 Tuesday 9/5
(PURCHASE TICKETS 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE) Wednesday 9/6
(PURCHASE TICKETS 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE) Thursday 9/7
Pack/prepare for flight home
Silverball Planet Osaka Friday 9/8
Shinkansen Osaka to Tokyo
Approx. time 8:45AM – 11:15AM
Tokyo (NRT) to Los Angeles (LAX) via Singapore Airlines
6:40PM – 12:50PM
Los Angeles (LAX) to Seattle (SEA) via Delta Airlines
9:20PM – 12:08AM (9/9)
submitted by Make_One_Up
to JapanTravel [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 16:01 Mattman3k Looking for something to do this weekend?
2023.05.31 15:31 JohannesMeanAd2 The Centennial Series, S2E2: 1923 Indianapolis 500 - Indy goes international!
| || | submitted by JohannesMeanAd2 to formula1 [link] [comments]
Hello everyone! I hope you all had fun watching the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, filled with many different strategic twists and turns and showcasing some of the finest displays of driver ability we've seen this season!
As we all know, the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most historic motor races on the planet, with a rich heritage going all the way back to 1929. However, there is one other open wheel race that has historically been run on the same day, but halfway across the world in America: The Indianapolis 500. With speeds in excess of 230 miles per hour and attendance soaring past 300,000 on race day, the Indy 500 boasts arguably the most impressive CV of any active motor race in the world with its over 110-year-long history. Makes sense, then, that this would be our next destination for The Centennial Series retrospective.
The Start of the 1923 Indianapolis 500. Image credits to michaeljesse.net
For those of you on this sub who don't know, I make a series of commemorative posts for Grand Prix-adjacent races that occurred exactly 100 years ago as their anniversaries pass by us. Here's my most recent one in case you're interested in reading further.
This will be the second installment in this year's retrospective, so let's get into it!
Just like today, in 1923 the Indianapolis 500 held a special place in the motor racing world as arguably one of the fastest and most exciting races out there. If we had a holy trinity of races in the 1920s, they would be the Italian Targa Florio, the French Grand Prix, and this race. Indy represented the peak of American motor racing since the end of World War I, when rival events such as the ACA Grand Prize and the William K. Vanderbilt Cup fell into abeyance and irrelevance.
Aerial view of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1923.
You might be wondering, "this is a race that's still held today in the IndyCar series. Why would you do a retrospective on it if it's not a Grand Prix?" That's a great question and the answer lies in the past. Though it may seem strange, unlike in the 1950s, during the 1920s the Indy 500 was equally as relevant to the Grand Prix racing world as it was to that of racing in the United States. Quite often, many of the best manufacturers of Europe sought after victory in the Indianapolis 500 as a means of proving their race cars’ (and road cars) worthiness on a global scale. Some successful examples include Delage in the 1914 running, and Peugeot, who successfully won three times in 1913, 1916 and 1919.
As such, it made sense that the then-organizers of the Indy 500 (and most auto racing in America), the AAA Contest Board, wanted to keep in touch with the latest developments in international racing to maintain that worldwide interest in the Sweepstakes. In the previous year's Indianapolis 500 (Which you can read my post about here
), the technical regulations remained the same as they had been since the end of World War I, that of 3.0 liter engine regulations, on the grounds that the American auto industry still hadn't fully recovered a regular peacetime manufacturing capacity after The Great War.
However, this would all change for 1923. In 1922, the Automobile Club de France, or the ACF, adopted new, 2.0 liter engine regulations with slightly smaller weight requirements as the first true "new" post-war regulation. In the pursuit of maintaining international interest in the Indy 500, the AAA decided to follow suit for the 1923 season. In recognition of unifying their formula, the folks in Europe known as the AIACR (Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus, the FIA of its day) designated the Indianapolis 500 as a Grande Epreuve (French for “big test”), which was back then the term for an "official" international Grand Prix race.
And so, with the race now genuinely having international importance once more, it's time to see who's who and who the favorites were for the 1923 Indy 500:
The Team of Bugattis lining up for a photo at the 1923 Indy 500. Image credits to Simanaitis Says.
The first major European manufacturer to jump at the Indy opportunity would be Bugatti. Led by the great Ettore Bugatti himself, the Alsatian manufacturer had gained a reputation for punching well above their weight in the Grand Prix scene, with multiple voiturette victories to their name in 1920 and 1921, and making the step up to the Grand Prix races in 1922. Despite their gentlemanly lineup, their results were very promising, taking runner-up in France
and third place at Monza
. For 1923, they planned bigger and better things, but for the sake of getting their name out, Bugatti set out with their 1922-spec Type 30, modified to only have one seat (because back then Grand Prix racers still needed two seats).
Their drivers would be led by Pierre de Vizcaya and the legendary Polish designer Count Louis Zborowski. They were joined by a series of other wealthy aristocrats interested in a flick of speed, including the Parisian Prince de Cystria, and the Argentinians Martin de Alzaga and Raul Riganti. With just 90 horsepower on tap, Bugatti's best chances came from capitalizing on attrition. But still it's quite incredible that they're out here having only made it to the big leagues a year prior.
The Supercharged Mercedes M7294. Stripped down to only one seat for Indianapolis. Image credits to Supercars.net
Christian F. Lautenschlager. Image from Fine Art America.
And now for a manufacturer I'm sure everyone is familiar with: Mercedes! By this point, Mercedes were still virtually the "exiled genius” of the European racing world. Their status as a German car manufacturer left them banned from taking part in the French Grand Prix after The Great War, but that did not stop the engineers at Stuttgart from innovating and being ahead of the curve. At the 1922 Targa Florio, they introduced the world's first supercharged (and by extension, forced induction) racecars, capitalizing on a gray area for the Grand Prix regulations of the time. Seeing the potential of the supercharging device, Mercedes opted to take it one step further for 1923. In a design that complies with the 2.0 liter Grand Prix regulations, they introduced the M7294, designed by Paul Daimler himself. This 120-horsepower beast used centrifugal supercharging to make up for the below-average RPM compared to the naturally aspirated American racers they'd be up against, making this the first effort for a supercharged race car at Indy.
As they were once again playing with hot stuff, Mercedes entrusted only their absolute best and most knowledgeable drivers with the M7294. The headlining driver would be two-time Grand Prix champion Christian Lautenschlager, alongside their top testers Max Sailer and Christian Werner.
Duesenberg Special at Indianapolis, 1924. No good photos of their 1923 special exist. Image credits to Indiana Memory Collections.
The rather abrupt nature of the switch from 3.0 liter engines to 2.0 liter engines for the Indy 500 sent a paradigm-changing shockwave to the balance of power among American racing teams. Many manufacturers found themselves largely underprepared or ill-equipped to handle making all new designs in such a short time for the 1923 Indy 500. One such example would be the Duesenberg brothers. High off of an incredible upset victory at the 1921 French Grand Prix, and a record-breaking Indy 500 win (both with Jimmy Murphy at the helm), it’s safe to say Duesenberg were a staple of American open wheel racing, and in 1923 their absence was very much felt. In the hurried rush to put together a special car in time for Indianapolis, they depleted most of their resources, and sent out three cars, mostly for relief drivers. Only one car would start the race, for their chief relief driver Wade Morton, making his Indy 500 debut. Quite the contrast to see only one car from such a big team.
The Detroit-based Packard team were able to create a reasonably strong package for the 1923 season, managing around 115 horsepower from their new 2.0 liter special. Although not in as desperate of a situation as Duesenberg were, Packard still put together a strong team, fielding the legendary Ralph DePalma as their headlining driver, alongside Joe Boyer and 1916 winner Dario Resta.
Others wouldn’t be so fortunate as Duesenberg and Packard to survive the sudden shift. The Frontenac Motor Corporation, a joint venture between Louis Chevrolet (yes, that Chevrolet), Joe Boyer and car salesman William Small, was the dominant force in Champ Car racing during and after The Great War, with Chevrolet himself leading the race team to glory. After a suboptimal 1922 race in which none of Chevrolet’s cars finished in the top 5, the devastating news that they’d have to rebuild everything they had was the nail in the coffin that would make the Frontenac project go bankrupt, ridding American open wheel racing of one of its strongest teams. Can you imagine that happening to Chevrolet and Team Penske today? Because that’s what this felt like at the time. Miller Type 122 Special, as entered by HCS. Image credits to ConceptCarz.
However, where some had failed or struggled, others would absolutely thrive. In the immediate post-war years, The Wisconsonite Harry Miller was the owner of a very successful carburetor-selling business, generating over $1 million in yearly revenue. Miller would put this money to good use, developing a durable and fast racing engine for the Indy 500 (inspired by the old Peugeot engines), which in 1922 would be used by the overall race winner, Jimmy Murphy on his special Duesenberg chassis. The record-breaking pace of Murphy's win ignited huge interest in Miller's fast-growing racing team. Luckily for Miller, his team would stay ahead of the curve for the 1923 regulation change, developing a strong 2.0 liter engine for an elegant and functional design: the Type 122 (named such for the engine size in cubic inches).
The Miller 122 was the very first dedicated single-seater race car in the United States. Talk about an innovative race car for the time, back in those days the top Grand Prix cars mandated two seats for driver and mechanic! However, as the need for a mechanic was now optional for the Indy 500, the 122 only had the one seat. The car also boasted a very impressive 120 horsepower. A similar power output to Miller's previous engines, but far more dense given the smaller engine size.
With the promise of stability at over 110 miles per hour, and especially given the short notice of the regulation change hurting other American manufacturers, Harry Miller's design would have an explosion of interest from many drivers of the American Open Wheel racing establishment. There were no less than eleven
of these bad boys lining up for the 1923 Indy 500, making this car a clear favorite for race day. There were two top teams fielding Millers this year, including Cliff Durant’s stable of eight cars with champion drivers such as Earl Cooper and Jimmy Murphy headlining his team’s attack. They would be rivaled by the Harry C. Stutz team (H.C.S. for short), who had just two cars, but packed a real punch by fielding two past Indy 500 champions: Howard “Howdy” Wilcox, and Thomas “Tommy” Milton.
Headline for Indiana law prohibiting sporting events occurring on memorial day. Taken from The Daily Republican, January 25th, 1923.
So now that we have the exposition out of the way, it's time for the race itself. Well, almost
. You see, at the start of 1923, the Indiana State Legislature passed a law that prohibited all sporting events from occurring on Memorial Day, which included the Indianapolis 500 itself. This was done on the grounds that not enough respect had been given to the fallen American soldiers, and that the day was instead used for “games, races, and revelry.” Although this reasoning was sound, many people found this law un-American for limiting free expression. This included the organizers of the Indy 500, who relied on a holiday to guarantee maximal race attendance. There were talks of moving the race to the Saturday before Memorial day (May 26th in this instance), and even potentially making Saturday a special holiday! Honestly, it kind of reeks of making a town around the racetrack called “Speedway” (which actually happened). As no better solution could be found due to the organizers’ insistence on running on a holiday, the race would be held on a Wednesday, May 30th.
Joe Boyer in the Packard Special, 1923.
Now that we know when the race happens, it's time to actually get into the swing of things. Most teams used the entire month of May leading up to the race to get in private practice sessions, to have the best possible independent data regarding average speed and reliability. As such, there was a pretty clear picture of who had better overall speed, which turned out to be everybody. Before the 4-lap time trials began on Saturday the 26th, Harry Hartz in his Cliff Durant Miller car set a 106 mph average speed lap, which was nearly SIX
miles per hour faster than Jimmy Murphy’s pole lap from the year prior. This speed would soon be matched by the likes of Murphy and Milton. Already this Indy 500 was promising to be a showstopper with these speeds.
Qualifying began on Saturday, the 26th. Just like it is today, the starting grid would be set by doing 4 laps of the Indy oval at speed, with the average lap (measured in speed, not time) determining your placement. The gentleman Bugatti drivers had very consistent lap speeds, even if their trials were rather slow for the time. The best lap came from Raul Riganti, clocking in at a 95 mph average speed. The Mercedes cars fared only a little better. Lautenschlager and Werner both showed very strong speed in excess of 105 mph on the straights, but had to back off quite a bit in the corners. This evened out to give a lap speed of approximately 95 mph from Werner, and 93 mph from Lautenschlager.
Cars lining up for the start of the 1923 Indy 500, ground view, pace car in front.
As the European manufacturers struggled, the Americans fared much better. Packard and Miller would both have drivers that beat out Jimmy Murphy’s 100 mph qualifying record from 1922. For Packard, it was DePalma, at around 100.42 miles per hour, promising to the public that this wouldn’t be a Miller whitewash as far as speed goes. But even then, the Millers stood head and shoulders above the rest, particularly with the HCS-entered cars. Tommy Milton would throw down the gauntlet with a murderous speed of 108 mph for pole position! Talk about crazy improvement from the year before. For reference, this year’s record-setting Indy 500 pole speed improved on last year’s by only 0.2 mph. Really speaks to how much of a wild west era 100 years ago was like. Milton’s time would be closely matched by the top two from the past year, Jimmy Murphy and Harry Hartz. They would be joined in the top 5 speeds by Cliff Durant himself, and Packard’s DePalma.
And now for the race itself. In front of a rambunctious crowd of over 100,000 strong (there were far less grandstand tickets back then), the pace car led the 24 cars to a rolling start as they roared into turn 1. Tommy Milton built up a very strong lead in the first lap, but Jimmy Murphy negotiated the cars in front of him from the third row to pass Milton by turn four, with Boyer and Hartz closely following. By lap three, Milton overtook Murphy to return to first place, setting the stage for the opening 50 laps of the race, which would be a constant back and forth tussle between these two drivers, both representing the top teams using Miller cars: Murphy for Durant Racing, and Milton for the H.C.S. Motor Company. The crowd could hardly believe such a close and fast battle, no one had ever seen anything like it (they would swap the lead 25 times). Joe Boyer and Ralph DePalma helped keep Packard within touching distance, and the supercharged Mercedes’ proved to surprise in race trim, with Werner reaching the top 10 very quickly.
Leaderboard after Lap 10. Credits to goldenera.fi
The first 50 laps would see several retirements, including two high speed crashes. On lap 14 Mercedes’ Christian Lautenschlager skidded into the wall at turn 1 at nearly 90 mph, with the driver mostly uninjured. His riding mechanic Jakob Krauss was less fortunate, as he’d suffer a left leg contusion. Lautenschlager was the only driver in the field with a riding mechanic, and the mechanic’s injuries called into question the safety of even having one at all.
The other crash would come from Tom Alley, relief driver for former national champion Earl Cooper. Alley lost control at 105 mph entering turn 3, crashing straight into the fence and throwing Alley 20 feet from the car. Alley survived with serious lacerations to his back, but the sheer impact of his car on the catch fence would tragically take the life of a young local spectator, Herbert Shoup. I know it’s very upsetting, but in this day and age it’s always important to remind ourselves of, and respect, the consequences of the danger these drivers, and the people who watched them, faced when racing. A stillframe of actual footage of Howdy Wilcox, Tommy Milton, and Jimmy Murphy battling for the lead in the 1923 Indianapolis 500. Taken from the official Indianapolis Motor Speedway YouTube channel. Leaderboard After 20 out of 200 laps.
After Joe Boyer hit the pits for an extended period of time by lap 30 to change spark plugs, Packard’s best hope of a win faded, making it a Miller show up front. But the battle for the lead ramped up considerably by lap 50. Now, joining Milton and Murphy were their team-mates at HCS and Durant respectively, making it a two on two battle. Howard Wilcox had recovered from a serious qualifying mistake putting him much lower on the grid and now was in the mix with Milton, and Murphy was joined by the owner of the team himself, Cliff Durant. The Mercedes of Werner slowly improved once more, now up to 6th, showing promise that the supercharger may really be the game changer Mercedes had made it out to be.
Jimmy Murphy (right). Image credits to Sports Car Digest.
Wilcox’s charge wouldn’t last very long, as by lap 60 his car had a broken clutch, dropping him out of the race. He would soon be followed by Murphy, who by the same time had problems brewing from within his Miller that slowed his pace a good bit. He went into the pits for nearly five laps to resolve these issues, which put him well down the order and hoping for a miracle for a repeat victory. This left only Durant and Milton up front, with only 10 seconds between them, and Harry Hartz half a track behind, though Durant began to ease off due to slowly-building exhaustion that would go on to affect several drivers throughout the day.
Even though they showed promise early on, much like the Frontenacs from the year prior, Packard would have a devastating and sudden end to their 500 charge. On lap 59, they lost Joe Boyer due to a defective differential, and it would seem that some of the mechanics didn’t check the head gaskets on the other two cars, as those breaking would be the downfall of both DePalma and Dario Resta, on laps 69 and 88 respectively. Less than halfway through the race the biggest challenger to the Millers on outright speed would be gone in a flash.
Christian Werner, circa 1924. His car was the strongest of the Mercs at Indy that day. Image from Mercedes-Benz digital archive.
Where some challengers would flounder, others would silently surprise. By lap 80, the two remaining Mercedes’, piloted by Werner and Sailer, had found themselves in the top 5. Although not challenging race leader Milton for pace, it was as clear as day that the two Germans had consistent speed and utmost confidence with the M7294. With that being said, driving it at the pace they were proved extremely exhausting. Multiple stops had to be made to rotate drivers out of the cars, sometimes requiring assistance to even get out of the car. Despite all of that the Mercs maintained position, and by the halfway point had found themselves in third place.
Howdy Wilcox in H.C.S. Special, 1923.
By that point, however, the battle for the lead had cooled off. On the back stretch of the circuit, Cliff Durant came to a dead stop. The exact reasoning never got clarified, but eventually his car restarted and he rejoined the race more than 6 laps behind the leader. This left his more conservative team-mate Harry Hartz inheriting second place, one of the only cars left to not get lapped by Tommy Milton. With a huge lead now established, the HCS team pulled Milton in to give him a rest, as even he isn’t impervious to severe exhaustion. Milton had blistered, severely injured hands, which prompted the team to order Milton to have some rest, handing the car over to Wilcox, who remained on standby after his own car had dropped out. With only Hartz and Werner anywhere near their huge lead, Wilcox took over, with only one goal in mind: to keep the car on the track until Milton recovered. Leaderboard after 120 out of 200 laps
Wilcox would relieve Milton for 48 laps, and the car remained firmly in the lead over Hartz, even extending it to one full lap ahead. In that time several other cars would be vanquished through spending countless dozens of minutes in the pitlane, fixing mechanical problems that developed over time. This included the Mercedes of Werner, which by lap 120 was the only good Mercedes left. Their race was compromised significantly when the car caught fire in the pitlane, though it would be extinguished very quickly. As Werner’s car left the pitlane, relieved by Sailer, the crowd gave the Germans a standing ovation! Talk about ways of catching people’s attention, a pitstop fire is definitely one of them! Although this frantic moment almost took them out, at its very next pitstop at 140 laps, Werner’s battered Mercedes came into the pits overheated and clearly in need of a rest. They would rejoin after spending dozens of laps in the pits, but with the dream of a supercharged podium at the fastest race in the world officially over.
The excitement of the beginning of the race wore off by lap 150, as due to the high temperatures of the day, many drivers had to be relieved and substituted by their designated stand-ins, removing the grandeur from what started as such a competitive race. The high “driver attrition,” so to speak, caused the race to be significantly slower than the 1922 Indy 500. Although Milton had recovered in time to return to his HCS Miller, his lap speeds dropped off significantly, which did allow the catching Jimmy Murphy to unlap himself a couple times, but never enough to actively challenge for victory.
Official Race Results as reported in The Indianapolis Star, May 31st, 1923. Tommy Milton crossing the line to receive the checkered flag for victory.
After 200 laps, five-and-a-half hours, At an average speed of approximately 90 miles per hour, bruised and battered, but NOT beaten, the H.C.S. Special Tommy Milton crossed the finish line in first place, making him the first-ever two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500. The crowd roared in excitement for such a valiant effort, very deserving of over $30,000 in winnings he received. Cliff Durant’s team also performed admirably despite failing to win, with Harry Hartz once again finishing 2nd only one lap behind Milton, and Jimmy Murphy taking home third place. This Indy 500 would go down in history as a groundbreaking one, putting Indianapolis back on the global stage and providing the best framework in the world for close wheel to wheel racing at high speeds, just like the Indy 500 does today.
Manufacturers left this race both brilliantly satisfied and extremely disappointed:
Bugatti wasn't exactly the fastest manufacturer out there, having only one finishing car in 9th place, 56 minutes
behind Milton. But the aristocrats that funded their entry had an absolute blast driving at speed down the fastest racetrack on Earth, and for that you gotta at least respect the effort. The independent work of Prince de Cystria and his fellow aristocratic racing enthusiasts helped put Bugatti on the map across the pond. Within one year, Bugatti had made their Grand Prix debut at home, raced in the first Grand Prix at Monza, and now raced at Indianapolis. It’s safe to say their future looked bright at this point in time.
Packard, by the skin of their teeth, and thanks to a truly great driver lineup, had proven that they could come close to challenge Miller’s outright speed, but their mechanical shortcomings on the biggest stage would prove to be the most embarrassing. Just like Frontenac and Chevrolet before them, Packard would “pack up” their racing efforts at the end of the 1923 season, unwilling to spend more money on what they and the general public viewed as a losing effort.
With this result, it became 100% clear that Miller 122 was the open wheel race car to beat not just in America, but the world over, having been the only car to complete the full 200 lap distance in less than 6 hours, and occupying the entire top 4. Although several of the top brass manufacturers in Europe hadn’t raced their designs properly yet, in the first year of American-European convergence, it seemed quite clear that the Americans had a real threat up their sleeve. Rest assured, this would not be the end of Miller’s escapades in Grandes Epreuves this season…
It seems history is destined to repeat itself. Just like the Mercedes Formula 1 team of today, in this race Mercedes came with a vision, and despite a very slow start, they steadily improved their position, making the overall podium late in the race. This great result showed the world that a supercharged design really is a viable option in the racing landscape, and it’s safe to say that many in America took notice of their heroics. The M7294 sadly wouldn’t race again in 1923, but rest assured, supercharging would make a ferocious return later in the year…
And that concludes my retrospective on the 1923 Indianapolis 500. I want to give a big shoutout to all of the online resources I have used to compile images for this post, to give a more visual aspect to the race we’re looking back on. I also cannot thank enough https://www.goldenera.fi/
, the absolutely phenomenal interwar Grand Prix racing website, for the more obscure and detailed information that simply can’t be found anywhere else, especially with the intermediate leaderboards. I adored writing this up, but it wouldn’t be what it is without the invaluable research by the other incredible racing historians that came before me.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about this race as much as I did writing it up. Like I’ve always said, it's important that we remind ourselves of our history, especially with races as long ago as these, as they definitely deserve a fair shot in this fast-paced day and age. The Centennial Series will return in July, for the most important race of the year, and one which bears relevance even in today's racing world: The 1923 French Grand Prix.
Until next time, folks! :)
2023.05.31 15:10 TryingBest2023 Anyone interested in catching the Moth Radio Hour in Brooklyn w me (44m) tonight? Doors at 730
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2023.05.31 13:15 AlienNationSSB Alien-Nation Chapter 170: Scopes
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Chapter Summary: Scopes: Borzun sneaks a signature from her superior to pass on to the Fleet Admiral First Contact: Human Security Forces Patrol gets dispatched to investigate the radio signals, and are killed. They do not get a report off, but go missing
On Board Space Station 13 "-Got a signal," Chief Data Officer Remec's live audio feed cut out from the video she was richly enjoying, the interruption immediately spoiling her lovely, if otherwise lonely weekend night.
"What was that?" She choked out, lurching awkwardly in the low gravity. She may have been off her shift, but if she was being bothered now... It had better be important.
The Chief Data Officer muted herself on the new local call, a wave of the hand switching her mic back to what she had been watching. She whispered an apology to the cam-boy, and paused their private session, guilt wracking her, Some part of her mind liked to believe that he genuinely would miss her.
Using the fully immersive setup for this constituted a degree of misuse of her equipment, but she was far from alone in the practice.
Supposedly, low gravity enabled all kinds of exotic positions, and she intended to take full advantage of the noiseproof cabins each Data Officer was provided. Curiosity had given way to vague plans after enough sessions. First, she was thwarted from having alone time with the Asset. Now, she felt she was building trust with one who had caught her eye.
The special bodysuit may have kept her insulated against the faulty old air ducts' temperamental nature as she moved about the station from office to office, but it was restrictive and uncomfortable. More consequentially, taking it off and putting it on was noisy, if not easy to do quickly for the sake of any emergencies that might happen on-board a ship.
The bodysuit's crinkling finally tapered off after wrapping itself around her form with an almost vacuum seal firmness, and she switched on her camera, hoping she didn't appear flushed or sweaty. Borzun's gracile, almost-masculine face filled the main view screen.
"Sorry, I didn't catch what you said. I think the comms array on this old hulk's finally starting to give out," her junior officer apologized.
Great. If Borzun went ahead and filed a report, that would require an inspection. Remec silently mourned the waste of credits. Even if it wasn't her purse, Remec knew she had a limited number of credits she could skim for 'Cultural Research' before someone would take notice, especially if the allotment for maintenance didn't amount to enough to effect so simple a repair.
"Perhaps it was just a software bug. I can hear you just fine, you can hear me, right? I was just asking: 'What seems to be the issue?'" Remec fibbed and tried to change topics in the same breath.
"We've got a rogue signal, unencrypted. Apparently the emergency radio system has been hijacked, priority one ticket from the surface."
She lamented that with this potentially pending repair bill hanging over her head, she couldn't tap it for the bribes she'd need to sneak him, or someone like him up here like she'd hoped. What a waste.
"Ma'am, please, we have to hurry, it's an emergency," Borzun's shamelessly pleading voice was grating, and Chief Data Officer Remec forced herself to not grunt in annoyance at being addressed in that tone, and she shook her head free of the mental cobwebs and out of the pleasant, lingering tingles of the afterglow. What a terrible way to come down from such heights.
"Yes, I'm aware what a priority one is. I was just...settling another fight between The Decimals. Apparently their Data Teams are threatening to hurl themselves out their airlocks, just so that they can board the other's space stations and attack each other."
"Of course, ma'am. I did hear they'd recently been placed upon separate vessels. This isn't about that, though."
Remec almost felt insulted that Borzun sounded almost like she didn't believe her; The excuse was grounded in truth well enough. Her last meeting having been a debriefing of what went on at Space Station 92. It had been split into decimals, 92.2, 92.4, and '92.6', or 'Data Team Balkans,' as they were now known, with the probability they'd soon need a 92.8 just to cover the same geographic are of what had once been just 'Satellite 92.'
Apparently the posting had been an unending migraine for their poor Chief Data Officer, and equally as frustrating for the General on the ground who found her troops making a show of firing ineffectually at units from other postings to curry favor with the locals. Remec could still hear the seething tone of their Chief Data Officer, "I don't care how effective it is at ingratiating yourself with them, firing your weapon at other law-abiding Shil'vati without provocation is still a crime! It is considered what civilian governing authorities call a 'War Crime' on this planet! No, being a 'War Criminal' is not 'Based,' and their continued existence is not a provocation! It could potentially violate our treaty with Earth's government! Other factions could legally have grounds to jump in to conduct 'peacekeeping'!"
Borzun's expression seemed pensive- lost in thought despite the so-called emergency that had pulled Remec away from her fantasy.
The only consolidation she had was that as bad as things were for Space Station 13 presently, at least their problems were temporary, and confined to the planet's surface.
"What's the issue? I already read that the Public Address signal was hijacked. Just reset it." That didn't require bothering her.
"We did," the young svelte Data Officer offered apologetically, skin looking more blue than purple in the artificial light. "No effect. We need them turned off for now, and that requires your clearance. The message is instructing the insurgent humans how to resist, and is spreading disinformation that we are kidnapping everyone. That's greatly hampering the efforts of the Governess-General, so she really wants this done, fast."
"It's not 'everyone'," the commanding officer snorted in annoyance. "It's a...couple dozen thousand." The number was high, she had to admit, and still climbing. Quite an impressive percentage of the state's small population. She had a nagging sense that an even larger pile of work was about to be placed squarely on her desk for all this mess, and fought to resist dumping the resentment she felt at this near-certainty on her subordinate, when simply dumping the paperwork would be far more productive.
"It's certainly distressing the local population, causing a great deal of unrest. Even the reinforcements that were deployed to Delaware may find themselves embroiled in riot control," Borzun agreed readily enough, though she sounded somewhat distracted as she spoke, her eyes flicking to the side, likely as she prepared the form signature. "Since it's an emergency system, that requires an override, and since it's a communications signal, that's our domain."
"Done," she muttered, signing it without even reading and giving it a hand gesture. and felt grateful that at least Borzun was efficient in her interruptions. So much better than dealing with the Asset, who remained under the Marines' lock-and-key, but kept trying to lodge all kinds of complaints and empty threats. The file disappeared off her desk just as quickly as it had appeared, and Borzun seemed relieved to have gotten her permission.
Hope blossomed in the bosom of Remec that this would be over fast enough to rejoin the session.
"Was that all?"
"Sent," Borzun chirped, though her face was mirthless. "There's also the matter of local shortwave radio signals. We've been operating on orders to jam the channels, but they are operating on military bandwidths reserved for use of security forces and other agencies, but are clearly local individuals. This is in defiance of local and federal law. Again, that will require clearance to do so. Human authorities consider this quite a significant breach of law."
"You have my permission to shut those down, too, or otherwise jam them."
"Rather than shutting them down by jamming, since they seem to just jump channels and crowd the airwaves further, Lieutenant Goshen- sorry, Captain Goshen and Lieutenant Lesha believe that this presents an opportunity to steer us toward their points of origin, and to add them to any prosecutions we mount on the arrested, and to make up for the missing data we lost when the Data Center was destroyed. We can try mobilizing small task forces to isolate the busier signals and disrupt them. That won't drain womanpower too much, and might even bring peace to the state. Or, we may end up achieving Azraea's goal of flushing the rebels out, and finding others who are sympathetic to the insurgency and bringing them to justice. At the least, it might reclaim some equipment out of their hands, temporarily crippling their ability to continue coordinating before the 'primary' election."
"I see. So you're asking me to not shut the signal down, in case anyone else asks. Is that right?"
"Yes, ma'am. If the signal is jammed, they'll jump channels, and we may lose information we're gathering, too."
"Alright, sure. I'll refuse any requests to shut them down, make sure the officers are informed to not lodge such requests to us." Anything to get her moment alone back. "And Borzun? Just a reminder; You don't need my permission to cooperate with the Governess-General's forces or to comply with her orders," Remec added. She noted with mounting irritation she had enough time to restart the session, but that the timer was ticking down, while Borzun didn't hang up.
"These ones seem to be live signals, delivering instructions to teams and coordinating chaos. Can I be dedicated to that, and use your clearance to utilize visual scanning once the sun rises? I may be requested to guide patrols to investigate these."
Remec was almost ready to pull her hair out. Visual observation from the satellites was always fiercely resisted by noblewomen. She almost denied the permission, but knew Azraea's wrath would likely follow if the Data Teams were held back on her orders. Like she doesn't hate us enough.
"Are they evacuated?"
"Who do you think I mean, the Empress? I'm asking if the Noblewomen from Delaware are still there, of course!" Remec finally snapped, and the slender Data Officer recoiled as if she'd been slapped by the rebuke.
"As-a-aah...yes, ma'am?" Borzun tried. "The order was sent out, I believe all families are off-world, spare one. They're apparently looking for a girl, gathering the family before liftoff per the evacuation order, but I've got two files here? Must be a clerical error."
A judgment call, then, but a simple one.
"Fine. Permission granted. But keep your gaze confined to areas of operations, and only if you think it would help an already active operation. Don't let your curiosity get the better of you."
"Yes ma'am," Borzun reported, sounding overly-repentant. Naturally, fragile Borzun wished to dodge witnessing or working with the unpleasantness of rounding up terrorists. Likely she'd been hoping for a 'no.' "What if I find and intercept a signal? Should I trace it?"
The content of the signals they'd shut down and guided to the interior after intercept were likely disturbing, and Borzun was undeniably among the softest of those aboard the old relic that served as Space Station 13. Remec had hoped the girl would have gained some toughness in Earth's gravity, or at least a hardened heart from being in approximate proximity to a terrorist strike's explosion. Then she might have learned to understand what a terrorist riddled state truly meant, and the necessity of their duties, but instead the opposite had happened. She'd come back with an even softer spot for the humans.
Oh well, there was little point in having a potential sympathizer in such a position or subjecting her subordinates to it out of some vague, unhelpful cruelty. Maybe more exposure would finally do her good. Toughen her up, and get her to stop crying to her seniors whenever something went wrong. Remec, sign this. Remec, can I do that? Now that Remec thought about it, even the level of permission she'd been bothered for didn't require her signature- Borzun was senior enough to shut down signals on her own.
"Of course. Find the signals, the broadcasters, and shut them down locally, if you know what I mean."
They Say First Contact's the Hardest [Meanwhile, back at Camp Death...]
The staccato pops of gunpowder rifles sent me from 'fast asleep' to wide awake in a heartbeat.
I threw the blanket and sleeping bag off of me, boots flopping loosely after I'd left them undone to avoid cutting off my circulation as staggered to my feet, finding my way to standing tall but disoriented.
The muffled crack of energy weapons being discharged responded, and I ran to the light- finding myself staring out at the almost empty stream below. I doubled back just in time to hear deafening responses of rounds fired from railguns split the air.
I passed over the hard dirt floor, pushed my way past a sentry who had come to find me, and climbed up the trench ladder to watch, dozens of others pushing their way out from the claustrophobically packed bunkers and tunnels to see the commotion.
Blinking the sleep from my eyes and grateful for the rapidly adapting shaded lenses, I saw distant figures pushing their way through the tall grasses as ever more rounds began to fire at them, several charging down from Camp Death and running them down where they fell, chasing the path of beaten down grasses to finish the job.
Maybe they were true loyalists. Maybe they were just well-trained. Maybe they came from countries long locked in bitter civil wars, where surrenders led to fates worse than dying on one's feet. Whatever the reason, the last of them finally staggered and fell. None of them had even tried to surrender. I could respect that, even if I found myself on the other end of the conflict as them.
By the position of the sun and season, I guessed it might be around six in the morning, and we'd just had first hard contact- that I was aware of.
I looked over to Radio's pile of equipment, a masked insurgent with the golden stripe of yellow electrical tape wound around their mask to indicate their role flashed me a thumbs up. I approached the sentry after seeing no more movement, hearing the distant gunfire as insurgents fell upon the Security Forces soldiers with zeal. I didn't hear any more lasgun fire. "Please tell me that was turned on," I gestured to the jammer.
"They were spotted on approach from the field. I powered on the jammer in the way I was instructed. They promptly stopped advancing on us, likely having lost contact with their superiors, and began to turn back before coming up the hill. We decided it was better than letting them wander out of jammer range and summon reinforcements."
"Good," I muttered. I could see G-Man poking his head out of the Command Cabin. Had he and George put that idea in my head just to steal my bed off me? I shook my head. George wasn't that underhanded; Not that I minded. He'd had a rougher day than almost anyone.
"Haul them and their equipment in. Get any wounded of ours to the doc bot. We can interrogate them."
The sentry gave a hand on heart. "Sir."
And so the first blood had been drawn. The squad was only six soldiers, I learned. Half a squad, or two 'pods.'
In the time since last night, the slow trickle of ones-and-twos had turned into a steady stream pouring into Camp Death. Now that the morning shone through the thick trees ringing our little forest. I wondered idly if the trees had always been so- certainly it didn't seem to me Verns had ever mentioned such heavy machinery as to bring those trees, and my swing of a hatchet hadn't even caused the bark to split off from the trunks.
Knowing I was stalling, I paced the ramparts, delivering quick reminders, last second orders to the new arrivals, reminders to keep the two intact life sign monitors affixed to the arms of those who had volunteered. Eventually, it became clear even to me that I was being more of an annoyance than helpful leader; The sentries knew their duties well. So I resigned myself to dutifully patrolling the grounds, never far from either the radio tower or the ramparts, keeping my chest puffed out and a brave face again, occasionally striking a pose as I squinted through my mask, as if I could make the enemy materialize.
I dared not call it a facade, no matter how true it might've been.
[Author's Note: Almost did it again, had to delete the first attempt at a post because I left in too much.]
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2023.05.31 13:02 FelicitySmoak_ On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - May 31st
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- The Jackson 5 perform a week long gig at the Capitol Theater (closed- 1985) in Chicago, Illinois 1977
- Michael visits Studio 54
, where he parties with Steve Rubell, Steven Tyler & Cherrie Currie among others, after opening day of Beatlemania
, a Broadway musical revue focused on the music of the Beatles as it related to the events of the 1960s, in New York City
- The World Music Awards, which was filmed on May 12th, airs with Michael winning 3 awards 1997
- Michael Jackson begins the second leg of HIStory World Tour, with a show
at Waserstadion in Bremen, Germany, to an audience of 85,000
- Trial Day 63
Jurors in the Michael Jackson trial had the day off as lawyers wrangled over the instructions they were to be given for their deliberations.
Judge Melville announced that closing arguments would begin Thursday morning (in 2 days), while jurors would receive the instructions the afternoon before.
Jackson was not present in court as lawyers hammered out the jurors written instructions. Spokesperson Raymone Bain said he "is going through a lot of emotions right now -- relief that it's over, but very nervous. Because, of course you know, a very major decision is going to be made within the next several days."
In a move expected to favor prosecutors, Judge Melville said he would reduce the alcohol charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The change in the charge came at the request of prosecutors and was met with objections from the singers defense.
Prosecutors allege that Jackson supplied alcohol to his accuser and younger brother. Legal experts say the misdemeanor charge will be easier to prove, but would carry a lesser sentence, most likely a fine or a short term in county jail. The felony charge alone would have carried a 2- 4 year sentence in state prison.
The Judge will also instruct the jury not to take the Living with Michael Jackson
documentary for the truth of what is said except for certain identified passages.
"The rest is considered hearsay and you can only consider that it aired and its impact if any on Mr. Jackson," said Judge Melville. He did not specify which passages were being referred to.
Lawyers also argued about how jurors should determine the credibility of witnesses and how they should consider the past allegations against Jackson.
The Judge said jurors would be told to consider the alleged past acts only if they "tend to show [Jacksons] intent" with regard to the current charges against him.
The approved jury instructions read: "Evidence has been introduced for the purpose of showing the defendant committed crimes other than those for which he is on trial," the approved instructions read. "This evidence, if believed, may be considered by you only for the limited purpose of deciding if it tends to show a characteristic plan or scheme to commit acts."
Judge Melville will tell jurors that they are entitled to ignore the testimony of witnesses who lied purposefully, but said they were not required to do so if they felt the witnesses were truthful in other regards.
Today's arguments from lawyers went on for hours, prompting defense attorney Robert Sanger to say: "Your honor, if we had televised today's proceedings we could have deterred an entire generation of kids from going to law school."
Later, during a discussion of an instruction to jurors not to bring cell phones into deliberations, Sanger quipped, "That replaced the old one that had to do with bringing Ouija boards in."
The absence of both Mesereau and prosecutor Ron Zonen has led to speculation that the two attorneys are working on their closing arguments for Thursday. Court Transcript
- Michael Jackson makes a surprise appearance
on the popular SMAPXSMAP variety show in Japan. He shocks everyone in the studio as they cannot believe it is really him
- Jackson v AEG Trial Day 21
Court is a half day today between the hours of 9 AM - 1 PM.
Katherine and Rebbie Jackson are at court. Paul Gongaware AEG Cross
Putnam asked Gongaware if he had any understanding as to why Michael was taking painkillers. "Before the 3rd leg of the Dangerous tour started, he had scalp surgery, hit nerve or something it was very painful; was treated for that .When he did the Pepsi commercial, his hair was burn at the top," Gongaware explained, saying they did surgery so hair would look natural. "I didn't know it was an addiction"
Gongaware said & that he learned MJ had drug problems after Mexico City.
Gongaware did a Rod Stewart tour in North America after Dangerous tour. He next worked with Michael in the HIStory tour in 1996/97
Gongaware said he did not have a general concern with Michael having a drug addiction. After shows ended in Hawaii, Michael had lost $27 million, was in debt $11 million to lighting and sound, Gongaware testified. He switched managers to fix things in the second half of the tour, Gongaware explained. Gongaware said he had to cut lots of expenses. They wanted to give Michael the same show, but he said there was so much excess to be trimmed. Second half of the tour, Gongaware was the tour executive and he worked directly for Michael. It netted $14 million, $11 million paid vendors. We got the tour to break even, Gongaware testified, saying he worked closely with Jackson on the second half of the tour
Putnam: "Was there an ongoing concern Mr. Jackson was having problems with painkillers during the HIStory tour?"
Gongaware: "No, not at all"
Gongaware said he didn't see anything that would suggest Michael was addicted to painkillers. He testified that Michael didn't have a doctor traveling with him on the second half of the tour and there was no tour doctor with the tour.
Putnam: "How was Michael on the HIStory tour?"
Gongaware: "Great! He was sensational!"
Gongaware said MJ only missed one show on HIStory tour when Princess Diana died. "He went to bed, knew about the accident.". Michael was told Diana was going to be okay and next morning he learned she died, Gongaware described. "That affected him greatly." Gongaware said he missed shows in Dangerous tour but not in HIStory tour. Putnam asked if there were signs MJ was using painkillers during HIStory tour. "No indication at all. I didn't think he was," Gongaware said. He said he would certainly notice if there was any problem during that tour.
Gongaware said HIStory tour was pretty smooth. It ended in 1997. Right after, Gongaware said Michael called him and asked him to work for him. "He liked my work, he liked what I did," Gongaware said, adding that Michael wanted him to be his business manager. Gongaware said he didn't accept the offer and decided to go out on his own to promote concerts. He was tempted, Gongaware said, but he had lined up what he wanted to do. He worked with Yani next.
AEG defense attorney Marvin Putnam then asked Gongaware to describe the founding of his company, and its purchase by AEG. Gongaware had co-founded a new version of a company called Concerts West. Gongaware and his partner, John Meglen, created Concerts West in the late 90s. Concerts West started out with concerts of Andrea Bocceli, Mariah Carrey, Eagles and Millennium at Staples Center. AEG acquired the assets of Concerts West around 2000, Gongaware said, and Concerts West became AEG Live. Randy Phillips is AEG's CEO.Gongaware said he made a deal that requires him to work only half time starting this year
Putnam then asked Gongaware about plaintiff's contention that AEG was desperate for This Is It because it wanted to pass rival Live Nation. "It's so much bigger", AEG Live exec Paul Gongaware said of Live Nation. "It is so much more complicated"; He said that Live Nation has to find artists to fill the many venues it owns, and that AEG Live doesn't have that issue. Gongaware said AEG Live is the second largest concert promoter company. Live Nation is the first. "Our philosophy is different," Gongaware said, adding they choose what they want to do, whereas Live Nation has to meet their quota.
Putnam: "Would you like to be number 1?"
Gongaware: "No. It's so much bigger, it gets so much more complex. I'm happy being a good number 2"
Next time Gongaware worked with Michael was on the This Is It tour. Peter Lopez, Michael's attorney, called Gongaware's partner in 2007, asked to meet. From 1997 to 2009, MJ did not do any touring, only a couple of shows. Gongaware said he went to Vegas to meet with Michael in 2007. The meeting was to discuss how AEG did tours, didn't talk about him touring. They met again in 2008, also in Vegas. "Paul Gongaware! I knew that if you came, things were going to be ok," Michael said about him. Gongaware said Jackson remembered him and told him regarding the HIStory tour, "Whenever I saw you, I knew things were going to be OK"
Putnam asked about Gongaware's use of the term 'Mikey' to describe Jackson. Gongaware said he used it with Jackson. He described Jackson as getting in playful moods, and that's when he would call him Mikey; Said he wasn't mocking him. "Mikey was not meant as an insult", Gongaware said.
Putnam: "Did he seem thin in 07?"
Gongaware: "Yes, he was always thin"
Putnam: "Did he seem to have a problem with painkillers?"
Putnam:"Did he seem to be under the influence?"
Gongaware : "No"
Gongaware said Michael was alert, engaged, interested in what was going on in the meeting in 2007. He wanted to do a King Tut mini-movie. The next meeting with Michael was in NY. Gongaware didn't remember what they discussed. Sometime in 08, they began discussion of Michael going back on tour. Dr. Tohme, Michael's manager, approached AEG. Randy Phillips was primarily the one involved in the discussions with Dr. Tohme and Peter Lopez regarding the comeback tour. The meeting in 2008 began with discussion of a possible MJ exhibit at the Hilton in Las Vegas.
Colony Capital is an investment company that bought the note of Neverland, Gongaware said. By 'note' he meant the 'mortgage'. "They (Colony) were trying to figure out what to do with Neverland"
Gongaware talked about being at Michael's house at Carolwood when the singer signed the contract with AEG for the This Is It tour. "Michael read everything in the contract", Gongaware said. He remembered Michael being engaged, alert and paying attention. "He was good.I felt great about it," Gongaware said. "It was a Michael Jackson tour, it was a great thing." Gongaware said he watched Michael pretty carefully in the meetings, he knew Michael had went to rehab, but he didn't see any signs of drug problems.
Gongaware said he was aware of the physical exam done on Jackson after the signing for the tour.Email on 2/11/09 from Bob Taylor to Gongaware:
Thanks Paul. I now have the medical and blood reports. Looks good. I now need more info of what is available. This will help with the presentation to the insurers. I would like to offer insurers a medical update say every 21 days.
Response from Gongaware:
I'm not ready to put anything in writing.
Gongaware said it was because he didn't have the answers. Gongaware said he did not have concerns with Michael abusing prescription drugs. "It just confirmed what I believed, that he was fine. He wasn't doing any drugs," Gongaware said about the results of Michael's physical exam. A February 2009 email between him and the insurance broker showed that insurers wanted med checkups on Jackson every 21 days. The broker also wanted details on the concert set, dates, and other details that Gongaware said weren't decided on yet. "The back to back shows WILL be a problem", the broker wrote Gongaware. Suggested adding them in after Jackson started performing shows.
AEG produced/promoted the This Is It I tour. "We needed to front all the money," Gongaware said. "He didn't have the money, so he needed us to do it." Tohme, Michael's manager, told AEG about needing the money. Gongaware said Tohme emphasized several times that Michael needed to make money. Gongaware said Michael and Ortega figured out the creative elements they wanted and Gongaware had to figure out how to make them happen. Gongaware said the initial phase of rehearsal was done at Center Staging in Burbank, but venue didn't have room for production elements. They moved rehearsals to The Forum, which didn't have a high ceiling to hang the lights. Then they moved to Staples Center.
After the morning break, Gongaware said Michael chose This Is It as the name because it was going to be his last. Gongaware:
"You never know what kind of business a tour will do. We had no idea the demand, we wanted to make sure it was successful. Initially, they had 31 shows scheduled"
Gongaware said Prince had done 21 shows at the O2 arena, and Michael wanted to do 10 more. "You didn't know what the ticket sales would be," Gongaware said. So they announced only 10 shows to test the waters. "Demand was there obviously in the presale," Gongaware said. He talked to Tohme, asked for more than 50 shows. Tohme said Michael would do 50.
On March 5, 2009, Michael held a press conference in front of O2 arena and announced the comeback tour. Gongaware was present. Michael was not on time, late by a couple of hours. Gongaware said it didn't surprise him since Michael didn't like to do those things (press conferences) "His schedules don't always run like clockwork", said Gongaware, who was a little annoyed by it but not surprised. "Michael came up to me, gave me a big hug, whispered in my ear 'make sure the Teleprompter has big words, I don't have my glasses'" Gongaware said.
Putnam: "Did he seem inebriated?"
Putnam: "Smelled like alcohol?"
Gongaware thought the press conference was great. "The reaction of the press was really good, I think people liked he was returning." Gongaware said they asked people to register on a website and only people registered could get into the presale to purchase tickets. He said that based on the response, they knew the tour was going to be a major success
"He was good," the AEG executive testified. "I think he was excited"
One day after that, Gongaware said Michael called him to discuss the tour. He said Michael chose Kenny Ortega to direct the show. "Michael liked special effects", Gongaware said. He put together a presentation for Michael with the latest effects and made him promise he would show up. Demonstration was on 3/16/09 at Sony Studios. It had 3D on LED that was never done before, pyro and new type of flame. Putnam showed a clip of the This Is It documentary where there are the pyro effects that were going to be used. "He loved it," Gongaware said, adding Michael didn't seem to be bothered with pyro usage. Gongaware said there was a pretty cool water fountain effect shown and not used. "It was messy," he described. "He was really engaged, as he saw all the effects he got really excited." Gongaware said he had no concern that Michael had drug problems, didn't seem slow or lethargic in March of 2009. A meeting was scheduled for March 17, 09. Gongaware emailed Michael's assistant that only Michael and Kenny Ortega should be in that meeting. "They were the creative forces and needed to find the show's path before including everyone else", Gongaware explained
Regarding Kenny Ortega watching out for Michael's health, Gongaware said no one at AEG asked him to do that. Gongaware thought Ortega watched out because they were friends and worked together.
Gongaware will join The Rolling Stones tour this weekend, but will return on Monday to resume testifying Court Transcript
2023.05.31 12:00 Pyrimo Clouded Skies #30
Mud and rain accompanied Edmund and his new companion as they walked along the railway track, exiting the tunnel and seeing the familiar broken railway bridge up ahead. Edmund motioned for Artur to duck behind the nearby rusted train carriage with him. Dozens of military men walked around up ahead, moving around equipment and talking amongst themselves. The lack of military stalkers worried Edmund. It was clear whatever was going on, the military were keeping it as clandestine as possible.
“You seen much of what these lot have been doing Artur?”
“Actually yeah…” Artur muttered, “Given that my previous posse figured me for a pussy I often got scouting duties. They figured if I didn’t have it in me to kill anyone, I could at least play lookout. They’ve been moving stuff around now for at least 3 weeks. Seem to want to lock cordon down tighter than a nun’s-”
Edmund interrupted the bandit before he could finish his vulgar quip.
“Three weeks you said?”
“Yeah man, three.”
Edmund’s sense of unease only increased, acutely aware that the massacre that had befallen his comrades had happened more recently than whatever it was that the military were doing.
“Ok what else Artur?”
“I dunno man. Just seen them moving weapons, including some turrets and the like. Seems like they are trying to fortify the bridge as their spot.”
“Whole of Cordon probably…”
“Yeah, they’ve got Agroprom and likely the swamps now, maybe have finally taken the train yard too. Mercs also gave them access to some of Dead City.”
“Fucking hell…you think they’re trying to take the zone?”
“Not all of it no, further north and to the east are still much too dangerous for whatever little forces Ukraine’s government can spare to go losing military in. If they were able to take the place in one go, we wouldn’t be here gallivanting around. It’s no secret the military simply does not have the funding or power to take the whole zone. Furthermore, from what I’ve heard from outside sources taking the zone is not popular for domestic policy and any politician who would have to explain to a mother why their run of the mill soldier son died in chernobyl would be out of a job in an instant.”
The cogs turned in the young bandit’s mind as he listened to Edmund’s very brief lesson on military politics in the zone.
“Thus why, other than the odd spec ops or military stalker, the military are content just to police the borders and stop people entering?”
Edmund began moving motioning for the bandit to follow as they darted to a nearby tree, then a boulder, moving as stealthily as they could. The bandit was hardly trained in stealth, but he was not clumsy neither, something that gave Edmund a small level of comfort.
“What’s the plan?” Artur whispered.
“Observe for now. Want to see if there is a way we can sneak past. A guard not paying attention or a swapping of post.”
Artur bit back the urge to ask Edmund what if no opportunity came. He did not want to piss off the one person who may be his ticket to getting out of the zone and he found that he oddly trusted the man, even if it was only due to seeing first hand what he was capable of.
Minutes turned into tens of minutes as the time passed, but no opportunity seemed to present itself. Military men were looking in all directions and Edmund had spotted no less than 32 men milling around, under and above the railway line, setting up defenses and otherwise just keeping watch.
Edmund looked at his watch, it would only be around another 2 hours until nightfall.
“Get comfy but not too comfy, we’re going to need to wait a few hours.”
The two men spent the next two hours waiting behind the rocky outcrop they had nestled behind with two completely different reactions. To Edmund, waiting for hours in one spot was nothing new, hell it was part of his training before he entered the zone. Artur was much less comfortable, constantly readjusting to stave off pins and needles, a mixture of boredom and anxiety making him constantly toss between wanting to do something and wanting to do nothing at all. Eventually night fell and lights that had been set up near the bridge swept the area, the noise of generators working off in the distance.
“Fuck man, they have spotlights?”
“Easy Artur, still much easier to get around than the light of day. Now get ready to run and stay low.”
“The fuck?” Blurted out Artur in panic. “Thought you said we were going to sneak?”
“No, what we are going to do, is run like fuck after I kill the lights ok?”
“You sure man?”
“Yes Artur, I’ve been watching these so called ‘soldiers’ for two hours and not spotted a single night vision device between them. They are about to go from eyesight adjusted for 1000 lumens to complete darkness and let me tell you those torches won’t show enough.
Two spotlights swept over toward the rookie village and two toward the direction of garbage. Only the former would need to be dealt with. Edmund took a breath, having already analysed exactly where he needed to shoot. The Mosin Nagant he had scavenged was not suppressed, so it would be immediately obvious that shots would be fired after the fact.
“Artur, down the grass, under the bridge and then back up form the right and beeline it to the outside of the Cordon, that’s where we’re going ok?”
Artur nodded wordlessly, a lump in his throat as he knew how dangerous things were about to get. Two Mosin Nagant shots rang out, everything left of the bridge being plunged into darkness as the two men ran as fast as their bodies could take them. Shouting ensued behind them, but the utter darkness of night and the long grass seemed to conceal them as short ranged flashlights shone hopelessly over random spots avoiding the two men. No shots rang out, but this did nothing to ease the two men’s feelings. Artur had already picked himself back up from a fall he had not even felt as they sprinted for under the bridge, careful to also stay away from the farmhouse. Edmund could afford himself a brief glance as they sprinted by. The farmhouse was definitely inhabited by military, a sizeable force although at a glance not as large as that of the bridge. Artur let out a yell, panickedly falling backward onto the ground. The blunder likely saved his life, an equally startled military man shooting above Artur where he was previously standing. Edmund had already shot the man in response, the bark of a sawed off killing what Edmund presumed was a scout of some kind. He hauled Artur up, barely breaking stride to quickly put another slug into the fallen military man’s skull to finish him off.
The two kept running, gasping from the exertion. Substance abuse had hardly been kind to Edmund’s body and Artur had never exactly trained his running much in life. Still, the two were fit enough to press on, emerging over the hill and seeing the glow of fires as nearby men chatted.
Thank fuck, Edmund thought to himself. The chatter was that of untrained men and as the two men approached the entrance, Edmund could see the mismatched clothing of Loners occupying the village.
“Freeze!” Yelled the guard stationed at the front, his sawed off drawn.
“Easy.” Edmund replied, through gasps of air. “Just trying to get away from the conscripts”
“And?!” The guard yelled sarcastically clearly on edge. It dawned on Edmund he was dressed up like a stereotypical bandit and so was his companion.
“Ah I get it man, I look like a bandit huh?”
“Yeah, you fucking do, put your guns down.”
“He’s not a bandit!” Artur piped up. “I am, so I’ll put mine down-”
Edmund admired Artur’s sudden bravery in sticking up for him, but motioned for him to keep his gun on him, now not being the time for him to try anything. Thankfully others had come over to see what all the ruckus was about, including Wolf.
“Wolf, get this rookie to ease off the trigger before he blows my fucking head off by accident.” Edmund ordered him.
Wolf was not sure who this bandit in front of him thought he was to order him around, but figured such a level of authority was worth at least hearing out. Wolf lowered the shotgun in the man’s hands.
“Did everything right keeping the gun trained on him, but we can relax now.”
The loner guard took the hint, relaxing his stance as the sawed off now pointed much less threateningly at the ground.
“How do you know who I am?” Wolf asked.
“Because I literally know you Wolf, just can’t reveal my identity for…well I can’t even tell you that until we are in private.”
“And why would I let you go in a room with only the two of us there?”
Edmund raised his hands walking slowly to Wolf as Wolf pulled out his pistol and aimed. Edmund was unfazed, walking slowly and calmly as he approached Wolf and whispered in his ear.
“It’s me, Edmund.”
Wolf holstered his pistol as quickly as he drew it, easing up at the sound of the name. He did not know Edmund a great deal, but had met him enough times to know he was an ally and a capable one at that. Wolf turned and addressed the rest of the Loners.
“These two are friends and are to be treated as such.”
With that one sentence, all guns were holstered, most loners simply returning to their fires, the more curious ones watching and listening. They would have to stay curious, Wolf ushering Edmund and Artur into a more private bunke basement of the area. The two men had a lot to discuss and Edmund owed Wolf an old favour…
Editor's note: Something a little less emotionally heavy given the last chapter. Not to say the theme will turn particularly happy, but the heavier stuff will take a backseat to conventional action and mystery...for now...
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2023.05.31 09:06 Professor-Reddit How forced evictions 60 years ago condemned an outback Australian town to lifelong generational poverty
In 1963 there was a small Aboriginal community called Mapoon in the far north of Australia on the Cape York Peninsula which got burnt down by Queensland authorities and the people were forcibly moved up to 140km away against their will to a new settlement near Bamaga and 70km south to Napranum. This small town was originally a Presbyterian mission but received funding from the state government. It was a tight-knit community located in one of the most remote regions in all of Australia with pristine beaches across a wide bay, vast mangroves and its people had a strong spiritual connection to the land. It is said that the very first sighting of the Australian continent by a European explorer was made not very far away at Duyfken Point. Even to this day, most of Cape York Peninsula is accessible by only a single road.
So what happened here? What became of this tiny community which faced a brutal eviction in the 60s?
For up to 65,000 years, Aboriginal Australians have lived on the continent of Australia. During the early migrations from Melanesia when sea levels were much lower, thousands traversed the Cape York Peninsula. However after the arrival of Europeans until 1963, remoteness couldn't save the people and tribes who lived here. Successive governments from colonial administration onwards forcibly dispossessed Aboriginal Australians from their lands and herded tribes into Christian missions and various poorly built communities. Documentation is sparse in many regions, but massacres and deaths from disease was widespread and permanently hollowed out tribes. In Weipa, a Presbyterian mission opened in 1895 and in 1911 a white European was given the title of "Protector of Aborigines", empowering them as the legal guardian for all Indigenous children in the settlement until the age of 21, and even allowed them absolute authority to imprison anybody for "disobedience" without due process. Social control and assimilation was official government policy, and it most infamously reared its ugly head with the Stolen Generations
which ended in 1970. It was only in 1967 that the Australian Constitution recognised Indigenous Australians as citizens.
By the 1950s, Australian geologists had identified bauxite ore on the Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland, situated around Weipa (exactly 2000km away from the state capital city Brisbane). Bauxite is a critical ore needed for the production of aluminium. With the rise of the car industry and commercial aviation, mining in Weipa was viewed as vital for Australia's long term economic growth alongside iron ore mining speculation in the Pilbara in Western Australia. What would follow would be tens of billions of dollars and decades of expansion, leading to Weipa becoming the biggest bauxite mine in the world
and turning Australia into the world's largest exporter of bauxite ore with 31% share of global production. So important are these mines in Weipa that the Royal Australian Air Force maintains an airbase
as a reserve contingency to protect the region, alongside 3 other strategically placed airbases from Exmouth to Darwin to defend northern Australia's massive commodity exports and power projection.
But the history gets rather murky. Many sites seem to completely ignore its Indigenous history
or brush over it
, and Wikipedia gets the history of this region all over the place because the information differs massively
between different pages, with some pages containing way more information than others. According to the site, Mapoon was burnt down by Queensland Police officers in 1963 either due to "Malaria prevention" or to facilitate bauxite mining, and the residents were "transported 200 kilometres by ship" which would imply they were sent to another settlement. However another page and several sources claim that the residents were actually forcibly evicted because in 1954 government officials deemed the Presbyterian mission beset with "financial and staffing difficulties, and resident dissatisfaction" among other reasons detailed by the Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council
, so they cut funding and ordered the mission to start building new housing near Bamaga, which started the chain of events culminating in the full eviction by 1963 despite nearly a hundred indigenous residents standing their ground. This implies that the town was never demolished for mining purposes (which may explain the lack of any traces of mining activity via satellite imagery at Mapoon), unless the state government determined that Mapoon's proximity to Weipa may justify further mining speculation.
Wikipedia and a couple other sites even say that Weipa was also the victim of forced evictions back in 1932. Claiming that all its Indigenous residents were moved 6km southeast from Weipa to Napranum; either due to bauxite mining or again rather euphemistically "Malaria prevention." That seems like a pretty big detail to so offhandedly mention. Is Weipa - the world's largest bauxite mine - also a product of racial segregation from the dispossession of land? I can't really find any further details for this sadly. But according to ABS statistics, there's a huge gulf in the demographics between Weipa and neighbouring Napranum. Indigenous Australians only make up 20% of Weipa's population, but 75% in Napranum (I'll elaborate on the inequalities later), potentially lending credence to this.
The most detailed page I could find indicated that only small parts of the town were burnt and the forced evictions occurred in several stages until its total demolition in 1963. However after years of concerted activism, some residents moved back into Mapoon 12 years later and the community has been rebuilt since. The good news is that the town of Mapoon still exists today, with the nearest mine 20km away. However it's a shell of its former self and its original residents have long since been spread out across 200km in three different settlements across the peninsula in Napranum, Mapoon and New Mapoon near Bamaga. To this day, these communities experience the legacy of Mapoon's destruction and forcible eviction.
Today, Weipa is arguably one of the most segregated communities in all of Australia
. Weipa is just 6km north of Napranum, but these two communities are divided by the biggest bauxite mine in the world. Rio Tinto earns at least $5 billion annually from mining 30 million tons of bauxite - a critical resource used for aluminium - and they directly run the local government in Weipa (Napranum is outside their jurisdiction). Yet despite this extraordinary mineral wealth and a highly unique local government structure, the median household income in Napranum is 70% lower than the income in Weipa, with 3 times more households earning less than $650 a week compared to the national average
. You'd think that communities which reside adjacent to one of the most lucrative mines in Australia would be able to benefit from employment opportunities, especially considering that under Federal law the Indigenous people are regarded as the traditional owners of the land and hold rights to some of its wealth - thus requiring Rio Tinto to reach arrangements with them. But sadly labour force participation is at least 50% lower than the national average and generational poverty is rife among Indigenous communities across remote Australia. There's a gigantic wealth of government reports across all levels of Australian governments covering this.
Weipa isn't the only Australian mining community with horrifying levels of inequality. On the island of Groote Eylandt
in the Northern Territory lies two towns just 14km apart, Angurugu and Alyangula. Angurugu is where all the mining occurs, while the latter is where the manganese ore is exported. 97% of Angurugu's population are Aboriginal or Torres Strait islanders, while only 5.5% of Alyangula's are
. And yet despite both of these towns being major mining communities, the median income in Alyangula is three times higher than Angurugu
. To top it all off, the almost completely non-Indigenous town of Alyangula enjoys various resorts, clubs, a golf course, swimming pools, an arts centre and better schools with no nearby mines hurting the neighbourhood character while the other town has very few amenities and suffers from massive dust pollution by the mines
coating their small community in harmful thick pollutants from the manganese mines.
I feel like this is a textbook example for three things:
A) Government policy in Australia continues to be woeful towards Indigenous Australians. Rio Tinto - the same company which destroyed sacred Indigenous sites in 2020
in WA, has done little for the vast majority of local Indigenous residents around Weipa who live under the poverty line while the company relies on well paid FIFO workers who primarily live in the cities. Despite their websites' assurances, there's been very little actual change on the ground. Furthermore, government policy has yet to find ways of promoting employment opportunities in these remote communities for Indigenous Australians despite the fantastic economic potential across Australia in the mining industry.
B) The effects of forced relocations of people ripple through the generations with lasting consequences. Even though Mapoon still exists and many residents returned, the pain still lingers. That community has been permanently splintered.
C) Wikipedia is hardly a reliable source, and much of its information is spread across half a dozen different pages with different competing claims, even when using primary sources (mostly government reports from the time) and secondary sources from local indigenous historical centres. While in this case its possible to glean the most likely narrative after sifting through the site for enough time, there's still a lot of uncertainties.
Sources: https://www.mapoon.qld.gov.au/our-history https://abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/SAL70011 https://www.abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/SAL70007 https://abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/315011403 https://abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/SAL31864
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2023.05.31 03:07 deucemc26 Week 8 Coaches' Poll (Season 8)
Hello everyone, reminder this is official rankings till the Committees drop their rankings. A team of various coaches and commissioners submit ballots each week to determine this ranking. Voters have to vote every week or they will lose their vote. If people have a problem with someone's picks being inherently bad (picking their team #1 always, troll picks, stuff like that), that coach could lose their vote. Without further ado, here is the FBS and FCS poll for week 8: FBS
|Rank ||Team ||Points Received ||Record ||Trend |
|#1 ||North Texas ||345 (10) ||7-0 ||+1 |
|#2 ||Cincinnati ||338 (4) ||7-0 ||-1 |
|#3 ||South Carolina ||308 ||6-1 ||+3 |
|#4 ||Wyoming ||305 ||6-1 ||0 |
|#5 ||Baylor ||263 ||6-1 ||0 |
|#6 ||Vanderbilt ||259 ||6-1 ||+2 |
|#7 ||Iowa ||242 ||6-1 ||+11 |
|#8 ||Army ||234 ||5-2 ||+7 |
|#9 ||Georgia State ||204 ||6-1 ||+5 |
|#10 ||Ohio State ||192 ||6-1 ||+6 |
|#11 ||Utah ||185 ||5-2 ||+11 |
|#12 ||UAB ||182 ||5-2 ||-2 |
|#13 ||Ole Miss ||160 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#14 ||Georgia ||153 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#15 ||Miami ||141 ||5-2 ||-7 |
|#16 ||Miami, OH ||133 ||5-2 ||-14 |
|#17 ||Navy ||124 ||5-2 ||-10 |
|#18 ||Washington ||107 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#19 ||Georgia Southern ||83 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#20 ||UCLA ||77 ||5-2 ||-7 |
|#21 ||Alabama ||67 ||5-2 ||-10 |
|#22 ||UCF ||64 ||5-2 ||+3 |
|#23 ||Tulane ||49 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#24 ||Nebraska ||42 ||4-3 ||-12 |
|#25 ||Boise State ||34 ||5-2 ||NR |
Others receiving votes: Central Michigan (26), Florida State (25), Kansas State (25), Akron (17), South Alabama (17), USC (17), Old Dominion (16), Duke (13), Toledo (12), Northwestern (11), Hawaii (10), Kennesaw State (10), Pittsburgh (10), BYU (8), East Carolina (8), Michigan (7), USF (5), Air Force (4), Northern Illinois (4), Oregon State (4), Washington State (4), Kansas (3), Tennessee (2), Troy (1) FCS
|Rank ||Team ||Points Received ||Record ||Trend |
|#1 ||William & Mary ||124 (4) ||7-0 ||+4 |
|#2 ||Delaware ||121 (1) ||7-0 ||0 |
|#3 ||Albany ||111 ||6-1 ||+4 |
|#4 ||Eastern Kentucky ||109 ||7-0 ||0 |
|#5 ||Western Carolina ||107 ||6-1 ||+1 |
|#6 ||Columbia ||99 ||6-1 ||+2 |
|#7 ||UTRGV ||97 ||6-1 ||-6 |
|#8 ||Delaware State ||87 ||6-1 ||+1 |
|#9 ||Fordham ||78 ||6-1 ||+3 |
|#10 ||Sacramento State ||69 ||5-2 ||+13 |
|#11 ||New Hampshire ||66 ||6-1 ||+4 |
|#12 ||Montana ||65 ||5-2 ||-2 |
|#12 ||North Dakota ||65 ||6-1 ||-10 |
|#14 ||Morehead State ||60 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#15 ||Northern Arizona ||54 ||5-2 ||+7 |
|#16 ||Incarnate Word ||52 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#17 ||Bucknell ||49 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#18 ||Southeast Missouri ||45 ||5-2 ||-2 |
|#19 ||Idaho ||42 ||6-1 ||-2 |
|#20 ||Harvard ||21 ||5-2 ||-9 |
|#21 ||Stetson ||18 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#22 ||Towson ||17 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#23 ||Rhode Island ||14 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#23 ||Villanova ||14 ||5-2 ||NR |
|#25 ||South Carolina State ||12 ||6-1 ||-6 |
Others receiving votes: Eastern Washington (8), Norfolk State (7), Stephen F. Austin (5), Furman (4), Lafayette (4), Nicholls State (1)
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2023.05.31 02:54 Small_Bet_9433 Big Ten Programs (Leaders Division plus Rutgers and Notre Dame) That Have Played Teams They Have Never Beaten (as of the 2022 season)
Now it's time to look at the Leaders! Notre Dame isn't in a conference; however, I will include them with the Big 10 Leaders just to keep all of the remaining P5 teams together. The year in parenthesis is the date each team last played each other. As always if I missed any dates or matchups, please let me know!
- Ohio State
Air Force (0-1) (1990)
Auburn (0-1-1) (1989)
Florida (0-2) (2012)
Florida State (0-3) (1998)
Georgia (0-2) (2022)
South Carolina (0-2) (2001)
Tennessee (0-1) (1996)
Princeton (NJ) (0-1-1) (1928)
Cornell (NY) (0-2) (1940)
Centre (KY) (0-1) (1895)
Carlisle Indian School (PA) (0-1) (1904)
- Penn State
Arkansas (0-1) (2022)
Clemson (0-1) (1988)
Florida (0-3) (2010)
North Carolina (0-1) (1943)
Oklahoma (0-2) (1986)
Toledo (0-1) (2000)
Vanderbilt (0-1) (1957)
Harvard (MA) (0-3-2) (1932)
Yale (CT) (0-7) (1906)
Waynesburg (PA) (0-2) (1932)
Steelton YMCA (PA) (0-1) (1902)
Princeton (NJ) (0-5) (1900)
Homestead AC (PA) (0-1) (1901)
Duquesne AC (PA) (0-3) (1900)
Columbia (NY) (0-2) (1934)
Auburn (0-1) (1990)
Boston College (0-1) (1938)
California (0-2) (1970)
Florida State (0-1) (1986)
North Carolina (0-2) (1999)
North Carolina State (0-4) (2001)
Oklahoma State (0-1-1) (2007)
Ole Miss (0-1) (2020)
Southern Cal (0-4) (1982)
Tennessee (0-2) (2020)
Texas (0-3) (1966)
TCU (0-4) (1972)
Virginia Tech (0-1) (1993)
Xavier (OH) (0-1) (1933)
Tufts (MA) (0-1) (1916)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-1) (1942)
Indianapolis Light Artillery (IN) (0-1) (1895)
Harvard (MA) (0-2) (1927)
Great Lakes NTS (IL) (0-1) (1943)
Fordham (NY) (0-1) (1939)
Detroit (MI) (0-1) (1941)
Colgate (NY) (0-1) (1929)
Camp Zachary Taylor (KY) (0-1) (1918)
Arizona State (0-1) (2004)
Auburn (0-1) (2018)
Bowling Green (0-3) (2015)
Georgia (0-2) (2003)
Hawaii (0-1) (2006)
LSU (0-1) (2022)
Louisville (0-1-1) (2017)
Navy (0-2) (1944)
Northern Illinois (0-2) (2013)
Rutgers (0-2) (2020)
Texas (0-2) (1951)
UCLA (0-3-2) (1980)
Virginia Tech (0-1) (2015)
Washington State (0-1) (2001)
Santa Clara (CA) (0-1) (1939)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-1) (1944)
Chicago University Football Club (IL) (0-1) (1890)
Florida State (0-1) (2008)
Georgia (0-2) (2005)
Kentucky (0-1) (1984)
Oklahoma (0-2) (1970)
Pittsburgh (0-3) (1967)
South Carolina (0-1) (2014)
Tennessee (0-2) (2008)
Texas (0-1) (1939)
TCU (0-1-1) (2011)
Washington (0-4) (1992)
Columbia (NY) (0-1) (1940)
Carlisle Indian School (PA) (0-1) (1896)
Calumet Club (WI) (0-1) (1889)
Alabama (0-1) (1982)
Clemson (0-1) (1991)
Eastern Michigan (0-1) (2019)
Florida (0-2) (1988)
Fresno State (0-2) (2010)
Hawaii (0-1) (1992)
LSU (0-1) (2002)
Maryland (0-2) (2021)
Navy (0-1) (1979)
North Carolina (0-4) (2016)
Notre Dame (0-11-1) (1968)
Oregon State (0-1) (1965)
South Florida (0-2) (2018)
Southern Miss (0-2) (2002)
Texas A&M (0-2) (1976)
Tulane (0-1) (1970)
UTSA (0-1) (2021)
Great Lakes NTS (IL) (0-3-1) (1942)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-1) (1943)
Indianapolis Light Artillery (IN) (0-1) (1894)
Chicago Naval Reserve (IL) (0-1) (1918)
Chicago AA (IL) (0-3) (1895)
Carlisle Indian School (PA) (0-2) (1898)
Alabama (0-2) (1981)
Arizona State (0-2) (2005)
Auburn (0-1) (1982)
California (0-2) (2001)
Florida (0-1-1) (1986)
Fresno State (0-2) (2013)
Georgia Tech (0-1) (1921)
Houston (0-1) (2013)
Iowa (0-3) (2022)
Miami (FL) (0-11) (2003)
Minnesota (0-3) (2022)
Nebraska (0-6) (2022)
Notre Dame (0-5) (2022)
Ohio State (0-9) (2022)
Texas (0-2) (1999)
Wake Forest (0-3) (2021)
Washington (0-2) (2017)
Wisconsin (0-4) (2021)
Williams (MA) (0-2) (1888)
West Chester (PA) (0-1) (1935)
Washington (MD) (0-1) (1910)
Washington & Jefferson (PA) (0-3) (1926)
Tampa (FL) (0-1) (1973)
Seton Hall (NJ) (0-1) (1905)
Quantico Marines (VA) (0-1)
Maryland University (0-1) (1904)
Knickerbocker AC (NY) (0-1) (1899)
Jefferson Medical College (PA) (0-1) (1907)
Irving Football Club (NY) (0-1) (1896)
Great Lakes NTS (IL) (0-1) (1918)
Elizabeth AC (NJ) (0-2) (1896)
Detroit (MI) (0-1) (1920)
Dartmouth (NH) (0-1) (1952)
Crescent AC (NY) (0-1) (1894)
Brooklyn (NY) (0-1) (1943)
Bethany (WV) (0-1) (1922)
- Notre Dame
Georgia (0-3) (2019)
Marshall (0-1) (2022)
Oklahoma State (0-1) (2021)
Oregon State (0-2) (2004)
Tulsa (0-1) (2010)
UConn (0-1) (2009)
Yale (CT) (0-1) (1914)
Indianapolis Light Artillery (IN) (0-1) (1895)
Chicago (IL) (0-4) (1899)
*I would also like to thank everyone who has joined me on this journey through CFB history!
submitted by Small_Bet_9433
to CFB [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 00:50 Conscious_Chicken264 Buying a car at your first duty station?
I don't have a car right now and my first base is a 15 hr drive away, would it be better to fly there and buy a car there or buy a car here and drive all the way there? Will the Air Force reimburse me for a plane ticket?
edit: found the relevant doc for the plane ticket
Reimbursement of personally procured transportation is limited to what the Government would have paid had the Service member or dependent purchased the ticket through the TMC for authorized transportation over a usually traveled and direct route (see “policy-constructed airfare” in Appendix A).
submitted by Conscious_Chicken264
to AFROTC [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 00:17 PayNo1671 Here is my army what should I change?
2023.05.30 20:35 Sure_Science_7161 With the Reopening of the Carousel, the New York State Museum May Once More Go Around in Circles
After a relaxing European vacation with one of his employees, Mark Schaming, director of the New York State Museum, is back and ready to get to work. All who know the man will tell you that he's displayed new energy and ambition after Chris Churchill of the Times Union insinuated that he is unfit in his job as director of the New York State Museum. As Mr. Churchill writes:
The full-sized carousel, up on the fourth floor, has been closed for maintenance for years. The museum's famous subway car is also off-limits, with a sign telling visitors it's closed for repairs. Discovery Place, the building's hands-on learning center for young kids, is also closed.
Those aren't the only disappointments. The State Museum no longer offers a restaurant or any sort of fresh food, forcing visitors to line up at vending machines to quell their grumbling tummies. Some escalators and elevators are out of service. The museum, on the whole, feels forgotten.
From the imposing stone edifice of the Cultural Education Center, Mr. Schaming is cognizant of the cries of the people. This reporter can confirm from a recent visit that Discovery Place has reopened after only three years of closure. JP O'Hare, a spokesperson for the State Museum, explained the long closure, saying that "the pandemic forced us to rethink touchable exhibits."
Visitors to the newly reopened Discovery Place will see that the State Museum has taken to heart rethinking touching exhibits, as it is clear the room has been largely untouched after years of "rethinking" and "renovation." From a cursory glance, it seems to me that the only changes are the removal of all books, toys, puzzles, handouts, and staff.
Now, as a scattering of sources indicate, the New York State Museum approaches its pièce de résistance, the reopening of its carousel which has been closed since 2019. After much digging, it appears the cause of the closure was some minor damage the carousel experienced when it violently (and potentially lethally?) exploded during regular operation. Thinking it unsafe to have metal suspension beams swinging about and shrapnel flying as children rode the carousel, a repair effort was initiated.
The century-old artifact was ridden into the ground (or, technically, helicoptered into the air) once due to poor operating conditions, but the people of Albany ought feel confident that mistakes were learned from. Previously the carousel was operated nearly constantly and without proper care in place to keep the artifact balanced. Although unconfirmed, word is that now the carousel will be operated nearly constantly and without proper care in place to keep the artifact balanced. It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, but I call going in circles a carousel.
Fortunately for the carousel, it looks like staffing constraints will interfere with the planned constant operation of the carousel. This is being swiftly addressed by Mr. Schaming, though not by hiring new staff. Rather, as at least one source indicated, Mr. Schaming is currently interested in changing the job descriptions of people in different departments to include carousel operation.
It may seem strange that Mr. Schaming is reticent to staff his museum, but the reader must understand the important considerations behind these decisions. One must first be aware that in 2015 the New York State Museum received $14 million in funds for a massive three to four year renovation. As Paul Grondahl of the Times Union wrote in 2015:
The State Museum will undergo a $14 million renovation that will dramatically re-imagine the exhibits with dynamic technology, interactive displays and a fresh form of narrative storytelling.
When the work is finished in three to four years, it will represent the largest upgrade to the capital city's most popular tourist attraction since it opened in 1976 at the newly built Empire State Plaza.
The expected completion date is in the rear view mirror, and it's now common knowledge that the $14 million gas tank is mostly fumes. Although it has been difficult to unravel exact information, best evidence suggests that currently the State Museum has $5 million still in the pocket. It's time for tightening the belt, and part of that looks to be staffing cuts.
One may be concerned that Mark Schaming, director of the New York State Museum, is having difficulty performing his job. Fortunately the director of the New York State Museum is overseen by the Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education, who is also Mark Schaming.
One may then be concerned that Mark Schaming, director of the New York State Museum and
Deputy Comissioner of Cultural Education, is having difficulty performing his two jobs. Fortunately the director of the New York State Museum who is also the Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education is overseen by Sharon Cates-Williams. Ms. Williams, who herself holds the two jobs of Deputy Commissioner of Performance Improvement & Management Services (PIMS) and
Executive Deputy Commissioner, stated to Mr. Churchill on the matter:
I think he's doing a good job wearing two hats. It does not interfere with the core mission of the museum, and it's a decision that we stand by.
One may then be concerned that Sharon Cates-Williams, herself wearing two hats and self-supervising, may have some biases. Fortunately the Deputy Commissioner of PIMS who is also the Executive Deputy Commissioner reports to Betty A. Rosa, the Commissioner of Education.
Dr. Rosa has served as Commissioner of Education since 2021 when she, as Chancellor of the Board of Regents, elected herself Commissioner of Education. Unlike others, she gave up her former position as Chancellor of the Board of Regents upon her self-election. It is unclear how she feels about others who do not likewise content themselves with wearing only one hat.
Perhaps we soon will have an opportunity to ask Dr. Rosa. Although details are sparse, it has been indicated that Mr. Schaming is planning a victory celebration for managing to successfully reopen the carousel after four years. Specifics on the event and even the exact date have been infuriatingly kept under wraps, but it is speculated that Mark Schaming and Betty A. Rosa plan to celebrate this monumental occasion by giving speeches and riding on the carousel with elementary school students.
We can safely say that the sun is rising on the New York State Museum. After only four years the State Museum has managed to successfully "renovate" Discovery Place through the power of downsizing and is on the cusp of reopening the carousel under the same conditions which led to its prior destruction. With only $5 million remaining in the pocket and only running about five years behind schedule on a grand renovation, who knows what wonders we can expect in the years to come.
submitted by Sure_Science_7161
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