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Race Report - Solo Montreal Marathon (First, Beginner)
2020.09.20 19:59 1030423Race Report - Solo Montreal Marathon (First, Beginner)
Background 26F / 80kg / athletic background in rugby, hockey, and weight lifting. I've always been impressed and interested in endurance sports and have thought about doing a marathon for a few years now. Started with my first half marathon April 2019 with a time of 2:00:32, completed a second in August 2020 without really training and then did some inconsistent running a few times per week. I decided to commit to the Sept 20 Montreal Marathon in April 2020, after recovering from an abdominal surgery. Training:
March 23 - May 31 2020 10 week pre-curser base building plan (16 -> 30 miles / 48km) by Dan Holmes on Training Peaks that included general aerobic endurance lactate threshold and speed workouts. I skipped a few workouts to do other activities instead (hiking, cycling). Longest run 14.5km. I felt confident coming off of this plan as most of the longer runs were built with a negative split finish.
June 1 - Sept 19 2020 - 16w Beginneintermediate Marathon plan, 4d/week + 1 day cross training, time based plan by Simon Brooker on Training Peaks. The first week's 30 min threshold test had me at a 5:20min/km (8:34/mile), which put my long runs at a suggested 6:55-7:49min/km... I ran most of them in the 6:50 - 7:10 min/km range (11 - 11.5min/mile). The program's longest run was 3 hours - which maxed me out at 26km (16miles). On my second week of taper I started to panic as I realized most of the internet seems to think 18-20 miles is better preparation... but realized Hal's program caps at 16 as well. I discussed this with Simon who was very receptive to questions and agreed it might be a tough mental battle - but suggested my goal for my first marathon should be just to finish and put time goals aside.
Date: Sept 19, 2020 (original weekend for the Montreal Marathon)
A) Finish the Marathon
Course: Ran through many Montreal landmarks. Started in downtown core, by the olympic park, Gay village and arts area, Old Port, Lachine canal, turned around and over Ile Notre Damn and Parc Gille Villeneuve, Back across Champlain Ice bridge and through Nun's island to finish at Atwater market for a cold beer. Made note of emergency bathrooms available to public despite pandemic and brought a mask with me. Not many cars Saturday 7am mid-pandemic but was stopped at traffic lights 3-4 times and stopped for bathroom once. Cops also turned on their lights and wagged their finger at me when I tried to skip a red...
Race crew: First friend met up with me at the 6mile mark. She carried water and gels for me, and stopped after 10km. Second friend (experienced in IronMan + multiple marathons) met me at 12mile and ran the rest of the way with me! My girlfriend met me at the half as well on her bike and carried gels/wateelectrolytes. A third friend met us on her bike at the 30km mark for some encouragement, and my parents were waiting at my virtual finish line with a hand crafted cardboard medal, and car to drive me home.
How did it go?
The taper is SO REAL!! I had so much energy at the beginning of the race and was so excited to see my friend at the 10km mark, I was sort of distracted from pacing and checking in with myself. I calculated my marathon pace based on my slow run using a variety of methods and planned to start at 6:10/km (9:58mile) and speed up... but did the first half at a 6:04km / 9:45 mile.
I had a gel and 2 cliff bloks and I felt pretty good right up until I saw my second friend right before the half mark... and realized I had gone out too fast and still needed to do another 21km. My friend suggested doing a walk - run strategy to take in some food and refuel and break it up into smaller chunks. I crashed and burned my way through the next half marathon - stopping to walk a total of 13 times, mostly on the uphills.
I really struggled at the 27-32 k mark... the mental struggle of watching time slip away is HARD on the ego knowing there is still so long to go. I was a mix of hungry, nauseous, and thirsty but could feel fluid sloshing in my stomach. I wanted something more substantial then gels - but unfortunately race crew forgot to bring my banana at the half and only had a very pasty cliff bar. I ate half of that, 2 more gels at the 27 + 35k mark, and finished my cliff bloks which helped me finish the last 3km without stopping. I finished the Marathon strong - but at a time of 5:10:32
----- The bottom line:
I finished my first marathon!
Everyone is right... don't go out too hard. A marathon is not just two 2 half marathons!
A max run of 16miles is enough to have you complete a marathon but I think the mental practice of reaching 18-20 miles would probably be helpful.
Nutrition is no joke. I thought I practiced it properly but still struggled on race day to know what I wanted. Gels and GU /cliff blocks are nice but they don't take away the empty feeling.
RESPECT the distance.
Hope this helps those slower runners out there. I was so nervous leading up to the race and a lot of these race reports helped me out. I will be taking some time off from running to recover but... am already looking forward to planning out my training plan and improving my marathon time. ------ EDIT: 1. Grammer + spelling 2. For the curious - I reviewed my wrist heart rate data, was steady 150-160bpm and it shot up to 180bpm at 16-17km. I remember sudden fatigue here, without any real change in pace or course incline. After this it kept shooting up no matter how slow I tried to restart at. Great visual representation of what I was feeling.
Top 3 answers get +3, +2. and +1 balls, bottom 3 answers get -3, -2, -1. LETS GET STARTED Question 1: Favorite Baseball Player and Why Dylan
Growing up every day with Chipper and Andruw Jones in the Braves lineup for the first like 15-20 years of my life was special, Chipper in particular. Acuna is catching up fast, though.
I asked for one player though, not your entire Barves lifestory Bnavis
Jake Arrieta, his rise really mirrored the cubs, and that 2015 season was incredible.
Arrieta can pound a bag of dicks for being absolute shit Ruairi
Barry Bonds. He was the greatest hitter of all-time and it isn't even up for discussion. He was a hall of famer before the "alleged" steroid use and became the greatest player of all-time after. The man would get one pitch in the strike zone to hit every night and he would hit it for a home run everytime. No batter has ever been feared the way Barry was feared, not even close. Everyone can say they hate Barry Bonds and don't respect him or whatever crap they want to spew out, but the truth is, when he came up to bat, literally everyone stopped what they were doing to see what he would do, and then when he'd hit a massive home run, everyone would be in awe of his insane abilities.
Barry Bonds is lowkey one of my favorite players, this is valid reasoning. Polelover
David Ortiz. Self-explanatory.
Fuck the Red Sox Bgro
Jason Kendall bc he was a leadoff catcher and gritty as hell. He refused to ever sit out a game even though he played such a demanding position.
Kendall was one of my favorite Pirates to watch, glad to see someone else is a big Kendall fan Jiggy
matt kemp, restored my love of the game. in his prime he was incredible and he seemed to be having a blast playing. oh and i'm hyper vain and he dated rhianna while being the best player in the sport and i think that's cool as fuck.
Kemp should have won MVP over Braun. Fuck Ryan Braun Rose
Frank Thomas? Frank Thomas is just a mythical figure of childhood for me. The 2006 A's were an extremely formative team for my baseball fandom and Frank Thomas was probably the first time a player I was already aware of outside of the A's became relevant to the A's, and having him play for Oakland felt like being blessed by a god. Objectively or statistically there are more dominant hitters than Frank Thomas in history but in my mind he's the most impeccable hitter of all time.
I forgot that Big Hurt was an A. Thomas was a fun player to watch Cory
Rickey Henderson. Unbelievable talent with a rare skillset, combined with a cool "hometown hero" story, long career, endless mythology and great stories.
Yankees Legend Rickey Henderson Wharble
Vladimir Guerrero for teaching me that strike zones are merely suggestions
It's a shame his son took that lesson the opposite way Iama
Mariano Rivera, just a great feeling when he would come into the game and lock it down. ice cold blood in the veins, and a great team player and ambassador for the game.
There will never be another as good as Mo when it comes to locking down a game +3 Ruairi, +2 Rose, +1 Jiggy -3 Pole, -2 Dylan, -1 Bnavis Question 2: Favorite High School Story Dylan
We used to pay "high stakes" Call of Duty at my friend tommy's basement. We played gun game on black ops. if you lost you got fingered in your butthole
that time in high school I went to Edinburgh to perform a musical for some Scots
Did you play the bag pipes? Pole
9th grade a bunch of us gathered in the school library the first night of winter break and binged the lord of the rings movies. Extended editions, of course.
Thats a good way to spend a night Iama
Four Loko Night, many shenanigans were gotten up to and the night culminated in ejecting flaming pumpkins off a bridge into a gorge
And this is how states burn to the ground Bnavis
me and a couple guys got onto the very top roof of the palmer house hilton, managed to avoid a bunch of security. got good pictures
Sounds like a blast Jiggy
probably driving to a city of 30k people in the middle of buttfuck nowhere, getting piss drunk and doing Too Much Molly for one person. we did all this shit and it's like 1:30, walk to a dominos and wait outside for our shit. all of a sudden this dude comes up to us and asks us if we were the ones that catcalled his gf (we were not) to which one of my buddies said "nah but i wish i would've." dude gets in his truck and chases us down streets of moose jaw saskatchewan for thirty minutes as we run for our lives while smoking grape flavored cigarillos. we get separated, i lose my phone, sleep on a merry-go-round in a park in october (so like it's 25 degrees at best) and walk to a starbucks to find a stranger that'll let me use their laptop to contact my friends bc i don't know their numbers, forgot my facebook password, forgot my gmail password to reset it, end up on this middle aged man's 15 year old dell laptop for forty minutes trying to figure out how to contact my friends while still fucked up, eventually a dude i partied with happened to walk past and i ran outside and got him to call dan, dan picks me up and we drive back home and eat pizza hut
Holy shit Ruairi
Oh boy strap in for this one. So it's freshman year of college. I live in the dorms. I'm single and have next to no experience with girls/parties. It's Halloweekend (the weekend of Halloween so very many parties at SDSU). Unfortunately, I was not in a frat so I was not allowed in any frat parties, so I had to party in the dorm. Anyway. My roommate went to his gf football game (she was a cheerleader for a community college 30 minutes away) so I was just hanging out in my room with the door open to talk with anyone from my floor that wanted to hang. This girl from the floor below me (that I had just met a few days ago and showed off my baseball knowledge to in the study room) walks by my room and stops. She says hi and comes in and I'm talking with her. She has a bottle of cranberry juice and vodka and offers me some. Obviously, I accept. She says she has a full bottle of vodka in on her floor and she'll bring it up to party with me. A really attractive girl wants to hangout with me on Halloween while she is dressed up and wants to get me drunk? Hell yea! So she goes down to her floor and I wait for her to come back. But then about 20 minutes have gone by and she has not come back, leaving me to believe she had bailed :(. So I go across the hall to my friends room to drink and play super smash bros. About an hour or two goes by and I've had some shots just vibin on the floor. A few of the girls who went out to a party had come back and I was hanging out with them. Then the girl from the floor below came back with friends and was trashed. She was in our study lounge puking in the trash so I was in there taking care of her and helping her out. I was just rubbing her back and getting her water while holding her hair. There was a weird dude on our floor who was into her also trying to help but it was super weird and uncomfortable with him there because well as I said he was weird and creepy. After an hour, one of my other friends said Chase and Diego were letting people in their room (now these kids didn't talk much to anyone, except Chase. Me and him were boys). So I went over to their room to see what was poppin' because this was a moment of a lifetime. Chase was a little drunk but Diego was smashed and so was his gf. Total in the room it was me, Chase, Diego, his gf, a dude name Kayvon, and two other girls, Leah and Katie. I was just hanging out talking with everyone and then the three girls were talking about french kissing. Leah hadn't ever frenched so the other girls wanted to show her how. So they passed each other around like a bong just frenching it up. I was dumbfounded. This is what college is??? I'd seen videos but I didn't think they were real. Diego was getting super into his gf making out with these two other girls, kinda hyping them up. Once they had stopped frenching, Katie and Leah left the room. Diego started to get the spins and tried to lay down on his bed. Then he vomited on himself. Me, already experienced with vomit in the evening, tried to help him out and get him up and to the bathroom or at least the trashcan. I did what I could but then his gf was acting all crazy and yelling at me to get out of the room, so I did. I returned to the cute drunk girl on the couch, as I told her I would be gone for just a few minutes (it was really about 20-30). She was super excited to see me again. At that point, she asked me to watch the World Series with her, as the Mets and Royals were going to play Game 5 (I believe) on the Sunday (the next day). I told her of course I would and that I'd be watching in that very study lounge. After a little while longer, I told her she needed to go to bed so I walked her down to her room while the weird creepy dude followed us. I wasn't going to let him walk her to her room because frankly I didn't trust the dude. Got her to her room, said good night, and that was the end of that. I went back to my room and told my roommate and his gf about the eventful night I had. Jumping back to earlier in the story, cute girl said she had returned to my room about 30 minutes later but she couldn't get the vodka from her floor because some dudes had taken it. I had left my room at that point so she ended up going out to the party instead since I wasn't there. I did end up dating that girl for a decent amount of time, but that's for a different survey.
Ruairi remains the undisputed king of storytelling Rose
was homeschooled for most of high school and didn't go to college. i'm not gonna get balls but at least be gentle with taking balls away
Rose you are a treasure, no ball loss for you Cory
Frosh year. My roommates and I had a couple dorm floor mates who either only have weekday meal plans, or no meal plan at all. So we started casually stealing them some non-perishable goods to last them over the weekend. Through natural progression, this slowly turned into us creating an entire klepto organization that eventually fed most of our dorm house. We had a few tricks. One was bringing sports bags in with us - they would make you check backpacks at the door, but since sports bags might have expensive equipment, they let you take them in. So we'd just stuff them full of gallon bags of cereal, bagels, etc. Our dining hall had a patio area, where at night, you could see in from the outside, but not vice versa. We would load up our plates with one type of food, grab a gallon or two of milk, a tray of cookies, etc., saunter out to the patio, bag/pack everything up, and then toss it over the railing to our Outside Man down below, who would then take it back. At the end of the year, the dining hall had a program where you could return anything you "walked off accidentally" with with no repercussions, so we went to collect and tally any cups/bowls/plates/silverware we'd liberated, and found ourselves with two full boxes of stuff. Fearing *some* sort of repercussions from the sheer volume of stuff, we waited until the DH was closed one night, climbed over the railing, and left the boxes on a patio table.
This is amazing Bgro
I jumped out the window of the classroom once just to prove to a friend how oblivious our teacher was. I then walked in through the front door, greeted said oblivious teacher, and sat back down at my desk. She was very confused.
Classic +3 Ruairi, +2 Cory, +1 Jiggy -3 Dylan, -2 Iama, -1 Bnavis Question 3: Favorite Vacation You Took Wharble
does the scotland one kinda count as a vacation? if so, that one, if not, fuck idk I've only ever been to Vegas or Mexico on vacations so imma go with one of the 14 times I went to Mexico
I would love to go to Mexico Pole
Winter 2010, we went to a resort in Turks & Caicos. Joe Girardi was there too. He and my mom are best friends now.
Pics or it didnt happen Iama
lake house in new hampshire with all my cousins, just waterskiing, swimming, and hanging out by the water every day for a week
That sounds fantastic Bnavis
italy, rome's cool as fuck
Another high effort answer from Bnavis. Jiggy
when my sister lived in vancouver i flew there and then we drove from vancouver to tijuana together and camped on beaches and shit
I've always wanted to camp out on a beach, that sounds dope Ruairi
Well, since my brother and I played baseball year round from elementary school through high school, we didn't take many/any vacations. So I will have to say the only real vacation I've taken is my trip to Texas a few weeks ago. It was amazing getting to see my best friend with our other best friend. Shot real guns for the first time. Went to the beach a couple of times and the water was so warm, it was amazing. Had Texas BBQ and it was to die for. It was super cool being in a somewhat small town since I've grown up in San Diego/Temecula for my whole life and haven't lived in a farm-like town. It was a super cool experience and I would easily risk getting coronavirus to do it again.
Thats pretty dope, small towns are always fun to go to Rose
my favorite 'vacation' ever was actually recent. i dogsit for my sister sometimes when she goes somewhere and get to spend a week or so getting paid to relax at her apartment in san francisco with her dog and drinking and eating good food. it's nice because it's not touristy, i'm not staying at a hotel or anything, it's more like dipping my toes into living in a big city for a week or two and then getting to return to my normal life afterwards. my 'favorite vacation' was when i was there for over a week last year just chilling with no responsibilities other than taking care of her dog
The best vacations are the ones where you do absolutely nothing Cory
New Zealand, September 2019. Gorgeous land all-around, really good (and cheap) beer, fun time exploring with friends, Lord of the Rings shit everywhere, good beer, very nice populace.
Thats dope, New Zealand is on my must visit list Dylan
All my friends and I rented a house in Hatteras in the Outer Banks a few years ago. Massive house, right on the water, perfect water. Took a lot of acid, listened to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew while the mosquitoes ate my body apart while the sun went down.
Thats pretty dope Bgro
Backpacking around Europe for a month with my buddies when I was 17. We visited 8 countries, sleeping in hostels and trains.
That is the dream, glad you got to live it +3 Ruairi, +2 Rose, +1 Bgro -3 Bnavis, -2 Pole, -1 Wharble Question 4: You are now Commissioner of MLB, what changes do you make? (For time constraints I am going to post the top 3 answer and bottom 3 answers as many of these are similar) Iama
negotiate things with the unions to make sure i can do the following fire rob manfred from any position he may hold (also joe west, cb bucknor, angel hernandez, and laz diaz) fix the minor league wage system so players make a living wage; also adjust the prearb/arb/fa system for better fairness abolish the dh and/or maintain the al/nl system abolish bad extra inning rules and/or robot umps, if they have been implemented bring back the bullpen car more doubleheaders bring back disco demolition night
Love all of these except getting rid of the DH Bnavis
very slowly turn baseball into blurnsball from futurama
no interleague 2. no divisions, just leagues 3. 12 games against each league opponent, 168 game schedule (until expansion, see 9; after expansion this will become 165 games, 15 against each league opponent) 4. al dh, no dh in nl 5. top 3 make playoffs in each league, 1 gets a bye. 2v3 in a best of 7, winner vs 1 in a best of 9, best of 11 world series (i realize it's not fun viewing but it gets the best result) 6. fines for anyone who tries to institute unwritten rules or whatever the fuck, promote the shit out of guys like tatis/tim anderson that make the game fun 7. no baserunner on 2nd rule 8. legalize steroids 9. expand to 38 teams, play one season. bottom 7 in each league go down to make a 24 team mlb and a 14 team mlb2, following this, use the english promotion/relegation system but with 4 from each league now. so effectively, bottom 4 in the al automatically go down, top 3 from al-mlb2 automatically come up and then a playoff of 4v7 and 3v6 from mlb2's al (best of 3 round 1, best of 5 round 2) to determine the fourth team that rejoins the majors. 10. create a more fun environment at the game. music throughout the game, including during play, also every team has a small waterpark at the ballpark 11. encourage players to have cool cleats why is trevor bauer the only one taking advantage of this 12. go back to pre-2017 balls
Jiggy gets it Rose
make the wild card a 3 game series played in 2 days (games 1 and 2 as a double header,) expand to 32 teams (portland and montreal/charlotte/nashville,) universal DH (i don't mind both leagues having different rules but universal DH is probably the pandemic induced rule that makes the most sense to keep,) execute Alex Bregman on live TV, don't kill the minor leagues, don't do any other dumb bullshit, sit back and watch the money stack
Yes absolutely bring back the Expos, fuck Ass Bergman Wharble
pay the minor leaguers, institute a salary floor, institute something resembling a RFA system instead of arb, ban Rob Manfred from baseball idk I'm tired
Go back to bed bud Pole
Overhaul the free agency system to disincentivize service time manipulation. Add a salary floor for teams.
Ok +3 Jiggy, +2 Rose, +1 Iama -3 Bnavis, -2 Pole, -1 Wharble Question 5: You have been signed by the WWE! Congratulations! What is your In Ring Name, Gimmick, and Finisher Wharble
Thiccums, whatever vince gives me, and either the spear or the clothesline from hell
Show some creativity and own your own gimmick. Jobber status for you Pole
I am The Ogre. I come out in full Shrek cosplay. My finisher is the GET OUT OF MY SWAMP.
Wrath-Hog Bounty Hunter Bearhug Life Force Squeezer
So do you hunt other wrestlers? Are you a hunter for an authority figure? As of now you are a Jobber Bnavis
just give me minus points for this
SAY NO MORE, -3 BALLS Jiggy
Chicken Bryan Kane's little brother, thus making me the Undertaker's grandson The Carraba's Crusher - honestly it'd just be ember moon's eclipse bc it's the coolest shit
Only issue, Kane is already Undertakers brother so you would also be Undertakers brother. That said maybe we can bring Taker out of retirement for a one off with you Ruairi
Ring Name: The Notorious Ruairious. Gimmick: I am a Northern Irishman who uses a wicked head butt to stun and knock out opponents. I have swagger, but am very humble. I throw off my opponents by complimenting their bodies rather than trash talking them. Finisher: I get the opponent on the ground and do a jig over them, as my kicks knock them unconscious.
This is a dope gimmick, would likely book you to face Sheamus for 3 months before going for the WWE Title. Rose
Ring name is Anne Phibian, my finisher is a Frog Splash and my gimmick is that i am extremely into frogs and i brutally beat down opponents and share Frog Facts with the audience on the mic while they are incapacitated
Instant top heel in the Women's division. Would book you to face Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania for the Women's Title. Cory
The Mortician (Cory *Graves*). My gimmick would be crawling my up through the bottom of the ring to start each match. We would then have to wait for the mat to be repaired before beginning the match. Finisher: The Scalpel - I run back and forth between the ropes a few times, gaining momentum, eventually bouncing off, going into a horizontal pencil dive motion, and kicking my opponent square in the chest.
I can see some good feuds between you and The Fiend Bray Wyatt. Could be a good wrestlemania match. Dylan
Bitch, I'm Big Pepsi I'm sponsored by Pepsi Co. to deliver the sweet taste of Pepsi products to the world, BY FORCE The Baja Blaster - I yeet a full cup of MTN DEW Baja Blast (tm) into my opponent's eyes before hitting them with a shoryuken from street fighter
I dig it. Will book you as a main eventer before having you job to Roman Reigns and then banish you to the midcard forever Bgro
My ring name is "El Ratoncito Miguel" which translates to "The Little Rat, Miguel". My gimmick is that I always pretend I'm not actually there to fight, I'm just lost and looking for directions. I insist way beyond a humorous amount of time that I'm really not a wrestler and you must have me mistaken and how do you get to Union Street. Then, when everyone's going home and the lights are turned off, that's when I attack. My finisher is called Open-Face Slap, where I run to one side of the ring and then charge full speed at you and open face slap you.
Instant Top Chicken Shit Heel. You can win the WWE Title on a fluke before losing it at Mania to someone like Daniel Bryan +3 Bgro, +2 Ruairi, +1 Rose -3 Bnavis, -2 Wharble, -1 Iama Question 6: Here have a ball +1 to everyone who said thank you No balls to everyone who said ok No one told me to go fuck myself so no one loses a ball Question 7: One of these has to go what do you get rid of. +1 Balls to everyone for correctly choosing a seafood based item Question 8: Penguins are... +1 Ball to everyone who said Badass No Balls for those who said "they aight" No one loses a ball Question 9: Society has completely collapsed, what do you do to survive. Wharble
bold of you to assume I'd make it out of a societal collapse
Wonderful spirit Wharble Pole
Hoard some precious resource so I can trade it for other things that I need.
the world is my oyster
But what are you doing to survive Bnavis
kill myself, i'm not a fool. i wouldn't survive a day in the wild
Just excellent effort from Bnavis Jiggy
honestly i wish i had a nice plan for you but i know i wouldn't make it. just hangout with my gf for as long as possible and do enough mdma to forget about our impending doom
I have a co-worker who has a full survival shelter with many guns. I go to him to survive.
Good move Rose
i don't believe in my ability to survive alone in an apocalyptic scenario so i would determine if i'm reasonably close to a costco. if i think i'm close enough i believe a society of about 200-300 people could survive in a barricaded costco for several months at least without issue, and i will try to get a footing there. if i can't make it to something like that i will seek out the strongest most prepared looking person in my neighborhood and pray they show mercy.
Good to have a plan Cory
Hoard gasoline and water (a la The Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road). If that doesn't work out, I would travel from settlement to settlement, bard-style, recanting happenings from neighboring settlements and regaling folks with song.
That man making the best of a bad situation Dylan
Go to the basement of the newspaper office downtown. Literally nobody ever goes there, and there's no easy way down there without a pass. Also has a showeshittespace. Also has a secret tunnel to the building across the street if I need to bail.
Not bad Bgro
Now that society has collapsed, I work as a software developer to survive.
In a post-apocalyptic society I dont think we will need software +3 Cory, +2 Rose, +1 Dylan -3 Bnavis, -2 Wharble, -1 Iama Question 10: This question comes from my wife: What should I make for dinner upon the completion of survey results Everyone gets a ball for leaving some awesome recipes. Question 11: What is your happiest memory? Wharble
that's an incredibly personal question that I will not answer because it will make me emotional!
that one time i homered in little league
Was it a moon shot? Iama
watching the 09 world series win with my dad
That was an amazing year Bnavis
being held by someone who loves me dearly
honestly last new years me and gf and a few friends went to a rave and got drunk/did a fuckton of ecstasy and danced our asses off then went to this little hidden rooftop in downtown saskatoon that i stashed a few bottles of tequila and some cigarettes on and danced and smoke and drank up there and yelled at strangers on the street until like 4 then got an uber home, passed out, and then made a fuckpile of waffles and watched horror movies in the basement all new years day it was so fucking fun
Thats fucking awesome Ruairi
Oh man this is a tough one. There are two that stand out in my mind, but I'm not sure which one to go with. I will tell another story about the cute girl I mentioned earlier in this survey. So this was a few months later (4 or 5). We started dating shortly after that Halloween night for the record. We spent pretty much everyday together since we lived just a floor apart and quickly became best friends. Anyway, it was a few months later and we were in her room. It was a Friday and I didn't have class until 1 on Fridays. We were making out on her bed and at one point she stopped and just looked at me. She started crying and I was confused so I asked her what was wrong. Through a cracked voice she says "I love you." It was the first time anyone had ever told me they loved me in that way and I had been thinking about telling her that I felt the same way leading up to this day but was too scared to. When she said it, I was then able to say it, which surprised her because I wasn't a very open person back then. It's one of the best feelings to have someone you love tell you that they love you back. And even though we aren't together anymore, the memory is still a good one for me, because it reminds me that I can be loved and I can feel love for someone, even in times when those things don't seem possible.
This brought a tear to my eye my dude Rose
it feels slightly underwhelming to call it my happiest memory because it didn't last in the end but i think the most undeniably happy thing i can think of is entering my first real romantic relationship as a teenager. a lot of that time of my life i was fighting with depression and a genuine and significant romantic relationship was a realization that i could be deserving of love from other people and that i could connect and relate to another person in ways i was afraid i wasn't capable of.
This fucking hit me hard because I've been there Cory
Camping with my brother and parents. Usually our trips involve some amount of shouting and fighting, even the really good ones. But this trip, we just spent three wonderful days in the wilderness, enjoying nature, eating good campfire foods, laughing and playing board games. Some catchphrases were spawned while playing those games that my family still quotes to this day.
That's awesome, I'd give anything to have that kind of time with my family again Dylan
I went to a concert with a friend of mine that had just left the company we had worked for. She was in a relationship but she asked me to go with her because she had an extra ticket. It was a great time, really fun, great vibes. Didn't realize at the time that would be the person I'd be living with about 3-4 years later. Don't know if it's my happiest memory but it makes me really happy, know what I mean?
Thats awesome dude Bgro
Either various moments on my solo bike trip across the country where I just felt total tranquility and satisfaction near the end of my trip OR this one time when my first nephew was like one and I was his favorite person and I took him out for a walk. He was distracted and I walked a little ahead of him and when he turned and noticed me a little further away, we made eye contact, he grinned a wide smile and then ran to me arms wide open for a hug. Kids do that kind of stuff all the time to people they know and trust but I've never felt such pure unadulterated love as I have from that kid in that moment. There is no artifice or conditionality in that sort of love. It felt good to be the cause of that someone else's sheer joy and seeing his face light up when he saw me, thats a memory that always brings me happiness.
:blobheart: No one loses a ball for this round +3 Rose, +2 Bgro, +1 Ruairi Ok lets tally up the results...... TIED FOR FIRST WITH 16 BALLS: ROSE AND RUAIRI SECOND WITH 9 BALLS: CORY TIED FOR 3RD WITH 8 BALLS: BGRO AND JIGGY 4TH: IAMA 0 BALLS 5TH: DYALAN -1 BALLS 6TH: POLE AND WHARBLE -3 BALLS AND YOUR BIGGEST LOSER IN DEAD LAST WITH -11 BALLS BNAVIS!!! Lottery will be done and posted with out first round. Thank you for your time you wonderful people
2020.09.12 04:07 heyilanFailed Driving Test 5 Times, Next Test is Next Thursday 9/17
I'm 17 years old, and I live in southern California. I first started learning how to drive when I was around 15 years old, and I got my first permit when I was 15, almost 16. After I got my permit, I took a few driving tests, and then failed them, so I got my second permit August 2019, when I was 16. My second permit was supposed to expire, but because of COVID-19, in California, the expiration date was extended another 6 months. Since I got my permit, I've been practicing driving, but I've failed the driving test 5 times already, and it looks like I'm going to fail a 6th time. Why do I suck at driving so much? And how can I pass my next driving test? These are all the times I failed my driving test.
Test #1: I turned left at an intersection even though the light was red (automatic fail). (Torrance DMV)
I now know better now to wait for the green light at an intersection before turning. If there isn't a light for turning, then I have to wait until the traffic is clear.
Test #2: I turned right at an intersection on a red light when cars were coming from the left (. (Santa Ana DMV)
I now know better to watch for traffic before turning right on a red light or to just wait until the light turns green.
Test #3: I didn't get any automatic fails this time, but I made a lot of small mistakes. I drove over 7 mph in the parking lot, slamming on/off gas, and problems with speed and lane use. Only 15 errors are allowed in order to pass, and I made 22. (Torrance DMV)
I now know that I have to drive at 7 mph or slower in a parking lot, turn, brake/accelerate smoothly with my toes instead of balls of my feet, and be aware of speed limits (but I'm still not really confident in my self about this since it's so hard to see the speed limit signs all the time. when I don't see the signs, I try to estimate according to the speeds of the other cars)
Test #4: I was so nervous, I turned left when the examiner said right. He let me have another chance, but on the way back to the DMV parking lot, I turned left when another car had the right of way (automatic fail). Apparently, I drove too closely to the other car, even though we didn't crash. (Torrance DMV)
I now know to LISTEN to the driving examiner's directions and not make a stupid mistake like that again. I also know that if another car with the right of way seems anywhere near to me, I should just wait for it to pass.
Test #5: I hit a curb and crossed a solid white line when driving through a bike lane to turn right (automatic fail). (Santa Monica DMV)
I know now to watch for curbs (I try) and only cross dashed white lines, not solid white lines.
I practiced so much for the fifth test. It was on July 3, during COVID-19. (It was supposed to be in March, but it got postponed.) Because I don't live in Santa Monica, for around a week and a half, I practiced driving a few hours every day to prepare myself. I drove to Santa Monica, even though it's far from where I live, several times, even driving on the highway. My friend who lives in Santa Monica offered to help me practice since she knows the route that the DMV uses for the driving exam, so we practiced together for about an hour the day of my test. As far as I know, there are many small reasons that I'm bad at driving.
I live in a suburban area where the roads are ridiculously easy to navigate. I've taken driving tests at 3 separate DMVs so far, and there's definitely more traffic in all those places compared to where I live.
I have really bad navigation skills. I feel like this shouldn't affect my driving test results that much since it's basically just the examiner telling me where to go, not me navigating by myself, but today, I was practicing driving, and even with a GPS, it wasn't always easy for me to figure out where to turn. Today, for example, I realized that I had to turn left at an intersection at the last minute, so I crossed a solid white line to get into the correct lane. Nothing dangerous happened, but I know that if it were an actual driving test, that would've been an automatic fail.
This is literally so stupid, but maybe it's my bad eyesight. On Monday, I went for a medical checkup, the first in a long time, and apparently I have abnormally bad eyesight. A few years ago, I got prescribed glasses, but I rarely wear them because I feel like I can see fine without them. It's a rather long explanation, but basically, glasses are so annoying, so I just didn't wear mine for a long time. Today, I was practicing driving, and I planned to wear my glasses while driving this time to see if it would make a difference, but I forgot.........
I get nervous when driving. But frankly, I'm not really sure if I'm that much worse of a driver when practicing driving calmly, compared to during a driving exam.
Also, since I have a permit, it's illegal for me to drive on my own, so when I practice, I always drive with an adult. Whenever I'm about to make a mistake, they warn/stop me, so maybe that's one reason that I'm better at driving when practicing compared to an actual test, when examiners don't intervene at all.
My dad says that when I'm driving, I need to focus more, since I'm too "absent-minded". This is probably the main reason, and the main challenge in my driving experience. My dad has been really angry at me recently due to this habit, which he connects to my whole personality. He yells at me, questioning if I'm an "intelligent being" or if there's actually any thinking going on in my brain. (Does this make sense?) I understand why he's frustrated because I am too. Over the years, I think I've improved in driving, making fewer mistakes, but sometimes, I still make the same mistake over and over again. Many times, this has led to us both screaming at each other in the car, since he thinks that a normal person is supposed to fix the mistake, not make the same mistake again. I really try to focus and learn from my mistakes, but I feel that it's still not good enough. Driving is supposed to be easy; basically everyone knows how to drive, and with enough practice, anyone is supposed to be capable of driving. This is what my parents have told me over and over again, since they're so disappointed, frustrated, and just don't know why I can't drive. But I'm beginning to think that driving is actually pretty hard? It's just so hard to be aware of the speed limit, all the cars around you at all times, and also if you're heading in the right direction to your destination. It's like something a robot can do, not a human. Most of the time, I'm a decent driver, but sometimes, my mind just slips, and all of a sudden, I'm about to crash into a car behind me that I didn't notice. I think for almost anything, it's normal for humans to slip up like this, but I feel like the driving exam is different. For the driving exam, it's like I'm expected to drive perfectly. I know it's manageable since it's only like 15 minutes, but still :/
At this point, I've lost almost all hope. I wish I lived in Georgia so I could just get my license without taking the road test. I wish I can move to a nice place with decent public transportation like New York City or Montreal, so I will never have to deal with this problem of driving, but I think it's likely that I'll stay in California for college, so I really need to get a license. I've already seen so many of my peers pass the driving test after 1/2/3 tries, and it just seems really easy for them. I don't know why this seems like such a challenge to me. I don't feel like a normal person, like there's something fundamentally wrong with me. As I said before, my parents are also so confused why I'm so stupid at something that's supposed to be easy. I wrote that my dad connects this "to my whole personality". I think I get what he means, but I'm not sure how to explain it. He loses his temper easily. Once, he was really angry at me, and said that I'm a failure, pointing to all my driving test failures as an example of how incapable I am. After I failed the test the 5th time, my mom said that she was "disappointed" in me because it just seemed that I wasn't "fighting for this for [my] life." The way she said that really made me feel ashamed. But I reminded her how much I practiced (around a week and a half of driving every day, driving to the Santa Monica DMV, and driving on the highway, practicing with my friend), and she had nothing else to say after that. I feel like the driving test is supposed to be easy. It's just like common sense. And I feel like passing the driving test means that someone is at least at the most basic level as a driver, not even that they're a good driver. When I practice driving, I feel like I'm a decent driver, definitely not perfect, but most of the time, I'm pretty good. I don't get why apparently I'm still not good enough. I feel like in order to get a license, I shouldn't have to spend so much effort to be a perfect driver. So I don't agree with my mom that I was supposed to have fought for this "for my life". Did she expect me to sacrifice my entire life just to pass a driving test? I'm a high school student; I have so many other responsibilities besides driving. I feel like with the time I've spent for this driving test, I could've been doing so many other things. Yeah, I probably would've used this extra time to just binge-watch more TV shows, but I still feel so much regret about this whole thing. Who knows, maybe I would've actually achieved something with this time if I passed earlier. it's already been more than 2 years. I'm so tired. I've also been having problems with my mental health due to driving exam failures. I won't get into details. It's probably not as bad as other people's mental health issues, but my driving experience still has had a really huge negative impact on my life so far. Actually, I got my second permit really easily. After my first permit expired, I walked into the DMV without having studied/reviewed beforehand, took the written test, and passed. I feel like this means that in my head, I do know how to drive; for some reason, I can't do it in real life. Since I suck at driving so much, I'm taking driving lessons again, and next time I practice, I'll remember to wear glasses. But currently, I barely have any opportunities to practice driving due to the pandemic (I barely leave my house). I think I drive somewhat better than before, but it's not a lot of improvement since the last time I took the test. I don't have much hope for my next test. I don't know what else I can do. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences?
2020.09.03 23:41 EpicVioletArrowsPlease compel Gina Huppee to keep her word
From: Gina Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:10 PM Subject: Re: A small plan for help To: Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Hi again I’ve just sent you money [$400]. The MTCN is:6738985543 Please consider coming home. We can not sustain funding your life. Focus your efforts on getting back to Canada or finding sustainable way of life in Argentina. We love you. Gina _____ From: Gina Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Date: Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 10:55 PM Subject: Checking in To: Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Hi Mark How are you? It’s been quite some time since we heard from you. I’m thinking of you today and every day. I hope you’re as good as can be expected. I’m wondering if you give any thought of coming home to Canada. We would be happy to help you get home. Just say the word and we can start making arrangements. I hope to hear from you soon. I love you. G _____ From: Gina Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Date: Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 4:40 PM Subject: We want to send you money To: Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Hi Mark We are worried about you. Mom and dad have always hoped you would make your way back to Canada. You are a citizen and would receive health and social services. We still are strongly encouraging you to please consider coming home. Not lethbridge, anywhere in Canada. Please let us help you get to Canada. While you are thinking about making your way here, we would like to send you some money. Can you please confirm that you are still in Argentina and that you can receive a western union transfer now. I’ll look forward to hearing back from you. Love G _____ From: Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Date: 3 September 2020 Subject: Please compel Gina Huppee to keep her word To: Joe Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Auntie Barb [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Curt & Tammy Saunders [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])Chiara Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Peter Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Gina Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Mark Lavorato [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), Corrigan Gurney [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) A note to my extended family: Please ensure that the email below is forwarded to: Joe & Lorna Lavorato; Gina & Raymond Huppee; Corrigan & Chiara Gurney; Peter & Laurie Lavorato; Michael & Lucas Lavorato; Doug & Barbara Saunders; Curtis & Tammy Saunders; Jill & Greg Walkie; Lou & Judy Lavorato; David & Joey Lavorato; Piero & Leila Lavorato; and Aaron & Logan Lavorato; In case I should die before any of you help me, I will publish this letter, along with other correspondences that you have received from me, online, to be seen by the world, at: bit.ly/JournalistsIHaveContactedWithThisClaim. This particular letter has been published, in that document, at: bit.ly/PleaseCompelGinaHuppeeToKeepHerWord. It has also been shared across the following seven social-media platforms; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, and LiveJournal, at: https://twitter.com/EpicVioletArrow https://www.facebook.com/mark.lavorato.71 https://www.instagram.com/callingeverymanandwoman https://ar.pinterest.com/callingeverymanandwoman/seals-of-the-apocalypse https://www.reddit.com/useEpicVioletArrows https://epicvioletarrows.tumblr.com https://ext-5507160.livejournal.com To my extended family, So, my sister has written me, again, offering to pay for a flight back to Canada, where I can access, “social services.” Which, I think we can all agree, is a thinly veiled code for, “where she can assume absolute power over me, instantly betray me — dial three numbers to have me committed — and then leave me there for dead, like a rabid animal in a cage; again.” I think, the truth is, this offer of hers is just an empty promise, meant to serve, exclusively, herself, by covering her own tracks. However, let us give her the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that her proposal is being offered in good faith. I think then, the first thing that we should admit is, that it’s a little untethered from reality. You, for example, may have noticed that our planet has been devastated by a global pandemic, or, put a more classical way, pestilence; as well as war, famine, and death. Which means that most of our borders are more or less closed, and, except for essential services, the airline industry has all but ground to a halt. In fact, there has only been a single flight that flew out of the city that I’m living in — Río Gallegos, Argentina — since June (bit.ly/AllDeparturesFromRioGallegosInternationalAirport). So, to be clear, this ticket that my sister is generously offering me, again, presuming she’s acting in good faith, would be exceedingly expensive. The cheapest price for a ticket, at the best of times, between Canada (at the northern tip of our planet), to Patagonia (at the southern tip of our planet), was, when I flew here, $2,500. So, how much do you think Gina would have to pay for a seat on that one single plane that happens to be leaving this city, at some point over the next six months? $8,000? $10,000? Maybe more? Again, how incredibly generous it seems my sister’s offer is then. She appears to be ready to go to expansive limits in order to ensure my safety and well-being. How blessed I must be, to have a sister as thoughtful and generous as she. And, I’ll be honest, I could certainly use a sister like that right now. Because, here’s the reality that I’m currently living in: I have had to trade lethally dangerous labour for a cold shed and increasingly shrinking rations. I have had to barter my electronics and outdoor clothing to pay for sustenance and lodging. I have been left so destitute, that I haven’t been able to afford more than a single meal a day, every day, this entire year. And, because it’s late winter in the Southern Hemisphere (remember, I’m only 100 kilometers from the the Chilean and Argentinian Antarctic), the entire system of water pipes in my neighborhood has frozen solid several times over the last couple of months, which has meant that, for weeks, I have had to cook, clean, and bathe, out of broken plastic containers of water. Though, I’m suffering from a different problem on that front at the moment, in that, there’s a sewage blockage in my sector, and, as we speak, there is seepage slowly streaming through my junk-filled courtyard. The gas has also gone out, twice, leaving me with no heat or hot water, and I can’t afford candles to keep me from slipping into hypothermia, should I be forced to survive such an emergency again. The tiny floor, walls, and ceiling of my apartment, are crawling with cockroaches, at all hours of the day, and over my skin at night. I have to brush my teeth by pinching the broken off head of a toothbrush. I can’t afford hand soap, or toilet paper, or my expensive arthritis or migraine medication. I can’t afford to replace the rags that are barely clinging to my frame, whose holes I have had to stitch together, again and again, just to keep them from coming apart. I haven’t been able to afford fresh vegetables, or eggs, or meat, for weeks. In fact, I have been surviving on rice and the fat that butchers throw away to the dogs. All while I work tirelessly, perfecting the message that I have been given, preparing for the moment that my manifesto (bit.ly/English-CallingEveryManAndWoman) will finally go viral. For those of you who have read it, you can likely already sense that we will be needing its simple and elegant system of organizing ourselves, outside the confines of our increasingly corrupt and overwhelmed governments, very shortly. The dramatic chaos outside our windows is unraveling with alarming speed. There have already been many, many governments around the world that have dissolved, that have buckled, trying to ward off the rage of their overburdened, setting fire to their own poisoned streets. While our neighbors to the south are much, much closer to the terrifying trigger of collapse, than any of us would like to admit. Mark my words, we will need an elegant plan to keep local, regional, and national peace, enacted very soon, just to survive. In fact, we already need it. Which is why I continue my work, every day, all day long, preparing that inspired plan; adjusting it, expanding it, and translating it. And, let’s be clear about the journey of constant betrayal that I’ve been forced to walk, every step of the way, while fighting to save your children for you. I have been imprisoned and left for dead. I have been threatened at knifepoint. I have been robbed. I have been mugged. I have been beaten. And I have begged you, my extended family, over and over again, for your mercy. And, except for my Ma and Papá — Joe Lavorato and Lorna Lavorato of Lethbridge, the only heroes in this story so far — not a single one of you has offered me any mercy, whatsoever. (For those of you in the public, reading this on social media, who want to get caught up on what my extended family knew, when they knew it, and what they very consciously chose not to do about it, read the document, in its entirety, at this link: bit.ly/JournalistsIHaveContactedWithThisClaim.) Anyway, all of this is to say that, this apparently newfound generosity that has sparked in my sister, will be a welcome change on my journey indeed, should it actually prove to be true. Now, to be fair, Gina Huppee of Monarch, has offered me some resources along the way. What she hasn’t done, however, is come anywhere close to keeping her word to me. But, let us go through the documentary evidence of that word, as well as her subsequent betrayals, together, shall we? That way, every one of you can judge, for yourselves, how innocent and virtuous Gina Huppee of Monarch, actually is. Let’s start with her word. She visited me in Montreal, at the beginning of April in 2019, where she confessed, on tape, to fantasizing about my death. Hours later, she had me committed, then promptly left town, at which point, she indeed, left me for dead, in a literal hellhole, where I was tortured, physically and psychologically, for three weeks straight. I only managed to escape by hiring my own lawyer, and securing my release, at which point I fled into the countryside, away from my immediate family, who had proven to be my greatest danger of all. Unfortunately, the tape of that initial April conversation, where my sister talks, at length, about her wishing for my death, is now on a backup in Montreal, but I’ve uploaded the next best thing to it. Here is the entire conversation in which my sister: Acknowledges the damages that she has inflicted upon me; apologizes for those damages; and offers a verbal contract of restitution, in the hopes of making amends by means of an admittedly modest compensation (bit.ly/1289-AVerbalContractOfRestitutionFromGinaHuppee). Now, I’d like you to listen very carefully to where the recording begins. I would like you to listen to how she responds, when confronted with the fact that she admitted to fantasizing about my death, just before she had me committed, and, then, well, left me for dead. Do you notice anything suspicious about it? Do you notice how, the thing that she is most offended by, isn’t the notion that a sister might fantasize about killing her brother, but that that fantasy, the explicit yearning for her own brother’s death, was recorded. That, and that alone, to Gina Huppee, is the great crime that one of us should be ashamed of. It’s rather fascinating to hear, in context, wouldn’t you say? Now, here is the exact point where a verbal contract of restitution, of $5,000, is offered: bit.ly/1289-AVerbalContractFor5000DollarsRestitutionFromGinaHuppee. So, how much is $5,000 to Gina Huppee of Monarch, you may ask? Well, let’s put it this way. $5,000 is only 1% of what she received, on a single day, in insurance policy payouts and wages, after her first husband passed away. So, I can assure you this, $5,000 is a pathetic pittance, both in cost to her net worth, as well as in comparison to what I suffered, by her hand. It’s also what she agreed to pay me, giving me her word, in a crystal clear recorded verbal contract. That was in July 2019; well over a year ago. And I have been begging her to keep her word, ever since. Here, for example, I talk to her about the legality of her recorded verbal contract, telling her that, were I to hire a lawyer, I would likely be able to get much, much more than $5,000 in damages, to which my sister responds, “Then, go ahead, Mark. Sue me.” bit.ly/1300-AppealToGinaHuppeeOfMonarch1. It’s really quite something, that virtuous, generous sister of mine. Though, as I said, to be fair, Gina has given me some money over the last thirteen months. And, again, to be fair, I think that, the money that she has given me, should be subtracted from the restitution that she agreed to provide me with. Here are the details of what she has given me so far: Amount of agreed upon retribution already paid: 19 September 2019, at 19:51, Interac transfer of $300(CAD) 21 October 2019, at 21:13, Interac transfer of $100(CAD) 1 November 2019, at 11:35, Interac transfer of $400(CAD) 33% of my $400 monthly stipend Jan—June 2020$800(CAD) $1,600(CAD) Therefore: Agreed upon retribution= $5,000(CAD) Amount of retribution paid= -$1,600(CAD) Amount of retribution still owed= $3,400(CAD) Now, the one thing that has been made indisputably evident in this story so far, is that not a single one of you, my extended family, is capable of mercy. So, I won’t bother begging you for it again. Instead, what I’m going to ask you for this time, is your sound advice. I am asking you, my extended family — as well as any of you in the public, who are reading this on social media — to advise my sister on her legal requirement to honor her own recorded verbal contract. Please, contact her with this sound advice. Post it onto her social media pages. Message her with it. Email her with it. Call her with it. Call her place of work. Call her husband. Call her children. Call any potentially interested lawyers, willing to work with me from a distance, and give them the evidence of this case. Call the authorities, on my behalf, and urge them to file charges against her, for breach of contract endangering human life (Criminal Code [R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46] 422  [a]; an indictable offense liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years). Call her. Message her. Write her. Text her. Every one of you. Please. And advise Gina Huppee, to, quite simply, keep her own word. On my end, I promise that, if she does keep her word — the very moment that I receive $3,400 from her — that everything between us will be instantly resolved, for the rest of time. No bad blood. All is forgiven. This will all just be water under the bridge. After all, that is exactly what providing a sum of restitution is all about. It is about moving on, constructively, from a mistake that was regrettably made. It also happens to be exactly what I, myself, agreed to, in that recorded verbal contract that you heard. And I, for one, pride myself on being a man of my word. In fact, I believe that a person’s word is everything. I believe that, if your word is proven to be valueless, then so is your soul. And, to my Ma and Papá: I wanted to thank you for this newest offer of resources. Though, I would really prefer any money at all to come from Gina right now. You have been incredibly generous to me over the last several years. And you have been merciful, stepping up, for example, to care for my cat, Fritz, for the time being. I want you to know that, the moment that someone offers me sanctuary (and a simple cot and a can of tuna will do), I plan to send for my sweet boy. For now though, just know that I miss him, that I haven’t forgotten about him, and that I will circle back to get him, as soon as I can. I also want you to know that, as I was writing this letter, I was gradually crippled with the most severe migraine that I’ve had in months. Luckily, I found some painkillers in the shed next door, so I took those, one after another as the hours passed, but nothing came even close to alleviating the pain. So, finally, I caved, and took my very last one-quarter of a pill of that expensive migraine medication (Eletriptan), the final dose of which I keep in a special metal vial, as a kind of alarm system for myself, indicating that my emergency medication is about to run out. That metal vial is now completely empty. Meaning, if I get a migraine today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I have no idea where that pain will transport me, and I have no way, whatsoever, to stop it. So, I beg you, Ma and Papá, please, compel Gina to send resources through Western Union to Argentina, as soon as you possibly can. All I need is a ten-digit MTCN code, and the money is here. Again, I thank you for your generosity. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Ma and Papá. Love, MtM
2020.08.30 16:01 M_MathurAhriman proudly presents: The Banana Split
“And if you forget? Or somehow convince yourself this wasn’t real? I’ll find you right in that moment, Danny Boy. I’ll find you. And I’ll kill you.” This is without a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever written in my life. My therapist suggested that sharing my story about the night of the crash – even via online communities – might help someone struggling with an experience like the one I will describe. My hands are frozen… it’s as if my fingers would rather spare you from knowing what happened. This feels like a horrible idea. But… Does He know? He must know. He must. I’m terrified by the memory and I suppose that’s all that matters to Him. That’s what He said. Anyway, this suggestion was from my clinician, and for that reason, I’ll give it a try. I know how much Dr. Ritter cares about what happened to me. She’s been remarkably compassionate. So, here goes: this all happened last year. The night of October 24th. By way of background, my name is Daniel. I’m seventeen and I’ve lived in Malone, New York my whole life. Malone is a village far upstate. Near the Canadian border. No reason you would know about Malone unless – like me – you were raised here. The closest cities that come to mind are Montreal and Burlington. The lame and oft-repeated refrain growing up was, “because we’re alone in Malone.” Since childhood, Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. An occasion I’ve looked forward to even as I grew older. October is a special month generally. Especially in the northeast. There’s something about the spiced scent in the air that gives me goosebumps. As the nip of the season sets in, the drying leaves mingle with wood-burning fires and the first sip of winter’s chill. Throw in pumpkin carvings? CVS Halloween makeup? Cinnamon vanilla lattes? Suffice to say, I’m not alone in my enjoyment of this cherished occasion. My best friend and girlfriend (Kyle and Darcy) were both on my wavelength. We’ve been getting dressed up and trick–or–treating since preschool. And so last year, being jaded seniors in the 12th grade, we decided to try something different. We’d been hearing about a new haunted house and hayride that lay about halfway to Massena. Maybe 30 minutes away. Run by some locals who apparently had connections to the movie industry. I’m talking Hollywood. The feedback from my more discerning buddies was positive, and so we took advantage of their weekday and student discount pricing and purchased tickets. I remember that night vividly. A colder-than-normal Thursday. The hayride was decent enough, at least for our area. We finished everything at around 11pm and bookended the adventure by scarfing down some hot chocolate and apple cider donuts. Kyle had an early appointment to meet his chemistry teacher for office hours, and so we piled into Darcy’s SUV and started on our way home. Dr. Ritter needs to realize… this is pointless. I cannot justify typing these words because you cannot, you will not understand what I am about to describe. And it’s not your fault. How could you possibly believe me? How could you understand? I’m supposed to tell you what I saw in as much detail as I can… But why? Perhaps you too will notify me that I’m suffering from “traumatic delusions”? Just get it over with… He already knows. Like I said: it was a Thursday. It was a Thursday and it was dark as hell. I suppose nighttime is typically dark, but there are barely any lights on the roads that connect Massena and Malone. No lights and scant traffic once the hour hand itches midnight. Especially after you get off Route 37. As usual, Darcy was driving faster than I cared for. Ever the rebel, Darcy began abusing her beat-up-as-shit 2014 Subaru Forester. Apparently trying to set a land speed record. We used to joke that Darcy had something fucked with her adrenal glands: the girl was routinely testing her limits. I was in the passenger seat playing DJ, and Kyle was sitting behind me, trying to finish a chemistry assignment on his phone. None of us had taken drugs or alcohol. At this point, we’re about 15 minutes from home and find ourselves on a particularly dark stretch of road. I know this spot well because the cellular service is non-existent. You’re guaranteed to drop a call. We had some so-so jam band going on the speakers when Darcy decides that she wants to play a game. And so she asks me to lower the volume: “That wasn’t scary. The hayride? I think we need to go ask for our money back.” “Oh?” Kyle retorted. “You seemed pretty freaked out by those nurses.” I concurred that Darcy had seemed unnerved. “Trust me. Your lady was tweaked. Think she peed herself?” “That’s bullshit,” Darcy stiffened. “Only yipped because those jerks touched my leg. They’re not allowed to touch you.” As you can imagine, we teased her. “Fuck off… If you two morons wanna feel scared? Just gimme the word.” I asked what she meant. “Well, Danny Boy,” this was my pet name, bestowed by Darcy. Never my favorite. Darcy was forever amused by it. “I can’t say. You and Kyle have to tell me you’re in. Without knowing for sure. And then… I’ll show you both a good time.” “Nice phrasing,” I couldn’t help myself. Behind me, Kyle faked a yawn. “I’m already bored.” “What’s that, Danny Boy?” Darcy became heated. “You’re what?” While Darcy acted tough, she had thin skin. Like a baby deer. “You’re bored?” At that moment: Darcy smashes the gas pedal. The car starts flying along this snaking lane… I’m talking fast. Both Kyle and I are yelling that she needs to slow the fuck down. “Thought you wanted to feel scared?” Darcy’s hooting at us. “Watch this!” Without warning – while the Subaru’s hurtling at maybe 70 miles per hour on this deserted stretch – Darcy reached down and killed the headlights. I cannot explain how utterly disoriented this made me feel. To have been looking ahead at a narrow, zigzagging road? And suddenly? Nothingness filling the windshield? Kyle and I were shrieking like maniacs at Darcy to turn the lights back on. I’ve spent countless hours since that night trying to determine exactly how long the lights were out. For some reason, this feels important. My adrenaline had spiked. Best guess is: we were in pitch black darkness for about three or four seconds before Darcy switched the headlights on. That’s when we saw the naked body. Lying lengthwise in the middle of the road. Just a few yards ahead. The accident itself? Total blank. Like a hole in my memory. Both the investigators and lawyers said – based on the mechanics of the crash – Darcy swerved the Forester. I have zero recollection of the car veering, hitting the guardrail, flipping, etc. The next thing I remember is the sensation of being upside down. Gravity pooling the blood in my brain. All I could see was my own heartbeat. The first few seconds after the crash were fractured. I’ve pieced together shreds of memory that draw from muddled senses. Discomfiting warmth seeping down my forehead and face… The pungent smell of gasoline. Wet fumes stinging my nostrils. Strained humming from the engine. And everywhere: a faint white mist coiling around us… Like cigarette smoke or midnight fog. There was something else from these primordial, post-crash memories. At this point, I’d become lucid and aware that we’d been in an accident. I recall that – out of the corner of my eye – I noticed the flash of emergency lights. There’s no way to mistake the red, white and blue blinking of a police car or ambulance. And I remember feeling extraordinarily grateful: we’d been found. As my vision returned, it struck me how violent the crash had been. How dangerous and life-threatening our situation was. I was completely tangled in my seatbelt and shoved the deflating airbag away from my face. I began to panic. The SUV was fully upturned and the chassis was mangled. Each way I looked, I saw only warped metal, blood splatters and shards of splintered glass. What follows is the truth of what happened that night. After the crash. It is entirely fact: I did not dream or hallucinate. I swear on my life. No one – including my own family – believed me when I told them what happened. I realized with an empty despair in the days that followed that I would be alone in this anguish of “knowing”… It feels more isolating than I could possibly hope to describe… Kyle and Darcy were still alive. Kyle was roughed up in the back. Badly injured from the impact. Honestly? I think Kyle would’ve died regardless. The way my body was turned – caught in the seatbelt and remnants of the dash – I was stuck angled forward and couldn’t see Kyle behind me. I knew he was in pain because of the noise. Heels stamping the car door as my best friend gurgled in protest. Darcy was upside down next to me. Inverted, she was ensnared by the curling remains of the hood that had jutted against us. Darcy was sobbing hysterically… Apologizing and crying for her parents to save us. From what I could tell? Darcy had taken a crushing blow to her lower body. I wasn’t able to check under the debris. Wouldn’t have wanted to. I remember telling Darcy that help had arrived. “Just calm down, Darcy,” I kept repeating. “We’re going to be fine… Okay?” “Rodger Dodger,” came the honeyed voice. “Ma’am? I’ll need to see your license and registration. No sudden movements, please. Hands where I can see them.” The person let out a slow, undulating whistle. “Kiddos have any idea? How fast you were going?” While I’m convinced my recollection of the encounter is continuous, I readily admit that – once He arrived – there are brief intervals of no memory. Short snippets soaked in black… Maybe once every few minutes. Like a badly maintained reel of film. Absent a handful of frames. I will try and transcribe each word spoken: every impossible detail. And I promise to be honest when my memory fails. “Been hittin’ the bottle, kiddos?” The voice sounded mildly curious. “Smoking pot?” “N – no, sir,” I groaned in pain, bewildered by His question. “I don’t… we can’t move, sir! We’re stuck!” How was Darcy supposed to retrieve her registration? When the dash was crumpled? “Our friend’s hurt. He’s in the back. Please, sir… Please call an ambulance.” “Ambulance?” The man went quiet. “First: you’ll tell me what’s happened here.” “There was... there was a person!” I wheezed. “A body. Lying right on the road.” “You saw a body on the road?” A blurry face materialized on the other side of the windshield. By some miracle, I saw it was a police officer. I recognized the dark telltale uniform and badge. “Are you sure? Are you absolutely positive that’s what you saw?” The man had pale blonde hair combed fastidiously to the side. Tousled with dirt and sweat. Like crops in blight. Below the ugly hair were His eyes. Silvery firmament flecked with russet. Boyish features that masked His true age. “Are you willing to sit for a polygraph? To authenticate the veracity of your claim?” The policeman’s flashlight needled my eyes. “I’m only kidding, Danny Boy. Only kidding.” “Huh?” I felt lightheaded and confused. How did he know that name? “Please, sir…” “Aw, shucks. Don’t you see, Danny Boy? That was me in the road,” the cop spoke gently. A low, breathy voice. Soothing lilts to each word that nibbled my ears. The officer chuckled. “You nutty fuckers almost clipped me, too! Dead to rights. Kiddos came within inches of interfering with official police business.” This was when I started feeling anxious… The body on the road had been motionless. Naked. What was this guy saying? “Anyways. Where there’s no harm, there’s no foul.” He hacked on the road. “Let’s see about this mess we’re in. You can call me, uh…” I gazed in disbelief as the man checked His own name tag. “Gary! That’s right. You can call me Officer Gary.” The man smiled and tipped His black, wide-brimmed hat with an exaggerated flourish. “H – h – help us, sir!” Darcy was able to stutter. “Please… call my… my mom and dad.” “We need an ambulance,” I cried. This was too much. “My friend’s hurt! In the back!” “Your friend?” Officer Gary – what else to call Him? – stalked around the Subaru. Inspecting. We could hear gruff mumblings outside the Forester as His flashlight probed the interior. Pricking my eyes. “Oh, Danny Boy… Sweet Danny Boy.” Smoke was filling the space; it was getting hard to see. I couldn’t tell if He was blinding us intentionally. “We have some serious casualties in this vehicle. Your buddy here? Dude is legitimately motherfucked.” “You need to help him!” Darcy bawled. “Call an ambulance!PLEASE!Get us out of here!” “Jesus. I will, lady. Calm down. We have to follow protocol. From the manual. And not for nothing? I hope you know the Kelly Blue Book value of this vehicle is basically zero.” Based on our shared looks of alarm, Darcy and I realized at the same time that something was seriously wrong with Officer Gary. This had been a major car accident; all three of us required transport to a hospital. Officer Gary’s relaxed manner? The bizarre, coarse language? My heart rate went through the roof. I remember immediately starting to feel claustrophobic, sick and nauseated. “Ah, crap,” Officer Gary let out a warbled sigh. “Could always look at the manual. Kinda feels like cheating, though. Doesn’t it?” He grudgingly strolled to the driver’s side where I could no longer see His face. Only a pair of leather boots as they crunched over windowpane. “You’re probably right, Danny Boy.” Officer Gary stood very still before affecting the strangest accent for His next sentence. Like He was an Irish pirate. “THIS BE one HELLUVA fend-ARR bend-ARR!” Then, back to His syrupy hiss. “Didn’t mean to be silly.” The way He was speaking… Like it was all a joke! A big inconvenience. Officer Gary had no choice but to assist. “I’m gonna call it in. Fire and ambulance. Be right back, kiddos.” “Hurry!” we cried. “There’s smoke!” Officer Gary disappeared in the direction of the emergency lights. Leaving me and Darcy swaying upside down. Dangling helplessly in a mix of disbelief and budding apprehension. I couldn’t see the police vehicle on account of my position and – at this point – I didn’t care. My only objective was to get my friends out of the Forester. I tried in vain to locate my cell phone that had been resting on the dash. “Darcy?” I coughed. Twisting my head as far as I could. “Darcy. Your purse… it’s right there. Can you reach your phone?” Darcy spotted the bag. Her fingers dipped inside. “I have no idea what this cop is doing. Call your parents right now. Tell them what’s happened.” “Okay,” Darcy was a mess. “Oww… my leg!” She started crying; I implored her to act quickly. Darcy nodded and lifted the phone from her purse. The glow from the screen illuminated the pale smoke dancing between us. I asked if she could see Kyle in the back. “Yes, but… his arm… Daniel! His arm is gone!” Darcy was dialing and weeping. “W – what should we do? There’s no s – s – service!” “HANDS!” A command from the dark. “HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!” Darcy and I froze. “DROP THE FUCKING WEAPON! ON THE GROUND!” Before either of us could reply, I caught a flash of something strike Darcy on her cheek. There was a brutal POP: a frenetic crackling sound filled the air. Darcy squealed and released the phone. She began to writhe in agony. “LEMME SEE YOUR HANDS!” Officer Gary reappeared from beyond the gloom. Legs crouched and arms extended in a tactical combat pose. A black and yellow Taser stun gun was pointed at Darcy’s face. Horrified, I could see the glint of moonlight on the wiring that ran from the barrel to where the electrodes had burrowed in her skin. The fizzing of electricity grew louder… and louder… Darcy was convulsing like a rag doll. “Don’t hurt her!” I recoiled in fright. “It was a phone! It was just her phone!” “Citizen! Do not resist!” Officer Gary ignored my frantic pleas. “You are experiencing neuromuscular incapacitation!” He spoke mechanically as He approached the vehicle. Darcy shook wildly; I was convinced her neck would snap. “Civil disobedience is still disobedience!” The hum of the Taser increased as Officer Gary arrived at the Subaru. “Hold on a sec,” The pop-pop-popping cut to silence. Darcy stopped juddering and hung there. Limp. Unconscious. Officer Gary lowered the Taser and let out a strained wheeze. He sounded relieved. “It was a phone, Danny Boy. It was just her phone.” “WHAT DID YOU DO?” I wailed. “ME?” Officer Gary circled to the driver’s side to check on Darcy. “Well, shit, man… it’s dark as heck out here! Bitch had something in her hand. Had to utilize judicious force,” His tone was indifferent. I watched His arms trace karate chop motions in the air. “Zapped her ass good. Know what we call it? In the legal system? Justifiable. Self. Defense.” “You could have KILLED her!” “Hey, now. Them’s fighting words.” Officer Gary reached through the driver’s side window and plucked the electrode from Darcy’s cheek. He slapped her – much too hard – as if trying to rouse her from sleep. “Darcy? Darcy? Ya in there?” I screamed at Him to stop. He brought a skinny finger to His lips. “Shh… shhhh… Easy frequency, Danny Boy. We don’t need to worry about Darcy. And I’m not going to hurt you. No, no… No WAY would I EVER. You matter more than you can imagine!” As Officer Gary told me this, I experienced a temporary lapse in memory. Slipped into darkness. The paramedics said later that I was without question in-and-out of shock at this point. The surgeons who treated me at Essex General reported significant blood loss. Apparently, I had suffered six shattered ribs, a broken hip, and a split femur in the crash. “Wakey, wakey,” I came to as Officer Gary was caressing my clavicle. He had looped around to the passenger’s side. I noticed Officer Gary carried a peculiar musk: like onions, lavender and turpentine. “You must be overwhelmed.” Officer Gary wore an expression of concern. He spoke reassuringly. “But you’re gonna be okay, Danny Boy. Trust me. It’s in the manual.” I ignored Him and jerked Darcy’s arm, trying to stir her awake. “Mamacita? Out cold, amigo. Don’t worry… She’s not quite dead yet.” Officer Gary leaned into the car. I shrank as He peered around my seat. “This dude, though? Fuckin’ toasted… Whole arm lopped off! Arteries collapsed like a natural tourniquet! Only reason he’s not bled out.” Officer Gary – adorned with a self-important smirk – puffed His chest and nodded. “Mammy always said I’d make a good doctor. Great bedside manner, she said.” Officer Gary had nudged very close to me. How uneven His mottled teeth! How ashen the color of His tongue! “Wait a minute.” He paused. “There’s a whole chapter in the manual. Yes… of course! What to do! When they ain’t gonna make it!” Officer Gary vanished with a whoop of purpose. When He was gone, I reached out and grabbed Darcy’s wrist. Tugging her towards me. Crying like a baby and pleading with Darcy to wake up. I was howling for Kyle to run away. The fear had become difficult to tolerate. I will never forget this sensation: I was convinced that we were about to die. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. “Let’s see,” Office Gary took a knee outside my window. I could hear pages flipping. “Where is it?” He started humming quietly. Reading to Himself. “Yup… yup… knew that already. Not relevant. Mhm… that’s common knowledge. Aha! Here we go!” He went quiet. His eyes narrowed into slits. “Holy hotdog,” Officer Gary seemed upset. “Yikes. That’s no fun. I’m, uh… I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Danny Boy. The manual says here that – by the Universal Law of Merciful Pity and Compassionate Kindness – we’ve gotta, umm… oh, boy. He’s in pain. So we’ve gotta do your friend a solid. Ya dig what I’m saying? We’ve gotta make it easier for the poor gook.” “Huh?” My eyes grew wide as I processed. “STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM HIM!” Officer Gary gazed upon me with those deep-set, glistening orbs. His expression patient. Sympathetic. He told me that it was okay if I didn’t understand why this was happening… That it was perfectly reasonable if I felt lost and scared. That bit was important, He added. Officer Gary assured me that I would appreciate everything in time. Echoing footfalls as He was summoned by the fog… I thrashed wildly. Ignoring the pain of my broken bones. Struggling to escape from my seatbelt and the dash pinning me in place. I heard the sound of a trunk open and slam shut again. Then, in my peripheral vision: an unbroken line of light. A bright green ray. It was a laser beam… Carefully feeling its way through the destroyed side of the car before settling somewhere behind my chair. This wasn’t possible… It wasn’t! Next to me, Darcy stirred awake. I saw her eyelids flutter open. Her pupils dilated as she focused on the scene behind my seat. Darcy could see what I could not. Then, we heard the unmistakably wet sound of a WHIZ and WHUMP; Darcy let out the most bloodcurdling scream I had ever heard. It was absolutely chilling… I nearly fainted from the wretched, discordant cry. “Goddamit!” Officer Gary bounded over, His voice pinched with frustration. “Ah, man… What happened?” He ducked to peek inside the Forester. My jaw dropped when I saw the man was wielding an enormous, camo-colored crossbow. “Aw, jeez. Sorry about that, Kyle!” I could hear distressed babbles from behind my seat. Next to me, Darcy was losing it. “That was meant to be a headshot. I had good tone!” Officer Gary spoke reflectively. Musing aloud. Darcy and I were yelling for Him to leave Kyle alone. “Huh?” He glanced over. A vacant expression. Like He was noticing us for the first time. “Must’ve been the wind. I never miss.” He raised the crossbow and winked. “I see y’all peepin’ this foxy bitch. Says a lot about your taste.” Officer Gary patted the stock. “Reverse-draw design. 17 inch power stroke. Carbon bolt porked this V-C at 450 feet per second!” He sighed and turned to Kyle. “Not good, buddy,” He whistled in a tone of insouciance. “That arrow? Sucker perforated your carotid. You’re gonna bleed out. No matter what I do.” He spoke in a perfunctory manner. Like he was delivering a lecture to a cadet that he’d given hundreds of times. “I’m sorry, Kyle. But you’ll die now. I’m going to pull the bolt out. Very carefully. And then I’m going to sit here and take a little bath.” It’s hard to continue. Even though I couldn’t see what He was doing with Kyle in the back of the Subaru, I could hear the frenzy. While my eyes were squeezed shut, I listened to Darcy’s agonizing cries for her mom and dad. Darcy was pleading with God to save us. I kept telling myself: it’s not real. When I dared to look again, He was but a few inches away. Ugly blonde hair and rancid smile waiting. “Oh, boy… Oh, WOW. That was wild!” Officer Gary beamed in ecstasy. “Are you kiddos ready? For the best part?” His face was soaked in gore. Drenched with streaks of crimson. It was rimming His nostrils… Matting His sideburns… Dripping down His gums. “I’ll save this for later.” Officer Gary flicked His tongue. Lapping the bloody residue on the carbon bolt. “Oh, Danny Boy… Sweet Danny Boy. Do you know the difference between terror and horror?” Darcy and I were helpless. Moaning like pigs in an abattoir. “I asked you a question.” Officer Gary’s voice had become menacing. But injuries and abject fear had taken their toll. Sapping our strength. “Are you ignoring me because of what I did? To that one-armed slope?” Officer Gary looked us up and down. Buggy pupils vibrating with paranoia. “Anyways. There’s a difference. The manual is clear. And we’ll need the balance just right for this to work.” He paused to stretch and touch His toes. “Woof… Knees creaky. What I’m trying to say is: I didn’t want you to see, Danny Boy. What I did to your friend. I wanted you to listen and wonder… This next part, though?” His grin grew wider than physically possible. He turned to Darcy. “I need you to watch this next part carefully.” Darcy’s eyes were fixed on His every breath. “My understanding, dear Darcy? This is all your fault. You’re the one that caused the crash.” Officer Gary shook His head and spoke robotically. “Excess speed. Low visibility. Slick conditions. Just watch… That’s what they’ll say when it’s all said and done.” His brow furrowed. “Now, I’m a father. And I know from raising kiddos that it’s all about the example. Gotta teach lessons they’ll never forget.” Officer Gary excused Himself and crept into the void. Leaving me and Darcy weeping, wilted and shivering in dread. Alone… Abandoned. Kyle’s freshly-drained corpse cooling somewhere beyond my sight. The temperature had dipped below freezing; the condensation of my breath clung desperately to Darcy’s as we struggled to stay conscious. Both of us fast succumbing to the adrenaline. In the distance: a weird commotion. Coughing and clunking. Winding and grunting. Then the whizzing of a cable as Officer Gary came skipping into view. The man was huffing with exertion. Towing a long, metallic wire equipped with a J-hook at the end. I blinked in disbelief. This was the type of winch used to help stuck vehicles out of ditches. Or to remove a stubborn tree from the earth. “Darcy? Ya good to go? It’s time to fly, baby dragon.” Officer Gary smacked His lips as He wound the cable around Darcy’s midsection. “You and me, m’lady? You. And. ME? We’re gonna have some fun tonight… Still awake?” Darcy whimpered pitifully. Weakened hands trying to wipe Him away. “Good girl… good. You’ve been amazing, Darcy. Seriously. That’s no joke. I’m talking superstar.” He secured the J-hook with a loud, deliberate click. “And now, dear Darcy? We’re gonna give Danny Boy a sexy strip show he’ll always remember. You wanted to scare him, right? I promise: this is gonna do the trick. Oh, fuck yes, it will! Let’s give him a sight he’ll never forget!” “No,” I croaked. Barely able to speak. “Let her go.” The blood had gone to my head for too long. I was slipping. “Please?” Officer Gary checked the winch cable. Making certain it was secure. He snorted in satisfaction. “Please d – don’t hurt her. Please, sir… Please…” “Charlie Brown to Linus. HQ? Do you read?” Officer Gary was speaking into a walkie talkie that had appeared from nowhere. “This is Officer Gary. How copy?” There was no reply. Only the crackle of static as biting winds swirled around the wreck. “They’re never there,” He muttered. Disappointed. “But it doesn’t matter… it doesn’t. I know what to do! This part is going to be messy, Danny Boy. How ‘bout some tunes?” Officer Gary fiddled with the dial on His walkie talkie until jumbled music filled the inside of the Subaru. A distorted country song… The lyrics slow and distended. The jingle of a Christmas carol. The words perverted and strange. Then, the gentle sound of wind chimes. “Better,” Officer Gary purred. “And now, Ahriman proudly presents: The Banana Split. Please, watch carefully.” Officer Gary bowed. He faded from sight. Nearby: a car door opened and closed. Keys jangled in the ignition. The blare of an engine. Dazzling floodlights washed over us. In this radiance, I saw the cable go tight. Darcy let out a moan from deep within… Her eyes bulged like a toad. Darcy grabbed my hand as the growling throttle increased. Ruthlessly yanking her frame against the driver’s seat. I was squealing in guttural fear. Begging for Officer Gary to stop. But… He didn’t stop. Rather, Officer Gary revved His machine until the cable strained and shuddered. Squeezing Darcy like a vice. Her sternum began to SNAP like a dry Weetabix. Our terrible shrieks reached a fever-pitch as Darcy’s eyes went lily-white. Blood poured over her mouth; down her chin. Such meaty bursting and tearing! Then, a new sound. The squelching of moist suction. I suddenly understood the meaning… Banana Split. I watched in unthinkable horror as the upper third of Darcy’s figure peeled back and away from the rest. Dragging her innards along for the ride. A ruptured, human-shaped rind. Exposing the juicy produce rotting inside. Guts and bones splashed everywhere. To witness the burst of her body? I felt my mind go blank. Unable to process. A survival mechanism, I think. Darcy was dead. Yes… Darcy was ripped in half and I was hanging next to her jittering stump. The stalk of her spine. Wisps of steam rising off viscera. Looping entrails that ended in giblets. Hot chocolate. Barely-digested apple cider donuts. “It’s done?” Officer Gary slunk back to the Subaru, wiping His brow. “It’s done!” He sounded grateful. I watched Him sit in the pool of gizzards. Waving His arms like a child in snow. Making wings. “And not a moment too soon. We’ve gotta chat about what happens from here, Danny Boy. And then we’ll sing. You won’t have to worry about me for some time.” Officer Gary removed His wide-brimmed hat, laid back in the offal and stared at the sky. “Now that’s a moon too big to be real,” Officer Gary cooed. “A tawny jewel. Across the neck of night.” He exhaled. “Don’t need to explain myself. But I don’t make the rules. And, as far as you’re concerned? There are two. Rule number one? Next year – on this date – you need to come back here. You need to come back to this exact spot. Alone. I’ll be waiting for you, Danny Boy. And I swear… It’ll be worth it,” His voice lost all mirth. “You have NO. FUCKING. IDEA. How long I’ve been waiting here? On this road? I’ve been sitting and waiting…” His eyes became wet. “Also, you have to remember. That’s rule two. You have to remember.” The stink of His whisper. It made me dizzy. “I need you to remember.” A sigh. “And if you forget? Or somehow convince yourself this wasn’t real? I’ll find you right in that moment, Danny Boy. I’ll find you. And I’ll kill you.” His tongue flitted out. “The very instant you forget? I’ll be there… You’ll see! I’ll be there, no matter WHERE you are, and I’LL EAT YOUR FUCKING GUTS. Not in the way you think, either. From the inside out.” He smiled: how the teeth had changed! How they wriggled at me! Was it a trick of the light? “I’m gonna eat you from the inside out. And I’m going to look like Darcy while I do it.” Finally: the part I understand least of all. Officer Gary began to sing, but He didn’t sound like Himself. It was the most beautiful voice… Like a young child. Different languages and dialects… Joyful innocence. A resonant sense of belonging. The melody carried over the wind. My muscles relaxed… I felt no pain. No fear. Only boundless love for Officer Gary. The next thing I remember? I’m strapped to a gurney in the back of an ambulance. Racing to Essex General. IVs sticking out of every appendage; an army of paramedics working to stem the bleeding. My parents and the authorities waiting when I was done with surgery. Of course, there was no trace of any “Officer Gary”. No such person existed. They spoke in hushes of “traumatic delusions.” In the end: they called it an accident. Single vehicle collision. Excess speed, low visibility and slick conditions were judged contributing factors. A tragedy. Nothing more. But, for the record? The coroner who conducted the autopsies in Plattsburgh? Unanswered questions. The puncture in Kyle’s carotid artery? The inexplicable ligature marks that marred Darcy’s stomach and breasts? My life for the past 10 months? A never-ending rotation of hospitals and rehab. Police stations and attorney’s offices. Ceaseless depositions. Anonymous faces melting together. They made me take a polygraph. Of course I passed. I was supposed to start college in the fall of this year. Instead, I’ll be home. Lying awake in bed. Praying for God to keep me away from His awful squirming teeth. If you’ve somehow made it this far – all I can say is – Dr. Ritter was right. I feel relieved to have been able to share my story. And now? You know everything… The truth about that night. I still dream about Kyle and Darcy. Mostly nightmares. I miss them terribly. If anyone has any thoughts about what I’ve experienced… literally, anything to go on… I promise to listen with an open mind. There are less than two months until the anniversary of the crash. I don’t know what to do. A part of me wants to disappear… To run away. And yet… deep down? I believe every vile word. I know exactly where I’ll need to go on October 24th. Where Officer Gary will be waiting for me. That stretch of road. No service. I’m not frightened that He’ll kill me. What I’m scared of is worse. Please… help me!
2020.08.23 17:19 phedreWent out intending to run 15k this morning, ended up running a half marathon instead.
Name: Fuck it, may as well keep going half marathon
Date: August 23,2020
Location: Montreal, QC
Keep going to 21k? Sure. Why not.
Acquire victory coffee & breakfast sandwich
No real training plan. I run 30-35km a week with a longer run on Sundays, today just went a little longer than planned.
Woke up, put on my gear, grabbed my water bottle and my phone, and took off. I did pack a couple of gu gel packets, sometimes I get that low blood sugar spinny feeling on longer runs so I like to have one on hand just in case.
It was a gorgeous, cool morning, about 20c and overcast. I ran slow, got into a good rhythm, and just kept going. Everything felt really good up through about 19km, surprisingly so. No soreness, no fatigue, breathing was easy, stride felt great. I had to keep checking my pace to slow down, kept catching myself speeding up and I didn't want to push it so close to the end. At about that point, my feet started feeling it. I wore my NB Minimus, probably not the best choice for a half marathon. I find they're great up to about the 15km mark, then the lack of padding starts to make itself known.
I timed my run to finish about 250m from my favourite coffee shop, giving me a few minutes of walking to cool down before grabbing what was probably the best tasting flat white I've ever had. Seriously, the sound I made at that first sip was pornographic. That plus a breakfast sandwich were my reward on the walk home, about 1.5km, enough to let me cool down properly and get in some calories. Now I'm flaked out on a comfortable chair with a bottle of water.
2020.07.13 17:42 AwesomeMathUseEasing Population Growth to Weigh on Housing
Source: TD Rishi Sondhi, Economist Dated July 8th, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown sand in the gears of Canadian population growth, with the national population count expanding at the slowest pace since 2015 in the first quarter and immigration collapsing in April. Moving forward, we envision Canadian population growth remaining well below rates achieved in recent years through 2021.
As immigrants and non-permanent residents mostly rent when they first arrive in Canada, the rental market is likely to feel a large and immediate impact from a population slowdown. This comes at a time when markets are already reeling, as pandemic-related job losses have disproprotionately hit younger workers.
The ownership housing market will also feel the impact, as fewer newcomers purchase properties and there is less demand for investor-owned rental units. In fact, slower population growth explains about one-third of our downgraded view for Canadian sales growth through 2021, compared to our expectations in April.
Some offset will come from strong past population growth, as immigrant homeownership rates rise with a lag.
Population growth forms the fundamental basis for housing demand. From 2016-2019, Canada saw a tremendous expansion of its population base as federal immigration targets were raised, and a myriad of factors drove an historic intake of foreign students (see report). This underpinned home sales, drove robust demand for rental housing, and supported the fastest pace of homebuilding since the Global Financial Crisis.
More recently, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown sand in the gears of Canadian population growth. The national population count expanded by only 75k in the first quarter of the year – the weakest such gain since 2015. Higher frequency data points to a further significant slowing in the second quarter, as the number of immigrants arriving to Canada dropped by 80% year-on-year in April (Chart 1). While some of this setback is likely temporary in nature, we see the mix of ongoing travel fears, a pandemic-related slowdown in processing times for immigration applications, government travel restriction measures, and an only gradually healing global economy holding population growth well below its pre-virus rate of around 1.5% annually over the next few years.
This more moderate pace of population growth will weigh on housing market activity across the country. In fact, weaker population growth is a major factor underpinning our downgraded forecasts for home sales, prices and starts across the country through 2021. However, simply stating that slower population growth will be a drag on housing over the next few years risks oversimplifying what is a complex phenomenon. The major sources of Canada’s population growth – immigration and inflows of non-permanent residents – leave their own unique imprint on housing markets. This note delves into these nuances, which will influence housing demand and supply moving forward.
Rental Market To Feel A Large And Immediate Impact From The Population Slowdown
The population slowdown will exacerbate the hit to rental demand coming from the record job losses observed during the pandemic. These losses likely delivered a disproportionate blow to rental demand, given their concentration in industries with relatively low homeownership rates. In addition, a large share of younger workers has lost their jobs since the onset of COVID-19, and the tendency to rent is generally highest in younger age cohorts (Chart 2).
At the same time, rental supply has been increasing, both for purpose-built and investor-owned units (Chart 3). This is due to robust construction in recent years, the (probable) conversion of Airbnb units into long-term rental housing amid bans and weakness in tourism, and rising condo prices and rents during the past few years. The supply of condos for rent, in particular, has seen a rapid increase. The Toronto Real Estate Board reported a 30% year-on-year rise in these listings in the first quarter, continuing a trend in place since 2018. Moreover, industry data suggests that condo rental supply in the GTA was around 70% higher year-on-year in early June1.
With demand depressed and supply elevated, rents have fallen in markets such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, average rents for a two-bedroom condo in Toronto were flat compared to year-ago levels in the first quarter. Other data points to rent declines in April and May, both in the purpose-built market and for condos. In addition, the rent index in the Canadian CPI dropped 1.2% from February through May – compared to the modest gains that generally take place (Chart 4).
The good news is that job markets appear to have started a recovery from their April lows. However, it will likely take quite a bit of time – at least until sometime in 2022 – for employment to grind back to its pre-virus levels. In addition, both immigrants and non-permanent residents generally rent upon arrival, choosing both purpose-built and investor-owned units. Much slower inflows of these newcomers will further weigh on rental demand moving forward, downwardly pressuring rents for purpose-built units.
Meanwhile, investors whose units are slated to complete over the next few years will have a much tougher time finding tenants, partly on account of significantly slower population growth. At the same time, falling rents will raise the carrying costs of these properties, financially pressuring owners and likely causing some to sell. As the population slowdown lingers, demand for investor-owned rental units should drop, causing reduced sales. In these ways, weakness in the rental market will spill over into ownership housing.
Notably, condo prices have risen at a faster rate than their single-detached counterparts in recent years (Chart 5). In Toronto and Vancouver, for example, benchmark single-family prices increased by 37% and 14%, respectively, from the end of 2015 through May. Over the same time, condo prices in these regions surged by 76% and 49%. This suggests that condos could be more vulnerable to a price correction as demand falls in the wake of softer population flows.
Reduced Immigration To Have Lasting Impacts On Ownership Housing
The slowdown in immigration will also have lasting impacts on the market for ownership housing. Although most immigrants rent initially, we still anticipate some impact on ownership housing demand through 2021. A 2019 study by Statistics Canada2 found that homeownership rates for recent immigrants (i.e. those that landed in the prior 5 years), have risen substantially over time (Chart 6). It also found that homeownership rates of more established immigrants rise to roughly match those of the Canadian-born population. This analysis points to a relatively modest initial hit to ownership demand from softer immigration flows, with the impact building over time as homeownership rates rise.
Immigrants also tend to own more expensive properties than the non-immigrant population. Data from Statistics Canada indicates that in 2018, average assessed values for properties owned by recent immigrants were much higher than the non-immigrant population in Nova Scotia, B.C. and Ontario (Chart 7). And, this gap was even higher for immigrants living in Canada for a longer period, meaning that it was not simply a function of the rapid rise in home prices observed in some markets in recent years. This data suggests that (all else equal) weaker immigration flows would weigh disproportionately on average prices, which are influenced by more expensive properties. However, any impact would be modest initially before rising over time as homeownership rates increased.
It’s worth noting that there could be some offsets to this dynamic, with some research3 suggesting the impact of immigration on home prices could be watered down by the out-migration of Canadian born residents from neighbourhoods where immigrants tend to settle.
The impact of reduced immigration flows would vary across the country. Most immigrants tend to settle in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary with these CMA’s accounting for over 60% of inflows last year (Chart 8). These regions also saw the largest slowdown in immigration over March/April, with levels down 60% year-on-year, compared to a decline closer to 50% in other jurisdictions. Moving forward, the largest blow to housing demand from an immigration slowdown would likely be imparted on these four CMAs, given their popularity as “landing pad” destinations. However, the impact on ownership housing demand would probably be smaller in Montreal relative to these other jurisdictions because homeownership rates, in general, are lower there. In contrast, the unemployment rate in Calgary will likely remain relatively elevated through next year. This should yield comparatively slower population growth and a larger hit to Calgary’s housing markets.
Even outside of these regions, lower immigration would leave its mark on ownership housing. Population growth has stepped up considerably across the Atlantic Region (except for economically-challenged Newfoundland and Labrador) since 2016, driven by immigration. What’s more, these provinces seemed to improve their retention of these newcomers.
Home sales also grew robustly across most of the Atlantic Region during this time (Chart 9). Of course, it would be tough to chalk up all these gains to immigrant buying. More likely, the boost to regional economies, household incomes and job markets from the population surge gave significant support to housing demand. And, a slowdown in the immigrant intake would likely do the opposite.
Some survey evidence also points to immigrant homeownership rates being higher in the Atlantic Region compared to other jurisdictions in Canada. In addition, econometric analysis suggests that home sales in Atlantic Canada generally respond as aggressively to population changes as the larger provinces, and more so in some cases. And, recent immigrants make up a larger share of total immigrant owners in Nova Scotia, according to Statistics Canada.
Non-Permanent Residents To Impact Resale Market Through Multiple Channels
Non-permanent residents, by-and-large, do not purchase homes. CMHC data notes less than 5% of mortgages issued by chartered banks in major urban markets across Canada were to non-permanent residents (Chart 10). What’s more, non-permanent residents only formed 0.3% of owner households across Canada in 2016.
So, the direct hit to ownership housing from weaker non-permanent resident inflows should be quite muted. However, as noted above, rental demand will suffer a hit through this channel. This will feed back to investor-owners, weighing on housing demand, sales, and prices.
Past Population Growth Matters Too
As immigrant homeownership rates rise with a lag, demand for ownership housing will be supported by past population gains moving forward, partly offsetting the drag from weaker future inflows. As noted, population growth has been robust since 2016. And, some of the 1.1 million net immigrants who’ve arrived in Canada since then will make up part of the pent-up demand expected to power solid sales growth in the second half. This will, of course, depend on how many of these people were able to keep their jobs during the pandemic, as well as the speed at which they are re-hired. On the former, immigrants employed in full-time positions have seen larger job declines than those born in Canada during the outbreak (Chart 11), which will dull some of the pent-up demand coming from this cohort.
Also, of note, only 12k people emigrated out of Canada in the first quarter, marking the lowest such level since 2010. The extent to which the pandemic slows emigration should provide some modest offset weaker population inflows, as those who would otherwise be leaving the country stay in their current homes.
The pandemic-induced slowdown in population growth is expected to linger through at least 2021. Lesser inflows of immigrants and non-permanent residents will impact rental and ownership housing markets alike. The impact on the former will be more immediate while building over time in the case of the latter.
Weaker population growth will play a major role in slowing growth in home sales and prices through next year. Indeed, this dynamic explains about one-third of our downgraded view for Canadian sales growth through 2021, compared to what we thought in April (Chart 12). Meanwhile, other factors, most prominently elevated unemployment, account for the other two-thirds of the downgrade. These headwinds will offset various positives for the outlook, including the presence of significant pent-up demand, supportive demographics and low interest rates, resulting in modest price growth in the second half of 2020 and a mild decline next year.
2020.07.13 02:52 throwaway_the_skyNot able to land a date - Getting really upset
I had broken up with my ex gf in January. Soon after I decided to get back in the dating scene but Covid hit. I think I had profiles in every dating app but I am not getting a single match. I attended a few virtual speed dating events but no matches there either. I am getting really frustrated now and losing hope this will change. Yesterday out of sheer frustration I deleted my profile from all the apps and also deleted the apps themselves. About me - 31 M, South Asian living in Montreal. I have a nice job which pays well and my own apartment. I am reasonably fit with a normal BMI (76kgs). My height is 5'10" and still have all my hair. I work out and have some muscles. I am not super handsome but I don't think I am ugly either. I can even understand 99% of the girls swiping left on me but 100%? I honestly don't know what to do any more. What is it about me that's so bad? Earlier I had a rule not to date someone who already has kids but changed that as well just to get out of this rut. Nothing changed.
2020.07.11 20:20 beardedsloth22New CPU for 3D environment Artist (for games)
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
Building scenes in Unreal Engine, Prop modelling in zbrush and maya, texturing in substance painter and Designer + Marvelous Cloth simulations. This is my workhorse, and I rely on it heavily on a day to day for work contracts. My goal is to speed up certain processes such as shader compiling, lighting build times, general game engine editor speed, simulations for prop design etc. My current CPU (intel 6600 I5) often gets used up to 100% by heavy scenes, causing lag and crashes.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
a couple days from now
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Just the CPU
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
Montreal, Quebec, Canada (I have a local retailer that Ive been frequenting for years called Microbytes, but willing to buy online if it means itll be cheaper)
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Everything will still be reused, minus my CPU. My current build is as follows: Motherboard: ASUS B150M-c Ram: 8 x 4 kits of hyperx fury ram (32gigs) GPU: RTX 2070 TI CPU: Intel I5 6600 3.30GHz 4 CORES, 3301 mHZ power supply: 850W ssd: 256 2tb local drive
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I've never done it before, but if I can figure out how, and what the pros/cons are, I might further down the line.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
I have wifi
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
2020.07.04 19:35 e_Z_752Game Spotlight: Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
Prince of Persia: Rival Swords FAST FACTS: Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Casablanca Published by: Ubisoft Release date: April 3, 2007 (North America), April 5, 2007 (Europe and Australia) Also available on: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, flip phones, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3 (Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones), PlayStation Portable Genre: Action-adventure, platform Age ratings: Teen (ESRB - for Blood and Violence), 16+ (PEGI - for Violence) and M (OFLC - for Moderate Violence) Max number of players: 1 Accessories supported: Nunchuk (required) Save blocks required: 2 OVERVIEW: Prince of Persia: Rival Swords is a censored version of the Mature-rated 2005 game Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones that leverages the Wii Remote and Nunchuk's motion controls as the first of two games in Jordan Mechner's Prince of Persia franchise, known for its signature acrobatic combat and platforming in a Middle Eastern fantasy setting, to be released on Wii. It is the third and final chapter of the Sands of Time trilogy that started with the titular game in 2003, in which the titular Prince returns home to Babylon in hopes of taking a break from his previous adventures, but instead finds the capital city under attack by a mysterious army commanded by none other by an old enemy - the Vizier he once vanquished in Sands of Time, with the events of that game now negated by his actions in the previous game, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Now the Prince must once again use his acrobatic combat skills, as well as his mastery of time-controlling powers, to save the Persian Empire from the Vizier's villainy and take back everything that was lost, while dealing with his worst enemy yet: an evil, corrupted version of himself that takes residence in his own body and controls it at times, granting him new abilities while siphoning his life. WHY THIS GAME IS BEING SPOTLIGHTED FOR WII: Rival Swords takes a bloody and dark GameCube game where all you do is push buttons and sticks to jump around and deal death with messy results and turns it into a tamer Wii game with fun and intuitive dual-wield motion controls that try to show how well they can work for a game likePrince of Persiathat emphasizes acrobatic combat. And even though you've never played the previous iterations of the trilogy, the story ofRival Swordsalone - in which a hero fights to set things right while facing his own inner demons - is very, very interesting. PLUS BUTTONS: + The control setup for Rival Swords is decent and reasonable. You use buttons and the Control Stick to help the Prince hone his parkour skills to overcome obstacles (while shaking the Wii Remote to stab things on the wall to prevent a fall), while motion controls are used intuitively for dual-wield melee combat against enemies (just shake the Wii Remote to swing your weapons, shake the Nunchuk to swing a secondary weapon you pick up and use combinations of the two for some wicked moves). The camera can be rotated with the Control Pad to get a better view of your surroundings, and you can also get an alternate view of your surroundings in some places to get a clue on where you need to go next. + The level designs of Two Thrones are virtually the same for Rival Swords as a port - and because they were praised by critics when Two Thrones first came out, it's nice to see that all their fun and variety (and also their frustrating moments) carries over smoothly to Rival Swords. There's many different kinds of hazards and elements that demand that you use every trick in the book to pass through. + Rival Swords, as a chapter of the Sands of Time trilogy, is distinguished from other platformers in its unique ability to manipulate time - such as rewinding the last several seconds of play to undo a potentially fatal mistake or slowing down time to overcome obstacles or gain the upper hand in combat. And these mechanics are decently implemented and can sometimes be entertaining to watch. + Great voice acting, fitting music and decent cutscenes are used to move the story forward. And speaking of story, the plot of Rival Swords, as Two Thrones, will captivate you even though you haven't played the last two games in the trilogy. MINUS BUTTONS: - Let's face it: there are going to be parts in this game that are absolutely difficult or frustrating, whether because you'll die very, very often, and/or you just can't see where you need to go next. You're probably going to need to look up a walkthrough at times to find the way ahead. - Combat is decent, but is hurt by the fact that you can't heal except from using save fountains or transforming into or from the Dark Prince, as well as some frustrating enemies like the Hunter Hounds, which can take a lot of hits and steal sand energy. - While there are checkpoints in this game placed in between save fountains, you'll be punished with a significant loss of progress if the Prince gets killed and there are places in this game where it will happen very, very often, whether by a tricky platforming sequence, frustrating enemies or dangerously fast chariot sequences where one mistake leads to a deadly crash that sends you back to the beginning of a chariot sequence. The pain is further exacerbated by how some save fountains are quite far from each other! - The Dark Prince sections can also be frustrating because you have to find sand to refill his constantly decreasing health - meaning that you'l find yourself under a lot of pressure and prone to make mistakes in Dark Prince sequences especially if there aren't any immediate opportunities to refill sand. That's unfortunate, especially when the notion that swinging the Wii Remote and Nunchuk around to battle nearby foes can be more enjoyable while as the Dark Prince flies in the face of how the game makes clear that he's really evil. - The environments of the vast city of Babylon appear to deceptively suggest that there are a lot of places you can go, but in reality, Rival Swords is very much a linear game, with only one way to progress most of the time and only several short branching side paths that you can visit to increase your max health. And since the game isn't broken down into levels, you can't revisit previous areas once you've beaten the game, meaning that if you missed a health upgrade, it can be difficult or impossible to go back and get it (due to how there are many places where backtracking is impossible) - you have to play the whole game over again. Better keep a walkthrough on hand to make sure you haven't missed anything. - Since Rival Swords is basically Two Thrones, it inherits both its strengths and weaknesses. And that also extends to the graphics. It's evident that the developers didn't capitalize on the Wii's added horsepower for higher framerates or crisper textures than what Two Thrones accomplished on last-generation consoles (GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox). - And lastly, while Rival Swords tries to show that it's really Two Thrones, its new subtitle may fool someone into thinking it's a brand new game. And at least a fraction of players who already finished Two Thrones will find little reason to play Rival Swords because it's pretty much all the same with respect to story, graphics and audio. IS IT OK FOR KIDS? Rival Swords is all about using parkour skills to navigate perilous environments with razor-sharp trap mechanisms and/or high heights where fatal falls are possible, while using sharp melee weapons to cut down enemies along the way, whether in fierce free-form fighting, or through stealthy, preemptive attacks for instant "speed kills". Enemies bleed sand, while the Prince bleeds red when they are hit. You'll also encounter a few scary bosses and occasionally watch the Prince struggle with being corrupted by the Sands of Time, turning into a menacing, demonic version of himself with a razor-sharp chain whip. And all of this is coming from a game that was originally rated M for Mature by the ESRB on GameCube where the violence is bloodier and also gorier, so you could probably say that this is definitely not for the little ones, but tweens and teens will certainly appreciate Ubisoft's decision to tone down the violence and gore for the Prince's Wii debut. HITTING HOME: In being a direct port of Two Thrones, Rival Swords shares its strengths and weaknesses - but given the critical success of Two Thrones, the problems of Rival Swords, whether it may be some confusing/punishingly difficult sections, or a lack of improvements to the original game, don't really prevail over its triumphs - especially when it's got good motion controls that make battles so exciting. Just be prepared to grapple with this game's dark side with a walkthrough and a tolerance for frustration on hand when you boot up this otherwise fun and enthralling double-edged sword that is Rival Swords. FINAL SCORE: 7 out of 10
2020.06.26 22:11 wayemasonTraffic Calming and Slow Streets, Virtual Canada Day, Park Updates, Coronavirus Update #30 and more
https://preview.redd.it/egz3qw3sab751.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9d2fad13952586a0bff6814d2eede2fef15f2dd5 Hello all, I got back late Sunday from Montreal, moved my daughter home for the year. She didn’t want to spend a year in an apartment going to school virtually. We are now in isolation for another nine days, so while many of you are enjoying the relaxation of many rules, you won’t see me at meetings or grabbing a coffee until July 5th or so! I crossed two provincial borders and stopped for gas in a number of towns on the way up and down. I write briefly about it in the Coronavirus update, but spoiler – I am going to wear a mask inside stores and public spaces probably until we get a vaccine, and I share my reasons why. Traffic Calming and Slow Streets. I’ve had a lot of folks message asking for Slow Streets on their street. To be clear – the Slow Streets program is not a traffic calming program, it is a COVID-19 related program designed to create a connected network of streets with less through traffic, where any local cars know to be careful because walkers and cyclists will be using the road. The idea is to create a network of streets people can maintain physical (social) distancing on that connect to destinations, like shops, schools, parks, libraries. So not every street needs to be in this, rather the goal is to connect neighbourhoods. https://preview.redd.it/95erc1ftab751.png?width=1220&format=png&auto=webp&s=b71a508d38158f652209b5b76c7230daa19768e5 There are currently 27 Slow Streets in the municipal COVID-19 response, shown in orange on the map above. There will continue to be tweaks, and I expect to see some additions but given reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and no physical university in September, it is not anticipated that the Slow Streets program will materially increase traffic on nearby streets. This is not to say I don’t think we need traffic calming, we do! There are three ways to get traffic calming – the traffic calming program, the school program, and as a local street bikeway. Traffic calming is for residential streets, not for arterials or collectors, though even there you may see some measures like curb extensions (bump-outs) like were done on Young around the Hydrostone, or at Vernon/Jubilee (Jubilee is an arterial). Most often you will see speed humps, which are cheapest and easiest to install. More on Traffic Calming here: https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-sidewalks/road-safety/traffic-calming-for-safer-streets Council this voted to spend $200,000 a year to put speed humps around schools in school speed zones, and it is being done where there is the most speeding first. It will take about 10-15 years to do them all. You may also see traffic calming on Local Street Bikeways – such as on streets like Allan and Vernon, to slow cars down and make it safer for bikes. And finally, a neighbourhood can ask to be assessed for traffic calming. If warranted you are added to the list. https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/transportation/streets-sidewalks/Rankings%20as%20of%20May%208%2C%202020.pdf The following list of roads are approved for calming in D7 by rank: 60 – Pepperell St – Vernon to Preston 86 – Point Pleasant Dr – Marginal to Fancklyn 110 – Wellington St – South to Inglis 115 – Young Ave – Inglis to Point Pleasant Park 116 – Cedar – Preston to Vernon 123 – Cornwall St – Oxford to Preston 150 – Henry St – Jubilee to Bliss 157 – Preston – Quinpool to Jubilee 158 – Francklyn – Pine Hill to Point Pleasant 169 – Fraser St – Waterloo to Robie 174 – Preston St – Jubilee to Payzant 187 – Roxton Rd – Bellevue Ave to Robie When I was reviewing this I was pretty impressed – those are all streets with speeding and shortcutting problems. It will take a while to get to them all. There are stand-alone projects but most of these streets will get calming when they get repaved, which is good news for Young Ave and Wellington, both due in the next couple years, and bad news for Pepperell, which was paved just two years ago. Park Improvements in District 7 Summer 2020 I’m pleased to let residents know that a number of exciting projects are going ahead this summer. Two that are generating a lot of interest are court and field improvements in Connrose Park and the renewal of the south or old side of the skate park in the Common. Work has commenced renewing the aging southern part of the skate park. The northern part of the park is expected to stay open throughout construction. Construction access will be from pool building parking lot, along the walkway in to about the midpoint of the skate park. A temporary gravel ramp will be built from the walkway grade to the asphalt grade for construction access. There will be traffic control people on the site to direct pedestrians and skate park users. Barricades will be in place as required.” Connrose Park is getting renewal of the tennis courts and work to improve the ballfield continues. The outfield fence has been improved and some high visibility protection added at the top of the fence to keep kids from getting cut if they leap for a fly ball. A batting cage is being installed, though the exact site is to be determined. It will not be placed next to the tennis court. The batting cage was something that will compliment the dugouts that were installed a few years ago and the fence and field improvements this year. There are too many other park improvements to list here but you should see work continue despite COVID on projects in most parks in the District. I am hoping to have a few announcements about schoolyards and playgrounds to share with you later this summer. Hollis Street Bike Lane Soon the Hollis St protected bike lane will be complete (pictured above)! If you’re cycling, enjoy the comfort and safety of a AAA (all ages and abilities) bike facility. If you’re driving, get comfortable with new measures, including no right turns on red onto Hollis: http://halifax.ca/hollis Muffler Noise and Traffic Safety Act I am getting a lot of complaints about muffler noise. I know it is annoying but the municipality is waiting on the Province to change the law, or rather adopt some regulations for the law they changed 2 years ago. Area MLA Labi Kousoulis wrote to me and said this “I checked with TIR they are still working through the regulations. The time frame remains the same they are about one year away from passing the regulation changes.” So unfortunately until these changes occur, there really is nothing the municipality or police can do. E-Scooters I need to update and let you know the information I shared on scooters a month ago is incorrect. Police have been in discussion for a while now with the HRM Traffic Authority and City Legal about the use of the e-scooters. Basically you can’t roller skate or skateboard on a street or roadway and you must wear a helmet on a scooter, skateboard, inline skates, roller skates, and other devices wherever you ride them. An amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act was sought in 2003, at that time to deal with scooters and in-line skates, it was rewritten but never proclaimed. When I wrote that scooters were not allowed on the road, we all thought it had been proclaimed. Police and city legal are trying to find out why it was never made law, hoping it was a simple oversight. Since the revisions to the MVA were never proclaimed there is no authority for a municipality to ban or control the use of scooters, in line skates, roller skates or other devices from the roadway. Since 2003, we have seen technology change drastically, there has been an amendment to include “personal transporters” but that speaks directly and only to devices such as Segways. The Act doesn’t speak to sidewalks or bike lanes at all. Legal is currently looking to give us a definition of a bike lane and the subsequent legality of the use of scooters, etc in them. I wish I had better answers, but both scooters and mufflers require action by the province. You can find out who your MLA is and how to contact them here: https://wayemason.ca/district-7/
Public Hearings and Meetings
Public Information Session – The Governor 1441 Hollis StreetMonday June 29 7pm-9pm Online A pre-application has been submitted for a Substantive Site Plan Approval for The Governor. More information on the development can be found HERE https://killamreit.com/sites/default/files/Gov%20Plaza%20Posters-09June2020.pdf The public comment period is now open for this application. A virtual Public Open House is being held on Monday June 29, 2020 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Instruction and information on public access for the Open House will be posted on this website. Alternatively, public comment can be provided by calling WSP Canada Inc. at 902-536-0913, or by emailing [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Please note that the deadline for public comment is Monday, July 13, 2020. Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://www.gotomeet.me/WSP_PLAUD/the-governor—site-plan-approval-application%C2%A0 You can also dial in using your phone Canada: +1 (647) 497-9373 Access Code: 932-665-933
Hike for HospiceSaturday June 27, 2020 Virtual Hike for Hospice program has gone virtual. Members of the public can sign up as an individual or as a team and fundraise amongst their friends, families and coworkers in support of Hospice Halifax and it’s operations. Come event day on June 27, the participants will go on a hike in their own communities and share their experience online with the hashtag #hike4hospicehalifax. For more info on the event, please visit: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/hospice-society-of-greater-halifax/p2p/hike4hospicehalifax/ Virtual Canada Day CelebrationsWednesday July 1, 2020 Online Join in the municipality’s first virtual Canada Day celebrations! Halifax was selected by Canadian Heritage and CBC to take part in a national virtual Canada Day celebration, and will be featured as part of the Ottawa national coverage – showcasing our people, city, and community. This year marks the 153rd anniversary of the founding of Canada and with physical distancing measures and gathering limitations remaining in place, the Halifax Regional Municipality will be hosting celebrations with contests, music performances, and activities for the whole family. The broadcast will begin with activities from Bedford Days featuring music and entertainment for all ages. Premiering on YouTube and Eastlink Community TV at 7pm Featuring:
Joel Plaskett Emergency – Full Concert Performance
Owen O Sound Lee
and Ben Caplan
More surprise guests and special moments including a Piece created by Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – Mawita’nej (gather). Whether you tune in from the living room or with your smartphones by the backyard bonfire, let us provide the music and great Canadian stories to keep your bbq rocking. Also, for the first time ever Ottawa’s Canada Day Celebrations are going Coast to Coast to Coast. CBC will be doing a daytime family broadcast at 1pm AST and an evening program at 9pm AST. You’ll have to wait and see what Halifax has planned for this special moment! CENTRE Plan Package B SurveysUntil August 31st Online The surveys are still online! Have your say about the farthest-reaching changes to how our community will grow and change in over 50 years. The surveys represent the key themes in Centre Plan Package B. Members of the public can complete all surveys, or select those of greatest interest to them. Each survey contains some background information, but for those who wish to dig-in deeper, we also included links to an introductory video, additional summary fact sheets, presentations, an interactive map, and the full planning documents. The surveys can be accessed from the Centre Plan webpage at www.centreplan.ca. Any questions can be directed to [email protected] or 311. The surveys will be open until August 31st.
Coronavirus Update #30 – Biweekly updates, Provincial Restrictions, Transit, Rec, and Legal Aid for those facing eviction
As I said above I drove to Montreal and back and stopped in a number of places for gas, coffee, and biology. I always wore a mask when out of the van, and I wore a disposable glove when pumping gas. I had a medical grade sanitizer my wife bought at a pharmacy to clean my hands every time I got back in the car. I brought three days’ worth of food in a cooler and tried not to leave the van or hotels, which all had kitchenettes. I was super paranoid. No one outside of Montreal and Halifax was wearing a mask and physical (social) distancing was minimal. People looked at me funny for wearing a mask. I wanted to joke on the return leg “I was in Montreal 6 hours ago, do you WANT me to take my mask off?” This freaks me out. Folks the pandemic is not over. Case growth is out of control internationally. The USA is a basketcase. We cannot go “back to normal” and pretend it is fine. Until there is a vaccine or medical treatment we need to remain vigilant and take precautions. For me, that means limiting trips to “need to dos” not “want to dos” and making sure I am wearing a mask if I am going into a store, public space, or taking transit. It means having washing my hands a lot and carrying hand sanitizer. This [article](http://%20https//www.sfgate.com/science/article/Study-100-face-mask-use-could-crush-second-15333170.php), this[ **study**](https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/10/2009637117), and the WHO all say masks are essential in stopping the spread. I want to avoid or minimize a second wave, and the way to do that is masking up in Home Depot or Superstore or grabbing a coffee from Other Bean. Be smart, stay safe, and consider others. This ain’t over, and our current liberty is dependent on us keeping the virus from gaining the upper hand. Please, consider wearing a mask. Below is a brief summary of municipal updates, but the complete set of updates can be found, as always, at halifax.ca/coronavirus Transit Beginning in early July, Halifax Transit will start the installation of temporary polycarbonate shields on conventional buses, to help reduce the spread of the virus. The shields will be installed next to the bus operators and will act as a physical barrier to promote safe distancing. Halifax Transit staff designed the shields to meet the unique requirements of each style of Halifax Transit bus. The installation process is expected to take a few weeks to complete. Buses and ferries continue to operate on a reduced schedule. Fare collection remains suspended until further notice, however, the polycarbonate shields will allow for the safe reintroduction of fare collection in the future. As service levels increase and the volume of passengers grows, we recognize there will be challenges to maintaining physical distancing on buses and ferries. In support of public health recommendations, we are strongly encouraging all Halifax Transit riders to wear masks when possible. Those who are feeling ill should not use any transit service until their health returns to normal. Pools and Splashpads The municipality will be reviewing the details of today’s announcement by the province regarding further lifting of public health restrictions. Staff will be reviewing these new guidelines and establishing a phased plan for reopening that meets all public health requirements. At this time, all municipally operated pools will remain closed until further notice. More information on the potential reopening of pools, both indoor and outdoor, will be issued in the coming days. Municipal partner recreation facilities (i.e. Canada Games Centre, Cole Harbour Place, Zatzman Sportsplex, etc.) have started the first phase of reopening. Please contact each facility directly for information about pool re-opening dates and protocols. The following splashpads will reopen on Monday, June 29: • Halifax Common • George Dixon Centre • Isleville Street • Westmount The Sackville (Kinsmen) splashpad is under repair and will be reopening July 6. Due to construction in the area, the Bayers-Westwood splashpad is anticipated to open in mid-July. As a reminder, all municipal beaches are open and lifeguards will be onsite from July 6 to August 31. Group sizes with sports, park facilities and events With newly lifted restrictions on group sizes for gatherings, staff are reviewing current restrictions and assessing the impact for all facilities and programs. July day camp registration is currently underway, and there will be no changes for these camps. Staff will assess whether it is possible to increase the number of spots for August day camps. Group gathering public health restrictions outside of your group of 10 still apply to all sport fields, sport courts, ball diamonds and playgrounds. Physical distancing should continue to be maintained, and residents are reminded to follow all public health directives. Fitness Centres at the following municipal facilities will open on Monday, July 6, 2020: • Captain William Spry Community Centre • Sackville Sports Stadium • Musquodobit Harbour Recreation Centre These locations were approved to open as they are the largest municipally-operated fitness facilities. All other fitness centres will remain closed until further notice, and staff will share reopening plans with the public once they are confirmed. Lifeguards and Beaches As an update to the return of lifeguards to beaches this summer, we are pleased to announce that after a thorough recruitment and training process, we will have sufficient lifeguards to meet our required numbers for beaches, with one exception. At this point, we have been unsuccessful in recruiting lifeguards for Malay Falls Beach. This location is traditionally challenging for recruitment and does not tend attract a lot of swimmers. Staff will continue to work on options to see if we can get someone who is interested in guarding that site. If it is not possible to find lifeguards for that location, there will be signage about swimming at your own risk at that location, as well as all other sites. Lifeguards will be stationed at municipal beaches from July 6 to August 31. All municipal lifeguards hold National Lifeguard certification and are equipped with a variety of emergency supplies to help with first aid and water rescues. For more information, visit halifax.ca/summeraquatics Are you facing COVID-19 related rental arrears? The Dalhousie Legal Aid Service (DLAS) is looking to hear from tenants who owe rental arrears due to Covid-19 related loss of income. On June 23 2020, Kevin Russell, Executive Director of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia, estimated that landlords will file around 1500 applications on residential tenancy matters once the Province effectively lifts the eviction ban. The ban will be lifted when Access Nova Scotia locations are reopened, which could happen any day now. IPOANS opposes an extension to the eviction ban because the landlord industry, whose contribution to Nova Scotia’s GDP in 2016 was more than $1.3 billion, has lost an estimated $12.5 million in revenue this year. Landlords want to end the eviction ban – but at what cost? DLAS wants to hear from you, tenants whose income has be reduced as a result of Covid-19! Email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) or call 902-423-8105 if you are facing the possibility of a COVID-19 related eviction and are willing to share your story with the public.
Patterson approved the acquisition of the site on 25 November 1942, authorizing $440,000 for the purchase of the site of 54,000 acres (22,000 ha), all but 8,900 acres (3,600 ha) of which were already owned by the Federal Government. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard granted use of some 45,100 acres (18,300 ha) of United States Forest Service land to the War Department "for so long as the military necessity continues". The need for land, for a new road, and later for a right of way for a 25-mile (40 km) power line, eventually brought wartime land purchases to 45,737 acres (18,509.1 ha), but only $414,971 was spent. Construction was contracted to the M. M. Sundt Company of Tucson, Arizona, with Willard C. Kruger and Associates of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as architect and engineer. Work commenced in December 1942. Groves initially allocated $300,000 for construction, three times Oppenheimer's estimate, with a planned completion date of 15 March 1943. It soon became clear that the scope of Project Y was greater than expected, and by the time Sundt finished on 30 November 1943, over $7 million had been spent. Map of Los Alamos site, New Mexico, 1943–45 Because it was secret, Los Alamos was referred to as "Site Y" or "the Hill". Birth certificates of babies born in Los Alamos during the war listed their place of birth as PO Box 1663 in Santa Fe. Initially Los Alamos was to have been a military laboratory with Oppenheimer and other researchers commissioned into the Army. Oppenheimer went so far as to order himself a lieutenant colonel's uniform, but two key physicists, Robert Bacher and Isidor Rabi, balked at the idea. Conant, Groves and Oppenheimer then devised a compromise whereby the laboratory was operated by the University of California under contract to the War Department. Chicago Main article: Metallurgical Laboratory An Army-OSRD council on 25 June 1942 decided to build a pilot plant for plutonium production in Red Gate Woods southwest of Chicago. In July, Nichols arranged for a lease of 1,025 acres (415 ha) from the Cook County Forest Preserve District, and Captain James F. Grafton was appointed Chicago area engineer. It soon became apparent that the scale of operations was too great for the area, and it was decided to build the plant at Oak Ridge, and keep a research and testing facility in Chicago. Delays in establishing the plant in Red Gate Woods led Compton to authorize the Metallurgical Laboratory to construct the first nuclear reactor beneath the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. The reactor required an enormous amount of graphite blocks and uranium pellets. At the time, there was a limited source of pure uranium. Frank Spedding of Iowa State University were able to produce only two short tons of pure uranium. Additional three short tons of uranium metal was supplied by Westinghouse Lamp Plant which was produced in a rush with makeshift process. A large square balloon was constructed by Goodyear Tire to encase the reactor. On 2 December 1942, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first artificial[note 3] self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in an experimental reactor known as Chicago Pile-1. The point at which a reaction becomes self-sustaining became known as "going critical". Compton reported the success to Conant in Washington, D.C., by a coded phone call, saying, "The Italian navigator [Fermi] has just landed in the new world."[note 4] In January 1943, Grafton's successor, Major Arthur V. Peterson, ordered Chicago Pile-1 dismantled and reassembled at Red Gate Woods, as he regarded the operation of a reactor as too hazardous for a densely populated area. At the Argonne site, Chicago Pile-3, the first heavy water reactor, went critical on 15 May 1944. After the war, the operations that remained at Red Gate moved to the new site of the Argonne National Laboratory about 6 miles (9.7 km) away. Hanford Main article: Hanford Site By December 1942 there were concerns that even Oak Ridge was too close to a major population center (Knoxville) in the unlikely event of a major nuclear accident. Groves recruited DuPont in November 1942 to be the prime contractor for the construction of the plutonium production complex. DuPont was offered a standard cost plus fixed-fee contract, but the President of the company, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., wanted no profit of any kind, and asked for the proposed contract to be amended to explicitly exclude the company from acquiring any patent rights. This was accepted, but for legal reasons a nominal fee of one dollar was agreed upon. After the war, DuPont asked to be released from the contract early, and had to return 33 cents. A large crowd of sullen looking workmen at a counter where two women are writing. Some of the workmen are wearing identify photographs of themselves on their hats. Hanford workers collect their paychecks at the Western Union office. DuPont recommended that the site be located far from the existing uranium production facility at Oak Ridge. In December 1942, Groves dispatched Colonel Franklin Matthias and DuPont engineers to scout potential sites. Matthias reported that Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, was "ideal in virtually all respects". It was isolated and near the Columbia River, which could supply sufficient water to cool the reactors that would produce the plutonium. Groves visited the site in January and established the Hanford Engineer Works (HEW), codenamed "Site W". Under Secretary Patterson gave his approval on 9 February, allocating $5 million for the acquisition of 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) of land in the area. The federal government relocated some 1,500 residents of White Bluffs and Hanford, and nearby settlements, as well as the Wanapum and other tribes using the area. A dispute arose with farmers over compensation for crops, which had already been planted before the land was acquired. Where schedules allowed, the Army allowed the crops to be harvested, but this was not always possible. The land acquisition process dragged on and was not completed before the end of the Manhattan Project in December 1946. The dispute did not delay work. Although progress on the reactor design at Metallurgical Laboratory and DuPont was not sufficiently advanced to accurately predict the scope of the project, a start was made in April 1943 on facilities for an estimated 25,000 workers, half of whom were expected to live on-site. By July 1944, some 1,200 buildings had been erected and nearly 51,000 people were living in the construction camp. As area engineer, Matthias exercised overall control of the site. At its peak, the construction camp was the third most populous town in Washington state. Hanford operated a fleet of over 900 buses, more than the city of Chicago. Like Los Alamos and Oak Ridge, Richland was a gated community with restricted access, but it looked more like a typical wartime American boomtown: the military profile was lower, and physical security elements like high fences, towers, and guard dogs were less evident. Canadian sites Main article: Montreal Laboratory British Columbia Cominco had produced electrolytic hydrogen at Trail, British Columbia, since 1930. Urey suggested in 1941 that it could produce heavy water. To the existing $10 million plant consisting of 3,215 cells consuming 75 MW of hydroelectric power, secondary electrolysis cells were added to increase the deuterium concentration in the water from 2.3% to 99.8%. For this process, Hugh Taylor of Princeton developed a platinum-on-carbon catalyst for the first three stages while Urey developed a nickel-chromia one for the fourth stage tower. The final cost was $2.8 million. The Canadian Government did not officially learn of the project until August 1942. Trail's heavy water production started in January 1944 and continued until 1956. Heavy water from Trail was used for Chicago Pile 3, the first reactor using heavy water and natural uranium, which went critical on 15 May 1944. Ontario The Chalk River, Ontario, site was established to rehouse the Allied effort at the Montreal Laboratory away from an urban area. A new community was built at Deep River, Ontario, to provide residences and facilities for the team members. The site was chosen for its proximity to the industrial manufacturing area of Ontario and Quebec, and proximity to a rail head adjacent to a large military base, Camp Petawawa. Located on the Ottawa River, it had access to abundant water. The first director of the new laboratory was Hans von Halban. He was replaced by John Cockcroft in May 1944, who in turn was succeeded by Bennett Lewis in September 1946. A pilot reactor known as ZEEP (zero-energy experimental pile) became the first Canadian reactor, and the first to be completed outside the United States, when it went critical in September 1945, ZEEP remained in use by researchers until 1970. A larger 10 MW NRX reactor, which was designed during the war, was completed and went critical in July 1947. Northwest Territories The Eldorado Mine at Port Radium was a source of uranium ore. Heavy water sites Main article: P-9 Project Although DuPont's preferred designs for the nuclear reactors were helium cooled and used graphite as a moderator, DuPont still expressed an interest in using heavy water as a backup, in case the graphite reactor design proved infeasible for some reason. For this purpose, it was estimated that 3 short tons (2.7 t) of heavy water would be required per month. The P-9 Project was the government's code name for the heavy water production program. As the plant at Trail, which was then under construction, could produce 0.5 short tons (0.45 t) per month, additional capacity was required. Groves therefore authorized DuPont to establish heavy water facilities at the Morgantown Ordnance Works, near Morgantown, West Virginia; at the Wabash River Ordnance Works, near Dana and Newport, Indiana; and at the Alabama Ordnance Works, near Childersburg and Sylacauga, Alabama. Although known as Ordnance Works and paid for under Ordnance Department contracts, they were built and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The American plants used a process different from Trail's; heavy water was extracted by distillation, taking advantage of the slightly higher boiling point of heavy water. Uranium Ore The key raw material for the project was uranium, which was used as fuel for the reactors, as feed that was transformed into plutonium, and, in its enriched form, in the atomic bomb itself. There were four known major deposits of uranium in 1940: in Colorado, in northern Canada, in Joachimsthal in Czechoslovakia, and in the Belgian Congo. All but Joachimstal were in allied hands. A November 1942 survey determined that sufficient quantities of uranium were available to satisfy the project's requirements. Nichols arranged with the State Department for export controls to be placed on uranium oxide and negotiated for the purchase of 1,200 short tons (1,100 t) of uranium ore from the Belgian Congo that was being stored in a warehouse on Staten Island and the remaining stocks of mined ore stored in the Congo. He negotiated with Eldorado Gold Mines for the purchase of ore from its refinery in Port Hope, Ontario, and its shipment in 100-ton lots. The Canadian government subsequently bought up the company's stock until it acquired a controlling interest. While these purchases assured a sufficient supply to meet wartime needs, the American and British leaders concluded that it was in their countries' interest to gain control of as much of the world's uranium deposits as possible. The richest source of ore was the Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo, but it was flooded and closed. Nichols unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate its reopening and the sale of the entire future output to the United States with Edgar Sengier, the director of the company that owned the mine, Union Minière du Haut Katanga. The matter was then taken up by the Combined Policy Committee. As 30 percent of Union Minière's stock was controlled by British interests, the British took the lead in negotiations. Sir John Anderson and Ambassador John Winant hammered out a deal with Sengier and the Belgian government in May 1944 for the mine to be reopened and 1,720 short tons (1,560 t) of ore to be purchased at $1.45 a pound. To avoid dependence on the British and Canadians for ore, Groves also arranged for the purchase of US Vanadium Corporation's stockpile in Uravan, Colorado. Uranium mining in Colorado yielded about 800 short tons (730 t) of ore. Mallinckrodt Incorporated in St. Louis, Missouri, took the raw ore and dissolved it in nitric acid to produce uranyl nitrate. Ether was then added in a liquid–liquid extraction process to separate the impurities from the uranyl nitrate. This was then heated to form uranium trioxide, which was reduced to highly pure uranium dioxide. By July 1942, Mallinckrodt was producing a ton of highly pure oxide a day, but turning this into uranium metal initially proved more difficult for contractors Westinghouse and Metal Hydrides. Production was too slow and quality was unacceptably low. A special branch of the Metallurgical Laboratory was established at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa, under Frank Spedding to investigate alternatives. This became known as the Ames Project, and its Ames process became available in 1943. Uranium refining at Ames A "bomb" (pressure vessel) containing uranium halide and sacrificial metal, probably magnesium, being lowered into a furnace After the reaction, the interior of a bomb coated with remnant slag A uranium metal "biscuit" from the reduction reaction Isotope separation Natural uranium consists of 99.3% uranium-238 and 0.7% uranium-235, but only the latter is fissile. The chemically identical uranium-235 has to be physically separated from the more plentiful isotope. Various methods were considered for uranium enrichment, most of which was carried out at Oak Ridge. The most obvious technology, the centrifuge, failed, but electromagnetic separation, gaseous diffusion, and thermal diffusion technologies were all successful and contributed to the project. In February 1943, Groves came up with the idea of using the output of some plants as the input for others. Contour map of the Oak Ridge area. There is a river to the south, while the township is in the north. Oak Ridge hosted several uranium separation technologies. The Y-12 electromagnetic separation plant is in the upper right. The K-25 and K-27 gaseous diffusion plants are in the lower left, near the S-50 thermal diffusion plant. (The X-10 was for plutonium production.) Centrifuges The centrifuge process was regarded as the only promising separation method in April 1942. Jesse Beams had developed such a process at the University of Virginia during the 1930s, but had encountered technical difficulties. The process required high rotational speeds, but at certain speeds harmonic vibrations developed that threatened to tear the machinery apart. It was therefore necessary to accelerate quickly through these speeds. In 1941 he began working with uranium hexafluoride, the only known gaseous compound of uranium, and was able to separate uranium-235. At Columbia, Urey had Karl Cohen investigate the process, and he produced a body of mathematical theory making it possible to design a centrifugal separation unit, which Westinghouse undertook to construct. Scaling this up to a production plant presented a formidable technical challenge. Urey and Cohen estimated that producing a kilogram (2.2 lb) of uranium-235 per day would require up to 50,000 centrifuges with 1-meter (3 ft 3 in) rotors, or 10,000 centrifuges with 4-meter (13 ft) rotors, assuming that 4-meter rotors could be built. The prospect of keeping so many rotors operating continuously at high speed appeared daunting, and when Beams ran his experimental apparatus, he obtained only 60% of the predicted yield, indicating that more centrifuges would be required. Beams, Urey and Cohen then began work on a series of improvements which promised to increase the efficiency of the process. However, frequent failures of motors, shafts and bearings at high speeds delayed work on the pilot plant. In November 1942 the centrifuge process was abandoned by the Military Policy Committee following a recommendation by Conant, Nichols and August C. Klein of Stone & Webster. Although the centrifuge method was abandoned by the Manhattan Project, research into it advanced significantly after the war with the introduction of the Zippe-type centrifuge, which was developed in the Soviet Union by Soviet and captured German engineers. It eventually became the preferred method of Uranium isotope separation, being far more economical than the other separation methods used during WWII. Electromagnetic separation Main article: Y-12 Project Electromagnetic isotope separation was developed by Lawrence at the University of California Radiation Laboratory. This method employed devices known as calutrons, a hybrid of the standard laboratory mass spectrometer and the cyclotron magnet. The name was derived from the words California, university and cyclotron. In the electromagnetic process, a magnetic field deflected charged particles according to mass. The process was neither scientifically elegant nor industrially efficient. Compared with a gaseous diffusion plant or a nuclear reactor, an electromagnetic separation plant would consume more scarce materials, require more manpower to operate, and cost more to build. Nonetheless, the process was approved because it was based on proven technology and therefore represented less risk. Moreover, it could be built in stages, and rapidly reach industrial capacity. A large oval-shaped structure Alpha I racetrack at Y-12 Marshall and Nichols discovered that the electromagnetic isotope separation process would require 5,000 short tons (4,500 tonnes) of copper, which was in desperately short supply. However, silver could be substituted, in an 11:10 ratio. On 3 August 1942, Nichols met with Under Secretary of the Treasury Daniel W. Bell and asked for the transfer of 6,000 tons of silver bullion from the West Point Bullion Depository. "Young man," Bell told him, "you may think of silver in tons but the Treasury will always think of silver in troy ounces!" Eventually, 14,700 short tons (13,300 tonnes; 430,000,000 troy ounces) were used. The 1,000-troy-ounce (31 kg) silver bars were cast into cylindrical billets and taken to Phelps Dodge in Bayway, New Jersey, where they were extruded into strips 0.625 inches (15.9 mm) thick, 3 inches (76 mm) wide and 40 feet (12 m) long. These were wound onto magnetic coils by Allis-Chalmers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After the war, all the machinery was dismantled and cleaned and the floorboards beneath the machinery were ripped up and burned to recover minute amounts of silver. In the end, only 1/3,600,000th was lost. The last silver was returned in May 1970. Responsibility for the design and construction of the electromagnetic separation plant, which came to be called Y-12, was assigned to Stone & Webster by the S-1 Committee in June 1942. The design called for five first-stage processing units, known as Alpha racetracks, and two units for final processing, known as Beta racetracks. In September 1943 Groves authorized construction of four more racetracks, known as Alpha II. Construction began in February 1943. When the plant was started up for testing on schedule in October, the 14-ton vacuum tanks crept out of alignment because of the power of the magnets, and had to be fastened more securely. A more serious problem arose when the magnetic coils started shorting out. In December Groves ordered a magnet to be broken open, and handfuls of rust were found inside. Groves then ordered the racetracks to be torn down and the magnets sent back to the factory to be cleaned. A pickling plant was established on-site to clean the pipes and fittings. The second Alpha I was not operational until the end of January 1944, the first Beta and first and third Alpha I's came online in March, and the fourth Alpha I was operational in April. The four Alpha II racetracks were completed between July and October 1944. A long corridor with many consoles with dials and switches, attended by women seated on high stools Calutron Girls were young women who monitored calutron control panels at Y-12. Gladys Owens, seated in the foreground, was unaware of what she had been involved with until seeing this photo on a public tour of the facility 50 years later. Photo by Ed Westcott. Tennessee Eastman was contracted to manage Y-12 on the usual cost plus fixed-fee basis, with a fee of $22,500 per month plus $7,500 per racetrack for the first seven racetracks and $4,000 per additional racetrack. The calutrons were initially operated by scientists from Berkeley to remove bugs and achieve a reasonable operating rate. They were then turned over to trained Tennessee Eastman operators who had only a high school education. Nichols compared unit production data, and pointed out to Lawrence that the young "hillbilly" girl operators were outperforming his PhDs. They agreed to a production race and Lawrence lost, a morale boost for the Tennessee Eastman workers and supervisors. The girls were "trained like soldiers not to reason why", while "the scientists could not refrain from time-consuming investigation of the cause of even minor fluctuations of the dials." Y-12 initially enriched the uranium-235 content to between 13% and 15%, and shipped the first few hundred grams of this to Los Alamos in March 1944. Only 1 part in 5,825 of the uranium feed emerged as final product. Much of the rest was splattered over equipment in the process. Strenuous recovery efforts helped raise production to 10% of the uranium-235 feed by January 1945. In February the Alpha racetracks began receiving slightly enriched (1.4%) feed from the new S-50 thermal diffusion plant. The next month it received enhanced (5%) feed from the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant. By August K-25 was producing uranium sufficiently enriched to feed directly into the Beta tracks. Gaseous diffusion Main article: K-25 The most promising but also the most challenging method of isotope separation was gaseous diffusion. Graham's law states that the rate of effusion of a gas is inversely proportional to the square root of its molecular mass, so in a box containing a semi-permeable membrane and a mixture of two gases, the lighter molecules will pass out of the container more rapidly than the heavier molecules. The gas leaving the container is somewhat enriched in the lighter molecules, while the residual gas is somewhat depleted. The idea was that such boxes could be formed into a cascade of pumps and membranes, with each successive stage containing a slightly more enriched mixture. Research into the process was carried out at Columbia University by a group that included Harold Urey, Karl P. Cohen, and John R. Dunning. Oblique aerial view of an enormous U-shaped building Oak Ridge K-25 plant In November 1942 the Military Policy Committee approved the construction of a 600-stage gaseous diffusion plant. On 14 December, M. W. Kellogg accepted an offer to construct the plant, which was codenamed K-25. A cost plus fixed-fee contract was negotiated, eventually totaling $2.5 million. A separate corporate entity called Kellex was created for the project, headed by Percival C. Keith, one of Kellogg's vice presidents. The process faced formidable technical difficulties. The highly corrosive gas uranium hexafluoride would have to be used, as no substitute could be found, and the motors and pumps would have to be vacuum tight and enclosed in inert gas. The biggest problem was the design of the barrier, which would have to be strong, porous and resistant to corrosion by uranium hexafluoride. The best choice for this seemed to be nickel. Edward Adler and Edward Norris created a mesh barrier from electroplated nickel. A six-stage pilot plant was built at Columbia to test the process, but the Norris-Adler prototype proved to be too brittle. A rival barrier was developed from powdered nickel by Kellex, the Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Bakelite Corporation. In January 1944, Groves ordered the Kellex barrier into production. Kellex's design for K-25 called for a four-story 0.5-mile (0.80 km) long U-shaped structure containing 54 contiguous buildings. These were divided into nine sections. Within these were cells of six stages. The cells could be operated independently, or consecutively within a section. Similarly, the sections could be operated separately or as part of a single cascade. A survey party began construction by marking out the 500-acre (2.0 km2) site in May 1943. Work on the main building began in October 1943, and the six-stage pilot plant was ready for operation on 17 April 1944. In 1945 Groves canceled the upper stages of the plant, directing Kellex to instead design and build a 540-stage side feed unit, which became known as K-27. Kellex transferred the last unit to the operating contractor, Union Carbide and Carbon, on 11 September 1945. The total cost, including the K-27 plant completed after the war, came to $480 million. The production plant commenced operation in February 1945, and as cascade after cascade came online, the quality of the product increased. By April 1945, K-25 had attained a 1.1% enrichment and the output of the S-50 thermal diffusion plant began being used as feed. Some product produced the next month reached nearly 7% enrichment. In August, the last of the 2,892 stages commenced operation. K-25 and K-27 achieved their full potential in the early postwar period, when they eclipsed the other production plants and became the prototypes for a new generation of plants. Thermal diffusion Main article: S-50 Project The thermal diffusion process was based on Sydney Chapman and David Enskog's theory, which explained that when a mixed gas passes through a temperature gradient, the heavier one tends to concentrate at the cold end and the lighter one at the warm end. Since hot gases tend to rise and cool ones tend to fall, this can be used as a means of isotope separation. This process was first demonstrated by Klaus Clusius and Gerhard Dickel in Germany in 1938. It was developed by US Navy scientists, but was not one of the enrichment technologies initially selected for use in the Manhattan Project. This was primarily due to doubts about its technical feasibility, but the inter-service rivalry between the Army and Navy also played a part. A factory with three smoking chimneys on a river bend, viewed from above The S-50 plant is the dark building to the upper left behind the Oak Ridge powerhouse (with smoke stacks). The Naval Research Laboratory continued the research under Philip Abelson's direction, but there was little contact with the Manhattan Project until April 1944, when Captain William S. Parsons, the naval officer in charge of ordnance development at Los Alamos, brought Oppenheimer news of encouraging progress in the Navy's experiments on thermal diffusion. Oppenheimer wrote to Groves suggesting that the output of a thermal diffusion plant could be fed into Y-12. Groves set up a committee consisting of Warren K. Lewis, Eger Murphree and Richard Tolman to investigate the idea, and they estimated that a thermal diffusion plant costing $3.5 million could enrich 50 kilograms (110 lb) of uranium per week to nearly 0.9% uranium-235. Groves approved its construction on 24 June 1944. Groves contracted with the H. K. Ferguson Company of Cleveland, Ohio, to build the thermal diffusion plant, which was designated S-50. Groves's advisers, Karl Cohen and W. I. Thompson from Standard Oil, estimated that it would take six months to build. Groves gave Ferguson just four. Plans called for the installation of 2,142 48-foot-tall (15 m) diffusion columns arranged in 21 racks. Inside each column were three concentric tubes. Steam, obtained from the nearby K-25 powerhouse at a pressure of 100 pounds per square inch (690 kPa) and temperature of 545 °F (285 °C), flowed downward through the innermost 1.25-inch (32 mm) nickel pipe, while water at 155 °F (68 °C) flowed upward through the outermost iron pipe. The uranium hexafluoride flowed in the middle copper pipe, and isotope separation of the uranium occurred between the nickel and copper pipes. Work commenced on 9 July 1944, and S-50 began partial operation in September. Ferguson operated the plant through a subsidiary known as Fercleve. The plant produced just 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg) of 0.852% uranium-235 in October. Leaks limited production and forced shutdowns over the next few months, but in June 1945 it produced 12,730 pounds (5,770 kg). By March 1945, all 21 production racks were operating. Initially the output of S-50 was fed into Y-12, but starting in March 1945 all three enrichment processes were run in series. S-50 became the first stage, enriching from 0.71% to 0.89%. This material was fed into the gaseous diffusion process in the K-25 plant, which produced a product enriched to about 23%. This was, in turn, fed into Y-12, which boosted it to about 89%, sufficient for nuclear weapons. Aggregate U-235 production About 50 kilograms (110 lb) of uranium enriched to 89% uranium-235 was delivered to Los Alamos by July 1945. The entire 50 kg, along with some 50%-enriched, averaging out to about 85% enriched, were used in Little Boy. Plutonium The second line of development pursued by the Manhattan Project used the fissile element plutonium. Although small amounts of plutonium exist in nature, the best way to obtain large quantities of the element is in a nuclear reactor, in which natural uranium is bombarded by neutrons. The uranium-238 is transmuted into uranium-239, which rapidly decays, first into neptunium-239 and then into plutonium-239. Only a small amount of the uranium-238 will be transformed, so the plutonium must be chemically separated from the remaining uranium, from any initial impurities, and from fission products. X-10 Graphite Reactor Main article: X-10 Graphite Reactor Two workmen on a movable platform similar to that used by window washers, stick a rod into one of many small holes in the wall in front of them. Workers load uranium slugs into the X-10 Graphite Reactor. In March 1943, DuPont began construction of a plutonium plant on a 112-acre (0.5 km2) site at Oak Ridge. Intended as a pilot plant for the larger production facilities at Hanford, it included the air-cooled X-10 Graphite Reactor, a chemical separation plant, and support facilities. Because of the subsequent decision to construct water-cooled reactors at Hanford, only the chemical separation plant operated as a true pilot. The X-10 Graphite Reactor consisted of a huge block of graphite, 24 feet (7.3 m) long on each side, weighing around 1,500 short tons (1,400 t), surrounded by 7 feet (2.1 m) of high-density concrete as a radiation shield. The greatest difficulty was encountered with the uranium slugs produced by Mallinckrodt and Metal Hydrides. These somehow had to be coated in aluminum to avoid corrosion and the escape of fission products into the cooling system. The Grasselli Chemical Company attempted to develop a hot dipping process without success. Meanwhile, Alcoa tried canning. A new process for flux-less welding was developed, and 97% of the cans passed a standard vacuum test, but high temperature tests indicated a failure rate of more than 50%. Nonetheless, production began in June 1943. The Metallurgical Laboratory eventually developed an improved welding technique with the help of General Electric, which was incorporated into the production process in October 1943. Watched by Fermi and Compton, the X-10 Graphite Reactor went critical on 4 November 1943 with about 30 short tons (27 t) of uranium. A week later the load was increased to 36 short tons (33 t), raising its power generation to 500 kW, and by the end of the month the first 500 mg of plutonium was created. Modifications over time raised the power to 4,000 kW in July 1944. X-10 operated as a production plant until January 1945, when it was turned over to research activities. Hanford reactors Main article: Hanford Site Although an air-cooled design was chosen for the reactor at Oak Ridge to facilitate rapid construction, it was recognized that this would be impractical for the much larger production reactors. Initial designs by the Metallurgical Laboratory and DuPont used helium for cooling, before they determined that a water-cooled reactor would be simpler, cheaper and quicker to build. The design did not become available until 4 October 1943; in the meantime, Matthias concentrated on improving the Hanford Site by erecting accommodations, improving the roads, building a railway switch line, and upgrading the electricity, water and telephone lines. An aerial view of the Hanford B-Reactor site from June 1944. At center is the reactor building. Small trucks dot the landscape and give a sense of scale. Two large water towers loom above the plant. Aerial view of Hanford B-Reactor site, June 1944 As at Oak Ridge, the most difficulty was encountered while canning the uranium slugs, which commenced at Hanford in March 1944. They were pickled to remove dirt and impurities, dipped in molten bronze, tin, and aluminum-silicon alloy, canned using hydraulic presses, and then capped using arc welding under an argon atmosphere. Finally, they were subjected to a series of tests to detect holes or faulty welds. Disappointingly, most canned slugs initially failed the tests, resulting in an output of only a handful of canned slugs per day. But steady progress was made and by June 1944 production increased to the point where it appeared that enough canned slugs would be available to start Reactor B on schedule in August 1944. Work began on Reactor B, the first of six planned 250 MW reactors, on 10 October 1943. The reactor complexes were given letter designations A through F, with B, D and F sites chosen to be developed first, as this maximised the distance between the reactors. They would be the only ones constructed during the Manhattan Project. Some 390 short tons (350 t) of steel, 17,400 cubic yards (13,300 m3) of concrete, 50,000 concrete blocks and 71,000 concrete bricks were used to construct the 120-foot (37 m) high building. Construction of the reactor itself commenced in February 1944. Watched by Compton, Matthias, DuPont's Crawford Greenewalt, Leona Woods and Fermi, who inserted the first slug, the reactor was powered up beginning on 13 September 1944. Over the next few days, 838 tubes were loaded and the reactor went critical. Shortly after midnight on 27 September, the operators began to withdraw the control rods to initiate production. At first all appeared well but around 03:00 the power level started to drop and by 06:30 the reactor had shut down completely. The cooling water was investigated to see if there was a leak or contamination. The next day the reactor started up again, only to shut down once more. Fermi contacted Chien-Shiung Wu, who identified the cause of the problem as neutron poisoning from xenon-135, which has a half-life of 9.2 hours. Fermi, Woods, Donald J. Hughes and John Archibald Wheeler then calculated the nuclear cross section of xenon-135, which turned out to be 30,000 times that of uranium. DuPont engineer George Graves had deviated from the Metallurgical Laboratory's original design in which the reactor had 1,500 tubes arranged in a circle, and had added an additional 504 tubes to fill in the corners. The scientists had originally considered this overengineering a waste of time and money, but Fermi realized that by loading all 2,004 tubes, the reactor could reach the required power level and efficiently produce plutonium. Reactor D was started on 17 December 1944 and Reactor F on 25 February 1945. Separation process A contour map showing the fork of the Columbia and Yakima rivers and the boundary of the land, with seven small red squares marked on it Map of the Hanford Site. Railroads flank the plants to the north and south. Reactors are the three northernmost red squares, along the Columbia River. The separation plants are the lower two red squares from the grouping south of the reactors. The bottom red square is the 300 area. Meanwhile, the chemists considered the problem of how plutonium could be separated from uranium when its chemical properties were not known. Working with the minute quantities of plutonium available at the Metallurgical Laboratory in 1942, a team under Charles M. Cooper developed a lanthanum fluoride process for separating uranium and plutonium, which was chosen for the pilot separation plant. A second separation process, the bismuth phosphate process, was subsequently developed by Seaborg and Stanly G. Thomson. This process worked by toggling plutonium between its +4 and +6 oxidation states in solutions of bismuth phosphate. In the former state, the plutonium was precipitated; in the latter, it stayed in solution and the other products were precipitated. Greenewalt favored the bismuth phosphate process due to the corrosive nature of lanthanum fluoride, and it was selected for the Hanford separation plants. Once X-10 began producing plutonium, the pilot separation plant was put to the test. The first batch was processed at 40% efficiency but over the next few months this was raised to 90%. At Hanford, top priority was initially given to the installations in the 300 area. This contained buildings for testing materials, preparing uranium, and assembling and calibrating instrumentation. One of the buildings housed the canning equipment for the uranium slugs, while another contained a small test reactor. Notwithstanding the high priority allocated to it, work on the 300 area fell behind schedule due to the unique and complex nature of the 300 area facilities, and wartime shortages of labor and materials. Early plans called for the construction of two separation plants in each of the areas known as 200-West and 200-East. This was subsequently reduced to two, the T and U plants, in 200-West and one, the B plant, at 200-East. Each separation plant consisted of four buildings: a process cell building or "canyon" (known as 221), a concentration building (224), a purification building (231) and a magazine store (213). The canyons were each 800 feet (240 m) long and 65 feet (20 m) wide. Each consisted of forty 17.7-by-13-by-20-foot (5.4 by 4.0 by 6.1 m) cells.
With Canada’s economy and workers crushed by COVID-19 and low energy prices, there has never been a better time for the high-tech sector to carry the torch. Though still relatively small, the sector is growing rapidly and can only benefit from an acceleration in online shopping and remote working, activities that rely on efficient, high-speed digital technology. While industries such as leisure, hospitality and travel will struggle well after the peak of the pandemic has passed, the high-tech sector appears set to thrive, partly immunizing the economy.
Few sectors have grown faster than Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Led by a number of high-flying homegrown companies (most notably Shopify) and a rapid expansion of U.S. technology giants north of the border, it has consistently outperformed the national economy in recent years (Chart 1). From 2014 to 2019, ICT expanded 4.3% per year, more than double aggregate growth (2.0%) and almost twice as fast as all services-producing industries (2.2%). Even as the economy decelerated in 2018 and 2019, the sector strengthened to a near 5% pace. And, while real GDP contracted 8.2% annualized in the first quarter of this year, the ICT sector slipped just 0.4%.
ICT accounted for 4.8% of Canada's GDP in 2019, up from 4.2% in 2007. That’s more than twice the size of the hard-hit accommodation and food services sector. Though smaller than the energy sector (9.2%), the latter share has made no headway since 2007.
About 90% of Canadian ICT firms produce software and computer services and another 3.4% provide communications services, while wholesalers and manufacturers round out the rest. The sector is comprised of over 41,000 companies (in 2018) that employ 652,000 workers (3.5% of total) who earn an average salary 49% above the national norm . With average growth of 5.8% between 2014 and 2019, computer systems design (and related services) leads the sector (Chart 2). This industry, which includes software programmers, has been one of the fastest growing in the past six years. Only a few much smaller industries, such as airlines and film, have expanded faster.
It’s not hard to understand why ICT has flourished even as the rest of the economy faded in recent years—it thrives on innovation. Digital devices are not only much sought after by nearly everyone but often trigger ideas that lead to new goods and services. Innovation also attracts investors in search of big profits. Unlike the energy sector, digital firms are less challenged to reduce an often-smaller carbon footprint. Moreover, businesses are compelled to invest in digital technologies such as AI and robotics to remain competitive.
ICT has been a stable source of jobs for Canadians. Employment in computer systems design and related services expanded 7.5% on average between 2014 and 2019 (Chart 3). The quarter million workers in this industry accounted for 1.5% of all industry jobs in 2019. While other industries shed 5.4% of their staff in March 2020, computer-systems design lost a lesser 1.9%.
Most Canadian ICT companies are small. About 85% have fewer than 10 workers (in 2018), though 102 employ over 500 people . Many are subsidiaries of multinational firms based in the U.S. Foreign firms are attracted to Canada’s welcoming immigration policies, stable political system, well-educated population and relatively low industry wages. A streamlined visa system—Global Skills Strategy—has cut application times to as little as two weeks for some high-tech positions. By contrast, increased restrictions have impeded U.S. companies from filling a surplus of high-tech jobs. The average salary of a high-tech worker was US$74,000 in Toronto in 2019, compared with $133,000 in New York and $145,000 in San Francisco .
Many large U.S. technology firms have expanded in Canada, including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Uber, Facebook and Amazon. The latter is building an office tower in Vancouver that will house 3,000 more workers. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo have vibrant technology clusters. Toronto is ranked third in North America for high-tech talent, after San Francisco and Seattle, while Vancouver and Montreal filled the number 12 and 13 spots . From 2013 to 2018, Toronto was the second fastest creator of high-tech jobs (80,100), behind only San Francisco (88,500), and it ranked first in percentage terms (+54%).
Though growing fast, Canada’s ICT sector lags behind many advanced countries. Ireland, South Korea, and Japan have ICT shares in excess of 7% of GDP (at least based on 2012 data), while the U.S. and the U.K. are above 6% . This may, in part, explain the nation’s lagging productivity, as ICT tends to generate big gains in output per worker.
The Bottom Line: One of the fastest growing sectors of the Canadian economy is about to get a booster shot, as more shopping and work moves online. Though currently too small to meaningfully drive the economy, the ITC sector is a beacon of light in a very cloudy economic outlook.
Gameplay Overview Star Wars™: Squadrons is the name of our next title in a galaxy far, far away! Welcome to your first briefing, pilots. This is where you’ll learn more details about the game on the road to launch. Whether you’re eager to join the New Republic’s vanguard or fight as a titan of war for the Galactic Empire, you’ll get that chance when the game releases worldwide on October 2nd, 2020. Made in partnership between Motive Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and EA, Squadrons aims to provide the deepest, most authentic starfighter experience in the Star Wars galaxy to date. You’ve likely just seen it for yourself, but if not, take a look below. Reveal Trailer A few years ago, our team at Motive Montreal was finishing up their work on the single-player campaign for Star Wars Battlefront™ II. During this time we (unsurprisingly) spent a lot of time playing the game. As tried and true fans, the team is incredibly passionate about Star Wars. And that passion is how the idea for this game first came to be. Inspired by what they worked on and the community’s positive reception to the starfighter experiences, a squadron of devs built a prototype, taking learnings from Starfighter Assault and the Rogue One: VR Mission. From this, “Project Incom” was formed, and if you know your Star Wars canon well, you’ll know that the Incom Corporation was the creator of the iconic T-65B X-wing starfighter used by the Rebellion—most notably by Luke Skywalker. Key Art But let’s get into the game itself and start with the basics of the basics: What is Star Wars: Squadrons? It’s a first-person team-based starfighter combat game set a few months after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, simulating the iconic space battles from Star Wars like never before! In the wake of the destruction of the Empire’s second Death Star, the Rebel Alliance has reformed into the New Republic. Despite their climactic victory over the forest moon of Endor, though, the war is not over. Star Wars: Squadrons gives fans a look at how the war continued throughout the galaxy after the death of the Emperor. Unlike during the years of fighting during the Galactic Civil War leading up to this point, the Empire and the New Republic are much closer in power than they ever had been, allowing for head-to-head combat across the stars. Gameplay Reveal The single-player story of Star Wars: Squadrons will help you hone your skills while taking you through a tale that shows you both sides of the war. As the Empire faces infighting and desertion after Endor, the New Republic has a classified plan to stop the mighty Imperial fleet. From mission to mission, players will switch between their custom pilots on either side; a freedom fighter for the New Republic and a hardened warrior in the Imperial Navy. Both sides are fighting for what they believe in—and both will do whatever it takes to win. In addition to a brand-new story, you’ll also earn your wings in multiplayer battles. Dogfights is a 5v5 mode where two teams earn points by destroying opponents' starfighters in a traditional team deathmatch setting. Fleet Battles is Squadrons’ signature mode. You can play with both players (5v5) and AI (or just AI by yourself) in a multi-stage, objective-based battle. Advance the frontline by dominating the enemy in an intense tug-of-war and carry out bombing runs to take out capital ships to reach your primary objective: the destruction of the enemy flagship. Pilots will also get to customize themselves and their ships across the fleets on both sides, both aesthetically and functionally. Neither of these will be purchasable with real-world money. Everything in-game is either earned or unlocked via gameplay. https://preview.redd.it/9lax2dvj7r551.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=a5a15042ce5e6e4dae51cd7ce45593ce0ed658a0 How you specialize the various functions of your favorite starfighters is even more important. While playing, you’ll be able to unlock components for your ships so that they can perform to your preferred specifications. Each starfighter can be outfitted uniquely, too, meaning an X-wing may have some different upgrade options than an A-wing or a Y-wing. Ship components range from different weaponry, auxiliary parts that aid in repairing or engaging your enemies, and much more. Ship Component Slots
Each component offers unique effects to your ships, though most have a trade-off. For example, one type of shielding system will provide more protection against blaster fire but less against missiles (or vice versa). There are many more examples beyond that, too. To add to this, you can make your squadron look how you want, as well. Your two pilots (Imperial and Republic) and eight starfighters (four per side) will all have various cosmetic options that you can earn and unlock while playing. There are plenty of different ways to stand out! Ships Available
T-65B X-wing starfighter
BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfightebomber
RZ-1 A-wing interceptor
UT-60D U-wing starfightesupport craft
TIE/ln starfighter (“TIE fighter”)
TIE/sa bomber (“TIE bomber”)
TIE/in interceptor (“TIE interceptor”)
TIE/rp reaper attack lander (“TIE reaper”)
While customizing your ships in the hangar bay is important, how you use them in combat matters just as much! During combat, managing the performance outputs of your ship is crucial. At any given moment, you’ll be able to decide how you want your ship’s power to be channelled between your engine power (speed), laser power (offence), and shield strength (defence). https://preview.redd.it/dv7w161m7r551.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=b48b63bdd34dc6e29fa9bec03c9cf0731adf295a Mastering power management on the fly is what will separate you from the space dust you leave in your wake. Not all starfighters have shields, but those that do have the ability to manually focus them entirely to the front or back when needed, giving twice the protection to one part of the ship but at the cost of no shielding to the other. With this, though, they’ll typically have slightly lower max speed and offensive capabilities than their unshielded counterparts. Additionally, unshielded ships can quickly transfer additional power to their engines or blasters when they need them the most. Learning which ships perform best to your capabilities (while also keeping squadron’s balance in mind) will help you excel in the cockpit. Because of the uniqueness between ships and factions, you’ll have the option to have matchmaking prioritize which faction you prefer to play a part of, be it for loyalty or functionality. https://preview.redd.it/v2rfu9zn7r551.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=8968581d3e46265c907deab577058d6022f8ed4b There’s even more we could get into, but we’ll save for another day. Launch isn’t far off and the team is working hard on the final polishing of the game before getting it into your hands. We’re incredibly excited for that day to come, so hang in there with us! Keep your sights on the horizon for more news, pilots! We’d love to hear any questions you have, too! If we can, we’ll be sure to answer them in a Pilot Briefing or somewhere else online. In the future, we’re going to go deeper on some important topics, but until next time, safe travels through the hyperspace lanes! And keep your distance from any enemy ships. But don’t look like you’re trying to keep your distance. I don’t know...fly casual! See you in the stars, pilots.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
We start with more on the death of Davey Boy Smith, including a full-length super long obituary, because apparently 2002 is nothing but people dying. I feel like I've done nothing but recap obituaries since starting back with 2002. Anyway. in the wake of Smith's death, the reaction has sadly not been one of surprise. Anyone who saw Smith in the last 4-5 years pretty much saw it coming. The cause of death, pending toxicology results, was ruled a heart attack caused from prolonged steroid use. But until the toxicology results are back, the belief among his friends and family is that there was probably more to it. Dave talks about the staggering number of wrestlers who have died under age 40 in recent years, with upwards of 20 of them being due to drug issues.
Smith died while on vacation with his girlfriend Andrea Hart, estranged wife of Bruce Hart. Despite that, Smith was actually on good terms with most of the Hart family, although Andrea is not. The Hart family believes Andrea knows more than she's letting on about the circumstances of his death, but she's not talking to anybody. Andrea's children (that she had with Bruce) were also there and they each apparently have different accounts of how he died (he was sleeping! he was in the pool! he was eating!) but they all pretty much agree he collapsed doing whatever he was doing. Andrea told the press that she believed Smith had overdosed, but Smith's dad did his own interviews and denied it, saying his son had stopped using drugs and was clean when he died. Needless to say, most people aren't buying that given his track record. Smith's father decided against having the body cremated and instead ordered it sent back to England for examination to make sure he wasn't murdered. "I cannot believe his death was natural," he said. "If they find drugs in his body, then he didn't put them there. Davey was clean." (Eeeeeeehhhhh....) Shit got even messier when Andrea and Smith's ex-wife Diana Hart each tried to claim the body. Despite her book (in which she accused Smith of drugging, abusing, and raping her), Diana played grieving widow in the media even though they're divorced. It may not have been an act though. Some in the family believe Smith and Diana were trying to reconcile, and they were on good terms at the time of his death. Andrea claimed to be his common-law wife, even though she's still legally married to Bruce. She later claimed Smith had proposed to her 2 weeks before his death and said they were engaged, which was the first anyone had heard about that. Smith's father claims in their last conversation, Davey Boy had told him he was planning to break up with Andrea after their vacation. So who knows. Anyway, both Diana and Andrea planned their own separate memorial services, while Smith's dad is planning his own 3rd service. Smith's body wasn't at either of the Hart family memorial services because, as mentioned, it was sent back to England where authorities are launching an investigation at the behest of Smith's father.
Andrea's service was said to be small and simple, just a few dozen people, and she seemed sincere in her sorrow. Diana's service was larger and more public, with hundreds of attendees and press, along with several WWE names. Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart (who attended both services), Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, and others all attended and several of them spoke. Diana's eulogy featured a professionally produced video featuring Davey Boy footage from WWE that had never aired on television before. She thanked Vince for trying to help Davey with his addiction issues. She never acknowledged everything she wrote about him in her book last year. Smith's children as well as Stampede wrestler TJ Wilson gave speeches as well. 16-year-old Harry Smith was composed and gave a great speech about teaming with his father in his last matches. And then Ellie Hart got up there and....it went about how you'd expect. She started ranting about Andrea and blaming her for not giving the family the answers they wanted and it started to turn into some drama, but the minister gently interrupted her and got things back on track. And finally, Bret Hart gave a speech, directly addressing Smith's children and saying that Davey Boy and Owen would want the children of all these Hart family members to get along with each other better than the adults have. From here, Dave gets into the actual meat of the obituary, recapping Smith's life and career. As always, an excellent read but very long to recap.
WWE Confidential, the new show the company is producing, aired its debut episode this week, focusing on the Montreal Screwjob. Dave once again talks about how Vince McMahon tried to downplay the incident recently, giving an interview just a couple of months ago calling the Screwjob a minor incident that almost no one cares about. Vince went so far as to say he could count on one hand the number of people who even still care about that old news. Turns out one of those must be Vince because this week, they dedicated the premiere of this new show to the story and highlighted it as the most controversial night in the history of wrestling. The hook of the show was Shawn Michaels revealing publicly, for the first time, that yes, he was in on the screwjob and knew about it in advance. Dave says this isn't really a secret. Shawn denied having any knowledge of it that night but as soon as the day after Survivor Series 97, he was bragging to friends about it. Vince McMahon also later confided in Undertaker that Shawn knew ahead of time. So it was kind of an open "secret" that Shawn knew but this is the first time he's admitted it publicly. Triple H still denies knowing about it ahead of time, but Dave is pretty skeptical there too (and indeed, it's later revealed that yes indeed, Triple H also knew). Dave thinks lots of people had to know. Even the guy who cued the music had to know, because Shawn's music was queued up and ready to play the second Vince ordered the bell to be rung. Pat Patterson always claimed not to know and Bret has said he wants to believe it, because he likes Pat, but the way Pat interrupted the match-planning conversation and specifically suggested the sharpshooter spot to them makes Bret question it (I think Patterson still denies it to this day, but I have my doubts there too). Anyway, the show recapped the history of the Screwjob and if you know Dave, you know he's about to poke a whole bunch of holes in WWE's revisionist bullshit. Here we go...
The story of the episode was WWF was close to going out of business due to the WCW war and couldn't afford Bret anymore, so Vince nobly allowed Hart out of his contract so he could negotiate a better deal with WCW. Actually, Dave says, Vince first talked to Bret about deferring some of his contract to later on but that was a couple months earlier. At the time, WWF really was having some financial struggles, but it's an exaggeration to say they were almost driven out of business. They were never even close. But regardless, that's irrelevant because in Sept. 97, they raised the price of PPVs by $10. That added revenue, which was nearly $1 million per month in pure profit, was easily enough to get them out of financial trouble. By the time Survivor Series 97 rolled around, WWF was doing just fine, money-wise, and were only a couple months away from catching fire and getting nuclear hot. So no, they did not need to get rid of Bret's contract. And in fact, in October, a couple weeks before Survivor Series, Vince changed his mind and asked Bret to stay, saying that the financial situation had turned around. But by this point, Hart's negotiations with WCW were full speed ahead and Vince allowed Hart to continue negotiating. But after talking to both sides, it was clear Vince had no real plan for Bret and he didn't really seem like he wanted to keep him, so Bret took the WCW deal and the rest is history. But of course, none of that is mentioned in this show. The episode also claimed Hart refused to drop the title to anyone (again, not true. Only Shawn. Bret even offered to lose it to Brooklyn Brawler if they wanted. In fact, Dave breaks down all the different scenarios that were presented here, and Bret was willing to lose the title to anyone other than Shawn, anywhere other than that show in Montreal, at any date before or after the PPV. They had actually presented Bret with dozens of different scenarios, all of which he agreed to, only for Vince to keep coming back around to Shawn at Survivor Series, which was the one and only thing Bret wouldn't budge on). They also tried to paint the picture that Bret could have taken the title to WCW the night after Survivor Series. In fact, Bret's WWF contract didn't end until Dec. 1st, and he was booked on more than a dozen house shows after Survivor Series and had even agreed to work the early December PPV because Bischoff had given his blessing. There was zero chance Bret was going to show up with the belt on Nitro. There was concern that Bischoff would go on Nitro the next day and announce he had signed Bret, and Dave says it's true that Bischoff certainly was planning to do that. But Bret had also asked Bischoff to hold off on the announcement and Bischoff had agreed. Vince knew about that too, but in recorded conversations with Bret (from the Wrestling With Shadows documentary), Vince didn't seem concerned since the word was already out and everyone knew Bret was leaving already. This just goes on and on. We all know the story already. Anyway, TL;DR - interesting show, but WWE's version of the story is bullshit. But we all knew that.
At the latest NJPW show, Antonio Inoki came out and cut a promo. He talked about being in attendance recently at the World Cup and said wrestling needs something like that. Inoki claimed he had put together a deal with WWE for a joint NJPW/WWE show to take place later in the year. Dave doesn't know if there's any truth to that story, but this is the first he's heard of it and he doesn't think it makes any sense for WWE so he's skeptical.
Usually in Japan, TV-Asahi airs the finals of NJPW's G1 Climax tournament live. But this year that may not happen, as they're looking at airing one of Inoki's MMA shows instead. This is a direct result of the terrible rating the recent Tokyo Dome show drew when it aired live. This company is struggling mightily lately.
Random news and notes: Inoki recently recruited a 23-year old Brazillian MMA fighter named Lyoto Machida to come to NJPW (he never really does anything in NJPW other than train at the dojo, but he had a long career in UFC and still fights for Bellator to this day). Dusty Rhodes is the new co-host of Turner South's Atlanta Braves pre-game show called "Hey The Braves Are Next!" Scott Hall will be working Insane Clown Posse's upcoming Gathering of the Juggalos event. Former WCW wrestler Evan Karagis recently filmed a role on the soap opera "Passions."
In the main event of FOX's Celebrity Boxing show, Chyna lost by decision to Joey Buttafuoco. Chyna's mystique of being a woman who only wants to compete with men got pretty much obliterated here, as the larger Buttafuoco manhandled her with ease for much of the match, which probably makes all those big tough wrestlers who sold for her feel kinda silly. But Buttafuoco came in as a hated heel to the audience and despite how she got pummeled, many people felt Buttafuoco was fighting dirty and cheating, so Chyna wasn't too hurt by it. She talked about wanting a rematch and Dave says if PRIDE really wants to break into the U.S. market, they could throw it onto one of their cards. Hey, this show did a really strong TV rating, maybe a rematch would be just the kind of freak-show attraction needed for PRIDE to get attention in the U.S. Nothing else they've tried has worked. Dave also suggests NWA-TNA could book it, but a worked wrestling match between the two probably wouldn't get as much media attention.
Big Dick Dudley's ex-wife, former ECW valet Elektra, did an interview talking about his death. She said he'd had stomach pains all week and couldn't urinate. But didn't go to the doctor because he didn't think it was a big deal. Then at one point he got up to go to the bathroom but collapsed on the floor and died there on the spot. Jeez. At the time of his death, he had lost over 100 pounds from his peak weight of 320 in ECW several years ago.
Vince Russo is going to be writing a book about his time in WWF. Due to legal reasons and the ongoing lawsuit, it won't include much about his WCW tenure (I think he's written a book or two, but I've never read them, so if anyone has any insight, feel free to share).
Shaun Assael's book "Sex, Lies, & Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" will be published next month and is getting strong early reviews. Dave has talked to several of the people who spoke with Assael for the book and some of them expect it to be good while others feel that Assael fell victim to the cons and charms of wrestlers who were working him. We shall see, says Dave.
The debut NWA-TNA PPV will feature some sort of tournament to crown a new NWA champion. Dan Severn is no longer the champion after not agreeing to work the show (he already had a prior MMA booking for that date in New Mexico). As a result, the NWA (which is now working with TNA) just stripped him of the belt, which is convenient because they didn't really want to use Severn anyway, so now they can do whatever they originally planned to do with the belt without having to book an excuse to get it off him. The Jarretts and this new promotion now have full control over both the NWA world and tag team titles.
Mike Tenay has been named the lead announcer for the new NWA-TNA promotion. They're also trying to get Lex Luger to appear for the debut show, but Dave thinks its unlikely since Luger is financially set for life and has shown no interest in doing any wrestling since WCW folded.
Jeff Jarrett had talks with Bret Hart about coming in to do a Team Canada gimmick. Latest Dave heard is that Hart isn't interested, but they may bring in some of the new generation of Harts for it. There's been talk of bringing in TJ Wilson, Harry Smith, and Teddy Hart as a new version of the group. Smith is still only 16 and it's way too early to put him on the national stage yet and in a lot of states, he wouldn't even legally be allowed to perform. Wilson is also a teenager, from a bad home who pretty much grew up as an honorary Hart member in the Hart household. And Teddy Hart is a natural in-ring performer who would already be in WWE if not for the fact that during his two training camp tryouts, he had behavioral incidents both times. But they're all talented and will likely be big stars in the future. Last time WWE was in Calgary, Vince McMahon personally requested to meet with all 3 of them for a private tryout, but it didn't amount to anything.
Little bit of a change in the WWF writing teams. Brian Gewertz is now the official head writer for Raw, while Paul Heyman is the lead writer for Smackdown. Stephanie McMahon will continue to oversee creative for both shows and, of course, Vince still has final say on everything. Dave expects this to result in Raw being a more comedic show while Smackdown will be the more serious in-ring product (pretty much, yeah. And thus, we have the official beginning of Heyman-era Smackdown and soon we'll see the birth of the Smackdown Six).
Notes from Raw: show opened with Chris Benoit making his unannounced return to a huge pop. Dave still expects Benoit to eventually be managed by Arn Anderson, which has been the plan for months (and never happens). That was actually the original plan before the NWO was brought in. If Benoit was healthy in time (which, turned out he wasn't so it didn't matter anyway), the original idea was Benoit vs. Austin at Wrestlemania 18 with Anderson managing Benoit. But that obviously all changed. Anyway, what else? Dave once again mentions that Jeff Hardy looks physically awful. He seems to know about Hardy's drug issues and seems to be hinting about it without saying it. Tommy Dreamer continued his gross gimmick by drinking Undertaker's tobacco spit. Lesnar beat Bubba Ray Dudley but had to sell a ton in the match and Dave doesn't get it. For a guy that they so clearly want to turn into a Goldberg-like star, selling for midcarders every week isn't how Goldberg got over. Jim Ross went on and on about how Lesnar has never been pinned, which Dave says is an insult to all the fans who have seen Lesnar do jobs at house shows. RVD beat Eddie Guerrero in a 20+ minute ladder match and Dave says it's the longest match on Raw in at least a year. Dave gives it 4 stars and considering how messy and sloppy it was, that shows you how good it was. Lots of dangerous spots, some botched moves, and most notably a moment when a fan ran into the ring and knocked over the ladder while Eddie was climbing up. Eddie and Earl Hebner started stomping the fan until security dragged him out. Still an awesome match though. And finally, Benoit returned at the end of the show and turned heel on Austin. Dave says Benoit actually isn't ready yet and isn't supposed to be back in the ring until July, but the company is so desperate for anything to give them a shot in the arm that they may have pulled the trigger on this angle early.
Notes from Smackdown: the only thing Dave talks about is the Hulk Hogan retirement angle they did and he's got mixed feelings on it. First the positive: he gives Hogan credit for being an absolutely incredible performer when the heat is on. And Hogan gave a tremendous performance in this and Dave doesn't let it go unrecognized. But then the negative: in the promo, Hogan talked at length about when his dad was dying, he was basically expressionless except for Monday and Thursday nights when he'd watch WWF and his face would light up. So Hogan said his dad's last words were he wanted to see his son return to the WWF. So that's all sweet and nice, right? Weeeeeell....Hogan has told a different version of this story in the past. In previous interviews, Hogan said his dad was disgusted by what wrestling had become and he wanted Hogan to "clean it up." The idea that he was laying in the hospital and only coming to life when his beloved WWF was on doesn't exactly jibe with what Hogan has said before. And no matter what the truth is, Dave is uncomfortable Hogan using his dead dad as a way to get this storyline over, but hey, he ain't the first and won't be the last.
WWE's first show in Hawaii in probably 15 years is scheduled for later this month. Rock is scheduled to work the show and tickets sold out 2 hours after they went on sale. While we're at it, the Australia show in August also sold out the 47,000-seat Colonial Stadium in Melbourne in only 4 days. Once they scale the stadium for production, they plan to open up more seats.
It's "basically a sure thing" that Hogan vs. Vince McMahon will be one of the top matches at Summerslam. How they get there seems to change weekly. There's been talks of having Hogan take time off after King of the Ring and return for the Vince match at Summerslam. There's also been talk of him sticking around through the entire summer. So who knows? (Ended up being a mixture of both: Hogan stuck around the entire summer, but then he did an angle to get written off TV right before Summerslam. And he didn't come back until early 2003. And, of course, we got the Hogan/Vince match at Wrestlemania)
More info on the incident from a couple weeks ago where Kevin Nash and X-Pac reportedly threw a fit and got the script changed. They were told by writer Ed Koskey what the plans were for them on the show. Nash and X-Pac didn't like it, especially X-Pac since it involved him doing 2 jobs during the same show. X-Pac said he was quitting and told Nash he'd meet him in the car. Nash told Shane McMahon he'd go calm X-Pac down and straighten everything out. Nash and X-Pac came back, had meetings with Shane and Jim Ross, and then later with Koskey and Brian Gewertz (who wrote the show). They managed to convince the writers to change it more to their liking. Nash was also upset about how Ric Flair went on TV and said he'd fired Scott Hall. Nash didn't like the idea of Flair on TV being able to hire and fire people from their NWO, because that kinda takes away from the idea of the NWO as an autonomous, outsider group that doesn't play by WWE's rules. So that's why Nash was able to go out on TV on this night and cut the promo about how Flair doesn't control the NWO. Of course, Hall is still gone, so I guess he still does. Anyway, both Nash and X-Pac were pissed over all this and caused a scene, especially X-Pac, to the point others in the locker room wondered why they weren't disciplined instead of being given their way. But if you wonder that, you clearly ain't been paying attention to Nash over the years. Anyway, X-Pac still did the job in the Hardyz match, but not in the second match.
Random news: house shows in Alexandria and Baton Rouge, LA were both canceled this weekend due to low ticket sales. Shit's selling out in record time in Australia and Hawaii, but they can't give tickets away in Louisiana apparently. Undertakers hips were both banged up after the Hogan match at the PPV but he continued working, although he was limited (and years later, he'd have to get major surgery on both those hips). At Raw in Edmonton, Ric Flair was getting huge pops and "woo!" chants for him before the show started, so they filmed a backstage segment where he told Arn Anderson how much he hates Edmonton so they would boo him when he came out live. Lance Cade won the HWA title from Johnny the Bull down in developmental. WWF was pushing the city of Edmonton to present Benoit with the key to the city on Raw, but Edmonton wasn't so keen on the idea. And finally, during a bikini contest at the house show in Winnipeg, Ivory's top got pulled down, exposing her boob, much to the delight of many in the crowd.
Remember how MTV's The Osbournes was the only show routinely beating Raw in the cable ratings? That's changing. The Osbournes is over for the season, but this week, Raw fell to #4 behind the Lakers/Spurs NBA playoff game and 2 different episodes of SpongeBob. Patrick's a draw, brother.
Raven has been doing commentary on Sunday Night Heat, but he recently asked to be removed from it because he feels like it hurts his wrestling character. Dave thinks this is pretty risky. Raven as a wrestler is probably nearing the end of his shelf-life and lord knows WWE hasn't shown any desire to push him. And he was actually pretty fantastic at commentary. So giving up a safe job that he was excelling at for one that WWE doesn't really seem to see any value in him for seems like a good way to find yourself on the chopping block next time they decide to get rid of some people (yup, he'll be gone from the company in another 7 months or so). For what it's worth though, this isn't the first time Raven has been in this situation. Back in the 90s, he was a manager and commentator in WWF then too, under the name Johnny Polo. But when they weren't interested in using him as a wrestler, he quit the company and reinvented himself in ECW as Raven. Sometimes you gotta bet on yourself.
Jim Ross has a weekly WWE.com article where he usually just shares all the latest injuries everyone has. This leads Dave on a bit of a tangent when Ross wrote about how Triple H has a fractured patella. The injury was diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham and Andrews told Triple H to be careful with it, but he could continue wrestling as long as he can take the pain. Basically one of the world's top sports doctors saying, "Yeah you've got a broken knee, but throw some dirt on it, you'll be fine." It's no wonder so many of these guys end up on pain pills rather than getting the medical treatment they need.
Also in his article, Jim Ross admitted that the WWE is not doing a good job lately of providing a product the fans want to see. Dave thinks that's just about as strong a statement he's heard on the current state of WWE from someone so high up within the company. Ross admitted they need to create new rivalries, elevate new young talent, and effectively introduce new stars. However, Ross also blamed the economy and the abnormally high number of injuries everyone is dealing with right now for part of the problems too. Dave says the economy may play a small role in the declining live event and PPV numbers, but usually when the economy is in the toilet, TV ratings go up because people are staying home more. Not the case here. Injuries, yes that's a problem for sure. But the core of all WWE's problems right now comes down to the simple fact that the show pretty much sucks. And at least someone high up in the office seems to finally be publicly admitting it.
Tough Enough 2 is down to the final four. Dave talks about how Jackie Gayda is now the sentimental favorite because she tore her ACL during the show but has still refused to quit, which opened a lot of eyes on her. Speaking of Tough Enough, in a WCW-like comedy of errors, they aired a promo for next week's episode before the current episode was finished, thus spoiling who the final 4 were going to be, before it was revealed on the show people were watching.
The WWF Forceable Entry album has sold around 364,000 copies total since its release. But it's actually considered a pretty huge failure because WWF had to pay so much money in fees and up front advances to the various artists on the album, and they're nowhere close to recouping that cost. (The album eventually sells over 500,000 and goes gold but still a flop).
NEXT WEDNESDAY:A look at the dismal state of WWE in 2002, Tough Enough II finale, Riki Choshu's departure from NJPW, Dave reviews several new wrestling books, and more...
2020.06.17 02:49 kick_me88Tried things on my own and learned a lot, but frustrated now and looking for help.
Form is below, but here is my story so far: Decided to create Plex Server / Seedbox. I am located in the Toronto, Canada area so initially looked around here. After some looking around found that servers in Montreal, Canada were a bit cheaper. Also found out that Google's Canadian datacentre is in Montreal. Therefore I Set up a VPS with OVH in Canada (Montreal). My goal was to have everything set up (Plex, Sonarr, Radarr, etc.) along with Ombi so allow family to request/add more content. Started small (2C/4GB/80GBNVMe/500Mbps) and had some success. Got Plex running, along with Radarr, Sonarr, and SABnzbd (I have 2 Usenet accounts). Things were going well so I slowly upgraded my VPS to a higher tier (8C/16GB/320GBNVMe/2Gbps). After a few days of use however I noticed two things:
I was now getting frequent notification that my server was 'under attack' and OVH was vacuuming my traffic to their DDoS mitigation network
Some older content is no longer available on Usenet, so I need to set up Torrent support (was thinking Deluge).
I assumed both of these issues would be resolved by using a VPN on the Torrnet and Usenet traffic, so I learned how to use Docker (enough to get this working), got my NordVPN set up in a container, and routed a Deluge container through the VPN (was going to set up SABnzbd container after). Got Deluge working, connecting through the VPN container, verified via TorGuard's 'Check My Torrent IP' and then decided to give it a shot... and instantly got throttled again... I don't now what to do now, I'm guessing the VPS route is out and I should look at Dedicated next, but don't want to run into the same issues if I try an OVH Dedicated.
Are you OK with direct message offers from vendors? YES (I may not respond immediately though so I apologise) What are your main reasons for getting a seedbox? Plex Server for use of extended family (parents, in-laws). Mostly trying to play Direct, however some have poor internet connections, so some transcoding will be required. I would assume having at least an integrated GPU should help. Do you have any specific requirements? Must support using rclone with mounted Gdrive. This means I will need lots of upload bandwidth as everything I download (via Usenet or Torrent) will get Uploaded to Gdrive. This is part of why I went with OVH initially for unmetered connection. Are you looking for a shared or dedicated solution? Either is fine as long as it works, though thinking Dedicated preferred at this point. Are you looking for managed or unmanaged solution? Initial setup might require some help but my google-foo is pretty good for later on. Please describe your Seedbox experience: See above. Currently with a provider or used one before? OVH VPS What is your Linux experience? Minimal, but learning as I go. Ubuntu mostly. What is your monthly budget? Ideally... 80CAD, 60USD, 52EUR Willing to go a bit more if necessary. Payment preferences or requirements? Anything is fine... PayPal ok. Do you need support for public trackers? I'll need some help with this. I have not used Torrents in years so I only use Public torrents now from time to time when needed (i.e. TPB to grab a quick movie) or for some special content (i.e. Anime). Haven't used a Private tracker in years (had a Demonoid account, it's expired). I see many people tend to comment that one should not use Public Trackers, but, if I'm using a VPN would that not protect me? I have NordVPN (preferred) and PureVPN (2nd), as well as SlickVPN and Privado (both included by Usenet provider). Routing: Tell us your continent: Live in the Toronto, Canada area, so good with a server around here, or in Montreal, Canada (as mentioned above), but open to other options if performance is still there. What kind of connection speeds do you need? Enough to handle several users streaming at once, from content hosted on Gdrive. Thinking 1Gbit would be a good spot, more would obviously be welcome however. How much monthly bandwidth is needed? Lots. As I'm using Gdrive everything I download also gets uploaded to Gdrive, so that will eat much of my bandwidth as I grow my Media library. Therefore would prefer something unmetered. How much disk space do you need? Don't need much Local storage as using Gdrive. Enough to fill with some NZB's while the rclone catches up, as well as have some torrents seeding until a decent ratio is achieved. I'm thinking 320GB-500GB would be enough... I justw ant to make sure the storage is not going to be a bottleneck in my scenario, which is why I was looking for SSD, however if spinning disk will perform well enough then I am open to it. List some features you are looking for: I would like to have full root access to the server. After recently discovering Docker I was hoping to have as many apps as containers as possible (i.e. Sonarr, Radarr, Jackett, Deluge, SABnzbd, Ombi, etc.) as I'm told this allows everything to be up to date on its own and avoid issues, however currently I am running Plex, Soarr, Radarr, ad SABnzbd right on the host (Ubuntu 20.04) and it's working so not a necessity. Anything else you think we should know? Would like to be able to migrate my Plex install to the new server to avoid it having to re-scan and re-analyze all my entire library (currently 4.2TB, but growing), but if I have to start from scratch it's ok. Also, currently only going to be downloading content at up to 1080p, though in the future 4K might be something I'll look at, though not for a long while.
2020.06.15 17:03 AwesomeMathUseCanadian Existing Home Sales (May 2020)
Source: BMO Robert Kavcic, Director and Senior Economist Dated June 15th, 2020
Canadian existing home sales jumped a hefty 56.9% in seasonally-adjusted terms in May, but before we declare the market shutdown over, let’s keep in mind that activity was still down 39.8% y/y (a touch less negative than expected) and still at levels below the low seen during the financial crisis. In other words, it’s easy to post gaudy percentage increases coming off what was effectively a shut-down market in April. Every CMA tracked, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, saw a sharp percentage increase in activity in May, but all are still meaningfully below year-ago levels. Among the larger cities, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal were down more than 40% y/y, while Toronto was down 53% y/y.
Interestingly, new listings jumped even faster than sales as some restrictions eased and agents are figuring out how to show homes virtually and/or with measures in place. New listings rose 69% in May (seasonally adjusted), but are still roughly matching the sales decline from a year ago, down 38%. The speed at which new listings come to the market in the months ahead, versus how much pent-up demand there is (or how much demand is destructed by the pandemic), will ultimately dictate the market balance and price action, which to date has held relatively steady.
As it stood in May sales-to-new listings ratios in Vancouver (40%), Calgary (53%) and Toronto (58%) were down from recent levels but still above the lows seen during the financial crisis and at the lows seen during the 2017-19 period. Those ratios have come off in Ottawa and Quebec too, but remain above 80% and 70%, respectively—both markets were extremely tight before the pandemic.
So, where does this all leave prices? They’re still not budging as the market is still effectively shut down. The MLS HPI was up 5.3% y/y in May, a modest deceleration from the 6.1% y/y pace in March. Vancouver is up 2.9% y/y; Calgary is down 2.3% as it was already slumping pre-COVID; Toronto is firm at +9.4% y/y; while Ottawa and Montreal are still up by double-digits as they were booming pre-COVID.
The Bottom Line: Housing markets began to slowly re-open across Canada in May. At this point, it’s still too early to judge the ultimate impact on prices, given both sales and listings have been shut in. It’s entirely possible that, at least in some of the stronger pre-COVID markets, listings get snapped up quickly when they start to come back online more substantially, leaving less of near-term impact on prices. Longer term, challenges will persist across some pockets of the market. This all could shape a market that looks less extremely negative in the near term than some fear, but one that also looks flatter over the medium term. That would be pretty atypical for such a cyclical sector—but this is no typical downturn.
2020.06.10 06:05 VegechopsBudget build for gaming/streaming
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
I have not had an up to date PC for a loooong time. I want to be able to play some classic games and stream on twitch in minimum 1080p setting. I am currently playing Age of Empires 2 DE which I feel doesn't ask much from a pc but I can't be sure. My Laptop without a dedicated GPU can't handle the graphics clearly... Here are the game's system suggestions: CPU: 2.4 Ghz i5 or greater or AMD equivalent RAM: 8 GB OS: Windows 10 64bit VIDEO CARD: Nvidia GTX 650 or AMD HD 5850 or better PIXEL SHADER: 5.0 VERTEX SHADER: 5.0 FREE DISK SPACE: 30 GB DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 1024 MB I don't really play many first person shooters but I have been dissuaded in the past to try games because my PC was not able to run the games. So Ideally I would be able to play and stream the more recent games with some medium settings. The streaming program will probably be Streamlabs OBS I wouldn't mind being able to setup my laptop as a second screen (If that is even a thing).
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
I'm going for a real budget build if possible with the ability to upgrade later if needed. I probably can drop a max $1k-1,5k CAD on this project.
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
As soon as I find a build that I can afford
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
1) I have an old tower from 10 years ago (HP P6000 tower case) but I'm not sure if all towers are generic or they can hold specific boards and power supplies. 2) I have an old 7200 rpm 750 gb Barracuda Seagate HDD that works. I think its from 2009. That I could use if it is still considered to be useful. 3) I just bought a new LG mouse. I need a monitor, OS, Keyboard.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated. ** See inclusions Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I don't know how to overclock but I can try if it is simple enough
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
I am an absolute noob with this stuff. I do know I prefer the speed of SSD. But it seems that the ideal setup is a combo SSD+HDD. I don't believe I will need massive storage.
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
*I need Wifi connection with a possibility of direct line-in.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
I don't care about looks for the case, function over visual aesthetics
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
I need a windows 10 copy included, though I can probably get a key for cheap
Extra info or particulars:
I know absolutely nothing about modern builds, my last GPU was a GTX550 ti with a m2n78-la motherboard. 8Gb ram and I don't even know the CPU speed...I think it was standard for the motherboard.
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