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[Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0170

2020.09.24 16:00 Angel466 [Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0170

Robbie sat on the subway, staring blankly out the windows at the dark walls of the tunnels until light indicated another station was approaching. Having had his little talk with Daniel, he asked if he could be driven back to Bellevue. He knew Daniel was watching him with weaver eyes, but he just couldn’t bring himself to give a shit. He didn’t want to realm-step anywhere at that point. He wanted normal. He wanted … human.
Pop, you utter stick, he thought shaking his head. Six months. Six months his twice great grandfather and Aunt Collette had been surfing through his head, bringing him up to speed on everything that was shifting and bending, and it never once occurred to either of them to mention that little detail about him being an antichrist, even once?
Daniel had commandeered a black and white and had it drop him off at the hospital, but that was hours ago. He had poked his head in to check on Mason and found the day’s events had worn his friend out. That, or he’d been sedated. Either way, he was sleeping peacefully, and no one would ever know that a month ago he’d been pulverised into a pulp.
That in itself was going to be a problem. Angelo hadn’t really been given a choice about the beatdown Mason received, but it was clear from Mason’s interview that morning that he still completely blamed Angelo for it. That had been when Daniel went for snacks while Mason cried his heart out on his shoulder. Short of doing the unthinkable, they were probably never going to be roommates again.
“We’ll figure something out, buddy,” he promised, without actually touching Mason for fear he would wake him up. “Hang in there.”
But the hours he waited for news on Angelo was a killer. Security was at an all-time high now that an attempt had been made, and no one wanted to tell him anything. He tried to tell them that he was Angelo’s legal next of kin, but that didn’t help. Then he tried flirting. He made new friends and was given a few phone numbers discreetly, but no one was willing to breach protocol and tell him about Angelo. Not until he made a call to Daniel and was told to pass his phone to the nearest officer.
Then, and only then, had he been escorted into the intensive care unit where Angelo was hooked up to half a dozen machines. “They say it’s a miracle he’s still alive,” the female officer who’d walked him in whispered quietly at his side. “He’s defying all the odds. If you want my opinion, he’s had so much gear in his system, he’s immune to the rest of it.”
Robbie wasn’t sure if there was a deliberate barb in that or not, but after such a long day, he wasn’t about to let it slide. “You do realise he was chained in a room, drugged into addiction, then put to work on his knees to feed that addiction, right?”
The woman visibly blanched. “I didn’t realise it was forced.”
“And now that he’s going to testify against the very animals who did that to him, they want him dead before he can. So yeah, if he’s in there fighting to stay alive after all of that when every other lick would’ve given up and gone home, good for him.”
“I didn’t mean anything by what I said.”
Sure you did. “How long will he be asleep?”
“I can ask for you.”
“I’d appreciate that, beautiful. I promised him I’d be right behind him, so he’s going expect me to be here when he wakes up.”
She went back to the door and opened it, and while still keeping Robbie in her field of vision, she asked for the doctor to be brought in. They were only kept waiting a few minutes before a young, Hispanic doctor let himself in. He looked at both the uniformed officer and Robbie and grew annoyed. “I’ve already made my report,” he said, “And your patient is not the only patient I have in this hospital.”
“Please,” Robbie said, holding a hand up to try and circumvent the lecture, whether it was deserved or not. “I’m Angelo’s next of kin, and no one’s telling me anything. Is he going to be okay? How long will he be asleep? What’s happening with him? Will he…?”
“Alright! Alright,” the doctor said, raising both hands in a placating manner. “I didn’t realise you were Mr Trevino’s next of kin.” He went over to the clipboard at the end of the bed and flipped to the back page. “Richard, wasn’t it?” he asked, trying his best to make it appear a casual name drop.
“Robert,” Robbie corrected. “Robbie O’Hara. Come on, doc, he’s my best friend! How long’s he likely to be asleep? I want to be here when he wakes up, because he was really scared before he went under.”
The doctor sighed and lowered the board. “Right. Sorry. I had to be sure. The truth is, we don’t know exactly how long he’ll be asleep. My guess, maybe sometime tomorrow at least. Based on his bloodwork, he simply shouldn’t be alive. He’s got one hell of a guardian angel sitting on his shoulder, that’s for sure.” He looked between Angelo and Robbie and shook his head. “Either that, or he’s the luckiest man on the planet.”
Column A … column B, Robbie thought to himself, without meeting the doctor’s eyes. “Is there any way I can be called if it looks like he’s starting to come around? I mean, I can be here like really quickly if I drop everything and get here.”
The doctor looked Robbie over. “I can make a note at the bottom of his chart, but I can’t promise anyone will see it if he starts to revive. Even then, you have to be ready for the chance that … he won’t be the same.”
Robbie frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Mr Trevino has a lot of things working against him right now. Even if he does recover, there’s no guarantee to what mental capacity that recovery will be. As I said, by all accounts, he shouldn’t be alive now. He’s defying the odds just by breathing.”
“He’ll be back,” Robbie insisted, though in truth he wasn’t so sure anymore. What if that wasn’t the case? What if, in his own egotistical fashion, he had accidentally turned Angelo into the world’s first living zombie? Especially given what Daniel told him about things. His power didn’t lean towards ‘good’.
He felt the doctor’s hand on one elbow, while someone else took his other. “Why don’t you sit down for a minute, son,” he doctor suggested and he suddenly felt his backside being pushed into a chair. Not that he was fighting. The doctor knelt down in front of him. “He’s alive, Robert, and we…”
The doctor paused deliberately. “Robbie, then. Take the win where it is. He’s still here. No one knows what the future holds for Mr Trevino. Especially not us. He might even wake up and be perfectly fine. No one knows. I just need you to be aware of the possibilities.” He looked up at the female officer who stood to Robbie’s side. “I have to get back to my rounds. Medically, as his next of kin, you can sit here as long as you like, but the police may prefer to keep the room clear.”
“We do need to go, Robbie,” the female officer said, confirming the doctor’s assessment.
After two deep breaths, Robbie regained his feet and went over to Angelo. “I’ll be back, buddy. Promise,” he said, squeezing Angelo’s foot ever so slightly.
It was with a heavy heart that he left the hospital, and half an hour later, the subway he was on pulled into Houston Street which was the stop ahead of the one that would take him home.
He exited the train and made his way up the stairs to King Street. People milled around him, but no one bothered him, which was probably a good thing. He was more focused on his jewellery than the road ahead anyway. He wanted the longer walk. He wanted to think. What he really wanted was to pretend the last six hours hadn’t happened. He had been so excited to learn of his heritage. Now, he was scared shitless of it.
I’m a goddamn antichrist, kid. And so are you, cuz.
Which meant he wasn’t one of the good guys. He was … one of the others. Did it matter that he didn’t know?
It took about thirty yards of walking before he realised a familiar dark blue SUV that looked more black thanks to the night sky with matching dark windows was creeping along at his side, keeping pace with him. “Really, dude?” he asked, though it probably came out as more of a whine. He really didn’t want any more divine interventions.
The driver’s side window came down to reveal Angus behind the wheel. “Get in,” he said.
“Isn’t this where I shout, you’ll never take me alive?”
“We’re half a mile from the apartment. I will crawl this car every inch of the way until you get in.”
Robbie stopped and huffed. He would too. “Fine,” he said, stepping out onto the road in front of the car as Angus reached across and opened the passenger door for him. “But only because I don’t want you to incur a million dollars’ worth of fines on my account.”
“It’s not like I’ll pay them.” As soon as Robbie was situated, Angus picked up speed. “You look like you could use a drink.”
“An antichrist and a true gryps war commander walked into a bar.”
Angus smirked. “At least you haven’t completely lost your sense of humour.”
“Did I just turn my best friend into a living zombie?”
Angus’ head whipped to him with such a look of surprise it was almost comical. “Okay,” he said, dropping the indicator to turn right instead of going straight ahead. “Change of plans.”
Robbie sat up, even more concerned when they turned right at Vadam and went back down Hudson in precisely the opposite direction to home. “No, I … I have to cook dinner…”
“Soho has plenty of food delivery services, and I’m sure everyone in the apartment knows how to use their phones to place an order when they’re hungry.”
A few minutes later, Angus pulled into the parking shoulder just south of Pier 45 and turned off the ignition. He undid his seatbelt and reached across Robbie to open the glove compartment where he pulled out a large, screw-top flask. “C’mon,” he said, thumping it against Robbie’s chest as he opened the door and stepped out.
Robbie was tempted to sit in the car with his arms folded in stubborn defiance, but so far Angus hadn’t led him astray. So far.
“What’s in there?” he asked, joining him around the front of the car.
“Your pop’s specialty.”
Robbie jerked to a halt. “You know we’re not allowed to drink alcohol in public in this city.”
Angus chuckled. “Don’t worry, lad. The police aren’t going to come anywhere near us tonight, and even if they did,” —he shook the flask— “their machines will never register this as alcoholic.”
“Because it’ll take one whiff of it and blow up?”
“Like a litmus paper test on a nuclear fuel rod.” He gestured to the walkway that led out to the pier. “Let’s go and find somewhere quiet.”
“Why do you have ambrosia in the car?”
Angus looked across at him and smirked. “You’ve met Llyr, haven’t you?”
Robbie snickered.
They walked past the grass mounds and trees that had been planted for people to sit under and past the sunshade that now cast shadows due to the lit streetlight on either corner of the pier end. Angus put his foot on the bottom rail and twisted slightly with his forearm on the top rail to watch Robbie bringing up the rear. “So, what exactly did that idiot say to you that has you convinced you turned Angelo into a zombie?” He broke the seal of the flask and took a sip as if believing he was going to need it.
“I’m an antichrist.”
“What do you mean, ‘and’ man? I’m a fucking antichrist!”
“And what exactly do you think that means?” He took another sip.
When Robbie held out his hand for the flask, Angus ignored it. Robbie clenched his fist in frustration. “Seriously, dude? You’re not even gonna share?”
“When you stop thinking like a human with an overactive imagination and start looking at the situation objectively as a member of the divine, I’ll share my divine drink with you.”
“What does that even mean?”
“What do you think it means to be an antichrist?”
Robbie opened his mouth to ram down Angus' throat exactly what he thought being an antichrist was. But the words never left his mouth. All of his presumptions were based on human movies and bogeyman threats. They were all different, but they had one uniting aspect. “It means I’m evil.”
Angus made a noise that was uncannily like a computerised buzzer of negativity. “Try again.”
Not believing Angus was ever going to share his drink, Robbie turned to stare out at the clock tower over in New Jersey. A quick shift of his vision allowed him to see the clock face and he sucked in a sharp breath. It was after ten!
“Don’t worry about the time, Robbie. Just answer the question.”
Robbie shot a sideways daggered look at the man who relaxed more with every mouthful of ambrosia he swallowed.
“How am I supposed to look at this objectively when being human is all I know?”
Angus rolled to his side. “You have the blood of the most powerful families running in your veins, lad. It’s no different than if you had two different nationalities in your genetic makeup.”
“Oh, there kinda is,” Robbie growled in disagreement. “The difference between being English and Irish isn’t a matter of growing horns and setting buildings on fire versus putting someone on their knees with a look.”
“Now you’re getting it,” Angus grinned, kneecapping Robbie’s rant as he took a third sip. “Good and evil are relative before you get established. Sure, where you’re raised can influence it. But that’s the same with everyone. A demon born and raised in hell isn’t likely to bat an eye at someone being skinned alive. But you were born and raised here. You’ve been influenced by the world you live in.”
Another sip. “And if you think all angels are the epitome of goodness and happy-happy-joy-joy, I’ll be the first to bust your bubble on that score too.”
“They aren’t?”
Angus flared his eyes and shook his head. “No. They’re a long way from perfect once you get them away from their establishment field. We’ve got a few stationed here, and some of them long for the glory days of battle and bloodshed. They’re not going to find it, of course, and they’re definitely not going to complain for fear of pissing off your uncle, but you’ve got a better chance of getting a demon to sing you a lullaby than one of them. Mainly because the demon would be too shit scared of you not to.”
“Because I’m evil.”
Robbie didn’t even see him move, but suddenly he was struck in the back of the head hard enough to drive his upper torso completely over the top rail. “OW!” he shouted as he straightened back up again, rubbing the back of his head that he was sure was already starting to swell into a lump. “What the puck, man?”
“If you haven’t figured out by now the fundamental difference between being an antichrist and THE Antichrist, you deserve that all night long.”
Nobody had rung his bell that hard in … ever!
“So this is how this is going to go down? You’re going to bash me in the head every time you don’t like what I say?”
Yet another casual sip. Robbie was beginning to think there’d be none left for him to try at this rate. “You’re better than this, lad. You’re letting your human prejudice cloud your judgement. Being an antichrist doesn’t mean shit except that you come from a certain line of people. What you do with it is up to you. Nothing’s changed. Daniel’s been one for almost eighty years, and he’s still the same NYPD butt-monkey asshole he’s always been.”
Robbie wondered why Angus had been so derogatorily specific in his name-calling when it was still just the two of them on the pier.
That was, until one of the pylons holding the sailcloth behind them broke away from the rest and slowly moulded into the missing detective. “You always were a prick,” Daniel growled, stalking forward to snatch the flask out of Angus’ angled hand. Two seconds later he was helping himself to a deep swig.
“You were following us?” Robbie was gobsmacked.
Daniel’s gaze met his with a look of duh. “I had the officers let me know when you left the hospital. I started tailing you as soon as you walked out the front doors.”
“And how many faces did you become?”
“Actually, I thought the Alsatian that had to realm-step every half a block to keep up with us was hilarious.”
Daniel’s scowl darkened and he speared Angus with a lethal glare. “Fuck you, you eagle-eyed prick! If you knew I was there, you could’ve at least slowed down.”
Angus pressed his lips together wryly. “You needed the exercise.”
“Double fuck you, then.”
Annnnd … since everyone seemed to be in a better mood, Robbie held out his hand for the flask once more. “So, do I get a drink now?”
Angus sobered and looked at Daniel with a quick headshake, but Daniel’s expression grew mischievous and he passed Robbie the coveted flask. “Sure. I’m not on duty.”
Robbie held the flask in both hands and sniffed the contents. Ambrosia. Drink of the Gods. Pop’s secret recipe. It smelt just like ordinary wine.
Robbie couldn’t help but look at the two older men to see if this were a con; one of whom was grinning at him, while the other rolled his eyes.
Two antichrists and a true gryps war commander walked into a bar,” Robbie said as a toast …
..and downed his first swallow of ambrosia.
* * *


Previous Part 169
((All comments welcome))
I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be found here
For more of my work including previous parts or WPs: Angel466 or indexed here
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2020.09.14 18:35 CFB_Referee Hurricane Sally

Sally remains a hurricane and is moving slowly.

From the latest public advisory (as of 9/16 11:30 AM ET) Sally is likely to cause issues with rainfall, storm surge, surf, wind tornados, and flooding - including potential inland flooding.
Check your local weather or emergency management agency for more specific information where you are.
Please look to local news, local weather, and local and state emergency management agencies to find out more about how you may be affected, if you need to evacuate, and steps on getting prepared. Please everyone stay safe.
U Forecasts, Predictions, and Watches/Warnings
Tulsa Preparedness & Planning
College students should check out their university's emergency alert system - if you're not signed up to get notices, you should!
Useful links on: hurricane preparedness, emergency kits, emergency supplies for your car.
Louisburg Other things worth thinking about or getting:
  • General: A cooler. Fun/mental health stuff - books, games, etc. Cash. Weather radio and batteries. Flashlights > candles. Backup cell phone, laptop, or other batteries. Extra water. Hand sanitizer. Comfort items (a toddler's blankie, the puppy's favorite toy, your grandpa's watch you can't imagine losing).
  • Specialized: Transportation and assistive devices (think especially about children, pets, the elderly, people with disabilities).
  • Cars: Gas. Window breakeseatbelt cutter.
Gattaca Florida Safety:
  • Check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries!
  • Watch out for downed power lines. Never assume it is dead. Avoid it.
  • Assume floodwaters are deeper than they look. Turn around, don't drown.
  • Learn your flood and evacuation zones!
  • Food safety from the FDA and USDA.
  • If your home floods and you need to go up, head for the roof. Keep an ax in your attic to get out that way if you need it.
  • Be aware of potential 911 delays.
  • Evacuate! If you can, check on people you know to see if they need help evacuating if you can offer it or put them in touch with someone who can.
Hertfordshire Documentation:
  • Bring it with you.
  • Store it in a plastic bag to they are together and stay dry.
  • House deed/rental agreement/lease.
  • Insurance information (home, car, renters, medical, flood).
  • Identification (ID card/driver's license, passport, Social Security card, marriage/birth certificates).
  • Take photographs of your home before you evacuate and when you return. Good documentation of the damage may help if you need to file an aid or insurance claim.
For long-term preparedness, check out CERT training information.
Holland Evacuation
College Information
We'll be updating this list as we get information.
/CFB Ball Alabama
University Update Sources
Bishop State Community College All remote learning on Monday and Tuesday. All events cancelled Monday and Tuesday. 7
Coastal Alabama Community College Closses at 2 PM on Monday. In person classes closed through Wendesday. Online classes continue to meet. 5
Spring Hill College Classes cancelled after 1:30 PM on Monday. Classes online on Tuesday. 5
University of Mobile Move to all online instruction as of 1:30 PM Monday. Normal classes resume Wendesday. 5
South Alabama University of South Alabama Classes, events, and activities canceled Tuesday and Wednesday. 16
/CFB Ball Florida
University Update Sources
Gulf Coast State College All campuses closed Tuesday. 11
Northwest Florida State College Closed through Tuesday. 13
Pensacola State College All campuses closed Monday and Tuesday. 7, 17
West Florida University of West Florida All classes - in person and online - cancelled through Thursday. 18
/CFB Ball Louisiana
University Update Sources
Delgado Community College Online classes only on Monday and Tuesday. 8, 19
Loyola Operating normally until 4 PM on Monday. Classes canceled Tuesday. Classes resume Wednesday. 2, 20
New Orleans Theological Seminary/Leavell College Closed Monday-Wednesday. 8
Nicholls Nicholls State All classes online Monday-Wednesday. 4
Northshore Technical Community College Online on Monday. Closed on Tuesday. Decision on Wednesday pending. 8, 21
Nunez College Online classes continue. In person classes cancelled Monday and Tuesday. 8
Southeastern Louisiana Southeastern University All classes online on Monday. All classes cancelled on Tuesday. 14
Southern Southern University Normal operations on Tuesday. 9, 22
Tulane Tulane In person and online classes canceled after noon on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday classes TBD. 1
Holy Cross University of Holy Cross Closed Monday and Tuesday. 8
University of New Orleans Classes all online on Monday. In person, online, and hybrid classes canceled on Tuesday. 3
Xavier University Classes online after 5 PM Monday. Classes cancelled Tuesday. 8
/CFB Ball Mississippi
University Update Sources
Jones County JC Jones College All classes online through Wednesday. 12
Mississippi Gulf Coast CC Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College All classes online starting Monday at noon and Tuesday. 10
Southern Miss University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Coast Locations All classes and events moved online starting at noon on Monday. 15
/CFB Ball South Carolina
If you know of any of these, please let us know.
University Update Sources
/CFB Ball North Carolina
If you know of any of these, please let us know.
University Update Sources
/CFB Ball Virginia
If you know of any of these, please let us know.
University Update Sources
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Touchdown Game Information Penalty Flag
We'll be updating this list as we get information.
This list includes all games played with teams in affected states. Many may not be affected, but given the ripple effects of things like travel and the particular complications of scheduling this season, we've listed them all here for reference.
Date Time Home Team Away Team Game Location
9/18 7:30 PM ET Coastal Carolina Campbell Conway, SC
9/19 12:00 PM ET Georgia State Louisiana Atlanta, GA
9/19 12:00 PM ET Tulane Navy New Orleans, LA
9/19 12:00 PM ET Duke Boston College Durham, NC
9/19 2:30 PM ET Notre Dame USF South Bend, IN
9/19 3:30 PM ET Georgia Tech UCF Atlanta, GA
9/19 3:30 PM ET Georgia Southern FAU Statesboro, GA
9/19 3:30 PM ET UNC Charlotte Chapel Hill, NC
9/19 4:00 PM ET Middle Tennessee Troy Murfreesboro, TN
9/19 4:00 PM ET Clemson The Citadel Clemson, SC
9/19 7:30 PM ET ULM Texas State Monroe, LA
9/19 7:30 PM ET Louisville Miami (FL) Louisville, KY
9/19 7:30 PM ET Southern Miss Louisiana Tech Hattiesburg, MS
9/19 8:00 PM ET NC State Wake Forest Raleigh, NC
Learn More
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2020.09.12 18:46 Darthfuzzy Megathread: Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sally

What is Damp May Never Dry!

This thread has been updated as of 3pm on 9/14
A storm is in the gulf and might be headed our way. As such, it's time for a megathread!
In order to make it easier and provide current information to individuals, please keep the conversations surrounding the storm to this thread. We are trying to consolidate the more serious conversations/information to this thread. It is highly recommend that you sort comments by new given the changing environment
For the time being, memes and funny-ish posts can be standalone posts. This is subject to change depending on how the situation evolves. Despite all the humor surrounding it, please take this event seriously and make plans based upon your needs.
Below is some general information/advice, but should not be taken as official recommendations. Please listen to local/national authorities in determining your next course of actions. I will try to update this post with current information when I can.
Once the storm gets closer to landfall, we will switch from this standalone post to the /TropicalWeather live thread as it's a great resource to get up to date information on the storm.
P.S. If you believe something should be appended/amended to this post, please let me know and I'll be happy to consider it.

What is happening?

Hurricane Sally is off the SE Coast of Louisiana and is anticipated to keep moving NW towards the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast over the next 48 hours. The storm is projected to reach hurricane force winds before making landfall sometime between very late Monday night/Tuesday morning. Most models are now predicting a Cat 2-3 landfall.
This storm is not necessarily going to be a huge wind concern - but due to the slow moving nature of the storm, this is expected to be a major rain event with up to 10" anticipated over the next week.
As of 2:40pm on 9/14, the storm has moved slightly more east and we're expecting an Gulfport/Biloxi landfall. We're still not out of the woods yet, but it looks like we might get some western rain bands (as dry as the western side looks). Expect the worst, hope for the best.

Where can I get more information on projected paths, evacuation notices, and general preparation information?

As always, we recommend paying attention to local and national media forecasts. Here are some official government links for you to monitor:
And some local news sources as well:

I'm a weather junky and I need my fix, what do you recommend?

Again, please take advice of your local and national government when making decisions. However, like you, I like knowing what the Euro, GFS, UKMET, HMON, HWRF, COAMPS and Navy models are all doing at all times. For these people:

Should I evacuate?

Please refer to the above local/national section when making your evacuation plans. Every person's situation is different. Please begin making preparations 3-4 days out. I will attempt to monitor and post evacuation updates below, but please refer to this article by WWLTV for more up to date information:
Mandatory Evacuations (As of 9/13):
Voluntary Evacuations (As of 9/13):

Cat 3 then flee, otherwise I'm staying.

Cool. Good For You! Some people aren't so lucky and can't afford to stay. However, here's some general advice for those of us who are new to those whole hurricane thing:

What should I buy?

/TropicalWeather has a fantastic mega-thread on this that I am stealing. I highly recommend visiting this link and making sure that you have all of these things in your household.
Also pop-tarts. All the pop-tarts. Brown sugar for life though.

How much alcohol should I stock up on?


What about public transportation? Will it still be operational?

While a lot of people don't have reliable alternative transportation, always make sure you have a plan. In general, you shouldn't expect public transport to operate during a hurricane. Don't rely upon it. Make plans to move to a safe location or a shelteevacuation center prior to the storm.
Should you need evacuation notices and/or assistance, please review the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's website for further information on public transportation and and out of the city in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
Update as of 9/13 from RTA:
In preparation for expected impacts of Hurricane Sally to the Gulf Coast region, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will suspend all bus and streetcar service beginning at noon on Monday, September 14th. Ferry services will be suspended after normal operations on Sunday, September 13. Services will remain suspended until further notice.

What schools will be closed?

Schools will likely be closed the day before the storm. Depending on the extent of the damage and various other factors (power, water, etc.) it's unknown for how long the schools will be closed for.
It's recommended that you monitor your local parish's school district websites for up to date information on school closures. That being said, we'll post information as it becomes available. WWLTV tends to have a good up to date listing that's available here. Most private institutions abide by the local Parish's closures, but please refer to your specific school for up to date information.
For universities, please refer to your university's individual emergency guidance.
Orleans Parish
Jefferson Parish
St. Tammany Parish
Plaquemines Parish
St. Bernard Parish
Lafourche Parish
Terrebonne Parish
St. Charles Parish


There is a complete list available from WWLTV. I will be publishing some of the major parishes below.
Orleans Parish:
Sandbags will be available beginning 8am on Sunday for Orleans Parish Residents:
St. Bernard Parish:
Self sandbagging will be available Sunday morning beginning at 8 a.m., going on until sand runs out. Residents can fill their sandbags at the following locations:
Plaquemines Parish:
Beginning at 10 a.m., parish-wide sandbag locations will be open, but residents should bring their own shovels and only take what they need. Bags will be provided. Residents can fill their sandbags at the following locations:
St. Tammany Parish:
St. Tammany Parish Government will open six self-service sandbag locations beginning Sunday. All locations will have sand and bags provided. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels in case all shovels provided are in use. residents are asked to limit the number of sandbags to 15 per vehicle. There will be someone on-hand to help the elderly and/or disabled at each location.
The locations will be open Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Can you sharpie this situation away?

Neither NOAA nor FEMA recommends this. It doesn't work.

What is Damp May Never Dry!

submitted by Darthfuzzy to NewOrleans [link] [comments]

2020.09.03 00:17 KeepItReal-ish The Psychogenic itch

My name is Eliza. I’m 24 years old, and If you asked any of my friends, they would tell you that I’m a tom boy, of sorts. I enjoy skateboarding, playing video games, and the occasional all you can eat buffet. I’m about as normal as normal can get…except for one small detail. I live with a rare condition that my doctor has labeled a psychogenic itch.
Sounds weird right? Well it just gets weirder. I started going to therapy when I was 18 after the loss of my asshole of an ex boyfriend. I know they say that you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but fuck him.
My ex was a controlling, manipulative, self centered asshole, and none of these problems had popped up before I met him. In our relationship, when things were great they were just ok and when things were bad, they were awful. One night, a few days after my 18th birthday, my ex and I had been texting and idk what it was. Maybe I had enough, maybe the courage just welled up in that instant. But I told him that I didn’t want to see him anymore and I turned off my phone.
The house that we lived in at the time was an older ranch style house, the type that looks a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside. I made my way out of my room, which was at the back of the house, to the front door, and out onto the porch.
The August air was heavy and sticky. If you know anything about August in the south, specifically Georgia, then you know what I’m dealing with. If not , its 100 degrees and the air makes it feel like you’re attempting to breathe soup through a sponge. I sat down in the old wicker rocker and pulled the small stool with the ashtray on top in between my legs and lit a cigarette. Now that I was 18 I didn’t have to hide the fact that I smoked from my parents and that was what I liked to call, the little victories. I finished my cigarette and left the pack and lighter on that old wicker rocker and made my way back inside to take a shower.
The water was slightly cool and it felt great on my sweat soaked skin, it felt refreshing. Kind of like a snake shedding its old skin and being born anew. I was being reborn, away from him, away from his bullshit….I dried off in the shower, wrapped myself up in a towel, and made my way to my room to throw on some pajamas.
As I was searching through what to wear I decided to turn my phone back on just to see if anyone besides my ex had tried to get in touch with me. I hit the power button and finished putting on my pajamas when my phone dinged.
DING 1 New Message: Mom. “Our date night is running a little long sweetie. Should be back around 2 am. We love you.” Well that’s sweet," I thought to myself. "They don’t have to tell me when they’ll be home, we're all adults here."
DING DING DING 3 New Message(s) Jacob…..I froze, I don’t know what I was expecting. I knew that he wouldn’t just disappear after I had broken up with him. But still, seeing my exes name on my phone turned my blood to ice.
1st message 11:37 pm “ What do you mean you’re breaking up with me?! This isn’t funny Eliza answer the fucking phone, RIGHT NOW!!”
2nd message 11:37 pm “if you don’t answer the phone right now, I swear to God im going to kill myself. Is that what you want? You want me to kill myself? I swear I’m going to do it. Pick up the PHONE.”
3RD message 11:38pm “if I can’t have you, nobody can. So if I’m going to kill myself, you’re coming with me.”
I threw the phone immediately onto my bed, simply out of shock, my mind and body both reeling from what I had just read. I stood in the middle of my room just gawking before the thought came to me. If he’s coming to kill me, I’m at home alone.
I ran directly into the kitchen and grabbed the biggest knife I could get my hands on. I ran back to my room and picked up the phone. I immediately began dialing 911
INCOMING CALL Jacob. I let out an audible gasp as I read the words over and over again. My mind was racing. Was he here, is he already in the house, is he really going to try to kill me just because we broke up? What the fuck is this guys problem.
Finally the call went to voice-mail and I dialed 911 again, this time getting through. 911 what’s your emergency? Yes ma’am, my name is Eliza, I said hurriedly. My ex boyfriend just sent me messages saying he was going to kill me and then himself. I’m afraid he’s on his way or already here. Can you please send someone to 4239 Willowark rd. PLEASE?!!
Please calm down Miss, the lady on the other end of the line said. My name is Kristin and I’m here with you. Everything is going to be ok, I have an officer dispatched to your location. They will be there in 10 minutes. Are you armed right now? Kristin asked. Yes ma’am, I replied. I have a kitchen knife just in case. But its all I have. Ma’am, is your front door locked? I stared blankly for a moment. I rolled the question over in my head, but for the life of me I could not remember. I don’t know, I replied. I don’t remember if I locked it or not. I’m going to go make sure.
I took the phone down from my ear, took one step towards the door, and just faintly heard Kristin tell me to just stay put, but it was too late. I dropped the knife between my three bottom fingers and my palm, then used my index finger and thumb to turn the doorknob.
I opened the door and looked up in just enough time to see Jacob’s left arm reach forward to grab me. I stumbled backwards and crab walked on the inside of my wrists until my back was against my bed. I used the bed to brace myself and make my way back to my feet quickly. Jacob wasn’t the strongest person but he was lanky, with a hefty reach advantage. 6’1 with greasy jet black hair, sunken eyes, and a sharp jawline. He was wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans, and combat boots.
I wanted to just…go after him, but if I missed…I was dead. He would wrap me up in his arms and my life would be over. But, as luck would have it, he lunged first. My fight or flight kicked in and I was laser focused. He seemed to move in slow motion, I was prepared. My muscles ached as I watched him reach out for me, screaming to be set in motion, my entire body seemed to vibrate.
He was mid lunge, right hand extended. I side stepped the right and brought the knife down directly at his nose. His other hand shot forward to protect his face and the knife went clean through his palm.
He instinctively jerked backwards and as soon as he did I heard something heavy hit the floor. I looked down and saw his fathers 9mm.
My eyes grew wide and I guess he realized what I had planned so instead of diving for it, he kicked it straight past my legs and against the wall behind me. He extended himself a bit too far with that kick so he ended up on his right knee with his other leg outstretched and I capitalized. I drove the knife clean into his thigh all the way to the hilt and ripped it back out.
Jacob screamed and that’s where I fucked up, I got over confident. I stood straight up as I expected him to keep shouting or clutch the wound like in the movies, but he didn’t. He stabilized himself on that knee, jerked his waist, and used that momentum to take his right hand and hit me, directly in the face, with the back side of his fist.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been almost knocked unconscious, but the world…tilts, for just a second. It’ll be like trying to watch porn on a channel you didn’t have access to. The world itself seems to glitch. You see sparkles and hear a rushing WOOM sound.
I won’t lie to you and tell you that punch didn’t, literally, throw me for a loop. It spun me in almost a complete 360 and with my split second of semi unconsciousness, my body kind of rag dolled and my arms and legs splayed out as I spun like some kind of human tilt-o-whirl. What happened next, I don’t know if its luck, God, or some kind of black out rigor mortis, but I had a vice grip on that kitchen knife still.
Jacob is crawling away towards the opposite wall, towards his dads gun. I panicked and in a rush I jumped on top of him and drove the knife deep into his back. He threw back his elbow hard and howled out in pain. That elbow connected direct with the bridge of my nose and I saw stars. I fell to the floor, on my back, in a heap. My nose hurt and my ears were ringing. I was waiting to hear the heavy scrape of the 9mm being retrieved off of hardwood, but it never came.
I chanced to open my eyes and see that maybe, just maybe, he had bled out on the floor or given up. But no such luck. Both of my eyes, that were already extremely swollen, took forever to adjust. Jacob had turned around and was on both knees just, looming over me. I let him think he had won. He lurched forward, one last time, both hands straight forward together like he meant to strangle me. I put both hands on the knife pulled my head down and shoulders up for some small form of protection. Shot both my arms up, between his, and locked my elbows.
My eyes were closed, but I felt the unmistakable feeling of meat hitting the end of the blade, little to no resistance as I felt something…..pop, and then a weight continuing down on top of me.
I rolled Jacob’s body off to the right and slipped out from under him. I got to my feet and I slowly opened my eyes as far as I could with the swelling….the left eye. There had been little resistance on the blade because I stabbed clean through his left eye. The hilt still just…..sticking out of it. I wanted to vomit. That entire ordeal felt like hours but in reality, likely only lasted about 30 seconds.
My brain was racing, my ears were ringing and my fucking nose HURT. But I was alive. This asshole broke into my house to kill me and I’m fucking ALIVE. I sat back, back against my bed and just sat in silence for a moment. Until I heard my name, quiet. But it was my name. Then I heard it again. Oh shit…Kristin. The dispatcher at 911. She had stayed on the phone through the entire ordeal.
I picked up the phone and told her that I was there. Are you OK ma’am, what happened? She said frantically. My ex boyfriend, he was here, he attacked me…he’s dead. Eliza just stay calm, the officer is 7 minutes away and he is going to come in with the lights and sirens. I’m going to stay on the phone with you until he gets there so you can click I hung up. Kristin was a nice woman but I’m not in the mood to listen to anyone talk directly into my ear for the next 7 minutes. My nose felt like someone brained me with a tire iron and my right cheek was extremely tender. But I’m alive.
The officer got there shortly after I hung up and called my parents. He let them know that I was ok and they got to the house about 30 minutes after that.
I felt bad for ruining their date night but they assured me they’d rather be here. The officer had called an ambulance and EMT's showed up at the house to look me over. I had a broken nose and my cheek had been cut from where the back of his fist connected with my face. My parents told me I should let them take me to the hospital. My mom said she would come along while my dad stayed back and went to check out some hotels seeing as my room would probably become some kind of active crime scene investigation. I was carted into the back of the ambulance and was swept off to the hospital.
2 days, 4 stitches, and a reset nose later and I was ready to leave the hospital and never look back.
At this point in time, looking in the mirror was not something I enjoyed doing. All the way around my nose and eyes were deep purple, black, and yellow bruising. The swelling was down but things still seemed a bit blurry at times, which I was told was normal in my situation.
I packed up my bag, tipped my hat to the nurses station and hopped in the back of moms car to head back home. The ride back to the house was uneventful. Bright light hurt and gave me a headache so I rode the entire way with my seat back and my eyes closed. I’ve lived in this town for 18 years. I had an ongoing map of this place in my head. I knew every single twist and turn. So I knew when I heard my mom say, what the fuck, while we were coming up on our driveway.
Something was wrong. I sat my seat up and opened my eyes, standing on the porch was my dad and two police officers. The officers looked a bit worried and my dad looked absolutely dumbstruck. As we pulled into the driveway the officers gave my dad a nod, and made their way back to their patrol car. They left our driveway in a hurry and mom asked dad what was going on as soon as she stepped out. He just shook his head and made his way back inside.
"Honey, go to your room." my mom said. As soon as the words got out she froze and looked at me sympathetically.
"Don’t worry mom, ill be fine." I said. "I’m a big girl…."
I made my way to my room and stopped right in the doorway. I looked over everything…clean and pristine. You would never know that I stabbed a man to death in here just a few days ago.
I dropped my bag down on the floor and collapsed face first onto my bed. I took a deep breath in and could hear the muffled sounds of my parents , slightly heated, conversation. What are they arguing about, what did those officers want, what weren’t they telling me, are they going to try to lock me up, do they think I did this on purpose? My head began to swim and lash out. Panic set in and I felt my body fall back into that fight or flight. My breathing got short, my muscles ached to evade this invisible threat, and my body felt like it was vibrating. But there was no attacker to fend off, nothing to run from, I’m trapped in this state, and I cant fucking move. All the while my brain is an absolute whirlwind. I cant form clear sentences, I cant think straight…am I dying? BOOM, that thought flew into my mind and I began to hyperventilate. The room felt smaller and smaller and I lost consciousness.
I came to in the back seat of my dads truck. The speedometer read 97 MPH. "Dad, what’s going on?" I choked out. He snapped his head back quickly to see me moving and his eyes were wide with panic.
"Eliza, holy shit, you’re ok, thank Christ. What’s my name, can you tell me what year it is, did you have a stroke, are you ok?" I blinked my eyes a few times and just let out a long sigh. I felt the trucks speed slow down and after a few more minutes we were back at the hospital. A 3 hour wait later and the doctor told my dad that I had a panic attack. A fucking panic attack.
I climbed into the front seat of my dads truck and laid my head against the window. He was quiet and I let out another sigh and told him that I was sorry. That I didn’t mean to scare anyone. He told me its nothing to feel sorry for and to not think twice about it, but I did.
Intrusive thoughts flooded my brain about how mad he was at me and how stupid he thought I was. How weak he must think his daughter is…and with those thoughts, came my first case of the psychogenic itch. It started out at the bend in my arm and eventually spread into my forearm, hand, and even between my fingers. Nothing I used helped and I noticed that the more I thought about, the worse it got. That was my very first experience with the itching and shortly after, my parents got me into therapy. With the help of some medications prescribed by my therapist and the introduction to yoga I was able to live a relatively normal life.
That was six years ago. I’ve been doing yoga now for those 6 years and taking my medication regularly. They have, however, lowered my dosage. I’ve been getting out more, exercising , and spending time in nature.
My therapist said it would be good for me. But she was right about one thing. Trees we’re really good for me.
I work at a nice little dispensary in the mountains of Colorado known to the locals as, The Hot Box. My dad got a promotion at work and he figured, why not move the family 1400 miles away from bad memories? Understandable I figure, but here I am just standing behind the counter, minding my own business when the intrusive thoughts began. Oh lord what if we start itching at work and everyone thinks we’re on some hard-core drugs? Will we get fired? Will people make up rumors?! The itch immediately flares up. Its dead in the center of my left hand and it’s agonizing. I scratch at the top of my hand, peering around to make sure there are no customers or staff just watching me at that moment, and there’s no one.
The top of my hand yields no relief so I get to work on the inside of my palm. Exact same story, zero relief. The top of the counter where the register sits is made out of an old rough wood. I’m standing behind the service counter with full view of the shop out ahead of me.
I lay the side of my fist into that countertop and start to drag it back and forth hoping that the wood would do better than my fingernails. Back and forth, back and forth, nothing. Zero relief. I lay my palm flat and repeat the same motion, nothing. The back side of my hand, nothing. At this point its only been 5 minutes and I already feel like I’m going insane. Luckily my shift was over in another 10, so I just steeled myself to endure the next ten minutes……..It……..was……..excruciating.
You know what its like to have an itch you just can’t hit? Its everlasting, it will not go away and it is driving me up the fucking wall. When my ten minutes were up I ran to the time clock, out the front door, and to my moms old car that she had gifted me on my 21st birthday. I turned the key and the engine roared to life.
Our new home is a beautiful 2 story cabin that we moved into right after I turned 20 and we left Georgia. Dad figured the family could also use a fresh start. But right now I was on the backroads home hitting 70 in a 45 all because I couldn’t stop, what felt like, a hatched colony of ants pricking around inside my hand. 2 minutes away from the house I hit a red light and the itch surged when I came to a stop.
I screamed out in frustration, gripped my left hand around the top of the steering wheel and just started raining punches into the back of my hand. I couldn’t stop, every time a punch landed I told myself the next one would do it. The next time I landed a punch it would stop. But it didn’t. I continued throwing punches until the light turned green and as soon as it did I stomped the gas.
I pulled into the garage, turned off the car, and bolted upstairs. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I just felt the need to get to my room. I’m mid panic looking for something, anything at all. My eyes are darting from one side of my room to the other. “There’s the bookshelf we've been building.” the intrusive thoughts began again. My eyes locked onto the bookshelf and the hammer was right where I left it the week prior. I dashed for the hammer and before I knew it my hand was on the table and the hammer was up over my head.
My breathing was labored and rapid, there was sweat in my eyes and there was a bit of self preservation left telling me that this was an awful idea. But I had to get it to stop, I HAD TO. I brought the hammer down on the back of my hand at about half strength, it was a tease. My punches did more. I brought it down a second time, harder this time and I felt a tickle in that spot. I felt it, I can get there. Holy mother of God, sweet relief. I brought the hammer back up, I screamed into the back of my clenched teeth and brought it down as hard as I could right in the center. Fireworks went off in front of my eyes. A searing pain and a resounding CRACK I felt the bones in the back of my hand splinter and break, but those bones also hit the spot.
The pain was immediately replaced by a feeling of sweet euphoria. I didn’t want it to stop. I threw my right hand on top of my left and started moving it in a circle so the splintered bones could dig into that sweet spot. Involuntarily, I jut out my lower jaw and opened my mouth wide, I squeezed my eyes shut, and my toes spread as far apart as possible then curled. This lasted for about 10 seconds before I fell backwards onto my back, breathing heavily and all the pain and realization of what I had just done came flooding back. My hand felt like I had just dumped it in a vat of acid and I just started screaming………hyperventilating. I screamed and screamed until I finally passed out.
When I woke up I had no clue how much time had passed. All I knew was that my hand was on fire and I needed a doctor. I ran back outside and flung open my car door, I sat down in the driver’s seat and realized I had left my car keys in my room. I slammed my door and screamed in frustration, just as my dad was pulling up. "Honey what’s wrong?" he asked. Staring at me wild eyed and concerned.
"I….I slammed my hand in the door by accident, don’t ask me how I pulled this off but I’m sure its broken."
The lie came easily, much easier than usual. "Get in the truck dear, ill run you to the E.R."
He sounded worried as he spoke but I couldn’t think of anything other than the pain shooting through my hand.
I was looked at by a doctor immediately. I’d broken 3 metacarpal bones…..awesome. The doctor gave me a few funny looks when I gave him my story but he didn’t ask anything further. At this point I’m just hoping he’s not suspecting my father of something he didn’t do. My hand was reset and put into a cast. I was given a prescription for pain medication and sent on my way.
The ride home was quiet, I spent the time watching the light posts flick by while I fell in and out of consciousness. I woke up long enough to wave at Martha, the woman that’s run Brookson's pharmacy for the past 2 decades, and fell right back asleep.
When I finally woke up I was in my room, in my own bed. The hammer was back where I had it the week before on my DIY bookshelf project. The digital clock on my nightstand read 7:45 am. "FUCK, I’m supposed to be at work at 8." I yelled
I launched out of bed and towards my bedroom door. I paused when I saw a note there. A note? On my door? Who is it from? Why would they not text me? I always have my phone on me, who the hell leaves notes anymore. My vision began to blur and I felt my body start to vibrate. Deep breath Eliza, in through your nose, deep inhale out through your mouth deep exhale again…..again….again. Calm your thoughts. Everything is going to be fine. You are in charge here.
I dropped my shoulders and shook off the tension. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time, I was lucky. I looked at the note pinned to my door. “Eliza, I spoke with your manager and told him what was going on. He said for you to take a few days off and just return to work when you feel ready. Breakfast is in the fridge. Love, Dad.”
I put my non broken hand over my face and sighed into it. I almost panicked over time off and breakfast.
I walked down stairs to the fridge and pulled out eggs, bacon, and pancakes, score. Then after a quick trip to the microwave I was full and happy. After my episode in my room I figured a little bit of yoga and meditation wouldn’t work so I plopped down in the living room, popped in my yoga DVD, and gave an hour of my time to clearing my mind and stretching out my limbs. After it was over I grabbed my pillow from the arm chair, sat it against the wall, took a seat, and crossed my legs. Hands on my knees, back straight, head level, clear my mind……
The thought rang out in my head like a gunshot. “how much money did we just cost mom and dad with that little stunt? Oh my hand itches, boom, hospital. What a fucking joke.”
My body froze….I stared straight ahead and balled my good hand into an awkward fist. "A Hammer?? Really?! A hammer?? To scratch an itch?? I’m SO glad we didn’t go to college because that would have obviously been an exercise in futility."
Ok deep breath, Eli….El…what is my fucking name?! My breathing became rapid and I started to panic. The thoughts came again, quick and condescending. “You know you have to breathe deep, that rapid breathing keeps you in fight or flight. Full deep breaths, you’re depriving your brain of oxygen, you’re going to pass out.”
I threw my head back against the wall and gasped in a large breath. It wasn’t very technical but it was working, I sat there gasping like a fish out of water for what felt like hours. But finally I regained control of my body and after about 5 minutes I was fully functioning again. Absent minded I wiped my eyes and realized I must have been crying.
"God that was bad." I said to nobody in particular, when I felt that familiar sensation buried deep in my left thigh. It itches, and it itches bad.
"NOOO, please noo. I cant take this shit anymore! Why me?!"
I broke out into heavy sobs while the feeling in my thigh just intensified. It graduated from an itch to the feeling of a tarantula crawling in circles inside the muscle. I could feel every leg, every individual hair on each individual leg. I started to claw at it with my good hand, but I was getting nowhere fast. Tried slamming my fist down into my thigh and nothing. I don’t even know why I tried, I know what this shit wants. It wants me to mutilate myself for the relief. But I run this show, I just need to get this under control and it will go away. I crossed my legs, straightened my back, and tried to will away this phantom itch…..
Seventeen minutes, seventeen minutes I sat in complete agony attempting to take control of my mind and for seventeen minutes I failed. My entire body was sweating and the itch had done nothing but grow in strength. I stood up.
I paced slowly into the garage. I was trying desperately to block out the pain, and it felt like I was just being led on by a string, my body on auto pilot. I grabbed a kitchen towel as I passed the dining room table and through the door into the garage. I walked up to his workbench and pulled my dads Ryobi nail gun from the top shelf. I stared at it as I turned it over in my hand. I took up the kitchen towel and put it in my mouth, the itch in my thigh flaring up like it knows what’s about to happen.
Like that feeling you get when you have to pee. Once you see the toilet that feeling starts to get worse. Like that, but horrible.. I pressed the tip of the nail gun to my thigh and bit down hard on the towel…..
Silence, all except for the high pitched whine in my ears from the force of my jaw……
Thoop I pulled the trigger. The nail shot out and pierced deep into my thigh. Splashes of color whizzed by as I forced my eyes shut. Then again, euphoria. I dropped the nail gun and threw back my head. I let out a long note that sounded more like a growl and wiped my face from forehead to chin. I didn’t want it to end. But it did. The feeling came to a screeching halt and was replaced by pain. Searing fucking pain.
The nail embedded itself about halfway into the meat in my leg.
My dad has an old, shitty, nail gun, but it did the trick. I got a set of pliers, yanked out the nail, threw on some liquid band aid, some gauze, a wrap, and set on about my business. I know, I know, stop the bleeding, tetanus, I don’t fucking care right now. I made my way to my car and drove away from the house.
I drove around with the searing pain in my leg, no use of my broken hand, and a head full of questions. I found myself pulling into the hotbox just out of habit. Good idea, Eliza. I thought to myself.
I got out, headed inside and knew exactly where I was headed. 5 pack joints, pre rolled with "an urban legend." The most powerful strain to ever hit our store. I was going to smoke one of these, take one of my pain killers for this hand, and pretend that I’m warm syrup filling each individual hole of the world’s largest Belgian waffle.
I walk up to the counter to pay and I’m greeted by Cassandra, or Cassie, if you’re friendly. She gave me a look of pity and asked how I was doing. "Rough" I told her, "but not for long." I shook my 5 pack and handed it to her.
She rang me up, asked me to please be careful, and I was out the door.
Back in my car I turned up the radio to keep myself from thinking and just sang along with everything that played. When I pulled into my driveway I sat in the car for a few moments just staring straight ahead. I took a deep breath, opened the door and made my way back inside the house, making sure to avoid the garage.
I poured myself a glass of tea and made for the front door. I sat outside on the front porch, sat down in that wicker rocker, pulled the stool with the ashtray between my legs and lit up. As I smoked I sat back and thought to myself.
You know what I like more about August in Colorado? The air is crisp, its not assaulting and humid like August in Georgia.
“Remember the last time we sat in this chair in Georgia? We killed a man that loved us so much he was willing to die for us.”
My blood ran cold, but my breathing didn’t change, I was alert, I was paying attention, and for the first time I realized it. What the fuck took me so long to realize it?! So I asked, “who is we?” I felt lightning run across the inside of my head.
Tiny sparks spreading across the length of my brain as if something was smiling. No, I’m going crazy, its intrusive thoughts, my therapist said they were intrusive thoughts. The call of the void, its normal.
“Our situation is far from normal my dear, Eliza.” My eyes went wide, the voice I heard sounded familiar now, very familiar. J-Jacob? I sputtered out.
As soon as I said that name an itch exploded in the center of my back, just to the right of my spine. I shot out of the rocker and slammed my back into the siding if the house.
“Do you remember, Eliza? Do you remember how you stabbed me? In my left hand, in my left thigh, in my back, just to the right of my spine?! Do you remember how you reveled in it?! How strong it made you feel?!” His voice was echoing like thunder inside my head. It felt like if he kept talking it would just split in two.
I fumbled with my phone and was finally able to get it out of my pocket. I dialed 911 and put it on speaker phone. “911 what’s your emergency?” someone’s breaking into my house, please help me! Jacobs voice laughed in my head and my back felt like something was trying to claw its way out. The itch was more than unbearable.
I couldn’t think straight. I ran shoulder first into my front door and without the deadbolt I crashed straight through it. I stumbled through the living room and into the kitchen, straight to the kitchen counter.
Jacobs laughter was so loud, it reverberated inside my skull. My vision blurred and I swatted around for the knife block. I pulled a knife from the block and positioned myself with my back to the kitchen wall. I held the knife behind my back with the blade hovering just to the right of my spine. I clenched my eyes shut and thrust my back directly into the point of the blade. I screamed in agony but no relief came. The itch surged, I stood straight back up tears streaming from my face and thrust my back into the wall once more, driving the blade deeper.
Color wheel….like an artist hurling pastels at a black canvas I saw them all. Relief washed out over my body like a waterfall. It ran from the middle of my back, to my head, to the tips of my fingers and toes. Jacobs voice spoke softly into my ear. “isn’t the pain……exquisite?”
I woke up back in the hospital to a doctor explaining to my mom that the stab wound that I had received collapsed one of my lungs. He explained that, when the police got there, they saw me, unconscious, and my dad standing over my body.
How they had taken my dad into custody and I was brought here via ambulance. How I spent 4 hours in surgery, and the surgeons had placed tubes in my chest to drain the fluid build up. My mom was the first to notice me come to consciousness. The doctor quickly moved her aside, checked my vitals and my pupil reaction. Asked me how I was feeling, and after a few other tests, he allowed me and my mom a few minutes of privacy.
My mom immediately asked if my father was to blame….i shook my head no. My chest and throat were on fire so I mimed myself writing on a notepad and my mom gave me one, and a pen from her purse. I wrote, “was there anything weird about Jacob?”
"Oh honey" my mom said. "He was just a-"
I shook my head to cut her off. I pointed at the notepad aggressively. She looked sad and just said, “ no dear.”
I pointed at the notepad over and over and over again, shaking my head as hard as I could.
"Ok, honey ok. Please stop, please. You’ll pull something out." There was a long silence as she pondered over my question. "When the police found Jacobs body, they said they found his entire torso covered in carvings, words. They had no idea what they were because it was a different language. The coroner told the officers it was Latin. The officers didn’t know if you guys had been delving into witchcraft or the occult so they figured they’d tell your father just to keep an eye on you."
My mom continued to talk but I was no longer listening. My brain was racing 100 miles a minute. Latin? Carvings? His entire Torso? Was this his plan all along? Did he want me to kill him? Was he really ever in my head? Am I just fucking crazy? All these questions and I didn’t know ANYTHING!! The only thing I knew was in the midst of this panic that itch set in again….and its deep in the back of my left eye.
submitted by KeepItReal-ish to nosleep [link] [comments]

2020.08.26 13:38 Dancing_Cactuars Step 2: Caspus Goodbrother, Lord of Hammerhorn and Master of Coins & Rodrik Goodbrother, Heir of Hammerhorn.

Character Name: Caspus Goodbrother
Starting Title(s): Lord of Hammerhorn and Master of Coins
Age: 38
Physical Description: Standing at 6'4, Caspus's appearance is representative of his skill as a seasoned fighter and proficient reaver of the seas. He has long dusty brown hair, that has started to grey from age (and probably a bit of pent up stress) that he will often tie up into a bun whenever he finds it impractical, along with intense ocean blue eyes and a facial structure which is firm, with a defined jawline and rough skin. He has solid musculature, not that of a bodybuilder mind but one of man who highly values exercise and maintaining peak fitness. This has come as a consequence of heavy manual labour and years of reaving across the ocean. While Caspus may be a lord in name, he is just an Ironborn in nature and will pull his weight and get his hands just as dirty as everyone else around him. His body however is littered with various scars and marks of past conflict, most of them being across his chest and arms, however he has a large scar that streaks from across his right shoulder blade and up towards the base of his neck where on occasion it can be seen peeking out from underneath.
Starting Location: King's Landing
Attribute: Strong
Skill Points: 20
Skills: Weapon Proficiency in Two Handed Swords and Longbows (COM #1), Industry (STA #1), Networking (STA #2) and Finances (EDU #1).
Mastery: Steward
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Username: /Dancing_Cactuars
Discord Username: DancingCactuar#5841
Other Characters: Prince Serwyn Martell, Scion of House Martell
Auxiliary Character Name: Rodrik Goodbrother
Starting Title(s): Heir of Hammerhorn
Age: 18
Physical Description: Rodrik takes a lot after his father, with dusty brown hair that has grown long and is often tied up to keep it out of his face. Standing at 6ft 2, he is notably on the taller side however rather than the massive bulk of his father he maintains only some muscle from manual labour and helping out in the shipyard rather than from actual combat. He has mellow blue eyes that share a tender kindness within them too.
Starting Location: Hammerhorn
Attribute: Diligent
Skill Points: Spendable points for Auxiliary Characters is 14.
Skills: Civil Engineering (STA #1), Commerce (STA #2), Leatherworking (EDU #1) and Smithing (EDU #2)
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Birth Name: Caspus Goodbrother
Titles: Lord of Hammerhorn & Master of Coin
Gender: Male
Date Of Birth: 4th of the 7th Moon, 344 AC
Location: King's Landing
Culture: Ironborn
Religion: The Drowned God
Status: Alive
Occupation: Lord
Holdings: Hammerhorn
Affiliation: House Goodbrother House Greyjoy House Tyrell of King's Landing Small Council
Physical Information
Eye Colour: Blue
Hair Colour: Dusty Brown (Starting to grey a little)
Build: Muscular
Height: 6ft 4 / 193cm
Weight: 203lbs / 92kg
Father: Lucian Goodbrother (Born 325 AC - died 362 AC)
Mother: Alysanne Goodbrother (nee Marbrand) (Born 324 AC)
Spouse(s): Alannya Goodbrother (nee Greyjoy) (Born 344 AC)
Children: Rodrik Goodbrother (Born 364 AC) Ireena Goodbrother (Born 371 AC) Dalton Goodbrother (Born 373 AC)
Siblings: Triston Goodbrother (Born 347 AC) Gysella Goodbrother (Born 349 AC)
Liege: Ronas Greyjoy
Heir: Rodrik Goodbrother
Birth Name: Rodrik Hammerhorn
Titles: Heir of Hammerhorn
Gender: Male
Date Of Birth: 29th of the 10th Moon, 364 AC
Location: Hammerhorn
Culture: Ironborn
Religion: The Drowned God
Status: Alive
Occupation: Heir to Hammerhorn / 'Acting Lord'
Holdings: Hammerhorn
Affiliation: House Goodbrother House Greyjoy
Physical Information
Eye Colour: Blue
Hair Colour: Light Brown
Build: Moderately well built
Height: 6ft 2 / 188cm
Weight: 175lbs / 79kg
Father: Caspus Goodbrother (Born 344 AC)
Mother: Alannya Goodbrother (nee Greyjoy) (Born 344 AC)
Spouse(s): N/A
Children: N/A
Siblings: Ireena Goodbrother (Born 371 AC) Dalton Goodbrother (Born 373 AC)
Liege: Ronas Greyjoy
Heir: He is the current heir
Appearance and Character:
Standing at 6'4, Caspus's appearance is representative of his skill as a seasoned fighter and proficient reaver of the seas under his liege lord Ronas Greyjoy. He has long dusty brown hair, that has started to grey from age (and probably a bit of pent up stress) that he will often tie up into a bun whenever he finds it impractical, along with intense ocean blue eyes and a facial structure which is firm, with a defined jawline and rough skin. He has solid musculature, not that of a bodybuilder mind but one of man who highly values exercise and maintaining peak fitness. This has come as a consequence of heavy manual labour and years of reaving across the ocean. While Caspus may be a lord in name, he is just an Ironborn in nature and will pull his weight and get his hands just as dirty as everyone else around him. His body however is littered with various scars and marks of past conflict, most of them being across his chest and arms, however he has a large scar that streaks from across his right shoulder blade and up towards the base of his neck where on occasion it can be seen peeking out from underneath (From an unfortunate conflict on his Essosi voyage).
Caspus is one for practicality and therefore unlike some other Ironborn nobles who may wish to show their wealth through donning metal breastplates, he sticks to lighter leathers as well as rough spun clothing coated in wax to provide himself warmth against the chilling, rough winds of the Iron Islands. Regardless of whether he is at home with his family or if he is miles off on a boat, the style of clothing he tends to wear remains universal despite the current circumstances. Only when he must, such as in he is in King's Landing, will Caspus wear clothing which is of a finer quality, in dark greys and reds, simply to satisfy the 'needs' of the nobility rather than out of any genuine respect or care for etiquette.
Caspus speaks with a gruffness to his tone, naturally with a deep voice he can come across to be more fierce and intimidating that he truly is. However despite this, there seems to be an air of confidence and self acceptance in how he presents himself to those around him. Caspus knows his place but he also knows the value of the people around him and as such he speaks the truth and he lets himself be blunt even at the expense of not being the most popular at times. Some may mistake his deep voice and his blunt nature to be a sign of aggression or barbarity, these people if they do not leave Caspus be or especially try to challenge or combat themselves against the lord will find out that while he is loyal and blunt, he does show a remarkable amount of mercy compared to the majority of Ironborn. While he may be a fierce character on first impression, Caspus does not find an inherent thrill or desire to shed blood, merely he knows that death is natural and whether death is demanded at the time, it does not matter - whatever happens is happening for a reason that is out of his control and is under the control of The Drowned God.
As both a lord and a father, he is patient and loyal to his people and his family. Becoming a father especially was an experience which provided a lesson in humility and humbleness that perhaps beforehand he had not had time to appreciate having spent a large amount of time engaging with his voyage crew and exploring places to help add to the increasing wealth of Hammerhorn. The birth of his first child Rodrik, was a very jarring experience for the man, having never been too close to anyone in his life or ever truly feeling as though he had a position or care due to the very communal society that he had tried to encourage within Hammerhorn, having the responsibility of raising and teaching a baby boy who would in time be his successor to the lordship took the man by surprise. In recent years, some of the gruffness and harshness has eroded away like the very rocks that protect his home - now more than ever he just wants to raise his children his own way and protect them from a world which might try and change them into people who would cause damage to not just their house but also themselves as people.
Born in 344 AC, Caspus Goodbrother was born to Lucian and Alysanne Goodbrother.. Caspus was the first of what would be three children whom Alysanne gave birth to, all to her husband Lucian whom she married alternatively out of a genuine love rather than for political purposes despite the fact that such actions provided the means to bridge the cap between House Goodbrother and the mainland. After Caspus's birth in 344AC, he ended up growing up with his two younger siblings, Triston and Gysella who were born in 347AC and 349AC respectively. A lot of Caspus's immediate childhood consisted of an effort to distance himself from the concerns of the Greenlanders throughout the 350s. Whilst Caspus by no means was blind or prevented from learning the skills that would be required later on in his lifetime, his mother Alysanne tried her best to keep her children's involvement and knowledge of the wars, especially the War of White and Gold, out of their minds. House Goodbrother itself had been at conflict in terms of partaking in the raids that took place along of coast of the Westerlands throughout the actual war and as such to this day insist their innocence at the time proves their integrity as a house. During those years, his father Lucian had begun to develop the first signs of fever and illness for a disease that would ultimately claim his life days after the end of the war
Throughout the early years of his childhood, Alysanne and Lucian encouraged their own form of parenting different perhaps to what was standard of most Ironborn families. Whilst they still encouraged the Ironborn way of living for the most part, the two parents tried their best to show their children the importance of independent thinking and making their own decisions and conclusions rather than following the crowd and submitting to people without thinking. In the wake of the War of White and Gold, with the Greyjoys still in power and the beginning of a period of restoration, Caspus began his practical training in combat. Rather than directly learning about naval navigation and command, Lucian decided it would be for the best after the previous five years that Caspus took self defence as a priority over knowing how to reave should he need to protect himself in the future. Taking the most physically bulky and combat proficient Ironborn they could afford, Caspus spent a lot of his early teenage years in daily sparring and training exercises, not just learning about how to use swords and axes but also going through intensive workouts and building up muscle and core strength to help support him in his training. At the time, they had not anticipated that Caspus would end up travelling the route he actually did and so his formal education came down mostly to his own personal interest in reading and learning more than the basics he was taught.
Caspus's father Lucian's passing came as a shock mainly due to how quickly it followed with the passing of the title of Lord of Hammerhorn to the boy who at the time was only fourteen years old himself and still relatively inexperienced. Being the next in line in terms of the remaining Goodbrother family within the line of succession, Alysanne took up the mantle of a regent only for a short period of time (approximately eight years) with the intention of passing on the title and responsibilities that came with it to Caspus on his eighteenth name day. Alysanne decided on this due to her history with varying health, while she had never been so close to death that she was afraid she would die soon, her bouts of sickness were frequent enough that as she grew older, she knew that it would be best for her son to take charge before her health compromised the people of Hammerhorn but at the same time she did not feel as though he was at the right stage in his life to be thrust with so much responsibility all in one go. It was at this time that Caspus Goodbrother changed from just a boy of a noble family to the proposed future Lord of Hammerhorn and leader of the family.
Becoming the Lord of Hammerhorn was as odd an experience as one might have suspected for Caspus, in 362 AC however this passing thought became the reality for the young Ironborn who was thrust into the position with the knowledge of a reaver and the combat prowess of a seasoned fighter. However, diplomacy and politics were not areas that Caspus would be trained in extensively throughout his teenage years, not from a lack of care but more so from Alysanne not wanting to push her son too much considering the rigourous physical conditioning he would undertake on a regular basis. However, in secret Caspus would spend many hours reading up different ledgers that were stored in the library (nosy and curious about what they contained and what he could learn from them) instead of going to sleep, working out how best to run things and considering all the mistakes his father Lucian had made and what he would do differently - in this his initial training in this field was self taught and rather than blossoming through academia it would flourish when applied to his practical transition into lordship. In contrast to this, his brother Triston received a more balanced education focusing on both aspects of an Ironborn life whilst his sister being a potential suitor for the future was brought up with lessons on how she would behave and act, Ironborn customs and traditions would be drilled into Gysella but also Lucian thought it would be important to give her some background knowledge on Westerosi customs as a whole in case she be in a position where she needed to adapt. Caspus couldn't help but feel sorry for his sister and quite often he would sneak her out of her lessons so they could go to the beach or visit one of the various coves along the edge of Great Wyk, much to the frustration of their tutors.
Fully capable as a sailor and a firm hand when it came to roughing the waves of the open sea, where Caspus may have lacked somewhat in his talent for navigation, his men respected him even from being a teenager due to his commitment and sheer presence as the captain of vessels that he manned as a part of his 'education'. Even the grizzled old veterans who would normally be a bit irritated with a youngster taking the reins saw Caspus as an example of when the next generation of Ironborn could actually improve on what had been created in the past. In conflict, Caspus would retain a cool head and react to situations with lightning efficeiencyetween the years of 364 AC and 365 AC, Caspus manned a ship called 'Tempest' with a sizeable crew to partake in the 'reaving' as was tradition (Although in truth he was wishing to find goods to peddle in the aftermath of the Iron Islands famine in exchange for work). The lord would prove to be decent in this field defending his shops from others
Caspus requested his hand of marriage with Ronas's sister, Alannya Greyjoy. The two had met before and were on pleasant terms, however the proposal came to a surprise for the woman who in the space of a year had gone from being alone to now being wed to the Lord of Hammerhorn in a simple but modest wedding ceremony. The years to follow would come with Rodrik born in 364 AC, Ireena in 371AC and Dalton in 373 AC. Loving all of his children, Caspus found himself at odds with himself with trying to spend the time he needed to as a father with the thoughts of lordly duties and the snipping of his people anticipating action. Caspus's main involvement in Rodrik's early years were only that he ensured that his children were brought up in an environment where they had a solid balance between learning and appreciating the customs of the Iron Islands alongside those of the mainland for whatever undertakings they might conduct in the future. Still, Rodrik would begin his physical training at the age of seven despite the fact that Caspus would try and place more focus later on in finance and how to efficiently maintain and develop a stronghold.
Between the years of 368AC and 369AC, Caspus organised his own trip in secret to explore and develop his own charters for the seas surrounding Essos and the Summer Isles. Unlike that of the standard Ironborn reaving however, Caspus actually undertook honest work, pulling favours and performing jobs along his trip to subsidise for food for his crew, not really as successful monetarily the net profit he made from the entire trip was ultimately almost even on the side of a positive. On his trips, rumours and secrets swirled around about 'What was meant to come' however rumours and secrets are just that are they not? He had lived long enough not to trust rumours and secrets.
The Book of Ironsong is a narrative diary written by Caspus Goodbrother in the third person. It details the events of the Essosi Voyage across the years of 368-369 AC in descriptive detail. The entire book is one of a kind and was handwritten by Goodbrother over the period of time. The initial contents page is not as neat due to the occasional scribblings out however it provides the following information for the different sections of the book.
1) Leaving the Iron Islands
2) Dorne's First Kiss
3) Breaching Essos
4) Pentos
5) Songs of a Seaman
6) Running the Coast
7) Final Days
8) Further South
9) Welcoming of Summer
10) Festival of Summer
11) Celebrations of Summer
12) Lasting Ruminations
13) The Long Sail Home
14) Dorne's Final Kiss
15) The End of the Ironsong
The book does not contain a blurb however at the end in rushed handwriting is a poem that does not seem to be directly dedicated to anyone however for those who read it... well that is for them to find out should the book be recovered. Upon his return back to Hammerhorn, Alannya heavily encouraged Caspus to have a greater input into the upbringing of their children and whilst not wanting to try and distance himself from his duties and the freedom of sailing. The guilt of leaving his family and especially bending the truth to his own wife had failed to ebb away as time passed. Unbeknownst to the lady, Caspus considered in his own mind that this would be more than just a duty to his children but also the best way he could try to apologise to his wife for not being as involved in their children's lives and not openly showing the affection and care that he really should of as a father. At first, it was hard - despite being a father for eleven years already, it was almost like starting from scratch.
Between the time of his return from the Essosi voyage and the War of the Last Dragons, his mother's connections to the mainland would provide an opportunity which Caspus would take on board due to his heritage and the fact that in the last decade the Goodbrothers had proved themselves capable of withholding themselves from temptation and focus solely on their own issues at hand. Notably, Caspus's ability to network and find cheap sources of grain provided Hammerhorn with the quickest recovery throughout the entire Iron Islands to the point that where other islands had starving smallfolk, Hammerhorn was in the process of beginning the construction of new ships to expand the Goodbrother fleet without much of a word of concern for their health or wellbeing. For Caspus, a lot of his initial years being a lord had been focused solely on Hammerhorn and its care however as the 370s approached, his mother Alysanne took Caspus aside to question him on the Iron Islands as a whole. Would the Iron Islands benefit from the approach they were taking? From the deviation that the Goodbrother's were taking from the traditional actions of the Ironborn? In truth, Caspus answered that he thought the world would be a much more peaceful and safe place if that divide between the Iron Islands and the mainland could be bridged. He knew full well that people would hate him for being Ironborn but the first steps for any person trying to make a difference is to face the fire headfirst and so he did. Getting any resemblance of agreement in trying to act as an emissary between the Iron Islands and King's Landing proved to be a long and arduous slog. Realistically, one and a half years of travelling back and forth went by with very little in movement from either side, trying to change stubborn mules would not work by sheer force and so another approach would be needed to try and take charge on bridging the gap that had been wedged further and further apart. The best way Caspus could try and act would be through selflessness, through acts of generosity that would no doubt be ignored. Insistent on his goal however, Caspus would visit the royal court and present various ideas based on his own experience of industry and development of land back at home. An Ironborn suggesting how to finance King's Landing? Ridiculous! They cried. Weeks after weeks he would walk through those same doors with the jeering and gossiping but that did not matter. No matter, Alysanne insisted to him that the only way this could work would be through sticking himself into their matters like a thorn until they had to acknowledge him for what he was trying to do. Eventually, in 375AC, the day came where Caspus was summoned - having suggested as one of his plans to create a trade link between Great Wyk and King's Landing for a cheap and reliable source of materials for weapon and armour construction (for the military and navy). The reality of the matter was, his idea was passed with the expectation of failure, however the truth in the matter proved that not only did it make sourcing materials cheaper but with the Goodbrother's knowledge it inspired potential research into better mining operations on the mainland proper. Caspus was thanked, as much as an Ironborn could be, and he was told that should he come up with any more possible suggestions that perhaps the royal court would be more leneant on listening to him next time. Up until the War of the Last Dragons, Caspus continued to unofficially provide small ideas and thoughts based on his own knowledge, without pay or recognition for the work he was contributing to King's Landing
The War of the Last Dragons provided a turning point which in reality acted as the bridge between the past and the present and finalised the Goodbrothers turning against the history of reaving . Daena had proposed the ransacking of the Westerlands to the Ironborn, while the threat of war merged, as long as they stuck to reaving the coasts and claiming all the valuables they could they would have their place in her new realm. For a decent number of Ironborn this was the bait they wanted, however for Caspus... the past had provided him a lesson in not bending to the wishes of someone who would wish to cause so much destruction for their own supposed claim to the throne. For him, he wanted to do whatever he could to protect his family and allow his children to grow up in a world where they could be safe and be able to learn and develop without being under the eye of a Conquering Targaryen and her massive dragon. The Tyrells of King's Landing with all their faults were still trying their best for the realm and he would not be able to willingly stand back and let a pretender destroy a world that was finally beginning to see the first signs of peace. On his own terms, he left his family once more however this time not before saying goodbye and spending one last evening together in front of the fireplace. Caspus's experience as a reactive manager would provide to be a useful asset to the war as he bounced and dotted between conflict to conflict wherever he was needed. It was in the face of stress and strife where Caspus truly shone, assisting in the management of money and allocating funds to the areas that most needed it to react to what Daena was doing at the time. Rather than following direct offensive or defensive uses of money, his method of thinking involved predicting Daena's movements to best allocate the money for optimum results. To this day, even he could not describe the sensation as anything else but a 'fight for a good world' and sadly the conquest of Daena? Her conquest had no place in this good world he wanted for his family.
The aftermath of the War of the Last Dragons initially was a quiet affair, after the war Caspus returned to Hammerhorn to the relief of his family. He took this time to spend as much time with his family as possible and considering the brutality of war he shifted the focus of Rodrik's learning to development and commerce so that he could focus on something practical but safe. Goodbrother had historically been well off, however their lack of involvement in raiding had made them on the poorer side of the Iron Island houses all things considered. In the space of the two years, the recover that came over Hammerhorn could have only been described as miraculous. Markets began to emerge and preparations for further projects were in the works as more and more money trickled into the Hammerhorn economy in a boom that consequently gave a massive boost of morale to the smallfolk of Hammerhorn. Since his birth, he had never seen the people who he was responsible for as happy and fulfilled as they were presently and for that it proved to be enlightening for Caspus. The Lord of Hammerhorn knew that he would do whatever he could to provide the best life for his children and so when on a visit to the Iron Islands as a part of her progress, Myrcella's conversation to Caspus provided the first stepping stones to a brand new life in King's Landing. Word of his 'heroics during the war' and his outright denial of Daena's temptations along with the restoration of Hammerhorn and his previous faithful service (in the face of constant beratement) had only unintentionally made him a person of key interest in the eyes of the new Queen considering it directly defied the prejudice that had always surrounded the Ironborn visage.
Being offered the chance to go back to King's Landing once more this time to properly make his mark and prove that not all Ironborn should be judged the same (with the position of Master of Coin), Caspus almost declined the offer due to his family. Despite this, through the encouragement of his wife, an agreement was made that Rodrik would stay back with Alannya to continue his studies and training as the heir of Hammerhorn whilst Caspus would take the two youngest across to King's Landing whilst he fulfilled his new responsibilities. After the raging war, Cas. And so entering 383AC, on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of Robert Baratheon's coronation, the new year is sure to provide new twists and turns as the three learn to navigate this brand new environment with brand new, potentially dangerous, people. After all, even with all he has done and all the House Goodbrother has tried to do to prove their are not what the stigma claims them to be, anger is still rife, tensions are still flared and not everyone is willing to see the good behind the iron.
Appearance and Character:
Standing at 6'2, Rodrik resembles his father for the most part however where he stands almost as tall as his father in height, the lack of intensity in his physical training has resulted in only a moderate amount of muscle compared to his father. Still, he has more brawn than his other two siblings due to them not having had any compulsory combative training as a part of their education yet. His hair is a dark, dusty brown that is very wavy and falls just above his shoulders. Alongside this, he has ocean blue eyes that shimmer like the very sea themselves that stand out against his oval face, with a strong jawline. Unlike his father, he has yet to become victim to rough skin through excessive manual labour and obviously due to not being a part of any reaving or warfare, he has had no scarring from cuts or slashes. In fact, the only scar he has is a small pink coloured scar on his right foot that came from impaling his foot on a large nail. Furthermore, he follows his father's example when it comes to the clothing he wears despite the fact that Hammerhorn has seen a revival in its finances following the end of the War of the Last Dragon. Such items as roughspun cloth clothing and leather coats that have been waxed in fats make the bulk of the clothing Rodrik wears on a daily basis.
The young man could be described simply as being one whose has been instilled in the importance of family and the importance of doing whatever you can to support and look after those closest to you. Therefore, a lot of the actions he takes tend to be based on a mixture of logic and emotion as he tries to balance seeing what is best in a theoretical sense along with determining what will make people the happiest. This is especially apparent coming in 383 AC as he takes on the mantle of an 'acting lord' as he trains under the tutelage of his mother, being responsible for making the decisions when it comes to what happens within Hammerhorn. Despite being mild-mannered and calm, Rodrik is by no means a pushover and in fact his anger tends to be more intimidating just because of how calm and ice cold it truly is when people would try and act in a way which puts himself or others in danger. Of course, anger and frustration are examples of emotions that Rodrik does not tend to resort to often. Compared to his father in fact, he admittedly has an even better control over his emotions in general however that could easily be put to the test should a stressful situation come around and test Rodrik. In notable contrast to his father however, Rodrik has a moderately deep but crystal clear voice, rather than using contractions and naval language like his father he tends to enunciate his worlds properly so that he can be easily understand by those he is conversing with.
Born in 364 AC to Caspus Goodbrother and Alannya Goodbrother, Rodrik was the first child of three that his parents would have. Initially, for the first couple years of his life, he was a sickly child. His actual birth had almost resulted in the passing of his mother (Which was of big concern especially considering Caspus had gone away already on a reaving expedition) due to the fact that he came four weeks early and was given birth to on a beach of all places away from any actual fresh linen or beds for Alannya to lay down on. Luckily, in time both would recover however for the boy, at birth his right fist was paralysed and forced into a clenched fist so over time Alannya had to gradually tease the fingers open a couple of times a day on a daily basis despite all the pain it caused the young child at the time. While he does not know, Rodrik suspects that his innate good pain tolerance was heavily impacted by the fact that this happened whilst he was a young child. Furthermore, from a young age, Rodrik excelled in basic learning and in an academic sense he seemed to pick up reading, writing and especially arithmetic at a rate that surpassed other children of his own age. Alannya expressed a desire for this talent to be pursued further for Rodrik however at the order of the Lord of Hammerhorn it was agreed that when the boy came of age to begin combat training, physical education and combat would take priority over academic pursuits in preparation for adult life when Rodrik would undoubtedly need those skills.
One of Rodrik's favourite pastimes was to explore the coves and play different games with the other children of Hammerhorn. From a young age, he was brought up to see himself as no better than the smallfolk and because of this it allowed a natural integration with the rest of the children as they ran off to play various games on the beach and in the various caves and coves that dotted the coastline. Some popular games were tag and hide and seek however Rodrik's height never proved to be of any convenience in the latter due to his head often poking out from the top or sides of the hiding spots he would choose. The birth of his siblings actually proved to be an exciting time for the heir to Hammerhorn. Unlike some who would resent not being the centre of attention, Rodrik welcomed it as it inherently reduced some of the pressure and focus that previously had been a part of his life. As the children grew up and Rodrik entered his teenage years, he often took over responsibility of looking after his siblings whenever Caspus and/or Alannya were occupied in one form or another. His love for his siblings was one which was undeniable even to a stranger, never taking his eyes off of them and always doing his best to attend to their needs one might have thought that they were his own children with the way he doted over them with tender affection. The truth of the matter was much simpler, while the children whom he played with in the past were cheerful and good company there would always be that societal separation no matter how much he tried to blend in with everyone else. These two siblings were ones who would not have the condition to judge or question as they were to grow up to live a life similar to his own, having a youth whom he could relate to and share his own worries and concerns with even if they were younger felt therapeutic. For Rodrik, the knowledge that he would not be quite as alone anymore acted as a boost of confidence. In the present day, Rodrik insists that he wouldn't be able to act with such conviction if he hadn't grown up with his siblings, claiming that they will always have a part to play in the development of Hammerhorn simply by being a positive influence.
The War of the Last Dragon however would become the catalyst that defined the path that Rodrik would end up following as heir to Hammerhorn. Caspus had informed his son that: 'Daena had proposed the ransacking of the Westerlands to the Ironborn, while the threat of war merged, as long as they stuck to reaving the coasts and claiming all the valuables they could they would have their place in her new realm'. Not wanting to be responsible for adding potential damage to an already precarious situation, Rodrik agreed to do his best alongside his mother to keep Hammerhorn safe and the smallfolk fed and sheltered during the rough time. Whilst Caspus was away, Hammerhorn proved to struggle against the ever lingering battles and conflict on the mainland. Whilst other Ironborn houses hoarded riches from Lannisport and other Westerland strongholds, they had to stand firm on the basis of not engaging in actions which could put them at danger should the Tyrell resistance come out on top against their Targaryen aggressors. Alannya taught Rodrik the importance of considering your actions and how even the smallest decision could have a distinctive impact on the future of their people. By staying out of it, should Deana win, the likelihood that they would be in a bad situation afterwards would rest solely on Caspus's actions but by engaging in the reaving and falling pray to the temptations laid out to them it would only consolidate to the crown how the Iron Islands were a pest in the face of war. Alannya took the two years of war to begin teaching Rodrik the skills of leadership and decision making, while they were only the foundations of a knowledge base they would prove undoubtedly vital in the years to follow. Rodrik however, feared that the act of neutrality would in the end not be enough to prove a point in the years to follow.
The years of 381-382 AC were a simple yet miraculous affair for Hammerhorn. The aftermath of the war had plunged the Goodbrothers into financial jeopardy, having spent a decent amount of money to provide for the smallfolk. They needed to do something to get the house back on track and it was actually Rodrik, through his teachings and reading of books, that laid out the plans for a long term revival project for the township. In early 382AC, this begin with the construction of markets and an emphasis on commerce and welcoming skilled craftsmen and traders to Hammerhorn. Rodrik's idea was to make Hammerhorn the place on the Iron Islands and perhaps even on the scale of Westeros that would have a reputation for providing some of the best commerce and crafts to satisfy the needs of the realm. Even from the start, it proved to pick up and in the space of just over half a year, the Goodbrother family had returned their financial status from brinking on collapse to being one of the most affluant throughout the entirety of the Iron Islands, a feat that made Rodrik popular with the people. Caspus's departure from Hammerhorn to fill the position of Master of Coin was partially attributed to his son's quick thinking and now the father who had prioritised combat training for his eldest son fully supported this new path that Rodrik wished to carve out. On the boy's eighteenth nameday, the smallfolk helt their own version of a parade as they chanted, 'Rodrik the Saviour' over and over again, massive cheers and cries broke out throughout the town and for the first time in a while, overcome with emotion Rodrik cried. To hear the words, to feel the feeling of hope in his heart. It was this that he knew he lived for now, not the past of what the Iron Islanders may have done but the present of what he could do. Moving into 383AC, Rodrik continues to act on his long term plan to continue developing Hammerhorn and make it the best it can possibly be.
Family Tree
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2020.08.22 11:41 brakos My late night ramblings about Seattle: The city that built me.

Maybe it’s the "what if" thoughts going through my head right now that’s led me to write this. Maybe it’s the fact that my twenties are nearly over. Maybe it’s the quarantine. Maybe it’s just simple nostalgia. I don’t know.
But tonight, I feel I need to reflect on the city that made me who I am today. Seattle, Washington.
I was born and raised in Port Orchard and Bremerton. No matter what, that will always be my hometown, familiar territory. There will always be the bowling alley, the elementary school I went to, and Grandma’s house. But that’s not what this story is about.
This story probably begins earlier than I feel it should, but it’s my first true memory of Seattle. A journey with my grandparents to see the Mariners play at the Kingdome for my seventh birthday. There might only be three things I can remember about that day: The Mariners won and scored at least 10 runs (I think it was 11). I was very intrigued by the scoreboard, but I loved technology like that back then. The bus ride back to some park and ride south of the city was probably the most memorable. I had no idea buses could even bend in the middle, so of course I sat on that sideways-facing seat. A seven-year-old boy, probably wearing a Mariners hat and shirt, completely fascinated by the fact that two halves of a bus could twist and turn and not break. And being in a vehicle with complete strangers seemed so foreign at the time. But it was all new, so it was cool.
Fast forward to when I was ten or eleven. My mom and I took the ferry over to downtown Seattle. Definitely a summer day, it was uncomfortable in the days that air conditioning was a luxury in the northwest. We went to the aquarium, some lemonade cart that’s probably long gone, Pike Place Market (when you’re still a kid, those stairs from the waterfront feel like they go on forever by the way), the Monorail, and the Space Needle. Interestingly enough, I don’t think I’ve been up to the top since. I later learned of much better view points. The tall buildings made me completely disoriented, which is how my present-day partner feels when she’s downtown.
A year or two later, I think sixth grade, my class took a field trip to EMP. I grew up on the peninsula in the nineties, all I really was comfortable with was country music at that point, so I really didn’t get much out of it. All I could remember was loathing the pop music of the time, and not realizing there’s more than just what’s on the pop stations and country. But we’ll save that for another paragraph.
I ran off to Seattle for the first time when I was fifteen I think. Looking back, probably a stupid idea. But aren’t most ideas when you’re fifteen. It was actually just for a couple hours, I mostly wanted to go to the sporting goods store on the waterfront and find some hats. They weren’t even Seattle-based teams, which is probably why I didn’t just go to the mall in Silverdale. I still have no idea if my folks knew that I went to Seattle. I never got in trouble if they did.
Jonathon, if you’re reading this, I still remember you scaring the shit out of me coming back from a Mariners game we went to in 2008 with Mr. Phillips’s marketing class.
In high school, I longed to get out. Maybe too much. I wanted to move to Texas and go to college to learn to be computer graphics designer. I don’t think I ever managed to be more specific than that. Spoiler alert: I didn’t move to Texas. I didn’t become a graphics designer. Plus I’m colorblind so it probably would have been difficult anyways. But somehow the city that made me who I am today was only a ferry ride away.
I guess the story really starts here. And before I even visited Seattle as an adult. Throughout high school, I discovered so much interesting music thanks to some less than legal avenues with names bearing citrus fruits. Eventually I found some bands I liked, which led me to a few more similar ones, and so on. At some point I stumbled upon The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie. I had no idea they were from Seattle for months, maybe even a year or two. It was comforting, relaxing, and resonated with me. Honestly it still does all these years later. I swear this will tie in eventually.
Jump ahead a while, it’s the fall of 2010. I found a live performance of a radio program in Seattle I really wanted to go to. I saved up some money and made the journey out there. Hopped on the ferry, and sailed off. I was 19, the grimy city I never understood was simultaneously both more and less foreboding than it was when I was a kid. At some point, I remember helping an older woman take some stuff to her apartment. I don’t know if this has any significance, but I just remembered it.
Bus route 11, which later on I became much more familiar with, was a mystery at that point. The first one that came by, I didn’t even know where to catch it at. I knew it was a corner of 1st Avenue… somewhere. But I missed it somehow, so had to wait another 15 minutes or whatever it was. At this point I was glad buses ran more than once an hour like they do in Port Orchard.
By the time I got to the other side of the city, I was getting pretty hungry. I found The Independent Pizzeria. I have no idea if it still exists or not, the few times I thought to look it up again, they were either closed for the season or our schedules didn’t align. I should go back if it's still around. The hole-in-the-wall atmosphere was charming and cozy. The smell of pizza definitely helped matters.
A few minutes in there, I heard a familiar tune: Such Great Heights. I was home at that moment. To this day it’s still my favorite Postal Service song, probably because of that memory. I don’t even remember the show anymore, or the journey back onto the ferry. I felt comfortable. I had a place I belonged.
My first year I lived in Bellevue, compared to the peninsula it was close enough for me. I still visited Seattle a few nights a week: board game nights, pick-up football games, playing tourist on occasion. I had a close-knit group of friends, one of which I was dating. At twenty years old, I felt like I had it all.
My grandmother passed away in September that year. I had just moved into Bellevue in August, but was visiting her in Bremerton a few times a week. I still remember one night, coming back on the ferry to Seattle. The sky was glowing green from all the city lights. I had my mp3 player on, and What Sarah Said came on next. That song still reminds me of both my grandmother and that ferry ride to this day. I think that might have been the last night I saw her too.
The next year, the city kicked me out. It was my own undoing no doubt about it, and I’m not going into details here. But I moved back home, and was ready to get back out as soon as I could. Three months later, I was back in the city. The big one this time. Seattle.
It was an old turn-of-the-century apartment I shared with a couple roommates. The space was cramped, but it was mine. Plus I was about five blocks from downtown. Admittedly these few years I was only at home to shower and sleep, constantly bouncing around the city. Last I checked, the building got torn down and replaced with some massive office space.
I lived there for three years. In that time, I truly discovered myself. I came to terms with my identity, my sexuality, my health, what I liked and disliked. I was in the best shape of my life, walking up and down the hills probably had a lot to do with that. My groups of friends rotated through the years: from one board game group to the next, that group of exchange students I met on their way to North Bend, the sports bar where I spent so many Sunday afternoons downing hot dogs with bizarre toppings. I jumped from job to job: cashiering, tour guide, furniture store sales, and too much online stuff to keep track of. I never got rich or even close to it, just enough to squeak by on what I had. It was enough for me.
I met my current partner at the end of 2013. Our first "date" was me showing her around Seattle, since she lived an hour away and had never really been in the city. I don’t think either one of us envisioned a full-fledged relationship, but after showing her around the city I called home, and a few other trips around the area, we were together and have been ever since. I guess you could say Seattle caused my relationship too.
Remember that Mariners game I went to on my seventh birthday? Well, one day my partner and some of my family (including my 3 year old cousin) got to go to a Mariners game at Safeco in 2015. A nice Wednesday day game. Pretty memorable for being a nice family outing, and really memorable for it being Iwakuma's no-hitter. It was purely dumb luck that it was that game we went to. I should remind them about that next time I visit.
Fate and circumstance took me away from the city again. I moved in with my partner outside of town, then we moved down to Vancouver, and we may soon be moving again.
Unfortunately, not back to Seattle.
I still miss the ferry rides to visit my family, the chaos of downtown, and the relatively laid back atmospheres of Fremont and Ballard. I miss meandering through the UW campus, or grabbing lunch at Pike Place, Tat’s, or Pagliacci’s. I miss the walk around Discovery Park, and going to Lincoln Park in Fauntleroy after it’s officially closed, watching the last ferry head out towards my home town at two in the morning. I miss the eerily quiet early weekend mornings in downtown, when the night owls have fallen asleep, and the morning people haven’t quite woken up yet. I miss playing flag football at Roosevelt High on Saturday mornings, though my shoulders and knees definitely don’t. I miss taking the bus to North Bend to get away from it all when the city got too overwhelming. I hope the bakery there is still as good as I remember it being.
I still visit here and there, work not included. I try to make it to Folklife every year, but obviously that didn’t happen this year, and who knows about next year.
Even though I don’t live there anymore, Seattle will always be the city that built me, for better or worse. And I’m okay with that. Maybe I'm happy about that. I just hope I’ll be back again soon.
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2020.08.04 09:39 huwhyteman VPX transcripts
everything is white supremacy
woke leftists have had a difficult time the past two years the list of ordinary acts that are called covert white supremacy has been growing exponentially since the trump presidency began and as the widening divide over nfl protests show the racially tinged culture war is just gaining momentum conservative media loves the liberal obsession with declaring innocuous activities as white supremacy because the wild headlines are red meat for talk radio and email newsletters but mainstream right wing commentary on these stories is amazingly shallow republican lawmakers use a standard sound bite comprised of an indignant denial of gop racism plus a preemptive disavow of conservative racists this earns them precisely zero credit with the media and the left conservative pundits lament the loss of common sense american values without offering any explanation for why those values have been in free fall since the sixties the mainstream right seems to regard declarations of white supremacy as isolated incidence and politically foolish acts perpetrated by rage filled progressives the gop is genuinely surprised every time they lose ground in the culture war to such seemingly ridiculous attacks by declaring such attacks madness conservative pundits absolve themselves of the responsibility to analyze and counter these assaults on whiteness the mainstream right is not curious enough to track the progression of allegations of white supremacy however and the left does have a clever method to their apparent madness liberals begin an anti white attack by condemning some distant act of racism so that moderate whites can comfortably agree once whites have shown their willingness to concede a minor point the liberal left rapidly moves the goalposts until those tolerant progressive whites are themselves accused of racism let us use the symbol x to represent any white institution or activity x could be sports higher education hollywood the music industry or local government the lefts attacks will follow the same general pattern no matter what x represents using this alt right guide to white supremacy you will be able to not only understand the leftist tactic being used you will also be able to predict for friends and family the next stage of white supremacy outrage whatever topic is selected for forced reeducation is first attacked through its history there is a legacy of racism in x therefore the modern version of x must be made more inclusive and diverse the politically correct white dupes be they liberal or conservative will then make an offer of support in good faith the most powerful institutions and individuals will bend over backwards to get non whites to the front of the line in x the changes implemented in the name of diversity lead only to decline in the quality of x but guilt ridden whites are willing to accept that if it means theyre immune to charges to racism unfortunately at this point the totally unracist whites have accepted the basic premise of a historical legacy of racism so they are now powerless to object when the institutional change that merely adds some diversity to white organizations is declared not good enough at this stage of the attack there will be a spate of headlines alleging that there is more work to be done once the accommodating whites have done everything possible to make x more inclusive short of dismantling x altogether they unexpectedly find themselves under attack for their very efforts at inclusion everything a white person does including giving undeserved help and affirmative action to non whites is then classified as white supremacy the institution x is then entirely taken over by non whites which means that x ceases to perform its dated function and is reduced to a wealth transfer program in which whites silently provide the money and managerial skills to facilitate their own decline this process does not merely condemn whites for protecting their own interests if you are white even joining in the erasure of your own race is not good enough the final stage in the white supremacy gambit is the open condemnation of whiteness itself as inherently evil to review first an institution whites invented is declared racist next the diverse version of the institution is declared insufficient then all the actions of whites become racist and finally the mere existence of whites is declared a form of white supremacy this last stage is quite a complement when you think about it people of color are so intimidated by the achievements and potential of whites that our very existence on earth is de facto supremacy unfortunately this also makes certain that real genocide will proceed at some point in the future the white supremacy gambit clearly shows the inadequacy of gop political philosophy when a republican talks about common sense american values or the constitution they are merely trying to avoid identity politics but identity politics are an extricably link to all the values that republicans hold dear the mythic age of common sense was just a time when the social norms that conservatives like were the dominant force in society and american values can only be conservative to the extent that america is peopled by white europeans the constitution itself was never intended to be the governing document for heterogeneous country made up of muslims hindus jews or africans if anyone had asked the founders to write a governing document for such people they would have immediately created a white ethnostate after america has lost its white majority with no resistance from conservatives and the promised ideological conversion of non whites fails to materialize the few conservatives who are left will argue that the new hispanic and muslim cultural norms are just as american as the european traditions they replaced because all the muslims and hispanics are legal citizens of the usa the absurdity of this ideology is egregious the politicians who claim to be conserving american culture will be praising totally different cultures and calling them just as american in a few decades excepting the infinite malleability of america and the universal applicability of the constitution means that conservatives can never make a principled objection to any demographic or cultural change proposed by the left the alt right fundamentally agrees with the lefts assessment of western civilization shakespeare is white supremacy free speech and meritocracy are white supremacy math logic and science are also white supremacy all of these civilizational attainments can only survive in a white european society that seeks its own interests without worrying about the hurt feelings of non whites as john derbyshire has said there must be something good about white supremacy because a few billion non whites are desperate to move into white countries every attempt to exploit white guilt or to redress racial grievances no matter how innocuous and justified it may seem eventually leads to the condemnation of whiteness itself and that is the most intolerable thing of all
the attack on the traditional german family
germany which has become the model upon which the entire west will be refashioned amidst its own self abolishment has yet made it again very clear that the traditional notions of what it is to be german are no longer reconcilable in a strange horrifyingly obvious attempt to impose the new social narrative last year the widely circulated parenting magazine baby und familie published an article that embodied wholly the decline of european civilization the title of the piece was gefahr von recht or danger from the right in it was depicted an artists renderings of solely blond mothers with their blond children in various settings such as playgrounds or daycare centers however the accompanying text was thinly veiled deliberately anti german doublespeak the writer warned of a rise in right wing extremism among middle class native germans especially in the eastern rural areas parents the writer cautioned should be vigilant at all times but that the warning signs were easily detected if one knew what to look for and what are these indicators she asked one if the children are inconspicuous cute and engaged two the family is generally nice and dedicated to one another three if the children are cleanly clothed obedient and not overly loud four the parents and children do not have american logos on their clothing five if the children exhibit attentiveness beyond their years six if the young girls often exhibit accurately braided hair and wear long skirts seven if the parents try to build personal relationships with other parents eight if the parents state that they want to build quote a better community and nine if the family seems too normal so basically if the parents and children are modeled on traditional german values and principles then they are likely to be some kind of neo nazi kinsfolk this underhanded betrayal of german culture is stomach churning to say the least but it has an ulterior objective that is less obvious it intends to make a corrupted vision of an ideal family this is not just an attack on classic european or christian values it is an assault on the very fabric of german society the end result can only be a degenerate form of the family paradigm and for a magazine that receives government support this is completely outrageous one must come to the rational conclusion then that the german government is intentionally breaking down the moral standards of its own native people where things such as dedication towards others sense of community mindfulness high self esteem and happiness within the family unit are held in contempt and no longer valued the ngo think tank that was consulted for this article the amadeu antonio foundation is partly run by former stasi agents whose mission has not changed in the twenty five years since the berlin wall fell global marxism and the annihilation of the nation state if this means wiping out the cultural value systems of entire peoples then so be it the thin veneer of their operation uses the typical rhetoric of a pro democratic one world community organization but the reality is quite the opposite and the danger this group poses to germans is far reaching the fact that thousands of young progressive liberals and socialists make up the bulk of its volunteer army gives it an impetus that will last for decades the harm this will do shall continue for several generations or at least until german identity is utterly put to death anetta kahane the founder of the amadeu antonio foundation has for years pushed the notion that germany will fall as a state unless unmitigated millions of third world migrants enter the country as saviors one of her closest associates and foundation member julia schramm has even gone so far as to state that germans are not human and that we must betray germany heike radvan the well known third wave feminist and gender specialist is also a contributor to this organizations philosophical system with such a nihilistic self serving intelligentsia at its core this group will effectively rush the german nation headlong into a nightmarish and brutal end that is of course if the blonds dont fight back
the direction of new sexual norms
an argument made by the pro gay marriage crowd is that marriage would domesticate gays because the wider social norms governing heterosexual marriage would infiltrate gay marriage others warn that the sexual norms surrounding homosexuality would instead travel the opposite direction and infiltrate heterosexual marriage and corrode the institution over time there are three powerful arguments for a gay to straight transmission of sexual norms rather than a straight to gay transmission and keep in mind that gays have about six to eight hundred percent more lifetime sexual partners and deviant predilections than heteros do one through the courts as the courts essentially have been corrupted into a legislative branch of leftist cultural marxism after a long wind into legal positivism what happens is that the problems of the penumbras created by gay marriage and the legal wrangling to accommodate those penumbras will necessarily and inevitably be applied in kind to heterosexual marriage two precedent the history of social movements is ever toward the left and three perception sexuality underlies the whole reason for marriage and we can take cues from the non marital tributaries of the sexual market to see how marriage norms can shift and we find for instance that perceived norms of sexual behavior have a bigger influence on teen sexual behavior than does peer pressure what we think is happening in society influences our personal decisions thanks to a twenty four seven pozzed media pushing gayness into our homes westerners consistently and vastly overestimate the number of gays which is roughly one point six percent of the population as the actual sexual practices of gays become normalized straights will perceive gay abnormality as normal and this shift in perception will energize a progressive shift in the courts gay marriage went from a joke to majority approval in less than twenty years partly from court activism helping to normalize the gay lifestyle that is the power of perception in this way the extremes of sexual behavior tolerated by a society tend to pull the traditional norm in the direction of the novel form even if there was a norm crossovers that is gay norms meeting hetero norms in the middle for half a rainbow compromise the overall effect would be to homofy society since a norm imported to ninety eight percent of a population will have a much larger impact on overall society than would a norm imported to two percent of the population novelty seeking is a hallmark of atomized societies hyper individualism and lack of social connection drive people to seek novel experiences to fill the nihilistic void and gay marriage with its attendant gay sexual norms is a novelty that a disintegrating society will simply not have the strength to resist
the lie of inevitability
in the history of politically disastrous pronouncements perhaps nothing exceeds texas politician clayton williams ill considered joke that if a women is going to be raped she might as well just relax and enjoy it yet something akin to this passes for political philosophy for the leadership of the european union how else can we explain the declaration by dimitris avramopoulos european high commissioner for migration home affairs and citizenship that there is nothing the european union can do to stop mass migration in a column for politico mister avromopoulos writes its time to face the truth we cannot and will never be able to stop migration the truth however is quite different harsh language alone can discourage migration as peter brimelow noted in the daily caller even before building a wall or doing much of anything president trumps views on immigration encouraged illegal aliens to leave illegal immigration has recently increased but only because new amnesty is being broached by the republican leadership as for fences the real complaint of the european leadership seems not to be that fences dont work but that they do the hungarian governments swiftly constructed border wall cut the number of illegal immigrants entering hungary by over ninety percent israels border wall has met with similar success as even hostile media outlets have had to admit when mister avromopoulos writes about the mistaken belief that solidarity in financial terms will keep migrants on the south side of the mediterranean he is probably taking about the idea that if we can put the third world on the road to riches third worlders will stay at home he is right to think thats a pipe dream but only race realists know why mister avramopoulos recognizes only two other possibilities some kind of border control or none at all but africans and middle easterners will fight any kind of control and what is the eu commissioners solution somehow eliminate the recent discourse on migration influenced by rising nationalism populism and xenophobia which has limited our opportunities to put in place smart forward looking migration policies at both the national and european levels so what are these smart policies evacuating migrants from lybia through resettlement or assisted voluntary return a comprehensive and fair asylum reform or more legal channels for economic migration especially for skilled workers as he likes to suggest this last recommendation is simply nonsense skilled workers are already fleeing nations like germany because of the effects of mass migration and the migrants replacing them are not just unskilled but absolutely unemployable beyond that though mister avromopoulos talks about the need for a comprehensive plan he doesnt have concrete suggestions his only real message is that there is no possibility of actually solving this problem he stated that we all need to be ready to accept migration mobility and diversity as the new norm and tailor our policies accordingly but why do we need to do any of these things the problem started because of the incompetence pathological altruism and globalist foreign policies of the european union itself moreover its not that the european nations cannot prevent mass migration its that the european union will not let them multiple times the european commission of which mister avromopoulos is a member voted to sanction poland or hungary because of nationalist guided policies while hungarian prime minister viktor orban noted that the true intention of the eu is to punish countries opposed to mass immigration the inability of european nations to assimilate their already sizable non white populations should have lead to caution about inviting more the continent will now be saddled with a host of permanent problems created by importing a permanent underclass that is why mister avromopoulos is right to conclude that migration is deeply intertwined with our policies on economics trade education and employment to name just a few but if the future is to consist of dumping an unlimited number of poor uneducated and culturally alien migrants on europe it will become nearly impossible to have any policies on education healthcare infrastructure or the environment europe is doing the equivalent of developing a more effective bucket to bail water out of a boat while doing nothing to stop the leak the supreme function of statesmanship said enoch powell is to provide against preventable evils mister avromopoulos tells us that mass migration is not preventable but if preventing the movement of huge masses of strangers onto european soil is something beyond the capability of the united governments of europe what is the european union anyway certainly preventing migrants from entering europe is a more obtainable goal than assimilating tens of millions of africans ensuring that third world immigrants make as much money as native europeans or preventing terrorist attacks but then preventing terrorist attacks seems to be something european governments can no longer do as british mayor of london sadiq khan explained the threat of terrorism is simply part and parcel of living in a big city the oldest trick of a managerial elite is to create a nonexistent problem make it a permanent condition and use it to justify the existence of a class of professionals whose job it is to manage the problem decades from now assuming migrants arent swiftly removed we will be reading sob stories about how africans are having a hard time competing in the german economy the only people who will profit will be the class that created the problem in the first place and mister avromopoulos is a member of that class he is a kind of parody of european leadership he boasts an array of awards and declarations from various governments and is a knight a grand commander or a holder of a grand cross in the various orders of chivalry with which emasculated national governments amuse themselves yet he has won no victories in defense of his homeland and indeed has done far more to destroy it than any greek since pericles imagining this ludicrous creature fastened with his cheap ribbons lecturing europeans on how mass migration will be good for them is reminiscent of brezhnev dressed in his hero of the soviet union and order of lenin medals telling everyone that the soviet invasion of afghanistan would be a great success mister avromopoulos is not managing an unavoidable process he is promoting an invasion and working to thwart those who are trying to stop it and just like afghanistan europe will become a graveyard for generations to come
the nature of identity
nation is an extended phenotype of race the people of a racially homogeneous nation can afford the luxury of identifying themselves by patriotic national pride the people of a multiracially fractured squatter zone cannot they will be forced by tribalistic antagonisms and competing racial interests to identify by more primal signifiers and those who remain committed to a deracinated higher order of national identity will eventually succumb to the undertow of ethnocentric aggrandizement and either sink into a malaise or expend huge mental and emotional energy acting tribally but thinking globally to assuage their cognitive dissonance and unresolved feelings of unease nothing will gel an implicit and explicit white identity faster than multiracial encirclement if you value the concept of an american identity and think a white identity is gauche then youll support staunching the decline of the white population share of america and renewing the white majority so that it sits comfortably and securely at eighty percent or more of the total american population you will support closing the borders to perpetual dirt world colonization and deporting the invaders who have set up shop here at the behest of the uni party globo homoists who live and breath for cheap votes and cheaper labor its past time we stop pussyfooting around about this issue existential threats to a nation deserve existential truths in defiance but presently you simply sit at your office desk and ponder this with a dead stare peering deeply into an lcd screen for an answer you already know
the unbearable whiteness of being
a few months ago londons walking and cycling commissioner stated that cycling had become too white and was deeply concerned about the lack of gender and racial diversity among the operators of two wheeled pedal powered conveyances as a consequence actual diversity quotas are seriously being considered to address the glaring absence of women muslims and people of color on their bicycles in britain this follows a dangerous trend in which whites are the only group that government can interrogate and critically scrutinize whenever more than one of them seems to be enjoying themselves the basic theory is if more than two white people are engaged in some kind of hobby it is in dire need of diversity and the simple presence of whites will somehow scare all the people of color away we could probably critique the strange phenomena of implicit racial bias towards white people going completely unremarked as if its just natural to fear the all aryan bowling league clearly if we were talking about white people feeling intimidated by a large presence of blacks that would imply racism but the converse is never true in this case the ? menace in which cycling is dominated by white middle aged men in lycra policy makers are scratching their heads as if the ethnic homogeneity is evidence of some vast racist conspiracy it makes one wonder if these idiots really believe that there are violent skinhead cyclist gangs silently cruising on their overpriced carbon fiber road bikes looking for blacks to beat up with their bicycle pumps are we really supposed to believe that women and minority groups are somehow intimidated by gangly cardio fags wearing skintight lycra this isnt a new phenomenon just try a little experiment and type any random activity into google followed by the phrase too white or unbearable whiteness and observe the frantic handringing over how ever facet of life suffers from an inundation of demelininated colonizers wistful introspection and naval gazing commences the very instance someone observes a proportionately appropriate number of honkeys engaged in virtually any sort of enterprise cant go running work as a librarian play video games or swing a fucking tennis racket without the social justice inquisition dissecting you for racism the levels of absurdity achieved by this analysis reached the point of self parody as in the white supremacist implications based on the color white itself excepting the one obvious counter example of a non white group being scrutinized for over representation you cant get a fair analysis of something that the most brain dead normie would immediately think of this phenomena is just the logical corollary of assuming that white people do not have a culture completely invalidating the concept whites could ever have distinct pursuits in the first place its all part of a blatant delegitimization of an entire race of people which according to their very own sociological theory is the very first thing someone does to a suspect class before brutally oppressing them despite bicycles originating in europe and professional bike racing evolving as a pursuit of white european men this is not in any way perceived as a natural pastime for that ethnic group in the same way that jazz music and fatally shooting people over their sneakers is widely accepted as authentic black culture apparently if a white man is engaged in something he is at best functioning as a placeholder until a more worthy group comes along and at worst is actively blocking the pocs entitled to this hobby this is what anti white propaganda looks like it is real it is dangerous and the hostile liberal elite is consciously trying to delegitimize whiteness theyre effectively denying whites any avenue for personal satisfaction but more importantly this will act as a prelude to real genocide
submitted by huwhyteman to VertigoPolitix [link] [comments]

2020.07.19 04:43 AintEverLucky Checking in on Texas schools, Start of Fall 2020 edition -- when will 100+ large ISDs start the new school year, virtual vs in-person, etc

Howdy one and all. As I post this, Sunday July 19th, we're mere weeks from when Independent School Districts across Texas plan to start the 2020-21 school year. Similar to April when Spring 2020 started winding down, I figured it may help some folks if we had one consolidated thread to collect start-of-school news.
I'm starting with the districts in and around these areas -- Austin / Central Texas; Corpus Christi / Coastal Bend; Dallas / Ft. Worth; El Paso; Houston; Lubbock; Rio Grande Valley; San Antonio; and Waco/Killeen area. If or when Redditors pass along information about other large ISDs that I may have overlooked, feel free to mention them in the comments (with links if possible! thank you) and I'll update the top-note with those additions.
A few things to remember in terms of statewide guidelines from the TEA:
With these guidelines in mind, for each district I plan to list the start date listed on their website, as well as whether they plan to start the year with virtual learning only, and if so, for how long. (If I don't mention a virtual-only period, assume that the district will offer virtual and in-person instruction from the start.)
Austin area districts --
Corpus Christi / South Texas districts --
Dallas / Ft. Worth area districts -- please note that while there are heaps & heaps of districts around DFW, I'm sticking with those with enrollment topping 10,000 per this map.
El Paso area districts
Houston area districts -- as with DFW, I know there are umpteen different districts, and just to keep this semi-manageable, I'm going to look at the districts depicted in this map . If anyone wants to add links to districts in the outlying counties, that sounds OK to me.
Lubbock area districts -- going off this Lubbock County map
  • Abernathy ISD
  • Frenship ISD
  • Idalou ISD
  • Lorenzo ISD
  • Lubbock ISD
  • Lubbock-Cooper ISD
  • Lubbock ISD
  • Roosevelt ISD
  • Shallowwater ISD
  • Slaton ISD
  • Southland ISD
Rio Grande Valley districts including Laredo -- going from the TEA map for Education Service Center 1 and its territory stretches from Cameron County clear over to Webb
San Antonio area districts
Waco / Temple / Killeen area districts -- for now I'm going to stick with the bigger districts, i.e. those that contain one 6A high school, This page tied to the ESC for TEA Region 12 lists links to every ISD in the region.
submitted by AintEverLucky to u/AintEverLucky [link] [comments]

2020.06.30 17:26 DukeDKraft The Institute Director - Chapters One through Six (Pages 1 - 30)

Chapter One
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
In a warehouse parking lot near Walter Reed Medical Center, the Mormon institute director fumbled with the cellophaned pack, retrieving and lighting his first cigarette in thirty-eight years. He barely inhaled as he smoked it through, surprised how familiar it was to his senses. The ash glowed orange and the smoke spun his head as it wafted out the car’s open windows. He looked at his hands as he lit his second, wondering if the small tremors were from the fresh nicotine, the high stakes of the day or another dose of guilt settling into his bones.
Ben Samuels remembered he’d scarcely heard his alarm go off that morning, as he’d been up and dressed. His wife had hit snooze and returned to her sleep. She didn’t think to check on him, nor make an effort to rise. Would Marge have done different had she known what was happening? Maybe, maybe not -- she’d become so distant over the past months.
He stared down at his cigarette.
I bet she’d notice this.
That morning alarm rang as Ben stood with a vacant gaze out his kitchen window, oatmeal bubbling on the stove. Dawn’s light gathered across the plain backyard, the sky clear and the grass begging a mow -- the start of a hot July day in Morgantown, West Virginia. Oats done, he grabbed milk from the fridge and made his way to the table, wholly uninterested in the meal.
He pushed aside his old high school yearbook and opened his laptop, commencing a read-through of his regular websites as he ate -- the Mormon Newsroom, USA Today, Consumer Reports and Amazon, the last to check on a backordered hedge trimmer blade. Only then did he reluctantly click onto the front page of the local paper. He finished his breakfast as he re-read the article detailing John Southland’s bike accident. Though it failed to identify him by his correct name, Ben knew it was his old college roommate under the police blanket in the photos.
He sighed and picked up his yearbook for the third time since learning of John’s death, or John’s murder or whatever it had been. Rogers High School, Spokane, Washington. Class of 1979. Page forty-four, Samuels before Southland, both their senior pictures on the same tuxedoed page. He ran his finger along a faded ballpoint line drawn circuitous between the two of them, “Race On!” written in the margin. Forty years and now a funeral instead of a class reunion, not that John would have attended anyway.
Should he call the authorities? Wake up Marge and tell her everything? His main thought was to do nothing. The paper showed the situation in-hand and it was really none of his business. But Ben couldn’t shake the dread that had gripped him during John’s surprise visit the week before.
He looked around his quiet kitchen half-expecting a calamity to break out. Nothing out of order besides the squeak of the air conditioner, he took a bright yellow USB thumb drive from his pocket and inserted it into his computer. He keyed down and opened the lone video file, still amazed at John’s resolve. There it was -- a silent and grainy footage, a prisoner restrained and bleeding at the end of a penitentiary hallway. Two men exiting the frame, the bald one halfway out and unrecognizable, the other tall and in view. The tall man turning back. Ben winced as the man pulled out what must have been a syringe full of something evil and plunged it into the prisoner’s neck. The prisoner struggled, then slumped at his feet. Ben scooted his chair close and watched again -- starting, stopping, reversing and witnessing once more. It was the most horrible thing he’d ever seen. But had John been correct?
He looked up at Marge’s knick-knacks on the plaster wall. Staring back was a kitschy cross-stitch their oldest daughter had finished fifteen years prior. It read ‘Just Do It,’ the famous quote from both the Mormon prophet Spencer Kimball and a certain Oregon shoe company.
John Southland had been so convinced and so desperate for help. Ben had heard him out in his institute office but done nothing. Now he was dead, like he’d predicted, and Ben had his evidence.
Just Do It.
He turned and rummaged through a worn-out credenza drawer, finding a red envelope. He grabbed a half-sheet of paper, searched for a location on his web browser, wrote his note and sealed it up. A final glance at the cross-stitch and the decision was made. Ben quietly put his dishes in the sink and hurried to his car, an uneasy three-hour drive to Washington, DC ahead of him.
Chapter Two
Two Weeks Prior
The only thing interesting about the old split-level colonial atop North Tremont Avenue was its view toward Greensburg’s historic beaux-arts courthouse. The county kept it lit at night and John Southland had come to appreciate its ostentatious dome. He gazed at it most evenings with cold beer in hand, sitting on the concrete steps outside the postwar brick and clapboard home.
The panorama was between telephone wires and across a wide working-class valley, the house on the wrong side of the tracks and long-ago apportioned into three separate apartments to maximize revenue. John had been given the walkup on the main floor -- a creaky sitting room in front of a Formica kitchen with two worn-out bedrooms down a hall. Beneath him was a small basement unit, the third apartment accessed from the blacktop alley around the back.
For most, it would be a dilapidated and bleak place to live. For John, it was a mansion. He reveled in the freedom and the space, twenty years of incarceration fresh in his rearview mirror. The small pleasure of a beer with a view seemed almost magical from day one.
He hadn’t met many neighbors yet. There’d been an occasional ‘Hello, I’m Jimmy Montano,’ but John had remained quiet, taking to heart his WITSEC Inspector’s advice to start slow with the introductions. He filled his plate instead with his new job and all the rules and regulations that came with being a parolee within the U.S. Marshals Service Witness Protection Program. The secret he held also made him careful, a ticking bomb tucked an inch below his veneer.
There’d been only one purchase beyond the necessities, an old Bianchi Celeste from a pawnshop owner who had little concept of its worth. They agreed on a hundred dollars and soon the mint green racer was performing like a European custom. John set out to regain his pre-prison cycling form, spending his evenings and off-days riding the hills of Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County. He was careful to not cross the government line as WITSEC rules didn’t allow such excursions for at least six months.
His other pastime was more critical -- finding Ben Samuels. Early attempts had been fruitless. His old friend’s name was nowhere to be found on the Mormon Church’s voluminous website. John checked multiple times, waiting over a month before calling the 800 number in Salt Lake City, not wanting one shred of connection to the threat that beset him. Out of options, he used the counter phone at the downtown library after a final attempt searching the site.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, how may I help you?”
“I’m trying to get in touch with one of your employees. A man who works for your church.”
“Name please.”
“Ben Samuels.”
“Which department?”
“No idea. Sorry.”
“Just a moment.”
The woman was quickly back on the line. “Yes, I found him. He works for the CES.”
“Church Educational System. I’ll transfer you.”
The phone clicked and another woman picked up the call. “CES, how may I help you?”
“Ben Samuels, please.”
“I’d like to speak with Ben Samuels.”
“…May I ask who you’re with?”
“No one, ma’am. I’m just trying to reach him.”
“He no longer works here, in our offices.”
“Can you transfer me to his location?”
“Please hold a moment.”
“I’m an old friend of his.”
“Yes sir. Please hold.”
The line switched and John found himself listening to what he recognized as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was thirty seconds before someone came back on.
“This is Associate Director Oscar Trejo, may I ask who’s calling?”
The authority in the man’s voice made John want to hang up. “…James. James Montano. I’m trying to reach Ben Samuels.”
“I see. Well, I can tell you he’s no longer here.”
“Does he still work for your church?”
“For the time being. He’s out east, in West Virginia.”
John stood up straight. Ben was nearby. “Do you have a number?”
“I must ask, are you with the press?”
“The press? You mean like a reporter?”
“Yes sir.”
“No, nothing like that. Just a friend.”
John held his breath. The administrator paused, then relented. “…OK, I’ll take you at your word. I’ll give you back to my secretary and she can provide the phone number to the Morgantown Institute.”
John didn’t wait, hanging up as the Tabernacle Choir started a new hymn. He walked back to his allotted computer terminal and keyed in “Mormon Institute, Morgantown West Virginia.” The screen refreshed and the location came up. It was no more than an hour away.
The proximity and the urgency of the story he needed to share made the trip too tempting, WITSEC rules be damned. He bummed a ride from a co-worker as soon as he could. They left early and were back in Greensburg by noon, John sullen and quiet on the way home.
He’d tried his best to convince Ben in his office, but it didn’t seem his former soigneur was going to help. It left John only one option. He called his WITSEC inspector and made an appointment to share what he knew. At least the video on the remaining USB thumb drive was in good condition. He’d become adept at hiding it, choosing a space under a loose floorboard the day he arrived.
He was anxious the night before the meeting. The last thing he wanted was to be hurled back into prison on some sort of technicality. He tossed and turned until settling into a deep sleep after 2am, oblivious to the quiet crunch of a C-rake lock pick and the turn of his front door knob.
John woke to the barrel of a Glock pistol shoved against his shoulder, the beam of a flashlight dancing across the bed.
“Wake up.”
John rolled over. The handgun and nine hundred lumens flashed in his eyes. “What’s going on?”
“Get dressed. You’re going for a ride.”
“What? Turn that light off.”
“Get up. That’s the last time I’m going to tell you.”
John scooted to the edge of the bed. “Who are you?”
“A friend or a nightmare. Your decision. Like I said, it’s time for a ride. Put on your bike gear.”
John’s head cleared. He stood and didn’t ask any more questions -- the intruder wasn’t playing a game. He went to the dresser and pulled on his lone pair of bike shorts, then picked up his socks and cycling shoes.
The man tossed him a T-shirt hanging from a chair. “Slow and steady. Head out the front door.”
A panel van waited outside. Its cargo door was open and a driver sat behind a tinted window. John’s Bianchi was already stowed in the back. He got in and sat beside it while the man with the gun jumped in after him and slid the door shut. The van pulled away from the curb, the Glock held steady toward John’s chest.
John didn’t understand. Why the bike? If they were going to kill him, they’d have shot him in bed. Did they know about the video?
“Where are we going?”
The man wagged his gun. “Shut up. Just sit there.”
Maybe it was something else? Someone he’d testified against returning to settle a score? A midnight visit from one of the cartels? There were too many enemies to keep straight and it would do no good to ask. He went quiet, focusing his eyes beyond his captor, out the back windows.
He could tell by the streetlights and the storefronts they were headed south on State Highway 119 over I-70 toward Uniontown, and that they turned east on Pechin Parkway after the county fairgrounds. Even in the dark it was easy to track the route. He’d ridden it several times over the six weeks he’d lived in Greensburg.
A mile further and the van came to a stop in front of a deserted cement plant. The driver got out and walked away. In the distance, John heard a chain rattle and a gate swing open. There was a whistle back toward the van.
The man with the gun turned on his flashlight and slid open the door. “Put on your shoes.”
John did as he was told and followed him outside.
“Forgetting something?”
“Your bike. You can ride home from here.”
A car’s headlights appeared around the bend as John stepped back to the van. The car slowed as it passed and the man lowered his gun. John thought to jump into the road, but it went by before he had the chance.
The man was undeterred. “Get your bike and ride.”
John pulled the Bianchi forward and onto the ground. He spun it around and climbed on. The man turned off his flashlight and stepped close, the scene illuminated only by the van’s taillights. John noticed his captor was at least four inches shorter than himself.
“One more thing.”
The man leaned in and thrust a five-inch tactical knife through John’s right side, even with his stomach. It penetrated his abdomen, slicing his liver, spleen and tearing through his intestines. John screamed and collapsed to his handlebars, the knife held hard inside him, the pain both sharp and dull. The man wrapped his other arm around John’s back and held him steady.
John gasped, his gut burning and blood starting to spill. “Why?” The man yanked the knife out and dropped it to the ground. He grabbed his gun and pressed it to the back of John’s skull. “Justice for the people you murdered. Now ride home. If you make it, you’ll live.”
John didn’t move, blood flowing down his side. He tried to speak but fluid pooled in his throat.
The man gave him a shove. “Ride!”
There was nothing left to do. John pushed off and clicked into his pedals, his right hand pressing his wound and tears streaming down his face. The Glock followed his every move.
Fifty yards, one hundred yards and forward. John was delirious and confused with only his God-given talent keeping him upright. He thought of Greensburg, his new home. The stone steps, the beer. His new job, his new life. There was no way he’d make it. A cry for help on the main road was his only hope. But there had to be separation. He had to get away. He ignored the wound and tried to stand from his saddle, pouring what little he had left into the bike.
He’d made it almost a half mile before he sensed headlights gaining on him, the whine of a powerful engine closing in. John tried to swerve, but the blood loss caused his reactions to slow. The empty cement truck hit him square at forty miles an hour, its barrel spinning as the undercarriage bounced over him like an animal in the roadway. John’s last thought was of his old college roommate, a final prayer sent skyward that Ben Samuels would do the right thing.
Chapter Three
Tuesday, July 16th
The courier service delivered the red envelope to the front security desk of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building during the lunch hour. It was examined and time-stamped by the Mail Services Risk Assessment Team and hand-delivered to Susan Rivas, the United States Solicitor General’s Confidential Secretary. The unusual color caught her attention. She found it odd, a short note marked “For the immediate eyes of the United States Solicitor General only,” with no return address. Deciding it was warranted and straightening her skirt, Susan took it through the whitewood archway into the solicitor’s office.
She found Walter Peterson alone and busy, three hours into a session of summer prep for the upcoming autumn Supreme Court term. He’d finished the lunch she’d brought him from the executive dining room and there’d been no other interruptions since the morning’s staff meeting. He glanced up as she passed the flag array by the chesterfield sofas, coming forward to his desk. Handed the envelope, he emptied it and read the half-sheet scrap inside.
“I am an LDS Institute Director. I know what you are doing. Meet tonight at 10pm, 5300 West Cedar, Bethesda, Maryland.”
Susan stood silent, watching him turn it over and look back at the envelope. He found a similar result -- there was nothing indicating authorship outside shaky penmanship. He looked at her and again at the letter. “Who delivered this?”
“Mail Services brought it to my desk. Any idea what it’s about?”
“Anything you’d have me do?”
“…Nothing. I’ll check it through Chris later.”
“Are you sure? I could have him come over, maybe the FBI as well?”
“I’ll take care of it.”
Susan was used to the abruptness. She knew to be on her toes around the solicitor. “Alright. Anything else for me?”
Peterson re-read the short message and then laid it down. “Has SCOTUS gotten back about October’s schedule? Everyone was concerned this morning. The session is still three months away, but it’s normal to have a draft docket by now.”
Susan shook her head. The Supreme Court’s administrative officer had told her it would be several more days. Peterson grunted and adjusted his reading glasses. “What about the Penitentiary Commission? I’ve made a couple site visits as the attorney general requested. If I’m going again it needs to be soon, before we ramp to full speed for the fall.”
“I’ll check that for you. The calendar has a Commission meeting next week. You know, the AG isn’t expecting you to attend everything as you’re doing this ad hoc.”
“All hands on deck, Susan. Besides, it gets me out and around the country. Boots on the ground, so to speak.”
“Yes sir.”
He nodded and returned to his files.
Susan had to hide a half-grin as she walked away. The idea of her venerable Mormon boss a ‘boots on the ground’ anything was farcical. Bald, obese and unfit for any activity requiring sturdy shoes, she’d never met a man more behind the desk, blue blood and patrician. A woman on her block was LDS and Susan knew her to be the sweetest neighbor around. She couldn’t imagine Peterson neighbor to anyone.
She glanced back from the doorway. Peterson had picked up the phone and was starting a call, the anonymous note in his hand. Susan turned to her workstation and watched the PBX screen. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Powers’ line went active five seconds later.
Chapter Four
Ben found more time on his hands than he’d anticipated after watching the courier deliver his note. He drove north out of downtown to the small Bethesda warehouse he’d chosen online. Arriving, he found it unfenced and back from the main road, secluded with hills and heavy trees bordering two sides. He circled it and set the stage. Light pole placements were noted, as was the fact there were no exterior cameras in place. He marked a corner spot to park and patted himself on the back as he left. It seemed perfect.
He continued north on Old Georgetown Road through DC suburbia and past a large shopping area. His Honda Accord then merged east onto the Capital Beltway. He smiled as mecca quickly appeared on his left. Though half-hidden in the dense summer green, it stood elegant and soaring above the landscape. The Washington, DC LDS Temple, the single-most recognizable Mormon setting on the American east coast. He exited Georgia Avenue and was soon in the busy parking lot, the spired white building in front of him.
Ben felt no inclination to go inside. It was enough to be on the grounds, even in the summer heat. It brought the first bit of peace since his visit with John. He found a garden bench across from his car, walked over and sat down. Bowing his head, he offered a short prayer for guidance and help -- even a sign that he was on the right path.
That the solicitor general was also LDS and had probably sat on the same bench loomed large in his mind. Walter Peterson was one of the most famous Latter-day Saints in the world, Mormons looking to him with much the same esteem as the senior leaders of their church. A cult of personality existed, his name mentioned in the same breath with Hall of Fame LDS athletes, entertainers and politicians. Few Latter-day Saints were held in higher regard. A surprise appointment by an unconventional president three years prior, Peterson’s Senate confirmation had been can’t-miss television for Mormons across the country. His legal acumen and forceful confidence impressed everyone and left his church community beaming with pride.
Peterson being such a prominent member of his church had been the tipping point in Ben’s decision to confront him. As the good solicitor surely desired protection of his image and standing, Ben reasoned he’d be amenable to such a discussion. The hope was for a brother-to-brother recognition, some sort of ease-the-throttle-back, get everything on the table, save-face. Foolish? Yes. Dangerous? Maybe. He at least took comfort that Mormons were well-known for such admirable foolishness on occasion.
An older, Sunday-dressed couple turned toward him, smiling and holding hands as they walked. Ben shook his head and sighed. His own marriage was far from a mirror image. As Peterson had risen, he’d gone the other way. Purpose had eluded him since his demotion and transfer to West Virginia, his wife feeling the effects even more so. Though they’d both fought depression and a sense of futility in their new surrounds, Marge had isolated herself to the point their relationship had started to strain -- Ben’s ‘what can I do to help’ met too-often with a cold stare and the covers pulled tight.
The couple approached. Ben realized he had no tie on and probably looked out of place. He compensated by standing to greet them.
The woman smiled. “Such a beautiful day to be at the temple.”
“Yes Ma’am.”
She stopped and pointed to cars across the parking lot. “The different license plates are always so interesting.”
“Excuse me?”
“Look at that row. People here today from Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts. I love that. Summer vacation must have them on the road -- so nice they chose to come to the House of the Lord along their way.”
Ben played along, pointing at his car backed into its spot. “What about that one?”
The woman looked and then turned back, perplexed. “I have no idea, it doesn’t have a front plate.”
Ben smiled. “That’s mine. I live in West Virginia where front plates aren’t required.”
The woman laughed. “We’ll include you in our count anyway.”
Keen to beat the heat, the woman’s husband patted her arm and looked toward Ben. “You have a nice day.”
Ben stood staring at the cars as they walked off. It was interesting commentary, something to share with his students back at the institute in Morgantown. He thought of all the license plates he’d owned over the course of his life. Washington, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah and now West Virginia. He’d have a nice display for his garage had he kept them.
Then, an instant realization of a flaw. Ben looked down the walk at the elderly couple and back at his car. If Peterson had his plate checked, he’d discover who he was. Ben wasn’t ready for that. If John Southland had been correct, Peterson was a menace. The short-lived peace in his heart evaporated. He felt the entire impetuous idea unravel, the grand confrontation less noble by the second.
You’re going to get yourself killed.
He returned to his car with his shoulders low and exited the lot without another thought toward the temple. He headed west, toward the shopping centers on Old Georgetown Road, intent on lunch and little else.
Chapter Five
June 1st, 1990
CES Area Director Oscar Trejo waited for his boss on the eighth floor of the LDS Church Office Building. He was off the clock and self-conscious minus a suit, visiting Salt Lake City on a vacation day to attend a family function. He hadn’t planned on the summons and was glad he at least had a white shirt and tie to wear.
Ushered into Associate Director Ronald Hayes’s large office by a secretary and left alone, Trejo found an oversized U.S. map propped on an easel beside the desk. Multi-colored stickpins were placed in college towns throughout the eastern United States. Trejo figured they were potential sites for the new Regional Select Institutes, knowing Church Educational System leadership had appointed Hayes to oversee the project. He was studying the map when the Associate Director entered and shut the door. Trejo pointed at the stick pins and spoke with his usual candor. “Are these what I think they are?”
Hayes smiled. “If by ‘these’ you mean potential Regional Select Institute sites, the answer is yes.”
“May I speak freely, sir?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Trejo ran his index finger down the right side of the map. “I don’t like it.”
“What’s not to like?”
“These ‘RSI’s. I don’t like the concept or the philosophy. Are we really going to encourage these students to not come to Brigham Young University or institute programs in Utah, urging them instead to stay back east for college?”
“That’s the general idea, yes.”
Hayes scooted past Trejo and sat down at his desk. He opened the center drawer and retrieved a paper-clipped set of four index cards. Trejo continued as he moved to a chair opposite his boss. “Why would we do that? How is it better than bringing them out west? Many of the eastern programs have less than a hundred students.”
Hayes took a deep breath and looked across the desk. “How are you, Oscar?”
Trejo grinned, realizing he’d jumped ahead. “Fine, sir.”
“Wife and kids?”
“Everyone’s good. They’re all waiting for me at my in-laws’. We’re attending a high school graduation tonight.”
“Who’s graduating?”
“My wife’s sister.”
“Wow. I know you’re the youngest of our Area Directors, but to have a sister-in-law graduating from high school is quite something. How old are you?”
“I’m thirty-eight, my wife’s thirty-three. She’s the oldest in her family, with eight brothers and sisters. This is the last of them.”
“Well, I hope you enjoy yourselves. When are you heading back to Arizona?”
“Tomorrow. The family will stay here a while, now that school’s out. How did you know I was even in Utah?”
“Simple. I called your office in Phoenix and found you were on the road. Your secretary gave me the number where you were staying.” “How can I help?”
“For starters, let me address your point about low enrollment at our eastern institutes. What about the students there now, Oscar? Don’t you think they would appreciate extra resources and more LDS kids joining them?”
Trejo ignored the logic. “It seems like we’re conducting an experiment which might hurt more than help in the long run.”
“The long run is why we’re doing this. The idea is to foster organic, regional growth. LDS students staying in their home areas to attend college, meeting others doing the same, marrying and settling where they’re from. Growing the church that way.”
“Sounds pie in the sky.”
Hayes shuffled his cards. “What about your Arizona Area? If I’m not mistaken, you have over five thousand Mormon students attending non-LDS colleges and their adjacent institutes down there. Why not shoot for those numbers elsewhere? Ignoring these sorts of things not only stalls the growth of our institutes outside the inter-mountain west, it very well hinders the growth of the church in those regions as well.
How many of these kids who come to Utah wind up going back to where they’re from after they graduate? And what happens to those areas of the church when they leave? Like a leaky faucet, a constant drip of strength exiting the very places that not only need them, but the spots these young folks call home. And where do they wind up? They either stay here, where we already have an overflowing strength, or land in a third place with no roots and a yearning to move yet again. No Oscar, I don’t see it like you seem to anymore. Fortifying institute programs to retain many of these students in their home areas is what we should be doing, and these RSI’s are just what the doctor ordered.”
Hayes doled out the index cards across his desk. Trejo sat forward and watched. College Station, Texas; Gainesville, Florida; Blacksburg, Virginia and East Lansing, Michigan. Texas A&M, the University of Florida, Virginia Tech and Michigan State -- already four of the largest institute programs east of the Rocky Mountains. Hayes looked up and continued. “These are the four we’ve decided to start with and the groundwork has already been laid. Marketing materials have been drafted and Church architects have visited the sites, submitting plans to renovate and expand each one. I now have to recommend additional staff, including full-fledged assistant directors at each location.”
Hayes picked up a card and got to his point. “Tell me about this fellow you have in Mesa, Ben Samuels.”
“Samuels? Great guy with a full head of steam.”
“So I’ve heard. He has a Master’s in Higher Education and was baptized in an institute font. If his interview goes well, I’m thinking of sending him here….”
Hayes handed Trejo the card in his hand. Trejo took it, reading it aloud. “Gainesville, Florida. The University of Florida.”
He turned serious. “Well, if you’re going to do this, I think Ben’s perfect. Amazing really. How did you hear about him?”
“He’s inquired about moving from our high school seminary programs to the collegiate institutes.”
Trejo smiled. “He’s an interesting case study. A convert who never attended high school seminary, now teaching it and doing quite well. He’s been in Mesa several years and seems content, but it wouldn’t surprise me if bigger things were ahead for Ben.”
“He grew up in Spokane, Washington, right?”
“I think so. He joined the church while attending Washington State University, in Pullman. He’s told me that. His wife introduced him to the missionaries, back when they were dating.”
“I look forward to meeting him.”
“I have a different idea for you. If you’re serious about this ‘homegrown’ business, why not assign someone who happens to be from Florida to be the new assistant director? Send that person home and leave Samuels in Arizona. We’d hate to lose him.”
Hayes put his elbows on his desk and leaned forward. “Excellent question, Oscar. It goes to my larger point. We’ve actually looked into that, at all four sites. Would you believe we don’t have a single qualified CES employee who hails from Texas, Florida, Virginia or Michigan? Think about that -- it’s a telling fact. Twenty or thirty years from now, we hope to find a different circumstance. Maybe you’ll be sitting in my chair by then. If you are, I hope you’ll find more options than I have today.”
Trejo wasn’t ready to quit. “I still don’t like it, sir. As a parent, I’ll do everything I can to get my kids to one of our church colleges and would only consider something like an RSI as a last resort. I wouldn’t even want them at the major Arizona universities attending the institute programs I oversee. I want them here in Utah, where we’re at our best.”
“I understand, and we’re not interested in weakening the church schools. This will be an additional, fortified resource to work in tandem with what we have here in the inter-mountain west. Let’s not forget, these institute programs already exist. Our goal is to strengthen them, create a few gems to shine bright and give the LDS students from these areas another solid option to consider.” “What about financial considerations? One of the great benefits of church colleges is the tithing-supported low cost. Certainly BYU is a cheaper option than the University of Florida.”
“We’re working on that as well. As part of the roll-out, LDS endowments and scholarships will be set up and encouraged at each RSI site. We’ll be asking the membership to consider donations. It’ll defray the cost differences and further enhance the visibility and viability of the programs.”
“Do you think you’ll get much in the way of contributions?”
“I’m confident we will. These programs might be small, but they’ve had their successes over the years. We’ll be reaching out to the alumni, as well as the general membership. I believe it will work, and work well.”
“Florida would be lucky to have someone like Ben Samuels. Why not send him to Washington, where he’s from? I’m sure he’d love that. I visited his classroom a couple months ago. He had a Washington State banner on his wall.”
Hayes reached over and retrieved the card from his area director. “No, it’s east of the Rockies where the interest lies. If these four programs are successful, we’ll expand from there. As you’ve said, it seems Ben will do well wherever he’s assigned. At least for now, it’s Florida that’s in the cards for him.”
Chapter Six
Tuesday, July 16th
Ben was still smoking when the black SUV entered the parking lot and disappeared to the other side of the warehouse. Opening his door, he cursed himself for being so dramatic with the cigarettes. He’d smoked for three hours straight, more in remembrance of a life long passed than any desire to calm his nerves. He got out, stubbed his last one and threw the almost-empty pack in a nearby dumpster.
Enough of that.
He took a deep breath and headed the other way around, rehearsing what he would say.
I know what you did. I know what you are doing…
The SUV’s yellow fog lamps brightened his path as he turned the final corner, the vehicle fifty yards ahead. A man was standing outside the open driver’s door. He reached in and flipped on the high beams, assaulting Ben’s eyes with a blinding white.
“That’s far enough.”
Ben stopped and raised his hands halfway as the man came toward him. He was short and thin, quite the opposite from what Ben knew of Walter Peterson’s large build. The man’s suit, tie and confident gait identified him as a deputy or agent, a man with a badge and a gun. He approached, looked Ben over and then patted him down, spinning him around to double-check.
“What’s your name and what do you want with the Solicitor General?”
“I need to speak with him.”
“I need to see some ID.”
“I’d rather not disclose who I am. Is he with you?”
“Did you write that note?”
Ben started to answer but saw another man climb out of the SUV, shutting the door behind him. “Chris, it’s ok, send him over.” Chris forced a smile. “I guess you win. Follow me.”
Peterson’s thickset frame cast a wide shadow in the dim light. Tall and overweight to a fault without a hair on his head, he resembled a former athlete who’d let himself go, his glory years decades behind him. He was dressed to match his guard, but as they came to the passenger side of the SUV, Ben could tell his suit and tie were from a much better store -- the United States Solicitor General before him.
Ben hesitated then stepped close, an image of his dead friend appearing in his mind. Peterson wrinkled his nose and leaned back on his heels. “Who are you and what’s this cloak and dagger business about?”
Ben glanced at Chris, astonished he’d made it to the moment at hand. He turned and looked Peterson in the eye. “Never mind who I am. I’m here about James Montano.”
Peterson raised his eyebrows. “Who?”
“I’m sure you know the name.”
Peterson scraped his shoe across the asphalt. “The note you wrote this morning. You’re an institute director for the Church? Where?”
“Yes, I work for the Church out here. Telling you that was the only way I could get this meeting. But I’m not here to talk about me. I want to talk about James Montano.”
“Again, I don’t know anyone by that name. To be honest, this is quite strange. If you aren’t going to tell me more about you, this little waste of my time is over.”
Peterson turned and reached for his door. Ben gathered himself and brought forward his case. “I think you killed him…. And if you did, I know he’s not the only one.”
His fist on the handle, Peterson stared at the reflection in the window and seemed lost in thought. He then straightened and swung back, his demeanor cold, his voice that of a seasoned prosecutor. “First, would that be cigarettes I smell? Mormon institute director? I think not.”
Ben tried to reply but was cut off.
“Second, I have no idea what you’re talking about and it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re doing here. Third, though I haven’t had the privilege of an introduction, you seem to know who I am. I would think that might give you pause. I know nothing of a ‘James Montano.’ I suggest you slink back to your car and head home before you find yourself in serious trouble.”
Ben pressed as Chris stepped forward to intercede. “James ‘Jimmy’ Montano, AKA John Southland, witness protection case WS436C. Found dead in a ditch three days ago, south of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He came to me last week, told me everything and gave me proof.”
Peterson’s bald head cocked to the right, his eyes widening at the mention of John’s real name. He dropped his hand from the SUV’s door and started toward Ben, raising his chin like a prizefighter sizing up an opponent.
Ben caught his breath and stepped back. Chris grabbed his arm and shuffled him off, letting him go in front of the headlights.
“Stand still with your hands where I can see them. Stay like that until we leave.”
Awash in the light, Ben watched as Chris went back behind Peterson, who stood glaring his way. He opened the rear passenger door and tugged on the solicitor general’s coat.
“Come on boss, let’s go.”
Peterson sneered and shook his head, then turned and climbed back into the vehicle. Chris retreated to his driver’s seat and put the SUV into reverse. Ben stayed put, his nerves shot and mind racing, the taste of something much worse than cigarettes in his mouth.
Peterson pulled out his phone and sent a text to Neck, stationed nearby in a stand of hackberry trees.
-Stand down.
He looked out the window and up the hill, catching a glimpse of his lanky security assistant lowering his sniper rifle. Peterson then turned toward the windshield and took stock of the so-called institute director. Just under six feet tall and waspy white, he had a pot belly, balding salt and pepper hair, cheap shoes, wire-framed glasses and a skittish demeanor. The typical build of a fellow Mormon in his mid-fifties. Though he resisted the thought, he had to admit -- every box was checked.
“Proof? What proof could he have?”
He ordered Chris to step on it and they were gone.
submitted by DukeDKraft to TheInstituteDirector [link] [comments]

2020.06.26 18:32 corvidlover13 Article in NY Times about Rosie Lee Tompkins
There is a paywall, but they let you view 5 free articles a month. Here is the text of the article (it's a long but lovely read), but if you possibly can, go look at the pictures of the quilts.
"In 1997 I walked into the Berkeley Art Museum to be greeted by a staggering sight: an array of some 20 quilts unlike any I had ever seen. Their unbridled colors, irregular shapes and nearly reckless range of textiles telegraphed a tremendous energy and the implacable ambition, and confidence, of great art.
They were crafted objects that transcended quilting, with the power of painting. This made them canon-busting, and implicitly subversive. They gave off a tangible heat. I left in a state of shock — I knew I had been instantly converted but I didn’t yet know to what.
In memory the show became a jubilant fugue of small squares of velvet in deep gemstone hues, dancing with not much apparent order yet impeccably arranged for full effect. My first thought was of Paul Klee, that kind of love-at-first-sight allure, seductive hand-madeness and unfiltered accessibility, only bigger and stronger.
The planets had aligned: I’d happened on the first solo show anywhere of Rosie Lee Tompkins, an exemplar of one of the country’s premier visual traditions: African-American improvisational quilt-making — an especially innovative branch of a medium that reaches back to African textiles and continues to thrive.
Tompkins’s work, I came to realize, was one of the century’s major artistic accomplishments, giving quilt-making a radical new articulation and emotional urgency. I felt I had been given a new standard against which to measure contemporary art.
Rosie Lee Tompkins was a pseudonym, I would learn, adopted by a fiercely private, deeply religious woman, who as her work received more and more attention, was almost never photographed or interviewed. She was born Effie Mae Martin in rural Gould, Ark., on Sept. 9, 1936. At the time of the show, she was 61 and living in nearby Richmond, Calif., just north of Berkeley.
Over the years, I would be repeatedly blown away by work that was at once rigorous and inclusive. Tompkins was an inventive colorist whose generous use of black added to the gravity of her efforts. She worked in several styles and all kinds of fabrics, using velvets — printed, panne, crushed — to gorgeous effect, in ways that rivaled oil paint. But she was also adept with denim, faux furs, distressed T-shirts and fabrics printed with the faces of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Magic Johnson.
A typical Tompkins quilt had an original, irresistible aliveness. One of her narrative works was 14 feet across, the size of small billboard. It appropriated whole dish towels printed with folkloric scenes, parts of a feed sack, and, most prominently, bright bold chunks of the American flag. What else? Bits of embroidery, Mexican textiles, fabrics printed with flamenco dancers and racing cars, hot pink batik and, front and center, a slightly cheesy manufactured tapestry of Jesus Christ. It seemed like a map of the melting pot of American culture and politics.
While works like this one relate to Pop Art, others had the power of abstraction. One of her signature velvets might be described as a “failed checkerboard.” Its little squares of black and dark green, lime and blue, slide continuously in and out of register, creating the illusion of ceaseless motion, like a fractal model of rippling water.
This surface action, I discovered, reflected her constant improvisation: Tompkins began by cutting her squares (or triangles or bars) freehand, never measuring or using a template, and intuitively changed the colors, shapes and size of her fabric fragments, making her compositions seem to expand or contract. As a result her quilts could be deliriously akimbo, imbued with a mesmerizing pull of differences and inconsistencies that communicates impassioned attention and care.
“I think it’s because I love them so much that God let me see all these different colors,” Tompkins once said of her patchworks. “I hope they spread a lot of love.”
That 1997 Berkeley show — was my first Rosie Lee Tompkins moment. Organized by Lawrence Rinder, the museum’s chief curator, it helped boost her reputation beyond the quilt world centered in and around San Francisco. This September many more people will have similar moments of their own, and feel the love implicit in her extraordinary achievement, when “Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective” — the artist’s largest show yet — opens its doors once more at the Berkeley Art Museum for a run through Dec. 20. (It debuted briefly in February before the coronavirus lockdown.) The museum’s website currently offers a robust online display and 70-minute virtual tour.
This exhibition, again organized by Mr. Rinder, the museum’s director until March, with Elaine Y. Yau, a postdoctoral curatorial fellow, marks the end of a 35-year saga. Though it began with Effie Mae Martin, it came to include a small, nervous collector named Eli Leon, who met her in 1985, fell in love with her quilts and those of many other African-American creators in and around Richmond — and devoted half his life to acquiring and studying, exhibiting and writing about their work.

The Saga of Effie and Eli and Rosie Lee

Rosie Lee Tompkins grew up the eldest of 15 half-siblings, picking cotton and piecing quilts for her mother. In 1958 she joined the postwar phase of the Great Migration, relocating to Milwaukee and then Chicago, eventually settling in Richmond, Calif., a busy port and shipyard that had become a destination for thousands of African-Americans who moved out of the South, many bringing with them singular aspects of rural culture.
She studied nursing, and for the next two decades or so worked in convalescent homes, a job she is said to have loved. During this time she married and divorced Ellis Howard, raised five children and stepchildren and started to make quilts to sell at the area’s many flea markets, along with other wares. She even had a printed business card that offered “Crazy Quilts and Pillows All Sizes.” By the late 1970s, according to the current exhibition’s catalog, she was earning as much as $400 a weekend from sales and was able to quit her nursing job.
The flea markets were a quilter’s paradise in the 1970s, ’80s and beyond, places where the necessary materials were plentiful and cheap: printed, embroidered and sequined fabrics, beaded trim, crocheted doilies, needlepoint, buttons, secondhand clothing, costume jewelry — all of which, and more, Tompkins incorporated into her art.
The area was also paradise for quilt collectors, one of whom was Eli, born in the Bronx in 1935 and trained as a psychologist, whose collecting instincts verged on hoarding. Eli had also worked as a graphic designer and sometime in the late 1970s, after years of haunting the area’s flea markets and yard sales for whatever appealed, he zeroed in on the visual vibrancy of quilts, evolving into a self-taught scholar. He lived frugally in a small bungalow in Oakland that was eventually packed to its rafters with quilts, except for his dining room and kitchen. These were menageries of previous flea-market obsessions, artifacts of between-the-wars popular culture — crafts, milk glass, dolls, cookie tins, but also meat grinders, toasters and enamel saucepans — mostly in the jade greens.
Around 1980, Eli turned his gimlet eye to searching out African-American quilts and interviewing their makers. At flea markets he would approach anyone selling anything to ask if they knew of quilts for sale. One day he asked a woman selling kitchen utensils — Effie Mae Howard. He would later write, “She was evasive, but eventually let on that she herself dabbled in the craft.”
Thereafter he bought everything she would sell him, sometimes going into debt to do so. They were the jewels in the crown of a collection of African-American quilts that would eventually number in the thousands.
Rosie Lee and Eli were an odd pair, both willful, defensive and fragile. Each had survived a nervous breakdown or two; Rosie Lee’s, coming sometime in the late ’70s, deepened the spirituality and intensity of her work, making it more than ever a haven from the world. Eli’s first came early, after his wife of five years left him. (They had met as students at Reed College and married, even though they both knew he was gay.)
Eli believed Rosie Lee was a great artist and at one point made notes about illustrating an essay about her with works by Michelangelo, Mondrian and Picasso. The quilter felt she was an instrument of God and saw her work as an expression of her faith and his designs. “If people like my work,” she once told Eli, “that means the love of Jesus Christ is still shining through what I’m doing.”
In photographs, Rosie Lee looks tall, of regal posture. Eli’s devotion to her work made him a supplicant, willing to do anything — bring her fabrics and art books — to help with her work. He also wanted to promote it, devising Rosie Lee Tompkins as her “art” name, to preserve her privacy. Some people thought she might not exist, that Eli had made the quilts himself.
His promotional efforts, however, did not involve much selling: Eli was almost congenitally incapable of parting with any of his quilts, or anything else, that he accumulated. But within a year he began building a résumé of articles, exhibitions and lectures about the importance of African-American quilts as well as their frequent emphasis on improvisation and their links to African textiles. In doing so, he contributed to the national awareness of quilts of all kinds by African-Americans, which have been increasingly studied and exhibited since around 1980, thanks to the combined influences of the civil rights movement, feminism and multiculturalism.
His 1987 show, “Who’d a Thought It: Improvisation in African-American Quiltmaking,” included a catalog essay by the well-known Africanist Robert Ferris Thompson alongside his own. It opened at the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1987 and, over the next decade, toured to 25 museums — including the American Craft Museum in New York City in 1989. (It was written about in the Home Section of The New York Times, but significantly not in the Art pages.)
Eli made three trips to the South — on a Guggenheim grant in one instance — to meet the relatives of quilters he knew and collected around Oakland. In Arkansas he visited Rosie Lee’s mother, Sadie Lee Dale, and bought one of her quilts, too.
Mr. Rinder’s Rosie Lee Tompkins conversion took place in a show of black and white quilts by African-Americans that Eli organized in 1996 at the Richmond Art Center. The textile of hers that jumped out at Mr. Rinder is impressive even in photographs. Made from a family of velvets, it resembles Op-Art, only softer, less mechanical and altogether more appealing.
Eager for more information about the artist, Mr. Rinder called up Eli, who responded, “You like that piece? You should see what she does with color!”

Beyond Labels

Though I never met Tompkins, her quilts became stuck in my mind, sometimes at the forefront, sometimes in a corner. I mentioned her work in my writing when I could. Initially she seemed to belong to the first rank of outsider artists who began reshaping the American art canon around 1980, such geniuses as Martín Ramírez, Bill Traylor and Joseph Yoakum. Like Rosie Lee, they were artists of color. (Others, like Henry Darger and James Castle, were white.) She was the only female artist I knew who seemed of their stature — perhaps beyond it — which was doubly exhilarating.
But the “self-taught” or “outsider” labels were inaccurate for quilters. Effie Mae Martin had grown up as her mother’s apprentice in a kind of atelier: a small town full of female friends and relatives who quilted, the older ones showing and telling the younger ones how it was done. More and more I saw her as a great American artist, no qualifier needed.
She reminded me of George Ohr, the unparalleled turn-of-the-century potter from Biloxi, Miss., whose his work was rediscovered in the early 1970s. Ohr’s precariously thin-walled vessels, unlikely shapes and inspired glazing shared a kind of bravura with Tompkins’s works. They both possessed an extraordinary skill and idiosyncratic abandon that creates a new sense of the possibilities of the hand, visual wit and beauty in any medium.
As with Ohr, Tompkins’s work triggered a kind of joy on first encounter. You could hear it in the reviews of the 2002 Whitney Biennial, which Mr. Rinder organized during his stint there as curator of contemporary art. He put three of her quilts in the show, one of which the Whitney acquired.
After a final decade that was a nearly vertical trajectory, hurtling toward art world fame, Rosie Lee Tompkins died suddenly, at 70, in December 2006, in her home. There were obituaries in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Boston Globe.
Then, in 2013, Eli began to leave me urgent phone messages: “You have to come out here. I need help,” his thin reedy voice said. He had received a diagnosis of dementia, and was worried about what would become of his collection, which he wanted to keep intact. It was overflowing not only his house, but also a small, climate-controlled annex he had built behind it.
I visited him that fall, to be stunned all over again when Eli and Jenny Hurth — his exemplary friend, assistant, fellow quilt-lover and, after 2011, his most constant caregiver — unveiled a succession of Tompkins velvets, clipping them to the molding above the double doors between his living and dining rooms. I listened as Eli spoke about Tompkins, her life and work, and also his. (Eli was not shy about his considerable brilliance.) Wedging myself into the narrow gaps between the shelves of folded quilts in the annex, I got an inkling of how much I hadn’t seen.
With this visit, I joined a scattered group of individuals who had been seduced by Eli’s dedication but mainly by his collection, and were now concerned for its fate. In addition to Mr. Rinder and Ms. Hurth, it included Elsa Longhauser, then director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art (recently renamed the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles).
No one quite knew the actual size of his holdings — Eli provided only the vaguest of numbers when asked — but it seemed immense, judging from the two- and three-foot-high stacks of quilts that had to be navigated to get through his darkened living room.
I saw Eli once more, in 2016, when I went to Berkeley to review the inauguration of the museum’s new building. His dementia was much further along but he smiled as Ms. Hurth introduced me to another dimension of Tompkins’s creativity: the words and numbers that she awkwardly whipstitched to her quilts, adding a layer of personal meaning in a spidery script that sometimes resembled graffiti done with a Rapidograph. She signed nearly everything with her real name, Effie, or some combination of Effie Mae Martin Howard, and often added her nearly palindromic date of birth, 9.6.36, or the birth dates of her sons, her parents and other relatives she wanted to honor.
Sometimes the embroidery reflected her daily Bible reading, including the Gospels, as did her addition of appliqué crosses. Occasionally she stitched the addresses of the places she had lived, and Eli’s home. The information suggested talismanic properties, perhaps prayers. She also said they were meant to improve the relationships between the people evoked by the numbers. In her “Three Sixes” quilts — inspired by the sixes in the birth dates of three family members — she acknowledged them by limiting her palette to three colors: orange, yellow and purple.
Eli died on March 6, 2018, at 82, in an assisted-living home. To raise money for his care, Ms. Hurth oversaw multiple yard sales for the contents of his house — except the quilts. The question of their destiny hung uneasily in the air.

Eli’s Surprise

Then, several months later, came the amazing news: Eli had bequeathed his entire quilt collection to the Berkeley Art Museum, a tribute to the early advocacy of Mr. Rinder. The final count of the Eli Leon Bequest was 3,100 quilts by over 400 artists.
Tompkins — represented by more than 680 quilts, quilt tops, appliqués, clothing and objects — is undoubtedly the star. Laverne Brackens, a well-known fourth-generation quilter in Texas, runs a close second, with around 300 quilts in the collection.
While fraught with obligations regarding care, storage, display and access that few museums, large or small, would take on, the bequest automatically transforms the Berkeley museum, and its parent institution, the University of California, Berkeley, into an unparalleled center for the study of African-American quilts. Interest and support are coming forth: The museum has already received a $500,000 grant from the Luce Foundation for a follow-up survey of Eli’s entire gift in 2022, which should be every bit as surprising as this one.
On the plane out to San Francisco in February, I read the exhibition catalog cover to cover. The organizers’ excellent essays included Mr. Rinder vividly relating Tompkins’s use of improvisation to the innovations of Ornette Coleman and his “no-hold-barred free-jazz sensibility.” (Although he notes that she was an opera fan who listened to disco while doing her work.)
Ms. Yau provides the foundational account of Tompkins’s life, her working methods and the role of family ties and religion. And Horace D. Ballard, a former divinity student who is now a curator and art historian at Williams College and its museum, writes that Tompkins “lived in service of a higher calling,” tying her efforts to sacred music, texts and architecture.
But even they couldn’t prepare me for the visual force of the 62 quilts and five assemblage-like memory jugs, dating from the 1970s to 2004. Spread out in the museum’s sky-lighted galleries, the work’s beauty is more insistent than ever.
Because of Tompkins’s improvisation, a close look doesn’t reveal refinement or rote technique — skill for skill’s sake. It shows small individual adjustments made and liberties taken, almost granular expressions of imagination and freedom. In addition, the fabrics — variously elegant, every day and ersatz — bring a lot with them, not just color and texture, but also manufacturing techniques and social connotations. Do you think that polyester double knit might look cheap used in a quilt? Think again. Cotton flannel and beaded and sequined silk crepe might not be a winning combination? Likewise. Such physical realism is all but impossible to achieve with paint.
A measure of Tompkins’s ambition is that she preferred to concentrate on the ‘free-jazz’ aspect of her work: piecing the quilt tops. Other women finished the quilts by adding a layer of wadding and the back, a standard practice. Most of the pieces in this show were quilted by Irene Bankhead, whose work Eli also collected.
The show begins by demonstrating Tompkins’s unusual range and versatility, juxtaposing quilts in smoldering velvets with a medley of found denims — a homage to her grandfather and other farmers in her family.
A remarkable early quilt from the 1970s is pieced almost entirely of blocks of found fabric embroidered with flowers — old and new, machine- and handmade. They bow to an ancient craft and, at the quilt’s center, a spare image of the risen Christ blessing. Above and to the right a circle of twisted bands and leaves suggests both a crown of thorns and a laurel wreath. Was Tompkins aware of this possible reading? Perhaps, but the main point is that her work is open to the viewer’s response and interpretation.
As an artist, Tompkins may have taken improvisation further than other quilters. She all but abandoned pattern for an inspired randomness with an emphasis on serial disruptions that constantly divert or startle the eye — like the badge of a California prison guard sewn to an otherwise conventional crazy quilt. Another narrative quilt is more like a wall-hanging, or maybe a street mural, pieced with large fragments of black and white fabric and T-shirts printed with images of African-American athletes and political leaders. Rows of crosses made from men’s ties evoke the pressures of succeeding while black in America.
Her big velvet quilts — the exultant heart of the show — are most often disrupted by dramatic shifts in color and scale. In one, several blocks of stark black and white triangles break through an expanse of rich colors like icebergs in a dark sea. The opposite corner features a distinctive Tompkins device: a small framed area composed of tiny squares that creates a quilt-within-a-quilt — which reads as a witty self-reference to the quilting process, and pulls us into the intimacy of making.
One of Tompkins’s most spectacular velvets is edged with these framed mini-quilts, which surround an enormous field of blue velvets that creates a kind of van Gogh night sky; they can read as small painted side panels on an altarpiece. Some feature abutting triangles that suggest desert landscapes and pyramids, perhaps the Flight into Egypt. (In the catalog, Mr. Ballard resonantly likens the field of blues to the vault of a cathedral and the borders to clerestory windows.)
There are many museum exhibitions on lockdown in the United States right now. They closed in one world and will reopen in a very different one, and the relevance of “Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective” has only expanded in the hiatus. The sheer joy of her best quilts cannot be overstated. They come at us with the force and sophistication of so-called high art, but are more democratic, without any intimidation factor.
Her work is simply further evidence of the towering African-American achievements that permeate the culture of this country. A deeper understanding and knowledge of these, especially where art is concerned, must be part of the necessary rectification and healing that America faces.
Tompkins seems to have been an artist of singular greatness, but who knows what further revelations — including the upcoming survey of the Eli Leon Bequest — are in store. The field of improvisational quilting by African-American women is not small, but beyond the great quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala., and a few others, their work is not widely known. Rosie Lee Tompkins’s version of what Eli Leon called “flexible patterning” may have been more extreme than anyone else’s. Or perhaps not. It would be gratifying to learn that she did not act alone."
submitted by corvidlover13 to quilting [link] [comments]

2020.06.26 15:03 freedomforg The manhattan project thing 2/5

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.[95] 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".[96] 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.[95] 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.[97]
Map of Los Alamos site, New Mexico, 1943–45
Because it was secret, Los Alamos was referred to as "Site Y" or "the Hill".[98] Birth certificates of babies born in Los Alamos during the war listed their place of birth as PO Box 1663 in Santa Fe.[99] 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.[100]
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.[101][102]
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.[103][104] 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.[106] 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."[107][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.[108] At the Argonne site, Chicago Pile-3, the first heavy water reactor, went critical on 15 May 1944.[109][110] 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.[102]
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.[111]
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.[112] 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".[113]
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.[113] The land acquisition process dragged on and was not completed before the end of the Manhattan Project in December 1946.[114]
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.[115] At its peak, the construction camp was the third most populous town in Washington state.[116] Hanford operated a fleet of over 900 buses, more than the city of Chicago.[117] 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.[118]
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.[119]
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.[120] A larger 10 MW NRX reactor, which was designed during the war, was completed and went critical in July 1947.[119]
Northwest Territories
The Eldorado Mine at Port Radium was a source of uranium ore.[121]
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.[122][123]
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.[124] 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.[125] 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.[126]
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.[127] 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.[128] 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.[129]
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.[130] 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.[131] 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.[132]
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.[133]
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.[134]
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.)
The centrifuge process was regarded as the only promising separation method in April 1942.[135] 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.[136]
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,[137] 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.[138] 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.[139]
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.[140] It eventually became the preferred method of Uranium isotope separation, being far more economical than the other separation methods used during WWII.[141]
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.[142] In the electromagnetic process, a magnetic field deflected charged particles according to mass.[143] The process was neither scientifically elegant nor industrially efficient.[144] 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.[142]
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!"[145] Eventually, 14,700 short tons (13,300 tonnes; 430,000,000 troy ounces) were used.[146]
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.[146][147] The last silver was returned in May 1970.[148]
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.[149]
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.[144] 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.[150]
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.[151]
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.[152] 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."[153]
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.[154]
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.[155]
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.[156] 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.[157] 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.[158][159]
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.[160]
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.[161]
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.[162] 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.[163]
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.[164]
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,[165] 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.[166]
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).[167] 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,[168] which boosted it to about 89%, sufficient for nuclear weapons.[169]
Aggregate U-235 production
About 50 kilograms (110 lb) of uranium enriched to 89% uranium-235 was delivered to Los Alamos by July 1945.[169] The entire 50 kg, along with some 50%-enriched, averaging out to about 85% enriched, were used in Little Boy.[169]
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.[170] 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.[170]
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.[171] 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.[171]
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.[172]
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.[173] 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.[174]
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.[175] 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.[176]
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.[177]
Work began on Reactor B, the first of six planned 250 MW reactors, on 10 October 1943.[178] 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.[179] 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.[180] 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.[181][182]
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.[183] 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.[184] 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.[185] Reactor D was started on 17 December 1944 and Reactor F on 25 February 1945.[186]
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.[187] 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.[188]
Greenewalt favored the bismuth phosphate process due to the corrosive nature of lanthanum fluoride, and it was selected for the Hanford separation plants.[189] 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%.[174]
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.[190]
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.[191] 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.[192]
submitted by freedomforg to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

2020.06.23 01:09 Tsegen The sources for the Christian stories in the Qur’an can be found in later (often apocryphal) Christian traditions. There is no need to posit an omniscient author

The argument is simple: the Qur’an contains many stories about Jesus. There is no reason to posit that the author of the Qur’an was some omniscient figure giving us direct information when there are so many Christian sources that are closer in time and space to where the Qur’an arose that they could have gotten it from.

Historical Background

Christianity and Islam
The Islamic sources themselves claim that Christians were within reach of Muslims (and sometimes, Muslims went out to Christians in places like Ethiopia)
But even secular scholars agree that Christianity had spread well into Arabia. The Christian community of Najran to the south of Mecca predates Islam, for example. To the north you had the Ghassanids who were allied with and fought with the Byzantines who the Muslims later fought and defeated. There were also Christians in the east as well.
In short, Christianity was all around the region, Arab Christians had links with and fought for the greater Christian empires.
The Bible in Arabia
Sidney Griffith: “So far no convincing evidence has come to light to suggest that there was a pre-Islamic translation of the Gospel into Arabic, or indeed of any portion of the Christian Bible, in a way that would have made it textually available in Muh˙ammad’s milieu.”
Hoyland also states:” Unfortunately, whereas we have many Bible translations and hagiographies in Coptic, Armenian and Palestinian Aramaic to illustrate this point, we have no such evidence for Arabic”
Reynolds concurs: "For this reason, it is all the more remarkable that there is still no compelling evidence of an Arabic translation of the Bible before Islam…In other words, when Muhammad preached Islam, many Arabs had long been believers in the one God, the creator of heaven and earth. Yet until now they heard about this God in a foreign tongue. Most likely, the Bible was read in Churches in Syriac, and then translated orally so that the Arab worshipers could understand it."
If this is true, if any Arab were copying, they wouldn’t have any complete book to crosscheck by, they would have passed-on tales. This would explain how later apocryphal stories slip into the retelling of both the Christian and Jewish stories within the Qur’an and why the Qur'an doesn't lay out the full structure of the Bible (it speaks predominantly of the "Torah and Gospel" when there are stories from the greater Tanakh).
Here I’m going to lean even more heavily on the experts since I speak neither Syriac nor Arabic. But many scholars since Luxenburg have been looking at the links between the languages and the potential sources for the Qur’an. For one: Syriac was in the region and even spoken by some Arabs.
For another, the word “Qur’an” itself may derive from Syriac, per Fred Donner and Gabriel Said Reynolds: “and almost everyone who discusses the Qur’an notes that the very word Qur’an is derived from Syriac qeryana, ‘recitation, liturgy.’” Donner.
Even while Donner criticizes Luxenburg he doesn’t deny Syriac influence: “He is, of course, right when he says that the Qur’an text contains words that are indubitably of Syriac origin, but this fact has been recognized for years – centuries, actually. Luxenberg’s notion of a “mixed language” is problematic, however, because he makes no effort to clarify what he means by it.”
Tl;dr: Scholars are more and more looking into the Syriac Christian links to the Qur’an.

Jesus and the Clay Birds

Qur'an Infancy Gospel of Thomas
49and [he will be] an apostle to the Children of Israel, [and he will declare,] “I have certainly brought you a sign from your Lord: I will create for you the form of a bird out of clay, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by God’s leave. I heal the blind and the leper and I revive the dead by God’s leave. I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you, should you be faithful.Qur’an 3:49 2 Then, taking soft clay from the mud, he formed twelve sparrows. It was the Sabbath when he did these things, and many children were with him.3 And a certain Jew, seeing the boy Jesus with the other children doing these things, went to his father Joseph and falsely accused the boy Jesus, saying that, on the Sabbath he made clay, which is not lawful, and fashioned twelve sparrows.4 And Joseph came and rebuked him, saying, “Why are you doing these things on the Sabbath?” But Jesus, clapping his hands, commanded the birds with a shout in front of everyone and said, “Go, take flight, and remember me, living ones.” And the sparrows, taking flight, went away squawking.Infancy Gospel of Thomas 1
A very simple story of Jesus shaping clay birds and giving them life, in a mirror to God giving life to Adam (implying, of course, that Jesus was divine as so many Christians believed at this point)
This is in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas or the “Childhood of Jesus/the Savior”
When was the Christian story written: it is generally dated to the 2nd century and later by scholars. “ There are Syriac copies from the fifth and sixth centuries (Cod. Brit. Mus. Add. 14484 and Göttingen ms Syr. 10; three other Syriac witnesses are later), and at least one fragmentary Latin witness from about the same date” (Ehrman and Pleše)
Date: Composition: 2nd Century. Syriac Copies: 5th and 6th century

Jesus speaking as an infant and the miracle of the palm tree.

Qur'an Protevangelium of James Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
22 Thus she conceived him, then withdrew with him to a distant place. 23The birth pangs brought her to the trunk of a date palm. She said, ‘I wish I had died before this and become a forgotten thing, beyond recall.’ 24Thereupon he called her from below her, [saying,] ‘Do not grieve! Your Lord has made a spring to flow at your feet. 25Shake the trunk of the palm tree, freshly picked dates will drop upon you. 26Eat, drink and be comforted. Then if you see any human, say, “I have indeed vowed a fast to the All-beneficent, so I will not speak to any human today.” Qur’an 19 And they came half the way, and Mary said to him: “Joseph, take me down from the ass, for the child within me presses me, to come forth.” And he took her down there and said to her: “Where shall I take you and hide your shame? For the place is desert.” And he found a cave there and brought her into it, and left her in the care of his sons and went out to seek for a Hebrew midwife in the region of Bethlehem. Protoevangelium of James, 17:2–18:1 1Then, after these things, on the third day after they had started out, Mary was weary from too much sun in the wilderness, and seeing a palm tree she wanted to rest awhile in its shade. Joseph hastened to lead her to the palm and he had her descend from the donkey. When Mary sat down, she looked to the foliage on the palm and saw that it was full of fruit, and she said, “If only I could get some of that fruit from the palm!” Joseph said to her, “I am surprised that you’re saying this, when you can see how high the palm is. You are thinking of the fruit of the palm; but I am thinking about the water that we no longer have in our water skins; we have nowhere to replenish them to quench our thirst.” 2 Then the young child Jesus, sitting in the lap of his mother, the virgin, cried out to the palm tree and said, “Bend down, O tree, and refresh my mother from your fruit.” Immediately when he spoke, the palm tree bent its top down to Mary’s feet. Everyone gathered the fruit in it and was refreshed. After all its fruit had been gathered, the tree remained bent, expecting that it would rise up at the command of the one who had ordered it to bend over. Then Jesus said to it, “Stand erect, O palm, and be strong, and become a companion of my trees that are in the paradise of my Father. And open up from your roots the hidden springs, that water may flow from them to quench our thirst.” Immediately the palm stood erect, and from its roots springs of water began to come forth, clear, cold, and very sweet. When they saw the springs of water flowing, they all rejoiced with a great joy and drank, together with their beasts and companions, giving thanks to God. Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 20:2
Quranic version: Mary withdraws to a distant area in preparation for her birth. Things are hard and she finds shelter and food under a palm tree at the command of God.
The idea of Mary withdrawing is in two apocryphal stories. In the Protevangelium she withdraws to the desert for birth. In the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew she withdraws for her birth, then she is warned about Herod’s knowledge of Jesus’ birth and desire to kill him then runs to Egypt (matching the Gospel of Actual-Matthew). It is on this road that Jesus performs this miracle with the palm tree.
(The infant Jesus in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew also shows other signs of precociousness, like standing soon after his birth or walking during a journey to Egypt)
Per Ehrman and Plese:
“The book is a Latin reworking of the (Greek) Protevangelium Jacobi, based probably on one or more Latin editions of that work that have long since been lost…The earliest surviving manuscripts of the Gospel date from the early ninth century…There continue to be debates concerning when the Gospel itself was composed…In the most thorough analysis to date, Gijsel has maintained that even though direct literary dependence on the Rule of Benedict cannot be demonstrated, there are enough general similarities to suggest that the book was written when monastic orders were beginning to expand in the West, by someone invested in them. Largely on these grounds he makes a convincing argument that the text was produced in the first quarter of the seventh century, by a monk in the Latin-speaking West who was enchanted by the account of the Protevangelium and its potential for conveying homage to Mary as a model virgin embracing the monastic ideal” This idea of Mary being an ideal of purity will come up again and again in the Qur’an.
Reynolds also says:
“The second is the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (a Latin text likely dating from the early seventh century, dependent on earlier traditions)”
So our witnesses are late but the text predates them and probably has earlier traditions behind it.
Date: 7-9th century.

Mary’s Annunciation and Birth

Qur'an Protevangelium of James 1 Samuel
35When the wife of Imran said, ‘My Lord, I dedicate to You in consecration what is in my belly. Accept it from me; indeed You are the All-hearing, the All-knowing.’ 36When she bore her, she said, ‘My Lord, I have borne a female [child]’—and God knew better what she had borne, and the male [child she expected] was no match for the female [child she had borne]—‘and I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Your care against [the evil of] the outcast Satan.’ (1) While Anna was gazing at the sky she saw a nest of sparrows in the laurel tree, and she mourned to herself, “Woe is me. Who gave me birth? What kind of womb bore me? I have been born as a curse before the sons of Israel and have been despised; they have mocked me and banished me from the Temple of the Lord my God. (2) Woe is me, what am I like? I am not like the birds of the sky, for even the birds of the sky are productive before you, O Lord. Woe is me, what am I like? I am not like the senseless living creatures, for even the senseless living creatures are productive before you, O Lord. Woe is me, what am I like? I am not like the wild beasts of the earth, for even the wild beasts of the earth are productive before you, O Lord. (3) Woe is me, what am I like? I am not like these waters, for even these waters are tranquil yet prance about, and their fish bless you, O Lord. Woe is me. What am I like? I am not like this soil, for even this soil produces its fruit in its season and blesses you, O Lord.” (1) Then, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared and said to her, “Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer. You will conceive a child and give birth,4 and your offspring will be spoken of throughout the entire world.” Anna replied, “As the Lord God lives, whether my child is a boy or a girl, I will offer it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it will minister to him its entire life.”5 (Protoevangelium 4.1). 3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion,[b] because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” 9 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD.[c] Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. 11 She made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite[d] until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants,[e] and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1)
In the Protevangelium and the Book of Samuel Hannah/Anna, the mother is barren and is feeling quite down about it (btw: the fact that the story so closely mirrors an OT story is reason for us to doubt its historicity, just as we doubt the Qur’anic stories). So she prays and promises her child to a life of purity and service to Yahweh when she gets one. The Qur’an contains the latter element without the barrenness. Per Ehrman and Please: “it appears to have been written some time in the second half of the second century…”. We have Syriac versions from the 5th and 6th century, as well as some with unknown dates. Paul Foster states: “Based on the evidence of surviving manuscripts, the wide circulation of this document is amply attested. To date, more than 140 Greek manuscripts have been catalogued. The text is also witnessed in numerous translational versions, including Sahidic, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Slavonic, and Arabic.”
Shoemaker says “More importantly for the present purposes, however, the Protevangelium’s account of Mary’s parentage, her own conception and birth, her wondrous childhood in the Temple, and the birth of her divine son quickly became the “canonical” account of Mary’s early life, establishing the basis for innumerable apocryphal, hagiographical, and liturgical texts in the ages to come.”
The text was very popular, so it definitely didn’t just die off after the 2nd century. It spread, war and wide and was often used in liturgical settings.
Dates: Composition: 2nd Century. Syriac witnesses 5th and 6th century.

Mary’s youth

Qur'an Protevangelium of James Notes
37 Thereupon her Lord accepted her with a gracious acceptance, and made her grow up in a worthy fashion, and He charged Zechariah with her care. Whenever Zechariah visited her in the sanctuary, he would find provisions with her. He said, ‘O Mary, from where does this come for you?’ She said, ‘It comes from God. God provides whomever He wishes without reckoning.’ Qur’an 3:37 1 Her parents went away marveling, praising and glorifying God, the Master, that the child did not turn back. Mary was in the Temple of the Lord, cared for like a dove, receiving her food from the hand of an angel "The term rendered by the Qurʾān as “sanctuary,” Arabic miḥrāb, has been thought to be related to a Semitic root (ḥ.r.m.) which is generally used for a sacred space, or temple (e.g., the ḥarām of Mecca). However, Christian Robin has shown (“Du paganisme,” 152–53) that in South Arabian or Sabaean inscriptions miḥrāb is used for an important building. It is in this sense that the Qurʾān uses the term (although in later Islamic usage it also refers to the prayer niche in mosques). Here miḥrāb refers to the Jerusalem temple, here Zechariah is found in the Gospel of Luke when an angel announces to him the promise of a son" (The Qur’an and the Bible) . Note also that Zechariah is also in the Temple in the Protevangelium
44These accounts are from the Unseen, which We reveal to you,and you were not with them when they were casting lots [to see] which of them would take charge of Mary’s care, nor were you with them when they were contending.Quran 3:44 (2) But when she reached her twelfth birthday, the priests held a council and said, “See, Mary has become twelve years old in the Lord’s Temple. What then shall we do with her, to keep her from defiling the sanctuary of the Lord our God?” They said to the chief priest, “You have stood on the Lord’s altar. Go in and pray about her, and we will do whatever the Lord God reveals to you.” (3) The chief priest went in, taking the robe with twelve bells into the Holy of Holies; and he prayed about her. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared and said to him, “Zacharias, Zacharias, go out and gather the widowers of the people, and have each of them bring a rod; she will become the wife of the one to whom the Lord God gives a sign.”12 The heralds went out to all the countryside of Judea and the trumpet of the Lord was blown, and see, everyone came running…1 Joseph cast aside his carpenter’s axe and went to their meeting. When they had gathered together they went to the priest, bringing their rods. When he had received the rods from them he went into the Temple and prayed. When he finished his prayer, he took the rods, went outside, and gave them back. And no sign appeared among them. But Joseph took the last rod, and behold! A dove came out of the rod and flew onto Joseph’s head. The priest said to Joseph, “You have been chosen to take the Lord’s virgin into your safekeeping.” Protevangelium 8-9 "More importantly, it emerges that the Qur’an is not speaking of an ordeal that made Zechariah Mary’s guardian, but rather an ordeal that made Joseph her fiancé.478 This is indeed suggested by the context of the Qur’an, which already names Zechariah her guardian several verses earlier (Q 3.37)" (Qur'an and its Biblical Subtext)
In both the Protevangelium and the Qur’an:
  1. Mary is dedicated to God
  2. Mary is born (an event not detailed in any canonical Gospel)
  3. Mary lives in some sort of sanctuary, possible the Temple.
  4. She is looked after by Zechariah
  5. Some sort of game (drawn lots or thrown pens) is played for the guardianship of Mary
  6. Joseph becomes her guardian
  7. Jesus’ miraculous birth is announced to her by an angel.
  8. She withdraws to give birth
And the miracle with the palm tree is, as mentioned, in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew.
The lots,the annunciation to Anne, her dedication, her living in the temple are not in 1st century Gospels.
Dates: Composition: 2nd Century. Syriac witnesses 5th and 6th century.

The Companions of the Cave

This one is pretty uncontroversial. The Qur’an itself tells us there was a preexsting debate over how long the companions spent in the cave. So my time on it will be limited.
The story itself matches the Christian tale of the Sleepers of Ephesus, where some boys enter and lie asleep in a cave during Christian persecutions and wake up centuries later, which we have a Syriac source in the 4th -5th century, Jacob of Serugh.
The Ecclesiastical History of Zacharias of Mitylene (d. 536) relates that “a great sanctuary has been built over the cave for honor’s sake, and for a house of worship , and for liturgy (teshmeshta) over their bodies.”643 The Qur’an’s description of this building as a masjid reflects this tradition closely. (The Qur’an in its biblical subtext)

Angels bowing to Adam

Qur'an Life of Adam and Eve Cave of Treasures
When your Lord said to the angels, “I am making a khalifa on earth,” they said, “Will you make on it one who will be iniquitous and shed blood, while we praise your glory and sanctify you?” He said, “I know what you do not know.Qur’an 2:30 God formed Adam with his holy hands, in His image and in His likeness. When the angels saw the image and the glorious appearance of Adam, they trembled at the beauty of his figure. . . . Moreover, the angels and celestial powers heard the voice of God saying to Adam “See, I have made you king, priest and prophet, Lord, leader and director of all those made and created. To you alone have I given these and I give you authority over everything I have created.” When the angels and the archangels, the thrones and dominions, the cherubims and seraphins, that is when all of the celestial powers heard this voice, all of the orders bent their knees and prostrated before him N/A
10Certainly We have established you on the earth and made in it [various] means of livelihood for you. Little do you thank. 11Certainly We created you, then We formed you, then We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam.’ So they [all] prostrated, but not Iblis: he was not among those who prostrated. 12Said He, ‘What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you?’ ‘I am better than him,’ he said. ‘You created me from fire and You created him from clay.’. Qur’an 7:11 Satan replied and said, “You did nothing to me, but I came to this measure because of you, on the day on which you were created, for I went forth on that day. When God breathed his spirit into you, you received the likeness of his image. Thereupon, Michael came and made you bow down before God. God said to Michael, ‘Behold I have made Adam in the likeness of my image.’ Then Michael summoned all the angels and God said to them, ‘Come, bow down to god whom I made.’ Michael bowed first. He called me and said. ‘You too, bow down to Adam.’ I said, ‘Go away, Michael! I shall not bow down to him who is posterior to me, for I am former. Why is it proper for me to bow down to him?’ The other angels, too, who were with me, heard this, and my words seemed pleasing to them and they did not prostrate themselves to you, Adam. Thereupon, God became angry with me and commanded to expel us from our dwelling and to cast me and my angels, who were in agreement with me, to the earth; and you were at the same time in the Garden. When the leader of the lesser order saw the greatness given to Adam, he became jealous of him and did not want to prostrate before him with the angels. He said to his hosts, ‘Do not worship him and do not praise him with the angels. It is proper that you should worship me, since I am fire and spirit, not that I worship something that is made of dirt Cave of Treasures 3:1
Qur’anic version: God states that he is creating a khalifa (“According to classical Arabic lexicography khalCfa might mean either “representative” or “successor.”5 Most modern translators choose the first meaning.” Qur’an in its Biblical Subtext) on Earth. The angels lament this but God goes on. He gives Adam the names of all things and the angels are made to kneel to him. All except Satan, who states that he won’t kneel on account of him being fire while Adam is clay.
This story is not in Genesis. It is in much younger texts. (BTW: the idea that the angels were reluctant goes back to the Talmud, again compiled later than Genesis).
In The Life of Adam and Eve too Satan refuses to bow along with the angels. The best parallel is in the Cave of Treasures, where he explicitly gives the same justification as in the Qur’an: he is fire and Adam is earth.
“The Bible, of course, does not report the story of the angels’ protesting God’s plans to create a human. Their protest, however, is a prominent feature of Jewish exegesis…According to most Jewish traditions, however, the angels never actually worship Adam.52 In Genesis Rabba God disabuses the angels of their notion that Adam is divine. In Christian traditions, however, the angelic prostration is a regular feature.53
To Christians Adam is the prototype of Christ, and the scene of the angels’ prostrating before him is an anticipation of the angelic worship of Christ described in Hebrews: “Again, when He brings the First-born into the world, He says: Let all the angels of God pay him homage” (1.6).54 In Philippians 2.6–11 Paul similarly describes how “all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus” (v. 10).55 The larger theme here of Christ’s humility (“he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” v. 7) and glorification (“and for this God raised him high,” v. 9) forms a contrast between Adam and Christ. Adam was human and desired to become divine. Christ is divine and was willing to become human.56
Yet in a significant tradition of Christian literature, including the Life of Adam and Eve,57 the Gospel of Bartholemew,58 the Gospel of Nicodemus59 and the Cave of Treasures, the comparison in Philippians 2 is not a contrast but a parallel. Adam is not an anti-type but an ante-type of Jesus. Both Adam and Jesus came down from heaven to earth; both were raised up in worship. To this end they relate the story of the angels’ bowing to Adam.

Of course, and as mentioned above, the idea of humans as imago Dei is rejected by Islamic theology. Yet the Qur’an itself hardly rejects it. The creation of Adam as the khalifa of God (Q 2.30) can mean nothing else, if what is understood by imago Dei is nothing physical.65 And indeed for the Church fathers this phrase cannot redound to Adam’s looks. Origen comments: “But if anyone suppose that this man who is made ‘according to the image and likeness of God’ is made of flesh, he will appear to represent God himself as made of flesh and in human form. It is most clearly impious to think this about God.”66 The idea of imago Dei relates not to the human body but to man’s particular relationship with God and His creation, namely his place as khalifa, God’s vicegerent. Indeed this seems to be the view of the Cave of Treasures itself. Therein the angels do not bow to Adam when they see his glorious appearance, but only when they hear the authority that God has given him. The prostration of the angels to Adam in the Qur’an might be understood fruitfully from this perspective.

Finally it is worth noting that the Qur’an, like the Cave of Treasures, presents Adam as a prototype of Christ. In Al “ImrAn (3) 59, the Qur’an relates: “The likeness (mathal) of Jesus before God is as the likeness of Adam. He created [Adam] from dirt and then said to him ‘Be’ and he was” (cf. Q 3.47). According to the traditional Islamic interpretation of this verse, found even from the time of Ibn Hisham (d. 218/833; he ascribes it to the meeting of Muhammad with a delegation of Christians from Najran),68 the Adam/Christ comparison here is meant as a refutation of Christians,69 since Christians claimed that the Virgin Birth proves Christ’s divinity. But the larger context of this passage (from Q 3.45ff.) suggests that the Qur’an’s intent here is to venerate, not qualify, the attributes of Christ. Its comparison with Adam is the high point of this veneration.70
So there are reasons for this story to exist in the Christian tradition: Adam presages Jesus and just as angels will bow to Jesus they bow to Adam. Adam possess the image of God, thus the angels bow to him. Why are angels bowing to Adam in the notoriously strict-monotheist Qur’an?
The theology of it seems to imply a Christian origin.
Date: Reynolds puts the Cave of Treasures 4-6th century

What the Qur'an doesn't say

Let's look at Mark, the earliest Gospel:
9And in those days it happened that Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee, came and was baptized in the Jordan by John. 10And, immediately rising up out of the water, he saw the heavens being rent apart and the Spirit descending to him as a dove; 11And a voice out of the heavens: “You are my Son, the beloved, in you I have delighted.” 12And immediately the Spirit cast him out into the wilderness. 13And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by the Accuser, and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. 14And after John was handed over Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the good tidings of God: 15That “The proper time has been fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has drawn near; change your hearts and have faith in the good tidings.” 16And, passing along beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew trawling in the sea; for they were fishermen.
Mark 1.
Mark details where these things are happening, using locations known at the time. Jesus is from Galilee, he is baptized in the Jordan, he goes to Capernaum. Mark mentions the leaders - Herod, Pilate, the Sanhedrin. Mark's Gospel is not historical as we modern people understand the term, but it contains nuggets that are historical.
Question: how many times, in the Qur'an, does Jesus speak from a discernible location and time? In Mark Jesus is moves across geography but very often the Jesus in the Qur'an is speaking from non-descript locales. At best the Qur'an knows of the Temple but what knowledge does it show of Galilee? Sometimes the time period is actually in the future; i.e. Allah asking Jesus some questions at the end of the world and Jesus speaks exactly like every other "Muslim" in the tale -i.e the author could have just invented him saying that). Others are vague and are paralleled in the aforementioned "fables of the ancients".
The thing about this sort of thing: you don't actually need to have omniscience or intimate knowledge Jesus' itinerary over his three years of preaching to do this. You just need a few Christian sources. A non-Muslim could tell disjointed stories about Mohammed and his miracles without knowing the geography and political situation in Arabia at the time.
So much of the Christian stuff in the Qur'an is ahistorical, which is to say there's no way to prove it ever happened (hell,some of it hasn't happened yet), worthless to critical study.


We have the Qur’an drawing from stories we can clearly find paralleled in older, post-canonical/1st century Christian sources. Not only are these stories later than our canonical gospels by the judgment of the secular experts, we know that they were extant far closer to Mohammed’s time.
To give you some context: secular scholars generally date the canonical Gospels and undisputed letters of Paul within 20-70 years of Jesus life. Yet most things about Jesus' life are in doubt or debated. Per Dunn "Two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent. ... One is Jesus' baptism by John. The other is his death by crucifixion". Two facts. Two. Habermas, a scholar and an apologist, expands this list of "minimal facts" about Jesus that scholars will back to an ambitious six and I've seen those minimal facts debated (see Licona vs. Ehrman)
Now, if that is the level of historical certainty we can expect from books within the same century as Jesus' life and ministry, how do you think historians treat the prospects from books that are somewhere between a century and more than half a millennia later? How is this not the height of special pleading to believe those sources contain the historical info?
We know that Christian was all around the region. It was to the north, with Christian Arabs like the Ghassanids, to the east and to the south.
We know that these stories were held by Syriac Christians who are not only that distant from Arab Christians geographically but seem to share a similar language.
We don’t have evidence that the Bible itself was written down in Arabic at this point (this is probably why the Qur’an brags that it is in clear Arabic) so the stories were probably being translated orally, which would explain how both canonical information from the Bible and non-canonical stuff made it through.
The Qur'an doesn't show any exceptional knowledge of Jesus that couldn't be drawn from other sources. Where is his itinerary? What does "Messiah" mean? What about the geography of his region?
We have a few possible ways to synthesize this information.
  1. The Qur’an copied the tales that were spreading in the region, as the Qur’an’s author itself admits it was being accused of. "And if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. Even when they come to you arguing with you, those who disbelieve say, "This is not but legends of the former peoples." Quran 6:25.
  2. The texts in question are derived from the Qur’an, despite most of them being dated by secular scholars much earlier and us having some old witnesses of them that predate the Qur’an.
  3. Somehow, these later texts actually contain the most accurate information compared to the earlier canonical Gospels and works like the Didache and that’s why they share stories with the Qur’an. The fact that some of these stories seem to clearly be the result of artifice- i.e. using existing “Old Testament” stories as their basis, see the Mary/Samuel version- or are centuries after the “corrupted” Gospels which are themselves not that trustworthy despite being much closer to Jesus’ time doesn’t matter. They’re our best sources despite disagreeing with the Qur’an on other issues (e.g. the theology of Jesus’ divinity).
Which would a detached observer, who wasn’t already committed to some omniscient narrator of the Qur’an, go with. Why do we even need to posit such an omniscient figure?
Spoiler alert: we don’t.


  1. Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations. Ehrman and Plese
  2. Apocryphal Gospels. Paul Foster
  3. Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion. Stephen Shoemaker
  6. Emergence of Islam. Gabriel Said Reynolds.
  7. The Qur'an in its Biblical Subtext. Gabriel Said Reynolds.
  8. Jesus Remembered. James Dunn.
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2020.06.22 16:54 Throwaway-20012001 Division of Student Affairs Returning Safely to Campus Letter

DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS Returning Safely to Campus Life June 22, 2020
Dear Students,
With significant health and social challenges facing our country and the world, we are more dedicated than ever to your safe return to campus. From our founding, Notre Dame has sought to be a force for good in the world and cultivate an education of both mind and heart. We support those aspirations in the Division of Student Affairs through fostering community for all students, nurturing your health and well-being, and supporting your individual formation.
I write today to provide you with an update on how we will achieve those student life goals during this most unusual semester. We have missed your physical presence on campus, and we are truly excited to welcome you back. As Father Jenkins has emphasized, we believe in the educational value of the on-campus experience for all our students. Reopening campus will require adaptations and sacrifices from all of us — students, faculty, and staff. He outlined a set of health and safety practices designed to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 infection for all, and especially to avoid exposure for those among us who are most vulnerable to severe illness. He also shared a new University travel policy, which indicates University-related travel will be strictly limited to essential travel and expects personal travel to be avoided except in exceptional circumstances (e.g., sick family members). Every member of our community must adhere to these practices and policies so we can remain here on campus and together this fall.
Please note we are proceeding with caution with our return to campus, and beginning conservatively in terms of modifications to facilities, programs, and services. The safety of you, our faculty, and our staff is our top priority, and what scientists know about transmission of the virus continues to evolve. We will continually monitor the effectiveness and necessity of our protocols, which were formulated based on guidance from the CDC, infectious disease specialists at the Cleveland Clinic, and local health officials. We will add additional measures if needed based on the best available medical advice. On the other hand, if we can safely relax some guidelines over time, we will do so. Thank you for your patience and your commitment to honoring these expectations, some of which will require us to adjust or postpone beloved campus traditions. However, just as drive-by events or virtual sing-alongs have emerged nationwide, I have every confidence you will bring creativity and ingenuity to the ways you connect with one another and make campus life vibrant. We are eager to collaborate with you to create these opportunities.
Returning to Campus and Welcoming New Students
In partnership with local public health officials, students and families will arrive in the South Bend area in stages. Residence hall staff will arrive on campus beginning Sunday, July 26 for training. International students should plan to arrive Saturday, Aug. 1 to participate in orientation with Notre Dame International. The University’s Welcome program for new graduate students will be Monday, Aug. 3 and Tuesday, Aug. 4. New students in our professional programs will receive guidance about orientation programs from their schools.
Based on public health considerations related to move-in staging and gathering size, we currently anticipate offering two Welcome programs for new first year or transfer undergraduate students and families. Those students living on campus will move in either Monday, Aug. 3 or Wednesday, Aug. 5 based on their assigned residence hall. Each student can be accompanied by no more than two family members or guests. Appointment times will be staggered to facilitate physical distancing. Students and their families can expect the same Welcome Week experience regardless of their move-in date. Following the conclusion of each Welcome program on Tuesday, Aug. 4 or Thursday, Aug. 6, student-only programming will continue through the start of classes. First year assignments are currently planned for release on Friday, July 10. I will write new undergraduate students and their parents with further details about Welcome Week in early July.
Most returning undergraduate students living on campus will move in Aug. 6, 7, 8, or 9. Returning students will have the option to select a move-in day and time using the same appointment system used for move-out during a selection period from July 6 to 13. Any students who do not select a move-in appointment during that period will have a move-in day and time assigned automatically. A very limited number of returning student leaders, international students, and student-athletes will be contacted by relevant University departments for permission to move in Aug. 1 or 2. Because the University must restrict the number of students moving in each day for public health reasons, we will be unable to accommodate individual requests for arrival on Aug. 1 or 2. Each student can be accompanied by no more than two family members or guests. Like move-out, appointment times will be staggered to facilitate physical distancing.
Living, Eating, and Praying in Community
Whether you live on campus or off, please continue to wash your hands or sanitize frequently, wear your mask when around others and practice physical distancing. These practices not only protect you, but they protect your peers, faculty, rectors, building services and dining hall staff, advisors, our South Bend and Mishawaka neighbors, and others from infection. They are also essential to minimize the number of people who would need to be quarantined in the case of infection. All students will receive a welcome back package that includes a refillable hand disinfectant or sanitizer, thermometer, and at least three masks, though we also encourage you to bring extra supplies with you to campus. Additional information regarding distribution of these welcome back packages is forthcoming.
Our undergraduate residence halls will operate at standard occupancy, though significantly enhanced cleaning and other adjustments in our common life will be necessary to keep one another safe. While we are still finalizing several details, I can share our current plans. Building Services will now clean the halls seven days a week instead of five, and disinfect high touch surfaces multiple times a day. Assigned roommates will be considered a “household” for purposes of contact tracing. Students will not need to wear masks when they are in their assigned rooms, but they must wear masks in all other rooms and common spaces, including hallways and lounges. While non-resident students may visit friends in the residence halls, these guests must wear masks and observe physical distancing at all times and in all spaces. Hall lounge capacities will be adjusted for physical distancing. No guests may stay overnight in the halls. We hope to make shared kitchens and perhaps hall fitness rooms available through appointments or limited hours, dependent on sufficient cleaning, disinfecting, and spacing. Food sales, unfortunately, cannot be offered safely this semester, though those kitchens may be open for individual use by appointment. Residence hall laundry facilities will be free this fall as planned. Finally, our facilities team is looking into possible ways to manage temperatures inside halls that are not air-conditioned.
We believe if students follow these protocols the residence halls will be safe and healthy environments. Due in part to the cancellation of our study abroad programs, there will be alternative living arrangements available this academic year, and we will do all we can to assist those students interested in exploring these options. Pangborn Hall and Fischer Graduate Residences will now be open to undergraduates, and the safety and health protocols outlined above will apply to these residences as well. Students may also choose to move off campus this fall without incurring a housing contract penalty and still earn credit toward the residency requirement. Please contact the Office of Residential Life by Wednesday, July 1 if you would like to explore alternative on-campus and off-campus options.
Our partners in Campus Dining are adjusting their facilities and offerings in accordance with best industry food service practices. Retail outlets have revised menus to reflect Grab and Go or individually plated carryout food only. Food orders from these outlets may be placed in advance through the Grubhub app and are available for pick up. Dining halls will be available only to those campus community members with purchased meal plans. Disposable serveware will be used, self-service buffets will be replaced with individually portioned, served buffets, and dining capacity will be modified to ensure physical distancing. Outdoor dining will be available in tents on North and South quads and Grab and Go options at both dining halls will also be enhanced. As a reminder, this year we are excited to offer block plans to all students and more flexible on-campus meal plans to upperclassmen.
Gathering together in faith communities and nurturing the spiritual life of our students remains a crucial priority consonant with our Catholic mission. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is already open for public Masses and operating consistent with diocesan guidelines. Most daily Masses will be offered in residence halls and academic buildings, though adjusted as needed for physical distancing requirements. We are in the process of exploring alternative on-campus spaces for residence hall and Law School Sunday Masses so these faith communities can continue to worship together at a regular time.
Nurturing Your Health and Well-Being
Our world has changed radically since March. Whether you are a new or returning student, a graduate or undergraduate student, you transitioned to some form of remote instruction and likely paused academic research last spring. While you persevered admirably, this experience was isolating for many and a particular challenge for students who might have less resources available to them. Well over 100,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, with hundreds of thousands more around the world. The economic fallout of the pandemic has impacted the financial situation of many students’ families and created uncertainty related to summer work, internships, and future employment prospects. And, as I wrote, George Floyd’s killing reminded us of the terrible impact of racism in our country.
These are significant challenges, and we want to understand how they have impacted both your mental and physical health. The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being has created a short assessment to understand your impressions of our current environment, explore how the last few months have affected you, and identify the areas you most need help this fall. Please complete this confidential survey, ideally no later than Wednesday, July 1. The results of this survey will help the University plan the most effective services and programs to support you.
We already have a variety of services in place to nurture our students’ physical and emotional well-being, and we will further enhance them this fall. As Father Jenkins indicated, every member of the University community must complete a daily self-screen. University Health Services (UHS) clinical staff will reach out to you if the results of your health screen indicate you should be assessed and tested for COVID-19. The flu vaccine will also be required of all students this fall to minimize our community’s experience with respiratory-based illness. We are finalizing COVID-19 testing plans for our campus community, but we intend to have convenient, free testing available on campus to all enrolled Notre Dame students, as well as full-time staff and faculty. Both UHS and the University Counseling Center (UCC) will offer their standard comprehensive care through in-person appointments and telehealth or teletherapy options will also be available based on students’ preferences. Within the Center for Student Support & Care, our Care and Wellness Consultants and specialists in Sara Bea Accessibility Services are similarly available in person or virtually for students with complex needs or requests for accommodations.
With the modifications the University has made and dedicated adherence to our public health practices by students and all community members, we believe our campus will be as safe as any other environment, and the risk of acquiring the virus on campus should be very low. Nonetheless, we are prepared to care for students if they become infected with COVID-19 and therefore need to be isolated. We will similarly support students who are considered close contacts of infected individuals and therefore need to be quarantined. Adhering to our health and safety practices, especially regarding mask wearing and physical distancing, is the best way you can minimize the risk that you will become infected or be considered a close contact of an infected individual.
While off-campus students will likely complete any necessary isolation or quarantine time in their homes, University staff will check in with these patients daily, provide monitoring supplies, and ensure the students have access to a delivery service for groceries, food, and supplies. The University has contracted with three off-campus partners for quarantine or isolation space for on-campus students and has additional apartments reserved for this purpose in a separate building of Fischer Graduate Residences. These students will also be checked on daily, provided with monitoring supplies, and delivered two daily meals prepared by Campus Dining. All isolated or quarantined students will be referred to Sara Bea Accessibility Services for accommodations and classroom support, including monitoring of exams. UHS providers will follow up with students regularly and advise when they are able to return to the classroom. Finally, the University has strong partnerships in place with both local hospitals if a student’s illness becomes severe.
The University, in partnership with local public health officials, will perform contact tracing for any infected student. Our system is intended to allow contact tracers to thoroughly identify all high-risk or close contacts, conduct timely notification of contacts to prevent further transmission, ensure resources are available for appropriate medical evaluation of any contacts who are or become symptomatic, and ensure successful quarantine or isolation of contacts during the potential time frame when they may be infectious.
Enabling Student Formation Through Facilities and Programming
All of the facilities designed for student programs and activities will be open this fall, including the Duncan Student Center, the LaFortune Student Center, Washington Hall, Stepan Center, Rockne Memorial, the basketball courts in the North Dome, the Smith Center for Recreational Sports, and the Ricci Band Building. These facilities will implement enhanced sanitization and disinfection protocols, will modify furniture and adjust capacities to University physical distancing requirements and may reduce operating hours to ensure deeper daily cleaning or accommodate academic classes.
Given the adjusted timing of the semester and what we have learned about transmission of the virus, we encourage you and all student groups to utilize our outdoor grounds in safe ways as much as possible. All outdoor grounds, including Ricci Fields and the West Quad Fields, can be reserved by student groups and may also be used informally by students when there is no prior reservation. In collaboration with Campus Dining, we intend to offer the tents installed on North and South quads as space that can be reserved for additional outdoor student programs or informal gathering.
Staff members in our division’s offices and our partners in the Graduate School are eager to meet with students for conversation, pastoral support, and program planning. Following appropriate health practices, we will be open and available to you in person at Campus Ministry, the Center for Student Support and Care, the Family Resource Center, the Gender Relations Center, the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, the Office of Community Standards, the Office of Student Enrichment, RecSports, Residential Life, Student Activities, Student Media, and the University Bands. We will also offer virtual engagement opportunities with our staff based on the preferences of students.
All student clubs and organizations will have the opportunity to meet in person in accordance with appropriate University public health practices and amended student club and organization guidelines and protocols. Student groups may also choose to meet virtually. Attendance must be taken at all in-person meetings and events to allow for contact tracing if needed. Given the University’s travel policy, student group travel as well as off-campus events will not be permitted this fall. Similarly, due to limited University visitors, speakers/performers will not be permitted for in-person engagements, though they can be contracted for virtual events. These limitations on travel and visitors will likely limit students who volunteer regularly in our local community and interact with children. We will share more details as plans are finalized.
We are still developing our plans for student activities that scientists believe hold significant risk for transmission, whether due to the nature of the activity, the proximity of individuals at those events, or the inevitable contact between individuals. As of this writing, we sadly do not anticipate permitting group vocal activities indoors, student dances, or many contact club or intramural sports. We are working hard to research safe ways to enable outdoor choir rehearsals or performances, musical instrument rehearsals and performances, and dance and theater performances, though they will likely require significant restrictions. We know how much students involved in these efforts cherish their experiences and we want to offer them safely if we can. Fitness classes and instructional programs will require adjusted attendance based on physical distancing. For those interhall sports we are able to offer, rosters will be open to both current and former hall residents this year given that some study abroad students may be unable to return to their home residence halls. We are consulting the University’s medical experts, relevant CDC guidelines, and relevant professional association guidelines regularly, and we will publish a full set of student club and organization guidelines and protocols throughout the summer and upon your return. While these changes will present constraints, we look forward to working with you to imagine new ways to enrich our campus life.
Preparing You Well for Fall
This is a lot of information to digest, and I realize some items require significant and sometimes painful changes to ways we interacted on campus prior to the pandemic. I hope you will approach these modifications by remembering that they will allow us to be here safely on campus, learning and connecting with one another in person and at the place we love. Together, I know we can remain healthy, support each other during these challenging times and create new ways to build community.
While I will write to you periodically this summer, please consult the University’s website regularly for updates as our plans continue to evolve. You can also contact the Office of Student Affairs with questions. We will reply as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to finalize our preparations for your return. Finally, Vice President and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Hugh Page, Vice President, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Laura Carlson, and I will also be inviting elected undergraduate and graduate student leaders to several virtual meetings between now and the beginning of the semester so we can better understand student questions and concerns and share updates on the University’s plans.
Let me conclude where I began, which is with sincere excitement for your return to us. We are working tirelessly to prepare for a healthy and fulfilling fall semester. Please know of my prayers for you and your loved ones and stay well this summer.
In Notre Dame,
Erin Hoffmann Harding Vice President for Student Affairs
Link to article here
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2020.05.24 23:19 Orpherischt (A) Coronavirus Joke

The term 'Coronavirus' was coined in 1968.
The name "coronavirus" is derived from Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "wreath", itself a borrowing from Greek κορώνη korṓnē, "garland, wreath". The name was coined by June Almeida and David Tyrrell who first observed and studied human coronaviruses. The word was first used in print in 1968 by an informal group of virologists in the journal Nature to designate the new family of viruses.
As pointed out multiple times before:
The event of 9/11, 2001 has everything to do with the Coronavirus event.
One is a continuation of the other ( "Coronavirus Conspiracy" = 911 primes )
  • The term 'coronavirus' was coined in the year 1968.
  • The WTC Twin Towers began construction in 1968
  • The number 911 was made emergency dialing code in 1968
  • The film 2001: Space Odyssey came out in 1968
  • George Bush, the Bonesman, president during 9/11 graduated from Yale in 1968
And some gematria finds in the square number cipher:
So, again:
The term 'Coronavirus' was coined in 1968.
In my opinion, outside of the 'introductory course' that we might dub the basic alphabetic and reduction ciphers, the most important ciphers are the primes and the jewish-latin-agrippa
So, given all that...
What do you think the value is?
The name was coined by June Almeida and David Tyrrell
Think Tyrell Corporation, from BladeRunner...
Think "Key of David"...
Whenever you see 'Language' dealt with in the news or the press or media in general, "David" is always nearby.
I noted a while back that "June" is the only month name to sum to 156 in primes, while the 156th prime number is 911.
  • "June" = 156 primes ( ---> 911 )
  • ... "Apple" = 156 primes ( ---> 911 )
  • ... "Magician" = 156 primes ( ---> 911 )
  • ... "Magician" = 322 trigonal
  • ... .. "Counting" = 322 primes
  • ... .. "To Know" = 322 primes
  • ... .. "The Proof" = 322 primes
  • ... .. .. .. is ... .. ..
  • ... .. "Robust" = 322 primes
You need to see that is joke is ...
  • "The Brazen" = 322 primes
... result of the Powers-That-Be knowing that they have you under their thumb.
That the masses cannot and will not see the feint of "The Pirate" ( 322 primes ) lords.
  • "Coronavirus Religion" = 2020 trigonal
The creators of this new religion are laughing at its' followers.
Q: what have the coiners achieved?
  • 'A Coronavirus Worship" = 2001 english-extended
  • "Coronavirus Conspiracy" = 911 primes
The name "coronavirus" is derived from Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "wreath"
  • "Wreath" = 247 primes ("The Riddle" = "Brutal" = 247 primes)
I've linked to these many times before:
Note: things get Frank, below.
In recent posts I add to the discussion by Derek and Zach in terms of the San Fransisco Pier 45 fire. Just a note that the word 'Pier' is an anagram for 'Ripe' (and is easily transmuted into Pyre)
  • "Historical wordplay" = 2019 trigonal 742 primes
Neo is the One:
  • "1 Historical wordplay" = 2020 trigonal
Neo is the One
  • "1: The Historical Wordplays" = 911 primes
History --> Hystory --> Hysteria --> Hysterical --> It's all about the womb (the first temple)
  • "Bio-logical Wordplays" = 1776 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "Biological Wordplay" = 1,666 english-extended
  • ... ( "Ritual Code" = 1,666 squares )
  • ... ( "Language: a cipher" = 1,666 squares )
ie. Pier 45 --> Ripe 45 --> Menopause between 49 and 52 --> Ripe? ... Light 'er up, as they say.
ie. Hysterical @ Hysteri-CAL(culate)
The arts of number and letter is called 'gematria'.
A Mishnaic textual source makes clear that the word gematria is dated to at least the Tannaic period:
Rabbi Eleazar Chisma said: the laws of mixed bird offerings and the key to the calculations of menstruation days—these, these are the body of the halakhah. The calculation of the equinoxes and gematriot are the condiments of wisdom
The word was first used in print in 1968 by an informal group of virologists in the journal Nature to designate the new family of viruses.
  • "A Virologist" = "Numerology" = 474 primes ( "The Illuminati" = 474 primes)
[...] the key to the calculations of menstruation days—these, these are the body of the halakhah.
  • "The Frequency" = 474 primes
  • ... ( "The Spectrum" = 2,474 squares )
  • .
  • "Spectre" = "Control" = 343 jewish-latin-agrippa ( 3.4.3 @ C.D.C )
  • ... "Human Voice" = 343 primes ( 7x7x7 = 343 m/s is the speed of sound)
  • "The Frequency" = 474 primes
  • ... "One Month" = "The Month" = "Counting" = 322 primes
  • ... .. ( "Girl" = "Rain" = 322 trigonal )
  • .
  • ... "Ejaculation" = 343 primes
  • ... "Period Blood" = 343 primes ( "A Red Letter" = 343 primes )
As I said above, "Bio-logical Wordplays" = 1776 jewish-latin-agrippa
... and thus, divide the Red Sea:
Interpretation of the first committee's design for the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States in 1776, which was never used.
Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity. Motto, "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."
Surrounded by a Coronal Wreath:
The year 1968 as the beginning (or major milestone) of 'The Storm' (ie. the Blitzkrieg on Humanity):
1968 --> '68 ---> [ Fire / Water ]'68 ---> [ Tri-angle * ]'68 --> 3.68 --> 368
And since Tesla's magnificent numbers are 3, 6 and 9, we tick upward, via Colel, to 3.69 and 1.969 (which are numbers that have been touchstones on this forum since almost the very beginning.
  • "Coronavirus Novel" = 1984 trigonal cipher
  • "Coronavirus Novel" = 223 basic alphabetic
  • .. "Coronavirus Story" = 2023 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • .. "Hysterical Wordplay" = 2231 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "The Law" = "Chapter 1" = "Beginning" = 223 primes
  • "Praise Coronavirus!" = 223 basic alphabetic
  • "Novel Coronavirus!" = 223 basic alphabetic
Stupid news:
Wuhan lab had three live bat coronaviruses: Chinese state media
It's not the 'lab' you're thinking of.
Brazil's indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate from Covid-19
Dying --> Dyeing ( Phoenician purple, and a Four-Alarm fire )
Somehow This Wild Hoax Bill Gates Anti-Vaxx Video Doesn't Violate YouTube's Policies: The video is obviously faked, but it's still setting the anti-vaxx internet on fire.
Wild Bill and a Four-Alarm fire (desperately trying to defame those that will not bend to tyranny that would own their bodies)
More than 40 diagnosed with COVID-19 after Frankfurt church service
The new Coronavirus Religion brooks no competition (and Frank @ Francis @ San Francisco )
Cigarette ban during level 3, but you can buy alcohol – Draft report
Petty tyranny in Africa ( Draft report --> Winds --> Hot Air --> "Burn" = 322 jewish-latin )
Coronavirus: 'I am deeply worried' about impact of Covid-19 on SA - Chief Justice Mogoeng
Other than the misleading headline (he is 'more worried' about the lockdown than the virus) the sentiment starts out well, but devolves into propaganda pushing the digitalization of the courts... which will lead to...
Man Sentenced To Death In Singapore Via Zoom Call
Death by Zoo Meeting.
Wikipedia Plans New Rule To Combat 'Toxic Behavior'
ie. Toxic Behavior is the great crisis of the revelation of numbers (of course it's the American spelling, but that is what is called out in quotes.)
If we use the classic spelling:
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake has struck near Wellington.
The quake has been felt as far north as Gisborne and near the bottom of the South Island, according to Geonet.
Newstalk ZB's Adam Cooper said it was a "very big quake".
"A rattler, went on for a long time," he said.
Don't tread on me.
  • "Rattler" = 1,618 squares ("Symbolic" = "Geography" ~= "The Goddess Venus")
  • "Rattler" = 314 primes (ie class pi code of the circle)
  • "Rattler" = "Magnitude" = 616 english-extended ( "Pattern" ~= "Number"" = "The Law" = "Garden of Eden" )
  • ... "Perfect Number" = 616 jewish-latin-agrippa
Archaeologists may have found William Wallace’s hidden fortress
The final paragraph (skipping the cognitive dissonance engendered by the previous lines):
[...] Best to focus on Wallace's few military victories and ruminate on the words engraved on a memorial plaque on a wall of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, near the execution site: "I tell you the truth. Freedom is what is best. Sons, never live life like slaves."
The name "coronavirus" is derived from Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "wreath", [..] The word was first used in print in 1968 by an informal group of virologists in the journal Nature to designate the new family of viruses.
  • "Coronavirus Joke" = 1968 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "Coronavirus is menstrual" = 1968 jewish-latin-agrippa )
The name "coronavirus" is derived from Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "wreath", [...] The name was coined by June Almeida and David Tyrrell who first observed and studied human coronaviruses.
  • "Coronavirus Research" = 2018 trigonal 232 alphabetic ("Scary" = "Number" = 232 primes)
  • "June Almeida, David Tyrrell" = 2018 english-extended
  • .. ( "What is my Enemy" = 2018 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "A=1: Coronavirus Research" = 2020 trigonal
  • "A=1: June Almeida, David Tyrrell" = 2020 english-extended
  • .. ( "A=1: What is my Enemy" = 2020 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "Coronavirus Religion" = 2020 trigonal ( "Entirely Obvious" = 2020 english-extended )
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2020.05.22 11:22 Minitialize Gamma Company - Vladimir's Entries - 001


Date -- 9th of Aprimay, 5055
Time -- 03:00
Vladimir Holmes, Gamma 2-1
I figured I'd try writing a journal in case I fuck up at any given time. The events I just experienced earlier made me realize that regardless of my capabilities, I am but a human, one that will pass away given time.
Our team (Gamma 2, a team of 4) was assigned to locate a hostile encampment at the designated coordinates according to High Command. Said encampment has been harassing local tribals as well as android enclaves. Both sides that were aggravated sent in a request to the company to eliminate the threat, in exchange for material reward and goodwill.
Objectives are as follows: locate, eliminate and secure the area from hostiles until the utility team arrives.
High Command decided that it would be best for us to move on foot to avoid alerting enemy patrols to our presence. Understandable. 16:00 sharp was our go-time to move onto the designated AO-- estimated for us to arrive by 19-20:00 when most if not all enemy personnel may be off-duty. We will be followed by Gamma 4 three clicks out, the utility team which consists of 2, hardworking members who are experts in the field of construction, repairs, demolitions, crafting and general labor.
The time was 19:00
Roughly a kilometer out from the objective, 15 clicks out from home base, we decided to move up to higher ground to survey the area. With the use of Laser Designators which came with night vision and thermals, we were able to scout out the AO.
At first glance, we managed to confirm that there was activity at the given coordinates. In total, we identified 15 armed targets, 7 manned mortars, 3 manned artilleries, and in the middle of their encampment a base nearly the size of a colony-- or perhaps you can call it a colony-- was a ship they were building in order to get off the rimworld. Getting a closer look to the spray paint on the hull of their ship revealed that they were part of the pirate faction: Gerald's Rapiers. A faction that has lived off of looting other factions indiscriminate of their race or technology. A faction that has lived to raid, plunder and destroy. They possessed plenty of decent gear which ranged from medieval - spacer technology in terms of armor and majority of the guns were industrial, though they possessed quite a few spacer-tech weapons. Despite that, they only had access to a handful of shield belts which doesn't allow projectiles passing in or out of the shield.
We reported our findings to High Command and awaited instructions for roughly 2 minutes until High Command responded:
Move in and eliminate the enemy personnel, secure the area until the utility crew arrives.
Thus, I gathered the team to form up our gameplan.
The time was 20:00
We moved in southwest of the AO where the edge of the mountains provided us just enough cover to get close enough. Initially, our plan was to move into their base, set their wooden buildings on fire (to which majority of their base was made up of) to stir up confusion, and in the midst of it, take potshots on enemy personnel that wander too far off their base. Once we've cleaned up the stragglers, we move in and eliminate the remaining enemy personnel. But as you can tell, it was rigged from the start.
We don't know how they knew we were coming, all I know was that I heard the whistling of something that grew louder. I felt as if I've heard it countless of times before until it snapped to me, but by then--
... Boom.
Our cover was blown.
In order to make the most of the current situation, we decided to move below the minimum range of the mortars that were taking shots at us in order to render them useless. I sent Zima and Aurus to take down the mortars that were firing on us, as I and Tapia laid down suppressive fire to keep them covered. Until I realized that the contents of the buildings we had plans to sabotage were housing reserves of enemy personnel that went completely under my radar. It was a mistake for me not to consider that, a big mistake. I immediately ordered the two I sent in to regroup with us and move north, onto the northwestern part of the AO where there were plenty of trees we could use for cover, and an open field south east of it where the enemy would likely go on to give chase to us.
As we ran with a rush of adrenaline towards the rally point, shooting back at the pursuing hostiles blindly, wounding and outright killing some of them, we managed to reach the area which was occupied by Elephants, though we paid them no heed. Within seconds, we set up a perimeter, took defensive positions and prepared for the onslaught. In the midst of this, we were taking plenty of mortar fire as well as artillery shells towards our direction. Luckily, none possess pinpoint accuracy.
During this moment, I thought to myself how pleasurable this rush of adrenaline was. It has been forever since I was tossed in the face of overwhelming odds. If we were to win this, this would have to be one of my greatest achievements in this line of duty. Though of course, reality struck me soon after.
As the enemy began rushing towards us without any concern for their well-being, we opened fire as they had too. Bullets were flying on opposite directions, hitting either our energy shields, the fiber of the trees we took cover in, the soil of a fertile ground, the mountain's stone that covered the north western part of the area... or the elephants that were right beside us, which is another factor I failed to take into consideration.
We were able to take down around 7 or 8 of them if I recall, some of them collapsed under the sheer pain of taking a 5.56x45mm bullet straight to the body. Some, were granted mercy by being given a bullet through the skull, dying in an instant. Regardless, moments after we began engaging one another, exchanging bullets, a few mortar shells came flying to our direction which hit friend or foe alike. Thanks to our shield belts, it managed to take in all the damage before being deactivated to recharge. Our foes weren't so lucky, but just when I thought lady luck smiled upon me, our bills were due. The elephants surrounding our vicinity became enraged due to the mortar fire. Following this, I immediately ordered my team to move east, towards the north eastern part of the AO to escape the enraged elephants and prepare for another defense against the incoming horde of pirates.
While I thought all of us managed to get out unscathed, Zima was shot on the leg with a round from a revolver as we went out of cover, thus affecting her movement. Moments later, the elephants managed to catch up with Zima and trampled her to death-- or so I thought. Regardless, even when we witnessed one of our own get smashed into oblivion, immediately without hesitation, we ran towards the next rally point where we could possibly set up a defense. I had a thought of going back and taking out those damn elephants, but I knew that I wasn't going to be any good dead than I am alive, so I promised to avenge her for the following battles that will ensue. As we crossed the open field north of the enemies' base, one of their elite gunners pulled out a minigun and laid fire on our direction-- this, coupled with artillery and mortar fire. It was pure and utter chaos. While we were able to down around 4 or 6 hostiles, Aurus, one of our android battle maids, took a bullet directly to her chest which hampered her movement in a split second. She didn't suffer any damage, due to her armor and outfit, along with her skin crafted to withstand serious punishment and, much like to all the androids in our service, was modified to have nanites which repair any leaking coolant an android may suffer. But in this split second, hundreds upon thousands of bullets followed shortly after. Aurus took plenty of hits, majority of which barely even fazed her, but even the mightiest can fall. Both I and Tapia managed to get behind the mountain which covered a good portion of the north-eastern part of the area, Aurus however, barely managed to make it through. She was able to link up with us as pirates came to us one by one, but was badly hurt to the point that it seemed like she wasn't going to be able to make another run.
Behind the mountain we decided to hole up in, was an abandoned encampment which barely had anything standing besides the torn wooden walls, the broken doors, a bed sitting in the middle of what once seemed like a hallway, and dusty wooden floors. I ordered Tapia to patch up Aurus behind the intersection of the hallway as I lay down covering fire. Once she patched her up, I sent Aurus further to the opposite side to secure and eliminate any threat that comes our way, with the main one coming from the north-western part of the AO. I switched roles with Tapia, setting up a C4 in the middle of the hallway north of the intersection, as Tapia laid covering fire. Once I managed to set it up, I ordered the rest of us to tactically retreat south, then southwest into the base to take out the enemy personnel manning the artilleries' & mortars alike. As we bailed out of the area, the pirates began swarming the abandoned encampment from the northern direction, only a few seconds in, and just as we managed to make it out without taking any injuries, the C4 detonated, and the rest (a good portion of them) was history. The ensuing explosion was pretty destructive in scale, some of the pirates got scared shitless and began fleeing the AO, although the rest that were lucky enough not to have witnessed the event happen, were still in hot pursuit. At this time, I praised myself in my head for coming up an idea as to how else I could possibly use the C4 I always bring around with me.
And with that, I thought that things were finally looking bright for us, but then at the most inopportune moment, as we pushed up to the right side of their base, cutting down two mortar crews, the pirates' elite gunners were waiting for us back at the heart of their base, accompanied by their lackeys. We were able to put up a good fight against them, taking down a few of them-- I guess around 3 or 4, but as our pursuers came closer and closer, I knew we had to bail out before the rest of us go down.
And so I ordered my remaining team members to move up to the south western part of the map, which has, coincidentally, a mountain which splits up to two paths. This meant that depending on where the pirates would pursue us from, we would still have a pathway to escape to. Unfortunately, as we made our way down to the designated point exhausted, we suffered plenty of hits, the few initial bullets being absorbed by the shield before breaking down. Aurus, being the slowest of the three of us after having suffered plenty of bruises and gunshot wounds, finally went down as a mortar shell landed right beside her, knocking her down but not killing her outright nor cutting off any of her damaged limbs.
It was down to the two of us now.
We went behind cover onto the left side of the intersection inside the cave in the mountain, leaving Aurus behind as the I watch the position her body in a seemingly lifeless stance. At this moment, I realized, behind the glory and fame I could achieve from a battle as chaotic as this, was imminent death lurking in the shadows, waiting to decapitate me at the very moment I let my guard down. My confidence turned into anxiety, and at this moment, I thought to myself whether I should abandon the mission or not. To desert from Gamma Company or continue to fight in service of others. As my thoughts continued to run wild, Tapia came in front of me flicked my eyebrows, causing me to jolt and blink by reflex as I snap back to reality.
I looked at her as she looked back at me, directly in the eyes as I also did towards her white dead irises. For a moment which seemed like forever, everything was quiet, save for the sound of water dripping which felt soothing to the human's ear that emanated from a puddle of water deep in the mountain's cave, and the sound of bickering between pirates along the footsteps which echoed throughout the cave, that of which consequently grew louder as they came closer.
After having interrupted my thought process, I looked at her expecting a response from why she performed such an action. The only thing I got was her pulling half her balaclava down below her jaws, still with her headgear on, looking straight at me with a deadpanned face. Oddly enough, while I was irritated, it eventually helped me calm down. I looked down with my head, bending my knees a bit, leaning behind the rough surface of the cave as I closed my eyes, took deep breaths, before looking back at her and saying "I'm fine now". She nodded following my response, as she pulled half of her balaclava back up whilst having a faint smile on her face-- I think she did. Regardless, having regained my composure after the ordeal, we moved west of our current direction in order to flank the enemy base and try to take down additional mortars for us to deal with.
As we moved in from the western side, confirming that the elite pirate gunners followed our pursuers, we then proceeded to cut down the few helpless mortar crews we initially tried to get a jump at earlier in the mission. I cut one down with Damascus, a Katana-esque sword, as Tapia chased the other fleeing mortar crewman and slashed him in half with her Plasma sword. After having done so, we noticed a firefight occurring in the distant just north of us.
Damn, Zima was still alive and kicking. Apparently she passed out after getting mauled to death by the Elephants that were enraged earlier due to the mortars. By the time she went down, the elephants ignored her thereafter and began to hunt down the pirates instead, having only suffered serious bruises and some broken bones. They managed to do some heavy work before they were obliterated to bits by the hail of bullets coming from LMGs and that minigunner they were with, according to Zima. At this time though, Zima was about to be overrun by six pirates who were rushing her into melee range as she continued to be suppressed by constant enemy barrage. And so I and Tapia went to work. We went through the heart of the base, killing any armed or hostile pirates, destroying the crude turrets they set up in hopes of being able to defend their artillery crews reliably. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't enough. We slaughtered through the lower ranks of the pirates, making them run in fear for their lives as we took them down one by one despite us having suffered plenty of gunshot wounds, which resulted into some scrapes, bruises or open wounds alike. By this time, I believe we managed to take down around 8 of 'em. The hostiles that were onto Zima ran, and she managed to link up with us shortly before collapsing to the ground due to the sheer pain and blood loss she's accumulated. Our pursuers arrived shortly after we made quick work of the remaining garrison they left in their own base, to which we made use of the cover provided by their own base in which we essentially managed to turn their own home into an enemy fort that they need to besiege. Oh how the tables have turned. Unfortunately for them, having their judgement clouded by anger after we had killed many of their compadres meant they would either do or die. Whether they leave empty-handed like the ultimate wuss that they are or die trying to retake a home they worked hard to build alongside their friends whose faces fall flat on the Rimworld's cold and lush ground. They chose the latter.
The remaining pirates that didn't choose to run fought until the bitter end. I took dozens of well-aimed shots at the pirates that came at us needlessly, as Tapia tries to take down the elite gunners who were heavily armored. I believe they were wearing Dark Marine Armor. Anyway, one of them begins tuning their minigun up, and luckily for Tapia, she managed to score a shot directly through the eye of the aforementioned minigunner after a series of unsuccessful armor penetrations, thus, making his aim completely unreliable, hitting his own allies in the process. After taking down most of their lower ranked units, I decided to close the gap, unsheathing Damascus from it's scabbard attached to my belt and charging onto one of the two Elite gunners, followed by Tapia as she switches on her Plasma Sword and jumps over the sandbag she was taking cover in initially. Unfortunately for both of the gunners, they weren't equipped with any melee weapons nor did they have any bionics that would assist them in melee combat. We easily made short work of them in the process. I ended up cutting the leg of the one I was dealing with before decapitating him, Tapia on the other hand easily slices through the gunner's dark marine armor like butter, slashing him three times before he expired.
And so it was over. While some managed to attain an instant, merciful death. Others, died a slow painful death; bleeding, whilst lying on the cold, rough stone tiles as they looked up to the bright starry sky as their final moments come to a close. The battle was over, we fulfilled one of the objectives, we won the night.
After a brief moment of silence, I decide to ask for a SITREP between our Team Members. Tapia responded immediately by radio despite the fact she was right beside me. Zima responded, followed by Aurus shortly after. I couldn't believe it, all of us were alive. Not in tip-top shape like our previous missions, but damn, I just couldn't help but smile and laugh as I took into heart the events that unfolded. It was ridiculous, but we made it. I wasn't sure if there were any pirates still lurking about, but as I laid down behind one of the nearby sandbags, the pain in my body instantly took it's place as I finally decided to be at ease after hours of unending action. I don't know how Tapia was holding up, I swear, last I saw she's already setting up our bedrolls, to which I presume she'll be carrying Zima and Aurus over to rest & patch up for the following day. For now I'm going to radio High Command and inform him of the Pyrrhic success we've accomplished this time around.
The time was 01:00
After having made my report, High Command told us to dig in for now and ensure the safety & welfare of my team members. Gamma 4 is going to arrive by 06:00. I struggle just trying to stand up, making use of the strength I have left.
Both of our heavily wounded team members are sleeping soundly. Tapia told me Zima lost a severe amount of blood, though she should be capable of walking later this morning. She also told me that my bedroll has already been set up and is available in the wooden building just behind the ship the pirates built. She left off shortly after to patrol the perimeter and ensure it's secured. I'm not gonna lie, Tapia is extremely dependable. Above doing house chores, she's a great cook, an expert medic, nothing short of a genius and an extremely capable, nimble fighter-- although I did notice she isn't really great at socializing with others but, regardless, she definitely had my back this time around to which I owe her. Perhaps I should get her something as thanks.
Present, the time is 07:00
Due to how drowsy I was after having suffered quite an ordeal, I almost overslept. I woke up thanks to the sound of an explosion outside, only to wake up with Tapia next my face, greeted with a "Good morning". By randy, I swear this kind of thing doesn't happen, but after having experienced that, well... I don't know what to think. Took me until dawn to realize that the bed I was lying on is a double bedroll, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. After having been woken up in such a surprising manner, I realized my body felt something stiff, like something was holding onto me.
Turns out I've already been patched up, by Tapia I assume. I was hoping to take care of it myself after I'd rested since I was pretty damn exhausted from the recent events, but, heh, well, I guess I owe her again.
Regardless, Gamma 4 arrived earlier than what HC mentioned. In fact, they've already gotten to work dismantling the ship for parts. Turns out the explosion earlier was due to Zippy having accidentally mishandled one of the ship's parts during deconstruction. Quite odd for that to happen despite the fact that they're the best construction workers we've got around.
Additionally, it seems High Command sent in some supplies by drop pods for us to make use of. Some healing potions and nuko milk. Just about enough for my team members. After having applied the healing potions, our injuries, bruises and traumas have been healed up, though it'll still take Zima some time to recover from blood loss.
I'm gonna have to patrol around the AO with Aurus to ensure it's secured, I guess I can have Tapia guard Gamma 4 as they continue doing some heavy work. Still though, now that I look around the area, with the sun risen up, the whole place is a mess. We're gonna have to pile up the bodies, can't have them lying around like trash. We don't have the time and leisure to bury them, these pirates might have reinforcements coming up, best we can do is burn them to ashes. As soon as we're done here, we're RTB'ing.
For now I'll end this here. If anything else happens afterwards, I'll be sure to jot it down in my journal.
submitted by Minitialize to Talesfromrimworld [link] [comments]

2020.05.08 03:00 portlane Rose Hutchinson (June 24, 1913 - April 25, 2020)

Rose Elizabeth Adams Hutchinson
June 24, 1913 - April 25, 2020
Rose passed peacefully at home Saturday, April 25, 2020, after living life to the fullest for nearly 107 years.
Rose was born in Goshen, Ind., near South Bend, the daughter of Charles and Ruby (Hatch) Adams whose ancestors had arrived on the Mayflower. The youngest of four, she was predeceased by her siblings: Mary Emma (Rich), Pauline and Herbert. Her father owned the Adams store in downtown Goshen, now the Goshen Historical Museum.
Active, creative, thoughtful, Rose was someone you immediately liked. She excelled at sports and was the Goshen City tennis champ. She earned a degree from Goshen College -unusual for a woman in 1935. Rose was surprised and overjoyed by the 2018 visit of Dr. Rebecca Stolzfus, its president, honoring her as their oldest alumna. Forever memorable was hearing them sing the school song.
She met Thomas Hutchinson on the tennis courts and they fell in love. They wed in the University of Notre Dame Chapel where Tom had graduated.This began a 54 year adventure until his death in 1992. They settled their family in Bend in 1944. Rose loved her eight children. She was very involved at St. Francis Church, especially its school, where over 25 years at least one child was enrolled. She served as Regent of the Catholic Daughters and was active in the Altar Society. Rose was especially proud her children all became college graduates, each earning at least one of their degrees from the University of Oregon. When the kids were grown, she worked as the Deschutes County law librarian.
In retirement, Rose and Tom enjoyed the senior golf circuit as Bend Golf Club members. They traveled to Africa, Europe, Russia, but visiting their children was the favorite destination. Rose moved to Beaverton in 1999 to live with her daughter Hilary who lovingly cared for her until her death. She had a passion for painting, even taking up watercolors in her 90s. Rose loved to play bridge and the camaraderie of her St. Pius bridge group. She was an engaging competitor, loving to win, but laughing when the cards failed. Rose often said her secret to long life was bridge and blueberries, but that was coupled with great humor and a zest for life.
Rose was predeceased by two children, Thomas Jr. (Allison), Longview and Mary Rose, Bend. Surviving children are, Stephen (Kathryn), Eugene; Hilary, Beaverton; Anne Perez (Jose), San Jose, Calif.; Timothy (Leslie), Portland; Julie Foster (Neal), Brookings, S.D.; Christopher (Nancy), Cranberry Township, Pa. She leaves 11 grandchildren, Mark (Shelley), Scott, Sarah (Chad), Tina Perez, Carlos Perez, Ellen Whitely (Scott), Peter (Kirsten), Ian, McKenna Barlow (Luke), Nicolas (Kim), Jennifer; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Holy Trinity Church service at a later date. Ashes will be interred beside her husband and daughter at Pilot Butte Cemetery, Bend. Donations in Rose's name to Saving Grace, Bend or the America Macular Degeneration Foundation
Please sign the online guest book at
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2020.05.05 23:03 Junik77 The history of the Second world war as I see it . Here I would like to share my opinion and see other people's opinions about the events of the Second world war

Only the fact.
Timeline of events leading up to world war 2 and the events of world war 2. The results of world war 1 were disastrous for some States. Germany was forbidden to have a powerful army and Navy, and restrictions were imposed on many weapons. The former Russian Empire, and now Soviet Russia, was also among the losers, especially since in 1920 the lands East of the Curzon line were transferred to Poland. Germany eventually had to negotiate with Soviet Russia to train military specialists on their territory and develop equipment and weapons to circumvent the restrictions imposed on Germany. After joining in 1933. After Hitler came to power, cooperation between Germany and Soviet Russia in the military sphere began to decline and in 1937 almost ceased. These two States were similar only in one way - they had a dictatorship. The political structure, ideology, and principles of achieving victory on a global scale were completely different. If in Germany the racial theory was proclaimed at the state level in Soviet Russia all peoples were recognized as equal. Germany considered the highest race of the Aryans, and the Germans declared themselves direct descendants of the Aryans, that is, Aryans. The two powers had completely different ways of achieving their goal - Germany pursued a policy of territorial conquest and enslavement of the population of other States, while Soviet Russia saw the achievement of its goal in the awareness of the working class of other States of its historical role and the completion of the revolution against capitalism, after which Soviet Russia planned to help such States on the material and human levels. The Pact of four is an international Treaty signed by representatives of Italy, great Britain, Germany and France on July 15, 1933 in Rome. The Treaty provided for political cooperation between the four powers in the League of Nations in order to eliminate the threat of war in Europe. It was assumed that the main efforts of the "Pact of four" would be aimed at revising certain provisions of the Versailles peace treaties of 1919-1920. (as, for example, the recognition of equal rights in armament for Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria). It was tacitly assumed that some of the borders of Versailles (between Germany and Poland and between Hungary and its neighbors) would also be subject to revision. The Declaration of non-use of force between Germany and Poland also called the non — aggression Treaty between Germany and Poland, the Pilsudski - Hitler Pact-a joint Declaration signed by Germany and Poland on January 26, 1934. The adoption of this document has contributed to the temporary normalization of relations between the two States. The text of the Declaration specifically stated that it does not cancel the obligations previously given by the governments of Germany and Poland to third countries. The Anglo-German naval agreement of 1935-a Treaty on the ratio of naval forces between England and Germany ( allowed to increase the strength of the German fleet ). Anti-Comintern Pact - "Japanese-German agreement on defense against communism", date of conclusion-November 25, 1936 The Munich agreement of 1938 between Germany, great Britain, France and Italy ( Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union were not invited to the conference ) stipulated that Czechoslovakia would liberate and cede the Sudetenland to Germany within 10 days. As a result, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and occupied it except for the tesz region, which was occupied by Poland. Czechoslovakia could resist Germany, but Poland's refusal to allow Soviet troops to help Czechoslovakia and the further occupation of parts of Czechoslovakia by Polish troops ( after which Winston Churchill called Poland " the Hyena of Europe "), as well as pressure from England, France, and Italy, effectively ended Czechoslovak statehood. Since in the end the territories of another state were captured and then followed by a series of other captures by Germany it is from this date that it is logical to start the countdown of world war 2. Also, on September 30, 1938, a Declaration of mutual non-aggression was signed between great Britain and Germany; a little later, on December 6, a similar Declaration was signed between Germany and France. "Duesseldorf agreement" — an agreement signed in Duesseldorf on March 15, 1939, which stipulated the economic division of Europe between the monopolies of Germany and England. It was before the trip to Dusseldorf that Walter Rensimen declared-Gentlemen, the peace of Europe is in your hands! The USSR could not agree with Western countries to create a coalition against Germany as a guarantee of peace on its Western borders and was forced to conclude a non-aggression Treaty with Germany, also called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, 1939. Germany could not agree with the Polish government about the passage to East Prussia ( the territory of Gdansk hindered) and decided to solve this issue cardinally-starting on September 1, 1939. fighting against Poland, a former ally of the occupation of Czechoslovakia, naturally secured a recently concluded agreement with the USSR on non-aggression, starting the war with a provocation in Glijvice. By September 14, the Wehrmacht had captured Brest. September 17, after the Polish government escaped and was interned in Romania. The Soviet Union carried out its troops in Eastern Poland up to the Curzon line as previously recommended by the Supreme Council of the Entente as the Eastern border of Poland in 1920. and captured by Poland from Soviet Russia under the pretext of taking under their protection the lives and property of the population of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. After the end of the Polish company, Germany transferred the Polish lands to the USSR through the Curzon line. All the time that German troops were engaged in the East in actions against Poland, the allied Anglo-French troops did not undertake any active combat operations on land and in the air. Active military operations are conducted only on sea communications. In the course of the Soviet-Finnish negotiations of 1938-1939, the USSR tried to get Finland to cede part of the Karelian isthmus (the transfer of these territories broke the "Mannerheim line" in the most important direction, Vyborg), as well as to lease several Islands and part of the Hanko Peninsula (Gangut) for military bases, to protect its border from Leningrad ( which was almost on the border), offering in return a territory in Karelia with a total area twice the required Finnish area. Finland, unwilling to make concessions and assume military obligations, insists on concluding a trade agreement and agreeing to the remilitarization of the Aland Islands. On November 30, 1939, the USSR invaded Finland. On March 13, 1940, a peace Treaty was signed in Moscow between Finland and the USSR, according to which Soviet demands were met: the border on the Karelian isthmus near Leningrad was moved to the Northwest from 32 to 150 km, a number of Islands in the Gulf of Finland were moved to the USSR, Finland received in exchange the territories that the USSR offered to Finland before the start of hostilities. On April 9, 1940, Germany invades Denmark and Norway. On may 10, 1940, Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg with 135 divisions. On June 22, the Franco-German armistice was signed in Compiegne, in the same carriage in which the German capitulation was signed in 1918, under which France agrees to occupy most of its territory, demobilize almost the entire land army, and internment the Navy and air force. In the free zone, as a result of the July 10 coup, the authoritarian regime of Petain (Vichy Regime) is established, which has taken a course of close cooperation with Germany. France lost. Back in the autumn of 1939, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed mutual aid agreements with the USSR, on June 17, 1940, the USSR issued an ultimatum to the Baltic States, with active support from Moscow, state coups were simultaneously taking place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Governments that are friendly to Communists come to power, and in the conditions of a significant Soviet military presence, uncontested elections to the Supreme authorities are held. On August 3, the Lithuanian SSR, on August 5, the Latvian SSR, and on August 6, the Estonian SSR were admitted to the USSR. Great Britain, left almost alone in the European theater of war, continues to resist Germany. In 1940. The United States is beginning to actively help England in the war with Germany, despite the fact that the US government on September 5, 1939. made a Declaration of neutrality in the war that began in Europe. During the entire period after the occupation of France and until June 22, 1941. Germany continues its aggressive policy and occupies the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Joint efforts with Italy are fighting in North Africa. Early Sunday morning, June 22, 1941, Germany declared war on the Soviet Union. For the USSR, the Great Patriotic war began in Europe before it did not participate in the war. At the initial stage using the surprise and concentration of the Wehrmacht Germany achieved great success capturing most of the European USSR and reaching November 1941. to the outskirts of Moscow. The defense of Odessa lasted 2 months. During the heroic defense of the red army there were about 41,000 total losses, the total losses of German-Romanian troops in the area of Odessa amounted to more than 160 thousand soldiers, about 200 aircraft and up to 100 tanks Until the end of September 1941. The red army irrevocably lost 430 578 people. killed and missing, captured – 1 699 099 people.Germany irrevocably lost more than 200,000, more than 400,000 wounded. In the battle of Moscow from November 15, 1941. until December 1941. ( thanks to Sorge's information from Japan that Japan was not planning an attack on the USSR, Siberian divisions of the red army were transferred to Moscow from the far East ) the Wehrmacht suffered a crushing defeat. Being 25 km from Moscow, it was pushed back 150-200 km from Moscow. The number of troops and military equipment of the red army to the beginning of the operation - 1.250.000 people., guns and mortars-7.600 units., tanks and self-propelled guns-990 units., aircraft – 677 units. The number of troops and military equipment of the Wehrmacht to the beginning of the revolution - 1.750.000 people., guns and mortars-13.680 units., tanks and self-propelled guns-1.683 units, aircraft-1.354 units. Losses - red army irretrievable losses – 139.586 people. December 7, 1941, Japan strikes the American naval base pearl Harbor. During the attack, which involved 441 aircraft based on six Japanese aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 6 cruisers and more than 300 us aircraft were sunk and severely damaged. Us entry into the war. Since November 1941, lend lease extends to the USSR, but since November 1941. and until the second half of 1943, deliveries are not regular, of the promised England 800 aircraft and 1000 tanks, which the USSR was supposed to receive in October-December 1941, received 669 aircraft (for comparison-on October 1, 1941, as part of the 3 fronts that protected Moscow, there were 568 aircraft and 389 of them serviceable) and 487 tanks. The United States from October 1941 to June 30, 1942 sent to the USSR 545 aircraft, 783 tanks, more than 3 times less than promised, as well as 16,502 trucks, that is, more than 5 times less than planned. On December 8, the Japanese block the British military base in Hong Kong and launch an invasion of Thailand, British Malaya, and the American Philippines. On December 10, the Japanese capture the American base on the island of GUAM, on December 23-on Wake island, on December 25, Hong Kong fell. on December 8, the Japanese break through the British defenses in Malaya and, rapidly advancing, push the British troops back to Singapore. Singapore, which had previously been considered an "impregnable fortress" by the British, fell on February 15, 1942, after a 6-day siege. By the end of may 1942, Japan, at the cost of minor losses, managed to establish control over Southeast Asia and northwestern Oceania. American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces have suffered a crushing defeat, losing all their main forces in the region. In the first half of 1942, the loss of Anglo-American ships in the Atlantic again increases. German submarines are operating in almost all the waters of the Atlantic ocean. In the summer of 1941, all German aircraft operating in the Mediterranean were transferred to the Soviet-German front. This facilitates the tasks of the British, who, taking advantage of the passivity of the Italian fleet, seize the initiative in the Mediterranean. On may 26, 1942, Germany and Italy resume their offensive in Libya. The British suffer heavy losses and are again forced to retreat. On June 21, the English garrison in Tobruk surrenders. The Italo-German forces continue to advance successfully and on July 1 they approach the British defensive line at El Alamein, 60 km from Alexandria, where they are forced to stop due to heavy losses. On the Eastern front on January 8, 1942, the forces of the Kalinin, Western and North-Western front go on the offensive against the German army group Center, the Wehrmacht preserves the Rzhev-Vyazemsky bridgehead, which is a danger to Moscow. Attempts by the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts to unblock Leningrad were also unsuccessful and led to the encirclement of part of the Volkhov front's forces in March 1942.. Meanwhile, both the Soviet and German sides were waiting for the summer of 1942 to implement their offensive plans. The Soviet offensive at Kharkiv, launched in may 1942, ended in failure. The German troops managed to parry the blow, defeated the Soviet troops and went on the offensive themselves. Soviet troops also suffered a crushing defeat in the Crimea. 9 months of Soviet sailors held Sevastopol, the losses of the red Army and Navy during the defense of Sevastopol amounted to more than 200 thousand people, the Germans and Romanians lost killed, missing, wounded in the battles near Sevastopol more than 300 thousand people. and by July 4, 1942, the remnants of Soviet troops were evacuated to Novorossiysk. As a result, the Soviet defense in the southern sector was weakened. Taking advantage of this, the German command launched a strategic offensive in two directions: Stalingrad and the Caucasus.After fierce fighting near Voronezh and in the Donbass, the German troops of army group B managed to break into the big bend of the don. In mid-July, the battle of Stalingrad began, which ended with the encirclement and destruction of 300,000 Wehrmacht units and the capture of field Marshal Paulus on February 2, 1943. On 19 November 1942. Operation Uranus has begun. Forces of the red Army - more than 1.1 million people, 1560 tanks, more than 15 thousand guns and mortars, more than 1.9 thousand aircraft, Germany-about 1 million people, 675 tanks, more than 10 thousand guns and mortars, aircraft over 1.2 thousand. During the battle of Stalingrad, the red Army lost 1,129,619 men; the Wehrmacht and its allies (Italians, Romanians, Hungarians, Croats) lost about 1.5 million men. Army group A, which was advancing on the Caucasus, took Rostov-on-don on July 23 and continued its offensive on Kuban. On August 12, Krasnodar was taken. However, in the battles in the foothills of the Caucasus and near Novorossiysk, the Soviet troops managed to stop the enemy. In August 1942, the Germans captured Stavropol and Maykop, and on October 28 they captured Nalchik. the Soviet troops were able to stop them only at the approaches to Ordzhonikidze and Malgobek. At Malgobek, elements of the SS Viking division suffered a crushing defeat. By the end of January 24, 1943. The red army liberated Mozdok, Pyatigorsk, Armavir, and Krasnodar on February 12. Since April 17, active fighting has stopped on most sections of the front. in 1943, the red army launched an offensive in the Central and South-Western directions of the Soviet Union. front's. However, the Rzhev-Sychevsky operation conducted from July 30 to the end of September was not successful. At this time, a major naval battle of world war II in the Pacific, which took place in June 1942, is called the Battle of midway Atoll. The decisive victory of the US Navy over the Combined Japanese fleet was a turning point in the war in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet, which lost 4 heavy aircraft carriers, 248 aircraft and the best pilots, was forever unable to operate effectively outside the zones of coastal aviation cover. On the Eastern front, the battle of the Kursk bulge took place from July 5 to August 23, 1943. It was attended by about 2 million people, 6 thousand tanks, 4 thousand aircraft. As a result, the Oryol grouping of German troops was defeated, and the Oryol strategic bridgehead occupied by it was liquidated, as well as the Belgorod-Kharkiv grouping of the Wehrmacht was defeated.From 5 to 23 July 1943, the Germans lost 70,000 dead, 3,095 tanks and self-propelled guns, 844 field guns, 1,392 aircraft, and over 5,000 vehicles. The radical change in the course of the great Patriotic war, which began at Stalingrad, was completed in the battle of Kursk and the battle of the Dnieper. At the same time, the coalition Forces conducted the Sicilian operation, which did not affect the battle of Kursk, since the Germans were transferring forces from West to East, so "the defeat of the Wehrmacht in the battle of Kursk facilitated the actions of Anglo-American troops in Italy." From August 24, 1943 to December 23, 1943.. the battle of the Dnieper took place, during which significant red Army forces crossed the river, created several strategic bridgeheads on the right Bank of the river, and liberated the city of Kiev. The battle of the Dnieper became one of the largest battles in world history. On both sides, up to 4 million people took part in the battle, and its front stretched for 750 kilometers. As a result of a four-month operation, the left-Bank Ukraine was almost completely liberated by the red army from the Nazi invaders. On July 10, 1943, the allies landed in Sicily. In September 1943, Anglo-American troops landed in the South of the Appennine Peninsula. By January 1944, the allies had reached the German winter line fortifications around Monte Cassino and the Garigliano river. In January, February and March 1944, they attacked German positions three times in order to break through the enemy's defenses on the Garigliano river and enter Rome, but due to the deteriorating weather, heavy rains, they failed, and the front line stabilized until may 1944. In November 1943, the allies managed to capture the Japanese island of Tarawa. At the end of 1943-the first half of 1944, the main fighting took place in the southern sector of the front. The Germans leave the territory of Ukraine. The red Army in the South reaches the border of 1941 and enters the territory of Romania. May 9, 1944. released g.Sevastopol. On June 6, 1944, the allied forces of the United States, great Britain, and Canada, after two months of diversionary maneuvers, conduct the largest amphibious operation in history and land in Normandy.In September, the allied offensive on Belgian territory begins. By the end of 1944, the Germans were having a hard time stabilizing the front line in the West. In the summer of 1944, the red army began its offensive in Eastern Belarus. By autumn, almost all the previously occupied territory of the USSR had been cleared of German troops: Belarus, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. In July 1944, the Red Army crossed the border into Poland. The uprising in Warsaw against the German occupiers was raised on August 1, 1944, by underground detachments of the home Army, when its commander, th. It seemed to Bur‑Komorovsky and the Polish emigrant government that red Army units were about to break into the capital of Poland, but the red army command was not informed of the plans of the rebels – the "London poles" refused to coordinate their actions with the Headquarters of the VGK of the USSR. Before the approach to Warsaw, the formations of the 1st Belorussian front of Marshal K. K. Rokossovsky overcame hundreds of kilometers, were weakened by heavy fighting and suffered serious losses. Despite this, Soviet troops and parts of the Polish Army made desperate attempts to break through to the rebels. However, after liberating the suburb of the Polish capital (Prague district), the Red Army faced fierce German resistance. About 500 tanks were hit on the approaches to Warsaw.More than 200,000 poles, primarily civilians, were killed during the uprising. The remnants of the home Army units operating in Warsaw surrendered to the enemy on October 2, 1944. On December 16, the Wehrmacht launched a counteroffensive in the Ardennes. The Germans manage to advance 100 km deep into Belgium, but on December 22, General Patton's American 3rd army launched a counteroffensive, attacking the Germans from the South, and by December 25, 1944, the German offensive had collapsed, and the allies launched a General counteroffensive. By December 27, the Germans did not hold the captured positions in the Ardennes and began to retreat. In February-March 1945, the allies captured all German territory West of the Rhine and crossed the Rhine during the Meuse-Rhine operation. German troops, having suffered heavy defeats in the Ardennes and Meuse-Rhine operations, retreated to the right Bank of the Rhine. In April 1945, the allies surrounded German army group B in the Ruhr and by 17 April had defeated it, and the Wehrmacht lost the Ruhr industrial area. On the Eastern ( Soviet-German ) front, the Vistula is held‑Oder strategic operations from January 12 to February 3, 1945 as a result of the war, Soviet troops completely liberate Poland from German troops and reach the border of the Oder river. Berlin is 60 km away. During the liberation of Poland from the German-fascist invaders, the USSR irrevocably lost over 600,000 people. In February 1945, the Budapest operation was carried out. At the end of April, 1945. The red army begins its offensive on Berlin. The Nazi leadership tried to prolong the war in order to achieve a separate peace with Britain and the United States and split the anti-Hitler coalition ( which did not happen ). At the same time, it was crucial to hold the front against the Soviet Union. In the course of the Berlin offensive, the Rate of the VGK of the USSR concentrated 1.9 million against the Germans. people, 6250 tanks, more than 7,500 aircraft. The allies - the Polish troops of the Ludova army-also took part: 155,900 people. German troops had: 1 million people, 1,500 tanks, more than 3,300 aircraft. Berlin itself was turned into a powerful fortified area. On April 17, the troops of the 1st Belorussian front fought a fierce battle with the enemy. By the morning of April 18, tank and rifle formations, supported by the aviation of the 16th and 18th air armies, took Zelovsky heights. Overcoming the stubborn defense of German troops and repelling violent counterattacks, the front's troops broke through the third defensive line by the end of April 19 and were able to develop the offensive on Berlin. The real threat of encirclement forced the commander of the 9th German army, T. Busse, to come out with a proposal to withdraw the army to the suburbs of Berlin and occupy a strong defense there. On April 21, units of the 3rd shock, 2nd guards tank, 47th and 5th shock armies overcame the third defense lane, broke into the outskirts of Berlin and began fighting there. Operating in the auxiliary direction, the 61st army and the 1st army of The Polish Army, starting the offensive on April 17, with persistent fighting overcame the German defense, bypassed Berlin from the North and moved to the Elbe. By the end of April 24, formations of the 28th army of the 1st Ukrainian front came into contact with units of the 8th guards army of the 1st Belorussian front, thereby encircling General Busse's 9th army Southeast of Berlin and cutting it off from the city. At 12 p.m. on April 25, the ring closed around Berlin. The Berlin garrison consisted of at least 200,000 men, 3,000 guns, and 250 tanks. The defense of the city was carefully planned and well prepared. It was based on a system of heavy fire, strong points and resistance nodes. The closer to the center of the city, the more dense the defense became. Massive stone buildings with thick walls gave it special strength. Windows and doors of many buildings were sealed up and turned into embrasures for firing. The streets were blocked by powerful barricades up to four meters thick. The defenders had a large number of faustpatrons, which turned out to be a formidable anti-tank weapon in the context of street fighting. Of no small importance in the enemy's defense system were underground structures that were widely used by the enemy for maneuvering troops, as well as for hiding them from artillery and bomb attacks. On April 30, 1945 at 21: 30, units of the 150th rifle division under the command of major General V. M. Shatilov and the 171st rifle division under the command of Colonel A. I. Negoda stormed the main part of the Reichstag building. The remaining Hitlerite units put up a stubborn resistance. April 30, 1945. A. Hitler committed suicide, had to Fight for every room. In the early morning of may 1, the assault flag of the 150th rifle division was raised over the Reichstag, but the battle for the Reichstag continued all day and only on the night of may 2, the Reichstag garrison capitulated. At 1 a.m. on may 2, the radio stations of the 1st Belorussian front received a message in Russian: "Please cease fire. We are sending parliamentarians to the Potsdam bridge." A German officer who arrived at the appointed place on behalf of the commander of the defense of Berlin, General Weidling, announced the readiness of the Berlin garrison to stop resistance. At 6 a.m. on may 2, General of artillery Weidling, accompanied by three German generals, crossed the front line and surrendered. From April 16 to may 8, the Soviet forces lost 352475 men, of which 78291 were irretrievably lost. The losses of Polish troops during the same period amounted to 8892 people, of which 2,825 were irretrievably lost. Losses of military equipment amounted to 1997 tanks and self-propelled guns, 2108 guns and mortars, 917 combat aircraft. Losses of German troops killed amounted to about 400 thousand people, prisoners about 380 thousand people. Part of the German troops were pushed back to the Elbe and capitulated to the allied forces. By 13 o'clock on may 9, the advanced detachment of the 6th guards tank army of the 2nd Ukrainian front entered Prague. The resistance of individual units of the SS divisions "Reich", " Viking "and" Wallenstein " continued until 16:00, when the Germans capitulated. The first time the German representatives signed the surrender in Reims, France, the second-near Berlin, about two days later, because the signing in Reims was not attended by representatives of the USSR, the surrender to the allies in Reims took place on the initiative of the Germans themselves, who were afraid of being captured by the red army. The representative of the Soviet Supreme high command Headquarters at the allied command in Susloparov did not receive clear instructions from the Supreme high command and signed an act with the reservation that this document may not be final. I. V. Stalin declared: "The Treaty signed at Rheims cannot be revoked, but it cannot be recognized. Capitulation must be made as an important historical act and accepted not on the territory of the victors, but where the fascist aggression came from-in Berlin, and not unilaterally, but necessarily by the Supreme command of all the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition." The second time the surrender was signed at midnight from 8 to 9 may 1945 in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst in the building of the former canteen of the military engineering school, the re-signing ceremony of the Act of surrender of Germany began. The Soviet side was represented by Marshal G. K. Zhukov and A. ya. Vyshinsky, while the Western allies were represented by British air Marshal A.V. tedder, American General Karl Spaats (commander of the us strategic air forces) and General J. D. de Tassigny (commander-in-chief of the French army). Germany was represented by field Marshal Keitel, Admiral of the fleet von Friedeburg, and Colonel-General of aviation Stumpf. The signing of the act in Karlshorst took place on may 8, 1945 at 22: 43 Central European time, and it entered into force, as it was agreed in Reims, at 23: 01 on may 8. However, according to Moscow time, these events occurred at 0: 43 and 1: 01 on may 9. This discrepancy in time was the reason why Victory Day in Europe became may 8, and in the Soviet Union – may 9. According to the results of the Yalta conference, the USSR pledged to transfer troops from Europe to the far East within 3 months after the end of the war with Germany and begin a large-scale offensive by August 8, 1945, in return for receiving the Kurils and southern Sakhalin. On August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and on August 9, launched an offensive and within 2 weeks inflicted a crushing defeat on the Japanese Kwantung army in Manchukuo. On September 2, at 9:02 Tokyo time (4:02 Moscow time), an act of unconditional surrender of Japan was signed on Board the USS Missouri. The state of war between the USSR and Japan was ended by the Joint Declaration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan of October 19, 1956. However, the peace Treaty between the USSR and Japan was never signed. Japan disputes Russia's ownership of the southern Kuril Islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai group of Islands, which were ceded to the USSR according to the agreements of the Yalta conference. Total human losses reached 60-65 million people, of which 27 million people were killed at the front, many of them Soviet citizens. Germany lost up to 8 million soldiers and up to 3 million civilians. The USSR lost up to 9 million soldiers ( over 2 million in captivity) and up to 20 million civilians. The United States lost over 400,000 soldiers, including about 300,000 in the war with Japan, great Britain about 300,000 soldiers, Poland about 1 million soldiers and about 6 million civilians, Japan about 2 million soldiers and 700,000 civilians. Not counting other countries that lost up to half a million soldiers.
I believe that it is not worth considering who lost more and who less, who invested more in the victory and who less. The most important thing is that the victory was won over evil, together, helping each other as much as possible. Do not look for the most important winner. If it were not for the allied landings in Normandy and lend-lease assistance, the Soviet Union might have, and even most likely would have, defeated Hitler's Germany, but this would have happened at least 2-3 years later and additional losses would have amounted to several million people. The same is true for other members of the anti-Hitler coalition. It is necessary to respect the actions of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and honor the memory of all those who died. My greatest wish is that world war 3 never happened.
What do you think ?
submitted by Junik77 to historyblogs [link] [comments]

2020.04.25 00:00 PeaceSim My moronic Scout troop resurrected a batallion of Confederate soldiers. It went as well as you'd expect.

Before my mom and I moved, I’d thought I was the world’s worst Boy Scout. I couldn’t tie my neckerchief properly, much less any knot requiring more than a few steps to complete. Heck, I’d never even managed to start a fire that didn’t whimper and fade within seconds.
None of this was surprising, as I’ve never wanted to be a Boy Scout. I’m bookish, clumsy, and not the least bit outdoorsy, and I’ve never been particularly interested in an organization with some of the social stances Scouts held until recently.
But my mother had insisted. I’d been giving her new boyfriend a lot of trouble, and now that we’d relocated several counties over to the same town as him, I’m sure she didn’t mind having me enrolled in a program that sent me away for full weekends.
I used to the past tense when describing my ineptitude at scouting for a reason: I was a genuine Davy Crockett compared to the members of my new troop.
It didn’t help that I was assigned to a patrol of kids a year ahead of me, and that year was a significant one that separated middle school from high school. To make matters worse, I was scrawny and still catching up on hitting puberty late; the other kids included more than a few bulky athletes.
And these fellow scouts…let me tell you. They were all the sons of rich parents: the owner of a local brick company, the vice mayor, a regional business executive, and at least two doctors.
Nothing inherently wrong with that. But these guys were spoiled as hell, not to mention pampered. A few drops of rain caused incessant whining and the disintegration of tent camping into car camping. Our senior patrol leader, who went by Jeb, shrieked at a parent who refused to cut short a rainy hike that his buddy’s father would sue him into bankruptcy as punishment.
This weekend, to fulfill a merit badge requirement, we were visiting a Civil War museum at the county seat and then camping overnight in a nearby park. The county seat is hardly a booming metropolis, but its old-fashioned courthouse, antiquated post office, and city hall formed as close to a city block as you could find within 75 miles in any direction.
It was our first campout in several weeks due to the COVID-19 virus. We’d all been isolated long enough to confirm that none of us were infected or carriers, and we weren’t supposed to interact with anyone outside of each other and the tour guides at the museum.
I was in the middle seat in the back row of an SUV wedged between Jeb and his chubby comrade Daniel. I remained surprised at their insistence that I attend the campout. I didn’t think they liked me any more than I liked them, and they were ignoring me as completely as ever, a fact I hardly minded.
Jeb’s father drove. He had some kind of leadership role at a cellular service provider. “Time for a history lesson, guys!” he said earnestly. Peter, a red-headed buddy of Jeb and Daniel who played drums in the high school marching band, rolled his eyes.
“What war is the museum we’re visiting dedicated to?” asked Jeb’s dad.
“The American Civil War,” I responded, surprised he had asked something so trivial.
Peter’s expression changed from annoyance towards Jeb’s father to loathing towards me. Daniel punched me on the shoulder.
“No, idiot,” said Jeb. “It’s the War Between the States.”
“That’s right, son!” said Jeb’s dad. “Nice job, you really know your history!”
For fuck’s sake. I thought to myself.
I’d grown up around this sort of thing. At family gatherings, my mother, departed father, and grandfather just wouldn’t shut up about their – and my – heritage. Nothing pleased them more than tracing back our family line to southern officers who, according to them, “fought the good fight for states’ rights.” They carefully avoided the fact that our ancestors fought to preserve slavery outside of their occasional half-baked excuse that “Yankee businessmen” were the true culprits.
I stayed silent until we pulled up to the museum parking lot. Down the road from it was the town center, which consisted of a large concrete plaza outside the courthouse and town hall. Beside me, a sign posted on a power line pole read: Liberate Virginia, followed by the time 8:00 a.m. and tomorrow’s date.
Our location was closer to nine other state capitals than it was to this one’s, so I guess those desperate to protest the state government but unwilling to travel 180 miles to do so were settling for demonstrating in the town center here.
Inside the museum, two guides greeted us: a peppy white woman named Melissa, and a tall black man named Gerald. They led us through the building.
The museum chronicled a local group of guerilla fighters who attacked Union supply wagons during the war.
Melissa told us about how, late in the war, they even slaughtered townspeople who spoke in favor of laying down their arms and giving up. The townspeople fought back and even sought help from federal troops. The Confederate guerillas were wiped out in the battle that followed.
Melissa gestured out the window to a field close to our campsite as the location at which they had all been buried. “The townspeople tossed them into an unmarked mass grave, still in the uniforms and with the weapons they died with, eager to avoid retribution they feared they could face for harboring guerillas.”
Gerald led us into the final room, which was dedicated more broadly to county military history. In the center was an authentic-looking World War II-era tank. “My great-grandfather helped man one of these in the 761st Battalion in France,” said Gerald. “A M4 Sherman with a 76mm gun. Maybe the finest American tank of the war. We keep this one maintained for a yearly demonstration.”
“General Lee shoulda got one of those!” whooped Daniel like the moron he was.
Melissa and Gerald led us out the door not long after.
We set up camp that night.
The other scouts and Jeb’s father spent a lot of time talking amongst themselves, and they grew silent and dispersed whenever I approached. It wasn’t unusual for them to ignore me, but I still found their evasiveness suspicious.
As evening approached, Jeb’s father left without explanation, driving off in his SUV. Jeb called me over to the campfire and handed me a canteen. “Now that pop’s gone, we’re all sharing some of the finest gin I lifted from his liquor cabinet. Have some.”
This made me uncomfortable. I’m a well-behaved kid, and if I ever was going to drink underage, it wouldn’t be around these insufferable goons.
“Come on, drink up ya Teetotaler!” cried Daniel.
“He’s too much of a goody-too-shoes,” said Peter.
Reluctantly, I caved to the pressure and took a gulp. It tasked like medicine but I managed to swallow it without spitting any out.
Jeb, Daniel, Peter, and the four other scouts gave each other satisfied looks.
I started feeling dizzy and dropped the canteen to the ground. A green liquid poured out. Even I knew that wasn’t what gin looked like. A sense of weightlessness ran through me and the last thing I remembered was my face thudding against grass.
When I awoke, night had fallen and a sharp pain ran down my arms. I heard voices, and the sounds of metal hitting rock and dirt. I tried to move, but ropes around my wrists, ankles, and waist restrained me. A small fire drew my eyes.
“Damn bugs,” I heard Jeb say. “No matter how much spray I use, they keep comin’ back.”
In the little bit of light, I saw trimmed grass punctuated by patches of dirt in which the other scouts were digging.
“I think he’s awake!” said Peter. He was shirtless, probably a smart move considering the others’ Scout uniforms were now caked in sweat and dirt.
“What are you doing? Where are we?” I croaked. I was getting less groggy by the minute, but I remained as alarmed and confused as when I awoke. I realized that a makeshift bandage ran under my arms from each elbow to the wrist.
“We needed a blood sample for the potion!” said Daniel, who looked like he’d just gotten out of a filthy pool. “And we knew you wouldn’t give in willingly, not for this, Mr. American Civil War.”
A blood sample? What the hell was he talking about?
“Don’t worry, we’ll give you a chance to join us,” said Peter. “We just needed to make sure you didn’t resist, assuming you didn’t lose too much blood to wake up again.”
He approached me and undid the knots holding me in place. Before I had a chance to enjoy the regained ability to move my arms and legs, Peter waved a long knife in my face. “Don’t run or cause any trouble,” he said. “Or I’ll cut your little head right off.”
Peter did not seem to be kidding. I sensed that I was in serious danger and needed to stay on my toes.
“Found one!” shouted Jeb. “It’s real. They’re all here.” He climbed out of a pit, shovel-in-hand.
The other Scouts cheered. Daniel brought out what looked like a cauldron. He poured into it a small container of red liquid that I figured was my blood.
Why couldn’t I be back with my old troop? I thought. Those kids were friendly – plus trustworthy, loyal, all that. These ones…I continued to gawk at the horror show before me, eager to run away but afraid of retribution if I got caught.
“Check your phones,” said Jeb.
“I’ve got nothing,” said Daniel.
“Well of course you don’t, fatso,” said Jeb, treating his best friend with typical courtesy. “That’s the whole point.” The other scouts confirmed they had no cell signal. I checked my phone and noticed the same thing. “Great, pops did his job. We’ll have a total media blackout. Everything’s going to plan. Let’s light things up a bit.”
Two of the other scouts ran off. I could hardly believe my eyes when they returned with a box of long, wooden objects.
Within moments, everyone but me was holding a burning tiki torch. Jeb led them into a formation. Daniel and Peter dragged the cauldron forward and slowly poured its green liquid all across a large area of grass. “Careful,” said one of the other scouts. “That’s stuff’s flammable – keep it away from the fire!”
“With this, great ancestors,” screamed Jeb, “We provide you a nourishment that will sustain your new lives, a resurrection potion containing the same bloodline that ran through your great leader. The spell is cast, the ritual performed. Now, we bring you back to life to finish the war!”
The others began chanting vigorously. They stomped in unison. Apparently having brought his marching drum set from school, Peter provided accompanying percussion.
I stumbled as the ground shook a little, then a lot. The dizziness from blood loss and whatever they’d had me drink didn’t help with my balance. Suddenly, I felt like there was a mild earthquake. I clumsily tumbled to the ground.
Several yards from me, a bony arm clad in grey reach out of the ground. Then another. Within moments, dozens of uniformed, skeletal figures had torn their way through the earth. Many held rifles with bayonets. One had a sabre and a large hat.
“It worked!” yelled Daniel.
They entered a loose formation around the leader with the sabre. These…Confederate zombies walked with a drunken lurch and displayed raw bone behind decomposed patches of skin.
With their empty hands, each of the scouts made a military salute. The leader walked past them and to the cauldron of liquid Daniel and Peter had been spreading over the burial site. He cocked his head at it, as if curious, and reached in with his brittle and tattered hand. When he pulled it out, the hand looked healthy and almost completely intact. Pleased, he scooped out a large amount and dropped it on himself. The liquid ran down his body, re-growing bits of flesh where it touched.
Daniel, whose face was beaming with excitement, eagerly approached him. “Colonel,” he said. “I’m a big, big fan.”
The Colonel looked at him blankly.
“We read about this potion online,” continued Daniel, “and weren’t sure if it would actually work. But it did! We got the blood of a relative, and everything…We’re ready now, to join your army and liberate this great state!”
A deep, distorted sound emerged to punctuate the painful silence that followed. I realized that the other scouts were heavily invested in the Colonel’s response to Daniel’s offer.
The sound got louder. I realized it was laughter, first from the Colonel and then also from other soldiers.
“Wait, what’s wrong?” asked Jeb. “We want to join you – to serve with you! We’re…honorable, good southerners, from respectable families too!”
The laughter only increased in volume. Now, the entire battalion had joined in.
It occurred to me, as I continued to lie in the grass, that they may not have seen me and my troop may have forgotten about me. I could use this moment to flee. But, I was frozen by the grotesque sight before me. If their guns still worked, only one had to notice me for me to end up as dead as they’d been only a few minutes ago. I decided to stay in place for the moment.
“Come on!” screamed Jeb. “Can’t you see that we’re worthy of fighting by your side?”
I heard sniffling and realized that Daniel was crying.
All at once, the laughter stopped as the Colonel reached for Daniel’s arm. For a moment, I thought he was comforting Daniel. But, instead, he pulled Daniel by the sleeve of his scout shirt towards him with one hand and grabbed Daniel’s torch with the other. Holding the torch up to Daniel’s sleeve, he illuminated the American flag that decorated the standard Scout uniform issued in this country.
“YANK-EE,” growled the Colonel in a deep voice.
“What?” said Daniel. “N-”
He didn’t finish the sentence. With a swift movement, the colonel slashed through him with his sabre.
“Shit!” yelled Jeb. “This wasn’t supposed to happen!”
The other soldiers – I estimated several dozen – charged forward. Blood flew through the air, some of it landing on me. I watched as five soldiers simultaneously impaled Jeb. At least some of the guns still worked, as I learned when two of the other scouts tried to flee only to be shot in the back.
When it was over, only Peter remained alive, surrounded by a circle of soldiers. Discarding his scout shirt had saved his life, for the moment at least.
Confederate zombies had their bayonets drawn at Peter and eyed him suspiciously. He looked understandably petrified and was probably responsible for the smell of urine in the air.
An idea appeared to run through his head. He started drumming. “A little military marching tune,” he said, desperately. “It’s good, see?”
One of the skeletal soldiers removed his grey overcoat and draped it over Peter’s shoulders. Peter breathed a sigh of relief as the soldiers lowered their weapons. A drummer boy had joined their ranks.
I wasn’t so lucky. At that moment, I felt boney fingers dig into my back. A zombified rebel dragged me against the grass and threw me towards the fire. I landed next to a container of bug spray with a thud.
“Another yank-ee,” said the Colonel, whose imposing frame loomed over me. I chided myself for not removing my uniform or at least ripping off the flag patch when I had the chance.
The Colonel raised his sabre. I knew that if I didn’t act now, my fate was sealed.
“Wait!” I said. “Grandpa? I mean…great, great, great, great Grandpa. Don’t you recognize me?”
This puzzled the Colonel enough for him to hesitate. I searched my mind for the memories of the family conversations I’d spent so much time trying to forget.
“You grew up by East River. Fought at Saltville and New Market. I grew up hearing about your achievements.” The final word pained me to say.
The Colonel turned his head to the left and then to the right. He lowered his sabre.
I knew this was the best chance I would get. I grabbed the bug spray, dived by the fire, aimed the container at him, and held down the ‘release’ button.
The fire that emerged made contact with the Colonel. Rather than dying out, it caught on to the remnants of the flammable green potion in which the Colonel had doused himself. He let out a terrified shriek and collapsed as flames consumed him.
I knew better than to wait around. I did something I was good at: I fled for my life while the soldiers were distracted by their burning leader.
I heard rifle shots ring out and saw sparks hit the trees that surrounded me as I ran.
After a while, I looked behind me as I ran and, to my relief, saw that no one was giving chase. When I looked forward again, I glimpsed a thick, low branch directly in front of me and collapsed amidst a wave of pain.
When I came to, everything looked less foreboding in the morning light. My head throbbed and I felt parched. I needed to get help but was not sure what to do.
Did other people’s phones still work? How widespread was this blackout? And where was the army of zombie Confederates? I prayed that they’d returned to their graves but instinctively knew they wouldn’t depart so quietly.
Luckily, I soon stumbled across a road that led to town. It was early, but I make out in the distance that the Liberate Virginia protest had already begun.
I gulped when a realization swept through me. These people…were waiving American flags. Tons of them.
I heard the sound of a drum behind me accompanied by dozens of marching feet.
Whoever was approaching was obscured by a bend in the road. But, I knew precisely who it was and where they were heading.
I had to act. I forced my exhausted self to jog into town.
Halfway there, I could hear chants by the protestors. At first they repeated, “COVID is fake news!” Then, “End the blackout!” So, it looked like Jeb’s dad’s trick was still in place.
I chanced a glance behind me. Sure enough, the battalion of zombified soldiers marched down the road as Peter provided percussion. Shit, I whispered to myself, knowing I needed to hurry.
Finally, I arrived at the protest, which consisted of several dozen people chanting in front of the county courthouse. In addition to the American flags they wielded, they displayed its design on posters and t-shirts.
“You alright there, Boy Scout?” asked a middle aged woman there with a child. I realized I looked an absolute mess, and it dawned on me that I had no way to convince these people to leave. It’s not like they’d believe me if I told them the truth.
I spoke as soon as I caught my breath. “Yeah, I’m alright.”
“I just wanted to get back to work,” said the woman. “My employees can’t handle this lockdown much longer. But these people..they’re nuts. I’m getting out of here.”
Good for her, I thought as she took her child away.
It occurred to me that I should try to keep my distance from people to avoid catching the disease. But, my primary focus was not the virus, but the horror of the approaching zombified rebels. I had to find a way to get this crowd out of harm’s way before it was too late.
A bearded man wearing a mask and gloves screamed next to me that the virus was a conspiracy. He held a sign that read “CONSTUTION NOT QUARANTEEN”. I wondered why he had on so much protective gear if he believed that. A thin man next to him complained that Big Brother had caused their cell phones to stop working.
A hand grabbed me. It was Jeb’s dad. “Joey, you survived! Well, good for you, boy. You must have seen the light and joined my son and his gang.” He spoke with a proud smile and was treating me better than he ever had before.
“As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve done my part with the media blackout. No one will ever know what’s really happening here! We’ll have the perfect window to go through burial sites throughout the area.” He looked proudly over the crowd. “I’ll bet a lot of the living people here will join us, too! We’ll liberate Virginia before anyone knows what’s hit ‘em.”
“No. We need to get everyone out of here,” I said. “Now!”
“What are you talking about?” said Jeb’s dad, looking a little concerned. “And, by the way, where is everyone else? Good ol’ Jeb and the gang? How are they fitting in with their new comrades?”
I gave up on trying to talk sense to him. I sprinted up to the top of the stairs before the court and tried to get the crowd’s attention. The novelty of a disheveled, bandaged Boy Scout screaming at them must have worked, because the crowd got quiet.
“You all need to disperse!” I said. “Right now!”
“And why would that be?” said the bearded man.
“You’re in danger! You have to listen to me and get to safety!” I pleaded.
“Danger of what?” said the man.
“There’s…” I sensed the weight of dozens of angry, skeptical eyes. “There’s something approaching right now that threatens to-”
For better or worse, I didn’t have a chance to mention the approaching zombie Confederate army before a mixture of laughter, boos, and insults drowned me out. Someone holding a semiautomatic rifle hurled a half-empty can of soda at me.
I looked behind the crowd, who were temporarily distracted by me, and saw that Peter and the soldiers had arrived.
The Colonel was gone, but the others grew visibly angry at the American flags before them. “Yan-kees” one said, followed by another.
The protestors turned and gazed with dumbfounded shock at the undead assembled before them.
“YANK-EES,” chanted the zombie army as Peter slowly increased the tempo of his drumming. “YANK-EES.” The soldiers raised their rifles.
“May the South rise again!” hollered the protestor with the AR-15, apparently pleased by what he saw. Suddenly, a massive array of gunfire rang out from the contingent of zombies as multiple cartridges struck that man and many others. Screams followed as the soldiers charged.
I watched helplessly as the massacre unfolded before me. No one made it to safety. Everyone, including Jeb’s dad, was shot or bayonetted. A layer of blood covered the courtyard.
I should have run. But, a combination of fear, exhaustion, and guilt got a hold of me. I had run for long enough. Also, this somehow all felt partially like my own doing. Without my blood, this monstrous army may never have re-existed, and I’d failed to convince anyone to get to safety.
“There’s the one who killed the Colonel!” I heard Peter yell. Before me, a firing squad of undead Confederates formed. One held the AR-15. Peter stood to the side and smirked. “These men were never known for taking prisoners."
I gulped and closed my eyes, ready to accept my fate. Would anyone even know what had happened here? If Jeb’s dad was as thorough as he claimed, word may never get out.
Instead of the gunfire I expected, however, the sound of a massive explosion rang through my ears. When I opened my eyes, I saw in the fading smoke a round object rolling towards me. It was Peter’s head. His face was stuck in a pained expression.
Behind him lay a smoky crater filled with zombified corpses. In the distance, I saw other Confederate undead flee in every direction.
The loud noise of treads and a huge engine approached. The tank stopped just in front of me. Gerald emerged from a hatch at the top.
“Looks like we arrived in the nick of time, young man,” he said. “Ms. Melissa and I realized we were undergoing some kind of invasion and got the old Sherman fired up to repel it. She’s inside on steering and I’m manning the 76 mm. We could use a machine gunner, though, to help with the ones who got away.” He held out his hand. I took it.
If you’re reading this, it means we’ve made it outside the radius of the internet blackout Jeb’s dad created and that the writeup I’ve set to post through my phone has made it through. Don’t come looking for me, though. We have some important work to do, and I don’t want to be distracted from it.
As I said proudly when Gerald pulled me to the top of the tank, “Let’s hunt some damn Confederates.”
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2020.04.22 18:02 KiranGaikwad video streaming software market Analysis, Key Players, Latest Development in Manufacturing Technology and Market Forecasts to 2027

Video Streaming Software Market Overview:
The report studies Video Streaming Software in Global market Professional Survey 2019: Industry Trends, Industry Growth, Size, Share, Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities, Production, Segmentation, Pricing, Value, Volume, Company Profiling, Competitive Landscape, Product Portfolio, and Specifications for the Forecast Period till 2026.
This market intelligence study curates an exhaustive database of industrial essentials for formulating favourable strategies. A thorough investigation of the value chain and the distribution channel is provided in this study by business professionals. The Video Streaming Software Market study offers detailed information pertaining to the extent and application of the market, which helps better understand the global sector. This report on the Global Video Streaming Software Market discusses several growth prospects, including the industry sectors, current trends, up-to-date outlines, driving factors, and hurdles, overall offering market projections for the coming years.
This report covers the recent COVID-19 incidence and its impact on Video Streaming Software Market. The pandemic has widely affected the economic scenario. This study assesses the current landscape of the ever-evolving business sector and the present and future effects of COVID-19 on the market.
View Full Report Description with TOC:
The Video Streaming Software market is heavily consolidated owing to a large number of global, regional, and local key contenders having already established a significant footing. The key participants dominate the operations in the industry with their extensive geographical coverage and huge production facilities. Players operating in this market are in intense competition in terms of technological innovations, product development, and product pricing. To gain a competitive edge over the other competitors in the Video Streaming Software industry, the leading players are focusing more on ways to offer products at attractive prices.
Leading Players in Video Streaming Software Market:
Kaltura, Inc. (New York, US), IBM Corporation (New York, US), Kollective Technology, Inc. (Bend, US), Panopto (Pittsburgh, US), Brightcove, Inc. (Boston, US), Haivision, Inc. (Montreal, Canada), Ooyala, Inc. (Santa Clara, US), Polycom, Inc. (San Jose, US), Qumu Corporation (Minneapolis, US), VBrick (Herndon, US), and Wowza Media Systems LLC (Colorado, US), and Sonic Foundry, Inc. (Madison, US), among others.
Video Streaming Software Market by deployment type (Revenue, USD Million; 2018-2026)
Video Streaming Software Market by components (Revenue, USD Million; 2018-2026)
Video Streaming Software Market, by verticals (Revenue, USD Million; 2018-2026)
Regional Video Streaming Software Market (Regional Output, Demand & Forecast by Countries):-
North America (United States, Canada, Mexico)
South America (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile)
Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, Korea)
Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy)
Middle East Africa (Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran) and More.
Read full Press Release at:
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  1. Market dynamics: The Automotive Evp (Electric Vacuum Pump) 5 report also assesses the various commercial possibilities that are expected to be revealed in the near future and the positive revenue forecasts in the years ahead. It also studies the key markets and explores different geographies where the industry is established.
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  3. The Goal of The Report: The main objective of this research study is to provide a holistic overview and a better interpretation of market aspects to producers, suppliers, and distributors. The readers can get profound insights into this market that will allow them to formulate and develop critical strategies to bring about the desired business expansion.
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The report studies the key factors affecting the market:
The various opportunities in the market.
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Moreover, the research report mentions the leading players in the global Video Streaming Software market. Their critical marketing approaches and advertising enterprise have been underlined to offer a clear outlook of the Video Streaming Software market.
In conclusion, the Video Streaming Software Market report is a reliable source for accessing the Market data that will exponentially accelerate your business. The report provides the principal locale, economic scenarios with the item value, benefit, supply, limit, generation, request, Market development rate, and figure and so on. Besides, the report presents a new task SWOT analysis, speculation attainability investigation, and venture return investigation.
Find more research reports on Software and Services Industry, by Reports and Data:
  1. OSS/BSS Market:
  2. Test Data Management Market:
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2020.04.15 19:02 PersonalPi 04/12/2020 Monroe, LA Tornados

The NWS released details about the tornados that hit Monroe, LA that a lot of us were watching Sunday. Here is a link to the article.
Copy and paste incase you don't want to click the article:
The National Weather Service is now saying that three confirmed tornadoes hit Ouachita Parish on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
The tornadoes all happened just before noon. No fatalities were reported as a result of the tornadoes. Officials estimate a total of 458 homes across the parish were impacted by the three tornadoes. 23 homes were destroyed, 108 had major damage, 243 with minor damage, and another 84 homes were affected across the parish.
The NWS released the following report on the tornadoes.
EF3 Tornado in Monroe/West Monroe
Estimated peak wind: 140 mph
Path length /statute/: 8.03 miles
Path width /maximum/: 300.0 yards
Date: 04/12/2020
Time: 11:36 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Summary: The tornado first touched down on the corner of Fern St. and Brown St. in the Brownsville-Bawcomville community. As it moved through neighborhoods, it downed and snapped hundreds of trees, many of which fell onto homes. As the tornado crossed Sandal St., it did minor structure damage to several single wide manufactured homes before tipping over a trailer as it crossed Jonesboro Rd. The tornado then proceeded onward to break the metal trusses and bring down a wood chip conveyor belt onto a train at a paper mill. As the tornado continued, it crossed the Ouachita River twice where it bends sharply before increasing intensity along Riverbend Dr. This increase in intensity was most notable from many tree trunks snapped, the roof ripped off of a single family home and a collapsed wall on another single family home.
The tornado then crossed the Ouachita River again and partially damaged the roof of the Masur Museum of Art, missing downtown Monroe by roughly a mile. As it crossed South Grand St., it then ripped the roof off of a two story home and continued on to damage the roofs of several homes and downed trees until it crossed near the intersection of Highway 165 and Interstate 20. There it damaged a metal building structure and snapped a wooden power pole and steel street light assembly as it crossed Milhaven Rd.
The worst damage from the tornado then occurred along Orchid Dr. where it ripped the roof off of 3 homes and collapsed much of the exterior walls of one of the homes. The worst damage was along a very narrow corridor in this subdivision and is believed that a mesovortex within the tornado led to this narrow corridor of more intense damage. After the tornado moved out of this subdivision, damage became more sporadic and the tornado touched several times before it destroyed a metal hangar housing several airplanes at the Monroe Regional Airport. The tornado then lifted as it crossed a runway of the airport.
EF2 Tornado southwest of Sterlington
Estimated peak wind: 130 mph
Path length /statute/: 2.71 miles
Path width /maximum/: 400.0 yards
Date: 04/12/2020
Time: 11:39 a.m. - 11:43 a.m.
Summary: The tornado first touched down in a forested area near Horseshoe Lake Rd, uprooting hundreds of trees. Winds increased and tree damage became more widespread as trees were uprooted, snapped, and even a tree partially debarked off of End of Line Rd. The tornado took the roof off of two single family homes and destroyed an outbuilding along End of Line Rd. It then damaged shingles of approximately ten houses as it tracked along Lonewa Lane and Rose Plantation Lane. Along Lonewa Lane, the tornado snapped four concrete poles before lifting just before it crossed Keystone Rd.
EF1 Tornado southeast of Sterlington
Estimated peak wind: 105 mph
Path length /statute/: 1.15 miles
Path width /maximum/: 50.0 yards
Date: 04/12/2020
Time: 11:46 a.m. - 11:48 a.m.
A tornado briefly touched down in Fairbanks along the corner of John Turner Rd. and Highway 134. It continued on to cross Highway 134 again and Curtis Rd. before lifting. Approximately 30 trees were uprooted and snapped in a convergent pattern along the path.
submitted by PersonalPi to weather [link] [comments]

2020.04.13 07:02 Rocknocker OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…6

After the third pony keg of beer was delivered, it was decided that the next few days would be spent in the conference room discussing what we thought was the best way forward.
We wanted dry-erase boards so we could start taking detailed notes, even though I was well ahead of the curve in that regard. We instead ended up with some mobile elementary-school blackboards and a pile of grainy, sooty chalk.
Leave it to Dr. Cliff to go into a discourse on the genesis of chalk and its economic importance.
Bloody carbonate geologists.
Bloody White Cliffs.
We geologists need to punctuate their conversations with pictures, so these would suffice quite well.
At 1700 hours, the official end to the workday was called; we’d meet here again tomorrow. I’m not certain by whom, but it was readily agreed upon. We were more or less on our own until 1000 the next day. I needed to spend some time in my room with my notes and update a number of dossiers, field notebooks, and other items I was using as a running chronicle.
Several folks decided to invade one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner. Some wanted to head to the casino, a couple wanted to get a massage, and others wanted to do what tourists are normally wont to do on the second day of being a foreigner in a foreign land.
I declined invitations to dinner and other activities, as I had a long writing session in front of me. I wanted to get this all in its proper place while the memories and notes were still fresh.
30 minutes later, in my room after a 25-minute wait for the elevator; I’m updating dossiers, creating several new ones, and updating my field notebooks. Suddenly, after an hour’s work, I notice something is amiss.
“I don’t have a drink or a cigar,” I said to the four walls. “This. Will. Not. Do.”
I was used to Happy Hour in Russia. Happy hour is slightly different; there are no ice cubes or orange-peel twists in the vodka. Also, it lasts all day.
I remedy that situation by finding and clipping a nice, oily oscuro cigar and digging the bourbon out from under my boxer-briefs in my dresser drawer. I heft the bottle and feel that it’s significantly lighter than when I left it last night. I happen to look in the trash can and spy the wrapper for a box of my festively colored Sobranie cigarettes I obtained back in Dubai.
“Hmmm”, I think, “It would appear that we have some light-fingered Cho Louies or No Louises around here. I’d best guard my supplies a little more securely.”
I move all my smokeables into one of my now emptied aluminum travel cases. They lock with the stoutest of combinations and it will be readily apparent if anyone is fucking with them.
I move some of my best booze into the pretty much worthless in-room safe. With a deft application of duct tape, I seal the safe. It may not be the most secure spot on the planet, but if anyone tries anything troublesome, they’ll leave an immediately recognizable record of what they were up to. It’s just too obvious; they’d have to be crazy to go in after anything inside there.
My money, keys, and passports are in the safe deposit box down in the lobby that the hotel supplies for visiting dignitaries. Even so, they let me keep my shit in one of them anyway.
That handled, I spend another hour writing like a madman. I suddenly realize I’m tired of all this and need a diversion as well as some food and, of course, drink.
30 minutes later, I’m down in the byzantine basement tunnels of the hotel. It’s crowded with hordes of Chinse tourists, and the casino is ground zero for the incredibly loud chatter.
I look in on the bowling alleys all three of them, and they’re full. The massage parlor is hopping, although I leave my name and they promise they will call over the PA when a suitable masseuse is available. Evidently, I ‘intimidate’ some of the more demure ones.
I wander over to the bar, now there’s a surprise, and see it’s packed to the rafters as well. I decide to wait for a seat to open up on Mahogany Ridge when there’s some gargling over the PA and a pair of Chinese nationals leave the bar in great haste.
I grab one of the two newly open seats, much to the chagrin of a couple of Oriental Unidentifiables (OU) who had their eye on them as well.
“Sorry, mate”, I said, “First come, first served. It’s the capitalist way.”
One of the pair grabs a seat and the other just stands there, looking annoyed unspent bullets in my direction. Forget that I’ve literally twice their size and could be an aberration as an angry American. They just order a couple of drinks, and content themselves in giving me dirty looks and probably say nasty things in their own indecipherable language about my national origin and familial heritage.
As if I gave the tiniest of rodental shits.
I fire up a cigar, as literally everyone else in the joint was smoking something more or less tobacco. However, there was a definite barnyard aroma, a regular Dairy Air, in the room. I think some of what was being smoked there was more bovine or equine in origin than botanical in nature.
With numerous hilarious attempts at Korean, pointing at a garishly photographed drinks menu, I was finally served a cold draft house steam porter and 100 milliliters of probably ersatz ‘Russian’ vodka, vintage late last Thursday. This bartender that could at least form some of the phonemes found in American English. A few. A definite few.
Since it all cost the equivalent of US$0.50, I really didn’t care.
Apparently vodka helps flowers last longer when they're dying. But you can put vodka in anything and it'll make it better.
Being a trained observer, I rather enjoy just sitting in any old bar, smoking my cigar, drinking my Yorshch, and watching people. I try and not be intrusive and I never eavesdrop, but I like to try and think of what strange set of circumstances brought us all here together in this place at this time. It gives me writing ideas, some of which I jot down in a notebook I always carry. It also gives me a good shot of nostalgia when I look back at something I wrote some 40 or so years ago.
Yeah, old habits do die hard.
I take a drag off my cigar and set it in the ashtray in front of me on the bar as I go to correct another egregious misspelling in my notebook. I have to immediately proofread what I wrote, or I’d never recall later what the fuck I was trying to convey; especially if it’s in a noisy, smoky, or murky milieu.
Quicker than a bunny fucks, Unidentifiable Oriental #1 (UO #1) deftly reaches over, snags my cigar, and helps himself to a few mouthy puffs.
I look at him, the empty ashtray directly in front of me, him again, and then UO #2.
Since I speak no real Oriental, much less Korean, language, and my Mandarin at this point is worse than laughable; I just point to the cigar, turn out my hands and shrug my shoulders in the international “What the actual fuck, dude?” gesture.
He just smiles a gappy, toothy, and snaggle-toothed at that, grin at me and makes a point of ensuring that I see him enjoying a few more drags on my own damned cigar.
Not able to contain myself any further, I venture a “What the fuck, chuckles? That’s not your fucking cigar.”
Like gasoline being tossed on a fire-ring full of embers, they both go unconditionally incoherently insane.
Yammering, chattering, jumping up and down, and getting right into my face. They wanted me to unquestionably understand that my few words of English insulted them far more than their filching of my $20 cigar.
OK, I’m pretty well trained in Hapkido; an oddly, given the present situation, hybrid Korean martial art. I’m at least 6 or 7 inches taller and who knows how many stone/kilos/pounds/Solar masses heavier than these two clowns. I could easily go all Gojira on their hapless asses and mop significant expanses of the floorboards with them.
Instead, I look around for the bartender. I figured since I was keeping him well supplied with Korean won via tips, and he spoke some English as well as perhaps whatever the fuck these characters were chattering; maybe he could get to the bottom of what was happening.
The bartender walks over and I ask him to ask the two unidentifiable twins why they stole my cigar.
He nods in agreement and goes on in whatever the fuck dialect was being used today by the pair.
“They say they wanted it. So they took it.” They ask, “What are you going to do about it?” the bartender relates.
I deftly reach inside my field vest, as everyone concerned ducks and covers.
I extract two fresh cigars; not a .454 Casull Magnum.
I give one cigar to the bartender and one to OU#2.
“With my compliments.” I pleasantly say.
I was well apprised of the fact that in certain places like this, the local authorities often approach foreigners with, for the lack of a better term, ‘Agents Provocateur’.
Like the Westboro Baptist “Church”, they try to get a rise out of you so you’ll lose your cool and either create a scene or take a poke at the miscreant. Then they have all the pretext they require to drag you to the local hoosegow, shake you down for every penny on your person, as well as any phones, notebooks, wallets, passports, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
Basically, they goad you into a fight, then drop the thousand-pound shit-hammer when you retaliate.
It’s all so parochial. So obviously clear as vodka; this elementary charade only raised a single eyebrow.
I’m not going to even raise my voice over a couple of cheap cigars that neither of them noticed I slipped them instead of the premium ones I was smoking.
Thus defeated, I asked the bartender to ask them if they liked the cigar.
“What do you think?” I asked in cordial English, “Too tightly rolled? Not caged enough? Too green?”
UO #2 slipped and said “It smells very good…” where he realizes he’s blown his cover.
“Yeah, I like it too.”, I replied, “So much so, I buy my own. What are your badge numbers, boys? I will be reporting this incident to Inspector P'aeng Yeong-Hwan, the head of security for the IUPGS conference to which I was invited as special scientific consultant.”
Of course, they immediately dummy up and feign illiteracy.
I say loudly and very clearly, “You bastards aren’t gonna get away with this. I mean, what is going on in this country when scumsuckers like you can get away with trying to sandbag a Doctor of Geological Sciences?”
I ask the bartender to translate, but alas, it was too late. They vamoosed when I turned to talk with the bartender.
They left so fast, they didn’t notice me snapping their pictures with my ancient but trusty Nokia 3310, revised edition, during our little chat. Even with a mere 2-megapixel picture, I have enough to show the North Korean leaders of the project to get an identification and make known my displeasure of being treated like some commoner or buffoon.
They left both my cigar and the one I gave them. The bartender tucked the cigar I gave him into his pocket and stared lustily at the two remaining on the bar.
“Take’em”, I said. I sure as fuck don’t want them. “Just a clean ashtray and a refill, if you would be so kind,” I say, as pleasantly as possible, considering the situation.
Both the unsmoked and my smoldering, as well as well-traveled, cigar disappear as quickly as minks rut. A clean, new ashtray, double beer and ‘vodka’ suddenly appear.
“No charge, Dr. Rock”, the bartender grins, as he shoves my erstwhile high-mileage cigar between his teeth.
“OK, fair enough.”, I say, “Spaseebah.”, and deposit a raft of won on the bar. The pile won’t be touched until after I leave in a few hours’ time.
“Stranger in a strange land.” I muse over a couple of further beers.
The call from the massage parlor never came, or it did and I couldn’t hear it over the clamor of the casino. I went up to the hotel’s Korean restaurant; had some salty soup, a sad, sad salad, and some form of funky fish, I think, for dinner. I retired that night in a slightly foul mood.
I called Es then the next morning and caught her before she retired. With a 14 hour difference between us, I was getting up at 0700 and she was getting ready to hit the hay at 2100.
I told her of the events of the day previous, and she was glad she wasn’t tagging along. She would have never accused the Korean geologists of being behind the times and would have probably bent the guy’s nose that swiped my cigar.
Agreed, that she’d probably be unimpressed with this place. I promised her that we’d go on a holiday when I returned from all this. It would be up to her to find out ‘where,’ and I’d supply the ‘when’ when I could.
Everything else was going along smoothly, more or less, on the home front, and I didn’t want to give the local listening-in federales too much to say grace over, so we said our parting admirations and rang off.
Shower, shower sunriser of real vodka and citrus, a quick brush and comb, and spiff of cargo shorts and new ghastly Hawaiian shirt; 30 minutes later, back down in the restaurant for the inevitable breakfast buffet.
After what some would consider breakfast and others would consider a vague attempt at nourishment, we reconvened in the conference room precisely at 1012.
Nothing like precision with this group.
We spend the next two days going over, in various groups, what we think would be required to set forth proper the quest for oil and gas in North Korea on track. Everyone got in on the act, and we advocated for that. We needed everyone’s input to make this happen. Or to even map a way forward to present to country officials. Those from the West on what was needed and those from the East to tell us what was available, and the combined wetware to make what needed to be done happen with what existed.
It took no small amount of doing, but we secured a set of maps that covered the entire country. We were watched very closely by the shiny suit squad that we did not copy, photograph or otherwise take any extraneous information from these sheets of infamy. All other maps in the country were intentionally skewed, with errors deliberately added in to confuse “interlopers, spies, or other personas non grata”.
I made a massive stink and told them that if we didn’t receive the unfuckered maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery pronto, we’re packing up and leaving that afternoon.
“We don’t have time for monks resisting the carnival. We didn’t come here to try and guess if the maps are correct or if our remedies will actually work on maps that say one thing and reality says something else entirely.”
They hemmed and hawed, but as I made the announcement to all before lunch that if the real maps didn’t appear by the time we returned from tiffin, we’re gone.
And we take tiffin purty durn early round these parts, buckaroo.
No one was surprised as I when we returned and there were folio after folio of government-uncensored maps, photos, and imagery for our program. I guess they finally reasoned it would be a relatively good idea to begin to take us seriously.
We spent one whole day just going over our field geological apparatus. They had a good idea of how to use a direction-finder compass and Jacob’s staff to measure sections. However, they were totally flummoxed by our Brunton Compasses, GPS systems, curiously referred to as ‘position finders’, notebook mapping applications, and electronic data storage and retrieval systems.
Gad. It was like being back in the 1970s before PCs were a glimmer in IBM's corporate orbs.
We spent the next week working to bring our less fortunate colleagues up to, well, not date, but at least up to the brink of the 21st century. We explained that plate tectonics, continental drift, and the precession of the continents was accepted geoscientific principles, not some arcane Capitalist or Socialist plot to undermine the quality of science in the east.
Yep. It was that mindset we had to first conquer. I think we’ve made great headway in that direction today.
The next Chautauqua session had us split up into two separate groups. We decided in a fit of Cesarean inquiry to ‘divide and conquer’. There are two distinct milieus which are able to contain economic deposits of hydrocarbons: onshore and offshore.
Instead of attacking both head-on, we’d focus initially on the offshore domain. Once we had a good handle on what was going on under the East Korean Sea, the Huangai (Yellow) Sea and surreptitiously, the South Sea; we’d collaborate our findings and work to tie them in and extend them onshore.
The singular Phyongnam Basin is the one large depositional, sedimentological, and structural basin in North Korea. It is filled by the Joeson and Pyeongan Supergroups of sediments, which are Cambro-Ordovician and Permocarboniferous, respectively. These are good hunting grounds for oil and gas. Could be elephant–hunting country.
But before we could undertake that, we had to get ‘back to basics’. That is, we had to understand and delineate the ‘frame’ of the Korean Peninsula. In other words, we needed to figure out how and when the peninsula came into existence.
South Korea’s geology is much more complex, fortunately than that found in the North. There were nasty side comments that were due to the relative development not of the geology, but of the geologists who studied each country’s geology.
It was, perhaps, a mean way of characterizing the situation. But, unfortunately, it was also probably fairly accurate.
The Korean Peninsula is characterized by huge massifs, which are sections of a crust that are demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of mountains formed by such a structure. It’s basically one huge, semi-resilient rock.
The basement rocks of the Korean Peninsula consist of high-grade gneiss and schist, Paleoproterozoic Precambrian massifs, which formed in the early stage of Earth’s history. These rocks are unconformably overlain by metasedimentary rocks; schist, quartzite, marble, calcsilicate, and amphibolite, of the Middle to Late Proterozoic. The Korean Peninsula is floored by a collation of about five of these huge Precambrian massifs that acted like ‘microplates’ during the aggregation of the peninsula. These massifs consist of thick dolostone, metavolcanics, and schist, which were intruded by Paleoproterozoic granites.
These Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary and granitic rocks underwent repeated intracrustal differentiation, followed by the events of cratonization, i.e., regional metamorphism and igneous activity, at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Sediments deposited in the peripheral basins during the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic lead to stabilization as the basement of the peninsula.
These early depositional basins formed the locus of deposition that continued on from the Proterozoic through the Phanerozoic. There are at least three, perhaps four, depositional basins in the south which are delimited by structural zones, such as the South Korean Tectonic Line (SKTL), a huge zone of continental transform faults and forms the basis of boundary demarcation between the Okcheon and Taebaeksan basins.
The boundary between the Seochangri Formation of the Okcheon Basin and the Joseon Supergroup of the Taebaeksan Basin in the Bonghwajae area is a thrust (or reverse‐slip shear zone). This thrust is presumably a relay structure (i.e. a restraining bend) between two segments of a continental transform fault (the South Korean Tectonic Line or SKTL), along which the Okcheon Basin of the South China Craton was juxtaposed against the Taebaeksan Basin of the North China Craton during the Permian–Triassic suturing of the two cratons.
In the late Proterozoic, sedimentation was initiated in basins of the Korean Peninsula, accompanied by deposition of siliciclastic and volcaniclastic sediments as well as carbonates. The massifs were submerged in the Early Paleozoic during a greenhouse period, forming a shallow marine platform and associated environments.
The Cambrian-Ordovician succession unconformably overlies Precambrian granite gneiss. It consists of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of sandstone, shale, and shallow-marine carbonates. Sedimentation was initiated in the Early Cambrian with a global rise in sea level on the stable craton of the Sino-Korean Block.
There was a major break in sedimentation during the Silurian and Devonian periods in the entire platform. During the Carboniferous to early Triassic, sedimentation was resumed in coastal plain and swamp environments with progradation of deltas.
Major tectonic events were initiated in the Triassic when the South China Block collided with the Sino-Korean Block. The eastern part of the Sino-Korean Block rotated clockwise and moved southward relative to the South China Block along the SKTL.
In the Middle-Late Jurassic, orthogonal subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate under the Asian continent caused compression and thrust deformation. A number of piggyback basins formed along the thrust faults in the east of the SKTL. At the same time, the entire peninsula was prevailed by granite batholiths, especially along the northeast-southwest-trending tectonic belt.
In the Cretaceous Period, the paleo-Pacific Plate subducted northward under the Asian continent, forming numerous extensional (left-lateral strike-slip) basins in the southern part of the peninsula and the Yellow Sea. A large back-arc basin was initiated in the southeastern part.
In the Paleogene, both the volcanic arc and the back-arc basin ceased to develop, as volcanic activities shifted eastward, accompanied by a rollback of the subduction of the Pacific plate. In the Miocene, pull-apart (right-lateral) basins formed in the eastern continental margin.
The Korea Plateau experienced continental rifting accompanied by extensive volcanism during the extensional opening of the southern offshore basin. It subsided more than 1000 m below sea level.
So, as South Korea was mix- mastered by a half-a-billion years’ worth of structural tectonism, which created several depositional basins quite capable of generating and storing economic quantities of oil and gas, the scene to the north was much more quiescent.
The North was composed, from south to north, of the relict Imjingang Belt, which was an old back-arc basin between the Gyeonggi Massif to the south and the Nagrim Massif to the north. It is a paleo-subduction zone, full of volcanics, volcaniclastics and other non-hydrocarbon bearing rocks. It was mashed and metamorphosed, and basically forms a convenient boundary between the complex geology of the South and the more relaxed geology of the North.
Heading north, we come across the Pyeongnam Basin, the only North Korean basin thus far defined that could contain hydrocarbons. Further north is the huge Nangrim Massif. It’s a huge block of igneous and metamorphic rocks that weather very nicely and form some spectacular scenery, but from an oil and gas economic outlook are worthless.
Offshore North Korea, there are two possible petroliferous basins. The offshore West Korea Bay Basin and East Sea Basin, along with five onshore basins could be offering exploration potential. At least ten exploration wells have been drilled in the West Sea, with some showing “good oil shows” along with the identification of a number of potential reservoirs.
The West Sea potentially has oil and has reportedly flowed oil at reasonable rates from at least two exploration wells when they were drilled and tested in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the East Sea has seen Russian exploration efforts previously including the drilling of two wells, both of which reportedly encountered encouraging shows of oil and gas.
Onshore, there has been little exploration to date, apart from efforts by the Korean Oil Exploration Corporation and also recently by Mongolia’s HBOil JSC (HBO). Among five main onshore sedimentary sub-basins, the largest is south of the capital; while unconfirmed reports point to a 1-trillion-cubic-foot (tcf) discovery in 2002.
Historically DPRK was thought to consist of five under-explored geological basins, the
• Pyongyang,
• Zaeryong,
• Anju-Onchon,
• Gilju-Myongchon and
• Sinuiju, Basins.
These basins are all located more or less along the coast, rather than inland. This also points to a certain degree of geological aptitude; as it’s much easier to explore along the more populated coast than it is to venture inland. There may be more hiding in the interior of the country, it’s just that no one’s looked as of yet. That’s difficult. Exploring along the coast is much easier.
With 3 basins supposedly proven to have working petroleum systems; 22 wells have been drilled and the majority are said to have encountered hydrocarbons with some wells testing production at 75 barrels of oil per day of light sweet crude oil. This has yet to be documented or confirmed by the Korea Oil Exploration Corp (KOEC), North Korea’s state-run oil company.
Yeah, our work was definitely cut out for us.
It was decided that a series of excursions offshore in one of the few remaining seaworthy, which was a real judgment call, KOEC seismic boats would be appropriate. The one we received use of was an old, decommissioned Chamsuri-class patrol boat, one Chamsuri-215(참수리-215), PKMR-215 in particular.
It had been basically stripped to the gunwales and completely retrofitted as a seismic acquisition and recording vessel. It had been renamed: “조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 영광” or “Glory of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Science”.
In reality, it was an aging rust-bucket piece of shit that might have possibly seen better days but wasn’t letting on. All the military nonsense, except the powder magazine, had been removed and a new superstructure consisting of slap-dash hunks of poorly-welded low-carbon, cold-rolled steel were erected to form a pilothouse in the area where the bridge once existed. They also built, extra haphazardly, a shooter’s room, galley, cold and wet storage areas, recording room, and storage of tapes and the extra bits and pieces needed for a none-too-extended stay on the sea. It was, being charitable, almost utilitarian.
They could not make their own water, so trip times were limited to about three days in length. Besides, they didn’t really have a hot galley, so it was cold, canned Chinese chow for the next 72 hours. They had a couple of fairly sturdy yardarms with heavy winches to handle the towed seismic arrays of geophones, which were of ancient heritage and showed it. These were probably appropriated back in the 80s or perhaps earlier when they first thought about opening their waters for seismic exploration.
They ‘borrowed’ most of the sensing and recording equipment back then from oilfield service companies and simply forgot to return it once finished. Since they burned that bridge so glowingly, they couldn’t get parts nor service when things failed. Being delicate seismic sensing and recording equipment, fail they did.
So, we had to use what was leftover, or what DPRK industries could cobble together, or what could be salvaged from salt-water drenched recording equipment that hadn’t been too heavily cared for over the span of the last 50 years.
We weren’t terribly optimistic.
So, we load the good ship ‘Rorrypop’, as Viv christened the thing, and head out to the wilds of the Yellow Sea. It was an abbreviated foreign crew, as there was really nothing other than upchuck and curse me soundly for insisting the non-geophysical scientists came along.
Aboard were the two geophysicists, naturally; Volna and Activ. I was there stick-handling the logistics and hoping to help out with the geophysical signal source explosives.
Morse and Cliff, the two other geologists accompanied us on the trip, and Dax decided to go with me as he figured I’d have access to the best booze no matter where we went.
The remainder of the team, the geochemists, Erlan and Ivan, the geomechanic, Iskren, the PT, Joon, and the two REs, Viv and Grako, remained behind onshore at the hotel. They set forth cataloging what data was available; from what sources, it’s vintage, veracity, and usefulness.
Augean tasks, both. Not as fecaliferous as Hercules’ jobs, but still, they held their own rations of shit for each sub-team.
Heading seaward, the Yellow Sea extends by about 960 km (600 mi) from north to south and about 700 km (430 mi) from east to west; it has an area of approximately 380,000 km2 (150,000 mi2) and a volume of about 17,000 km3 (4,100 mi3).[4] Its depth is only 44 m (144 ft) on average, with a maximum of 152 m (499 ft). The sea is a flooded section of the continental shelf that formed during the Late Pleistocene (some 10,000 years ago) as sea levels rose 120 m (390 ft) to their current levels. The depth gradually increases from north to south. The sea bottom and shores are dominated by sand and silt brought by the rivers through the Bohai Sea and the Yalu River. These deposits, together with sand storms are responsible for the yellowish color of the water referenced in the sea's name.
Being shallow, the Yellow Sea is more perturbed by the frequent seasonal storms of the region. The area has cold, dry winters with strong northerly monsoons blowing from late November to April. I was told that the summers are wet and warm with frequent typhoons between June and October; but now all we had to contend with were swelling seas, spraying saltwater, waggling waves, and a shivering, shimmying ship.
All the navigation, communications and other shiply duties were being handled by both members of the DPRK Coast Guard Auxiliary, mostly older guys who were of great and high humorous jest; and an actual pleasure to be around. They were like their scientific cadre on this cruise, basically a political ‘give a shit’ attitude, and a desire to get the job done, smoke the American’s cigars and drink as much as we could get away with.
The scientific portion of the cruise was being undertaken by students of the various universities and members of the North Korean national oil company. The demeanors of these characters ranged from extremely earnest and stringently North Korean politically correct in the students and academicians, to a more relaxed ‘yeah, let’s just get the fucking job done so we can have a lot of drinks’ sort of view of the older members of the DPRK scientific team.
It was a fun admixture of cultures, ages, professions, and behaviors.
Oh, forgive me for forgetting to mention our ‘guides’, or handlers. They were also chosen, nay, ordered to come along. Landlubbers all, they were less than thrilled with the assignment and inevitable seasickness; which seemed endemic to those of Oriental extraction on the cruise. However, our guides did enjoy drinking. As we learned that alcohol is a central part of Korean culture, and they encouraged us to socialize with them when the time was appropriate.
Or, not appropriate, as I was being denounced by one of the geophysical students after only a few hours into our very first day. Hell, we weren’t even in the Yellow Sea proper. We started here at Pyongyang, down the Taedong River, over the Giva Dam, through Pushover, across Shmoeland, to the stronghold of Shmoe; into the very belly of the frothing Yellow Sea.
Most everyone, other than the foreign elements on board, were either making the trip in the bowels of the ship; nursing and cursing seasickness; or by rail, doing exactly the same thing.
“Chum it over the side, ya’ blinkered mucker!”, I admonished one bottle-greenish national. “This ain’t the Captain‘s mess, Chuckles. You have to clean up your own spew!”
I was reveling in getting back out on the water and regaining my sea legs. I never get seasick.
Be it a seismic vessel in the heaving Arctic Ocean, a pirogue in the swamps of Louisiana, my cousin’s fishin’ johnboat back in northern Baja Canada, a US nuclear submarine under the permanent pack ice of the North Pole, or VLCC in the Straits of Somaliland; I just don’t get seasick.
Airsick? Nah. Carsick? Nope. Ready to puke in a Hind-20 over the Caspian Sea during a strong local thunderstorm? Close, but no cigar.
So, I’m doing a Titanic scene recreation. Up in the very bow of the craft, standing in stark defiance of the gusting winds and blowing salt spray, smoking a huge cigar, and totting out of one of my emergency flasks while trying to hang on to my Stetson. I am also endeavoring to remain upright, field vest and really, really ghastly Hawaiian shirt billowing in the breeze.
I’m not certain if it was the cigar smoke, the wind-whipped beard, and hair, the give a fuck attitude, or the flapping of the Hawaiian shirt to which the little local geophysicist objected. But he was pissed. Olive-green with seasickness, rubber-kneed but still standing a good social-distance away, reading me the riot act in high-pitched Korean.
As I usually do in such delicate situations, I just smile and wave. Show them I’m mostly harmless and they either cool down or get pissed off even more and stomp off in disgust.
Either one was a winning situation for me in my book.
So, I return to doing my ship’s figurehead imitation and revel in the wind, spray, and feeling of really being booming. Sure, some might complain of the cold, but not me, the sting of the salt-spray or the windburn; but I eschew what most people enjoy as ‘normal weather’. I live for pushing the boundaries. I love rough weather and situations that thrust the edge of the envelope further past normalcy.
Besides, we were still in sight of land. Hell, if everything went south at this very minute, one could practically walk back to shore. I can hardly wait to see what these wigglers will do if a night storm comes up when were 100 or more kilometers from land.
The boat’s thrumming heavily from both the thrust of the Soviet-era diesel engines and the craft’s bludgeoning its way through the waves. Most hull designs are so the ship will ‘cut’ through the surface waters. This craft’s flattened trihedral hull design didn’t so much ‘cut’, as ‘slam’ it’s way through. The boat would then crash up one side and smash down the other of each large wave we encountered. The boat would shudder whole, adding a new note of resonance along with the monotonous one-note song of the aged Russian diesels.
The spray would fly, the boat would convulse, time would seem to freeze until we bashed into the next wave. The captain of the vessel took his orders very seriously. “Get to coordinates XXX and YYY by the most expedient means possible.” If that meant charging, full-throttle into the teeth of the oncoming monsoon-force wind while we were traversing the worst kelp jungle I’ve seen this side of the Sargasso Sea; well, piss on it, full steam ahead.
“Fuck it”, I thought, “Not my pony, not my show. Let’s see how this plays out.” While I light a new cigar and search for Emergency Flask #2.
After I’d been upbraided by the geophysical student for transgressions still unknown, Cliff and Dax wander out to ask me what the hell I was up to.
“Have you gone completely barmy?”, Cliff asked. “It’s a full gale out here and you’re standing in the teeth of it like it was a warm, sunny Sunday in Piccadilly.”
“Nope, not at all”, I replied, “Just reveling in the delights of an angry atmosphere.”
“He’s nuts, I told you”, Dax smirked, “He’d go anywhere and do anything to have a cigar.”
“Not just a cigar, me old mucker”, I smiled and waved my second emergency flack under his nose.
“Figures”, they both respond in unison.
Dax departs and returns mere seconds later with paper Dixie-style cups he liberated from the ship’s one head. We are going to do our very best to extend the lifetime of the onboard water supply for our scientific and military friends. I pour them each a cup full.
“Whoa, Doc”, that’s gotta be 100 milliliters!” Cliff objects.
“As the Siberian saying goes: One hundred versts, roughly a hundred miles, is no distance. A hundred rubles isn't worthwhile money. And a hundred grams of vodka just makes you thirsty. Prosit!” I say in reply.
We retire to the overhang on the fantail of the boat. It’s a sunshade and keeps the worst of the weather out for the lightweights on the cruise. I decided we’d withdraw there to keep these Dominionites out of the worst of the wind and sea spray.
“Rock”, Cliff notes, “You are a complete throwback. You do not belong here in the 21st century. You need to find a way back to the Calabrian and ride herd on the continental Neanderthals. Give them the gift of distilling and tobacco agriculture, and you’d reframe the world.”
Dax agrees, but notes if I do find a way back, he and Cliff would be selected against.
“Good point”, Cliff agrees. “Rock, stay here. We need your expertise now more than ever. Plus your ready supply of strong drink and cigars.”
“Glad to know that I’m truly appreciated around these parts.” I chuckled slightly acridly.
“Ah, Rock. Buck up. You know we’re only takin’ a piss.” Cliff says.
“Aim it starboard. Don’t want it blowin’ all over the seismic gear”, I reply, laughingly.
The trip continued, and I found a not-bolted-to-the-deck chair and moved it outside under the shade back by the boat’s fantail. I refreshed my emergency flasks and replenished my cigar supply. I’m not about to sit inside and listen to the wails and gnashing of teeth of the landlubber crowd, the patter and timor of the geophysical throng as they titter and argue about array design, nor the military hut-hutting all over the fucking boat.
A couple of times, one or more of our ‘handlers’ would venture out as I had the only supply of readily available smokeables and drinkables. Oh, we had food, lots of beer, soju, some knock-off vodka, and some of that faux homebrew bourbon for later once the workday was declared over; but for now, I was the one and only dispensary.
We’d have some random chats while they screwed up their courage to ask me for a smoke or a tot of drink. I brought several bundles of really cheap-ass cigars for just such occasions; besides, I figured one of my Camacho triple-maduros would have them chumming for the remainder of the trip. I had also many, many cartons of Sobranie pastel-colored cigarettes, and many more cartons of knock-off Marlboros I bought at the duty-free when we hit town.
It was chucklingly funny to see these harsh, military, no-nonsense characters walking their duty beats smoking pastel green, lavender, and mauve cigarettes.
We got bogged down a couple of times when one or more of the ship’s twin screws fouled with kelp as we tried to put some distance between us and the shore. Each time, one really dejected low-ranking young Coast Guard character would go over the side with a rope around his waist and a knife in his hand to free the props. I was going to object as this was moronically dangerous; but, again, not my pony, not my show. This called for full proper tethering and SCUBA gear.
They had neither aboard.
Welcome to the wonders of a centrally planned economy.
To be continued.
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2020.04.03 21:00 portlane Lucille Butler (April 21, 1925 - March 20, 2020)

April 21, 1925 - March 20, 2020
Lucille Emaline Butler, 94, passed away peacefully in Portland, OR on March 20, 2020. She was born to Jacob and Pearl (Swartzleonard) Zimmerman on April 21, 1925 in Marysville, KS, the third oldest of 10 children.
Lucille married Claude Butler in Hiawatha, KS, Jan. 31, 1945, having just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary with family and friends.
Lucille was a homemaker and mother much of her married life except for 8 years when she worked at Webber’s Dry Cleaning in South Bend, WA.
Lucille is survived by her husband, Claude Butler; daughters, Shirley (Nick) Mickel and Carolyn (Jerry) Liby; 3 grandchildren, Stacey (Allen) Watkins, Julie (Chris) Palmquist and James (Heather) Way; 5 great-grandchildren, Josh and Ryan Palmquist and Drew, Zack and Gabbi Watkins; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Orville, Clifford, Kenneth, Virgil, Harold, Eldon and Richard; sisters, Geraldine Edgar and Verneda Boulware; and grandson, David Way.
Lucille will be laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver, WA. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Please sign her guest book @
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