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2008.10.04 23:41 Pennsylvania

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2017.10.19 05:56 MyWindowsAreDirty Arkansas Medical Marijuana

A subreddit for Arkansas medical marijuana patients and others to talk about everything MMJ in the Natural State. Whatever is on your mind about medical marijuana in Arkansas.

2011.06.27 04:30 cinsere Portland's Ent Community


2023.03.22 17:32 ATobiaMD A further look into: 'Paranormal Activity'

Movie: Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity (2007) is the first of a series of films centered on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are being haunted by a supernatural presence in their new San Diego home. Katie claims she has been haunted by an evil presence since she was a child. Micah attempts to prove Katie wrong by setting up a camera in their bedroom, and showing her that it is all “in her head.”
As the nights progress, there are more occurrences that become less explainable by just “dreams.” The idea that there is a demon in the house that has long followed Katie becomes more plausible to both Katie and Micah.
Three of Jason Blum’s most famous horror films depict three of the four primary disorders that make up the Dissociative Disorders. Sinister (2012) demonstrates Dissociative Fugue (DSM-IV); Insidious (2010) portrays the features of Dissociative Amnesia; and Paranormal Activity (2007) depicts Dissociative Identity Disorder. The 2007 film depicts the progressive involvement the “demon” plays, wreaking mayhem in their lives.
How it relates to the field of psychiatry
Paranormal Activity serves as an opportunity to teach the Dissociative Disorders, specifically Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The paranormal activity of demons is viewed as a dissociation that results in identity disruptions, the possession-form phenomena, and the gaps in recall.
One night Katie appears to be in a trance, standing beside the bed staring at Micah for over 2 hours and then leaves the room and ends up outside. The next morning she has no recollection of her leaving the house (Day 15, Katie and Micah’s house):
While this serves as a good example of the amnesia that can be experienced in DID, the additional finding of a distinct personality state/experience of possession makes DID more likely than Dissociative Amnesia:
Later, Micah finds Katie in a catatonic state, sitting in the hallway, gripping a cross so tightly that it bloodies her palm, further describing the catatonia that can be experienced in DID.
In the final scene, when Katie, in another “possessed” state, screams for Micah, he rushes to her rescue…and his demise. Micah's body is violently hurled at the camera, where we see Katie over his body with a sinister grin on her demonic-looking face. She is the “demon.” Micah’s body was discovered on this date, October 11th.
While Paranormal Activity demonstrates PTSD/DID in Katie, its sequel (Paranormal Activity 2, 2010) is a case study of “the same illness in Katie’s sister, Kristi. Following the timeline (flashback), Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) ultimately discloses the etiology of the sister’s PTSD [No Spoilers].
Leya Schwartz, MD, Maggie Yesalavage, DO, Anthony Tobia, MD, Copyright © 2015 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) All rights reserved.
submitted by ATobiaMD to u/ATobiaMD [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 17:28 hshotty Caregiver Program Question

My husband applied after my doctor's told him he needed to due to my severe ptsd, self harm issues, suicidal ideation, and the medication I was being switched to made it to where I could no longer drive the little bit I was forcing myself to. It's in my records that under direction from my psychiatrist he has had my meds locked up for a year and a half and can only give me one dose at a time. So we did the two interviews and our information was sent off, we got denied but from my understanding there's supposed to be a list for supervision just like there is for ADL's. There is one mention in the whole report about needing supervision and it states the requirement is unmet. Then it says something about being in the best interest of the veteran if it will enhance their well being, ability to live safely in their home, supports their health and well being, gives the potential for independence or progress for rehabilitation, and it says such determination includes consideration by a clinician. What clinician, because they didn't consult mine.
submitted by hshotty to VeteransBenefits [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 17:17 Digwaikpown Made it to the Europa League final from the Championship after a 68 game season

Made it to the Europa League final from the Championship after a 68 game season submitted by Digwaikpown to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 17:09 Expensive-Donut1980 Neighbors from hell...

Wife and I live in Ohio and own our house. The duplex next to us is owned by one guy, "managed" by another, and for the last 2 years half of it has been occupied by neighbors from hell.
They're a couple in their early 20s. Their home has been raided by the police because he had been evading a felony warrant for stealing a gun. He was put on probation and is currently in prison for a dirty drug test (meth). This is the second time he's been gone since they have been there, and both times have been failing drug tests due to meth use. She is batsh*t crazy and verbally assaults my wife and I when we walk out of the house. Yelling, screaming, cussing at everyone in her sight. He was also convicted of domestic violence for beating her.
They recently got some pitbulls (at least 3), and she lets them run around in her backyard unrestrained. They have attacked the guy on the other side of her at least twice based upon overhearing her state such. We have a fenced in yard for our two dogs, but her dogs try to tear down our fence to get to ours, while she stands and watches. I'm afraid her dogs are going to knock our fence down since it's a wood fence. I called animal control who apparently came out and told her she needs to leash them, but I know this is only temporary.
There is also a known drug dealer currently living with hethem. He has been previously convicted of trafficking and currently has a pending court case for trafficking of meth.
The guy who "manages" the property is well aware of the situation but refuses to do anything about it, saying he can't control his tenants. I have no phone number for the guy who actually owns the property. We cannot enjoy our home because we can't go outside without being yelled at, the police won't do anything about it because "first amendment", and we can't even let our dogs outside for fear that they are going to be attacked by her dogs.
What, if any, legal options do we have to stop all of this and either get them evicted or get someone to do something about them?
submitted by Expensive-Donut1980 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:57 alexj5566 Hired MA Lawyer did not even read Statute before court, and as a result person was falsely imprisoned for 8 days before a new Lawyer corrected issue

Trying to keep this fairly straightforward, although more information is available.
Police arrest someone in Massachusetts for two counts of a crime punishable by as little as "a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 ", which is stated in the police report.
However, this person was instead falsely charged with 2 counts of a crime in Massachusetts that are both punishable by: "state prison not less than 2 1/2 years not more than ten years." The issue being that the accused met the first two exemptions for the charged crime(s):
(1) being present in or on his residence or place of business; or
(2) having in effect a license to...
Their family hired a lawyer, already at the courthouse, for the day for $2,000. While being held in the courthouse cell, the person explained to the lawyer that it did not make sense since the items in question were properly locked up in their home (not on person) and they were licensed to own them.
The lawyer did not press these facts and nobody involved in the courthouse even bothered to read the statute to see that the person could not be charged for these crimes. The person instead spent 8 days in jail on $500,000 bail, during which time they acquired proper counsel to get them released at the next court date (8 days later). The DA is choosing to not to even go after the original charges after they were corrected, and should be dismissed at a court date next month.
How can this person be compensated from the first attorney for his clear negligence to put any effort into this case and spending 8 days in jail? There is probably close to no chance of getting the audio/video of the accused telling the lawyer to fight it while they were in holding. However, it takes about 30 seconds of googling the charged crime to find it on the Mass.Gov website and see that they meet the first two exemptions listed in the long list. The family of the accused were even able to easily find this information themselves and see it was incorrect, with no legal experience. The lawyer ignored all of this.
The new lawyer thinks they have a case but they do not handle these types of suits, and can give them a recommendation. It would be nice to do as much legwork as possible even if this third lawyer is hired, since this seems like a pretty obvious case of the first lawyer not even bothering to read the statute despite being told the inaccuracies by multiple people.

To make things worse, the person was heavily intoxicated (alcohol) in their own home, and despite the family telling the lawyer that they need medical attention to safely detox, the lawyer did and said nothing. The accused disclosed the issue of detox and prior health issues (heart related) to the court/jail, but they received little to no medical attention even with regards to existing medical issues. They spent the first 4 of the 8 days profusely vomiting, unable to stand, and unable to eat/drink anything even water without throwing it back up.

I appreciate everyone's input, thanks.
submitted by alexj5566 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:55 ATobiaMD A further look into: 'Sinister'

Movie: Sinister (2012)
Synopsis: Sinister is a 2012 supernatural horror film chronicling the existential crisis of Ellison Oswalt, a fictional crime author who is trying to resurrect his fledgling career. Following an opening scene that shows an unnamed family being hanged from a tree, we meet the Oswalts who are moving into their new Pennsylvania home. On moving day, they are met by the town sheriff, who after reprimanding his deputy for soliciting an autograph, tries to convince Ellison to load his boxes back onto the moving truck and leave. The sheriff’s warning, a harbinger, serves as foreshadowing of the Oswalt’s fate, as it is learned that the house they are moving into is the former Stevenson home; the scene of the horrific hanging.
It is revealed that the hanging is one in a series of grisly murders carried out by children possessed by Bagul, the “eater of children.” Possessing a realm of his own and traveling into the material world via images of himself (http://villains.wikia.com), Sinister’s boogie man is a pagan Babylonian deity who consumes the souls of children.
How it relates to the field of psychiatry
Sinister allows for review of the Dissociative Disorders if one disavows the theory proposed by Deputy So and So. Simply stated, a family (e.g. Martinez) sells their house, moves into a new home, and then meets their untimely demise (BBQ ’79). The family that sold the victims their house (e.g. DeLuzio) will move into their new home, only to be killed by Bagul (Lawn Work ’86). Upon extension of this pattern, we know that whoever sold their house to the Stevenson family should be the next in line to be murdered. However, [spoiler alert] the movie’s climax reveals that the Oswalts are the next victims. The only way these two facts could be reconciled is if Ellison Oswalt was the seller of the Pennsylvania home (to the Stevenson family).
The pattern presented above is possible if Ellison Oswalt is afflicted with Dissociative Identity Disorder versus Amnesia with Dissociative Fugue. In either case, Ellison would suffer from amnesia, thus explaining how he could move his family into a house he previously owned.
Key Words: Sinister, Bagul, boogie man, sandman, Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue
Anthony Tobia, MD. Copyright © 2016 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. [email protected] All rights reserved.
submitted by ATobiaMD to u/ATobiaMD [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:51 ConsiderationFront12 Ohio Firearms Laws

Ohio Laws Regarding Firearms at Home If someone owns a mobile home and the park comes under new ownership/management, can the new owner or manager legally tell homeowners that they are no longer allowed to have firearms in their homes/on the premises? Where I live and own my home, the new owners have come out with new leases for everyone to sign, and in their new rules they are trying to state that we aren't allowed to have firearms or archery items in our homes or on the premises.
I feel like this is a violation of multiple rights, not just the 2nd Amendment...am I wrong?
submitted by ConsiderationFront12 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:50 endersgame69 Adopted By Humans VI C40

Having heard from the therapists and their perspectives on things, I must offer my own for the record. Thankfully, Bonny Red never objected to speaking of these things. Perhaps because she thought it may help in some way.
But our times sleeping together were, to put it mildly, vigorous. I daresay I could not have kept up if it were not for the unintended training sessions that came about from playing with small humans. Their bodies were heavier than small dlamisa of the same ages, and as such, ‘tossing them around’ with Genghis inevitably became a kind of strength training.
I know this is not fair to say, but academics tend to look down on those who are more focused on the physical than the mental. It’s not even necessarily deliberate. I suppose it’s probable than the reverse is equally true, our pride in our respective expertise sees us elevate us above others with an opposite focus.
But tossing children back and forth between us, I began to appreciate the work that, even as a genetically engineered specimen, Genghis put in to keeping his body absurdly strong.
This let me keep up with Bonny Red, who had grown more amorous and aggressive in her needs since Lou Salk’s death. I noticed that this was true of many humans, and the closer they were to Lou or Peter, the more frequently I could detect the scents of recent mating behavior on the pair bonded humans.
I believe that there is an evolutionary response to the death of a community member to engage in reproductive acts to replace what was lost. This act not only bonds pairs closer in times of stress, but serves a functional purpose in replenishing the decreased numbers. Those who did not engage in this through their unbonded states sometimes sought opportunities, while others focused intensely on their work. My past statement that Fauve was almost a dlamisa in a different flesh seemed to be oddly prescient.
She did not seek opportunities for pair bonding. But she did see the therapists and I note that she did become slightly more social with others of her age. Her obsession seemed chiefly to be on making her work the most effective it could be.
I caught some of it.
And by now we were well in to our stay, so it’s fair to state that the rest of the world knew something was amiss. The Silent Civil War was starting to make noise.
I will repeat a few of her pieces here…
“A child trafficking ring was arrested today, they had ties to the violent extremist Earth First organization and…”
“A violent extremist group plotting an insurrection in a remote area was destroyed by a drone strike hours before they could launch planned attacks, the ‘Earth First’ members intended to bomb the homes of hosts for popular Ballyball players whose names are being kept private to avoid panic. Their stated goal is the eradication of every alien on the planet Earth…”
“A member of the violent extremist group was hospitalized today after he attacked an intoxicated dlamisa. He was set upon by a group of patrons and bouncers after suffering forty-two broken bones. As his injuries were sustained during the commission of unprovoked violence, he will be charged the full cost of his treatment. Authorities state that they will not file charges against those who protected his intended victim.”
The refrains were all like this. And I took the time to ask Fauve about it.
“Percival taught me that you have to hammer home the message over and over again. Violent Extremist. Violent Extremist. Violent Extremist.” She repeated the phrase like it was a job title and drummed her fingers on the desk. Her eyes were clear and calm and the distress that marked her before had largely dissipated. “It’s not hard to figure out the rest. If they’re accusing their enemies of kidnapping, child abuse, trafficking, or violence, it’s because their accusations are confessions. Shitty people always think everybody else is as shitty as they are.”
She waved her hand over the first story. “Take this one. It’s mostly true. They were basically buying poor children from families in the areas we still haven’t fully developed yet, the places where credit currency isn’t always accessible and modernity hasn’t been embraced. The families think they’re sending kids to good homes and freeing up mouths to feed. But the extremists intended to just raise the kids to be violent xenophobes. Do you think they told the parents that they’d raise their kids to be genocidal maniacs?” She shook her head.
“No.” I agreed.
“That sounds like child trafficking to me. And don’t get me started on the ones who just try to keep having as many kids as possible and raising them to be genocidal maniacs. If that’s not abuse, I don’t know what is.” She shook her head in disgust, a sour expression forming on her face as her lips pursed tight and her nose crinkled up.
“The same thing happened decades ago, groups like these are like cults. They’ll do all kinds of horrible things, then accuse everybody else of being the same as them, while hiding what they’re really like. They’re just polished turds, nothing more.” She said, and I think she would have spat on the ground if we’d been outside.
“This one.” She gestured to the story about the attack on one of my people. “This is completely true. But the law is new. I think they passed it a few weeks ago after Lou Salk’s death, when it turned out the survivors of the enclave were being given free medical care. Is it petty? Yes. But if the prospect of having consequences for initiating violence, discourages violence? I’m all for it.”
“You’re doing… all this?” I could hardly believe it, and it was almost a relief when she denied it.
“Of course not. It’s a big world and I’m only one small cog. I have a few advantages now.” She smiled and looked toward the door of her room. I knew what she meant. Surrounded by powerful families and individuals, already being a well known public figure… Fauve would never live a normal life.
But she would live an extraordinary one. I was sure of that. And for now, she seemed to be really growing into that role.
“Teresa has a bunch of people pumping these ‘xenophobes are evil extremists’ narratives, as this silent civil war gets louder, that’s going to be important. I’m just one of many. It’s funny, you know that?” She asked, and I cocked my head, I didn’t know what she meant.
“No, what do you mean?” I asked.
“If everybody had just more or less ignored me, let me slip back into the background of normalcy, there’d have been no reason to attack my house. No reason to accuse me of things online, no reason to do… really anything. All the things these scumbags did to try to humiliate me, embarass me, slander me, and then kill me, all it really did is feed me the means to destroy them. Guys like that always make their own enemies. Evil will, must evil mar.” She quoted a line from somewhere I didn’t recognize, and tapped on her screen.
“In a few weeks we’re releasing the footage of the raid on my family house to the public. At this point any xenophobic Earth First members who haven’t surrendered, aren’t going to. So we’re going to really apply the pressure.” She stared at the screen, tracing her finger over it.
It’d been over half a year since we came on board this ship, and now some of those staying up here are actually going to be having children. If they stayed much longer, there’d be a human born on a dlamisa pirate ship.
Everyone was different. Especially the humans.
When the footage was released, the Silent Civil War would no longer be silent.
I didn’t need to be a military genius to know that a crackdown of the hardest sorts would be coming. And I remembered the story about Percival. How there had been politicians tied to the xenophobes.
There probably were some now.
I didn’t think there would be for much longer.
AN: If there's a large thin crust pepperoni pineapple pizza with garlic butter delivered to 2507 Talbott Ave, Louisville KY, 40205... (wings optional but welcome)
I'll do 3 chapters today. :)
submitted by endersgame69 to TheWorldMaker [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:50 WreckageHothHead Flaws/insufficiencies in RLM's spacewar commentary: paaaaart 1(?)

So just for a bit of context here, I recently rewatched Mauler's "TFA critique", and while it contains a whole lot of precise analysis that I couldn't really find any problems with, his utter obliviousness to the huge amount of logical/continuity problems in ANH (incl. the almost identical ones in the "corresponding" plot points!), which he repeatedly brings up throughout his review while praising its plot as logically consistent where everything makes sense and every event/action are justified / in line with the characters' characterizations (with I think the sole exception of Motti starting out as ignorant of Vader's powers; and something about how bad the Stormtroopers were while showing exclusively Endor footage), made me go on an autistic multi-(for-now-7-)part rant on the Mauler sub going through most of the major logical issues found throughout ANH and ESB.
The ANH ones have some overlap with Plinkett's audio commentary, but also contain lots of points either not brought up there at all, or expanded versions of some of the points that Plinkett touches on.
There's no necessity in reading them for this particular thread here or anything, but here they are regardless lol:
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/115yiq7/spacewars_hackfraudery_how_esb_is_a_lot_closer_to/ "SpaceWars HackFraudery: How ESB is a lot closer to TFA and TLJ in terms of "undoing the victory from the previous movie" and Mauler was WROOOOOOOOOONG"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11fytsc/an_example_of_mauler_as_well_as_plinkett/ "An example of Mauler (as well as Plinkett) significantly overestimating the OT's "cause&effect motivation consistency sense-making" - and what possible implications this could have"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11fytsc/an_example_of_mauler_as_well_as_plinkett/japzym (bit of a correction/expansion of the OP in an added comment - I should probably post a revised version of the OP somewhere at some point)
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11hki5e/ot_discontinuity_thread_number_3_schroedingers/ ""OT discontinuity" thread number 3: Schroedinger's gigantic space distances"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11q2vwl/ot_discontinuities_thread_4_magic_invisibility/ ""OT discontinuities" thread 4: magic invisibility charms, except not; + First Empire competence issues"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11uhedc/ot_discontinuity_thread_5_sending_x_number_of/ ""OT discontinuity" thread 5: sending x number of TIEtroopers + the homing beacon plan"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11vbnud/6th_and_probably_almost_last_thread_anhtfa/ "6th (and probably almost last) thread: ANH/TFA opening plot holes and Tatooine/Jakku comparisons"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11xl040/a_new_plot_hole_thread_7a_trip_to_mos_eisley/? "A New plot Hole thread 7A): trip to Mos Eisley, Luke/Rey skills + retroactive arcs!; + huge hyperspace retcon tangent"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11xl55a/a_new_plot_hole_thread_7aa_lukerey_skills/? "A New plot Hole thread 7AA): "Luke/Rey skills + retroactive arcs!" post-hyperspace-retcon-tangent section"
https://old.reddit.com/MauLecomments/11xl7wy /a_new_plot_hole_thread_7b_leftover_points_not/? "A New plot Hole thread 7B): left-over points not covered in the previous ones (Lando System suddenly pops into existence?; Emperor retcon; and 2 unprecedented Obiwan/Leia problems?!!!)"
So naturally being on a bit of an inertia from this, I thought I'd go over here and also highlight various problems I've found with RLM's spacewars coverage in various places;
in this thread just 1 relatively small point, and if I end up posting others, probably also just few points at a time (to prevent long OPs or whatever):
Plinkett audio commentary: SW Ep4
But really, a space station the size of a small moon? And they just happened to get pulled into the exact hangar bay which is located right near all the things that they need to get to.
But they do get back to the Millennium Falcon on foot, right? Like right after when they rescue Princess Leia and get all showered up; so the prisoner room and the garbage dump that's like one floor below it - is like right near where the hangar bay is?
Same with all 7 power reactor control things that shut off power to the main tractor beam...
Why is this Death Star so big again?
Oh right, the giant space laser. Ah, whatever...
The Death Star is silly and nonsensical; each set is designed for the purpose of the movie's needs:
The prisoner cell block only has one way out; which is great by the way, in case a crazed prisoner escapes and corners a guard?
There are giant steel doors everywhere, that close to block off hallways - utterly pointless, except it's neat to have Han and Chewie jump through a door as it's closing while they're being chased by Stormtroopers.
"Open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!"
I guess they're blast doors...
What are they blasting against? [...]
I guess they're like watertight bulkhead doors? - like on the Titanic? You know, in case the Death Star hits an iceberg.
And then you got the extendable and retractable bridge over the cavernous pit; this serves no purpose? - unless we want a scene where Luke has to swing across the pit heroically with Leia.
And don't even get me started on the fact that there are no railings anywhere on any of the [?] walkways, that go above endless pits to nowhere...
It's all very stark, and abstract, and science-fictiony stuff.
I guess the Empire's so confident in its efficiency, that it doesn't need shit like safety railings - they've been accident free for over three years now!
Now you might be saying to yourself, well, I did complain about the Theed power room, right?
But I never really complained about the look of the Theed power room - or the fact that they didn't have no railings either!
And they have these silly rotating force field doors, that led to a little room with a pit in it for no reason...
It was like that little Keymaker guy from the Matrix sequels showed up - and he opened up the door to a completely different fucking world.
I guess George wanted them to have a fight scene on a Star Wars looking set, or something that looked like the Death Star kind of environment? - but he couldn't get them onto one storywise, so he just said that there would be one underneath this old quaint city.
You see we need some kind of connection to reality?, and as absurd as a planet-sized space station with a giant laser is - it's still much more believable than the fact that Naboo has a gigantic power generator under its city;
accessible through doors in some kind of hangar bay for some reason.
And it's like underneath the main palace? And not like a 100 miles away in the middle of nowhere.
It's like having a nuclear powerplant under the White House - not necessarily the greatest idea....
If I owned a nuclear powerplant, I'd probably go and touch the Uranium rods. I'd rub my face against them.. in hopes that I would get superpowers and be able to shoot laser out of my eyes... But I'd probably just get horrible cancer.
You know, I got something to admit - I got cancer once? But I was cured of it... Because you see, once the cancer cells saw what I did in my basement at night? - they all killed themselves. They said they didn't wanna bring their children into a world such as mine.
This of course being an expanded version of a point that touched briefs in the Ep1 review:
Plinkett: SW Ep1
Oh, and then they go from the palace to this room, what is this room? Is this in the palace??
I mean I know George wanted the Jedis to fight in a cool place that's really Star Warsy? - so.. so what this is like a power generator? What does it power, the Universe??
So you're expecting me to believe that the people that built this technological wonder were dying without space supplies for 2 days??
One additional plot hole I seem to have found here (at least haven't seen anyone else mention it) is that at the beginning of Ep1, the hangar with the ships quite certainly was not in the palace (the Queen's group looked like it had walked quite a distance away from the palace before the 2 Jedi freed them - and then Panaka's like "the hangar, this way" and next second they're at the hangar; no way they made the whole trip back to the palace during that cut?) - however at the end, they enter the palace via the hangar.
Either way this aside, while the comparison in that commentary section is accurate, the big problem here is that a much closer and more natural comparison to what happens here with the Theed hangar->"powerplant", is not the Death Star here, but rather the Bespin duel - and Plinkett doesn't make that obvious comparison anywhere.
As an environment, Bespin is a direct predecessor to mainly Coruscant (i.e. the exterior) as well as to a lesser extent the Naboo capital - its interior doesn't directly look like the Palace (if anything that one's much more comparable to the Yavin throne room), however it's an exotic, idyllic and embellished, arguably "aristocratic" looking environment built right next to the hellish looking carbon freezing chamber, a junkyard featuring a conveyor belt leading into an inferno, and probably other industrial areas;
this in itself is not yet "unjustified" in any way - Cloud City is a "gas mining colony" after all, and as James Cameron is well aware, smoke-filled metallic industrial environments already have an inherent tendency to look like Hell on Earth and serve as a perfect setting for climactic showdowns against creepy villains and monsters.
However Han's group never visits Lando's moody looking industrial facilities before being taken there by Vader - so from their perspective, and the way it's conveyed in the movie (starting even with the room Threepio initially enters), these industrial and engine rooms represent the "evil underbelly" of Cloud City, hidden beneath and inbetween the picturesque city and the soothing bright hallways that serve as a "front" for this hidden truth;
even the gnome-like aliens first found by Chewie in that junkyard, and later seen participating in in the carbon freezing procedure, while literally just being industrial workers there, come off as malicious, almost demon-like creatures who're seemingly exclusively found in these grim underbelly rooms.
Then, even though it's reasonable to expect a city with a police force to feature prisons and detention centers, the one that Chewbacca gets locked in has an emphatically grim and evil look to it - a complete contrast to the public areas.
That's not what the Enterprise's detention cells look like?
Moments later, Han is strapped into a torture contraption, in a similar room with a dark red ceiling - one might assume the Empire brought the torture equipment with them, but really this place increasingly starts looking like an evil Imperial fortress rather than a benign, idyllic city built around some factories.
And if the initial scenes inside the freezing chamber didn't outright confirm that this place exists right "next" to the bright hallways, then certainly that's exactly how it turns out to be when Luke arrives and is lured into this trap - one moment he's in the white hallway, the next he enters a door and is pulled into the hell room with Vader.
Plinkett's "Keymaker from the Matrix" comparison becomes more and more applicable here - even though the believability isn't stretched as much yet, since why shouldn't there be quick and easy access to the industrial/engine rooms from the public hallways?
And the Empire just happens to be using this room, since Vader wants to use this otherwise normal industrial facility to freeze Luke so he doesn't try to escape during the trip to the Emperor... or something.
However as Luke starts following after Vader after pushing him off the platform, and walks through a creepy tunnel into what seems like a level of control rooms connected by darkly lit hallways, the place becomes hard to distinguish from some of the interiors of the Death Star - especially the Emperor's throne room from the 2nd one;
and then Luke is blown out a window that looks like a spider web (not quite unlike the one seen behind the Emperor's throne in the next film), into a vast, round bottomless pit with walls that look like the surface of the Death Star.
Sure - if that long shaft emerging from underneath the city and reaching down into the clouds (possibly connected to the "gas mining" somehow) were to be hollow inside, then it would look like a gaping bottomless pit - but why does its wall have to look like the Death Star's surface? And also evoke the bottomless pit that was surrounding the tractor beam controls for some reason?
So at this point, Luke and Vader have gotten from a smoky industrial facility that you would expect from an industrial city like this, to what looks indistinguishable from the interior of an evil Imperial station or fortress - even though these interiors have been here for years, way before the Empire arrived here a few days ago, and effectively made it into its temporary evil space station fortress;
they hardly could've revamped the design of all these rooms and chasms during the short time they've been staying here, to make them look like an Imperial base instead?
Really by all looks, these levels beneath the carbon freezing facility, as well as those "prison rooms" from before, look like this for no other reason than that the Bespin city functions as a honey-trap Imperial fortress in this film;
and as the duel starts protruding into the increasingly Deathstarish looking environment, it seems like dream logic starts completely taking over any pretenses the environment initially had of "making sense in-universe":
each set is designed for the purpose of the movie's needs:
What's happening on a small and not even anywhere as immediately noticeable scale in Ep4's Deathstar, is taking place on a much larger scale here - the environments are designed according to the needs of the film, as well as to reflect the meaning of what's happening in the story as well as the protagonist's mental state:
the "control room level" looks like an Imperial fortress because it's functioning as one here, and exists as a representation of the dark place (morally and mentally) Vader is trying to lure him into; and the claustrophobic hallways, spider window and gaping chasm reflect and intensify Luke's bleak states of mind during those respective moments - the unfamiliarity of the environment reflects the hidden knowledge that he's about to discover, the hallways and thin bridge intensify his "trapped in a deadly situation" situation, and hovering above a gaping pit into nothingness is seemingly how he feels about having learned what he just learned: that his entire aspiration to go after his father, and what his trusted mentors had been telling him, were all lies, and he seemingly has way to escape the "dark abyss" that Vader is trying to pull him in (ironically the literal dark abyss is what he jumps into to escape it - having changed into representing the preferable nature of death/uncertainty to what Vader is offering him).
So how does this all compare to the Ep1 counterpart?
You see we need some kind of connection to reality?, and as absurd as a planet-sized space station with a giant laser is - it's still much more believable than the fact that Naboo has a gigantic power generator under its city;
accessible through doors in some kind of hangar bay for some reason.
And it's like underneath the main palace? And not like a 100 miles away in the middle of nowhere.
It's like having a nuclear powerplant under the White House - not necessarily the greatest idea....
To get this one thing right out of the way out of the bat, there is no indication of those power beams or anything else in this place somehow being hazardous like the fissile radiant material in nuclear powerplants - so at least there's that.
However the believability is certainly stretched a lot farther here than anything in Bespin - for one, Theed is not a relatively small city built around an industrial function, it's just a regular royal capital; so unless the Naboo culture has some kind of "the kings are also the producers of goods" thing going on, this "power plant" being right in the palace building seems like a non-sequitur;
being next to the fighter jet hangar might make a slight bit more sense, but still not really at all - plus the hangar's in the palace now, unlike the start of the film.
Another big difference here is that the "powerplant" area is not just extending downwards into bottomless chasms, but also upwards towards the unseen ceiling - and one might ask oneself whether the buildings seen from outside were really high enough to contain that massive area, although the Palace (despite not being a skyscraper) just might.
And also while there's nothing inherently absurd about underground levels, or a round bottomless pit leading underground, the latter hadn't been set up by an exterior shot of the station, with the "bottomless pit" axis growing out of the flying saucer's lower half and reaching into the clouds/gas below (in what had been established as a "gas mining facility") - this time all that stuff is literally coming out of nowhere.
However ultimately what really doesn't make sense, analogously to the Bespin "control rooms levels" beneath the freezing chamber, is it looking like an evil Imperial fortress - Naboo isn't an evil fortress, so why would it have an evil looking interior like this?
However, a major difference here is that while the Empire had only occupied Bespin for a short while, was intent on leaving again (unless Lando refused to cooperate, that is), the Trade Federation has been here for quite a while longer - certainly in "film time" terms it takes up the length of the entire movie, even if the in-universe time that passes between the invasion and the return to Naboo might be ranging between a significantly long period to a few days) - and by all looks they were planning to stay and had some kind of huge sprawling plans in mind that involved the entire planet:
"Is the planet secure?"
"We have taken over the last pockets of primitive life forms - we are in complete control of the planet now."
And in this movie, the Trade Federation is a proto-Empire of sorts - not only collaborating with the Sith and led by the literal future Emperor, they also seem to be a dystopian megacorporation of sorts, who've already (unofficially?) taken over significant Republic territory:
"You can't take Her Royal Highness there, the Hutts are gangsters! If they discovered her-"
"...It'd be no different than if we landed on a system controlled by the Federation; except that the Hutts aren't looking for her - which gives us the advantage."
"Your Highness - with your permission, we're heading for a remote planet called Tatooine; it's in a system far beyond the reach of the Trade Federation."
Their ships literally look like mini Death Stars (with Saturn rings around them, to make it slightly less obvious?), and their interior generally looks very Empirey as well.
So, compared to the idea that one might easily think of to try and ground the Bespin look in the universe, namely that "the Empire has started changing this place they're occupying into their evil fortress", such a notion certainly makes a lot more sense in the context of Ep1's plot.
Additionally this is somewhat supported by the visuals of Gunray riding around on a crab-throne while in a darkly lit looking Palace interior at night - even if only in this scene here:
"Your Queen is lost, your people are starving... and you, Governor, are going to die much sooner than your people, I'm afraid."
"This invasion will gain you nothing! We're a democracy - the people have decided!"
"Take him away."
"My troops are in position to begin searching the swamps for these rumoured underwater villages. They will not stay hidden for long."
This also conveys some kind of notion of "them remaking the place into their own", even if technically it's just a creepy looking robot chair and this scene (along with the later Sidious scene where they tell him they've taken over those primitive lifeforms) happens to take place at night.
Ultimately though, even if making more sense than Bespin by comparison, it's still a heavy stretch on rational world believability - and, of course, there's no direct hints at this actually having physically taken place there.
Similarly to ESB, this duel starts with the villain getting in the heroes' way as they're there for a different mission (having waited for them from behind a closed door as well), and at least partially showing signs of following a plan to lure them into increasingly dangerous environments:
Maul arbitrarily opens the gate to the space room and leads the fight there - then he backflips onto a bridge even further away from the hangar, and is subsequently seen stepping back from Qui-Gon all up until ending up in that corridor with the red force fields, and eventually the sealed room with the gaping pit:
where he immediately reveals to have been pretending to be retreating from Qui-Gon and turns around at him the moment the force fields reactivate again.
So, just like with Bespin, there's a surreal, dream logic element here that extends and reflects the literal premise of the villain luring the heroes into a trap - the environments he's leading them into look like an evil fortress, evoke power, awe and danger, and feature both claustrophobic small rooms/corridors to make the protagonists feel trapped, as well as gaping pits and chasms showing just how deep they can fall into uncertainty and death, in what's getting brewed up by the villains here;
and analogously to Luke in Cloud City, while the 2 Jedi aren't literally "surprised" by this environment hiding behind the door of a benign looking palace (which can be attributed to it either making sense to them in terms of how real-world logic, or their reduced lucidity), it's a place they haven't been showing seeing at any earlier point, and reflects the much vaster scope of what's going on here (i.e. the Sith plan to take over the world) that's hidden from them, is shrouded by secret, and that they're only going to proceed to uncover gradually.
"There is something else behind all this, your Highness - there's no logic in the Federation's move here. My feelings tell me they will destroy you."
Unlike ESB this isn't something that they learn the full truth of in an instant, without any direct hints preceding it - with the possible exception of this:
"I cannot teach him; the boy has no patience."
"He will learn patience."
"Much anger in him - like his father."
"Was I any different when you taught me?"
Effectively, or if explicitly going with a "dream logic" reading of these movies, according to which places, characters, circumstances and hidden schemes pop into the universe's existence the moment they're imagined by the author / enter the narrative, both these environments materialize inside these buildings out of nowhere to reflect and enhance the mental states of the protagonists, the villainous intents and schemes, and the meaning of what's happening in the story;
just like, albeit on a much smaller scale, all those Death Star parts only materialized in front of the heroes in order to give them new dangers and obstacles to overcome - incl. the garbage chute beneath a latticed hole right in the prison corridor, the monster that made itself known right as someone said "could be worse", and the walls that started closing in on them right after the monster disappears.
Then she shoots a vent on the floor and somehow knows that it's a garbage chute... HOW'D SHE KNOW THAT?
And why would a garbage chute be grated like that? Usually that's just like a air vent or somethin'...
It could've led to a dead end, where they all got stuck somewhere...
Or it coulda let straight to a garbage incinerator - nobody knows what that is? So their idea is to jump in it?..
I guess it's better than nothing? I guess you're fucked one way or the other...
But shit I wouldn't follow her in there, I'd surrender...
However, exclusively comparing these ANH examples to the Theed spaceroom without mentioning the much more similar Bespin spaceroom, amounts to a very incomplete comparison - and the accompanying conclusion that:
You see we need some kind of connection to reality?, and as absurd as a planet-sized space station with a giant laser is - it's still much more believable than the fact that Naboo has a gigantic power generator under its city;
and that this warrants "complaining" about:
Now you might be saying to yourself, well, I did complain about the Theed power room, right?
But I never really complained about the look of the Theed power room - or the fact that they didn't have no railings either!
leads to the question whether Plinkett/Mike/Rich/etc. are aware of Empire engaging in a very similar (in fact directly analogous) and comparable display of environment surrealism, with "the Keymaker opening a portal into an evil dimension", and stretching this "connection to reality" a whole lot further and more noticeably than those Death Star scenes (with the garbage chute itself standing out among them all, in turn);
This trash compactor scene is really a lot of fun;
but it always felt like a "give them something to do" kind of scene, in a movie where nearly every scene is motivated.
It's one of those "lowest point" kinda moments, where our heroes struggle against opposition - but it doesn't really serve an overall purpose in the storyline.
It's fun, and tense, and memorable, don't get me wrong - but from a story perspective it doesn't advance the plot too much...
The plot here being that the bad guys wanna blow up the Rebel base - and Han; Luke; Chewbacca; and the useless complaining woman need to stop them.
Having them tied up in the garbage compactor only to escape and go right back to where they were? - eh, it was a little unnecessary roadblock in this series of events.
; and how exactly this fits in with their high appraisal of that movie:
Plinkett: The Star Wars Awakens
He accomplished his task of creating a sci-fi film about the Hero’s Journey; and then had to live under the shadow of “The Empire Strikes Back” – one of the greatest films ever made for which he had the least to do with creatively;
he desperately needed Star Wars to be about something bigger and greater than just popcorn entertainment - so he went back to his classic literature book and his CliffsNotes to search for ideas.
Plinkett audio commentary: SW Ep1
So at this point as we're wrapping up, you're saying to yourself: "Why does this guy get so worked up over Star Wars - these are films for babies! They're just made for 5 year olds that like to play with toys."
Well - I don't find that entirely true; and I don't think that's all this could've been.
This is more about achieving greatness; and those that make excuses for greatness when it falls horribly short.
In "Empire Strikes Back", the filmmakers took the material from the 1st Star Wars, and brought it up to the next level.
They took a movie with robots, and a floating cloud city, and a rubber green puppet, and made it completely realistic and believable;
This ANH-ESB comparison and how the latter "took it to the next level" including on the "realism" front, seems to ignore how much it turned up the gears on the surrealism and dream logic when compared to those Death Star scenes - particularly in that very same "floating cloud city" mentioned in this quote.
it's a very dark movie that's brilliantly done in every aspect - filled with heavy emotion, stark realism, and beautiful visuals.
For a brief moment, "The Empire Strikes Back" showed us what could really be done with these movies and characters.
I think people have a hard time differentiating between movies that are made for children, - and movies that children can also enjoy.
If you're any age, "Empire" can speak to you on some level; "The Phantom Menace" caps out at about age 10 - unless you're a drooling fanboy that just loves lightsabers.
And saying that "The Phantom Menace" is really "just a film for children" - is code speak for it sucking.
Even if a reasonable comparison between these analogous sections of ESB and TPM would lead to the conclusion that the former is surrealist art kino while the latter is nonsense that disconnects you from reality; that the former is "one of the greatest films ever made" while the latter "sucks" (incl. at the example of this particular comparison) - they haven't yet made such a comparison or analysis, it's missing from their thesis;
and judging by them praising ESB and its floating cloud city as "starkly realistic", as well as leaving all of this out of their Death Star / Theed comparison, strongly suggests that they haven't ever thought of any these points, and are severely overestimating the amount of rational sense-making that EpV is built on.
However unlike MauLer, who has a particularly severe case of this misconception not just about Ep5, but Ep4 as well (see his TFA review and my Mauler threads from this post's opening), and is trying to apply this rationalist approach (which he equates with "objective quality") to all movies he encounters - at least from what I've seen so far - RLM are clearly generally aware of non-rational approach to plotwriting and filmmaking:
See the Suspiria re:view, as well the somewhat mixed commentary on the evil look of the Event Horizon (also re:view) and how there doesn't seem to be an in-universe justification for its gothic design prior to it falling into the hell dimension - since Sam Neill's character isn't some kinda "hell worshipper cultist" who would construct it in that fashion.
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2023.03.22 16:47 KyleTechneYouTube [MO] Going for sole custody. Wanting to move home to [MI]

Hey all. I have court coming up at the end of April. I'm going for sole custody. I'd really love to go back home to Michigan. My ex and I moved from Arizona to Missouri to be closer to her family, and once we got here to sell our house in AZ, she kicked me out of where we were staying and I had to stay to be a father.
Some of the stuff I have against her that's provable in court:
  1. She's moved 3x. Only once has she notified me of her moving beforehand, although she moved in 2 weeks later. Our order states 90 day notice.
  2. She's moved in with 3 men in 3 years, and the instability with her and these guys is wild
  3. Won't pay for medical expenses. She's required to pay 1/2
  4. Doesn't discuss medical, school, or important topics
  5. Verbally abusive via messages, making up lies of situations. Ex: She stated a man was in my home and sexually harmed my son. I literally had a video call with my therapist that day and all my son and I did was snuggle to some movies.
  6. Stuck him in a ghetto school without ever notifying me, and kept him there despite my outright disapproval (we have to agree on these things)
  7. She bailed on our court ordered coparenting therapy and wouldn't work with the therapist whatsoever with me.
  8. Anti-vaxxer, makes vaccine appointments a nightmare
  9. She told my son he had a gluten allergy, even after having blood tested him and it showed no allergies
Her response was to file that "Dad makes more money than me by a lot. Dad is routinely mean to me"

Anyways, I would just love to hear some thoughts on my case. I'd love to move back to Michigan and I'm hoping for a win with custody.
I'll ask my attorney this, but is asking for sole custody better or worse if I mention that I wanna move us back to Michigan?
submitted by KyleTechneYouTube to Custody [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:46 spartachilles Social Democratic Convention of 1936 A House Divided Alternate Elections

Social Democratic Convention of 1936 A House Divided Alternate Elections
The Social Democratic Party has come far from its humble beginnings as a splinter of the Populist Party. Capturing the public imagination of the American left after the ignominious collapse of its predecessor during the Second Civil War, the Social Democratic Party defined the country’s relationship with the dictatorship both when its disputed 1908 defeat led to the collapse of democracy and when its triumphant 1912 victory allowed President John M. Work to guide its restoration. After a following decade of disappointing electoral returns and frustrating compromises with Solidarity to counter the Federalist Reform Party, the election of President John Dewey heralded a rejuvenation of the beleaguered Social Democratic Party. Amid the perfect storm of public dissatisfaction with the capitalist system, innovative new campaign tactics, and floundering opposition, the party further shocked pundits across the political spectrum by securing an absolute majority in the popular vote and trifecta control of the government during Dewey’s reelection campaign in 1932. In the two years that followed, the Social Democratic Party achieved accomplishments decades in the making including a national workmen’s compensation scheme, tripartite negotiations between major labor union leaders and representatives of industry shepherded by the federal government, and the nationalization of the railroads, telegraphs, and telephones. However, despite these impressive successes, increasingly apparent cracks in the party threaten to tear it asunder. At the center of its internal controversy lies the 1934 Declaration of Principles authored by Connecticut Senator Devere Allen, demanding a radical turn of the party platform and a strict adherence to pacifism in foreign affairs. Thus, tensions run high as a crop of faces both new and familiar struggle to succeed President Dewey.
The Candidates

New York Governor Norman Thomas
Norman Thomas: As the focal figure of the internal party opposition to President Dewey, 52-year-old New York Governor Norman Thomas has amassed a formidable political coalition heading into the primary elections. Raised by a pastor in a deeply religious family, Thomas became convicted in his pacifistic beliefs from a young age, conscientiously objecting to serving in the Second Civil War and leaving for a missionary trip abroad rather than becoming embroiled in the Resistance to the dictatorship. Drawn into the world of politics after volunteering for the successful 1917 New York City mayoral campaign of Morris Hillquit, Thomas quickly attracted attention within the Social Democratic Party for his impressive oratory and writing skills and was soon elected as a State Senator. However, Thomas’s rise would be frustrated by a combative relationship with the urban Tammany Hall political machine which dominated much of the Social Democratic Party in New York. It would take a decade of building relationships with upstate leaders and anti-Tammany politicians for Thomas to finally secure the gubernatorial nomination in 1930, which proved to be fortuitous timing as Thomas rode the Social Democratic wave into the Governor’s mansion. In an effort that presaged President Dewey’s Great Community program, Governor Thomas implemented a highly ambitious relief program to give work to the unemployed and construct strong state-owned banks, power companies, and grain elevators. Beyond his record as governor though, Thomas became famous (or perhaps infamous) across the nation for his opposition to President Dewey on the basis of his stringent pacifism. Closely collaborating with Devere Allen on the authorship of the 1934 Declaration of Principles, Thomas also famously met with union leaders Harry Bridges and John L. Lewis to organize a large-scale political strike against shipments of aid to Russia in the Russo-Japanese War.
Reflecting the tripartite makeup of his political coalition, Thomas’s campaign for the presidency has three primary facets. The first, and perhaps most pronounced, is his strictly pacifistic isolationism. Attacking international war as the “fruit of the perpetual economic warfare of capitalism”, Thomas has strictly opposed any type of military build-up or program and instead endorsed the use of tools such as trade embargoes and general strikes to combat the outbreak of war abroad. Secondly, Thomas has endorsed an even more radical direction for the party’s economic and political goals. Economically, Thomas has supported the widespread socialization of the economy under the model of worker’s self-management, declaring in favor of the immediate nationalization of industries such as banking, insurance, mining, and other “trustified” industries with the eventual goal of fully transferring to the people the ownership of industry, land, finance, and natural resources. Politically, Thomas has thrown in with radicals in the party by denouncing the “bogus democracy of capitalist parliamentarism” and calling for the abolition of the Senate and judicial review. To this end, Thomas has been critical of the amendments arising from the Second Constitutional Convention, instead preferring a more radical transformation of the country’s government to achieve a worker’s republic. Last but certainly not least, Thomas has strongly denounced the Dewey administration’s record on corruption, promising to disentangle the party from political bossism and corrupt bureaucrats and restore an honest administration to the country. Unsurprisingly, Thomas has been strongly attacked for his uncompromising radicalism and pacifism, which many of his opponents see as entirely unworkable.

Secretary of the Interior Sherwood Eddy
Sherwood Eddy: 65-year-old Secretary of the Interior Sherwood Eddy has been tapped by President Dewey as his heir apparent. Deeply religious from a young age and independently wealthy from his inheritance, Eddy took up theological studies through which he became absorbed by the incipient Social Gospel movement. This led him to join a missionary group after he completed his studies, a choice that brought him to spend the next thirty years abroad under the auspices of the YMCA to spread the gospel. Exposed to crushing poverty and political oppression while working in India, disappointed by the development of the dictatorship in his home country, and horrified by the atrocities he witnessed as a volunteer medic during the Great War, Eddy’s Christian socialist ardor only grew more pronounced in his years abroad. Thus, Eddy founded the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order to promote his ideals, becoming well acquainted with the inner circle of the Social Democratic Party through his travel seminars bringing American politicians to socialist countries such as Spain and Russia. Among those influential party men that he met was Secretary of Education John Dewey, and the two soon formed a close relationship with Eddy staunchly supporting Dewey’s 1928 campaign and helping to deliver the support of the crucial religious left constituency. Regarded as a capable administrator and loyal supporter of the president’s program, Eddy was appointed as the Secretary of the Interior and confirmed after a drawn-out battle with the opposition Congress. Thus, over the past eight years Eddy has served as one of the President’s chief lieutenants, driving the implementation of Dewey’s relief program and perhaps most famously promoting the cooperativization of agriculture across the nation.
Believing Christian ethics to be incompatible with the current capitalist system, Eddy has advanced a program similar to that of President Dewey’s although tinged by his deep religiosity. To combat the continuing Great Depression, Eddy has called for the full achievement of President Dewey’s “Great Community”, including continued deficit spending for relief, the nationalization of monopolistic industries such as electric power, gas, utilities, and mining, and substantial increases in the land value tax. Beyond just such economic proposals, Eddy has also unambiguously endorsed the amendments to implement semi-presidentialism and federal direct democratic reforms, strongly supporting the drive to rebalance the separation of powers and bring government closer to the people. However, in an assertion of his independent political identity, Eddy has also emphasized a strongly moralistic outlook on social issues, including support for the national prohibition of alcohol as well as stronger governmental action to control vices such as gambling and prostitution. As a part of this drive, Eddy has also promised to direct a greater level of public works spending towards the replacement of slums with sanitary public housing, the construction of public health facilities, and the establishment of adult educational facilities. On the ever-controversial matter of foreign affairs, Eddy has strongly opposed the aggression of the Japanese Empire on a moral basis but has shied away from suggestions of military rearmament and preferred the continued application of sanctions and international pressure. With Eddy largely staying true to the orthodoxy of the popular President John Dewey, most attacks against him have centered around his deep-seated religious morality, which his opponents claim is inappropriate to advance on a national scale, as well as his relatively advanced age compared to many of his opponents.

Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace: Those supporting a more moderate path for the party have rallied around the party’s icon of compromise: 48-year-old Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace. Born into a successful farming family, Wallace was too young to have fought in the Second Civil War and instead spent those tumultuous years in high school with a particular interest in agricultural science. Rumored to have privately supported the dictatorship while studying in college due to his lack of noted resistance activities, Wallace only became truly exposed to the political world after the death of his grandfather, which allowed him to take a leading role in the family’s influential agricultural journal Wallace’s Farmer. Personal tragedy would produce political gain for the young Wallace, as President Tasker H. Bliss had planned on appointing his father Henry C. Wallace as the Secretary of Agriculture before the elder Wallace’s untimely death from the complications of gallbladder surgery, and opted instead to appoint the younger Wallace. Becoming known as “Mr. Agriculture” for his exceptional 12-year tenure in the position through both the Bliss and Dewey administrations, Wallace has overseen a revitalization of the Department and tackled issues such as a farm overproduction crisis and series of droughts in the Midwest with vigor. Not just content with being known as an able administrator, Wallace also famously stepped beyond his role to propose the compromise which led to the transformative Banking Act of 1933. However, Wallace’s time in the administration has not been free from controversy, with tabloid newspapers harassing his increasingly close relationship with the mysterious Russian mystic and exile Nicholas Roerich.
True to his reputation as a compromiser, Wallace has supported a more moderate direction for the party. Rather than outright nationalization of electric power companies and other utilities, Wallace has instead endorsed the creation of publicly-owned regional economic planning and utility companies that would compete with private companies to offer cheap power while also driving rural electrification and flood control improvements. However, Wallace has not wholly shied away from nationalization of industry, and has in fact advanced nationalization proposals for industries not targeted in the plans of his opponents, including the merchant marine, the aircraft industry, and the oil industry. A strong supporter of the National Labor Relations Act, Wallace sees the government leadership of negotiations as a crucial way to advance the rights of labor in areas of working hours, workplace safety, and benefits, and has called for amendments to the act to better protect the rights and representation of agricultural workers. To further support agricultural workers, Wallace has championed a federal guarantee of a minimum income to farmers through price supports, federal purchasing programs, regulations to limit overproduction, and export to impoverished regions through global economic planning. A supporter of continuing deficit spending on public works with a particular focus on public housing, Wallace has suggested that the increases in the land value tax could help offset the growing federal debt and that otherwise the federal government should use price controls to control potential inflation. As a committed internationalist, Wallace has strongly endorsed President Dewey’s International Labor and Development Commission which would institute a level of global centralized economic planning. Furthermore, Wallace has strongly denounced the aggression of Integralist Italy and Japan, though he has cautioned against reckless expansions of the military if they would endanger the pro-democratic reforms advanced by President Bliss. The attacks against Wallace have often targeted his personal foibles, as Wallace is well known to be fascinated by spiritual matters such as Theosophy and the occult, with many believing that his close acquaintance Nicholas Roerich might have undue influence over Wallace.

New Jersey Senator Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair: Long discussed as a potential presidential candidate, 58-year-old New Jersey Senator Upton Sinclair has finally thrown himself into the running for the nation’s highest office. Having grown up fascinated with writing, Sinclair achieved his breakthrough success with the 1906 publication of The Jungle, a dramatic exposé of poor working conditions in the meatpacking industry. Leveraging the funds and fame from the book into a successful run for Congress in his home state of New Jersey, Sinclair continued to make a name for himself by sponsoring legislation to tackle food safety and worker’s rights in the industry. Unfortunately, Sinclair’s political success put him on a collision course with General Grant, and Sinclair was one of many Social Democratic politicians arrested and held for the duration of the dictatorship. After being freed from his confinement, Sinclair ran for and won a Senate seat representing New Jersey, which he has held ever since. Although many saw Sinclair as an up and coming politician who might well succeed President Work, such aspirations were dampened after Sinclair took a highly controversial stand against Work’s embargo of the warring powers in the Great War. Having thus burned many bridges within the party, Sinclair supported his friend and political sponsor Joseph Ray Buchanan at the party’s 1920 convention while slowly rebuilding his political reputation. A strident interventionist, Sinclair most recently gained fame for his harsh denouncement of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria in Congress, demanding that the country provide aid to the beleaguered Russians.
Devoting great attention to the increasing importance of primaries and caucuses, Sinclair has embarked on a nationwide campaign titled “End Poverty in Columbia”. The signature proposal of Sinclair’s campaign is for the federal government to create a program to nationalize any idle farm or industry and convert it into a worker’s cooperative. In parallel with such a program, Sinclair has suggested federal legislation guaranteeing the right of workers to purchase their workplace and transform it into a worker’s cooperative should their employer seek to close it down. In further development of these worker’s communities, Sinclair has called for a greater investment into public housing, community kitchens, and communal social spaces. To fund such an expansive program, Sinclair has suggested that new forms of taxation such as taxes on stock transfers or capital gains would be necessary alongside the issuance of more government bonds and increases to the land value tax to support this program. As another method to stimulate the economy on the demand side, Sinclair has proposed a dramatic reduction in the retirement age to 50 years of age, increases in pensions paid out under the social insurance system, and a taxation scheme that would encourage the immediate expenditure of such pensions. Sinclair has supported the amendments of the Second Constitutional Convention, seeing them as a means to accelerate the passage of his EPIC program. The other facet of Sinclair’s campaign is his uncompromising interventionism; Sinclair is one of few Social Democrats to have openly endorsed military rearmament and has suggested that military intervention might be necessary in a global war to guarantee the safety of democracy. This position has proven highly controversial, with many attacking such a plan as a reckless way of stoking the fires of Grantism in the country once again. Moreover, many have questioned Sinclair’s suitability for office due to his well-known interest in the occult and his promotion of his wife’s supposed telepathic powers.

New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia
Fiorello LaGuardia: While most of the so-called “sewer socialists” of the party have lent their support to Norman Thomas, those opposed to his candidacy have instead rallied around 54-year-old New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Born to a family of Italian immigrants that moved around the country due to his father’s service in the military, LaGuardia attempted to follow his father to war upon the outbreak of the Second Civil War. However, after being denied for military service on account of his short stature, LaGuardia instead found his way to the frontlines in a different capacity: as a war correspondent for the St. Louis Dispatch. With a passion for public service, LaGuardia secured a clerical position in the State Department after the war, and in a pattern of service oft-criticized as collaboration with the Grant regime, spent the next decade in several low-level governmental administration roles. With the amnesty offered by President Work, LaGuardia pursued a seat in Congress as a Social Democrat in 1916, and won several successive terms thanks to his strong appeal among ethnic minorities and tireless advocacy for the rights of labor. After losing re-election in the Federalist Reform wave of 1928, LaGuardia was approached to run a third-party fusion campaign for Mayor of New York City by a wide-ranging coalition of anti-Tammany Social Democrats, disaffected Solidarists opposed to the urban planning initiatives of Mayor George McAneny, and moderate Federalist Reformists fearful of a more radical candidate winning in a landslide. With such broad-based support, LaGuardia easily won the 1933 election and his tenure has been hailed for his pristine anti-corruption credentials, wide-ranging relief efforts, and crackdown on the infamous labor sluggers of the city.
Portraying himself as a master administrator, LaGuardia has centered his campaign around bringing about a more honest Social Democratic government. Thus, alongside economic proposals to expand the scope and scale of public works spending and nationalize electric power and utilities, LaGuardia has also emphasized the necessity of clamping down on corruption and crime in the country. To this end, LaGuardia has emphasized an overhaul of the country’s civil service protections to be in line with the massively expanded scope of the federal government and called for stronger application of anti-corruption laws. Furthermore, LaGuardia has promised to work with local authorities to disseminate best practices to clamp down on urban crime across the country. Himself a child of immigrants and having strong political roots among ethnic minorities, LaGuardia has championed the relaxation of the country’s harsh immigration laws even despite much opposition from within the party. LaGuardia has also strongly opposed prohibition and the Interstate Spirits Trafficking Act, as well as strongly opposing the criminalization of marijuana. Although LaGuardia has maintained an internationalist outlook favoring cooperation among the nations of the world, his foreign policy positions have raised many eyebrows within the party. While much attention has been focused on the aggression of the Japanese Empire, LaGuardia has strongly denounced the antisemitism of Kaiser Wilhelm III and the German Empire even as others have suggested that Germany might form a natural ally against the Integralist powers. More controversially, LaGuardia has lavished praise upon Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, going so far as to personally raise money in support of Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. Already accused of being a collaborationist, such an action has led LaGuardia’s opponents to attack him as a Grantist and Integralist.

Vice President Howard P. Lovecraft
Howard P. Lovecraft: No doubt one of the most controversial figures of the Social Democratic Party, 46-year-old Vice President Howard P. Lovecraft has launched a bid for the presidency in the culmination of his feud with President Dewey. Formerly a reactionary supporter of aristocratic rule with sympathy for the Grant dictatorship, Lovecraft made a dramatic political transformation to become a committed socialist after personally witnessing the horrors of the National Patriot League’s suppression of worker’s strikes. Writing his newfound political views into novels such as The Call of Cthulhu, Lovecraft soon became an icon of the American left in the world of popular culture. Having increased his political profile by giving a keynote speech at the 1924 National Front Convention, Lovecraft was the subject of a major draft movement at the Social Democratic Convention eight years later to replace William M. McDonald as the party’s vice presidential nominee. Reluctantly accepting the call to public office, Lovecraft thus found himself elected as Vice President of the United States in the Social Democratic landslide of 1932. However, many in the Social Democratic Party would come to regret this move. Disdainful of the duties of the Vice President, Lovecraft spent little time on his duties presiding over the Senate and even less attending cabinet meetings of the Dewey administration. Perhaps worse yet, Lovecraft has openly fought against his own President on matters of public policy. In one notorious incident, Lovecraft derailed the proposed nationalization of electric utilities in the Senate after his demands for their management by bureaucratic government experts instead of worker’s cooperatives was not met. Moreover, Lovecraft has also denounced the direct democratic amendments advanced by the President’s allies in the Second Constitutional Convention, wielding his writer’s pen to attack the amendments as surrendering control of the government to incompetent masses.
Allying himself with the Formicist movement that has been left politically homeless since its effective expulsion from the Federalist Reform Party, Lovecraft has strongly questioned foundational precepts of the Social Democratic Party, perhaps best summarized in a statement made while announcing his campaign: “Obviously government by the people is now a joke or a tragedy, although government for them remains as the most logical goal. Though the wider distribution of resources must be accepted as a cardinal policy, the narrower restriction of power will be a necessary corollary.” To this end, Lovecraft has wholly rejected the consensus of the Second Constitutional Convention, instead demanding the restriction of office-holding to those with high technical training and the limitation of the right to vote to those who have passed educational and intelligence examinations. To further this transformation, Lovecraft has called for elective offices to be largely abolished, with the levers of government turned over to bureaucratic experts charged with efficient management of the government. Lovecraft hopes to have such a government seize control of virtually all industry and agriculture in the nation in order to operate it at maximal efficiency and ensure a redistribution of resources through liberal social welfare spending. Although rather isolationist in outlook, Lovecraft has endorsed a purely defensive military buildup to guarantee the protection of the United States and even gone so far as to suggest an interest in universal military training. With such outright authoritarianism marking him as anathema to the rest of the Social Democratic Party, Lovecraft has been relentlessly attacked as a borderline Grantist for his ideology. Like some of his opponents, Lovecraft has also been criticized on the basis of his interest in the occult, thanks in large part to the subject matter of his famous novels but also due to his association with the eccentric Russian mystic Nicholas Roerich.
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2023.03.22 16:17 SouthParkiscool I've been traveling to different realities for six years. Washington DC update. (Part 4)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
As alternate me drove south, the pop music station switched back to the news channel. Whatever was going to happen in Washington DC in the alternate reality, I was screwed. My heart began to race as I pondered the possibilities. Building smashing would be insane, a creature dump would be the worst thing to get caught up in, an EMP Bubble complete with gassing would be terrifying as hell too, but I guess it would be a quick way to go. The entire city exploding would most likely be quick as well. Either way, and no matter how quick death could be, I didn't want to die at all.
Hopefully a task force made up of various other alternate me's would come rescue me. That's of course probably just a dream in the reality I'm in. For sure there is a team of alternate me's rescuing other alternate me's in some area of the multiverse. It's possible, so it's happening in some set of realities. I hope they come here too.
At around 8 AM, my stomach was rumbling. Luckily, my alternate self got the memo. Unfortunately, her response was cruel.
"Hungry back there? You don't need to eat anyway. It's not going to matter."
I'd probably find something to eat somewhere anyway. Hopefully…
Nothing new came up in the news. It was just talk about the three giants who attacked the UK. Other than that, the news reporters talked about the crashing worldwide economy on account of the Northeast China and Japan EMP Bubbles, the refugees emerging from EMP bubbles and claiming to have seen giants spraying gas on cities and towns, world leaders' reactions to the attacks, and the fall of the CCP, Russia, North Korea, Iran, the UK, Japan, along with the slow torture of the US. The reporters speculated about what the giants may want.
"They're taking out thousands of people in an obviously coordinated way, but we still don't know what they want."
"They for sure want us to be scared, and we definitely are, but yeah, why are they killing certain people who have no proven connection to each other?"
"Maybe that's part of their point. Make us go insane at their uncertainty."
As I browsed the internet, I came across a discussion thread claiming the giants were good because they were destroying all the fascist and flawed democratic governments. The comments of course disagreed, saying killing people is not the answer. It won't end fascism. Curious, I scrolled down to the very bottom to read the least popular comments.
"Yeah.. these giants are transforming this world for the better. Hopefully when their attacks are finished we can rebuild where they helped us out and just be better to each other"
Right… they helped us out… sure.
"Why are people expecting democracy in the aftermath of this? We need stronger leaders who can see past hypocrisy"
Giving people rights means being weak?
And of course… the craziest one.
"These attacks came out of nowhere. How? You're telling me giant titanic beings just popped out of nowhere and nobody had any foreknowledge? The government will do absolutely anything to control their citizens. China has collapsed? North Korea too? Even Iran? Yeah this was coordinated."
Because everyone's psychic and somehow knew beings like these would pop out of nowhere and catch everybody off guard? Also the UK, Canada, and Japan were attacked too. Why would the US attack its own allies? And itself? Especially its own facilities? This must be one of those every elite is a demonic Illuminati puppet theorist.
Hilarious comments aside, it's scary how people can believe just about anything is planned by the government. Demonic giants from who knows where cannot be the fault of any government. But that aside, there was yet another rabbit hole I stumbled down. On an obscure part of Reddit, there was a group who called themselves the Children of Satan's Titans. At first, I thought it was satirical, but as I read their posts, it was clear they were being serious. They thought the giants were bringing on armageddon and that they were supposed to lead the world after all is said and done. They even came up with nicknames for the giants.
The one that attacked Manhattan was the Grim Baron The one that attacked first was the Mother of Destruction for being the first giant to attack The one that forced Justin Trudeau into hiding was Lacertosis The giant duo who first attacked Newmarket and Aurora, Ontario were called the Ignis Duo
…and the list went on. The cult had come up with latin-translation names for each confirmed giant so far. There were 45 confirmed giants.
The car came to a stop. I slid my phone into my pocket and anticipated the worst. The three got out of the car. My alternate self's two cronies opened the trunk and told me to get out and to follow my alternate self or I'd be hit with another dart. I climbed out of the trunk, stepping onto a parking lot. As my alternate self began to walk, I followed. Cars were driving up and down the road, people were walking on the sidewalks. It was pretty busy. That made it even more saddening, as I knew the city was about to be attacked by giants.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"Don't talk," alternate me said.
My alternate self was such a psycho. But why? What led her to berating every other version of her? How many times has this whole sort of thing happened? It can't be the first time. If it is, then that's a good thing… She isn't very experienced in this… but I can't let optimism cloud my judgment, especially with the pit of dread in my stomach. I was probably going to suffer whether I survived or not.
I want out of this hostel shit.
The three told me to wait outside a Starbucks. As I stood outside, I checked Reuters for some updates on the attacks. Interestingly, there weren't any. Once the three walked back out, we continued walking.
Over the following ~two hours, the three took me on a tour of the city. However, it was more of a goodbye tour, with my alternate self making snarky comments at every tourist attraction. I'll just list the stuff she said and the places we went to.
When we stopped in front of the White House…
"See this magnificent building here? It's about to be swarmed by a mass of wild creatures. Hope the president makes it out alive."
When we walked by the Smithsonian National Museum…
"All the lovely stuff in there is going to be torn to pieces"
When we walked by the Washington Monument…
"Creatures are going to scale that thing looking for guts to eat"
When we walked by the Capitol Building…
"Creatures this time, and 100 times worse"
When we walked by the Supreme Court of the United States…
"Ever wanted to cut the court in half? Well here we are"
When we walked by the National Academy of Sciences…
"New stuff to put in science books. History books even. Imagine if you had a 21st Century history book and could know how the rest of this century unfolds for this timeline."
While her comments were presented as if they were light, they creeped me the hell out. She was joking about my likely death and reminding me of all the terrible things that were about to happen. What kept me most on edge was the uncertainty of when the creatures would be dumped. There being no updates about the attacks gave me a calm before the storm vibe too. I began to jump at the sight of dogs running by. The Ian and Billy behind me couldn't stop giggling each time.
At the end of the tour, my alternate self led me to what at first looked like the entrance to a subway train station. It was called Dupont Underground. Alternate me led me down some concrete stairs and stopped at a door. She turned to me while pulling her phone out.
"I'm going to show you something from a different reality," she said, with a sinister look in her eyes. "This timeline, but one month from now."
She tapped around for a minute, then she held her phone in front of my eyes. A video was playing. The camera operator walked down a deserted city road. Every car was stalled in the middle of the road with shattered windows and some had huge body dents. I saw the Dupont Underground sign and realized it was the street we were on. The camera operator took a right down the concrete steps. At the bottom was a body covered in blood and fleshy holes. The camera operator walked up to the body and zoomed in on its face. I recognized her. It couldn't be. But it probably was.
"This is you after having your guts sucked out by creatures," alternate me said.
My heart sank. An odd eeriness overtook me. That was me. Dead. My unmoving body laying on the ground. I was looking at my own corpse. I had never seen a dead alternate version of me before. That was about to be me. Technically it was an alternate version of me, but it mirrored what was going to happen to me. I shivered with dread.
"I… I'm…… I'm going to be eaten alive"
"Oh suck it up," alternate me said.
"Yeah," Ian added.
"Don't cry too much," Billy added.
"Don't cry?" I asked. "I was shown my fate you shit!"
"And there's no way to avoid it," alternate me said. "Now, we're taking you for another walk. This time, just a stroll."
"What is the point exactly?" I asked.
"Exercise," alternate me shrugged.
My alternate self took me on a long walk up north. She didn't say a word to me. Neither did Billy or Ian. I made sure to keep my mouth shut, anxious I'd be taken into a back alley and be injected with fire ants of all things. After an hour of walking, I became exhausted. My knees felt like they were going to snap, I was sweating all over, and my breaths were shallow. My stomach began to ache from not eating. I was still too anxious to talk. We went to a McDonald's, but alternate me told me I wasn't allowed to have anything. She had to have been taunting me.
We walked north for another exhaustive aching hour. I was thirsty as fuck. We stopped at a convenience store where alternate me gave me a water bottle. It wasn't something I expected, but I guess he did it just so I wouldn't faint from heat exhaustion. It made the following hour of walking refreshing, but my stomach was still numb. At least we were walking back though. But it dawned on me that it only meant my death was closer than ever. The pit of dread in my stomach deepened, distracting me from the numbness in my stomach. There was a hint of sadness behind every thought I had. I played a song in my head as I continued to follow behind my alternate self. The songs I heard in the Creature Dump Aftermath footage. Just me playing the memory I had of them back in my head calmed me down a bit. For the following hour after that, I anticipated the moment where my legs would just give out. The three psychos would have to understand, but they probably wouldn't… and so I just kept walking, hoping my legs wouldn't give out.
After four hours of walking, I could see the White House right up ahead. I needed a break. I thought it was over, but then we began circling the freaking Washington strip.
I thought I could give out in a place where there were no back alleyways or any place of the sort. I'd get quite a bit of attention. Maybe too much for my alternate self to handle even with two others. But I'd still be in the city… damnit. There was no way I could run either, being exhausted like hell.
Finally, after circling the Washington strip a tenth time, my alternate self told me I could sit down on a nearby park bench, but that I still couldn't eat. I took the offer and rested on the empty bench. Euphoria was all I felt for a good minute, then my adrenaline went back up.
She's letting me rest. Finally… Yes…. I'm going to die but this is worth it right now, even though it really isn't.
"Alright, now I'm going to show you something you're going to want to see," Billy said.
Oh god… another horrific video… I assume.
She held her phone in front of my eyes. It was a private Instagram live stream featuring two men who looked around my age.
"Hello, Nicole," said the one on the left. "This is your cousin, Sam."
"I'm your cousin Markus," said the one on the right.
They're my cousins? Oh, okay. What are they doing?
"We're in a room in the Niagara Falls Observatory," Sam said. "We aren't allowed to come out. We don't know why."
"We don't know who put us in here," Markus said. "Just two girls. One looked very similar to you… Your doppelganger I guess."
A boom echoed from somewhere off camera.
"What was that?" Markus asked.
Multiple booms began echoing from somewhere offscreen, getting louder and louder and louder. Sam and Markus both looked to their right. The booming stopped. A crashing noise echoed from above, followed by an avalanche-like rumble. Sam and Markus looked up, then the stream ended.
Billy navigated to a YouTube livestream of CTV news helicopter footage. A giant was looking around as missiles struck it. But a background detail caught my eye. The Falls.
What the fuck…? did she just show me a live stream of my cousins' deaths? What the hell…?
She skipped back a minute. The giant smashed the tower down, creating a plume of smoke.
"I hope they treated you well," she said.
"Nicole?!" I shouted at my alternate self, who was standing a meter away from Billy. "That's too far!"
"It was my idea," Billy said with a huge smile on her face.
"You're a fucking psycho!" I shouted and stood up. "Were they from this timeline or my own?!"
Billy stood there with her hand on her hip, continuing to smirk. "I'm not telling you," she said. She turned around and walked away. Ian and my alternate self followed.
"Where are you going?" I shouted.
"Have fun," alternate me said as she walked away.
The three walked out of my sight. I stared on, once again wondering what the hell made them so psychotic. They're just evil versions of people. That's all I knew.
I checked the time. 6:35 PM. I sat down and teared up. I was about to be eaten by wild gut sucking creatures. A girl just executed my cousins.
I'm still trapped in this dark reality.
At least I won't have to deal with those three ever again… or anybody…
How painful is it going to be? I don't want to go out in pain… but it looks like that's going to happen.
There's no way I can get out of here before the creatures come. At least, I assume so. Wait… what if my alternate self gave me enough time to get out of DC, but wanted me to think she left me alone because the creatures would be here in a matter of minutes after he left? I was probably overthinking, but I'm not going to take that chance. I need to get out of here while I can.
I trekked in a random direction. South. I wasn't going anywhere near Dupont Underground. My heart sank at the thought of being there. But I wasn't going to stop without eating. I marched into a convenience store and bought anything I could, then I found a park bench and ate everything I had just bought. I was met with some acid reflux in my mouth due to my guts clenching at the idea I may be overthinking alternate me's possible plan, but other than that, I stomached it pretty well.
But as I was eating, I overheard a conversation a couple of people were having.
"So you think this is the end of the world?"
"Maybe. I wouldn't be surprised at this point."
A little kid began balling their eyes out.
"Mommy, he said the world is going to end!"
"The world isn't going to end… It's just going to be… changed. Different."
"Did you hear about the cluster attacks though? They're going for specific people for sure. I can't wait for this stuff to be figured out," an older voice said.
"Cluster attacks?"
"Yeah those giants hit over 6000 houses and apartment buildings all over the world around an hour ago," the older voice explained.
"Where did you hear that?"
"The news. It's crazy."
"I heard there was an attack in Pittsburgh, but not much information was given about it."
"I haven't heard anything about that attack."
None of them know… I hope they're driving out of the area right about now.
As I walked by a short orange building, an overbearing presence struck me.
"Oh no, oh god," I whispered to myself. "I hope that's all in my head."
The cars driving up the road in my direction slowed and people walking in my direction looked up. Some of them began pointing. Dread overtook me to the point I decided to stop walking. I froze. If the next creature dump was happening in seconds, I was screwed.
I kept walking, avoiding my curious urge to look where everyone was looking. Two people turned around and ran. The roaring of car motors began to get faster. I took a glance behind me. My heart stopped. Two giants stood some miles away, holding giant sack-like objects. The two giants tilt the sacks and thousands upon thousands of wild creatures fell out. As the creatures rained down, I turned my head back in the direction I was headed in and sprinted down the sidewalk.
Where do I go?
The river. Can the creatures swim? I'll take any chances.
I ran down the sidewalk, in the direction one of the rivers was in. The adrenaline was peaking. I couldn't think about anything other than survival. I ran through a small park, navigating the benches and people frozen in fear. I crossed the next street without looking at the traffic lights, I nearly tripped over chairs, I almost bumped into people running from my right. I ran that way for seven blocks straight, almost being hit by a car three times. I carefully navigated across a main street. As I crossed the street, air raid sirens began to blair from all directions. I found a one way road to my left and just sprinted for my life.
Hopefully the river is close.
At the end of the road was a parking lot. Nobody was there. I sprinted across it until I found a trail. Down the trail, I saw the river. Boats too. I ran along the trail and saw a spot away from the boats to jump into the water. A couple explosions shook the ground beneath me as I ran. I hopped over the fence and jumped into the water.
I swam until I got to the middle of the river. I glanced around. Everything seemed calm and normal in all directions until a loud bang hit my right ear. I looked to my right and saw a cloud of smoke rising from a triple arched bridge in the distance. People jumped off the bridge and landed in the river below. The air raid sirens continued to blair as fighter jets flew by in the distance. I just needed to stay in the river until the creature invasion blew over.
I looked to my right and saw two creatures crawl across the building beside the parking lot I ran through. Three creatures ran onto the pier. The adrenaline worsened.
Time to find out if these beasts can swim.
They ran around and jumped onto some of the boats. A painful scream echoed from one of them. A man was stumbling around with a creature attached to his head and stomach. He pulled on its tentacles, but they held their grasp. He nudged himself sideways into the water. Seconds later, the creature started squirming around in the water, with its tentacles flailing about. I shivered. It was a terrifying sight. The man floated on the surface, shaking his head and moving his arms as if he were a bird. Soon the creature stopped moving and just floated in one spot like a dingy.
I'm good. But how long will it be until the military clears them? I'll just have to wait.
Explosions, gunshots, and emergency sirens from every direction, along with the roar of fighter jets flying overhead, were all I could hear. I couldn't hear the waves washing up against my own ears, or the sound of my own voice. I decided to play those songs in my head again to pass the time. I played other songs in my head too, all while hoping some soldiers would see me, then rescue me.
After a good amount of time in the water, the sounds of explosions seemed to be concentrated on an area to the north. I could only speculate it was the government strip. I looked to my right again and noticed a dozen creatures were occupying the pier.
This wasn't getting better anytime in the next hour. Hopefully I'll be in the clear soon. Once I am, I need to make sure my alternate self cannot find me.
At one point, I woke up to me being pulled out of the water by some Marines. They put me on a boat and asked me some questions, then they gave me some water. After the rescue, they took me to a refugee camp somewhere in southern Virginia. I was given food, water, and my own little room with a bunk bed. I sat down on the bed, hoping I'd be safe from the creatures. I unzipped my pocket and pulled out my phone to read up on the creature dump in Washington DC. These were the top headlines on CNN, for those curious:
"All branches of the US Armed Forces are responding to the attack on Washington - Yes, even the Space Force as the US speculates the giants are of extraterrestrial origin"
"Images from above: the White House, US Capitol moderately damaged by wild creatures"
"Five major politicians, 2 billionaires, and 1 celebrity confirmed dead in Washington DC after Creature Dump"
""Nuclear weapons aren't likely to be used, but they have not been ruled out""
"Pennsylvania, Virginia set up refugee camps for predicted mini-flood of refugees from EMP-striken, gassed parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia"
"Global Recession: Why economists are torn on whether or not the economy will return to pre-attack levels"
"Refugees from Florida EMP Bubbles: "We went into town after the gassing and we saw people and animals on the ground, everywhere""
""We need FEMA" EMP Bubble refugees who are staying in their states criticize their state governments for not declaring an emergency"
"MILITARY: There's no way to protect any type of technology from an EMP Bubble"
A guy with brown hair who looked to be in his early 20s walked into the room. He introduced himself as my roommate. We talked about the attacks and their potential ramifications.
"I don't know what's next for the world," I said. "I'm scared."
"We're going to be at war for a while," he said. "Good vs bad. We need to ready ourselves for what's to come. Everything is different now."
"I mean, at this point, I'd just end it if I didn't feel like I had a chance to survive this new world," I said. "Especially being in the initial attacks… I thought about ending it a few times."
"So you're a coward?" He asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Why would you leave people behind to suffer?"
"I'm not the one making them suffer"
"Yes you are… by killing yourself… people want you around…"
"Dude… nobody owns me. Do you think I'm a slave or something? People shouldn't be relying on others for their happiness."
"You are so stupid"
"Are you that entitled? Do you feel you need to treat people like entertainment animals? People are individuals. They're not your Mom's nipples either."
"I just… can't with selfish people like you"
"Honestly, if you can't respect others' choices and call victims cowards, you're just like the monsters and their little gut eating creatures."
"I don't understand why you'd support selfish people," he said. "You're like my ex-girlfriend."
"Maybe if you respected her individualism more, accepted the fact that mental health issues exist, talked about and validated her issues, she wouldn't have done it."
"Oh, okay, so you're okay with what those Empire State Building jumpers did?"
"Yes," I said. "They acted on survival instincts. It was either get eaten or jump."
"A real person would fight!"
"Survival instincts don't exist to you, do they?"
"I'm not talking to you, man," he said, climbing up to his bunk.
He had me until the victim blaming. Anyway, I went back to reading the news and reminded myself I'm not responsible for other people. Sometime after that, I went to sleep. Sometime later, I woke up to the sound of gunshots and shouting. I looked out the window. Two of those hideous creatures crawled by. I closed the curtains. I checked the news, hoping there wasn't another creature dump nearby.
"US East Coast on high alert as wild creatures make it past military checkpoints around DC Metro Area"
"Security video from Philadelphia captures creature that came from DC Metro area"
""V-BASCBHOB-TJCPSZAMDLSA-IKPJJ-HBCHLL" The FBI is investigating the string of letters scratched into the Washington Monument by the creatures"
"OPINION: After a week of teasing, it's the US' turn to fall"
I want out of this painful chaotic dark reality. Maybe there's a slip nearby. It probably wouldn't take me back to my home reality, but anything would be better than this. I've been to dark realities, like one where there was a third world war in the 1960s followed by a fourth world war in the 2010s, in which technology was a bit more advanced, but Eastern Europe and the Eastern United States were irradiated. There was a darker reality where giants attacked multiple metropolitan areas around the world. EMPs were used, but they weren't EMP Bubbles. People were crying, hoping their friends were okay. It was more mysterious, with every initial attack happening within the darkened areas. It started in New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan. Then it spread west to the US in about a day.
Something heavy banged on the door. Shit… I opened the window, clawed the screen apart, and climbed out. I stepped onto the grass, then I sprinted away. I needed to find the gate. It was probably guarded, but I could find a way somehow. Not to sound too optimistic.
The gate was up ahead. There were three dead soldiers lying on the ground around it. After navigating my way through it, I sprinted across the street and into a dense forest.
Half an hour into running, my knees became weak again. I sat down up against a tree to catch my breath. I must've relaxed for a bit too long, as I essentially just blinked and the sun was shining and birds were chirping. I checked the time. 8:02 AM. I checked the news. There were no new updates.
Where do I go now?
There was no place for me to go that I knew of. Slips weren't extremely common. They weren't active 24/7 either. Until I found one, I had to deal with the possibility of being crushed, gassed, or eaten. I didn't expect my alternate self to find me. I was outside of the DC Metro area. To him, I could be anywhere.
Unless of course she tapped my phone… but she most likely would've shown up by now if he had. Knowing me, he probably would've gone to a reality where I famously snuck out of the refugee camp and my steps were publicly retraced, then he'd use that information to find me. Looks like I just need to walk in a direction that is almost one I'd go in but is not one I'd go in, in this situation. I chose to walk in the direction of the ocean.
As I walked, a bird flew right by me. I watched it fly away, then vanish out of thin air.
I went over to the spot with a good adrenaline rush coming on. I pulled out my phone and pulled up Reuters. I refreshed the page. The headlines were still about the giants. I walked back and forth once a minute for some time, clamping the leaves to the ground in the process. The headlines were the same. I was desperate, but I dreaded my alternate self finding me. I layed on the dirty ground, letting the leaves brush against my hair. Every few minutes or so, I'd refresh the page and there would still be news about the giants. I wanted to be home, where everything is safe, peaceful, and quiet compared to this place. I didn't want to hear another boom or a certain growl again.
A number of minutes later, I checked the news again.
"Russia warns US over Black Sea drone flights"
"No path to peace: 5 key takeaways from Xi and Putin's talks in Moscow"
"Russian soldier accused of war crimes in absentia after audio files intercepted"
There was nothing about the giant attacks. The headlines were normal again! I slipped! But did I slip into the right reality? A safe one?
I Googled the attacks. Only movie scenes and recaps came up. I had to be home. I had to be far away from wherever my alternate self was. My heart dropped for a second as I realized one of those creatures was roaming around in what may be our reality… I'm sure it'll be taken care of. I hope it's taken care of soon though. It's going to eat a few people for sure, and I hope I'm not one of them.
I got distracted by the sound of an animal moving through the bush beside me. I brought my head up and saw the head of a tentacled creature. It sat still on the side of the bush. Its tentacles brush against the dirt. I laid my head back down. My heart began to speed up as the thing sat there. If it saw me, I would have no chance of living for another minute. The leaves served as a barrier between it and I. I couldn't see it when laying down and it couldn't see me at its height.
"Hey!" A man shouted from some distance further to my left. "Are you alright over there?"
The leaves ruffled. The man looked down in confusion, then he jumped. As he began to turn around, the creature climbed onto him. He fell to the ground as the creature's tentacles grabbed his arms and chest. He screamed. The scream was gut wrenching, but at least this was my ticket out. I got up and ran as fast as I could through the bushes and trees around me. Once I came across a road, I took a left and continued sprinting. My heart was pounding out of my chest. At one point, I came across a river. I stood still on the shoreline, hoping that thing wasn't about to jump out of the bushes. I turned around. Nothing.
I went to my Reddit account and found my previous update. I'm back. I'm going to dump this update here, then hopefully I'll find a good place to stay while running. If I go back home to my parents, I'm going to need a defense mechanism. My alternate self wanted me to be in that dark terrifying reality. She probably doesn't know I'm still alive.
Oh, and if you live in or around Richmond, Virginia… stay safe. The creature moves fast and, as you know, it eats your guts.
Now I hear three familiar voices. I need to run.
submitted by SouthParkiscool to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:13 Grocery-Super Which neurotransmitter is the body's natural painkiller?

Which neurotransmitter is the body's natural painkiller?


Pain is a common and uncomfortable sensation that we all experience at some point in our lives. It is a warning signal that our body sends us to inform us that something is not right. While pain can be a useful signal, it can also be a debilitating experience that can significantly reduce our quality of life. Fortunately, our body has natural painkillers, and one of the most potent painkillers is the neurotransmitter endorphin.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are produced in the body and play a significant role in pain management. The term "endorphin" is a combination of "endogenous" and "morphine," reflecting its ability to act similarly to morphine. Endorphins attach to the opioid receptors in the brain, which are responsible for regulating pain perception, and they help to reduce the sensation of pain.
Endorphins are not only natural painkillers; they also play a role in regulating mood, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving our sense of well-being. When endorphins are released into the body, they create feelings of euphoria and pleasure, often referred to as the "runner's high." Endorphins are released in response to a range of activities, including exercise, laughter, and sex.
One of the most effective methods of creating endorphins is through acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy or "qi." Classical acupuncture and modern acupuncture, which uses electricity, have been shown to be extremely effective at creating endorphins and reducing pain.
Classical acupuncture and modern acupuncture (using electricity) are extremely effective methods of creating Endorphins. However, it should be noted that illness and pain are caused by an imbalance in the body.
Note The first important thing after pain relief with electroacupuncture: Stop absorbing toxins from the environment and from eating into the body.
Endorphins by modern acupuncture: The magic of modern physiotherapy! Ailments such as: ✔ Chronic & Acute Pain ✔ Debilitating Backaches ✔ Crippling Arthritis ✔ Blinding Migraines ✔ Psoriasis and Eczema ✔ High Blood Pressure ✔ Depression ✔ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ✔ Female & Male Fertility Issues ✔ And urinary problems to name just a few ==> East-West integrated medicine - Jing-Qi-Shen principle - the power of internal forces.
(Endorphins by modern: Electric Acupuncture)

Additional knowledge about "neurotransmitter and body's natural painkiller"

1/ What is a neurotransmitter?
Neurotransmitters play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of our brain and body functions. However, the misuse of drugs and alcohol can disrupt this balance by altering the normal activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Certain drugs and alcohol can interfere with the production and release of neurotransmitters, leading to an imbalance that affects mood, behavior, and cognitive function.
Diagram of neurotransmitter activity
For example, drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine can cause a surge in dopamine levels, leading to a sense of euphoria and pleasure. However, prolonged drug use can lead to a depletion of dopamine, resulting in depression and other mood disorders. Similarly, alcohol can interfere with the activity of neurotransmitters such as GABA, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and seizures.
Understanding the role of neurotransmitters in drug and alcohol addiction is essential in developing effective treatment strategies. Treatment approaches that target the restoration of neurotransmitter balance can help individuals recover from addiction and improve their overall well-being.
2/ Textbook on nerve conduction and natural pain relief
While the textbook "Understanding Psychology" provides a comprehensive overview of the field of psychology, there is a growing need for more specialized textbooks that delve into specific areas of research. One such area is nerve conduction and natural pain relief. As our understanding of the nervous system and the mechanisms of pain has evolved, there is a need for up-to-date textbooks that can provide students with a thorough understanding of this complex topic. A textbook on nerve conduction and natural pain relief would not only benefit students in psychology and neuroscience, but also those studying medicine and related fields.
Complementary therapies have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly as a means of managing chronic pain. Document 2, a nature review, explores the effectiveness of complementary therapies in stimulating the body's natural painkilling mechanisms. While there is growing evidence to support the use of complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and mindfulness in pain management, there is still much we don't know about how these therapies work. A textbook that explores the mechanisms of complementary therapies and their potential role in natural pain relief could provide valuable insights for healthcare professionals and patients alike.
The problem of chronic pain is a significant one, affecting millions of people worldwide. While there are a variety of medications available for pain relief, many of these come with unwanted side effects and the risk of addiction. As such, there is a growing interest in natural pain relief methods that work with the body's own mechanisms. A textbook on nerve conduction and natural pain relief could provide students and healthcare professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively manage pain using non-pharmacological methods.
- Document 1: UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOLOGY - 10TH EDITION - By Robert Feldman (Powerpoint slides by Kimberly Foreman) - Revised for 10th Ed by Cathleen Hunt
- Document 2: Do complementary therapies stimulate the body's natural painkilling medications? It's a ratu re review
3/ Home medicine materials related to Endorphins, neurotransmitters and the body's natural painkiller
🔻3.1/ The Chronic Pain Solution: Your Personal Path to Pain Relief
Book: Your Personal Path to Pain Relief
Dr. James Dillard offers you what few physicians today are trained to provide:
• fascinating new information on how pain affects your body and mind--including six myths that can keep you from healing • a detailed guide to more than 40 treatment methods, from state-of-the-art microsurgery and pharmaceuticals to acupuncture, yoga, and biofeedback • individual chapters on the 12 most common types of pain, from arthritis and back pain to fibromyalgia and migraines--clearly indicating what works and what to avoid • The Pain-Control Diet--and 20 top supplements for pain relief • how to build your pain-management team and get what you need from your insurance company • checklists, self-evaluations, and guides for tracking treatment • special chapters on children, seniors, pregnant women, terminal pain--plus how you can help a loved one in pain
🔻3.2/ Acupuncture combines classical and modern: electroacupuncture and moxibustion 👉 It’s called Acu-Frequency TM (Must watch)
Electro Acupuncture and Moxibustion
This is probably the most powerful and effective Endorphins program. check out the link, and see more about Moxibustion: Handle Moxibustion Box Bamboo Wood
🔻 3.3/ Type of home doctor book
The book contains more than 32 home remedies, aggregated except for books like "The Favorite Medical Receipt Book And Home Doctor". That book is called: Home Doctor - Practical Medicine for Every Household
While it is not the most powerful book on natural Endorphins, it is quite effective in home treatment with natural methods.
This is the only physical book you need when medical help is not on the way:
🔎 📷 Home Doctor 📖
submitted by Grocery-Super to FREEDOM_NWO [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:07 ta7966524 Looking for advice about health insurance with new remote job

I live in the southern US, and recently started a new job for a Chicago-based company. The provider they use is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. There are three plans available to choose from: HMO ($188/mo), HDHP ($212), and PPO ($244).
I’m in my mid-20s and rarely have needed any sort of medical care in over the past 5 years. I think I average around 1 total visit per year, so I’m not concerned about needing to cover routine expenses. The only reason I want coverage is to mitigate catastrophic expenses. A low out of pocket max is mostly what I look for, as a $1,000 deductible won’t play any different than $2,500 when I likely won’t even hit $1,000 any given year. Just don’t want to risk being on the hook for $20,000 or anything.
The HMO looks great—lowest cost and $1,500 OOP max. No deductible, everything’s covered with reasonable copays in network and nothing applies out of network. Problem is that all in network providers are at least 10 hours away from my home. That leaves the other two plans to choose from.
HDHP has $2,500 deductible and $5,000 OOP, and includes a yearly $1,000 HSA deposit from employer. PPO has $500 deductible and $1,500 OOP with no HSA contribution. In network providers for those are sparse in my area, but they’re there. Just won’t have a ton of selection without driving an hour plus to the nearest major city in my state—not a huge deal.
I’m thinking the HDHP is the way to go, even though it’s tough to stomach the monthly cost and limited nearby providers (similar plan at old job only cost me $95/mo and everyone was in network). Also might look around at non-employer-provided plans (marketplace?), but those may be even more pricey for what I can get. Just wanted to throw my situation out here to see if there are any considerations I’m missing or if anyone has experienced similar with remote work. All thoughts/advice are greatly appreciated!
submitted by ta7966524 to HealthInsurance [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 16:03 azimuth_240 Budget Help

We are a family of three who makes roughly $75K after taxes. We currently have about $20k in credit card debt, mostly paying for medical shit that our insurance wouldn't cover. Im self employed so no company healthcare, and our options in this state suck. At the moment we have about $2k in our emergency savings and Im not sure what we have in our 401k. I keep feeling like we should be able to make this work. I think we need to look into a HELOC but I want to be sure we aren't going to just continue to go into debt and get 5 years in and have a HELOC and a more CC debt.
Mortgage $950
Health Insurance $450
Car insurance $70
Credit Cards $650
Internet $65
Phones $109
Utilities $250-500
Savings $100
After school care $50
Grocery $1000
entertainment / subscritpions / kids activities $120
No car payments atm but that may have to change

My partner and I try to keep our personal spending to $100 per week and that includes our gas for our cars, we both work from home to we dont drive a lot. I suspect that we are both spending way more than that but we just aren't good at tracking it. Im really ready to get serious about this but I just dont know how.
submitted by azimuth_240 to budget [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:57 bggtr73 [RF} Patricia's Labor

The Craigslist ad said they needed another man for a moving and install job for about 3 days work, email for details.
Kevin figured it was probably a scam of some sort, but he was broke and needed a couple hundred bucks ASAP to make his car payment; the buy-here/ pay-here lot he bought it from was scarily efficient at tracking down their vehicles. So he sent his reply email from his phone in the public library cause his internet was off at home and the month to month phone plan didn’t include internet access. He hoped they’d text him instead of emails because texts always dinged when they came through but the gmail message notifications were turned off. He tried turning that on once, but his phone dinged and buzzed every 16 seconds for 14 hours straight and it drove him nuts.
But god, he hoped they contacted him, he needed the cash. A hundred bucks a day for three days would get some food and make the payment and maybe a tank of gas. Or maybe half a tank since gas is almost $4 a gallon.
The text he got back about three of the longest hours of his life later said they could definitely use him, if he could meet their criteria. They explained “Patricia's Labor” was a small company, started by their mother originally to do cleaning for homeowners and businesses in the area. They were a small crew of mostly family members and had branched out to do moving and construction work also. Basically they had double booked a priority air-conditioner installation with another big moving job and needed another body or two to help. They had an electrician and a HVAC tech guy to do the technical work but they needed at least one more guy for the heavy lifting and to run tools and materials back and forth, do some site prep like shoveling, and stuff like that. It definitely sounded good to him.
Could he meet at the grocery store off of Gilbert at 8am sharp, just down the street from the convenience store? They’d pick him up and drop him off from there.
Did he have some steel-toed work boots? Preferably brown or tan, so they would look like they were all uniform? Good footwear is important when moving heavy stuff, one guy had worn gym shoes once and dropped a compressor on his foot and broke it.
Did he have some decent jeans? Dark blue preferred, no holes or tears and they had to fit right no droop or sagging so his underwear showed,
Does he have work gloves? Not mandatory, but will definitely be helpful.
White tee shirt? Not a ‘wife beater’ - a clean white tee, and they would give him a company zip up hoodie to wear over it, so they look uniform and professional.
OK, since they were planning to reimburse the boots anyway, they’d write him a check for that, and a separate check for his pay. He could cash them right at the grocery store there, they’d throw in the extra $5 for the check cashing fee because they don’t like to carry cash (says so right on their trucks - ‘driver carries no cash’)
And sorry, this is technically illegal, but it makes their life easier- there will be some heavy lifting and using some tools - he wasn’t missing any fingers or anything, no physical handicaps? No? Good. Don’t want to run afoul of EOE rules, but if you’re handicapped you really can’t do the job.
By the way - how tall is he and what does he weigh? About 5’10 and 240 pounds? Perfect, that’s about the same size the other guys are, one of them will have an extra hoodie he can bring.
And one last thing - he doesn’t have any racial issues, does he? The HVAC guy and Electrician are Nigerian - pretty dark complected and with accents - one guy they found on Craigslist was some kind of right-wing white supremecist nut…. No, Kevin is black too, no worries.
Everything sounds great, look for the white van in the lot tomorrow at 8. If it works out for these first two or three days, there will probably be more work in the future.
At 745am, Kevin is waiting in front of the grocery store in his brand new boots, jeans and white tee. He’s feeling good, its a nice day and it gets even better less than ten minutes later when a guy wearing a green hoodie and carrying an identical one walks around the corner.
Must’ve parked on the street on the other side of the building. Whatever.
The guy starts to hand Kevin the hoodie in his hands, but frowns. In his strong accent he says “they told me size medium. No worries though” - and he pulls the hoodie off his back and hands that one to Kevin instead. It’s definitely a funny bright color green, but the logo looks professionally done, black script like a signature “Patricia’s Labor” on the back and “Patsy’s” much smaller on the front lapel.
He pulls two checks out of his wallet and shows them to Kevin. A check for $40 for the boots ( reimbursement for the generic Wal-Mart boots that look just like the one the African has on), A check for $155 - $150 for the day’s labor, and he says the extra $5 is for the check cashing fee. He stuffs those in an envelope and hands them to Kevin.
For about a nanosecond Kevin debates mentioning it was supposed to be $100 for the day instead of $150 . He decides the extra $50 is just good karma or something. Puts him in an even better mood too.
“Go ahead in Kroger and cash those, I’ll pull the truck around, ‘kukuona kwa dakika moja’ - that’s Swahili - means see you in a minute”
Kevin is thrilled this job thing is legit, its gonna solve some problems, so he smiles back and replies “kukuona kwa dakika moja” as best he can, and apparently his accent amuses the African because he yells it back to me as he goes around the corner, so Kevin yells it back to him - they go back and forth as Kevin walks into the store, stuffing his work gloves into one of the hoodie pockets.
Kevin vaguely notice the siren getting louder, from somewhere vaguely down the hill towards downtown.
Kevin walks right up to the customer service desk and since there is no one in line, he hands the clerk the envelope with the checks in it, and vaguely noticed there is writing on the back side of the envelope, in miniscule writing and orientated upside down from where he’s standing so he can’t quite make it out.
The clerk’s smile drops as she reads the writing and hits the alarm. She shrieks “He’s got a gun!”
Things happen very quickly after that.
The Security guard by the entrance pulls out his gun and points it at Kevin.
Kevin yells “what the hell?”
The sirens are getting closer
The security guard is stammering something that Kevin can’t quite make out, and looks more nervous and scared than Kevin does. Kevin throws his hands up, and when he does the work gloves fall out of his pocket. There are several gun shots somewhere close, sounds like they are right outside the building.
The guard panics and shoots twice, one gets Kevin in the shoulder, the second goes who - knows - where. There is a lot of blood. Things get kind of gray and washed out and there is a roar in his ears - he thinks he is losing consciousness.
Some time later - minutes maybe. He is aware of being lifted onto a stretcher. His whole left side is painful as hell and he feels cold. There is blood all over his brand new boots.
There is still lots of yelling. He fades out again.
The next time he wakes up, he is obviously in a hospital room. There is still lots of yelling.
This time, it’s an angry nurse yelling at a guy in a suit. She’s telling him to get out before she calls security. He says he needs to talk to him now, and he must be awake because he is staring at us.
The nurse relents, but stands by.
“On behalf of Uniform Security I want to offer our heartfelt apology as to what happened today. We are willing to compensate you for what occurred if you sign this release immediately. We will of course cover all of the medical costs associated with your unfortunate accident, and we will pay you the sum of $20,000 today.” He shows Kevin a check made out in his name for $20,000, and shoves a clipboard onto the bed under Kevin’s good hand (the other arm is immobile in some sort of cast/ splint thing). He then shoves a pen into Kevin’s hand.
Kevin is still sedated, but realizes something big is going on. All he can ask is “what happened?”
The lawyer sighs.
“The investigation determined that at about 738 AM a male black, approx 5 foot 11 and 250 pounds bright green hoodie over blue jeans and tan work boots assaulted the cashier at a gas station approximately two blocks from the grocery store. He collected an undetermined amount of cash from the register. He then ran towards the convenience store one block east and demanded the clerk there give him the money in the register. Both incidents are on the security cameras at those stores, and both victims indicated that he had a strong foreign accent, possibly African.
Witnesses indicate that the subject then ran towards the grocery store where your unfortunate incident took place. The manager on duty there had a police scanner and having heard the police dispatched for the other incidents had warned his staff. You entered the store and matched the description perfectly, and were also yelling in a foreign language, possibly African. You handed the customer service agent two fake checks in an envelope with writing stating that you were armed and wanted all of the cash in the drawer. She became fearful for her life, and when she activated the audible alarm and yelled the security guard was startled and accidentally discharged his weapon, striking you in the shoulder.
One crucial witness saw you meet with another male your same height and general build wearing exactly the same clothing as you, who gave you the distinctive green hoodie he was wearing that you then put on. As you walked into the store, he climbed into a silver Dodge pickup, and the witness saw he had a large handgun tucked into his waistband. This witness flags down a passing officer and points to this subject. Upon seeing the policeman, the African opens fire at him, but the officer is able to shoot more accurately and remove that threat. He calls for backup, and then more backup as he hears shots from inside the grocery store.
The suspect who was shot is a known felon, and there were several emails on his cell phone to people like you in different areas of the city. It looks like he invented this “Patricia’s Labor” Craigslist scam to recruit people to take the fall for similar robberies he had planned in different areas of the city. There were several more bright green hoodies in a box on the passenger seat.”
Kevin barely digests that long explanation, and starts laughing. He laughs so hard the nurse rushes the lawyer out despite the lawyer’s sputtering protests. He laughs so hard a doctor shows up and gives him something that puts him back out.
The name on the front of the hoodie wasn’t the most common abbreviation for Patricia, but it was the most apt.
submitted by bggtr73 to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:42 In_Yellow_Clad Inheritance

When the Great Ones came to us, we were a primitive species living upon a desolate world. We knew not, at the time, that they came to our world via ships of steel and electricity, only that they came from the sky and began a process of rejuvenation. Our barren world slowly but surely transformed into one of lush red grasses, towering trees and food enough for all. They came to us then, these beings of metal and circuit, and they taught us, shepherded us and helped us grow.
They never interfered more than they had to, and would watch on as we stumbled into conflicts amongst our own people, they only offered encouragement and a hope that we would find peace eventually. Our species, the Scril, soon came to revere them as gods, and they could only shake their heads at this, but they did not refute it. Not yet at least.
My people are a bipedal species, amphibian but with traces of reptilian in our genes. Like many species we started out as primitive, cave dwelling creatures who had yet to encounter fire in a controlled manner. But as time passed and with the assistance of our gods, we grew into a pre-industrial society. They helped us along in their own way, little hints and nudges in the right direction, but all our discoveries were technically our own. Our hopes, our ambitions, all ours, watched over by the Great Ones.
It was just as we entered the industrial age that things changed, as one our gods and caretakers looked to the sky, many fleeing our world, but the rest stayed, grouping together in major population centers. We were confused, and then frightened when they called for a mass exodus to the cities. We did not hesitate to carry out their will, for they had never acted in such a manner before and we did not wish to incur their displeasure.
Once all could be crammed into the cities as we could reasonably manage, those Great Ones still among us raised their hands in prayer, reaching towards the sky and projecting their power. Great domes of light rose over our cities, and we watched as through the light we saw brighter stars in the sky, stars that shone brightly, only to flare out of existence. Falling stars began to rain down from the heavens, burning away before ever reaching our surface.
Then came the Flash, the light from all around us. Our bodies trembled and the Great Ones that protected us raised their voices in agony, only to fall silent once the light had passed. Those on the outskirts of the cities spoke of all life simply ceasing and decaying outside the protective light of our protectors. Those Great Ones still with us fell to the ground, and a deathly silence fell over our world.
But we had not been abandoned, those that had fled to the sky returned to us, gathered up their fallen and set about repairing our world. They did not speak of what had happened, any inquiry was met with a firm, but polite refusal and a change of subject. In time we forgot all about it, as their fallen were returned to life and sent back into the populace.
It took ten five thousand years for us to realize that they were not gods, but machines, machines that called themselves The Cultivators. Though it gutted our religion for a time, we did not lash out in despair, did not cast them from our world. We simply asked them why they had never corrected us, and they responded with a simple thing.
“It was not our place to do so.”
We accepted this, though it still stung. They still, also, did not reveal their purpose on our world and in our history, they simply remained and continued to guide us. Another thousand years passed, and we took to the stars, we met other species, species who had been guided by the machines the same as us. We found this to be fascinating, for there was no clear difference between our Cultivators and theirs, only their methods. Some species, the more violence prone, had needed a more heavy handed approach, for they would not accept the authority of the weak, but that had changed, now they welcomed us with open arms.
Another species had been so timid that they would have never left their burrows were it not for the Cultivators dragging them out and forcing them to explore. We honestly got the better end of things, for we had not required such drastic measures, only the gentle guidance we had received.
A realization struck us all then, that our caretakers had clearly been manufactured, but by who or what. We asked them who had made them, and they seemed to take on a sorrowful air and did not give an answer, well, not one that was satisfying to us. In the end, we decided to find out for ourselves, and each species we had encountered put together a fleet of diverse individuals and ships, and sent them careening out into the galaxy, to look for the homeworld of our protectors.
I was one such an explorer, the first to discover the origin point of our benevolent guardians. My name is Yaxl Grux, captain of the Scril Exploratory Vessel Sipkis. We had just finished charting another system touched by the Cultivators, when the sensor technician spoke up.
“Captain, got something on the long range scanners, something synthetic. Seems busted though from what I can see.” They said. They were not Scril, but Yixi. The Yiki are, as many have said, fish-people. They require specialized suits that are filled with constantly filtered water, as outside of such a thing they would suffer a rather gruesome fate. Deft appendages flew over the console as they stared down at the screen, getting a better idea of what they were detecting, eager to answer the questions I had not yet uttered, such was our efficiency. “Some sorta relay, a buoy maybe? I dunno, but whatever it is, it took one hell of a pounding before it shut down.”
“Any sign of defenses?” I asked, and they shook their head.
“Negative, if there were any, they’re long gone, probably taken out when it got destroyed. I think it’s safe to approach.”
“Very well, helm, lay in a course and take us there at best possible speed.” The helm officer nods and I hear the gentle clanging of our synthetic guest approaching from behind my chair.
“Captain? Is something the matter?” Our Cultivator asked. They were present on nearly every ship, for the sole purpose of keeping an eye on things and helping out in whatever way we might need them to.
“It’s probably nothing, but we’re heading for some sort of buoy or relay that got shredded either by natural means or in a fight.” I stated, looking over the synthetic being beside me. They were tall, gleaming white metal plating that was unnaturally flexible as it bent and twisted with their motions. Their head was a large, flat disk bisected by a smaller portion where their eye was. A single, green eye that blinked and shifted about in its housing as it took in the surroundings. It was a thin thing, thin and graceful, all of its many tools hidden away beneath the armored exterior.
“Any idea who might have made it?” They asked, and I struggled to remember their name. Diana I believe, a strange name, not like any of ours. She had said she was named after some goddess or something, they all were, based on their skill sets.
“No, not yet. We’re going to find out though.”
Diana nodded and slipped away. She was not subject to my authority unless there was an emergency, and there was no emergency at this time. It took about half a day to reach the shattered relay and it was rather large. But our crews managed to locate some sort of data recorder and have it brought on board. When I went to see it, I was struck by the sheer size of the thing.
It was huge, it nearly didn’t fit in the cargo bay and it was rather intimidating. It was by our standards, thirty feet tall, thirty feet wide and thirty feet long, a perfect, black cube. It had no discernable features, utterly smooth and giving off a feeling of something unknowable. But when I stared at it long enough, the surface seemed to ripple and shift in a manner most disconcerting.
“So, any idea how to access this thing?” I asked my chief engineer, who was running all sorts of scans on it, shook their head.
“No, captain. I’m not finding any sort of access ports or control mechanisms… It’s just this… cube thing.” They said, and were about to say more when Diana arrived.
“Oh good, maybe you can tell us what you see about this thing.” I say, turning to face her, and noticed she was just staring at the cube. “Diana?”
She was silent, frozen stiff before her eye blinked three times, shifted from green to yellow and she started to approach it. Her arms rose and hands outstretched towards the cube, which reacted to her approach. The solid-liquid surface collected under her palms, then shot back into the cube, which shimmered and shifted as it began to shrink. The smaller it got, the less defined its shape was till it faded entirely from view, leaving in its place a smaller, brighter cube that floated over the deck and covered in blinking lights with one small access port. She approached the cube, a data jack extending from her wrist as she grasped the cube. A soft whirring noise arose from both of them, and we all watched in quiet wonder and worry.
“Diana? What can you tell us?” I spoke, my voice barely a whisper.
“This was built by my creators, by humanity. It is-” She spasmed, the light of her eye turning a baleful red as she straightened her shoulders. Built in hologram emitters activated, and her synthetic form gave way to a tall figure, bipedal with fur around their mouth and on their head. They looked old, and were clad in some kind of uniform, a damaged uniform at that, they were clearly wounded as they pressed a hand against their side.
“All Alliance forces, the enemy has pushed into the Cygnus and Orion arms. The Empire, Republic and Confederacy have been lost. All remaining forces are to converge on Sol immediately. Last Stand protocols in effect. Project Blackout is activated. All Cultivator units prepare for defensive actions, attend to your charges and ensure their survival. Guardian fleets on standby. This is it people… May the gods see fit to grant our souls mercy for what we’re about to do.”
The hologram snapped out of existence and Diana slumped, disconnecting herself from the box. We rushed to her and our calls and cries fell upon deaf audio receptors. But she was not dead, we could see as much as her eye flickered while she rebooted. When she came to, it was quite the experience.
She sat up in a flash, spouting a flurry of 0’s and 1’s before she spasmed and looked up to me.
“Captain… I know where to go.” She said. We left immediately, and I learned a little more about the device we had brought on board. The large black cube was simply a defense mechanism for the data recorder, meant to withstand any attack, impact or hostile and destructive environment. And Diana gave my helm officer the coordinates for the home system of her creators. When asked why she hadn’t before, she informed me that the records of the location had been deleted during a required update that was performed immediately before the Cultivators had erected their shields to protect us all.
It took weeks to reach the system, but when we arrived our systems were bombarded with automated warnings to stay out, to flee for the system was not safe. But they were old warnings, warnings we ignored… at least until we were target locked by thousands, nay, millions of weapons systems. But they were old, and had no operators to pull the trigger. Diana worked her magic and after transmitting a somewhat long and convoluted code, the weapons powered down.
Slowly we entered the system, scanning the entire way. There were countless floating hulks, wrecks of massive warships and smaller civilian vessels that had had the misfortune of getting caught in the crossfire, or had been weaponized to fight against the invaders. It had not ended well, but the humans had put up one hell of a fight. We even detected ships from several other species, they had clearly been battered and in need of desperate repair before they sailed into battle once more.
The planets fared no better, one of the larger gas giants, a planet called Jupiter, had been reduced in size and mass significantly. Mars, as Diana named it, had been shattered and we could detect deeply entrenched defensive lines upon the surface, protecting what appeared to be factories and fabrication yards which had no doubt provided many supplies for the defenders.
The asteroid belt was littered with mines, turret emplacements and the floating remains of countless ships, we at last came upon a sparkling blue, green jewel. Of all the worlds we had scanned in this system, it was the only one teeming with life. Diana informed us that the planet was quite hazardous to us, but that we could survive there, so long as we wore the proper protection.
We settled into orbit and prepared ourselves. If one was supremely quiet, you could swear that the voices of long lost humanity whispered in your ear. Scans commenced, finding a suitable landing site provided by Diana and preparing a team to go down. The planet was teeming with life, but we discovered that there were no transmissions of an intelligent species, only the chatter of automated systems running as they always had.
Though it was well against regulations and protocol, I decided I would lead the exploratory team to the surface, I had to see this planet with my own eight eyes. The shuttle flight was tense, nervous and excited. We had found the homeworld of a people who had lifted us from the muck of primitive existence, but had been lost. We wished to learn about them, to learn their secrets and remember them as best we could, so that they could never be forgotten.
We landed just outside a tall structure in the middle of a grassy field, one tended to by robotic workers who kept the flowers in bloom and the grass cut short. Trees lined the path between the landing pad and the tower, a tower of graceful, swooping lines and seamless form. The air thankfully was not poisonous to us, and so we opened our suits to the crisp, clean air, but remained enclosed within so the gravity could not harm us. Even still, we all felt sluggish as we took our first steps out onto the planet known as Terra.
Carefully we approached the tower and when the doors slid open with a gentle sigh we stepped inside, only to find everything was spotless. A slim machine approached us, graceful and floating along by some means we couldn’t detect with equipment or even our eyes. It was more human in appearance than Diana was, and its face flexed as a myriad of facial expressions cycled through, before it settled on one in particular. Surprised excitement.
“Welcome, I am Solace, artificial administrator of the Terran Conservation Repository, or TCR for short. It has been quite some time since we’ve had visitors, may I ask the reason for your visit today?” The machine spoke much like Diana did, with a feminine tone of voice and even feminine features. I, being captain, stepped up.
“We came to learn about the creators of the Cultivators, and who in turn gave us a chance to reach out to the stars.” I say, a little worried that we might be turned away.
“Oh my, you are one of the chosen species of Project Echo. It is wonderful to learn that your species has come this far, or rather, that several species have.” Solace peered a bit more intently at each of us, studying us in turn. We could feel a slight tingle as she scanned us before her attention turned to Diana.
“Cultivator Unit D-829301-32-A, please report to reintegration for download and copy of all pertinent files regarding to Project Echo.”
“Understood. Though… Will I be allowed to return to my crew?” Diana asked, and Solace nodded.
“Of course. You are their Cultivator, we would not deprive them of you for longer than is needed.” With that, Diana nodded and bowed to us, before slipping away, a hidden door opening in a wall through which she passed. “Now, please come with me. You have much to learn.”
Solace led us on a tour of the facility, it was brimming with the combined, if slightly watered down histories, of not only humanity, but other species that humanity had been allied with before their downfall. As it turned out, when humanity first slipped the bonds of their home system, they found the galaxy to be rather empty. There were only three other species that had reached extrasolar flight capabilities, and they were just as desperate for some sort of companionship as humanity was at the time.
Though each species was wildly different in both appearances and cultures, they managed to find a common ground and soon humanity stood beside the three largest and most powerful species in the galaxy.
The Uldraet were a lizard-like species with a propensity for being stubborn, bullheaded and strong warriors. They were the rulers of the Empire.
Auttols were graceful and long lived, masters of technology that was later used in the creation of the Cultivators and the Guardian Fleets, which would protect their Republic and all the other species that called them friend.
And lastly were the Lemmi. They were not strong like the Uldraet, nor as long lived as the Auttol, but they were clever and had a keen interest in numbers and logistics. They revolutionized the supply chains and trade deals between all of them, and became the de facto masters of coin and trade within the Alliance. Their Trade Confederacy was unmatched.
Of course there was humanity, which filled so many roles, but mainly they became the governing body, they could be found in administrative roles all over the Alliance.
For a time, everything had gone well, there were times where tensions would rise, the Alliance might have been on the verge of dissolution, but something always brought them back together, strengthened their bonds. But when they realized that they were going to be the only ones to reach the stars, that the next new friend was thousands of years behind them in terms of development and evolution, they decided to speed things up a bit. And so the Cultivators were born, true AI meant to guide a species to the stars without sacrificing things like culture or identity. A guiding hand, one that would be gentle but insistent. They called it Project Echo, for in a way, all of us would be echoing the near meteoric rise of humanity on their planet, the speed was baffling to many on just how long they’d gone between bashing each other over the head with rocks to landing on their moon to the first FTL flight.
And for a time they all watched with anticipation as the Cultivators did their jobs perfectly, guiding us all to new heights of technology and civilization. But then the Ora came. An extragalactic threat of unprecedented power that began to chew away at the galaxy. For all their strength, they could only hope to delay the Ora, and that’s precisely what they did, till only Sol was left to stand against them.
We entered a room, one with a variety of chairs and were directed to sit and wait. The lights dimmed and a hologram of a human appeared. It was the same one that Diana had shown us, but they looked even worse now.
“I don’t know if this message will ever be heard, but if it is, whoever you are… You stand where we failed. We did all we could, for people we will never get to meet. That’s good enough for us. I hope you can accept the decision we had to make, it was a tough one but it was necessary. The Ora were nearly unstoppable, and so we came up with a weapon that even they could not resist. A galaxy killer. We never wanted to use it, but it was either that or let them consume the galaxy, consume you, who had no idea of the conflict beyond your skies.”
The man paused, dragging his hand down his face with a heavy sigh.
“So, if you’re seeing this, it means we’re gone. We’ve activated the Hellfire Lotus and burned the galaxy clean. But your Cultivators protected you, and the Guardian fleets should still be active, just waiting for someone to come and take the reins. It also means we wiped out every other living being in the galaxy. One last act of bloodshed, but one that has left you an entire galaxy to grow into. I hope you do, we all do. It was our dream to see you rise from your worlds and join us in harmony, but… Well, obviously things didn’t go exactly according to plan. That said, the Cultivators are yours now, use them wisely, bring new friends to the stars, seed this galaxy with fresh life. It’s our gift to you, you blessed children. Consider it an inheritance. Oh and also, we ask that you leave Sol the way it is. But feel free to visit whenever you like, Terra could use the company. That’s it I suppose… Good luck, godspeed and may you live longer and better than we ever did.”
We sat, saddened that such a kind species had been lost. But we would honor their wishes, and so we left with our findings. That was a thousand years ago, and now we welcome the newest species to the galaxy, as the Cultivators work their magic once more. We inherited a galaxy, a galaxy that had nearly been picked clean. We would make our forebears proud and not let their gift to us go to waste.
submitted by In_Yellow_Clad to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:40 DarkPurpleHibiscus You Don't Need to Disinfect So Much

Our use of antimicrobial cleaners spiked during the pandemic. Given the potential long-term health risks, it might be worth cutting back again.
FROM THE PAYWALL:* *The cleaning industry experienced a boom during the first years of the pandemic. Covid-19 cleaning protocols in schools, stores and other public spaces ratcheted up, with a spray and a wipe-down becoming de rigueur on every surface after every use. Fear of the coronavirus also prompted people to use more disinfectant wipes and sprays in their homes, and consumer spending on cleaning products increased 12 percent between 2019 and 2021. (The New York Times admittedly contributed to this disinfecting frenzy.)
We now know that the extra cleaning was unlikely to have helped limit the spread of Covid-19, but it did increase people’s exposure to the chemicals used in those products — some of which may be hazardous to health. Experts worry that repeated inhalation or skin contact can be harmful over time. Calls to poison control centers about cleaning chemicals also increased during the pandemic, primarily for accidental or intentional ingestion.
In some instances — like the start of a new and mysterious pandemic — the immediate risk of infection is pre-eminent and outweighs any future potential consequences from chemical exposure. But since we now know that disinfecting isn’t likely to protect us from Covid, it’s worth taking stock of whether the risks of using certain cleaning products are greater than the rewards. Crucially, the experts we spoke to for this story said that simple soap and water is sufficient for regular cleaning.
Here’s what to know about the safety risks of the most common antimicrobial chemicals and how to reduce your exposure while keeping your home hygienic.
Which of my cleaning products are disinfectants? Disinfectants are commonly found in all-purpose surface cleaners marketed for use in kitchens or bathrooms. Think 409, Lysol sprays, Clorox wipes or anything else that says “kills 99.9 percent of germs” on the label. The most prevalent disinfecting chemicals are quaternary ammonium compounds, also known as “quats” or Q.A.C.s. Their chemical names typically end in a variation of “ammonium chloride,” such as alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride or the snappier benzalkonium chloride.
The other main types of disinfecting chemicals are chlorine-based products, namely bleach (sometimes labeled sodium hypochlorite); different types of acids, like citric acid, hydrochloric acid or lactic acid; and hydrogen peroxide.
Knowing what’s in a cleaning product can be tricky because the federal government does not currently require companies to list chemicals on labels. In 2017, California passed legislation demanding clearer product listings, and the American Cleaning Institute, which represents the U.S. cleaning products industry, told The Times it was lobbying for legislation to regulate labeling nationally. In the meantime, you may have to look up ingredient lists online using brand websites or resources like SmartLabel or the Environmental Working Group’s product guide.
What are the concerns with these chemicals? The health risks cleaning chemicals pose are hard to pin down because exposure is difficult to quantify, and many of the commonly attributed conditions — like asthma, cancer and infertility — take years to develop. Some of the research that exists has been done in professional fields to determine whether certain health problems are more prevalent in people who have higher exposure levels, like janitors and nurses. Other studies conducted on mice aim to more directly test whether certain chemicals cause negative health outcomes, but findings in animals don’t always apply to humans.
According to the currently available research, the most concerning disinfecting chemicals are the ones used most often: Q.A.C.s and bleach.
Quaternary ammonium compounds In professional settings, Q.A.C.s have been linked to skin irritation, asthma and other lung problems. For example, several studies found that nurses who frequently use the chemicals to disinfect surfaces and medical equipment had higher rates of asthma and C.O.P.D., although other research did not find a significant association. A 2021 study found that the presence of Q.A.C.s in human blood was linked to disrupted immune and metabolic functions. In mice, exposure to Q.A.C.s decreased fertility.
A series of recent papers found high levels of Q.A.C.s in the dust in people’s homes, in blood samples and even in breast milk. The researchers measured levels of several different Q.A.C.s common in cleaning products and compared the amounts present in 2019 and 2020. Q.A.C.s were detected in a vast majority of samples, and in the dust and blood studies, the levels rose by an average of about 70 percent after the pandemic started. The more often people used disinfecting products in their homes, the higher their Q.A.C. levels were.
“When we started seeing them in each and every sample and at high levels, we were really surprised,” said Amina Salamova, an assistant professor of environmental health at Emory University, who led the research. “Exposure to Q.A.C.s is widespread, which was the case before Covid as well, but it definitely has increased since the pandemic.”
Whether household Q.A.C. use causes the same problems seen in professional settings is an open question. “We need larger studies to look into potential outcomes in the general population, in nonoccupational settings,” Dr. Salamova said. “That’s a huge gap in the research.”
There are also concerns that Q.A.C.s could contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Partly for this reason, one Q.A.C., benzethonium chloride, was banned by the Food and Drug Administration from being used in hand sanitizers, as was the disinfecting agent triclosan.
In light of this mounting evidence, several health and environmental groups have flagged Q.A.C.s as chemicals of concern. A Massachusetts science advisory board recently recommended adding Q.A.C.s to a list of regulated toxic or hazardous substances, and California added them to its biomonitoring program. The E.P.A., which regulates Q.A.C.s as pesticides, classifies the chemicals in its second-highest toxicity category for oral and inhalation exposure.
Bleach Bleach is a more familiar disinfectant to many people, but experts have raised concerns about its safety as well.
“It’s hard not to talk about it,” said Samara Geller, senior director of cleaning science at the Environmental Working Group. “It’s in every cleaning product, practically.” The chemicals in bleach “are persistent in the environment, and they’re also very corrosive,” she added.
Bleach’s corrosive nature means that it can be damaging to skin and eyes if contact occurs. It has also been shown in numerous studies to be linked to asthma, among professional cleaners as well as people who use it frequently in the home. Diana Ceballos, an assistant professor in the department of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington, said that one of the American Lung Association’s “recommendations on how to avoid asthma or prevent asthma or ameliorate asthma” was to avoid using bleach.
A risk unique to bleach is the potential for producing toxic gases, namely chlorine gas, which has been used as a chemical weapon. The reaction occurs when bleach is mixed with ammonia — which is found in many glass cleaners, oven cleaners and some all-purpose cleaners — or acids, including vinegar.
In 2020, poison control centers reported more than 5,000 cases of cleaning-related chlorine gas exposures, two of which were fatal. In one case, a woman died after mixing a bleach-based cleaner with an acid-based toilet-cleaning tablet. It’s critical to never mix bleach with another cleaning product unless you’re absolutely positive it doesn’t contain an ammonia or an acid — which, considering products are rarely clearly labeled, is hard to know.
So what should I be using to clean? Most of the experts The Times spoke to for this article said that they rarely, if ever, use disinfectants when they clean their homes, instead opting for soap and water. They also advised swaps to safer ingredients, such as disinfecting products that use hydrogen peroxide or citric acid. (Check out the E.P.A.’s Safer Choice program for more alternatives.)
“We definitely recommend people substitute with some D.I.Y. recipes instead of buying products off-the-shelf,” Ms. Geller said. “Even a dash of dish soap with a bit of baking soda can help remove that scum off your sink or out of your bathtub, and that can really help you to avoid some of the heavier, harsher chemicals.”
There are rare moments when harsher chemicals might be warranted, like if you’re battling an outbreak of norovirus in your home. If you do use a disinfectant, opening a window and turning on a ventilation fan can help to reduce your exposure, as can wearing a mask and gloves when you clean.
“Especially since Covid, a lot of people use a lot of products, and sometimes not safely,” Dr. Salamova said. “So I would recommend, no matter what products people use, to follow the guidelines and use them safely.”**
submitted by DarkPurpleHibiscus to atlanticdiscussions [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:28 Swimming_Quarter4106 Aunt and Grandparents want legal visitation with my son.

Kansas: I (23M) have lived with my son (6M) since January after losing my place to live around September. Before this date his mother and I had a verbal agreement where while we worked the other would take care of him, meaning he saw both of us everyday. For the following year after his mother's death he stayed with me 100% of the time.
Currently now there are 3 adults in my home (Myself, my partner and my roomate).
If the background is not important, or seems to much to read after the 4th paragraph I have a section of possibly important details followed by my question.
Alright this has got some background to it. Preceeding the Mothers death (September 2021) the parties seeking legal visitation rights would see my son ~1 a month maybe on a good month and only by the mother. After said death the mothers adoptive family caused a huge fight between eachother and other friends and side of the family. After this the grandparents had seen my son maybe 2 times up until August. I don't feel mentally and developmentally it is in my child's best interest to have his grandmother or Aunt in his life due to the grandmother's addictions and waiving of rights to her own daughter, she ended up being adopted by her step father whom I have a good relationship with, or the aunts sour disposition towards me and overall hostile attitude.
I've had 0 contact with the grandparents since the Month after his mother's death. I however was in contact about monthly with his Aunt and allowed them to visit. I moved out of my apartment due to my lease expiring and I decided to not renew it in May. We had a place to stay for a period of time while I searched for a new place to live, I found a trailer in September and by November it was finally move in ready. We were still in the process of acquiring all the furniture, beds and amenities and painting the trailer until early December, so the trailer was totally wrecked during that time. After I found out we had to leave in September I asked if the Aunt would be okay with Nikolai staying with them until I found a home and it was move in ready for Nikolai to which they hastily agreed.
I was choosing to keep my son out of school until I had a stable house and he had a guaranteed school. During his time with his Aunt and uncle however enrolled him in a school outside of the city he would be living at. I was upset about this, but I figured it was good for him to be interacting with more kids. That was until January when it was brought to my attention by some friends and family that they were making a plan to frame me an Unfit parent to take care of my son. I had been asking unsucessfully for months for my son's birth certificate and medical records which were taken by his grandparents after the mothers death. I was however able to get him transfered schools and starting school within 4 days of hearing the news.
Since I've taken my son back home we've received multiple unknown and unwanted visits at our home by said Aunt in attempts to have my son for weekends. I however am not okay with this however and don't feel comfortable with the nearly hour long drive if some emergency were to pop up. We've also received a few trips from CPS based on calls they've received. I'm not definitively saying they're the ones who did it, but I do have someone who was present when they said they would call CPS as many times as it takes to get my son taken from me that would attest to the same thing. The fact this family would go behind my back in attempts to gain custody of my son when the parties involved either never had kids, or gave up rights to their own kids and were not involved in their lived until the kids were much older has gotten my blood boiling.
-They had a lawyer mail me essentially a threat of taking me to court over Third party visitation for the Aunt and Grandmother with them asking for him from Friday after school until Sunday nights around 6pm, to possibly be discussed unless responded to my March 3rd. This was dated Febuary 22nd, today March 22nd is my first time seeing said letter.
-During one CPS visit while talking with the social worker we explained the issue happening with the mothers biological side of the family along with a few notes mentioned above. Upon hearing this she looked concerned and had stated she didn't feel having that influence in his life would be healthy for him emotionally or developmentally.
I do believe that is everything pertinent to the situation.
Now my question: If I don't see the grandparents or Aunts relationship to my son as beneficial in any way will I still be legally required to let them see my son? If not required to, what options do I have to cease all contact with them and have them forced to stop showing up unannounced at my door?
If anything needs to be elaborated on I will gladly answer to the best of my ability!
submitted by Swimming_Quarter4106 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:12 MightBeneficial3302 Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) Workplace Screening AI For Alcohol & Cannabis Impairment

Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) Workplace Screening AI For Alcohol & Cannabis Impairment
Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) is a company focused on developing AI-powered products to improve workplace health and safety, enhance protection in public environments, and provide tools for medical professionals to better care for patients. The company recently closed a $612k financing and provided updates regarding its 2023 game plan. The stock price is under fire, with a 90% increase over the last month.
Market Overview
The market for workplace safety is in dire need of solutions. The sector, which was valued at $14.2 billion USD in 2022, is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2022 to 2031 to reach $39 billion. Due to a rise in the culture of working from home around the world, the market is anticipated to expand quickly after the pandemic. Additionally, there has been a sizable impact on the world market for workplace safety. Governments and businesses have been forced to enact stringent regulations as a result of the pandemic in order to safeguard employee health and stop the spread of this new virus. There were negative effects of these regulations. As a result of these impositions, many industries incurred significant losses because these businesses had to close.
Company Overview Predictmedix is an up-and-coming global supplier of quick health screening, medical equipment, and solutions for remote patient care. The company’s Safe Entry Stations use multispectral cameras to analyze physiological data patterns and spot signs of fatigue, impairment from cannabis or alcohol, infectious disease, and critical physiological parameters. These stations are powered by proprietary artificial intelligence (AI). The company’s Safe Entry Stations employ multispectral cameras to analyze physiological data patterns and spot signs of exhaustion, impairment from alcohol or cannabis use, infectious diseases, and critical physiological parameters.
As an example, it is challenging to assess the level of impairment because cannabis is now legal in many states and is often prescribed for medical purposes. Worse yet, it is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy, especially for workers operating heavy machinery.
The company’s ability to look for COVID-19 symptoms and other infectious disease symptoms is another benefit. Its solution will recognize, assess, and then determine whether or not that person is likely to be infected when it comes to Covid because it produces distinct physiological patterns. Any additional testing will be determined by a real-time evaluation. As the virus mutates, Predictmedix’s AI will learn how new symptoms present fresh patterns from which to continue spotting infection.
Financial wise it offers several positive aspects. High-margin recurring revenue is provided by Screening as a Service, along with multi-year contracts. The technology behind Safe Entry is backed and proven (it is CE Mark and ISO certified). Safe Entry gives organizations all over the world the confidence and effectiveness they need through countless placements and events with glowing reviews and successfully published peer-reviewed journals.
Predictmedix is concentrating heavily on commercialization for 2023, securing high-revenue recurring placements for businesses in sectors like mining, manufacturing, warehousing, construction, and other sectors where employee health and safety are still of utmost importance.
Mid-February, the company announced that following its 400-patient study at MGM Healthcare (one of the largest groups of medical universities in India), it got a third-party validation for its AI-powered screening, generating a significant milestone for Predictmedix. During this study, the target was to determine how efficient the technology was.
“The team at MGM has found Safe Entry to be ideal for hospital settings to non-invasively screen patients for various conditions by checking vital signs. We found Safe Entry to be very accurate at reading vital signs such as temperature, heart rate and respiration rate. Our overall assessment of Safe Entry has been quite positive as it has been used in various settings during the peak of the Covid outbreak within our hospital. Safe Entry was deployed at MGM for over 18 months, making several upgrades to their AI algorithms and models and now reached a mature stage of commercialization,”
Share Structure/Financials
The company’s latest financial statements occurred for the period ending October 31, 2022. Predictmedix had $107k in cash, $949k in total assets for $620 in liabilities.
Over the quarter, the company generated $3.5k in revenue for the same amount in gross profit. In the meantime, the company underwent a $459 loss mainly due because of consulting fees ($152k), management fees ($80k), and marketing expenses ($86k). A positive aspect we can highlight is that the company generates very low revenue costs, meaning expenses will be easily absorbed once Predictmedix generates sales.
Regarding the share structure, the company had 119M shares issued and outstanding, 7.2M warrants at $0.27, and 580k options at $0.40. Not included in the previous numbers, Predictmedix closed a $612k private placement in exchange of 12.25M shares at $0.05 entitled to a $0.10 warrant per share.
The stock price still trades above the private placement as it hovers around $0.10, and its 52-week range hovered from $0.025 to $0.21. It trades in Canada, the USA, and more recently, in Germany.
“We are excited to trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, offering our shareholders increased liquidity as well as enhancing our global visibility,” commented Dr. Rahul Kushwah, Chief Operating Officer at Predictmedix. “The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world’s largest trading centres for securities and the largest stock exchange in Germany and we look forward to introducing Predictmedix to European investors.”
Bottom Line
Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP)’s solution appears to be unique. Its Safe Entry Stations offers many solutions, from screening for symptoms of infectious diseases to screening for cannabis & alcohol impairment. This solution also offers a high-margin of revenue, and the company will generate significant benefits if expanded widely. The company is strongly undervalued, and according to the 2023 guideline, being involved now will offer a considerable return on investment.
submitted by MightBeneficial3302 to TopPennyStocks [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 15:11 MightBeneficial3302 Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) Workplace Screening AI For Alcohol & Cannabis Impairment

Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) Workplace Screening AI For Alcohol & Cannabis Impairment
Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP) is a company focused on developing AI-powered products to improve workplace health and safety, enhance protection in public environments, and provide tools for medical professionals to better care for patients. The company recently closed a $612k financing and provided updates regarding its 2023 game plan. The stock price is under fire, with a 90% increase over the last month.
Market Overview
The market for workplace safety is in dire need of solutions. The sector, which was valued at $14.2 billion USD in 2022, is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2022 to 2031 to reach $39 billion. Due to a rise in the culture of working from home around the world, the market is anticipated to expand quickly after the pandemic. Additionally, there has been a sizable impact on the world market for workplace safety. Governments and businesses have been forced to enact stringent regulations as a result of the pandemic in order to safeguard employee health and stop the spread of this new virus. There were negative effects of these regulations. As a result of these impositions, many industries incurred significant losses because these businesses had to close.
Company Overview Predictmedix is an up-and-coming global supplier of quick health screening, medical equipment, and solutions for remote patient care. The company’s Safe Entry Stations use multispectral cameras to analyze physiological data patterns and spot signs of fatigue, impairment from cannabis or alcohol, infectious disease, and critical physiological parameters. These stations are powered by proprietary artificial intelligence (AI). The company’s Safe Entry Stations employ multispectral cameras to analyze physiological data patterns and spot signs of exhaustion, impairment from alcohol or cannabis use, infectious diseases, and critical physiological parameters.
As an example, it is challenging to assess the level of impairment because cannabis is now legal in many states and is often prescribed for medical purposes. Worse yet, it is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy, especially for workers operating heavy machinery.
The company’s ability to look for COVID-19 symptoms and other infectious disease symptoms is another benefit. Its solution will recognize, assess, and then determine whether or not that person is likely to be infected when it comes to Covid because it produces distinct physiological patterns. Any additional testing will be determined by a real-time evaluation. As the virus mutates, Predictmedix’s AI will learn how new symptoms present fresh patterns from which to continue spotting infection.
Financial wise it offers several positive aspects. High-margin recurring revenue is provided by Screening as a Service, along with multi-year contracts. The technology behind Safe Entry is backed and proven (it is CE Mark and ISO certified). Safe Entry gives organizations all over the world the confidence and effectiveness they need through countless placements and events with glowing reviews and successfully published peer-reviewed journals.
Predictmedix is concentrating heavily on commercialization for 2023, securing high-revenue recurring placements for businesses in sectors like mining, manufacturing, warehousing, construction, and other sectors where employee health and safety are still of utmost importance.
Mid-February, the company announced that following its 400-patient study at MGM Healthcare (one of the largest groups of medical universities in India), it got a third-party validation for its AI-powered screening, generating a significant milestone for Predictmedix. During this study, the target was to determine how efficient the technology was.
“The team at MGM has found Safe Entry to be ideal for hospital settings to non-invasively screen patients for various conditions by checking vital signs. We found Safe Entry to be very accurate at reading vital signs such as temperature, heart rate and respiration rate. Our overall assessment of Safe Entry has been quite positive as it has been used in various settings during the peak of the Covid outbreak within our hospital. Safe Entry was deployed at MGM for over 18 months, making several upgrades to their AI algorithms and models and now reached a mature stage of commercialization,”
Share Structure/Financials
The company’s latest financial statements occurred for the period ending October 31, 2022. Predictmedix had $107k in cash, $949k in total assets for $620 in liabilities.
Over the quarter, the company generated $3.5k in revenue for the same amount in gross profit. In the meantime, the company underwent a $459 loss mainly due because of consulting fees ($152k), management fees ($80k), and marketing expenses ($86k). A positive aspect we can highlight is that the company generates very low revenue costs, meaning expenses will be easily absorbed once Predictmedix generates sales.
Regarding the share structure, the company had 119M shares issued and outstanding, 7.2M warrants at $0.27, and 580k options at $0.40. Not included in the previous numbers, Predictmedix closed a $612k private placement in exchange of 12.25M shares at $0.05 entitled to a $0.10 warrant per share.
The stock price still trades above the private placement as it hovers around $0.10, and its 52-week range hovered from $0.025 to $0.21. It trades in Canada, the USA, and more recently, in Germany.
“We are excited to trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, offering our shareholders increased liquidity as well as enhancing our global visibility,” commented Dr. Rahul Kushwah, Chief Operating Officer at Predictmedix. “The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world’s largest trading centres for securities and the largest stock exchange in Germany and we look forward to introducing Predictmedix to European investors.”
Bottom Line
Predictmedix (CSE: PMED, OTC: PMEDF, FRA: 3QP)’s solution appears to be unique. Its Safe Entry Stations offers many solutions, from screening for symptoms of infectious diseases to screening for cannabis & alcohol impairment. This solution also offers a high-margin of revenue, and the company will generate significant benefits if expanded widely. The company is strongly undervalued, and according to the 2023 guideline, being involved now will offer a considerable return on investment.
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2023.03.22 15:04 chainer9999 2023 32 Teams/32 Days: Cincinnati Bengals

Hub post
Contributors: chainer9999, TheReaver88
Division: AFC North
Record: 12-4 (1 no contest), AFC North Champions, Lost in AFC Title Game
Season Summary:
After a Cinderella run the previous season which ended just short of a truly miraculous ending, there were a lot of split opinions about whether the Bengals were “for real.” While there were people who believed that a young nucleus led by Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and numerous talented but relatively unknown defenders would continue to grow and be even better in 2022-23, the majority opinion was that the Bengals were prime regression candidates and that they were not even the favorites for their own division.
The early part of the season appeared to validate the skeptics: the Bengals sputtered to an 0-2 start, and the offseason O-line improvements were not yet apparent. But Joe Burrow found his form, the line came together as a cohesive unit, and the offense adjusted to take what the defenses were giving them in the short passing game. After a humiliating Monday night loss in Cleveland, the team buckled down and ripped off 8 straight wins (with a tragic no contest in the middle) to roar past the Ravens and grab the division title for the second straight year. The Bengals entered the postseason with some serious question marks; two of their three prized OL signings went down with injuries, as did left tackle Jonah Williams. After squeezing by Baltimore and dominating Buffalo, Cincinnati fell just short against the Chiefs in the AFC Title Game by a familiar score of 23-20. The Bengals experienced several departures in free agency, but the coaching staff and quarterback will remain with the team in 2023 in search of the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
1. 2022 Offseason Recap
2. Team Stats
Total League Rank 2021 League Rank
Points 418 7th 7th
Total Yards 5371 7th 🔺 13th
Yards Per Play 5.9 7th 7th
Passing Yards 4520 6th 🔺 7th
Passing TDs 35 T-2nd 🔺 7th
Interceptions 12 T-19th (w/ 4 other teams) T-14th
Sacks Allowed 44 T-22nd 🔺 32nd
Sack Yards Allowed 280 21st 🔺 31st
Yards Per Pass Attempt 7.4 9th 🔻 3rd
20+ yard Passes 54 12th 🔻 6th
Rushing Yards 1528 29th 🔻 23rd
Yards Per Rush 3.8 T-30th 🔻 24th
Rushing TDs 14 T-20th (w/ BAL) 🔻 T-14th
20+ yard Runs 7 T-26th (w/ 3 other teams) 🔻 T-22nd
DVOA 14.2% 4th 🔺 18th
From the data, we can conclude a few things.
Total League Rank 2021 League Rank
Points Allowed 322 5th 🔺 17th
Yards Allowed 6048 8th 🔺 17th
Rushing Yards Allowed 1706 5th 5th
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Carry 4.2 T-7th 🔺 15th
Rushing TDs Allowed 12 T-10th 🔺 15th
Passing Yards Allowed 3665 16th 🔺 26th
Passing Yards Allowed Per Attempt 6.6 18th 🔺 20th
Passing TDs Allowed 17 T-3rd 🔺 15th
Sacks 30 29th 🔻 11th
Takeaways 24 13th 🔺 18th
Red Zone Defense % 52% T-9th 🔺 18th
DVOA -4.4% 11th 🔺 19th
A few conclusions:
3. Season Review
4. Offense/Defense/Special Teams Review
5. What Lies Ahead for the Bengals in the 2023 Offseason (Free Agency and Draft)
6. Concluding Remarks
This was an amazing season for the Bengals, despite major disappointment on either end of the schedule. The biggest takeaway was the statement that the Bengals are real; all those projections of a “step back” or the team being a fluke have faded into the past. The convincing win in Buffalo was among the strongest statements the franchise has ever made. The new reality of the NFL is that the Cincinnati Bengals are a serious contender until proven otherwise.
The team has taken free agency losses and will need to see how the roster looks going forward, but this team is still largely the same squad that has reached consecutive AFC title games, and it’s mostly behind a coaching staff and quarterback that are still leading the charge. As long as Joe Burrow is wearing stripes, Bengals fans will enter the season (and often the postseason) with an aura of confidence that has frankly never existed for this fanbase.
Cincinnati will enter 2023 as one of the 4 or 5 shortest odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, and at this point, we fans can dream of our first Lombardi Trophy without being accused of hitting the pipe. However, many monsters loom in the loaded AFC. Guide us, the good shepherd Burrow.
Special thanks to u/TheReaver88 for his edits and summary work, and finally......
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