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How to Clean Up Your Digital History There are plenty of reasons to declutter your online traces. Here's how to tidy up.

2020.10.25 12:57 jpc4stro How to Clean Up Your Digital History There are plenty of reasons to declutter your online traces. Here's how to tidy up.

ONCE YOU POST something to the internet, it's there forever unless you take steps to remove it (and even then, you may not be successful.) While keeping your digital history around in perpetuity can have its advantages—digging out those tax emails from 2006, looking back on vacations from half a decade ago—it's also worth keeping some parts of our online trails as short as we can.
First, it means nothing from our past can come back and embarrass us. Second, it makes it harder for advertising companies to keep track of what we're up to online. And third (in the case of files and emails at least), it frees up space for new stuff.
If you've decided that you'd rather not have decades worth of tweets and emails hanging around, there are ways to put limits on your digital baggage. Note this is slightly different to stopping sites and networks from tracking you as you make your way around the web, though the two are definitely linked.
Emails
With email services offering so much storage in the cloud now, you might never think of deleting a single email, just in case you need them again in the future—but when was the last time you went digging through your email archive to find something you needed? Deleting older messages frees up storage space and makes future searches faster too.
The process of clearing your old emails will depend on the client and the service you're using. In the case of Gmail, there's no automatic way to wipe old emails, so you'll need to remind yourself to do it on a regular basis: the search term you need to put in the box at the top of the web interface is "older_than:" followed by your time period. Use "older_than:1y" to find emails older than a year, for instance, or "older_than:6m" to find emails older than 6 months.
With the search results on screen, you can select all the matching messages (use the check box to the top left) and erase them. If you don't want to get rid of absolutely everything, combine this with other search terms—so "older_than:1y is:unimportant" will bring up all the emails older than a year that Gmail has marked as low priority. You can find a full list of Gmail search operators here.
If Outlook on the web is your email portal of choice, you don't get the same intelligent search operators as you do in Gmail. You can however click on the Filter link at the top of any folder (such as the inbox), then choose Sort, Date and Oldest on top to find your oldest messages and get rid of them that way. Click on the first email to delete, then Shift+Click on the last email to delete, then select Delete.
Social Media
Twitter is the social network that you're probably most interested in when it comes to expunging older messages, and it's also the one that offers the most tools for the job. If you want to keep a copy of your messages on your computer before you wipe them from the web, you can download your archive by opening Twitter Settings on the web and choosing Your account and Download an archive of your data.
Two of the best auto-delete tools we've come across are TweetDelete and Tweet Deleter, which sound very similar and work in very similar ways—they can both automatically erase tweets once they reach a certain age. Tweet Deleter gives you a bit more control over which tweets get deleted, but TweetDelete offers more features for free, so it's worth giving them both a try to see which one works best for you. To access all the available options, TweetDelete costs a one-off payment of $15, whereas Tweet Deleter will set you back €10 (about $12) a month.
We should also mention Jumbo for Android and iOS, which can delete old posts on both Twitter and Facebook once they reach a certain age, saving them inside the Jumbo app for safekeeping. It's definitely a slick and easy to use option for covering up your tracks, and although paid plans start at $9 a month, the functionality for both Facebook and Twitter is included with a free account.
Aside from Jumbo, the options are limited for deleting older Facebook posts and indeed for deleting older Instagram posts. If you want to easily and quickly clean up old posts, these aren't the services to use—you can still delete old posts manually one by one though, and you can also make use of the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature on both Facebook and Instagram (where posts automatically disappear after 24 hours anyway).
Files
Two of the best auto-delete tools we've come across are TweetDelete and Tweet Deleter, which sound very similar and work in very similar ways—they can both automatically erase tweets once they reach a certain age. Tweet Deleter gives you a bit more control over which tweets get deleted, but TweetDelete offers more features for free, so it's worth giving them both a try to see which one works best for you. To access all the available options, TweetDelete costs a one-off payment of $15, whereas Tweet Deleter will set you back €10 (about $12) a month. Deleting older files you have stored in the cloud is less about protecting you from the prying eyes of others and more about keeping yourself organized (and limiting the amount of money you have to spend on cloud storage every month). Perhaps unsurprisingly though, there's no easy way to do this automatically on the big cloud storage services, though there are a few tricks you can try.
In the case of Dropbox on the web, you can click the Modified column header and choose Ascending to see the files you haven't edited in the longest time—this only applies to the files in the folder you're currently viewing though, not the files in your Dropbox as a whole. If there are folders that hold temporary and less important files, you can quickly view and remove the oldest ones by sorting them by their modified date (use the tick boxes on the left to select files, then click the three dots and Delete to wipe them).
When it comes to Google Drive on the web, look for the Last modified column heading: Click on this to switch between seeing the most recently modified files first, and the least recently modified files first. You can also run a search like "before:2020-01-01" in the main Google Drive search box to look for files last modified before a certain date (change the date as needed). Use Ctrl+Click to select multiple files in your Google Drive, then the trash can icon to delete them.
Both OneDrive and iCloud have similar options too: In OneDrive it's the Modified and Descending option from the Sort menu in the top right-hand corner, and in iCloud it's the Sort by... option to the top right above the file list. These manual operations aren't as convenient as automatic tools, but even if you just run them once every couple of months or so, you should be able to clear out plenty of files you no longer need.
Online Activity
Google is leading the way when it comes to the auto-deletion of data that's gathered on you as you browse the web—though it's fair to say that it's also leading the way when it comes to collecting data on you in the first place. The likes of Apple and Microsoft don't really need tools like the one Google offers, because they're not slurping up as much information about you for ad-targeting purposes as Google is.
If you log into your Google account on the web, then click Data & personalization to see the information Google is logging about your online activity, your search history, and your location—both to personalize your experience of its apps and to serve up targeted ads. In all of these categories, you can select the Auto-delete option to have the data automatically wiped after 3, 18, or 36 months.
Specific bits of information—on specific days, or collected through specific services, or from specific devices—can be erased through the main activity dashboard. You can, for example, wipe the record of everything that you've said to your Google Nest smart speaker over the last week.
Besides Google, the only other company that collects data and serves ads against it on quite the same scale is Facebook. If you go to your Facebook Settings on the web, then click Your Facebook information and View, you can access and delete some of this data—though not based on its age. We've written more about limiting what Facebook collects on you here.
https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-clean-up-your-digital-history/
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2020.10.23 11:23 orange3cparts Lenovo ThinkPad X13 (AMD) review

The celebrated ThinkPad X1 Carbon isn't the only persuasive ultraportable in Lenovo's organization lineup. If that 14-inch premium notebook is usually a little bit too abundant for your blood, there's the ThinkPad X13, a 13.3-inch product obtainable with adp 230eb t either Intel or AMD CPU silicon under the hood. The AMD Ryzen-based system under the microscope here starts off at just $683 and is particularly $1,004 inside our particular exam configuration-much additional affordable compared to the Carbon, that is payment for its weighing a lot more (2.eight as opposed to 2.four lbs) in spite of its a little bit scaled-down display. The X13's six-core Ryzen five Pro 4650U processor offers it amazing overall performance, although we could wish to get a pair additional hrs of battery lifetime, and cargador asus ad890026 its keyboard and design good quality are nearly ThinkPad specifications, i.e., faultless. In case your spending plan won't stretch to your Carbon or a Dell XPS thirteen, it is a first-class selection.
Let me set your expectations. Lenovo's ThinkPad X13 ($683 starting, reviewed at $974) will not be a 13-inch model from the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. We are however ready on that acdp 100d01 notebook, which could arrive while in the not long ago leaked ThinkPad X1 Nano. So, what's the ThinkPad X13? Ignore the branding, the laptop feels a lot more similar to a T-series ThinkPad. And that is not a nasty issue.
The $683 foundation design of your ThinkPad X13 has a quad-core Ryzen 3 Pro CPU, a too-small 128GB solid-state travel, and a deal-breaking 1,366-by-768-pixel screen resolution that bateria lenovo ideapad 700 might be appropriate, these days, only on an 11-inch Chromebook priced at $149. Stepping as many as my $1,004 review unit brings the Ryzen 5 Pro chip, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, plus a 300-nit comprehensive High definition (one,920-by-1,080-pixel) contact display, alongside with niceties starting from fingerprint and SmartCard visitors to Windows 10 Professional and a backlit keyboard.
The ThinkPad X13 we have now on hand nowadays has an AMD Ryzen Pro 4650U processor with built-in Radeon graphics. This six-core CPU has symmetric multi-threading for any total of twelve components threads, a two.one GHz base clock velocity, in addition to a highest increase speed of 4 GHz. You can find eight MB of L3 cache alongside with the bateria toshiba pa3534u 1brs experience also. Other CPU alternatives include things like the remainder of the Ryzen Pro lineup, with the quad-core Ryzen three 4450U into the eight-way Ryzen seven 4750U. Ryzen Professional CPUs have business options like AMD's Memory Guard and hardware aid for remote administration via Microsoft's Endpoint Supervisor.
The ThinkPad X13's eight GB of DDR4-3200 memory is soldered towards the motherboard. This is often a necessary improve through the bulkier gaming notebooks we reviewed earlier, therefore the method can be as thin as you possibly can. That is really frequent with this vary, and we deliver it up so prospective buyers is going to be mindful they must get just as much memory as you can up front. That eight GB is satisfactory for most tasks, but bateria acer aspire es 15 some electrical power customers (and us, much too!) would probably would like to enhance to a 16 GB or 32 GB option. A 256 GB M.two NVMe SSD handles key storage responsibilities, and configuration solutions range between 128 GB into a full terabyte.
With a starting price tag of $683, the ThinkPad X13 is amongst the most very affordable company laptops and far more cost-effective than any other ThinkPad X-series notebook. That bateria hp 728460 001 base design comes along with just one critical downside: a 13.3-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display screen. One other specs, an AMD Ryzen 3 Professional 4450U CPU, 8GB of RAM and also a 128GB SSD, are wonderful for some works by using but you can desire to enhance the display screen. 786p needs to be extinct in 2020.
Design
This feels like a wasted option. Instead of having gain of the first-gen laptop to modernize the signature ThinkPad style and design, Lenovo took the simple way out by reusing the ThinkPad X390 mildew. The X13 appears to be almost similar to its religious predeIt feels durable and cargador lenovo legion y520 has each of the traditional ThinkPad accouterment, such as a rubber pointing stick, discrete touchpad clickers with red accents and an illuminated "i" over the ThinkPad lid branding. Incorporate the fingerprint sensor, a 180-degree folding hinge and webcam go over, and it tends to make for just a somewhat practical design and style.cessor besides which the lid is strengthened with carbon fiber although the deck is magnesium alloy.
Speed demons can opt for an eight-core Ryzen seven Professional 4750U, when potential buyers who website traffic in delicate business enterprise data can select a 500-nit PrivacyGuard show that blocks the watch of airline seatmate snoops. There isn't a 4K screen preference, so if you would like more than 1080p, you might be from luck. The memory and surface 3 cargador storage ceilings are 32GB and 1TB, respectively.Intel-based configurations of your X13 begin at $857 using a dual-core Main i3 as well as a Thunderbolt three port (a know-how exclusive to Intel). The prices quoted here replicate a single of Lenovo.com's from time to time altering lower price coupons; the coupon was lacking one particular weekend in the course of my assessment, which sent my machine's rate soaring into a considerably considerably less eye-catching $1,674.
When we open up the process, we can easily see that the 13" 1920x1080 show has rather thin bezels, which contributes for the system's general smaller footprint. The top holds the 720p webcam, which might optionally include things like an infrared sensor for Windows Good day facial recognition. The fingerprint sensor underneath the keyboard is regular, howeverbateria asus a41 x550a original, so biometric authentication supporters can log into the process that way if they choose. So far as impression high-quality goes, the digital camera does fine on world-wide-web calls, but it will never get any awards for cinematography. Regretably there's no hardware shutter on our evaluate unit's digicam like there is certainly on another ThinkPad models, but purchasers who enhance on the infrared camera can get 1.
Display
The 13.3-inch, 1080p display on our evaluation device hits all of our suggested scores, generating it perfect for efficiency get the job done and multimedia intake alike. It is a excellent display, but what seriously helps it jump out is definitely the anti-reflective finish, which could usually be a detriment to photograph good quality.The panel passed the attention test. The bateria lenovo ideapad 110 14AST lavish inside of the dance hall was enriched by outstanding gold molding, the smallest particulars of which were being seen on this FHD panel. Red velvet dresses have been a lively scarlet, but I think they would have popped much more on a glossy panel. Irrespective, I loved utilizing the X13's accurate, colourful display.
A sliding ThinkShutter privacy panel lets you block the 720p webcam, which captures fairly well-lit and colourful, though somewhat soft-focus, illustrations or photos. It really is not an IR-equipped face-recognition camera, but bateria bose soundlink mini ii Windows Good day followers can bypass passwords owing to the fingerprint reader while in the palm relaxation.Audio from your bottom-mounted speakers is loud adequate to fill a midsize area; it's a tiny boomy and quick on bass but clear sufficient to distinguish overlapping tracks. Dolby program allows you to try dynamic, music, motion picture, video game, and voice presets or play using an equalizer.
Our colorimeter confirmed the X13's display is capable of masking 72% with the DCI-P3 shade gamut. It's a very good end result, however it suggests the panel is significantly less vibrant than these to the MacBook Air (80%), ExpertBook B9450 (83%) and cargador toshiba satellite c855 the Latitude 7310 (77%). The group average tops these laptops at 83%. I'm extra anxious with the greatest brightness, which peaks at just 278 nits. The Latitude 7310 (277 nits) is equally dim though the ExpertBook B9450 (302 nits), MacBook Air (386 nits) and also the class common (382 nits) shone higher than our 300-nit preference.
Performance
The design that Lenovo despatched me incorporates an AMD Ryzen 5 Professional 4650U, that's the professional model of your Ryzen 5 4600U. I produce a issue of saying that since the Ryzen seven Pro 4750U is in fact the professional edition from the Ryzen seven 4800U, so it is a bit puzzling. This bateria lenovo ideapad z510 unit also has 8GB RAM and also a 256GB SSD.The ThinkPad X13 flexed its muscle tissues over the Geekbench 5 overall overall performance examination notching an outstanding score of four,935. That crushes the ExpertBook B9450 (2,830), the Dell Latitude 7310 (three,464) and also the premium notebook common (four,060). Shut your eyes Apple supporters, the MacBook Air (two,738) was ashamed on this test.
If you happen to be assigned a ThinkPad X13 by your employer, all you may need to find out is the fact this notebook flies. I loaded many sites on 25 tabs inside the new Microsoft Edge browser with no hp spare 728460 001 noticing a touch of lag. In fact, I could not even punch in the URL with a new tab prior to the former a single had finished loading. I didn't notice any slowdowns even with 4 1080p YouTube movies and two Twitch streams taking part in inside the track record.
Webcam
I wouldn't really feel embarrassed applying this 720p webcam all through our early morning staff members meetings. My rosy complexion was a tad pale and there was a layer of visible sound inside a selfie I snapped. Having said that, the cargador asus e202s aspects in my face were sharper than what I've come to anticipate from integrated webcams.I could see personal strands of hair in my beard and each ring of coloration in my eyes, details other laptops fall short to capture. My Logitech Hd Pro C920 even now provides far better impression high quality, but ThinkPad X13 owners never want to operate out and purchase among the best external webcams.
Software and guarantee
Lenovo is nice about preserving its first-party packages tidily packaged within one particular application. That app is called Vantage and it is really the place you are able to find the hottest BIOS, look for process updates or get in touch with support. Navigating the bateria toshiba satellite p50 a 14gprogram's clear, colourful interfaces led me to method details and answers to common issues, like the way to reset Windows 10 or watch battery usage.
AMD throws in the diagnostics application aptly named Bug Report Software to choose a few stock Windows ten Professional applications, such as the Xbox Console Companion, Your Cellphone, and to the eight or so people who use it, Groove Songs.We love notebooks that do not come slowed down with tons of unwanted software package. We have been delighted to discover that this may be the circumstance with la65ns2 01 the Thinkpad X13 Gen one. In reality, after we opened the Command Panel to find out what apps came preinstalled, the only entries had been Lenovo's Vantage process management software package and Microsoft 365 demo. Our overview device was pre-loaded with Windows ten Home's 2004 update, which is the most recent accessible as in the time of the assessment.
Conclusion
My greatest grievance concerning the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is that the look feels a little bit dated for just a Personal computer which i do take into account premium, even if this configuration will come in at below a thousand pounds. I have little question that we'll see slimmer bezels on subsequent year's design, that may be referred to as Gen two under the pa5177u 1aca new naming product, as Lenovo does are inclined to redesign all of these factors without delay. Actually, the complete variety of ThinkPads from this generation is mostly a spec bump, but that that's a bad thing.To get blunt, my original impressions on the ThinkPad X13 were being unfavorable. The bezels are chunky and the laptop computer is a lot less transportable than most 13-inch types rivals. And when i saw the ThinkPad X13 had lasted below 8 hrs on our battery test, I figured it was DOA.
But the greater I utilized the laptop, the more I appreciated it. Like most AMD Ryzen 4000-powered notebooks, the ThinkPad X13 provides exceptional overall performance in a affordable cost when you look at it to organization laptops running on Intel tenth Gen vPro chips. Business people could have no problems loading several spreadsheets or developing media-heavy PowerPoint shows.In addition to its quick performance, the X13 offers all the cargador samsung r540 common ThinkPad goodies - a cushty keyboard, military-grade longevity, and plenty of ports - along that has a handful of helpful business enterprise capabilities, which includes a webcam include, fingerprint sensor and optional IR camera. Which is a great deal of laptop for approximately $1,000.
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2020.10.23 10:33 Logiman43 How PIS destroyed Poland.

EDIT: This post is in an article format with pictures and graphs here
I can't be silent anymore. In 2018, out of 1076 abortions in Poland, 1 was because of rape, 25 because it was dangerous for the woman's life and 1050 because of an unhealthy fetus. It means that PIS just totally banned abortion in Poland
Too few Europeans are aware of the depth of this crisis. The current Polish government is destroying the country from inside-out with its nepotism, religious zeal, communistic tactics, social programs and funding verge organizations (or trolls). It breaks every single law, making unconstitutional laws since 2015 and destroying the court of law. How Poland is pushing EU into crisis - rise of populism. The video is 2 years old and now it's worst
PIS staffed every single judicial court with its own people (ending the impartiality of judges). The very aggressive social 500+ program increased the job inactivity of Poles to 48% (48% of 15+ Polish citizens are NEET. Unemployment is at 5-6%). The Job vacancies in Poland are at the lowest level in EU. The corruption and nepotism is rampant, more than 1000 family members and friends are in public companies or in different Ministries. Polish PIS high ranking politicians are also making money together with pimps and mafia (see scandals down there). They are also giving millions of euros from public money to the Catholic Church. They are paying trolls to spew hate on Facebook, via Whatsapp and on the web. Some of them are hiding and not prosecuting pedophiles in the Catholic Church. Poland has almost the lowest innovation in EU. In 15 indexes tracking freedom and democracy in Europe Poland went from an average position of 12 out of 28 in 2010 to 23 out of 28 in 2019. I mean, not to diminish Trump’s “awesomeness” but imagine if the WHOLE republican party in the US was Trump-like. Shady deals, family in the govt, creating discord, staffing courts with their own judges. I’m just mortified.
For further reading I recommend: Sadurski, Wojciech. "Poland's Constitutional Breakdown", Oxford University Press, 2019.
Acronyms and main characters:

PiS changes electoral rules in an unconstitutional move. Presidential "elections" 2020 are the Biggest legal blunder of the year

Poland Is Showing the World How Not to Run a Pandemic Election. The upcoming Polish election is shaping up to be a farce. Washington should learn from Warsaw’s mistakes before November.
Why Poland’s “ghost election” sends a warning about its democracy
Wikipedia about this blunder

Destruction of the rule of law.

Some of the passages below are taken from this pdf
No member state in the history of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control as the current Polish government. The Polish case has become a test whether it is possible to create a Soviet-style justice system in an EU member state; a system where the control of courts, prosecutors and judges lies with the executive and a single party.
Across Europe, national courts recognise the judgements of courts in other member states, whether these involve commercial law, the European arrest warrant or child custody. Judges must assume that courts across the EU operate according to common values and principles set out in the European Union Treaty and in its Charter of Fundamental Rights. Once judges across the EU have reason to doubt whether courts in any member state provide effective judicial protection, the legal order on which the EU rests collapses.
Freedom house - How PIS captured Poland’s Courts

Constitutional Tribunal changes

It all began with the constitutional crisis four years ago. Constitutional crisis and the destruction of the rule of law In 2015, parliament changed the law on the Constitutional Tribunal, which rules on the constitutionality of legislation. The changes allowed them to annul the nominations of three judges made by the previous parliament and appoint their own. It shortened the terms of the tribunal's president and vice-president from nine to three years. The tribunal ruled the move unconstitutional in an open rebellion, but the dispute remains unresolved. Julia Przylebska - was illegally named the president of the Tribunal court by the president. And now Kaczynski, the PM have meetings at her house. Nice separation of power
There's too much to describe. For further info please visit the link. It is an amazing summary of the whole ordeal. timeline

Supreme Court changes

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said one of the most controversial reforms was to do with the Supreme court, which, among other duties, is responsible for confirming election results. The idea was to lower the age of retirement for Supreme Court justices from 70 to 65, but allow the Polish president to grant a five-year extension to whomever they deemed worthy. In 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) — the EU's highest court —ruled this was illegal, after an interim decision ordered 20 already-sacked judges be reinstated. Of course, PIS chose 2 new Constitutional judges, A politician Pawlowicz with communistic past and Piotrowicz, also a politician and a prosecutor that was an active communist during the 80 that prosecuted Solidarnosc. Both of them are above 65 years old.

Ordinary court judges

There were also moves to try a similar tactic in the general court system for judges and public prosecutors, lowering the age of retirement for women to 60 and for men to 65, down from the current 67. Under the reforms the justice minister, who is appointed by the ruling party, would have the power to extend a judge's term. The laws were somewhat adjusted after pressure from the European Commission, but in November 2019 the ECJ shot down these laws, too, citing gender discrimination and political influence over the judiciary.

Disciplinary measures for judges

Another PiS addition allowed judges to be investigated and sanctioned for their court rulings. The disciplinary hearings and procedures were to be carried out by judges selected via parliament. These reforms were criticized by the European Commission because "judges are not insulated from political control and thus judicial independence is violated." The commission brought legal action against Poland on this matter in October 2019.

National Council of the judiciary takeover

In 2017 PiS remodeled the National Council of the Judiciary, which selects candidates for appointment as judges by the President of the Republic. This allowed it, in the short term, to control appointments to the Supreme Court – including to a newly created Disciplinary Chamber, which hears disciplinary cases against judges, and to a new Extraordinary Appeals Chamber, which adjudicates on electoral issues. Over time PiS’ take-over of the National Judicial Council allows it to reshape the entirety of the judiciary. Fifteen of the 25 members of the National Council of the Judiciary were previously elected by judges themselves, as is common practice across Europe for such bodies. These fifteen judges are now elected by the majority in the Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament. The other ten members of the National Council of the Judiciary are: four members from the Sejm itself (all four members of PiS), two members from the Senate, one representative of the President of the Republic, the Minister of Justice, the president of the Supreme Court and the president of the Supreme Administrative Court. In total 23 of the 25 positions are directly appointed by political authorities.
After the election of the new KRS, a publication of the list with the names of judges declaring their support for specific candidates was refused. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that those names must be disclosed. However, the Chancellery of the Sejm has yet to carry out the NSA’s ruling. The Constitutional Tribunal (TK) and the President of the Personal Data Protection Office have been roped into guarding the secret. KRS destruction

Muzzle bill

The muzzle bill passed Dec 2019, victimize judges questioning the legitimacy of the government’s legal appointments, saying it is unlawful to “show hostility to other authorities of the Republic of Poland and its constitutional organs or to critisize the basic principles of the Republic of Poland.”The bill also delegalise the preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). The bill also allows to fire judges ( which is unconstitutional according to the Constitution). In average Ziobro dismissed a judge every day and a half from its position of president of court source

One of the worse Covid19 laws in EU.

Trampling Fundamental freedoms using a single ordnance and Critiquing the President will land you a year in jail. report.
In the latest special Covid19 law (already 4th lol) PIS smuggled an article straight from a communistic playbook about prosecuting people that critique the president. The sentence can be up to a year. They also smuggled a harsher law for abortions. Can someone tell me HOW it is related to Covid19? source
More Ruleoflaw

Political scandals

Illegal presidential pardon

Illegal presidential pardon for CBA chief Kaminski In 2013, Law and Justice (PiS) MP Mariusz Kamiński – who served as head of the anti-corruption agency from 2006 and 2009 – was found guilty of overstepping his powers. He was sentenced to three years in prison and was banned from holding public office for ten years. Polish President Andrzej Duda pardoned Kamiński even though he was still appealing his sentence at the time. The case against Kamiński was then discontinued. A supreme court judge said that the president interfered in the legal process because Kamiński was proven neither innocent nor guilty when he was pardoned, making a future ruling redundant. The judge said that the president can pardon someone after any final appeal has been heard “because then he is not interfering with the judiciary”.

Merging the General Prosecutor with the political Minister of Justice

The general prosecutor role was merged with the minister of justice Ziobro. source. This handed Ziobro and his subordinates greatly expanded power to politically interfere with rank-and-file prosecutors, their decisions, and their freedoms of speech and association. Poland Is Purging Its Prosecutors
200+ public prosecutors that are loyal to the Minister of Justice Ziobro (from PIS) All of them got promotions (or someone from their family) or pay raises. another list

Destroying the military

The creation of a territorial defense unit- a civilian army led by the ministry of defense to control “the situation inside Poland”. In addition, there was a purge of generals. and killing multibillion deals with France. About 37 generals and 47 colonels left. Why? Because they had to answer to a 27-year old assistant to the Defense Minister, former pharmacy assistant without a university degree. The Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper reported that Misiewicz was given a top communications job with PGZ ( largest defense consortiums in Central Europe) that pays $12,500 a month, huge sum in a country where the average pre-tax wage is about $1,150 a month. source
PIS decides to overhaul 40-years old t-72 instead of investing in German tanks. Not enough ammunition, uniforms NVG and other gadget went to the above unit,
In 2015, the Defence minister Macierewicz raided the Nato center in Warsaw at 1am to take control of documents and place their man at the helm

The ministry of Justice is funding trolls to destroy judges

Ziobro-Piebiak paid Troll scandal The Onet news portal published a report alleging that Deputy Justice Minister Łukasz Piebiak “arranged and controlled” an online campaign against Judge Krystian Markiewicz, the head of Iustitia, a judicial organization critical of the government’s efforts to restructure the judicial system, as well as against other inconvenient judges. According to the Onet report, Piebiak operated and financed an online campaign by a woman called Emilia who allegedly sent over 2,000 letters and emails about Markiewicz to other judges as well as to pro-government right-wing media. The messages contained fabricated, semi-confirmed and gossipy details of the judge’s personal life. According to Onet, Emilia obtained Markiewicz’s personal address from Piebiak so she could send him one of the letters.

Taking over the state media

State media was taken over by PIS and is using mass propaganda and here Not only they are a propaganda tube but they also offend polish citizens ie – translation: defenders of paedophiles and alimonies-takers are the ones against judiciary reforms. They call every peaceful protest as a coup
The same can be said about the GUS – general statistical bureau. It is controlled by PIS and it is known to “change” metrics so every Inflation or unemployment metrics can’t be trusted.

LBGT-free zones and Xenophobia.

Fear against refugees and calls for xenophobia. A leaked draft of a new Polish migration policy discriminates against Muslims, ranks foreigners according to ethnicity and breaches human rights
PIS is supporting LGBT free zones where a thrid of Poland is declared as LGBT-free. During the presidential elections in 2020 Gay “ideology” is worse than communism, says Duda - PIS president . another source

Destroying education and HealthCare.

PIS cancels the in vitro program Polish government program that covered most of the in vitro costs was immediately cut by the Law and Justice Party when it came to power in late 2015, even though Poland has one of the lowest birth rates in the EU. Catholic Church opposition to IVF is widely seen as one factor in the Polish government's decision.
PIS also increased the minimum wage at the beginning of 2020. It created a weird paradox where a teacher and a starting MD is earning less than the minimal wage because they get paid from public money and the minimal wage change is for the private sector. And PIS wants to ban sex ed by labeling teachers as gay activists and pedophiles. Critics say Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party is wrecking the education system for political gain — and students are suffering.

No one cares for the environment.

Destruction of the oldest European forest in Poland by Minister of Environment Szyszko The Bialowieza Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site that sprawls across the border between Poland and Belarus, occupying almost 580 square miles of woodland and providing home to rare European wood bison among others. At least 10,000 trees are thought to have been felled in Białowieża, since the Polish environment minister, Jan Szyzko tripled logging limits there in 2016. The EU’s highest court has ruled that Poland’s logging in the Unesco-protected Białowieża forest is illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines.
“Our (water) resources are comparable to those of Egypt,” it said in the report bearing the ominous title: “Poland, European Desert”

Nepotism and colleagues in state-owned companies

PIS won the elections by wanting to fight nepotism. The most famous was “24yo Misiewicz, a former pharmacy assistant without a university degree was in the defense industry under Macierewicz. The apparent favoritism has raised ethics concerns in a party that won office promising to fight corruption.” source There is even a webpage listing more than 1000 cases of nepotism under PIS Pisiewicze
Latest data show 162M PLN to 84 PIS oligarchs and Colleagues

Illegal budget for 2017

The 2017 budget "was adopted" not in the Sejm assembly hall, but in a smaller room where the so-called parliamentary session was held immediately as a follow-up to the meeting of the parliamentary causus of PIS, where no reliable counting of vates was possible, and with many allegations taht the opposition MPs were not allowed in. [Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?, Oxfoord, 2018, p.268]

Ex-communists in PIS ranks. And PIS is very anti-left and anti-PRL.

They are accusing the opposition – PO - to consist mostly of ex-communists or communistic party members or collaborators. The issue is that most members of PO fought against the communism and spent months/years in prison in the ’80. On the other hand, the PIS party members scarcely fought for polish liberty and some of its party members are former communistic party members or communistic prosecutors like Piotrowicz! Some Polish TC judge are also ex-PRL members. Here is a list in polish of all current PIS party members who served as PRL members during the communistic era. So, PIS is fighting against itself. Another list with 20 names of ex-party members now in PIS

Funding the Catholic church with public money

PIS is very Pro-Catholic, most of their voters are devout Catholics. So it is no surprise that PIS is funding religious orgs from public money. Since Law and Justice came to power in 2015, Father Rydzyk’s businesses have received at least $55 million in subsidies from at least 10 ministries and state companies. His Radio Maryja station, which reaches millions and is often the sole source of information for many older voters in rural Poland, offers a daily diet of horror stories about a world without faith, where gay people control the political agenda, universities are corrupted by “neo-Marxists,” and the Roman Catholic Church is under mortal threat. Rydzyk Embroiled in Corruption Allegations
Hiding Pedophilia. Map of 259 victims of catholic pedophilia. When a documentary was released before recent local elections revealing devastating examples of how priests sexually abused children and how church officials covered it up, many in PIS saw it not as evidence of an institution that lost its way, but one that needed to be defended. Piotrowicz, the above communist prosecutor, dismissed in 2001 a case against a priest accused of raping six girls.
Polish PIS president Duda pardons a paedophile that raped his own daughter. He makes the pardon a week before elections

Smolensk commission

The so-called assassination of Kaczynski's twin president brother in Smolensk created 90M PLN of costs. PIS created a "cult" around his death and even created a special commission that would prove it was an assassination. Kaczynski was using it on every occasion Don't wipe your treacherous mugs with .... Ofc they didn’t prove anything and they buried the topic. Every 10th of every month for 3 years, PIS party leader Kaczynski was making a "show" commemorating his dead twin brother. He was using the police to secure his demonstration even if he has no lawful power (he is neither a president, neither the prime minister). New law expanding police surveillance and the police is getting raises after raises to keep them happy. The commemorations, the commission and the damages (paid only to the politicians’ families, not to the crew) amounted to 91M PLN.

The welfare revolution

PIS is also very pro-family. The party is giving away 500zl per month for every kid. In short, it has “bought” the elections. The polish economy is unable to sustain such an endeavor roots of populism. And it costs the economy 80B PLN between 2016 and 2019. The best part? Rate of births is negative for the last couple of years and inflation is still growing. According to the PIS Stats bureau it is 3.5% and growing. However, many journalists made their own baskets of normal good and services and the inflation is closer to 10%. Additionally there is a growing debt that PIS tries to hide by shifting some debt into other Funds. One of them is the “Solidarity fund” that is not counted in the overall polish GDP, that is to support people with disabilities will pay for the 13th and 14th pension of people 65+.

Funding propaganda and trolls

Computational Propaganda in Poland: Russian troll factories
PIS bought the Pegasus spyware to spy on its citizens In September 2018, private broadcaster TVN24 reported that Poland’s state audit body, NIK, was questioning an outlay of over 33 million zloty (€7.6 million euro) by the Justice Fund, a government fund to help victims of crime. According to TVN, the money went toward the purchase of a “new system to spy on telephones and computers, the most expensive system in the history of Polish secret services.” Reports that the covertly purchased system could be Pegasus — a top-performing spyware that is impossible to track — surfaced last week.
Polish troll farms promoting Duda and Kaczynski

Funding public TV stations

Polish public TV stations should be impartial and public. Not favoring any party nor government and give the same screen time to every party equally. Unfortunately, there was a purge of journalists the moment PIS won the election and the propaganda is stalin-like. Look at this graph how it changed. Polish TVP is the mouthpiece of the govt. In 2020 PIS voted to give an additional 2B pln per year for 5 years to public tv.
Public Main TV making fun of US ambassador by reading the tweet with a derogatory accent

Scandals

PIS has hundreds of scandals that each would destroy a modern government. They defrauded billions of PLN over the years, put 1000’s of family members in different state-owned companies. Below are listed the main sexual and financial scandals.
  1. Sex hotel of the head of the Audit office Marian Banaś , a Law and Justice (PiS) politician and recently appointed chief of Poland’s Supreme Audit Office has been heavily embroiled in a corruption scandal, another to hit the ruling party just weeks before the country votes in a parliamentary election. Mr Banaś served as finance minister from June to August this year, and is a key figure in the party. Mr Banaś concealed his possession of a tenement house in Krakow from his financial disclosures. This property was then revealed to have deep running connections with a local, criminally-run escort agency. He claimed that the house was given to him by an old friend whom he met in the Home Army, which he then renovated. In his disclosures he claimed he would sell the house, which never happened. Banaś claims that this was due to the buyer’s inability to get a loan. Investigations have further revealed that Mr Banaś agreed to rent the property for 5000 zloty a month, 10,000 zloty lower than its estimated market value, according to Gazeta Wyborcza. Just as the scandal could not apparently get any worse for Mr Banaś, further investigation by journalist Bertold Kittel revealed criminal links. When Mr Kittel entered the property he found at the reception an infamous Krakow criminal known as one of the brothers K – Wiesław or Janusz, who control escort agencies in the region. While still under investigation, there have been suggestions of contact between the two.
  2. "Alleged" Pedophila and Sex trafficking scandal of House speaker Wirtualna Polska learned the contents of the message of CBA officer Wojciech J. to the prosecutor's office about the failure of the head of the CBA, Ernest Bejda. In the background is a lost record with a recording of one of the leading PiS politicians who should have sex with a minor Ukrainian girl lost. His name falls on the document. In the message, Wojciech J. refers to several reports that he was the head of the office in connection with the "unauthorized access to his armored cabinet during his absence" submitted. From this vault, a record should be lost in escort agencies from the Podkarpacie region. One of the leading PiS politicians should have sex with a young Ukrainian in the recording. The statement signed by lawyer Beata Bosak-Kruczek mentions the name of Sejm spokesman Marek Kuchciński.
  3. Health minister Szumowski alleged to have bought £1m of PPE from ski instructor friend during pandemic. And givng away £65m grants to companies run by brother public anger has exploded after Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Szumowski bought masks with fake certificates from a skiing instructor who is friends with his businessman brother, Marcin. Poland’s Health Ministry reportedly spent five million zloty (£1m) on 120,000 FFP-2 type face masks and 20,000 surgical masks that were later found not to meet safety standards, Politico says. The company that sold the masks was registered on the 30 of March and won the govt. contract on the same day. Critics have also questioned Szumowski’s previous dealings in government. Polish news network tvn24 reports that while serving as deputy science minister in 2016-17, he gave 300 million zloty (£60m) in grants from Poland’s National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) to OncoArendi Therapeutics, a research company run by his brother. Another company in which Szumowski was a shareholder, Life Science Innovation (LSI), was reportedly given a 24 million zloty (£5m) NCBR grant just days after he took up the ministerial post.
  4. Same Health minister Szumowski bought 1.2 thousand ventilators for PLN 200 million from a company owned by an arms dealer, not a single device was delivered
contd.
submitted by Logiman43 to Polska [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 17:04 azoundria2 Bob The Magic Custodian



Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses.
Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes.

First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure:

Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:

But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are!

"On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid".
"Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since."

"As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!"
"Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?"

"Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party."
"Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!"

"What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven."
"Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!"

"We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies.
And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often".

How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen?
Just one.

Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so?
If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security.

The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle.

And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet?

Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds.
So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever.

Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see.
It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation.
A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.

History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance.
Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.)
Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive.

Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today.
Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well.
Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do.

Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]


2020.10.14 08:51 BagAveAccessories PoshShareBot (the software I currently use) Review by PoshSeller.com

PoshShareBot
Purchase Process
The purchase process for PoshShareBot was very different than the other companies. Their website does not have a purchase button. They offer a free one-week trial and they ask you to send them an email. The purchase process will be described later in this review.
Downloading and Setup
Their website said they offer a free one-week trial of the bots, so I sent them an email saying I’d like to try their free one-week trial. About an hour later I received an email offering the free one-week trial and asking for my closet name and phone number. I replied with that. Then they emailed me and offered to set up my bots for me and asked when was a good time for me to speak on the phone. I replied with a time. When that time arrived, they texted me and asked if they could call. I agreed and they called me. The man on the phone explained the process and answered my questions. He said he needed me to download a program called TeamViewer. (This is contradictory to their website when they say no software has to be installed.) I downloaded and installed TeamViewer. It’s free if used for just personal use. TeamViewer is used for remote technical support. You give Tech Support your TeamViewer ID number and temporary password and then Tech Support can log into your computer and take over. (They cannot get in later because the temporary password changes.) He logged into my computer and he took over. He installed an extension into my web browser. That was all that had to be installed. Then he showed me how to run the bots. First he brought up my control panel in a browser window. I logged into it with my email address and a password that he had set up for me. I’ll describe the control panel below. Then he showed me how to bring up the bots. I will also describe them below.
So set up was more than just simple. I can’t stress the amount of relief this brought me after all the other experiences I had setting up the other programs. I really didn’t have to do anything to set them up!
Another important thing I’d like to add is that the customer service with this company is sheer perfection. They told me to text them any time I have a problem. I really didn’t need any help except a couple questions here and there during my first week, and they texted me right back and answered my questions. They are quick to respond and will go out of their way to ensure you’re happy with everything.
Breakdown of PoshShareBot Software
Control Panel Overview
This Control Panel is by far the easiest, most streamlined control panel I’ve come across. It’s one window on your computer, which I might add does not have the bottom half attached to a browser window to open Poshmark in where you’d only see 25% of the Poshmark site thus not really being able to see what’s going on! It’s one window all to itself. (The control panel looks nothing like the picture on their website. It’s much more streamlined than in the picture.) In that window is the name of each bot offered and a simple on/off switch. Can’t get any more simple that that! I will discuss the very best feature of the control panel later in this review.
Closet Bot
With PoshShareBot, a separate browser window is brought up for each of the bots. For the closet bot, you bring up a browser window and log into Poshmark and then click your closet name to bring up your closet. You only have to log into Poshmark once. It doesn’t keep logging you out like the other bot companies do.
When your closet is displayed, PoshShareBot allows you to drag-and-drop items around in your closet. I love this feature. I can easily get my closet in the order I want it.
The first bot on your Control Panel is the closet bot. Here’s how simple this is, as with the following bots on the Control Panel I’ll review… When you decide to share your own items you click on the words closet bot and the Control Panel opens to the closet bot’s options. You enter how many items you’d like to share from your closet. That number gets stored, you don’t have to enter it again until you want to change it. Then select the back button which brings you back to the main Control Panel and you switch the on button.
The Closet Bot shares your closet in reverse order so that it does not change the order of your closet. It will not share any sold items that have the red Sold banner on them and it will not share any Not For Sale items.
There are also other options that you can select with your closet bot. You can tell it to run multiple cycles of the closet bot. You just enter how many times you’d like it to share your closet.
The closet bot will also share your items into the morning party, mid day party, afternoon party and evening parties! You simply tell it which party to share to and it will go through your closet in reverse order and share appropriate items into the party and any other items to your followers. This keeps your closet in order!
The evening party is always welcome to all items so the closet bot will share your entire closet to the evening party. Simple as that!
News Bot
The news bot requires literally no work on your part, short of turning it on. This bot is what watches your personal news feed for comments, offers and purchases. The news feed will then see you have a, for example, comment and you’ll be notified via TEXT MESSAGE to your cell phone with the comment in it! How perfect is that?! You don’t ever have to worry you’ll miss a comment again, question, offers or anything again! If you think it can’t get better, it does! This bot filters out spam comments. If you receive a host pick generally you receive a ton of comments congratulating you. No one wants 50 text messages with congratulatory messages. It also filters out mass tag comments! PoshShareBot has made it so only the important things are text to you. You will get a text message whenever someone makes an offer or a purchase or adds an item to a bundle, etc. In the control panel you can select which types of text messages you want to get or don’t want to get.
Return Bot
The Return Bot will return share to those who’ve shared your items. It’s simple and also offers you options as well. Just like the previous bot, you click on the words “return bot” on the control panel which opens the options you have for how you’d like to return share. It’s simple and my favorite – involves little work and takes the thinking out of it for you. The options offered are as follows…
Return Share For Likes and Shares – this option is to return back shares, one for one, to those who’ve liked your items or shared them. You can select the maximum amount of shares you wish to return. Return Follow – this option lets you follow anyone who has followed you, and then can share some of their items. You can choose how many of their items to share. Share From Listing Likes – in this option you type in the closet name of any competitor closet. It will go to that closet and follow and share everyone who did a “like” on the items in the competitor’s closet. You can choose how many items to share of the people who did a “like”. Follow From Love Notes List – every day these bots give you a big list of closets that left a love note on Poshmark the day before. This option will follow each of those closets. You can choose how many items to share. This is a huge benefit! These closets are recent happy buyers that leave love notes. Follow From Closet Love Notes – in this option you type in the closet name of any competitor closet. It will go to that closet and follow and share everyone who left a love note at that competitor’s closet. This is a huge benefit! The closets that left love notes are recent happy buyers. This is how you steal your competitor’s customers! Follow From Fresh Closets List – every day these bots give you a big list of closets that added their first item to their new closet the day before. It will follow and share each of these new closets. These people are active and are still buyers. Plus, Poshmark loves it when you share new closets. One important feature about PoshShareBot is that it ONLY shares approved items. It will never share any illegal items. PoshShareBot reads all the words in the titles of every item before it shares it! This is just one of the many things about PoshShareBot that makes it human-like.
I find the Return bot on PoshShareBot to be amazing.
Again, any value you entered into the control panel is stored. You never have to enter it in again, until you want to change it.
Block List
PoshShareBot lets you specify a Block List. You can put any closet name on your Block List and your bots will never share their items. If you have certain closets you rather not share, you just enter their user name and the bots will not share their items! You can type in the closet names of your competitors.
Feed Bot
The feed bot will share items out of your feed. It’s a good way to bring other users to your closet to return the shares. It will only share approved items. It will not share any illegal items. It will not share any sold items. It will not share any items from users on your block list. And it will not share any items that may have come from your closet that someone else had shared into the feed. It automatically refreshes the feed page when it needs to scroll in new items.
Party Bot
The Party Bot is an absolutely impressive feature! This bot allows you to share items out of each party (morning, mid day, afternoon and evening parties). By clicking on the words “party bot” on the control panel, it brings you to the party bot’s options page where you can select which parties you want to share out of. Again, once selected these options will remain this way unless you change them. Then you select from where you’d like to share out of from the parties – main feed, host picks, first look, designer or new with tags. Then when the party starts, you simply turn the bot on.
It will only share approved items. It will not share any illegal items. It will not share any sold items. It will not share any items from users on your block list. And it will not share any items that may have come from your closet that someone else had shared into the party. It automatically refreshes the party showroom when it needs to scroll in new items.
This bot ran without a hitch. It shared people who had never seen me before who are online right now. It brought new people into my closet and helped boost my sales.
Welcome Bot
You can specify a welcome message and then you can turn on the Welcome Bot and it will go to new closets on Poshmark and leave that welcome message on their Meet the Posher item. It runs automatically, with automatic timing, welcoming a total of about 50 new users who just joined Poshmark today.
I found some extremely important and very impressive features that PoshShareBot offers that no one else does. These following features are truly what, on top of everything else, makes this company unique and stand out and above all other automation companies. I honestly couldn’t find any design flaws with this program! These features however are absolutely impeccable and I’m excited to share them with you!
Total Remote Control
The first important feature I want to touch more upon is: The Control Panel ~ Yes, I know I discussed the Control Panel in quite detail previously, but it gets better! You also get a MOBILE control panel. I know that we are all busy, whether Poshmark is your full or part time job or even a hobby, we all have other things to do and cannot be stuck in front of a computer 24/7. Having a control panel I can use right from my smart phone or tablet is a major bonus. I do not have to lug my laptop on vacation with me or anywhere at all. I control my bots right from my mobile control panel on my cell phone or tablet! I could be in Japan and still run my business without my laptop!
Text Message Alerts
PoshShareBot also has a text message alert feature!! When your closet has a comment, offer, someone makes a purchase OR you receive a captcha you receive a text message straight to your cell phone! If you have multiple closets your texts will even let you know which closet your message or captcha is coming from. They also offer the option to add multiple phone lines that can receive these text messages which is great for those of you who have helpers or employees, such as myself. I have two assistants working in their own homes to help me. They are able to control my bots from their cell phones. They can also receive text messages from my bots when there are any comments on my items, or offers or sales. You can even specify which phones get which text messages. Therefore, thanks to the bots, I have been able to fully delegate my work to other people who work in the comfort of their own home.
PoshShareBot has also resolved the captcha issue by allowing you to receive text messages. You no longer must be in front of your computer waiting for them to pop up nor must you worry about their software ignoring the captcha’s. It automatically stops sharing and sends you a text message! On top of that this company has figured out a way where their customers can fix the captcha’s right from their mobile devices or tablets if you are not in front of your computer! And that is where TeamViewer comes in again. In Teamviewer on your computer, you go into settings and you specify a password of your choice that only you know. That will be your own secret password. Then you install TeamViewer for free on your iPhone or Android phone, and you remote into your PC at home (using your secret password) and you clear the captcha! Way cool! This truly gives you your life back!
This total remote control of bots is the biggest feature of PoshShareBot. Never again do you have to be in front of your computer. You can completely control them from your phone!
Automatic Governor
Lastly, as I mentioned with my other reviews the other programs make you enter the time you’d like in between shares. It’s not something I cared for. But PoshShareBot has done all the thinking for you and their software automatically sets the wait times between your shares to mimic real live human activity, making their bots very human-like. For example, one share may be 3.14 seconds apart and the next may be 2.71 seconds apart, and the next may be 4.23 seconds apart. Also, because you’re able to run multiple bots at once, their programming has been designed in a way which governs all shares done to prevent the Poshmark Watchdog software on the Poshmark server from putting you in “share jail”. These bots automatically keep you under the radar!
Online Forum
In the control panel (both on phone and on PC) you can go into the online forum. This is a secret online community of all the users of PoshShareBot. Each user is automatically given a random user-number. It is completely anonymous. No names are mentioned. Only user-numbers. It is a treasure chest of tips and tricks about how to be successful on Poshmark. All the users ask questions and answer questions and give advice. Nobody knows who the other people are, but they all talk to each other like they know each other.
Customer Service
As mentioned previously the customer service with PoshShareBot’s was beyond excellent and truly exceeded my expectations. I didn’t need much help because I found this automation software program to be extremely simple and streamlined. However, I did reach out to the company to ask questions and when I did I was always responded to within a very quick and timely manner. They never ignored or missed a single text or email and were always happy to offer their help and support. They seem to be very invested in their company and want to see you succeed. They also do not make automation software for any other website and are solely focused on Poshmark and keeping their software up to date. When Poshmark changes, they change with it.
In Conclusion
I believe this is a no-brainer. Bots free up your time. You no longer have to stare at a computer screen all day long, getting carpal tunnel in your hands and headaches from staring at the screen. Now you can focus on the other important things needed to run your business or even give yourself some free time! Let the bots work for you!!
Automation is an absolute vital resource to create a successful and profitable business on Poshmark. Remember, you have to spend money to make money and with automation/bots you will undoubtedly see results and the small investment will pay itself back and then some, but choosing the right automation program is also key and after experience I truly believe PoshShareBot is the best of the best.
At the end of my free one-week trial, I of course decided to buy the bots. This is simple. I just clicked a paypal button in the control panel. That brought me to the paypal website. I paid there. My bots were good for another month. Nothing else to do. No automatic recurring payments. Just a one-time payment to continue using the bots for another month. After a month I could either not pay, and the bots would stop working, or I could simply press the paypal button again and pay for another month. Truly no commitment required and there are no recurring fees.
If I were to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d absolutely without a doubt give this company a perfect 10. Contact them here: PoshShareBot.com
If you are serious about creating a successful business this is a must. I can also tell you that the true top sellers on Poshmark, and I’m not talking about everyone who makes one sale and is suddenly a “top ten percent seller”, but the true top sellers pulling in thousands of dollars in sales a week use automation. It’s just vital. I can’t stress this enough.
So, if you have a closet full of items that are just not selling, give the bots a try. I guarantee once you do, you will wonder what you ever did without them.
Success is obtainable. You can create a successful business and a profitable one!
submitted by BagAveAccessories to PoshmarkBotUsers [link] [comments]


2020.10.12 21:32 glimmeronfire Strange email from “FidelityLife” that ends in a while dump of random gibberish

I’m sorry this is so long but I copied and pasted everything in the email onto here. I got an email from FidelityLife but the address is actually “[email protected] boyhip. net” and was sent to me at “[myemail]@outlook.com” but I use gmail so I’m not sure how this even got to me. If anybody has some insight as to what happened, why all that gibberish is there, what it might mean, or how it got to me, I’d really appreciate it. Again, sorry for the long post. Thank you. Edited to add: A lot of the random stuff below was in different font sizes, underlines, strikethroughs, links, and languages. Obviously the formatting didn’t stay the same when I copied it. It’s so strange.
$1 million in Life Insurance Coverage
91.210.190.69 3778359 mVfquWzirv.edu SUHkoLItUn.edu cAgbDSupyr.edu cOcPBjIMvq.edu hfmnXHTsNN.edu zaLTuRFJOP.edu wNRctsqdJf.edu KJpRcFSKBS.edu KwmroGAnkW.edu lbBOyNQcMr.edu NqgjdnvIOX.edu eUBlpVUEUJ.edu SCxgfoSdRw.edu bfJyltJRld.edu VQcakwaWNb.edu XQKuBDaUYh.edu PFtOfXEUJU.edu YyHgxSSQGu.edu BCVYjbbqpi.edu uMYlOiNRgF.edu FqkZggwZYR.edu dVEprVwEoU.edu muRoCLAmmo.edu nqCKVPwgyD.edu XZBGxzxQzk.edu QujAtAtgsp.edu JVliSiMaNM.edu mPKmeOWZlU.edu pvJvTyPCVj.edu vSibrFSEez.edu qNdfvSrfDi.edu qjEjdayZJz.edu MYRcKhuYGt.edu PjuAhYFdRf.edu OhGTpUMujE.edu wFuMcClbUU.edu NQeuRbnNpj.edu HfqVNSoSWV.edu xTlQOzRfXd.edu yZteTvRBqX.edu nFNfogfQkX.edu XBMzQZQCdJ.edu YBlAUuqjmN.edu pBIsAAEFXB.edu RJcLgcpsHa.edu hcbHitglQs.edu bOgOInVBcF.edu cLGvtSiGHR.edu lecbASBflC.edu onpxUdqUZI.edu KOhhBYaVMB.edu lArttqSZqZ.edu ----Rf;sklh;aeq 403 ERROR
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----LiPC7XrW;LxIJtL A un paso de Busplus
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Recuerda que Busplus es el Club de viajeros de ALSA con el que podrás acumular puntos canjeables por viajes,
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----PR;yhok;plw Dear VAsxjDFJ; Registered Company Name: Trading Name: Registration Number: Registration Date: Business Type: (Pty) Ltd CC (Close Corporation) T/A (Sole Proprietor) Partnership Other Specify: VAT Registration Number: Physical Address: Code: Postal Address: Code: Telephone No: ( ) Facsimile No: ( ) Mobile No: Email Address: Approximate Monthly Purchase Amount: Finance Contact: Contact Number: ( ) Email Address: Banking Details: Name of Bank: Branch Code: Account Number: Trade References: Company Telephone Contact Credit Limit 1. ( ) R 2. ( ) R 3. ( ) R ----py;xlxd;lnd Spending time studying abroad can be a rewarding and life changing experience, giving you a unique opportunity to explore the world, discover different cultures and enhance your career prospects.
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Bonjour sPmtkQvb,
Merci pour votre inscription sur NITCBp. Nous sommes ravis de vous compter parmi nous et impatients de vous proposer le meilleur des ressources pour préparer et animer votre classe.Pour rappel, voici votre identifiant de connexion à votre espace personnel : npe0oTg Vous pouvez dès à présent accéder gratuitement * à toute la rubrique Métier d'enseignant mais *nous tenons aussi à vous offrir 10 crédits pour tester nos contenus premium et découvrir la richesse de nos outils.
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Zipcode: Zipcode Thank for your order Previously ordered Thank for your order Thank you - your order has been received. Your Graduation Coordinator will be in touch closer to graduation to let you know when and where to collect your regalia.
2003 - Reservados todos los derechos
Your subscription to our list has been confirmed. Thank you for subscribing! +17572617832 AUTORISATION D’INSCRIPTION POUR ETUDIANT MINEUR Je soussigné(e)………………………………………………………………………………………………, certifie sur l’honneur agir en qualité de représentant légal de ………………………………………………………….…………., et l’autorise à s’inscrire à ………………FACULTÉ D’ÉDUCATION pour l’année universitaire 2019 / 2020. A…………..………..…………, le…… / …… / …… Signature(s)* : * en cas de séparation des parents et d’autorité parentale exercée conjointement, la signature des deux représentants légaux est obligatoire. ----Ro;sdiu;tza UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION Total No. of Universities in the Country as on 01.02.2020 Universities Total No. State Universities 409 Deemed to be Universities 127 Central Universities 50 Private Universities 349 Total 935 ----hA;vfmg;bhv Nom : Prénom : Adresse personnelle Téléphone : Adresse Professionnelle complète : Téléphone : Courrier électronique : Avez-vous participé à des activités du CAES ? Oui ? Non ? Lesquelles et en quelle année ? Composition de la famille participant à l’activité (y compris l'agent INSERM et les extérieurs éventuels). Peuvent bénéficier du Secteur Sport tous les agents rémunérés par l’INSERM (ouvrant droit), leur ayant-droits (conjoint et enfants à charge entre 21 et 26 ans - date anniversaire). Les enfants de moins de 21 ans ne sont pas pris en charge et doivent s’adresser au secteur Jeunesse (activités Périscolaires), sauf dans le cas de sorties sportives familiales. Nom Prénom Date de naissance Âge Lien de parenté Fait à Le Signature COMPOSITION DU DOSSIER : ? formulaire ci-joint ? Un chèque de 100 € d’arrhes ? la fiche agent avec les photocopies demandées si vous ne l’avez pas encore envoyée au CAES ? Un certificat médical de non contre indication à l’activité. CAES Inserm Association Loi 1901 - IM 0940006 - Assurance RCP MAIF - Garantie financière UNAT COMITE D'ACTION ET D'ENTRAIDE SOCIALE DE L'INSERM ATTESTATION DE NON SUBVENTION si conjoint Ce document peut nous parvenir dans un second temps Je soussigné(e)………………………………en qualité de ………………………………… Certifie que MMme………………………………………………………………. ne perçoit pas de subvention NOM et Prénom ..………………………………………………….…………. …………………………………………………….………... …………………………………….………………………... ……………………………………….……………………... ……………………………………….……………………... ……………………………………….……………………... Pour servir et valoir ce que de droit. Fait à Le Cachet et signature ----cnQXCHNK;VwpruV Welcome aboard! Hi vincent, Thank you for choosing Nave for File! We're so excited to have you on board. You’ve just made your first major step towards a more productive and efficient workflow. With our dashboards, you can:
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----WB6HZmBu;pMJkvU cxKIlgNEVf.edu NqRaGGJpud.edu sMrGAzaLSc.edu FvLYrdPsat.edu MbBtvJepxG.edu OvtQLSJhLj.edu xbJAHakRtF.edu fOUQTlixlv.edu QwxSLTyKOT.edu PZnGwUyDbt.edu lhIVunJkzk.edu ZkquegQfNM.edu UiGFGdosHI.edu YtgtqWLprj.edu RDnFpNwJvq.edu runzqVKFgC.edu SFHVvTujwh.edu WadgWYQkSq.edu hwATMAnanw.edu yupVoAFXzx.edu xPqxRIAPmw.edu nbuMkvgvjQ.edu CTNxcoupnd.edu TSFehcjYYs.edu weFvqahyct.edu YSNoWRTdBj.edu xALXXbPzUx.edu vxGyVeWxXl.edu RneQAikgyT.edu zoDforuJiS.edu mzVkODXMIH.edu JdXALhXmfQ.edu fEHkMfJCVv.edu CuCBXMQRmq.edu OkdxohyDSs.edu DMvFIGubVC.edu nCemdRsbks.edu MJmrlGeVSK.edu uCEgXAzPDV.edu rphzDBGiHH.edu vMdtGsfNXR.edu rpScJAOQJn.edu xrmdYoIGGU.edu SHPqieqXva.edu dDfVciZqIp.edu OwBTfScBCB.edu UlVtojDbOr.edu mRLrvZGskt.edu vpsFYrWxoQ.edu ZDNRspBDmb.edu mriBiGOygg.edu YZVLYLKyeE.edu xyLrazJXTS.edu QGjjgJDBBR.edu ZYBZmWKrIy.edu tRSUxEjhYO.edu LdDNByJXrL.edu tChpustnJN.edu NSFFGfXMFd.edu keNeKFAAdd.edu JjmcMvvReF.edu ngYjqMsWWi.edu QBQaIjqShg.edu JFtClgqpXc.edu xyfFnjdsyw.edu YbNkdsypVp.edu HIqxQhJPhH.edu vJvnTRDMPl.edu TYkcrwsMEK.edu sLhBRPuNBE.edu fHTjjRUfxi.edu VqkubPJjHy.edu zwueybJTUU.edu KuGTWszuya.edu hypgEaIQVG.edu MGTZQltxEu.edu BaJEikXIIL.edu fPbUaVYKIp.edu CJDZITUGGO.edu vsOhpSPDmz.edu MDqpxpiOJE.edu mIqbCqwxMM.edu HwdTWtGktR.edu QNqGBonZiP.edu XdMJNhHiHA.edu OzVLspwVgH.edu HLZTuuuCxr.edu rOxwFwiPOi.edu slgocrrqWT.edu MkiuAUSMmF.edu zSUnIFQPoE.edu SaMWiaExlt.edu kLzBaALTpC.edu bQWXjcJHFV.edu xQaNYfcWxc.edu WXCtOLlPfK.edu gIrkGqzYvw.edu JbtEKObjoo.edu gLnyvbtWqa.edu RYfnSRkUOm.edu tVVuuiTfUM.edu nIvHBKjHef.edu nCSsstYNhx.edu rYdHkAwzTz.edu Welcome to ???//??\zp0w9//??\????! We’re excited to have you on board. My name is ugmyEmBF, and I’ll be your onboarding assistant throughout your trial process. I’d love to learn more about your business, and in turn implement a strategy using our software to increase your sales and overall efficiency. Please reach out if you have any questions and I look forward to helping your eCommerce business grow using our software!
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----931g1VoA;qOUETT Your subscription to our list has been confirmed. Thank you for subscribing! +15182360043 AUTORISATION D’INSCRIPTION POUR ETUDIANT MINEUR Je soussigné(e)………………………………………………………………………………………………, certifie sur l’honneur agir en qualité de représentant légal de ………………………………………………………….…………., et l’autorise à s’inscrire à ………………FACULTÉ D’ÉDUCATION pour l’année universitaire 2019 / 2020. A…………..………..…………, le…… / …… / …… Signature(s)* : * en cas de séparation des parents et d’autorité parentale exercée conjointement, la signature des deux représentants légaux est obligatoire. Your subscription to our list has been confirmed. Thank you for subscribing! +10775071249 Hi!
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----5KBTfDWW;cAjKDT Welcome to ???//??\adMaI//??\????! We’re excited to have you on board. My name is ugmyEmBF, and I’ll be your onboarding assistant throughout your trial process. I’d love to learn more about your business, and in turn implement a strategy using our software to increase your sales and overall efficiency. Please reach out if you have any questions and I look forward to helping your eCommerce business grow using our software!
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rmeLEJZF LCJxq ???//??\QHbxd//??\????.
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----OmLjVaEk;zfELfE Generated by cloudfront (CloudFront) Request ID: aHl94ZEl8vwL49MNoAXaXgf_Zds6FyMb0u7q8OkFoDYY2iKU3G2Y7w== Spending time studying abroad can be a rewarding and life changing experience, giving you a unique opportunity to explore the world, discover different cultures and enhance your career prospects.
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2020.10.08 01:05 500scnds [Table] I am a 26-year-old woman who was born blind, AMA. (part 3/3)

Source Previous table
Questions Answers
I'm not sure if I can word this question correctly, but I'll try. Are you able to "imagine" what your surroundings are like when you're not able to touch them? Like can you hear if you're in an area with a lot houses vs only a few? Or can you tell that the trees in this area are tall and not small because the wind sounds different or something like that? And if so, what clues tell you what your surroundings "look" like? To a point, yes. I might hear the wind in the trees, or the echo of my footsteps, or a high traffic area. I'm sure there are things I miss too.
Do you go to places like theme parks and zoos? Or, do you find them to be a waste of time and money, because you are missing out on the visual aspect of them? I do go. Theme parks are great. The zoo is still fun especially with friends, I have been and enjoy going.
Do you have a constant battle with gravity or do you think maybe you are more aware of it. I couldn't imagine traversing any stretch of area forever without the use of my eyes. I would constantly worry about knocking stuff over or tripping / falling myself. What is that relationship with gravity like? I'm just used to it. I honestly don't worry. When I'm travelling I use a cane to detect objects, but honestly I don't feel like I'm at risk of falling more because I'm blind.
What is your opinion on racism, as a person who has never known race? Can you learn languages or easily or is it more difficult? I learnt Spanish as a second language, it seemed to be about as complex as it was for my sighted classmates. I understand race, although I don't "see" it, it is so much more than just someone's skin colour. I think racism is destructive and harmful, but I also know plenty of blind people who are racist.
What is your favorite food? Tacos, lasagna, fresh fruit.
How do someone describe a color to you? You can't really, not fully. I've never been able to see so have no concept of colours.
Do you often walk in to things like bang your head on a shelf or stub your toe one the counter? It's the only thing I'm capable of doing in a dark space. If I'm being careless, not all that often though.
I have a couple of questions! Do your eyes still move involuntarily (i.e. with emotional responses and thinking etc) and can you move them voluntarily? When you've travelled do people describe how things look? If so, what are the descriptions you have enjoyed or found helpful? What makes a good description? My eyes move involuntarily, but I do have some control over them.
I prefer to experience things, for example, I don't really care what something looks like, I'd rather be in the middle of a city, or a forest, actually getting to take it all in myself.
How do you deal with insensitive people? Do you come across insensitive people often? Honestly, usually by being a bitch which probably doesn't help the cause. But sometimes it's exhausting to deal with yet another person who has grabbed my arm, convinced themself I need help and won't take no for an answer. At that point, I'm done being nice.
How was your experience living in Spain? I have been living in Madrid for a few years now and have noticed significantly more blind people just out and about on the streets than I ever saw in any city in my native country (Germany). Would you happen to know anything about the reasons for this? It was a pretty good experience. I'm not completely sure, perhaps because La ONCE (the blindness organisation in Spain) are so active and so many blind people receive training. This may be different in Germany, but I don't know for sure.
What technology innovations are you looking forward to the most? Let's say on a 10-year scale. Easier access to information. We're already getting it, but more advanced image recognition would be great. Right now I can be told if there's a person in a picture and that's all well and good, but I need contextual information. I hope we'll get that with AI.
Do you have fears like spiders or height? And do these kind of fears mean anything for you? I do. They aren't logical, but that's part of having a fear really.
Where is your favorite place you've traveled and what is your most memorable story from your travels? I went to the Amazon rainforest and was able to hold a monkey, which was a really cool experience.
Is it difficult for you to do some math involving big number? Lets say thousands or millions etc? Or more complex concept such as matrix operations, algebra, and maybe calculus? If so, what level of math, most blind people can comprehend? I have been really curious about this! Thank you! Yes but only because I haven't taken a maths class in 10 years. When I did it on a regular basis I worked at a level comparable to that my sighted peers were working at.
Do you miss out on tv/movies? Or do you still get some enjoyment out of listening to it? I still enjoy it, and often listen using audio description.
What criteria did you use to choose your twitter profile pic? Honestly I can't even remember what it is. There must have been a reason at the time.
What film or TV show have you found to be the most accurate take on what it's like to be blind? Honestly I haven't found a film or tv show that has a great portrayal of blindness. The book Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom was pretty great though.
When you interact or speak to someone, because you can't observe body language, do you pick up extra clues from the tone of someone's voice about how a person is, ie being genuine, sarcastic, etc? I don't think I pick up anything extra, I just focus on these aspects more.
Hi you said you can see light to a certain degree. What do you feel when I tell you this... Some people are light skinned and dark skinned. The surface of their bodies are light and dark. Does that provide and visual concepts in any capacity? Sorry, even as I’m typing it out, it might not make sense. It doesn't mean anything really. I just know about skin colour as a fact, I can't visualise it.
have you ever met someone and not realized they were a certain race or gender until after knowing them for some time or can you normally tell right away? I'm sure it's happened yeah. I can normally guess, based on what are considered societal norms. But especially when it comes to gender I wouldn't necessarily know if someone is non-binary for example.
How does smoking weed feel like to you? When you have sex do you do a lot of face touching? I actually don't like weed. Not blindness, just personal. It makes me feel a bit sick and I'm aware I'm high and then it's not fun anymore.
And not really. I mean I will touch a partner obviously, but I don't really think about face touching.
Maybe a weird and too personal question but... Did you ever had a sexual experience? And if you did, was it with another blind person? And if so, how the hell did you two knew what you were doing? (Sorry for be ignorant) If you have to look to know where it goes I feel sorry for you. I've had sex with both blind and sighted people. It's no different with a blind person.
I know a guy who was blind at birth, and sometimes he says he can “see the sun”, or, at least that’s what he thinks. Do you experience situations like this? I have light perception, so I can see it.
the below has been split into four
Question 1: How would you deal with an obstacle (such as in a hallway) that wasn’t there before? Depends if I located it with a cane or not. If so, I'd just walk around it.
Question 2: Is your hearing “always on” or do you still filter out auditory information like air conditioners, refrigerators, other people making noise, and such? I probably filter out some noise, especially in busy environments.
Question 3: How much information do you get from your cane (if you use one?) I do use a cane, I get a lot of information from it, such as kerbs, obstacles in my path etc.
Question 4: What’s your favorite screen reader? I use NVDA.
How have your relationships been? Do you have a certain type? They've varied in quality. I do like nerdy guys though. But a certain type of nerd, usually academic or at least interesting.
What are the terms you would use to describe how people “look”? Is there an accepted term to describe people or things? What are the hardest things to deal with that the rest of us take for granted? In what sense? I think by using direct language, describing a skin, eye or hair colour. Their height. I'm not really sure what the question is?
Honestly just that so many things are inaccessible and they shouldn't be. And that many people don't want to invest the time in making them accessible, because their attitude is I should just have help or deal with it.
? I mean sort of? I've had plenty of dreams where I can do magic which sadly I can't in real life. So I think we absolutely invent things in our dreams. But we can't have a whole other sense that we've never had, something like vision where our brains just don't know what that would even be like.
Games really stimulate cognitive abilities, especially while growing up. Being sighted, games mean either board games or video games to me. What do games mean to you? What are you favourite games? Is there a game that we can play together as strangers on the internet? There are audio games, specifically designed for blind people. I can also play adapted board games in real life, so long as they're tactile, have braille cards etc. This is a good way of playing board and card games online with blind people. https://www.qcsalon.net/
I dont want to cross the limits but what can you tell us about sex ? I assume blind people has the same kinks and all. (Again sorry for this question) It's totally fine. I mean I've always been blind so can't compare, but I feel as though it really isn't any different.
If you go to the store and buy a bag of chips how do you know how much money you have or even what money is? I can identify it through touch or by using apps.
What are sex and relationships like? As awkward as they are for most people in their twenties I think! I've had both good and bad experiences.
What is your favourite book? Anything set in the His Dark Materials universe.
How do you pick out clothes at the store or put together an outfit? By learning what colour combinations work together and also what style suits my body.
A friend of mine (poet) works with describing movies for blind people. Like environment, characters, what happens. Do u enjoy those movies? Any tips for those working with it? I find the job itself exciting. Like a kind of poetry. And do you enjoy literature? Any favourite book? I do, I feel like audio description in general does a great job of capturing the visual side of things.
I love to read. His Dark Materials is one of my favourite series.
Most people think in words. Sometimes we visualise words and can read them. How are your thoughts in your head formed? Are they made of words? And if that is the case, do you sometimes get the sensation of touch in braille associated with reading the word? I definitely think in sound, as if I'm speaking the word. But yes I can imagine reading braille as a tactile sensation too, and may think like that if I'm remembering how to spell something.
Any tips on people who just became blind? Find a local community of blind people, and make an effort to connect with them. Also seek out blindness rehabilitation training. NFB centers are great if you're in the US.
What can urban planners & architects do better in terms of accessibility to improve how you interact with the built environment? For example, using things like crosswalks, sidewalks, entrances, etc. I think making sure things are clear. So knowing where roads are, either by a kerb or some kind of tactile indication. Appropriate braille and large print signage. Removing street clutter if at all possible is another big one.
This has been a fascinating thread to read. Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions. Is there a question you wish somebody in here would ask? I prefer the deeper, more thoughtful questions. It's annoying how many people focus on colours or dreams or how I use a computer, when these things feel so insignificant to me. But I also try and understand that it comes from not understanding.
How is your monetary system like? Like, how do I manage money? I use online banking which is accessible through my iPhone. For physical money I either tell it apart by touch or using apps.
Two questions. What did moving between countries feel like? Has anyone not liked you because you were blind? It was an adjustment, like anything. I had to adapt to a new culture, to different food in the supermarket, to a different climate. Much like anyone would.
And I guess, mostly when I was a kid. Mostly people don't like me because of my personality these days!
Are there memes for the blind or memes that you understand? There's a facebook group where people describe memes so that blind people can access them. It's a great resource.
Have you tried strong Psychedelics like DMT and if so, did you see anything? I've tried lsd. I will never be able to generate visual images, but I did have auditory and physical experiences.
Have you seen the show “in the dark”? What do you think of it? I have. I'm not a fan. I think the character is ridiculous and not an accurate portrayal of blindness.
An everyday thing like make up -- do you wear it, and if so how did you learn to apply it? Sometimes, when I'm not feeling lazy. I mostly asked people to teach me.
Do you have a preference for touch typing with a keyboard or would you want to use a completely touchless system with maybe a combination of dragon naturally speaking software with a 'knowbrainer' adjunct? http://www.knowbrainer.com/index.cfm/about-us/ Touch typing for me. Having said that, on my phone I use braille screen input, essentially writing braille on the touchscreen.
the below has been split into three
Two questions for you. :) 1. When speaking to other blind people do they tend to use more infliction in their voice as opposed to sighted people? I don't think so, I think we're just more vocal, so we're going to express something through what we say, rather than a facial expression.
2. What is a cool sound that varies drastically in scale or octave that sighted people are often completely unaware of? I don't think so, if it was that significant, everyone would notice it.
3. You’ve said in your previous replies that you have a good sense for ones emotional state judging from their voice; and have you noticed a heightened ability for lie detection compared to sighted in this regard? Not necessarily, it depends how good at lying they are. Ultimately, if someone doesn't let their feelings show, I'm not going to hear it either.
[deleted] My other senses aren't actually any better, I just pay attention to them more. Having said that, I think taste is about the same. Tacos are at the top of my list.
And sure, I have deaf friends. Some I communicate with by writing, others through an interpreter, others by me speaking. I think there is some overlap, because they're both sensory impairments. So fundamentally it comes down to not having information. I don't have visual information, and they don't have auditory.
Have you ever had a guide dog? When I was in 5th grade, we read the book Light a Single Candle and it made me very afraid of going blind. But I was comforted by the idea that if I did go blind, I could get a guide dog. I did have a guide dog who is now retired. There are pros and cons to both guide dog and cane travel.
Hey! I’m from Colombia. What was your favorite thing about living here? The people, I made some really wonderful friends.
How did you spell this post better than people who can see? Because sight is not a prerequisite for strong literacy skills.
[deleted] What parallel universe are you living in where 2020 is calm and how do I join you?
Thank you for doing this AMA, I am really interested in how you perceive outer space, our solar system, stars and galaxies? If I was to explain this to you I would grab a piece of paper and glue and sprinkle grains of sand to help visualize what we see in the nighttime sky, Perhaps a blanket suspended with a ball in the middle as our hot sun and various sized balls as planets for our solar system that circle the sun representing the fabric of space time and gravity. When you are learning from your audio books are their audio books that cater to your disability with extra explanations? Cotton candy like clouds etc. Thank you once again I don't find I need extra explanation. I'm very motivated by facts, so learning the why of something is really important to me.
With how different smell is to touch, what do you imagine sight to be like? Do you have a concept of what colors could look like? I don't, I know facts about it, but I'll never be able to fully understand it.
Have you ever been in love? Yes.
Are there any online courses you've taken that were designed in a way that you found them enjoyable? I'm looking for courses that don't just treat web accessibility as an afterthought, and that actually make the learning experience interesting and cool for you. It depends on the subject area. I took a policy course through FutureLearn which was really good, and I've also taken some Linkedin learning courses. I tried taking a FutureLearn mathematics course but it wasn't accessible. Anything through Deque university is good if you actually want to learn about accessibility.
When you think about Braille, do you imagine them as a tactile sensation or do you “visually” represent the positioning of the dots? Tactile, I can feel it under my fingers in my mind.
How were you able to realize that other people exist, and the sounds you heard weren’t just random? Um. You just know. I suppose we could all ask ourselves whether really any of us exist. But I never questioned it because of my blindness. How do you know you aren't just seeing people who aren't there?
How much of a pain in the ass is phone and computer accessibility for you? What tools do you use to easily use the computer and phone and is it annoying and difficult or intuitive and useful? It's great when software and websites are built to comply with accessibility guidelines. A pain when they're not, because things that could have been perfectly accessible aren't.
If let's say someone made you make a circle with your pointer finger, are you able to imagine it at all? Sure, I could imagine it as a tactile sensation, not visual.
What are some big controversies within the blind community? Is blind the best terminology? Is visually impaired preferred by some people? Do you feel that blind people tend to have certain personality traits that sighted people don’t? Like are they often more patient due to having to take in some forms of content slower or more determined due to having to think about alternative solutions or routes for things that aren’t very accessible? Is school hard to do well in for a lot of blind individuals? Is there any sort of history of blind people doing really well in a particular intellectual pursuit? Is there concern about childcare as a blind parent? If so, is this a deterrent to some blind individuals to having kids? Do blind people have lower rates of long term relationships and children than sighted people? Sorry for all the questions!! I’m so curious and hopefully you have some time to answer! These are great questions. Like any community, the blind community has its share of controversy.
Right now there's some back and forth on Twitter regarding Molly Burke and whether she's a good representative for us or not. Does she help the cause by being such a visible blind figure online, or does she hurt it because many of her viewers seem to feel sorry for blind people and view us as incapable. It's definitely caused some division and I've seen some pretty cruel remarks being made.
There's also the terminology debate. Blind, partially blind, partially sighted, low vision, visually impaired, vision impaired. Then are we disabled, a person with a disability, differently abled...the list goes on. Ultimately you're never going to get the whole community to agree on one thing, because we're different people and our views are shaped by our personality and life experiences.
I don't think we have qualities that others don't. In my experience, many disabled people in general are good problem-solvers because we have to be. Or perhaps I should say there's probably a connection between being a successful disabled person and having problem-solving skills.
In terms of blind people doing well I know successful blind people in many different areas. There are some very well respected blind lawyers, academics, teachers etc. But also lots of blind people who do really well in tech, in more creative jobs...I don't think there's one area where blind people do well necessarily.
Yes, there are problems with childcare. But it's not blind people, it's other people assuming we can't take care of our children. In the United States disabled parents still do not have legal protection in many states. This means a child can be taken from a parent on the grounds that the parent is blind, even if there are no other concerns. This has resulted in babies being taken from blind parents at birth. It's a disgusting policy that must end. Can there be bad blind parents? Absolutely. I saw an absolutely disgraceful example of blind parenting in the UK which was filmed as part of a documentary, it made me sick because it feeds into that narrative that we must all be horrible caregivers. But the majority of the blind parents I know are wonderful, engaged parents.
Wait, so you're reading this without reading it? I always wonder have you ever been on drugs or drunk? If so What was it like? Like most people who have been to university, I did both of these things when I was a student. Usually it results in me waking up the next day and questioning my life choices.
I'm glad you were able to sort out verification for this. (I saw you tweet about the hurdles.) My question is: Which social channels are currently the most accessible to you? Reddit? Twitter? YouTube? Something else? Twitter for sure. I run a YouTube channel but it's so exhausting. I don't have loads of sighted people running around after me, which realistically the blind people who get big on Youtube do have. So I can't get someone to edit my videos, check it for errors etc unless I pay them. Which I can't do until my channel grows and I have the money to do it. So blind people are really shut out from it. And it takes hours and hours for one video, which then won't be synced propperly with the audio. All this to say I'm thinking about leaving YouTube in favour of a blindness podcast, where I talk about things like I would on camera. And post it to my channel as well if people want to watch on YT but they don't have to. Ha, and sorry for the essay in response to a simple question. I'm tired and frustrated.
Do you ever had a nightmare dream in your sleep? Sure, I think that's a pretty typical, if unfortunate, part of the human experience.
Hey Holly. Hope this message finds you well. I don’t know if you were still responding to these, but if you are, how do you understand color? For me as a blind person, if somebody told me something as a certain color, I relate it to things that I know where that color. For example, red is the taste of cherry licorice. Green is the smell of freshly cut grass. White as snow. Pink is cotton candy. Etc. etc. Is this how you do it or do you have a different way of doing it? Hi, still checking in when I get notifications for this thread. And I don't relate in that way, I just sort of file it away as a fact. If someone tells me their hair is black, I just remember it. Or if someone says the door to their house is green, I just remember that. I don't associate it with anything specific, it's just a piece of knowledge that doesn't have a lot of meaning, but that I accept is important to other people.
How do you tell if someone is good looking, or aesthetically pleasing? Or, do you worry about it less? Usually through information I get from others. And I worry about it to a point, but it's only a part, and a shallow part, of what is attractive about a person.
How do emojis render for you? My screenreader can read them.
I get lots of questions when i see someone with some sort of disability, the world seem so normal to us that we forget how its like from these people's point of view, and i always wonder how they experience different things, Do you know what things have the same colors? Have you ever tried movies? Do you have any favourite if so? Did your parents every get you more of a color as clothing or toys? What color you think would be your favorite if you could see, (based on the color of things you know probably)? If you were given the choice to see something for once what would you choose? Im sorry if i said anything bad, im just really curious and k hope you answer my questions!. I honestly don't really care about the colour of things. It's such an abstract concept to me, it's basically meaningless. I just learn about it for the sake of other people.
how do blind people use computers? Do you have a special auditory interface? We use a piece of software called a screen-reader.
Do you have a guide dog? I don't. I did have a guide dog, but she is retired now.
Do you find it crazy, that some people are superficial and date mainly based on looks? Does smell factor highly in attractiveness for you? Not crazy exactly. Smell is important, but also the sound of someones voice.
I'm not sure if this was asked before. But there was a point in my life where I thought a lot about how blind people dream. My conclusion was, it's mostly like an audiobook. I never had anyone to verify or have knowledge of this. Do you mind sharing your experience? Pretty much, but with touch as well.
You mentioned in one of the responses that you like when you're given new information, information that you can't otherwise perceive. Is there anything that you want to ask a sighted person? Like just about anything. Not really, it usually comes up naturally in conversation, as something is mentioned and I need more contextual information.
My eyesight is deteriorating due to Diabetic Retinopathy. This might sound shallow but its one of the little details that occurred to me recently. How do you pick what you wear or style your hair? You can style your hair by touch. I pick outfits based on knowing which colours I can pair together.
Is there as much cocaine in Colombia as everyone thinks? I think it's just cheaper. I guess you can get it anywhere if you know people. Certainly not everyone does it, but yes, it's easy enough to find.
What was it like living in Colombia? I'm a Colombian with plans to move to Spain and am interested in your experience with both countries. I loved Colombia. It was my favourite place to live because I had such a wonderful time there and met many incredible people. I would love to go back.
I don’t know if you’re still doing this, but this is a question I’ve had for someone in your situation since I was 5 years old. When you sleep, and you dream, do you see images? Anything? Can you describe what dreams are like? I don't, I dream with my other senses, not with vision.
Are you able to cook ? Thanks for the ama! I am, it's actually one of my interests.
Who's your favorite superhero? The Flash
This might be a dumb question, but what are the chances you’ll be able to see in the future? Are eye transplants are a thing? If not, do you think they will be a thing? There's some chance, especially as we delve deeper into gene editing. But it doesn't interest me.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment? Something that you really felt you had to work for? I honestly don't think I'm there yet. I suppose I could say my degree, but I'm not sure I worked all that hard for it.
How do you avoid being taken advantage of? Such as transactions, change back, getting what your being told your given ect? I can identify money by feel or by using apps, so I'll check when I'm being given change.
Can you understand the concept of sight? I can't. I know about it as an abstract concept, but I'll never be able to imagine it.
the below has been split into three
Two related questions: Do you enjoy artwork? I’m reminded of the blind art dealer in the movie Get Out. He has someone describe the pieces to him in great detail, and enjoys the experience of recreating his impression of the piece in his mind. He decides whether or not he’s interested in obtaining the piece based of the descriptions and his personal interpretation of it. Then again, I believe he has a concept of sight and color because he wasn’t born blind. I think art is interesting but I'm not artistic, so have no interest in making it.
Second question: Do you appreciate an articulate verbal or written rendering of a person, place, object, etc? Since you don’t have any concept of visual experience, is there any value to someone explaining someone’s appearance, for instance: “He is tall, broad shouldered but lanky, with wavy dark hair and a puckered mouth, bushy eyebrows...” Do descriptions like this do anything for you? Or are they pretty pointless? I don't need these descriptions, but I like to know things so they do give me interesting information.
I know my two questions are up but I’m also wondering if you wear makeup, get your hair done, have tattoos, a personal sense of style... in other words, do you concern yourself much with your physical presentation and others’ visual impression of you? That’s all, I swear. Thanks for doing this! Sometimes to makeup, no tattoos because I don't like needles. But I still care about appearance.
the below is a reply to the above
Being born blind, do you think you have a deeper understanding of just how ridiculous and tragic and stupid racism is? I have to think you must I don't think so. I know lots of blind people who are very racist. Racism isn't really about colour, it's believing that race and desireable or undesireable characteristics are connected. And viewing a person less favourably because they belong to a particular group.
Blind people can still hold these prejudices, we're not immune because we don't "see" race. We still know it. I think racism is toxic and disgusting, but that's me. Unfortunately it's not because of my blindness.
Why is all text to speech total garbage? I use eloquence as a tts engine and honestly it's great.
Who gave you the most interesting and deep description of object? What was it? Do you listen to poetry? I'm not sure if there was anyone in particular. I used to read a lot of poetry, less so these days but I still like it.
First off, what a fucking badass you are to be able to make video content. That is amazing. I had 2 questions I've always wondered, how do you come to the conclusion that someone is attractive to you? And do you believe that not seeing people has certain advantages over being able to see? Like if you saw someone and were nervous because you thought they were skeptical of them or even just thought they were intimidating like a boss or something. Thanks! Thank you.
I suppose different things influence whether I find someone attractive, such as certain physical features, but also their voice and personality.
I'm not sure if it's necessarily an advantage, I think having an open mind about people is important, which not all blind people are going to have either.
Do you have trouble sleeping/falling asleep/staying asleep? Falling asleep, but once I'm asleep I'm practically dead.
Of all the countries you've been, which has been the easiest to live in? I guess the US, because Denver was such an accessible city for me. But Colombia was the country I fell in love with.
Screen reader software; what's your preference? And how about browser preference? Always like hearing what's the latest and greatest in accessibility tools. Personally NVDA with Firefox.
So, do you speak Spanish too? If so, how was your learning process? I do. I studied Spanish at university. I guess I learn like most people, except using braille for written materials.
Do you enjoy smoking, drinking, socializing, concerts, or reading? Is your understanding of size understood abstractly (measurements) or felt through the arms or perhaps pacing around it or both? I closed my eyes and try to put myself in your shoes and that’s when I realize that touch is similar to seeing in that you can understand the qualities objects. Anyways, it’s been an interesting day now. Thank you and I commend you for overcoming blindness; I suppose you may not think you overcame anything since you’ve grown up as such, but I think you did, and you’re doing great. Sorry if I sounded ignorant or annoying or both. Hi, I don't think it's really great to say overcome. That implies blindness is bad, or less. It is just a state of being. I don't overcome my gender, and I don't overcome my blindness. They are important parts of who I am as an individual.
I enjoy most of those things, not smoking though. And usually through just, spacially imagining it? Unless it's actually something I've touched in which case I can remember what it feels like.
I think sighted people rely heavily on looks to know who they are interested in. Do you find you are attracted to people's voices/scent? They form part of the attraction.
This might be a little weird, but how do you “imagine” shapes? Do you simply remember objects by concept, sound, taste and feel of the shapes alone? Most people with vision can imagine something that isn’t there and see it with their mind. So you have an equivalent to this? I typically imagine what something would feel like.
Do you cook on a regular basis? If so, what’s your favorite thing to cook, or even just to eat? I love to cook. Honestly I love to try new recipes, and tend to focus on a skill area for a while. At one point it was bread making, another pastry. I'm really passionate about it and enjoy knowing that I can make great food.
Is blindness just pure darkness? Or can you not describe it because you don't know any other alternative? It's not for me because I do have light perception.
Do you go grocery shopping? If so, how do you find and choose what foods you want to buy? I do, I'll ask someone who works in the supermarket to assist me.
Security reason, I get it now. Thank you guys. Been meaning to ask a blind person lots of things and it was answered here. Now to the OP do you notice or gotten a feedback that your sense of hearing and smell is advanced than those who can see or others? It's the same, I just pay attention to it more.
Are you attracted to tall men? I've been attracted to both tall and shorter guys.
I often think about someone breaking into my house and me having to defend myself, it happened when I was a kid and my dad had to fight them off. What is your absolute nightmare situation that would make the top tier horror story for you. I couldn't imagine waking up to a noise and then not knowing if someone is standing super still breathing quiet in my room and not being able to look. Is there any connected fears that are unique to being blind? Probably falling into a pit of slugs. I can't stand the things.
What's your favorite internet porn site? I don't watch porn so I don't have one.
I’m very curious about your experiences in Colombia and/or in Spain? Do you speak Spanish? I do, I studied Spanish at university.
Some people like or dislike people by their looks. I guess as a blind person you listen and touch them. What is your type of person? It's complicated. The voice, whether they smell good, their personality, and yes physical attributes are all part of it.
What is your type? I’m sorry I don’t even know how to word this but I think sighted people depend so much on appearance. Yet obviously you can’t, so then, what attracts you the most? Do you think this ultimately affects your sexuality? Nerdy guys usually.
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2020.09.28 19:11 oofboi2002 Please critique my very long story if you have the time and patience to read it :) Even if its a nuclear criticism lay it on me.

As I stood at the dock’s edge, gazing at the tempestuous sea I couldn’t help but wonder why I had decided to come to this desolate rock. Could it have been a fickle attempt to escape the everyday humdrum of life? Or had some enigmatic force of fate brought me to this rickety atoll? My dismal rumination was abruptly quelled by a stout hand clapping my shoulder, my thoughts still roared as I turned to see the briny barge captain who had stirred me. He must have noticed my vacant stare because he immediately led me to a musty wooden tavern not thirty yards away from the dock’s cragged edge.
As we ambled through the swinging saloon doors I began to grasp how meager this hamlet was. My inattentive thoughts were jarred by the bartender gruffly asking for my drink of choice, I simply abstained myself which elicited a grumble from the chapped man. As I sat in the bar, I could feel manifold sets of eyes scouring my slouched shoulders. I could hear hushed voices redound off the rotting walls “Looks like a fresh continental.”, “Come next barge he’s gone go back home cryin’ to mama.” I stood from my seat and left the peculiar locals to their swill.
I noticed a filmy patch of fog rolling through the cobbled stone streets. As I looked back to the dock I noticed the vessel that I had arrived on was now a distant mote on the horizon. I began combing the stark streets for any refuge that didn’t contain unsavory locals or fetid scents. As I strolled through the fog the warm effulgence of oil lamps illuminated a small chain bound wooden sign that merely read “INN”.
As I entered the lobby, I saw that the inn was well lit and unsoiled by rot or water damage. As I strode to the end of the reception area I noticed a golden service bell on the edge of a glossy wooden desk labeled “Check-In” I rang the small bell and not a second later a small elderly woman scooted from a small curtained room to the side of the desk opposite me. I examined her face more closely to see keen exuberance in her eyes as if I were an old friend she hadn’t spoken to in some time. “Hello, my name is Ida, and welcome to my Inn. How long would you like to stay my dear?” “I’ll stay for a week.” I said reluctantly, I had no idea when the next ship would come to this port and the locals are no help whatsoever. “Wonderful!” she croaked “So many continentals come to stay here, my business has been booming since I opened four years ago.” This comment confused me greatly because the keyboard behind her was completely full. “This way young man you’ll be staying in room 3.” The woman quickly shuffled up a flight of burnished wooden stairs to reveal a carpeted hallway with 5 rooms on each side. “You said your business was booming…” I alluded “…but the other rooms are vacant.” Ida smiled at me and asserted “The other patrons left the village to get closer to the island.” This statement perplexed me, “This place is so bleak. Why would anyone want to make a home here?” I thought to myself as Ida’s face receded with the closing door.
My room was a spacious 40 square meter box with red curtains covering immaculate double windows. I took to lying down on the cushy king bed so that I could reflect on my circumstances comfortably. After some ephemeral solitary deliberation, I heard a feeble knock on my door. When I opened the door there stood the slightly wilted figure of Ida, but this time she was holding a small sheet of paper. “Since you’re going to be here for a bit, I thought you might want to know this town’s history.” The paper had a picture of a gaping cave entrance that gave me a disconcerting chill. I gripped the pamphlet, but the woman maintained her grip. “Watch yourself when you leave your room you hear? The folk who live in this town are the least of your worries.” She then released the brochure and retired to the lobby. The leaflet described the founding of the town by a small fleet of European trading ships that were immobilized by a severe tropical storm that devastated the area. These settlers lived on the island for nearly a century, but one day a military vessel docked, and the men were astonished to find the settlement and the entire island to be empty. It was as if the people had vanished into thin air. Soon the settlement was repopulated during the Industrial Revolution in hopes that the island had hidden riches to strip and sell to the highest bidder. However, many of the prospectors reported seeing pale slick headed figures stalking the dark inlets of the cave system. These legends were never confirmed, and no lives were lost until one day the miner’s exit had a massive cave in and hundreds of men were killed along with the island’s economy. The island is now a secluded community that feeds itself with the sea’s bounty. As I flipped to the back of the handout, I found a map of the island with important locations corresponding to its history each marked with a crudely written title and small “x” to specify. My eyes scanned the map I saw a small gray patch of land near the watery center of the atoll. The patch was marked “Murky Grotto”, this was the location that was pictured on the front of the pamphlet and the site where the cave-in occurred. I flipped the paper back to its face and studied the maw of the cave closely, I’m positive I saw something in that cave. I could feel the hand holding the picture drifting closer to my face until I could see nothing but the darkness within.
My vision was completely darkened by the picture, but when I moved the photo away from my eyes, I realized that I was no longer in the warm hotel room. I was totally enveloped by inky blackness on all sides, the only thing my senses could interpret was the biting chill in the air and the faint dripping of water. My heart jumped from resting to throbbing against my rib cage. As my breath became faster, I began to hear clumsy footsteps accompanied by ear-shattering wails and erratic cries of primal rage. I couldn’t tell what was making the peculiar noise, but all I knew was that it was getting louder and therefore closer. I reduced my breathing to remain completely silent. I could feel its frenzied breath on my face. Standing before me was what may seem human, but this beast was coated and continuously secreting a sickly lemon-colored mucous, sporting a near melanin free outer membrane, the eyes must be completely worthless as the beast does not acknowledge visual stimuli its bulbous and milky eyes seem to be an evolutionary mutation as useful as the human appendix, the mutant also didn’t have a single visible hair on its body. The mutant’s physical condition is questionable,, to say the least. Much of its body was simply gaunt deformity. The torso is mostly stretched thin skin over protruding bones. The mutant’s prominent facial features include its lack of a nose, instead it has two nostrils nestled in a small facial ridge where its nose should be was. The mutant’s ears are also embedded into its head rather than protruding. My blood ran cold as the creature’s dead eyes bulged while it silently stood in front of me, baring its rows of deformed teeth in my face almost as if it knew it was standing inches away but preferred to taunt me instead. I began to slowly inch away from the mutant as quietly as possible step by step. However, my fear overtook my footing as I backed into what must have been a thick stalagmite and began to plunge to the floor. As I fell, I could see the creature aimlessly swiping toward me, the monstrosity wore a tattered black cloak, but no shoes. The creature’s feet were densely webbed to the point where what would be toes were nearly fused together. The last thing I heard before I collapsed was another spine-chilling scream coming from the creature.
I shot up from lying down, once again blind for a moment until the small pamphlet flaked off my face and into my lap. My body was shaking immensely as I tried reassuring myself that I had just fallen asleep and had a terrible nightmare, but I could feel the dull flow of adrenaline through my body. I sauntered into the bathroom to use the sink to cool my sweat laden forehead, as I refreshed myself, I chuckled because I had gotten myself so worked up over a stupid nightmare. As I dried my hands however I could feel something warm running down my neck, I used a few sheets of toilet paper to clear my sweat, but as I brought the paper to my face to examine the amount of sweat my vision began to blur as I saw that I had not cleaned sweat off my neck rather the wipe was stained red with fresh blood. I stumbled into the stand-in shower and activated the tepid flow of water. I faced the shiny silver floor drain as I watched diluted blood swirl into the pipes below just trying to distract myself from the I implored myself to think of any logical answer other than the repulsive possibility that was slowly pushing its way to the forefront of my mind. “The nightmare.” I blankly uttered. Soon afterward the blood stopped flowing down my back and shoulders and I stepped out of the shower shaking profusely even though the temperature was better than most showers I’ve used. I threw myself toward my duffel bag to retrieve my meds. “Don’t think about it. None of it makes sense so don’t delude yourself by trying to make it logical.” I chanted as I downed my medicine with a swig of water I spread myself across the bed, staring up at the ceiling with my mind still racing, but eventually my medication eased my mind enough that my heart resumed its normal resting pattern. I was determined to stay awake until I could convince myself that I was just anxious about staying in this eerie hamlet. I soon pushed it to the back of my mind and decided that I would go back to the tavern and look for a guide and something to eat. As I descended the stairs, I could see that the old woman was nowhere to be found in the lobby, so I simply left a generous payment for the weeks lodging next to the cramped guest ledger. I took a closer look at the paper to notice that Ida was in fact right that many travelers had come to the inn, however, there was a column marked “Room Status” and every single name except for mine was marked vacated on the same date and within the same hour. This confused me at first, but I then realized that these people must have come together, perhaps they checked out to explore the island’s entirety.
As I left the Inn I was again greeted with thick fog and dark skies. As I returned to the coast where I arrived I felt a few raindrops hit the nape of my neck as thunder rolled in the distance. I stopped before I entered the bar again because I could once more feel eyes on my back. I turned to see a man dressed in a navy-blue police uniform with an aged 1911 pistol model on one hip and a sleek nightstick on the other. The man raised one of his gloved hands and motioned for me to come closer. As I approached I saw the man’s gaunt features, his eyes were baggy and dark as his suit, immense stress markings on his forehead, and an unsightly scar stretching from his left commissure to the corresponding earlobe. “Hello son, you’re the new cont’nental arrived yesterday right?” he coolly inquired, “Continental?” I quizzically asked, “Everyone keeps calling me that, but I don’t know what it means.” “Means you’re from the mainland, means they don’t trust you neither. These folks only care for their own and don’t take well to outsiders meddling with their traditions.” The officer said overly nonchalantly. “I noticed that they weren’t very fond of me as soon as I walked into the bar. Do the locals even speak to newcomers unless they have to?” I inquired genuinely regretting not stepping back onto the barge instead of being distracted by the queer community of ruffled fishermen. “Most folk just keep a sour look til’ newcomers get the message.” He punctuated his sentence by grabbing a small canteen and taking a swig of what I assumed was water. “Do you know when the next barge will come here? I made a mistake staying here and I need the first boat back to the mainland.” The officer chuckled and looked at me as if I had told him a joke he had heard many times before. “Next barge carrying general good’s comin’ in 13 days. Til’ then you’re stuck on this berg.” My heart sank as I had enough money to last that period, but I was reluctant because of the lack of activities since I was technically a second-class citizen to the locals. The officer surely noticed my expression because he put his white pristine white glove on my shoulder and stated “I know it’s inconvenient son, but the locals don’t want nothin’ to do with the mainland less’ they can’t find it on the island. The only boats the locals own are small rowboats nd’ they only use em’ for haulin’ fish n’ firewood.” “Say…” he blurted “…I’ll bet you haven’t got a tour of the town yet. How’d you like a po-lice escort, son?” “Sure.” I relented “But how much of this dinky shantytown is there to tour?” I mentally scoffed. Instantly after I accepted his offer the officer turned 180 degrees and began rigidly marching down the street opposite of the bar. The thick fog gave the officer a strange appearance, his dark figure seemed to push the fog to his side while my thin frame was seemingly consumed by the syrupy haze. The officer suddenly stopped and clicked his polished shoes together to face the second-best kept building I’d seen “This’s the general store, here’s where most of the goods from the barge go.” “Finally!” I thought “I don’t have to go to that dingy bar to get food and drink. I thought I’d never find a store here.” The officer began to say something, but I was only interested in the small wooden shelves freshly stocked with ample instant food that only requires water, seasoning shakers, various tools, and various fishing gear and accessories. I grabbed a small paper bag and filled it with instant food and some bottled water. However, the cashier stopped totaling my items when I opened my wallet and took out a couple of 5-dollar bills. “Sir you don’t have enough capital for your items.” the man groaned “You need more than ten dollars for some lousy instant food and bottled water?” I griped. The man started to respond but closed his mouth as I felt a familiar feeling on my shoulder. I turned to see the officer with a small but smug grin on his face “We don’t accept continental cash here son.” he ribbed. I then noticed both men had small canvas sacks attached to their belts, the officer removed his and took out a few slimy segments of what looked like fish scales. “I’ll pay for your food this time ‘round, but we don’t use no paper money with nobody but the barge captain.” The cashier shot the officer a quick grin, but his expression changed to a scowl when he returned my bag of items. As I walked down the creaky wooden steps the officer snickered “I was tryin’ to tell you we ain’t got any use for mainland cash, do us both a favor and let me finish next time.” Embarrassed and agitated by how obsolete my savings were in this backwater I simply nodded my head at the officer and dreaded having to return to the Inn and be confronted about my useless money. The officer continued his foggy march through the town showing me the town hall, small woodworking shop, and finally a cramped post office. As both of us exited the building I noticed that the rain that had only been a drizzle earlier was beginning to intensify. The officer turned to me and said “That’s it for the important places here. Now if you want me to show you a good place to see the beauty of this here island, we can make it there and back before the rain gets too heavy if you wanna take a gander.” Not caring about either the rain or how much time it took I agreed to follow him once more. As usual, he began marching up the cobbled streets, but when we reached the end of the road he didn’t break stride for a moment despite the unruly grass and bumpy terrain. We eventually reached and traversed an outlandishly symmetrical plateau. The top of the highland was shaped like a hexagon. When I averted my gaze from the odd highland I was greeted with the serene sight of the watery center of the atoll and the distant curve of the rest of the island. As both of us gazed in silence I made out what looked to be a protruding rock face with a dark yawning maw. As I looked closer I could see what looked like a line of figures filing into the mouth of the cavern. My trance was cut short by the policeman nudging me and pointing to the center of the band “That water there goes down deeper than any man could ever go. Locals go out and catch fish there, folk say that the deeper you go the bigger the catch.” The man then mumbled something to himself that was near indecipherable from what I heard it sounded like he mentioned something called “The Deep Sleeper”. He then turned to me as if he had said nothing at all and yapped “Whelp! We best get back ‘afore the storm gets nasty.” On the way back through town the officer did not march confidently as he had previously, he continuously turned his head to look at me until we reached the Inn as if he were looking at my expression to determine whether or not I had heard his preceding utterance. “Hope you had a hoot on the tour! Come by the town hall if anything’s troubling you. The locals may not acknowledge you, but just know I’m here night r’ day if need be.” he insisted. “Thank you officer…” “Name’s Tate, just give me a holler if you need anythin’” he jovially repeated. As Officer Tate departed, he resumed his austere march, not once looking back or breaking his stride until he disappeared from my sight.
My body fluttered as I left the cold streets and entered the toasty lobby. Instead of a vacant front desk, Ida was reading quietly at the end of the room. I strode to the desk to apologize for using outmoded currency, but instead of anger the senior matriarch gave a warm smile and politely said “The locals may use those stupid scales, but I still use mainland currency because that barge not only brings patrons but supplies to keep my Inn in the sterling condition it’s in now. You don’t need to worry about those gross scales here young man.” Relief washed over me as I thanked her profusely as I lumbered up the stairs with my groceries.
When I finally locked my room door I was ready to sleep some time in this dingy town away. Soon after I killed the lights I was enveloped in the thick curtain of sleep. I was awoken this time not by a nightmare, but by the sound of a door being continuously pounded on. At first, I groggily wrapped my pillow around my ears, but the pounding didn’t stop so I shifted out of bed and into my shoes. The blows were growing in intensity to the point where I believed that the entire door would break. As I cleaned out my sleepy eyes I listened for the sound of Ida, hoping that she would rebuke the antagonist, but the beating continued uninterrupted. Now irritated with being awoken by some instigator I swung my door open to catch the aggressor by surprise, but there was not a person in sight. I paced the length of the hall and every door was locked and the hall was barren of life. The more I thought about the situation the more irate I became, I stormed back into my room closing the door and went to sit on my bed, but as soon as my door was shut the pounding came back in full force, but this time the sound had switched locations. The unit next to me was shaking with the thundering boom from the sheer force of the blows. My body began to tense in anger as I whirled around to my door and again threw it open to find no life or unlocked doors. Thoroughly enraged, I walked to the sink to cool down. As I was splashing water on my face my blood began to boil as the booming sound was now coming from my door. I slowly crept to the threshold readying myself for a possible fight with some punk, but before I opened the door I decided to look through the peephole. However, as I focused my eye I could only see pitch blackness as if the hole were being covered, so I threw the door open with more force than I’ve ever mustered only to be greeted with cold murky darkness.
My stomach felt like a deflating balloon as I recognized the echoing drips of water hitting the cavern floor. I held my breath waiting for the same depraved creature to begin its horrid patrol, but the creature did not come. My eyes soon adjusted to the darkness enough that I could see outlines of the cold stone bulwark, as I felt my way along the icy walls my foot kicked a small metal object. I slowly moved down to pick up what I had kicked, the object was a metal cylinder with a small rubber button on one end “A flashlight!” my brain exclaimed. With the click of a button, the dingy cave was bathed in a radiant glow. The cave was adjoined to what seemed to be my Inn room, out of curiosity I pulled the curtains in the room and was met with cold stone on the other side of the double window. Dejected, I scanned the cave for any sign of an opening. As I walked out of the room, I spotted a small dried bloodstain nearly two meters from a small stalagmite. There was no explanation other than the inane theory that not only are my nightmares connected but that these bizarre occurrences are in some way rooted in reality. The very thought made my brain begin to pirouette in blighting befuddlement, I could not stand to come to terms with such an absurd reality lest I lose my mind. As my flashlight shone on a far wall, I could see an exit from this godforsaken room, but as I approached the outlet I noticed the frame of the exit had chiseled petroglyphs of three heads. There were two heads on each support of the exit; at the lowest point was a glyph of a man, above him was a glyph of the pale oddity I encountered the night before, but at the top of the frame held by the beams was a carving of a giant beast with tendrils preceding its mouth and a cephalopod shaped head. The very sight of the squid-like beast chilled my very bones causing me to shudder like an abject recreant, but as promptly as I averted my eyes the feeling subsided. I recommenced my trek through the dank tunnels discerning only the sounds of rocks I dislocated ricocheting off the floor, every few minutes I’d hear mortified screams echo off the ceiling for it only to be met with primal bellowing and eventual silence, and the ever-rhythmic oozing of freezing water from all directions. The dreary grotto seemed to impede the constancy of time itself as I found myself endlessly wandering through dead end after dead end, destroyed refuge after destroyed refuge. I began to wonder as more and more unknown amounts of time passed what about eating and drinking? I had to have been in the hole for more than 6 hours, but I never felt the sharp pang of hunger, the slow parching of dehydration, nor the burn of muscle fatigue. After plenty of trial and error, I came to a fork in the path, as I looked to the right my gag reflex triggered as I heard gut-wrenching screams for mercy followed by frenzied wailing saw the floor was caked with dry blood and littered with bones from all parts of the human body and with one cursory smell I was inundated with the stench of decay. The path to the left was clear of any debris, and I could see a dim light illuminate the cave wall farther down the path. As I walked down the path I could feel frigid goosebumps radiate from my neck to my toes, my very eupnea felt like ice in my lungs, and yet my breath remained unseen. When I came near the light on the cave wall I peered my head around the corner only to see a stone brazier lit with a flame as blue as the depths of the sea itself. The flame burnt endlessly without tinder or fuel of any kind, I tried to warm myself with this fire, but as I drew nearer my blood grew colder and my body quivered more fiercely. I was astonished by this simple defiance of my fickle reality.
I kept walking the path, distancing myself from each brazier as much as possible, but after passing the fifth brazier I could hear distant voices echoing off the walls, but I couldn’t decipher the muted murmurs that reverberated from wall to wall. As I grew closer to the voices I desperately wished to call for help, but those thoughts were admonished with the searing reminiscence of the path I repudiated. Would I be dismembered and picked clean if I so much as alerted one of the inhabitants? I wasn’t going to take that incurable risk, as I drew closer to the speaking figures, I could clearly hear what they said, but they spoke in a guttural consonant laden tongue that was not the least bit decipherable. I peered around the corner to see two men in black tattered cloaks standing on either side of one of the braziers chanting continuously. I watched curiously as the men looked to be in a trance of some sort, but the men suddenly rolled up their sleeves to reveal countless laceration scars some healed, others infected, and some fresh. As I was gawking at their many skin carvings both men unsheathed otherworldly daggers that measured about 20 centimeters, my stomach tensed as I watched them dig the blades into their wrists and hew down to their elbows. The men didn’t cry out in pain or even grimace as they tilted their lacerated arms into the bowl of the brazier, and as their blood cascaded into the bowl the men continued their chants. Suddenly the fire in the bowl changed into water, but still moved as if it were scorching flame. The men then submerged their lacerated arms into the water and affixed their forearms, after doing this the men started to cry out in ecstasy. Following this, the men removed their arms from the bowl and began to stumble about with their eyes rolled back in unmitigated euphoria. In mere seconds the men were slouched against the wall, made comatose by otherworldly bliss. As the second man closed his eyes I crept past, warily navigating the twisting stone tunnels I stumbled across scores of hooded figures who took part in the same macabre ceremony all splayed on the floor arms still spurting sticky pools of blood.
After the twentieth duo of masochistic freaks, I stumbled upon a massive clearing adorned with stone statues of the hideous winged cephalopod deity fraught with hooded figures, each was wearing wooden ceremonial masks fashioned to please the grotesque cephalopod creature. These cultists knelt around an ominous black obelisk that was pulsating gleaming energy seemingly due to their worship. Looking beyond the cultists I could see mighty pillars of white-hot lightning mirroring off the water’s surface that flowed from the center of the atoll, I’d have to cross the entire stone mezzanine and exit down a slab of stairs. As I began navigating my way toward the back of the cave, I grimaced at the mere audition of these chanting to their god in unholy unison. As I crossed the mezzanine directly behind the cultists, I noticed that this sect of mutants were the same humanoid beasts from my previous calamity, none of the figures wore shoes and their feet were also densely webbed. I knew I had to move quickly and carefully if I wanted to keep my skin as I approached the top of the staircase, I took a deep breath and began to surge down the stairs. I made it nearly halfway down before I heard a gut-wrenching wail coming from the depraved mutants below. I began to descend faster as most of the masked mutants didn’t move a muscle, but those who did began howling like tortured animals toward me. As soon as I hit the last stair I broke into a sprint for the mouth of the cave, but as I darted past the depraved creatures, I felt the ground begin to rattle and fissure, while the walls and ceilings begin to collapse upon. There was no time to waste in escaping from the depraved followers, I could hear their psychotic babbling as if they were close enough for a ride on my back. I felt the adrenaline numbing my every stride as I reached the edge of the cave’s gaping aperture and dove into the cloudy waves. Never had such cold and bemired water felt so liberating or invigorating, but even as I fled I could feel tremors rattling the very depths of the island. I slowly clambered out of the water to try and gather my bearings, but as I glanced upward I saw portentous black clouds fiercely merging into a whirling waterspout over the atoll’s center. The very earth beneath me rifted into fragments of dust infertile dust, cragged walls of lighting were hurled from the sky to destroy the wildlife, and in the distance, a tidal wave the size of the island came raging toward the island. As I lay in the grass I gazed at the waterspout, but as time passed the waterspout went from gargantuan to dwarf. But as the waterspout halted I witnessed a bulbous mass of gray flesh begin to rise from the water, I could feel an icy chill in each of my atoms as I watched the protracted tendrils rise from the murky depths. The cephalopod horror seemed disappointed that he had been freed to erase such a pathetic race of shallow mortals, and yet when its blistering red gaze met mine my lucid psyche howled in sanity searing anguish as I beheld The Deep One reclaiming its celestial cathedra as the harbinger, the lone horseman of mind-bending Armageddon. As the tidal wave drew fatally close to the island I took a deep breath of salty ocean air and closed my eyes accepting my fate. Just as I heard the wave make landfall I jolted awake and gasping for air in a deluge of my own sweat.
submitted by oofboi2002 to Scary [link] [comments]


2020.09.28 14:55 vv224 ./play.it 2.12: API, GUI and video games

./play.it 2.12: API, GUI and video games

./play.it is a free/libre software that builds native packages for several Linux distributions from DRM-free installers for a collection of commercial games. These packages can then be installed using the standard distribution-provided tools (APT, pacman, emerge, etc.).
A more complete description of ./play.it has already been posted in linux_gaming a couple months ago: ./play.it, an easy way to install commercial games on GNU/Linux
It's already been one year since version 2.11 was released, in January 2019. We will only briefly review the changelog of version 2.12 and focus on the different points of ./play.it that kept us busy during all this time, and of which coding was only a small part.

What’s new with 2.12?

Though not the focus of this article, it would be a pity not to present all the added features of this brand new version. ;)
Compared to the usual updates, 2.12 is a major one, especially since for two years, we slowed down the addition of new features. Some patches took dust since the end of 2018 before finally be integrated in this update!
The list of changes for this 2.12 release can be found on our forge. Here is a full copy for convenience:
  • New options:
    • --output-dir: Set the output directory for generated packages
    • --overwrite: Replace packages if they already exist
    • --icons: Allow including icons only if dependencies are present
  • Wrapper changes:
    • Drop $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR from the candidates for temporary directories
    • Prevent scan of unneeded directories
    • Drop script identification by MD5 hash
  • Archive-related changes:
    • Only extract needed files when using unzip
    • Allow to use renamed installers
    • Add support for LHA archives extraction
  • Engines-related changes:
    • New engine: ResidualVM
    • New engine: System-provided Mono runtime
    • DOSBox: Use $PLAYIT_DOSBOX_BINARY in launchers if defined
  • Packages-related changes:
    • Add ability to set variables for package-specific postinst and prerm scripts
    • Arch Linux: Improve consistence of 32-bit packages naming
  • New helper functions:
    • version_target_is_older_than: Check if the game script target version is older than a given one
    • toupper: Convert files name to upper case
  • New generic dependency keywords:
    • libgdk_pixbuf-2.0.so.0
    • libglib-2.0.so.0 / libgobject-2.0.so.0
    • libmbedtls.so.12
    • libpng16.so.16
    • libopenal.so.1 (alias for openal)
    • libSDL2-2.0.so.0 (alias for sdl2)
    • libturbojpeg.so.0
    • libuv.so.1
    • libvorbisfile.so.3 (alias for vorbis)
    • libz.so.1
  • Codebase clean-up and improvements:
    • Massive rework of all message-related functions
    • Drop hardcoded paths for icons and .desktop launchers
    • Use system-specific default installation prefix for generated packages
    • Forcefully set errexit setting on library initialization
    • Use dirname/basename instead of built-in shell patterns

Development migration

History

As many free/libre projects, ./play.it development started on some random sector of a creaking hard drive, and unsurprisingly, a whole part of its history (everything predating version 1.13.15 released on Mars 30th, 2016) disappeared into the limbs because some unwise operation destroyed the only copy of the repository… Lesson learned, what's not shared don't stay long, and so was born the first public Git repository of the project. The easing of collaborative work was only accidentally achieved by this quest for eternity, but wasn't the original motivation for making the repository publicly available.
Following this decision, ./play.it source code has been hosted successively by many shared forge platforms:

Dedicated forge

As development progressed, ./play.it began to increase its need for resources, dividing its code into several repositories to improve the workflow of the different aspects of the projects, adding continuous integration tests and their constraints, etc. A furious desire to understand the nooks and crannies behind a forge platform was the last deciding factor towards hosting a dedicated forge.
So it happened, we deployed a forge platform on a dedicated server, hugely benefiting from the tremendous work achieved by the GitLab's package Debian Maintainers team. In return, we tried to contribute our findings in improving this software packaging.
That was not expected, but this migration happened just a little time before the announcement “Déframasoftisons Internet !” (French article) about the planned end of Framagit.
This dedicated instance used to be hosted on a VPS rented from Digital Ocean until the second half of July 2020, and since then has been moved to another VPS, rented from Hetzner. The specifications are similar, as well as the service, but thanks to this migration our hosting costs have been cut in half. Keeping in mind that this is paid by a single person, so any little donation helps a lot on this front. ;)
To the surprise of our system administrator, this last migration took only a couple hours with no service interruption reported by our users.

Forge access

This new forge can be found at forge.dotslashplay.it. Registrations are open to the public, but we ask you to not abuse this, the main restriction being that we do not wish to host projects unrelated to ./play.it. Of course exceptions are made for our active contributors, who are allowed to host some personal projects there.
So, if you wish to use this forge to host your own work, you first need to make some significant contributions to ./play.it.

API

The collection of supported games growing endlessly, we have started the development of a public API allowing access to lots of information related to ./play.it.
This API, which is not yet stabilized, is simply an interface to a versioned database containing all the ./play.it scripts, handled archives, games installable through the project. Relations are, of course, handled between those items, enabling its use for requests like : « What packages are required on my system to install Cæsar Ⅲ ? » or « What are the free (as in beer) games handled via DOSBox ? ».
Originally developed as support for the new, in-development, Web site (we'll talk about it later on), this API should facilitate the development of tools around ./play.it. For example, it'll be useful for whomever would like to build a complete video game handling software (downloading, installation, starting, etc.) using ./play.it as one of its building bricks.
For those curious about the technical side, it's an API based on Lumeneffectuant that makes requests on a MariaDB database, all self-hosted on a Debian Sid. Not only is the code of the API versioned on our forge, but also the structure and content of the databases, which will allow those who desired it to install a local version easily.

New website

Based on the aforementioned API, a new website is under development and will replace our current website based on DokuWiki.
Indeed, if the lack of database and the plain text files structure of DokuWiki seemed at first attractive, as ./play.it supported only a handful of games (link in French), this feature became more inconvenient as the library of ./play.it supported games grew.
We shall make an in-depth presentation of this website for the 2.13 release of ./play.it, but a public demo of the development version from our forge is already available.
If you feel like providing an helping hand on this task, some priority tasks have been identified to allow opening a new Web site able to replace the current one. And for those interested in technical details, this web Site was developed in PHP using the framework Laravel. The current in-development version is hosted for now on the same Debian Sid than the API.

GUI

A regular comment that is done about the project is that, if the purpose is to make installing games accessible to everyone without technical skills, having to run scripts in the terminal remains somewhat intimidating. Our answer until now has been that while the project itself doesn't aim to providing a graphical interface (KISS principle "Keep it simple, stupid"), still and always), but that it would be relatively easy to, later on, develop a graphical front-end to it.
Well, it happens that is now reality. Around the time of our latest publication, one of our contributors, using the API we just talked about, developed a small prototype that is usable enough to warrant a little shout out. :-)
In practice, it is some small Python 3 code (an HCI completely in POSIX shell is for a later date :-°), using GTK 3 (and still a VTE terminal to display the commands issued, but the user shouldn't have to input anything in it, except perhaps the root password to install some packages). This allowed to verify that, as we used to say, it would be relatively easy, since a script of less than 500 lines of code (written quickly over a week-end) was enough to do the job !
Of course, this graphical interface project stays independent from the main project, and is maintained in a specific repository. It seems interesting to us to promote it in order to ease the use of ./play.it, but this doesn't prevent any other similar projects to be born, for example using a different language or graphical toolkit (we, globally, don't have any particular affinity towards Python or GTK).
The use of this HCI needs three steps : first, a list of available games is displayed, coming directly from our API. You just need to select in the list (optionally using the search bar) the game you want to install. Then it switches to a second display, which list the required files. If several alternatives are available, the user can select the one he wants to use. All those files must be in the same directory, the address bar on the top enabling to select which one to use (click on the open button on the top opens a filesystem navigation window). Once all those files available (if they can be downloaded, the software will do it automatically), you can move ahead to the third step, which is just watching ./play.it do its job :-) Once done, a simple click on the button on the bottom will run the game (even if, from this step, the game is fully integrated on your system as usual, you no longer need this tool to run it).
To download potentially missing files, the HCI will use, depending on what's available on the system, either wget, curl or aria2c (this last one also handling torrents), of which the output will be displayed in the terminal of the third phase, just before running the scripts. For privilege escalation to install packages, sudo will be used preferentially if available (with the option to use a third-party application for password input, if the corresponding environment variable is set, which is more user-friendly), else su will be used.
Of course, any suggestion for an improvement will be received with pleasure.

New games

Of course, such an announcement would not be complete without a list of the games that got added to our collection since the 2.11 release… So here you go:
If your favourite game is not supported by ./play.it yet, you should ask for it in the dedicated tracker on our forge. The only requirement to be a valid request is that there exists a version of the game that is not burdened by DRM.

What’s next?

Our team being inexhaustible, work on the future 2.13 version has already begun…
A few major objectives of this next version are :
If your desired features aren't on this list, don't hesitate to signal it us, in the comments of this news release. ;)

Links

submitted by vv224 to linux_gaming [link] [comments]


2020.09.28 02:39 oofboi2002 First time posting. Please critique my long ass story as it is not near finished yet. Even if its a nuke of a criticism give it to me

As I stood at the dock’s edge, gazing at the tempestuous sea I couldn’t help but wonder why I had decided to come to this desolate rock. Could it have been a fickle attempt to escape the everyday humdrum of life? Or had some enigmatic force of fate brought me to this rickety atoll? My dismal rumination was abruptly quelled by a stout hand-clapping my shoulder, my thoughts still roared as I turned to see the briny barge captain who had stirred me. He must have noticed my vacant stare because he immediately led me to a musty wooden tavern not thirty yards away from the dock’s cragged edge. As we ambled through the swinging saloon doors I began to grasp how meager this hamlet was. My inattentive thoughts were jarred by the bartender gruffly asking for my drink of choice, I simply abstained myself which elicited a grumble from the chapped man. As I sat in the bar, I could feel manifold sets of eyes scouring my slouched shoulders. I could hear hushed voices redound off the rotting walls “Looks like a fresh continental.”, “Come next barge he’s gone go back home cryin’ to mama.” I stood from my seat and left the peculiar locals to their swill.
I noticed a filmy patch of fog rolling through the cobbled stone streets as I left. As I looked back to the dock I noticed the vessel that I had arrived on was now a distant mote on the horizon. I began combing the stark streets for any refuge that didn’t contain unsavory locals or fetid scents. As I strolled through the fog the warm effulgence of oil lamps illuminated a small chain bound wooden sign that merely read “INN”. As I entered the lobby, I saw that the inn was well lit and unsoiled by rot or water damage. As I strode to the end of the reception area I noticed a golden service bell on the edge of a glossy wooden desk labeled “Check-In” I rang the small bell and not a second later a small elderly woman scooted from a small curtained room to the side of the desk opposite me. I examined her face more closely to see keen exuberance in her eyes as if I were an old friend she hadn’t spoken to in some time. “Hello, my name is Ida and welcome to my Inn. How long would you like to stay my dear?” “I’ll stay for a week.” I said reluctantly, I had no idea when the next ship would come to this port and the locals are no help whatsoever. “Wonderful!” she croaked “So many continentals come to stay here, my business has been booming since I opened four years ago.” This comment confused me greatly because the keyboard behind her was completely full. “This way young man you’ll be staying in room 3.” The woman quickly shuffled up a flight of burnished wooden stairs to reveal a carpeted hallway with 5 rooms on each side. “You said your business was booming…” I alluded “…but the other rooms are vacant.” Ida smiled at me and asserted “The other patrons left the village to get closer to the island.” This statement perplexed me, “This place is so bleak. Why would anyone want to make a home here?” I thought to myself as Ida’s face receded with the closing door.
My room was a spacious 40 square meter box with red curtains covering immaculate double windows. I took to lying down on the cushy king bed so that I could reflect on my circumstances comfortably. After some ephemeral solitary deliberation, I heard a feeble knock on my door. When I opened the door there stood the slightly wilted figure of Ida, but this time she was holding a small sheet of paper. “Since you’re going to be here for a bit, I thought you might want to know this town’s history.” The paper had a picture of a gaping cave entrance that gave me a disconcerting chill. I gripped the pamphlet, but the woman maintained her grip. “Watch yourself when you leave your room you hear? The folk who live in this town are the least of your worries.” She then released the brochure and retired to the lobby. The leaflet described the founding of the town by a small fleet of European trading ships that were immobilized by a severe tropical storm that devastated the area. These settlers lived on the island for nearly a century, but one day a military vessel docked, and the men were astonished to find the settlement and the entire island to be empty. It was as if the people had vanished into thin air. Soon the settlement was repopulated during the Industrial Revolution in hopes that the island had hidden riches to strip and sell to the highest bidder. However, many of the prospectors reported seeing pale slick-headed figures stalking the dark inlets of the cave system. These legends were never confirmed, and no lives were lost until one day the miner’s exit had a massive cave in and hundreds of men were killed along with the island’s economy. The island is now a secluded community that feeds itself with the sea’s bounty. As I flipped to the back of the handout, I found a map of the island with important locations corresponding to its history each marked with a crudely written title and small “x” to specify. My eyes scanned the map I saw a small gray patch of land near the watery center of the atoll. The patch was marked “Murky Grotto”, this was the location that was pictured on the front of the pamphlet and the site where the cave-in occurred. I flipped the paper back to its face and studied the maw of the cave closely, I’m positive I saw something in that cave. I could feel the hand holding the picture drifting closer to my face until I could see nothing but the darkness within.
My vision was completely darkened by the picture, but when I moved the photo away from my eyes, I realized that I was no longer in the warm hotel room. I was totally enveloped by inky blackness on all sides, the only thing my senses could interpret was the biting chill in the air and the faint dripping of water. My heart jumped from resting to throbbing against my rib cage. As my breath became faster, I began to hear clumsy footsteps accompanied by ear-shattering wails and erratic cries of primal rage. I couldn’t tell what was making the peculiar noise, but all I knew was that it was getting louder and therefore closer. I reduced my breathing to remain completely silent. I could feel its frenzied breath on my face. Standing before me was what may seem human, but this beast was coated and continuously secreting a sickly lemon-colored mucous, sporting a near melanin free outer membrane, the eyes must be completely worthless as the beast does not acknowledge visual stimuli its bulbous and milky eyes seem to be an evolutionary mutation as useful as the human appendix, the mutant also didn’t have a single visible hair on its body. The mutant’s physical condition is questionable, to say the least. Much of its body was simply gaunt deformity. The torso is mostly stretched thin skin over protruding bones. The mutant’s prominent facial features include its lack of a nose, instead, it has two nostrils nestled in a small facial ridge where its nose should be was. The mutant’s ears are also embedded into its head rather than protruding. My blood ran cold as the creature’s dead eyes bulged while it silently stood in front of me, baring its rows of deformed teeth in my face almost as if it knew it was standing inches away but preferred to taunt me instead. I began to slowly inch away from the mutant as quietly as possible step by step. However, my fear overtook my footing as I backed into what must have been a thick stalagmite and began to plunge to the floor. As I fell, I could see the creature aimlessly swiping toward me, the monstrosity wore a tattered black cloak, but no shoes. The creature’s feet were densely webbed to the point where what would be toes were nearly fused together. The last thing I heard before I collapsed was another spine-chilling scream coming from the creature.
I shot up from lying down, once again blind for a moment until the small pamphlet flaked off my face and into my lap. My body was shaking immensely as I tried reassuring myself that I had just fallen asleep and had a terrible nightmare, but I could feel the dull flow of adrenaline through my body. I sauntered into the bathroom to use the sink to cool my sweat laden forehead, as I refreshed myself, I chuckled because I had gotten myself so worked up over a stupid nightmare. As I dried my hands however I could feel something warm running down my neck, I used a few sheets of toilet paper to clear my sweat, but as I brought the paper to my face to examine the amount of sweat my vision began to blur as I saw that I had not cleaned sweat off my neck rather the wipe was stained red with fresh blood. I stumbled into the stand-in shower and activated the tepid flow of water. I faced the shiny silver floor drain as I watched diluted blood swirl into the pipes below just trying to distract myself from the I implored myself to think of any logical answer other than the repulsive possibility that was slowly pushing its way to the forefront of my mind. “The nightmare.” I blankly uttered. Soon afterward the blood stopped flowing down my back and shoulders and I stepped out of the shower shaking profusely even though the temperature was better than most showers I’ve used. I threw myself toward my duffel bag to retrieve my meds. “Don’t think about it. None of it makes sense so don’t delude yourself by trying to make it logical.” I chanted as I downed my medicine with a swig of water I spread myself across the bed, staring up at the ceiling with my mind still racing, but eventually my medication eased my mind enough that my heart resumed its normal resting pattern. I was determined to stay awake until I could convince myself that I was just anxious about staying in this eerie hamlet. I soon pushed it to the back of my mind and decided that I would go back to the tavern and look for a guide and something to eat. As I descended the stairs, I could see that the old woman was nowhere to be found in the lobby, so I simply left a generous payment for the weeks lodging next to the cramped guest ledger. I took a closer look at the paper to notice that Ida was, in fact, right that many travelers had come to the inn, however, there was a column marked “Room Status” and every single name except for mine was marked vacated on the same date and within the same hour. This confused me at first, but I then realized that these people must have come together, perhaps they checked out to explore the island’s entirety. As I left the Inn I was again greeted with a thick fog and dark skies. As I returned to the coast where I arrived I felt a few raindrops hit the nape of my neck as thunder rolled in the distance. I stopped before I entered the bar again because I could once more feel eyes on my back.
I turned to see a man dressed in a navy-blue police uniform with an aged 1911 pistol model on one hip and a sleek nightstick on the other. The man raised one of his gloved hands and motioned for me to come closer. As I approached I saw the man’s gaunt features, his eyes were baggy and dark as his suit, immense stress markings on his forehead, and an unsightly scar stretching from his left commissure to the corresponding earlobe. “Hello son, you’re the new cont’nental arrived yesterday right?” he coolly inquired, “Continental?” I quizzically asked, “Everyone keeps calling me that, but I don’t know what it means.” “Means you’re from the mainland, means they don’t trust you neither. These folks only care for their own and don’t take well to outsiders meddling with their traditions.” The officer said overly nonchalantly. “I noticed that they weren’t very fond of me as soon as I walked into the bar. Do the locals even speak to newcomers unless they have to?” I inquired genuinely regretting not stepping back onto the barge instead of being distracted by the queer community of ruffled fishermen. “Most folk just keep a sour look til’ newcomers get the message.” He punctuated his sentence by grabbing a small canteen and taking a swig of what I assumed was water. “Do you know when the next barge will come here? I made a mistake staying here and I need the first boat back to the mainland.” The officer chuckled and looked at me as if I had told him a joke he had heard many times before. “Next barge carrying general good’s comin’ in 13 days. Til’ then you’re stuck on this berg.” My heart sank as I had enough money to last that period, but I was reluctant because of the lack of activities since I was technically a second-class citizen to the locals. The officer surely noticed my expression because he put his white pristine white glove on my shoulder and stated “I know it’s inconvenient son, but the locals don’t want nothin’ to do with the mainland less’ they can’t find it on the island. The only boats the locals own are small rowboats nd’ they only use em’ for haulin’ fish n’ firewood.” “Say…” he blurted “…I’ll bet you haven’t got a tour of the town yet. How’d you like a po-lice escort, son?” “Sure.” I relented “But how much of this dinky shantytown is there to tour?” I mentally scoffed. Instantly after I accepted his offer the officer turned 180 degrees and began rigidly marching down the street opposite of the bar. The thick fog gave the officer a strange appearance, his dark figure seemed to push the fog to his side while my thin frame was seemingly consumed by the syrupy haze. The officer suddenly stopped and clicked his polished shoes together to face the second-best kept building I’d seen “This’s the general store, here’s where most of the goods from the barge go.” “Finally!” I thought “I don’t have to go to that dingy bar to get food and drink. I thought I’d never find a store here.” The officer began to say something, but I was only interested in the small wooden shelves freshly stocked with ample instant food that only requires water, seasoning shakers, various tools, and various fishing gear and accessories. I grabbed a small paper bag and filled it with instant food and some bottled water. However, the cashier stopped totaling my items when I opened my wallet and took out a couple of 5-dollar bills. “Sir you don’t have enough capital for your items.” the man groaned “You need more than ten dollars for some lousy instant food and bottled water?” I griped. The man started to respond but closed his mouth as I felt a familiar feeling on my shoulder. I turned to see the officer with a small but smug grin on his face “We don’t accept continental cash here son.” he ribbed. I then noticed both men had small canvas sacks attached to their belts, the officer removed his and took out a few slimy segments of what looked like fish scales. “I’ll pay for your food this time ‘round, but we don’t use no paper money with nobody but the barge captain.” The cashier shot the officer a quick grin, but his expression changed to a scowl when he returned my bag of items. As I walked down the creaky wooden steps the officer snickered “I was tryin’ to tell you we ain’t got any use for mainland cash, do us both a favor and let me finish next time.” Embarrassed and agitated by how obsolete my savings were in this backwater I simply nodded my head at the officer and dreaded having to return to the Inn and be confronted about my useless money. The officer continued his foggy march through the town showing me the town hall, small woodworking shop, and finally a cramped post office. As both of us exited the building I noticed that the rain that had only been a drizzle earlier was beginning to intensify.
The officer turned to me and said “That’s it for the important places here. Now if you want me to show you a good place to see the beauty of this here island, we can make it there and back before the rain gets too heavy if you wanna take a gander.” Not caring about either the rain or how much time it took I agreed to follow him once more. As usual, he began marching up the cobbled streets, but when we reached the end of the road he didn’t break stride for a moment despite the unruly grass and bumpy terrain. We eventually reached and traversed an outlandishly symmetrical plateau. The top of the highland was shaped like a hexagon. When I averted my gaze from the odd highland I was greeted with the serene sight of the watery center of the atoll and the distant curve of the rest of the island. As both of us gazed in silence I made out what looked to be a protruding rock face with a dark yawning maw. As I looked closer I could see what looked like a line of figures filing into the mouth of the cavern. My trance was cut short by the policeman nudging me and pointing to the center of the band “That water there goes down deeper than any man could ever go. Locals go out and catch fish there, folk say that the deeper you go the bigger the catch.” The man then mumbled something to himself that was near indecipherable from what I heard it sounded like he mentioned something called “The Deep Sleeper”. He then turned to me as if he had said nothing at all and yapped “Whelp! We best get back ‘afore the storm gets nasty.”
On the way back through town the officer did not march confidently as he had previously, he continuously turned his head to look at me until we reached the Inn as if he were looking at my expression to determine whether or not I had heard his preceding utterance. “Hope you had a hoot on the tour! Come by the town hall if anything’s troubling you. The locals may not acknowledge you, but just know I’m here night r’ day if need be.” he insisted. “Thank you officer…” “Name’s Tate, just give me a holler if you need anythin’” he jovially repeated. As Officer Tate departed, he resumed his austere march, not once looking back or breaking his stride until he disappeared from my sight. My body fluttered as I left the cold streets and entered the toasty lobby. Instead of a vacant front desk, Ida was reading quietly at the end of the room. I strode to the desk to apologize for using outmoded currency, but instead of anger, the senior matriarch gave a warm smile and politely said “The locals may use those stupid scales, but I still use mainland currency because that barge not only brings patrons but supplies to keep my Inn in the sterling condition it’s in now. You don’t need to worry about those gross scales here young man.” Relief washed over me as I thanked her profusely as I lumbered up the stairs with my groceries.
When I finally locked my room door I was ready to sleep sometime in this dingy town away. Soon after I killed the lights I was enveloped in the thick curtain of sleep. I was awoken this time not by a nightmare, but by the sound of a door being continuously pounded on. At first, I groggily wrapped my pillow around my ears, but the pounding didn’t stop so I shifted out of bed and into my shoes. The blows were growing in intensity to the point where I believed that the entire door would break. As I cleaned out my sleepy eyes I listened for the sound of Ida, hoping that she would rebuke the antagonist, but the beating continued uninterrupted. Now irritated with being awoken by some instigator I swung my door open to catch the aggressor by surprise, but there was not a person in sight. I paced the length of the hall and every door was locked and the hall was barren of life. The more I thought about the situation the more irate I became, I stormed back into my room closing the door and went to sit on my bed, but as soon as my door was shut the pounding came back in full force, but this time the sound had switched locations. The unit next to me was shaking with the thundering boom from the sheer force of the blows. My body began to tense in anger as I whirled around to my door and again threw it open to find no life or unlocked doors. Thoroughly enraged, I walked to the sink to cool down. As I was splashing water on my face my blood began to boil as the booming sound was now coming from my door. I slowly crept to the threshold readying myself for a possible fight with some punk, but before I opened the door I decided to look through the peephole. However, as I focused my eye I could only see pitch blackness as if the hole were being covered, so I threw the door open with more force than I’ve ever mustered only to be greeted with cold murky darkness.
My stomach felt like a deflating balloon as I recognized the echoing drips of water hitting the cavern floor. I held my breath waiting for the same depraved creature to begin its horrid patrol, but the creature did not come. My eyes soon adjusted to the darkness enough that I could see outlines of the cold stone bulwark, as I felt my way along the icy walls my foot kicked a small metal object. I slowly moved down to pick up what I had kicked, the object was a metal cylinder with a small rubber button on one end “A flashlight!” my brain exclaimed. With the click of a button, the dingy cave was bathed in a radiant glow. The cave was adjoined to what seemed to be my Inn room, out of curiosity I pulled the curtains in the room and was met with cold stone on the other side of the double window. Dejected, I scanned the cave for any sign of an opening. As I walked out of the room, I spotted a small dried bloodstain nearly two meters from a small stalagmite. There was no explanation other than the inane theory that not only are my nightmares connected but that these bizarre occurrences are in some way rooted in reality. The very thought made my brain begin to pirouette in blighting befuddlement, I could not stand to come to terms with such an absurd reality lest I lose my mind. As my flashlight shone on a far wall, I could see an exit from this godforsaken room, but as I approached the outlet I noticed the frame of the exit had chiseled petroglyphs of three heads. There were two heads on each support of the exit; at the lowest point was a glyph of a man, above him was a glyph of the pale oddity I encountered the night before, but at the top of the frame held by the beams was a carving of a giant beast with tendrils preceding its mouth and a cephalopod shaped head. The very sight of the squid-like beast chilled my very bones causing me to shudder like an abject recreant, but as promptly as I averted my eyes the feeling subsided.
I recommenced my trek through the dank tunnels discerning only the sounds of rocks I dislocated ricocheting off the floor, every few minutes I’d hear mortified screams echo off the ceiling for it only to be met with primal bellowing and eventual silence, and the ever-rhythmic oozing of freezing water from all directions. The dreary grotto seemed to impede the constancy of time itself as I found myself endlessly wandering through dead end after dead end, destroyed refuge after destroyed refuge. I began to wonder as more and more unknown amounts of time passed what about eating and drinking? I had to have been in the hole for more than 6 hours, but I never felt the sharp pang of hunger, the slow parching of dehydration, nor the burn of muscle fatigue. After plenty of trial and error, I came to a fork in the path, as I looked to the right my gag reflex triggered as I heard gut-wrenching screams for mercy followed by frenzied wailing saw the floor was caked with dry blood and littered with bones from all parts of the human body and with one cursory smell I was inundated with the stench of decay. The path to the left was clear of any debris, and I could see a dim light illuminate the cave wall farther down the path. As I walked down the path I could feel frigid goosebumps radiate from my neck to my toes, my very eupnea felt like ice in my lungs, and yet my breath remained unseen. When I came near the light on the cave wall I peered my head around the corner only to see a stone brazier lit with a flame as blue as the depths of the sea itself. The flame burnt endlessly without tinder or fuel of any kind, I tried to warm myself with this fire, but as I drew nearer my blood grew colder and my body quivered more fiercely. I was astonished by this simple defiance of my fickle reality.
I kept walking the path, distancing myself from each brazier as much as possible, but after passing the fifth brazier I could hear distant voices echoing off the walls, but I couldn’t decipher the muted murmurs that reverberated from wall to wall. As I grew closer to the voices I desperately wished to call for help, but those thoughts were admonished with the searing reminiscence of the path I repudiated. Would I be dismembered and picked clean if I so much as alerted one of the inhabitants? I wasn’t going to take that incurable risk, as I drew closer to the speaking figures, I could clearly hear what they said, but they spoke in a guttural consonant laden tongue that was not the least bit decipherable. I peered around the corner to see two men in black tattered cloaks standing on either side of one of the braziers chanting continuously. I watched curiously as the men looked to be in a trance of some sort, but the men suddenly rolled up their sleeves to reveal countless laceration scars some healed, others infected, and some fresh. As I was gawking at their many skin carvings both men unsheathed otherworldly daggers that measured about 20 centimeters, my stomach tensed as I watched them dig the blades into their wrists and hew down to their elbows. The men didn’t cry out in pain or even grimace as they tilted their lacerated arms into the bowl of the brazier, and as their blood cascaded into the bowl the men continued their chants. Suddenly the fire in the bowl changed into water but still moved as if it were scorching flame. The men then submerged their lacerated arms into the water and affixed their forearms, after doing this the men started to cry out in ecstasy. Following this, the men removed their arms from the bowl and began to stumble about with their eyes rolled back in unmitigated euphoria. In mere seconds the men were slouched against the wall, made comatose by otherworldly bliss. As the second man closed his eyes I crept past, warily navigating the twisting stone tunnels I stumbled across scores of hooded figures who took part in the same macabre ceremony all splayed on the floor arms still spurting sticky pools of blood.
After the twentieth duo of masochistic freaks, I stumbled upon a massive clearing adorned with stone statues of the hideous winged cephalopod deity fraught with hooded figures, each was wearing wooden ceremonial masks fashioned to please the grotesque cephalopod creature. These cultists knelt around an ominous black obelisk that was pulsating gleaming energy seemingly due to their worship. Looking beyond the cultists I could see mighty pillars of white-hot lightning mirroring off the water’s surface that flowed from the center of the atoll, I’d have to cross the entire stone mezzanine and exit down a slab of stairs. As I began navigating my way toward the back of the cave, I grimaced at the mere audition of these chanting to their god in unholy unison. As I crossed the mezzanine directly behind the cultists, I noticed that this sect of mutants were the same humanoid beasts from my previous calamity, none of the figures wore shoes and their feet were also densely webbed. I knew I had to move quickly and carefully if I wanted to keep my skin as I approached the top of the staircase, I took a deep breath and began to surge down the stairs. I made it nearly halfway down before I heard a gut-wrenching wail coming from the depraved mutants below. I began to descend faster as most of the masked mutants didn’t move a muscle, but those who did began howling like tortured animals toward me. As soon as I hit the last stair I broke into a sprint for the mouth of the cave, but as I darted past the depraved creatures, I felt the ground begin to rattle and fissure, while the walls and ceilings begin to collapse upon. There was no time to waste in escaping from the depraved followers, I could hear their psychotic babbling as if they were close enough for a ride on my back. I felt the adrenaline numbing my every stride as I reached the edge of the cave’s gaping aperture and dove into the cloudy waves.
Never had such cold and bemired water felt so liberating or invigorating, but even as I fled I could feel tremors rattling the very depths of the island. I slowly clambered out of the water to try and gather my bearings, but as I glanced upward I saw portentous black clouds fiercely merging into a whirling waterspout over the atoll’s center. The very earth beneath me rifted into fragments of dust infertile dust, cragged walls of lighting were hurled from the sky to destroy the wildlife, and in the distance, a tidal wave the size of the island came raging toward the island. As I lay in the grass I gazed at the waterspout, but as time passed the waterspout went from gargantuan to dwarf. But as the waterspout halted I witnessed a bulbous mass of gray flesh begin to rise from the water, I could feel an icy chill in each of my atoms as I watched the protracted tendrils rise from the murky depths. The cephalopod horror seemed disappointed that he had been freed to erase such a pathetic race of shallow mortals, and yet when its blistering red gaze met mine my lucid psyche howled in sanity searing anguish as I beheld The Deep One reclaiming its celestial cathedra as the harbinger, the lone horseman of mind-bending Armageddon. As the tidal wave drew fatally close to the island I took a deep breath of salty ocean air and closed my eyes accepting my fate. Just as I heard the wave make landfall I jolted awake and gasping for air in a deluge of my own sweat.
submitted by oofboi2002 to scarystories [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 20:46 fineprintdata DeJoy's Stocks vs. the 2020 Election

I’ve been trying to understand the web of financial interests surrounding Postmaster DeJoy. Here’s what I’ve got so far. A full graphic of his history with XPO is here, along with the following writeup.

TL:DR Postmaster DeJoy has a massive (187 to 1) conflict-of-interest between his stock in his ex-company, XPO Logistics, and his role as head of the Post Office. The conflict is so massive that his best financial interest is to stay in power as long as possible so in order to weaken the Post Office where it competes with XPO and/or increase Post Office outsourcing for services that XPO provides.
  1. The $-leverage-gap between DeJoy’s stock in his former company, XPO (estimated at $57 million on 9/18) and his annual salary as Postmaster General ($303,460) is 187 to 1.
  2. In the first 10 weeks of DeJoy appointment, USPS payments to XPO have increased by 412% over the same time period last year (although this contract does pre-date DeJoy's appointment, it came after he was floated as a replacement to Postmaster Brennan and after DeJoy's chief advocate, John Barger, was named to head the search process. ).
  3. Since DeJoy’s appointment, 7% of all First-Class mail has been delayed and 13% of the country's mail-sorting machines have been scheduled for decommission before the election.
  4. DeJoy’s changes have slowed mail, weakened confidence in the USPS, and decreased access to voting-by-mail. With a clear Democratic dependence on voting-by-mail, these policies increase the likelihood that Trump wins, so that DeJoy can weaken the USPS as a competitor to XPO and increase USPS outsourcing to XPO.
I looked at three primary sources to compile information about Postmaster General DeJoy’s financial interests. These are SEC insider trading filings as relates to his position as an executive at XPO, nonprofit 501c(3) disclosure filings for the DeJoy Wos Family Foundation, and the EIGA Annual Financial Disclosures and Periodic Transaction Reports for DeJoy and his immediate family.
### Background
Louis DeJoy is a former logistics executive and Trump campaign megadonor. He was confirmed as the 75th Postmaster General earlier this year, assuming the position on June 16, 2020. His wife, Aldona Wos, had served as Ambassador to Estonia under George W. Bush and had been considered for the position of Ambassador to Canada. Since DeJoy’s confirmation, concerns about conflicts of interest between his personal investments and USPS policy have grown, leading to inquiries by both the House Oversight Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Earlier this month, the House opened a separate investigation of DeJoy’s alleged campaign finance violations involving his former company, New Breed Logistics.
### XPO Logistics
Louis DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, have an estimated $56 million stake in XPO Logistics, the multinational company that DeJoy helped run and a direct beneficiary of the new policies DeJoy enacted at the Postal Service. For context, as of late 2019, the couple have a combined net worth between $93 and $314 million, with income between $6 to $31 million. In other words, they have tied between 18 and 60 percent of their wealth to the financial success of a company that DeJoy regulates.
DeJoy ran his family company, New Breed Logistics, with his brothers from 1983 to 2014. He then sold New Breed to XPO Logistics for $615 million in the summer of 2014. As part of the deal, DeJoy was appointed President of XPO’s North America & Asia-Pacific supply chain business, due to his expertise in supply chain operations. He also agreed to purchase $30 million worth of restricted XPO shares, evenly divided between the pre-merger ($26.03) and post-merger ($32.45) share price. In December of 2015, DeJoy suddenly retired as President and joined the Board of XPO. In his ownership filings as a member of the board, we can only find evidence of him owning ~$15 million in XPO stock. It’s unclear whether the other $15 million stock purchase was ever executed, and if not, why.
Cross-referencing DeJoy’s SEC ownership filings and his exercised XPO options, we estimate that he currently owns 650,000 shares of XPO, valued at $56.8 million on September 18th. In contrast, DeJoy makes $303,460 annually as Postmaster General. As such, a change in XPO’s stock price of just 47 cents is the equivalent of his annual salary. On September 1st of this year, for example, DeJoy made more than four times his annual salary in total capital gains on his XPO stock, adding around $1,287,000 to his net worth in a single day.
As part of their delivery network, the Post Office contracts long-haul shipping jobs to a large number of private contractors, including XPO. While this does not represent the largest revenue stream for XPO, it does receive millions of dollars in federal contracts every year. Since DeJoy’s appointment, XPO has seen a 412% year over year increase in payments from these contracts, from $3.4 million over the same time period last year to $14 million.
### Power Through USPS Policy Changes
DeJoy’s policies have delayed 7 percent of all first-class mail. He has ordered the removal of 13% of all sorting machines used to help process mail-in ballots, and worries persist regarding the Postal Service’s ability to handle the expected volume of vote by mail ballots. Impeding the ability of the Postal Service to process mail-in ballots when evidence suggests that Democrats are vastly more likely to cast them would undoubtedly help Trump win reelection.
DeJoy’s policies have already degraded confidence in the Postal Service. Indeed, at least 21 states plan to sue the Postal Service over DeJoy’s changes. Even a small decrease in voter turnout or ballot delivery could affect electoral outcomes, often decided by a few swing states. A difference of around 100,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin would have changed the outcome of the 2016 election. With around one third of Americans planning to vote by mail, any interruption to the postal service could cause vote counting delays or prevent votes from being counted. In other words, in 2020, whoever controls the mail, controls the elections.
(edited to reflect comment by rusticgorilla below)
submitted by fineprintdata to Keep_Track [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 03:53 kittyaphrodite Guide to Dressing Romantics

Hey guys- I just wrote this post on vindicta but I thought it would also be helpful to post here- with the caveat that it is just my thoughts and experiences!
hey guys! This took a while of thinking to get done but I hope it helps!
The first step to being able to effectively style yourself is to find out your kibbe type. Here is a link to the test I took- https://theconceptwardrobe.com/kibbe-body-types/the-kibbe-body-type-test. I think its all the better the less preconceived notions you have about kibbe as your opinion could become clouded and you could suffer type resistance- as in, you want to be one body type but you really are another. I think the kibbe system is great because its not based in making you feel like shit about yourself. Every single type has universally-considered gorgeous and beautiful women. It is also about being honest to yourself. I am about 5’0- I will NEVER be a tall supermodel. It’s just not happening. And that’s fine! Look at the women you are in the category with and see how beautiful they are. That being said, I am considered a romantic and that’s what this guide will be tailored toward. Here is the full outline of kibbes romantic section in his book Metamorphosis- https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/seasonalcolokibbe-s-romantic-t1990.html. By the way, for whatever result you get on the kibbe test, if you google “tapatalk (your kibbe type)” you should find your own chapter results.
I feel I finally have a style and idea of how things work for my body which is petite and curvy. I think it does feel like a niche as curvy doesn’t necessarily mean a larger size, I am a size 6. I prefer to include real recommendations into my posts cause I feel it takes a lot of legwork out and is more helpful that way. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving recs to people with different body types and have you buy something garbage!
also, as apart of this pre-styling guide- learn your color season. I don’t have any great links but here on the subreddit are many great posts that can point you in the right direction. Of course, is it law to not wear purple as a warm spring? No, of course not. However, it can help point you in the right direction in clothes you might be interested in buying and trying to pick the best colors for you. Finally, kibbe, color systems, and my suggestions aren’t law or things you have to do or else. Everyones different! Still, this stuff takes forever to learn and a lot of time and money to figure out and I think it helped me a ton and i hope it does for other people.
Guiding principles of Kibbe for Romantics (ripped from his book, you dont need to follow everything but i think it gives you a general idea of what to look for)
SHAPE: Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation your find yourself--work, play, or glamour--keep your shapes rounded with soft edges! Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure!
Avoid: All straight lines. All sharp edges. All geometrics.
LINE AND SILHOUETTE Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves of your body. Waste definition is essential, always, as is lots of gentle draping everywhere.
Avoid: All severe silhouettes. All tailored silhouettes. All straight lines with angular edges. All vertical lines that hid the waist. All unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines.
FABRIC: Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultra soft of plush textures (suedes, velvets, boucle knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
AVOID: Stiff fabrics. Heavyweight fabrics. Rough textures. Extreme matte-finished fabrics.
DETAIL Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of "little-girlish." Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated). Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o' mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing. Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.) The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
Avoid: All tailored, angular, or severe detail. All chunky, rough, or oversized detail. All geometric necklines. All sharp edges--pleats, square shoulder pads. All crisp detail--perky bows, tiny ruffles. All minimal or "no detail" looks.
Skirts: Should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic "straight skirt" is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short. All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Lengths should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).
Avoid: All straight and tailored skirts, A-lines, and pleats.
Pants: Should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves! Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.
Avoid: Straight or tailored pants. sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets). Baggy, unconstructed styles.
Blouses: Soft, draped styles. Sophisticated flounces and fills. Any antique styles.
Avoid: All tailored styles.
Sweaters: Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.
Avoid: Skinny, ribbed knits. Thick, nubby knits. Oversized sweaters. Turtlenecks and long pullovers. Cardigans. Crew-necked shetlands.
DRESSES: Should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling or flouncey skirts.
Avoid: Stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coatdress, chemise, etc.). Straight styles with no waist. Shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses.
Basics Before Dressing
As youll be able to see- I do not follow every single rule he makes, and sometimes like things he says to avoid. These rules arent law but they should make you look twice at what you wear and if it works for you and how to make it work for you and your style. I break these rules plenty- just as long as I am maintaining the structure by waist emphasis and clothes choice (high waisted bottoms).
While you don’t have to follow the materials list directly, just try to pay attention to what the clothes are made of and prioritize non-polyester clothes. Don’t buy clothes that don’t suit you or don’t fit you in the hope that it one day magically will or that you will lose the weight. If you are losing weight rapidly, then wait a little before buying expensive new clothes and wait until you get to a more stable weight for you. The key factor is always, always, always waist emphasis! In every outfit strive to have waist definition be the key component.
Shapewear- a must
Shapewear is so crucial to a the more structured hourglass look. While you should be working out, there will always be lumps and bumps that you would like to be slimmed or rounded. Shapewear will do that for you. That snatched look you see on red carpets and celebrities is a large part due to shapewear- as many admit in interviews. Shapewear has the ability to make your outfits overall look more expensive and just better on you. Now, I bought skims full price and the quality sucks- my mid thigh shorts literally ripped on a date so that was great. Honestly, I would go for spanx. I thought they were so expensive for some reason. Because Spanx is kinda the OG of shapewear brands that we think of, they have such a large library that their sale section is pretty robust so you can pretty much get a lot of pieces like high waisted panties for 10 dollars or full body-thigh suits for $40 dollars. And ive never experienced ripping like I did with Skims. Sign up for the Spanx newsletter and youll get updates on deals every couple of weeks, including free shipping.
A really easy way to get into shapewear is buying the Spanx high waisted underwear. I would highly recommend in investing in shapewear panties/boyshorts. Its not much different than other types of underwear, smooths/diminishes on lower belly fat which most women have, and I got 3 for ten dollars each. I like the “everyday shaping” ones the best since they don’t look like shapewear necessarily and are pretty comfortable to wear around. I get black in all of these since it goes with my lingerie since im garbage at matching colors so I just get it all in black. Panties and boyshorts in shapewear can be worn with pretty much every outfit (so long as youre covered on your lower stomach. For tight dresses and skirts- you probably would want to get shapewear that would smooth your thighs and butt- as Ive noticed in a newer pencil skirt I bought, just the boyshorts aint cutting it. It just looks a little lumpy without. I would highly recommend just buying sale spanx at their website- and in general try to look for styles that are still sold for full price on other parts of the site or are part of a collection, one off items aren’t as good. (ie, “retro panties” are not as good as the “everyday shaping line, boyshorts”). Find the areas where you need it too- a full body suit is expensive and you probably don’t need it- if your thighs aren’t perfectly shaped, or you have some belly fat, buy shapewear to help those areas. Shoot for a level 2/3 for max effectiveness.
General Principles
Now for the main event. You need to learn your measurements. Buy a simple measuring tape and do a full set of measurements for your body. Weight hangs so differently on us as we aren’t bone thin, so just generically buying a “small, medium, or large” just wont cut it unless you want to waste money. I have a pretty unpopular opinion- I think you have to pay more for clothes with this body type than others. Fast fashion is pretty much wasted money for us unless youre buying cheap camis and tops, even then, exercise caution. Its just not made for us. It costs a lot more money to cut clothes for curves than a pretty uniform straight shape. For this reason, I would recommend looking into vintage-reproduction clothes. Romantic body types haven’t been “in” since about the 1950s as the predominant style. While the hourglass type has always been in style, clothes that suit the romantic have not necessarily been. Tall, thin, angular are more trendy- and traditionally romantic clothes are made for non-romantic body types (polly). Therefore, I find that vintage reproduction clothes just look better on my body- wiggle dresses, cigarette pants, those are the things that look the best on me. I don’t want to look kitchy or like im wearing a costume- these cuts just look the best. The brands I pretty much only shop from now are Vixen by Micheline Pitt, La Femme en Noir (her goth brand), and I peruse other sites like Pinup girl and Stop Staring!. I use mostly micheline pitt because I feel her clothes are more “safe” for me to buy and fit my general style.
HIT UP POSHMARK for these clothes! Legit! I love buying secondhand clothes since I feel its more environmentally conscious and I love a sale. I usually look up “pin up couture,” “stop staring,” “micheline pitt,” and “la femme en noir” maybe twice a week to see if theres any good sales going on for pieces on my wishlist. Always make an offer! You might as well anyway and ive gotten bomb deals by going maybe 20% lower than the asking price on a piece.
Style
Style is kind of the most important piece here because you want to bring the principles of Kibbe into your style and pieces you love. If you love tanks with shorts, transition into more high waisted shorts (with belt?) and add a crop top or tuck a form fitting tank into the shorts. I used to be scene so I have a soft spot for that alt goth look still. I like to use Micheline Pitt for more basics (black crop with black capris with belt is life) whereas La Femme is used more for more gothy alt vibes without bordering on cartoony or cheap looking. La femme is pretty intensely boob-centric- just keep in mind (im about a 36d) if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable. Also, some of the styles in LFEN have a long vertical line with not a lot of waist emphasis is probably not for us (art deco collection for instance). I think it plays to romantic ideals great though- lace and little feminine detail is recommended for us. Just as a side recommendation, wait for sale! Legit, Micheline has sales like every other month so I just wait for that since some of the pieces get pricy. Keep in mind though the quality is always consistent and the sizing is consistent throughout the line which is great- as long as you have your measurements on hand you will have a good fit.
Jeans/ Pants/ Skirts/ Shorts
Jeans are tricky for curvieslim thick/romantics. You are pretty much in a struggle between shape and longevity (cotton) vs stretch. When you get 100% cotton jeans like a Levis 501, youre getting shape and a very long shelf life- but it isn’t really for curvy girls. Im a size 6 pretty much across the board in Levis EXCEPT for the 501s. In them, I literally go up to a size 12. TWELVE! Needless to say, I didn’t buy them. On the other hand, stretch is good to have BUT it makes the fabric last a lot less and I have destroyed so many American Eagle jeans with my thighs before I got into Levis wherein of maybe 25-30 pairs, only two have ripped in the thigh for me (I think 720s if you care, of course highest amount of stretch to cotton ratio). The golden ratio for me is about 90% cotton, 10% stretch. It gives enough construction and shape and longevity to a pair of jeans while still being comfortable and having that give. That’s a ratio that fits my fave pair of jeans, the Levis Wedgie Skinny fit which, if you can find in a non-plus size, you should at least try on. The wedgie fit is meant to look similar to a more vintage fit but it also shapes your butt and tapers off at a short length. The more common pair online is the plain Wedgie fit, which is like 98% stretch which isn’t my ideal but I do have a few. They just need to be broken in a little and follow the size chart. Wherever you buy jeans you should probably go in person if possible just to see how the stores standard jeans fit and how you like them. The golden ratio for us when it comes to jeans is, for me, high waisted + room in butt and thigh + tapered/skinny ankle. A bonus would be a lower stretch amount 15% and under I would recommend.
When it comes to regular work pants, I use Micheline Pitts cigarette pants and her capris. The fit is really good and theyre pretty flattering with the high waist emphasis and cut. And her capris! I thought all capris would make me look like a middle aged mom- hers are incredible. They give a super flattering cut and make your waist look tiny and ass look all round. I would avoid palazzo and wide cut pants- they just make me look fat. Same thing with shorts- I have Michelines and the Levis Wedgie fit shorts which have a high waist and cut off mid thigh and I think theyre pretty great, especially paired with a tight belt around the waist. Kibbe doesn’t recommend pencil skirts but I think theyre pretty hot with a long sleeve top and belt (with shapewear!). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mini-skirts (which I love) because I personally haven’t found any that aren’t waaaaaaaay too short for me with my smaller waist and larger butt and thighs.
Tops
Crop tops are ideal for your body if you can pull them off with a high waisted short or pant. Tucking longer shirts into your pants and adding a belt to cinch the waist is a simple but effective romantic outfit. I prefer a longer sleeve, ¾ lengths looks great on romantics as well as a slightly longer short sleeve than you would see typically in fast fashion. It is recommended in kibbe to avoid oversized tops, despite how cute and comfy they are. It does make you look bigger. Lace detailing is great, corseted details, just some very femme tops look great as well
Dresses
I love a wiggle dress on a curvy girl. I think theyre so sexy and make you just look so classy but have that wow factor. I think they are hands down the best dresses for romantics. They have that built in shape that compliments our curves so nicely, and mixed with a belt and shapewear just create this beautiful look. An A-line fit and flare dress also looks nice but is a bit more “cute” than sexy.
Notes I'm sure I missed out on a lot of good points but I feel this is a great starting point for helping romantics. Ill post my fave pieces below- thanks!
https://stopstaring.com/collections/hottest-sellers/products/million-dollar-baby-black (i found on poshmark for like 70)
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-decadence-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vintage-cigarette-pants-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-miss-kitty-maneater-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vixen-swing-dress-in-raven-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt-1
https://lafemmeennoir.net/collections/shop-la-femme-en-noiproducts/copy-of-la-dentelle-dress
https://lafemmeennoir.net/products/pre-order-wicked-web-dress?variant=16415989301282
EDIT: Disclaimer
submitted by kittyaphrodite to Kibbe [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 03:46 kittyaphrodite Guide to Dressing Romantic Body Types: slim thick, curvy, petite

hey guys! This took a while of thinking to get done but I hope it helps!
The first step to being able to effectively style yourself is to find out your kibbe type. Here is a link to the test I took- https://theconceptwardrobe.com/kibbe-body-types/the-kibbe-body-type-test. I think its all the better the less preconceived notions you have about kibbe as your opinion could become clouded and you could suffer type resistance- as in, you want to be one body type but you really are another. I think the kibbe system is great because its not based in making you feel like shit about yourself. Every single type has universally-considered gorgeous and beautiful women. It is also about being honest to yourself. I am about 5’0- I will NEVER be a tall supermodel. It’s just not happening. And that’s fine! Look at the women you are in the category with and see how beautiful they are. That being said, I am considered a romantic and that’s what this guide will be tailored toward. Here is the full outline of kibbes romantic section in his book Metamorphosis- https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/seasonalcolokibbe-s-romantic-t1990.html. By the way, for whatever result you get on the kibbe test, if you google “tapatalk (your kibbe type)” you should find your own chapter results.
I feel I finally have a style and idea of how things work for my body which is petite and curvy. I think it does feel like a niche as curvy doesn’t necessarily mean a larger size, I am a size 6. I prefer to include real recommendations into my posts cause I feel it takes a lot of legwork out and is more helpful that way. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving recs to people with different body types and have you buy something garbage!
also, as apart of this pre-styling guide- learn your color season. I don’t have any great links but here on the subreddit are many great posts that can point you in the right direction. Of course, is it law to not wear purple as a warm spring? No, of course not. However, it can help point you in the right direction in clothes you might be interested in buying and trying to pick the best colors for you. Finally, kibbe, color systems, and my suggestions aren’t law or things you have to do or else. Everyones different! Still, this stuff takes forever to learn and a lot of time and money to figure out and I think it helped me a ton and i hope it does for other people.
Guiding principles of Kibbe for Romantics (ripped from his book, you dont need to follow everything but i think it gives you a general idea of what to look for)
SHAPE: Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation your find yourself--work, play, or glamour--keep your shapes rounded with soft edges! Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure!
Avoid: All straight lines. All sharp edges. All geometrics.
LINE AND SILHOUETTE Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves of your body. Waste definition is essential, always, as is lots of gentle draping everywhere.
Avoid: All severe silhouettes. All tailored silhouettes. All straight lines with angular edges. All vertical lines that hid the waist. All unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines.
FABRIC: Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultra soft of plush textures (suedes, velvets, boucle knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
AVOID: Stiff fabrics. Heavyweight fabrics. Rough textures. Extreme matte-finished fabrics.
DETAIL Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of "little-girlish." Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated). Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o' mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing. Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.) The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
Avoid: All tailored, angular, or severe detail. All chunky, rough, or oversized detail. All geometric necklines. All sharp edges--pleats, square shoulder pads. All crisp detail--perky bows, tiny ruffles. All minimal or "no detail" looks.
Skirts: Should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic "straight skirt" is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short. All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Lengths should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).
Avoid: All straight and tailored skirts, A-lines, and pleats.
Pants: Should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves! Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.
Avoid: Straight or tailored pants. sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets). Baggy, unconstructed styles.
Blouses: Soft, draped styles. Sophisticated flounces and fills. Any antique styles.
Avoid: All tailored styles.
Sweaters: Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.
Avoid: Skinny, ribbed knits. Thick, nubby knits. Oversized sweaters. Turtlenecks and long pullovers. Cardigans. Crew-necked shetlands.
DRESSES: Should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling or flouncey skirts.
Avoid: Stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coatdress, chemise, etc.). Straight styles with no waist. Shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses.
Basics Before Dressing
As youll be able to see- I do not follow every single rule he makes, and sometimes like things he says to avoid. These rules arent law but they should make you look twice at what you wear and if it works for you and how to make it work for you and your style. I break these rules plenty- just as long as I am maintaining the structure by waist emphasis and clothes choice (high waisted bottoms).
While you don’t have to follow the materials list directly, just try to pay attention to what the clothes are made of and prioritize non-polyester clothes. Don’t buy clothes that don’t suit you or don’t fit you in the hope that it one day magically will or that you will lose the weight. If you are losing weight rapidly, then wait a little before buying expensive new clothes and wait until you get to a more stable weight for you. The key factor is always, always, always waist emphasis! In every outfit strive to have waist definition be the key component.
Shapewear- a must
Shapewear is so crucial to a the more structured hourglass look. While you should be working out, there will always be lumps and bumps that you would like to be slimmed or rounded. Shapewear will do that for you. That snatched look you see on red carpets and celebrities is a large part due to shapewear- as many admit in interviews. Shapewear has the ability to make your outfits overall look more expensive and just better on you. Now, I bought skims full price and the quality sucks- my mid thigh shorts literally ripped on a date so that was great. Honestly, I would go for spanx. I thought they were so expensive for some reason. Because Spanx is kinda the OG of shapewear brands that we think of, they have such a large library that their sale section is pretty robust so you can pretty much get a lot of pieces like high waisted panties for 10 dollars or full body-thigh suits for $40 dollars. And ive never experienced ripping like I did with Skims. Sign up for the Spanx newsletter and youll get updates on deals every couple of weeks, including free shipping.
A really easy way to get into shapewear is buying the Spanx high waisted underwear. I would highly recommend in investing in shapewear panties/boyshorts. Its not much different than other types of underwear, smooths/diminishes on lower belly fat which most women have, and I got 3 for ten dollars each. I like the “everyday shaping” ones the best since they don’t look like shapewear necessarily and are pretty comfortable to wear around. I get black in all of these since it goes with my lingerie since im garbage at matching colors so I just get it all in black. Panties and boyshorts in shapewear can be worn with pretty much every outfit (so long as youre covered on your lower stomach. For tight dresses and skirts- you probably would want to get shapewear that would smooth your thighs and butt- as Ive noticed in a newer pencil skirt I bought, just the boyshorts aint cutting it. It just looks a little lumpy without. I would highly recommend just buying sale spanx at their website- and in general try to look for styles that are still sold for full price on other parts of the site or are part of a collection, one off items aren’t as good. (ie, “retro panties” are not as good as the “everyday shaping line, boyshorts”). Find the areas where you need it too- a full body suit is expensive and you probably don’t need it- if your thighs aren’t perfectly shaped, or you have some belly fat, buy shapewear to help those areas. Shoot for a level 2/3 for max effectiveness.
General Principles
Now for the main event. You need to learn your measurements. Buy a simple measuring tape and do a full set of measurements for your body. Weight hangs so differently on us as we aren’t bone thin, so just generically buying a “small, medium, or large” just wont cut it unless you want to waste money. I have a pretty unpopular opinion- I think you have to pay more for clothes with this body type than others. Fast fashion is pretty much wasted money for us unless youre buying cheap camis and tops, even then, exercise caution. Its just not made for us. It costs a lot more money to cut clothes for curves than a pretty uniform straight shape. For this reason, I would recommend looking into vintage-reproduction clothes. Romantic body types haven’t been “in” since about the 1950s as the predominant style. While the hourglass type has always been in style, clothes that suit the romantic have not necessarily been. Tall, thin, angular are more trendy- and traditionally romantic clothes are made for non-romantic body types (polly). Therefore, I find that vintage reproduction clothes just look better on my body- wiggle dresses, cigarette pants, those are the things that look the best on me. I don’t want to look kitchy or like im wearing a costume- these cuts just look the best. The brands I pretty much only shop from now are Vixen by Micheline Pitt, La Femme en Noir (her goth brand), and I peruse other sites like Pinup girl and Stop Staring!. I use mostly micheline pitt because I feel her clothes are more “safe” for me to buy and fit my general style.
HIT UP POSHMARK for these clothes! Legit! I love buying secondhand clothes since I feel its more environmentally conscious and I love a sale. I usually look up “pin up couture,” “stop staring,” “micheline pitt,” and “la femme en noir” maybe twice a week to see if theres any good sales going on for pieces on my wishlist. Always make an offer! You might as well anyway and ive gotten bomb deals by going maybe 20% lower than the asking price on a piece.
Style
Style is kind of the most important piece here because you want to bring the principles of Kibbe into your style and pieces you love. If you love tanks with shorts, transition into more high waisted shorts (with belt?) and add a crop top or tuck a form fitting tank into the shorts. I used to be scene so I have a soft spot for that alt goth look still. I like to use Micheline Pitt for more basics (black crop with black capris with belt is life) whereas La Femme is used more for more gothy alt vibes without bordering on cartoony or cheap looking. La femme is pretty intensely boob-centric- just keep in mind (im about a 36d) if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable. Also, some of the styles in LFEN have a long vertical line with not a lot of waist emphasis is probably not for us (art deco collection for instance). I think it plays to romantic ideals great though- lace and little feminine detail is recommended for us. Just as a side recommendation, wait for sale! Legit, Micheline has sales like every other month so I just wait for that since some of the pieces get pricy. Keep in mind though the quality is always consistent and the sizing is consistent throughout the line which is great- as long as you have your measurements on hand you will have a good fit.
Jeans/ Pants/ Skirts/ Shorts
Jeans are tricky for curvieslim thick/romantics. You are pretty much in a struggle between shape and longevity (cotton) vs stretch. When you get 100% cotton jeans like a Levis 501, youre getting shape and a very long shelf life- but it isn’t really for curvy girls. Im a size 6 pretty much across the board in Levis EXCEPT for the 501s. In them, I literally go up to a size 12. TWELVE! Needless to say, I didn’t buy them. On the other hand, stretch is good to have BUT it makes the fabric last a lot less and I have destroyed so many American Eagle jeans with my thighs before I got into Levis wherein of maybe 25-30 pairs, only two have ripped in the thigh for me (I think 720s if you care, of course highest amount of stretch to cotton ratio). The golden ratio for me is about 90% cotton, 10% stretch. It gives enough construction and shape and longevity to a pair of jeans while still being comfortable and having that give. That’s a ratio that fits my fave pair of jeans, the Levis Wedgie Skinny fit which, if you can find in a non-plus size, you should at least try on. The wedgie fit is meant to look similar to a more vintage fit but it also shapes your butt and tapers off at a short length. The more common pair online is the plain Wedgie fit, which is like 98% stretch which isn’t my ideal but I do have a few. They just need to be broken in a little and follow the size chart. Wherever you buy jeans you should probably go in person if possible just to see how the stores standard jeans fit and how you like them. The golden ratio for us when it comes to jeans is, for me, high waisted + room in butt and thigh + tapered/skinny ankle. A bonus would be a lower stretch amount 15% and under I would recommend.
When it comes to regular work pants, I use Micheline Pitts cigarette pants and her capris. The fit is really good and theyre pretty flattering with the high waist emphasis and cut. And her capris! I thought all capris would make me look like a middle aged mom- hers are incredible. They give a super flattering cut and make your waist look tiny and ass look all round. I would avoid palazzo and wide cut pants- they just make me look fat. Same thing with shorts- I have Michelines and the Levis Wedgie fit shorts which have a high waist and cut off mid thigh and I think theyre pretty great, especially paired with a tight belt around the waist. Kibbe doesn’t recommend pencil skirts but I think theyre pretty hot with a long sleeve top and belt (with shapewear!). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mini-skirts (which I love) because I personally haven’t found any that aren’t waaaaaaaay too short for me with my smaller waist and larger butt and thighs.
Tops
Crop tops are ideal for your body if you can pull them off with a high waisted short or pant. Tucking longer shirts into your pants and adding a belt to cinch the waist is a simple but effective romantic outfit. I prefer a longer sleeve, ¾ lengths looks great on romantics as well as a slightly longer short sleeve than you would see typically in fast fashion. It is recommended in kibbe to avoid oversized tops, despite how cute and comfy they are. It does make you look bigger. Lace detailing is great, corseted details, just some very femme tops look great as well
Dresses
I love a wiggle dress on a curvy girl. I think theyre so sexy and make you just look so classy but have that wow factor. I think they are hands down the best dresses for romantics. They have that built in shape that compliments our curves so nicely, and mixed with a belt and shapewear just create this beautiful look. An A-line fit and flare dress also looks nice but is a bit more “cute” than sexy.
Notes I'm sure I missed out on a lot of good points but I feel this is a great starting point for helping romantics. Ill post my fave pieces below- thanks!
https://stopstaring.com/collections/hottest-sellers/products/million-dollar-baby-black (i found on poshmark for like 70)
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-decadence-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vintage-cigarette-pants-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-miss-kitty-maneater-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vixen-swing-dress-in-raven-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt-1
https://lafemmeennoir.net/collections/shop-la-femme-en-noiproducts/copy-of-la-dentelle-dress
https://lafemmeennoir.net/products/pre-order-wicked-web-dress?variant=16415989301282
submitted by kittyaphrodite to Vindicta [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 00:52 500scnds [Table] I made a free alternative to Photoshop, that is used by 7 million people. Ask me Anything!

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I understand that people are always hesitant to answer this very specifically, but I'm always curious - given 7 million visitors, what your ballpark profit? And what's the ratio of the profit-to-expenses, which I assume is mostly server hosting costs as a one man operation? Most of my profit comes from ads. I make around 5 cents for every hour someone spends in Photopea (on average). In 2019, people spent 5 million hours working in Photopea, so I made around $250,000. I hope it could be 2x to 4x more this year :)
Photopea runs completely in your computer (after Photopea.com loads, you can disconnect from the internet and use it offline). I use only a file hosting, for which I pay around 50 USD a year.
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How is that possible to only pay 50 USD/year when you get ~7 million people in a month and your site is 1.8mb. That's around 12tb/month. I don't know of any host willing to do 12tb of data for $50/12 I don't understand it either :/ I will ask my hosting provider.
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Don’t! :) I already did :)
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I'm glad you have a subscription option. As a policy I don't turn my adblocker off, but I'll totally subscribe as your rates are quite reasonable! If you're around and don't mind answering, how many subscriptions do you have? There are hundreds of people paying for Premium :) so about 0.01% of all users :)
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How much do you think you're losing out because of adblockers? It is hard to tell, maybe between 10 to 40 percent :/
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You should implement a donation feature as well, to offer more ways for users to support you. People can already order a Premium. I think it is better to get something in return (removing ads), so anybody who wants to support us can do it :)
First of all, thank you for making a great alternative. My question is, how would you compare Photopea to The Gimp in terms of features and interface? The interface of Photopea is closer to Photoshop than GIMP (so it is more comfortable to Photoshop users). I think all you can do in GIMP you can do in Photopea, but with a different workflow. You can open GIMP files (XCF) in Photopea.
There are many advanced features in Photopea, that are not in GIMP. The most important is probably the full support of a PSD format.
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Have to confess I'd never heard about this software until reading your post, but your mention of the PSD feature makes me want to check it out immediately. I admire your determination, dedication, and skills. Thank you :)
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Does it support vectors better than Photoshop? I don't like how limited it is in Photoshop. Even illustrator is annoying Photopea can open SVG and PDF images better than Photoshop. Just try it!
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Thank you for your program. I use it to make memes and do photoshopped things! You are welcome! I am happy that Photopea is useful to you :)
How did you learn how to make software? I was interested in computers since I was 14. I was studying computer science at the university between 18 and 25 years of age.
I studied theoretical computer science at the Charles university in Prague. Finishing the university was probably the hardest thing in my life (I do not enjoy learning as much as I enjoy creating stuff). But I also think it was the most valuable and productive part of my life and I am very proud of it :)
Here to say I've been using it, maybe the only white listed site on my ad-block. What was the hardest part to implement? The advanced foreground selection was quite hard. It is used e.g. in MagicCut. I wanted to reach the quality of remove.bg (where you pay $2 per image), but it still does not work that well.
Anyway, I think MagicCut works better than all other free tools and many commercial tools, so it can save you a lot of money :)
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You should look at U-2 Net https://github.com/NathanUA/U-2-Net a recently released paper with code that has amazing results I know quite a lot about this research :) The problem is, that people use Photopea for free, so it would have to run on their computers. They would have to download a 200 MB network, and unless they don't have a $2000 GPU, they would have to wait for hours to do such foreground / background detection.
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From the paper: "To facilitate the usage of our design in computation and memory constrained environments, we provide a small version of our U2-Net, called U2-Net† (4.7 MB). The U2-Net† achieves competitive results against most of the SOTA models (see Fig. 1) at 40 FPS." Unless there's something similar but better or they're outright lying, 4.7 MB sounds like an extremely reasonable memory footprint and it's pretrained so nobody's going to max out their GPU. You might want to give it another look. Wow, that sounds great, I will put it into my issues: https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues/2368
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Not 100% sure, but a GPU is needed to train the network (which can take hours) and the trained networks usually do things in seconds or even faster. Users would still need to download the network, but it wouldn't be very computationally expensive. Such trained network can process the input in seconds on the GPU. If you process the input of the network on a CPU (even with multiple cores), it can take minutes or even hours. And training on a CPU can take weeks :)
I use Photopea regularly when developing web sites. I don't have to fire up my VM or limit myself to GIMP or Krita. The third most popular tech magazine in the Czech Republic, Letem světem Applem, was developed with the help of your tool. Díky! My question: will you ever open-source Photopea, at least partially? Hi, thanks a lot!
A huge part of Photopea is open-sourced and available at https://github.com/photopea?tab=repositories
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I'm scared to even open that repo 😂. What hosting provider are you using that can handle 5 million users in a year? I have a local hosting provider from the Czech Republic. It is just distributing HTML, CSS and JS files (no server-side computations like PHP or SQL databases), so it is not that hard.
Hi! Two questions 1. Does photopea have support for RAW photo files of varying cameras? (.ARW for example) 2. Why do you think Adobe charges so much for their platform when your model is clearly fairly simple to produce (if one person can do it alone) and functions profitably? Hi! Yes, Photopea can open .DNG, .CR2, .NEF and .ARW files :)
There are programs that are much more expensive than Adobe products :) It is hard to tell, but I think it is because there are no reasonable alternatives, or the alternatives are not known very well.
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As a Fuji user, .RAF support coming at some point? Hi, the .RAF format was invented by Fuji and has never been publicly described anywhere. I tried to ask Fuji to provide a description of their format, so that I can implement it into Photopea, but nobody replied :(
I think Fuji does not want you to open their files in any other software than their software.
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I don't think fuji has their own editing software, most people use either Capture One or Lightroom, or Irident X-Transformer to convert into a DNG Photopea can open DNG without any problems :) but it is a real pity they don't store it in DNG directly.
I just discovered this software and it is bloody amazing. As a hobby animator, I'm wondering - Do you have any plans, or have you at least thought about, making an animation software in the same way you have achieved this? Something like Adobe Flash/Animate or Toon Boom Harmony. (I'm already sold on your idea for a video editor, since Davinci Resolve's free version has NEVER been able to render videos for me without crashing) There is a distinct lack of reasonably priced animation software that achieves nearly as much as these two ridiculously expensive subscription programs, without sacrificing something really important to animation. The closest thing to achieving what Animate or Harmony has is Blender's new 2d animate mode, and even then, you have to sacrifice convenient features like easy tweening. An alternative free (or one-purchase) animation software would make me - and so many other people happy. Now that I know this software exists, I'll be sure to donate to its production. Thanks! You are not the first one asking for this :) I wish I could make so many tools, but I am afraid my life is too short for all that work :D
If I manage to make a good team of programmers in the future, I would love to make such animation software.
Is there a comprehensive guide I can find for all the tools in photopea? I’m new to photo editing and still confused by the interface. Photopea is an advanced editor and it is hard to learn simply by using it. I wrote a manual here: www.Photopea.com/learn .
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You made documentation? What kind of unholy programmer from the abyss are you? Don’t let our bosses find out or we’re screwed. I made it after several years of explaining people how to do things in emails, etc :) Now, I can simply send them links to my documentation. It took me less than a week :D
I love using photopea! I open it almost daily. Is there a way to review the source and contribute pull requests? Have you thought about providing an offline or self-hosted release? Thanks! The open-source parts of Photopea are published on our GitHub: https://github.com/photopea?tab=repositories . We provide a self-hosted versions for money, as it needs to be updated regularly.
How would you compare it to photoshop? Photopea has about 90% of features of Adobe Photoshop, but there are some features of Photopea that Photoshop doesn't have (e.g converting PDF, SVG, Sketch, XD, Figma to layered PSD documents).
Also, only Photoshop and Photopea fully support the PSD format, so I think Photopea is the best alternative to Photoshop at the moment.
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What do you think about GIMP? GIMP is great, but it can not work with PSD files properly. Also, the interface is quite different from Adobe Photoshop, and it is hard to use for former Photoshop users.
https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2373211539606587/
Do you pronounce it photo-pea, or photo-pee-ah? I pronounce it Photo-pea, but most of people pronounce it photo-pee-ah.
It is probably the most asked question in our subreddit :) /photopea.
EDIT: I did a quick search and here is what I found :)
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Good to know I got its pronunciation right :D I like photos and I like peas. What made you call it photopea? I wanted it to be PhotoSomething, and I wanted a domain PhotoSomething.com . Most of domains were occupied, until I found Pea :)
Not a question, but I just want to put this out there for all the non-developers, but the fact that Photopea was created by a single programmer is absolutely astounding. As a developer myself, I cannot fathom the productivity of this developer nor have I ever met someone that could be this productive. Teams of 10-20 developers could not match the functionality and feature list of photopea. And actually, here is a question after all, have you ever recorded or livestreamed yourself coding? I'm having a hard time imagining the pace required to be this productive. Do you have an estimate of the number of hours you have put into this? Hi, thanks a lot! I think I put between 15 000 and 20 000 hours into Photopea :) I never recorded myself programming, but most of it is just staring into the wall thinking, opening Youtube or Reddit from time to time (to "relax" a bit), and I writing code once in a while :)
Any chance your program can export files to work with a cnc machine? Sure, just tell me what format does that machine accepts? Is than an open format? Can you use e.g. an SVG?
Manufacturers often create their proprietary formats to make you dependent on their software.
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G-Code is pretty common, although I'm unsure as to what Z-axis information you would capture in an image format unless it was texturized somehow and interpreted that as topography? Maybe like the color coded images to show 3 dimensions in a planar view. I know lasewaterjet cutting and similar that do 2D operations typically ask me for a DXF file or equivalent. I've never used Photopea for this (or even tried) but typically I take a vector format and import into CAD software to generate a DXF for this purpose. I know my media guy can never get me a format I need to import a logo and such for mechanical design. A DXF or similar vector would be amazing if it doesn't exist already. Hi, would you be able to write this into our GitHub? https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues . And most importantly, would you be able to discuss it there with me, if I have any questions? I never worked with any CNC machine.
Hi !! Can I know about your backend ? There is a webhosting which stores one HTML, one CSS and several JS files. Photopea is written in Javascript and runs completely in a computer of the visitor.
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Have you used any frontend frameworks? No, I wrote my own Javascript, HTML and CSS. I usually prefer to use what I know, instead of learning how to use new tools :)
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How do you handle users that pay for premium? There must be some sort of database right? Yes, there is a database. I just wanted to say, that out of these 7 million people, the database is needed maybe for a hundred of them.
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Not without dinner first Take my upvote, too :)
Are there any new browser features or HTML features that will make your code a lot simpler? I would love if browsers let Photopea know, when Ctrl+T was pressed on the keyboard. People have been using the Ctrl+T shortcut in Adobe Photoshop for decades and almost every week, someone asks why it does not work in Photopea.
At the moment, when you press Ctrl+T in any browser, it opens a new tab (panel), and a we can not do anything about it :( I have been personally arguing about it with browser developers for over five years.
"Fighting" with browser developers is quite a big part of my work, which is quite sad :(
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When in fullscreen Ctrl+T works in both Chrome and Edge, it triggers the transform tool. Maybe prompt the user to switch Photopea to fullscreen ? The website feels like a standalone app so it makes sense to get rid of the browser UI anyway. I think the Ctrl+T should be usable even when not in the fullscreen mode.
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I'm sure you must've researched this thoroughly over the years but maybe stackoverflow seems to have a couple good answers on disabling new tab shortcut keys. Maybe have a look? Esp these 2: 1 - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/38442886/chrome-disable-ctrlt-shortcut - you could make your own extension and then make that extension do the "Free Transform"? 2 - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18625091/how-to-disable-firefox-new-tab-action-when-pressin-ctrl-and-clicking-a-link-wi I'm no good at js but maybe have a look... I guess I could also just make my own web browser and ask users to install it :D
How about a Desktop version? That'd be great! You can go to Photopea.com and press More - Install Photopea. It will add an icon to your homescreen, which will start Photopea without the browser UI. But it works only in the latest Chrome, Edge and Opera. https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2120885974839146
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What Api does that? Seems chromium only but i wouldn't care. Never heard of that. It is called PWA - progressive web apps, and the app can trigger the installing process https://medium.com/@dhormale/install-pwa-on-windows-desktop-via-google-chrome-browser-6907c01eebe4
What are your plans for the video editor, and how can I keep up to date on its progress? (video editor here that loves what you did with photopea) I do not have any specific plans about the video editor yet. You can follow Photopea on Facebook or Twitter to know about the progress (links in my original post) :)
You mentioned your income is through ads. Have you thought of other avenues for revenue sources or ways to increase your current revenue even more to be able to hire more employees? Yes, I have thought about it, but I don't know about any ways, which could work better than ads.
Most of the current Photopea user can not afford to pay for the software, so I don't want to make half of features available only after the payment.
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Would a premium version that's identical in features but without ads be an option? Unless this is already a thing? It is already a thing :) You can hide ads for $10 for three months. Also, there is no subscription, you pay manually any time you want. Ads come back once it runs out :)
What things does Photoshop do better than your alternative? Photoshop can open almost all RAW image formats (in their Camera Raw program). I think Adobe pays the camera manufacturers, so that they allow Adobe to open raw files from their cameras.
At the moment, Photopea can open only four RAW formats, which cover around 80% of the market.
Do you think that photopea has been a success? I use it for work everyday and I certainly think it is! I think it is the most useful thing I made in my life so far, so it is a success :)
Good stuff. Love a free image editor. Why is this already on the front page, with just 6 comments and 22 points? I don't know much about the Reddit algorithm, but I think it is also about how old the post is. E.g. if you get 20 points in 5 minutes, you will be on top of a post, which received 50 points in an hour.
What's your favourite video game? Also thank you the amount if complete trash I have cropped using photopea is immeasurable I received my first computer when I was 13 and PC games seemed too complicated to me (and most of them were in English, which I did not know well). I never had a playstation or a gameboy. So I never played video games much.
The first game I "understood" and truly enjoyed playing was Serious Sam :) I also spent A LOT of time playing Clash of Clans.
Will it stay free or is there a possibility that you're gonna put a price on that? Photopea has been free to use since the first release seven years ago, and I would like to keep it free to use in the future, too.
Love photopea, I use it all the time! Does anyone trouble you with any legal issues since it's basically an online photoshop? Thanks! I think the similarity of the interface of Photoshop and Photopea (and other photo editors) is a good thing. Imagine if each brand of computers had a different layout of a keyboard, because they wanted to be "different". I am very happy, that I can simply take any keyboard and start typing on it right away.
Maybe one time someone will come and say, that we have to make the background red, because the dark grey color is already used in their program. And we have to rename the Brush tool to "hair on a stick tool", because the Brush tool is already used in their program. But I hope such time will never come :D
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Please make an April 1st version with copyright-friendly tools, that would be awesome. Brush – Hair on a stick Bucket – Metal container Move – Relocate and so on. Edit: April Tools’ Day That is a graet idea! :D
How do you approach creating something that is intuitive? How do you know that your logic is universally understood? Are there any examples of tools, tasks, icons that you have had to change based on feedback? Thank you and great work! The user interface of Photopea has been evolving for seven years and there were probably hundreds of suggestions from users, which I listened to and modified, to get what we have now :)
Hi Ivan, I've used Photopea for a couple of years for basic editing. Congratulations - it's an amazing tool. The only feature that prevents me from upgrading to a paid version is the font selection interface. There are far too many fonts available, they load slowly, are all obscure and not represented well in preview. Would you consider curating/refining the available fonts? Hi, thanks! It is completely fine to use Photopea for free, you don't have to pay for Premium :)
You can mark some fonts with a star, and then, you can display only the "starred" fonts. You can use filters to see e.g. only "sans" fonts and hide "comic" or "handwritten" fonts. You can enable Latin-1 and other language categories, to see only fonts with many letters (only professional fonts support more than 200 letters).
Have you experienced any pushback/pressure from the bigger players? No :) I have been in touch with people from Google, Adobe, Corel, Canva and other companies, evrybody was very friendly and helpful :)
Thanks for making Photopea- I'm certainly loving it. Will there ever be an offline version? Hi, thanks!
A big challenge is, that Photopea can not use fonts from your computer, and it downloads fonts from our server, when you choose to use that font. So changing fonts would not work in an offline version (except of a couple of fonts we could pre-store).
I think the amount of time people spend using their computer offline is decreasing, and will be almost zero at some point :)
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If I use a font I have purchased, is it easy to implement, if you don't have that font on your server? Hi, just press File - Open in Photopea to load a font (TTF or OTF file) :)
Do you plan to keep photopea solely browser based? Many people think that browser programs are slower or "less capable" than desktop programs, but it is not true in the last five years. So a "download and install" version of Photopea would not have many advantages.
I could provide an offline version of Photopea, but at the moment, most of money come from ads, which would not work offline :/
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You can try and make an Electron app, I know its essentially a browser but it would give that "native" feel to users. Hi, you can already press More - Install Photopea in Photopea and use it as a PWA :)
Great. Now can we please start working on a viable PDF editor that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars per year? Photopea can already do it to some degree :) have you tried it?
The PDF format was not meant to be edited further. But we are improving.
Thanks for developing Photopea. After your last AMA, I started using it. Is there a way for size of a new document to default to image dimensions on the clipboard? That's one of the handiest things in Photoshop so you don't have to either enter manually or overguess then crop down later. The size of a new document should be set by default to the dimension of the content of the clipboard.
But it works only in Chrome, Edge and Opera. Firefox did not implement the necessary standard yet. Don't know about Safari :/
You mentioned you plan on making a video editor. Have you considered an Illustrator alternative as well? Photopea already has many vector-related capabilities. It can open, edit and save SVG and PDF files. Somehow, I feel like a video editor would be more fun to make than an advanced vector editor.
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Didn't know it supported editing SVGs. How does it compare to something like Inkscape? The interface is a lot different than Inkscape. Just try it and see how it works :)
I know this is a long shot, but any chance I can join on board with little to no knowledge so I can learn (for free of course)? 😁 It could be doing menial tasks for all I care. If not, any advice for someone like me wanting to change career path and code? I'm just tired of what I've been doing so I just recently starting some online coding courses but would like to learn more hands on if possible. Hoping to change career path for the future. Well, if I spend time teaching you, I will have to invest less time into developing Photopea :D
I have been often tired of what I did, I get tired of Photopea-related work from time to time. There is not just a bad job and a good job, there are many things in between. But whenever you have to choose between a simple goal and a hard goal, don't be afraid to go for a hard goal :)
How did you begin to scale up the workforce? What positions did you prioritise and how did the recruitment process go? I'm in an early process of starting up a web application and can see it being difficult going from working alone on a project to trusting people to share the same determination to grow it. Thanks I do not have any team, I still work on Photopea alone.
Hi. Great stuffs. I will definitely give it a try soon. May I give a suggestion ? I use GIMP for Image editing since I usually have to make some illustrations for my work. And GIMP provides me with the function of adding Text from another format, like LaTeX (to write math formula). Do you think this would be possible to implement in your app ? Hi, is the LaTeX text rasterized to pixels after you insert it? Or you can modify it in GIMP?
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the LINUX version of GIMP has a module in the Render section which allows me to type in the LaTeX code and product an image of the formula. I am not really used to the terminology of image like vector or raster image. But once the formula is produced, it is not modifiable. So if I messed up, I have to redo the process from the beginning. We don't have such thing in Photopea at the moment.
I used to write my masters thesis in https://www.sharelatex.com/ . You can also convert LaTeX to a PNG image here: http://latex2png.com/ (right-click the image - Copy Image, and paste it in Photopea).
Can it do animations? The only thing I use photoshop for at this point is it's animation ability, especially it's keyframe animations, where you can make a single frame last however many seconds you like. If it can do that, i can finally delete photoshop. Hi, we do not have such animation capabilities as Photoshop. But there is a special mechanism for making animations from layers: https://www.photopea.com/learn/animations
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This kind of animation capability is exactly what I was looking for. Does it allow you to view the animation as a preview before you choose EXPORT? Of course :) Just drag-and-drop a GIF into Photopea and try to export it as a GIF, it will take you around seven seconds :)
what was your eureka moment for photopea that whoa this is possible? Sometimes, when I learn about a new algorithm or a method, I wonder how elegant and ingenious it is :) Like - the person who came up with it should have been really smart, I wish I was also that smart :D
Have you considered using Patreon? Have you considered letting people subscribe for a fixed period if no ads? Hi, we already offer a Premium account, where you pay and it hides ads for a period of time. I know about Patreon, but I feel a bit uncomfortable about accepting money for nothing in return.
Is there a downloadable version available/in the works? You can go to www.Photopea.com and press More - Install Photopea, to get an icon to your homescreen.
https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2120885974839146
i tried using it on my display tablet, there doesn't seem to be any pressure sensitivity? Hi, try to update your tablet (drivers, browser, os, etc). But it works on the latest iPad and on my old Android phone (it tracks the pressure of my finger). If it does not help, try to report it to the tablet manufacturer (as it will not work in any website, not just Photopea).
Is there support for sprite editing tools or just tools in general for game devs? Do you mean generating sprites, etc? It can do most of things Photoshop can do, but if you need something more, you can always suggest it here :) https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues
What made you decide to create a free photo editor? It was just an experiment of analyzing PSD files in a browser. I gradually improved it. I did not want to make a photo editor during the first two years of work. But at some point, I realised - hey, it should not be that hard to make it into a photo editor.
How is this compared to GIMP? Hi, you can read this article: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/photoshop-alternative-no-its-not-gimp/
But it is about Photopea from two years ago. Photopea improved significantly since then.
So is it WASM or just regular old JS + WebGL? I found this looking for a browser based paint.net alternative a while back and thought it was awesome, but the controls were a bit too advanced/inaccessible for my requirements. If you're serious about growing the dev team I'm a self employed engineer if you want to hit me up. I wrote only JS and GLSL (for GPU processing). I use three WASM libraries, which I did not make. Thanks for your offer, but I would like to hire someone I could work with in person.
I’ve been using photopea ever since your previous AMA a year ago. My question is: how often are do you AMA and how did it impact traffic to photopea? I did only three AMAs with about a year between them. The traffic grows by about 10 - 20%, which lasts for a day or two :)
How much time have you invested in creating this tool? Or what's your weekly time investment? I never measured it, but I think it is about the "regular" 40 hours a week.
Did you know most of what you needed before starting on Photopea or did you learn as you went along with adding new features? What unexpected difficulties presented themselves while working on Photopea? It is like I knew how to use a chisel, but I never carved a statue that big.
I learned many practical things (state-of-art algorithms etc), I used many things I learned at the university, which I thought I will never use :)
How do I start contributing to Photopea? What would you like to contribute with? You can help us find bugs or help beginners at our subreddit: www.reddit.com/photopea
I hope this hasn't been asked, but why haven't you made a downloadable/fully offline version of your program yet? I know that as soon as you load the site you can use it offline, but there are times when people need to edit pictures without any internet connection at all. The online version makes it much easier to release new versions and do updates. I update Photopea about 30 times a week (with minor fixes).
Also, it feels a little uncofmortable to imagine, that someone is using a two year old version of Photopea and is cursing me because of some bug, which I already fixed, and I can not do anything about it at that moment :/
What technologies did you use to build this? I used Javascript and WebGL :)
It's really great that you're offering an alternative to Photoshop! I was wondering, what language or software did you use to write Photopea? I wrote my code in Javascript, but in my opinion, the language is not important at all.
The best language is the one you know how to use. Also, for me, it is important, that there is a way to execute my code fast, which is possible with Javascript in modern browsers.
[removed] Hi, you should not use Auto-translate, as we have a professional Swedish translation. Just press More - Language - Svenska. You can switch languages without restarting Photopea.
Photopea.com should be in Swedish the first time you open it, if Swedish is set as your main language.
What's your End User Licensing Agreement looking like? How is this licensed? I like to know before end users start requesting such as im sure someone now wants to install this in a corporate environment... Photope works in your computer and it never sends any data outside your computer. It is just like buying the cheapest calculator and using it. You don't get a licence to use such calculator, the numbers that you enter into a calculator don't leave the calculator.
Our terms of service are here: https://www.photopea.com/privacy.html
What's your opinion of the current state and direction of front-end development? I think I don't know much about it. I write my JS code in notepad and that code is precisely the code which runs in the browser of a user (without any modification). I did not change the way I develop webapps in the last six years.
the below is a reply to the above
Straight up Windows Notepad? Not notepad++ or Visual Studio Code or Atom or anything else??? I use Notepad++ :)
Are you planning in translating it? If so, I'd be glad to work on the italian version. Hi, it is already translated into 40 langauges, just press More - Language - Italiano :)
Hey Ivan, i'm very impressed by your work, but i'm an avid GIMP user. As you can imagine switching editors is always a hassle once you've got used to one. So can you give me some bullet points why it would be worth to switch from GIMP to Photopea? Thanks for the AMA! Hi, I think you should stay with GIMP, since you already know how to use it :) And if there is nothing specific you miss in GIMP, you probably don't need such features :)
Hey ivanhoe90 I noticed today that the pen tool behaves backward when clicking the second point and dragging. It's like the curve goes the opposite direction than anyone would expect. I almost filed a github issue on it but I just didn't have time. Is that a bug? Oh, I am very sorry, it is fixed now.
Hi, I wanted to know what's your story. That is your biography. And what did you study too get here? How did you get the idea for photopea? Hi, I gave a talk about it in France a year ago :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZmaeC_Ma5A
DUDE! Your program saved me in the final semester of my Masters. I needed to upload images and I don't have a scanner so I used my phone and fixed the colour and tones in Photopea. Bless you for your hard work. I guess my question is what kind of cheese do you like? Thanks a lot! If you only knew how happy I am about such comments :)
I like all cheeses, as I think they are all amazing, each one in a different way.
I love this software and I use it daily, Every time I think to myself "I wonder if can also do" the answer has been yes. I love showing my co-workers this software while working in Citrix, it always blows people away that this works. Question: Any change of seeing a feature that doesn't automatically export local files to the download folder? I would love to select where I want to automatically save them or just save as > location (The google drive system already amazing though) It's that one minor thing that makes me end up with File(17).png Hi, thanks! The saving mechanism depends on the settings of the web browser. The browser usually handles the file saving the same way for all websites. So just change the browser settings - make the browser ask you about where you want the files to be saved (we can not do anything about it as a website).
Do you think Photopea can have more active users than Photoshop? And why? It is hard to tell. There are many features in Photoshop and other editors, which Photopea can not do. Even if Photopea has more active users, it does not mean it makes more money.
Well I'm 9 hours late and maybe it was already asked and answered, but if you feel like responding... do you have to recreate stuff like puppet warp or quick select from scratch? Like you have to go back and read some old white paper on the algorithm, and then sort of reinvent the wheel? Hi, that is correct, there are usually no free implementations of such algorithms, and if there are, they are not in Javascript or are not good enough :/
Actually, the Puppet Warp is based on a 2009 paper from Takeo Igarashi. I found a mistake in it and I wrote him an email, and it took me several emails to persuade him that he really made a mistake in his paper :) But many other authors refuse to look deep into papers they wrote a long time ago.
Who would you prefer Photopea being aquired by, and why? I don't know. I am not looking for an acquisition at the moment.
I'm getting into video editing. I'm a noob to photoshop and video editing. Are there any tools in this that can complement my video editing? I was thinking of being able to create custom graphics for the videos but what else are the capabilities? I dont know much about video editing, but you can use Photopea for photo editing. I think the more time you spend learning a tool, before actually using it, the less time you will spend in total (e.g. doing something by "trial and error" in 3 hours vs. learning it in 1 hour and doing it in 30 minutes, because you learned how to do it).
How were you able to acquire such a vast amount of knowledge about editors and programming? I studied programming at the university for many years. Learning how to use Photoshop or any other editor is easier, but still can take weeks or months.
the below is a reply to the above
I'm currently studying programming at uni too. Am I correct in assuming that the vast majority of the code for photopea is JavaScript since it's a web application? Yes, I wrote my programs in Javascript :) But I did not have any Javascript class ever in my life. I think the programming skills are not related to the knowledge of a specific programming language.
Could you comment on https://github.com/photopea/JS-guide a bit? I don't quite understand why you're against using syntactic sugar. Especially let, const, and strict equality. I'm not claiming to be an expert at all, but most of these guidelines are in opposition to modern day JS practices. So I was just curious if you could elaborate on your decision making! I think it is up to you what you write. But I am used to writing as "simple" code as possible, and it just looks cleaner to me if you use "var" instead of let/const (and it has no impact on the speed).
[deleted] I think the knowledge is the most important. Also, it should be someone friendly, calm, rational, etc :D
Hey, I don't know if this has been asked before but since you have mentioned that Photopea can run offline after it's been loaded (meaning that there is no server backend), have you ever considered packing the app into a desktop app (e.g. with Electron or nw.js)? Hi, I think opening a website is faster and more comfortable than downloading and installing something. Also, the electron version would be hard to update (unless it is just an iframe with Photopea inside it).
Have you ever considered making Photopea into a mobile app? Hi, half of our users use Photopea on phones. It works quite well. If you look for "photopea" on Youtube, most of videos are recorded on phones.
My Reddit client doesn’t have a comment search feature, but have you considered bundling an electron version for people to download? Seems like a quick win, and even gets around ad blockers. Or if it’s a premium only offering, is just icing on the cake Hi, I was a bit lazy to maintain a separate version of Photopea. I don't see any advantages it would have over the basic version.
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 20:07 Rumored17 Refutations for Every Main Pro-Pit Argument

1."It's all how you raise them."

And more:
• ⁠Lockwood, R. A. N. D. A. L. L. (2016). Ethology, ecology and epidemiology of canine aggression. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour & Interactions with People,, 160-181.
• ⁠Abrantes, R., Site, A., Camp, S., Diving, F. A. Q., Camp, G. P., Pages, M., ... & User, C. C. (2016). Aggressive Behavior—Inheritance and Environment.
• ⁠van den Berg, L. I. N. D. A. (2016). Genetics of dog behavior. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People, 5, 69.
• ⁠O'Neill, D. G., & Packer, R. M. (2016). The First Canine Behavior and Genetics Conference: Summary and recommendations for future directions in canine behavioral science. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 16, 6-12.
• ⁠Sørensen, M. (2016). Breeding aggression: Review of recent literature concerning the influence of genes on aggressive behaviour (Doctoral dissertation).
• ⁠Schilder, M. B., van der Borg, J. A., & Vinke, C. M. (2019). Intraspecific killing in dogs: predation behavior or aggression? A study of aggressors, victims, possible causes and motivations. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
These studies all show that genetics play a large role in dog behavior. Most are related to Pit Bulls or aggression, but some just show that there are noticeable differences between dog breeds based on their breed. Here are some anecdotal sources to support the claims that Pit Bulls are born with a tendency to be aggressive:
In addition, "it's all how you raise them" goes against the very existence of dog breeds. If someone is arguing this, they are saying a Labrador Retriever will have the same instincts as a Border Collie, which will have the same instincts as a Doberman, which will have the same instincts as a Great Pyrenees, which will have the same instincts as a Dachshund, etc. This is observably and demonstrably false. Humans created different dog breeds with different temperaments and physical and behavioral traits through selective breeding. This is why dog breeds exist, this is why breed standards exist, this is why people can reasonably and accurately predict how a dog will act based on breed. Are there exceptions? Of course. However, that is just what they are- exceptions. Different dog breeds have different traits and tendencies dependent on what they were selectively bred for.

2. "Chihuahuas are more aggressive."

This is just a disingenuous attempt to derail the conversation. Even if Chihuahuas are more aggressive, they don't/can't kill people. If Chihuahuas were as large as Pit Bulls, perhaps this would be a conversation worth having- seeing as this is not the case, there is no argument to be had here.
I try to emphasize that the issue with Pits is how many people and pets they kill. Pit Bulls are not just biting people- they are killing, severely maiming, and mauling people. There is a huge difference, and it is important to recognize many Pit fanatics will try to lump in all dog bites with the maulings Pit Bulls are responsible for. They are not the same. This is similar to the "Labs bite more" argument- again, we are not just talking about bites. Keep the discussion focused on severe maulings, maimings, and deaths, because that is what BSL targets.
From 1982-2020 no Chihuahua has ever killed anyone. This source breaks down attacks by breed, child or adult victim, and death or maiming.

3. "There's no such thing as a Pit Bull." and "Pit Bulls can't be identified."

A good way to avoid even getting to this apologist bingo point is by using the phrasing "Pit Bull type dogs" as opposed to Pit Bulls. However, you can also just explain that "Pit Bull" is an umbrella term for four closely related dog breeds- the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are actually so similar they can be dual registered as an AmStaff with the AKC and a APBT with the UKC. Until recently, most dog DNA tests would not even separate AmStaff from APBT due to the extreme similarities. This is also just another deflection technique- everyone knows what someone means by "Pit Bull" just as everyone knows what someone means by "Golden Retriever." This is what "pit bull" means legally.
Now, because "Pit Bull" does refer to 4 dog breeds rather than one, Pit apologists will often cry "well of course 4 dog breeds will kill more people!" but keep in mind that these 4 dog breeds have killed more people than 300+ other dog breeds combined. The Pit Bull umbrella kills more people than every other group or type of dogs and more than every other dog breed combined.
Regarding Pit Bulls being unidentifiable:
Pit Bulls have just as many obvious identifying characteristics as other dog breeds. There is no reason to believe Pit Bulls suffer from misidentification more than other dog breeds. There is reason to believe Pit Bulls are intentionally mislabeled as other breeds when in shelters, however. In addition, when discussing fatal Pit Bull attacks specifically, more often than not there are photos of the Pit Bulls involved so anyone can verify for themselves if they were Pit Bull type dogs. Genetic testing is not required for breed identification- anyone who argues this is being disingenuous. Another point is that we are constantly inundated with Pro-Pit propaganda; there is simply no way we can have Pixar shorts such as Kitbull and a new Dodo video every week about Pit Bulls and still be expected to believe the average person cannot visually identify a Pit Bull.

4. "Pits are no more dangerous than other dogs."

The statistics also support our side here- Pit Bulls have killed more people than all other dog breeds combined. Pit Bulls are not the largest, nor the strongest dogs out there. They do not have the strongest bite force. They are more deadly than other dog breeds because humans selectively bred them to be as deadly as possible. They are deadly due to the nature of their attacks and the behavioral traits they display when attacking such as gameness and a bite style mentioned in some of these studies, along with their physical traits.

5. "It used to be Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds that people wanted to ban!"

Pit Bulls have killed more people than those three breeds ever did, even at the height of their popularity, even combined. There is also no evidence supporting this claim, and in fact, quite a lot of evidence showing it's completely false.
It is important to note as well that none of these breeds have an entire lobby supporting them. They do not have communities dedicated to attack victim harassment, misinformation, and lies, unlike the Pit Bull has. Something interesting to consider is the bias online when looking at these breeds and other restricted breeds vs pages about Pit Bulls. Wikipedia in particular is very obviously being manipulated by Pit Bull fanatics.
None of this manipulation is occurring on the pages for Dobermans, Rottweilers, or German Shepherds. These three breeds never reached anywhere close to the level of suffering and carnage Pit Bulls are responsible for. There has never been a concerted effort to ban these breeds, although some are targeted by apartment restrictions due to insurance issues. There is also no lobby supporting the misinformation and misrepresentation of these breeds.

6. "Dogsbite.org is biased and unreliable."

Dogsbite is completely open and transparent about their data collection strategies. They provide identification photographs and have all of their citations publicly listed. Citations and Photographs
Here is a challenge I like to give to people who claim Dogsbite is unreliable, although I have yet to receive a legitimate response:
Have you actually looked into dogsbite.org yourself? You do know that dogsbite tracks every fatal dog attack, regardless if it's a Pit or not? It appears anti-Pit because most fatal dog attacks are done by Pits. They're not only posting Pit attacks- there are just so many more fatal Pit attacks than other breeds it appears they are. Here's a proposal for you: Go to 2020 and late 2019, a time frame for which news reports are still abundantly available all over the internet, and fact-check ANY FOUR DOG-BITE FATALITIES OF YOUR CHOOSING, two where the killer dogs are said to be pit/mixes, and two cases where the killer dogs are not said to be pit/mixes:
  1. Did DogsBite accurately name the person killed?
  2. Did DogsBite accurately summarize the circumstances in which the person was killed?
  3. Did DogsBite accurately identify the breed(s) of the killer dog(s)?
  4. Did DogsBite provide a photo or photos of the killer dog(s) so you can judge for yourself what type of dog(s) you think did the killing?
DogsBite and Wikipedia both provide links to news stories about these fatal attacks. If you don't want to use the news links provided by DogsBite, then use the ones on Wikipedia that cover the same stories. DogsBite also provides links to autopsy reports, police reports and 911 calls, so you can compare these primary sources with the summaries on the DogsBite page and assess whether those summaries are accurate.

7. "Human aggressive Pit Bulls were culled!"

This is a myth. While human aggression was not something that was typically selectively bred for it is a myth that most human aggressive Pits were culled. That was not the case, and it still is not the case today. One look at shelter descriptions of Pits with bite histories and severe aggression issues shows these dogs are not being euthanized, and there are several instances of Pit Bulls who have killed people being bred.
There's no evidence whatsoever that dog fighters routinely destroyed human-aggressive dogs and refused to breed them. u/NorthTwoZero wrote at length about why it's a myth here, and this blogger put together a documented list of famously human-aggressive fighting dogs who not only weren't "culled" but were bred so often that they produced over 1,200 known, registered offspring:
"The man-biters were culled and the pit bulls were not bred for human aggression myths were created from thin air, complete fabrications. There is not a sliver of truth in the myth that dogmen culled man-biters. Not only weren't human aggressive pit fighters NOT culled, but a talented man-biter was heavily bred, his stud services were in high demand and the stud fees commanded a premium. The progeny of man-biters are still sought out long after he or she has passed away. This Italian game-dog website lists their choice for the Best Ever fighting dogs, three of the five are known man-biters and the other two trace their origins to the others on their "Best" list. Some famous man-biters have their own facebook fan pages. If you happen to be a 10x winner with 3 kills and scratching on the carcass, people tend to overlook a little thing like the danger she poses to people and she is also likely to be nominated for the cover of this month's International Sporting Dog Journal. Some famous man-biters not only have a facebook fan page, they have their own promotional merchandise too."

8. "Pit Bulls were nanny dogs!" or "Pit Bulls were America's dog!"

First, I usually ask questions that demonstrate out how absurd that claim is. What is a nanny dog? What duties does a nanny dog perform? Why would a dog type be called a "Pit Bull" if it nannied? Where does the name "Pit Bull" come from? Why is it necessary for Pits to have such large, gaping mouths and extremely muscular bodies if they were nannies? Then here is some actual info:
The first appearance of the term "Nanny Dog" dates from a 1971 NYT interview with the then president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, Lillian Rant, who called Staffordshire Bull Terriers "nursemaid dogs" for no apparent reason (other than to attempt to re-brand fighting dogs as family pets).
BAD RAP shared a link. It's Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a 'Nanny's Dog'? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls (see link for details about vintage photos). While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog - A recipe for dog bites!
Regarding Pits being "America's dog": Bronwen Dickey (author of incredibly biased and unscientific book "Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon") and other pit bull advocates argue that pit bulls were historically beloved in the U.S. until the dogs became associated with urban people of color in the 1970s, so Pit Bull stigma is really about being racist toward black and brown people.
But pit bulls were not historically beloved in the U.S. nor were they popularly regarded as a positive symbol of plucky can-do spirit. Joseph Colby, in his lifetime one of the world's leading authorities on the Pit Bull Terrier, wrote in 1936 that "The general public is under the impression that this breed is carnivorous, vicious, and, fed on a diet of raw meat, will devour a human being" and "When the pit bull terrier was introduced into America, he was more commonly found to be owned by prize fighters, saloon keepers and habitues, sporting men and the like. From the start the breed earned an unjust reputation due to his fighting ability and the character of the owner. To this day he is still trying to live down an unjust and undeserved reputation."
Sometimes Pit people will randomly mention how Sergeant Stubby, a decorated war hero dog, was a Pit Bull. He was not. Primary (contemporary) sources most often describe Stubby as a Boston Terrier or Boston Terrier mix (this breed was sometimes called the Boston Bulldog). He is sometimes said to be a Bull Terrier (the egghead dogs) mix but he obviously resembles a Boston Terrier significantly more than a Bull Terrier. Stubby is never said to be a Pit Bull in primary sources.

9. "Pit Bulls scored 2nd highest on temperament tests and better than most family dog breeds!"

This is always referring to the ATTS, or the American Temperament Testing Society. It is refuted thoroughly in the BanPitBulls FAQ, but this is what I usually say as well:
The test was developed to test working dogs, specifically dogs meant for schutzhund work. It has never been, nor ever purported to be about testing companion animals or a breed's suitability as family pets. Scoring actually favors dogs that bite, in some cases. Breed specific temperament, aggression, and each dog's training is taken into account when scoring. This means that if a relatively untrained Lab bites a "threatening stranger" it will score far lower than a German Shepherd that bites a "threatening stranger." According to the ATTS itself, "95% of dogs who fail do so because they lack confidence" NOT because they bite. Dogs that exhibit avoidance behaviors will fail. Dogs that bite do not automatically fail. The ATTS also states that comparing scores with other dogs means nothing- the pass/fail rates cannot be compared. Different dog breeds that behave the same exact way on the test will get hugely different scores due to the fact they take inherent breed tendencies into consideration. The test is not designed to test for breed aggression, according to the ATTS website. It is more of a test of bravery for individual dogs. Timid dogs will always fail. Dogs that bite will not always fail. If anything, you could argue that the reason Pits have a high passing rate is because they bite or show aggression, although that is speculation and not proven. Either way though- the test does not test breed aggression, passing rates cannot be compared, and the test absolutely does not test for suitability as a family pet. More info here: What the ATTS is really showing.
It is also worth mentioning that the only dogs that participate in the ATTS testing are dogs brought in by their owners- it is not a random sample or scientific study of any kind. Considering the evidence showing the existence of an actual Pit Bull lobby, it would not be a reach to say these results have been intentionally manipulated (if they did even matter, which they don't).
Also, a controlled temperament test found that 13 percent, or one out of seven, pit bulls tried to bite or attack during a one hour test simulating a neighborhood walk. One out of seven pit bulls tried to bite in the span of just one hour compared to only one out of 70 golden retrievers. Note that this study was funded and authored by anti-breed ban activists: They found "no significant difference" between breeds when the definition of aggression was watered down to include even whining or crying. But pay close attention to Table 5 on page 138: out of all the breeds tested, pit bulls were markedly the worst when it came to the percentage of dogs that reached a more serious level of aggression.

10. "It's racism for dogs!"

Humans are not dogs, and dog breeds are not analogous to human races.
In addition, one cannot compare a race of people to a breed of dogs for a multitude of reasons. Dog breeds were selectively, intentionally bred for specific characteristics and traits by human beings. Humans created dog breeds based on what physical and behavioral traits we wanted them to have. (Spaniels for flushing, retrievers for fetching prey/birds without damage, livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyrenees for protecting livestock, Huskies for endurance and energy, Pointers for pointing, etc. Different dog breeds have different behavioral tendencies because humans selectively bred them to have those tendencies). Dogs also do not suffer from cultural differences, institutionalized racism, or socioeconomic disparities. Humans are also not as heavily influenced by our instincts as dogs are. Dogs behave based on their instincts and training. Humans behave mainly on their "training." Humans also have far more complex thought processes and the ability to make complex decisions. Dogs do not. You could go on and on but that is the basic overview there- dogs were selectively bred and rely mainly on their instincts. Humans were not selectively bred and are capable of making complex and rational decisions.
Post continued in the comments due to the character limit.
submitted by Rumored17 to BanPitBulls [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 23:29 Rumored17 Refutations for Every Main Pro-Pit Argument

1."It's all how you raise them."

And more:
• ⁠Lockwood, R. A. N. D. A. L. L. (2016). Ethology, ecology and epidemiology of canine aggression. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour & Interactions with People,, 160-181.
• ⁠Abrantes, R., Site, A., Camp, S., Diving, F. A. Q., Camp, G. P., Pages, M., ... & User, C. C. (2016). Aggressive Behavior—Inheritance and Environment.
• ⁠van den Berg, L. I. N. D. A. (2016). Genetics of dog behavior. The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People, 5, 69.
• ⁠O'Neill, D. G., & Packer, R. M. (2016). The First Canine Behavior and Genetics Conference: Summary and recommendations for future directions in canine behavioral science. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 16, 6-12.
• ⁠Sørensen, M. (2016). Breeding aggression: Review of recent literature concerning the influence of genes on aggressive behaviour (Doctoral dissertation).
• ⁠Schilder, M. B., van der Borg, J. A., & Vinke, C. M. (2019). Intraspecific killing in dogs: predation behavior or aggression? A study of aggressors, victims, possible causes and motivations. Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
These studies all show that genetics play a large role in dog behavior. Most are related to Pit Bulls or aggression, but some just show that there are noticeable differences between dog breeds based on their breed. Here are some anecdotal sources to support the claims that Pit Bulls are born with a tendency to be aggressive:
In addition, "it's all how you raise them" goes against the very existence of dog breeds. If someone is arguing this, they are saying a Labrador Retriever will have the same instincts as a Border Collie, which will have the same instincts as a Doberman, which will have the same instincts as a Great Pyrenees, which will have the same instincts as a Dachshund, etc. This is observably and demonstrably false. Humans created different dog breeds with different temperaments and physical and behavioral traits through selective breeding. This is why dog breeds exist, this is why breed standards exist, this is why people can reasonably and accurately predict how a dog will act based on breed. Are there exceptions? Of course. However, that is just what they are- exceptions. Different dog breeds have different traits and tendencies dependent on what they were selectively bred for.

2. "Chihuahuas are more aggressive."

This is just a disingenuous attempt to derail the conversation. Even if Chihuahuas are more aggressive, they don't/can't kill people. If Chihuahuas were as large as Pit Bulls, perhaps this would be a conversation worth having- seeing as this is not the case, there is no argument to be had here.
I try to emphasize that the issue with Pits is how many people and pets they kill. Pit Bulls are not just biting people- they are killing, severely maiming, and mauling people. There is a huge difference, and it is important to recognize many Pit fanatics will try to lump in all dog bites with the maulings Pit Bulls are responsible for. They are not the same. This is similar to the "Labs bite more" argument- again, we are not just talking about bites. Keep the discussion focused on severe maulings, maimings, and deaths, because that is what BSL targets.
From 1982-2020 no Chihuahua has ever killed anyone. This source breaks down attacks by breed, child or adult victim, and death or maiming.

3. "There's no such thing as a Pit Bull." and "Pit Bulls can't be identified."

A good way to avoid even getting to this apologist bingo point is by using the phrasing "Pit Bull type dogs" as opposed to Pit Bulls. However, you can also just explain that "Pit Bull" is an umbrella term for four closely related dog breeds- the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are actually so similar they can be dual registered as an AmStaff with the AKC and a APBT with the UKC. Until recently, most dog DNA tests would not even separate AmStaff from APBT due to the extreme similarities. This is also just another deflection technique- everyone knows what someone means by "Pit Bull" just as everyone knows what someone means by "Golden Retriever." This is what "pit bull" means legally.
Now, because "Pit Bull" does refer to 4 dog breeds rather than one, Pit apologists will often cry "well of course 4 dog breeds will kill more people!" but keep in mind that these 4 dog breeds have killed more people than 300+ other dog breeds combined. The Pit Bull umbrella kills more people than every other group or type of dogs and more than every other dog breed combined.
Regarding Pit Bulls being unidentifiable:
Pit Bulls have just as many obvious identifying characteristics as other dog breeds. There is no reason to believe Pit Bulls suffer from misidentification more than other dog breeds. There is reason to believe Pit Bulls are intentionally mislabeled as other breeds when in shelters, however. In addition, when discussing fatal Pit Bull attacks specifically, more often than not there are photos of the Pit Bulls involved so anyone can verify for themselves if they were Pit Bull type dogs. Genetic testing is not required for breed identification- anyone who argues this is being disingenuous. Another point is that we are constantly inundated with Pro-Pit propaganda; there is simply no way we can have Pixar shorts such as Kitbull and a new Dodo video every week about Pit Bulls and still be expected to believe the average person cannot visually identify a Pit Bull.

4. Pits are no more dangerous than other dogs.

The statistics also support our side here- Pit Bulls have killed more people than all other dog breeds combined. Pit Bulls are not the largest, nor the strongest dogs out there. They do not have the strongest bite force. They are more deadly than other dog breeds because humans selectively bred them to be as deadly as possible. They are deadly due to the nature of their attacks and the behavioral traits they display when attacking such as gameness and a bite style mentioned in some of these studies, along with their physical traits.

5. "It used to be Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds that people wanted to ban!"

Pit Bulls have killed more people than those three breeds ever did, even at the height of their popularity, even combined. There is also no evidence supporting this claim, and in fact, quite a lot of evidence showing it's completely false.
It is important to note as well that none of these breeds have an entire lobby supporting them. They do not have communities dedicated to attack victim harassment, misinformation, and lies, unlike the Pit Bull has. Something interesting to consider is the bias online when looking at these breeds and other restricted breeds vs pages about Pit Bulls. Wikipedia in particular is very obviously being manipulated by Pit Bull fanatics.
None of this manipulation is occurring on the pages for Dobermans, Rottweilers, or German Shepherds. These three breeds never reached anywhere close to the level of suffering and carnage Pit Bulls are responsible for. There has never been a concerted effort to ban these breeds, although some are targeted by apartment restrictions due to insurance issues. There is also no lobby supporting the misinformation and misrepresentation of these breeds.

6. "Dogsbite.org is biased and unreliable."

Dogsbite is completely open and transparent about their data collection strategies. They provide identification photographs and have all of their citations publicly listed. Citations and Photographs
Here is a challenge I like to give to people who claim Dogsbite is unreliable, although I have yet to receive a legitimate response:
Have you actually looked into dogsbite.org yourself? You do know that dogsbite tracks every fatal dog attack, regardless if it's a Pit or not? It appears anti-Pit because most fatal dog attacks are done by Pits. They're not only posting Pit attacks- there are just so many more fatal Pit attacks than other breeds it appears they are.
Here's a proposal for you:
Go to 2020 and late 2019, a time frame for which news reports are still abundantly available all over the internet, and fact-check ANY FOUR DOG-BITE FATALITIES OF YOUR CHOOSING, two where the killer dogs are said to be pit/mixes, and two cases where the killer dogs are not said to be pit/mixes:
  1. Did DogsBite accurately name the person killed?
  2. Did DogsBite accurately summarize the circumstances in which the person was killed?
  3. Did DogsBite accurately identify the breed(s) of the killer dog(s)?
  4. Did DogsBite provide a photo or photos of the killer dog(s) so you can judge for yourself what type of dog(s) you think did the killing?
DogsBite and Wikipedia both provide links to news stories about these fatal attacks. If you don't want to use the news links provided by DogsBite, then use the ones on Wikipedia that cover the same stories. DogsBite also provides links to autopsy reports, police reports and 911 calls, so you can compare these primary sources with the summaries on the DogsBite page and assess whether those summaries are accurate.

7. "Human aggressive Pit Bulls were culled!"

This is a myth. While human aggression was not something that was typically selectively bred for it is a myth that most human aggressive Pits were culled. That was not the case, and it still is not the case today. One look at shelter descriptions of Pits with bite histories and severe aggression issues shows these dogs are not being euthanized, and there are several instances of Pit Bulls who have killed people being bred.
There's no evidence whatsoever that dog fighters routinely destroyed human-aggressive dogs and refused to breed them. u/NorthTwoZero wrote at length about why it's a myth here, and this blogger put together a documented list of famously human-aggressive fighting dogs who not only weren't "culled" but were bred so often that they produced over 1,200 known, registered offspring:
"The man-biters were culled and the pit bulls were not bred for human aggression myths were created from thin air, complete fabrications. There is not a sliver of truth in the myth that dogmen culled man-biters. Not only weren't human aggressive pit fighters NOT culled, but a talented man-biter was heavily bred, his stud services were in high demand and the stud fees commanded a premium. The progeny of man-biters are still sought out long after he or she has passed away. This Italian game-dog website lists their choice for the Best Ever fighting dogs, three of the five are known man-biters and the other two trace their origins to the others on their "Best" list. Some famous man-biters have their own facebook fan pages. If you happen to be a 10x winner with 3 kills and scratching on the carcass, people tend to overlook a little thing like the danger she poses to people and she is also likely to be nominated for the cover of this month's International Sporting Dog Journal. Some famous man-biters not only have a facebook fan page, they have their own promotional merchandise too."

8. "Pit Bulls were nanny dogs!" or "Pit Bulls were America's dog!"

First, I usually ask questions that demonstrate out how absurd that claim is. What is a nanny dog? What duties does a nanny dog perform? Why would a dog type be called a "Pit Bull" if it nannied? Where does the name "Pit Bull" come from? Why is it necessary for Pits to have such large, gaping mouths and extremely muscular bodies if they were nannies? Then here is some actual info:
The first appearance of the term "Nanny Dog" dates from a 1971 NYT interview with the then president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, Lillian Rant, who called Staffordshire Bull Terriers "nursemaid dogs" for no apparent reason (other than to attempt to re-brand fighting dogs as family pets).
BAD RAP shared a link.
It's Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a 'Nanny's Dog'? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls (see link for details about vintage photos). While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog - A recipe for dog bites!
Regarding Pits being "America's dog": Bronwen Dickey (author of incredibly biased and unscientific book "Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon") and other pit bull advocates argue that pit bulls were historically beloved in the U.S. until the dogs became associated with urban people of color in the 1970s, so Pit Bull stigma is really about being racist toward black and brown people.
But pit bulls were not historically beloved in the U.S. nor were they popularly regarded as a positive symbol of plucky can-do spirit. Joseph Colby, in his lifetime one of the world's leading authorities on the Pit Bull Terrier, wrote in 1936 that "The general public is under the impression that this breed is carnivorous, vicious, and, fed on a diet of raw meat, will devour a human being" and "When the pit bull terrier was introduced into America, he was more commonly found to be owned by prize fighters, saloon keepers and habitues, sporting men and the like. From the start the breed earned an unjust reputation due to his fighting ability and the character of the owner. To this day he is still trying to live down an unjust and undeserved reputation."
Sometimes Pit people will randomly mention how Sergeant Stubby, a decorated war hero dog, was a Pit Bull. He was not. Primary (contemporary) sources most often describe Stubby as a Boston Terrier or Boston Terrier mix (this breed was sometimes called the Boston Bulldog). He is sometimes said to be a Bull Terrier (the egghead dogs) mix but he obviously resembles a Boston Terrier significantly more than a Bull Terrier. Stubby is never said to be a Pit Bull in primary sources.

9. "Pit Bulls scored 2nd highest on temperament tests and better than most family dog breeds!"

This is always referring to the ATTS, or the American Temperament Testing Society. It is refuted thoroughly in the BanPitBulls FAQ, but this is what I usually say as well:
The test was developed to test working dogs, specifically dogs meant for schutzhund work. It has never been, nor ever purported to be about testing companion animals or a breed's suitability as family pets. Scoring actually favors dogs that bite, in some cases. Breed specific temperament, aggression, and each dog's training is taken into account when scoring. This means that if a relatively untrained Lab bites a "threatening stranger" it will score far lower than a German Shepherd that bites a "threatening stranger."
According to the ATTS itself, "95% of dogs who fail do so because they lack confidence" NOT because they bite. Dogs that exhibit avoidance behaviors will fail. Dogs that bite do not automatically fail.
The ATTS also states that comparing scores with other dogs means nothing- the pass/fail rates cannot be compared. Different dog breeds that behave the same exact way on the test will get hugely different scores due to the fact they take inherent breed tendencies into consideration.
The test is not designed to test for breed aggression, according to the ATTS website. It is more of a test of bravery for individual dogs. Timid dogs will always fail. Dogs that bite will not always fail.
If anything, you could argue that the reason Pits have a high passing rate is because they bite or show aggression, although that is speculation and not proven. Either way though- the test does not test breed aggression, passing rates cannot be compared, and the test absolutely does not test for suitability as a family pet.
More info here: What the ATTS is really showing.
It is also worth mentioning that the only dogs that participate in the ATTS testing are dogs brought in by their owners- it is not a random sample or scientific study of any kind. Considering the evidence showing the existence of an actual Pit Bull lobby, it would not be a reach to say these results have been intentionally manipulated (if they did even matter, which they don't).
Also, a controlled temperament test found that 13 percent, or one out of seven, pit bulls tried to bite or attack during a one hour test simulating a neighborhood walk. One out of seven pit bulls tried to bite in the span of just one hour compared to only one out of 70 golden retrievers. Note that this study was funded and authored by anti-breed ban activists: They found "no significant difference" between breeds when the definition of aggression was watered down to include even whining or crying. But pay close attention to Table 5 on page 138: out of all the breeds tested, pit bulls were markedly the worst when it came to the percentage of dogs that reached a more serious level of aggression.

10. "It's racism for dogs!"

Humans are not dogs, and dog breeds are not analogous to human races.
In addition, one cannot compare a race of people to a breed of dogs for a multitude of reasons. Dog breeds were selectively, intentionally bred for specific characteristics and traits by human beings. Humans created dog breeds based on what physical and behavioral traits we wanted them to have. (Spaniels for flushing, retrievers for fetching prey/birds without damage, livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyrenees for protecting livestock, Huskies for endurance and energy, Pointers for pointing, etc. Different dog breeds have different behavioral tendencies because humans selectively bred them to have those tendencies). Dogs also do not suffer from cultural differences, institutionalized racism, or socioeconomic disparities. Humans are also not as heavily influenced by our instincts as dogs are. Dogs behave based on their instincts and training. Humans behave mainly on their "training." Humans also have far more complex thought processes and the ability to make complex decisions. Dogs do not. You could go on and on but that is the basic overview there- dogs were selectively bred and rely mainly on their instincts. Humans were not selectively bred and are capable of making complex and rational decisions.
Post continued in the comments due to the character limit.
submitted by Rumored17 to BanPitBulls [link] [comments]


2020.09.11 06:24 StygianSagas A Scratching at the Door (part 1/2)

It is my cathedral, my magnum opus- the culmination of two decades spent grinding my way through the most debauched and blasphemous practices and indulgences. It’s a thing of imposing grandeur most might shrug off as ominous or distasteful, like a soviet-era state edifice or a moldering abandoned hospital on an overcast hillside. It’s also seedy, just the right mix of ordered and disordered to tickle my mind and draw me into the rapturous atmosphere I have worked so hard to create within its walls. For years, I have retreated here when the weight of the world around me has beaten me low with its tedious, mundane goings-on, a last respite for a mind that never felt quite at home there. Fitting, then, that it will serve as my tomb.
Whoever stumbles across this account will find it in my home. From there, my cathedral is some two miles away, down the old logging trail that forks off from Whispering Pines Road. The dugout is near its terminus- a low, brooding bunker-like structure buried in the hills and blocked by a pair of rusted metal doors. I will leave these locked, but accessible via the key beneath this letter.
I don’t have any idea as to what the purpose of the modest dugout was originally, for it was barren when I found it two decades ago. Perhaps storage, for the nearest house is much too far away for it to serve effectively as a storm shelter. Regardless, the contents will be unharmed. I have committed crimes to attain the totems and relics I surround myself with, but while I might be a thief, I have always considered myself a borrower of items, rather than a taker of treasures. They may be redistributed to their proper places as authorities see fit to distribute them. Whoever first goes to the cathedral should mentally steel themselves for what they’ll find when they push through those heavy doors, though.
The collection began when I was a teenager. The first modest additions were items I acquired while delving in abandoned places of ill repute close to my hometown. I took a century-old diary from a moldering manor home in Louisville, and snagged a small bust dulled by time from a tottering school’s library in Lynch. As I grew in boldness, my taste for eerie and unsettling items grew more and more insatiable.
The gravestones of several notable Civil War-era dead were taken from Perryville, beginning the collection of headstones and memorial plaques of supposedly spectral figures that tile my cathedral’s walls. A bone saw, taken from a reportedly haunted hospital across the state line in Ironton, leans on a shelf against the skull of a folklore-rumored hermit-turned-warlock from the hills west of Ashland, which I dug up and preserved with great care after his remains had lurked in the ground for the better part of a century.
International connections may be needed to return some of the items, though, for I have done a fair bit of traveling in my time, always on the lookout for suitably evocative items for my gallery. The collection boasts, for example, a golden ring pulled from the bottom of a Yucatan cenote, where it rested amongst the honored sacrificial dead piled there during the golden age of the Maya. It rests upon the index finger of an unnaturally large mummified hand treasured by a twisted group of scholarly mountainside cultists in Tibet, who believed it to be the withered claw of a woman from the fabled subterranean realm of Patala. All this shall be catalogued in the most intimate detail which my memory allows, and I will denote the dates and locations at which each item was acquired, from the most modest small-town tombstone to the most exotic ‘cursed’ statuette or storied murder weapon.
I won’t get too bogged down in all that here, though. You’ll find that list in the cathedral, along with whatever remains of me. The purpose of this text is to dissuade anyone from touching or tampering with, in any way, a certain item I’ve hidden away in a long-forgotten mine not terribly far from here. The entrance will be collapsed, a feat which will charge me no small amount of work, and it desperately needs to stay that way. I only bother to mention this item at all because, for reasons that will become evident, I am unsure whether it will stay put down there in the wake of my death.
Any perusing these pages would be justified in wondering what all the fuss is about, so I’ll lay out the story as clearly as I’m able, starting with why I even had cause to come in contact with the wretched thing in the first place. Some years into my darker explorations and trophy taking, exploiting a long interest in the darker side of paranormal speculation and occult practices, I began to experiment here and there with immersing myself in the kinds of provocative groups that often congregated around the places I visited. In college I visited a local quarry notorious for suicidal leaps with some of my fellow students on Halloween for a very stereotypical drunk layman’s séance. It produced nothing tangible in terms of unexplainable experiences, but electrified me with the mood -the atmosphere- that accompanied our silly ritual when it was performed in so ominous a setting.
Branching out from there, I found equally atmospheric experiences by hitching my wagon to various occult groups across my region, the most longstanding relation being with a nameless group of pagan revivalists in Cave City. They stoked my need for taboo moods with spectacular solstice sacrifices of live bullocks during firelight ceremonies in the cave systems across the county.
Over the years, I built up a book of contacts who shared my fascination, or at least held a belief in eldritch ritual and ample enough contacts to put me in a position to experience and partake in their rites. I never developed any belief that anything I was doing had any impact in the material sense, however.
Chasing these rituals and gatherings was to me purely a folkloric, atmospheric exercise, a passionate and exciting interest that sweetened my existence in a world I found comparatively drab. When I witnessed a group of isolated townspeople in the arid interior of Tunisia burn a live lamb on a bed of coals before an ancient horned statue in the hills under a full moon, I was under no illusions that I had made contact with Baal Hammon. Rather, I could imagine for the briefest hour that I stood in Carthage before it’s fall. I could feel the exaltations and excesses of the men and women of that lost land in a way that few others, even amongst our great but fast-decaying scholarly institutions, will ever know. In this way, I liked to pretend that my pursuits were entirely anthropological in nature, an extended study in the collection and interpretation of dark folklore.
There was a small, sequestered portion of my mind, however, that had less rational motivations. Whenever a promising message would come my way, titillating me at the thought of potential reality behind all the shadowy pageantry of these ritual outings, I would jump at the chance to experience the kinds of raw emotion -fear, awe, or otherwise- that were so often whispered about in occult gatherings. I wanted some taste of the beyond, whatever that happened to be, and a chance discovery I made in July seemed to promise that very thing. It was this call to the unknown that set me on the path towards my final resting place in the cathedral.
Several months ago, a contact I made years back while visiting radical underground pagan organizations in Europe and with whom I had shared deep if infrequent correspondence was mentioned in passing by a mutual acquaintance, and it came up that he hadn’t been heard from in some months. I wrote to him and, when calls and emails went unanswered, I resolved to make the trip east to his home in the mountains of western Maryland to see him in person. Even among circles as prone to weirdness and reclusiveness as mine, it was odd for someone to go entirely dark. The nature of my interests -and those of my friend, for that matter- meant that the hunger for understanding ears to speak to was endless. For someone to wholly disconnect from the people who were best able to understand his eldritch obsessions and habits was an act of self-isolation above and beyond anything I or most I inquired with had ever witnessed.
When I arrived at his modest home west of Cumberland, I found it deserted in an odd state, with the front door unlocked and unsecure but the windows boarded up as if a hurricane were soon due on the mountainside. His shotgun lay tossed on the couch in the front room as I entered the building, and by the looks of the place, he had been holed up there for some time, sequestered off from the rest of the house. The doorway to the basement was boarded up, as was his adjoining bedroom and the back door onto the porch, which left only the front door accessible, and even that seemed to have been secured until recently. With his front sitting room space and a combined kitchen cut off like that, he’d set himself up to sleep on his couch and over the intervening days built up a fearful mess of discarded food and hastily-rifled books and papers.
Upon forcing my way into the basement, I found the sparse furniture and stored books and pictures tossed and turned, but nothing missing. The shotgun resting in the front room above had been fired several times into the walls, but had apparently stricken nothing, for there was no trace of blood or injury to be discovered.
Such disorder was worrying, for he had been an orderly and reserved man. What worried me more, however, was that there were no signs of forced entry. His old truck still sat rusting in the gravel driveway, the keys tucked under the driver’s seat as was his custom. The boarding and locks holding shut the front door had been calmly removed and unlatched from within, and there was not a single sign of disturbance in his makeshift fortress that would suggest someone had laid siege to the house to take him or his belongings. After locking himself in his front room for days, perhaps weeks, he had finally freed himself and walked out into the dense, mountainous woodland surrounding the house with no gun, no shoes, no keys, and no truck.
I set about investigating myself, hesitant to involve the authorities for obvious reasons. It was one thing to call up mutual associates to check whether there was any consensus on what he had been up to in the days prior to his confinement, but it was quite another to allow police to intrude on his property and potentially discover some macabre collection similar to my own that I’d been unaware of. Call after call came back inconclusive and shrouded in uncertainty, leaving me less and less convinced as the evening wore on that he would simply stumble out of the darkening woodline any minute fresh off some spectacular hallucinogenic trip, angry at my intrusion into his home. Then, as the sun dipped below the hunched, wood-cloaked mountains, my friend’s ancient land line received a call, sending me stumbling inside at a run from the porch, and plunging me into roiling chaos.
The initial exchange seemed innocuous enough, considering what was to follow. Speaking accented but practiced English, a man asked after the whereabouts of my friend. I was initially hesitant to be fully forthright with this stranger, but when he voluntarily betrayed that my friend had been in Myanmar by asking how he had been since his return, I felt it was necessary to probe just a little. I asked when my friend had departed and, upon realizing his return to the states must have been immediately followed by his recent descent into paranoid compound fortification, I inquired whether he’d seemed distressed or ill in the days leading up to his return home. Those simple questions were somehow all the man on the other end of the line needed to hear, for his response was to ask if he had gone missing.
“I warned him,” the voice muttered. “I warned him not to go up into the mountains. I knew it must be bad, for him to stay so quiet after leaving.”
The exchange that followed couldn’t have totaled more than ten minutes, but my constant reflection on it over the intervening weeks has stretched it into an hours-long ordeal, remembered verbatim and retrievable down to a syllable. At my insistence, he told me of the witching circles he occupied in Yangon, and of my friend’s keen interest in them. As evasive as I had been with exact details, he described a trip through the country organized for my friend by contacts in the region, a sort of whirlwind tour of debauched and culturally subterranean experiences. This trip had apparently terminated in an ill-advised trek into the mountainous north of the country, that the speaker and his local Yangon brethren had absolutely refused to attend.
“There are ruins in the hills,” he told me, the disgust plain in his voice. “Sacked and toppled by the kings of Pagan, and with good reason. None should travel there.”
For centuries, people both local to the region and native to other provinces of Burma had stayed clear of the place. The longstanding curse placed upon it by the Pagan kings of old was bolstered here and there by the hushed retelling of another tale of woe sparked when a foreign traveler or urban youth from the south insisted on seeing the forbidden heights. Reiterated in the flesh of modernity just as it would’ve been recited those centuries ago from atop the peacock throne of Burma, the man warned me with hushed tones not to look into my friend’s final days, to burn any of his private writings, and to leave the dead to lie. He then hung up, the whole thing feeling for all the world like an establishing scene out of a century-old horror story.
That is precisely what made it impossible for me to heed his warnings.
Even as I looked over the domestic devastation around me left in the aftermath of just such a visit, I understood every ounce of thought that had driven my friend to make the trip into the mountains. These unnamed ruins, haunted by shadowy legendry so fierce an occultist guide among fellow occultists would not risk their ancient paths, were everything a chaser of the extravagant could dream to see. Initially worried for my friend, the realization that it had grown dark outside now breathed some level of fear into me, only heightening the racing of my thoughts.
Had he not boarded up his home, then thrashed and shot at some unknown force in the basement, only to run away into the woods? What, should I decide to stay there through the night, would I find?
These were the sort of thoughts that would’ve driven a reasonable man out of the house and down the little mountain road into the security of town, but I, as attested to by the stolen gravestones and human remains which shall soon surround my corpse in the cathedral, am not a reasonable man. I set about a fevered examination of the books and notes with which my friend had occupied himself during his voluntary imprisonment, and left messages with all the contacts I had garnered over a lifetime’s probing the obscure and obscene who I thought might have any knowledge of use to me. After all, with nothing else to work from, this scrap of tantalizing information was the only hope of learning what befell my companion, and discovering whether the unknown caller’s pessimism on that score was justified. The ominous connotations of that information were just an added incentive.
The night was a long, tedious affair, with several breaks taken for no better reason than to calm my nerves and assure there was nothing lurking in the unlit kitchen or creeping up the now exposed basement staircase. Nothing save the atmosphere of the little house was amiss, though, and the night ultimately proved enlightening. From a battered notebook well worn by continued visits from its owner over the years, I learned about my friend’s obsession with the concept of the Nat, a kind of mythic Burmese-Buddhist spirit, or deity. Writing using a cypher popularized by the Golden Dawn with which many in my circles will be familiar, he had been jotting down notes regarding the origination of the currently recognized pantheon of thirty-seven Nat, and on unofficial, more local Nat, revered or feared by populations of certain towns and villages spread here and there across the interior of Myanmar.
It was a history in which I was not versed, for Myanmar had never come up as a focal point of occult or otherwise weird significance, but he’d developed a fascination with rumors of a cult in the remote north of the country centered on a Nat of such wickedness that it had single-handedly spurred the attempted banning of local Nat offerings. This being was supposedly the reason for instituting the official pantheon of thirty-seven instituted some thousand years ago, after the end of the first millennium.
Scattered across the margins of Cambridge and Oxford histories of Southeast Asia and several more journals filled with scribbled code, I learned the story of King Anawrahta, founder of the first unified Burmese empire, and a figure seemingly obsessed with the imposition of Buddhist religious order overtop of the native faiths of his land. In the texts of academia, the reason given for this ranged from expanding state control over local governance to enriching the crown through more reliable religious taxation. Notes from my friend on correspondence with local occultists and their own books of speculative history painted a different, altogether darker picture.
Folk tales from the jungle-choked hills in the north of the country joined longstanding occult traditions in laying the blame for this crackdown on local rituals at the feet of a reviled figure called Paunggkuu, whose name is closely linked to the modern Burmese word for spider.
Paunggkuu, known by no other name or title, is shadowed by many rumored pasts and motives, with some tales alleging he was a noble member of a local clan whose prosperity was shattered by the expansion of the king’s empire in the south, turning he and his family to blood offerings and shadowy rites in hopes of bettering their fortunes. Still others believe he was a Nat-possessed vagrant, a nobody raised from nothing by a wicked spirit to great infamy only to just as quickly be tossed aside- an expendable mortal shell for a being which had long lurked in the mountains. Many more hinted origins exist, but the outcome of the rise of Paunggkuu is always the same, with the mundane man-turned-warlock leading a cult of several hundred followers into a megalithic ruined city tucked away in the trees, where they began to prey on the surrounding countryside.
Village youths started to go missing, and over time, whole rural communities were stripped clean of inhabitants. Rippling outwards from the ruined city, the locals spoke in hushed whispers of a creeping death, a diabolical Nat or witch in the guise of a monster who haunted the spaces beneath raised houses and huts at night, and whose disgusting visage appeared to the locals in nightmare night after sleepless night. So great was the fear brought about by this shadowy plague of disappearances that the regional seat of power, the small city of Mogaung, was forced to take notice. Its kingly high priest, himself a vassal and ally of the powerful King Anawrahta in the south, sent men into the region to quell the disorder and bring those responsible to justice. When those men, too, had gone missing, an army of several hundred was raised, and when that had failed to report back, the priest sent desperate word to Pagan, petitioning the king for aid.
Anawrahta, occupied with other matters in the south, failed to answer with speed, but was spurred to action by a dark event sometime around the middle of 1057, when a nighttime raid on the outskirts of Mogaung itself drove the priest to flee south to the capital, where he took up exiled residence in Pagan with his suzerain. This attack, which was laid at the feet of bandits in official records, did not topple the city or level any temples, but its nature was so horrid that Anawrahta put a momentary halt to his campaigns of unification and consolidation to march north with more than five thousand men, riding upon a gold-girdled war elephant and leading the host in person.
The events which followed seem singularly terrible, and the narrative presented in the royal chronicles of Pagan of a bandit revolt quashed by the glorious armies of Anawrahta does little to explain why all but a thousand of the men sent into the jungle never came back. It does nothing to explain why local Kachin legend speaks of the mortified screams which echoed down from the hills being audible even now on certain moonlit nights, when the skies are right. Bandits, after all, couldn’t have spurred a burgeoning kingdom with more enemies than allies to spend half a year leveling an ancient stone city, and the rest of the century burying its name and history by burning books and sundering stone carvings.
The sun rose over the Maryland hills, and with it, I found myself reverberating with not only a new grasp of a strange land’s lore and legendry, but of my aims moving forward. Several contacts of my friend’s had agreed to come search for him and continue looking into the mounds of documentation he had compiled. While they got on the road and began their long drives, a Javanese associate who had led me on an extravagant tour of ancient fire-cults still in practice on the remoter regions of that island contacted a friend at my behest. This friend initiated a chain of further connections from friend to friend until I was speaking with a Burmese Buddhist monk-turned-animist wiseman, who knew of the rumored city in the north.
Though he dissuaded me from my stated aim of visiting the site in search of answers, he agreed to meet me in Yangon upon my arrival and place me in contact with locals of the northern Kachin province who could aid me in getting transport and supplies in so remote a region. I purchased my tickets that morning for a chain of flights leaving out of Washington D.C. that evening, and after leaving a scribbled note for my vanished friend in the off chance he resurface before his other companions arrived, I piled into my car without a wink of sleep to drive for the capital.
I cannot entirely give voice to the feelings which drove my movements throughout the day. Exhaustion did not catch up to me until well into the initial flight from Washington to Japan, and even then, sleep came in fitful bursts. I was too busy pouring over hastily-copied scraps of information left by my friend, staring holes in satellite images of northern Myanmar, and memorizing a few helpful words of the Burmese language to even consider how I felt. The whole of the scenario seemed like some great initial stage in an epic drama, and my worry at the sudden disappearance of a close friend and associate in the pursuit of strangeness had fast been molded together with an urge to see what he must’ve seen, and to feel whatever had spurred the paranoia he must’ve felt during those last, manic days in the closed front room.
It would be trite of me to proclaim now what a fool I was for being so blind, so eager to face the unknown. Moreover, it wouldn’t be entirely honest. Even now, as I prepare to do what must be done, I can recognize that what I found in Myanmar was exactly the sort of thing I had been searching for throughout the long and confused span of years that led me into the jungles of rural Kachin, and I can’t claim I regret taking the journey. I can only regret that my friend had to suffer what he did to show me the path, and that both he and I proved too fragile to tolerate the thing which followed us home.
I met with my contact after a lengthy but fitful sleep at the cheapest hotel I could book once landed and settled in Yangon. After another lengthy attempt to dissuade me from my course outside a tiny local café which featured florid stories about regional Kachin Independence Army rebels, he sketched out a travel itinerary which would take me first by bus, then by locally arranged jeep up precarious roads to the tiny settlement of Sumprabum, in the farthest northern reaches of the nation. The way was precarious at times, with the aged dirt roads never failing to buck and rock the buses this way and that on the precipices of the scrub-choked cliff faces they hugged. The locals, bundled in like canned fish with a painfully conspicuous foreigner among them, mostly rode in sleepy silence through nearly two days of travel, leaving me to wonder whether I was the only one worried by the idea of toppling over the edge. It wouldn’t do, after all, to come so close to the unknown only to die in a bus crash.
Worry proved pointless, however, and I ended up in a tiny, flea-ridden bunk in Sumprabum a couple days after setting out from Maryland, my eyes scanning the tree-shrouded hills through the mist from my perch on the porch of a catholic mission as they reluctantly allowed me some much-needed sleep. It would be the first real rest I’d had since prior to my fateful road trip-turned-world excursion began. It would later prove to be the final mundane, dreamless sleep I would ever experience, but in my exhausted anticipation, I didn’t take any time to savor it.
Awakening plucked and prodded by mosquitoes but otherwise feeling prepared for anything, I made my way to a modest logger’s house of sheet metal and crude timber, where I met my local guide. He was an older man still steely with a laborer’s wiry muscle who the entire gathering of homes called Saya, something close to teacher. With my night owl’s pale skin, my relatively impressive height and my profuse sweating at the unaccustomed humidity, I must’ve looked like some traveling alien jester to the village’s locals, and we’d soon gathered a sizable crowd of onlookers as we talked over the plan for the day’s hike. I would pay a small sum to his family for his aid and the food and water he would furnish me with for the night I wanted to spend in the ruins, and then he would lead me on foot about twenty miles to the northwest into the forest, over hills and through valleys, until we arrived at the place the local Kachin population had dubbed Pyethceehon.
The name was only ever spoken in wavering tones of disgust and fear, and the assigning of so alien a name, alongside my newfound proximity to the place my friend had been only a short while ago, filled me with nervous apprehension for the first time since my entry into his home back in the states. While that vestigial, reptile-brained warning of danger to come was enough to put me on edge, it came nowhere close to drowning out my higher aspirations towards intrigue and awe. To be so close to the unknown was an ecstasy I hadn’t found in all my years of searching, and I was not about to abandon that sensation now.
Saya set a firm pace up what initially were muddy and brutally-sloped logging roads through the hills. After several hours we branched off and forded into the sea of trees. The undergrowth and tree trunks combined into a morass which looked absolutely identical to my untrained eye for hour after hour, but by nothing more than his memory of the landscape and the feel of the hills beneath his flip-flop clad feet, Saya pressed through. He always seemed to know just the right place to squeeze through a looming wall of interwoven trees or a jam of fallen logs in a creek bed. Our entire trip was scored by his thickly-accented English telling story after story about the sizes of snakes that could be found here or the density of the ant hives choking the ground there, interspersed with assurances that I could turn back at any time with but a word to him if I lost my nerve. I responded and questioned him when I could, but I was winded and broken by the endless ascents and descents we made despite years of avid hiking back home, and my spaces between strained breaths were few and far between.
He told me of several disappearances of hunters and scouts for logging outfits in the area, but nothing had transpired near the ruins in recent memory. So dark was their reputation that throughout the militia-driven guerrilla warfare which had preceded my arrival for several years, not one camp or troop movement had been made around or through Pyethceehon, whether by loyalist or separatist forces. Saya was the only man in the area that had come close in the past five or six decades, and even he never dared go the final mile or two towards the old settlement in the trees.
The first visit was a childhood expedition in search of village chickens spooked into the jungle by a storm, which had ended in him accidentally stumbling across the stream which babbled downhill from the hilltop upon which Pyethceehon brooded. The second was to lead my friend to the stony banks of that very same stream.
On arriving, the brave man made me the same offer he’d made my friend, standing with his hands on his hips and offering to come with me into the ruins if I felt I needed him there. It was an offer made through a face haunted by the very syllables formed in making the offer, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask Saya along.
Thanking him for his kindness, I made certain of the time I was to meet him tomorrow and departed for the legend-haunted wreck atop the low mountain, with afternoon long having set in. Our pace had been slowed by my pondering progress, and I knew the few remaining hours of daylight would provide more than enough time for the savvy Saya to reach the logging roads and be well on his way to the village by nightfall. The prospect of a night alone on this unknown precipice only set in when thirty minutes of hiking up the creek bed had secured my isolation. I gripped the little revolver I’d been given to ward off tigers with a tight desperation I had never before experienced. All the while, my tired legs carried me that last mile into Pyethceehon.
I was more vibrant and alive in those terrified minutes than I had ever been before. I pity my friend, for having been the very first outsider in a century to visit the place had denied him the experience of knowing some specter of the danger that lurked there firsthand. While he must’ve felt the weight of the ruin’s reputation and atmosphere, only I knew the fate of a personal friend who had come before. It lit a fire in my stomach so intense I chewed the interior of my cheek raw in jittery anticipation of reaching the summit, my wavering legs finding new strength as my destination neared.
During my hurried in-flight preparations for this moment, I had scoured pictures, satellite images and documentary footage of great Burmese temple and stupa sites like Bagan, wanting to be accustomed to the kind of structures I might find upon arrival. I had expected crumbling but mighty dome-and-spire edifices like those, but what I found was altogether alien. The structures of Pyethceehon were much more like the small, tightly-packed, cone-roofed structures of lesser-known Nyaung Ohak far to the south.
Its avenues were only a few feet wide, choked between hundreds of huddled monuments and teeming with hungry plant growth, the few untoppled stone peaks reaching no further than fifteen or twenty feet into the branch-strangled sky. Many of them leaned, their bases sinking into the stone of the ground as the passing of ten centuries remolded the very Earth beneath their feet. It was the material, though, that shocked me so, making me think I had wandered into some mighty forest of vine-blackened prehistoric teeth as I crested the hill and stumbled into that outpost of blasphemy.
The stone was not the reddish-brown of most of the nation’s monuments, nor the sandy, water-aged brown of monuments elsewhere in the near and far east. It was not the marble of rich classical sculpture or the placid limestone grey of contemplative new-world step pyramids and old-world castles. Rather, it was the shiny and rippling surface of masterfully-shaped obsidian, their rain-polished surfaces staring back in rank after rank at me through the scrub- looking for all the world like massive, teeming ant mounds.
The play of the sun through the canopy above off the slightly uneven surfaces even lent them the illusion of motion, as of water bubbling in rapids over a bank of piled stones, or, perhaps more appropriately, of millions of chitinous ant bodies amassing to repel an intruder. Their mostly conical spires were shingled with tiny interlocking plates of jade, weathered by centuries until it was almost muted, looking grey against the greens of the jungle.
I lingered there on the precipice for a long while, telling myself I needed to catch my breath, but knowing with every second I spent looking into the distance down those accursed rows that it was something much less explicable that kept my body frozen among the warm trees. It is only now, removed from the stress and excitement of the scene, that I can guess at what unspoken and unrecognized force halted my progress. Though I might not have been able to give voice to why at the time, I knew deep down that the conditions for obsidian to exist at all were not right here.
Obsidian was not among the pantheon of materials found in the jewelry, weapons or art of Southeast Asia, and that was because the nearest region with the right kind of volcanic activity to generate the substance at all lay thousands of miles away across the south china sea, on the island of Papua. I remember vividly having it pointed out as a commodity unique to the isle in my travels through Indonesia years before. What on Earth the glistening void-dark rock was doing in Myanmar remains far beyond me, but the grooved and layered construction of it, along with the faintly rough and uneven breaks in the glass-like surfaces where it had been so carefully shaped, told me it could be nothing else.
When at last my legs were moving beneath me again, I found winding my way through the obsidian forest testing at every moment my resolution to be there. Each stupa was littered with carvings, almost all of them pictographic, and almost all of these featuring the crouching forms of spiders. The largest, however, dotted every ten or twelve structures along the overgrown path I had chosen to follow, held another, more tantalizingly sinister image.
The first time I passed one of these carvings, I kept moving, my mind rushing to place why I recoiled on such an instinctive level from those particular figures amidst a legion of equally disturbing sights and sensations. Upon reaching a second rendition of the image, though, I opened my pack and flipped through my friend’s notebooks, desperate to confirm my suspicions. It didn’t take long to find his own rendition of the image, half-remembered in my nervous state, scrawled on the back cover of a cheap, weathered notebook.
The thing was a gaunt, thin, gangly creature, reminiscent of a man, but twisted and bent nearly beyond recognition. Its legs looked almost stick-like, ending in pointed barbs, and its torso sprouted three pairs of arms, evoking the image of sword-wielding Hindu gods. The arms sported one more joint than the single natural elbow showed by human beings, and each pair of them was held high in an awkward, exaggerated shrug- like a father aping a silent film-era monster to spook his children. This gave me the initial, erroneous impression that the many arms were the skeletal structure of unfurled wings. Each came to a blade-like point, just like the feet, with each lower pair slightly shorter than the last. The head -or what should have been a head- was by far the worst of it, though, and to think of it now in light of what I know makes me wonder beyond wonder that I stayed in that ruin at all.
Where a head should be, there was merely an aperture at the top of the torso, a large fang-lined mouth that ran like a zipper from where the back of a neck would’ve been to where the sternum should begin. Around it, unfurled and given the illusion of squirming motion by both the impromptu sketch artist and the ancient sculptors, were multiple layers of the sort of stunted forelegs that flank a tarantula’s mouth.
With the afternoon wearing on, I slowly pieced the shattered remnants of my aesthete’s zeal for the unusual back together. Wandering familiarized me with the two square miles or so that constituted the remnants of this little graveyard of forbidden worship, the knowledge I gained of its layout fortifying me with a sense of distant belonging I knew full well would disappear as soon as the sun sank beneath the horizon. Radiating inward like the strands of a great web, the avenues of the place all lead to a single center point where some massive temple or palace complex had once stood. It was here that I began to set up a modest little camp to wait out the night, piling what scant dry firewood I found and clearing undergrowth so that any insects or snakes would be scared out and away from my position.
The old temple was nothing save a foundation long sunk into the murky earth, its bottom littered with mud and stone from the superstructure, leaving only stalagmite-like fragments of its black obsidian walls to poke outward from the debris. It was in the protective shadow of one of these that I settled down, piling several more natural stones as a makeshift seat only after I ensured that none of the images of the damnable spider-thing were in view of my perch.
The final couple hours before nightfall felt like minutes, for time flew past with a speed only dread can create. I reflected, as I sat waiting for the proper moment to begin burning my small reserve of firewood, that there had been little in the way of totems or objects in the ruins. Most of the buildings had been stupas, too small to inhabit or enter, and the temple behind me had long ago been toppled in Pagan’s raid upon the despised cult. The sculptures, really the only testament to the past nature of this place, were repetitive, mimicking in stonework the kind of mantra repetitions witnessed in Buddhist or animist ceremonies.
I flipped through my catalogue of hastily-acquired knowledge, often referencing my friend’s notes and the books to which he’d clung, trying to recall anything which might help me retrace his steps in this dark corner of the Earth. I found none, for his notes said nothing of his actual expedition, and the treatments of this place in text and legend were so frightful and vague that there was little to work from. There were no signs of my friend in the avenues of shadowy Pyethceehon, just as there were no signs of the day-to-day lives of its ancient residents. The jungle had swallowed this vile place, and in another millennia, there would likely be nothing left to visit here.
Beyond the lack of information on my missing friend, I found my motivation consumed as the sunset got underway by an exhaustion which was entirely unlike me. Thoroughly unnerved and in a place unfamiliar to me, I should’ve been wide awake, ready to weather an entire night of vigilant, guarded listening over my fire. Instead, as the sky’s oranges darkened the shadows of the surrounding trees and scrub, turning the ranked stupas into ominous silhouettes which seemed to creep towards me through the encroaching trees, my usual explorer’s thrill at the unknown was extinguished. Each blink came as a labored exertion while I breathed life into the little woodpile before me.
Exacerbating this, I became aware of an impenetrable quiet hanging over the thinned mountaintop clearing in which Pyethceehon had brooded all these centuries. It was as if the very mosquitoes in the air knew not to disturb the slumber of such an ill-fated and ill-tempered beast as this.
I was in for a tense night.
submitted by StygianSagas to LovecraftianWriting [link] [comments]


2020.09.11 06:22 StygianSagas A Scratching at the Door [part 1]

It is my cathedral, my magnum opus- the culmination of two decades spent grinding my way through the most debauched and blasphemous practices and indulgences. It’s a thing of imposing grandeur most might shrug off as ominous or distasteful, like a soviet-era state edifice or a moldering abandoned hospital on an overcast hillside. It’s also seedy, just the right mix of ordered and disordered to tickle my mind and draw me into the rapturous atmosphere I have worked so hard to create within its walls. For years, I have retreated here when the weight of the world around me has beaten me low with its tedious, mundane goings-on, a last respite for a mind that never felt quite at home there. Fitting, then, that it will serve as my tomb.
Whoever stumbles across this account will find it in my home. From there, my cathedral is some two miles away, down the old logging trail that forks off from Whispering Pines Road. The dugout is near its terminus- a low, brooding bunker-like structure buried in the hills and blocked by a pair of rusted metal doors. I will leave these locked, but accessible via the key beneath this letter.
I don’t have any idea as to what the purpose of the modest dugout was originally, for it was barren when I found it two decades ago. Perhaps storage, for the nearest house is much too far away for it to serve effectively as a storm shelter. Regardless, the contents will be unharmed. I have committed crimes to attain the totems and relics I surround myself with, but while I might be a thief, I have always considered myself a borrower of items, rather than a taker of treasures. They may be redistributed to their proper places as authorities see fit to distribute them. Whoever first goes to the cathedral should mentally steel themselves for what they’ll find when they push through those heavy doors, though.
The collection began when I was a teenager. The first modest additions were items I acquired while delving in abandoned places of ill repute close to my hometown. I took a century-old diary from a moldering manor home in Louisville, and snagged a small bust dulled by time from a tottering school’s library in Lynch. As I grew in boldness, my taste for eerie and unsettling items grew more and more insatiable.
The gravestones of several notable Civil War-era dead were taken from Perryville, beginning the collection of headstones and memorial plaques of supposedly spectral figures that tile my cathedral’s walls. A bone saw, taken from a reportedly haunted hospital across the state line in Ironton, leans on a shelf against the skull of a folklore-rumored hermit-turned-warlock from the hills west of Ashland, which I dug up and preserved with great care after his remains had lurked in the ground for the better part of a century.
International connections may be needed to return some of the items, though, for I have done a fair bit of traveling in my time, always on the lookout for suitably evocative items for my gallery. The collection boasts, for example, a golden ring pulled from the bottom of a Yucatan cenote, where it rested amongst the honored sacrificial dead piled there during the golden age of the Maya. It rests upon the index finger of an unnaturally large mummified hand treasured by a twisted group of scholarly mountainside cultists in Tibet, who believed it to be the withered claw of a woman from the fabled subterranean realm of Patala. All this shall be catalogued in the most intimate detail which my memory allows, and I will denote the dates and locations at which each item was acquired, from the most modest small-town tombstone to the most exotic ‘cursed’ statuette or storied murder weapon.
I won’t get too bogged down in all that here, though. You’ll find that list in the cathedral, along with whatever remains of me. The purpose of this text is to dissuade anyone from touching or tampering with, in any way, a certain item I’ve hidden away in a long-forgotten mine not terribly far from here. The entrance will be collapsed, a feat which will charge me no small amount of work, and it desperately needs to stay that way. I only bother to mention this item at all because, for reasons that will become evident, I am unsure whether it will stay put down there in the wake of my death.
Any perusing these pages would be justified in wondering what all the fuss is about, so I’ll lay out the story as clearly as I’m able, starting with why I even had cause to come in contact with the wretched thing in the first place. Some years into my darker explorations and trophy taking, exploiting a long interest in the darker side of paranormal speculation and occult practices, I began to experiment here and there with immersing myself in the kinds of provocative groups that often congregated around the places I visited. In college I visited a local quarry notorious for suicidal leaps with some of my fellow students on Halloween for a very stereotypical drunk layman’s séance. It produced nothing tangible in terms of unexplainable experiences, but electrified me with the mood -the atmosphere- that accompanied our silly ritual when it was performed in so ominous a setting.
Branching out from there, I found equally atmospheric experiences by hitching my wagon to various occult groups across my region, the most longstanding relation being with a nameless group of pagan revivalists in Cave City. They stoked my need for taboo moods with spectacular solstice sacrifices of live bullocks during firelight ceremonies in the cave systems across the county.
Over the years, I built up a book of contacts who shared my fascination, or at least held a belief in eldritch ritual and ample enough contacts to put me in a position to experience and partake in their rites. I never developed any belief that anything I was doing had any impact in the material sense, however.
Chasing these rituals and gatherings was to me purely a folkloric, atmospheric exercise, a passionate and exciting interest that sweetened my existence in a world I found comparatively drab. When I witnessed a group of isolated townspeople in the arid interior of Tunisia burn a live lamb on a bed of coals before an ancient horned statue in the hills under a full moon, I was under no illusions that I had made contact with Baal Hammon. Rather, I could imagine for the briefest hour that I stood in Carthage before it’s fall. I could feel the exaltations and excesses of the men and women of that lost land in a way that few others, even amongst our great but fast-decaying scholarly institutions, will ever know. In this way, I liked to pretend that my pursuits were entirely anthropological in nature, an extended study in the collection and interpretation of dark folklore.
There was a small, sequestered portion of my mind, however, that had less rational motivations. Whenever a promising message would come my way, titillating me at the thought of potential reality behind all the shadowy pageantry of these ritual outings, I would jump at the chance to experience the kinds of raw emotion -fear, awe, or otherwise- that were so often whispered about in occult gatherings. I wanted some taste of the beyond, whatever that happened to be, and a chance discovery I made in July seemed to promise that very thing. It was this call to the unknown that set me on the path towards my final resting place in the cathedral.
Several months ago, a contact I made years back while visiting radical underground pagan organizations in Europe and with whom I had shared deep if infrequent correspondence was mentioned in passing by a mutual acquaintance, and it came up that he hadn’t been heard from in some months. I wrote to him and, when calls and emails went unanswered, I resolved to make the trip east to his home in the mountains of western Maryland to see him in person. Even among circles as prone to weirdness and reclusiveness as mine, it was odd for someone to go entirely dark. The nature of my interests -and those of my friend, for that matter- meant that the hunger for understanding ears to speak to was endless. For someone to wholly disconnect from the people who were best able to understand his eldritch obsessions and habits was an act of self-isolation above and beyond anything I or most I inquired with had ever witnessed.
When I arrived at his modest home west of Cumberland, I found it deserted in an odd state, with the front door unlocked and unsecure but the windows boarded up as if a hurricane were soon due on the mountainside. His shotgun lay tossed on the couch in the front room as I entered the building, and by the looks of the place, he had been holed up there for some time, sequestered off from the rest of the house. The doorway to the basement was boarded up, as was his adjoining bedroom and the back door onto the porch, which left only the front door accessible, and even that seemed to have been secured until recently. With his front sitting room space and a combined kitchen cut off like that, he’d set himself up to sleep on his couch and over the intervening days built up a fearful mess of discarded food and hastily-rifled books and papers.
Upon forcing my way into the basement, I found the sparse furniture and stored books and pictures tossed and turned, but nothing missing. The shotgun resting in the front room above had been fired several times into the walls, but had apparently stricken nothing, for there was no trace of blood or injury to be discovered.
Such disorder was worrying, for he had been an orderly and reserved man. What worried me more, however, was that there were no signs of forced entry. His old truck still sat rusting in the gravel driveway, the keys tucked under the driver’s seat as was his custom. The boarding and locks holding shut the front door had been calmly removed and unlatched from within, and there was not a single sign of disturbance in his makeshift fortress that would suggest someone had laid siege to the house to take him or his belongings. After locking himself in his front room for days, perhaps weeks, he had finally freed himself and walked out into the dense, mountainous woodland surrounding the house with no gun, no shoes, no keys, and no truck.
I set about investigating myself, hesitant to involve the authorities for obvious reasons. It was one thing to call up mutual associates to check whether there was any consensus on what he had been up to in the days prior to his confinement, but it was quite another to allow police to intrude on his property and potentially discover some macabre collection similar to my own that I’d been unaware of. Call after call came back inconclusive and shrouded in uncertainty, leaving me less and less convinced as the evening wore on that he would simply stumble out of the darkening woodline any minute fresh off some spectacular hallucinogenic trip, angry at my intrusion into his home. Then, as the sun dipped below the hunched, wood-cloaked mountains, my friend’s ancient land line received a call, sending me stumbling inside at a run from the porch, and plunging me into roiling chaos.
The initial exchange seemed innocuous enough, considering what was to follow. Speaking accented but practiced English, a man asked after the whereabouts of my friend. I was initially hesitant to be fully forthright with this stranger, but when he voluntarily betrayed that my friend had been in Myanmar by asking how he had been since his return, I felt it was necessary to probe just a little. I asked when my friend had departed and, upon realizing his return to the states must have been immediately followed by his recent descent into paranoid compound fortification, I inquired whether he’d seemed distressed or ill in the days leading up to his return home. Those simple questions were somehow all the man on the other end of the line needed to hear, for his response was to ask if he had gone missing.
“I warned him,” the voice muttered. “I warned him not to go up into the mountains. I knew it must be bad, for him to stay so quiet after leaving.”
The exchange that followed couldn’t have totaled more than ten minutes, but my constant reflection on it over the intervening weeks has stretched it into an hours-long ordeal, remembered verbatim and retrievable down to a syllable. At my insistence, he told me of the witching circles he occupied in Yangon, and of my friend’s keen interest in them. As evasive as I had been with exact details, he described a trip through the country organized for my friend by contacts in the region, a sort of whirlwind tour of debauched and culturally subterranean experiences. This trip had apparently terminated in an ill-advised trek into the mountainous north of the country, that the speaker and his local Yangon brethren had absolutely refused to attend.
“There are ruins in the hills,” he told me, the disgust plain in his voice. “Sacked and toppled by the kings of Pagan, and with good reason. None should travel there.”
For centuries, people both local to the region and native to other provinces of Burma had stayed clear of the place. The longstanding curse placed upon it by the Pagan kings of old was bolstered here and there by the hushed retelling of another tale of woe sparked when a foreign traveler or urban youth from the south insisted on seeing the forbidden heights. Reiterated in the flesh of modernity just as it would’ve been recited those centuries ago from atop the peacock throne of Burma, the man warned me with hushed tones not to look into my friend’s final days, to burn any of his private writings, and to leave the dead to lie. He then hung up, the whole thing feeling for all the world like an establishing scene out of a century-old horror story.
That is precisely what made it impossible for me to heed his warnings.
Even as I looked over the domestic devastation around me left in the aftermath of just such a visit, I understood every ounce of thought that had driven my friend to make the trip into the mountains. These unnamed ruins, haunted by shadowy legendry so fierce an occultist guide among fellow occultists would not risk their ancient paths, were everything a chaser of the extravagant could dream to see. Initially worried for my friend, the realization that it had grown dark outside now breathed some level of fear into me, only heightening the racing of my thoughts.
Had he not boarded up his home, then thrashed and shot at some unknown force in the basement, only to run away into the woods? What, should I decide to stay there through the night, would I find?
These were the sort of thoughts that would’ve driven a reasonable man out of the house and down the little mountain road into the security of town, but I, as attested to by the stolen gravestones and human remains which shall soon surround my corpse in the cathedral, am not a reasonable man. I set about a fevered examination of the books and notes with which my friend had occupied himself during his voluntary imprisonment, and left messages with all the contacts I had garnered over a lifetime’s probing the obscure and obscene who I thought might have any knowledge of use to me. After all, with nothing else to work from, this scrap of tantalizing information was the only hope of learning what befell my companion, and discovering whether the unknown caller’s pessimism on that score was justified. The ominous connotations of that information were just an added incentive.
The night was a long, tedious affair, with several breaks taken for no better reason than to calm my nerves and assure there was nothing lurking in the unlit kitchen or creeping up the now exposed basement staircase. Nothing save the atmosphere of the little house was amiss, though, and the night ultimately proved enlightening. From a battered notebook well worn by continued visits from its owner over the years, I learned about my friend’s obsession with the concept of the Nat, a kind of mythic Burmese-Buddhist spirit, or deity. Writing using a cypher popularized by the Golden Dawn with which many in my circles will be familiar, he had been jotting down notes regarding the origination of the currently recognized pantheon of thirty-seven Nat, and on unofficial, more local Nat, revered or feared by populations of certain towns and villages spread here and there across the interior of Myanmar.
It was a history in which I was not versed, for Myanmar had never come up as a focal point of occult or otherwise weird significance, but he’d developed a fascination with rumors of a cult in the remote north of the country centered on a Nat of such wickedness that it had single-handedly spurred the attempted banning of local Nat offerings. This being was supposedly the reason for instituting the official pantheon of thirty-seven instituted some thousand years ago, after the end of the first millennium.
Scattered across the margins of Cambridge and Oxford histories of Southeast Asia and several more journals filled with scribbled code, I learned the story of King Anawrahta, founder of the first unified Burmese empire, and a figure seemingly obsessed with the imposition of Buddhist religious order overtop of the native faiths of his land. In the texts of academia, the reason given for this ranged from expanding state control over local governance to enriching the crown through more reliable religious taxation. Notes from my friend on correspondence with local occultists and their own books of speculative history painted a different, altogether darker picture.
Folk tales from the jungle-choked hills in the north of the country joined longstanding occult traditions in laying the blame for this crackdown on local rituals at the feet of a reviled figure called Paunggkuu, whose name is closely linked to the modern Burmese word for spider.
Paunggkuu, known by no other name or title, is shadowed by many rumored pasts and motives, with some tales alleging he was a noble member of a local clan whose prosperity was shattered by the expansion of the king’s empire in the south, turning he and his family to blood offerings and shadowy rites in hopes of bettering their fortunes. Still others believe he was a Nat-possessed vagrant, a nobody raised from nothing by a wicked spirit to great infamy only to just as quickly be tossed aside- an expendable mortal shell for a being which had long lurked in the mountains. Many more hinted origins exist, but the outcome of the rise of Paunggkuu is always the same, with the mundane man-turned-warlock leading a cult of several hundred followers into a megalithic ruined city tucked away in the trees, where they began to prey on the surrounding countryside.
Village youths started to go missing, and over time, whole rural communities were stripped clean of inhabitants. Rippling outwards from the ruined city, the locals spoke in hushed whispers of a creeping death, a diabolical Nat or witch in the guise of a monster who haunted the spaces beneath raised houses and huts at night, and whose disgusting visage appeared to the locals in nightmare night after sleepless night. So great was the fear brought about by this shadowy plague of disappearances that the regional seat of power, the small city of Mogaung, was forced to take notice. Its kingly high priest, himself a vassal and ally of the powerful King Anawrahta in the south, sent men into the region to quell the disorder and bring those responsible to justice. When those men, too, had gone missing, an army of several hundred was raised, and when that had failed to report back, the priest sent desperate word to Pagan, petitioning the king for aid.
Anawrahta, occupied with other matters in the south, failed to answer with speed, but was spurred to action by a dark event sometime around the middle of 1057, when a nighttime raid on the outskirts of Mogaung itself drove the priest to flee south to the capital, where he took up exiled residence in Pagan with his suzerain. This attack, which was laid at the feet of bandits in official records, did not topple the city or level any temples, but its nature was so horrid that Anawrahta put a momentary halt to his campaigns of unification and consolidation to march north with more than five thousand men, riding upon a gold-girdled war elephant and leading the host in person.
The events which followed seem singularly terrible, and the narrative presented in the royal chronicles of Pagan of a bandit revolt quashed by the glorious armies of Anawrahta does little to explain why all but a thousand of the men sent into the jungle never came back. It does nothing to explain why local Kachin legend speaks of the mortified screams which echoed down from the hills being audible even now on certain moonlit nights, when the skies are right. Bandits, after all, couldn’t have spurred a burgeoning kingdom with more enemies than allies to spend half a year leveling an ancient stone city, and the rest of the century burying its name and history by burning books and sundering stone carvings.
The sun rose over the Maryland hills, and with it, I found myself reverberating with not only a new grasp of a strange land’s lore and legendry, but of my aims moving forward. Several contacts of my friend’s had agreed to come search for him and continue looking into the mounds of documentation he had compiled. While they got on the road and began their long drives, a Javanese associate who had led me on an extravagant tour of ancient fire-cults still in practice on the remoter regions of that island contacted a friend at my behest. This friend initiated a chain of further connections from friend to friend until I was speaking with a Burmese Buddhist monk-turned-animist wiseman, who knew of the rumored city in the north.
Though he dissuaded me from my stated aim of visiting the site in search of answers, he agreed to meet me in Yangon upon my arrival and place me in contact with locals of the northern Kachin province who could aid me in getting transport and supplies in so remote a region. I purchased my tickets that morning for a chain of flights leaving out of Washington D.C. that evening, and after leaving a scribbled note for my vanished friend in the off chance he resurface before his other companions arrived, I piled into my car without a wink of sleep to drive for the capital.
I cannot entirely give voice to the feelings which drove my movements throughout the day. Exhaustion did not catch up to me until well into the initial flight from Washington to Japan, and even then, sleep came in fitful bursts. I was too busy pouring over hastily-copied scraps of information left by my friend, staring holes in satellite images of northern Myanmar, and memorizing a few helpful words of the Burmese language to even consider how I felt. The whole of the scenario seemed like some great initial stage in an epic drama, and my worry at the sudden disappearance of a close friend and associate in the pursuit of strangeness had fast been molded together with an urge to see what he must’ve seen, and to feel whatever had spurred the paranoia he must’ve felt during those last, manic days in the closed front room.
It would be trite of me to proclaim now what a fool I was for being so blind, so eager to face the unknown. Moreover, it wouldn’t be entirely honest. Even now, as I prepare to do what must be done, I can recognize that what I found in Myanmar was exactly the sort of thing I had been searching for throughout the long and confused span of years that led me into the jungles of rural Kachin, and I can’t claim I regret taking the journey. I can only regret that my friend had to suffer what he did to show me the path, and that both he and I proved too fragile to tolerate the thing which followed us home.
I met with my contact after a lengthy but fitful sleep at the cheapest hotel I could book once landed and settled in Yangon. After another lengthy attempt to dissuade me from my course outside a tiny local café which featured florid stories about regional Kachin Independence Army rebels, he sketched out a travel itinerary which would take me first by bus, then by locally arranged jeep up precarious roads to the tiny settlement of Sumprabum, in the farthest northern reaches of the nation. The way was precarious at times, with the aged dirt roads never failing to buck and rock the buses this way and that on the precipices of the scrub-choked cliff faces they hugged. The locals, bundled in like canned fish with a painfully conspicuous foreigner among them, mostly rode in sleepy silence through nearly two days of travel, leaving me to wonder whether I was the only one worried by the idea of toppling over the edge. It wouldn’t do, after all, to come so close to the unknown only to die in a bus crash.
Worry proved pointless, however, and I ended up in a tiny, flea-ridden bunk in Sumprabum a couple days after setting out from Maryland, my eyes scanning the tree-shrouded hills through the mist from my perch on the porch of a catholic mission as they reluctantly allowed me some much-needed sleep. It would be the first real rest I’d had since prior to my fateful road trip-turned-world excursion began. It would later prove to be the final mundane, dreamless sleep I would ever experience, but in my exhausted anticipation, I didn’t take any time to savor it.
Awakening plucked and prodded by mosquitoes but otherwise feeling prepared for anything, I made my way to a modest logger’s house of sheet metal and crude timber, where I met my local guide. He was an older man still steely with a laborer’s wiry muscle who the entire gathering of homes called Saya, something close to teacher. With my night owl’s pale skin, my relatively impressive height and my profuse sweating at the unaccustomed humidity, I must’ve looked like some traveling alien jester to the village’s locals, and we’d soon gathered a sizable crowd of onlookers as we talked over the plan for the day’s hike. I would pay a small sum to his family for his aid and the food and water he would furnish me with for the night I wanted to spend in the ruins, and then he would lead me on foot about twenty miles to the northwest into the forest, over hills and through valleys, until we arrived at the place the local Kachin population had dubbed Pyethceehon.
The name was only ever spoken in wavering tones of disgust and fear, and the assigning of so alien a name, alongside my newfound proximity to the place my friend had been only a short while ago, filled me with nervous apprehension for the first time since my entry into his home back in the states. While that vestigial, reptile-brained warning of danger to come was enough to put me on edge, it came nowhere close to drowning out my higher aspirations towards intrigue and awe. To be so close to the unknown was an ecstasy I hadn’t found in all my years of searching, and I was not about to abandon that sensation now.
Saya set a firm pace up what initially were muddy and brutally-sloped logging roads through the hills. After several hours we branched off and forded into the sea of trees. The undergrowth and tree trunks combined into a morass which looked absolutely identical to my untrained eye for hour after hour, but by nothing more than his memory of the landscape and the feel of the hills beneath his flip-flop clad feet, Saya pressed through. He always seemed to know just the right place to squeeze through a looming wall of interwoven trees or a jam of fallen logs in a creek bed. Our entire trip was scored by his thickly-accented English telling story after story about the sizes of snakes that could be found here or the density of the ant hives choking the ground there, interspersed with assurances that I could turn back at any time with but a word to him if I lost my nerve. I responded and questioned him when I could, but I was winded and broken by the endless ascents and descents we made despite years of avid hiking back home, and my spaces between strained breaths were few and far between.
He told me of several disappearances of hunters and scouts for logging outfits in the area, but nothing had transpired near the ruins in recent memory. So dark was their reputation that throughout the militia-driven guerrilla warfare which had preceded my arrival for several years, not one camp or troop movement had been made around or through Pyethceehon, whether by loyalist or separatist forces. Saya was the only man in the area that had come close in the past five or six decades, and even he never dared go the final mile or two towards the old settlement in the trees.
The first visit was a childhood expedition in search of village chickens spooked into the jungle by a storm, which had ended in him accidentally stumbling across the stream which babbled downhill from the hilltop upon which Pyethceehon brooded. The second was to lead my friend to the stony banks of that very same stream.
On arriving, the brave man made me the same offer he’d made my friend, standing with his hands on his hips and offering to come with me into the ruins if I felt I needed him there. It was an offer made through a face haunted by the very syllables formed in making the offer, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask Saya along.
Thanking him for his kindness, I made certain of the time I was to meet him tomorrow and departed for the legend-haunted wreck atop the low mountain, with afternoon long having set in. Our pace had been slowed by my pondering progress, and I knew the few remaining hours of daylight would provide more than enough time for the savvy Saya to reach the logging roads and be well on his way to the village by nightfall. The prospect of a night alone on this unknown precipice only set in when thirty minutes of hiking up the creek bed had secured my isolation. I gripped the little revolver I’d been given to ward off tigers with a tight desperation I had never before experienced. All the while, my tired legs carried me that last mile into Pyethceehon.
I was more vibrant and alive in those terrified minutes than I had ever been before. I pity my friend, for having been the very first outsider in a century to visit the place had denied him the experience of knowing some specter of the danger that lurked there firsthand. While he must’ve felt the weight of the ruin’s reputation and atmosphere, only I knew the fate of a personal friend who had come before. It lit a fire in my stomach so intense I chewed the interior of my cheek raw in jittery anticipation of reaching the summit, my wavering legs finding new strength as my destination neared.
During my hurried in-flight preparations for this moment, I had scoured pictures, satellite images and documentary footage of great Burmese temple and stupa sites like Bagan, wanting to be accustomed to the kind of structures I might find upon arrival. I had expected crumbling but mighty dome-and-spire edifices like those, but what I found was altogether alien. The structures of Pyethceehon were much more like the small, tightly-packed, cone-roofed structures of lesser-known Nyaung Ohak far to the south.
Its avenues were only a few feet wide, choked between hundreds of huddled monuments and teeming with hungry plant growth, the few untoppled stone peaks reaching no further than fifteen or twenty feet into the branch-strangled sky. Many of them leaned, their bases sinking into the stone of the ground as the passing of ten centuries remolded the very Earth beneath their feet. It was the material, though, that shocked me so, making me think I had wandered into some mighty forest of vine-blackened prehistoric teeth as I crested the hill and stumbled into that outpost of blasphemy.
The stone was not the reddish-brown of most of the nation’s monuments, nor the sandy, water-aged brown of monuments elsewhere in the near and far east. It was not the marble of rich classical sculpture or the placid limestone grey of contemplative new-world step pyramids and old-world castles. Rather, it was the shiny and rippling surface of masterfully-shaped obsidian, their rain-polished surfaces staring back in rank after rank at me through the scrub- looking for all the world like massive, teeming ant mounds.
The play of the sun through the canopy above off the slightly uneven surfaces even lent them the illusion of motion, as of water bubbling in rapids over a bank of piled stones, or, perhaps more appropriately, of millions of chitinous ant bodies amassing to repel an intruder. Their mostly conical spires were shingled with tiny interlocking plates of jade, weathered by centuries until it was almost muted, looking grey against the greens of the jungle.
I lingered there on the precipice for a long while, telling myself I needed to catch my breath, but knowing with every second I spent looking into the distance down those accursed rows that it was something much less explicable that kept my body frozen among the warm trees. It is only now, removed from the stress and excitement of the scene, that I can guess at what unspoken and unrecognized force halted my progress. Though I might not have been able to give voice to why at the time, I knew deep down that the conditions for obsidian to exist at all were not right here.
Obsidian was not among the pantheon of materials found in the jewelry, weapons or art of Southeast Asia, and that was because the nearest region with the right kind of volcanic activity to generate the substance at all lay thousands of miles away across the south china sea, on the island of Papua. I remember vividly having it pointed out as a commodity unique to the isle in my travels through Indonesia years before. What on Earth the glistening void-dark rock was doing in Myanmar remains far beyond me, but the grooved and layered construction of it, along with the faintly rough and uneven breaks in the glass-like surfaces where it had been so carefully shaped, told me it could be nothing else.
When at last my legs were moving beneath me again, I found winding my way through the obsidian forest testing at every moment my resolution to be there. Each stupa was littered with carvings, almost all of them pictographic, and almost all of these featuring the crouching forms of spiders. The largest, however, dotted every ten or twelve structures along the overgrown path I had chosen to follow, held another, more tantalizingly sinister image.
The first time I passed one of these carvings, I kept moving, my mind rushing to place why I recoiled on such an instinctive level from those particular figures amidst a legion of equally disturbing sights and sensations. Upon reaching a second rendition of the image, though, I opened my pack and flipped through my friend’s notebooks, desperate to confirm my suspicions. It didn’t take long to find his own rendition of the image, half-remembered in my nervous state, scrawled on the back cover of a cheap, weathered notebook.
The thing was a gaunt, thin, gangly creature, reminiscent of a man, but twisted and bent nearly beyond recognition. Its legs looked almost stick-like, ending in pointed barbs, and its torso sprouted three pairs of arms, evoking the image of sword-wielding Hindu gods. The arms sported one more joint than the single natural elbow showed by human beings, and each pair of them was held high in an awkward, exaggerated shrug- like a father aping a silent film-era monster to spook his children. This gave me the initial, erroneous impression that the many arms were the skeletal structure of unfurled wings. Each came to a blade-like point, just like the feet, with each lower pair slightly shorter than the last. The head -or what should have been a head- was by far the worst of it, though, and to think of it now in light of what I know makes me wonder beyond wonder that I stayed in that ruin at all.
Where a head should be, there was merely an aperture at the top of the torso, a large fang-lined mouth that ran like a zipper from where the back of a neck would’ve been to where the sternum should begin. Around it, unfurled and given the illusion of squirming motion by both the impromptu sketch artist and the ancient sculptors, were multiple layers of the sort of stunted forelegs that flank a tarantula’s mouth.
With the afternoon wearing on, I slowly pieced the shattered remnants of my aesthete’s zeal for the unusual back together. Wandering familiarized me with the two square miles or so that constituted the remnants of this little graveyard of forbidden worship, the knowledge I gained of its layout fortifying me with a sense of distant belonging I knew full well would disappear as soon as the sun sank beneath the horizon. Radiating inward like the strands of a great web, the avenues of the place all lead to a single center point where some massive temple or palace complex had once stood. It was here that I began to set up a modest little camp to wait out the night, piling what scant dry firewood I found and clearing undergrowth so that any insects or snakes would be scared out and away from my position.
The old temple was nothing save a foundation long sunk into the murky earth, its bottom littered with mud and stone from the superstructure, leaving only stalagmite-like fragments of its black obsidian walls to poke outward from the debris. It was in the protective shadow of one of these that I settled down, piling several more natural stones as a makeshift seat only after I ensured that none of the images of the damnable spider-thing were in view of my perch.
The final couple hours before nightfall felt like minutes, for time flew past with a speed only dread can create. I reflected, as I sat waiting for the proper moment to begin burning my small reserve of firewood, that there had been little in the way of totems or objects in the ruins. Most of the buildings had been stupas, too small to inhabit or enter, and the temple behind me had long ago been toppled in Pagan’s raid upon the despised cult. The sculptures, really the only testament to the past nature of this place, were repetitive, mimicking in stonework the kind of mantra repetitions witnessed in Buddhist or animist ceremonies.
I flipped through my catalogue of hastily-acquired knowledge, often referencing my friend’s notes and the books to which he’d clung, trying to recall anything which might help me retrace his steps in this dark corner of the Earth. I found none, for his notes said nothing of his actual expedition, and the treatments of this place in text and legend were so frightful and vague that there was little to work from. There were no signs of my friend in the avenues of shadowy Pyethceehon, just as there were no signs of the day-to-day lives of its ancient residents. The jungle had swallowed this vile place, and in another millennia, there would likely be nothing left to visit here.
Beyond the lack of information on my missing friend, I found my motivation consumed as the sunset got underway by an exhaustion which was entirely unlike me. Thoroughly unnerved and in a place unfamiliar to me, I should’ve been wide awake, ready to weather an entire night of vigilant, guarded listening over my fire. Instead, as the sky’s oranges darkened the shadows of the surrounding trees and scrub, turning the ranked stupas into ominous silhouettes which seemed to creep towards me through the encroaching trees, my usual explorer’s thrill at the unknown was extinguished. Each blink came as a labored exertion while I breathed life into the little woodpile before me.
Exacerbating this, I became aware of an impenetrable quiet hanging over the thinned mountaintop clearing in which Pyethceehon had brooded all these centuries. It was as if the very mosquitoes in the air knew not to disturb the slumber of such an ill-fated and ill-tempered beast as this.
I was in for a tense night.
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2020.09.11 06:14 StygianSagas A Scratching at the Door (part 1)

It is my cathedral, my magnum opus- the culmination of two decades spent grinding my way through the most debauched and blasphemous practices and indulgences. It’s a thing of imposing grandeur most might shrug off as ominous or distasteful, like a soviet-era state edifice or a moldering abandoned hospital on an overcast hillside. It’s also seedy, just the right mix of ordered and disordered to tickle my mind and draw me into the rapturous atmosphere I have worked so hard to create within its walls. For years, I have retreated here when the weight of the world around me has beaten me low with its tedious, mundane goings-on, a last respite for a mind that never felt quite at home there. Fitting, then, that it will serve as my tomb.
Whoever stumbles across this account will find it in my home. From there, my cathedral is some two miles away, down the old logging trail that forks off from Whispering Pines Road. The dugout is near its terminus- a low, brooding bunker-like structure buried in the hills and blocked by a pair of rusted metal doors. I will leave these locked, but accessible via the key beneath this letter.
I don’t have any idea as to what the purpose of the modest dugout was originally, for it was barren when I found it two decades ago. Perhaps storage, for the nearest house is much too far away for it to serve effectively as a storm shelter. Regardless, the contents will be unharmed. I have committed crimes to attain the totems and relics I surround myself with, but while I might be a thief, I have always considered myself a borrower of items, rather than a taker of treasures. They may be redistributed to their proper places as authorities see fit to distribute them. Whoever first goes to the cathedral should mentally steel themselves for what they’ll find when they push through those heavy doors, though.
The collection began when I was a teenager. The first modest additions were items I acquired while delving in abandoned places of ill repute close to my hometown. I took a century-old diary from a moldering manor home in Louisville, and snagged a small bust dulled by time from a tottering school’s library in Lynch. As I grew in boldness, my taste for eerie and unsettling items grew more and more insatiable.
The gravestones of several notable Civil War-era dead were taken from Perryville, beginning the collection of headstones and memorial plaques of supposedly spectral figures that tile my cathedral’s walls. A bone saw, taken from a reportedly haunted hospital across the state line in Ironton, leans on a shelf against the skull of a folklore-rumored hermit-turned-warlock from the hills west of Ashland, which I dug up and preserved with great care after his remains had lurked in the ground for the better part of a century.
International connections may be needed to return some of the items, though, for I have done a fair bit of traveling in my time, always on the lookout for suitably evocative items for my gallery. The collection boasts, for example, a golden ring pulled from the bottom of a Yucatan cenote, where it rested amongst the honored sacrificial dead piled there during the golden age of the Maya. It rests upon the index finger of an unnaturally large mummified hand treasured by a twisted group of scholarly mountainside cultists in Tibet, who believed it to be the withered claw of a woman from the fabled subterranean realm of Patala. All this shall be catalogued in the most intimate detail which my memory allows, and I will denote the dates and locations at which each item was acquired, from the most modest small-town tombstone to the most exotic ‘cursed’ statuette or storied murder weapon.
I won’t get too bogged down in all that here, though. You’ll find that list in the cathedral, along with whatever remains of me. The purpose of this text is to dissuade anyone from touching or tampering with, in any way, a certain item I’ve hidden away in a long-forgotten mine not terribly far from here. The entrance will be collapsed, a feat which will charge me no small amount of work, and it desperately needs to stay that way. I only bother to mention this item at all because, for reasons that will become evident, I am unsure whether it will stay put down there in the wake of my death.
Any perusing these pages would be justified in wondering what all the fuss is about, so I’ll lay out the story as clearly as I’m able, starting with why I even had cause to come in contact with the wretched thing in the first place. Some years into my darker explorations and trophy taking, exploiting a long interest in the darker side of paranormal speculation and occult practices, I began to experiment here and there with immersing myself in the kinds of provocative groups that often congregated around the places I visited. In college I visited a local quarry notorious for suicidal leaps with some of my fellow students on Halloween for a very stereotypical drunk layman’s séance. It produced nothing tangible in terms of unexplainable experiences, but electrified me with the mood -the atmosphere- that accompanied our silly ritual when it was performed in so ominous a setting.
Branching out from there, I found equally atmospheric experiences by hitching my wagon to various occult groups across my region, the most longstanding relation being with a nameless group of pagan revivalists in Cave City. They stoked my need for taboo moods with spectacular solstice sacrifices of live bullocks during firelight ceremonies in the cave systems across the county.
Over the years, I built up a book of contacts who shared my fascination, or at least held a belief in eldritch ritual and ample enough contacts to put me in a position to experience and partake in their rites. I never developed any belief that anything I was doing had any impact in the material sense, however.
Chasing these rituals and gatherings was to me purely a folkloric, atmospheric exercise, a passionate and exciting interest that sweetened my existence in a world I found comparatively drab. When I witnessed a group of isolated townspeople in the arid interior of Tunisia burn a live lamb on a bed of coals before an ancient horned statue in the hills under a full moon, I was under no illusions that I had made contact with Baal Hammon. Rather, I could imagine for the briefest hour that I stood in Carthage before it’s fall. I could feel the exaltations and excesses of the men and women of that lost land in a way that few others, even amongst our great but fast-decaying scholarly institutions, will ever know. In this way, I liked to pretend that my pursuits were entirely anthropological in nature, an extended study in the collection and interpretation of dark folklore.
There was a small, sequestered portion of my mind, however, that had less rational motivations. Whenever a promising message would come my way, titillating me at the thought of potential reality behind all the shadowy pageantry of these ritual outings, I would jump at the chance to experience the kinds of raw emotion -fear, awe, or otherwise- that were so often whispered about in occult gatherings. I wanted some taste of the beyond, whatever that happened to be, and a chance discovery I made in July seemed to promise that very thing. It was this call to the unknown that set me on the path towards my final resting place in the cathedral.
Several months ago, a contact I made years back while visiting radical underground pagan organizations in Europe and with whom I had shared deep if infrequent correspondence was mentioned in passing by a mutual acquaintance, and it came up that he hadn’t been heard from in some months. I wrote to him and, when calls and emails went unanswered, I resolved to make the trip east to his home in the mountains of western Maryland to see him in person. Even among circles as prone to weirdness and reclusiveness as mine, it was odd for someone to go entirely dark. The nature of my interests -and those of my friend, for that matter- meant that the hunger for understanding ears to speak to was endless. For someone to wholly disconnect from the people who were best able to understand his eldritch obsessions and habits was an act of self-isolation above and beyond anything I or most I inquired with had ever witnessed.
When I arrived at his modest home west of Cumberland, I found it deserted in an odd state, with the front door unlocked and unsecure but the windows boarded up as if a hurricane were soon due on the mountainside. His shotgun lay tossed on the couch in the front room as I entered the building, and by the looks of the place, he had been holed up there for some time, sequestered off from the rest of the house. The doorway to the basement was boarded up, as was his adjoining bedroom and the back door onto the porch, which left only the front door accessible, and even that seemed to have been secured until recently. With his front sitting room space and a combined kitchen cut off like that, he’d set himself up to sleep on his couch and over the intervening days built up a fearful mess of discarded food and hastily-rifled books and papers.
Upon forcing my way into the basement, I found the sparse furniture and stored books and pictures tossed and turned, but nothing missing. The shotgun resting in the front room above had been fired several times into the walls, but had apparently stricken nothing, for there was no trace of blood or injury to be discovered.
Such disorder was worrying, for he had been an orderly and reserved man. What worried me more, however, was that there were no signs of forced entry. His old truck still sat rusting in the gravel driveway, the keys tucked under the driver’s seat as was his custom. The boarding and locks holding shut the front door had been calmly removed and unlatched from within, and there was not a single sign of disturbance in his makeshift fortress that would suggest someone had laid siege to the house to take him or his belongings. After locking himself in his front room for days, perhaps weeks, he had finally freed himself and walked out into the dense, mountainous woodland surrounding the house with no gun, no shoes, no keys, and no truck.
I set about investigating myself, hesitant to involve the authorities for obvious reasons. It was one thing to call up mutual associates to check whether there was any consensus on what he had been up to in the days prior to his confinement, but it was quite another to allow police to intrude on his property and potentially discover some macabre collection similar to my own that I’d been unaware of. Call after call came back inconclusive and shrouded in uncertainty, leaving me less and less convinced as the evening wore on that he would simply stumble out of the darkening woodline any minute fresh off some spectacular hallucinogenic trip, angry at my intrusion into his home. Then, as the sun dipped below the hunched, wood-cloaked mountains, my friend’s ancient land line received a call, sending me stumbling inside at a run from the porch, and plunging me into roiling chaos.
The initial exchange seemed innocuous enough, considering what was to follow. Speaking accented but practiced English, a man asked after the whereabouts of my friend. I was initially hesitant to be fully forthright with this stranger, but when he voluntarily betrayed that my friend had been in Myanmar by asking how he had been since his return, I felt it was necessary to probe just a little. I asked when my friend had departed and, upon realizing his return to the states must have been immediately followed by his recent descent into paranoid compound fortification, I inquired whether he’d seemed distressed or ill in the days leading up to his return home. Those simple questions were somehow all the man on the other end of the line needed to hear, for his response was to ask if he had gone missing.
“I warned him,” the voice muttered. “I warned him not to go up into the mountains. I knew it must be bad, for him to stay so quiet after leaving.”
The exchange that followed couldn’t have totaled more than ten minutes, but my constant reflection on it over the intervening weeks has stretched it into an hours-long ordeal, remembered verbatim and retrievable down to a syllable. At my insistence, he told me of the witching circles he occupied in Yangon, and of my friend’s keen interest in them. As evasive as I had been with exact details, he described a trip through the country organized for my friend by contacts in the region, a sort of whirlwind tour of debauched and culturally subterranean experiences. This trip had apparently terminated in an ill-advised trek into the mountainous north of the country, that the speaker and his local Yangon brethren had absolutely refused to attend.
“There are ruins in the hills,” he told me, the disgust plain in his voice. “Sacked and toppled by the kings of Pagan, and with good reason. None should travel there.”
For centuries, people both local to the region and native to other provinces of Burma had stayed clear of the place. The longstanding curse placed upon it by the Pagan kings of old was bolstered here and there by the hushed retelling of another tale of woe sparked when a foreign traveler or urban youth from the south insisted on seeing the forbidden heights. Reiterated in the flesh of modernity just as it would’ve been recited those centuries ago from atop the peacock throne of Burma, the man warned me with hushed tones not to look into my friend’s final days, to burn any of his private writings, and to leave the dead to lie. He then hung up, the whole thing feeling for all the world like an establishing scene out of a century-old horror story.
That is precisely what made it impossible for me to heed his warnings.
Even as I looked over the domestic devastation around me left in the aftermath of just such a visit, I understood every ounce of thought that had driven my friend to make the trip into the mountains. These unnamed ruins, haunted by shadowy legendry so fierce an occultist guide among fellow occultists would not risk their ancient paths, were everything a chaser of the extravagant could dream to see. Initially worried for my friend, the realization that it had grown dark outside now breathed some level of fear into me, only heightening the racing of my thoughts.
Had he not boarded up his home, then thrashed and shot at some unknown force in the basement, only to run away into the woods? What, should I decide to stay there through the night, would I find?
These were the sort of thoughts that would’ve driven a reasonable man out of the house and down the little mountain road into the security of town, but I, as attested to by the stolen gravestones and human remains which shall soon surround my corpse in the cathedral, am not a reasonable man. I set about a fevered examination of the books and notes with which my friend had occupied himself during his voluntary imprisonment, and left messages with all the contacts I had garnered over a lifetime’s probing the obscure and obscene who I thought might have any knowledge of use to me. After all, with nothing else to work from, this scrap of tantalizing information was the only hope of learning what befell my companion, and discovering whether the unknown caller’s pessimism on that score was justified. The ominous connotations of that information were just an added incentive.
The night was a long, tedious affair, with several breaks taken for no better reason than to calm my nerves and assure there was nothing lurking in the unlit kitchen or creeping up the now exposed basement staircase. Nothing save the atmosphere of the little house was amiss, though, and the night ultimately proved enlightening. From a battered notebook well worn by continued visits from its owner over the years, I learned about my friend’s obsession with the concept of the Nat, a kind of mythic Burmese-Buddhist spirit, or deity. Writing using a cypher popularized by the Golden Dawn with which many in my circles will be familiar, he had been jotting down notes regarding the origination of the currently recognized pantheon of thirty-seven Nat, and on unofficial, more local Nat, revered or feared by populations of certain towns and villages spread here and there across the interior of Myanmar.
It was a history in which I was not versed, for Myanmar had never come up as a focal point of occult or otherwise weird significance, but he’d developed a fascination with rumors of a cult in the remote north of the country centered on a Nat of such wickedness that it had single-handedly spurred the attempted banning of local Nat offerings. This being was supposedly the reason for instituting the official pantheon of thirty-seven instituted some thousand years ago, after the end of the first millennium.
Scattered across the margins of Cambridge and Oxford histories of Southeast Asia and several more journals filled with scribbled code, I learned the story of King Anawrahta, founder of the first unified Burmese empire, and a figure seemingly obsessed with the imposition of Buddhist religious order overtop of the native faiths of his land. In the texts of academia, the reason given for this ranged from expanding state control over local governance to enriching the crown through more reliable religious taxation. Notes from my friend on correspondence with local occultists and their own books of speculative history painted a different, altogether darker picture.
Folk tales from the jungle-choked hills in the north of the country joined longstanding occult traditions in laying the blame for this crackdown on local rituals at the feet of a reviled figure called Paunggkuu, whose name is closely linked to the modern Burmese word for spider.
Paunggkuu, known by no other name or title, is shadowed by many rumored pasts and motives, with some tales alleging he was a noble member of a local clan whose prosperity was shattered by the expansion of the king’s empire in the south, turning he and his family to blood offerings and shadowy rites in hopes of bettering their fortunes. Still others believe he was a Nat-possessed vagrant, a nobody raised from nothing by a wicked spirit to great infamy only to just as quickly be tossed aside- an expendable mortal shell for a being which had long lurked in the mountains. Many more hinted origins exist, but the outcome of the rise of Paunggkuu is always the same, with the mundane man-turned-warlock leading a cult of several hundred followers into a megalithic ruined city tucked away in the trees, where they began to prey on the surrounding countryside.
Village youths started to go missing, and over time, whole rural communities were stripped clean of inhabitants. Rippling outwards from the ruined city, the locals spoke in hushed whispers of a creeping death, a diabolical Nat or witch in the guise of a monster who haunted the spaces beneath raised houses and huts at night, and whose disgusting visage appeared to the locals in nightmare night after sleepless night. So great was the fear brought about by this shadowy plague of disappearances that the regional seat of power, the small city of Mogaung, was forced to take notice. Its kingly high priest, himself a vassal and ally of the powerful King Anawrahta in the south, sent men into the region to quell the disorder and bring those responsible to justice. When those men, too, had gone missing, an army of several hundred was raised, and when that had failed to report back, the priest sent desperate word to Pagan, petitioning the king for aid.
Anawrahta, occupied with other matters in the south, failed to answer with speed, but was spurred to action by a dark event sometime around the middle of 1057, when a nighttime raid on the outskirts of Mogaung itself drove the priest to flee south to the capital, where he took up exiled residence in Pagan with his suzerain. This attack, which was laid at the feet of bandits in official records, did not topple the city or level any temples, but its nature was so horrid that Anawrahta put a momentary halt to his campaigns of unification and consolidation to march north with more than five thousand men, riding upon a gold-girdled war elephant and leading the host in person.
The events which followed seem singularly terrible, and the narrative presented in the royal chronicles of Pagan of a bandit revolt quashed by the glorious armies of Anawrahta does little to explain why all but a thousand of the men sent into the jungle never came back. It does nothing to explain why local Kachin legend speaks of the mortified screams which echoed down from the hills being audible even now on certain moonlit nights, when the skies are right. Bandits, after all, couldn’t have spurred a burgeoning kingdom with more enemies than allies to spend half a year leveling an ancient stone city, and the rest of the century burying its name and history by burning books and sundering stone carvings.
The sun rose over the Maryland hills, and with it, I found myself reverberating with not only a new grasp of a strange land’s lore and legendry, but of my aims moving forward. Several contacts of my friend’s had agreed to come search for him and continue looking into the mounds of documentation he had compiled. While they got on the road and began their long drives, a Javanese associate who had led me on an extravagant tour of ancient fire-cults still in practice on the remoter regions of that island contacted a friend at my behest. This friend initiated a chain of further connections from friend to friend until I was speaking with a Burmese Buddhist monk-turned-animist wiseman, who knew of the rumored city in the north.
Though he dissuaded me from my stated aim of visiting the site in search of answers, he agreed to meet me in Yangon upon my arrival and place me in contact with locals of the northern Kachin province who could aid me in getting transport and supplies in so remote a region. I purchased my tickets that morning for a chain of flights leaving out of Washington D.C. that evening, and after leaving a scribbled note for my vanished friend in the off chance he resurface before his other companions arrived, I piled into my car without a wink of sleep to drive for the capital.
I cannot entirely give voice to the feelings which drove my movements throughout the day. Exhaustion did not catch up to me until well into the initial flight from Washington to Japan, and even then, sleep came in fitful bursts. I was too busy pouring over hastily-copied scraps of information left by my friend, staring holes in satellite images of northern Myanmar, and memorizing a few helpful words of the Burmese language to even consider how I felt. The whole of the scenario seemed like some great initial stage in an epic drama, and my worry at the sudden disappearance of a close friend and associate in the pursuit of strangeness had fast been molded together with an urge to see what he must’ve seen, and to feel whatever had spurred the paranoia he must’ve felt during those last, manic days in the closed front room.
It would be trite of me to proclaim now what a fool I was for being so blind, so eager to face the unknown. Moreover, it wouldn’t be entirely honest. Even now, as I prepare to do what must be done, I can recognize that what I found in Myanmar was exactly the sort of thing I had been searching for throughout the long and confused span of years that led me into the jungles of rural Kachin, and I can’t claim I regret taking the journey. I can only regret that my friend had to suffer what he did to show me the path, and that both he and I proved too fragile to tolerate the thing which followed us home.
I met with my contact after a lengthy but fitful sleep at the cheapest hotel I could book once landed and settled in Yangon. After another lengthy attempt to dissuade me from my course outside a tiny local café which featured florid stories about regional Kachin Independence Army rebels, he sketched out a travel itinerary which would take me first by bus, then by locally arranged jeep up precarious roads to the tiny settlement of Sumprabum, in the farthest northern reaches of the nation. The way was precarious at times, with the aged dirt roads never failing to buck and rock the buses this way and that on the precipices of the scrub-choked cliff faces they hugged. The locals, bundled in like canned fish with a painfully conspicuous foreigner among them, mostly rode in sleepy silence through nearly two days of travel, leaving me to wonder whether I was the only one worried by the idea of toppling over the edge. It wouldn’t do, after all, to come so close to the unknown only to die in a bus crash.
Worry proved pointless, however, and I ended up in a tiny, flea-ridden bunk in Sumprabum a couple days after setting out from Maryland, my eyes scanning the tree-shrouded hills through the mist from my perch on the porch of a catholic mission as they reluctantly allowed me some much-needed sleep. It would be the first real rest I’d had since prior to my fateful road trip-turned-world excursion began. It would later prove to be the final mundane, dreamless sleep I would ever experience, but in my exhausted anticipation, I didn’t take any time to savor it.
Awakening plucked and prodded by mosquitoes but otherwise feeling prepared for anything, I made my way to a modest logger’s house of sheet metal and crude timber, where I met my local guide. He was an older man still steely with a laborer’s wiry muscle who the entire gathering of homes called Saya, something close to teacher. With my night owl’s pale skin, my relatively impressive height and my profuse sweating at the unaccustomed humidity, I must’ve looked like some traveling alien jester to the village’s locals, and we’d soon gathered a sizable crowd of onlookers as we talked over the plan for the day’s hike. I would pay a small sum to his family for his aid and the food and water he would furnish me with for the night I wanted to spend in the ruins, and then he would lead me on foot about twenty miles to the northwest into the forest, over hills and through valleys, until we arrived at the place the local Kachin population had dubbed Pyethceehon.
The name was only ever spoken in wavering tones of disgust and fear, and the assigning of so alien a name, alongside my newfound proximity to the place my friend had been only a short while ago, filled me with nervous apprehension for the first time since my entry into his home back in the states. While that vestigial, reptile-brained warning of danger to come was enough to put me on edge, it came nowhere close to drowning out my higher aspirations towards intrigue and awe. To be so close to the unknown was an ecstasy I hadn’t found in all my years of searching, and I was not about to abandon that sensation now.
Saya set a firm pace up what initially were muddy and brutally-sloped logging roads through the hills. After several hours we branched off and forded into the sea of trees. The undergrowth and tree trunks combined into a morass which looked absolutely identical to my untrained eye for hour after hour, but by nothing more than his memory of the landscape and the feel of the hills beneath his flip-flop clad feet, Saya pressed through. He always seemed to know just the right place to squeeze through a looming wall of interwoven trees or a jam of fallen logs in a creek bed. Our entire trip was scored by his thickly-accented English telling story after story about the sizes of snakes that could be found here or the density of the ant hives choking the ground there, interspersed with assurances that I could turn back at any time with but a word to him if I lost my nerve. I responded and questioned him when I could, but I was winded and broken by the endless ascents and descents we made despite years of avid hiking back home, and my spaces between strained breaths were few and far between.
He told me of several disappearances of hunters and scouts for logging outfits in the area, but nothing had transpired near the ruins in recent memory. So dark was their reputation that throughout the militia-driven guerrilla warfare which had preceded my arrival for several years, not one camp or troop movement had been made around or through Pyethceehon, whether by loyalist or separatist forces. Saya was the only man in the area that had come close in the past five or six decades, and even he never dared go the final mile or two towards the old settlement in the trees.
The first visit was a childhood expedition in search of village chickens spooked into the jungle by a storm, which had ended in him accidentally stumbling across the stream which babbled downhill from the hilltop upon which Pyethceehon brooded. The second was to lead my friend to the stony banks of that very same stream.
On arriving, the brave man made me the same offer he’d made my friend, standing with his hands on his hips and offering to come with me into the ruins if I felt I needed him there. It was an offer made through a face haunted by the very syllables formed in making the offer, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask Saya along.
Thanking him for his kindness, I made certain of the time I was to meet him tomorrow and departed for the legend-haunted wreck atop the low mountain, with afternoon long having set in. Our pace had been slowed by my pondering progress, and I knew the few remaining hours of daylight would provide more than enough time for the savvy Saya to reach the logging roads and be well on his way to the village by nightfall. The prospect of a night alone on this unknown precipice only set in when thirty minutes of hiking up the creek bed had secured my isolation. I gripped the little revolver I’d been given to ward off tigers with a tight desperation I had never before experienced. All the while, my tired legs carried me that last mile into Pyethceehon.
I was more vibrant and alive in those terrified minutes than I had ever been before. I pity my friend, for having been the very first outsider in a century to visit the place had denied him the experience of knowing some specter of the danger that lurked there firsthand. While he must’ve felt the weight of the ruin’s reputation and atmosphere, only I knew the fate of a personal friend who had come before. It lit a fire in my stomach so intense I chewed the interior of my cheek raw in jittery anticipation of reaching the summit, my wavering legs finding new strength as my destination neared.
During my hurried in-flight preparations for this moment, I had scoured pictures, satellite images and documentary footage of great Burmese temple and stupa sites like Bagan, wanting to be accustomed to the kind of structures I might find upon arrival. I had expected crumbling but mighty dome-and-spire edifices like those, but what I found was altogether alien. The structures of Pyethceehon were much more like the small, tightly-packed, cone-roofed structures of lesser-known Nyaung Ohak far to the south.
Its avenues were only a few feet wide, choked between hundreds of huddled monuments and teeming with hungry plant growth, the few untoppled stone peaks reaching no further than fifteen or twenty feet into the branch-strangled sky. Many of them leaned, their bases sinking into the stone of the ground as the passing of ten centuries remolded the very Earth beneath their feet. It was the material, though, that shocked me so, making me think I had wandered into some mighty forest of vine-blackened prehistoric teeth as I crested the hill and stumbled into that outpost of blasphemy.
The stone was not the reddish-brown of most of the nation’s monuments, nor the sandy, water-aged brown of monuments elsewhere in the near and far east. It was not the marble of rich classical sculpture or the placid limestone grey of contemplative new-world step pyramids and old-world castles. Rather, it was the shiny and rippling surface of masterfully-shaped obsidian, their rain-polished surfaces staring back in rank after rank at me through the scrub- looking for all the world like massive, teeming ant mounds.
The play of the sun through the canopy above off the slightly uneven surfaces even lent them the illusion of motion, as of water bubbling in rapids over a bank of piled stones, or, perhaps more appropriately, of millions of chitinous ant bodies amassing to repel an intruder. Their mostly conical spires were shingled with tiny interlocking plates of jade, weathered by centuries until it was almost muted, looking grey against the greens of the jungle.
I lingered there on the precipice for a long while, telling myself I needed to catch my breath, but knowing with every second I spent looking into the distance down those accursed rows that it was something much less explicable that kept my body frozen among the warm trees. It is only now, removed from the stress and excitement of the scene, that I can guess at what unspoken and unrecognized force halted my progress. Though I might not have been able to give voice to why at the time, I knew deep down that the conditions for obsidian to exist at all were not right here.
Obsidian was not among the pantheon of materials found in the jewelry, weapons or art of Southeast Asia, and that was because the nearest region with the right kind of volcanic activity to generate the substance at all lay thousands of miles away across the south china sea, on the island of Papua. I remember vividly having it pointed out as a commodity unique to the isle in my travels through Indonesia years before. What on Earth the glistening void-dark rock was doing in Myanmar remains far beyond me, but the grooved and layered construction of it, along with the faintly rough and uneven breaks in the glass-like surfaces where it had been so carefully shaped, told me it could be nothing else.
When at last my legs were moving beneath me again, I found winding my way through the obsidian forest testing at every moment my resolution to be there. Each stupa was littered with carvings, almost all of them pictographic, and almost all of these featuring the crouching forms of spiders. The largest, however, dotted every ten or twelve structures along the overgrown path I had chosen to follow, held another, more tantalizingly sinister image.
The first time I passed one of these carvings, I kept moving, my mind rushing to place why I recoiled on such an instinctive level from those particular figures amidst a legion of equally disturbing sights and sensations. Upon reaching a second rendition of the image, though, I opened my pack and flipped through my friend’s notebooks, desperate to confirm my suspicions. It didn’t take long to find his own rendition of the image, half-remembered in my nervous state, scrawled on the back cover of a cheap, weathered notebook.
The thing was a gaunt, thin, gangly creature, reminiscent of a man, but twisted and bent nearly beyond recognition. Its legs looked almost stick-like, ending in pointed barbs, and its torso sprouted three pairs of arms, evoking the image of sword-wielding Hindu gods. The arms sported one more joint than the single natural elbow showed by human beings, and each pair of them was held high in an awkward, exaggerated shrug- like a father aping a silent film-era monster to spook his children. This gave me the initial, erroneous impression that the many arms were the skeletal structure of unfurled wings. Each came to a blade-like point, just like the feet, with each lower pair slightly shorter than the last. The head -or what should have been a head- was by far the worst of it, though, and to think of it now in light of what I know makes me wonder beyond wonder that I stayed in that ruin at all.
Where a head should be, there was merely an aperture at the top of the torso, a large fang-lined mouth that ran like a zipper from where the back of a neck would’ve been to where the sternum should begin. Around it, unfurled and given the illusion of squirming motion by both the impromptu sketch artist and the ancient sculptors, were multiple layers of the sort of stunted forelegs that flank a tarantula’s mouth.
With the afternoon wearing on, I slowly pieced the shattered remnants of my aesthete’s zeal for the unusual back together. Wandering familiarized me with the two square miles or so that constituted the remnants of this little graveyard of forbidden worship, the knowledge I gained of its layout fortifying me with a sense of distant belonging I knew full well would disappear as soon as the sun sank beneath the horizon. Radiating inward like the strands of a great web, the avenues of the place all lead to a single center point where some massive temple or palace complex had once stood. It was here that I began to set up a modest little camp to wait out the night, piling what scant dry firewood I found and clearing undergrowth so that any insects or snakes would be scared out and away from my position.
The old temple was nothing save a foundation long sunk into the murky earth, its bottom littered with mud and stone from the superstructure, leaving only stalagmite-like fragments of its black obsidian walls to poke outward from the debris. It was in the protective shadow of one of these that I settled down, piling several more natural stones as a makeshift seat only after I ensured that none of the images of the damnable spider-thing were in view of my perch.
The final couple hours before nightfall felt like minutes, for time flew past with a speed only dread can create. I reflected, as I sat waiting for the proper moment to begin burning my small reserve of firewood, that there had been little in the way of totems or objects in the ruins. Most of the buildings had been stupas, too small to inhabit or enter, and the temple behind me had long ago been toppled in Pagan’s raid upon the despised cult. The sculptures, really the only testament to the past nature of this place, were repetitive, mimicking in stonework the kind of mantra repetitions witnessed in Buddhist or animist ceremonies.
I flipped through my catalogue of hastily-acquired knowledge, often referencing my friend’s notes and the books to which he’d clung, trying to recall anything which might help me retrace his steps in this dark corner of the Earth. I found none, for his notes said nothing of his actual expedition, and the treatments of this place in text and legend were so frightful and vague that there was little to work from. There were no signs of my friend in the avenues of shadowy Pyethceehon, just as there were no signs of the day-to-day lives of its ancient residents. The jungle had swallowed this vile place, and in another millennia, there would likely be nothing left to visit here.
Beyond the lack of information on my missing friend, I found my motivation consumed as the sunset got underway by an exhaustion which was entirely unlike me. Thoroughly unnerved and in a place unfamiliar to me, I should’ve been wide awake, ready to weather an entire night of vigilant, guarded listening over my fire. Instead, as the sky’s oranges darkened the shadows of the surrounding trees and scrub, turning the ranked stupas into ominous silhouettes which seemed to creep towards me through the encroaching trees, my usual explorer’s thrill at the unknown was extinguished. Each blink came as a labored exertion while I breathed life into the little woodpile before me.
Exacerbating this, I became aware of an impenetrable quiet hanging over the thinned mountaintop clearing in which Pyethceehon had brooded all these centuries. It was as if the very mosquitoes in the air knew not to disturb the slumber of such an ill-fated and ill-tempered beast as this.
I was in for a tense night.
submitted by StygianSagas to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 05:31 kentexcitebot Chrome OS Stable channel got promoted to Chrome OS 85. This is what changed!


https://preview.redd.it/w6v33efodnk51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=64a402d6eafbe49d4660ca46a5599bfd6e3473e7

_All right crew!

The Chrome OS Stable Channel got promoted to milestone today - from 84.0.4147.136 to 85.0.4183.84. As with every new milestone update, this brings massive new changes to the table, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to better improve your Chrome OS user experience. Due to the sheer size, I may be missing a few things here and there. Here is what changed!

Like my content and want to buy me a coffee? You can support me on ko-fi using this link or by using the link in my Reddit profile. If you want to be kept up to date with everything new to Chrome OS, feel free to give me a follow. Thanks in advance for your support!! :)

Accessibility
Party like the 90's!
Ambient lock screen

This experimental feature is still in development. To try it out, you'll need to enable a Chrome flag. Copy-paste the following URL and change the dropdown from "Default" to "Enable": chrome://flags/#enable-ambient-mode 


New subpage to allow you to customize the Ambient lockscreen

Android subsystem

Goodbye Google Play Music. Hello YouTube Music!

Ash

Mic gain allows you to quickly adjust your microphone settings


Launcher search can now find Chrome OS Settings


New animation when windowing a maximized window.


Shelf apps will scale down if there are no more room left on the shelf. This behavior only applies if your Chromebook is in tablet mode.


Launcher search can now search for apps on the Google Play Store


Wi-Fi icon is much easier to see on the lockscreen.


Shelf items will be limited to the active desk. Requires modifying Chrome flag.


Virtual desk area now uses the accent color of your wallpaper

Assistant
Camera app

You can now pause and resume your video recording, and take a snapshot

Chrome

Tab groups and tab collapsing in action.


The brand new privacy redesign

Quickly see a small thumbnail preview of your tabs.



Quickly block third-party cookies


Extensions will be tucked away in this chrome icon


New permission chips
`

Printer labels, including the status of the printer, is integrated into Print Preview.

Chrome OS Settings

Chrome OS Settings search got a lot smarter


Sync your Wi-Fi passwords so that you don't have to remember them!

Family Link
Files app

New \"Open With\" and \"More Action\" when right-clicking a file

Input

Brand new bordered virtual keyboard.

Linux (Beta)
Media App SWA

This experimental feature is still in development. To try it out, you'll need to enable a Chrome flag. Copy-paste the following URL and change the dropdown from "Default" to "Enable": chrome://flags/#media-app 

OOBE (first-boot setup)
Print jobs app

See what's printing with the new Print jobs app.

PWAs
Quick Answers
Wallpaper picker app

The nitty-gritty stuff


This advanced section is a long list of things changed that impacts web developers and enterprise users. There are a lot more nitty-gritty stuff in the full changelog linked below, but this list covers the most important Blink and Chrome changes introduced in this release cycle.

Blink
Chrome
Enterprise

Platform changes


This part covers the most significant platform changes I found in this build, from platform version 13099.110.0 to 13310.59.0. Platform updates typically include low level changes like kernel, driver updates, and other device-specific fixes.

Linux 4.4
Linux 4.14
Linux 4.19
Linux 5.4
Libapps
Overlays

Click here to see the full official list of changes by Google (no platform logs, sorry). Enjoy, and happy updating!
submitted by kentexcitebot to chromeos [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 19:10 thebusiness7 UFO humanoid encounter translated from Russian

https://itexts.net/avtor-marina-mihaylovna-popovich/271794-nlo-nad-planetoy-zemlya-marina-popovich/read/page-12.html

This is translated from Russian into English (Google translate) from a book by Marina Popovich (Soviet Air Force Colonel):



The report of the President of the UK UFO Association, Police Major Anthony Dodd on the Kalahari Phenomenon was listened to with special attention. I knew from information from the press, but here for the first time I heard in detail about a UFO over the Kalahari. The thousandth audience seemed to have frozen, only the rustle of tape recorders was heard, and every now and then the flashes of cameras penetrated the hall.

The documents shown by Tony Dodd were of exceptional importance and top secret. They belonged to the South African Air Force and told about the tragedy of an alien ship (UFO) in the Kalahari Desert. The date of preparation of the documents is May 7, 1989.

Judging by the behavior of Tony Dodd, his individual statements, I realized that some of the people who brought these documents to the symposium and, for obvious reasons, did not identify themselves, were here in the hall.

After Tony's speech, I went up to him. When exchanging impressions about the symposium, his report, Dodd introduced me to a young man, tall, handsome, who introduced himself to the captain of the South African Air Force, helicopter pilot James Van Grunen - a direct participant in the mysterious events in the Kalahari Desert.

We talked with him for over 3 hours. I do not know if he gave me his real name, but what he said did not cause me any doubts. Here is his story:

"On May 7, 1989, at 13:45, an object reappeared over the ocean, which had been maneuvering over land for several days in a row, then abruptly with an ascent towards the ocean.

The officers on duty on the radars of the Navy transmitted via communication channels to the headquarters about the flights of an unidentified (unknown?) Flying ball-shaped object. Locator screens tracking him noted that he most often "hangs" at high altitudes above submarines. The Minister of Defense was notified by the headquarters of the Navy that the object was being tracked by radars of the aviation and ground forces, as well as the radar station of the International Port of Cape Town.

The Minister of Defense, the Air Force command decided to send 2 Mirage fighter planes to intercept UFOs. After aiming the aircraft with ground stations, the pilots first saw the object visually, and then on the screens of aircraft radars.

Began to turn around him, trying to establish communication on the international channel at a frequency of 121.5 hertz, then swaying from wing to wing demanded: "Follow me." But the subject did not react.

The pilots reported this to the commander of an airbase located near Botswana and received an order - in case of disobedience of the object - to shoot!

As soon as this command passed through the communication channel, the object suddenly changed course and began to leave at high (approximately 3000 km / h) speed with a climb.

The aircraft of the lead pair was equipped with an experimental microwave beam cannon (MVLP) and fired. A flash occurred on the object, and it began to lose altitude. Its rate of decline was extremely high. At the very ground, the object turned sharply, slowed down the fall and at 14.02 hit the ground at a slight angle. This ego took place 80 km north of the South African border in the Kalahari Desert.

Having received a report from the pilots about the incident, the Air Force commander sent a helicopter on duty with medical personnel and a capture group to the UFO landing zone. The co-pilot on this helicopter was my interlocutor, Captain James Van Grunen. After 30 minutes, the helicopter crew discovered the object, and nearby a burning helicopter sent earlier to correct the coordinates of the UFO.

As it turned out later, the object, turning on the protection, disabled all the electronic and radio equipment of the helicopter hovering over the UFO. The engine and other vital devices shut down. The helicopter hit the solid ground of the desert and exploded, killing the crew.

James' helicopter, which looks like a huge air carriage, landed near the facility.

The capture team donned body armor and masks. The medical staff brought themselves to "readiness number 1" - stretchers, medicines, gowns - everything was at hand. We got out of the helicopter and walked towards the object in a semicircle, moving slowly. James, asking permission from the commander, and, putting on protective clothing, ran after the capture group.

A few meters remained to the object. Suddenly, one of the soldiers' metal-rimmed glasses flew off, spinning like a propeller, hitting the body of the object.

The team stopped and waited. The commander in English spoke loudly: "Everyone on the ship, get out and surrender their weapons. You are surrounded!"

The answer is silence.

They began to look around. The UFO lay at an angle of 40 degrees to the horizon, on the edge of a crater 105 meters wide and 12 meters deep.

It was silvery, disc-shaped. Boulders of soil lay around him. The capture group was waiting ...

A few minutes later, everyone heard the grinding of a hatch opening. A slight gap has appeared. The team then expanded this gap using a hydraulic device. And everyone saw two humanoid creatures - one was sitting, the other was standing, covering his shoulder with his hand.

They were dressed in tight-fitting suits of silver-gray color.The team noticed that one of the aliens was injured and as soon as the doctor decided to approach him, he immediately grabbed his chest and with his claws hurt not only the chest, but left scratches on his face.

The aliens did not answer a single question ...

Exploration of an unfamiliar ship began.

Inside the ship, everyone was supposed to stay no more than 10-12 minutes, fearing the impact of uncontrolled radiation or any electromagnetic or torsion field on people. Everyone who visited the ship had to write down and sketch what they saw, what they felt ...

The first thing that struck the researchers was that the gray-silver surface of the ship was thoroughly polished, no seams or rivets were noticed. A surprise awaited the crew inside the ship. At the very bottom, in one of the compartments, there was a special (like a fluoroplastic) bath in which an earthling lay! He was immersed in a yellow liquid, similar to honey or glycerin, and was in a lethargic sleep. The pulse was rare, one beat per minute.

They deliberated for a long time how to extract a person so as not to interrupt life. Finally, after careful treatment, the doctors placed him in a chamber with an increased oxygen content (such as a pressure chamber).

The further fate of this earthling is unknown to James.

And what about the aliens?

The humanoid creatures were very interesting in appearance. Big heads. Height 105-110 cm. Long arms to the knees with four fingers with membranes, ending in long claws, like birds of prey. The skin is gray, resembling the skin of lizards or snakes. The eyes are large and dark. There are no auricles. The mouth is small, without lips. The legs are short and racing, the feet end with 4 fingers like the hands, but without webbing.

They were not in the medical center for long. On May 23, 1989, the aliens were transferred to the US Air Force Base. What happened to them then is a mystery sealed with seven seals .... "

But the continuation of this story drags on from year to year.

At a symposium in Dusseldorf in October 1990, Anthony Dodd told those gathered at the meeting that a second object appeared over the UFO landing site in the Kalahari Desert several times, but he did not undertake any aggression or any maneuvers.

Antoni Dodd himself was harassed by American intelligence. They demanded the issuance of documents sent by Tony James by fax (in the amount of 80 pages). The scouts categorically forbade giving out information to anyone about what happened in the Kalahari.

Several times he was interrogated in the department, they were interested in the texts of messages from South Africa, photographs. Anthony Dodd was fired from the service, he was forced to leave London. But he did not back down from the truth of what happened in the Kalahari.

All people on Earth know about the secret operation in South Africa, from May 7 to July 29, 1989. And to keep silent about this is to commit an act of treason in relation to all of humanity. After all, not only contacts with other civilizations of the Cosmos are important here, but also the fact that new types of weapons have been created that are manufactured to destroy the people of Earth (in this case, this is a type of weapon - a beam cannon - which shot down the alien ship, apparently the so-called plasma weapon).

It seems to me that the main thing for those who keep the secrets of the Kalahari are not the captured aliens, but the weapons with which they were shot down. That's what all the fuss is about. But this story has continued to this day.
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2020.08.27 10:25 advancedketotrim Advanced Keto Trim

Advanced Keto Trim
Advanced Keto Trim Cost Have Rely on inside your Eating routine!
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Advanced Keto Trim Supplements Pros
This improvement promises to get calories counter tops into ketosis easier, at that time have them there, even by way of a minimal error. The formula is clearly custom made-manufactured to work alongside ketogenic uses much less calorie consumption. Dissimilar to different improvements that don't usually thoughts which diet program you're utilizing, this is made for you!
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Tutorials to make use of ProVita Health supplement
This augmentation is anything at all but difficult to use. It's essentially just like taking an every single day multivitamin. We have to you to have the solution to utilize this enhancement the 2nd it can be seen at your entranceway, so we're happy to make known the way to utilize it! All you do is get two Advanced Keto Trim containers towards the starting of the time with water. Eat keto-accommodating bites and suppers. The better you work out, the better your results are probably going to be, so stay as powerful as may be expected underneath the circumstances. We usually suggest that you are taking a preceding take pictures of. Like that, subsequent four weeks of making use of the advancement, you can really observe your extraordinary change!
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Every single eating product or service like this go with some risk of side effects occurring. Everyone may deal with another thing, however signs can occur. This is just what you need to think about their probability. Just make use of the product as synchronised. Do not surpass the proposed specifications degree or use t while utilizing yet another eating advancement. Consolidating nutritional improvement can effectsly have an impact on your wellness. In the event that you are doing see any critical signs and symptoms happening when utilizingAdvanced Keto Trim supplement, give up taking it instantly. Make sure that you talk with an expert at the very first opportunity to address any healthcare problem that could have caused the issue.
Advanced Keto Trim Charge
This advancement is undoubtedly an on the internet selective offer to the current. That indicates the makers can transform the charge together with the straightforward push of your catch. We might choose not to checklist an out-of-date Advanced Keto Trim cost on this page only for it to be exclusive once you require. Rather we'll help you to the established web site. Which is the spot you'll generally locate by far the most current assessing information!
Advanced Keto Trim Audit
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Keto is brief for ketogenic
The normal macros for your eating routine are 70Percent fat, 25Percent proteins and simply 5% carbohydrates
Stick to these macros will in the long run place health meals nuts in a state called ketosis
On the level if the entire body is at this express, it uses up set aside extra fat for strength rather than carbohydrates
Without a doubt, even tiny slipups will take an individual away from ketosis and stop body fat consuming - that is the cause we advise an augmentation for help
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