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Evidence of pre-roman invasion of Loegria

2020.09.16 05:20 StevenStevens43 Evidence of pre-roman invasion of Loegria

Evidence of pre-roman invasion of Loegria
Loegria:
As has already been established in previous articles, Loegria pertains to the Southern land of britain, below the river Humber, and the natural border between Southern Britain, and Northern britain, divided by rivers and streams which connect the Irish sea, to the North sea.
This was the natural border of Britain, before invasions.
And if you go to google maps, you will find out yourself that it is "true" that there is indeed a slight divide between the two municipalities, in the form of rivers, and even narrow streams.
Albanactus
Albanactus, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, was the founding king of Albania or Albany. He is in effect Geoffrey's eponym for Scotland.[1] His territory was that north of the River Humber.[2]
Invasions:
Now we know there has been many invasions of Britain.
1st, the Roman invasion, which resulted in Hadrians wall and Antonine wall.
2nd, Anglos-saxon invasion.
3rd, Viking invasion.
4th, Norman invasion.
However, i don't think the Roman invasion was actually the first invasion.
I think there is evidence, even in legends, of a noticable and serious invasion of Southern lands in Britain.
I will now proceed to attempt to highlight why, i think this is at least, a possibility.
Bladud:
Now, quite simply, to see for yourself, just how inconsistant the biography of Bladud is, with the life and times of all the other legendary kings of Britain, and the fascinating fair comparison to known contemporary history, simply read some of the other articles on my page, and then read this one.
Now, i am going to add my own description in my own words.
"Bladud is a legendary king of the Britons that does not know what century it is".
Bladud
Bladud or Blaiddyd[a] is a legendary king of the Britons), although there is no historical evidence for his existence. He is first mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136), which describes him as the son of King Rud Hud Hudibras, and the tenth ruler in line from the first king, Brutus, saying Bladud was contemporaneous with the biblical prophet Elijah (9th century BC).
Link for photo
Bladud
School of liberal arts in Athens:
Now, this might not look too unbelievable at first.
My previous articles do point to "huge" Aryan influence in the Greek world.
However, it is just that, it is totally out of the blue in comparison to all the other legendary kings of Britain and Ireland.
He is "the first" to ever be sent over to Athens for schooling.
But ok, maybe that is believable.
After-all, the world is evolving.
Legend
Bladud was sent by his father to be educated in the liberal arts in Athens. After his father's death,
Link for photo.jpg)
Athens
Stamford university:
Apparently, after his fathers death he returned from schooling in Athens, and founded Stamford university in Lincolnshire.
Sorry, but there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Stamford university was founded in Lincolnshire.
This must be the most outlandish claim ever made, in either contemporary history, mythology, or legends.
And, it might be a little bit more believable, if it were consistant with all the other legends, and their accuracy.
Even the most outlandish legend, at first glance, can have somekind of Euhemeric value, if you are able to find the missing pieces.
And i do see euhemeric value in this story, actually, i see it as a sign Loegria was invaded.
Legend
After his father's death, he returned with four philosophers, and founded a university at Stamford in Lincolnshire
Link for photo
Stamford university
University:
Now, "i will" defend the blooded Bladud here.
A university meaning of a community of teachers and scholars is only the modern definition.
University
The word university is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars".[1]
Link for photo
Oxford
A group:
However the ancient terminology of university, could be defined as not much more than the formation of anykind of group, containing a few individuals.
Not necessarily even exclusively an educational group.
Definition
The original Latin word universitas refers in general to "a number of persons associated into one body, a society, company, community, guild, corporation, etc".[3]
St Augustine:
Now, apparently this university flourished until it was suppressed by Saint Augustine of Canterbury.
Legend
he returned with four philosophers, and founded a university at Stamford in Lincolnshire, which flourished until it was suppressed by Saint Augustine of Canterbury on account of heresies which were taught there.
Link for photo
Saint Augustines expansion
Died 604 AD:
What kind of gibberish is this? Saint Augustine of Canterbury is from 600's AD!
Is this pseudo history of Britain from foreign invaders speaking pigeon Gaelic? Even if this "is" pseudo-history, it is "very very poor", Pseudo-history?
Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury (born first third of the 6th century – died probably 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church.[3]
Link for photo
Augustines grave
Papyrus:
Now, i am looking for elements of truth to take from this riddle.
I am beginning to suspect that persons pushing the Papyrus on British shores, may have pre-dated Julius Caesar.
History
Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt as far back as the fourth millennium BCE.[3][4][5] The earliest archaeological evidence of papyrus was excavated in 2012 and 2013 at Wadi al-Jarf, an ancient Egyptian harbor located on the Red Sea coast. These documents, the Diary of Merer, date from c. 2560–2550 BCE (end of the reign of Khufu).[4] The papyrus rolls describe the last years of building the Great Pyramid of Giza.[6] In the first centuries BCE and CE, papyrus scrolls) gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins.[7] Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned. Early Christian writers soon adopted the codex form, and in the Græco-Roman world, it became common to cut sheets from papyrus rolls to form codices.
Link for photo
Papyrus scholar
863 BC or 500 BC:
Now, it just gets worse.
This is simply an incoherent ramble.
863 BC, or, 500 BC?
Legend
Supposedly he ruled for twenty years from 863 BC or perhaps 500 BC
Hot springs out of magic:
No, sorry, until now the legends have been extremely intelligent, and reliable, and the sudden belief in "magic", combined with the psuedo intellectual claims mixed with the inability to even get the date correct within a 363 year gap, is inconsistant, and out of place, with the nature of the other legends.
Legend
in which time he built Kaerbadum or Caervaddon (Bath), creating the hot springs) there by the use of magic.
Link for photo
Bath coat of Arms
Caervaddon:
Now, there is "an interesting" claim here.
A little more consistant with legends up until now.
Apparently Bladud founded Caervaddon (Bath).
Legend
in which time he built Kaerbadum or Caervaddon (Bath), creating the hot springs) there by the use of magic.
Link for photo
Map of Bath
Very believable:
Now, the fact he founded a settlement here is "extremely" believable.
There has been activity in the location since the Mesolithic period, all the way through the Bronze age, in to the Iron age, and the Beaker culture even pre-dates the period of Bladud.
Iron age and Roman
The hills in the locality such as Bathampton Down saw human activity from the Mesolithic period.[3][4] Several Bronze Age round barrows were opened by John Skinner) in the 18th century.[5] Solsbury Hill overlooking the current city was an Iron Age hill fort and the adjacent Bathampton Camp may also have been one.[6][7] A long barrow site believed to be from the Beaker people was flattened to make way for RAF Charmy Down.[8][9]
Archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman baths') main spring may have been treated as a shrine by the Britons,[10][11] and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva;
Link for photo
Minerva
He what????:
He dedicated the city to the Goddess Athena or Minerva!
What language is he speaking? Minerva is a Greco-Roman God.
No other king in Ireland nor Britain, during this period, is pretending to be a scholarly papyrus, whilst enchanting incoherent rambles, in goodness knows what language.
And what is with all this sudden poetic nonsense? "whose flames turned to balls of stone as they grew low, with new ones springing up in their stead:".
Legend
He dedicated the city to the goddess Athena or Minerva, and in honour of her, lit undying fires, whose flames turned to balls of stone as they grew low, with new ones springing up in their stead: an embellishment of an account from the fourth-century writer Solinus of the use of local coal on the altars of her temple.[5]
He flew off the temple of Apollo in London: What????:
Necromancy? divination? temple of Apollo in London?
Since when?
Pushed off a caer castle maybe!!
Divination, wings and death
The tale claims that he also encouraged the practice of necromancy, or divination through the spirits of the dead. Through this practice, he is said to have constructed wings for himself and to have tried to fly to (or from) the temple of Apollo in Trinovantum (London) or Troja Nova (New Troy), but to have been killed when he hit a wall, or to have fallen and been dashed to pieces or broken his neck. He was supposedly buried at New Troy and succeeded by his son, Leir.
Link for photo
The temple of.... \"Apollo\"
Latin league overthrow:
Now, i cannot go in to too much detail unfortunately, as i have already covered this in previous articles, and i am now running out of space.
But basically, the Latin league have just been overthrown by Messenian Romans.
Roman leadership of the league
During the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, the Latins were persuaded to acknowledge the leadership of Rome. The treaty with Rome was renewed, and it was agreed that the troops of the Latins would attend on an appointed day to form a united military force with the troops of Rome. That was done, and Tarquin formed combined units of Roman and Latin troops.[4]
France:
Messian Romans have also invaded France, from the Medes.
Greek colonies
In 600 BC, Ionian Greeks from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia (present-day Marseille) on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, making it the oldest city of France.[4][5] At the same time, some Celtic tribes penetrated the eastern parts (Germania superior) of the current territory of France, but this occupation spread in the rest of France only between the 5th and 3rd century BC.[6]
Spain:
During the exact same period, Celts are being pushed out of Iberia/Spain by Greco-Romans.
History of Iberian peninsula
The Greeks are responsible for the name Iberia, apparently after the river Iber (Ebro). In the 6th century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in Iberia, struggling first with the Greeks, and shortly after, with the newly arriving Romans for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (Latin name of modern-day Cartagena).[7]
War:
Now, i am not saying that the Romans actually conquered Britain as early as 600 BC.
But the war has definitely began, and the effects of this are quite evident even in Loegrian legends were their kings are suddenly speaking Greco-Roman, worshipping Roman gods, getting schooled in enemy territory, flying off temples, worshipping foreign gods, getting made a fool of, and they "suddenly" do not even know their own coherent pseudo history, and the image of Indigenous Loegrians flying off Temples appears quite comical to them,, whilst all the other Celtic legends still attribute their kings to be fighting over territory, building castles, and settlements beginning with Caer, et cetera.
Saxons:
Now, here is where it gets "worse".
Do you remember other articles when i cover the period when the Saxons were kicked out of Southern scandinavia in to German territory, and Greenshield had to go over and help fight them?
Well, during the sack of Rome in in 387 BC, when Brennius, the King of Albany, allied with Gauls and Scandinavians, pushed the Romans out of Gaul, found themselves up against a "surprise foe".
The saxons have only went and allied themselves with the Romans!
And they attacked Brenniuses army!
Conqueror of Rome
Following their unification, Belinus and Brennius merged their armies into one great one and invaded Gaul. After a year of warfare, the joint army managed to subject all the Frankish kingdoms in Gaul to their authority. Now with an even greater army, Belinus lead his great army to Italy and threatened to invade Rome. Outside Rome, the two consuls, Gabias and Porsenna, sued for peace and offered wealth, tribute, and hostages as a sign of their submission. Belinus and Brennius accepted and took their great army to Germany. Soon after this movement north, Rome broke the treaty and marched north, and Brennius went to fight the Romans while Belinus remained at war with the Germans (who were being helped by various other Italian troops).
Temple of concord:
And it would have been the temple of concord, according to more reliable legendary accounts.
But even the Temple of Concord is Roman.
Legend
He reigned in peace and prosperity for forty years then died and was buried in the Temple of Concord, a tribute to his laws, which resided in Trinovantum. His death sparked another civil war between his two sons, Belinus and Brennius.
submitted by StevenStevens43 to AhrensburgCulture [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]


2020.09.09 14:00 rusticgorilla Trump's Election Day vaccine "miracle"

Welcome, dear readers, to my semi-regular coronavirus roundup.
Housekeeping:

EDIT: TRUMP ADMITTED TO KNOWING DANGER OF COVID WEEKS BEFORE ACTING

Bob Woodward's new book reveals that Trump was aware that the coronavirus was dangerous and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus" even as he publicly downplayed the threat and failed to act to save lives. (article now updated with audio of Trump's interview)
"This is deadly stuff," Trump told Woodward on February 7.
In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. "Pretty amazing," Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times "more deadly" than the flu.
Trump also admitted to intentionally downplaying the threat:
"I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

Election day vaccine

A group of nine leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies pledged on Tuesday to only seek approval for Covid-19 vaccines demonstrated to be safe and effective.
The pledge comes as Trump hypes the possibility of a vaccine before Election Day. His timeline has been pushed forward from “by the end of the year” to “before November 1st” and, most recently, “during the month of October.”
During his Labor Day press-briefing-turned-campaign-event, Trump said: "[It's] going to be done in a very short period of time -- could even have it during the month of October” (clip).
Trump went on to explicitly ties the vaccine to his re-election schedule: “We'll have the vaccine soon, maybe before a special date. You know what date I'm talking about” (clip).
Despite saying the quiet part out loud himself, the president tried to cast Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the ones politicizing the vaccine process: “They’re going to make the vaccine into a negative… They’re saying ‘wow, Trump’s pulled this off, let’s disparage the vaccine.’ That’s so bad for this country, that’s so bad for the world to even say that and that’s what they’re saying” (clip). Unfortunately, many media outlets have portrayed the issue as a “both sides” argument.
Federal officials and health experts say Trump’s Election-oriented timeline is unlikely. NPR spoke with Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser for the administration's vaccine development program, who said he expects to have "enough vaccine to immunize the U.S. population by the middle of 2021.”
Case in point, development on the vaccine Trump was rumored to be betting on, the AstraZeneca-Oxford project, was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant.
But the point may not be to have a vaccine fully available to the public; Trump can simply claim the “deep state” is holding things up, blaming Biden/Harris for the pandemic under his watch. Furthermore, experts say there is no way our government and existing infrastructure will be ready to distribute, administer, and track doses by November. Health departments will also need an infusion of federal aid, a proposal that seems out of reach with a Republican-controlled Senate afraid to spend any more money during the pandemic.
...many health departments are so overwhelmed with the current costs of the pandemic — such as for testing and contact tracing — that they can’t reserve money for the vaccine work to come. Health departments will need to hire people to administer the vaccines and systems to track them, and pay for supplies such as protective medical masks, gowns and gloves, as well as warehouses and refrigerator space.

America alone

Meanwhile, the U.S. is backing down from the global fight against the pandemic, further enshrining Trump’s “America First” perspective into official policy. The Trump administration declined to join a global effort to develop, manufacture, and equitably distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in part because the World Health Organization is involved. U.S. allies including Japan, Germany, and the European Commission back the effort.
“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” said Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House.
  • Further reading: The Trump administration said it won't pay more than $60 million in dues it owes to the World Health Organization.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, in charge of distributing global assistance related to the pandemic, is shutting down its only pandemic-focused task force. Other agency bureaus and divisions will take on its functions.

Sturgis comes home

South Dakota (+120%), Iowa (+81%), and North Dakota (+66%) have seen the largest 2-week increase in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, compared to the two weeks before.
These three states were also the “epicenter” of the Sturgis motorcycle rally last month. The event packed nearly 500,000 people into a small town in South Dakota, with rallygoers attending from - and returning to - all around the country. Photos and reports from Sturgis documented a startling lack of face masks and social distancing precautions.
According to a new study, over 250,000 coronavirus cases can be contributed to the rally. Assuming a cost of $46,000/case, the authors estimated the rally cost $12.2 billion. “This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend,” they write.
SD, IA, and ND do not have statewide face mask mandates. In fact, the Dakotas are two of just five states that do not allow local officials to require masks (the others are ID, MO, and OK). Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has been told by the White House that the state’s outbreak is the steepest in the nation and urged officials to require mask-wearing statewide. Reynolds has yet to do so.

Alabama schools

Alabama has the fourth-most daily new cases per 100k people (after ND, SD, and IA) despite a statewide face mask order. The state has largely lifted all social distancing measures and has encouraged schools to reopen with in-person classes and sports. According to a NYT database, four-year universities in Alabama have over 4,000 coronavirus cases just weeks after opening.
The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa accounts for over 1,300 of the cases. Professors at the school were reportedly told by the administration not to talk about the outbreak - not even to inform students if someone in their class tests positive. The mayor of Tuscaloosa let bars near the university reopen on Tuesday.
  • Further reading: Alabama is starting to see a payoff from its mask mandate, in place since mid-July. New covid cases have been cut in half over the past month and coronavirus patients admitted to hospitals fell to the lowest level since June.
  • Remember the news articles praising Trump’s new “tone” on masks? During Monday’s press conference, Trump tried to bully a reporter into taking off his face mask when asking a question (clip). The reporter, Jeff Mason of Reuters, refused. Apparently, this annoyed Trump so much that he was still griping about it on Twitter Tuesday (clip).

Trump pushes for sports

After weeks of haranguing schools to bring back sports, Trump has reportedly offered Big Ten football teams access to the national government’s reserve of rapid COVID-19 tests.
The new, cheaper […] tests could be the key that unlocks the door back to the Horseshoe and stadiums around the conference. And the White House might be willing to assist in that effort by potentially designating part of its supply to the Big Ten after buying 150 million rapid tests last week from Abbott Laboratories.
The president is so attached to the idea of college football resuming that he is pushing the Big Ten conference to go ahead without the participation of three schools, blaming the governors of Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland for the conference’s vote to cancel.

Mitch plays games

The Republican-controlled Senate is planning on voting on a scaled-down coronavirus relief package as early as this week. The “skinny” bill is unlikely to become law as Democrats feel it does not adequately address the magnitude of the crisis the nation is facing. McConnell is hoping a Senate vote on coronavirus aid - any aid - will help vulnerable Republicans up for re-election.
The Republican bill is expected to include a federal unemployment benefit, another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, and more money for coronavirus testing and schools, as well as liability protections from lawsuits related to the virus. McConnell didn't release a price tag for the forthcoming bill, but it is expected to be at least $500 billion — half of the $1 trillion package Republicans previously unveiled in late July.
One of the reasons - perhaps the main reason - for the breakdown of relief bill negotiations may be new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who served with Meadows on the Oversight Committee, told The Hill:
“Closing deals is not Mark Meadows’s strong suit. His whole track record is: blow it up… If you ask yourself what’s the difference between April and May, when we did reach big, broad bipartisan consensus, and today, the variable is Mark Meadows.”

Miscellaneous news

Lost in the Sauce was so long this week that I had to omit a couple of sections. I’ll include them here instead.
Immigration: Federal Judge Dolly Gee ordered DHS to cease using hotels as detention facilities for migrant children it seeks to expel from the border.
Gee said the use of hotels for detention purposes violates the Flores agreement because the locations lack sufficient oversight, state licenses to hold minors and standards for the care of young children. Minors have also faced a "woefully inadequate" process to seek the help of lawyers, who have been barred from entering the hotels, Gee added, citing declarations from attorneys who said they struggled to reach detained children.
  • Further reading: “Watchdog confirms botched family reunifications kept migrant children waiting in vans overnight,” NBC; “Trump nominee had role in removing prosecutor opposed to family separations,” Guardian
Immigration: The Trump administration has drafted a proposal that would dramatically expand the number of people required to provide biometrics for their immigration applications, while also increasing the personal information the government can demand, such as eye scans, voice prints, DNA, and photographs for facial recognition.
Immigration: The Border Patrol made a dramatized YouTube video depicting a Spanish-speaking attacker stabbing and killing a man in a dark alley after escaping from U.S. agents - “a clip apparently created to dramatize President Trump’s depiction of migrants as fearsome criminals.” The agency removed the video following backlash.
Environment: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration opened an inquiry earlier this year into whether Trump political appointees illegally weakened rules meant to protect whales from oil industry seismic airgun blasting. Then, just as quietly, it halted the probe.
Environment: The Trump administration proposed a rule change that would make it easier to permit oil and gas drilling operations in national forests. The move comes as a watchdog report reveals the oil and gas industry has been allowed to pay far less than usual to the government for the right to drill on public lands under a controversial Trump administration coronavirus relief policy. Furthermore, the administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, including oil and gas drilling, hazardous fuel pipelines, wind farms, and highway projects in multiple states.
Environment: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposal that would allow the government to deny habitat protections for endangered animals and plants in areas that would see greater economic benefits from being developed — a change critics said could open lands to more energy development and other activities.
World: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials -- the Trump administration's most aggressive move yet to try to deter an ICC investigation into possible war crimes by US military and intelligence officials.
World: How Donald Trump took down the Robert Mueller of Latin America: At the center of the story is an alleged quid pro quo between Donald Trump and Jimmy Morales, a former television comedian who was elected president of Guatemala.
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track [link] [comments]


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2020.08.11 18:05 shanabailey Products that I did NOT add to database today (11.8.2020)

Products that I did NOT add to database today. Check image compilation: https://i.imgur.com/L4lsXR8.jpg . If you want to add an item to Couponsfromchina database, then click on "Add Product" button on https://couponsfromchina.com/
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Compilation image: https://i.imgur.com/L4lsXR8.jpg
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2020.07.29 16:37 NamNguyen56 New news: Moderna's vaccines create a strong immune response

New news: Moderna's vaccines create a strong immune response


New news: Moderna's vaccines create a strong immune response Moderna Inc yesterday said the COVID-19 vaccine they were testing on monkeys showed positive results, helping to create strong immune responses and protecting these individuals from virus infection. SARS-CoV-2.
Modera has released the latest news: The MRNA-1273 vaccine given to primates has been shown to protect the lungs and nose from viral infections and help fight pneumonia in all areas. animals. The conclusions of the Rhesus Macaque monkey trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
These findings seem to be mutually supportive for the results of the AstraZeneca THER COVID-19 vaccine in another similar study conducted by the University of Oxford in collaboration with the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical group (Anglo-Swedish joint venture). ) previous research.
At the same time, the experimental research on animals has shown positive results, helping to strengthen the community's belief about the feasibility of this vaccine, and Moderna has begun to conduct the test on the animal. people.
On July 27, the company started a terminal clinical trial and is expected to test this RNA vaccine for 30,000 healthy volunteers. The positive results after this trial will help pave the way for approval for wider use of the vaccine by the end of this year.
Successful vaccine production is seen as critically important to end an epidemic that has claimed the lives of 655,000 people worldwide to date.
In this pilot study, Moderna injected a dose of 10 micrograms or 100 micrograms into 24 monkeys and did not have any further treatment.
The results of both dosage levels show that efficacy and optimism help prevent viral replication in the lungs and prevent pneumonia. In addition, the results of the dose of 100 micrograms also show more effectiveness in the nose.
Currently, a vaccine that is being evaluated as equally good by the University of Oxford in collaboration with the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca (the Anglo-Swedish joint venture) has also had similar positive results. object.
AstraZenera's vaccine has also been shown to help prevent the virus from wreaking havoc on patients' lungs and also inhibiting the virus's local production.
However, the virus is still able to multiply by an exponential increase in the nose of the patient in the AstraZenera study.
Moderna, which has never made the vaccine to the market, has been given nearly $ 1 billion by the US government for their efforts. The US government is rapidly funding a number of units that have the potential to produce some successful vaccines under the White House's "Operation Warp Speed ​​program."
After being funded by the Government to produce vaccines, Moderna's shares have risen 2%.
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2020.07.23 18:14 jaylenholt [SHARE] Fulfilled Request Megathread 4 FREE DOWNLOAD

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Tufte(self) 4 [Book] The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History(self) 4 [Article] Inventing Brands: Opportunities at the Nexus of Semiotics and Intellectual Property by Conley, J. G.(self) 6 [Chapter] MULTICULTURALISM, OR, THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF MULTINATIONAL CAPITALISM by Slavoj Zizek(self) 5 [Article] Value articulation : A framework for the strategic manage- ment of intellectual property by Conley, James G., Peter M.Bican, and Holger Ernst(self) 3 [Book](JSTOR)Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being by Agustin Fuentes(self) 1 [Book](self) 1 [Book] Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s Map of the Nile and The Nile Journeys in the Book of Travels (Seyahatname) - Dankoff, Tezcan & Sheridan(self) 1 [Article] The Jewels of Adad by FNH Al-Rawi, JA Black(self) 1 [article] A measurement of collective learning effects in Italian high-tech milieux(self) 1 [Article] Parasympathetic activity is reduced during slow-wave sleep, but not resting wakefulness, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome - Fatt et al., 2020(self) 1 [Book] Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Seth van Hooland and Ruben Verborgh(self) 4 [Book] The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy - Edited by Matthew D. Adler and Marc Fleurbaey(self) 4 [Book] The Ostrich Communal Nesting System(self) 1 [Article] Protracted Effects of Ketamine Require Immediate Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Long‐Lasting Desensitization - Jacobson et al., 2020(self) 1 [Book] The Routledge Handbook to the Political Economy and Governance of the Americas by Olaf Kaltmeier et al.(self) 1 [Article] Dispute Resolution Provisions of the Energy Charter by Philippe Pinsolle(self) 1 [Book] Regional Development and Planning for the 21st Century New Priorities, New Philosophies(self) 4 [BOOK] Need a book from Oxford Scholarship online on International law subject.(self) 1 [Book] Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Upper Mantaro and Tarma Drainages, Junín, Peru: Volume 2, The Wanka Region(self) 4 [Book] Varieties of Virtue Ethics - David Carr, James Arthur, Kristján Kristjánsson(self) 4 [Article] Combustion Characteristics of a Swirled Burner Fueled With Waste Cooking Oil(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Beyond pleasure : Freud, Lacan, Barthes' by Margaret Iversen(self) 5 [Article] Empirical Studies of Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Critical Review(self) 3 [Article]The sexual attitudes, behavior, and relationships of women with histrionic personality disorder(self) 2 Midsommar: Thing Theory [Article](self) 6 [Article] Microdosing psychedelics as cognitive and emotional enhancers.(self) 1 [Book] (Taylor&Francis) Human Evolution An Introduction to Man's Adaptations by Bernard Campbell(self) 1 [Article] Changing settlement patterns in the upper Mantaro Valley, Peru(self) 1 [BOOK] Fighting for Abortion Rights in Latin America Social Movements, State Allies and Institutions - Cora Fernández Anderson(self) 1 [Chapter] from the book The Crimean War: 1853–1856 Winfried Baumgart chapter 1 , 3 ,18(self) 1 [Book] Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America -Joan Kee(self) 3 [Article] Forensic medical evaluation of children who present with suspected sexual abuse: How do we know what we know? by Grace Wong(self) 4 [book] Grammatical Voice — Fernando Zúñiga and Seppo Kittilä(self) 2 [Article]Naturally occurring 5′ preS1 deletions markedly enhance replication and infectivity of HBV genotype B and genotype C (supplementary materials)(self) 1 [Book] Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments (International) 3rd Edition(self) 2 [Book] Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction: Materials, Finishes, and Details by Steven Bliss(self) 2 [Book] Green Logistics: Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Logistics(self) 1 [Article] Black Codes and Slave Codes by Nakia D. Parker(self) 1 [Book] Marsh's Becoming a Teacher(self) 4 [Book] Germans Against Nazism: Nonconformity, Opposition and Resistance in the Third Reich: Essays in Honour of Peter Hoffmann by Francis R. Nicosia and Lawrence D. Stokes(self) 4 [Chapter] The Standard Story and Its Rivals(self) 1 [BOOK]Agrarian and Other Histories Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri - Edited by Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik(self) 1 [Book] Regional modernities : the cultural politics of development in India. Ed. K. Sivaramakrishnan; Arun Agrawal(self) 1 [Chapter] Damping in Structures(self) 1 [Book] Gerontología y geriatría: valoración e intervención. Editorial Médica Panamericana. José Carlos Millán-Calentí(self) 1 [Book] Lotman's Cultural Semiotics and the Political - Makarychev & Yatsyk (2017)(self) 2 [Book] (Brill) The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)(self) 1 [Book] Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin by Sudha Rajagopalan(self) 4 [BOOK] Decolonizing Theory: Thinking across Traditions by Aditya Nigam (1st edition, Bloomsbury India)(self) 3 [Request] [Article] Cell-by-Cell Deconstruction of Stem Cell Niches(self) 1 [Book] Social research methods- fifth edition, Bryman, Alan (2016)(self) 4 [Book]Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870(self) 1 [Book] PC-Forensik Christoph Willer(self) 1 [Book] Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience(self) 4 [book] American Communism and Black Americans by Philip Foner(self) 4 [Book] Marcus Franke : War and Nationalism in South Asia The Indian State and the Nagas(self) 8 [BOOK] Natural Resources, Extraction and Indigenous Rights in Latin America. Exploring the Boundaries of Environmental and State-Corporate Crime in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico(self) 1 [Book] International Human Rights Law (3rd edn) Edited by Daniel Moeckli - Oxford University Press(self) 4 [Book] Participatory Heritage, Edited by Henriette Roued-Cunliffe , Andrea Copeland(self) 4 [BOOK] Political Representation in Southern Europe and Latin America Before and After the Great Recession and the Commodity Crisis - André Freire, Mélany Barragán, Xavier Coller, Marco Lisi, Emmanouil Tsatsanis(self) 4 [BOOK] Latin America and Policy Diffusion From Import to Export - Osmany Porto de Oliveira, Cecilia Osorio Gonnet, Sergio Montero, Cristiane Kerches da Silva Leite(self) 0 [Book] Sexual behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (1994)(self) 1 [book] Studien zur Hirnpathologie und Psychologie - Pick, Arnold(self) 4 [Other] Special Issue, Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy: Volume 9 Issue 2(self) 4 [BOOK] baby jails: the fight to end the incarceration of refugee children in america/ jstor account??(self) 1 [Journal] Special Issue: Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Volume 9, Issue 2(self) 1 [Book] Blackstone's EU Treaties and Legislation 2019-2020 (20th ed)(self) 3 [article] Deep Graph Kernels(self) 5 [Book] Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora - By Joya Chatterji, David Washbrook(self) 4 [Book] Growth and distribution(self) 1 [BOOK] The Radical Left in Europe in the Age of Austerity - Babak Amini(self) 4 [Book] Political Myth by Christopher Flood (Routledge) (2002)(self) 2 [Article] Robotic Assisted Radical Cystectomy vs Open Radical Cystectomy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis + Niranjan J Sathianathen et al(self) 1 [Book] Folk Art Potters of Japan Beyond an Anthropology of Aesthetics (Routledge) by Brian Moeran(self) 1 [book] Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain(self) 5 [BOOK] Radical Left Movements in Europe - Magnus Wennerhag, Christian Fröhlich, Grzegorz Piotrowski(self) 4 [BOOK] Party System Change, the European Crisis and the State of Democracy - Marco Lisi(self) 5 [BOOK] Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements. Protest in Turbulent Times - Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Ramon A. Feenstra(self) 4 [Book] Attorney-Client Privilege in International Arbitration(self) 1 [Article] An Alternative Ontology of Food Beyond Metaphysics by Lisa Heldke. Published in Radical Philosophy Review, Vol 15, Issue 1, 2012(self) 1 [Book] Bello, Walden 2005 Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire. Zed Books, 2005.(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Book] McQuire, Scott. Crossing the Digital Threshold. Brisbane: Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, 1997.(self) 3 [Book] Request: Migration and the Refugee Dissensus in Europe: Borders, Security and Austerity by Nicos Trimikliniotis.(self) 9 [Article] Masculinity in videogames: the gendered gameplay of Silent Hill(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Truth games : lies, money, and psychoanalysis' by John Forrester, Harvard University Press, 2000(self) 1 [Book] Osterloh, Jörg, und Clemens Vollnhals. NS-Prozesse Und Deutsche Öffentlichkeit: Besatzungszeit, Frühe Bundesrepublik Und DDR.(self) 2
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2020.07.15 03:42 CoinEx_Institution Near Protocol Analysis by CoinEx Ambassador Garet Johan

Near Protocol Analysis by CoinEx Ambassador Garet Johan
Author: Garet Johan, CoinEx Ambassador
Based on San Francisco, California, United States
Founded Date July 1, 2018
NEAR is a sharded, developer-friendly, proof-of-stake blockchain. Put another way, it is like a public community-run cloud platform. That means it is a highly scalable, low cost platform for developers to create decentralized apps on top of.
Functions:
Allow developers to build blockchain native mobile dApps and run it where the users are (mobile phones), giving developers a key onramp into dApps.
Through sharding by state, allow the blockchain to scale close to linearly with the number of nodes in a network.
Allow blockchain entrepreneurs to quickly iterate and come up with successful business models since they both have scalable blockchain and easy access to users via first mobile-native blockchain.
Problems to be solved:
Building better tools for developers
High transactions per second trough sharding technology
More decentralization
Business:
Fundamentally, the NEAR platform is a marketplace between willing participants. On the supply side, operators of the validator nodes and other fundamental infrastructure need to be incentivized to provide these services which make up the “community cloud.” On the demand side, the developers and end-users of the platform who are paying for its use need to be able to do so in a way which is simple, clear and consistent so it helps them.
Micro level to create new business models by directly compensating the developers who create its most useful applications.
Macro level by coordinating the efforts of a broader set of ecosystem participants who participate in everything from education to governance.
Business Model:
NEAR is a protocol and also a platform that uses the blockchain to create a place where developers can use the blockchain where the token has the use of staking and making the governance possible and paid for transaction fees, amongst other things.
Epoch Rewards
Node operators are paid for their service a fixed percentage of total supply as a “security” fee of roughly 4.5% annualized.
Protocol treasury: In addition to validators, the protocol treasury receives 0.5% of total supply annually to continuously re-invest into ecosystem development.
Transaction Costs:
Usage of the network consumes two separate kinds of resources — instantaneous and long term. Instantaneous costs are generated by every transaction because each transaction requires the usage of both the network itself and some of its computation resources. These are priced together as a mostly-predictable cost per transaction, which is paid in NEAR tokens.
COMPUTE AND BANDWIDTH (“GAS”)
Compute (CPU) is a momentary resource spent on executing a transaction. The cost of each CPU instruction is denominated in “gas” units and its price is determined based on the slowly adjusted price of gas (denominated in NEAR tokens)
Storage Costs:
Storage is a long term cost because storing data represents an ongoing burden to the nodes of the network. Storage costs are covered by maintaining minimum balance of NEAR tokens on the account or contract. This provides an indirect mechanism of payment via inflation to validators for maintaining contract and account state on their nodes.
Inflation:
Inflation is the combination of payouts to validators and the protocol treasury minus the collected transaction fees (and a few other NEAR burning mechanics like the name auction. Overall, the maximum inflation is 5%, which can go down over time as network gets more usage and more transactions fees are burned. It’s possible that inflation becomes negative (total supply decreases) if there are enough fees burned.
Security Thresholds:
Some thresholds which provide for good behavior among participants are set using economic incentives.
Economic Stakeholders
Validators: Provide the computational resource and security for the network by running nodes.
Developers: Create the applications which run atop the network
Token Holders: Accounts or applications which maintain token balances
NEAR Foundation: An independent entity which coordinates the governance and technical evolution efforts of the network participants.
Third Party Observers: The observers of the chain who provide extra fraud and bad behavior protection.
Users: Users of applications on the network who do not maintain token balances.
Team Information
The Near team is comprised of competitive programming champions and veterans from several major tech companies, such as Google, Facebook and Niantic. YC alum and CEO Alex Skidanov was the first employee at the sharded database company MemSQL and CTO Illia Polosukhin was a core contributor to Google’s TensorFlow machine learning library while working in their prestigious research division. The Near engineering team includes a 2-time ICPC world champion, 3 gold medalists and multiple finalists plus the business team has deep experience building and scaling technical startups.
Core Members
https://preview.redd.it/i2tn6d3bdxa51.jpg?width=1234&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=41130ce6c95a0e57197faa49ab7aff8d3d771b33

Based on https://near.org/team/ currently there are 44 members mostly European and American.
Roadmap
The only thing related with project Roadmap is from this year 2020.
https://preview.redd.it/nno3zp1gdxa51.jpg?width=633&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3c0645a8f610e17a034890849fe1a5bd244771ab

There were 1,000,000,000 NEAR tokens created at Genesis on April 22, 2020. This will be allocated in the following way, where each category is described in greater detail in the following sections:

Achievements
2019 Achievements
Content
We launched our Whiteboard Series, which features a collection of over 30 deep-dives into various blockchain protocols.
With finalising NEAR’s design, we started our Lunch & Learn Series on YouTube, providing a deep dive into the underlying mechanisms of NEAR protocol.
Alex was live coding core features of the NEAR Protocol in October.
Research
Nightshade: Near Protocol Sharding Design
Near Protocol Randomness Beacon
Fast Finality and Resilience to Long Range Attacks with Proof of Space-Time and
Casper-like Finality Gadget
Doomslug: block confirmation with single round of communication, and a finality gadget with guaranteed liveness
The NEAR Foundation (https://near.foundation) is, at the broadest level, the steward of the *full* NEAR purpose. This foundation is an independent nonprofit entity based in Switzerland whose charter directly contains the words of that Purpose. To fulfill it, the Foundation plays a supporting and coordinating role between the players of the ecosystem. It is the lighthouse which helps keep the ecosystem oriented towards the North Star of that Purpose.
2020
Near`s Protocol MainNet Genesis
MAY 4, 2020
https://near.org/blog/near-mainnet-genesis/
Transaction Data
There isn’t any information about that since NEAR no has any listing exchange
information. But there is the explorer https://explorer.near.org/
Governance Model
Governance defines how the protocol is updated (“Technical Governance”) and how its resources are allocated (“Resource Governance”).
NEAR’s governance defines a Reference Maintainer, which is an entity responsible for technical upgrades to the NEAR network. This entity has been selected to maintain the Reference Implementation and continue to suggest improvements on the specification. All major releases will be protected with community discussion and a veto process (a 2 week challenge period), while smaller bug fixes can be rolled out fast and delivered to node operators.
Resources provided by the network itself to the Protocol Treasury are governed and distributed by the NEAR Foundation. This foundation operates independently and will provide structured and transparent funding for projects and activities that are deemed to be most helpful to the ongoing health of the protocol’s ecosystem. This may include technical projects (like the Reference Maintainer) and nontechnical projects or initiatives that support the commons and the community at large.
Technical Solution
It is well-known that Ethereum, the most used general purpose blockchain at the time of this writing, can only process less than 20 transactions per second on the main chain. This limitation, coupled with the popularity of the network, leads to high gas prices (the cost of executing a transaction on the network) and long confirmation times;
The latter approach, in which the work is split among all the participating nodes, is called sharding. This is how Ethereum Foundation currently plans to scale Ethereum.
In Nightshade we model the system as a single blockchain, in which each block logically contains all the transactions for all the shards, and changes the whole state of all the shards. Physically, however, no participant downloads the full state or the full logical block. Instead, each participant of the network only maintains the state that corresponds to the shards that they validate transactions for, and the list of all the transactions in the block is split into physical chunks, one chunks per shard.

https://preview.redd.it/9yj5pnsmdxa51.jpg?width=985&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26ecb2ec88f0705a827f50f079e585f9caab4238
GitHub Activity
https://preview.redd.it/vv6aebrodxa51.jpg?width=1599&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=74c655856f893d068e794c7c7d8da9fa644f6a33
https://preview.redd.it/86isr68qdxa51.jpg?width=1172&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=22a28ae10434865c00988c71a05aa03219983577
Community Situation
Telegram
Community Channel 2996 members
https://t.me/cryptonear
Medium
There are several writers, so i`ts difficult to precise an exact amount of followers. The
Near`s Blog is more active than Medium
https://medium.com/nearprotocol
Discord
3141 members
Usually 10% members are online
https://discord.com/channels/490367152054992913/504354607838003221
Twitter
https://twitter.com/nearprotocol
Following 751 Followers 25K
https://preview.redd.it/3ha2urbtdxa51.jpg?width=1177&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=14d2716eb01f20fd3f112cee17df5ad17b43c266
WeChat
https://near.org/wechat
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/NEARProtocol/
https://preview.redd.it/t8oocyvvdxa51.jpg?width=840&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=34a3ebce1b5ae26882a58d44d39f8d383bf0f886
Low engagement
Only 333 followers
Competition Analysis
https://preview.redd.it/ed737qoydxa51.jpg?width=1046&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=11ef01e350d5c606d15ad1944ffbf41764e5ec58
There are several companies that use sharding technology in the table below showing the most relevant projects that use them. Near in comparison with their competitors offers a more perfected sharding solution to avoid hash attacks.
Risk Evaluation
https://preview.redd.it/8edqmf01exa51.jpg?width=1543&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7497fe7f94db5e98a887dc3b1eb1a23fd8da6683
https://preview.redd.it/to2vhgb2exa51.jpg?width=1512&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ad7da1440b3119f0a219c14c607e7bbc09af7428
The main risk is that since its foundation in 2018 it has only had institutional and private investors. It is not listed on any exchange, so it has not been tested to market conditions.
It is focused on the flexible development of Dapps with a developer-friendly approach, which in the long run may attract more speed in the development of the project.
The most attractive aspect of the project lies in the possibility of attracting more new developers or developers from other companies related to blockchain technology.
Recently in May they partnered with the University of Washington to hold a Hackathon and collaborated as sponsors for the Future of Blockchain that is a long-form competition for those at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London, Berlin and others to build a blockchain project over 3 months.
https://medium.com/future-of-blockchain-competition/future-of-blockchain-2-summary-and-prizes-e87f3c6f392f
Sources:
https://near.org/downloads/Nightshade.pdf
https://medium.com/quarkchain-official/how-heterogeneous-sharding-empowers-enterprise-e1ca05131009
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/near-0565#section-overview
https://medium.com/nearprotocol/near-ai-near-protocol-8785c9d32096
https://near.org/papers/the-official-near-white-pape#the-future
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190710005723/en/Protocol-Developers-Raise-12.1M-led-Metastable-Accomplice
https://near.org/blog/near-token-supply-and-distribution/
https://near.org/blog/mainnet-roadmap/
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2020.06.26 22:11 wayemason Traffic Calming and Slow Streets, Virtual Canada Day, Park Updates, Coronavirus Update #30 and more

Traffic Calming and Slow Streets, Virtual Canada Day, Park Updates, Coronavirus Update #30 and more

https://preview.redd.it/egz3qw3sab751.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9d2fad13952586a0bff6814d2eede2fef15f2dd5
Hello all,
I got back late Sunday from Montreal, moved my daughter home for the year. She didn’t want to spend a year in an apartment going to school virtually. We are now in isolation for another nine days, so while many of you are enjoying the relaxation of many rules, you won’t see me at meetings or grabbing a coffee until July 5th or so!
I crossed two provincial borders and stopped for gas in a number of towns on the way up and down. I write briefly about it in the Coronavirus update, but spoiler – I am going to wear a mask inside stores and public spaces probably until we get a vaccine, and I share my reasons why.
Traffic Calming and Slow Streets.
I’ve had a lot of folks message asking for Slow Streets on their street. To be clear – the Slow Streets program is not a traffic calming program, it is a COVID-19 related program designed to create a connected network of streets with less through traffic, where any local cars know to be careful because walkers and cyclists will be using the road. The idea is to create a network of streets people can maintain physical (social) distancing on that connect to destinations, like shops, schools, parks, libraries.
So not every street needs to be in this, rather the goal is to connect neighbourhoods.

https://preview.redd.it/95erc1ftab751.png?width=1220&format=png&auto=webp&s=b71a508d38158f652209b5b76c7230daa19768e5
There are currently 27 Slow Streets in the municipal COVID-19 response, shown in orange on the map above.
There will continue to be tweaks, and I expect to see some additions but given reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and no physical university in September, it is not anticipated that the Slow Streets program will materially increase traffic on nearby streets.
This is not to say I don’t think we need traffic calming, we do!
There are three ways to get traffic calming – the traffic calming program, the school program, and as a local street bikeway.
Traffic calming is for residential streets, not for arterials or collectors, though even there you may see some measures like curb extensions (bump-outs) like were done on Young around the Hydrostone, or at Vernon/Jubilee (Jubilee is an arterial). Most often you will see speed humps, which are cheapest and easiest to install. More on Traffic Calming here: https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-sidewalks/road-safety/traffic-calming-for-safer-streets
Council this voted to spend $200,000 a year to put speed humps around schools in school speed zones, and it is being done where there is the most speeding first. It will take about 10-15 years to do them all.
You may also see traffic calming on Local Street Bikeways – such as on streets like Allan and Vernon, to slow cars down and make it safer for bikes.
And finally, a neighbourhood can ask to be assessed for traffic calming. If warranted you are added to the list. https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/transportation/streets-sidewalks/Rankings%20as%20of%20May%208%2C%202020.pdf
The following list of roads are approved for calming in D7 by rank:
60 – Pepperell St – Vernon to Preston 86 – Point Pleasant Dr – Marginal to Fancklyn 110 – Wellington St – South to Inglis 115 – Young Ave – Inglis to Point Pleasant Park 116 – Cedar – Preston to Vernon 123 – Cornwall St – Oxford to Preston 150 – Henry St – Jubilee to Bliss 157 – Preston – Quinpool to Jubilee 158 – Francklyn – Pine Hill to Point Pleasant 169 – Fraser St – Waterloo to Robie 174 – Preston St – Jubilee to Payzant 187 – Roxton Rd – Bellevue Ave to Robie
When I was reviewing this I was pretty impressed – those are all streets with speeding and shortcutting problems. It will take a while to get to them all. There are stand-alone projects but most of these streets will get calming when they get repaved, which is good news for Young Ave and Wellington, both due in the next couple years, and bad news for Pepperell, which was paved just two years ago.
Park Improvements in District 7 Summer 2020
I’m pleased to let residents know that a number of exciting projects are going ahead this summer. Two that are generating a lot of interest are court and field improvements in Connrose Park and the renewal of the south or old side of the skate park in the Common.
Work has commenced renewing the aging southern part of the skate park. The northern part of the park is expected to stay open throughout construction. Construction access will be from pool building parking lot, along the walkway in to about the midpoint of the skate park. A temporary gravel ramp will be built from the walkway grade to the asphalt grade for construction access. There will be traffic control people on the site to direct pedestrians and skate park users. Barricades will be in place as required.”
Connrose Park is getting renewal of the tennis courts and work to improve the ballfield continues. The outfield fence has been improved and some high visibility protection added at the top of the fence to keep kids from getting cut if they leap for a fly ball. A batting cage is being installed, though the exact site is to be determined. It will not be placed next to the tennis court.
The batting cage was something that will compliment the dugouts that were installed a few years ago and the fence and field improvements this year.
There are too many other park improvements to list here but you should see work continue despite COVID on projects in most parks in the District. I am hoping to have a few announcements about schoolyards and playgrounds to share with you later this summer.
Hollis Street Bike Lane
Soon the Hollis St protected bike lane will be complete (pictured above)! If you’re cycling, enjoy the comfort and safety of a AAA (all ages and abilities) bike facility. If you’re driving, get comfortable with new measures, including no right turns on red onto Hollis: http://halifax.ca/hollis
Muffler Noise and Traffic Safety Act
I am getting a lot of complaints about muffler noise. I know it is annoying but the municipality is waiting on the Province to change the law, or rather adopt some regulations for the law they changed 2 years ago. Area MLA Labi Kousoulis wrote to me and said this “I checked with TIR they are still working through the regulations. The time frame remains the same they are about one year away from passing the regulation changes.” So unfortunately until these changes occur, there really is nothing the municipality or police can do.
E-Scooters
I need to update and let you know the information I shared on scooters a month ago is incorrect. Police have been in discussion for a while now with the HRM Traffic Authority and City Legal about the use of the e-scooters. Basically you can’t roller skate or skateboard on a street or roadway and you must wear a helmet on a scooter, skateboard, inline skates, roller skates, and other devices wherever you ride them.
An amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act was sought in 2003, at that time to deal with scooters and in-line skates, it was rewritten but never proclaimed. When I wrote that scooters were not allowed on the road, we all thought it had been proclaimed. Police and city legal are trying to find out why it was never made law, hoping it was a simple oversight.
Since the revisions to the MVA were never proclaimed there is no authority for a municipality to ban or control the use of scooters, in line skates, roller skates or other devices from the roadway. Since 2003, we have seen technology change drastically, there has been an amendment to include “personal transporters” but that speaks directly and only to devices such as Segways. The Act doesn’t speak to sidewalks or bike lanes at all. Legal is currently looking to give us a definition of a bike lane and the subsequent legality of the use of scooters, etc in them.
I wish I had better answers, but both scooters and mufflers require action by the province. You can find out who your MLA is and how to contact them here: https://wayemason.ca/district-7/

Public Hearings and Meetings

Public Information Session – The Governor 1441 Hollis Street Monday June 29 7pm-9pm Online
A pre-application has been submitted for a Substantive Site Plan Approval for The Governor. More information on the development can be found HERE https://killamreit.com/sites/default/files/Gov%20Plaza%20Posters-09June2020.pdf
The public comment period is now open for this application. A virtual Public Open House is being held on Monday June 29, 2020 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Instruction and information on public access for the Open House will be posted on this website.
Alternatively, public comment can be provided by calling WSP Canada Inc. at 902-536-0913, or by emailing [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Please note that the deadline for public comment is Monday, July 13, 2020.
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://www.gotomeet.me/WSP_PLAUD/the-governor—site-plan-approval-application%C2%A0
You can also dial in using your phone Canada: +1 (647) 497-9373 Access Code: 932-665-933

Community Events

Hike for Hospice Saturday June 27, 2020 Virtual
Hike for Hospice program has gone virtual. Members of the public can sign up as an individual or as a team and fundraise amongst their friends, families and coworkers in support of Hospice Halifax and it’s operations. Come event day on June 27, the participants will go on a hike in their own communities and share their experience online with the hashtag #hike4hospicehalifax. For more info on the event, please visit: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/hospice-society-of-greater-halifax/p2p/hike4hospicehalifax/
Virtual Canada Day Celebrations Wednesday July 1, 2020 Online
Join in the municipality’s first virtual Canada Day celebrations!
Halifax was selected by Canadian Heritage and CBC to take part in a national virtual Canada Day celebration, and will be featured as part of the Ottawa national coverage – showcasing our people, city, and community.
This year marks the 153rd anniversary of the founding of Canada and with physical distancing measures and gathering limitations remaining in place, the Halifax Regional Municipality will be hosting celebrations with contests, music performances, and activities for the whole family.
The broadcast will begin with activities from Bedford Days featuring music and entertainment for all ages.
Premiering on YouTube and Eastlink Community TV at 7pm
Featuring:
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency – Full Concert Performance
  • Classified
  • Jah’Mila
  • Reeny Smith
  • Mo Kenney
  • Owen O Sound Lee
  • and Ben Caplan
More surprise guests and special moments including a Piece created by Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – Mawita’nej (gather).
Whether you tune in from the living room or with your smartphones by the backyard bonfire, let us provide the music and great Canadian stories to keep your bbq rocking.
Also, for the first time ever Ottawa’s Canada Day Celebrations are going Coast to Coast to Coast. CBC will be doing a daytime family broadcast at 1pm AST and an evening program at 9pm AST. You’ll have to wait and see what Halifax has planned for this special moment!
CENTRE Plan Package B Surveys Until August 31st Online
The surveys are still online! Have your say about the farthest-reaching changes to how our community will grow and change in over 50 years. The surveys represent the key themes in Centre Plan Package B. Members of the public can complete all surveys, or select those of greatest interest to them. Each survey contains some background information, but for those who wish to dig-in deeper, we also included links to an introductory video, additional summary fact sheets, presentations, an interactive map, and the full planning documents.
The surveys can be accessed from the Centre Plan webpage at www.centreplan.ca. Any questions can be directed to [email protected] or 311. The surveys will be open until August 31st.

Coronavirus Update #30 – Biweekly updates, Provincial Restrictions, Transit, Rec, and Legal Aid for those facing eviction

As I said above I drove to Montreal and back and stopped in a number of places for gas, coffee, and biology. I always wore a mask when out of the van, and I wore a disposable glove when pumping gas. I had a medical grade sanitizer my wife bought at a pharmacy to clean my hands every time I got back in the car. I brought three days’ worth of food in a cooler and tried not to leave the van or hotels, which all had kitchenettes. I was super paranoid.
No one outside of Montreal and Halifax was wearing a mask and physical (social) distancing was minimal. People looked at me funny for wearing a mask. I wanted to joke on the return leg “I was in Montreal 6 hours ago, do you WANT me to take my mask off?”
This freaks me out. Folks the pandemic is not over. Case growth is out of control internationally. The USA is a basketcase. We cannot go “back to normal” and pretend it is fine. Until there is a vaccine or medical treatment we need to remain vigilant and take precautions.
For me, that means limiting trips to “need to dos” not “want to dos” and making sure I am wearing a mask if I am going into a store, public space, or taking transit. It means having washing my hands a lot and carrying hand sanitizer.
This [article](http://%20https//www.sfgate.com/science/article/Study-100-face-mask-use-could-crush-second-15333170.php), this[ **study**](https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/10/2009637117), and the WHO all say masks are essential in stopping the spread.
I want to avoid or minimize a second wave, and the way to do that is masking up in Home Depot or Superstore or grabbing a coffee from Other Bean.
Be smart, stay safe, and consider others. This ain’t over, and our current liberty is dependent on us keeping the virus from gaining the upper hand. Please, consider wearing a mask.
Below is a brief summary of municipal updates, but the complete set of updates can be found, as always, at halifax.ca/coronavirus
Transit
Beginning in early July, Halifax Transit will start the installation of temporary polycarbonate shields on conventional buses, to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The shields will be installed next to the bus operators and will act as a physical barrier to promote safe distancing.
Halifax Transit staff designed the shields to meet the unique requirements of each style of Halifax Transit bus. The installation process is expected to take a few weeks to complete.
Buses and ferries continue to operate on a reduced schedule.
Fare collection remains suspended until further notice, however, the polycarbonate shields will allow for the safe reintroduction of fare collection in the future.
As service levels increase and the volume of passengers grows, we recognize there will be challenges to maintaining physical distancing on buses and ferries. In support of public health recommendations, we are strongly encouraging all Halifax Transit riders to wear masks when possible. Those who are feeling ill should not use any transit service until their health returns to normal.
Pools and Splashpads
The municipality will be reviewing the details of today’s announcement by the province regarding further lifting of public health restrictions. Staff will be reviewing these new guidelines and establishing a phased plan for reopening that meets all public health requirements. At this time, all municipally operated pools will remain closed until further notice. More information on the potential reopening of pools, both indoor and outdoor, will be issued in the coming days.
Municipal partner recreation facilities (i.e. Canada Games Centre, Cole Harbour Place, Zatzman Sportsplex, etc.) have started the first phase of reopening. Please contact each facility directly for information about pool re-opening dates and protocols.
The following splashpads will reopen on Monday, June 29:
• Halifax Common • George Dixon Centre • Isleville Street • Westmount
The Sackville (Kinsmen) splashpad is under repair and will be reopening July 6. Due to construction in the area, the Bayers-Westwood splashpad is anticipated to open in mid-July.
As a reminder, all municipal beaches are open and lifeguards will be onsite from July 6 to August 31.
Group sizes with sports, park facilities and events
With newly lifted restrictions on group sizes for gatherings, staff are reviewing current restrictions and assessing the impact for all facilities and programs.
July day camp registration is currently underway, and there will be no changes for these camps. Staff will assess whether it is possible to increase the number of spots for August day camps.
Group gathering public health restrictions outside of your group of 10 still apply to all sport fields, sport courts, ball diamonds and playgrounds. Physical distancing should continue to be maintained, and residents are reminded to follow all public health directives.
Fitness Centres at the following municipal facilities will open on Monday, July 6, 2020:
• Captain William Spry Community Centre • Sackville Sports Stadium • Musquodobit Harbour Recreation Centre
These locations were approved to open as they are the largest municipally-operated fitness facilities. All other fitness centres will remain closed until further notice, and staff will share reopening plans with the public once they are confirmed.
Lifeguards and Beaches
As an update to the return of lifeguards to beaches this summer, we are pleased to announce that after a thorough recruitment and training process, we will have sufficient lifeguards to meet our required numbers for beaches, with one exception. At this point, we have been unsuccessful in recruiting lifeguards for Malay Falls Beach. This location is traditionally challenging for recruitment and does not tend attract a lot of swimmers. Staff will continue to work on options to see if we can get someone who is interested in guarding that site. If it is not possible to find lifeguards for that location, there will be signage about swimming at your own risk at that location, as well as all other sites.
Lifeguards will be stationed at municipal beaches from July 6 to August 31. All municipal lifeguards hold National Lifeguard certification and are equipped with a variety of emergency supplies to help with first aid and water rescues.
For more information, visit halifax.ca/summeraquatics
Are you facing COVID-19 related rental arrears?
The Dalhousie Legal Aid Service (DLAS) is looking to hear from tenants who owe rental arrears due to Covid-19 related loss of income.
On June 23 2020, Kevin Russell, Executive Director of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia, estimated that landlords will file around 1500 applications on residential tenancy matters once the Province effectively lifts the eviction ban. The ban will be lifted when Access Nova Scotia locations are reopened, which could happen any day now.
IPOANS opposes an extension to the eviction ban because the landlord industry, whose contribution to Nova Scotia’s GDP in 2016 was more than $1.3 billion, has lost an estimated $12.5 million in revenue this year.
Landlords want to end the eviction ban – but at what cost?
DLAS wants to hear from you, tenants whose income has be reduced as a result of Covid-19!
Email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) or call 902-423-8105 if you are facing the possibility of a COVID-19 related eviction and are willing to share your story with the public.
submitted by wayemason to halifax [link] [comments]


2020.06.18 18:51 shanabailey Products that I did NOT add to database today (18.6.2020)

Products that I did NOT add to database today. Check image compilation: https://i.imgur.com/L2eZmm7.jpg . If you want to add an item to Couponsfromchina database, then click on "Add Product" button on https://couponsfromchina.com/
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Compilation image: https://i.imgur.com/L2eZmm7.jpg
submitted by shanabailey to couponsfromchina [link] [comments]


2020.06.04 02:18 SherabSamten Housing stimulus misses the biggest opportunity - AFR article

The housing industry will be grateful for the Morrison government's $688 million HomeBuilder package, quietly disappointed at its size and restrictions, and a little bemused by the new emphasis on renovations.
For me, the disappointment is the failure, once again, to address the substantial need for social and affordable housing. Particularly at a time when a Commonwealth government commitment could leverage low-interest rates, spare industry capacity and private sector interest to address the worst undersupply in Australian housing.
It could still happen. The Morrison government could treat social housing independently as infrastructure. But at the moment it appears that the government is helping those who can afford to buy or renovate at the expense of those who never will.
"Not including social housing in a housing stimulus package is negligent," says the chief executive of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski.
To set the scene; new home building in Australia is collapsing. After the four boom years to 2017-18, when the industry started around 225,000 homes a year, starts have fallen to around 165,000 this financial year.
The decline pre-dates COVID-19. The tightening of finance by APRA, Hayne and the banks, the exit of investors, particularly from offshore, the consequent inability to finance apartment projects, and the sheer exhaustion of what had been a substantial undersupply, all contributed.
COVID-19 made it worse. New home sales, as reported by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), slumped 23 per cent in March and April. And the repercussions could last longer, particularly with the borders closed to immigration. In a recent note, Goldman Sachs economist Andrew Boak warned if immigration remained restricted for a year or so, excess supply would "rise materially in the second half of 2020" with the gateway cities of Melbourne and Sydney hardest hit.
Immigration is the big unknown for housing. Many expect the government and the universities to bring back overseas students from next year. Boak sees a rebound in prices and rents in 2021 and 2022 as the government restarts large scale immigration and excess supply is eroded.
Master Builders Australia estimates the industry will start 115,800 new homes in 2020-21 and the HIA predicts just 111,000. Not everyone agrees.
Veteran industry analyst, executive chairman of BIS Oxford Economics, Robert Mellor, thinks housing starts will bottom out at around 135,000 to 145,000 in 2020-21. He would have waited for two more months of post-lockdown activity before pressing the stimulus button.
Robert Lynch, the chairman of homebuilder Tamawood, noted last week his numbers were "coming back to close to what it was pre-COVID."
CoreLogic also has reported significantly improved activity across the market in May. And remember, with current interest rates, housing affordability is at 20-year highs.
Nevertheless, the industry associations foretold a dire collapse in employment for the 1.2 million people working in housing and commercial building, with a multiplier downer for the economy, and the Morrison government, with its "laser focus" on jobs, responded.
Though not to the degree requested by the industry. The package capped at a means-tested grant of $25,000, is below the $40,000, suggested by Master Builders Australia and modelled by EY. And it comes with tight restrictions on time, for contracts from June 4 to the end of December, and with the exclusion of investors.
The focus on renovations would have surprised many in the industry, particularly as many took the opportunity of the COVID-19 lockdown to paint and repair, but it fits the Morrison government's focus on tradies and wider concerns about upgrading the nation's existing housing stock for safety and liveability.
Key issues will be the nature of work funded, the speed local governments fast track development applications, and the ability to renegotiate contracts entered before June 4.
Morrison is well aware of the shortcomings of post-GFC stimulus packages like the National Rental Affordability Scheme, Pink Batts, and the Building the Education Revolution.
"This is not, you know, building school halls and all those sorts of things," he told 2GB's Ben Fordham.
But it is important to learn the right lessons from history. The mistakes of the post-GFC response was not in the ambition but in the execution.
Which brings me back to social housing. Essential accommodation for those on lowest incomes and highest needs is the most undersupplied sector of Australian housing. National Shelter's Pisarski, estimates the current shortfall at around 500,000 homes.
In the aftermath of the GFC, the Rudd government built 20,000 new homes and brought another 80,000 up to modern standards. This week the National Shelter and the Community Housing Industry Association proposed a $7.7 billion Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program to build, or upgrade, 30,000 homes over four years and create around 18,000 full-time-equivalent jobs a year.
In April the CFMEU and Master Builders Australia also suggested a $10 billion social and affordable construction fund to keep a million jobs and deliver a significant social and economic dividend.
"We could provide homes to tens of thousands of people at a time when housing security has never been so important," said CFMEU National Construction Secretary, Dave Noonan.
Housing All Australians has commissioned the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute to assess the long-term social and economic costs of the affordable housing failure, funded by a range of firms including Stockland, ISPT, Frasers, AV Jennings, Plenary, Assemble and Metricon.
The current crisis provides a rare opportunity, with community goodwill, low-interest rates and spare capacity, to address the 30-year decline in social housing and deliver a new era of truly affordable homes for those unable to own, or even rent.
It is the biggest challenge in housing.
- Robert Harley is a former property editor of The Australian Financial Review. He is on [email protected]
submitted by SherabSamten to AusFinance [link] [comments]


2020.05.15 22:00 ModernJazz-2K20 A Beginner's Guide to the New Jazz Generation Jazzwise

This is a great place to start if you're not in tune with modern era jazz artists.

Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon-Jones, Moses Boyd
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SEED ENSEMBLE

Driftglass

Jazz re:freshed
Cassie Kinoshi (as), Miguel Gorodi, Sheila Maurice-Grey (t), Chelsea Carmichael (ts, f), Joe Bristow (tb), Theon Cross (tba), Joe Armon-Jones, Sarah Tandy (p, Fender Rhodes), Shirley Tetteh (g), Xana, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Mr. Ekow (v), Rio Kai (b) and Patrick Boyle (d)
Though Cassie Kinoshi is fully aware of 1960s American civil rights suites such as her alto icon Jackie McLean’s It’s Time!, they didn’t directly influence this debut, with its distinctly British roots and concerns. Perhaps the most concerted attempt so far at a major album from a generation of young London players more attuned to performing, Driftglass draws on Afrofuturism for its hopeful scope, our musical melting-pot for its sound, and Kinoshi’s classical studies for its structure.
Social engagement has again inspired ambitious black American music in these fractious, urgent times, but local racial oppression and liberation animate these songs. ‘The Darkies’ suggests post-war British films’ seedy, street-level jazz noir even as Debussy’s ‘The Golliwog’s Cakewalk’ threads through the tune, trailing both beauty and its title’s archaic presumptions. Poet Xana adds transcendent tower-block dreams in which, “my heart bursts out of my chest like a rocket/As I gather stars in my pocket”. Grenfell Tower’s stubborn symbol of murderous social schism stands accusingly at the record’s heart, as ‘Wake (for Grenfell)’ turns a Langston Hughes line into a mournful work-song chant, pointedly soured by Kinoshi’s tart alto tone.
The SEED Ensemble is another permutation of the London scene’s currently omnipresent players, and their individuality is crucially encouraged. Sarah Tandy splits keyboard duties with Joe Armon-Jones, but it’s her Rhodes’ glistening, slow flow which adds impressionistic colour, on ‘Mirrors’ especially. Lacking the obvious thematic baggage elsewhere, that tune floats free into its own atmosphere. Both the songs’ rigid overall structures and occasionally slack development hold Driftglass back from greatness. But Kinoshi’s debut bursts with often achieved ambition, and time is on her side. Nick Hasted
Cassie Kinoshi Interview

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NÉRIJA

Blume

Domino
Nubya Garcia (ts, f), Sheila Maurice-Grey (t), Cassie Kinoshi (as), Rosie Turton (tb), Shirley Tetteh (g), Rio Kai (b) and Lizy Exell (d)
This long-awaited debut album from one of the most exciting young groups on the UK scene sounds like classic Blue Note with a contemporary London twist. On ‘Riverfest’, ‘Partner Girlfriend Lover’ and ‘Unbound’ strong melodies, richly-scored for the horns, and clever orchestral touches meet bustling grooves stitched with the distinctive silvery lines and creative chord-work of guitarist Shirley Tetteh.
‘Last Straw’ brings funk-rock grit and a bracing solo from trumpeter Sheila MauriceGrey (you could hear it in a 1970s detective movie or the soundtrack to Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead). And Cassie Kinoshi’s ‘EU (Emotionally Unavailable)’ goes hard, leaving acres of space for the rhythm section who lay down a loose, grungy groove while Kinoshi’s alto spits anguished fire. Later on they shout out hip-hop as Nubya Garcia’s flute whirls through a cloud of effects. The title-track – all ethereal vocals and fluttering guitar – is split in two and returns at the very end. It’s a blissful conclusion to an excellent debut. Thomas Rees
Nerija Interview


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MAISHA

There Is A Place

Brownswood
Jake Long (d), Nubya Garcia (ts, f), Amané Suganami (p, wurlitzer), Shirley Tetteh (g), Twm Dylan (b), Tim Doyle (perc), Yahael Camara-Onono (perc), Axel Kaner-Lindstrom (t), Johanna Burnheart, Barbara Bartz (vn), Tom Oldfield (clo), Madi Aafke Luimstra (vla) and Maria Zofia Osuchowska (hp)
Maisha brings together some of the stars of the young London jazz scene under the leadership of drummer and composer Jake Long. There Is A Place is their debut album and it’s one hell of an opening statement – echoing the work of spiritual jazz greats, including Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, and working in the infectious rhythms of West Africa.
‘Osiris’ is a dazzling start – a sonic Big Bang that unleashes the album’s lush, richly-textured soundworld. ‘Azure’ and the title-track evoke the tranquility of a Japanese garden, with Garcia adding wisps of flute; while ‘Eaglehurst/The Palace’ and ‘Kaa’ are swaggering and edgy. Here the band’s percussionists and the ticking guitar riffs and jabbing chord work of Shirley Tetteh come to the fore – bringing insinuations of Afro-beat, highlife and funk.
Long has also written some superb arrangements for a guest chamber ensemble, which make the album sound vast. The strings add folky sighs and shimmering clouds of dissonant notes, building beneath the soloists and carrying them higher. There will be inevitable comparisons with Kamasi Washington. Personally, I find Long’s writing more interesting and every bit as cosmic. One of my albums of the year. Thomas Rees


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THE COMET IS COMING

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

Impulse!
Shabaka Hutchings (s), Dan Leavers (ky, syn) and Max Hallett (d)
The Comet Is Coming’s name alludes to apocalypse and a sense of human proportion in the cosmos, diving into religious and scientific concepts of end-times and rebirth. This second album confirms UK jazz’s pop culture resurrection while they’re at it. Where Sons of Kemet add Afro-Caribbean roots and ritual to current London music, Shabaka Hutchings helps reach for future visions here.
Updating spiritual jazz for a sci-fi age, Dan Leavers’ east London studio was fully utilised in his and Max Hallett’s flowing, precise production. But though Blade Runner’s soundtrack sometimes inspires Leavers’ synth glides, this is human, not cyborg, music. Big bang-expansive, relentless and restless, with Hutchings’ sax an attacking, integrated element in a bigger sonic picture, it could be played at a rave or place of worship, festival field or urban club. During ‘Blood of the Past’, a clearing appears for poet-rapper Kate Tempest to plead for, “a more soulful connection to land, and to lovers”; “Unable to listen, we keep speaking,” she adds, in an incantation against denatured life which resolves into a climbing Hutchings cry, beats slamming as if into soil.
The dance-floor transcendence of ‘Super Zodiac’ features some of Hutchings’ most exciting playing, his dancer’s feint into its final climactic seconds sending the whole album over the edge. Offering off-beat grime accents elsewhere, Hallett is the Elvin Jones-like energy core of ‘The Universe Wakes Up’ as Hutchings ascends, untroubled, cruising between modal hyper-speed and free rawness, Coltrane rising into view like a lost star. Nick Hasted


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JOE ARMON-JONES

Turn To Clear View

Brownswood Recordings
Joe Armon-Jones (ky, syn), Moses Boyd, KwAkE BaSs (d), David Mrakpor, Mutale Chashi (b), Oscar Jerome (g), Nubya Garcia, James Mollison (ts), Dylan Jones (t), Asheber, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jehst, Obongjayar and Luke Newman (v)
Fans of Ezra Collective and Nubya Garcia will be familiar with Joe Armon-Jones' soulful keyboard playing, but his second album also establishes him as a gifted composer and producer. Created in collaboration with Maxwell Owin, Turn To Clear View is a beautifully crafted journey through jazz-infused neo-soul, dub, Afro-beat, broken beat and hip-hop that feels like a wander through Armon-Jones’ record collection or a cult mixtape called something like ‘Sounds of London 2019’.
There are some big tunes here, among them ‘Yellow Dandelion’ (a standout feature for vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow) and ‘Gnawa Sweet’, with its mellow horn lines and killer outro (bassist Mutale Chasi and drummer KwAkE BaSs really dig in). ‘Icy Roads (Stacked)’ is blurry and euphoric, ‘You Didn’t Care’ is a powerful tenor feature for Nubya Garcia and ‘The Leo & Aquarius’ is a neo-soul jam sandwiching a few choice verses from rapper Jehst.
It’s as much about the little details though: the electronic murmurs and snippets of endearingly mindless studio chat, spectral field recordings and blurred sax arpeggios (very To Pimp A Butterfly) that segue the tracks and give the whole thing such a wonderful sense of flow. Turn To Clear View is full of personality, which ties in nicely with the album’s message, hinted at in ‘Yellow Dandelion’ and confirmed by vocalist Obongjayar’s husky encouragement on the final track: “Be yourself”. Thomas Rees


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ASHLEY HENRY

Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

Sony
Ashley Henry (p, ky), Theo Croker, Keyon Harrold (t), Judi Jackson (v), Sparkz (rap), Daniel Casimir (b), Eddie Hick, Marijus Aleska (d), Artie Zaitz (g), Makaya McCraven (d), Binker Golding (ts) and Moses Boyd (d)
London pianist Ashley Henry has made significant steps forward over the last five years or so by holding down several invaluable gigs as a sideman with fine British and American bandleaders – Theo Croker, Keyon Harrold, Jean Toussaint among others – as well as developing his own music. This debut long player is very much a consolidation of his progress to date and the presence of the aforementioned as well as some of the young Turks of UK jazz – Binker & Moses, Daniel Casimir, Eddie Hick – makes this a transatlantic affair with a contemporary edge.
As he made clear on last year’s Easter EP, Henry is plugged into the populist source of black music and the marked hip-hop and soul sensibilities of the material reflect the inspiration drawn from the likes of Robert Glasper among others. A confident yet measured soloist, Henry is also a producer who is concerned with the challenge of both songwriting and beat-making, and some of the most accomplished pieces on the record see him balance these skills with guests such as Mancunian rapper Sparkz and London-based American vocalist Judi Jackson. An auspicious account-opener from a talented player whose commercial appeal does not come at the expense of his artistic integrity. Kevin Le Gendre
Ashley Henry Interview


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BINKER GOLDING

Abstractions Of Reality Past & Incredible Feathers

Gearbox
Binker Golding (ts), Joe Armon-Jones (p), Daniel Casimir (b) and Sam Jones (d)
Saxophonist Golding shows his versatility on an enjoyable set. This is a markedly different proposition to the duos formed with Moses Boyd and Elliot Galvin insofar as there is less abstraction in the material, and the additional resources of the quartet are deployed with suitable flair and restraint.
Mostly set at ambling mid-tempo, the tunes are all Golding originals that show the strength of the blues as an ongoing source of musical inspiration as the leader investigates its various related idioms, from 1960s hard bop to 1990s neo-soul, all the while retaining a strong composer’s signature. Themes are clearly mapped, sometimes with a dancing quarter-noted led character, sometimes with more wistful long tones, and Golding’s improvisations are well-paced developments that build steadily rather than rushing towards a crescendo, allowing effective input from a rhythm section whose cohesion has been honed through extensive work with artists such as Nubya Garcia.
The occasional forays into reggae-inflected territory also appeal, and if Sam Jones’ crackling rimshots are particularly resonant then the imprint of legendary engineer James Farber, who mixed this in New York after the session was done at Abbey Road, is worth noting. At its peak this album has some of the modernist gospel finesse of Billy Harper, but Golding asserts himself convincingly as a writer-player who has an appealing voice of his own. Kevin Le Gendre


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THEON CROSS

Fyah

Gearbox
Theon Cross (tba), Nubya Garcia (ts), Moses Boyd (d), plus Wayne Francis (ts), Artie Zaitz (el g), Nathaniel Cross (tb) and Tim Doyle (perc)
Having built momentum with EPs, gigs and a gathering media storm, many of London’s new jazz generation are finally making their album debuts. Tubist Theon Cross has already made his name on LPs with Sons of Kemet – Fyah, though, helps define how a changing London is changing jazz.
The fat tuba squelch reverberating through the first seconds of ‘Accelerate’ is a statement of intent matched by the runaway, intricate momentum which follows, from a dream trio completed by Nubya Garcia and Moses Boyd. As dance music, this is funk turned inside-out, finding off-kilter rhythmic emphasis under grime’s influence.
Cross and Boyd are tireless, Blakey-esque engine rooms for the new beat, which they speak as a native tongue. ‘Panda Village’, meanwhile, uses synths to add a gleaming sheen, production technique no longer a shibboleth in UK jazz studios. As important as Cross’s borrowing from contemporary musical contexts are the elements he retains from jazz. ‘Letting Go’ is all whispered hi-hat hisses and subtle interweaving by Cross and Garcia. ‘CIYA’ is boppishly beautiful, like a lost Blue Note tune. Cross’s conversationally inviting solo, like the introspective quiet during ‘Letting Go’, offers individuality worth as much as the community this scene describes. Nick Hasted


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DANIEL CASIMIR & TESS HIRST

These Days

Jazz Re:freshed
Daniel Casimir (b), Tess Hirst (v), Robert Mitchell (ky), Tobie Carpenter (g) and Olly Sarkar (d)
Tess Hirst’s words give barbed force to Daniel Casimir’s open-hearted music, which is grounded in hard bop while exploring a wider palette. Mingus’s dramatic litany of persecution, ‘Fables of Faubus’, is adapted to our own fearfully racist moment during ‘These Days’, while over brewing Blakey-esque drums, ‘What Did I Do’ digs into Hirst and Casimir’s home streets in London’s far west, where disrupting crime and change alienate, and the singer wonders “if the patient will survive the operation”.
A bluntly titled instrumental with added Hirst lyrics imminent, ‘They Come Over Here’, is spy-movie ominous, suggesting surveillance paranoia and the Specials’ haunted ska dancehalls with the serrated edge of Tobie Carpenter’s guitar, Casimir’s jittery bass and Jerry Dammers-like, cinematic piano. Guyanese-Briton John Agard’s rebel poetry also acerbically interjects, riding Windrush currents: “Me not no Oxford don/ Me a simple immigrant from Clapham Common... I don’t need no axe/to split up your syntax.” Instrumental or otherwise, this is another bulletin from a London scene engaged and unquiet about careless injustice. Nick Hasted
Daniel Casimir Interview


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CAMILLA GEORGE

The People Could Fly

Ubuntu Music
Camilla George (as), Sarah Tandy (p, Fender Rhodes), Daniel Casimir (b, el b), Femi Koleoso, Winston Clifford (d), Omar Lye-Fook, Cherise Adams-Burnett (v), Shirley Tetteh (g) and Quentin Collins (t)
African folk tales of slavery and lost powers of flight sent Camilla George to sleep as a child in Nigeria. An enflamed imagination and restless nights must have followed, judging by spiritual jazz lullaby ‘Little Eight John’, in which Cherise Adams-Burnett warns of “raw head and bloody nose” from whatever awaits wakeful children in the unknown dark. George’s second album explores her nostalgic memories of these slavery-steeped stories.
Leading a band of peers in London’s new jazz scene, her alto playing is so sunnily optimistic that the shackles fall from her subjects, even before ‘The People Could Fly’ recalls myths of former freedom. Rattled chains introduce the sourer, knowing tone of George’s slow blues on ‘The Most Useful Slave’, followed by British soul elder Omar vocalising Curtis Mayfield’s lament for the slavery by other means of America’s drugs apocalypse, ‘Here But I’m Gone’. But George’s warmly liberated character dominates. As so often with this group of players, it’s remarkable how traditional she is on several hard-bop solos. It’s the soft power of an open heart and mind which keeps her music present-tense. Daniel Casimir’s limber funk bass and Shirley Tetteh’s sometimes Afro-funk-inflected, bubbling guitar prove the scene’s subtle variety, and their own worth as versatile, Most Valued Players.
The incubation of George’s talent in Gary Crosby’s Tomorrow’s Warriors, Courtney Pine’s Venus Warriors and Jazz Jamaica shows how determinedly British jazz’s black elders are passing torches. Flowering in a new generation, this is the sound of a woman who has already overcome. Nick Hasted

Link to article: https://www.jazzwise.com/features/article/a-beginner-s-guide-to-the-new-jazz-generation
submitted by ModernJazz-2K20 to ModernJazz [link] [comments]


2020.05.08 18:40 MiniKun-T Links concerning Bill gates, Coronavirus, Virus's in general

They patented a vaccine for it in 2014, went live 2019-11-20.
The inventors still work for Pirbright today. Inventors: • BICKERTON, Erica Woking Surrey GU24 0NF (GB)• KEEP, Sarah Woking Surrey GU24 0NF (GB)• BRITTON, PaulDevon EX16 8NN (GB)
https://patents.google.com/patent/EP3172319B1/de
https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/1d/4e/4a/ac8914e765d645/EP3172319B1.pdf

This was obtained by the The Pirbright Institute whose stakeholders include Bill gates and WHO:
https://www.pirbright.ac.uk/partnerships/our-major-stakeholders
Bill gates "warned" us all about this in 2018https://www.sciencealert.com/bill-gates-warns-a-new-disease-could-kill-30-million-people-in-6-months

Lies have been told about when this research started:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-trials-uk-news/
"Work on the vaccine, developed by clinical teams at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, began in January.
On April 23, a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford began human trials."-----"Human trials on the vaccine have already started in the US - breaking records for the speed with which such trials can get off the ground. Healthy volunteers in America are being given the new-generation “genetic hack” after it bypassed standard animal testing as part of a highly-accelerated process. "
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51665497
"A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop. Researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months.
**Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become available by mid-2021, about 12-18 months after the new virus, known officially as Sars-CoV-2, first emerged."**
The coronavirus was first discovered in 1965/6 in a patient with the common cold. Before that it was known to exist in animals as IBV.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194943/
The coronavirus is found in people suffering from a common cold, influenza, pneumonia amongst other things. So if you've ever had a cold, you have had a strain of coronavirus. SARS was described as a more dangerous form of pneumonia....which is a more dangerous form of influenza(flu)....which is a more dangerous form of the common cold.... . This makes it pretty easy to fake a pandemic when everyone with a cold(plus it is possible to be infected with a viral strain without becoming sick) would test positive
.https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-comment-on-different-types-of-testing-for-covid-19/
“The technique presently being used to test for the presence of virus is quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, or qRT-PCR. Strictly speaking it does not detect antigen but **viral RNA"**
Viral RNA: An RNA virus is a virus that has RNA (ribonucleic acid) as its genetic material. This nucleic acid is usually single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) but may be double-stranded RNA (dsRNA).
Coronaviridae/coronaviruses are Single-stranded RNA viruses.-----
This is like an evolving series of website articles related to each other:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/contagion-controversy-erupts/ 2011
"Working separately, they each hit on a combination of mutations (five, in Dr. Fouchier’s case) that makes H5N1 airborne (enabling it to spread readily between humans), without making it less deadly. "
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/exclusive-controversial-us-scientist-creates-deadly-new-flu-strain-for-pandemic-research-9577088.html 2014
" A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system. "
"Some members of the audience, however, were shocked and astonished at his latest and most audacious work on flu viruses, which follow on from his attempts to re-create the 1918 flu virus and an earlier project to increase the transmissibility of a highly lethal strain of bird flu."
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/exclusive-controversial-experiments-make-bird-flu-more-risky-poised-resume 2019
"Controversial lab studies that modify bird flu viruses in ways that could make them more risky to humans will soon resume after being on hold for more than 4 years."
"One of the projects has already received funding from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland, and will start in a few weeks; the other is awaiting funding."
https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/university-of-cambridge-s-prof-jonathan-heeney-answers-call-from-bill-gates-to-transform-flu-vaccine-9083999/ 25 September 2019
" Prof Jonathan Heeney, head of the Laboratory of Viral Zoonotics at the University of Cambridge, is one of seven recipients so far of a $12million fund designed to make progress towards a game-changing **universal influenza vaccine**."
"Prof Heeney said his lab aimed to create a new vaccine candidate ready for human trials within two years." **This was september 2019, Now we are 05/20, vaccine supposedly ready for coronavirus in around 18 months. Combine that with all the other predictions and patents it's beyond suspicious**
"With predictions that a flu pandemic, like the one that struck in 1918, could kill 33 million people globally in just six months, the stakes could hardly be higher." **A prediction made by Bill gates remember**
"Among the other recipients (of the 12 million fund) announced are **Yoshihiro Kawaoka**"
Yoshihiro Kawaoka was the person from the last 3 websites for those who didn't read.
------------First you had pneumonia SARS, which misteriously dissapeared. https://bioethics.georgetown.edu/2016/06/where-has-sars-gone-the-strange-case-of-the-disappearing-coronavirus-by-robert-peckham/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539564/
"The first phase started when a professor from Guangzhou, who had been treating patients with atypical **pneumonia** in a Guangzhou hospital in Mainland China, visited Hong Kong in February 2003. He stayed at the Metropole Hotel in Kowloon on 21 February. The professor **was already unwell** when he travelled to Hong Kong and on 22 February he was admitted to the Kwong Wah Hospital in Kowloon. Later he died. "

"From this first index case, 7 other people whose rooms had been on the same floor of the hotel contracted --pneumonia-- SARS, including 3 visitors from Singapore, 1 visitor from Vietnam, 2 visitors from Canada and 1 local person. Seemingly it was these 7 individuals who, having acquired the infection from the index case, transmitted --pneumomia-- SARS to Canada, Vietnam, Singapore, and elsewhere in Hong Kong. The local person was admitted to a teaching hospital, the Prince of Wales Hospital, at Shatin on 4 March 2003. From this patient the disease spread through that hospital, ultimately affecting over 100 medical and nursing personnel."

Symptoms of pneumonia
A cough, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, high temperature, feeling generally unwell, sweating and shivering.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus disease (Aka SARS2)?
Fever, cough or chest tightness, myalgia (< muscle pain), fatigue and dyspnoea (< shortness of breath) are the main symptoms reported.
High temperature == Fever; Cough == Cough; Difficulty breathing == Dyspnoea; Feeling unwell + Sweating and shivering == fatigue
The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, **Muscle pain == myalgia**
submitted by MiniKun-T to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.05.08 11:13 yung_bistecca length-by-the-yard, height-by-the-foot

Hi, I'm new here so hope this is not OT.
whi is it that when we measure heght in the imperial system, we use feet but, when we measure a short distance we use yards?
I found this forum post expanding on this:
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/383532/why-isnt-the-yard-used-as-a-base-unit-for-measuring-heights
Different units of measurement: some observations
They are important for, and reflect the needs of, trade and commerce.
They vary between trades or areas of activity — horses are measured in hands, race tracks in furlongs, chemists used to weigh in grains, farmers in bushels. Significantly, depth (with its relation to height) was measured in fathoms, rather than yards. Even today distances and speeds at sea are measure in nautical miles and knots!
A single measure was normally used, rather than the combination common today. For example, the Wikipedia entry on yard, quoted above, makes it clear that the introduction of ‘inches’ with yards was a legal measure to replace the black-market ‘handful’, rather than a response to a need to subdivide the unit. Halves and quarters of a single unit would be used.
A rationale for the choice of unit of measurement is that it should be small enough that one did not have to subdivide it into more than halves or quarters, and large enough that one does not have to use numbers containing more than two digits — it has to be usable by ordinary people.
The 13th century Statute of Ells and Perches standardization of the units of length was a response to local differences in usage (especially of the yard). It would be naive to think that local differences from the standard did not persist. If trade were local, this would hardly matter.
Height: a Hypothesis
My hypothesis is based on the premise that the commercial and practical need to measure height was much less than that to measure length — I can think of that might have been sold on the basis of height. I would suggest that the activity that required this, usage was architecture — probably civil/military, although perhaps also naval. Christopher Wren’s plans in the seventeenth century contain measurements in feet, and I suggest this is a continuation of practice that well may have been first adopted in Anglo-Norman times.
Why would architects have adopted feet, given that they were specifying length and breadth as well as height? One might argue that height was particularly important, and feet were already in use for measuring height. I do not know whether either of these assertions is true. An alternative is that the yard was much more ambiguous than the foot. Although the master builder may have adhered to the official standard, the workmen executing his plans might have had their own yard. Finally, it may have just been that the yard was too long for the detail required, and the foot and its half and quarter were more convenient.
It would be nice to know…
My hypothesis is difficult to prove, but it would be helpful to have more facts about the historical measurement of height:
How was height specified in the oldest historical documents in English that mention it? Was it indeed a concern — did people care about the exact height of a tall or small individual or of geographical features such as mountains?
What units are used in the oldest English architectural plans that specify them?
Am I right in saying that different units were not mixed? When were measurements first specified in a mixture of yards and feet, for example?
Footnote: Different meanings of the word ‘yard’ as a unit of measurement
According to the first edition of The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) ‘yard’, as used for a unit of length (and in several related meanings), is derived from a word which in different Germanic languages has the sense of pole, rod, prickle (and hence its obsolete use defined in OED-11 — “virile member, penis”). This is distinct from the origin of the word ‘yard’ with the general meaning of “inclosure” (sic).
As well as its equivalence (or that of the ell) to three feet, specified in the thirteenth century (OED–9, first example cited using the designation, ‘yard’, in 1377), another meaning of yard or landyard (OED–8) is given as “a unit of linear measure equal to 16½ feet…(but varying locally).” The OED cites a source as recent as 1856 which states “As a linear measure the yard varies considerably in different parts of the kingdom; at Hereford the landyard is 3 feet, at Saltash 16½ feet; at Falmouth and Bridgend 18 feet; and at Dowanpatrick 11 feet.”
A definition for this derivation of ‘yard’ in terms of area is also given in OED-10: “An area of land of varying extent according to the locality, but most frequently 30 acres” with usage dating back to 688–95.”
The top comment is interesting but, alas it is just a theory. Does anyone have some information on this?
submitted by yung_bistecca to linguistics [link] [comments]


2020.04.28 15:59 Xenosaurian Timeline of the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus Universe

Introduction
The following is the official in-universe timeline of events as they unfold throughout the shared continuity of the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus franchises. While the cinematic timeline begins with Predator in 1987 and ends with Alien Resurrection in 2381, the shared universe technically began with the 1989 comic Aliens vs. Predator by Dark Horse Comics (which takes place at an unknown date) and was cemented together with the release of the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator (which takes place in the same year) and has been further expanded upon ever since throughout various Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator and Prometheus media, notably through the Fire and Stone (2014–2015) and Life and Death (2016–2017) comics by Dark Horse Comics. Throughout this fictional history, we see the Weyland-Yutani Corporation (simply known as "the Company") and its ancestral companies, Weyland Corporation (a.k.a. Weyland Industries) and Yutani Corporation (a.k.a. Yutani Incorporated), and affiliate organizations, such as OWLF/Project Stargazer, in their persistent pursuit of capturing and studying the Aliens (a.k.a. Xenomorph) and the Predators (a.k.a. Yautja), with civilians and military personnel, such as the United States Colonial Marines Corps, trying to combat and survive these extraterrestrial threats while either attempting to stop or aid the Company in achieving their goals.
18th Century
20th Century
21st Century
22nd Century
23rd Century
24th Century
References
  1. Predator 2 (1990), feature film
  2. Predator: 1718 (1996), comic book
  3. Alien vs. Predator - Unrated Edition (2004), home video
  4. Alien vs. Predator (2004), novel
  5. Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005), video game
  6. Alien 3 (1992), feature film
  7. Predator (1987), feature film
  8. Weyland Industries Corporate Timeline
  9. Alien vs. Predator (2004), feature film
  10. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), feature film
  11. Predators (2010), feature film
  12. The Predator (2018), feature film
  13. Alien - Special Edition (1979), home video
  14. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report (2016), book
  15. Prometheus (2012), feature film
  16. Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (2012), book
  17. Alien: Covenant (2017), feature film
  18. Aliens: Apocalypse (1999), comic book
  19. Predator: Forever Midnight (2006), novel
  20. Alien: Isolation (2014), video game
  21. Alien (1979), feature film
  22. Alien: Out of the Shadows (2014), novel
  23. Aliens (1986), feature film
  24. Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013), video game
  25. Prometheus: Fire and Stone (2014), comic book
  26. Aliens: Fire and Stone (2014), comic book
  27. Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone (2014-2015), comic book
  28. Predator: Fire and Stone (2014-2015), comic book
  29. Prometheus: Fire and Stone - Omega (2015), comic book
  30. Predator: Life and Death (2016), comic book
  31. Prometheus: Life and Death (2016), comic book
  32. Aliens: Life and Death (2016), comic book
  33. Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death (2017), comic book
  34. Prometheus: Life and Death - Final Conflict (2017), comic book
  35. Alien Resurrection (1997), feature film
submitted by Xenosaurian to alienpredatoruniverse [link] [comments]


2020.04.28 12:17 Fwoggie2 Covid-19 update Tuesday 28th April

Good morning from the UK. It’s Tuesday 28th April.

My wife got an email this morning from her travel insurance company; her coverage is about to expire apparently and the company wants to know if she wants to renew her travel insurance coverage. My wife says it's OK with her if we're uninsured for travel for a while...
(I had to resort to archive.is links today, sorry, the mod-bot was in a bad mood and it refused repeated re-submissions before I gave up and used archive.is instead to get around it).

I failed to mention yesterday that it was the humble shipping container’s 64th birthday; on 27th April 1956 Malcolm McLean loaded 58 trailer vans (what we now call containers) onto a converted world war 2 era oil tanker named SS Ideal-X and off it sailed from Newark to Houston. Watching it sail off into the distance, Freddy Fields, a top official of the International Longshoremen's Association was asked "What do you think of that new ship?" Fields replied, "I'd like to sink that sonofabitch." (Longshoremen are the people who load and unload ships). Longshoremen strikes ensued, but the cost of shipping dropped by a factor of 36 overnight. The age of the container had arrived and in a further visionary move McLean made available his container patents free of charge thus ensuring rapid adaption of global standards in relation to construction and size of the containers. McLean’s company (which ended up being called SeaLand) steadily grew and by the end of the 60s SeaLand was sending over 1,000 containers every month from the US to Vietnam alone for the US military. McLean parted ways with Sealand by 1977 but in 1978 his new company United States Lines placed construction orders with a shipyard for a then world record 4,400 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit, a standard measurement in the industry) shipyard. Unfortunately United States Lines went bankrupt shortly after, a victim of very high oil prices at the time.
Last week the Korean container shipping line HMM named its latest container ship HMM Algecerias. Its capacity is 23,964 TEU; more than 5 times the size of the ship McLean ordered 42 years ago. It may be a long time though before HMM Algecerias has a heavily laden voyage; currently there is massive overcapacity in the container shipping industry according to the American Journal of Transportation which clarifies that Maersk has a container ship fleet with a capacity of nearly 4.2m TEUs, MSC has 3.7m TEU fleet capacity while COSCO, CMA-CGM, Hapag Lloyd, ONE and Evergreen all have fleets with over 1m TEU capacity each. Between them (and other smaller operators), they’ve idled 9.2% of the world’s fleet in the past few months because there’s not enough cargo to fill the ships and make them operationally profitable. As for Malcolm McLean - he died in New York in 2001 but the Sealand name lives on as a division of Maersk (it bought SeaLand in Decembe 1999); today SeaLand operates in the Americas. Personally, for several years now I’ve fancied building a home out of shipping containers (much to the amusement of my wife). Maybe I should have a chat with her about it again; I reckon that suitable containers must be really cheap now.
Anyway…

Virus news in depth


Coronavirus: Anger after Panorama programme claims government 'failed to stockpile crucial PPE' - Yahoo News is reporting (as is pretty much every UK news outlet today) on a BBC Panorama show that was aired last night. (For the benefit of non Brits, Panorama is a flagship in-depth investigative program that’s over 50 years old and held in high esteem particularly for a 1995 interview with Princess Diana). There has been anger from health experts after an investigation revealed the government failed to stockpile crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) ahead of the coronavirus pandemic says Yahoo News.
BBC Panorama found there were no gowns, visors, swabs and body bags in the government’s pandemic stockpile when COVID-19 reached the UK. It said vital items were left out of the stockpile when it was set up in 2009 and that the government ignored a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment. The programme also claimed the government downgraded its guidance on the severity of COVID-19 as late as 13 March so it could provide a lower level of PPE to health workers. The programme, “Has the Government Failed the NHS?”, claimed the government counted single surgical gloves instead of a pair as one item of PPE with paper towels and cleaning materials such as bleach also counted as units of PPE. One health worker told the programme: “Calling us heroes just makes it okay when we die.”
(Cont’d) COVID-19 was officially designated a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) in January. In 2019, the Health and Safety Executive recommended that all healthcare workers wear a gown, FFP3 respirator mask and visor when dealing with HCIDs. But Panorama said the government downgraded its PPE guidance on 13 March to tell NHS workers they were safe to wear less protective aprons and basic surgical masks - and took steps to remove COVID-19 from its list of HCIDs on the same day. Rather than consult the experts who recommended categorising COVID-19 as HCID, however, the government instead asked its Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP), Panorama said. The programme claimed sources on that committee said the decision was, in part, a decision based on the low availability of PPE.
(Cont’d) Dr Gabriel Scally, a former regional director of public health and honorary professor of public health at the University of Bristol, said the programme was “totally damning” for the government. Labour MP Zarah Sultana said the programme “showed the incredible bravery of NHS staff”. Charlotte Villiers, professor of law at the University of Bristol, tweeted: “How the government can survive and stay in power following that is unfathomable. They are drenched with guilt.”
The episode in question is available to UK residents on iplayer.

Virus news in brief


Sources: BBC news live blog, Guardian live blog, India Today live blog unless otherwise specified










Supply chain news in depth


**USDA (**US Department of Agriculture) let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared - Politico reports that Tens of millions of pounds of American-grown produce is rotting in fields as food banks across the country scramble to meet a massive surge in demand, a two-pronged disaster that has deprived farmers of billions of dollars in revenue while millions of newly jobless Americans struggle to feed their families. While other federal agencies quickly adapted their programs to the coronavirus crisis, the Agriculture Department took more than a month to make its first significant move to buy up surplus fruits and vegetables — despite repeated entreaties. Images of farmers destroying tomatoes, piling up squash, burying onions and dumping milk shocked many Americans who remain fearful of supply shortages. At the same time, people who recently lost their jobs lined up for miles outside some food banks, raising questions about why there has been no coordinated response at the federal level to get the surplus of perishable food to more people in need, even as commodity groups, state leaders and lawmakers repeatedly urged the Agriculture Department to step in. Demand at food banks has increased an average of 70 percent, according to Feeding America, which represents about 200 major food banks across the country. The group estimates that 40 percent of those being served are new to the system.
(Cont’d) In mid-April, USDA unveiled a long-awaited $19 billion aid program with $3 billion set aside to buy excess food, a pot of money that would cover a major ramp-up of fresh produce purchases, along with dairy and meats. But federal officials predicted it would take the better part of a month before that food is packed and shipped to food banks and other nonprofits in need. At that point, it will be too late for many produce growers who saw a huge drop in demand right at the peak of their season. “By the time that comes through, it won’t help Florida,” said Brittany Lee, a blueberry farmer and executive director of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association. Blueberry prices are about half of what they were this time last year, she said. The precipitous drop in demand left many growers with no choice but to trash excess food or leave it in the fields because the cost of picking, packing and storing the crops would only put them further in the hole. Some with more resources in hand took on the cost of harvesting and donating the food themselves, but the gut-wrenching reality is that crops are being abandoned on an unprecedented scale.
(Cont’d) Paul Allen, co-owner of RC Hatton Farms, is currently disking hundreds of acres of cabbage — a process that grinds crops into the soil — because there’s simply no market for it. It's heartbreaking to watch, but the cabbage he grows is typically used for coleslaw at restaurant chains like KFC. Allen estimates he’s left about 8 million pounds of cabbage and 4.5 million pounds of green beans in the fields. “We’ve been devastated,” Allen said. His company has already donated hundreds of thousands of pounds of vegetables to food banks. The company also sent containers of produce to the Bahamas and paid for the cost of harvesting to make it all happen. Now, Allen says, he must decide how many of his crops are better left unpicked, not knowing when much of his customer base will be able to reopen for business. “Do I keep taking on more losses?” he said, noting that vegetable growers have already spent several thousands of dollars per acre before harvest. “But if I stop growing food for our country, that’s a bigger problem yet.”
(Cont’d) Produce industry leaders, including Allen, are also furious that USDA plans to impose payment limits for the rest of its aid to farmers affected by coronavirus. The department said in mid-April that agricultural producers would be limited to $125,000 per commodity or $250,000 total to help compensate them for damages as it hands out $16 billion in direct payments. “We begged them not to put a cap on it,” Allen said. Farmers who grow fruits and vegetables have extremely high costs per acre and often plant at such a large scale that the payments won’t even begin to cover their losses. It typically costs less than $700 per acre to grow commodity soybeans. It costs more than $4,000 per acre to grow cabbage. “What is fair is not always equal,” he said. While $250,000 is a lot of money for most Americans, it represents about one day's harvest for RC Hatton. The scale of produce waste is staggering. Farmers in Florida, which provides much of the fresh produce to the eastern half of the U.S. during the winter and spring, left about 75 percent of the lettuce crop unharvested, along with significant portions of the state’s sweet corn, cabbage and squash. Up to 250 million pounds of tomatoes could end up left in the fields, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Florida officials estimate produce growers there have taken a half a billion dollar hit. In California, the industry is projected to lose more than $1 billion per month.

Supply chain news in brief











Good/Wholesome news section (it’s back and I have found a rich seam of stories)










Donations

Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but as you may have read above, food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]


2020.04.14 14:22 tikkits Spare Plusnet compatible fibre router?

It's about to get desperate. Plusnet have sent out our hub but because of all the postal delays, no idea when it'll arrive. Does anyone in Oxford have a spare fibre Plusnet or Plusnet compatible router knocking about?
We're moving from ADSL to fibre because the speed has been so terrible I can't get on with work. Plusnet are being typically unhelpful and will not change the date we change to fibre, so will be left with no internet.
I can collect on my daily exercise from OX4 for a no contact collection. I'd be so grateful!
Edit: All sorted thanks to the Reddit community. Keep safe all! :)
submitted by tikkits to oxford [link] [comments]


2020.04.11 05:21 adotmatrix Coronavirus: why there’s no quick fix for a Covid-19 vaccine - SCMP

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3079375/coronavirus-why-theres-no-quick-fix-covid-19-vaccine
For months, vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert has been in a race against time, working seven days a week to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus that causes the potentially lethal disease Covid-19.
Gilbert and her fellow researchers at Oxford University face a myriad of technical challenges and potential complications in their quest to defeat the virus that has claimed 100,000 lives and crippled economies worldwide.
Yet, one far more mundane obstacle overshadows them all: money.
Gilbert, a professor at Oxford’s Jenner Institute & Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, estimates her team needs up to £100 million (US$123 million) by June to succeed in their goal of developing a proven vaccine and partnering with a drug maker to manufacture it on a mass scale by autumn – a time frame up to a year shorter than those set by major pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 60 separate teams in about a dozen countries are involved in the global sprint to develop a coronavirus vaccine, comprising major pharmaceutical companies, biotech start-ups, government-run institutes and universities ranging from the University of Queensland to Johnson & Johnson and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gilbert said she believed her team has made the most progress so far and is likely to be first to reach the crucial milestone of showing vaccine efficacy.
Despite this, she is only “optimistic, but not confident” the money she needs will arrive in time – or even at all.
“I don’t think the people with the money have really quite adjusted yet to what the vaccine developers need,” said Gilbert, who kick-started work on a coronavirus vaccine with a sum of about £500,000.
The funds were provided by the British government-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and originally intended for other vaccines.
“I think in the minds of governments and the layperson, that’s for later. Because there’s such a demand for ventilators and personal protective equipment, that’s all anybody can think about now.” Gilbert said.
In recent weeks, Gilbert, who previously has worked on vaccines for Mers, the Nipah virus and Lassa fever, has spent countless hours filling out grant applications, searching for new funding partners and seeking approval to repurpose research funding earmarked for other uses – time she would have rather spent at the lab utilising her scientific expertise.
“A lot of academic funding these days is very, very constrained in what it can be spent on,” said Gilbert, whose work so far has been supported by university funds and government grants.
“There’s a very precise and detailed plan. That’s fine if the plan is what’s required. But when you need a new plan, when something else has happened, you need the flexible funding to be able to respond to that,” she said.
The financial and bureaucratic hurdles facing the Oxford team indicate a mismatch between resources and incentives at the heart of vaccine development that could complicate the global effort to resolve a crisis that has focused the world’s attention like few problems in living memory.
Put simply, pharmaceutical companies that possess the means to fund expensive new vaccines often lack the motivation, seeing greater returns in treatments for chronic conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
On the flip side, universities, publicly funded institutes and biotech start-ups that have the inclination and ability to step into the gap often lack the means.
The sheer scale of the crisis wrought by Covid-19 has spurred major firms to get involved, but belatedly and only with heavy state backing.
Pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and French multinational Sanofi are both relying on taxpayer-funded work by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, to underpin their work on a vaccine.
“Until this model is fixed at the economic level, development of infectious disease treatments and vaccines will continue to face uphill battles,” said Ooi Eng Oong, deputy director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.
TOO COSTLY, TOO RISKY
Vaccine development is extremely costly and, from a business perspective, risky work.
Once a potential vaccine is created in a lab, it must go through three stages of clinical trials involving human subjects, culminating in Phase III trials during which a target population is administered the vaccine to test its effectiveness.
Multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, GSK and Johnson & Johnson claim to spend between US$1 billion and US$2 billion to take a vaccine from the lab to its roll-out among the general population, a process typically taking 5 to 10 years and sometimes longer.
Michael Kinch, director of the Centre for Research Innovation in Biotechnology and Drug Discovery at Washington University in St Louis, said the major drug companies generally viewed vaccine development as high in risk and low in reward.
“The technology for most vaccines is not as advanced as for other more sexy technologies that can garner higher prices and thus revenues,” Kinch said.
Balking at the cost of in-house research, major drug companies have slashed R&D budgets in recent years to focus on the late-stage development and manufacturing of treatments pioneered externally – often by publicly funded entities such as government institutes and universities.
All 210 new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration between 2010 and 2016 were developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, which distributes about 80 per cent of its US$40 billion annual spend on medical research to more than 2,500 universities and research institutes worldwide.
Given the reliance of industry on publicly funded research, resource issues at the university or research-institute level have the potential to dramatically affect the range of treatments that ultimately come online.
“Big Pharma generally do not have research divisions anymore,­ they gave those away when they found their research was three times as expensive per drug developed than ones sourced from academia,” said Ian Frazer, a professor at the University of Queensland who co-invented the human papillomavirus vaccine. “Industry only gets involved in manufacturing and marketing a likely successful product.”
Frazer said that failing to address shortfalls in academic research funding would leave countries unprepared for future threats to the public health.
“We run the risk that our labs won’t be ready for the next pandemic with the latest technologies in protein chemistry, genomics, crystallography, etc,” he said, referring to scientific techniques with applications in vaccine development.
Some academics see pitfalls, too, in collaborating with powerful industry players.
“The biggest challenge with such studies is that the research question and protocol are developed by industry and brought to academia for implementation,” said Keymanthri Moodley, director of the Centre for Medical Ethics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. “It is not an authentic collaboration from the start, with sharing of ideas and equal partnership.”
The technical demand“I think the system works fairly well in the sense that primary research should be done at the academia level because it’s much more varied,” said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Centre at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine.
“You want hundreds of scientists working on this – all of them have different ideas. Then you want industry to step in and do the hard part, which is the research of development.”
Other major drug companies have eyed collaboration with biotech start-ups – which are often seen as being more innovative and agile than their Big Pharma counterparts – such as in the case of Pfizer’s partnership to develop a vaccine with German company BioNTech.
“Fortunately there are many biotechnology companies but unless they have adequate funding they cannot develop a vaccine beyond Phase I, after which they also need pharmaceutical money,” said Stanley Plotkin, an emeritus professor at the Wistar Institute and University of Pennsylvania who invented the rubella vaccine in the late 1960s.
INNOVATIVE, BUT POOR
It is such concerns about the most innovative players not receiving adequate funding that spurred the establishment of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), following the lacklustre global response to the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people.
Even though Ebola had been known about since the late 1970s, there was no vaccine available at the height of the crisis.s of producing a vaccine on a mass scale mean that research institutes and smaller start-ups will eventually need to partner with bigger players if they have not already to bring their creations to the public.
Despite the declining focus of major drug companies on innovation, there are potential advantages to such a division between the research and late-stage development process.
Because outbreaks of infectious disease often subside over time or are contained before infecting huge numbers of people, the financial incentive to develop a vaccine can be weak until a major public health crisis is under way – particularly in poorer regions where the prospects of reaping large profits are slim.
In an echo of that slow response in West Africa, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, lamented as late as mid-February that major pharmaceutical companies had yet to “step up” and commit to manufacturing a vaccine.
“Companies that have the skill to be able to do it are not going to just sit around and have a warm facility, ready to go for when you need it,” Fauci said.
Publicly funded institutes that are not driven by profit similarly struggle to attract support once a disease drops out of the public consciousness.
In 2016, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, developed a vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), but could not attract funding for human trials because by that point there had not been any new cases for more than a decade.
Those researchers are now again seeking funding to resume work on their vaccine out of a conviction it could be effective against the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2.
The newer virus shares 80 per cent of its genetic structure with Sars, which killed nearly 800 people in mainland China and Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.
“For vaccine development, the greatest threat is the episodic nature of pandemics,” said Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a South Korea-based non-profit organisation set up as an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme.
“Often by the time a vaccine reaches tests in humans, the epidemic has abated. Funding goes away, even though the threat of future epidemics by the same pathogen continues.”
REASONS FOR HOPE
Established by the government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the World Economic Forum, and India’s Department of Biotechnology in 2016, CEPI raises money from governments and philanthropic sources to quickly fund the development and manufacture of vaccines for emerging infectious diseases that struggle to attract private investment.
Already, the organisation has been credited with getting the development of a number of potential vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 under way at an unprecedented pace.
The Oslo-based group has so far committed funding to eight vaccine-related projects involving partners including the University of Queensland, the University of Hong Kong and US biotech firm Inovio Pharmaceuticals.
With the ultimate success of any one initiative impossible to determine at this stage, CEPI is aiming to produce at least three viable vaccine candidates that can be licensed for use among the public.
One candidate developed by Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotech firm that is yet to commercialise any products, and the NIH is already a month into Phase I clinical trials.
The company, which previously worked on a Mers vaccine and is using a new development platform called messenger RNA, believes its vaccine could be ready for emergency use by health care workers before the end of this year, although a version for general use is still not expected for 12-18 months.
“Every one of the major companies has a SARS-2 project, so they are not slacking,” said Plotkin. “However, the most inventive projects are being done by biotechs which will need to convince major companies to produce large quantities. There could be more collaboration between the two, and for that matter a central body to enhance collaboration. CEPI fulfils that role in part, but not sufficiently.”
Although there is potential overlap in the work of so many different groups across academia and industry, experts say there is a strong case for funding multiple approaches. For every 10 vaccines created in a lab, nine fail to make it to the approval stage.
“I don’t think we know enough about SARS-CoV-2 to be able to predict which vaccine candidate would work,” said Ooi. “But I think it is very important for us to take multiple shots at goal to make sure that at least one vaccine candidate would cross the line and work to prevent Covid-19. That there are many groups working on vaccines, to me, is a very good thing.”
CEPI has funding challenges of its own, even after receiving large sums in recent weeks from donors including Britain, Germany, Canada, Denmark and Norway.
So far, it has been able to raise only a little over one-third of the US$2 billion it asked for in an urgent call for funding on March 14.
For researchers, accessing what money is available from the organisation, which did not respond to requests for comment, comes with a considerable amount of red tape.
“The T&Cs CEPI has accepted from their funders mean that it is a complex process for them to award funding to anyone,” said Gilbert, who has received some funding from the organisation.
Other entities besides CEPI, both public and private, have also turned to approaches outside the traditional vaccine funding and development process.
Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates has announced plans to preemptively fund the construction of manufacturing plants for seven of the most promising vaccine candidates before it becomes clear which vaccine or vaccines are safe and effective.
The move, which will see billions of dollars effectively wasted to create manufacturing capacity that will never get used, aims to save valuable months that would otherwise be spent waiting for the most promising vaccine to emerge.
The US government has sealed deals with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna to produce large quantities of vaccines before any candidate is shown to work.
“The Covid-19 outbreak is obviously unlike anything we have encountered in living memory and efforts are now galvanising to pursue promising vaccine candidates,” said Robin May, director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham.
SAFETY LIMITS
Underscoring the urgency for a vaccine, the pandemic has controversially spurred the use of countless experimental treatments to try to treat Covid-19.
Unproven treatments being administered by some doctors include hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug championed by US President Donald Trump, and the antiviral medication remdesivir, neither of which have undergone clinical trials to prove their safety and effectiveness.
But even with an unprecedented focusing of attention and resources, there are limits to the extent to which vaccine development can be fast-tracked.
“Under the pressure of the pandemic, we have to carefully consider the balance of safety and speed,” said Kim of the IVI, which is working with a number of firms and public bodies on a vaccine.
“Vaccines are given to healthy people to keep them healthy, and vaccine developers must ensure that safety is not compromised. The absence of information on SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19 itself further highlights this responsibility.”
Such safety considerations are not an abstract concern. In the late 1970s, the US government’s rushed roll-out of a vaccination programme to immunise the population against a novel strain of swine flu resulted in more than 450 people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder that causes paralysis.
One scientist at a multinational vaccine institute said the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would face a “safety hurdle” because of how the virus affects older people more severely than the young.
“A new virus in a population typically causes more severe disease in individuals with natural prior exposure to something similar,” said the scientist.
“[This is] one hypothesis as to why older people have [been more severely hit]. This occurs when someone has prior exposure to a similar virus – there are other common coronaviruses – and the resulting immune response causes the next encounter with a similar virus to be more severe. This phenomenon has been seen with other diseases such as dengue.”
The scientist added: “Because of this possibility, any vaccine will be scrutinised to be certain it will not cause more severe disease.”
Unanswered questions about the nature of the virus – including definitive proof that those who are infected gain immunity – could also complicate development.
“Upper respiratory tract viruses without a blood-borne infection phase have not to date been successfully targeted by vaccines,” said Frazer. “On the plus side, this appears to be a relatively stable virus, not like flu or HIV where the virus changes quickly.”
In a possible breakthrough, a team of South Korean scientists announced on Friday they had successfully mapped out the architecture of the virus’ RNA genome for the first time, potentially aiding vaccine development.
Even so, most experts believe that a usable vaccine is at least 12 to 18 months away, with many arguing that even that time frame is wildly optimistic and unrealistic.
Offit said many people underestimated the enormous challenge of producing a vaccine on a mass scale.
“The research is the easy part,” said Offit, who is sceptical any vaccine can be rolled out within 18 months. “The hard part is the research of development because you have to do proof-of-concept studies. You have to have the right buffering agent, the right stabilising agent.
“The flaw in the system is that far fewer companies are doing it. In 1955, there were 27 companies that made vaccines. By 1980, there were 18, today there are four.”
Gilbert said she believed her team can best expectations – their “highly ambitious” goal relies on adapting a previously used vaccine delivery system and manufacturing vaccines concurrently with clinical trials – but only with a major rethink of research funding that offers quick and flexible support for work such as hers.
“We don’t have an organisation that is ready to deal with the pandemic,” Gilbert said. “We now need to be thinking about flexibility of funding on a much larger scale because we need to be able to go fast.” ■
submitted by adotmatrix to China_Flu [link] [comments]


2020.04.08 13:58 tomrocksmaths Grant Sanderson of 3Blue1Brown visited me in Oxford earlier this year and agreed to take part in what I'm calling 'Maths Speed Dating'. We discuss pretty much everything, from his most embarrassing moment, to his ability to make a trumpet sound. Oh and some maths... (full question list in comments).

submitted by tomrocksmaths to math [link] [comments]


2020.04.01 00:13 7thprincess New And Updated Stories From 22.03.2020 to 29.03.2020

[AUTOGEN]
This week's summary was generated at 3/30/2020, 6:12:52 PM GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
This week, we had:
As usual, raw data in JSON/Markdown format can be found here
Updated Title Author Links Latest Chapters Word Count
3/28/2020 [NEW] A Brockton Parahuman in a Cro-Magnon Camp [Earth Children] Alias_the_J SV Thonolan I (2.1k),Ranec 1 (1.4k) 7.6K
3/26/2020 A Cape in Konoha [Naruto] Morgan Arc SB Chapter 48: (2.7k),Chapter 49 (2.7k) 130K
3/25/2020 A child's play ic3shard13 SV Shear 2 (2.4k),Interlude 3 (2.5k) 50K
3/27/2020 [NEW] A contract fulfilled, a deal offered Useless Writer SB Header 0.1 (2k),Header 0.2 (1.1k) 3.1K
3/27/2020 A Heart of Iron ByzantineAlter FF unsupported; 7.9K
3/24/2020 A Song of Silk and Power [A Song of Ice and Fire] VorDresden AO3 Chapter 9- Margery (4437) 21K
3/27/2020 A Speeding Bullet Alpha Zerg SB,SV Speed 5 (4.4k),Speed 6 (3.1k) 23K
3/27/2020 Aces and Jokers [OC Insert] Stewart92 SB 51: Area (2.8k),52: Like Day and Night (2.9k) 220K
3/24/2020 Acting On Impulsion Zira SB,SV,AO3 Meeting The Team, A Costume, A Walk, Showing Off (2.9k),The Heist, and A New Friend (2.8k) 8.2K
3/28/2020 All Alone Ack SB,SV,FF,QQ Part Seven: A New Lease on Death (8.2k),Part Eight: What Zombie Apocalypse? (7k) 43K
3/24/2020 Altered Paths [Featuring Brutally Pragmatic Powered] Nemesis13 SB,FF Interlude: A Pre-After Action Report (700),Chapter 5: Terrible Things (1.7k) 15K
3/26/2020 [NEW] Anima nights brockton J.R.S. SB Anima 02 J.R.S. (2.6k),Anima 03 J.R.S. (1.3k) 6.7K
3/28/2020 Archangel 0.1 Raymondmaster SB Prologue (3.8k),1.0, So it begins... (5.8k) 9.6K
3/27/2020 Archetype Quest NotDaedalus SB Day 15: April 22nd Results (530),Day 15: April 22nd Results Part 2 (640) 23K
3/26/2020 Augment [Divergence Trump Charlotte] ccstat SB,SV,AO3 Topsy-Turvy 4.4 (2.9k),Topsy-Turvy 4.5 (2.2k) 91K
3/26/2020 Bad Girls Do it Better [Multicross Conference Call Spin off] Lifeofgesture SB,SV Chapter 2 (1.4k),Chapter 3 (1.9k) 5.2K
3/22/2020 BeaconHill's Morning Worm [One-Shots] BeaconHill SB,SV 77-1 "Learned Helplessness" (1.2k),78-1 "Being Darth Revan" (4.5k) 380K
3/27/2020 Being SI is Suffering [Broken CYOA Fake-SI] The Woodsman SB,SV,QQ unsupported; 59K
3/22/2020 Better Ukilhim SB,SV Better (2k) 2K
3/26/2020 [NEW] breakingamber's Snippet Thread [SPAG not included] breakingamber SB Flip-Swap (Worm Protectorate ENE/Undersiders Roleswap) (2k) 2K
3/26/2020 Brockton Baby RecursiveMontage SB,SV Chapter 2 (1.7k),Chapter 3 (2.8k) 5.9K
3/27/2020 Broken Adventure theaceoffire SV Arc 2: Fifth Order, Bull Theory and Apples Comparisons. (2.6k),Arc 2: I want a rock! (3.8k) 480K
3/28/2020 By the Flip of a Coin Morgan Arc SB Chapter 4: Reputation (2.8k),Chapter 5: The Land of...Dragons? (1.9k) 12K
3/22/2020 Cat Fish Witch [Snippet Thread] 6thfloormadness SB e(ndbringer)Harmony (5.7k),Omakes (340) 130K
3/23/2020 Comerciante del multiverso cyoa worm v3 Ajintaker FF unsupported; 14K
3/26/2020 Compulsion [Prototype] Lead Zeppelin SB Infection 2.1 (7.4k),Infection 2.M (5.2k) 49K
3/28/2020 DADA frustratedFreeboota SB,SV 4.4 (33),4.5 (880) 31K
3/25/2020 Dadcord and Daughtertale TopHat AO3,AO3 That Semester Abroad (1854) 6.7K
3/25/2020 Danse Macabre [Warframe] Potato Nose SB Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part One: Contactus Aegrorum (2k),Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part Two (2.7k) 96K
3/22/2020 Darkness Queen Taylor [Kingdom Hearts] hellzome25 FF unsupported; 3.7K
3/26/2020 Daystar [Exalted] WinterWombat SB,AO3 Dragons 3.11 (7k),Interlude: Colin Wallis (3.1k) 190K
3/22/2020 Death Metal [Crack one-shot] Alias_The_J SB One and done (2.1k) 2.1K
3/28/2020 Disco Lisa: A Cape Quest [Disco Elysium] Hakazin SV Day 1--8:59 AM: Clothes Make The Woman (5k),Day 1--10:12 AM: Questions (2.6k) 13K
3/27/2020 [NEW] Dragon and the Fly bubbajack FF unsupported; 36K
3/28/2020 Empress Ascendant [Warhammer] Unruly Marmite FF unsupported; 150K
3/24/2020 Existence is Pain Ancient Scholar SB Investigation (1.4k),First Impressions Planning (210) 4.6K
3/27/2020 Exodus [Big Hero 6] LD1449 SB,SV 6.6 (7.8k),7.1 (2.8k) 140K
3/25/2020 [NEW] External Influences [heavily Meta] I just write SV Why Are You Narrating (1.8k),Awkward Conversations (1.4k) 3.2K
3/22/2020 Feather and Twine TheSleepingKnight AO3 unsupported; 2.0K
3/29/2020 Glitch in the System Digsjin FF unsupported; 21K
3/26/2020 Graphomurk [Snips] anvarmtg AO3 7.25 Warhammer 40k (3591),Continue of story (17) 294K
3/26/2020 Headpats RavensDagger SB,SV,AO3 Chapter Fifty (1.5k),Chapter Fifty-One (990) 65K
3/28/2020 HOLD 'EM Pachycephalosaur SV 1.2 (360),1.3 (350) 1.6K
3/25/2020 Howl the Wolves [Battletech] S0ngD0g13 SB 85: Heart-Breaker (2.1k),Interlude: Pre-Tournament (1.2k) 160K
3/25/2020 Hybrid Hive: Eat Shard? [Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha] CmptrWz SV Chapter 45 - May 17, 2011 (5.3k),Chapter 46 - May 18, 2011 (5.4k) 290K
3/25/2020 I Woke Up As a Dungeon, Now What? [Dungeon] Aku-dono SB,SV Interlude 5.7kn (7.3k),Party 5.8 (8.5k) 270K
3/27/2020 [NEW] Indwelling lyrisey AO3 Chapter 2 (279),Chapter 3 (334) 1.1K
3/28/2020 [NEW] Interlude from Nowhere: Lung and Kaiser HadenBreslin AO3 unsupported; 1.0K
3/28/2020 Intrepid Cerulean SB,SV,FF 21-02 - Madison (3.3k),21-03 - Emma (4k) 800K
3/23/2020 It Starts With One Discreet SB,AO3 Twenty (4k),Twenty-One (2.7k) 105K
3/25/2020 [NEW] It Takes a Village [Clash of Clans] Redfangwarrior1998 SB,SV Chapter 1 (2.3k) 2.3K
3/28/2020 Jaune Pendragon's worm snippets and ideas Homura Kami SV S10032.1 (810),The Beginning of Kuro Emiya part 4 (2.6k) 46K
3/28/2020 Jedi Hebert [Star Wars] ilostmycat FF unsupported; 83K
3/28/2020 Keys [Nasu Square Disney Multicross] Blinktwice13 SB,SV Daybreak: Lux (4.6k),Jungle 4.3 (7.5k) 120K
3/23/2020 Kit [CYOA SI Crack] Ash0011 SB Interlude-Piggot (1.1k),Obligatory Cat Joke (2k) 11K
3/23/2020 LacksCreativity's New Story Thread LacksCreativity SB,SB Second Round: Voting (590),Voting Results and Third Round: Details (540) 1.2K
3/27/2020 Lord Doom [Tinker] RustPony SB,FF Chapter 18 (2.3k),Epilogue (3.9k) 46K
3/27/2020 Majin [Dragon Ball Z] Rapidfyrez SB,SV,FF,QQ Old Masters 2.2 (4.2k),Old Masters 2.3 (3.5k) 42K
3/27/2020 Mandalorian Knights [Star Wars] Delkatar SB,SV,FF Chapter 11 Part 1 (1.3k),Chapter 11 Part 2 (1.3k) 101K
3/27/2020 [NEW] Modify [OC] epeboch SB Brass 1.1 (1.4k) 1.4K
3/24/2020 Mother: Master 20 Slyvena SB Ripples 2.1 (Mini) - The Unborn (140),Ripples 3 - Janus (870) 5K
3/28/2020 My Bullies are Secretly the Endbringers and Not-So-Secretly in Love With Me!? Pachycephalosaur SB Chapter 18 (1.5k),Chapter 19 (1.3k) 30K
3/25/2020 My Glorious Slush Pile [With snippets] Fabius Maximus SB Taylor's Mettle: Gearing up. (710),Taylor's disasterous Debut. (1.3k) 300K
3/28/2020 [NEW] My Sunshine OxfordOctopus AO3 unsupported; 3.4K
3/28/2020 [NEW] Never Alone Slice of Bread SB Adagio 1.5 (1.4k),Adagio 1.6 (1.4k) 7.9K
3/26/2020 No Rest for the Wicked [Crimelord] TheManW/oAPlan SV Introductions/Information (450),Personality Determination (1.1k) 1.5K
3/23/2020 O' Hero Mine [Destiny] d4nte FF unsupported; 10K
3/25/2020 Of Metal, Bone, and Claws [Wolverine and the X-Men] Veriseple SB,FF,AO3 Chapter 3.4: Miss Militia (2.2k),Interlude: Marquis (2.2k) 38K
3/24/2020 One More Trigger Ack SB,SV,FF,QQ Part Twenty-Eight: A New Challenge (10k),Part Twenty-Nine: Director Piggot is Unhappy (It Must Be Tuesday) (6.9k) 150K
3/22/2020 Outsider Chronicles: Sword and Poison [Bleach] Dis Lexic SB,SV,FF,AO3 Chapter 3 (3.8k),Chapter 4 (4.3k) 19K
3/26/2020 Overkill [Star Wars] RavensDagger SB,SV,AO3,QQ Chapter Twenty-Four (1.9k),Chapter Twenty-Five (2.3k) 51K
3/28/2020 OxfordOctopus' Snips'n'Snaps OxfordOctopus SB 29. PLUS (4.8k),30. MY SUNSHINE (3.5k) 120K
3/24/2020 Paper Tiger - A Siberian SI ABitToTheWest SB,SV Chapter 14 - There’s A Time And Place For Everything (1.7k),Chapter 15 - Let The Stars Be Your Guide (1.4k) 23K
3/28/2020 [NEW] Plus [Bleach] OxfordOctopus AO3 unsupported; 4.6K
3/26/2020 Point Me At The Skyrim [Elder Scroll series] Ridtom SB,SV,FF Candlelight 2.4 (5.1k),Candlelight 2.5 (5.5k) 42K
3/28/2020 Purge All Evil Dragonfang1917 FF unsupported; 11K
3/27/2020 Queen of the Cards [Fate/stay night] Catamboc SB,SV,FF,AO3 Chapter 31.2: The Factions’ Reactions (3.2k),Chapter 31.3: A Cracking Cauldron (1.5k) 300K
3/28/2020 Queen of the Seven Seas [AoBS] TheGoodSir SB Compiling (1.7k),Eight (2.3k) 25K
3/28/2020 Quintessence [Star Wars] Darth Marrs FF unsupported; 168K
3/25/2020 Rank [OC] The_Incorruptible SB Front 13.2 (3.9k),Front 13.3 (3.3k) 430K
3/25/2020 Rouge Rogue's Scarlet Snippets [Snippet Thread] Rouge Rogue SB TLoWWaC; The Lady of Space and Time and the Unseen Queen (1.5k),1; The First Swing (3.6k) 17K
3/28/2020 Scaling Up Kryslin SV 4.7 Ludicrum et Conventus I (2.7k),4.8 Ludicrum et Conventus 2 (2.4k) 110K
3/28/2020 Scenes From a Glass Mind babagaia SB Incipit (1.2k),Temporary threadmark: please give prompts (15) 26K
3/24/2020 See You In The Dark [The Disastrous Life of Saiki K] JGSZX SB Remember to be ConPSIentious of Your Powers! (3.7k),A-PSImptions Are a Dangerous Thing (3.4k) 11K
3/22/2020 Seeds of Ideas [Snippets] Alias_The_J SB A Brockon Parahuman in a Cro-Magnon Camp 1.15 (600),Death Metal (Crack AU) (1.3k) 32K
3/24/2020 Senki Zesshou Symphogear WXD Unlimited [Senki Zesshou Symphogear] Rigged Bomb SB Chapter 18 (4k),Chapter 19 (3.5k) 66K
3/23/2020 Shards Of The Cookie Jar Idiom Alpha SB 7. Initiative vs. Guilt (6k),Taylor, Sveta, and Lisa Illustration (7) 45K
3/24/2020 Slope [OC] darienqmk SB,FF,AO3 Four - New Year, New Me (4.9k),Five - Hell's Bells (3.9k) 24K
3/28/2020 Snuggles the Symbiote [Marvel] Rater202 SB,FF Chapter 36 (3.1k),Chapter 37 (2.9k) 160K
3/27/2020 Somewhat Disinterested's Discarded snips Somewhat Disinterested SB Butterface (1.9k),Butterface 2 (2.3k) 41K
3/27/2020 Sparks 4 reilgun AO3 Sparks 4.5 R (6170) 30K
3/22/2020 Spinning The Gacha [Learning With Manga Fate Grand Order] Rhydeble SB,FF Chapter 35: The Date (1.7k),Chapter 36 - In Shadows (2.2k) 56K
3/24/2020 Stand By Me AU Altpower [JJBA] ninjastar SB,SV Interlude 1: PHO (670),Interlude 1: PHO Rewritten (2.2k) 9.6K
3/26/2020 Star gazing Selector FF unsupported; 50K
3/27/2020 Stewart92's Snippet Thread Stewart92 SB Hop and Skip 3 (5.4k),hop and skip 4 (2.8k) 99K
3/24/2020 Strike the Worm [Strike the Blood SI] Angeloid SB Chapter 7 (2.7k),Chapter 8 (3.2k) 23K
3/25/2020 [NEW] Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winter Alias_the_J SV III (3.2k),IV (1.5k) 13K
3/24/2020 Taylor is DOOMed [Doom] mp3.1415player SB,SV,FF,AO3 12. DOOMed XI: And DOOM followed with her... (11k),13. DOOMed XII: Actionable Intelligence of DOOM (1.8k) 73K
3/28/2020 [NEW] Taylor Lost [Changeling The Lost] Alias_the_J SV Found 2.2 (6k),Found 2.3 (5.4k) 31K
3/22/2020 Taylor, Daughter of the Void [League of Legends] Ttran2323 SB Chapter 7 - Fight and Flight (4.2k),Chapter 8 - The Part Where We Finally Crossover (3.2k) 21K
3/28/2020 Teenagers Suck [CYOA] Mizuki_Stone SB Chapter 21 Part 2 (720),Chapter 21 Part 3 (670) 120K
3/24/2020 [NEW] The Changed Profundity (TanTales) AO3 unsupported; 1.3K
3/27/2020 The Collector [Warhammer] Rapidfyrez SB,SV,FF,AO3,QQ Hideaway 2.2 (4.1k),Hideaway 2.3 (5.2k) 48K
3/27/2020 The Countess [The Count of Monte Cristo 1815] Husr SB Vingt-Septième Chapitre: Le Roi de Juillet (3.2k),Chapter Twenty-Eight: Migration (4.9k) 64K
3/27/2020 The FANTABULOUS Emancipation of One Emma Barnes hellgodsrus SV Chapter Seven: The Living Embodiment of a Babymetal Song/The Girl in the Chair (2.5k),Chapter Eight: Vicky’s No Good Very Bad Day (and Cherie Keeps Running Away) (2.9k) 25K
3/27/2020 The Grimm Marutectz552 FF unsupported; 114K
submitted by 7thprincess to WormFanfic [link] [comments]


Speed Dating: Teaching Strategy for the Classroom - YouTube Speed Dating 9 Guys Using 5 Senses - YouTube Speed Dating  Award-Winning Comedy Short  Isaac Feder ... Speed Dating Colombian Women  Medellin Colombia VLOG ... Speed Dating with Lewis and Valtteri! - YouTube Speed Dating (Classroom Conversations) Introduction - YouTube I WENT SPEED DATING! - YouTube FRESH Meeting: Speed Dating

Speed Dating: Oxford Singles Events (20s, 30s, 40s, + over ...

  1. Speed Dating: Teaching Strategy for the Classroom - YouTube
  2. Speed Dating 9 Guys Using 5 Senses - YouTube
  3. Speed Dating Award-Winning Comedy Short Isaac Feder ...
  4. Speed Dating Colombian Women Medellin Colombia VLOG ...
  5. Speed Dating with Lewis and Valtteri! - YouTube
  6. Speed Dating (Classroom Conversations) Introduction - YouTube
  7. I WENT SPEED DATING! - YouTube
  8. FRESH Meeting: Speed Dating

Looking to mix things up in the classroom? Try Speed Dating! It's a simple strategy to use, and I'll walk you through it here in about one minute. For more i... Would you like to speed date with Lewis and Valtteri? 😜 Get to know our F1 drivers with our quickfire questions and decide if a second date is on the cards..... Intellectual ‘speed dating’ with Very Short Introductions - Duration: 1:56. Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press) Recommended for you A speed-dating newbie encounters a series of comically incompatible women before making a connection. Stay on this channel to watch more great short films or... On Friday I went speed dating and decided to make a video about speed dating vs. Tinder! CLICK FOR LINKS 👉🏻 SUBSCRIBE for more of my face! 🦒 TWITTER @TheGi... Learn the what, why and how of conversation-based learning in an ESL classroom. Sexy Colombian women pack local banquet halls several times per year to attend private speed dating events, also known as romance tours. These speed dating e... Thanks to your incredible support, our latest humangood collection is SOLD OUT! Follow humangood on Instagram and keep an eye out for our next drop: https://...