Ren App Review

Please Review Policy and accept by marking the check boxes below before using our service. ... The Services are designed and intended for a parent or guardian to enter information related to their minor child(ren) or dependent(s) into the App or web site to obtain Services for the minor child(ren) or dependent(s). Collection, use and/or ... SellerApp appears to a great app. SellerApp appears to a great app! My issue was, I made appointments to help me with a specific issue and they were unable to keep the appointment or was late. Then there was the time when the phone reception was very poor. Ren - A secure network of virtual computers that powers interoperability for decentralized applications, enabling cross-chain lending, exchanges, collateralization & more.... Rently app review Mar 23, 2018. Justin S. Honestly I thought this was a scam at first but it turned out to be one of the most valuable tools we had when we were searching for a house to rent. This super convenient service and easy to use app is essential if you’re looking for a place to rent right now. 'The Ren and Stimpy Show' is returning with all-new episodes — 25 years after ending its original run — in Comedy Central's reboot, The Post has learned. Install App For companies Overview Reviews About REN Skincare Reviews ... I returned my entire order. It was my first and last order from REN. I agree with previous review - if you like REN products, buy them elsewhere, don't buy directly from REN because you can't be sure that you will receive what you ordered. Useful. Share. Reply. The app lets you hide channels if you'd rather not watch movies from specific sources, as well as view the description of movies that are playing later but that aren't live right now. Streaming Pluto TV videos works from Android, iPhone, iPad, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Vizio TVs, Windows, and ... REN products are great, as is their customer service. On one occasion some of the free samples were missing from my package, I contacted them and the missing items were sent straight away. On another occasion I paid extra for next day delivery and this did not happen (not REN's fault but that of the delivery company DPD), so they refunded the ... ‎RenWeb Home provides parents and students always-logged-in instant access to ParentsWeb via their iPhones and iPads for an annual subscription fee of $4.99 per year. PURCHASE METHOD: RenWeb Home is offered by the App Store as an In-App Subscription. That means you install the App for free, and th… FirstMet.com is the online home of FirstMet, an online website and mobile application created in order to help people find potential dating partners through existing friends, similar interests, and more.

Monthly Update: Parachute Social Liquidity Pools, Ivan(OnTech) Joins as Advisor, Townhall, Trending on CoinGecko, Covered by EllioTrades Crypto + Altcoin Buzz, …– 31 Jul – 3 Sept'20

2020.10.17 19:01 abhijoysarkar Monthly Update: Parachute Social Liquidity Pools, Ivan(OnTech) Joins as Advisor, Townhall, Trending on CoinGecko, Covered by EllioTrades Crypto + Altcoin Buzz, …– 31 Jul – 3 Sept'20

Monthly Update: Parachute Social Liquidity Pools, Ivan(OnTech) Joins as Advisor, Townhall, Trending on CoinGecko, Covered by EllioTrades Crypto + Altcoin Buzz, …– 31 Jul – 3 Sept'20
Hola folks! Yesterday we got caught up with everything that happened in July 2020 at Parachute and ParJar. Today, I will be sharing news from August. Looking back at those five weeks, they were easily one of the most action-packed ones in the Parachuteverse ever. If you missed my note about the new format from yesterday: “…I thought it would be best to club all the Parachute news into monthly reports and publish them back-to-back over the next few days to catch up with the latest…For a change, we will be focusing on Parachute + ParJar news alone in these monthly reports. Because if we include news from our partner project in these, we might as well publish the Encyclopaedia Britannica”. In case you thought yesterday’s was a long read, boy are you in for a shock today. Make sure to get yourself a beverage and set aside an hour to go through all that will follow. So here’s goes the Parachute scrolls dating 31-Jul-20 to 3-Sept-20 –
31 Jul – 6 Aug'20:
$PAR became one of the top trending coins on CoinGecko this week. The token also received a perfect score on DEXTools. Pretty sweet! We crossed 2500 members in the Parachute channel after quite a while. But no sign of Ron yet. Haha. BrainiacChess Network ($CHESS) was added to ParJar. We got a surprise listing on Hotbit ourselves with an ETH and BTC pairing. $PAR was listed on CoinW exchange this week too. More details here. Looks like wrapping up a day at Parachute usually ends with steaks. If you ever thought otherwise, a look at the $PAR contract should dispel that doubt. A community vote was opened up to list the next token on ParJar. Congratulations to Chirag for winning this week’s Parena and taking home 6k+ $PAR. Neat! Everybody knows about the bitcoin pizza. But did you know about the bitcoin burger? Read all about AlBundy185's crazy BTC journey here. What a wild ride indeed!
AlBundy185’s BTC ride has to be a stuff of legends
Pic of Gian with Diamond Dallas Page taken from his epic WCW Thunder story (https://t.me/parachutetokengroup/395125). Spooky sent us!
Gian announced a temporary stoppage of Two-for-Tuesday to make way for the second annual Big Brother contest. Soon after, he opened up entries for the contest. Woot! Fans can also get updates and spoilers from the GC’s BB group. Gamer Boy hosted a “Random Gk” trivia in TTR this week. Naj hosted a Sunday “Mega Trivia”. Afful held a “General knowledge” trivia as well. Sebastian shared the new ParJar Gaming schedule for August. Yes, you read that right. 75k $PAR in the monthly prize pool. Woot! For this week's Friday creative prompt (#nottodaycovid) by Jason, Parachuters talked "about what you are doing to keep yourself sane during the pandemic" for some cool $PAR.
Alejandro’s betta fish collection is a sight for sore eyes
Elmar, these are all amazing!
Model ships made by Bada during the lockdown. Awesome!
Ivan (from Ivan on Tech) joined the Parachute channel this week. Looks like next few weeks are going to be super exciting! Doc Vic hosted a flash game in the Parachute War Zone for some cool $PAR prizes. Mario had an interesting idea. Change the ParJar display name to “ParJar Wallet” to actually reflect the true nature of ParJar. And voila! “ParJar” is now “ParJar Wallet”. Instant feedback implementation! We also finally got an unofficial price chatter group running. As we mentioned in the last update, Clinton released a limited edition shirt in the Parachute Store this week to commemorate the Liquidity Program on Uniswap. Some of the Parena merch had to be sunsetted from the store though. So if you grabbed some before that, you are now the proud owner of rare Parena merchandise. James from the Parachute Athletics and Running Club announced a Secret Challenge for 400 $PAR. Cap shared a sneak peek into what’s brewing behind the scenes. He also posted some experimental visuals for the website and for ParJar:
Cap’s creative spurts are super trippy! Pt. I
Trippy creatives from Cap Pt. II
7 Aug – 13 Aug'20:
ParJar did some heavy lifting on behalf of Uniswap this week when Uniswap got clogged but ParJar swaps were running smoothly. If you haven’t seen how swaps work yet, CF made another cool video tutorial. Following last week’s community vote, Enjin ($ENJ) won a spot to become the next swappable token on ParJar. DMM DAO’s $DMG token was listed on ParJar as well. Inputs from the community were taken for listing the next DeFi token on ParJar. A new tier was added for the Parachute Uniswap Liquidity Rewards Program this week. Last week’s incredible Parachute run on CoinGecko was noticed by many including DAO Maker and Blockfyre. We got word that Parachute was featured in Ivan’s (Ivan on Tech) private report meant for his closed group of subscribers. Word on the street is that Parachute was reviewed in detail in the Hidden Gems section of the report and received the highest score among all the projects covered there. Super cool! He also talked about Parachute in his latest video. Watch out for timestamps 42:23 and 47:48. And followed it up with another mention in next day’s video as well. Pretty cool! $PAR also saw some crazy movements and activity. And all this started while Cap was chilling on an Amtrack on his way to Vermont. Haha.
Cap shared this amazing view from Vermont
Check out the Sentivate gear in the Parachute shop. For this week's creative prompt (#donkeyart), Jason had Parachuters "find an image of a piece of art that particularly moved" them and explain how and why. Darren’s Mega Friday Trivia in Tiproom had a sweet 6300 $PAR prize pot. Peace Love (Yanni) hosted another quiz in TTR with some more cool $PAR prizes. Clinton’s charity For Living Independence (FLI) became Lumenthropy’s spotlight charity this week which means they will be matching all $XLM donations to FLI. Lumenthropy is Stellar’s charitable arm. The entries to Gian's Big Brother Contest closed this week with Gian starting to share updates on episodes and $PAR rewards to weekly winners. If you want to catch all the action, head over to the BB Group set up by GC. And the most amazing thing happened this week – As new folks were joining into the Parachute group, someone named Ender Wiggin chimed into the chatter and as we talked we figured that he was not only Cap's neighbour in NYC but was also my school senior. Parachute truly brings the world together! PARs & Recreation wants to create a Parachute foodies group. And if his posts are anything to go by (figs, blueberries, Ikura), it’s going to be a hunger-inducing channel. Doc Vic (from Cuba) announced the start of a team Deathmatch tournament in the Parachute War Zone.
Congratulations, Clinton!
Looks like an epic ParJar video is underway. Parachute was also covered extensively by EllioTrades Crypto this week. YouTuber CM TopDog too made an awesome video on Parachute where he talked at length about the project, the roadmap, the token and more. Saweet! After seeing Albundy185 struggle with pooling on Uniswap, Cap and Ice had a light bulb moment for an entirely new feature on ParJar that would make pooling social and fun. More details to be released over the next few weeks.
Jose’s epic new gif puts Cap’s lightbulb moment about social pools into perspective :D
Looks like Alexis’ neighbour is into Uniswap pools as well. Get it, get it? Haha
Congratulations on the new store, Hang! Folks who don't know, Hang is building a hempire. World domination next
14 Aug – 20 Aug'20:
As mentioned last week, Cap and crew had something cool brewing for folks who pool assets on Uniswap. Presenting Social Liquidity Pools (SLP) by Parachute. No more pooling/staking alone in silos. Get together with others doing what you love most – pool assets on Uniswap (either directly or through ParJar - upcoming), then stake the received liquidity tokens into SLPs on ParJar to get additional rewards and social bonuses like entry into VIP or premium token curated groups. Making Uniswap social! Click here to read about what’s next for ParJar and Parachute. The first Uniswap $PAR Liquidity Pool Rewards Program came to a close. All qualified poolers will receive their rewards in 2 months. DeFi superstar yearn.finance ($YFI) was added to ParJar this week for both sends/tips and swaps. Woohoo! Waifu in the house. After last week’s community inputs regarding the next new token on ParJar, a public vote was started. Uptrennd founder Jeff Kirdeikis’ latest project, TrustSwap ($SWAP), got listed on ParJar after winning that vote which got a shoutout from Ivan as well. So now we have a tongue twister on our hands. Haha. Cap also shared the first hints about $PAR governance. More details to be posted next week. Plus, Cap announced that he will be hosting a townhall next week. Stay tuned! Get your questionnaire ready. Like last week, Parachute chatter popped up in Ivan’s latest video this week as well.
Dang! What an amazing place, Victor
For all the mobile gamers out there, Tony set up a Parachute Corporation for the EVE Echoes game. Hit him up if you want to join. Naj hosted a Sunday TTR trivia with a 6300 $PAR prize pot. Gamer Boy held one as well. Darren’s Mega Trivia in Tiproom was super fun as always. Jason did an impromptu token giveaway so that fellow collectors could complete their ParJar collection followed by a mini contest to "guess the closest to the number of miles I am about to run" for some cool $PAR. Chris hosted this week’s creative Friday prompt (#adminfunday): “Using the profile image of any Parachute admin as inspiration, draw what you think that admin would like to do on the weekend”. And what an amazing video Hans (Pad of DeFi Chad). Haha! Super hilarious and fun.
Some of the radest #adminfunday entries. Clockwise from top left: Skittish, TyReal, Staph It!!, Yosma, Ik Now, Jeff, Chica Cuba, Jhang, Kuuraku
21 Aug – 27 Aug'20:
Ivan (from Ivan On Tech) joined Parachute as an advisor. Woot! Welcome to the Parachute fam. Here’s a sneak peek into what the first day discussions with Ivan as an advisor revolved around. The project got featured in France’s largest crypto news platform, Journal du Coin. Noice! Click here for the English translated version. As mentioned earlier, Cap hosted a townhall this week. If you missed it, you can catch up here. He also shared a rough draft snapshot of “how the governance and fee distribution contracts could look for ParJar Wallet”. Plus, some updates from this week and a big picture view at what staking liquidity through ParJar could look like. Parachute also got mentioned in another of Ivan’s videos this week.
Snapshot from the Parachute Townhall
In partnership with Sentivate, ParJar distributed $SNTVT tokens this week to 1500 people of whom 800 were new users. Sentivate hosted this drop for members of a specific group as a token of appreciation for their support. Reminiscent of the AMGO drop, this was a precursor of “how PAR drops + other token drops could work for our Social Liquidity pooling”. The $PAR Governance whitepaper was released and initial brainstorming started in the tokenomics group. Cap was also interviewed by YouTuber Money Party (@Edward_F) this week to talk at length about where we are at and where we are heading. We also received a super duper shoutout from CryptoTube in his latest video where he did a deep dive into ParJar and Parachute. Thanks a ton! Cryptovator did a cool feature on the project as well.
Cap added more changes to the site to show: \"ParJar wallet in action along with…the integrations\" + Big Picture
In this week's creative contest, Jason put up a #writingprompt: "...imagine you are a brand new intern at my new mega corporation...Today is your first day and you are told you need to present something about crypto to upper management...all you know is Bitcoin is a thing and some vague information about it. Pick a coin or general crypto subject and write a short story...None of the facts or material can be correct in your presentation...". Haha! After helping fellow Parachuters with their ParJar collection last week, Jason set up a collector’s group this week. If you have more than 30 of the coins/tokens listed on ParJar in your @parjar_bot collection already, send Jason a PM and he will get you in. Victor hosted a “Big Trivia” in TTR this week for 6300 $PAR in prizes. Afful held a quiz in Tiproom on “General Knowledge” as well. Check out these wicked new shorts in the Parachute Store based on Jose’s gif.
Epic stuff, Jose! Haha
Nice haul from the Parachute Beer Exchange, CF! Markus did you a solid
Boldman Stachs pointed out that $PAR had the highest Galaxy Score on social media analytics platform LunarCRUSH this week. Pretty neat! CF took note. And like Cap mentioned, it has mostly been thanks to him. Haha. And big up to Jesús (@JALBARRAN02) for making a ParJar guide video for our Spanish crew. You rock! Interesting results from the DeFi survey: majority of crypto folks are still DeFi-curious. A new community vote was thrown open for listing the next DeFi token on ParJar. Anyone who's been around a bit already knows that Clinton does some amazing work at his charity, For Living Independence, which creates assistive technology for disabled individuals. This week he shared some snaps of a build which now enables a lady in a wheelchair get upstairs in her home.
This is so wholesome, Clinton! Thank you for doing what you do.
28 Aug – 3 Sep'20:
ParJar was featured in Altcoin Buzz’s latest video. Noice! Click here and here to read some recent updates from Cap. After winning last week’s vote, Akropolis ($AKRO) became the latest token to be listed on ParJar. Woot! bZx crew gave some serious competition too. So we had to get them on ParJar as well. $BZRX was listed this week right after $AKRO. $PAR now has 7k on-chain HODLers. Saweet! Sentivate will be our first partner project to have a Social Liquidity Pool on ParJar. This is amazing! Time for another community vote to get a new project listed on ParJar – this time it is DeFi Pie v/s Ren v/s Proxi DeFi v/s Others. If you’ve missed all the latest Parachute-related videos, we have your back. Check this tweet thread to catch up. Naj hosted a Saturday Tiproom Trivia for 6300 $PAR in prizes. Congratulations to Maria for winning the latest Parena. 8k $PAR in the bag. Woohoo! And congo rats to Yanni as well for winning a special edition shirt from the Parachute store. Gamer Boy’s Big Trivia in TTR saw a ton of participation as always. The Parachute Fantasy Football contest is back! Chris set up the entry rules this week.
CF has done wonders for Parachute’s social metrics: “..+500% in our fi(r)st marketing month..”
Whew, what a month! And with that we close for August 2020 @ Parachute/ParJar. See you again with one more epic monthly update tomorrow. Cheerio!
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2020.09.12 19:01 DealsCanada [Amazon.ca] Renpho BMI Smart bluetooth bathroom Scale $28.99

Link: https://www.amazon.ca/RENPHO-Bluetooth- … 01NALRONX/ Price: 28.99 Discount: $15 Retailer: Amazon.ca
Last time I missed the sale and have been tracking this for a while. The Renpho body scale is back on sale. Original price was $43.99 but with $15 coupon the price goes down to $28.99
Amazon product: RENPHO Body Fat Scale Smart Digital Bluetooth Bathroom Weight BMI Scale Body Composition Monitor Analyzer with Smartphone App 396 lbs White Customer Reviews: I didn’t know what to expect from this scale. It costs less than a third of what the FitBit Aria costs. I owned (and was eternally frustrated by) a FitBit Aria. To cut right to the chase, this scale is better than the Aria. Build quality isn’t quite as good, but the app is remarkably better than FitBit’s app and is much easier to setup and pair. And, if you’re still tied to FitBit’s ecosystem for other reasons (maybe you have a tracker), the RenPho app automatically syncs your weight into FitBit. This is one of the few occasions where a MUCH cheaper alternative to a name brand product delivers a MUCH better experience.
Image: ![](https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41gwbRrccKL._AC_.jpg)
Link: https://www.amazon.ca/RENPHO-Bluetooth- … 01NALRONX/
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2020.08.23 11:44 OneSilverRaven Raven Reviews: Huniepop, The Best Example of What a Visual Novel Can Do Wrong.

TL;DR
Huniepop is the perfect storm bad visual novel and the example I point to when someone asks me to explain how to tell a good novel from a bad one at a glance. The experience of playing it is an exercise in frustration for an experienced visual novel reader and a terrible representative for an inexperienced reader. The rest of this review is me picking apart every aspect of the game in detail and arguing why it serves as such a great example despite the fact it does not qualify for the title of a “true” VN.
A WORD ON VISUAL NOVELS
If you were to search for Huniepop on VNDB you would be met with this screen, displaying that the game had once been considered, but was removed at some point after its inclusion. Following the link posted in the notice, you come across this thread which seems to broadly favor the ultimate decision to remove it.1 Another link leads you to this screen, where the database firmly sets guidelines for what may be added to the collection and in no uncertain terms Huniepop fails to meet them. This review is not an argument that Huniepop be considered a visual novel nor is it meant to say anything about VNDB as I'm sure the majority of people reading this (myself included) respect the thorough nature of the site and its authority. What I do intend to do however is use Huniepop as an example in place of a more traditional novel2 because despite not qualifying for the genre it manages to embody every single pitfall a poorly presented novel could fall into.3
Before I explain however it's important to note that Huniepop is a well known game and mainstream in a way that more “traditional” visual novels are not. Meaning that whether or not we like it Huniepop is a representative of the visual novel genre to the mainstream world.
Poll a random gamer about their favorite visual novel and you're likely to get one of three responses. That they have never heard of the genre, that they don’t play dating games, or a minority that will list one of the few popular titles. Dangan Ronpa, Gyakuten Saiban, 999, and Doki Doki Literature Club! are the ones I hear most often.4 Now an astute observer familiar with these titles will immediately notice that they all share a feature with Huniepop and each other that I think is key to understanding their mass appeal, and that is that they all hybridize the visual novel style with another genre of game. Dangan Ronpa and 999 are puzzle solving mystery games with game play dotted between novel sections. Phoenix Wright is a different breed of puzzle game but follows the same format. Doki Doki is the closest to a “traditional” VN but mixes heavily with horror elements and meta game play so the point still stands. Clearly, mainstream audiences more readily adopt VN’s that provide some kind of game play element.5
Because of their popularity this relatively small pool of games is what we have to draw from when talking about how Visual Novels are perceived by people unfamiliar with them. Overwhelmingly to an outside observer this genre would look to be composed of sexualized (Doki Doki, Dangan Ronpa to an extent,) simple (Puzzle games don’t exactly require twitch reflexes, just patience and time,)6 anime art games with a disproportionate amount of romance themes.7 Not a bad description for Huniepop if it was necessary to give it one so short. I think it's a good idea to keep in mind that the western idea of what a VN is typically about was the mindset behind this game's creation. The author of the game has even openly voiced that he does not believe Huniepop should be considered a visual novel at all.8
That being said it’s hard to ignore the parallels. Strip away for a moment the lack of actual text (the NOVEL portion of this visual novel) and you’ll be hard pressed to point out a significant difference between this game and one of the earlier examples.9 Sure the gameplay is different but “puzzle” is a wide genre. The art styles vary but that is true between any two games and even the 999 trilogy went from 2D to 3D between titles and that didn’t disqualify them. Huniepop actually has a few ADVANTAGES over some of these games with a wide variety of outfits for the heroins and a huge amount of CGs dwarfing Doki Doki and 999’s numbers. If you wanted to be purely objective then yes, Huniepop is not a visual novel, but it shares a lot in common with the genre and those similarities are fascinating to look at when judging its quality.
IF WE COULD READ A BOOK IN ONE PAGE
I have always maintained that the most important single feature of a visual novel is the title screen. Writing, which one can argue is more important broadly, can have good and bad moments and be incredibly inconsistent with even the best novels in this genre having individual scenes far below par.10 I can’t recount how many times a good novel has had a protagonist that brought down multiple scenes they were in.11 Art is divided into multiple sub-groups so I think it's unfair to lump every visual aspect together. Backgrounds, sprites, CGs, chibis, if all of these are bad then a novel is unlikely to gain much of a readership but if one or two suffer for the others there is a good chance it can be overlooked. Doki Doki had very simple sprites and backgrounds but made up for it with strong animations and clever use of audience expectations to use their sprites creatively. 999 has downright HIDEOUSLY choppy art in its first installment and subpar character models in later games (as well as almost no CGs in the second game and none in the third)12 but used its assets sparingly and spread out its best looking moments to compensate. Point being, as long as the writing and art isn’t so bad you can hardly look at it and enough of it is of a quality to catch a reader you can get away with focusing on a few points over others when necessary.
Without a doubt though your title screen is one of those points that needs to be top of the priority list. A bland or uninteresting title screen is a red flag larger than the banner on the Kremlin during the October parade. Why? Because it's the first thing you see, it sets the tone for the entire rest of the novel. The old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” exists because it is ridiculously simple to take a single look at something and let that first impression color your view of the entire work. Perhaps the saying is correct, but it can't be helped that this first screen sets expectations and a catching or interesting title presentation can make or break a reader's interest in what follows.
Let’s look at an example from one of the greatest western VNs Katawa Shoujo and the subtle way it plays with your expectations.13 Upon booting up the game you see this image. Which is relatively plain. The three features are the central canvas like space, the isolated options in the lower corner, and the game’s symbol in the upper corner. The eye is drawn to the center of the screen where the negative space causes a reader to search for something to latch onto. The option text is simple and uninteresting so the only real object to engage with is the heart. If you had never heard of Katawa Shoujo before starting this game it's easy to see this heart at the edge of all this negative space and take away that symbol as the only feature. This actually primes you for the novel you are about to read because Hisao, the protagonist, is only moments away from a heart attack, which will become the major defining feature you as the reader will see him as until he is fleshed out over the course of the novel's entire length.
Katawa Shoujo then slowly introduces the reader to the idea that the heroines Hisao meets, who he first describes and views as extensions of their disabilities, are not defined by the features they possess but the people that they are. In line with this as you complete more chapters the title screen shows a branching group of pictures stemming from that first title card of act 1. These reminders of your story with each route fill the once negative space with a bouquet of deeper memories. The theme of Katawa Shoujo is ultimately that people are more than the surface level we can see and making judgements on one trait, one object, like the heart in the corner is ignoring that more lies below the surface then being “The blind girl” or “the girl with no arms” or “the guy with arrhythmia.”14
Doki Doki Literature Club also has a great example of a title screen because it hides the horror elements the game is eventually going to spring and the twist that this novel is going to be unconventional in plain sight for a careful observer. The first thing I noticed when first reading this novel and something that a new reader would probably never guess is that there is no “extras” option, which means there is no gallery. Now this isn’t exactly something to be worked up about, I can name dozens of novels that don’t immediately allow access to the game’s extras. But normally the option is left on the title screen grayed out (Katawa Shoujo, Muv-Luv Alternative, Aokana: Four Rythems Across the Blue) not absent entirely. Secondly, the game's name has a tell that will definitely go over the head of someone unversed in Japanese culture, but the O in each Doki are pushed together to form an 8. This is an unlucky number in Japan like 13 would be considered unlucky in America. If you notice that detail you can probably also figure out that Doki Doki, the Japanese sound word for a heartbeat, has a double meaning as both a fluttering heart and a nervous heartbeat. The inclusion of unlucky 8 points the reader’s interpretation to the negative connotation, the game is literally telling you on the first screen “be prepared for unfortunate nerve racking events.” Combine this with the lack of an extras option and you can deduce rather easily that this otherwise cutsie looking VN is going to pull some tricks on you.
Now obviously I don’t expect that everyone who picks up a given novel is going to over analyze the title screen like I do. I doubt most people notice they are making judgments about a novel that early in the experience. But from an author's perspective you have to assume that your reader IS going to be that picky about your game and so they put a lot of effort in to showcase the worth of this highly visual medium right from the start.
Huniepop opts to do a very common style of title called an ensemble shot where all the important characters are on screen in a group. Lots of novels do this from Muv-Luv to Kindred Spirits on the Roof, not uncommon at all, but just like how a careful observer will notice the detail in the Doki Doki logo an experienced novel reader will immediately see a problem in this particular picture. That being the sheer number of people on the screen. In total Huniepop has 9 characters present on the title shot and that is well over the average number for a romance focused game where typically there are only 3-5 routes.15 Now I used Kindred Spirits as an example of another ensemble shot which has an ungodly 16 characters16 but that is the exception rather then the rule as EVERY character in the game is included and Kindred Spirits follows a unique story telling style that doesn't fit cleanly into the normal progression of traditional VNs.
Almost always ensemble shots showcase only the heroines of a novel and cut out any that aren’t romance options. Suki to Suki to de Sankaku Ren'ai actually goes a step further and despite having two characters that are both options for menu voices (something else usually reserved for romanceable heroines only) and two ecchi scenes apiece included only the four main route heroines in their ensemble shot. Muv-Luv also follows this trend with three ensemble shots on its title screens featuring the six main heroins and neglecting the two characters that play critical roles in the story despite the fact they also have one ecchi scene apiece, which hilariously is half as much as five of the heroins and equal to the sixth but that's neither here nor there.17
Just by counting the number of people on screen a reader can infer one of two things is almost certainly true. Either this novel is going to be lengthy, as many as 30 hours minimum and up to 100+ hours if properly paced.18 Or the characters in this novel aren't going to be given nearly enough time to be fleshed out because the novel simply has too many people19 to properly explore them all. Given the remaining details of the title card, the spinning pink background behind the logo and the floating shapes that invoke the same feeling as looking at a box of store brand marshmallow cereal my money would be on the later.
BECAUSE MAGIC IS UNIMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE USED TO GET YOU LAID
For the sake of argument let's say you either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the pretty big warning sign I just pointed out and decided to start a new game. After selecting a save file and a gender the player is immediately thrown into the games potentially longest string of connected dialogues but for this section I’m only going to focus on the scenes you’re FORCED to do. The story opens with the reader’s character approached by a woman at a bar who berates you for several sentences about your inability to properly socialize while you demonstrate that you have just learned the English language and are having trouble remembering the difference between thank you and good morning.
Without warning you are forced to make several choices in a row that all effectively say the exact same thing and then the woman leaves. The next morning in your bedroom a lingerie model set to appear in Katy Perry's reshoot of California Girls wakes you up and you rightfully tell her that sleep is a gift bestowed by the gods and you are not going to be roused by what is clearly an illusion. Disregarding your valid skepticism the protagonist from the worlds sluttiest magical girl anime takes you on a date.
This brings us to the screen you will be staring at for roughly 70% of the time you play this game, but I’m actually going to skip over it just to finish the tutorial so table that for now. After your game play demonstration the Good Witch of the West’s rebellious daughter returns you to your room, gives you your menu screen and presents you with the only choice that has literally any bearing on your play through. Which place sounds like the best spot to pick up chicks? Now I, as a twenty something man, have attempted at least once to engage with a woman in all of these locations, but something tells me this games targeted demographic of horny high schoolers that strangely like doing puzzles they paid a ten spot for more than using google to find free videos have not. How many people actually chose the park on their first play through?
This brings us to the one and only thing that I can compliment about this game unapologeticly so prepare your angry comments. The introductory scenes for the various characters, while admittedly rushed and simplistic, are generally really good. Some are better than others, but the worst one of the bunch Kyanna still gives you the bare minimum to get a sense for their character and in a better novel that actually cared enough to flesh out these girls this would be a pretty good opening. I like the circular nature where meeting one girl leads to the next and essentially gives us two introductions to each character as we see them interact with one of the other flat pieces of cardboard we’re supposed to pretend are people.
Oh shoot didn’t quite have enough positivity to make it to the end of that paragraph did I?
Yeah these characters are all terrible and exist solely for player gratification. I can boil them down to one word each and I bet you’ll have no trouble guessing which one I’m referring to. In fact let's test that out shall we?
Asian, Tsundere, Shy, Cougar, MILF, Black, Nerd, schoolgirl, Neko, Alien, Slut, and dominatrix.
Think you got 'em all? Of course you did because as far as the game is concerned these single words are all these characters are. In a way this game is disturbingly meta because the protagonist treats these people in a way that seems almost clinically designed to mirror how you the player were always going to treat them.20 You ask superficial questions about them (Age, weight, height) and then answer those questions when prompted. No, actually, you have the OPTION to ask superficial questions about them because talking to the heroines is literally optional, there is a steam achievement for completing the game without ever doing it once. You have the OPTION to buy them things, from the insultingly basic preferred items that literally just cater to whatever fetish the character was made to fill to general food items and alcohol that force them to talk to you more and romance easier. And of course you have the OPTION, but are really forced to take them on dates.
But I’m still not ready to talk about the dates yet so let's switch topics.
HOW TO FAIL AT AESTHETIC DESIGN
Let's talk about the music. There are twenty three tracks in this game and all of them are forgettable garbage. One of those tracks is the opening theme and if you ever played this game with headphones you know EXACTLY what the opening notes of that song sound like because it was the last thing you heard before going deaf for three hours. For anyone who hasn’t had their hearing destroyed follow this link and you’ll see what I’m talking about, they set this theme about three times as loud as it should have been and what makes it worse is they put it over that off putting title screen to make this game as unappealing as possible! Of the twenty two remaining tracks two of those only play in your character's bedroom during and after the romance game. That leaves twenty tracks of music, not an bad amount. So when do those play? Well you might get a clue by looking at the titles, with such riveting names as Dagwood Park, University Campus, Fitness Club, and my personal favorite Hot Springs, because Onsen was apparently too complicated a word.
They all just pertain to the location they’re named after. No variety, no variation, and each time you return to the location they loop from the beginning so I hope you enjoy the first thirty seconds or so of these two and a half minute tracks because that's the part you’re going to hear.
You know what was one of my favorite parts of Katawa Shoujo? Something I always remembered even years after I read the story. The two rattles at the beginning of Kenji’s theme Out of the Loop. Kenji is insane by the literal definition, he has undiagnosed paranoia and is going to kill someone if not properly medicated21 but I was never upset to see him because this song loop always made me chuckle. The game is self aware enough to tell you Kenji is clearly wrong about everything he says by using his own theme to show the motif. He’s out of the loop, disconnected, thoughts rattle around his brain but nothing worth knowing. Now Kenji is actually one of the more interesting characters in Katawa Shoujo and much deeper then his introduction might lead you to believe but that's a topic for another day. What I wanted to illustrate is that music in a visual novel is one of the most important details you need to get right in order to have a good play experience for your reader.
Authors of films, TV shows and VNs don’t give characters their own themes because it's just tradition and saves time when you can copy paste someone's theme over every scene they’re in. They do it because music is an ingrained and easy to access part of human culture and can have a huge variety of effects when we hear it. Everyone knows what a “wild west” song sounds like. Everyone knows what jazz, and classical, and eastern music sounds like and if you don’t think you do you actually do but just can’t think of an example. I can play just five seconds of organ music and everyone who can hear it will immediately start thinking about vampires and cheesy cartoons about Gothic horror. When you are planning your musical accompaniment for a visual novel it is imperative you understand what you are trying to SAY with your choices and where they play. When I’m in the forest with the shy girl I should not be hearing the same music as when I’m in the forest with the obnoxious party girl. Going to a club with Cougar should not be the same as going with MILF because the atmosphere of the scene is completely different. I should not be thinking “I am at Lusty’s Nightclub with girl X.” I should be thinking “I am at a club with this girl who is _.” But when the music is always the same no matter what girl I bring it makes the place feel static and lifeless and the heroins uninteresting.
Another problem with Huniepop is the terrible UI which just bogs down the whole game. Granted, everything is straightforward and easy to understand, but the damn thing takes up three quarters of the screen! Now maybe you’re a speed reader and don’t care much for background art and fine details and if so i guess you can skip to the end of this section this complaint isn’t for you but for everyone else everything about this UI is chunky in the worst possible way. Of the six options on the screen at any given time the only two that REALLY need to be there are “talk” and “go on date” and the rest are just shortcuts to your menu. Now I'm not opposed to shortcuts, far from it, I love them, but that's what key binding is for. All you do by forcing these options on the screen is cater to the lowest common denominator of players and give the game a claustrophobic feel. It makes me wonder why you even bothered making the backgrounds at all if you were so ashamed of them you just had to shield as much as possible from view after the static sprite slides into place and we get half a second to look at the art. That is when the entire screen isn’t taken up by the glorified pachinko board which I’m still avoiding but I’ll get to it don't rush me next topic!
A SILENT CHARACTER TRAGEDY
So if I’m being honest everything I've said so far is kind of superficial. So the title screen isn’t great and the intro was hilariously rushed with unfunny jokes and the music is lame and the UI is chunky. Big deal, why do I care enough to talk about it? Well the truth of the matter is that Huniepop commits a cardinal sin that I think more people need to be cognizant of, and when I first realized why this game had always felt kind of off in my mind, I knew I had to say something. It’s not revolutionary to say Huniepop is a bad VN, or even a bad game. But those arguments have come to overshadow a bigger issue, one that affects people in the real world every day. This game at its core is fundamentally dismissive of the fact that your character is taking advantage of these girls and ultimately abandons them.
Now I know what that sounds like, I can already hear people calling me out as an SJW and laughing at the fact that I even brought this up in the first place. Visual Novels aren't exactly known as pillars for social equality and far more often than not the mistreatment of women isn’t even a thought that enters the head of the author or reader. These novels are after all works of fiction, and contain scenarios that could (hopefully) never take place in real life. But I’m not talking about every visual novel. As far as i’m concerned art is something that should never be censored regardless of its subject matter with even and perhaps especially the most despicable and depraved acts being showcased. As vile and terrible as it may be to commit sexual and physical crimes in reality a book is nothing more than a book, and it is up to the individual reading it to process the morality of its contents.
I don’t care if the other lessons that can be learned from this game go completely ignored or if everything else I've said here gets forgotten. If you take one thing away from this now eight page and climbing review, take this sentence. If you never sat down and thought about what is going to happen after you put down Huniepop for the last time to the girls in the story, then Huniepops message to you was the disgusting idea that it was a fun game to deceive twelve people into sleeping with you through lies, manipulation, and sometimes debatable force. Let's break it down.
Aiko is a gambling addict who at least dislikes her job and giggles when you give her Japanese objects playfully calling you “so racist.” Admittedly she is probably the one least affected by your actions and I don’t have a bunch to say about her but you are definitely not a healthy choice for her to date or have sex with or whatever you want to call your relationship because you’re not solving any of the issues she’s dealing with, you just make her laugh and look cute.
Audrey is a drug addict who is failing her classes, abuses others, and at best has a tenuous circle of friends who all call her a bitch behind her back. When you take her virginity she tries to open up to you but falls back on her aggressive personality because she can’t force herself to be vulnerable like that. She’s self destructive, lonely, and on a life path to a terrible future.
Beli is a shy girl with body image issues and given the fact her two interactions when you meet her are with older women probably finds it difficult to relate to her peers. She’s easily pressured, a lightweight, and it is going to absolutely break her heart when you reveal to her you’re seeing other people. More than anyone else in this roster she thinks the two of you are going steady and it is simply deceitful to pretend that's what's happening and lie to her face.
Jessie is a single mom who turned to porn to support her daughter and earned her daughters ire instead of her love. She hooks up with random men, like you, because it’s what she knows how to do. She’s a chain smoker, and probably also an alcoholic. Now unlike Aiko where her gambling addiction is literally debilitating and Audrey who is a serious hard core drug user Jessie isn’t that bad. Any one of these vices isn’t enough to mention, but all together it shows she has incredibly self destructive behavior. Again, not as bad as Audrey, but if she truly wanted Tiffany to forgive her and rekindle their relationship don’t you think she would have stopped smoking and doing the porn shoots? I don’t think she’s still going because she wants to, but because she can’t stop herself.
Kyanna is a single mother who you drag out to clubs and outings, keeping her away from her child, and reintroduce to alcohol knowing she has a history of substance abuse at parties. Now unlike some of the other girls Kyanna is going to be just fine when you leave, she’s got herself together and a good stable life, but you are absolutely not a good influence on her and only going to cause problems for her and her child.
Lola… alright you got me Lola is probably going to do okay. But pretty much every single dialogue option you have with her is a straight up lie unless you’re asking for her measurements.
Nikki is an introvert who at first pushes you away but eventually warms up to you to the point she poses sexually on her bed just to get your attention. The pleading nature of that text makes me shiver as this girl who complains about her small chest to you THE NIGHT YOU’RE ABOUT TO HAVE SEX is trying her hardest to get you to like her. She wants you to see her sexually so badly she throws her caution aside and goes all out just to have you cheat on her with her abusive friend that drug her to a club against her will.
Tiffany is the saddest story for me because she is on the exact same path as her mother and doesn't even know it. She’s hypersexualized, choosing to wear a fetishistic schoolgirl outfit, sending you panty shots she pretends her friend took without her knowledge, calling you a perv as she sends you nudes, just all kinds of stuff she hates her mother for. As far as we know she has no contact with her father so she’s basically going solo through college and here you come, lying to her face when she asks you if you’re seeing other people. Too afraid to ask you to go steady, too lonely to dump you when you can’t be faithful. I can only imagine what she’ll say when she finds out who you’re cheating on her with…
Celeste is literally an outsider to your planet and I will never be convinced your relationship with her isn’t rape. Her species experiences heat, she doesn't know your mating rituals, and she's literally a prisoner on Earth. This is rape. Point blank, no arguments, you rape her, I don’t give a damn if she’s smiling.
Kyu is a nymphomaniac and is definitely going to lose her job at some point. She’s got the whole gambit honestly with body dysmorphia, drug addiction, porn addiction, an abrasive sarcastic personality brought on by attachment issues and to top it all off she knows she’s in a video game about dating girls for sex so that can’t possibly be fun. Hell I’d turn to drugs too at that point.
Momo is a child. She’s literally 6, younger if we convert that to cat years. She has the mind of a child, she talks like a child, she's a child. This is pedophilia. Not even Loli just straight up pedophilia.
Venus is the literal god of love and seducing her is a feat of unimaginable consequences. I literally can not even begin to fathom what it would do to the world but I can tell you one thing. The fact that she was not always the god of love means somone else had that position before her and I can’t think of a better way to lose your job then to be reported for having sex with a minor, which is absolutely what you are to her being 2% her age.
Do I think the author intended any of these things to be taken this seriously? No of course not, but I think that's kind of the point. I don’t think ANYONE is taking this seriously because this game is a bad clone of bejeweled. And to be honest I’m not that upset about it either, at least not in this specific game, but I think it's worth thinking about because how many other visual novels have you played where you didn’t bother to think about what came next for the characters? Games that took themselves far more seriously than this one? If you’re reading this and I've somehow struck a chord with you maybe you should consider thinking back on some of the stories you’ve read and asking yourself to analyze them a little deeper. Or not, because that's hard and no fun.
Alright fine let's get the damn bubble pop out of the way.
NO, I AM NOT GOING TO REFER TO IT AS CANDY CRUSH
The main focus of Huniepop is on courting girls through seducing them with bejeweled. You play bejeweled to do this. It’s bejeweled.22
What am I supposed to say about it? This is a game 50 something moms play before they get their kids from tap recital. This game is literally one step up in complexity from PONG. Yeah I know there's Alpha mode23 and it gets harder and you have to use date gifts and alcohol and and and-
Yeah I don’t care.
I’ll admit the number of mechanics makes it more interesting then vanilla bejeweled because at least you have to kind of think around what each girl responds to and the passion mechanic is nice I guess but once you have everything unlocked it's really just a matter of picking one strategy that works and brute forcing your way forward. I appreciate that there isn’t a time limit because I like to play games planning several moves ahead, but that all goes out the window for the bedroom scenes which are awkward at best and distractedly off putting at worst.
You know what really gets me though? Why bother censoring this game. If little Timmy gets on dads steam account and buys a porn game for ten bucks little Timmy can learn to google the porn hub compilation of the sex scenes. It's different when the novel is otherwise child friendly like If my Heart Had Wings, still stupid but at least understandable, but we all know why people are playing this game and its not for bejeweled! So why bother? Why even go through the dance? They didn’t even patch out the scenes; you just have to rename the file and everything unlocks. Literally, look it up.
Anyway I guess that's all I have to say about it. For something that takes up so much of the game it certainly isn’t much to talk about.
It’s just fucking bejeweled.
WHY THIS GAME IS WORTH TALKING ABOUT
So at this point i’m eleven pages exactly into this review and god knows how many footnotes but I wanted to quickly summarize my thoughts before putting this review to bed. Obviously a reader can not be expected to have access to all the information about a novel before reading it, and most of my criticisms about Huniepop require that someone have at least started the game to notice them. Usually by that point you’ve already invested your time and money into acquiring the novel and its quality is unimportant. But even if they have your money I hope that referencing the things Huniepop so catastrophically failed at lets you figure out you’ve got a bad experience coming in time for a refund or at least lets you get out before wasting too much time.
I know I said at the top of this review that Huniepop is not a visual novel and I still believe that. But I can’t say there is no possible version of this game that I wouldn’t consider making the grade. If the developers had focused less on mass appeal and made the story longer. If there had been more effort put into the presentation. If they had just given the girls one or two more sprites each and replaced the dialogue options with structured conversation there could have been a real hidden gem here. I want to leave on that note. Imagine what this game could have been if they had spent a few months altering things about the flaws I pointed out. Maybe this game would have made it on the exceptions list.
If you have 10 dollars you really hate looking at and want to set a bar for yourself at the low point of what a visual novel can be then give Huniepop a try. Everyone else, just stay in bed.
FOOTNOTES
  1. This thread is actually genuinely hilarious because a user named Usagi goes on an absolute RANT about Huniepop not making the cut. I honestly recommend it to anyone in need of a laugh this is GOLD.
  2. Traditional as in standard formatting but also in general genre expectation.
  3. Or at least the ones I care about the most.
  4. Obviously this list isn't exclusive and my sample size is highly biased toward western gamers but you get what I mean.
  5. For the purpose of this review i'm going to ignore the fact that making choices is definitely a game play element because 99% of a traditional visual novel is non-interactive but VNs are absolutely still games I will not dispute that.
  6. Again this is a generalization if you're some kind of quick draw Sudoku solver don't fill the comment section with a rant about fast paced puzzle games you're hobby is valid calm down.
  7. This might be because the mainstream often confuses dating simulators with visual novels (which honestly I can't blame them for their is a LOT of crossover) but nonetheless it IS something the genre is known for and participates in.
  8. Originally I intended to provide a link to a tweet from the creator supporting this but it has since been deleted so unfortunately I can not. I pinky promise i'm right though so you have to trust me.
  9. Ya know, except that those novels are actually GOOD.
  10. Why Kindred Spirits needed to tell the story of Tsurogermine running from her teacher from TWO perspectives i'll never understand. I literally just saw it from Yuna's perspective and she has more information then you I don't need to know why you said GAH instead of AH.
  11. Takeru from Muv-Luv Extra anyone? Honestly couldn't stand that selfish prick till halfway through Unlimited and he didn't win me over till Alternative.
  12. If you want to get really technical the second game in the trilogy had a lot of CGs that just showed the posed character models but I hardly think that counts. Its not something worth arguing about but I personally don't count them.
  13. That isn't a controversial statement is it? I mean it doesn't exactly have a bunch of competition.
  14. If I ever feel brave enough I'll do a full review of that game to really delve into the themes but some great reference videos can be found on YouTube if you're curious.
  15. This is just in my experience and doesn't include "joke" or "bad end" routes. Numbers may vary but this is a good standard estimate.
  16. Kindred Spirits actually does a pretty good job of dividing those characters into groups and presenting them as units rather then individuals which helps to mitigate that number but still 16 is HUGE for a visual novel even harem games don't usually have that many.
  17. Yes, I am aware that Mikoto is not a valid romance option in Extra and saying that Muv-Luv has three title screens is kind of misleading but that isn't the point of this review and honestly not a huge deal.
  18. This estimation of time is taken from average novel lengths and my personal time to read them, it's only an estimation and not to be taken as a statement of fact.
  19. Especially when we count the unlockable characters.
  20. Namely, as disposable.
  21. Let me know if you got the reference, I'm curious.
  22. A game that can be found for FREE I might add.
  23. No joke their are half a dozen Steam guides on how to best beat Alpha mode and apparently it goes all the way up to lvl 100 which is INSANE! Who would play that much Huniepop that is like hours of work!
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2020.08.21 08:41 jakkkmotivator Defi Coins List In Detail

A Detail List Of Defi Coin

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2020.07.22 21:55 BellevueNews Districts’ plans for reopening schools across Western Washington

From an RSS feed
Every school district across Western Washington has a different set of challenges for reopening in the fall of 2020 as it navigates the effects of coronavirus on students and staff. The state Office of Public Instructions has given the districts general guidelines based on data from health officials, but has left the details up to each district.
MyNorthwest has put together a reopening tracker so that it’s easier to compare districts’ plans as they develop. Many districts are trying to solidify their plans early so that families have time to prepare. This tracker will change as they meet those deadlines.

_(Please note that this is a snapshot of each district. This is in no way is a comprehensive deep dive into each district’s plans and timeline.)_King County

Auburn School District

The district hasn’t finalized plans yet, but is working toward that goal. Read more.

Bellevue School District

The Bellevue School District has a Planning for Fall Steering Committee. The committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, July 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. Watch this live event in Microsoft Teams. Read more.

Enumclaw School District

Currently, our preliminary plan for reopening school buildings includes full-time in-classroom instruction for grades PreK-5, a full day A/B/A/B hybrid model for grades 6-12 or a K-12 full-time online option. More detailed information will be sent out Thursday, July 23, on all three of the above options as well as information regarding a timeline for registration for the full-time online option. Read more.

Federal Way School District

From the Superintendent: I shared the hybrid model for Fall 2020 aligned with OSPI guidance that would allow for scholars to attend school face-to-face 2 days per week and engage in remote learning 3 days per week. A 100% fully remote instruction was not an option for reopening in the fall unless there was a stay at home order. In light of this most recent data about the continued rise of COVID-19 infections in the region, we are preparing for the possibility of starting the school year with 100% full remote learning. I will be offering another parent Zoom session at the end of July, so please stay tuned for this meeting invite. Read more.

Highline School District

We are planning for two options for families for the 2020-21 school year. (Read more):
  1. A hybrid of classroom instruction and distance learning, with students attending school in person two days a week and doing distance learning three days a week.
  2. An online virtual academy with students supported by Highline teachers but no in-person instruction.

Issaquah School District

In order to follow the COVID mitigation requirements most districts are considering remote learning and hybrid models that bring students back into the school facilities in a limited fashion rather than the traditional five-day-per-week schedule. The Issaquah School District is no different. Any plan must be approved by our elected School Board and then submitted to the State Board of Education and OSPI. The District plans to make our recommendation to the ISD School Board during the July 30, 2020 meeting. Read more about the hybrid model.

Kent School District

Kent will begin the 2020-21 school year on August 27, 2020, with remote learning. Read more.

Lake Washington School District

We are planning for both in-person and fully-remote instruction. Our overall goal is to have every student back at school every day and we know it will be a process for us to get there. Read more:

Mercer Island School District

We intend to deliver dynamic learning whether our students are learning remotely, learning in the classroom, or a combination of the two. Thus, we developed the following flexible continuum of learning ranging from learning remotely to learning back in the classroom. The district will move between Red to Orange to Yellow to Green Learning Days. Read more.

Northshore School District

At this time, we plan for our students to begin the 2020-21 school year with a more robust and flexible 100% distance learning model through Northshore Learns 3.0, using a staged approach for in person re-entry to school.
Read more.

Renton School District

Our preliminary plan for reopening school buildings calls for a hybrid in-school/in-home model, which seeks to ensure all safety regulations and guidance are met while providing students with as much face-to-face time with their educators and peers as possible. Read more.
However, it is important for our community to know that we are also doing parallel planning so that we are prepared to potentially start the school year fully remote on September 2, if health conditions and safety requirements dictate that is the best way to keep students and staff safe.

Riverview School District

At this time, we are looking at a model where students in grades K-3 will attend school four days per week, with the first half of Wednesday being used for targeted types of interventions for identified students needing extra help. Our final reopening plan will be available in mid-August. Read more.

Seattle School District

We are currently planning for a minimum of two days of in-person instruction per week for all K-12 students, while prioritizing as much in-person instruction for students receiving special education services as allowable. This model will include time built in for small group instruction, social emotional supports, and services in alignment with our strategic plan, Seattle Excellence. The final plan will be adopted by the school board in August. Read the most recent Planning for Re-entry update.

Shoreline School District

The district is developing its plan.
Read more.

Snoqualmie Valley School District

Our district is planning for four models next fall. Together, these models represent a range of options, combining remote online learning and in-person instruction. By limiting the number of students in school at the same time, these models enable our schools to adhere to the social distancing requirements, while also building in regular connections with students. Read more.

Tahoma School District

Tahoma School Board is currently considering offering two models to families in the fall — Hybrid/Remote and 100% Online. Read more.

Tukwila School District

Currently the district is proposing these draft models for our return to school: Option 1: Offering both in-person learning and distance learning, Option 2: Hybrid model with student spending time in-person and distance learning combined, and 100 Percent distance learning for both models. The Board Meeting adoption August 11th, 6:30pm Read more.

Vashon Island School District

These models are far from being complete and VISD staff will continue to co-design many of the final details of these models: VISD Continuous Learning 2.0 (Safe Start Phase 1 and Phase 2): All students will participate in distance learning 2.0 at home; Elementary In-Person Four-Day Week and Secondary In-Person Two-Day Rotation (Safe Start Phase 3 and Phase 4); and VISD Online/Remote School (Safe Start Phase 3 and Phase 4). Read more.

Kitsap County

Bainbridge Island School District

Families have the option to select either the Hybrid Learning Model or 100% Online Home Learning Model for their students. Many families expressed concern that the timeline was too fast and that more time was needed to make the decision. We heard your concerns and have extended the decision date for all K-12 students to July 23, 2020. It has been decided that high school students enrolled in the Hybrid Learning Model will also attend in-person learning four days a week, like the students in grades K-8. Read more.

North Kitsap School District

We have created an in-person model and an online model that reflects the recommendation of the stakeholder group, the survey data from families and staff, and the feedback from our operations teams. For the 2020-2021 school year, we will provide a hybrid in-person model for students. Read more.

Central Kitsap School District

We are developing three options for families to consider (Read more):
  1. Hybrid – This would allow students to receive as much in-person instruction as possible. Students would learn both in-person _and _online with a CKSD classroom teacher. It would feature a consistent schedule with specific expectations for instruction, online work, and teacher access/support. This model would function on a rotating basis, with students attending in person two days each week and learning online three days each week (about half our students would attend on each in-person day). We’ll provide more details about this option soon. In case of school closure, students would temporarily move to all-online instruction with Google Classroom, and no in-person instruction. In-person instruction would resume upon clearance from health authorities.
  2. All Online (Pearson Connexus) – Students will complete 100% of their learning and assignments via Pearson Connexus, an online curriculum platform. A CKSD teacher will be assigned to each student. This home learning option will operate at the district level and will not be directly tied to an individual district school. Guardian support is necessary for younger students and highly recommended for older students.
  3. Homeschool (Barker Creek Community School) – This learning option would be supported through our Barker Creek Community School with parent instruction, using traditional textbooks and resources provided by CKSD.

Bremerton School District

We are moving forward with the instructional models for fall 2020 as presented at the July 20 Bremerton School Board meeting. Read more.
Families will have the opportunity to choose from three learning pathways for fall 2020.
  1. Hybrid Learning: Students will be split into two groups (A,B) and will attend school in-person two days a week and have continuous, remote learning with classroom teacher support the remaining days of the week.
  2. Continuous Learning 2.0 (enhanced, 100% remote learning): All learning is conducted remotely using consistent digital learning platforms throughout the District. This will be an improved model over the distance learning implemented on an emergency basis in spring 2020, incorporating more accountability, robust learning, individualization, and teacher support.
  3. Existing BSD Alternative Learning Experiences (ALEs)

South Kitsap School District

Based on current state guidelines, we won’t be able to accommodate all students in school buildings at the same time. Our draft plan offers two options to families if we are not able to return to school full time. Families choose between two options: SK Flex or SK Online. Read more.

Snohomish County

Arlington School District

This fall in order to meet health and safety requirements, the committee is considering a hybrid model for learning which would include in-person instruction and distance learning. July 30- Reopening Arlington Schools (RAS20) committee to finalize recommendations. Read more.

Darrington School District

Darrington School District is currently surveying families about options for fall. Read more.

Everett School District

The committees will report back to the re-entry leadership team at the end of July in order to a recommendation to be made to the Board of Directors the week of August 10, and will be announced to the public shortly after. Read more.

Edmonds School District

The district will move forward with Hybrid Model AA/BB for fall 2020. In this model, families may choose in-person learning, in Student Groups A & B. Families may also choose to participate in online-only learning, in Student Group C. In addition, we are looking into an extended schedule for preschool through grade one students that would create a Student Group D. Read more.

Granite Falls School District

As our reopening committee plans for next year, the highest priorities will be student and staff safety while in school and devising a rigorous online presence. We are planning to resume school with students in our buildings but there are a number of conditions by the OSPI and Department of Health in order for that to happen. All guidance may be found at this website. The re-opening committee will follow these guidelines as Plans A, B and C are developed.

Lake Stevens School District

We have a School Reopening Workgroup made up of educators, nurses, school support staff, and parents. They began meeting last month to create important recommendations in three areas—Operations, Health & Safety; In-Person Instruction; and Online Instruction. We also have groups focused on student meals and transportation, and we will have a student focus group. These groups will present their findings to our Administrative Team in early August. Read more.

Marysville School District

Following the core team and planning group work during the month of July, a recommendation will be made to the school board at their first meeting in August. The school board will ultimately be responsible for adopting the reopening plan through a formal resolution. Read more.

Monroe School District

We are planning to welcome students and staff members back to our schools this September and our Reopening Committee is exploring what school schedules will look like. This may be a combination of in-person and online learning, or a phased-in reopening by grade level. We are also exploring an online learning only option for those families who do not feel safe sending their children to school. Read more.

Mukilteo School District

We are planning for in-school instruction for elementary students and a hybrid instruction model of in-person and distance learning for middle and high school students. We are also upgrading the distance learning model in the event a school or the district may need to close again. Our goal is to make a final decision by July 24. Read more.

Northshore School District

At this time, we plan for our students to begin the 2020-21 school year with a more robust and flexible 100% distance learning model through Northshore Learns 3.0, using a staged approach for in person re-entry to school.
Read more.

Snohomish School District

The Re-Opening Committee (ROC) has formalized its Educational Offerings recommendation to the School Board, which will be considered at the School Board’s July 22 meeting. The ROC’s recommendation to the School Board includes the following three programs. Each family will have the opportunity to choose the one that best meets the needs of their child(ren): Hybrid, Parent Partnership Program (PPP), and Online Learning.Read more.

Stanwood-Camano School District

The tentative plans is for those families making the choice to learn from home this next year, Continuous Learning 2.0 provides a dedicated teacher that will develop materials and instruction via online instruction for any student. For those families seeking the opportunity to return to the classroom, we will provide two days of in-person instruction coupled with three days of off-site learning in a hybrid learning model. Families will be asked to make a selection for the entire 2020-21 school year. Read more.

Sultan School District

Some of the educational models that we are considering and planning for include a new virtual/distance-only learning option for families (see links below), a parent-partnership program, and a traditional educational model to include as much in-person instruction as possible given the requirements provided by OSPI and the Department of Health. Our goal is to have our educational opportunities finalized after a school board study session on July 30, 2020. Read more.

Pierce County

Bethel School District

Two models have risen to the top, both of which take into account the guidelines from the state and the limitations we have with building capacity:
  1. AM-PM: Every student comes to school everyday for a half-day, Monday-Thursday.
  2. A-B: Full days for students, but only half the student body four days of the week, Monday/Thursday – Tuesday/Friday.
If families do not feel comfortable with a face-to-face return to school in the fall, our teacher committee began reviewing online curriculum options for the Bethel Virtual Academy (BVA).
This week our certificated and classified staff members weighed in on both models for reopening school. Read more.

Carbonado School District

Best Case Scenario:
For those who are not comfortable sending their children back to school, your options are:
  1. Distance learning with us–students will be expected to connect online when teachers are live teaching in the classroom with students. There will be more work and scheduled classes than what was delivered this past campus closure.
  2. Homeschool your child(ren) on your own accord by declaring an intent to homeschool through the district office.
Read more.

Clover Park School District

The task force has developed a plan for face-to-face learning on site for all students, a hybrid model that alternates learning time in school and at home, and a remote learning model in which students will learn at home. Based on current state and health department requirements, the district will begin the school year using a hybrid learning model. A final plan will be shared with families in early August. Read more.

Dieringer School District

A family survey is underway.
Tentatively, for grades 4-8, we are planning a Hybrid A/B Schedule Instructional model. This model would allow for two to three days of in-person instruction each week along with continuous distance learning on the days students aren’t physically in school.
K-3 students may be in class four or five days per week, depending on how many families decide to keep their students home. Otherwise, these students will also be on a Hybrid A/B Schedule.
Families choosing to keep students home will have access to a robust rigorous online learning experience that will be an improvement on what was offered this past spring.
Read more.

Eatonville School District

Our faculty have committed to maximizing in-person instruction this fall by using the innovative CORE 4 and Google Classroom approach, which emphasizes strategies for inperson, hybrid and flexible course designs. This approach will allow students to engage with class activities and assignments no matter their individual circumstances. The specific implications of this approach will depend upon class size, a teacher’s ability to be in the classroom, and other particular needs of the class. Other details include:
–Students who for health reasons need to access all of their course content online will be able to do so.
–Our plans will be finalized upon ESD School Board approval and submitted to OSPI and State Board of Education for final review. We intend to publish our models by August 4, 2020.
–Decisions are still being made concerning more specialized instructional areas.
–Should the public health situation deteriorate in the fall such that all in-person classes are suspended for a period of time, teachers will be prepared to deliver course content exclusively online.
Read more.

Fife School District

Families have been asked to choose between: (Read more.)

Franklin Pierce School District

While there are still many unknowns, we envision an option for_ full remote learning_ for students with medical conditions that prevent them from attending school, and a _hybrid learning model_where students would attend school 2-4 days/week and participate in remote learning on the other days. Read more.

Orting School District

A family survey is underway.
The Orting Schools Reopening Task Force approved a plan that allows families a choice between a rotating A/B schedule and online (Continuous Learning 2.0). High school students will also have an alternative site choice.
-The rotating A/B schedule will include both in-person and online instruction on the days students do not attend school-The online model will utilize a platform called Edgenuity.Read more.

Peninsula School District

Given the information received from families, we will make appropriate space throughout the district to safely accommodate those students who want to return to schools for in-person learning five days a week. We will also offer a robust teaching/learning model for those families who choose remote learning. Whether on-site or remote, students will be fully engaged in school with lessons, assignments, feedback, and grades.
Our goal is to provide enough details about our reopening plans by the end of July so that families can feel even more comfortable with their choice for school in the fall, especially for those who responded to our last survey as ‘undecided.’ Read more.

Puyallup School District

As we plan for the 2020-21 school year, the goal is to have students back in the classroom — there is no substitute for in-person teaching and learning. But school may look different from what we’re used to, and we are planning for multiple scenarios, including the possibility of another shut-down. Read more.

Steilacoom Historical School District

Check the current plan for a hybrid model schedule, here. August 26 is the approval date for the reopening plan.

Sumner School District

After (a family) survey closes on July 23, we will collect and review learning model preferences for all students. Staff will immediately begin creating class lists and schedules for students in all learning models: K-3 Face-to-Face, Hybrid, and Online Learning Academy. Schools will notify families in mid-August about class schedules and more specific back-to-school information. Read more.

Tacoma School District

For the 2020-2021 school year, families will have two options to choose from for their students:

University Place School District

We are busy planning for schools to open on September 8th with students in either a fully online program or a “hybrid” program where students attend school on a part-time basis and complete other learning at home. We remain hopeful that in-person learning will be possible in September, and we are planning for this complex option. However, recent increases in COVID19 infections in our region may impact our ability to bring students to school safely. Our planning will allow us to open in either format. Read more.

White River School District

Currently, we are planning these as our models and options for the 2020-21 school year. However, at any time if we are told that we can return to ‘normal’ school we will happily do that. We are also prepared to pivot back to full-time distance learning if that is required. Read more.
Please let us know if you have updated information about your district – [email protected]
Source: mynorthwest https://mynorthwest.com/2034736/districts-reopening-schools-western-washington/
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2020.05.14 19:45 QueasyDolphin Bish's Guide to Lovely EVNs

EDIT: Wheel of EVN Deciding (used a bit.ly because the wheel decider links are very obnoxious)
Hello, everyone!
As some of you may know, I've read a ton of EVNs, and have even developed one (and worked on others) myself. In many cases, sitting down and reading an EVN is like reading a short story--doesn't take up a ton of your time, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I wanted to make a post here to showcase some of my favorites that maybe you haven't read. I will not be talking about Katawa Shoujo or DDLC, as those have been recommended to death.
Feel free to add your favorites as well in the comments!
Several hours
Animal Lover *No furries! An otome game that is more of a mysterious comedic adventure than a romance. The men in this game are all from different time periods that were turned into animals for...well, that's what you're trying to find out. I read this whole thing in two sessions that came out to around 7 hours.
Pizza Game is gud Despite my memetic review that could come across as mockery to some, I actually completely adore this game more than I can say talking in proper English. It is the world's greatest shitpost that somehow also weaves an intricate and amusing plot that never gets dull.
Exit/Corners An amazing ontological mystery with tons of choices and puzzles. I can't recommend this enough if you enjoy mysteries and Uchikoshi VNs.
A couple hours/sittings
Butterfly Soup Named Best VN of 2017 by PC Gamer, I thought surely this VN was overrated, but nonetheless decided to check it out myself. Though this VN is rather short, I'd say it definitely deserves the attention it got there. It's incredibly well-written and fun to read in general. You get to spend time with each of the four main characters, seeing things from their perspective, and exploring their relationships with sexuality and each other.
Speed Dating for Ghosts With unique and quirky character designs, this VN made me care about each individual ghost's story in a matter of minutes. Each ghost has their own mini-arc as you traverse through the bizarre speed-dating setup, with different outcomes that come from choosing to pursue them in the end.
Sweetest Monster Ebi-hime is pretty well-known in the EVN community, and for good reason. This title is easily my favorite of hers, as it tells a tale of an estranged fathehusband and his uncomfortable relationship with a mysterious catgirl.
Kill or Love The first title by new developer Andy Church, this VN has a generic sounding title and default Ren'Py GUI. And yet, I still have to recommend this. The plot is unique and exploring the relationship between Grace, Anna, and Jack was fascinating and very Stephen King-esque.
Digital: A Love Story This VN is such a classic, that there's not much I can say about it that hasn't already been said. I've played it two or three times, and it stays fresh every time.
MetaWare High School (Demo) In the EVN world, there are unfinished games with demos everywhere you look. This game, however, is not a demo. The setting is a demo, the game is finished. It's great. Check it out.
Cute Demon Crashers An actually adorable nukige(?) with a strong emphasis on consent. You can have all sorts of sex, stopping whenever you don't feel comfortable, or not have sex at all. All up to you. Three FxM routes and one FxF.
Dr. Frank's Build-a-Boyfriend A lovely comedy BLVN where you, as the title states, build a boyfriend from scratch (with customized sprites!) I didn't expect much from this game, but the plot behind the comedy ended up being very endearing and remains special to me.
Easily read in one sitting
one night, hot springs This VN tells a tale of a trans woman's struggles visiting hot springs in Japan with her friends. It's also translated into a ton of different languages, so you can read it in pretty much whatever you prefer.
Prince Caterpillar The story of a man terrified of caterpillars and his friend that is convinced he needs to kiss one to get a prince. A very cute, gay story
Prison of Lies This VN has a unique art-style reminiscent of the Gorillaz and is all about deception, trust, and empathy. You are a prisoner on death row, with three other inmates, and have to decide amongst yourselves which of the four of you has to die.
Us Lovely Corpses A light point-and-click VN with some surreal horror sprinkled in. You can also read an interview with the creator here!
her tears were my light I'd personally recommend every one of Nami's games, but this one in particular is a must-play for VN-lovers. Do you like meta stuff? This VN allows you to control the progression of this, with rollback and saving being a direct power of the protagonist from the start.
Liar Liar and its sequel An enjoyable little series where you play as a yandere girl that can't make up her mind.
Get Dumped☆ I played this so many years ago, that it might be the first EVN I ever played. I still love it. Can you get your boyfriend back? Keep trying, something might change…
so obscure; Similar to Emily is Away in structure, so obscure; tries to take you back to 2005 as you explore the relationship between an outcast from Hong Kong and his new cool friend he meets online.
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2020.04.27 21:41 WalterEagle Most Mentioned Real People and/or Fictional Characters in the History of Blank Check

Going for the real nerdy shit record here...
Yes, I know, this is insane. I compiled it while operating the doors at a barely attended parking garage and finished it up in quarantine. Mostly it's just how my brain works, I'd rather be counting something than not while I sit around, and formulas do the bulk of the rest.
Numbers include any mention of a person/characteanimal/deity/robot/alien/monster, including nicknames and titles that refer to specifically that person. Also includes mentions of things named after them, e.g. movie title or corporations named for someone, if they refer specifically to one character. Some judgment calls were made for eligibility.
Includes all audio original to the podcast and its Patreon (the first time said audio is played), as well as episode titles and descriptions within the podcast apps, ads, and bonus episodes.

100 MOST MENTIONED
1. Ben Hosley - 10619
2. David Sims - 4502
3. Griffin Newman - 3745
4. Bruce Wayne - 2127
5. Anakin Skywalker - 1326
6. George Lucas - 1240
7. Steven Spielberg - 1229
8. Bruce Banner - 1079
9. Tony Stark - 1049
10. M. Night Shyamalan - 1012

11. Tim Burton - 1009
12. Tom Cruise - 951
13. Peter Parker - 840
14. Michael Mann - 821
15. Thor - 783
16. The Joker - 709
17. James Cameron - 706
18. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 700
19. Christopher Nolan - 675
20. Han Solo - 671

21. Jonathan Demme - 648
22. Sheev Palpatine - 644
23. Tom Hanks - 590
24. Yoda - 571
25. Padmé Amidala - 559
26. Ang Ferraguto - 553
27. Steve Rogers - 543
27. Luke Skywalker - 543
29. Hayao Miyazaki - 522
30. Nancy Meyers - 509

31. Ang Lee - 503
32. Will Smith - 498
33. Superman - 494
34. Cameron Crowe - 469
35. T-800/"The Terminator" - 453
36. Jack Nicholson - 450
37. Emily Yoshida - 441
38. Al Pacino - 424
39. Jar-Jar Binks - 413
40. Brad Bird - 411

41. Arnold Schwarzenegger - 397
42. J.D. Amato - 396
43. Alex Murphy/RoboCop - 372
44. Johnny Depp - 370
45. Robert Downey Jr. - 369
45. Max Rockatansky - 369
47. Robert De Niro - 357
48. Rey - 354
49. The Tick - 351
50. Paul Verhoeven - 339

51. Leia Organa - 338
52. Donald Trump - 336
53. Watto - 328
53. Tintin - 328
55. Mark Wahlberg - 314
56. James L. Brooks - 309
57. Scott Lang - 307
58. Chewbacca - 306
59. C-3PO - 305
60. Bucky Barnes - 302

61. Samuel L. Jackson - 300
62. Shrek - 294
63. Bruce Willis - 291
64. Meryl Streep - 288
64. R2-D2 - 288
64. Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher - 288
67. Richard Lawson - 287
68. Mel Gibson - 286
69. Kylo Ren - 284
70. Leonardo DiCaprio - 283

71. Abraham Lincoln - 277
72. Lana Wachowski - 275
73. Kathryn Bigelow - 274
74. God - 273
74. Jimmy Smits - 273
74. George Miller - 273
77. Lilly Wachowski - 272
78. Forky - 271
78. Thanos - 271
80. Harrison Ford - 270
80. T'Challa - 270
80. Bill Murray - 270

83. Adam Sandler - 266
84. Satan/The Devil - 264
85. Alex Ross Perry - 262
86. Hannibal LecteLecktor - 260
87. Chris Gethard - 256
88. Romilly Newman - 246
89. Wreck-It Ralph - 243
90. Natalie Portman - 240

91. Harry Potter - 239
91. Betelgeuse/Beetlejuice - 239
91. Groot - 239
94. Martin Scorsese - 236
94. Indiana Jones - 236
96. Finn - 233
97. Bradley Cooper - 231
98. Liam Neeson - 230
99. Kevin Feige - 228
99. J.J. Abrams - 228

And some supplemental/category info:

MAIN FEED ONLY
  1. Ben Hosley - 8670
  2. David Sims - 3505
  3. Griffin Newman - 2984
  4. Bruce Wayne - 1949
  5. Steven Spielberg - 1191
  6. Anakin Skywalker - 1136
  7. George Lucas - 998
  8. M. Night Shyamalan - 988
  9. Tom Cruise - 913
  10. Tim Burton - 890
  11. Michael Mann - 773
  12. James Cameron - 693
  13. The Joker - 662
  14. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 654
  15. Christopher Nolan - 650
  16. Jonathan Demme - 576
  17. Padme Amidala - 549
  18. Tom Hanks - 542
  19. Sheev Palpatine - 527
  20. Nancy Meyers - 494

(major dips for Marvel, but Hulk is still 24th)

PATREON ONLY
  1. Ben Hosley - 1949
  2. David Sims - 997
  3. Tony Stark - 871
  4. Griffin Newman - 761
  5. Thor - 635
  6. Bruce Banner - 627
  7. Peter Parker - 543
  8. Steve Rogers - 491
  9. Bucky Barnes - 291
  10. Han Solo - 270
  11. Scott Lang - 256
  12. George Lucas - 242
  13. Thanos - 238
  14. Luke Skywalker - 236
  15. Groot - 215
  16. Robert Downey Jr. - 212
  17. Ang Ferraguto - 206
  18. T’Challa - 206
  19. Kevin Feige - 195
  20. Loki - 194

MENTIONED IN THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF EPISODES
  1. David Sims - 330
  2. Griffin Newman - 330
  3. Ben Hosley - 319
  4. Bruce Wayne - 183
  5. Angela Ferraguto - 156
  6. Pat Reynolds - 145
  7. Layne Montgomery - 145
  8. Joe Bowen - 141
  9. The Tick - 134
  10. Steven Spielberg - 132
  11. Peter Parker - 123
  12. George Lucas - 118
  13. Donald Trump - 113
  14. Clark Kent - 106
  15. God - 99
  16. Tom Cruise - 96
  17. M. Night Shyamalan - 88
  18. Tony Stark - 86
  19. Tim Burton - 84
  20. Thor - 84

MENTIONS-PER-EPISODE (minimum 5 episodes)
  1. Ben Hosley - 33.29
  2. Anakin Skywalker - 17.92
  3. Hayao Miyazaki - 17.37
  4. Groot - 17.07
  5. Neo - 15
  6. The Vision - 14.75
  7. Lupin the Third - 14.57
  8. Finn - 14.56
  9. Porco Rosso - 14.29
  10. Gina Gershon - 14.2
  11. Ron Silver - 14.2
  12. Ponyo - 14.07
  13. Sheev Palpatine - 13.7
  14. David Sims - 13.64
  15. Kylo Ren - 13.52
  16. Michael Mann - 13.24
  17. Jonathan Demme - 13.23
  18. Chip Smith - 13.17
  19. Rey - 13.11
  20. Padme Amidala - 13

FICTIONAL CHARACTERS
  1. Bruce Wayne - 2127
  2. Anakin Skywalker - 1326
  3. Bruce Banner - 1079
  4. Tony Stark - 1049
  5. Peter Parker - 840
  6. Thor - 783
  7. The Joker - 709
  8. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 700
  9. Han Solo - 671
  10. Sheev Palpatine - 644
  11. Yoda - 571
  12. Padme Amidala - 559
  13. Steve Rogers - 543
  14. Luke Skywalker - 543
  15. Superman - 494
  16. The TerminatoT-800 - 453
  17. Jar-Jar Binks - 413
  18. Alex Murphy/RoboCop - 372
  19. Max Rockatansky - 369
  20. Rey - 354

DIRECTORS
  1. George Lucas - 1240
  2. Steven Spielberg - 1229
  3. M. Night Shyamalan - 1012
  4. Tim Burton - 1009
  5. Michael Mann - 821
  6. James Cameron - 706
  7. Christopher Nolan - 675
  8. Jonathan Demme - 648
  9. Tom Hanks - 590
  10. Hayao Miyazaki - 522
  11. Nancy Meyers - 509
  12. Ang Lee - 503
  13. Cameron Crowe - 469
  14. Jack Nicholson - 450
  15. Emily Yoshida - 441
  16. Al Pacino - 424
  17. Brad Bird - 411
  18. J.D. Amato - 396
  19. Johnny Depp - 370
  20. Robert De Niro - 357

ACTORS
  1. Griffin Newman - 3745
  2. M. Night Shyamalan - 1012
  3. Tom Cruise - 951
  4. Tom Hanks - 590
  5. Will Smith - 498
  6. Jack Nicholson - 450
  7. Al Pacino - 424
  8. Johnny Depp - 370
  9. Robert Downey Jr. - 369
  10. Robert De Niro - 357
  11. Mark Wahlberg - 314
  12. Samuel L. Jackson - 300
  13. Bruce Willis - 291
  14. Meryl Streep - 288
  15. Mel Gibson - 286
  16. Leonardo DiCaprio - 283
  17. Jimmy Smits - 273
  18. Harrison Ford - 270
  19. Bill Murray - 270
  20. Adam Sandler - 266

FEMALE ACTORS
  1. Meryl Streep - 288
  2. Natalie Portman - 240
  3. Anne Hathaway - 207
  4. Sigourney Weaver - 141
  5. Michelle Pfeiffer - 126
  6. Scarlett Johansson - 122
  7. Kate Winslet - 121
  8. Cameron Diaz - 110
  9. Holly Hunter - 109
  10. Reese Witherspoon - 108
  11. Carrie Fisher - 105
  12. Amy Adams - 104
  13. Goldie Hawn - 96
  14. Emma Stone - 87
  15. Kirsten Dunst - 85
  16. Oprah Winfrey - 82
  17. Jamie Lee Curtis - 81
  18. Diane Keaton - 78
  19. Tea Leoni - 78
  20. Gwyneth Paltrow - 77
  21. Marisa Tomei - 77

TOTAL THROUGHOUT STAR WARS EPISODES/COMMENTARIES
  1. Anakin Skywalker - 1280
  2. Ben Hosley - 1238
  3. George Lucas - 1001
  4. Griffin Newman - 729
  5. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 679
  6. Sheev Palpatine - 622
  7. Davis Sims - 596
  8. Han Solo - 574
  9. Padme Amidala - 544
  10. Yoda - 517
  11. Luke Skywalker - 498
  12. Jar-Jar Binks - 394
  13. Rey - 314
  14. Leia Organa - 313
  15. C-3PO - 292
  16. R2-D2 - 285
  17. Kylo Ren - 257
  18. Chewbacca - 252
  19. Watto - 248
  20. Finn - 223

IN THE BLANK CHECK AWARDS EPISODES (including Patreon)
  1. Ben Hosley - 243
  2. Joe Reid - 111
  3. Griffin Newman - 110
  4. David Sims - 104
  5. Bruce Wayne - 59
  6. Bruce Willis - 47
  7. Sully Sullenberger - 44
  8. Adam Driver - 39
  9. Tom Hanks - 35
  10. Bradley Cooper - 31
  11. Billy Crystal - 31
  12. Willem Dafoe - 31
  13. Carol Aird - 28
  14. Lady Bird McPherson - 27
  15. Vicky Krieps - 27
  16. Mahershala Ali - 26
  17. Amy Adams - 25
  18. Michael B. Jordan - 25
  19. Florence Pugh - 25
  20. Saoirse Ronan - 24

IN THE MCU COMMENTARIES (+performance review)
  1. Ben Hosley - 1113
  2. Tony Stark - 871
  3. Thor - 618
  4. Bruce Banner - 581
  5. Peter Parker - 526
  6. Steve Rogers - 489
  7. David Sims - 405
  8. Griffin Newman - 332
  9. Bucky Barnes - 289
  10. Scott Lang - 248
  11. Thanos - 236
  12. Groot - 214
  13. Robert Downey Jr. - 209
  14. T'Challa - 194
  15. Loki - 194
  16. Kevin Feige - 180
  17. Stephen Strange - 179
  18. The Vision - 165
  19. Carol Danvers - 138
  20. Ultron - 128

IN THE MARCH MADNESS RECAPS
  1. Ben Hosley - 137
  2. Chip Smith - 126
  3. David Sims - 87
  4. Michael Bay - 53
  5. Robert Zemeckis - 51
  6. Griffin Newman - 45
  7. Guillermo Del Toro - 45
  8. Sam Raimi - 40
  9. Ang Ferraguto - 37
  10. George Miller - 37
  11. Prince - 36
  12. Jonathan Demme - 34
  13. Barry Sonnenfeld - 34
  14. Bong Joon-ho - 34
  15. Martin Brest - 33
  16. Francis Ford Coppola - 28
  17. Gore Verbinski - 28
  18. Joel Coen - 28
  19. Ethan Coen - 28
  20. Paul Thomas Anderson - 27
  21. Elaine May - 27
  22. Michael Mann - 27

BLANK CHECK GUESTS
  1. George Lucas - 1240
  2. Emily Yoshida - 441
  3. J.D. Amato - 396
  4. Richard Lawson - 287
  5. Alex Ross Perry - 262
  6. Chris Gethard - 256
  7. Romilly Newman - 246
  8. David Ehrlich - 227
  9. Layne Montgomery - 189
  10. Esther Zuckerman - 184
  11. James Newman - 158
  12. Chip Smith - 158
  13. Bobby Finger - 154
  14. Katey Rich - 152
  15. Joe Reid - 152
  16. Emma Stefansky - 143
  17. Fran Hoepfner - 138
  18. James Schamus - 125
  19. Pilot Viruet - 125
  20. Emily VanDerWerff - 116

GUYS NAMED CHRIS
  1. Nolan - 675
  2. Gethard - 256
[Bale]
  1. Walken - 124
  2. Hemsworth - 106
  3. Weitz - 98
  4. Pine - 96
  5. Evans - 92
  6. Pratt - 88
[Waltz]
  1. Rock - 79
  2. Lee - 71
  3. McQuarrie - 50
  4. Miller - 43
  5. Plummer - 37
  6. Columbus - 30
  7. Elliott - 26
  8. Christopher Robin - 25
  9. Christopher Weiss/Slipknot - 24
  10. Markus - 23
  11. Meloni - 20
  12. O'Dowd - 20


And, top ten by miniseries (including bonus and Patreon bonus related to the series):

THE PHANTOM PODCAST
  1. Jar-Jar Binks - 219
  2. George Lucas - 204
  3. Padme Amidala - 179
  4. Qui-Gon Jinn - 157
  5. Ben Hosley - 138
  6. Anakin Skywalker - 136
  7. Watto - 130
  8. Griffin Newman - 112
  9. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 106
  10. David Sims - 92

ATTACK OF THE PODCAST
  1. Anakin Skywalker - 224
  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 196
  3. Ben Hosley - 179
  4. Padme Amidala - 176
  5. Count Dooku - 106
  6. George Lucas - 105
  7. Griffin Newman - 101
  8. Dexter Jettster - 97
  9. David Sims - 96
  10. Yoda - 96

REVENGE OF THE PODCAST
  1. Anakin Skywalker - 535
  2. George Lucas - 369
  3. Sheev Palpatine - 310
  4. Ben Hosley - 263
  5. Obi-Wan Kenobi - 245
  6. Griffin Newman - 222
  7. General Grievous - 179
  8. Yoda - 177
  9. Padme Amidala - 170
  10. David Sims - 128

POD NIGHT SHYAMACAST
  1. M. Might Shyamalan - 838
  2. Ben Hosley - 471
  3. Bruce Willis - 193
  4. Griffin Newman - 164
  5. David Sims - 155
  6. Mr. Glass - 117
  7. Mel Gibson - 112
  8. Mark Wahlberg - 99
  9. Will Smith - 95
  10. Joaquin Phoenix - 74

THE PODCHOWSKI CASTERS
  1. Ben Hosley - 431
  2. Lana Wachowski - 201
  3. Lilly Wachowski - 197
  4. Neo - 172
  5. Speed Racer - 158
  6. Griffin Newman - 97
  7. David Sims - 90
  8. Agent Smith - 74
  9. Jupiter Jones - 71
  10. Morpheus - 71

WE POD A CAST
  1. Ben Hosley - 407
  2. Cameron Crowe - 376
  3. Tom Cruise - 204
  4. Jerry Maguire - 173
  5. David Sims - 107
  6. Griffin Nemwan - 98
  7. Orlando Bloom - 66
  8. Emma Stone - 57
  9. Penelope Cruz - 55
  10. John Cusack - 48
  11. Marc Maron - 48

PODINATOR: JUDGMENT CAST
  1. Ben Hosley - 600
  2. James Cameron - 503
  3. T-800/The Terminator - 337
  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger - 220
  5. David Sims - 151
  6. Toruk - 150
  7. Griffin Newman - 138
  8. Bill Paxton - 101
  9. Sigourney Weaver - 81
  10. Ed Harris - 65
  11. Leonardo DiCaprio - 65

POD ME IF YOU CAST
  1. Steven Spielberg - 880
  2. Ben Hosley - 656
  3. Tom Hanks - 282
  4. Tintin - 273
  5. Tom Cruise - 238
  6. Abraham Lincoln - 181
  7. Griffin Newman - 167
  8. David Sims - 158
  9. Indiana Jones - 148
  10. The BFG - 87

THE POD KNIGHT CASTS
  1. Bruce Wayne - 862
  2. Christopher Nolan - 496
  3. Ben Hosley - 490
  4. Richard T. Joker - 185
  5. David Sims - 177
  6. Harvey Dent - 126
  7. Al Pacino - 119
  8. Griffin Newman - 117
  9. Bane - 98
  10. Michael Caine - 91

POD-19: THE WIDOWCASTER
  1. Ben Hosley - 296
  2. Kathryn Bigelow - 205
  3. David Sims - 117
  4. Griffin Newman - 95
  5. Jeremy Renner - 71
  6. Bodhi - 65
  7. Ron Silver - 56
  8. Harrison Ford - 54
  9. Osama Bin Laden - 53
  10. Keanu Reeves - 50

PODSHIP CASTERS
  1. Ben Hosley - 367
  2. Paul Verhoeven - 282
  3. Alex Murphy/RoboCop - 242
  4. David Sims - 120
  5. Griffin Newman - 97
  6. Arnold Schwarzenegger - 76
  7. Kuato - 76
  8. Johnny Rico - 57
  9. Kevin Bacon - 54
  10. J.D. Amato - 50
  11. Michael Ironside - 50

AS POD AS IT CASTS
  1. Ben Hosley - 327
  2. James L. Brooks - 242
  3. Jack Nicholson - 145
  4. Albert Brooks - 130
  5. Greg Kinnear - 88
  6. Griffin Newman - 81
  7. Tea Leoni - 71
  8. David Sims - 68
  9. Nick Nolte - 61
  10. William Hurt - 53
  11. Esther Zuckerman - 53
  12. Adam Sandler - 53

THE PODCASTIBLES
  1. Brad Bird - 326
  2. Ben Hosley - 316
  3. Tom Cruise - 137
  4. Griffin Newman - 102
  5. The Iron Giant - 91
  6. David Sims - 67
  7. Bob Parr - 65
  8. Helen Parr - 61
  9. Remy - 51
  10. Romilly Newman - 47

PODBACK MOUNTCAST
  1. Ben Hosley - 517
  2. Ang Lee - 391
  3. Bruce Banner - 368
  4. David Sims - 198
  5. Griffin Newman - 155
  6. James Schamus - 105
  7. Will Smith - 101
  8. Tobey Maguire - 98
  9. Billy Lynn - 92
  10. Pi Patel - 73

SOMETHING'S PODDA CAST
  1. Nancy Meyers - 400
  2. Ben Hosley - 195
  3. David Sims - 99
  4. Jack Nicholson - 97
  5. Griffin Newman - 81
  6. Alec Baldwin - 62
  7. Mel Gibson - 58
  8. Steve Martin - 56
  9. Bobby Finger - 55
  10. Diane Keaton - 55

PODWARD SCISSORCAST
  1. Tim Burton - 839
  2. Ben Hosley - 489
  3. Bruce Wayne - 412
  4. David Sims - 243
  5. Johnny Depp - 215
  6. Beetlejuice - 194
  7. Griffin Newman - 178
  8. Dumbo - 178
  9. Pee-Wee Herman - 165
  10. Edward Scissorhands - 148

CAST OF THE PODHICANS, AKA MICHAEL MANNSPLAINING
  1. Michael Mann - 686
  2. Ben Hosley - 322
  3. David Sims - 227
  4. Al Pacino - 176
  5. Griffin Newman - 154
  6. Robert De Niro - 135
  7. Jamie Foxx - 135
  8. Muhammad Ali - 132
  9. Radu Molasar - 119
  10. Hannibal Lecktor - 118

HOWL'S MOVING PODCASTLE
  1. Hayao Miyazaki - 461
  2. Ben Hosley - 403
  3. David Sims - 312
  4. Ponyo - 194
  5. Griffin Newman - 150
  6. Totoro - 150
  7. Lupin the Third - 101
  8. Porco Rosso - 95
  9. Howl - 78
  10. Forky - 70
  11. Kiki - 70

STOP MAKING PODCASTS
  1. Jonathan Demme - 543
  2. David Sims - 297
  3. Ben Hosley - 177
  4. Denzel Washington - 117
  5. Hannibal Lecter - 116
  6. Griffin Newman - 114
  7. Tom Hanks - 97
  8. Meryl Streep - 95
  9. Shrek - 93
  10. Ricki Rendazzo - 93

MAD POD: FURY CAST (up to Lorenzo's Oil)
  1. Max Rockatansky - 293
  2. George Miller - 191
  3. Jack Nicholson - 70
  4. Ben Hosley - 64
  5. David Sims - 62
  6. Lorenzo Odone - 60
  7. Mel Gibson - 52
  8. Griffin Newman - 48
  9. Nick Nolte - 47
  10. Chappie - 39

submitted by WalterEagle to blankies [link] [comments]


2020.04.07 03:42 vantablacc Love in the Time of Light

I’ll hold my middle fingers skyward with corporeal hauteur at virtual netting I’ll resist tenancy of undulating goo and electrolyte laden waters. Slip sultry though maddened in coin operated wasteland. Bricks crumble like chalk cliff. Plasma replace solid through dire need. Burn books in ritual with mad grin. Surrender to science and colour. Review memories of being winded by snapped branches. Dragged slowly through the breeze by syrupy machines. Sea stealing sand from under feet. Submit to binary conscious. Kiss with unquestionable tenure from 3000 miles. Wrap pinkies around each other at the speed of light. Live inside your mouth and take a 360 degree tour of your heart. Melt solder like incense onto my forearms and shove them forward through the shutter. Drain my account for just one more shot. Cocoon together in sparks. Live forever through downloaded thigh slap and military strengthened atmosphere. Volley a conversation in .3 of a second. And recoil in horror at the thought of loving in the time of light.
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/fvsfq3/an_experimental_poem/fmnd3d5/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/fw290x/ren%C3%A9_magritte/fmnbqk0/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
submitted by vantablacc to OCPoetry [link] [comments]


2020.03.01 02:09 fallenguru The Surface Go as a VN reading device -- a mini review

I’ve had my eyes on a Surface Go for a while, mainly for reading VNs whereever – think bed, bath, & beyond. It [in the 8/128 version] has arrived a couple of days ago, so here’s the promised [to kasakichi123] mini-review. Caveat lector: I run Linux exclusively, even on the Surface Go, your experience will likely be a lot better if you can stomach Windows 10.
Pros:
Cons:
Conclusion: If the idea is to read VNs on a tablet, the software isn’t there yet. The fact is that the vast majority of VNs don’t have touch screen support, certainly not the ancient ones I’d wanted to catch up on. If needing two devices and a net connection is acceptable, then Steam Link for Android is hands down the best option. Otherwise something with an integrated keyboard & touchpad is in order, but in that case I’d rather have a conventional laptop design with a proper hinge that can hold the screen.
tl;dr: The Surface Go is really nice hardware, but it doesn’t fit my intended use-case, so it’s going back. The device itself isn’t at fault, it’s the concept of a touch-only general purpose PC that doesn’t work out. It may still be right for you, if your use-cases are different and/or Windows does a better job at touch-enabling desktop applications.
submitted by fallenguru to visualnovels [link] [comments]


2020.02.24 03:27 fedoraman59 The Longest Park Day I Have Ever Experienced: Disneyland and DCA Trip Report (California Part 3)

This gonna be a long one.
Disneyland was the park I was looking forward to the most out of the entire trip. After gaining more of an appreciation of proper theme parks the past couple of years, seeing the original in all of its glory again was something that I was very excited for. Having been in 2013, I had ridden most of the major rides back then, with only Big Thunder Mountain being down for a lengthy refurbishment at that time. This time, the only major ride I missed was Haunted Mansion because of its refurbishment, but it was very easy to get on all the rides that I wanted to during the incredibly long hours of operation for my visit.
I made it in the park at 7:45 AM in time for an 8 AM opening, and stayed in the park until it closed at 11 PM. That is a 15 hour park day, and not even Cedar Point which regularly operates from 10 AM to Midnight goes that long (I guess if you count early entry it is equal). But, with having to wake up at 5 AM to make it to the park at open and also not being back at the accommodation until after midnight, it was by far one of the most long and tiring park days I have experienced.
But I'd do it all again in a fucking heartbeat.
Disneyland without a doubt is one of the best theme parks out there and for good reason as well. We've all heard of it, and most of us have at least done the parks at Walt Disney World in Orlando. For those of you who haven't experienced the California parks, don't go into it thinking that it's just the same as Orlando Disney, because it has a completely different atmosphere and charm to it. Disneyland being the original probably helps it in this regard, but even though a few of its headlining rides, like Space Mountain, existed at Magic Kingdom first, they all are typically better at Disneyland. There are a few exceptions here and there, and those will come in the individual ride reviews (which will include non-coaster rides as well).
Apart from the ride lineup, the park I felt has a much better charm to it than the Magic Kingdom park in all but a few areas. Adventureland/Critter Country, New Orleans's Square, Frontierland, and Fantasyland are all fantastic park areas and are used to their full potential to immerse guests in the story of the areas and rides. Tomorrowland is very close to being perfect, and the only thing that needs to happen is for a Peoplemover style ride to once again be built to give a better sense of kineticism to the land. Magic Kingdom's Peoplemover is the icing on the cake to complete the atmosphere of that park's Tomorrowland, and it would certainly be beneficial to bring that back to Disneyland's as well.
In that list above, I did leave out two specific areas in Disneyland, which of course are Mickey's Toontown (don't really need to say a lot about this) and the recently opened Galaxy's Edge. Keep in mind that I am a MASSIVE Star Wars fan and was looking forward to experiencing Batuu for the first time the most. However, I felt I really needed a second day at this park in order to appreciate Galaxy's Edge more. I was only able to experience the two rides and didn't really have the time to look at any of the small details throughout the land. Hopefully, I'll be able to do this again in the future, and I do plan on visiting Galaxy's Edge in Florida before returning to Disneyland so perhaps I will be able to spend more time in the area during that visit. With that said, what I was able to see was absolutely incredible and was beyond breathtaking, almost to the point of getting emotional. My one complaint with the area in its current state is that there needs to be more non-human walkaround characters to sell the atmosphere of Star Wars and to truly make it the best-themed area I have experienced. Batuu is meant to be an outpost with many travelers from across the galaxy, yet the only alien character I saw walking around was Chewbacca. I hope that this can be rectified in the future to make Galaxy's Edge the most immersive theme park land in the world.
Another thing about Galaxy's Edge that didn't really factor into my enjoyment of it has become an interesting issue among Disney fans is the implementation of Boarding Groups for the recent tour de force of a theme park ride: Rise of the Resistance. For those of you that are unfamiliar, ROTR has a virtual queue in the form of Boarding Groups, which are required in order to experience the ride. You must either be at a kiosk at 8 AM or book it on the app at 8AM in order to get a Boarding Group. They give out approximately 150 boarding groups at Disneyland (I have heard this number is far less at DHS), and they are typically all booked in the first minute or less. Even then, only a certain amount of boarding groups are guaranteed to be called. At the time of my writing, the app says that "groups 81 and above will only be called if all of the initial planned boarding groups have been called back and there is capacity for more riders." The specific boarding group varies per day, but if you have a boarding group above this number, then it is up to park discretion as to whether that group is called, with that determination being based on park/ride capacity and any downtime that may have occurred throughout the day. Thankfully, I was able to get Boarding Group 9, which meant that I was able to experience ROTR first thing in the morning.
At this point in the trip report, I'm sure some of you have noticed that I have not yet said a single word about the second gate at the Disneyland Resort, of course being the infamous "budget park" known as Disney's California Adventure. I told you this one was long! DCA, despite having various changes done since my last visit, really didn't feel a whole lot different. I'm sure on my next visit, the new Avengers area will be open and the park will have a completely different atmosphere and feel, but in its current state it feels like a much better version of Walt Disney Studios in Paris, by far the weakest Disney park I've been to. That said, the changes that have been made I feel haven't really been for the better, in particular, the retheme of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier. Not that Paradise Pier was particularly great before, but the rides in this area seem like their still on the same budget that DCA had when it was being constructed 2 decades ago. Incredicoaster has very slight theming additions that help develop the story of the ride, but when you remember that Radiator Springs Racers and Cars Land was opened only a couple years ago, it's very hard to believe that these attractions are in the same park.
The two saving graces of DCA are Cars Land and Grizzly Peak. Cars Land has been talked about extensively and for very good reason, as it very accurately depicts Radiator Springs from the film and also features one of the best dark rides in the world. Grizzly Peak probably has one of the best yet unexpected atmospheres to feel from a themed area in a Disney park. When you think of Disney themed areas, they are typically depictions of fictional settings, or settings from long ago, or from a potential future. Grizzly Peak feels realistic and natural, which very few Disney parks have attempted before, at least from ones that I have seen personally (once I get to Tokyo DisneySea, this observation may change). The area is just really, really nice and doesn't try to be unbelievably magnificent, which makes it one of the coolest theme park areas I've seen.
A final point to make before getting to the ride reviews is one of the park operations and overall guest flow. Disney ops are always known for being insane, and these two parks are no exception. Very small dispatch intervals that were hit every single time. What helped out the visit a LOT was MaxPass, which is a way to book your fast passes in park on your phone. It is an upcharge, but for only $20 a piece it saves you a LOT of walking. I highly recommend using it.
And finally, ride reviews of what I rode (this will include dark rides in ranked order with the coasters)
Goofy's Sky School: 1x (325/440)
Compared to Coast Rider, this is actually good. Even then, has some kinda tacky theming that looks okay, but overall appearance of the ride isn't that great. The forces around the corners were great, but got a little slower at the end.
Toy Story Midway Mania: 1x
I'm not a huge fan of 3D dark rides, but as a gaming experience, this one is fun. I can see why it gets long lines, and I am definitely not the target audience for it, so it's kind of a "once and done" kind of ride for me. Well done, just not my thing.
Incredicoaster: 1x (186/440)
As a coaster, this is a fun ride. Loop is probably due for another retrack, but overall it's fine. The issue this ride has is in it's theming and presentation. The queue doesn't really have a lot to look at, kinda how Screamin' was (but there wasn't really a story trying to be told with Screamin' anyway), and the theming in the tunnels along the ride are all static pieces supplemented with audio on the train. So you see what is essentially a cut out of the characters with no moving pieces, yet you hear the characters talking and forwarding the storyline. I get that it's a retheme, but I feel like there had to be better options to at least make it somewhat impressive compared to the fantastic things Disney has done in the rest of its parks.
Grizzly River Run: 1x
Kinda crazy how wet I got on this ride. Pretty much every drop, small or large, I got doused. I was okay with it, though, because this ride has some great theming here and there and actually had quite a bit of spinning as well. I'm fairly certain there are devices in the water to help it spin more, but it was very fun and a solid rapids ride for sure.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 2x (167/440)
I'm a sucker for mine trains, and this one is no exception. Love the theming around the ride, has some decent forces, and one of my favorite lift hills ever at the end. I still much prefer the Paris version for it's cooler layout, but this one was still fun.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run: 1x
We're starting to get into the "very very good" part of this list, so just because this is lower in the rankings on this trip report certainly doesn't mean it's a bad ride. And it definitely isn't, this ride is one of the best examples of interactive dark rides out there. It takes the concept introduced in Mission Space to a whole other level. The screen is very responsive to the inputs of the riders (which, when you have younger pilots, typically makes the experience less realistic). Even then, when you have people that try to just sit and watch and not do anything, it still doesn't effect the story of the ride. There are points to be gained, so it would be fun to give it another go with a 6 person crew of people that I know will actually do a good job.
But my absolute favorite part of this ride is the inclusion of one of my all-time favorite Star Wars characters, being Hondo from the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. I was so incredibly happy seeing him in animatronic form and them actually doing his character justice. I would love to see him in a live-action performance at some point.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout: 1x
I am a HUGE fan of Tower of Terror at DHS, and have ridden 2 other versions of the ride, being the original form at DCA back in 2013 and the one at WDS last year. While neither of those versions holds a candle to the original, it was still quite the shock to hear it get transformed in DCA. But since it has been a couple of years since the transformation has occurred, it has been pretty well received so my expectations rose due to that. And this ride is fantastic, fun and a wholesome experience compared to the dark and ominous theme that existed before. I still prefer the theme of the Twilight Zone more, but for this specific iteration of the ride I feel that the Guardians fits the ride system more.
Splash Mountain: 1x
After doing Timber Mountain Log Ride the day before, I was excited to see how this would compare. While Splash Mountain is a fantastic experience with a great soundtrack and theming, I do prefer Log Ride at Knott's. I think it might just be I prefer the theming on it, but I also think Splash Mountain felt a little short compared to what I remember of the Magic Kingdom version. Even then, Splash Mountain is fantastic and one of the better water rides out there.
Radiator Springs Racers: 1x
Still as fantastic as what I remember. The mater animatronic in particular was amazing, although some of the mouths that were projected didn't look nearly as good as they could have been if it was physically on the animatronic. It's a great experience that has some of the best dark ride stuff with a little bit of thrill ride stuff as well. The outdoor section actually has some good airtime, even if it doesn't feel near as fast as Test Track does. Definitely is superior to the current form of Test Track, and the best ride at DCA by a mile.
Matterhorn Bobsleds: 2x (106/440)
We all know what Matterhorn is and how important it was for this industry. But those that haven't ridden may assume that it's just an old, janky Arrow that only goes 25 MPH. And you know what, all of those things are correct but that is the exact reason why this ride is incredible. The forces on this ride are all over the place, with great airtime and lats everywhere. The transitions are incredibly janky, but you have to realize the limitations of track design when this thing was built and also appreciate that this thing is still around 50 years later. Not to mention, the surroundings of this ride do a very good job making the ride feel more fast than it actually is. There are 2 instances that you come face to face with a yeti, and the animatronic feels like it's about to reach out and grab you every single time. It's a very effective moment of the ride and definitely surprised me more than once. Even if you're someone who tends to skip family coasters of similar stature to Matterhorn, be sure to give it a try if only for its historical value. You won't regret it.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye: 2x
Even more than 20 years later this ride is a technical marvel of an attraction and is surpassed by very few rides in its own park. I had forgotten just how much the ride vehicle threw you around throughout the ride, but it definitely added to the fun. The show scenes still hold up and seem maintained fairly well. The only negative for me is the one scene where it stops in pitch black before the blowdart room. It just felt like there should have been an effect there but the only thing that happened was the vehicle and music stopping, and subsequently restarting in like 2 seconds or so. Other than that, definitely one of the best rides out there in the world and one that I would be sad to skip on a visit to Disneyland.
Pirates of the Carribean: 1x
One of the oldest and longest rides in the park, yet still holds up as, again, one of the best rides in the world (there's still two more rides on this list!). The pacing and storyline of this ride are fucking perfect, from the first animatronic playing a banjo, to the final scene with Captain Jack Sparrow enjoying his riches. I lost my hat on the first drop but was still able to enjoy the rest of the ride and see it for the masterpiece of visual storytelling it is. The only issue it had was that it was stacking at the bottom of the lift, but with everything else this ride has going for it, it's easy to ignore that.
Space Mountain: 4x (54/440)
This ride only has like, 3 left turns in the entire thing. But Goddamn it, it's one of the most fun coasters you'll ever ride. Even though the forces are great throughout the ride, this ride would be nothing if it wasn't for one of the best lift build-ups and soundtracks a ride has. There are 3 lift hills that take you to the top of this ride, and the 2nd one is probably my personal favorite lift hill on a coaster. It has a spinning light effect that makes it feel like you're vertical, almost like you're about to get shot to space. Then you get to the top, the music reaches it's climax, and you're off. Soaring through space listening to this absolute BOP of a soundtrack. I will never get enough of this ride and is easily my favorite Disney coaster that I have done.
Rise of the Resistance: 1x
Before I get to the spoiler part of the review (I HIGHLY recommend going in blind), I will say that this is without a minutia of a doubt the single greatest theme park attraction that I have experienced and probably will ever experience. The level of storytelling, detail, and absolute fucking scale is breathtaking and absolutely worth waking up at 5 AM and getting to the park to get a boarding group. Even if you don't like Star Wars, you can easily appreciate the colossal level of quality that this attraction has. This entire thing is nearly 20 minutes in length, includes 2 preshows and technically 2 different rides. Every cast member is in character, either for the First Order or Resistance, and plays their part very well. There are 6 or 7 notable animatronics on this attraction that look absolutely real. Kylo Ren in particular even looks like Adam Driver is in the suit when he's walking towards you. There are life-size AT-AT's, blaster shots that look like are being fired at you, Kylo Ren's lightsaber cuts a circle through the floor in front of you, there's no delay from the drop from the escape pod into the simulator section when you crash land back on Batuu. All of these things happen on this ride, and each one looks absolutely fucking real. As a kid, I always wanted to be a Jedi and live in the world of Star Wars. While you aren't a Jedi in Rise of the Resistance, you are in the world of Star Wars. It goes beyond immersion, what you experience is Star Wars. With my 2019 being pretty tough, it had been a while since I had gotten properly emotional but this ride got me close to tears at multiple points. There is almost nothing wrong with this ride, and was the runaway highlight of this trip and probably the rest of the year.
Disneyland is not Disney World. It has all of the best parts of Disney World, but still retains a classic charm that puts the resort above the stigma that "Disney parks are for kids" or "Disney rides aren't thrilling." While yes, these two parks do not feature rides as intense as I305 or Steel Vengeance, but what it does offer are rides and areas that tell a story, immerse you in a fictional setting, bring you back to your youthful days of imagining faraway places, and connect with you on an emotional level. I love intense, thrilling rides like the rest of us, but I do think that enthusiasts need parks like Disneyland. We need to remember the history of this industry, and this original Disney park is the reason a lot of parks exist the way they currently do. If your home park has themed areas at all, it was probably influenced by Disneyland. Some people may say it's not a park for everyone, but I disagree. This park was made for everyone, and absolutely everyone should experience it.
Six Flags Magic Mountain trip report comes out tomorrow.
submitted by fedoraman59 to rollercoasters [link] [comments]


2020.02.21 12:18 orange3cparts HP Envy 32 AiO review

For lots of people today, the globe of all-in-ones is populated by the iMac, the Surface Studio and all the things else. Launched at CES 2020, HP's Envy 32 wants to become added towards the discussion. Everyone who desires a highly effective all-in-one that dell xps 13 charger can run demanding applications and in some cases play games should really put the Envy 32 toward the best of their list.The Envy 32 combines a fashionable chassis with effective components, like RTX graphics, and tons of helpful characteristics, such as the capability to turn the all-in-one into a Bluetooth speaker. Tack on a amazing 4K display, and also the HP Envy 32 AiO is definitely an excellent tool for creators, even though you can find no touch-screen or Core i9 CPU solutions.
Design
The thing that is so good about all-in-ones is that they're the entire package, and it's a clean package. The compute, the display, the speakers, and everything else is in one chassis, and it plugs into power with a single cable. Generally, you will find some sacrifices created to perform this, for example lower-powered internals, and surface pro 4 charger that is why the choice for RTX graphics is so exciting to me.This is an all-around attractive machine. It'll look great in your desk. The base has a Dark Ash wood grain finish, and it contains a 15W (yes, 15W!) wireless charging pad. Naturally, this tends to make it uncomplicated to charge your phone throughout the day. I truly haven't made use of my phone's wired charger in weeks, because it just charges while I work. This is one of those tiny issues that just makes life a bit bit a lot easier.
The Envy 32 was the center of focus in our office when I set the personal computer up on my desk. Needless to say, the wide 32-inch show is what drew men and women in, but dell xps 15 charger they were equally impressed with the trendy aesthetic. Below the 32-inch panel is actually a gray fabric panel, underneath which reside Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers. I go into detail about how these speakers sound below, but I'll preface that section with this: They are really, really good.
The Envy 32 AiO isn't the most flexible device, but it is going to tilt from minus 5 to 25 degrees. The screen doesn't swivel, and you can't adjust its height, so you might need a height-adjustable chair to get the best viewing angles.AIO PCs are a unique breed of computers that usually trade convenience for processing ability. That is, when you get a svelte machine having a single AC plug for power that macbook pro 2012 charger looks terrific, most companies use 45-watt mobile processors with weak graphics. For most homebodies, these are usually acceptable, but for anyone who desires both a sleek AIO design and style and energy, well, your possibilities are nonexistent.
The ENVY 32 throws all of this away. HP uses a full 65-watt Intel Core i7-9700 S-series processor (there is also a more affordable Core i5 variant). That's a real desktop-class CPU. But you can macbook pro 2015 charger also configure the ENVY 32 with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q design) graphics card. That is never been done before in this class of PC. For our review, we employed a GeForce RTX 2060 (Max-Q) with 6GB of GDDR6 memory. To save some money, users can opt for a still effective NVIDIA GTX 1650.
All it takes is one look to see what the stars of the show are using the Envy 32: that enormous screen and beefy speaker bar. The display is larger than the competition, which typically max out at 28 inches, and dell inspiron 15 charger it's also the first all-in-one screen to support HDR at 600 nits of brightness. It feels absolutely towering when you're sitting in front of it. The display also covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 standard with 10 bits of color depth, making it valuable for creators who demand screens together with the utmost accuracy.
The Envy 32's speaker setup, meanwhile, is made up of two tweeters, two medium drivers, a woofer and two passive radiators. You'll find similar hardware in home theater soundbars, but the Envy also pushes beyond those with macbook pro 2011 charger pro 15 more low end performance. The speaker is draped in an acoustically transparent cloth covering, giving it an elegant appear overall. A leather Bang & Olufsen tag tends to make it clear this isn't your typical PC speaker, but really you could probably tell that from its sheer size. The Envy 32's speaker bar juts out several inches from the bottom of the screen, making its presence known. That's a good thing, given that you'll never get decent sound from thin and tiny speakers.
Display
The Envy 32's 31.5-inch, 4K IPS anti-reflection display is sharp and colorful. Given its massive size, the Envy 32 offers a TV-like viewing experience when you're streaming your favorite movies and shows.When macbook pro 2013 charger early I watched a trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey's lightsaber glowed a vibrant cyan hue as it struck against Kylo Ren's scarlet trident. Those colors became even more saturated when I switched the display mode to Vibrant. I could see the most minute details in static scenes, like the rivets on a grounded spacecraft.
Those details had been a bit blurry in dynamic scenes, probably because of the monitor's 60-Hz refresh rate, which is reduce than the 144 Hz you find on gaming monitors. Also, when saturated, colors didn't pop off the Envy 32's show like they would on magsafe 1 A1290 a glossy panel, although I love how the panel blocked reflections. I noticed minimal glare on the screen despite testing it directly under harsh fluorescent workplace lights.
On the standard show mode, the Envy 32 covers 104% of the sRGB color gamut, which is often a good result but lower than expected out of a 4K show. HP claims that the Envy 32 covers 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, but lenovo ideapad 100s charger 11IBY we notched only 74.3%.Anti-reflective technology is also unique. The XPS 27 famously had a very glossy screen that was much too reflective. HP does it differently. Behind the glass can be a special layer of material that diffracts light. That lets the show maintain vibrancy and accuracy although effectively cutting out any reflection from lights. It really is outstanding, and I wish all computers had this feature.
Performance
Packing an Intel Core i7-9700 CPU and 32GB of RAM, the Envy 32 provided outstanding performance in our real-world and synthetic benchmark testing.
I've been using the Envy 32 AiO for the last few weeks and have not noticed any sluggishness, even when I'm lazy about closing Google Chrome tabs. There wasn't a hint of lag when I loaded three dozen Chrome tabs and played four 4K videos simultaneously in the dell venue 11 pro charger background. The Envy 32 then loaded a Carabao Cup match between Manchester City and Manchester United on ESPN's streaming site without batting an eye. Impressive benchmark scores quantify the fast performance I experienced while using the Envy 32. The all-in-one scored an impressive 29,499 on the Geekbench four.3 overall-performance test.
The model that HP sent me includes an Intel Core i7-9700 CPU, along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, although you can purchase it with dell inspiron 15 5000 charger an RTX 2080 for all the energy. RTX graphics means that it supports real-time ray tracing and deep-learning super-sampling (DLSS). Also, the Envy 32 AiO comes pre-installed with Nvidia's Studio drivers, rather than Game Ready drivers, although you can switch them up if you'd like.
I did it all on this PC. I played Halo: Reach, I edited video, and I wrote tons of articles. I really don't have any complaints from the performance department. Anything about this lenovo ideapad 320s charger 14IKB PC was just pleasant. Between the beefy internals and fantastic performance, and also the superb audio/video experience, what's not to love?
That adds up to an awesome gaming experience too. Sure, the GeForce RTX graphics are mobile GPUs, so it really is best to keep that in mind. You're not getting an RTX 2080 Ti, and you're also not getting a 95W K-series processor. You're getting a 65W S-series CPU, which is actually a standard desktop component, and a mobile RTX GPU, which is still pretty great, and that makes it one of the most potent all-in-one PCs out there.
The Envy 32 then took just 7 minutes and 42 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution. That's about half the time it takes most premium laptops to complete that same task. The ENVY 32 just doesn't have effective sound, HP claims it is the loudest AIO PC on the planet.In testing, when the macbook pro a1278 charger volume is set to 50 percent and at two feet from the laptop, the audio peaked at a jaw-dropping 87 decibels. That is the equivalent of a medium-sized truck or a kicking bass drum (a real 1). Go to 75 percent system volume, and you'll blast your room with 95 decibels. That sits in-between a large truck and a jackhammer. There is no distortion either - just clear, nicely separated audio.
Powering the ENVY 32 are two tweeters, two passive radiators, a single subwoofer, and two medium drivers all hidden behind an angled mount covered in acoustic fabric. Bang & Olufsen tuned the speakers, and there is the software to help customize the experience, such as a graphic equalizer.
The chiclet-style keyboard connects towards the PC wirelessly and attributes two additional Bluetooth channels. This lets you connect the keyboard to other devices, like smartphones or tablets, and use it to type. You can easily switch between devices together with the press of a key. You can prop up your phone or tablet on a lip on macbook pro 2010 charger the back of the keyboard.Strip away these special features, as well as the keyboard is decent. Although key travel is quite shallow, they have a snappiness to them that let me type quickly and with few errors. I punched out 114 words per minute with an accuracy of 92% on the 10FastFingers.com typing test. That is faster but less accurate than my 109-wpm, 95% accuracy averages.
The Envy 32's speaker setup, meanwhile, is produced up of two tweeters, two medium drivers, a woofer and two passive radiators. You'll find similar hardware in home theater soundbars, but the Envy also pushes beyond these with more low end performance. The speaker is draped in an acoustically transparent cloth covering, giving it an elegant look overall. A leather Bang & Olufsen tag tends to make it clear this isn't your typical PC speaker, but microsoft surface pro 4 charger really you could probably tell that from its sheer size. The Envy 32's speaker bar juts out several inches from the bottom of the screen, making its presence known. That is a good factor, considering that you'll never get decent sound from thin and tiny speakers.Windows 10 users who are envious of the iMac should seriously consider the Envy 32 all-in-one. It features a larger show than competing AiO PCs and its highly effective components, which includes the optional RTX 2080 GPU, can go toe to toe together with the best of them.
Add to that tons of extra options, like wireless Qi charging, Bluetooth pairing to the Envy 32's exceptional speakers and a pop-up IR camera. All that functionality comes in a device whose modern design will make it the statement piece of your home furniture. That said, few PCs wear the jack-of-all-trades label as well as the Envy 32. However, dell inspiron 1545 charger if you're a designer or an artist who needs a touch screen for stylus support, then the Envy 32 all-in-one isn't for you. And without the solution for a Core i9 CPU, the most demanding power users might want to look elsewhere. But for everyone else, the Envy 32 is an outstanding all-in-one that excels as a PC, a TV and even a Bluetooth speaker.
Our review unit, which included the Core i7-9700 CPU, 32GB of RAM and NVIDIA's RTX 2060, flew through Windows like a dream. It didn't have any trouble with my usual workflow, juggling dozens of browser tabs, Spotify, Netflix, Slack and photo editing apps. With Handbrake, it managed to transcode a two-minute 4K clip into 1080p in just 58 seconds with the CPU, and 42 seconds with all the a1278 charger NVIDIA encoder. And, obviously, there was enough power to play Overwatch and plenty of other modern titles in 1080p above 60FPS. You won't have much chance of really rendering games in 4K for the Envy 32's sharp screen, but they'll still look decent upscaled from 1080p or 1440p.
My only real complaint is the keyboard. While again, it is better than most that come with desktop PCs, it is just not good enough. If I wasn't testing out all of the cool options that this keyboard has, I wouldn't use it. And that is the pain point. If you use another keyboard, you lose that part of the value proposition, which is the potential to seamlessly switch between your PC and two other devices, and a1502 charger to have a stand built into it.Other than that, I want to say that the Envy 32 AiO is perfect. That combination of the massive 31.5-inch HDR600 screen and the Bang & Olufsen speakers is just a winner. I could sit in my office and watch Netflix on it all night if my wife wouldn't kill me for it, or I can sit in this immersive experience and play some PC games. It is that good. Not surprisingly, the performance puts it over the top rated as well, with RTX graphics.
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2020.02.10 01:51 Diechswigalmagee IJW: All 9 Best Picture Nominees So You Don't Have To (And You Are Out of Time Anyway) (2019)

Hey all! I’m back with some more reviews (à la my reviews of The Grudge Series and Makoto Shinkai’s filmography. This time I’m tackling all 9 of the Best Picture nominees this year! They all certainly have their merits and, in my opinion, represent one of the best slates on nominees in years. So, without further ado, here are my impressions of this year’s noms!
1917
I think it is somewhat redundant to say that there is a reason this is the film that is the favorite leading into the Oscars. I mean, it ticks all the boxes: it’s well directed, with a rare if not entirely unique style, a great albeit less-than-famous cast, it’s a period piece, and it’s “based on a true story.” In fact, it pretty much checks all the boxes that Academy voters have been voting on in the past 5-10 years, except one: this decidedly never feels like bait. From moment one, 1917 feels raw, real, emotional and epic. It is the quintessential “great movie.” Unfortunately, it is also quite likely doomed to the same fate as many great movies: the recycling bin. It will probably be forgotten in all too few years and have its guts cut apart and repurposed for film school projects in the years to come. Which is sad, really, but it is the fate of so many of its contemporaries that it is hardly surprising. 9.7/10 What it should win: Best Cinematography What it will win: Best Picture, along with at least a few other awards
Ford v Ferrari
I mean, if there was a true underdog to this race it would be the completely fine but forgettable Ford v Ferrari. And that’s a shame, really, because even though it hardly deserves to be playing in the sandbox with the big boys this is ultimately a pretty decent movie. Amazing? No. But it brings something to the table that no other Best Picture nom this year manages: this is Oscar bait. Pure, unadulterated, Oscar Bait. The cinematography and acting and writing and story and period: it’s all what Academy voters lapped up for so many years, with all the fat cut down and any semblance of new ideas being drowned out by the sound of a Ford engine or Christian Bale yelling about his wrench. If this movie was released in 2009 or 2010 it may have a chance of winning. Nowadays, it’s destined to be left in the cold. 8/10 What it should win: Best Picture, 2009 What it will win: Probably nothing, but maybe a sound editing or mixing nod.
The Irishman
It might be because this is one of the films freshest in my mind—or more likely because Goodfellas is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time—but I really enjoyed The Irishman. It suffers from some pacing issues and a team up of De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Scorsese just screams “bait,” but I feel as though overall the film never devolves into something you would expect. It, for one thing, never feels like it is trying to be a pretentious movie, just a director and a cast looking back on their lives and responding to the mistakes they have made. It feels in many ways to be a response to Goodfellas and Silence, a look at faith and mobsters in equal parts—the two themes Scorsese has constantly been analyzing throughout his career. It’s long, bloated, confusing, dull, and has a distracting amount of CGI . . . but it is also probably Scorsese’s magnum opus. A real masterstroke. Now please let him retire from mob movies before he screws it up. 9.2/10 What it should win: Best Director What it will win: Unfortunately, unless somehow it pulls out a win in a technical category, The Irishman will likely be snubbed
Jojo Rabbit
This is probably about as anti-Oscars you can get, so it’s a pretty big marvel that it is even nominated for Best Picture. I mean, for one thing this is a satire—a historically difficult genre for both audiences and even filmmakers to understand. For another, this is a movie in which a young boy is imaginary friends with Adolf Hitler. It’s just not what usually draws the more, let’s say, “uppity” Oscars crowd. All that being said, this movie is brilliant. Once you get used to the humor and the rollercoaster you are embarking on this ends up being one of the funniest movies of the year, if not the funniest. The cast is superb (I see great things in Thomasin McKenzie’s future) and there is not a single scene in this film that won’t have you grinning or crying. It’s, unfortunately, just not an Oscars film and is perhaps just a little ahead of its time to be truly appreciated. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Adapted Screenplay What it will win: Again, save for an upset victory in a technical category, this film is destined to be snubbed
Joker
Ah, Joker. The movie that deserved most to be nominated but deserved least to win. I think it is really important that this film got the nods that it did, it is, after all, one of very few comic book films that actually take the topic seriously and with a lot of reverence both for its fan base and for the filmmaking community. It actually succeeded in creating a world in which we empathize, however morbidly, with the Joker. I mean, he is literally the face of pure evil. It also was fantastically acted and directed, with Joaquin Phoenix finally delivering a performance that forces the Academy to take notice of the otherwise fantastic but oft-overlooked actor. But, at the end of the day Joker will always be remembered with or without the Academy’s help, so I think the nomination is far more important than the award in this case. 9/10 What it should win: I might get flack for this, but I think Joker’s Oscars success should stop at Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Joaquin was great, but he has put in, and will put in, better performances in less contentious years What it will win: (Blegh) Best Actor
Little Women
I’m pretty biased in this because not only is Lady Bird one of my favorite films in recent memory, not only is Saoirse Ronan one of my favorite actresses currently rising in Hollywood, NOT ONLY are Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen great in their own right . . . but Little Women also happens to be one of my favorite novels. So I don’t think it was going to be any surprise that Little Women would also be one of my favorite films of this year. What Greta Gerwig did to this admittedly aging piece of fiction is beyond expectations, turning the provincial worries of the March family into gripping drama and some pretty heart wrenching moments. It transforms the almost 800-page novel into short vignettes, trimming off some of the less notable moments to showcase just the very best pieces and still managing to fully develop the characters and situations. It is, frankly, fantastic stuff. 9.5/10 What it should win: Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress, since Greta Gerwig was snubbed for Best Director What it will win: Possibly Best Adapted Screenplay, probably Best Costume Design
Marriage Story
Maybe it is because I had no expectations going into Marriage Story, but this was the biggest surprise for me across the entire slate of Best Picture nominees this year. It, on paper, seems pretty basic. Two people getting divorced, fighting for custody of their kid. But in reality, this movie just blew me away with how funny, dramatic, sad, and shocking it is. Adam Driver is beyond a standout: going in I literally thought of him only as Kylo Ren. From now on, I might actually see him as Charlie Barber because he steps into this role so naturally. It is also the only movie besides Jojo Rabbit on this year’s slate that honestly made me laugh. It is a small, insignificant, and otherwise unremarkable film but I loved it dearly. If the Academy gave awards purely on soul, Marriage Story would win them all. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Actor for Adam Driver What it will win: I think it’s all but certain that Laura Dern has the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in the bag
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This isn’t Tarantino’s best work. There, I said it. If Tarantino deserved a Directing or Best Picture Oscar, he deserved it for Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, or Django Unchained, and I think it would be a pretty major disappointment if he won one for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is a bloated, confusing, incoherent, and ultimately plot-less mess of a film that ends up not leaving anywhere near as much of a mark on its audience or the cultural zeitgeist as its forebearers. It’s already on the forgettable side of Tarantino’s work and it hasn’t even been a year, there is no way that this film will last for the amount of time that so many of the director’s work has. Its only true saving grace is its actors: both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio do admittedly terrific work, making the film at least as fun to watch as many of Tarantino’s other films. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t quite reach those heights. 8.5/10 What it should win: Honestly? Nothing. I think every category Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is nominated in has better candidates for taking home the award. What it will win: Best Supporting Actor and almost certainly Best Original Screenplay
Parasite
This movie isn’t just the best movie of the year, it might very well be the best Best Picture nominee of the decade. That’s a huge statement, but, truthfully, I don’t think any other race in the 2010s has had a film so unique, well-written, well-crafted both from a production and directorial standpoint, and timely as Parasite. This movie just has so many quotable and talked about moments that have already entered the pop culture zeitgeist that it’s insane to think that it has only been less than a year since its release. Parasite seems destined to live on longer than any other film on this list, like the Pulp Fiction of the 2010s. But, just like Pulp Fiction, it won’t win Best Picture. It’s just to niche and the themes too controversial. But I think everyone who hasn’t watched this exemplarily piece of filmmaking should drop what they are doing and do so now. 10/10 What it should win: Best Picture What it will win: Best International Feature Film
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2020.02.10 01:49 Diechswigalmagee I Watched All 9 Best Picture Nominees So You Don't Have To (And You Are Out of Time Anyway)

Hey all! I’m back with some more reviews (à la my reviews of The Grudge Series and Makoto Shinkai’s filmography. This time I’m tackling all 9 of the Best Picture nominees this year! They all certainly have their merits and, in my opinion, represent one of the best slates on nominees in years. So, without further ado, here are my impressions of this year’s noms!
1917
I think it is somewhat redundant to say that there is a reason this is the film that is the favorite leading into the Oscars. I mean, it ticks all the boxes: it’s well directed, with a rare if not entirely unique style, a great albeit less-than-famous cast, it’s a period piece, and it’s “based on a true story.” In fact, it pretty much checks all the boxes that Academy voters have been voting on in the past 5-10 years, except one: this decidedly never feels like bait. From moment one, 1917 feels raw, real, emotional and epic. It is the quintessential “great movie.” Unfortunately, it is also quite likely doomed to the same fate as many great movies: the recycling bin. It will probably be forgotten in all too few years and have its guts cut apart and repurposed for film school projects in the years to come. Which is sad, really, but it is the fate of so many of its contemporaries that it is hardly surprising. 9.7/10 What it should win: Best Cinematography What it will win: Best Picture, along with at least a few other awards
Ford v Ferrari
I mean, if there was a true underdog to this race it would be the completely fine but forgettable Ford v Ferrari. And that’s a shame, really, because even though it hardly deserves to be playing in the sandbox with the big boys this is ultimately a pretty decent movie. Amazing? No. But it brings something to the table that no other Best Picture nom this year manages: this is Oscar bait. Pure, unadulterated, Oscar Bait. The cinematography and acting and writing and story and period: it’s all what Academy voters lapped up for so many years, with all the fat cut down and any semblance of new ideas being drowned out by the sound of a Ford engine or Christian Bale yelling about his wrench. If this movie was released in 2009 or 2010 it may have a chance of winning. Nowadays, it’s destined to be left in the cold. 8/10 What it should win: Best Picture, 2009 What it will win: Probably nothing, but maybe a sound editing or mixing nod.
The Irishman
It might be because this is one of the films freshest in my mind—or more likely because Goodfellas is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time—but I really enjoyed The Irishman. It suffers from some pacing issues and a team up of De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Scorsese just screams “bait,” but I feel as though overall the film never devolves into something you would expect. It, for one thing, never feels like it is trying to be a pretentious movie, just a director and a cast looking back on their lives and responding to the mistakes they have made. It feels in many ways to be a response to Goodfellas and Silence, a look at faith and mobsters in equal parts—the two themes Scorsese has constantly been analyzing throughout his career. It’s long, bloated, confusing, dull, and has a distracting amount of CGI . . . but it is also probably Scorsese’s magnum opus. A real masterstroke. Now please let him retire from mob movies before he screws it up. 9.2/10 What it should win: Best Director What it will win: Unfortunately, unless somehow it pulls out a win in a technical category, The Irishman will likely be snubbed
Jojo Rabbit
This is probably about as anti-Oscars you can get, so it’s a pretty big marvel that it is even nominated for Best Picture. I mean, for one thing this is a satire—a historically difficult genre for both audiences and even filmmakers to understand. For another, this is a movie in which a young boy is imaginary friends with Adolf Hitler. It’s just not what usually draws the more, let’s say, “uppity” Oscars crowd. All that being said, this movie is brilliant. Once you get used to the humor and the rollercoaster you are embarking on this ends up being one of the funniest movies of the year, if not the funniest. The cast is superb (I see great things in Thomasin McKenzie’s future) and there is not a single scene in this film that won’t have you grinning or crying. It’s, unfortunately, just not an Oscars film and is perhaps just a little ahead of its time to be truly appreciated. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Adapted Screenplay What it will win: Again, save for an upset victory in a technical category, this film is destined to be snubbed
Joker
Ah, Joker. The movie that deserved most to be nominated but deserved least to win. I think it is really important that this film got the nods that it did, it is, after all, one of very few comic book films that actually take the topic seriously and with a lot of reverence both for its fan base and for the filmmaking community. It actually succeeded in creating a world in which we empathize, however morbidly, with the Joker. I mean, he is literally the face of pure evil. It also was fantastically acted and directed, with Joaquin Phoenix finally delivering a performance that forces the Academy to take notice of the otherwise fantastic but oft-overlooked actor. But, at the end of the day Joker will always be remembered with or without the Academy’s help, so I think the nomination is far more important than the award in this case. 9/10 What it should win: I might get flack for this, but I think Joker’s Oscars success should stop at Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Joaquin was great, but he has put in, and will put in, better performances in less contentious years What it will win: (Blegh) Best Actor
Little Women
I’m pretty biased in this because not only is Lady Bird one of my favorite films in recent memory, not only is Saoirse Ronan one of my favorite actresses currently rising in Hollywood, NOT ONLY are Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen great in their own right . . . but Little Women also happens to be one of my favorite novels. So I don’t think it was going to be any surprise that Little Women would also be one of my favorite films of this year. What Greta Gerwig did to this admittedly aging piece of fiction is beyond expectations, turning the provincial worries of the March family into gripping drama and some pretty heart wrenching moments. It transforms the almost 800-page novel into short vignettes, trimming off some of the less notable moments to showcase just the very best pieces and still managing to fully develop the characters and situations. It is, frankly, fantastic stuff. 9.5/10 What it should win: Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress, since Greta Gerwig was snubbed for Best Director What it will win: Possibly Best Adapted Screenplay, probably Best Costume Design
Marriage Story
Maybe it is because I had no expectations going into Marriage Story, but this was the biggest surprise for me across the entire slate of Best Picture nominees this year. It, on paper, seems pretty basic. Two people getting divorced, fighting for custody of their kid. But in reality, this movie just blew me away with how funny, dramatic, sad, and shocking it is. Adam Driver is beyond a standout: going in I literally thought of him only as Kylo Ren. From now on, I might actually see him as Charlie Barber because he steps into this role so naturally. It is also the only movie besides Jojo Rabbit on this year’s slate that honestly made me laugh. It is a small, insignificant, and otherwise unremarkable film but I loved it dearly. If the Academy gave awards purely on soul, Marriage Story would win them all. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Actor for Adam Driver What it will win: I think it’s all but certain that Laura Dern has the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in the bag
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This isn’t Tarantino’s best work. There, I said it. If Tarantino deserved a Directing or Best Picture Oscar, he deserved it for Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, or Django Unchained, and I think it would be a pretty major disappointment if he won one for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is a bloated, confusing, incoherent, and ultimately plot-less mess of a film that ends up not leaving anywhere near as much of a mark on its audience or the cultural zeitgeist as its forebearers. It’s already on the forgettable side of Tarantino’s work and it hasn’t even been a year, there is no way that this film will last for the amount of time that so many of the director’s work has. Its only true saving grace is its actors: both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio do admittedly terrific work, making the film at least as fun to watch as many of Tarantino’s other films. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t quite reach those heights. 8.5/10 What it should win: Honestly? Nothing. I think every category Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is nominated in has better candidates for taking home the award. What it will win: Best Supporting Actor and almost certainly Best Original Screenplay
Parasite
This movie isn’t just the best movie of the year, it might very well be the best Best Picture nominee of the decade. That’s a huge statement, but, truthfully, I don’t think any other race in the 2010s has had a film so unique, well-written, well-crafted both from a production and directorial standpoint, and timely as Parasite. This movie just has so many quotable and talked about moments that have already entered the pop culture zeitgeist that it’s insane to think that it has only been less than a year since its release. Parasite seems destined to live on longer than any other film on this list, like the Pulp Fiction of the 2010s. But, just like Pulp Fiction, it won’t win Best Picture. It’s just to niche and the themes too controversial. But I think everyone who hasn’t watched this exemplarily piece of filmmaking should drop what they are doing and do so now. 10/10 What it should win: Best Picture What it will win: Best International Feature Film
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2020.02.10 01:46 Diechswigalmagee I Watched All 9 Best Picture Nominees So You Don't Have To (And You Are Out of Time Anyway)

Hey all! I’m back with some more reviews (à la my reviews of The Grudge Series and Makoto Shinkai’s filmography. This time I’m tackling all 9 of the Best Picture nominees this year! They all certainly have their merits and, in my opinion, represent one of the best slates on nominees in years. So, without further ado, here are my impressions of this year’s noms!
1917
I think it is somewhat redundant to say that there is a reason this is the film that is the favorite leading into the Oscars. I mean, it ticks all the boxes: it’s well directed, with a rare if not entirely unique style, a great albeit less-than-famous cast, it’s a period piece, and it’s “based on a true story.” In fact, it pretty much checks all the boxes that Academy voters have been voting on in the past 5-10 years, except one: this decidedly never feels like bait. From moment one, 1917 feels raw, real, emotional and epic. It is the quintessential “great movie.” Unfortunately, it is also quite likely doomed to the same fate as many great movies: the recycling bin. It will probably be forgotten in all too few years and have its guts cut apart and repurposed for film school projects in the years to come. Which is sad, really, but it is the fate of so many of its contemporaries that it is hardly surprising. 9.7/10 What it should win: Best Cinematography What it will win: Best Picture, along with at least a few other awards
Ford v Ferrari
I mean, if there was a true underdog to this race it would be the completely fine but forgettable Ford v Ferrari. And that’s a shame, really, because even though it hardly deserves to be playing in the sandbox with the big boys this is ultimately a pretty decent movie. Amazing? No. But it brings something to the table that no other Best Picture nom this year manages: this is Oscar bait. Pure, unadulterated, Oscar Bait. The cinematography and acting and writing and story and period: it’s all what Academy voters lapped up for so many years, with all the fat cut down and any semblance of new ideas being drowned out by the sound of a Ford engine or Christian Bale yelling about his wrench. If this movie was released in 2009 or 2010 it may have a chance of winning. Nowadays, it’s destined to be left in the cold. 8/10 What it should win: Best Picture, 2009 What it will win: Probably nothing, but maybe a sound editing or mixing nod.
The Irishman
It might be because this is one of the films freshest in my mind—or more likely because Goodfellas is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time—but I really enjoyed The Irishman. It suffers from some pacing issues and a team up of De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Scorsese just screams “bait,” but I feel as though overall the film never devolves into something you would expect. It, for one thing, never feels like it is trying to be a pretentious movie, just a director and a cast looking back on their lives and responding to the mistakes they have made. It feels in many ways to be a response to Goodfellas and Silence, a look at faith and mobsters in equal parts—the two themes Scorsese has constantly been analyzing throughout his career. It’s long, bloated, confusing, dull, and has a distracting amount of CGI . . . but it is also probably Scorsese’s magnum opus. A real masterstroke. Now please let him retire from mob movies before he screws it up. 9.2/10 What it should win: Best Director What it will win: Unfortunately, unless somehow it pulls out a win in a technical category, The Irishman will likely be snubbed
Jojo Rabbit
This is probably about as anti-Oscars you can get, so it’s a pretty big marvel that it is even nominated for Best Picture. I mean, for one thing this is a satire—a historically difficult genre for both audiences and even filmmakers to understand. For another, this is a movie in which a young boy is imaginary friends with Adolf Hitler. It’s just not what usually draws the more, let’s say, “uppity” Oscars crowd. All that being said, this movie is brilliant. Once you get used to the humor and the rollercoaster you are embarking on this ends up being one of the funniest movies of the year, if not the funniest. The cast is superb (I see great things in Thomasin McKenzie’s future) and there is not a single scene in this film that won’t have you grinning or crying. It’s, unfortunately, just not an Oscars film and is perhaps just a little ahead of its time to be truly appreciated. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Adapted Screenplay What it will win: Again, save for an upset victory in a technical category, this film is destined to be snubbed
Joker
Ah, Joker. The movie that deserved most to be nominated but deserved least to win. I think it is really important that this film got the nods that it did, it is, after all, one of very few comic book films that actually take the topic seriously and with a lot of reverence both for its fan base and for the filmmaking community. It actually succeeded in creating a world in which we empathize, however morbidly, with the Joker. I mean, he is literally the face of pure evil. It also was fantastically acted and directed, with Joaquin Phoenix finally delivering a performance that forces the Academy to take notice of the otherwise fantastic but oft-overlooked actor. But, at the end of the day Joker will always be remembered with or without the Academy’s help, so I think the nomination is far more important than the award in this case. 9/10 What it should win: I might get flack for this, but I think Joker’s Oscars success should stop at Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Joaquin was great, but he has put in, and will put in, better performances in less contentious years What it will win: (Blegh) Best Actor
Little Women
I’m pretty biased in this because not only is Lady Bird one of my favorite films in recent memory, not only is Saoirse Ronan one of my favorite actresses currently rising in Hollywood, NOT ONLY are Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen great in their own right . . . but Little Women also happens to be one of my favorite novels. So I don’t think it was going to be any surprise that Little Women would also be one of my favorite films of this year. What Greta Gerwig did to this admittedly aging piece of fiction is beyond expectations, turning the provincial worries of the March family into gripping drama and some pretty heart wrenching moments. It transforms the almost 800-page novel into short vignettes, trimming off some of the less notable moments to showcase just the very best pieces and still managing to fully develop the characters and situations. It is, frankly, fantastic stuff. 9.5/10 What it should win: Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress, since Greta Gerwig was snubbed for Best Director What it will win: Possibly Best Adapted Screenplay, probably Best Costume Design
Marriage Story
Maybe it is because I had no expectations going into Marriage Story, but this was the biggest surprise for me across the entire slate of Best Picture nominees this year. It, on paper, seems pretty basic. Two people getting divorced, fighting for custody of their kid. But in reality, this movie just blew me away with how funny, dramatic, sad, and shocking it is. Adam Driver is beyond a standout: going in I literally thought of him only as Kylo Ren. From now on, I might actually see him as Charlie Barber because he steps into this role so naturally. It is also the only movie besides Jojo Rabbit on this year’s slate that honestly made me laugh. It is a small, insignificant, and otherwise unremarkable film but I loved it dearly. If the Academy gave awards purely on soul, Marriage Story would win them all. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Actor for Adam Driver What it will win: I think it’s all but certain that Laura Dern has the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in the bag
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This isn’t Tarantino’s best work. There, I said it. If Tarantino deserved a Directing or Best Picture Oscar, he deserved it for Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, or Django Unchained, and I think it would be a pretty major disappointment if he won one for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is a bloated, confusing, incoherent, and ultimately plot-less mess of a film that ends up not leaving anywhere near as much of a mark on its audience or the cultural zeitgeist as its forebearers. It’s already on the forgettable side of Tarantino’s work and it hasn’t even been a year, there is no way that this film will last for the amount of time that so many of the director’s work has. Its only true saving grace is its actors: both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio do admittedly terrific work, making the film at least as fun to watch as many of Tarantino’s other films. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t quite reach those heights. 8.5/10 What it should win: Honestly? Nothing. I think every category Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is nominated in has better candidates for taking home the award. What it will win: Best Supporting Actor and almost certainly Best Original Screenplay
Parasite
This movie isn’t just the best movie of the year, it might very well be the best Best Picture nominee of the decade. That’s a huge statement, but, truthfully, I don’t think any other race in the 2010s has had a film so unique, well-written, well-crafted both from a production and directorial standpoint, and timely as Parasite. This movie just has so many quotable and talked about moments that have already entered the pop culture zeitgeist that it’s insane to think that it has only been less than a year since its release. Parasite seems destined to live on longer than any other film on this list, like the Pulp Fiction of the 2010s. But, just like Pulp Fiction, it won’t win Best Picture. It’s just to niche and the themes too controversial. But I think everyone who hasn’t watched this exemplarily piece of filmmaking should drop what they are doing and do so now. 10/10 What it should win: Best Picture What it will win: Best International Feature Film
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2020.02.10 01:41 Diechswigalmagee I Watched All 9 Best Picture Nominees So You Don't Have To (And You Are Out of Time Anyway)

Hey all! I’m back with some more reviews (à la my reviews of The Grudge Series and Makoto Shinkai’s filmography. This time I’m tackling all 9 of the Best Picture nominees this year! They all certainly have their merits and, in my opinion, represent one of the best slates on nominees in years. So, without further ado, here are my impressions of this year’s noms!
1917
I think it is somewhat redundant to say that there is a reason this is the film that is the favorite leading into the Oscars. I mean, it ticks all the boxes: it’s well directed, with a rare if not entirely unique style, a great albeit less-than-famous cast, it’s a period piece, and it’s “based on a true story.” In fact, it pretty much checks all the boxes that Academy voters have been voting on in the past 5-10 years, except one: this decidedly never feels like bait. From moment one, 1917 feels raw, real, emotional and epic. It is the quintessential “great movie.” Unfortunately, it is also quite likely doomed to the same fate as many great movies: the recycling bin. It will probably be forgotten in all too few years and have its guts cut apart and repurposed for film school projects in the years to come. Which is sad, really, but it is the fate of so many of its contemporaries that it is hardly surprising. 9.7/10 What it should win: Best Cinematography What it will win: Best Picture, along with at least a few other awards
Ford v Ferrari
I mean, if there was a true underdog to this race it would be the completely fine but forgettable Ford v Ferrari. And that’s a shame, really, because even though it hardly deserves to be playing in the sandbox with the big boys this is ultimately a pretty decent movie. Amazing? No. But it brings something to the table that no other Best Picture nom this year manages: this is Oscar bait. Pure, unadulterated, Oscar Bait. The cinematography and acting and writing and story and period: it’s all what Academy voters lapped up for so many years, with all the fat cut down and any semblance of new ideas being drowned out by the sound of a Ford engine or Christian Bale yelling about his wrench. If this movie was released in 2009 or 2010 it may have a chance of winning. Nowadays, it’s destined to be left in the cold. 8/10 What it should win: Best Picture, 2009 What it will win: Probably nothing, but maybe a sound editing or mixing nod.
The Irishman
It might be because this is one of the films freshest in my mind—or more likely because Goodfellas is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time—but I really enjoyed The Irishman. It suffers from some pacing issues and a team up of De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Scorsese just screams “bait,” but I feel as though overall the film never devolves into something you would expect. It, for one thing, never feels like it is trying to be a pretentious movie, just a director and a cast looking back on their lives and responding to the mistakes they have made. It feels in many ways to be a response to Goodfellas and Silence, a look at faith and mobsters in equal parts—the two themes Scorsese has constantly been analyzing throughout his career. It’s long, bloated, confusing, dull, and has a distracting amount of CGI . . . but it is also probably Scorsese’s magnum opus. A real masterstroke. Now please let him retire from mob movies before he screws it up. 9.2/10 What it should win: Best Director What it will win: Unfortunately, unless somehow it pulls out a win in a technical category, The Irishman will likely be snubbed
Jojo Rabbit
This is probably about as anti-Oscars you can get, so it’s a pretty big marvel that it is even nominated for Best Picture. I mean, for one thing this is a satire—a historically difficult genre for both audiences and even filmmakers to understand. For another, this is a movie in which a young boy is imaginary friends with Adolf Hitler. It’s just not what usually draws the more, let’s say, “uppity” Oscars crowd. All that being said, this movie is brilliant. Once you get used to the humor and the rollercoaster you are embarking on this ends up being one of the funniest movies of the year, if not the funniest. The cast is superb (I see great things in Thomasin McKenzie’s future) and there is not a single scene in this film that won’t have you grinning or crying. It’s, unfortunately, just not an Oscars film and is perhaps just a little ahead of its time to be truly appreciated. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Adapted Screenplay What it will win: Again, save for an upset victory in a technical category, this film is destined to be snubbed
Joker
Ah, Joker. The movie that deserved most to be nominated but deserved least to win. I think it is really important that this film got the nods that it did, it is, after all, one of very few comic book films that actually take the topic seriously and with a lot of reverence both for its fan base and for the filmmaking community. It actually succeeded in creating a world in which we empathize, however morbidly, with the Joker. I mean, he is literally the face of pure evil. It also was fantastically acted and directed, with Joaquin Phoenix finally delivering a performance that forces the Academy to take notice of the otherwise fantastic but oft-overlooked actor. But, at the end of the day Joker will always be remembered with or without the Academy’s help, so I think the nomination is far more important than the award in this case. 9/10 What it should win: I might get flack for this, but I think Joker’s Oscars success should stop at Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Joaquin was great, but he has put in, and will put in, better performances in less contentious years What it will win: (Blegh) Best Actor
Little Women
I’m pretty biased in this because not only is Lady Bird one of my favorite films in recent memory, not only is Saoirse Ronan one of my favorite actresses currently rising in Hollywood, NOT ONLY are Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen great in their own right . . . but Little Women also happens to be one of my favorite novels. So I don’t think it was going to be any surprise that Little Women would also be one of my favorite films of this year. What Greta Gerwig did to this admittedly aging piece of fiction is beyond expectations, turning the provincial worries of the March family into gripping drama and some pretty heart wrenching moments. It transforms the almost 800-page novel into short vignettes, trimming off some of the less notable moments to showcase just the very best pieces and still managing to fully develop the characters and situations. It is, frankly, fantastic stuff. 9.5/10 What it should win: Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress, since Greta Gerwig was snubbed for Best Director What it will win: Possibly Best Adapted Screenplay, probably Best Costume Design
Marriage Story
Maybe it is because I had no expectations going into Marriage Story, but this was the biggest surprise for me across the entire slate of Best Picture nominees this year. It, on paper, seems pretty basic. Two people getting divorced, fighting for custody of their kid. But in reality, this movie just blew me away with how funny, dramatic, sad, and shocking it is. Adam Driver is beyond a standout: going in I literally thought of him only as Kylo Ren. From now on, I might actually see him as Charlie Barber because he steps into this role so naturally. It is also the only movie besides Jojo Rabbit on this year’s slate that honestly made me laugh. It is a small, insignificant, and otherwise unremarkable film but I loved it dearly. If the Academy gave awards purely on soul, Marriage Story would win them all. 9.5/10 What it should win: Best Actor for Adam Driver What it will win: I think it’s all but certain that Laura Dern has the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in the bag
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This isn’t Tarantino’s best work. There, I said it. If Tarantino deserved a Directing or Best Picture Oscar, he deserved it for Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, or Django Unchained, and I think it would be a pretty major disappointment if he won one for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is a bloated, confusing, incoherent, and ultimately plot-less mess of a film that ends up not leaving anywhere near as much of a mark on its audience or the cultural zeitgeist as its forebearers. It’s already on the forgettable side of Tarantino’s work and it hasn’t even been a year, there is no way that this film will last for the amount of time that so many of the director’s work has. Its only true saving grace is its actors: both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio do admittedly terrific work, making the film at least as fun to watch as many of Tarantino’s other films. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t quite reach those heights. 8.5/10 What it should win: Honestly? Nothing. I think every category Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is nominated in has better candidates for taking home the award. What it will win: Best Supporting Actor and almost certainly Best Original Screenplay
Parasite
This movie isn’t just the best movie of the year, it might very well be the best Best Picture nominee of the decade. That’s a huge statement, but, truthfully, I don’t think any other race in the 2010s has had a film so unique, well-written, well-crafted both from a production and directorial standpoint, and timely as Parasite. This movie just has so many quotable and talked about moments that have already entered the pop culture zeitgeist that it’s insane to think that it has only been less than a year since its release. Parasite seems destined to live on longer than any other film on this list, like the Pulp Fiction of the 2010s. But, just like Pulp Fiction, it won’t win Best Picture. It’s just to niche and the themes too controversial. But I think everyone who hasn’t watched this exemplarily piece of filmmaking should drop what they are doing and do so now. 10/10 What it should win: Best Picture What it will win: Best International Feature Film
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2020.01.24 20:27 RENProtocol RenVM AMA Answers

RenVM AMA Answers


1) What are some challenges you think will come up in 2020?
Some of the biggest challenges that we see for 2020 are:
Adoption; it is the most difficult, but it has the highest impact for the project, and for the blockchain community at large. Perhaps the biggest challenge within adoption is education. It is critical that people understand how RenVM works, its capabilities, its limitations, where it is meant to be used, and where it is not meant to be used. At times, it has already proved difficult to cut through misinformation/misunderstanding that proliferates throughout the wider community or to explain complex cryptographic concepts. We will be addressing these challenges by producing more education material, releasing audits (when they’re completed), engaging more with other communities, and open-sourcing more of the project.
Rolling out updates; to the Darknodes as fixes, improvements, and new features. This is a technical challenge, but also a social challenge. It requires comprehensive testing environments and a focus on backwards compatibility, but it also requires coordination and social agreement amongst hundreds (and potentially thousands) of Darknode owners. To face these challenges, we have already begun building more extensive testing frameworks, auto-update capabilities for the Darknodes, and looking at informal methods of governance (until we settle on a formal one).

2) As far as I understand, you already have a list of companies that will be the first to adopt RenVM and make integration. How do these companies feel about the fact that not all repositories are open and some of the code is still closed (private repo)? Doesn't that scare them off? Do you have plans to go full open source?
TL:DR: Yes, absolutely we plan going full open-source and all projects we are in conversation with are aware of the below plan and understand the logic behind it. Our logic and subsequent plan (and the thresholds needed) to go full open-source can be found in this document, if curious: RenVM Open-Source Roadmap.
Long Answer: The team at Ren are very strong proponents of the open-source ethos and believe all decentralized protocols need to be made open-source when secure. The Ren team also wants to (a) be competitive in this space, given the hard work and capital invested by the team and the community, and (b) give an appropriate amount of time for security issues to be discovered and fixed before making the codebase available to potentially malicious actors.
With that said, all of Ren's codebase barring the RZL sMPC algorithm will be open-sourced at the advent of RenVM Mainnet Subzero which will be launched after our security audit is completed. The RZL sMPC algorithm, however, is what makes RenVM and its sMPC solution so special. This RZL sMPC Algorithm has been pioneered in-house by our development team and can be considered a trade secret. It will, therefore, not be released to the wider public until certain security and capital thresholds within RenVM have been met. We have worked very hard over the last two years; this approach ensures RenVM's security and that the Ren community, team, and investors are rewarded for their patience.
Stage 1 Q1 2020 RenVM Mainnet Security Audit
The security audit will verify our RZL sMPC algorithm security, correctness, and functionality under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This, the security audit of RenVM, and all other components of RenVM's code-base will be available for the public to review when completed.
Stage 2 Q2 2020 Onward
Our RZL sMPC Algorithm will be fully open-sourced to the public when the milestones outlined in this document are met: https://github.com/renproject/ren/issues/2
This document has purposefully been designed for open comment as we encourage any stakeholder to voice their opinion or suggestions (supported by empirically-based evidence, of course). The team will take the feedback and incorporate them into the RenVM Open-Source Roadmap thresholds.
The open comment period will end at the formal release of RenVM Mainnet Subzero, at which point the specific security and capital thresholds will be solidified, and presented to the public. If you have suggestions or questions, please do voice them on our Github! https://github.com/renproject/ren/issues/2

3) Any ideas on which DeFi dapps could or should in your opinion use RenVM?
Any DeFi app can utilize RenVM. If their users have a desire to trade/lend cross-chain pairs then they could/should use RenVM to do so. With that said, a few potential use cases can be found below:
  1. Cross-Chain Decentralized Exchanges,
  2. Cross-Chain Lending & Leveraging,
  3. Multi-Collateralized Synthetics and Stablecoins (e.g. DAI),
  4. No-Counterparty Risk OTC Desk An Interoperable Escrow,
  5. Multi-Collateral Crowdfunding,
  6. Multi-Collateral Basketed Investment vehicle (ETFs),
  7. Universal Cross-Chain Stablecoin Converter.
We’ll also be releasing a blog that outlines all the potential use cases for RenVM in the coming months, so please do stay tuned!

4) Have you announced a partnership with AZTEC, what are your plans for cooperation with them, are these plans still in force or have your priorities changed?
At this stage, our entire focus is on Mainnet SubZero. But, we will definitely be following up on integrating with AZTEC once everything is released, stable, and adopted.

5) Can you expand on Universal Interoperability and how important of a role it will play in the future, what are the qualifications of being that third party?
TL:DR: The ultimate goal of Universal Interoperability is to ensure a great user experience (UX) regardless of what Blockchain they come from or its end destination. In the immediate terms, this means abstracting away confirmation wait times and the need for ETH gas, so someone could use a BTC on a DeFi app (built on Ethereum) and never know it.
Long Answer: The number and speed of confirmations inherently depends on the original chain and must be set at the time the chain is admitted into the protocol. RenVM mainnet will wait for 6 confirmations for BTC (Chaosnet, is 2). This obviously takes a long time and, while it’s not so bad for some use cases (lending, collateralization, etc), it’s not the best for dApps/DEXs and general UX. ‌ So, we have the concept of Universal Interoperability which allows a third party to provide two things (in exchange for a fee nominated by users):
1) Expedited Confirmations Confirmation as a Service (CaaS)
CaaS= Expedited Confirmations This removes confirmations wait time for users when minting digital assets on Ethereum. It provides speed by taking on the confirmation risk. The third-party sees you have (let’s say) 1 confirmation and is confident you’re not a miner about to attack Bitcoin. They come in and provide the shifted BTC immediately to complete whatever action you were taking, and when the real underlying shift finishes the 3rd party get their funds back.
By implementing CaaS, developers can help users complete actions faster by using funds that have already been shifted. These funds can be accessed in a variety of trustful and trustless ways, however the goal is the same - facilitate a cross-chain transaction in a shorter time than it would take the user to first fully shift in an asset (i.e. for BTC, RenVM waits for six (6) confirmations).
2) GSN Integration Gas as a Service (GaaS)
GaaS = GSN Integration This removes the need for users to interact with ETH gas when dealing with native blockchain interactions. It provides gas so you don’t need to manage lots of different tokens, just the ones you’re actually using for the dApp.By Implementing GaaS, this allows dApps to pay for their users' transactions in a secure way, so users don’t need to hold ETH to pay for their gas or even set up an account. This can be particularly valuable when it comes to cross-chain applications as you might be building for a non-ethereum user base.
*We'll be releasing a demo if these working the real-world quite soon along with tutorials for 3rd parties to use these solutions if they so choose.

6) What’s the path forward for more liquidity on the REN token? Currently US users are limited in where they can purchase tokens and cannot easily acquire enough to get bonding for even one Darknode.
We encourage those who are restricted based on their jurisdiction to utilize the decentralized exchange infrastructure currently available. We try to practice what we preach and by utilizing DeFi, it's a great way to further propel the space into the mainstream.
We can’t legally recommend specific exchanges and we don't publicly discuss potentially listing until they are public, but do know we are always working on bringing more democratic access to REN.

7) How does your company plan to make money in the future (to finance the development, when the money received on the ICO will be over)?
Our team’s incentives are directly aligned with that of our community (those who run Darknodes). The organization and its funding is centered around Darknode rewards. Darknodes earn fees for facilitating interoperability via RenVM and this is how the organization will fund itself.

8) How does the audit go, any major issue has been identified that could delay MN subzero? When is it estimated to complete an audit?
The audit is going well. The smart contracts have been finished, and all issues were addressed quickly. The Hyperdrive audit is currently underway, and there have been no critical issues reported so far. The next steps are to scope the audit for the RZL sMPC paper and its accompanying implementation (the z0 engine). There are no timeline estimates that we are comfortable giving to the public at this stage, as audits times can vary a lot depending on what is found, and an audit of an sMPC implementation is not common (estimates quickly propagate through the community and become incorrectly interpreted as hard commitments).

9) How does your sMPC algorithm work? Can't find any description anywhere. Can the Darknodes perform any calculations over any data splitted using SSS? How fast are those calculations performed? How is the new private key generated for the next era, so old nodes that generated this key does not have access to it? Also, What kind of help from external developers do you need right now?
- It takes many pages of very formal discussion to describe how our sMPC algorithm works, but we are working on a paper that formally defines the algorithm, and proves its properties. This paper is being audited, and both the paper and audit will be released to the public after the release of Mainnet.- Darknodes can, in theory, perform any computation over Shamir secret shared (SSS) data, but they are only configured to perform interoperability related computation at the moment (key generation, and key signing).
- The performance of general computation over SSS data is very dependent on the kind of computation, however, sMPC is invariably orders of magnitude slower than the equivalent computations running on your local machine (because they involve network communication).
- Every epoch a new key must be generated to store assets (and assets in the old key must be transferred to this new key). The old group of Darknodes can generate the new key in such a way that the public key is known, but the private key shares are encrypted for the new group of Darknodes (this process does not reveal any of the new shares to any of the old Darknodes). Under the hood, this uses very simple homomorphic properties. Once the new key is generated, the old Darknodes can simply do their usual sMPC to transfer all assets to the new key.
-We would love it if the developer community started experimenting with our SDKs and contributed their thoughts/improvement to RenVM (and the dev infrastructure that supports it e.g. RenJS & GatewayJS) via: https://github.com/renproject/ren/issues

10) What are the plans for the initial network bootstrapping to onboard darknodes to achieve sufficient decentralization and deliver on the security benefits? I understand the early stages of the network will have the core nodes of the Ren Team and trusted partners responsible for maintaining the integrity of the network - do you intend to remain in this phase until sufficient transaction volume is on the network that attracts sufficient 3rd party operators? Are there plans to incentive that initial volume?
We intend to remain in the Mainnet SubZero phase until there is sufficient volume (stable over a reasonable period of time) to attract members of the public to run Darknodes and earn rewards by doing so. During this period, Ren and other projects will operate Darknodes to keep the networking running (and to keep it semi-decentralized amongst Ren and these third-parties). It is important for the security of the network that volume grows naturally, otherwise, it risks dropping after the incentivization ends. However, to begin with, we will support volume by providing liquidity to DEXs, and keeping minting fees low.

Thank everyone for contributing to our first AMA!
We'll have more over the coming months but as always, if you have any questions just come and ask in our Telegram: https://t.me/renproject
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2020.01.12 03:38 TorroesPrime Visual Novel Pitch meeting

Visual Novel Pitch meeting
https://preview.redd.it/0j5wgrulotd41.png?width=2208&format=png&auto=webp&s=ec2433652c25676c1cf837d64685547a81382438
Hey Exo-fans! we're going to be holding a pitch meeting, for the visual novel, on the discord server. What is a pitch meeting? Basically, it's a chance to get together in a group and talk about ideas that you have for stories, characters, story elements, game design and mechanics for the visual novel. Got an idea for a character? Have an idea for a cool game system? Was there something you wished had been addressed in the original show? Think we should make time travel a thing? Come to the Pitch Meeting and let's talk about it.
You will need to be a member of the Discord server to attend. If you are not, click on this link: https://discord.gg/YnuaZD to join it.
Once you join, send a message to Resurrected Hobbyist telling him that you want to attend the pitch meeting so you get coded for it.
https://preview.redd.it/88n57d6wa9a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6eed75b874a558afd6c4e6f5c9fa230a4e69388
The short answer to this is: "It's a video game that tells a story." It's a rather simplistic explanation compared to what can be considered to be a Visual Novel. The most prominent example that I can point to of a Visual Novel is the Phoenix Wright game series. For a more in-depth explanation of what a visual novel is, check out the Wikipedia entry on the subject.
We are using the Ren.py engine for our visual novel. At this point, we're not locked into any particular game mechanics approach or style. So that means we could go in a straight storytelling direction where the player simply makes a binary choice at a couple of points in the story and sees a different ending based on those choices. Or we could go in a more diverse direction and incorporate inventory management, character creation and advancement, Weapon/E-frame upgrade systems and combat systems that all feed into one another and give the player numerous options for replayability.
If you want to check out a couple of visual novels that were built with the same system, here are a couple that are available on Steam and are free. And that is actually 'Free' not 'freemium' or 'free to play but pay to unlock everything else' or anything like that. These are actually and really free. Doesn't mean they're not really well done though.
Rising Angels: Reborn
SC2VN

https://preview.redd.it/kmtwmoo8b9a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=309808763ede65153f71c30c78cf2407c1a941cd

Within reason, you can pitch anything you like. While the pitch meeting is intended to be open-ended and has very few 'rules' or 'limits', and we are fully expecting that there will be side conversations and bad jokes, we are there to accomplish something. We won't shy away from NSFW material, but please do not turn it into a NSFW show.
More specifically the pitch meeting is intended to bring ideas of concept, theme, design and story up for discussion. If you think the inventory management system in Fallout New Vegas and think having it in the game is a good idea, come and make a pitch.

https://preview.redd.it/9ciq26j7ptd41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=0f9ce6f53747586db2a346e748611c96bb09e43e
The meeting will be starting Saturday, February 8th, starting at 12 noon eastern time. Once we start the meeting everyone will submit a list of items they want to pitch. We will then work through that list in whatever order we wish to. Beyond that list, there is no particular order. The big thing to remember here is that the point of the meeting is to discuss these items. Not just pitch them. Even if we get to your idea(s) first and finish talking about them in half an hour, it is strongly encouraged that you remain at the meeting to discuss other people's ideas.

https://preview.redd.it/8rh4ize8e9a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=e5162552f62551e19133628101ea496dabd3ec70
Well then you have someone else helping pitch it. This isn't a bad thing mind you. Just because two people have the idea of "A Falcon e-frame with the gun arm of the Field Sergent E-frame", that doesn't mean both of you actually have the same idea. One person may be making the suggestion that through out the game the e-frames show damage and changes because of battle as a way to add gravitas to the game and the player choices. While the other person is pitching an "E-frame equipment" System. Or maybe you have the idea to have the arm of the Falcon replaced with the arm of the Field sergent, but you don't really know what lead to that need being done. Maybe the other person has a story idea that will fill that need.
https://preview.redd.it/wcdrw5et89a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=15df4bc3b5de9614d49bffd4282554ab74abec96
You will need to be registered on the discord server and be coded to attend the meeting. Please read the announcement above for more information about that. You will need to be able to use Discord. It is very strongly recommended that you use a computer in a location that you can use voice chat on as well. Beyond those points, all you need is an open mind and something to talk about. If there is something that you want to reference to explain your idea it is your responsibility to secure it. This could be pictures, a music track, a video, a video game, whatever. But you will need to have it on hand to show.

https://preview.redd.it/v1kqbtzy1va41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=5a8e370ec81c0d708c3ba4a12d1a3114187269da
I mean there is the obvious stuff. How to get online, how to use discord, how to share pictures and links in discord. It is encouraged that you're familiar with the story from season 1 of the show and the time-line that we've published thus far. SFDebris has done a decent series of reviews on season 1 so if you don't have the DVDs, it is a reasonable place to review. The time-line can be viewed on the discord server under the extras section of the visual novel category.
https://preview.redd.it/fy6w3p2if9a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=4c054f303b31e94684194517b22f9cfb6058f5c7
Ask it. You can get ahold of me on the Discord Server (I'm Resurrected Hobbyist) or you can DM me here on reddit, or you can post it below.
https://preview.redd.it/h26xyd14f9a41.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=33cdd0ad51f5568eebfe8eac2734db5e91ed7f2a
Not really. We're going to use Discord for the meeting so make sure you can use it on your system. The meeting will be recorded and we're going to try and compile minutes and notes from it. These will be made available to the general public. So social media rule: Don't say/do something you wouldn't want your wife/husband to see.
submitted by TorroesPrime to exosquad [link] [comments]


2020.01.03 04:17 adamkramr List Test Banks and Solution Manual ( 2020-2021) Part 23

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2019.12.30 07:55 DokiDokiHermit Donating (or Supporting) Open-Source Gaming Projects - A Modest Guide

Inspired by some of the comments in the thread (specific shoutout to gardotd426) on whether it's better to support DRM-free initiatives or active Linux developers, I decided I'd buy a few less games and see what's involved in donating to Wine. This turned into a larger investigation and I found that it wasn't always obvious how to donate and where your money was going, so I thought I'd put together a bit of a guide to the current initiatives out there, how you can support them with hard cash as well as how else you can help if you can't afford it.

Wine (via the Software Freedom Conservancy)

What is it? Wine is a compatibility layer that allows users to run Windows applications in Linux environments. It forms a core part of Valve's Steamplay solution, as well as providing gamers the means to play Windows games that are no longer compatibile on modern systems.
How can I support them? Wine is assisted by the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit organisation that manages earmarked donations to its member projects (of which Wine, Godot and others form a part) and provides various fiscal and administrative services (the full list can be seen here.).
If you want donate to Wine directly, the easiest is to simply go to Wine's donation page. You can also go via the SFC. You'll need to go to the Member Projects Page, and scroll right down to the bottom. Clicking the donate will take you to Paypal where you'll be asked to donate an amount of your choice; you can also set whether it should be monthly but by default it's off.
Donating to the SFC helps all of the projects associated with them, and if you would like to do so you can donate here. Given the role they play in smoothing out the more mundane administrative tasks of running Wine as a non-profit, they likely deserve some support. Be aware that although they are running a fundraiser at the moment, individual donations do not qualify for the current triple/double bonus; it's only if you sign up as an ongoing Supporter.
If you want to get an idea of how the money is used, you can check out some of the SFC's audited financial reports here. jhansoxi also wrote up a personal WineConf 2019 report that gives you an idea of some of the challenges faced by the Wine team.
Godot also forms part of the SFC. As a free and open-source game engine with an extremely permissive license and none of the royalty models that are attached to the likes of Unreal, supporting Godot helps promote a game engine designed to work on multiple platforms.
No money? You can support the Wine project by submitting reports on your experiences trying to run specific games over at WineHQ. Please be aware that this is specifically for reports using Wine alone, and requires on-going retesting and reporting. The details are on this page. You can either become an App's maintainer (thereby becoming responsible for the overall accuracy and timeliness of an App's page on AppDB), or simply post comments on the specific page detailing your tests.
You could also look at improving documentation around the use of Wine. Several of the pages on Wine's Wiki and documentation such as the Readme are out of date (for example, the Wine User's Guide was last updated on September 2018.).

ProtonDB

What is it? ProtonDB is a database of compatibility ratings of Windows Steam games using Proton and Steamplay developed by migelius. It aims to provide a single point of reference on whether a Windows game will run via Steamplay, often with the necessary tweaks to perform if it requires some manual configuration. The database is also made available here under the ODbl license.
How can I support them? Currently, you cannot make direct donations to ProtonDB (from what I can see). Instead, you can support ProtonDB's Patreon project. At the time of writing, the Patreon is earning just under $50, which is a real shame considering it's one of the first places we point people when they're considering shifting to Linux. So it looks like it's been pushed above $60 by a couple of new patrons! Not sure if it's due to this thread, but if it is and you're here, good work.
No money? Comprehensive reports are invaluable in helping users to get games running. To that end, here's some things to consider to improve the quality of your reports. Be aware that you have to link your Steam account to ProtonDB in order to make a report, and think twice before running random scripts posted on the Internet. That being said:

GamingOnLinux

What is it? Gaming On Linux (GoL) is an ad-free news website dedicated to Linux gaming run by Liam Dawe. It eschews more general Linux news to provide a focused spotlight on Linux native games, Kickstarters, projects and initiatives while highlighting ongoing efforts with Linux-adjacent interests.
How can I support them? Gaming on Linux has a myriad of ways that you can support them financially. Instead of listing them all here, I'll just link to their Support Us page, which isn't as visible as it could be (the banner does randomly display a support message occasionally but doesn't list all of the available options; you have to go into the Sections menu to locate it). To summarise, you can:
If you would like some idea of where your money is going, you can check out the Patreon stretch goals..
No money? Gaming on Linux encourages tips for Linux gaming news, as well as contributed articles written by readers. I have no idea whether contributers are paid for their work or not.

Lutris

What is it? Lutris is a game manager with user-created custom scripts that help with the installation of games with difficult configuration steps. It serves as a single front-end for games across multiple services and platforms (Steam, Origin, GOG, local installs, etc).
How can I support them? Lutris is a not-for-profit project (which is distinct from a non-profit organisation) and accepts donations via their Donations page. You can also support them via Patreon, where you can find a list of stretch goals giving a high-level view of how your money is being spent.
No money? The power of Lutris lies in its custom scripts that aid with difficult installations of games. If you've figured out how to run a game not listed. you could always contribute a script of your own. You can learn about writing scripts from the installers.rst file in the docs folder of the Github project for Lutris.

Game Development Tools/Engines

These engines and tools provide game development tools that work across Windows, Mac and Linux. If you've ever thought of making yourself a game, I would suggest heading over to /gamedev for more detailed and informed advice, but at a glance these are some of the open-source projects that you may want to support.

Personal Recommendations

These are a couple of my personal suggestions for support that could help grow the Linux community further, make transitioning to Linux easier or are simply cool projects that making gaming more widely available to everyone.
That's it for now. If you feel there's a project/detail/piece of information that needs to be added/corrected, let's hear it in the comments! I'll edit the post accordingly.
EDIT: Corrected some formatting.
EDIT2: Corrected some typos upon re-reading.
EDIT3: Added a section on game development tools and engines
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2019.12.03 15:32 RENProtocol Best General RenVM Questions November 2019

Best General RenVM Questions November 2019

‌*These questions are sourced directly from Telegram

Q: My Hardware wallet (Via MetaMask) is having some issues when interacting with ChaosDEX and the Command Center, can you help?
A: Be sure MetaMask and the Hardware wallet are up to date, and then be sure your contract data is turned on!

Q: Why are there so many steps when submitting a trade for ChaosDEX?
A: We purposely left those in there so developers could see what is happening in the background. For any real consumer-facing app that uses RenVM, these steps can and likely will be hidden.

Q: How is zBTC (RenVM's shifted bitcoin), different than wBTC?
A: WBTC requires people to go through approved merchants (only merchants can mint/burn) and the reserves are held by a centralized entity (BitGo). KYC is also involved when dealing with merchants.
zBTC mint/burn, on the other hand, is completely permissionless and the funds are held in a trustless/decentralized network (RenVM). Anyone (dApps included) can mint and burn at any time.

Q: Can you tell us more about GAS Station integration? What is it and where does the GAS come from? If I do BTC/ZEC exchange-will this GAS be free for me?
A: It’s not free, because Ethereum always needs gas. But, we can still hide the gas. So, if you trade BTC/ZEC, we take a little bit of the BTC/ZEC and turn it into ETH. Just enough to pay for gas. This way, as someone trading BTC/ZEC you don’t need any ETH. You’d don’t even need an Ethereum address of any kind! It’s all about user experience.

Q: What's the plan with SAI to MCD transition for RenVM?
A: We’ll be taking the slower transition approach with regards to MCD. We’ll wait a week or so, see how everything goes, then provide an update (on specifics) for the community in the November Developer Update. In the meantime, there is no action required for those who have provided liquidity to ChaosDEX.

Q: Hi there, I was wondering if you had any more documentation on the ZKP setup you guys are using over sMPC. I didn’t find anything on it in your docs.
A: ZKPs within RenVM are used to verify the compute done by each Darknode (they need to know they’ve done the correct compute, without revealing their secret shares to each other). We have partnered with AZTEC in order to be able to support privacy for tokens once they are on Ethereum. We are also beginning to explore the exact design of bridging ZEC (and other privacy tokens) to Ethereum without compromising privacy. It’s certainly possible, but the design is not settled. Their expertise certainly helps here.

Q: Loong, how come in your tweet you said the 100 transactions were mainly made of people testing BTC <-> DAI swaps, yet the command center shows nothing fee-wise for DAI?
A: Because DAI doesn’t need to cross a blockchain boundary. DAI is also not counted in the Value Locked stats so in reality Value Locked is double that of what's shown.

Q: Why is the exchange rate on ChaosDEX so bad?
A: With lower liquidity, the slippage is exaggerated. This is how Uniswap based exchanges are designed, for more info go here: https://docs.renproject.io/chaosnet/chaosdex.If you like to add liquidity, you can do so by going here: https://chaosdex.renproject.io/?send=BTC&receive=DAI

Q: Btw, what is your current approach for ChaosDex? Will you somehow incentivize people to use it or you think it would be better for users just to get familiar with it and wait for the dapps from mainnet?
A: Tough question. Ultimately, Chaosnet and ChaosDEX are about testing RenVM in the wild. But, lots of use is the best way to get that testing. We will continue to promote it, and also promote testing via the release of challenges (for people earn $ which is always effective). If it begins to gain significant traction we will also look at more serious support for it as a product. But, we plan more than anything to integrate with the existing DeFi apps and DEXs not necessarily compete.

Q: Can someone summarize or point to the definitions of "last cycle, current cycle, change next epoc, and subzero core" please? Just want a better understanding of the numbers they're reporting on the CC 🙂
A: RenVM breaks time down into discrete chunks, called epochs or cycles. This is the time increment at which everything happens: new nodes pending registration will finish registering and become active, existing nodes pending deregistration will leave the network, and payments earned will be distributed

Q: Is 0x a competitor or could they eventually use RenVM to bring cross-chain transactions to their tech?
A: It’s more likely we would see integration with 0x. 0x in itself is not attempting to create cross-chain but could definitely benefit from it.

Q: I wonder why they don't make a docker image instead of having to implement each cloud service?
A: A cloud provider environment is more-or-less identical to using Docker when you aren’t trying to do any kind of orchestration. Even with Docker, you’d have to have the CLI updated on a provider-by-provider basis because they each have different ways of turning on machines. The setup ultimately ends up more complex, because you need to configure UPnP and storage. And, you also end up paying a small (but noticeable) performance hit.

Q: It would be good to be able to see prices/stats without metamask.
A: Yep, agreed! We’ll be adding that.

Q: Do or did ZKPs in Ren require a trusted setup ceremony as well?
A: Yes, but we are also exploring using STARKs at the moment (which don’t need a trusted setup).

Q: I had some issues with signing Darknode contract previously. I had to unregisteregister the ledger every time I wanted to sign a transaction. Now I sent some ether to a metamask account that doesn't use a hardware wallet and it worked. Now, I'm not sure where the DAI will go. I guess to the address that signed the transaction?
A: It will go to the address that was connected at the time the transaction was initiated: eg the hardware wallet.

Q: For BTC withdrawals, how much collusion can be tolerated before it would be considered insecure? In the docs, it mentions The safety and liveliness of RenVM assumes that less than 1/3rd of Darknodes are colluding adversaries. Does this apply for BTC withdrawals? Or would it be a different number? I guess it is an acknowledged issue that (b) must be less than (a) and the requirement for 2/3 of tokens would make the attack a lot harder to carry out. Suppose a single party obtains 1/3 of tokens, and obtains the private key for existing BTC deposit addresses is it possible for the tokens to be unbonded, sold after 3 months, then withdraw the BTC in the addresses?
A: No, by that time, the current keys are rotated. The timings are such that any Darknode that is disbonded no longer holds shares of an active key. It’s worth pointing out, collusion in RenVM is a little harder than in some existing networks because the act of attempting collusion can cause your bond to be slashed. To collude, you need to reveal your shares of a secret. This share can be revealed to the blockchain by the person with whom you’re attempting to collude to slash your bond. So realistically, this collusion has to be between very few parties that trust each other.

Q: Seems GAS usage for RenVM trades are a bit higher than normal?
A: The BTC to DAI swap does technically consists of 4 ERC-20 Transfers (per Etherscan), so the GAS cost is a bit more than a single ETH transaction. We have designed the ChaosDEX to be clear and easy to read, not optimized at all (for example, there are more ERC20 transactions than necessary). To be clear though, interop transactions are always going to need more “gas” than normal transactions. Because you need to pay BTC fees as well as ETH fees as well as RenVM fees. We believe we can keep these low enough that the value gain (being able to use BTC on DeFi) is still worth it.

Q: How safe are the Darknode contracts during Chaosnet?
A: Darknode Registry contracts (the ones in charge of your REN during registration) have been audited previously by ChainSecurity. They’re being reviewed again right now, alongside all of the other contracts/consensus algorithm / sMPC algorithm. The risk is confined almost entirely to users, very little to behaving Darknodes (which is why we encourage people not to trade huge quantities on ChaosDEX in a single go).

Q: Given the security parameters of RenVM, is there a hard cap on how much can be locked in RenVM Chaosnet?
A: At the moment, it’s not a hard limit. This is something enforced by the users (don’t shift if it’s not safe). This is a theoretical limit, it is a lower bound above which an adversary might be able to profit from attacking the network (if they pull the attack of perfectly)

Q: Is there a reason all the info on Darknode via the Command Center is public?
A: It’s the blockchain. All this information is public, not displaying it in the UI might lead people to believe that some information is private that actually isn’t. This information actually needs to be public in order for the system to function as expected.

Q: What's the difference between ChaosDEX and RenVM Chaosnet?
A: RenVM Chaosnet and ChaosDEX are very different things.
RenVM Chaosnet has no understanding of “what the application is” that it’s minting ZBTC for. It accepts BTC on Bitcoin and mints ZBTC on Ethereum (and vice versa). What happens while the ZBTC is on Ethereum is completely opaque to RenVM Chaosnet.
The ChaosDEX is an application. It’s deployed to Ethereum Mainnet and uses RenVM Chaosnet to gain access to Bitcoin Mainnet. When you transfer BTC to ChaosDEX what’s actually happening is:
  1. BTC transaction is sent on Bitcoin.
  2. RenVM Chaosnet sees it and creates an authorizing signature to mint ZBTC. 3. The user submits this authorizing signature to the ChaosDEX smart contract on Ethereum. This triggers a big (but single) transaction that does multiple things at once.
Let’s assume you are selling BTC. Then (a) mints ZBTC, (b) sends that ZBTC to the swapping engine inside ChaosDEX smart contract, (c) sends the resulting DAI to your nominated address. This is all one single Ethereum transaction so the user *feels* like they never touched ZBTC.
But, what if you’re buying BTC? Well, (a) sends the DAI to the swapping engine, (b) gets back ZBTC, (c) immediately burns the ZBTC (and RenVM automatically sees this and sends BTC to your nominated address). Again, this is all one single Ethereum transaction so the user *feels* like they never touched ZBTC. The reality is that ZBTC is still being used, but RenVM is designed to allow apps to hide it from users for the best possible UX.
At the end of the day, on Ethereum, smart contracts only ever see/interact with ZBTC. It’s RenVM that takes care of all the other messy non-ERC20 details.
Another way to think about it: RenVM has its own “WBTC” (called ZBTC), anyone can mint/burn it (unlike WBTC), and there’s no central custodian (unlike WBTC). It just happens to have some nice hooks so that all the minting/burning/interacting-with-DEX/DeFi can all be done in one go. I hope that helps!
https://docs.renproject.io/darknodes/community/monthly-community-faq
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2019.11.16 21:14 Ralphasaurus13 CMSAF & HAF A1 Discussion Notes

I received this email regarding CMASF & HAF A1 discussion notes. The email specifically says that all of this is still in conversation form and nothing is final or even going to happen. I saw some people talking about this stuff on here and wanted to make it available to all y'all. I did not type this up so I have no answers to anything you may ask regarding this. Its a straight copy/paste from the email. It's a long one so buckle up.
EDIT* Formatting done. Still looks like shit. Sorry.
FYSA…..
Fitness Assessments: Amn will be allowed to have their abdominal circumference measured 7 calendar days prior to completing the full test. Amn will also be allowed to take a diagnostic (mock test) with all components and if they like their score, they can opt to accept it as their official assessment, if not Amn will test before their due date as normal. Amn must be in the current status in order to utilize the “diagnostic test” option. Additionally, new PT uniforms will be rolling out soon. The Air Force is also looking to completely overhaul the PT program/test. There was discussion that all the other services have significantly revised their PFTs and if the top leaders get their way, the test itself may go away completely in favor of a culture of always being fit/exercising (not many more details provided in this arena).
The new Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is CMSgt Ramon Colon-Lopez. This is a big deal for our branch because he is the first AF leader to sit in this position (he will be the 4th Senior Enlisted leader from all branches to fill this seat). You rarely see AF Senior leaders filling positions in the Joint world as such, so this is a big deal in showcasing our leadership capabilities as an Air Force.
Indefinite Reenlistments- once an Amn hits 12 years in the service, you will be notified to come into the MPF to sign a contract and that contract will be indefinite, so no expiration date and having to re-apply for another reenlistment 3 or 4 years later. You will still have an active duty service commitment if warranted for PCS’s, trainings, etc. This will go into effect mid-Nov 2019 and members with a bonus will still receive SRBs.
Emergency Leave of Absence- A1 is working on implementing 14 days of non-chargeable leave for Amn who have to take leave for a death of family member, extenuating circumstances like getting custody of a child, etc. Emergency leave of absence is in the Dept of Defense instruction and delegated to the services chiefs to implement in their branch, however, it had never been an interest item to have the SECAF implement. BUT NOW IT IS! A1 is working to figure out how the leave will be tracked because unfortunately, it is only a one time occurrence. This is not an entitlement that you can take multiple times throughout your career unfortunately. So once those items are figured out, then AFPC can implement the new policy and roll out to the field.
(Currently CMSAF’s #1 item to work on) Enlisted Evaluation System- will be redesigning EPRs and the focus will be on the front end such as coaching of Amn and ensuring feedback is provided. The AF audit agency conducted a poll of how many Amn received initial and midterm feedbacks and sadly 80+ percent of Amn said they do not receive feedbacks. Additionally, 85% didn’t get mid-term feedbacks. They highlighted that the far right marking practice was even more prevalent at the SNCO levels. The evaluation focus group is looking at the importance/need for stratifications, the need for Force distribution and potentially removing WAPS testing for SrA – TSgts. These are elements being reviewed but no definitive modifications have been determined as of yet. The target of the new system is to highly leverage technology – think when it comes time for a feedback the rater and ratee will communicate across mobile platform/via apps and the system will likely force interaction/tracking. Also, if face-to-face is needed it will tie in as well.
Other items still on the “To Do List” not captured above:
Other Notes:
Air Force Systems Issues:
Resiliency/Tactical Pauses. Some stats from the last tactical pause and focus groups revealed:
The Space Force, in some form, is going to happen. Right now there’s competing theories of how to do this in Congress between a Space Corps or a Space Force.
The Air Force is working on extending first term Amn OCONUS assignments (likely to 3 years). This will provide time for the Airmen to receive training and actually be utilized at the OCONUS base before PCS’ing.
HAF/A1Z (Resiliency) is looking into EFMP assignments as there has been a high rate of issues uncovered. Additionally, they are exploring the idea of manning EFMP assignments/AFPC call centers, etc. with members that have actually dealt with EFMP and/or they, themselves part of the EFMP program.
Retention and recruitment have been on a steady rise despite the strong U.S. economy. Going into this FY we already met nearly 2/3 of our yearly goals with extra members retained last year.
The total stats on non-deployability is approx. 4.6% across the force (under the 5% DoD cap)
The Air Force is projected to expand the Task Force True North program to 9 more bases this FY. We want to mimic the AFSOC Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) program, however cost is a LIMFAC. To outfit every squadron like AFSOC does, it would cost approx. $2B. This FY they are hoping to secure $248M to expand True North to a total of 14 bases.
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2019.11.09 13:13 Test_bank_Solutions NEW Solution Manual and Test Bank 2019-2020 for Textbook Part I

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