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Positive Technologies: 84% of companies have high-risk vulnerabilities on the network perimeter

2020.10.28 17:09 smode21 Positive Technologies: 84% of companies have high-risk vulnerabilities on the network perimeter

Framingham, MA (October 28, 2020) -- Positive Technologies performed instrumental scanning of the network perimeter of selected corporate information systems. A total of 3,514 hosts were scanned, including network devices, servers, and workstations. The results show the presence of high-risk vulnerabilities at most companies. However, half of these vulnerabilities can be eliminated by installing the latest software updates.
The research shows high-risk vulnerabilities at 84% of companies across finance, manufacturing, IT, retail, government, telecoms and advertising. One or more hosts with a high-risk vulnerability having a publicly available exploit are present at 58% of companies. Publicly available exploits exist for 10% of the vulnerabilities found, which means attackers can exploit them even if they don't have professional programming skills or experience in reverse engineering. However, half of the vulnerabilities can be eliminated by installing the latest software updates.
The detected vulnerabilities are caused by the absence of recent software updates, outdated algorithms and protocols, configuration flaws, mistakes in web application code, and accounts with weak and default passwords.
As part of Positive Technologies’ automated security assessment of the network perimeter, almost half of detected vulnerabilities (47%) can be fixed by installing the latest software versions. All companies had problems with keeping software up to date. At 42% of them, PT found software for which the developer had announced the end of life and stopped releasing security updates. The oldest vulnerability found in automated analysis was 16 years old.
Analysis revealed remote access and administration interfaces, such as Secure Shell (SSH), Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and Network Virtual Terminal Protocol (Internet) TELNET. These interfaces allow any external attacker to conduct bruteforce attacks. Attackers can bruteforce weak passwords in a matter of minutes and then obtain access to network equipment with the privileges of the corresponding user before proceeding to develop the attack further.
Ekaterina Kilyusheva, Head of Information Security Analytics Research Group of Positive Technologies said: “Network perimeters of most tested corporate information systems remain extremely vulnerable to external attacks. Our automated security assessment proved that all companies have network services available for connection on their network perimeter, allowing hackers to exploit software vulnerabilities and bruteforce credentials to these services. Even in 2020, there are still companies vulnerable to Heartbleed and WannaCry. Our research found systems at 26% of companies are still vulnerable to the WannaCry encryption malware.
Kilyusheva continued: “At most of the companies, Positive Technologies experts found accessible web services, remote administration interfaces, and email and file services on the network perimeter. Most companies also had external-facing resources with arbitrary code execution or privilege escalation vulnerabilities. With maximum privileges, attackers can edit and delete any information on the host, which creates a risk of denial of service (DoS) attacks. On web servers, these vulnerabilities may also lead to defacement, unauthorized database access, and attacks on clients. In addition, attackers can pivot to target other hosts on the network.
“We recommend minimizing the number of services on the network perimeter and making sure that accessible interfaces truly need to be available from the Internet. If this is the case, it is recommended to ensure that they are configured securely, and businesses install updates to patch any known vulnerabilities.
“Vulnerability management is a complex task that requires proper instrumental solutions,” Kilyusheva added. “With modern security analysis tools, companies can automate resource inventories and vulnerability searches, and also assess security policy compliance across the entire infrastructure. Positive Technologies experts emphasize that automated scanning is only the first step toward achieving an acceptable level of security. To get a complete picture, it is vital to combine automated scanning with penetration testing. Subsequent steps should include verification, triage, and remediation of risks and their causes.”
To obtain a copy of the report, please visit: https://www.ptsecurity.com/ww-en/analytics/vulnerabilities-corporate-networks-2020/
ENDS
About Positive Technologies For 18 years, Positive Technologies has created innovative solutions for information security. We develop products and services to detect, verify, and neutralize the real-world business risks associated with corporate IT infrastructure. Our technologies are backed by years of research experience and the expertise of world-class cybersecurity experts. Over 2,000 companies in 30 countries trust us to keep them safe.
Follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter) and the News section at ptsecurity.com.
CONTACT: Paula Dunne CONTOS DUNNE COMMUNICATIONS +1-408-893-8750 (m) +1-408-776-1400 (o) [email protected]
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2020.10.03 15:05 MilkbottleF Angélica Gorodischer - Three Stories [Translated by Lorraine Elena Roses and Marian Womack]

The Resurrection of the Flesh [Tr by Roses]

These first two tales published in Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women Writers of Argentina and Chile, edited by Marjorie Agosin (White Pine Press, 1992):
She was thirty-two, her name was Aurelia, and she had been married eleven years. One Saturday afternoon, she looked through the kitchen window at the garden and saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Men of the world, those four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And good-looking. The first from the left was riding a sorrel horse with a dark mane. He was wearing white breeches, black boots, a crimson jacket, and a yellow fez with black pompoms. The second one had a sleeveless tunic overlaid with gold and violet and was barefoot. He was riding on the back of a plump dolphin. The third one had a respectable, black beard, trimmed at right angles. He had donned a gray Prince of Wales suit, white shirt, blue tie and carried a black leather portfolio. He was seated on a folding chair belted to the back of white-haired dromedary. The fourth one made Aurelia smile and realize that they were smiling at her. He was riding a black and gold Harley-Davidson 1200 and was wearing a white helmet and dark goggles and had long, straight, blond hair flying in the wind behind him. The four were riding in the garden without moving from the spot. They rode and smiled at her and she watched them through the kitchen window.
In that manner, she finished washing the two teacups, took off her apron, arranged her hair and went to the living room.
"I saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden," she told her husband.
"I'll bet," he said without raising his eyes from his paper.
"What are you reading?" Aurelia asked.
"Hmmm?"
"I said they were given a crown and a sword and a balance and power."
"Oh, right," said her husband.
And after that a week went by as all weeks do--very slowly at first and very quickly toward the end--and on Sunday morning, while she made the coffee, she again saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden, but when she went back to the bedroom she didn't say anything to her husband.
The third time she saw them, one Wednesday, alone, in the afternoon, she stood looking at them for a half hour and finally, since she had always wanted to fly in a yellow and red dirigible; and since she had dreamed about being an opera singer, an emperor's lover, a co-pilot to Icarus; since she would have liked to scale black cliffs, laugh at cannibals, traverse the jungles on elephants with purple trappings, seize with her hands the diamonds that lay hidden in mines, preside in the nude over a parade of nocturnal monsters, live under water, domesticate spiders, torture the powerful of the earth, rob trains in the tunnels of the Alps, set palaces on fire, lie in the dark with beggars, climb on the bridges of all the ships in the world; finally--since it was sadly sterile to be a rational and healthy adult--finally, that Wednesday afternoon alone, she put on the long dress she had worn at the last New Year's party given by the company where her husband was assistant sales manager and went out to the garden. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse called her, the blond one on the Harley-Davidson gave her his hand and helped her up onto the seat behind him, and there they went, all five, raging into the storm and singing.
Two days later her husband gave in to family pressure and reported the disappearance of his wife.
"Moral: madness is a flower aflame," said the narrator. Or in other words, it's impossible to inflame the dead, cold, viscous, useless, and sinful ashes of common sense.

The Perfect Married Woman

If you meet her on the street, cross quickly to the other side and quicken your pace. She’s a dangerous lady. She’s about forty or forty-five, has one married daughter and a son working in San Nicolas; her husband’s a sheet-metal worker. She rises very early, sweeps the sidewalk, sees her husband off, cleans, does the wash, shops, cooks. After lunch she watches television, sews or knits, irons twice a week, and at night goes to bed late. On Saturdays she does a general cleaning and washes windows and waxes the floors. On Sunday mornings she washes the clothes her son brings home—his name is Nestor Eduardo—she kneads dough for noodles or ravioli, and in the afternoon either her sister-inlaw comes to visit or she goes to her daughter’s house. It’s been a long time since she’s been to the movies, but she reads TV Guide and the police report in the newspaper. Her eyes are dark and her hands are rough and her hair is starting to go gray. She catches cold frequently and keeps a photo album in a dresser drawer along with a black crepe dress with lace collar and cuffs.
Her mother never hit her. But when she was six, she got a spanking for coloring on a door, and she had to wash it off with a wet rag. While she was doing it, she thought about doors, all doors, and decided that they were very dumb because they always led to the same places. And the one she was cleaning was definitely the dumbest of all, the one that led to her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door and then it didn’t go to her parents’ bedroom but to the Gobi desert. She wasn’t surprised that she knew it was the Gobi desert even though they hadn’t even taught her in school where Mongolia was and neither she nor her mother nor her grandmother had ever heard of Nan Shan or Khangai Nuru.
She stepped through the door, bent over to scratch the yellowish grit and saw that there was no one, nothing, and the hot wind tousled her hair, so she went back through the open door, closed it and kept on cleaning. And when she finished, her mother grumbled a little more and told her to wash the rag and take the broom to sweep up that sand and clean her shoes. That day she modified her hasty judgment about doors, though not completely, at least not until she understood what was going on.
What had been going on all her life and up until today was that from time to time doors behaved satisfactorily, though in general they were still acting dumb and leading to dining rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms and offices even in the best of circumstances. But two months after the desert, for example, the door that every day led to the bath opened onto the workshop of a bearded man dressed in a long uniform, pointed shoes, and a cap that tilted on one side of his head. The old man’s back was turned as he took something out of a highboy with many small drawers behind a very strange, large wooden machine with a giant steering wheel and screw, in the midst of cold air and an acrid smell. When he turned around and saw her he began to shout at her in a language she didn’t understand.
She stuck out her tongue, dashed out the door, closed it, opened it again, went into the bathroom and washed her hands for lunch.
Again, after lunch, many years later, she opened the door of her room and walked into a battlefield. She dipped her hands in the blood of the wounded and dead and pulled from the neck of a cadaver a crucifix that she wore for a long time under high-necked blouses or dresses without plunging necklines. She now keeps it in a tin box underneath the nightgowns with a brooch, a pair of earrings and a broken wristwatch that used to belong to her mother-in-law. In the same way, involuntarily and by chance, she visited three monasteries, seven libraries, and the highest mountains in the world, and who knows how many theaters, cathedrals, jungles, refrigeration plants, dens of vice, universities, brothels, forests, stores, submarines, hotels, trenches, islands, factories, palaces, hovels, towers and hell.
She’s lost count and doesn’t care; any door could lead anywhere and that has the same value as the thickness of the ravioli dough, her mother’s death, and the life crises that she sees on TV and reads about in TV Guide.
Not long ago she took her daughter to the doctor, and seeing the closed door of a bathroom in the clinic, she smiled. She wasn’t sure because she can never be sure, but she got up and went to the bathroom. However, it was a bathroom; at least there was a nude man in a bathtub full of water. It was all very large, with a high ceiling, marble floor and decorations hanging from the closed windows. The man seemed to be asleep in his white bathtub, short but deep, and she saw a razor on a wrought iron table with feet decorated with iron flowers and leaves and ending in lion’s paws, a razor, a mirror, a curling iron, towels, a box of talcum powder and an earthen bowl with water. She approached on tiptoe, retrieved the razor, tiptoed over to the sleeping man in the tub and beheaded him. She threw the razor on the floor and rinsed her hands in the lukewarm bathtub water. She turned around when she reached the clinic corridor and spied a girl going into the bathroom through the other door. Her daughter looked at her.
“That was quick.”
“The toilet was broken,” she answered.
A few days afterward, she beheaded another man in a blue tent at night. That man and a woman were sleeping mostly uncovered by the blankets of a low, king-size bed, and the wind beat around the tent and slanted the flames of the oil lamps. Beyond it there would be another camp, soldiers, animals, sweat, manure, orders and weapons. But inside there was a sword by the leather and metal uniforms, and with it she cut off the head of the bearded man. The woman stirred and opened her eyes as she went out the door on her way back to the patio that she had been mopping.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, when she irons shirt collars, she thinks of the slit necks and the blood, and she waits. If it’s summer she goes out to sweep a little after putting away the clothing and until her husband arrives. If it’s windy she sits in the kitchen and knits. But she doesn’t always find sleeping men or staring cadavers. One rainy morning, when she was twenty, she was at a prison, and she made fun of the chained prisoners; one night when the kids were kids and were all living at home, she saw in a square a disheveled woman looking at a gun but not daring to take it out of her open purse. She walked up to her, put the gun in the woman’s hand and stayed there until a car parked at the corner, until the woman saw a man in gray get out and look for his keys in his pocket, until the woman aimed and fired. And another night while she was doing her sixth grade geography homework, she went to look for crayons in her room and stood next to a man who was crying on a balcony. The balcony was so high, so far above the street, that she had an urge to push him to hear the thud down below, but she remembered the orographic map of South America and was about to leave. Anyhow, since the man hadn’t seen her, she did push him and saw him disappear and ran to color in the map so she didn’t hear the thud, only the scream. And in an empty theater, she made a fire underneath the velvet curtain; in a riot she opened the cover to a basement hatchway; in a house, sitting on top of a desk, she shredded a two-thousand-page manuscript; in a clearing of a forest she buried the weapons of the sleeping men; in a river she opened the floodgates of a dike.
Her daughter’s name is Laura Inés, her son has a fiancée in San Nicolás and he’s promised to bring her over on Sunday so she and her husband can meet her. She has to remind herself to ask her sister-in-law for the recipe for orange cake, and Friday on TV is the first episode of a new soap opera. Again, she runs the iron over the front of the shirt and remembers the other side of the doors that are always carefully closed in her house, that other side where the things that happen are much less abominable than the ones we experience on this side, as you can easily understand.

The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets [Tr by Womack]

Translated for the first time in Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016):
The news spread fast. It would be correct to say that the news moved like a flaming trail of gunpowder, if it weren't for the fact that at this point in our civilization gunpowder was archaeology, ashes in time, the stuff of legend, nothingness. However, it was because of the magic of our new civilization that the news was known all over the world, practically instantaneously.
"Oooh!" the tsarina said.
You have to take into account that Her Gracious and Most Illustrious Virgin Majesty Ekaterina V, Empress of Holy Russia, had been carefully educated in the proper decorum befitting the throne, which meant that she would never have even raised an eyebrow or curved the corner of her lip, far less would she have made an interjection of that rude and vulgar kind. But not only did she say "Oooh!," she also got up and walked through the room until she reached the glass doors of the great balcony. She stopped there. Down below, covered by snow, Saint Leninburg was indifferent and unchanged, the city's eyes squinting under the weight of winter. At the palace, ministers and advisers were excited, on edge.
"And where is this place?" the tsarina asked.
And that is what happened in Russia, which is such a distant and atypical country. In the central states of the continent, there was real commotion. In Bolivia, in Paraguay, in Madagascar, in all the great powers, and in the countries that aspired to be great powers, such as High Peru, Iceland, or Morocco, hasty conversations took place at the highest possible level with knitted brows and hired experts. The strongest currencies became unstable: the guarani rose, the Bolivian peso went down half a point, the crown was discreetly removed from the exchange rates for two long hours, long queues formed in front of the exchanges in front of all the great capitals of the world. President Morillo spoke from the Oruro Palace and used the opportunity to make a concealed warning (some would call it a threat) to the two Peruvian republics and the Minas Gerais secessionist area. Morillo had handed over the presidency of Minas to his nephew, Pepe Morillo, who had proved to be a wet blanket whom everybody could manipulate, and now Morillo bitterly regretted his decision. Morocco and Iceland did little more than give their diplomats a gentle nudge in the ribs, anything to shake them into action, as they imagined them all to be sipping grenadine and mango juice in the deep south while servants in shiny black uniforms stood over them with fans.
The picturesque note came from the Independent States of North America. It could not have been otherwise. Nobody knew that all the states were now once again under the control of a single president, but that's how it was: some guy called Jack Jackson-Franklin, who had been a bit-part actor in videos, and who, aged eighty-seven, had discovered his extremely patriotic vocation of statesman. Aided by his singular and inexplicable charisma, and by his suspect family tree, according to which he was the descendent of two presidents who had ruled over the states during their glory days, he had managed to unify, at least for now, the seventy-nine northern states. Anyway, Mr. Jackson-Franklin said to the world that the Independent States would not permit such a thing to take place. No more, just that they would not permit such a thing to take place. The world laughed uproariously at this.
Over there, in the Saint Leninburg palace, ministers cleared their throats, advisers swallowed saliva, trying to find out if, by bobbing their Adam's apples up and down enough, they might be able to loosen their stiff official shirts.
"Ahem. Ahem. It's in the south. A long way to the south. In the west, Your Majesty."
"It is. Humph. Ahem. It is, Your Majesty, a tiny country in a tiny territory."
"It says that it is in Argentina," the tsarina said, still staring through the window but without paying any attention to the night as it fell over the snow-covered roofs and the frozen shores of the Baltic.
"Ah, yes, that's right, that's right, Your Majesty, a pocket republic."
Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov, some kind of councilor and, what is more, an educated and sensible man, broke into the conversation.
"Several, Your Majesty, it is several."
And at last the tsarina turned around. Who cared a fig for the Baltic night, the snow-covered rooftops, the roofs themselves, and the city of which they were a part? Heavy silk crackled, starched petticoats, lace.
"Several of what, Councilor Kustkarov, several of what? Don't come to me with your ambiguities."
"I must say, Your Majesty, I had not the slightest intention--"
"Several of what?"
The tsarina looked directly at him, her lips held tightly together, her hands moving unceasingly, and Kustkarov panicked, as well he might.
"Rep-rep-republics, Your Majesty," he blurted out. "Several of them. Apparently, a long time ago, a very long time, it used to be a single territory, and now it is several, several republics, but their inhabitants, the people who live in all of them, all of the republics, are called, they call themselves, the people, that is, Argentinians."
The tsarina turned her gaze away. Kustkarov felt so relieved that he was encouraged to carry on speaking:
"There are seven of them, Your Majesty: Rosario, Entre dos Rios, Ladocta, Ona, Riachuelo, Yujujuy, and Labodegga."
The tsarina sat down.
"We must do something," she said.
Silence. Outside it was not snowing, but inside it appeared to be. The tsarina looked at the transport minister.
"This enters into your portfolio," she said.
Kustkarov sat down, magnificently. How lucky he was to be a councilor, a councilor with no specific duties. The transport minister, on the other hand, turned pale.
"I think, Your Majesty...," he dared to say.
"Don't think! Do something!"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the minister said, and, bowing, started to make his way to the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" the tsarina said, without moving her mouth or twitching an eyelid.
"I'm just, I'm going, I'm just going to see what can be done, Your Majesty."
There's nothing that can be done, Sergei Vasilievich thought in delight, nothing. He realized that he was not upset, but instead he felt happy. And on top of everything else a woman, he thought. Kustkarov was married to Irina Waldoska-Urtiansk, a real beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Holy Russia. Perhaps he was being cuckolded; it would have been all too easy for him to find that out, but he did not want to. His thoughts turned in a circle: and on top of everything else a woman. He looked at the tsarina and was struck, not for the first time, by her beauty. She was not so beautiful as Irina, but she was magnificent.
In Rosario it was not snowing, not because it was summer, although it was, but because it never snowed in Rosario. And there weren't any palm trees: the Moroccans would have been extremely disappointed had they known, but their diplomats said nothing about the Rosario flora in their reports, partly because the flora of Rosario was now practically nonexistent, and partly because diplomats are supposed to be above that kind of thing.
Everyone who was not a diplomat, that is to say, everyone, the population of the entire republic that in the last ten years had multiplied vertiginously and had now reached almost two hundred thousand souls, was euphoric, happy, triumphant. They surrounded her house, watched over her as she slept, left expensive imported fruits outside her door, followed her down the street. Some potentate allowed her the use of a Ford 99, which was one of the five cars in the whole country, and a madman who lived in the Espinillos cemetery hauled water all the way up from the Pará lagoon and grew a flower for her which he then gave her.
"How nice," she said, then went on, dreamily, "Will there be flowers where I'm going?"
They assured her that there would be.
She trained every day. As they did not know exactly what it was she had to do to train herself, she got up at dawn, ran around the Independence crater, skipped, did some gymnastic exercises, ate little, learned how to hold her breath, and spent hours and hours sitting or curled into strange positions. She also danced the waltz. She was almost positive that the waltz was not likely to come in handy, but she enjoyed it very much.
Meanwhile, farther away, the trail of gunpowder had become a barrel of dynamite, although dynamite was also a legendary substance and didn't exist. The infoscreens in every country, whether poor or rich, central or peripheral, developed or not, blazed forth with extremely large headlines suggesting dates, inventing biographical details, trying to hide, without much success, their envy and confusion. No one was fooled:
"We have been wretchedly beaten," the citizens of Bolivia said.
"Who would have thought it," pondered the man on the Reykjavík omnibus.
The former transport minister of Holy Russia was off breaking stones in Siberia. Councilor Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov was sleeping with the tsarina, but that was only a piece of low, yet spicy, gossip that has nothing to do with this story.
"We will not allow this to happen!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin blustered, tugging nervously at his hairpiece. "It is our own glorious history that has set aside for us this brilliant destiny! It is we, we and not this despicable banana republic, who are marked for this glory!"
Mr. Jackson-Franklin also did not know that there were no palm trees or bananas in Rosario, but this was due not to a lack of reports from his diplomats but rather a lack of diplomats. Diplomats are a luxury that a poor country cannot afford, and so poor countries often go to great pains to take offense and recall all the knights commanders and lawyers and doctors and even eventually the generals working overseas, in order to save money on rent and electricity and gas and salaries, not to mention the cost of the banquets and all the money in brown paper envelopes.
But the headlines kept on appearing on the infoscreens: "Argentinian Astronaut Claims She Will Reach Edge of Universe," "Sources Claim Ship Is Spaceworthy in Spite of or Because of Centuries-Long Interment," "Science or Catastrophe?," "Astronaut Not a Woman but a Transsexual" (this in the Imperialskaya Gazeta, the most puritan of the infoscreens, even more so than the Papal Piccolo Osservatore Lombardo), "Ship Launches," "First Intergalactic Journey in Centuries," "We Will Not Allow This to Happen!" (Portland Times).
She was dancing the waltz. She woke up with her heart thumping, tried out various practical hairstyles, ran, skipped, drank only filtered water, ate only olives, avoided spies and journalists, went to see the ship every day, just to touch it. The mechanics all adored her.
"It'll work, they'll see, it'll work," the chief engineer said defiantly.
Nobody contradicted him. No one dared say that it wouldn't.
It would make it, of course it would make it. Not without going through many incredible adventures on its lengthy journey. Lengthy? No one knew who Langevin was anymore, so no one was shocked to discover that his theory contradicted itself, ended up biting its own tail, and that however long the journey took, the observers would only perceive it as having lasted minutes. Someone called Cervantes, a very famous personage back in the early years of human civilization--it was still debated whether he had been a physicist, a poet, or a musician--had suggested a similar theory in one of his lost works.
One autumn dawn the ship took off from the Independence crater, the most deserted part of the whole desert republic of Rosario, at five forty-five in the morning. The exact time is recorded because the inhabitants of the country had all pitched in together to buy a clock, which they thought the occasion deserved (there was one other clock, in the Enclosed Convent of the Servants of Santa Rita de Casino, but because the convent was home to an enclosed order nothing ever went in or out of it, no news, no requests, no answers, no nothing). Unfortunately, they had not had enough money. But then someone had had the brilliant idea which had brought in the money they needed, and Rosario had hired out its army for parades in friendly countries: there weren't that many of them and the ones there were weren't very rich, but they managed to get the cash together. Anyone who was inspired by patriotism and by the proximity of glory had to see those dashing officers, those disciplined soldiers dressed in gold and crimson, protected by shining breastplates, capped off with plumed helmets, their catapults and pouches of stones at their waists, goose-stepping through the capital of Entre Dos Rios or the Padrone Giol vineyards in Labodegga, at the foot of the majestic Andes.
The ship blasted off. It got lost against the sky. Before the inhabitants of Rosario, their hearts in their throats and their eyes clouded by emotion, had time to catch their breath, a little dot appeared up there, getting bigger and bigger, and it was the ship coming back down. It landed at 06:11 on the same morning of that same autumn day. The clock that recorded this is preserved in the Rosario Historical Museum. It no longer works, but anyone can go and see it in its display cabinet in Room A of the Museum. In Room B, in another display case, is the so-called Carballensis Indentic Axe, the fatal tool that cut down all the vegetation of Rosario and turned the whole country into a featureless plain. Good and evil, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
Twenty-six minutes on Earth, many years on board the ship. Obviously, she did not have a watch or a calendar with her: the republic of Rosario would not have been able to afford either of them. But it was many years, she knew that much.
Leaving the galaxy was a piece of cake. You can do it in a couple of jumps, everyone knows that, following the instructions that Albert Einsteinstein, the multifaceted violin virtuoso, director of sci-fi movies, and student of space-time, gave us a few hundred years back. But the ship did not set sail to the very center of the universe, as its predecessors had done in the great era of colonization and discovery; no, the ship went right to the edge of the universe.
Everyone also knows that there is nothing in the universe, not even the universe itself, which does not grow weaker as you reach its edge. From pancakes to arteries, via love, rubbers, photographs, revenge, bridal gowns, and power. Everything tends to imperceptible changes at the beginning, rapid change afterward; everything at the edge is softer and more blurred, as the threads start to fray from the center to the outskirts.
In the time it took her to take a couple of breaths, a breath and a half, over the course of many years, she passed through habitable and uninhabitable places, worlds which had once been classified as existent, worlds which did not appear and had never appeared and probably would never appear in any cartographical survey. Planets of exiles, singing sands, minutes and seconds in tatters, whirlpools of nothingness, space junk, and that's without even mentioning those beings and things, all of which stood completely outside any possibility of description, so much so that we tend not to perceive them when we look at them; all of this, and shock, and fear more than anything else, and loneliness. The hair grew gray at her temples, her flesh lost its firmness, wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her mouth, her knees and ankles started to act up, she slept less than before and had to half close her eyes and lean backward in order to make out the numbers on the consoles. And she was so tired that it was almost unbearable. She did not waltz any longer: she put an old tape into an old machine and listened and moved her gray head in time with the orchestra.
She reached the edge of the universe. Here was where everything came to an end, so completely that even her tiredness disappeared and she felt once again as full of enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. There were hints, of course: salt storms, apparitions, little brushstrokes of white against the black of space, large gaps made of sound, echoes of long-dead voices that had died giving sinister orders, ash, drums; but when she reached the edge itself, these indications gave way to space signage: "End," "You Are Reaching the Universe Limits," "The Cosmos General Insurance Company, YOUR Company, Says: GO NO FURTHER," "End of Protected Cosmonaut Space," etc., as well as the scarlet polygon that the OMUU had adopted to use as a sign for that's it, abandon all hope, the end.
All right, so she was here. The next thing to do was go back. But the idea of going back never occurred to her. Women are capricious creatures, just like little boys: as soon as they get what they want, then they want something else. She carried on.
There was a violent judder as she crossed the limit. Then there was silence, peace, calm. All very alarming, to tell the truth. The needles did not move, the lights did not flash, the ventilation system did not hiss, her alveoli did not vibrate, her chair did not swivel, the screens were blank. She got up, went to the portholes, looked out, saw nothing. It was logical enough:
"Of course," she said to herself, "when the universe comes to an end, then there's nothing."
She looked out through the portholes a little more, just in case. She still could see nothing, but she had an idea.
"But I'm here," she said. "Me and the ship."
She put on a space suit and walked out into the nothing.
When the ship landed in the Independence crater in the republic of Rosario, twenty-six minutes after it had taken off, when the hatch opened and she appeared on the ramp, the spirit of Paul Langevin flew over the crater, laughing fit to burst. The only people who heard him were the madman who had grown the flower for her in the Espinillos cemetery and a woman who was to die that day. No one else had ears or fingers or tongue or feet, far less did they have eyes to see him.
It was the same woman who had left, the very same, and this calmed the crowds down at the same time as it disappointed them, all the inhabitants of the country, the diplomats, the spies, and the journalists. It was only when she came down the gangplank and they came closer to her that they saw the network of fine wrinkles around her eyes. All other signs of her old age had vanished, and had she wished, she could have waltzed tirelessly, for days and nights on end, from dusk till dawn till dusk.
The journalists all leaned forward; the diplomats made signals, which they thought were subtle and unseen, to the bearers of their sedan chairs to be ready to take them back to their residences as soon as they had heard what she had to say; the spies took photographs with the little cameras hidden away in their shirt buttons or their wisdom teeth; all the old people put their hands together; the men raised their fists to their heart; the little boys pranced; the young girls smiled.
And then she told them what she had seen:
"I took off my suit and my helmet," she said, "and walked along the invisible avenues that smelled of violets."
She did not know that the whole world was waiting to hear what she said; that Ekaterina V had made Sergei Vasilievich get up at five o'clock in the morning so that he could accompany her to the grand salon and wait there for the news; that one of the seventy-nine Northern States had declared its independence because the president had not stopped anything from happening or obtained any glory, and this had lit the spark of rebellion in the other seventy-eight states, and this had made Mr. Jackson-Franklin leave the White House without his wig, in pajamas, freezing and furious; that Bolivia, Paraguay, and Iceland had allowed the two Peruvian republics to join their new alliance and defense treaty set up against a possible attack from space; that the high command of the Paraguayan aeronautical engineers had promised to build a ship that could travel beyond the limits of the universe, always assuming that they could be granted legal immunity and a higher budget, a declaration that made the guarani fall back the two points that it had recently risen and then another one as well; that Don Schicchino Giol, the new padrone of the Republic of Labodegga at the foot of the majestic Andes had been woken from his most recent drinking bout to be told that he had now to sign a declaration of war against the Republic of Rosario, now that they knew the strength of the enemy's forces.
"Eh? What? Hunh?" Don Schicchino said.
"I saw the nothingness of everything," she said, "and it was all infused with the unmistakable smell of wood violets. The nothingness of the world is like the inside of a stomach throbbing above your head. The nothingness of people is like the back of a painting, black, with glasses and wires that release dreams of order and imperfect destinies. The nothingness of creatures with leathery wings is a crack in the air and the rustle of tiny feet. The nothingness of history is the massacre of the innocents. The nothingness of words, which is a throat and a hand that break whatever they touch on perforated paper; the nothingness of music, which is music. The nothingness of precincts, of crystal glasses, of seams, of hair, of liquids, of lights, of keys, of food."
When she had finished her list, the potentate who owned the Ford 99 said that he would give it to her, and that in the afternoon he would send one of his servants with a liter of naphtha so that she could take the car out for a spin.
"Thank you," she said. "You are very generous."
The madman went away, looking up to the skies; who knows what he was searching for. The woman who was going to die that day asked herself what she should eat on Sunday, when her sons and their wives came to lunch. The president of the Republic of Rosario gave a speech.
And everything in the world carried on the same, apart from the fact that Ekaterina V named Kustkarov her interior minister, which terrified the poor man but which was welcomed with open arms by Irina as an opportunity for her to refresh her wardrobe and her stock of lovers. And Jack Jackson-Franklin sold his memoirs to one of Paraguay's more sophisticated magazines for a stellar amount of money, which allowed him to retire to live in Imerina. And six spaceships from six major world powers set off to the edges of the universe and were never seen again.
She married a good man who had a house with a balcony, a white bicycle, and a radio which, on clear days, could pick up the radio plays that LLL1 Radio Magnum transmitted from Entre Dos Rios, and she waltzed in white satin shoes. The day that her first son was born a very pale green shoot grew out of the ground on the banks of the great lagoon.
submitted by MilkbottleF to shortstoryaday [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 21:44 Aynirg [WTS] 10 bulk lots: Russian Empire and modern Russia, Golden Horde, Japan/China etc.

Hello,
I want to sell these 10 sets of coins.
Proofs and photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/fQAazfs5AUMDQyn99
Short description and the prices (worldwide registered shipping included) are below:
  1. 3 Russian Empire 5 Kopecks coins of Ekaterina II (1771-1781 ЕМ). Big (\~50 g) and beautiful! - $55
  2. 3 Russian Empire 5 Kopecks coins of Ekaterina II (1780-1792 ЕМ). Big (\~50 g) and even more beautiful! - $90 [SOLD]
  3. 34 silver coins from Russian Empire and Soviet Union, all different! Lots of uncommon dates included. Overall weight is 113 g - $160
  4. 21 silver coins from Russian Empire and Soviet Union, nice patina! - $135
  5. Bulk lot containing some Russian Empire wire and later copper coins, 3 coins from Golden Horde (1 silver and 2 copper) + 3 coins from Crimean Khanate (Arslan I, Dawlat I, Sakhib I) - $32
  6. [Sold] A set of 11,5 Golden Horde (Juchid) coins: 2,5 silver + 9 copper. XIV century - $50 [Sold]
  7. A set of coins with errors! 2 quite nice and not common Golden Horde (one with incuse, the second is with flip-over double die - obverse and reverse on both side), Russian Empire fantastic double die with rotation (Eagle has a leg with the second globus cruciger instead of wing), some Russian Empire wire coins with double dies (including flip-over) and one triple-die with rotations + one with incuse + Solid with off-centered strike - $50
  8. Russian 25 rubles 2019-2020 19 coins set Weapons of the Great Victory - $25 (I have more then one)
  9. A set of 21 Russian and Soviet commemorative coins - $20 (I have more then one similar set)
  10. A set of old Japanese (and some Chinese) coins, including different Kan'eitsūhō": old and new types, 1 and 4 mon, with or without mintmarks, Osaka and Tokyo - $33
PayPal is accepted (PPFF or PPGS +4% to the price).
Shipping is from Russia, it is quite fast last weeks.
Please note that I may not reply to your request immediately because of a night time in my place:)
submitted by Aynirg to Coins4Sale [link] [comments]


2020.07.04 22:00 BDawgJackson Ekaterina Busel Date Night

Ekaterina Busel Date Night submitted by BDawgJackson to Ekaterina_Busel [link] [comments]


2020.07.04 10:49 Sad-Acanthisitta952 Continuation of the trip of the girl on a motorcycle in South America “They robbed four times, and once I faced armed robbery”

Continuation of the trip of the girl on a motorcycle in South America “They robbed four times, and once I faced armed robbery”
Full story here, biker girl site here
- A year ago, the circumnavigation of the world almost had to be interrupted due to the theft of documents. Was that story continued? And have you changed your strategy after the incident in Mexico? - Having pulled myself together, I realized that nothing could be decided by the nurses, and began to act actively. I was in touch with the embassy, ​​exploring options for obtaining a return certificate. In parallel with a local motorcyclist, she turned to the police, filed a theft statement, posted an ad on social networks and on the radio, distributed paper pieces with a promise of reward for any information.
They sat in ambush until the morning, talking with drug addicts, alcoholics and regulars at nearby establishments and the beach. Three days later, the owner of the cafe where I was having dinner got in touch, confusedly explaining that a thief had come to him and wanted $ 600 for my documents. They bargained up to $ 200, and the next day I had my battered Belarusian passport again. After that, I became much less likely to stay in wild places, trying to choose organized campsites or hostels. And I began to believe in miracles! - You were robbed four times, the motorcycle was damaged several times, and once you had to face an armed robbery. You did not have time to disappoint in people? Many rascals met along the way? - Absolutely not disappointed. According to my feelings, there are less than one percent of villains all over the world, and troubles often lead to meetings with completely amazing people and luck in a completely different sphere. Moreover, robberies and thefts are a rarity in our region, we are horrified and do not understand, and in Latin America this is unpleasant, but commonplace. There will always be those who work to support themselves and their families, and those who find it easier to take from another. It's just that the scales are different ... - Blitz. Which country seemed the most dangerous, and which one the most comfortable? Where else would you return, and what do you want to forget as a nightmare? “Traveling taught me to avoid extremes in judgment.” In any situation, country, person, there are always several sides, and you can not hang up labels and clearly scold or praise. In general, Japan, Australia, Europe and the United States are much calmer and safer than in Mexico, Central and South America. But no one is safe from troubles in the most statistically safe city, and there is no need to constantly live in fear, traveling to countries with an ambiguous reputation. I want to return to Australia (I have not yet been to its western part), Mexico (to celebrate the Day of the Dead) and Argentina (to once again be inspired by glaciers, mountains and wildlife, almost untouched by humans). “Quarantine and confined space have become a test” - Two years ago, when you announced your intention to make a trip around the world, the mood was over-optimistic and fighting. Has something changed since then? - I became more calm, tolerant of negativity and began to better understand myself and the world around me. When you study the cultures of different nations, your own horizons become richer and more extensive. It is much easier to cope with any life difficulties. I believe that there are no hopeless situations. It just takes more time or resources to find solutions. One of the features of post-Soviet culture is the rigor in interpreting the behavior or appearance of other people. We are used to denouncing things that we don’t understand, without thinking about what we can hurt someone. I got rid of this habit, and in my soul it became cleaner and more pleasant. - And what happened at the end of March? Facebook had two very sad posts in a row, which is unusual for peppy reports from across the ocean. “The quarantine and the enclosed space have become a test for me and hundreds of other adventure and freedom lovers. When you constantly move forward, and you are locked up, fettering all nature, it’s hard to adapt to this. I understand the seriousness of the pandemic in the world and the need for action, but I was not able to maintain a cloudless, optimistic mood. Now in Minsk it is much easier for me to breathe, you can relax a bit and recover.
“And then they asked me: did you not know that this was the boss of the local drug cartel?” - Often you write in social networks that you are lucky and that someone is watching over you. What is it about?
- I joke that I have a special talent - to get into trouble, and then easily and naturally get out of them. If we consider every visually dangerous / complex / unpleasant incident that happened to me, then after it always follows a series of events, as a result of which everything is resolved in the best way.
For example, a fall in the mountains in Mexico. I was traveling from one small town to another through a beautiful canyon. Dirt-sand road, with stones, temperature +43 degrees Celsius. Having traveled half the way, I was tired and made a mistake on the rise - I hooked a cobblestone on the bottom. The loaded motorcycle plopped down my leg, simultaneously tucking the second. On adrenaline, I pulled it out from under the coffer, ripping off my skin, and I couldn’t stand up on my own anymore. Dizzy, and pain shock prevented control of the body. I crawled under a tree and began to wait for a random car. I have a satellite device with insurance included, when I press the SOS button, a rescue helicopter should fly in, but the situation was not so critical.
After 40 minutes, a car appeared heading for the city. People from her promised to send help. Soon I heard the roar of an ATV - two men were heading towards me. One of them was in a T-shirt with the inscription “Police”, and the second was a healthy man two meters tall, with a gold chain around his neck. He easily picked up my motorcycle and rode it back to the city, and the policeman loaded me on the ATV and rode after him. Six armed men were waiting for us in the city, who escorted me to the hospital, then took me to a hotel and showed me in which cafe daily meals would be organized for me.

https://preview.redd.it/6k0l53duys851.jpg?width=1100&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3783fb3ce8e0596aed8a331523a808c369da3230

https://preview.redd.it/zpofb07wys851.jpg?width=1100&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2aa0a71701ce89a0dfe1db4db7e4656da246f3a0


They treated me like a princess! And soon it became clear why. The hotel owner casually inquired: “Don't you know what kind of people these are?” “No, but what?” “The man in orange is the boss of the local drug cartel, and the rest are his assistants. They decided that you are not a gringo and that you can be helped. ”
When I was able to walk and drive a motorcycle on my own, they helped me bring my luggage to the normal road, fed me last, and wished me luck.
There have been many such cases, so yes, I believe that I have a guardian angel who protects and looks after me, giving me the opportunity to taste the bitter taste of failure and giving me a delicious dessert afterwards.
“Should every woman have a little red dress?” Is this a fetish? Why so many photos with him?
- My red dress is not at all small (there should be a smiley face). Purchased for $ 5 at a second-hand in New York. Yes, it has become the most popular accessory in the pictures. I have four more dresses, but everyone especially likes the red one.
It's easy to lose femininity on the road. You drive a motorcycle, get covered with road dust, climb mountains, carry heavy luggage, sleep in a tent. With all this, it is difficult to maintain good appearance and hygiene. But I'm trying. I like to be a girl - despite the circumstances, put my hair in order, do not forget about manicures and pedicures. Because of this, dresses appeared in the wardrobe - motorcycle equipment gives a sense of security, but does not help in maintaining beauty.

https://preview.redd.it/if1zco24zs851.jpg?width=1400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ef3f710519a1aead07845a437426070fd8a73979

https://preview.redd.it/ukfqekf8zs851.jpg?width=1100&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2cc7f513decc2f86cfdd2fe25f9816fcbec60ef4

![img](wlrchheazs851 " “The odometer on a motorcycle is reset to zero twice” - How is Henry doing (as a motorcyclist calls her BMW F650GS. - Approx. Onliner)? As I understand it, the odometer has already counted two hundred thousandth mark? ")
- “Henry” is doing great. I bought it with a range of 33 thousand km. To date, the odometer has already “zeroed” two times and now shows 7 thousand km. As they say, grandmother went to the store for bread ...
- A lot of posts on your Instagram are about breakdowns. Is it bored?
- It seems like a lot. If you recall all the breakdowns in two years, then taking into account the almost daily operation, the motorcycle worked perfectly. And what is very important, it is not crammed with electronics, like most completely new bikes, so it is easy to fix it. No problem finding parts.

![img](useefq8fzs851 " In Patagonia (Argentina) I saw a lot of motorcycles in 2017-2019 on services that you can’t do anything with, because the level of skill of the mechanics does not allow them to be repaired, and parts can go from Europe or Japan up to three to five months. ")
- How did you service the motorcycle and solve problems with technical malfunctions?
- My ex-husband is an excellent mechanic, and he advised me on all issues that arose. I fixed minor breakdowns on my own, and for major ones I turned to BMW branded centers or to mechanics according to the recommendations of local motorcyclists.
Sometimes I agreed that I would do everything myself, but under the supervision of a specialist. As it was, for example, in Denver. There I met Woody Witte, America’s finest spokesman on wheels. Woody is a legend: he is 78 years old and has made thousands of wheels for travelers from around the world, athletes and just motorcyclists. Another area that Woody leads is the manufacture of mechanisms that allow people with disabilities to ski, surf and any other activity. It all started with a passion for motor boats, although Woody's parents wanted to see him as a lawyer or a doctor.
You can make a movie about the history of his life. Born into the family of a German engineer in Munich in 1942. During the war, his father was sent to Poland. In January 1945, Woody's mother took him and his sister and managed to catch the last train going to Germany. The route, which usually took eight hours, stretched for eight weeks - the railway was partially destroyed. With her, the woman managed to take only documents and several silver knives and forks.
https://preview.redd.it/ei05f7hizs851.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c0fb291e42210222b20322952df3e41444e4977d
We got there successfully and almost missed each other with my father, who went to the station. He wanted to catch the very train on which they arrived. Woody's mother is a believer and was very upset that she could not find her favorite Bible. But miracles happen in our world. A few years later, the family moved to America, and in 1950 a parcel arrived from Woody's grandmother from Germany. It contained an old family Bible and a story about how, five years after the war, a Soviet officer knocked on the door and brought the very book with the address of the Woody family on one of the pages.
When he told me this story, his eyes sparkled with tears. In the end, Woody said that this way one person can change his attitude to an entire nation, and he gratefully recalls this noble military man. But I was distracted. Let's get back to motorcycle repair. Initially, I planned to check only the front wheel. However, Woody advised to align the back as well. Seeing my wrinkled nose, he looked at me and said, they say, if the issue is cost, then I can do half the work myself under his supervision. For the first time in her life, she removed and put back both wheels, flanged tires and learned all the secrets from maestro Woody. After adjusting the knitting needles and all the magic manipulations, my “Henry” rode as well as ever before.
I have a very measured pace of movement, since I am almost not attached to dates. Only the first section in Russia was tense, when at the customs in Moscow for five days the equipment was delayed and the road had to be driven in order to catch a ferry from Vladivostok. Then I spent four days in a row driving more than 17 hours a day and drove 1,000 kilometers a day.
In this mode, of course, we are not talking about pleasure, but in the future everything was rich and interesting. At any moment I can stop and not go anywhere, planning and changing the route, turning onto small paths or spending the night on the shore of a lake not indicated on the map. - Which stretch of the road was the most stressful?
- There were difficult days and difficult routes. In Australia, these are sandy “washing boards” and fords after heavy rains, in Costa Rica and Nicaragua there are mountain roads to volcanoes, in Mexico there is an abundance of “sleeping policemen” of all shapes and sizes, in Argentina there are narrow rocky paths and a strong wind.
- We have wonderful roads! Just like the driving culture. Of course, compared with Japan or Australia, we are not so attentive, polite and accurate in relation to each other and the rules of the road, but if we take Latin America or Central Asia, we are very lucky with the quality of the roads and with the neighbors on the roadway.
“I don’t go to wild places, so at least once in a couple of days I’m looking for a gas station for truckers, a hostel or equipped camping. Always with you a tent, a gas burner and everything you need for an overnight stay in a camp in any weather. I mainly use the iOverlander application, which works worldwide. Sometimes I ask local residents for advice or just look for a forest clearing away from people.

https://preview.redd.it/4v706ay30t851.jpg?width=1100&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3b93c8c098cf17d762e8075332ccd2b62f0363ed
“I don’t have regular sponsors, papa oligarch or secret inheritance”
- In addition to building skills and practical details related to servicing a motorcycle, I gained the ability to invent dishes from what is available and repair anything using improvised means. The ingenuity allows you to search for non-standard solutions in almost any situation, and having an adhesive tape, a rope, a pair of clamps and a WD-40, you become almost invulnerable.
Hiking fell in love with all my heart. One of the most vivid impressions was the climb to the Akatenango volcano in Guatemala. Next to it is the fire-breathing Fuego, which refers to unpredictable volcanoes. In normal mode, he puffs and spits out a little lava and hot steam every 5-7 minutes, and in 2018 he began to actively erupt. Then 159 people died. Akatenango is his sleeping and absolutely harmless fellow, from whom I was lucky to watch a unique phenomenon all night: a powerful thunderstorm cut the sky with flashes, and several times lightning struck directly into the mouth of a fiery volcano.

Very often people in all countries of the world invited me to visit, offered overnight, treated them with delicious home-made food. This hospitality is breathtaking and tears come to my eyes. With many you part already friends forever.

https://preview.redd.it/cvxte2i80t851.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=804cfa9152e327d28e7e046842d3fb4f5aeda9dc
I don’t conduct bookkeeping, but I’ll tell you about the main sources of finance and the search for funds to continue the journey.
Firstly, own savings. Before the start of the world tour, I worked as a leading marketer in the field of agricultural machinery at Belagro. All earned invested in training or put off. Visas to Australia, the USA and Japan were paid, seven vaccinations were made, Carnet de passage en doune was issued, Vladivostok - Tokyo and Tokyo - Melbourne tickets were bought, new tires were bought and sent to Vladivostok, and many useful little things were purchased. It was possible to accumulate about 3000 at. e. in equivalent.
Secondly, work. I used every opportunity. For obvious reasons, I will not name the countries, but I will tell you about professions and income level.
In countries with a high standard of living, earnings reached $ 100-150 per day. I worked for a total of six months from the entire trip.
Professions:
online translator for English speaking friends; designer; painter (smart work: dusty, labor-consuming, excellent team, invaluable experience); handyman on a swimming pool construction + gardening and cleaning (heavy physical labor, good pay, interesting employer); cleaning lady (the most exhausting, nervous, sometimes absolutely thankless job, six days a week from morning to night, but with decent pay). Where to look for a job? Everywhere. Communities of Russian immigrants in social networks, ads on the streets, polls all around. If you really want and are ready to work hard, and not to beg, then you will succeed. If you can work remotely, agree. You can also work for free in exchange for food and shelter.

https://preview.redd.it/qw6nv21b0t851.jpg?width=1100&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cb9414b8a22dabebc359f83f9f6884e41b7cff35
Thirdly, sponsorship. I sent out over a hundred letters. Alas, the majority does not know such a country as Belarus, and does not consider our market interesting for moving through the ambassador. But thirteen companies believed in me by offering a product partnership (provision of spare parts, equipment, equipment), and two companies - one-time financial support. All these fifteen organizations took part in the branding of motorcycle equipment.
Fourth, the donation system. I myself supported many travelers before the start of the round-the-world trip, and that's why I decided to make such a page on the site. In each country I carry out the action "Live card in exchange for absolutely any size donation." I believe that this is a mutually beneficial exchange, I am incredibly grateful to all my friends, family and many who are not familiar with yet for helping us and Henry to move forward.
"I have been bitten by mosquitoes since Japan"
Many states allow entry if you have a “prestigious” US, Canadian or Schengen visa. Legislation on visa issues in each country is constantly changing, and ideally you need to have a list of documents that will be needed in advance. It is better to bring copies of all-all documents in different languages ​​and photographs with you so as not to run around looking for a photo kiosk. You should also connect online banking with the ability to receive an extract from cards, preferably in English, and store the “fireproof” amount there for demonstration in embassies and in case of emergency. You can always change directions to visa-free countries or ask for help from our embassies abroad, they will help to understand the features of obtaining visas.
No one further than the CIS knows what the Belarusian driver’s license should look like, so they usually twist it in their hands for a long time, examine it and return it. I'm a little tricky with the police, but you need to understand where this can be done, and where such behavior is fraught with problems.
In Latin America, when the police stopped me, I negatively turned my head to the question of whether I know Spanish or English, and began to quickly chatter in Russian, blurry with a wide smile (no aggression or rudeness). Most often, the policeman is tired of listening to this - he does not know what to do with me, and in the end he waves his hand and lets go.
- But no one found fault with the plastic number (in Argentina, the original Henry number was lost. - Note Onliner)?
- The same situation as with the certificate. Few even know our country, not to mention how our license plates should look. There were no problems, just smiles and wishes for a good journey.
And then a coronavirus happened to the planet. Very upset that had to be interrupted? And why didn’t you want to wait for the end of quarantine in Argentina?
- Of course I was upset! I had only a small segment in Morocco and Europe, and in May I wanted to enter Minsk on a motorcycle, and I had to sit locked up for 77 days, leave the motorcycle and fly home. To date, Argentina is one of the countries with the longest quarantine in the world. On the day before departure, their president again extended the isolation regime. It was officially announced that there would be no transport links until September, and sitting there is not so cheap: you have to rent a house, pay for the Internet, buy food, and most importantly - this is really strict quarantine. With fines of up to € 1,500, real prison sentences for violations and the inability to go beyond the nearest store or pharmacy. Therefore, I decided that at home I would be more comfortable taking into account the general uncertainty in the development of the situation. I filed a notarized power of attorney for my friend in Argentina so that he could send Henry to any country without my presence, and I plan to reunite with the motorcycle in the fall.
“I'll try to collect notes in a book” “What did you miss most?” Through the air, pine forest, people, mineral water?
- By parents, relatives and friends, of course. Although nature pleased. At the very first gas station (Katya was returning from Moscow to Minsk by minibus. - Note Onliner), when the smell of a pine forest hit my nose, I ran to the edge of the asphalt, touched the wet leaves of a dandelion, caught a frog, stroked a pine bark.
Belarus met me with a blue sky, bright sun and warmth. Now I am getting used to changing time zones and enjoy the comfort of my home.

![img](g2o2d0ue0t851 " - But still, for the sake of what did you start all this and did you achieve what you wanted? No disappointment? ")
- My trip had a lot of prerequisites, questions and goals. Exploring the world, exploring other cultures, searching for yourself, a note of feminism, a desire to share knowledge about our country, testing physical abilities, achieving harmony, gaining new skills, understanding others, unlocking potential and much, much more. I am happy that I decided and went all the way to the end.
- What now? Will you write a book? Make a movie? Talk about exotic countries in schools? Do you plan to stay in Belarus?
- I have time until the fall to think about the future and make a decision, because there is still so much unknown in the world ... Or maybe I will return to Minsk on a motorcycle and begin to get used to a sedentary lifestyle. In the meantime, I will try to collect all my notes in a book, because I have something to share with readers. I also plan to organize a meeting where I will tell you as much as possible about adventures and answer all questions.

Photo: Ekaterina Dubanevich, Vlad Borisevich
submitted by Sad-Acanthisitta952 to motorcyclesroadtrip [link] [comments]


2020.07.01 18:46 desert__rain 23[F4M] US/Anywhere - Steal My Heart?

I'm a very traditional and conservative person. Here is my dream.
I'd wake up with you (my husband) and make you breakfast in the morning before I wake up the kids. We get a few precious moments before you head to work, spending time together, praying together. I spend the day taking care of the children homeschooling by myself or with other local homeschooling households. After that's finished, take care of the house and the few chores that need to be done. If I have time, read, knit, crochet, quilt, or just do something crafty until I start getting dinner ready for you. You'd come home to dinner being ready. We have family time with a game, prayer time, reading the Bible together. You'd help me put the kids to bed and we'd have our alone time again.
I'm a hopeless romantic. Goofy silly cute texts would be sent throughout the day. Little cute I love you notes in your lunch. Cute late night dates in the backyard around our fireplace sipping on our favorite drinks looking up at the stars.
I do have to say, I get along better with guys that are a little older than me, so I'd appreciate it if you were so.
Here is a bit a out me. I'm Catholic, 100%, nothing is changing that. I love history, I watch a lot of historical dramas. Currently I'm watching Ekaterina. I love theology and philosophy due to my faith. I also really enjoy fantasy and science fiction. I really like post apocalyptic scenarios for some reason. I just finished watching a Danish show that was good, but now I have to wait for the last season. I also went down a YouTube rabbit hole of honeybees... Just watching people beekeep. Oddly very soothing.
If you're interested in talking to me and getting to know me, drop me a PM. My brain is constantly moving, so I hope there is a connection (:
submitted by desert__rain to r4r [link] [comments]


2020.05.20 05:27 BDawgJackson Ekaterina Busel Hot Date

Ekaterina Busel Hot Date submitted by BDawgJackson to Ekaterina_Busel [link] [comments]


2020.04.30 23:04 displacedindavis Current IOC nation one-gold wonders in each of the four major Olympic competitions (Summer, Winner, Summer Para, Winter Para)

For many countries, gold medals are far and few between. Many nations are waiting for their first gold medal, and among those are nations waiting for their first medal period. While I hope to get to those in a future post, I wanted to focus specifically on nations that have won just 1 gold medal as of today. I'm not a huge fan of extreme nationalism in the Olympics, but you gotta admit that being the only gold medalist from your country has a special feeling to it. Even if the country ends up producing more gold medalists in the future, you can't take it away from that person/team who won the nation's first.
Athletes who won a gold medal as the country's first-ever Olympic medal are asterisked. In case the athlete still holds the nation's only medal, the name is italicized as well. Here goes:
Summer Olympics:
Winter Olympics:
For Paralympics, the country is asterisked if an athlete has not won gold in the respective summewinter regular Olympics competition and additionally italicized if the country has yet to medal in the respective summewinter regular Olympics competition.
Summer Paralympics:
Winter Paralympics:
submitted by displacedindavis to olympics [link] [comments]


2020.04.28 21:24 displacedindavis Every player's most significant win against Serena Williams

WARNING: this is a long post. If you don't care to read, I don't blame you. I must also warn you that most of the H2H records are going to look bad. If you feel that's all you need to know, then you don't have to read. Also, if you don't like the fact that I like Serena as a tennis player, feel free not to read either. I only ask you do not leave any bad comments about any of this.
For those of you who hate Serena Williams (can't blame you if you do), feel free to read this post and find a new hero to root for.
I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a fan of Serena's tennis playing even if she does things I absolutely don't approve of (I sometimes wonder if being the youngest sister of 5 has in part contributed to her brash personality, sort of like Chihuahua syndrome). From a purely tennis player's perspective, I think she's pretty cool.
It's weird that when you're a fan of a certain tennis player, you also tend to remember the players they lost to and develop a bit of a fascination with them as well. I can't help but feel for the countless number of tennis players that probably would've won more Grand Slams had they been in a universe without Serena. The argument that Serena's competition sucked isn't completely true; there were many great women's tennis players but Serena was just on another level so many times.
I realized too late that I forgot to add the Grand Slam records on the side. Hope you can forgive me for that :-(.
Do note that these records are subject to change. Some of the younger players in particular may be able to take advantage of Serena's aging. I realize that Grand Slam majors count more so they are listed separately. List is alphabetized. Without further ado, here we go:
If you care to read on, here are some notable players that failed to defeat Serena in their careers (must have had at least three matchups to date):
submitted by displacedindavis to tennis [link] [comments]


2020.04.03 03:16 scorpiussss What I did with my Pleasantview!

Hello!
A couple of days ago I asked you guys if you'd be interested in seeing what I've done with my Pleasantview so far. I didn't expect the response I got, I got 100 upvotes and a bunch of comments too, and everyone wanted me to do it, so here I am!
In that thread, u/Midipopo suggested I could do different threads, with different families in each one. And that's what I was going to do, however, my internet has been slow and I had a couple of issues with uploading pictures to Reddit, even Imgur wasn't uploading properly. So instead I'll link to some in the text itself too, I hope you don't mind. (Side note, if you see numbers inside brackets throughout the text, those are more pictures, I just had to find a way to put them all in the text). Also, I had to change in between sites, because the one site I use to upload pictures wasn't working, I tried another one and that was slow too. So, this post is a little unorganized when it comes to pictures, but in the midst of this epidemic, I doubt that there are too many people working at my internet provider, especially because my country is in complete lockdown, or at least that's the only way I can explain the reason as to why my internet has been so slow lately. And thank you to u/Midipopo for the suggestion anyway!
Anyway, let's get started, and again I hope you don't mind.

***

I've never done rotational play (I normally prefer to just play with one family), but I wanted to try it out. I like to keep my towns organized, just so I know who to age and at what time. I have an excel sheet that I turned into a PNG if you'd like to check out how I keep everything organized, or if you're reading this and you feel like getting to know the characters more in-depth. Now, just be warned that I changed most, if not all the aspirations so don't be surprised. Let's start with the most iconic family in Pleasantview: The Goths.
What I did with the Goths is based on this theory by Alex Plays Sims, if you're interested, check it out as they've done a bunch of research (like 6 months of researching I believe) and it is a very well thought out theory that I actually believe in now, definitely worth it to read. It's simply based on it, so it doesn't follow everything in that theory.
First things first, I had to age Alexander into a teen right away because for some reason I don't like having him as a child and picture him as being a little bit older than for example, Lucy Burb, and he ended up, to no one's surprise, with the Knowledge asp. I gave him a makeover, and I gave Mortimer a makeover too. Oh, and I made over Cassandra as well and I can't tell you how satisfying it was to get rid of the ponytails. They had to GO. I also sent her on her merry way to go be with Don, so I didn't marry them right then and there as you're "supposed" to. But, I'll talk more about Cassandra in depth when we get to her household. I didn't renovate their house or anything, at least not yet, because it was so iconic that I had to let it be. However, since Alexander is gonna carry their name forward, he will probably inherit the house, and by then I'll renovate it.
I brought back Bella Goth, as well. I wasn't planning on doing it, but I for sure did it. I have clean neighborhoods installed, and this new clean PV allowed me to bring her back just by calling her, which was really nice. She recognizes her family as well. In my story, Bella got abducted by aliens because she's such a beautiful sim, with knowledge and a lot of other attributes that the aliens were interested by. Bella got abducted after leaving Don's condo, so Don isn't to blame, not in this version of the story anyway. He was just being a player, he was just being Don - at that time, Cassandra was a teenager also, and Don didn't even know she had children, really. He was new in town, so he wasn't exactly aware of the Goths. He tried it, but got rejected. But Bella did look through the telescope, which attracted the aliens, and when she was going home, she got abducted. But, she was so young and beautiful because she had the Elixir of Life, so she wasn't as old as she's supposed to be. When the aliens delivered her back (more like throwing her on the road) she just decided to accept the aging process. Due to all the testing the aliens did, the effects of the Elixir of Life got worn out and Bella decided to let it be, despite probably having enough money (and influence) to get more Elixir of Life. Seeing as the first time she tried to mess with it, she got abducted by aliens, she just decided to let herself age to an Elder, and I threw her a very private birthday party, not like any of the parties she'd had before, with a bunch of people and fancy decorations. Being abducted by aliens allowed her to learn a lot, and she decided family was more important, so it became her focus. I gave her the family aspiration. All she wanted was to reignite the flame with Mortimer (before Bella got abducted, they had some marriage problems) and see her children and grandchildren grow to be happy and healthy. I remarried Bella and Mortimer and wiped Mortimer's relationship with Dina as I never liked it (Mortimer ain't got no business being with Dina, like I'm so sorry honey but absolutely not in my Pleasantview). I gave Bella a makeover. At the time, I didn't have any red dress for elders, so I just gave her a red dress with black skulls that I for some reason had, telling myself I'd change it later but it ended up fitting her and her gothic tastes really well, in my opinion. Mortimer is happy with Bella returning, and so is Alexander, and Cassandra. Alexander and Cassandra were definitely the ones that were hit the most by her disappearance. Especially Alexander, who missed his mom very dearly. Cassandra always knew of the rumors of her mother being last seen on Don Lothario's condo, but never believed them, and when they turned out to be true, she and Don had a very rough patch on their wedding, only repaired when Don truly showed that he was a different man, more on that later.
I sent them on a vacation to the far east (1,2,3) , as I thought they deserved it, after everything they lived through. They spent a couple of days there, and I think they really enjoyed it. And Alexander also got a girlfriend, Ginger Newson. Which I might change to Lucy Burb if they have any chemistry at all, I just didn't want to pair him with Lucy just yet, since everyone does that. But we'll see.
But, let's get to the Lotharios. So, as I said, Cassandra only found out after being married to Don that he tried to kiss her mom. Don tried to explain, but Cassandra just didn't accept it and couldn't get over it. After getting married, Don truly stopped messing around with everyone, because at the end of the day he did love Cassandra despite being a womanizer. They had a rough patch in their marriage, where both of them truly thought it was over for them. But then Cassandra found out she was pregnant. Baby Caleb truly brought them together. Don did not leave Cassandra while she was pregnant, and was always there for her. The same once Caleb was born. He loved his son, and Cassandra, despite getting warned by everyone decided to give him another chance, and it worked out pretty well because so far, Caleb has aged to a child, Cassandra had twins, Ekaterina and Samuel, and after the twins aged to toddlers, they had yet another baby girl, named Danielle. Don got a bunch of promotions and is getting closer to his goal of being a General Practioner. Since having Caleb, he completely lost his desire to date a bunch of women, being more preoccupied with his children and Cassandra, wanting to work hard enough to one day be rich so he and Cassandra can comfortably live their Elder years. They've built a pretty nice house actually (unfortunately I only have this picture of their kitchen, because I like it so much lol) He's also doing this so he can impress Mortimer, who wasn't exactly thrilled once he learned Don tried to kiss Bella. But with the years passing, Mortimer more or less forgave him, despite still not trusting him entirely. When it comes to Cassandra, she found she wasn't enjoying her job much, so she quit and will be a stay at home mom at least until the twins get a little bit more grown.
And that's all on the Lotharios for now.
Onto the Brokes/Menons. Yeah, Brandi married again. But let's start from the beginning.
Once Brandi found out she was pregnant once again, she decided that she had to start working no matter what, so she did just that, and she joined the Culinary career in hopes to make enough money so Dustin could stop doing what he was doing, and be able to one day work hard enough to hopefully become a Chef. I gave Brandi a makeover, and Dustin grew to a young adult and went to college with Dirk, Lilith and of course Angela, but more on that later. Beau grew into a child, and little Scott Broke was born. For a couple years, she just managed to have enough money. She met someone new at work, Waylon Menon and they eventually got married. Both Beau and Scott grew up, and Beau started dating a girl named Andrea Pederson. Brandi and Waylon wanted a child, as Waylon didn't have any of his own but really wanted one, but Brandi wasn't certain she could carry yet another child, so they decided they wanted to adopt, and they did. They adopted a little girl named Leslie Menon. (In my game she's named Broke but I need to change that) Dustin wasn't...exactly the most fond of his mom's new husband. With him being the oldest, he was the one that remembered his father the most, making it really difficult for him to be able to accept anyone else who "replaced" him. But with the years passing, he became more and more accepting of Waylon. Brandi and Waylon also adopted two strays, the Critturs from the bin.
Brandi hopes to raise her children, and then who knows? She knows she wants to travel the world but for that to happen she needs to work hard at her job, but with Waylon by her side it should be much easier. But that's that on the Broke/Menon household.
Next up, the Pleasant household.
Mary-Sue and Daniel's wedding kept getting worse, and worse. They don't really care much about their children, they never really did. And despite the fact that both of them are cheating on one another, none of them really are aware that they're being cheated on. Daniel dumped Kaylynn, cause he sucks and now he has multiple lovers. Mary-Sue also started cheating, just with random men. Even so, they still had two more children, Cassidy and David. Mary-Sue doesn't really know how to be a mom, so while they're babies and still cute, she'll take care of them but once they're older she just leaves them to figure themselves out. Because of that, while Cassidy was still a toddler and David was unborn, the one person who really took care of her was Lilith. She has a way with babies and hopes to one day have a family of her own with Dirk. Towards the end of her teenage years, Angela finally started seeing her parent's true colors, and she patched up her relationship with Lilith. It took them a long time, but they did it and now they even go to university together, with Dirk and Dustin. Lilith hopes to bring her sister and baby brother with her whenever she buys a new home, as she knows neglect first hand and would want her siblings to have a safe environment to grow in. Oh and the cat. Romeo. She also wants the cat xD There isn't much else to this family, at least not for now. I'll possibly have Mary-Sue and Daniel separate, or I'll just let them be with each other and their lovers without causing much of a scene. We'll see.
Now, onto the Dreamers.
I still need to give Darren a makeover, but anyway. Darren watched Cassandra getting married to Don, a guy he despises, and as they kept getting more children his interest in Cassandra kept decreasing. If anything, he started disliking her too because he couldn't believe someone he thought was a goddess could associate herself, and worse, marry and have children with someone as awful as Don. For a couple of years, he focused on painting as a career but was barely getting by. He eventually decided to find a job, and he did find one - he's always loved games and apart from painting, games were something that kept his mind busy. While that was happening, his son, Dirk, moved to college and he started feeling really lonely. He didn't think he'd have another chance at love, as he went on a bunch of dates but never really clicked with anyone...until he did. Enter Marisa. They dated for a couple of months, and spontaneously decided to get married. None of them want any more children, so they aren't getting any more children. Marisa is on her way to becoming Captain Hero, as she is very successful at her job and at what she does. Darren is slowly but surely finding success in his career. All he wants for the future is for Dirk to complete college and have an amazing life with Lilith, who he really likes.
But, talking about Lilith, let's talk about the next "family", The College Club. I know. Cringy name.
While Lilith and Angela we're in the process of patching up their relationship, the twins and Dirk and Dustin started hanging out together. They grew up together, all for of them, so it only felt right that they went to college together. They're doing really well. They've all gotten GPA 4.0, and they all got on the Dean's List too. Lilith is completing a Political Science Major, Angela is completing a Drama Major (curious, right, you'd think Lilith would go for Drama and Angela would go for Political Science), Dirk is completing an Economics Major and Dustin is completing a Psychology Major. They're doing really well, while also finding the time to hang out a little bit. And...Lilith got engaged to Dirk! He asked her in private, and she was of course really excited because Dirk the one person who's always been with her when no one else was. Dirk is truly the love of her life, and she can't wait to finally start her family with him. And of course, Angela and Dustin are still going strong, but they're not as fast as Angela and Dirk, and they certainly don't want a child yet. Angela and Lilith are also closer than ever, which fills my heart with joy. Angela and Lilith, especially Lilith became one of my fave sims, I really love them.
And now...The Burbs!
I'll be honest, there isn't a lot to say about them. And I also don't have too many pictures of them, idk why since I enjoy taking pictures. They moved into Pleasantview, and Jennifer decided to pursue her dream of...well essentially getting rich, while John decided to be a stay at home dad. Lucy grew up into a teenager, and she has an affinity for everything about the sea, so that's kinda what she wants to do with her life. She also helps to take care of her 3 (yes 3) younger sisters: Riley who is a child currently but she was born when Lucy was still a child, and the twins Nola and Kora. I might give them one more child. Might not, we'll see. I think I'd like for John to start his own business, maybe he could start sewing. Again, as I said, there isn't much going on with this family, so if you have any ideas of what I could do with them, tell me.
Speaking of not much going on...
The Caliente Sisters!
My main goal with the sisters was to get them a hobby. With Don married off and Mortimer back with Bella, and no one else in town who seemed interesting enough to get involved with, they had more time for themselves. To start, I gave them a makeover. Nina, with her slightly broken heart, discovered her passion for fitness, but specifically dance. She is now a dancer, professionally, hoping to reach the stars. Dina just went to a bunch of parties. But she is in the slacker career, but I do want to get her...something to do. But that's pretty much it for them. I don't know what else I should do, so ideas are welcome.
And, for the last household: The Oldies!
They're just living their best lives - they got Dakota, their puppy, and Coral started her own business, but Herb helps her out. Upon seeing what their daughter became, they just kinda became more distant, still keeping contact with their grandchildren and visiting them when possible. There also isn't much else to say, I just want them to live a simple life, and to be happy. Which they seem to be.
***
And that was it! Initially, I planned to do more with this but hey. My internet doesn't want to work with me, but I did my best. I'm sorry if there are any errors, this is the first time I'm turning my brain back on. Tell me what you think!
submitted by scorpiussss to sims2 [link] [comments]


2020.03.30 23:06 Clogmaster1 [WTS] Russian Imperial coppers - interesting!

Evidence: http://imgur.com/a/6haIZpI
Two large (>45mm) copper coins minted during the reign of Ekaterina the Great.
1780 - nice yellow copper, traces of a double strike $25
1793 - special coin, Pavel Overstrike, made on a 1796 10 kopeks from Ekaterina the Great. She had ordered all the copper 5 Kopeks to be overstruck into 10 kopeks in the year before her death due to financial problems. (kind of QE old style) $90 When Pavel took over the throne in 1797 he ordered all 10k coins to be overstruck back to 5 Kopeks, but using old dates. These coins are rare and the more traces they show from the underlying coin the better.
Payment PPFF or PPGS at 5% extra. Shipping will be $3.50 risky or $8.50 registered.
Take both for 110$ shipped.
Please PM me. Available until indicated as sold.
submitted by Clogmaster1 to Coins4Sale [link] [comments]


2020.03.17 00:37 NeverHumanEnough I have written the basic events for my 12 Gems story.

Note: This is NOT a free idea. I’m just posting this because I need constructive criticism for turning this into a script, and then a comic.
(Edit: I totally forgot about Water Servant. And if it sounds confusing, then I’m going to post the character bios later.)
Main Story:
  1. Misty is introduced, contemplating suicide
  2. The Servants of Oblivion attack Misty Misty is rescued by the Earth Birthknights
  3. Misty’s terrible family life is revealed Misty’s first day of high school in Giselle Public Residential Academy
  4. Regina von Eld (15) is her roommate
-Misty finds out that Regina is dating the mayor’s son, Eric Binley (15) and feels sad about it
  1. Music class -Misty doesn’t sing because she’s too shy and not really good at music -The teacher, Aria Nespola (22) calls Misty after class and tells her to do something she has never done before, and she has to do it today
  2. The assembly at school. -Herman Petroski (24) introduces himself as the new principal -Misty asks what happened to the last principal Herman gets flustered for a moment and tells her that they never existed -The whole assembly laughs at Misty Misty realizes that nothing good happened for asking a question
  3. The incident in the special ed class -Hyun Binley (16) and the bullies are teasing her but the teacher does nothing Hyun says something really mean about Misty -Misty gets angry at Hyun and starts to stand up for herself -Hyun grabs Misty by the collar and threatens her -Misty pushes Hyun away, and the whole class is stunned
  4. Misty is sent to the principal’s office
  5. Aria Nespola tells Claira her true name
  6. Claira’s transformation into Estrella Alexandrite
  7. The first battle
  8. Ekaterina Cejkowski’s transformation into Alita Tourmaline
  9. The second battle
  10. Joelle Quaine’s transformation into Nixie Ruby
  11. Valerie Brannon’s transformation into Corvus Amethyst
  12. Mari’s transformation into Agaña Topaz
  13. Agaña almost kills Estrella
  14. Estrella rescuers Eric from the Servants of Oblivion
  15. Eric Binley’s transformation into Fuego Diamond
  16. Hyun Binley’s transformation into Forcha Peridot
  17. The first time Fuego sees Claira, he hates her instantly
  18. Forcha and Fuego almost destroy the city
  19. Claira meets Devin and becomes his girlfriend
  20. Devin’s transformation into Veneno Aquamarine
  21. Devin tells Claira not to trust the Birthknights because a traitor Birthknight named Angel Egan killed his father
  22. Delilah van Vuuren arrives in Giselle
  23. Delilah is very chronically ill and has a power she can use only once.
  24. Delilah’s transformation into Lumia Turquoise
  25. After all Birthknights are discovered, they meet Eric’s father and Hyun’s uncle, Bobby Binley, who is also the rich mayor of Giselle
  26. Veneno poisons and almost kills Claira
  27. Claira refuses to forgive Devin
  28. Air Servant meets Claira and gives her the Oblivite
  29. Claira stops being a Birthknight and becomes a Servant of Oblivion
  30. Claira almost kills Herman, Mari, Devin, Eric, and Hyun
  31. Claira goes back to her house and almost kills her family
  32. Regina/Fire Servant commits suicide after Lumia rescues Claira
  33. Delilah sacrifices herself by using her forbidden power for Claira and dies, causing Claira to turn back to normal
  34. Eric begs Claira for forgiveness
  35. Claira Stelling finally leaves home
  36. Zacky Egan arrives in Giselle
  37. Zacky Egan’s transformation into Lucian Tanzanite
  38. Gregory Schwartzwald reveals that he was using Herman Petroski and the school the whole time to spy on the Birthknights
  39. The whole school was created just to find Birthknights
  40. Claira finally finds her real mother, Phoebe Stelling
  41. Phoebe Stelling tells Claira everything about leaving Claira to be adopted.
  42. Phoebe Stelling turns out to be a Servant of Oblivion
  43. Claira finally finds out that her original father was Angel Egan, meaning that Claira and Zacky are half siblings
  44. Gregory Schwartzwald/Earth Servant dies
  45. Phoebe Stelling/Air Servant is defeated
  46. The Birthknights used up all their powers
  47. Bobby Binley becomes an evil traitor Birthknight by wearing the breastplate.
  48. Bobby Binley is defeated by having the breastplate removed from him, and Claira wears it now.
  49. Claira and the others uses the breastplate powers to restore the city.
  50. Bobby Binley turns himself in, and gets life in prison.
submitted by NeverHumanEnough to ComicWriting [link] [comments]


2020.03.12 11:07 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 97

That reminds me of a story.
MY NAME IS?” our driver yells as he points out the grimy van window at some random outdoor apparition.
“MOMMY! Why is he yelling all the time?” Tasha wails.
“Tash”, Es explains, “That’s just the way they talk over here, I guess.”
“Valosh?”, I ask, “What are you on about?”
MY NAME IS? MY NAME IS?” Valosh ramps up the decibels, whacking the driver’s window with his index finger. Evidently, we’ll all understand things much more clearly if he just yells louder.
“PUTIN HOUSE! PUTIN HOUSE!” Valosh gesticulates wildly as we drive past the Kremlin.
“KGB! KGB!” Valosh gesticulates wildly as we drive past Lubyanka Square.
“MOSCOW RIVER! MOSCOW RIVER!” Valosh gesticulates wildly as we drive over the eponymous river.
“INTIM STORE! INTIM STORE!” Valosh leers at Esme and me; laughing riotously.
“Just wait until I figure out what they sell at the ‘Intim Store’…” I muse sourly.
“Oh!”, I say as the light goes off, “Valosh wants to know the English word for what he’s pointing to. Now I get it!”
“DA, DA, DA!” Valosh hollers triumphantly.
Valosh is wanting us to teach him English. In return, Valosh will help us out with our Russian.
“Gotcha!” I smile at Valosh. “Rock Russian, Valosh English!”
“DA, DA, DA!” Valosh bellows triumphantly.
Valosh takes his eyes off the road, even though were in 12-lane deep hell-bent-for-leather Moscow well-you’re-in-it-now-up-to-your-necks traffic; smacks me lightly on the cheek and smiles “Damn good Joe!”
We’ve made a major breakthrough in international diplomacy…
“Valosh? The name’s ‘Rock’…Jesus Christ, Valosh! Watch out for that fucking semi!” I yell.
Valosh just chuckles to himself, “Damn good Joe.” as we quite literally slalom sideways around the truck.
Since this was not my first time in the Rodina, or Mother Russia, in fact, my last visit cost me a few fingers; Es and the kids were the ones now freaking out. I was handling with the usual “Oh, well, whaddya gonna do?’ aplomb. I did my best to comfort them and assure them that this was in fact, what passes for normality around the place.
It didn’t much help. What did help is that Valosh finally found our hotel, the ridiculously opulent and baroque Hotel Ekaterina right in the heart of downtown Moscow. It was located on the MOSCOW RIVER, according to Valosh, and fairly close to some local рынок (rynoks) or markets.
Which was good, as Es and the children needed a bit of help to shakily make their way to our suite. Evidently, they’re nowhere near as acclimated to jet lag and Moscow traffic as was I.
Once I got everyone checked in, de-pressurized, and settled, I suggested that I head to the local рынок, or market. I’d find us some bits and pieces to nosh upon until the hotel restaurant opens in a few hours.
Since the kids were already snoring in their rooms, Es waved feebly in my direction and wished me well on my trip.
Thus emboldened, I exchange some US currency for Russian and am once again, a-walkin' talkin’ Texas millionaire.
“Watch out, ye hoards of the proletariat”, I snickered, “Big Amercanski capitalist comin’ though.”
I knew my millionaire status would last just until after my first taxi ride.
But, it was a nice day and I felt like a bit of exercise after being stuck in an aluminum tube with 250 of one’s closest friends for the last 11 hours.
Even in Business Class, you still get to breath all the same recycled air. With the current times being what they were in Russia, the airs were very fragrant; tinged with trepidation, fear of the future, and really, really awful Russian cigarettes.
But, it was a clear, blue Nu Pagodi sort of day. I had my rubles, I had my rudimentary Russian, and I had my marching orders. Off to the local street market to see what wonders I could find for my famished family.
Mandarins. Clementines. Tangerines. Whatever you call the little orange-y bastards, they’re my crack cocaine. I’m not normally frugivorous but ever since that first trip to Eastern Siberia where I bought a kilo of the little beauties outside, literally, of Ulan Ude. I sat eating them overlooking Lake Baikal in December. I was hooked. Communist China, to my back, smiled on approvingly.
So, back to the marketplace. Oh, look, it’s Bulgarian Sneaker Week. A full 40-foot container of Bulgarian running shoes have arrived, all the same colors and style. I hope my European-American shoe size conversions work as I buy a half-dozen pairs for Esme and the kids.
Alas, that’s not for eating; so I need to look for some of the more unusual comestibles that abound in these open-air markets.
Oh, look! Daralagjazsky cheese. This stuff is unbelievable. And only 2 rubles per 100 grams.
Да, один килограмм, пожалуйста.” [“Yes, one kilo, please.”].
“Oh, holy wow! Gollandsky cheese. Poshekhonsky cheese! Sovietsky cheese! Oh, my giddy aunt! Uglichsky cheese!”
Да, по одному килограмму, пожалуйста.” [Yes, one kilo each, please.”]
“Sausage? Where?” I ask.
I am directed over to Колбасный уголок, “Sausage Corner”.
There’s ливерные колбасы, liver sausage, сырокопченые колбасы, dry, fermented sausage, and варено-копченые колбасы, smoked sausage.
Да, по одному килограмму, пожалуйста.” [Yes, one kilo each, please.”]
Damn, I note. I need a cart, or at least a string bag. I find a bag vendor and buy several.
Next is bread. Look here: borodino bread, or Russian sourdough with caraway. Oh, yes. That’s a kilo. Then there’s ржано́й хлеб, or Russian rye. Yep. Another kilo.
Well, so much for sandwiches. Now, some drinks. Kvass? OK, a liter or three. Sok? Juice? Ok, a couple of liters of burberry, dilberry and bounceberry. Some soft drinks? "Baikal," "Tarhun” and "Sayany”? Ok, fuck yeah.
Some beer, perhaps. Just a few. A twelver of Baltic Number 9 should hold me until dinner.
And well, since we’re new in town, maybe a couple of bottles of Moskovskaya Vodka, just in case.
In case of what?
What have you got?
I purchase six. Just in case.
I find a young neo-capitalist Russian boy with a wagon and offer to rent his wagon for an hour or two. Through my strangled Russian, we negotiate the princely sum of 10 Rubles. I take the wagon and my purchases back to the hotel and he’ll pick up the wagon from the hotel’s concierge later.
“Done and done”, I say and hand him more money than he’s probably ever seen in one place at one time.
Yeah, the international ambassador of amity and cirrhosis. That’s me.
He even helps me Tetris my purchases into his rickety wagon. He runs off and finds some twine for me to secure my stash. I slip him a couple more rubles just for fun and he’s well pleased; as he returns with an cold beer for me and one for him.
Beer is considered a soft drink in Russia. It’s openly available for anyone.
He mooches a cigar from me, “For his father”.
I can only snort and chuckle. Damn, I like working here. I surrender a cigar that costs more than the average monthly salary these days in Russia.
Not gloating or making out like I’m the nasty old capitalist, I’m just reporting the facts. With hyperinflation, my hard currency dollars are better than gold. Plus, I like helping out those that help me.
Also, I like to be generous to those who help me out and don’t laugh too loud at my rickety Russian.
Which is how I came to be arrested, again, in Russia.
I’m sitting at the edge of the market, where there are several seats and chess tables set up. These are permanent fixtures as chess is somewhat of a mania in the RSFSR. They are also convenient places to sit, take a load off, and have a chat with your fellow man on the street.
Well, one thing leads to another, and I’m now handing out cigars while the bottles of vodka appear. Here come the 100 gram glasses and the inevitable bread, pickled mushrooms, sliced cucumbers, and dried fish…one simply cannot drink here without a nosh.
I’m working on my rusty Russian and I have a coterie of new friends willing to help the hapless Amerikanski who’s struggling with their language. They appreciate that I’m working on learning the language and even more appreciative that I’m free and easy with the beer, cigars, and vodka.
We’re having a large time until the police arrive. They look over the crowd I’ve amassed and wander through it like a snowplow down an early January Wisconsin backroad.
“Что все это тогда?” “What’s all this then?” they ask.
Everyone clams up and looks the other way. Suddenly, I’m on my own.
“Nothing much, Officer”, I say to what I figure is the head police guy.
He looks at me like I’m ready to sprout zucchini.
“Какая?” “What?” he asks.
“Извините, мои русские не слишком хороши. Я американец.” “Sorry, but my Russian’s not too good. I’m American.”
He stops, looks, and asks for my papers. “Ваши документы? Пожалуйста?”
I hand over my red Diplomatic Passport and all my internally KGB-vetted worker’s papers.
He looks at them and visibly stiffens.
“We go! Now!” he orders. “NOW!”
“OK. Whatever you say.” I’m not about to argue. I know we can sort this out once we get to the police station. If not, then the American Embassy. They know me there as well.
“Your hotel?” he asks.
“Hotel Ekaterina.” I reply, quizzingly.
We walk along in silence; only punctuated by the occasional squeak of the wagon’s wheel.
After a few blocks, I hear:
“Doctor Rock does not recognize Igor?” he asks lowly.
I look and damn it all to hell. It’s Igor, one of my ‘handlers’ the last time I was in country.
“Igor! Holy fuck! How the hell are you? How’s the family? Doing OK?” I ask.
“Not now. Comrade Dr. Rock is in big trouble. Walk with me. Say nothing.” Igor commands.
“Yes, sir”, I snicker. I’m indefatigable; nothing at this point’s going to break my stride.
We walk together in silence, away from the madding crowd at the rynok, away from all my cigar-puffing new friends, away from all the crowds on the street.
We turn the corner and Igor looks at me and laughs.
“Still unconcerned about safety, Dr. Rock?” Igor asks.
“If you’re asking if I still don’t give a fuck, then the answer’s yes. What was that all about?” I ask Igor, now a sergeant in the Moscow Constabulary, I see.
“Economy’s in the toilet and you’re out playing philanthropist; giving out cigars and booze.” Igor scolds.
“I was just being friendly”, I replied.
“And you were being set up to be robbed,” Igor tells me.
“Oh, fuff! By whom? Those old pensioners?” I ask.
“No. Their kids. They set you up, get you comfortable and bam, you take a cosh to the back of the head. That wagon you’re pulling is enough food for a family for a couple of weeks.” Igor adds. “Your wallet? Probably a few years.”
“Damn. I’m sorry. I’m the fuckhead here. I never much gave it a thought. The rynok’s bustling so and everyone’s buying and selling…” I tried to explain.
“Yeah, but in 1/100 the volume you’re doing on a whim.” Igor states.
“I was just buying some lunch for my family..”
“Think, Comrade Doctor. Times have changed. You need to be more on your guard.” Igor notes.
“Thanks”, I tell him, “Care to join us for some lunch?” I ask, shifting gears as quickly as possible away from my faux pas.
“Yes, Doctor. I think it is time I meet your family.” He smiles.
Igor, the concierge, a porter, and I schlep all my purchases up to our room.
I knock to let Esme know I’m not alone.
She opens the door and was no more surprised to see me standing there with a Russian police sergeant and a stupid grin on my face than just me with a stupid grin on my face.
“Esme”, I say, “This is Sgt. Igor. Remember I told you how he rousted me at Sheremetyevo Airport because I was trying to smuggle all that caviar and vodka back to Houston?”
“Ah, yes. Sgt. Igor. Welcome. Please, do come in”, Es chuckles.
Esme is such a good sport.
We all drag in my purchases and I tip the concierge and porter. I explain that I’ve got the makings of a fine Russian lunch and that I’ve invited Sgt. Igor to break bread with us.
“Rock, that’s fine”, Es says, “But it’s adults only. The kiddos are out for the count.”
“That’s OK”, I smile, “We’ll try and save them some.”
I unpack all my purchases and set about slicing bread, chopping onions, doing this and doing that.
“Dr. Rock!”, Sgt. Igor says loudly, “Will you please sit down? Let me show you how things are done in the Motherland.”
“OK”, I said sheepishly, not realizing I had breached protocol, however inadvertently.
Our hotel suite was fully furnished so Sgt. Igor set about finding plates, glasses, and silverware.
“Take note, Doctor.”, Sgt. Igor smiled, “This is the way we do it in civilized society.”
First course. Nibbly bits of fish, fruit, bread, and cheese. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Second course. Caviar with buttered toast points. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Third course. Russian salads, boiled potatoes, and sausage. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Fourth course. Cold cuts, bread, butter. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Fifth course. Nibbly bits of fish, fruit, bread and cheese. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Sixth course. Russian ‘sweeties’, chocolates, caramels, nougats. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
Seventh course. Cigars, cigarettes, pipe or hubbly-bubbly. And vodka, wine, beer, or sparkling water.
“Now, Comrade Doctor. I hope you have been taking notes.” Sgt. Igor laughs, patting his well-distended belly.
“But don’t forget for afters”, I say and hand him a couple of dark, oily Cuban cigars.
“Doctor, Mrs. Dr. Rock; as long as you’re in Russia; you ever need anything or have any trouble; you call Sgt. Igor. Anywhere, anytime.” As he rises, bows slightly, and grabs both of us in a great bear hug. He hands us his business card.
“Anywhere. Anytime.” He reminds us.
“Thank you, Igor. Let us hope we meet not needing your services but for another fine lunch or dinner.” I say. Esme echoes my intentions.
“But I must be back to work. I am certain my Commander will question me as to my whereabouts for the last few hours.” Sgt. Igor laments.
I slip another couple of cigars in his tunic’s pocket.
“Tell him it’s all Dr. Rocknocker’s fault. He’s back and needs a keeper. Give him a cigar, he’ll know our words are true.” I laugh.
“He knows you, Doctor. I’m sure he’ll want to see you before too long.” Sgt. Igor smiles.
“We’ll be here until school starts. Then we’re off to Rosinka. Keep in touch, and we’ll have you and the Mrs. over for our house warming. And tell your Commandant he’s invited as well.” I say.
“As you say, Doctor Academician”, Sgt. Igor smiles, “We are glad you and your family are here. We need your Western help. And western cigars.”
Sgt. Igor leaves, and Esme and I look at the carnage on our dinner table.
“Well, so much for dinner.” I say, “Anything good on the telley?”
The next morning, I’m doing a full fried English breakfast for everyone. The kids, jet-lagged as they were, slept through the night and awoke ravenous. Time for Dr. Dad to make like he did back when he was an undergrad working at Sambo’s.
Hash browns. Eggs to order. Toast. Waffles. Baked beans. Mushrooms. Grilled tomatoes. Sausage. Bacon. Ham. Pancakes. Blini. Blintz. Crumcakkes. Profiteroles. Beignets. Coffee. Juice. Tea. Breakfast beer.
Just a light repast.
With just a slight amount of Irish Whisky in someone’s coffee.
We have a few days off before I need to report to the office. We’re on Rocknocker-Central Time, and decide when and where I’ll report. I’m not dragging my family through some committee-decided time-critical knothole just so you can be sure to have the weekend off.
First, we need to get acclimated. Plus, we have several ass-loads of containers of personal effects on the way. We need to sort out where they’ll be stored until we get to our destination at the Western Compound: Rosinka.
OK, let’s get that out of the way. We’re due a 4-bedroom flat in Rosinka, a new Western Expat theme park, or gated community, some 30 kilometers northwest of the city center. It’s bloody horrible expensive, as our place, for 4 people, which would be a split-level shoebox in the US, runs about US$10,000/month rent.
And that’s for an attached villa. A standalone house begins at US$18,000/month.
Oh, I could have wrangled one of these, but I didn’t think it was really necessary. I held out for better perks, besides, the kids wanted a gated community where they could visit and play and have friends from literally over 55 different countries.
True world travelers. They’d rather live out in the sticks than in the heart of a city 850 years old and home to 13 million souls.
Clever girls.
But, we needed to wait a while; until school started and we could move into our new digs.
So, we were stranded in the middle of Moscow in a fine 4-star hotel, right on the Moscow River, with nothing much to do but practice our Russian and watch really bad satellite TV.
After a couple of days, I called on one of my Russian friends, Dima.
“Dima”, I say, “I’m going nuts. Can I borrow Tatyana to take Es shopping”
Dima laughs. “Sure, Rock. I’ll send her over and you can pick up the cab fare.”
“Can you come over as well? I need a boon companion.” I ask.
“Sorry, Rock”, Dima replies, “Some of us actually have to work for a living. Tell you what, I’ll send along a couple of fishing rods and some bait. Take your kids out fishing, they’ll love it.”
“Good idea”, I reply, “Dima, I own you one drunk. Let me know when you want to collect.”
The cab arrives and Tatyana, who speaks virtually zero English, and Esme, my dear wife who is fluent in English and German, but not Russian, steal the contents of my wallet and head off in the cab speaking the shared lingo of ‘shopping’. I have three fishing rods and a can of red wigglers.
No pun intended.
“C’mon girls”, I say, “Let’s go fishing.”
We do the forced march of at least 100 meters, as the hotel fronts the venerable Moscow River.
There are even benches for us to sit while we try to entice whatever can actually live in this particular piece of hydrological nonsense.
Of course, one large, cigar-smoking American and two not-much-smaller, flaxen-haired children intent on fishing, draw the inevitable crowd.
I rumble along in my rusty Russian while my children, without so much as a ‘by your leave’, address the massed crowds in wonderfully St. Petersburg-esque tinged Russian. They relate flawlessly who we are and what we’re up to.
They never had a lesson. I went through Berlitz. Twice. They sound like natives and I sound like a doofus.
Story of my life.
“Holy shit! I got a bite!” I holler.
I’m up on a bridge, so I hand my pole down to Tash who’s standing on a landing closer to the water.
She plays the fish expertly while I run around looking for a landing net. I wasn’t expecting anything larger than a maybe kilo-sized perch, but this fish is some sort of toothy critter and looks to be a predator.
Some of the locals gather around to kibitz and add their best suggestions.
“Keep your tip up.” On suggests. Always a good idea.
“Run it back and forth to tire it out.” Another wag advises. Yeah, no. We’re fine right here on the steps leading down to the river.
“Pull harder, pull faster!” adds another kibitzer. Nahh…We don’t ‘horse’ fish back where we’re from, we ‘finesse’ them to the net.
Finally, someone comes up with a landing net and I scoop the finny critter up. Tash is beaming, her first Russian fish and by the looks of things, the largest fish she’s caught to date.
I pull the fish out of the net, and damn if it doesn’t look like a walleye from back home. Toothy, resemble a pike with their elongated body and head, and the perch with their spiny dorsal fin. I’m told it’s a zander, and as fish go, it’s highly prized as a food fish. It weighs, I surmise, about 4 or 5 kilos; not tiny but not huge either. A nice fish.
We’re not going to eat it so I ask Tash if she wants to offer it to some of our local fisher-friends. She thinks that would be a great idea. She holds up the fish and asks if anyone would like the fish as we cannot clean or cook it in our hotel room.
Immediately, and elderly Russian woman, your typical babushka, or Russian Grandmotherly-type, asks if she could have it for her dinner. Tasha agrees and hands her the floppy, fighty fish.
Both are all smiles as Tash hands Grandma her fish. She smiles widely and pats Tash on the head. She disappears so quickly we all wonder where she disappeared.
We all go back to fishing. We are catching small perch, silver goby, carp, and other mostly inedible, but scrappy little fish.
A few minutes later, Grandma reappears with a covered plate full of Russian delicacies for us in exchange for the fish. There was smoked fish, sausage, pelmeni, cheese, sliced cucumber, sliced tomatoes, a Russian potato salad; all enough for a nice mid-day feast.
I tried in my wretched Russian to say that this was all not necessary, but Khris took over the conversation and as she somehow knows that what I was saying would be construed as mildly-to-moderately insulting; she thanked Grandmamma and said she’d return with her platter tomorrow, here at the same time.
Grandmamma was beaming, she was very happy. She had her dinner and we had accepted her reward. Things were right again in the world.
We decide to curtail out piscine pursuing activities, and we rolled everything up, handed off the remainder of our live bait to some appreciative locals and went back up to our suite to await Es’ return.
Of course, we couldn’t wait and had to sample some of Grandmama’s creations.
Even though most Americans prefer their fish deep-fried and nestled between two slices of bread, this Babushka Fish was the exact opposite. It was all fresh, delectable and totally unrecognizable to our Western palates.
It wasn’t the first time we’d be blindsided by our own taste buds.
Even after Es and Tatyana return from their shopping excursions, there was enough left over to take Dima a plate home as well.
Time scurried forward. I was commuting the daily 90 miles or so, 45 to the office downtown and 45 back, leaving at a brisk 0430 the usually returning around 1800-1900 hours. It was grueling. No dedicated driver yet, that was still getting all sorted out, as we had made the move out north and west to our Expat gated community.
We received a ridiculously small 3 bedroom villa, at least, compared to some of the palatial places we had in the Middle East and Central Asia. It was enormously expensive, why-the-fuck-out-in-the-sticks, at least as compared to where I had to be each day and quite comfortable and cozy with several fireplaces, a very large heated garage where an endless supply of chopped and seasoned firewood awaited.
The girls were going to the American School of Moscow, being picked up each school morning in their Mercedes 60 passenger busses. Complete with in-bus closed-circuit television. Their trip only took 30-45 minutes per leg, depending on traffic and the weather. They got to stop before heading into the very bowels of the city of Moscow.
However, after several weeks of fiddling and fucking around, we; meaning Valsoh my driver and boon companion, and I came up with a solution. I’d take a drive to the XYZ Metro station and leave the car. I’d then take Moscow’s famous Metro right to my downtown office. This alone slice an hour or so off the morning commute, usually. In the evening, I’d reverse the trek, and take the Metro to XYZ Station, the last and closest terminal for the metro near our digs. Valosh would meet me at the station and drive me home. During the day, Valosh would have the car and drive Es, Tash, and Khris around Moscow for shopping, extracurricular trips or Khris to the Hippodrome for her horse riding lessons.
It all worked out dandy.
Well, perhaps later it did. I was still really rusty with Russian, both speaking and more importantly, reading the silly language. If you stopped in the path of the madding crowd to try and sound out the big board above the metro stations, you’d just get swept right along downstream. I ended up is some rather odd sections of town that way. Then, it’s stand in front of the big map they have at every Metro Station and try and decipher where the fuck you landed now.
There was a reason for all this. I wasn’t going to be headed downtown much more after the initial meeting with my new company. I’d be flying out of Sheremetyevo Airport for foreign lands, of Domodedovo Airport for purely internal affairs. Getting to either airport, via car or train, was super easy, barely an inconvenience, from our new home out in the sticks of northwestern Moscow.
Still, there was some time that I was left to my own devices on the Moscow Metro trains, wandering around the deep underground, purchasing strange and exotic things; odd candies for my girls. The ubiquitous flowers for my darling wife; as flowers in Russia are perhaps the number one gift there, right after vodka, and well, vodka.
I mean, when in Rome and all that…
I also got to commute with about 1.8 million of my closest friends on a daily basis. And I’m not exaggerating in the least.
It’s odd, that in the hustle and bustle of massing crowds, day after day, you start to recognize people. Eventually, you’ll give a small wave. Then, if the accident will, you say something about “Bloody late trains”. Even though the Moscow Metro was a paragon of timeliness. Then, before you know it, you’re chatting along in strangled Russia with not just a single person, but a crowd that single person runs with.
They all laughed at my attempts at Russian, but were most sympathetic and cheered that was trying to learn the language, rather than being the usual specimen of an Ugly American.
They laughed solid minutes when I finally got them to understand that I’m not an Ugly American. I’m too overqualified.
They helped me with my Russian, and also told me of the little dangers that lurked around every corner on the Moscow Metro for the uninitiated. Pickpockets. Sneak thieves. Pocket looters. Hooligans.
It was good advice, as I was charged with carrying with me a new personal laptop computer. Since this was right after the wall fell and they were not cheap items even in the west, I‘d be under the cynosure of shifty eyes wanting to sneak my laptop out of its case and back home with them.
I thanked them. I was never much for paranoid, but this was one of the first times I was living in, rather than just visiting, a city of over 13 million souls. Not every one of them was going to want to be my friend.
So, radar up, I was on a higher status of alert. Billfold in zipped front pocket, and hands-on the strap of my laptop at all times whilst on the train.
There were a batch of sneaky bastards. They’d slit your coat, since everyone was wearing a heavy coast in the winter, and help themselves to anything in the coat pockets. Or they’d slit purse strings, and when some hapless woman went to exit the train, the purse would stay behind as she was swept off onto the station’s landing. Pockets were picked, slitted, ripped, bumped; anything for a distraction. The worked deeply within the crowds and used them like natural camouflage.
I was on high alert.
For a week or so. Nothing happened, so, as usual, one’s guard goes down.
Until that one fateful Thursday.
Standing Room Only headed north to the Mitino Station when I feel something most unusual. I had a small lock on the laptop case, locking the two halves of the zipper together; it kept honest people honest.
But it made for odd vibrations as the less than the honest character had cut the vinyl of my laptop case and had his hand in the case, trying to extract the little weighty computer out of that place and under his jacket.
Unfortunately, I was a bit quicker than he was.
I spun around and grabbed his hand while it was still deep within my sundered laptop case. I clamped down on his wrist with all I was worth. The sundered zipper began cutting into his fleshy wrist and he realized he was trapped. I had the laptop cases strap around my shoulder and I had his hand and wrist pinned in the laptop case.
He wasn’t going anywhere for a while. As long as I had any say about the matter.
He did, however, yelp, scream, and howl. He insisted that I release him immediately, as he had done nothing wrong.
“«Извини, приятель. Я не понимаю по-русски».” ["Sorry, mate. I don't understand Russian."] I lied.
This did not help his demeanor a little bit.
I knew that there’d be a constable present when the train arrived at the next station; as there’s always a cop or two drifting around every time a train arrives; which is every 55-75 seconds on the Metro.
My captive buddy knew that as well. He figured even if he was caught, he could smooth or sweet talk his way out of his predicament. Not this time, Chuckles. I redoubled my efforts and clamped down on his captive wrist even harder, letting him know I may not speak Russia so well, but I sure know the protocols of dragging a hooligan to the cops.
Now my captive friend got belligerent.
Not a good move as I was fully 50 pounds heavier and a 6” or so taller than he. I growled something ursine in his direction and he immediately calmed right down. He figured he’d rather take his chances with the Militisia rather than an enraged and outsized Amercanski.
We arrived at the next station and although it wasn’t my regular stop, I’m certain it wasn’t his either as I physically dragged him off the train and over to the bored-looking cop standing next to the rather splendid fresco that occupied the far wall to this station.
“Excuse me. Officer”, I said in English. “Seems I caught this chap trying to steal my laptop. I figured you’d know what to do with him.”
The cop just stood there and looked at me blankly as I held onto to Herr Captive.
Herr Captive began running off in rapid-fire Russian accusing me of all sorts of nasty and evil tricks. All, of course, total fabrications.
Looks like I needed to double down.
"Извините меня. Сотрудник”,[Excuse me, officer.”], I said in pretty fair Russia, if do say so myself.
They both stood there goggling at me and my sudden not-too-bad-Russian language skills.
“«Этот человек, которого я поймал, пытался украсть мой ноутбук. Буду признателен, если вы возьмете этого хулигана и заключите его в тюрьму».”["This person here I caught trying to steal my laptop.I'd appreciate it if you'd take this hooligan and incarcerate him."] I said.
“You said you didn’t know Russian!”, the hooligan protested.
“Yes. But I lied.” I replied. “Just like you know no English.”
With that, the police office relieved me of my captive and slapped him in handcuffs; rather brusquely if you ask me. But no one did.
When asked if I wanted to prefer charges, I replied that since it was a company laptop and I have to make an official report on the incident; I had no choice.
With that, my friendly hooligan’s day, and in fact, next to several years probably turned rather sour.
Crime? Time? Don’t do it if you can’t spare it?
Oddly enough, apart from some corporate shenanigans later on, this was the one and only time any of us had any problems with scofflaws or hooligans. While in Russia.
To be continued. (Although slightly later than normal...)
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]


2019.06.22 05:50 EndersGame_Reviewer The Faro: A Card Shuffle and a Card Game

The Faro: A Card Shuffle and a Card Game
When you start immersing yourself into the world of playing cards, you'll soon discover that it has its own language. Before you know it, you'll be using terms that don't even exist in the average person's vocabulary! You'll find yourself talking about various cards sleights and flourishes, and the finer details of crowdfunded decks, which are purchased in "bricks", and can include "interior printing" and "embossing" courtesy of "overfunding" and "stretch goals." Fans, spreads, and shuffles are relatively easy to understand, but do you know the difference between a riffle shuffle, hindu shuffle, overhand shuffle ... and a faro shuffle?
Ah, the faro shuffle. I've always been fascinated by this technically difficult move, which involves making the halves of a deck interweave perfectly. But it's not just the name of a shuffle, because it is also the name of a popular gambling game from the 1800s. Where does this name originate from, and are there more "faro" related terms in the world of playing cards? Let's find out!

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The Faro Shuffle

Of the faros that we'll meet in today's article, the faro shuffle is probably the most well-known today, so let's start there. The faro shuffle is the most common way of referring to it, although in some places it is also called the weave shuffle or the dove-tail shuffle. It's a very impressive move, and it can be combined very naturally with some other flourishes like a waterfall or a cascade for a dramatic visual display.
The faro shuffle involves splitting the deck into exactly two equal halves of 26 cards each, and then interweaving them perfectly so that the cards from each packet alternate exactly, coming together much like a zipper. The new order of the cards after a perfect faro shuffle should always turn out exactly the same each time you do it, but this does depend on where you start the weave, and there are two different methods for this. An out-shuffle keeps the top card and bottom card in those positions, while an in-shuffle moves the top and bottom card to second from the top and bottom respectively. An interesting fact about the faro shuffle is that eight perfect out-shuffles using the faro will restore the deck to its original order exactly. You need to be a skilled card handler to do this, because you only need one tiny mistake and it won't work! Meanwhile doing 26 consecutive perfect in-shuffles will reverse the order of a complete deck, which is even harder to do without error!
Let me warn you: the faro shuffle is not an easy thing to learn! The hardest part is where the cards get weaved together, which requires pushing the cards against each other with a small amount of pressure and at just the right angle, causing them to interweave smoothly just like a zipper. It's one of those "knacky" things, that all of a sudden you'll just master, much like learning to ride a bike. Riding with training wheels can help, but in the end, you just need to launch off and hope for the best. And perhaps you'll wipe out a bunch of times, but then all of a sudden you'll figure out the knack of keeping your balance, and off you go, and you'll never look back. For many people, that's what learning the faro shuffle can be like, and that's certainly how it was for me. There are a few decent tutorials online, and I've included some links to a number of these below, including the free one by Howcast. I watched a few tutorials online, and the one I personally found the most helpful turned out to be the paid tutorial from The Virts, which included instructions for how to do the beautiful cascade as an immediate follow-up to the faro shuffle.
The type of deck you are using can also make a difference as to the ease or difficulty of doing a faro shuffle. A new deck tends to work best, while a very worn or cheap deck will often be very difficult to faro smoothly. The direction in which the cards weave together also is important, because this depends on the "cut" of the deck. This in turn is a result of how the cards were punched, which creates a tiny bevel on the edge of the cards, and the direction of this bevel will affect the direction of how the cards can be best faroed. Most Bicycle decks have a modern cut, which will faro best face down, whereas a deck with a traditional cut will faro best face up.

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The Faro Game

The game of Faro does bear some connection with the faro shuffle, the relationship being this: when a game of faro ends ends there are two equal piles that have to be combined for the next game. The method of interweaving the cards perfectly as described above was traditionally used for combining these piles, and one source says that it was originally called the "faro dealer's shuffle". If true, it means that the faro shuffle originated with the game, and only later came to be associated with card magic as we know it today. So what is this card game about?
As it turns out, Faro is a casino gambling game that originated in France in the late 17th century, and was a derivative of the gambling card game Basset (also known as Bassetta in Italian), also known as Barbacole and Hocca. The name was apparently first Pharaon, and was likely a reference to the Pharaoh picture on some French playing cards. It's not too difficult to surmise how this title later became Pharo, and eventually turned into Faro.
During the 18th century the card game of Faro was very popular in Europe. Faro was mentioned multiple times by 18th century Italian adventurer and writer Casanova in his autobiography. It also received mention in many important films, plays and novels, including Tolstoy's War and Peace. It eventually made its way to the United States, and was commonly played during the Gold Rush era, although by this time it had largely disappeared already from Europe. When gambling became legalized, Faro enjoyed great popularity in American casinos, with some even describing it as "the national card game". It appears to have been the main attraction at many gambling houses.
Faro did go out of style by the 1950s, eventually being overtaken by Poker, so it's not at all very well known today. But during its hey-day in the wild west, it was one of the most played games in the country. So if you found a group of cowboys playing a card game in a saloon, there was a good chance they would be playing Faro. It was reportedly the favourite card game of well-known 19th century names like lawman Wyatt Earp and gambler Doc Holiday. Travellers in Nevada can still visit the famous "Suicide Table" upon approaching Virginia City, which is an old faro table from the 1860s that is now a tourist attraction. This legendary table apparently led to the death of three of its owners by suicide, including "Black Jake", who gambled away his lifelong savings of $70,000 in a single evening.
So how do you play? I won't describe all the rules in detail, but you can find them in some archived websites here and here. Only one deck of cards was used, and the key moment of a game was when the banker turned up cards to match cards that were already face-up. Often called "faro bank", one player served as the banker. A standardized betting layout corresponded to the 13 values of an entire suit, and other players would bet on these values using money or chips.
The dealer would always turn up two cards at a time, and the first card turned up represented a loss for that value, while the second card always won. Players were effectively betting whether a card would lose or win, although there were some special rules and situations. Bets would be paid and collected immediately, before dealing another two cards. Losing cards would form one pile, and winning cards another - these would then be shuffled for the already mentioned "faro dealer's shuffle" at the end of a game.
Cheating was common, often leading to fights, and occasionally weapons were even pulled out and used. But there is also a non-gambling variant of Faro, called Stuss.

https://preview.redd.it/9dbqp9whyt531.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=88504f9f7020560694c15acc23334b6e61cc8b80

Other Faros

Are there other card-related Faros? I was able to find a few more, and perhaps there are others that readers can tell us about.
The Faro Playing Card Company attempted to crowdfund three custom decks in 2013, but judging by the Kickstarter pages for these projects, these didn't end very happily for the majority of customers.
Much more positive things can be said about the Faro deck which was crowdfunded by noted designer Stockholm17, and released this year. This stunning deck is a companion to his Cartomancer deck, and together these two decks make up the House of the Rising Spade set. The Faro deck is inspired by old gambling decks from the 1800s, and features cards with a one-way design and no indices, and of course fully customized artwork in Stockholm17's inimitable and classy style. Indices were a development that occurred at a later date, so at the time when the game of faro was popular, cards would typically have been indexless just like this particular deck is.
Also worth mentioning are the Faro Playing Cards from the Parnell Playing Card Company, which specializes in authentic faro playing cards and games from the Wild West. Besides selling felt faro layouts (which come with game rules), they also make available a faro deck, each packaged with a picture of a legend like Wyatt Earp. Like the House of the Rising Spade deck, these cards do not have any indices, and are intended to look like the cards from the Wild West era in which the game of Faro was popularized.
Produced more recently are Will Roya's Bicycle Edition Faro Playing Cards. This deck has Bicycle standard faces, except that in true faro style all indices are absent, creating a very satisfying, pure, and clean look. The card backs have the familiar rider-back artwork, and the cards feature the usual quality of an USPCC-produced air cushion deck.
https://preview.redd.it/xzwm4ogiyt531.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2aada501a85f1e7267170f62a59dee9f636a097a
Do you want to try the game of Faro, or are you perhaps looking for a vintage deck of playing cards that looks as if it hails from the Wild West era? Consider picking up the House of the Rising Spade Faro deck, or check out the other Vintage decks on offer.
Do you want to learn how to do the faro shuffle? Besides the instructional video from Howcast, there are plenty of other good tutorials teaching this difficult shuffle, including ones from Chris Ramsay, 52Kards, Cardistry Academy, Hester23BearsCH, Ekaterina, School of Cardistry, and lotusinhand. Don't give up too easily - it's well worth the effort required to master this classic and rewarding shuffle!
Author's note: I first published this article at PlayingCardDecks.com here.
submitted by EndersGame_Reviewer to playingcards [link] [comments]


2019.06.02 18:03 LeBlight New Dyatlov Pass Theory/Explanation

Not sure if this theory has been posted, I personally have yet to hear it. But Bedtime Stories just released the 3rd part of their Dyatlov Pass series which explains the theories/explanations of Richard Holmgren and Andreas Liljegren. This is going to be long, so I will provide a TL;DR at the bottom.
For those who are curious you can watch the series below -
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
This post is going to focus on what was covered in the third video that was released today. A quick summary of what the Dyatlov Pass Incident was -
In January 1959, nine hikers attempted to hike in the Ural Mountains to reach Mt. Ortorten. They were found roughly six miles from their destination in a forest far away from their camp site without their skis, shoes or coats. Two of the hikers had skull injuries, two more had major chest fractures and one hiker was missing her tongue. Six of the hikers apparently died of hypothermia and three died from injuries. The mystery here is how the hell did this all happen?
From here on out, I am going to quote the third part of this series word for word starting at the 8:00 mark, I want to cut to the chase as I believe a good majority of the users here already know the story. Here we go -
In January of 2019, on the sixtieth anniversary of the incident, two Swedish adventurers, Richard Holmgren and Andreas Liljegren, alongside two experienced local guides, Ekaterina Zimina and Artem Domogirov, set out on an expedition to the Kholat Syakhl in an effort to uncover the truth about exactly what happened to the Dyatlov Hikers. It was an undertaking aimed at replicating the exact challenges that the original group had faced. The expedition would hike out to the site during exactly the same time of year as the original Dyatlov group. The week between January and February, equipped with little more than a large tent and the most essential of supplies.

What they would discover during the two-week trip through some of Russia's most lonely and isolated areas would lead Holmgren to construct a new theory about what had taken place all those years before. It is one of the most grounded and plausible arguments about the Dyatlov deaths to date, and one that bears a striking resemblance to another tragedy that had previously occurred in his native Sweden. In February 1978, a group of hikers set out across the Anaris Mountains of the Valadalen Nature Reserve in Central Sweden. Tragically, eight of them would perish in similar circumstances to how their Russian counterparts did 19 years earlier. They too abandoned their camp with most of them dying from exposure and with each of their bodies being lacerated with minor injuries.

The parallels between the two incidents are so similar, in fact, it is almost eerie. Both events would involve nine hikers; seven men and two women in both cases. Both set out at pretty much the same time of year, in similar conditions. And the terrain of the Anaris Mountains, bald of trees and with smooth, gentle slopes set against an endless undulating horizon, looks almost like a mirror image of the passes south of Otorten Mountain in the Urals, where the Dyatlov hikers met their end. The reason the Swedish expedition didn't turn into yet another haunting and unsettling mystery is because, unlike the Dyatlov event, there was a lone survivor and he was able to give a first hand account of exactly what had taken place, although this was only after he had sufficiently recovered.

It is stated that the group had been well prepared, travelling across a region far less isolated than that in which the Dyatlov Pass victims were found and they had only been missing for a relatively short period of time. Rescuers found the bodies at intervals leading away from a small, hastily dug ditch which was stained red with fresh blood. It was clear that whatever fate had befallen them must have been swift and brutal in its nature. As it transpired, the party had spent most of the day skiing and were coming to a point where they would stop to make camp when the weather swiftly deteriorated. The group was suddenly hit by freezing cold temperatures as wind speeds drastically increased, forcing the skiers to construct a hasty shelter in an effort to shield themselves from the deadly elements.

Despite having been well equipped, they were already exhausted from their exploits earlier in the day. The freezing temperatures created by the relentless winds meant that the beleaguered skiers were quickly incapacitated. Only six of them managed to make it into a shallow trench they had dug in the snow. The other three, including the one who would survive, were left outside for dead. All attempts to fix some form of roof or cover over the trench failed, as the lashing winds ripped and tore away at whatever they tried to utilize. With their hands frozen and bleeding profusely from digging the trench, they were unable to retrieve vital clothing or equipment from their bags, and one by one they eventually succumbed to the effects of hypothermia. The shelter they had created in order to survive was instead slowly becoming their grave.

During Holmgren and Liljergren's 2019 epedition to Dyatlov Pass, the anniversary visit would also fall victim to several sudden and violent changes in weather patterns, resulting in low temperatures and short but dangerous periods of extreme conditions. The team would later learn that in the night immediately after they had left the area, temperatures had rapidly dropped a further 15 degrees centigrade, leading Holmgren to theorize that the Dyatlov hikers may have been killed by the same thing that took the lives of the Swedish skiers almost 20 years later. Something known as a Katabatic wind.

Katabatic translated from the Greek word 'Katabatikos,' meaning 'Descending.' It is also known as a "gravity wind" or a "downslope wind." This occurs when air of a higher density is carried down the slopes of a glacial area, rapidly cooling and increasing in the intensity as it moves. In most cases, Katabatic winds are rather mild, but if the conditions are just right, they can turn into a hurricane force onslaughts, which are far more deadly. They are also difficult to predict as they are localized events often missed on wider forecasts and do not require any other type of accompanying weather condition in order to form. With this in mind, Holmgren would go on to propose the following scenario -

All available evidence suggested that the Dyatlov group had travelled a great distance on Feb. 1st and had not stopped to rest until late in the afternoon. When their tent was eventually located, it was clear that it had been pitched laterally to the ground, as opposed to angled towards the gradient and had been fastened in place with standing skies rather than anything heavier or more secure. As the group settled in for the night, the first they would have known about any sudden and unexpected weather event would have been an immediate onslaught of wind on the canvas of their tent.

The murderous conditions would have likely collapsed the shelter, which was also in danger of blowing away in the gale force winds. So instead of wasting time fumbling with the buttoned entrance, they more likely cut their way out of the tent for the sake of speed, knowing full well that they could repair it later on. The group would then have used their hands to shovel snow on top of it in an effort to prevent their only shelter from being carried away. In fact, the rescue team found a torch on top of this piled snow, which they believed was used as a beacon, so that the group could find their way back to camp after the storm had abated. They then made their way down the slope to seek shelter in the trees, not knowing how long the conditions would last.

The ferocity and strength of the winds may even have been substantial enough to pick up loose items on the ground, such as small rocks and foliage, hurling them towards the fleeing hikers. The would account for the minor injuries to the faces and upper bodies of the five members found in the vicinity of the treeline. In any case, the group now found themselves over a mile away from their tent, dressed in little more than light clothing. And by this point, their fate had already been sealed. Holmgren points to the fact that three of the bodies, those of Kolmogorova, Slobodin, and Dyatlov himself, were found with the snow surrounding them packed in very tight layers. He theorizes that this may indicate the three hikers had collapsed out in the open, whilst still being relentlessly battered by the heavy winds that were descending upon them from above and had frozen to death where they fell.

Working on the assumption that the other members of the group had managed to push on, Holmgren goes on to divide the fate of the last six into two distinct sub groups - He believes that after pausing for a short time under the shelter of the nearby cedar trees, Doroshenko an Krivonischenko must have taken responsibility for the construction of a fire. While the other found hikers set to build two bivouacs. after descending into the ravine, which would shelter them until after the unexpected winds had finally subsided. With their unprotected limbs and extremities half-frozen by the biting weather conditions, the chance of the two men having been able to build and light a fire would have been minimal. Yet both of their bodies were found with significant burns, which indicated they had successfully achieved this goal prior to passing away. It is likely that even with the amount of heat and warmth that the fire was generating, their bodies were already too damaged and paralyzed by the cold to ultimately survive. One of Krivonishchenko's knuckles was torn and bloody where he had been biting it in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to stay conscious. Both had suffered head and facial injuries from where the had eventually slumped lifelessly forward into the flames, which they had hoped would be their salvation.

In contrast to the futile efforts of the Anaris victims in 1978, the snow shelters that were constructed by the remaining Dyatlov group members would have provided them with an effective means of waiting out the howling gale that had descended upon them. Rather than simply digging into the first loose snow that they found, they instead descended into the cover of the ravine, unaware of the deaths of their two companions, as they had labored to hollow out two good sized bivouacs in the snow. There was no evidence to suggest that they had taken the time or effort to lay a protective carpet of foliage in either construction and so it is likely that they had all been huddling together inside one of the shelters, trying to seek some immediate respite from the situation, when fate struck them one of the cruelest of blows. In a heartbeat, the bivouac's ceiling collapsed under the weight of the tightly packed snow that lay on top of it, crushing and killing the last remaining team members. From the frozen and well preserved positions of the four hikers when they were recovered, still buried deep under four metres of snow, it was clear that they would have had no time to react to the tragedy that befell them, with Zolotaryov found still holding a pen and paper in his hands, killed before he even had time to write down whatever he had been hoping to commit to posterity. Dubinina's body was found a short distance away from the others, having sustained catastrophic injuries to her chest and rib cage. Holmgren theorizes that she must have been leaning halfway into the entrance to the bivouac, possibly in the act of crawling inside, when tragedy had struck. Her entire upper torso was crushed, but her body subsequently slipped back and had been washed by meltwater away from the others, before freezing again. The scenario presented by Holmgren comfortably accounts for the injuries which were found on each of the bodies, their severity dependent upon which group they had been a part of.
TL;DR - It was Katabatic Winds, which are downslope winds that have the ability to cause hurricane like conditions. The two individuals who created this theory, Richard Holmgren and Andreas Liljegren, came up with it when a similar situation happened to hikers in Sweden, but in that case, one of the hikers survived to tell the tale of how the others died.
Anyhoo, that was long. I want to give a shout out to Bedtime Stories, (One of my favorite YT channels) for creating the series and to Richard Holmgren and Andreas Liljegren for coming up with the theory. What do you guys think?
submitted by LeBlight to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2019.03.15 22:56 idonotknow9 FAMA FRENCH replication

I have tried following the Python WRDS / CRSP model here:

https://wrds-www.wharton.upenn.edu/pages/support/applications/risk-factors-and-industry-benchmarks/fama-french-factors-python/

And also the R version here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxvBvE2V-dFTVnZuLUFhZWNuazA/view

I have a WRDS account but in both models I run into an error at the part:

In R:

res <- dbSendQuery(wrds,"select GVKEY, LPERMNO, LINKDT, LINKENDDT, LINKTYPE, LINKPRIM from crsp.ccmxpf_lnkhist") data.ccmlink <- dbFetch(res, n = -1)

In Python

ccm=conn.raw_sql(""" select gvkey, lpermno as permno, linktype, linkprim, linkdt, linkenddt from crsp.ccmxpf_linktable where substr(linktype,1,1)='L' and (linkprim ='C' or linkprim='P') """) ccm['linkdt']=pd.to_datetime(ccm['linkdt']) ccm['linkenddt']=pd.to_datetime(ccm['linkenddt']) # if linkenddt is missing then set to today date ccm['linkenddt']=ccm['linkenddt'].fillna(pd.to_datetime('today'))

It has something to do with the database crsp.ccmxpf_lnkhist or crsp.ccmxpf_linktable being a premium database which my account does not have access to. Does anybody know of a solution to this problem?

Is the problem with linking the CRSP prices with the COMPUSTAT database?
Ekaterina Volkova does a decent job in trying to link the CUSIP ID and CIK codes issues by the SEC using 13D and Schedule 13G filings. I have checked these with the COMPUSTAT data and it does a decent job but some codes do not match at all.
https://sites.google.com/view/evolkova/data-cik-cusip-link

Any comments on how to navigate around this issue would be great!

Notes: https://volkovanotes.wordpress.com/
submitted by idonotknow9 to quant [link] [comments]


2019.03.05 03:57 Lavarider117 Rurik the dwarf is not a ladies man; and may be vampire food

A long time ago I was playing in a curse of strahd game. I was playing as Rurik the dwarf who by my own fault probably was played a lot stupider than he should have been. But I was young then.
The game began with the fog and the gate and the usual fanfare for the town of Barovia . Beset by werewolves and fleeing for our lives we enter the town finally safe.
New player joins here in the town... begins to go murder hobo... rurik and couple other party members detain him. He breaks free and triggers a random encounter with a swarm of bats. We hide in a house. Murder hobo proceeds to break all the windows in the house till we detain and hog-tie murder hobo. Push dressers in front of windows till encounter passes.
Murder hobo stops playing with us due to scheduling or consequences of his actions not being fun (doesn’t matter my turn to be stupid next)
Enter Ekaterina (not sure if it’s still her or she was renamed in our game or what) but this was apparently the woman strahd was trying to woo to not be so lonely. My first action however is to hit on her by saying “you know pretty lady not everything about dwarves are small”
She gets grossed out. Strahd gets mad. Cue Benny hill music as my dwarf starts running from everything strahd does to make the dwarves life miserable.
To date he has since survived multiple lightening strikes, almost drowning in the river when a party member pushed him in. Ran through 2 burning buildings. Escaped strahds domain (never to return) helped fight for his fathers kingdom against a necromancer and got cursed healed and cursed again after becoming a king.
I have since retired rurik and the schizophrenic voices in his head (see curse)
submitted by Lavarider117 to dndstories [link] [comments]


2019.01.24 06:36 anastaie Scp-5688 draft 2.0

Item number: 5688 Object class: thaumiel Special containment procedures: due to scp-5688s immense knowledge of SCPs she is to be a researcher at site 19 and is to be granted level 5 security clearance however all interactions with Keter class scp is to be overseen by no less than 5 security personnel. During the event of a containment breach by and scp at site 19 scp-5688 is to be dispatched for recontainment and the site evacuated. Description: scp-5688 is a caucasian woman approximately 162 centimeters tall with a weighing of 74kg And estimated to be 200,000 years old. Scp-5688 is dressed in a dark purple cloak and veil that covers the bottom jaw and nose. Scp-5688s hair resembles vines however retain the texture of human hair. Scp-5688 shows class IV reality bending abilities these include the ability to physically control the body movements of subjects, victims claim that they where conscious for the experience but had lost control of all motor functions, there is no known way to counteract these affects. Scp-5688 also possesses the ability to walk through all solid surfaces, create or manipulate objects all objects in a 50km radius and has a nurturing affect on all wildlife and fauna she interacts with, plant life in a 10km radius of scp-5688 experiences a period of rapid growth while trees develop an unknown species of flower described as extremely colourful and beautiful, in approximately 34% of flower growths the flower will produce a small pear like fruit that induces rapid healing in subjects who eat the fruit. Dead plant life in scp-5688s affected area will seemingly revert to peak health. Scp-5688 has knowledge of every scp in the foundation custody and undiscovered. When asked about this she responded “I was there when they came, when they where made”, she ignored all attempts too elaborate. See addendum 2688-2. Scp-5688 has shown great compliance with the foundation and willingness to help in foundation endeavors Addendum 2688-1: scp-2688 is not to be allowed contact with any scp related to the “broken god” see incident 2688. Incident 2688: on date redacted scp-5688 was given contact to scp-redacted. Scp-5688 seemed drawn to scp-redacted. Upon contact with scp-redacted scp-5688 went into a comatose state and didn’t wake up for 2 weeks, she didn’t respond to any questions about this event Addendum 5688-2: interview log. Interviewed: dr glass. Interviewed: scp-5688 Playing log Glass: good day 5688 5688: please call me ekaterina Glass: right, anyways I have a few questions for you if you don’t mind. 5688: right Glass: what did you mean when you said you witnessed the creation of SCPs there is a brief silence Glass: ekaterina? 5688: I’d rather not disclose that Glass: why not? 5688: that’s not of your concern, trust me you rather not know. Glass: what do you mean? 5688: nothing Glass: well how did you come to be? 5688 is shown sifting in her chair 5688: I don’t know Glass: you don’t know? 5688: look all I know is there was a battle, between what I don’t know but after that battle I was born, came into existence rather. I don’t know. Glass: a battle? Like a fight? 5688: yea that’s what battle means Glass: I see, goodbye ekaterina End log
by order of 05 council. the following file is subject level 5 classification ==level 5 clearance required== -please input security credentials-
Addendum 5688-3: the following is a note found on 05-redacted desk shortly after dr. Glasses interview with scp 5688.
my name is ekaterina zariash, scp-5688. I am the daughter of yaldaboth, niece of mekhane. I was born when mekhane killed my mother and she created me. I don’t know why, I suspect it was so that I would one day bring her back. Don’t worry, I know what she did, I won’t bring her back, at least I won’t. My brothers and sisters born for the same, I don’t know about them. Yes there are more of me, that’s why I’m sending you this note, I want to warn you. That day mekhane and yaldaboths battle didn’t end, both gods created there children and both set in place a plan to be reborn. there battle will start again. When that day comes, the scarlet king or deer god will be the least of you problems. And when that day comes, I will fight with you
submitted by anastaie to SCP [link] [comments]


2019.01.11 19:28 bekkahthecactus18 10 Years of the Australian Open: 2009-2013

On the eve of the 107th Edition of the Australian Open, I wanted to take some time to go down memory lane. So here we go, Part 1 and 2009-2013.
2009: Rafa’s Hardcourt Dreams Realised: Was it was the epic, high-level 5 hour, 14 minute semi-final between eventual Champion Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco, or the tears of Roger Federer during the trophy ceremony that provided the most poignant moment of the championships? Despite these notable moments occurring in the final few days of the tournament, the journey to this point cannot be forgotten. After his heroics of the previous year, 3rd seed Novak Djokovic returned to Melbourne Park as defending champion, but it wasn’t to be his year, retiring in the quarter-final against Andy Roddick, down 2 sets to 1, due to heat exhaustion. Roddick would then have his hopes ended (as usual, sadly for him), by Roger Federer in the next round. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had lost the final in the previous year, made a valiant attempt to repeat his success, but was halted by Verdasco in 4 sets, again in the quarterfinal. Bernard Tomic, the defending boy’s champion, won in his main-draw debut, before falling in the 2nd round to Gilles Muller. Juan Martin Del Potro, who would of course have major success later that year, was totally dismantled by Federer in the quarterfinal- but no worry for him, he would eventually get his revenge in the biggest match of his career. Tomas Berdych defeated Stanislas Wawrinka(as he was then known) in the 3rd round- but Stan would exact his revenge years later. This tournament was the first time that Rafael Nadal had finally reached a Major final on hardcourt- and after his epic semi-final match, many believed Federer to be the favourite. 5 hours on court 2 days before a major final- surely, it couldn’t be anything but detrimental? But when you’re 22 with a heart of a lion, you can defy logic. You can go for another 4 hours and 23 minutes, 5 more sets, and hand the then 3-time champion his third devastating Slam final loss in 8 months, who was on the hunt for a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam Title. His first and only Australian Open title to date, Rafael Nadal showed the world that he wasn’t just a natural surfaces specialist- he could win majors on all 3 surfaces. On the women’s side, defending champion Maria Sharapova failed to defend her title- withdrawing before the first ball was struck with a shoulder injury. However, her compatriots ensured that Russia would be a prominent force in the tournament- and with 3 Russians in the final 4 for the first time, Russian tennis was guaranteed a finalist for the third year running. It could have been a Russian clean sweep in the semi-finals, had Svetlana Kuznetsova capitalised on a set and 5-3 lead against Serena Williams, but it wasn’t to be. No worries for her though, she would taste Grand Slam success for a second time just a few months later. Elena Dementieva was no match for Serena in the semi-finals, and neither was Dinara Safina in the final, who had battled past Vera Zvonareva in her semi-final. The final didn’t even last an hour- Serena had won her 10th Slam singles title, her 4th in Melbourne, and returned to world no.1 a few days later. Her sister, Venus Williams beat future champion Angelique Kerber in the first round, before having a surprise loss to eventual quarterfinalist, the unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro. Another future champion, Victoria Azarenka, fell to Serena in the 4th round, but not before defeating future Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova and former champion Amelie Mauresmo on the way. Serena and Venus took the women’s doubles title against Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama, and the Bryan Twins took home the men’s doubles title.
2010: Roger Makes it 4: The men’s tournament didn’t even make it 2 days without a major surprise upset. French Open finalist Robin Soderling lost in the first round against Marcel Granollers, despite having a 2 sets to 0 advantage. Former quarterfinalist James Blake unknowingly competed in his final Australian Open, losing to the newest member of the slam-winning club, Juan Martin Del Potro. His efforts ended with a 10-8 loss in the final set. DelPo would lose to an future finalist and fellow US Open Champion, Marin Cilic in 5 close sets in the 4th round. Cilic’s path to the SF included future champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the 3rd round, wildcard Bernard Tomic in 5 sets, and the “Magician” Fabrice Santoro, in the first round, who played his final slam match. He squeaked past Andy Roddick in the QF, having to weather the Roddick storm, who had battled back from 2 sets to 0 down. He won the first set against perpetual finalist Andy Murray, who himself had an impressive run, including a win by retirement over defending champion Rafael Nadal, who’s knees had forced him to call it quits. Murray also recorded wins over future marathon men, qualifier Kevin Anderson in the first round, and 33rd seed John Isner in the 4th round. The other semi-final was contested between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The former had a rocky start to the championships, losing the first set in the first round to Igor Andreev but recovered to win in 4. He also beat home favourite Lleyton Hewitt in the 4th round, and had to battle past Nikolay Davydenko in the QF. Tsonga, however, didn’t have the easiest time, requiring 9-7 in the final set to defeat Nicolas Almagro in the 4th round, despite being 2 sets to 0 up, but he exacted sweet revenge on the man who had crushed his dreams in the 2008 final, 3rd seed Novak Djokovic, winning in 5 sets to set up a SF meeting with Federer. He wasn’t to reach another slam final, however, and fell in straight sets to the 15 time slam champion. (It appears that in the 3rd Round, Novak Djokovic took his anti-Istomins and crushed the Uzbek in straight sets. Denis Istomin would one day exact his revenge…). For Andy Murray, the final was a sign of things to come. Defeat in straight sets meant that Federer took his 16th Slam title and 4th in Australia. In the ladies’ tournament, Serena Williams defended her title, beating the unranked Justine Henin in the final in 3 sets. China saw 2 women in the semi-finals, future champion Li Na, who was edged out in 2 tiebreak sets by Serena (probably exacting revenge on Venus Williams’ behalf, who had lost to Li Na just the match before), and Zheng Jie, who… didn’t get so close, losing 0 and 1 to Henin. Interestingly enough, Serena’s path to the title included 5 women who were either past or future slam champions. Petra Kvitova in the 2nd round, Samantha Stosur in the 4th round, Victoria Azarenka in the QF, and of course, Li Na and Henin in the SF and F respectively. It was also the first time since 2003 that Maria Sharapova failed to win her opening match at a slam, falling to compatriot Maria Kirilenko in a match that lasted over 3 hours. The Williams Sisters also defended their doubles title, defeating Cara Black/Liezel Huber in the final, and the Bryan Twins also defended.
2011: The Start of Novak’s Dominance: Rafael Nadal was aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver to hold all 4 slam titles at once, but it wasn’t to be, after suffering a straight-sets loss to David Ferrer in the QF. Alexandr Dolgopolov was a surprise QFist, after taking out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively, and both in 5 sets, but he lost to defending finalist Andy Murray in 4 sets. Stanislas Wawrinka also made the QF for the second slam in a row, but fell to compatriot Roger Federer in straight sets. Gilles Simon gave Federer much trouble in the 2nd round, forcing a 5th set after being 2 sets to 0 down, but couldn’t complete the upset (Federer let off the hook that time. Wimbledon and US Open wouldn’t be so much fun). Tomas Berdych lost to Novak Djokovic in the QF (revenge for Wimbledon 2010). Djokovic swept aside the defending champion in the SF, and set up a meeting in the final with Murray, who had come back from a set down against Ferrer. Once again, Murray lost in straight sets in the championship match, this time to Novak Djokovic. He would still have belief that he would raise the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup aloft one day- and so did we. In the Ladies’ tournament, defending Champion Serena Williams couldn’t defend either of her 2 titles, withdrawing due to a foot injury. Two women who love a long, complicated match competed in the longest ever women’s slam match in the 4th round, which lasted 4 hours and 44 minutes, ending 16-14 in the 3rd set. Francesca Schiavone got the better of Svetlana Kuznetsova that time, and anyone else would have been utterly spent, but not Schiavone. She proceeded to take a set off the top seed and future champion Caroline Wozniacki in the QF, but fell in 3 sets. Wozniacki lost in the next round to Li Na, who reached the final for the first time- making her the first Asian player to reach a singles slam final. Asia would have to wait only a few more months for a single slam champion, as it was ”Aussie” Kim Clijsters who came back from a set down in the final to win her 4th and Final slam title. The tennis world unknowingly said goodbye to 2 former no.1s: 2004 AO Champion Justine Henin lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 3rd round. She would later announce her second and final retirement later that year due to an elbow injury. 2009 finalist Dinara Safina lost her final slam match to the eventual champion- and didn’t win a single game. A back injury forced her into retirement, with the unfortunate note of being a slamless former world No.1. Vera Zvonareva found herself in the SF once again, but couldn’t take a set off of Clijsters. As the Williams sisters couldn’t defend their doubles title, it was Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta who won the title, defeating Victoria Azarenka/Maria Kirilenko in the final. In the Men’s doubles, it was the Bryan Twins who made it 3 in a row- the all Indian pairing of Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes were their final victims there.
2012: The Never-Ending Final: Before we get to that final… Kei Nishikori made it to the QF of a major for the first time, before losing to Andy Murray in straight sets. David Ferrer also made another QF, but couldn’t handle the defending Champion, Novak Djokovic, and suffered the same fate. Juan Martin Del Potro enjoyed success to make it to the QF for the first time since 2009, having battled a wrist injury and struggled on his return back to the tour in 2011. Roger Federer sent the gentle giant packing, and advanced to the SF to face his rival, Rafael Nadal, who had in turn battled from a set down against Tomas Berdych. Both semi-finals were greatly anticipated from the time the draw was made, and didn’t disappoint. In the first semi-final, Federer was attempting to defeat Nadal at a major for the first time since the 2007 Wimbledon Final, but it turned out that the first set tiebreak would be all he would win. Nadal advanced to the final in 4 sets, his eye on a second Australian Open title. The second semi-final, a rematch of final from 2011, yielded the same result: Djokovic def. Murray. This time, it went to 5 sets, and Andy was as close as he’d ever been against Djokovic at Melbourne Park. Up 2 sets to 1, recovered from 2-5 down in the final set to have 3 break points at 5-5 to serve for a place in the final, but alas- Djokovic proved too defiant, and broke in the final game to win 7-5 in the 5th. It was becoming clear that only a superhuman effort could dethrone the Serb in Melbourne. Nadal had an extra day’s rest for the final, and with Djokovic's 4 hour 50 minute semi-final just 2 days prior, he appeared to have a good chance at removing some of the scar tissue from the previous 2 slam finals that he’d appeared in- both which were a loss to Djokovic. What followed on that Sunday evening in Melbourne turned into a war of attrition. Neither men could stand during the trophy ceremony, and after 5 hours and 53 minutes of gruelling and grinding tennis, who could blame them? It was Novak Djokovic, recovering from a break down at 4-2 in the final set to win 7-5, a forehand winner sealing the deal. He collapsed onto the ground, roaring at the camera, hugged Nadal, and then ripped off his shirt, slapping his bare chest. The body that had failed him so many times in the past had carried him to a famous, epic victory. While the Women’s final wasn’t so epic- in fact, it was the polar opposite, with Victoria Azarenka crushing Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 6-0 to win her first Grand Slam title, and reach world no.1 for the first time. The Belorussian defeated the defending Champion, Kim Clijsters, in her final Australian Open, whilst Sharapova had defeated then-Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova to reach the final. Serena Williams, back in Australia, lost to Ekaterina Makarova in the 4th round. Sloane Stephens also made her Australian Open Main-draw Debut, and would go on to do incredible things the following year. The All-Russian pairing of Svetlana Kuznetsova/Vera Zvonareva beat the defending champions Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta in the 3rd round of the womens doubles, and went on to take the title, beating Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci in the final. The Bryan Twins failed to make it 4 in a row in the Men’s Doubles, with Leander Paes teaming up with Radek Stepanek to get his revenge on the Americans in the final.
2013: Andy falls short again: First things first, yes. Novak Djokovic won again, but he didn’t have it easy. 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka pushed the Serb to the brink in the 4th round- but came up short, 12-10 in the 5th set. Tomas Berdych also took a set from the 2-time defending champion in the QF, but he couldn’t hold on. David Ferrer didn’t stand a chance in the SF, meaning that Novak Djokovic was back in the final for the 3rd year running- a chance to become the first man in the open era to win the AO 3 times in a row. On the other side of the draw, 2nd seeded Roger Federer had a pretty simple first week, as he usually has- expending as little energy as necessary. However, in the QF, that came to an abrupt end as he battled with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for 5 sets, before prevailing. Andy Murray had taken a leaf out of Federer’s book and enjoyed a pretty straightforward run to the SF, including a straight-sets win over Jeremy Chardy in the QF, who had reached that stage of a major for the first time- but Federer and the Brit would go the distance- 4 hours was needed for Murray to reach his 3rd consecutive slam final, defeating Federer for the first and only time at a Slam. The Final began with Djokovic and Murray splitting tie-break sets, but it became clear that Djokovic wasn’t going to let Norman go. An all-too familiar sight was plastered on the back page of British newspapers on Monday morning- Murray with the runner-up plate; Djokovic with the AO trophy. His heroics both at the Olympics the year before and at Flushing Meadows weeks after, however, could never be forgotten. Victoria Azarenka was the defending champion on the women’s side, and successfully defended her title, breaking Chinese hearts in the final, defeating Li Na from a set down. This tournament was also notable for the breakthrough of future slam champion Sloane Stephens, who made an unprecedented run to the semi-finals, including a 6-1, 6-1 victory over unseeded Simona Halep in the First Round, Laura Robson in the 3rd round, and most notably, coming back from a set down against Serena Williams in the QF to set up a clash with Azarenka. Of course, it wasn’t her time just yet, but she proved to the tennis world that she was one to keep an eye on. Though she lost in the final, Li Na took out names such as Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Sharapova in straight sets. It would only be a year before the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific would have a singles champion from Asia. The ladies’ doubles was won by the all-Italian pairing of Roberta Vinci//Sara Errani, breaking Aussie hearts and defeating Casey Dellacqua/Ashleigh Barty in the final, whilst the Bryan Twins claimed the men’s doubles title for a 6th time.
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2018.11.14 14:13 artkld39 DEEX — New Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange

DEEX — New Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange
With the rapid growth cryptocurrencies over the last few years, the number of people showing interest in cryptocurrencies has expanded rapidly. In the initial stages of the crypto economic development, centralized exchanges were the more preferred option because they are easy to use, easy to access, and provide advanced trading functions such as margin trading, stop-loss, lending and others. However, these centralized systems are exposed to a number of risks such as security threats, unfair competition, danger of sanctions, political factors, and much more. Till date, the amount of stolen customer funds from centralized exchanges amounts to almost $500 million.
DEEX promises to solve this problem by building the world’s first decentralized exchange with functional benefits close to a centralized exchange, but without its permanent security threats and sanction risks.
What is Deex?
Deex is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange preparing to launch in the near future. The exchange conducted a pre-sale and token sale in January 2018. As of January 16, 2018, the company’s token sale has raised over 4,000 ETH, with a total of 2.4 million deex tokens sold.
When the exchange launches, Deex plans to offer 10 cryptocurrencies available for trading, including bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins. The goal is to create a “reliable and convenient” platform where users can quickly trade cryptocurrencies using common fiat currency deposit methods available in their countries.
The long-term goal of Deex is to create more than just an exchange: the team wants to create an entire decentralized financial ecosystem.
The token sale for deex tokens began on January 10, 2018. A closed pre-sale took place towards the end of 2017.
The platform is actively in development by a Russia-based team.

https://preview.redd.it/n8h3tb5dqay11.jpg?width=757&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=754151fbd54b508e40d2613cb0e9e88ab3ba5661
Who’s Behind Deex?
Deex is led by Vladislav Sapozhnikov, the founder of Preprocessing Ltd and representative of Coinsbank in Russia. Other listed members of the team include Maya Zotova-Hess, Denis Soldatov, Yuri Milyukov, Andrey Girin, Ekaterina Tarasova, and Tatyana Maksimenko.
Deex Exchange ICO Conclusion
Deex is a decentralized exchange built on the BitShares 2.0 platform. The goal of the exchange is to avoid the problems related to centralized exchanges, including security threats, unfair competition, dangers of sanctions, political factors, and more.
The platform is scheduled to be developed between February and December 2018, with a fully functional decentralized ecosystem launching in late 2018 or early 2019. To learn more about Deex, visit online today at Deex.exchange.
Official links:
Website
Telegram
Reddit
Youtube
____________________
The article is written by artur2403
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2018.05.14 23:04 autotldr Barnier Tells EU Governments ‘Not Much Progress’ in Brexit Talks

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 16%. (I'm a bot)
The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the bloc's governments Monday that separation talks with the U.K. remain stalled, with disagreements ranging from the Irish border to who should rule on disputes over the withdrawal agreement.
"The Council was informed that not much progress has been made" since the last meeting of EU leaders in March, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told reporters in Brussels after an update from Barnier.
Emphasizing the hurdles ahead, she noted that the October deadline both sides want to meet is "Only five months from now" and called for "More intensive engagement" from the U.K. in coming weeks.
Lack of progress on how to keep the Irish border open after Brexit, whether the European Court of Justice will still have a role in British affairs and "All remaining separation issues" could sour talks on the future relationship between the two sides, Zaharieva signaled.
Zaharieva, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, dismissed May's proposals for a bespoke customs arrangement between the EU and the U.K, saying that "If they want to be part of the customs union, the customs union should be as it is now." She also reiterated that the EU sees current U.K. proposals on Ireland as a recipe for a "Hard border."
She said leaders need to make progress at that meeting and October is the "Last possible" date to agree on the terms for an orderly Brexit.
Summary Source FAQ Feedback Top keywords: Brexit#1 U.K#2 meet#3 Zaharieva#4 customs#5
Post found in /worldnews.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
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2018.04.12 16:47 PneumaticPtarmigan Ranking the Top 100 Women's Singles players at Grand Slams since 2000 [OC]

A few weeks ago, I wrote a thing on ranking the top 100 ATP players in Grand Slams in the 21st century. I mentioned then I was going to do a similar thing for the WTA, which I've now finished.
694 players have played in the main draw of a Women's Singles event in a Grand Slam since 2000 (compared to 739 in the mens.)
I was unsure on what ranking system to use, as like the ATP, the WTA rankings have changed significantly over the years with how they allocate points to Slams. In 2018, the WTA assigns points as 2000 (W), 1300 (F), 780 (SF), 430 (QF), 240 (R16), 130 (R32), 70 (R64), 10 (R128).
In the end, I decided to use the same point system as I used for the ATP. It's fairly similar anyway, and doing it this way allows for direct comparison between the two.
Winner - 2000
Final - 1200
Semi-Finals - 720
Quarter-Finals - 360
Round of 16 - 180
Round of 32 - 90
Round of 64 - 45
Round of 128 - 10
 
Top 100 Players
The top 100 WTA grand slam players of the 21st century, using this points system, are listed below. The number in brackets shows the number of tournaments entered during this time. Note that although a fair number of the players made their debut before 2000, this study only looks at the competitions after 2000.
 
1: Serena Williams - 61155 (59)
2: Venus Williams - 34255 (66)
3: Maria Sharapova - 27820 (51)
4: Justine Henin - 25970 (33)
5: Kim Clijsters - 20965 (33)
6: Svetlana Kuznetsova - 15365 (60)
7: Lindsay Davenport - 14370 (25)
8: Victoria Azarenka - 14155 (42)
9: Jennifer Capriati - 13040 (19)
10: Amélie Mauresmo - 12985 (36)
11: Elena Dementieva - 11685 (43)
12: Caroline Wozniacki - 11390 (43)
13: Li Na - 11310 (33)
14: Ana Ivanovic - 10510 (48)
15: Angelique Kerber - 10470 (41)
16: Agnieszka Radwańska - 10455 (47)
17: Petra Kvitová - 10110 (38)
18: Jelena Janković - 9610 (57)
19: Francesca Schiavone - 8985 (69)
20: Samantha Stosur - 8835 (57)
21: Martina Hingis - 8425 (17)
22=: Simona Halep - 7760 (31)
22=: Nadia Petrova - 7760 (52)
24: Vera Zvonareva - 7725 (40)
25: Marion Bartoli - 7530 (47)
26: Garbiñe Muguruza - 7435 (21)
27: Dinara Safina - 7355 (33)
28: Flavia Pennetta - 7175 (49)
29: Mary Pierce - 6565 (22)
30: Daniela Hantuchová - 6085 (61)
31: Dominika Cibulková - 5755 (41)
32: Ekaterina Makarova - 5510 (42)
33: Sara Errani - 5400 (40)
34: Patty Schnyder - 5340 (45)
35: Anastasia Myskina - 5230 (27)
36: Lucie Šafářová - 4945 (50)
37: Sloane Stephens - 4860 (24)
38: Carla Suárez Navarro - 4750 (37)
39: Sabine Liscki - 4720 (35)
40: Roberta Vinci - 4360 (52)
41: Madison Keys - 4200 (22)
42: Eugenie Bouchard - 3950 (20)
43: Maria Kirilenko - 3755 (43)
44: Nicole Vaidišová - 3740 (20)
45: Karolína Plíšková - 3700 (23)
46: Zheng Jie - 3585 (40)
47: Ai Sugiyama - 3500 (40)
48=: Monica Seles - 3475 (11)
48=: Conchita Martínez - 3475 (23)
50: Kaia Kanepi - 3470 (38)
51: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - 3305 (41)
52: Elena Likhovtseva - 3285 (32)
53=: Timea Bacsinszky - 3275 (30)
53=: Peng Shuai - 3275 (46)
55: Andrea Petkovic - 3125 (33)
56: Tsvetana Pironkova - 3070 (47)
57: Elena Vesnina - 2980 (48)
58: Shahar Pe'er - 2955 (36)
59: Nathalie Dechy - 2930 (39)
60: Coco Vandeweghe - 2905 (29)
61: Jelena Dokic - 2820 (29)
62: Anna Chakvetadze - 2790 (28)
63: Paola Suárez - 2780 (21)
64=: Jeļena Ostapenko - 2760 (11)
64=: Alizé Cornet - 2760 (48)
66: Yanina Wickmayer - 2610 (39)
67: Yaroslava Shvedova - 2555 (36)
68: Virginie Razzano - 2520 (58)
69: Tamarine Tanasugarn - 2510 (47)
70: Silvia Farina Elia - 2425 (23)
71=: Elina Svitolina - 2390 (22)
71=: Barbora Strýcová - 2390 (47)
73: Johanna Konta - 2385 (17)
74: Anabel Medina Garrigues - 2290 (47)
75: Katarina Srebotnik - 2125 (36)
76: Julia Görges - 2115 (40)
77: Lisa Raymond - 2105 (28)
78: Meghann Shaughnessy - 2100 (33)
79=: Chanda Rubin - 2085 (18)
79=: Kirsten Flipkens - 2085 (37)
81=: Magdalena Maleeva - 2030 (24)
81=: Sorana Cîrstea - 2030 (37)
83: Magdaléna Rybáriková - 1965 (38)
84: Gisela Dulko - 1900 (33)
85: Virginia Ruano Pascual - 1875 (35)
86: Tathiana Garbin - 1845 (44)
87: Mirjana Lučić-Baroni - 1840 (37)
88: Alicia Molik - 1780 (35)
89: Varvara Lepchenko - 1700 (38)
90: Kristina Mladenovic - 1680 (29)
91: Arantxa Sánchez Vicario - 1650 (10)
92: Eleni Daniilidou - 1605 (38)
93: Kateryna Bondarenko - 1590 (34)
94: Caroline Garcia - 1575 (24)
95: Fabiola Zuluaga - 1560 (15)
96: Tamira Paszek - 1540 (29)
97: Amanda Coetzer - 1515 (17)
98: Klara Koukalová - 1510 (50)
99: Amy Frazier - 1505 (28)
100=: Barbara Schett - 1490 (21)
100=: Bethanie Mattek Sands - 1490 (40)
 
Here's a few selected other players positions and points:
104: Anastasija Sevastova - 1440 (20)
117=: Petra Martić - 1220 (25)
119: Belinda Bencic - 1200 (13)
132=: Hsieh Su-wei = 1095 (28)
137=: Mona Barthel - 1085 (28)
148=: Ana Konjuh - 985 (14)
168=: Heather Watson - 845 (28)
171=: Elise Mertens - 840 (5)
176: Monica Puig - 820 (20)
177=: Anna Kournikova - 805 (10)
191: Daria Kasatkina - 740 (10)
197=: Naomi Osaka - 685 (8)
267=: Kimiko Date - 460 (23)
278=: Jennifer Brady - 425 (5)
485=: Martina Navratilova - 55 (2)
 
The points distribution in the top 10 is really skewed toward Serena Williams, who has almost double the points of Venus in 2nd. 17 players have over 10000 points, compared to 14 in the ATP. A combined top 20 between the ATP and WTA would look like:
1: Federer (66575), 2: S. Williams (61155), 3: Nadal (46855), 4: Djokovic (46025), 5: V. Williams (34255), 6: Murray (27915), 7: Sharapova (27820), 8: Henin (25970), 9: Clijsters (20965), 10: Wawrinka (16065), 11: Hewitt (15720), 12: Roddick (15690), 13: Kuznetsova (15365), 14: Davenport (14370), 15: Azarenka (14155), 16: Agassi (13955), 17: Capriati (13040), 18: Mauresmo (12985), 19: Berdych (12910), 20: Ferrer (12745)
 
Debut Years
The bit below looks at the highest scoring players from each year of their grand slam debut. The 3 highest scoring players are shown, plus any other player with over 2000 points:
2000: Francesca Schiavone (8985), Shinobu Asagoe (1390), Elena Bovina (1330)
2001: Marion Bartoli (7530), Daniela Hantuchová (6085), Roberta Vinci (4360), Anabel Medina Garrigues (2290)
2002: Svetlana Kuznetsova (15365), Samantha Stosur (8835), Vera Zvonareva (7725), Dinara Safina (7355)
2003: Maria Sharapova (27280), Jelena Janković (9610), Flavia Pennetta (7175), Maria Kirilenko (3755), Barbora Strýcová (2390)
2004: Nicole Vaidišová (3740), Zheng Jie (3585), Peng Shuai (3275), Anna Chakvetadze (2790)
2005: Li Na (11310), Ana Ivanovic (10510), Lucie Šafářová (4945), Shahar Pe'er (2955), Alizé Cornet (2760)
2006: Victoria Azarenka (14155), Agnieszka Radwańska (10455), Kaia Kanepi (3470), Tsvetana Pironkova (3070), Elena Vesnina (2980), Yaroslava Shvedova (2555), Kirsten Flipkens (2085)
2007: Caroline Wozniacki (11390), Angelique Kerber (10470), Dominika Cibulková (5755), Ekaterina Makarova (5510), Sara Errani (5400), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (3305), Timea Bacsinszky (3275), Andrea Petkovic (3125), Julia Görges (2115)
2008: Petra Kvitová (10110), Carla Suárez Navarro (4750), Sabine Lisicki (4720), Coco Vandeweghe (2905), Yanina Wickmayer (2610), Sorana Cîrstea (2030)
2009: Kristina Mladenovic (1680), Anastasija Sevastova (1440), Petra Martić (1220)
2010: Simona Halep (7760), Shelby Rogers (980), Bojana Jovanovski (885)
2011: Sloane Stephens (4860), Madison Keys (4200), Caroline Garcia (1575)
2012: Garbiñe Muguruza (7435), Karolína Plíšková (3700), Elina Svitolina (2390), Johanna Konta (2385)
2013: Eugenie Bouchard (3950), Yulia Putintseva (995), Monica Puig (820)
2014: Belinda Bencic (1200), Ana Konjuh (985), Zarina Diyas (860)
2015: Jeļena Ostapenko (2760), Daria Kasatkina (740), Denisa Allertová (650)
2016: Elise Mertens (840), Naomi Osaka (685), Ana Bogdan (235)
2017: Jennifer Brady (425), Beatriz Haddad Maia (110), Markéta Vondroušová (110)
2018: Bernarda Pera (90), Marta Kostyuk (90), Jana Fett (45)
 
Highest Average Points
The next part looks at the 20 players with highest average points per slam appearance in the 21st century.
1: Serena Williams - 1036.5
2: Justine Henin - 787.0
3: Jennifer Capriati - 686.4
4: Kim Clijsters - 635.3
5: Lindsay Davenport - 574.8
6: Maria Sharapova - 545.5
7: Venus Williams - 519.0
8: Martina Hingis - 495.6
9: Amélie Mauresmo - 360.7
10: Garbiñe Muguruza - 354.0
11: Li Na - 342.7
12: Victoria Azarenka - 337.0
13: Monica Seles - 315.9
14: Mary Pierce - 298.4
15: Elena Dementieva - 271.7
16: Petra Kvitová - 266.1
17: Caroline Wozniacki - 264.9
18: Svetlana Kuznetsova - 256.1
19: Angelique Kerber - 255.4
20: Jeļena Ostapenko - 250.9
 
Most Appearances
The players with the most slam appearances in the 21st century are:
Francesca Schiavone (69), Venus Williams (66), Daniela Hantuchová (61), Svetlana Kuznetsova (60), Serena Williams (59), Virginie Razzano (58), Jelena Janković (57), Samantha Stosur (57), Nadia Petrova (52), Roberta Vinci (52), Maria Sharapova (51), Lucie Šafářová (50), Klara Koukalová (50)
 
Sorted By Slam
This section shows the top 10 players in each of the slams.
 
Australian Open: S. Williams (16910), Sharapova (8680), Clijsters (7080), Henin (6155), Azarenka (5810), Li Na (5670), V. Williams (5095), Davenport (4865), Capriati (4730), Hingis (4320)
 
French Open: S. Williams (9865), Henin (8955), Sharapova (8360), Kuznetsova (6405), Ivanovic (5055), Schiavone (4815), Stosur (4190), Pierce (3660), Capriati (3640), V. Williams (3480)
 
Wimbledon: S. Williams (18380), V. Williams (1675), Sharapova (6935), Kvitová (5640), Henin (4760), Mauresmo (4710), A. Radwańska (4395), Davenport (4245), Bartoli (4155), Muguruza (3300)
 
US Open: S. Williams (16000), V. Williams (9205), Clijsters (7830), Henin (6100), Wozniacki (4975), Davenport (4530), Dementieva (4440), Kuznetsova (4400), Sharapova (4385), Pennetta (4325)
 
As you can see, Serena Williams is the highest rated player at all 4 slams. Serena and Venus Williams, Sharapova, and Henin are the only players in the top 10 for all 4 slams.
14 players are in the top 10 for only one slam, namely:
Australian Open: Li Na, Hingis
French Open: Ivanovic, Schiavone, Stosur, Pierce
Wimbledon: Mauresmo, A. Radwańska, Kvitová, Bartoli, Muguruza
US Open: Dementieva, Wozniacki, Pennetta
 
Nationalities
The next part shows the total number of players of each nationality. Note that for players who have changed nationality, they are counted as the nationality they represented at their most recent slam appearance.
 
United States - 105
France - 54
Russia - 48
Australia - 44
Germany - 34
Czech Republic - 33
United Kingdom - 28
Spain - 24
China, Japan - 20
Italy - 19
Slovakia - 18
Croatia, Romania, Ukraine - 16
Canada - 14
Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland - 12
Netherlands - 11
Argentina - 10
Belarus, Poland - 9
Serbia - 8
Bulgaria, Slovenia - 7
Chinese Taipei, Israel, Kazakhstan, South Africa - 5
Sweden - 4
Colombia, Estonia, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Portugal, Thailand - 3
Brazil, Denmark, Greece, India, Latvia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Venezuela - 2
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Zimbabwe - 1
 
The top 25 countries by total ranking points are listed below. The top 3 players from each country are listed in brackets, as well as any other player with a total of over 2000 points.
1: United States - 169525 (Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Monica Seles, Coco Vandeweghe, Lisa Raymond, Meghann Shaughnessy, Chanda Rubin)
2: Russia - 116200 (Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, Dinara Safina, Ekaterina Makarova, Anastasia Myskina, Maria Kirilenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elena Likhovtseva, Elena Vesnina, Anna Chakvetadze)
3: Belgium - 54255 (Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Yanina Wickmayer)
4: France - 52030 (Amélie Mauresmo, Marion Bartoli, Mary Pierce, Nathalie Dechy, Alizé Cornet, Virginie Razzano)
5: Italy - 37030 (Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Silvia Farina Elia)
6: Czech Republic - 36880 (Petra Kvitová, Lucie Šafářová, Nicole Vaidišová)
7: Germany - 31115 (Angelique Kerber, Sabine Lisicki, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Görges)
8: Spain - 30980 (Garbiñe Muguruza, Carla Suárez Navarro, Conchita Martínez, Anabel Medina Garrigues
9: Australia - 22150 (Samantha Stosur, Jelena Dokic, Alicia Molik)
10: Serbia - 22060 (Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Janković, Bojana Jovanovski)
11: Switzerland - 21240 (Martina Hingis, Patty Schnyder, Timea Bacsinszky)
12: China - 21065 (Li Na, Zheng Jie, Peng Shuai)
13: Slovakia - 17940 (Daniela Hantuchová, Dominika Cibulková, Magdalena Rybáriková)
14: Belarus - 17265 (Victoria Azarenka, Olga Govortsova, Anastasiya Yakimova)
15: Romania - 15075 (Simona Halep, Sorana Cîrstea, Monica Niculescu)
16: Poland - 12075 (Agnieszka Radwańska, Urszula Radwańska, Marta Domachowska)
17: Denmark - 11440 (Caroline Wozniacki, Eva Dyrberg, No third player)
18: Japan - 10035 (Ai Sugiyama, Shinobu Asagoe, Kurumi Nara)
19: Ukraine - 8845 (Elina Svitolina, Kateryna Bondarenko, Alona Bondareko)
20: Croatia - 8265 (Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, Petra Martić, Karolina Šprem)
21: Argentina - 6980 (Paola Suárez, Gisela Dulko, Clarisa Fernández)
22: United Kingdom - 6525 (Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Elena Baltacha)
23: Canada - 6495 (Eugenie Bouchard, Aleksandra Wozniak, Sonya Jeyaseelan)
24: Austria - 6255 (Tamira Paszek, Barbara Schett, Sybille Bammer)
25: Bulgaria - 6060 (Tsvetana Pironkova, Magdalena Maleeva, Sesil Karatantcheva)
 
Players who have been the sole representative of their nation:
Mervana Jugić-Salkić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Emma Laine (Finland), Sofia Shapatava (Georgia), Dally Randriantefy (Madagascar), Bahia Mouhtassine (Morocco), Angélica Gavaldón (Mexico), Danka Kovinić (Montenegro), Marina Erakovic (New Zealand), Cara Black (Zimbabwe)
 
The top 5 players from each continent:
Europe - Maria Sharapova (27820), Justine Henin (25970), Kim Clijsters (20965), Svetlana Kuznetsova (15365), Victoria Azarenka (14155)
North America - Serena Williams (61155), Venus Williams (34255), Lindsay Davenport (14370), Jennifer Capriati (13040), Sloane Stephens (4860)
South America - Paola Suárez (2780), Gisela Dulko (1900), Fabiola Zuluaga, Clarisa Fernández (1090), Rossana de los Ríos (780)
Asia - Li Na (11310), Zheng Jie (3585), Ai Sugiyama (3500), Peng Shuai (3275), Shahar Pe'er (2955)
Africa - Amanda Coetzer (1515), Cara Black (875), Chanelle Scheepers (690) Dally Randriantefy (360), Selima Sfar (320)
Oceania - Samantha Stosur (8835), Jelena Dokic (2820), Alicia Molik (1780), Casey Dellacqua (1350), Jarmila Wolfe (1255)
 
Conclusion
Thank you for reading my ranking of the Women's Singles events at Grand Slams in the 21st century. Again, here is the equivalent for the Men's Singles that I posted a few weeks ago.
I believe my next project is going to be doing a similar thing for the Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, and maybe eventually the Mixed Doubles. If I'm not bored of tennis by then, I may go back and do the Men's and Women's Singles back to the start of the Open Era.
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