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Coronavirus Restrictions and the First Amendment

Last night, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to grant a preliminary injunction lifting New Yorks's limits on attendance at worship services. This is a legal development many predicted after Justice Barrett joined the Court. Twice already this summer, similar challenges reached the Court in South Bay and Calvary Chapel, where the court split 5-4 against granting preliminary relief for the churches, with the late Justice Ginsburg voting in the majority. The dissenting justices in those cases expressed their view that the governors' orders in those cases unconstitutionally discriminated against religion. More to the point, this subreddit's previous discussion of the case is not up to the standards of this subreddit.
If we want to call ourselves a community committed to evidence-based policy discussion, we need to do a better job of discussing law and the Supreme Court in general. That doesn't mean we should criticize existing law less often. It means we should better understand what we criticize and why. So, I'll try to explain here the law relevant to restricting religious gatherings in COVID orders.
The fundamental question is this: when may the government incidentally burden religious exercise? Distinguish incidentally from intentionally. The standard is different for actions taken with the purpose of burdening religion. This is about general policies that have the effect of restricting worship or burdening belief.
The Doctrine
The First Amendment says that federal and state lawmakers "shall make no law * * * prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]." For many years, the Supreme Court has interpreted this to require religious exemptions to government policies that burden religious exercise. For most of the 20th Century, these religious accommodations were granted according to a fairly liberal standard. Any incidental burden on religion had to be justified by a compelling government interest, and it had to be the least restrictive means of achieving that interest. For example, a state was required to provide unemployment assistance to a Seventh-Day Adventist who was fired because she refused to work on Saturdays, even though the state considered her having declined employment without good cause. Sherbert v. Verner.
In 1990, the Court changed its mind. In a case called Employment Division v. Smith, it set out the currently operative framework for evaluating a challenge to government policy that incidentally burdens religion. The government may incidentally burden religion as long as its policy is neutral and generally applicable. If it meets those two criteria, the court will be extremely deferential to the government. If not, the government may still sometimes incidentally burden religious exercise, but only if justified by a compelling government interest, and the policy is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest.
So the meaning of neutral and generally applicable is critical. Neutrality is relatively easy to define. The government cannot act with the intention of burdening religion. The example is a famous case called Lukumi, where a small town prohibited the slaughter of chickens in its limits because it wanted to curb the practice of Santeria. The evidence overwhelmingly showed that the town had acted expressly to burden the exercise of religion. This showed animus toward religion, and it failed the Smith framework.
The harder question is general applicability. This has been the forefront of Free Exercise litigation for several decades now. The basic idea is that the government cannot do a "religious gerrymander." It cannot enact a putatively general restriction that in practice operates discriminatorily against religion. In practice, litigants challenging government policy point to exceptions from the policy and argue that it is not generally applicable.
Theories about when exemptions to policies show a lack of general applicability run the gamut. Some, like Justice Alito, believe that a single secular exemption is enough to make government policy not generally applicable. For example, a police department had a policy against beards. When Sikhs challenged the policy on religious liberty grounds, they pointed out that the department allowed people with a medical condition called folliculitis to grow facial hair. On the Single Secular Exemption Theory, this was enough to doom the policy.
Others adhere to a sort of "Most Favored Nation" theory of secular exemptions. The basic idea is that you have to treat religion at least as well as comparable secular activity. Still others might be even less deferential to religion. But pretty much everyone agrees that at some point, a number of secular exemptions will render policy non-generally applicable, which requires Courts to look much more strictly at the government action.
Application to the Pandemic
Hopefully by now you can see how this argument plays out. Challengers to coronavirus restrictions argue that these policies are not generally applicable because they grant secular exemptions. If a liquor store or an acupuncturist is not subject to capacity limits, they argue, the policy is not generally applicable. So, the higher level of scrutiny applies. No one argues that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is not a compelling government interest. Instead they argue that the flat capacity limits are not the least restrictive means of accomplishing this goal. Churches should be freer to set their own capacity so long as they adhere to masking and social distancing guidelines that apply in other locations, they say.
The Court issued its first "opinion" on this earlier this summer in South Bay (This is not an opinion on the merits like you would usually read, but a statement explaining the Court's decision not to grant a preliminary form of relief). Chief Justice Roberts's opinion in support of the decision was brief but informative. He relied on an old case from 1905 called Jacobsen, which upheld a state policy requiring vaccinations during a smallpox epidemic. Roberts appears to believe that the political branches of government are owed special deference in public health emergencies. The state has an especially compelling interest in protecting its people from safety and health.
Note that this does not neatly fall into the framework we have just discussed. The main reason for this is that the challenge here was an emergency petition appealing an order in an ongoing lower court proceeding. But it shows that even if the policy were not generally applicable, Chief Justice Roberts believes that the order should survive the higher level of scrutiny because of the importance of the state interest. Note though that he does not address whether this policy was the least restrictive means of doing so. He would surely address this in a more comprehensive analysis on the merits.
The dissenters in this case used the framework I set out above more traditionally. They said the policy was not generally applicable because of the secular exemptions for "essential" businesses. And the state's willingness to relax restrictions elsewhere showed that it was not the least restrictive means of slowing the spread. The dissenters emphasized that "[t]he State cannot 'assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work or go about the rest of their daily lives in permitted social settings.'”
Next came Calvary Chapel, which was a challenge to the Nevada stay-at-home order. I view this as the most meritorious of the challenges so far because Nevada essentially exempted its large casinos from the restrictions. You might think this is justifiable because casinos are highly regulated businesses where the state can easily assess risk and monitor infections. Or, you might see the naked exercise of corrupt deference to moneyed interests at the expense of worship. Here, Roberts and the majority issued no opinion, probably believing that they had already explained themselves in South Bay. The dissenters reprised their earlier objections, but with sharper rhetoric pointing out that the Constitution protects religious exercise, not the fundamental right to play craps.
That was then. Religious challengers were re-invigorated following the substitution of a religious conservative for Justice Ginsburg, historically one of the least sympathetic justices to religious liberty challenges.
In October, New York issued the following COVID guidelines explaining how it would act. Note that religious worship is singled out for more favorable treatment than "mass gatherings," schools, and dining. This was doubtless in response to the exact doctrine we have just been discussing. However, it is not treated as favorably as "essential businesses."
Still, the new Court lifted the restrictions on worship while the rest of the litigation plays out in the lower courts. It found that the policy was still not generally applicable. The Court argued that the definition of "essential business" was so loose that churches were “single[d] out * * * for especially harsh treatment.” If a liquor store or an acupuncturist is not subject to the capacity limits, how can the order be generally applicable? And how could it be the least restrictive means of slowing the spread when these capacity limits are so much harsher than limits that apply to other activity?
In dissenting, Justice Sotomayor articulated that the comparison to liquor stores is spurious. The policy is generally applicable because it treats religion better than comparable secular activity, like plays or movie theaters. No one stays in a liquor store for hours, talking and singing. They have no potential to be superspreader events. You cannot make an apples-to-oranges comparison here.
Conclusion
The Court's conception of general applicability here is quite significant, with broader implications for the doctrine generally. For instance, the Court is currently deciding a case called Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which is a religious liberty challenge to Philadelphia's decision to withdraw public funding from adoption agencies that will not work with gay or lesbian couples. Catholic Social Services, a long-time partner of Philadelphia before the policy became effective, argues that the anti-discrimination policy must have a religious exemption. It argues that the policy is not generally applicable because the state facially forbids discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, but the state sometimes uses race and religion to make appropriate placements of children into suitable homes. So, CSS says, the policy is subject to higher scrutiny and the religious exemption must be granted. Yesterday's decision indicates that the Court is likely to agree.
Moreover, there are obviously consequences for COVID policy going forward. States might go one of two routes. They could decide simply to relax policies on churches. Or, they might try to narrow their conception of "essential businesses" to make courts more likely to see general applicability. Of course, both have political challenges that will vary based on which state or locality we are considering.
submitted by Dulce_de_Laches to neoliberal [link] [comments]

What's Happening in CT: 8/26 - 8/30

Thursday, August 27th:

Friday, August 28th:

Saturday, August 29th:

Sunday, August 30th:

FIND MORE THINGS TO DO HERE, STAY SAFE, SOCIAL DISTANCE, WEAR MASKS, AND HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!

https://www.ctvisit.com/events

submitted by SheCalledMePaul to Connecticut [link] [comments]

What life is like in Terrace bc

So I hope this makes it to the top of Google one day and can help another human being kind of understand what the vibe and feeling living in terrace is like. I know for myself I looked online and you can find only so much. So I'm going to try and get into some detail of what the lifestyle is like out here. I myself have only lived here for two years and I know what it's like to start fresh here.
I'll start with work, there is plenty to go around. If you don't mind picking up what you have to to get by. There is tons of service jobs available tons of shops in the general idea as Kal tires and parts shops for the trades. If you have and carpentry experience like myself you will find a job with in your first 2 weeks. ( Happened to me). I'm sure the other trades have plenty of work also. the LNG just opened, well approved a while ago and if your into the camp lifestyle they look for workers in Al aspects you can work in the camp as a cook house cleaner other services ( good for a woman). If your a guy the posibilitys are endless. Start wage for labour is like 27 bucks, you'd also be looking at a 2 week on 2 week off roatation. The LNG is located in kitimaatt which is 45 mins away. If you don't want to stay in camp you can bus back and forth to terrace. Also if anybody's from forestry we have a mill to work at too.The town is a growing town and will be for a long time. Lots of work here. Lots of oprutunity.
The outdoors/ scenery Terrace is a beautiful and jaw dropping place to live. There's mountains and lakes everywhere. When I first moved here I got a mountain resort vibe it was super cool. Lots to do in both summer and winter. The temperature in the summer is very nice if you like warm but not 30° warm. Many lakes and great beaches are just a drive away. Some you can get to by town on foot so no vehicle needed. Anywhere down by the skeena river is great. I'm not much of a offroader but from what I can tell alot of people do that. Lots of trails lots of mountains to climb with you side by side. The amount of hiking here is ridiculous. Easy trails to expert also rock climbing is huge here too. Also with beginner to expert levels to suit everyone's need. We have some world class biking trails too, once again from beginner to expert. If you commute on bike there's not many hills in terrace or south side. Defined by our over pass for the trains. Even if you live out in the surrounding are known as thorn hill. You only have a couple big hills and that's all. We have world class fishing available here too for part of the summer. Depending what you want to catch. If your an ocean Fisher price Rupert ( BC's North Port) is only 2 hours away and the drive there is top 10 most beautiful drives in Canada. (AMAZING) we have a holiday in the summer called river boat days and it's basically a whole week of events from drag racing hit to pass they drop a bunch of ducks down the river and if you $20 duck wins you usually get a boat as a prize. Pay 5 bucks to shoot a gun. And after all that. bands play in the park and venders set up. Feeling like a festival. Winter things to do is obviously shames. Many mountains to sled. The winters here are mild rarely going under 12 we do and don't get much snow depending on the day. We have late falls here and early springs. We actually have 4 seasons. We have apple trees and the town is litters with cherry trees. Lots of mushroom picking if you like that. So much that people make a living by doing just that. 20-40k in a season I've heard. ( I'm a northern boy and a brought my parka down here I actually had to sell it because I didn't need it. Was a 600 dollar jacket) it does rain alot here so get ready for that. Last year it was hot and no rain all summer long and this year it was nice for 8 days. You must remember that this is a temperate rain Forrest. The leaves! Omg! You see all the colors the mountain is a spectrum of oranges and reds to browns. Not much beatle kill around here too so in the summer it's just green it's beautiful.
Life style and general mood One thing that is different from other places. Is the town shuts down fairly early. Most restaurants are closed by 8. Not all but most. Some that stay open late are pizza hut Mr Mike's bosten pizza an dominos. Those are the main ones. For fast food we have Mc Donald's a&w taco bell KFC subway DQ Tim Hortons. And that's it. Ever major banking institution we have. We have a pool 3 different gyms. 2 are 24 hr. We have a Walmart a whole sale saveon Safeway for groceries. Lots of liquor stores where you can build points on every order and use those points once you have enough funds. We have vape shops and like 5 weed shops now lol. Marks warehouse. A board shop and an outdoorsmen shop. 4 thrift shops. Many gas stations. Lots of drop in sport to do as well ice skating base ball basket ball tennis badminton hockey. We have a community center that's where artists come to play music like snack mad child Merk. And others. There's a farmer's market at the park every Sunday. Lots of Nick backs and fresh produce. We have like 5 food trucks there usually scattered through out town we have a nice two screen movie theater with a couple arcade games. Everyone is super friendly in terrace.. more so that I've seen from living in different places all over BC. The schools are close elementary middle and high school. They have an amazing trades school here at the college( if your looking for funding and you live here and plan on going to LNG they will find everything for your 1st and second year. Which is amazing) we also have other college classes. A bus that goes everywhere for 2 dollars. You can even get to Kitimat on the bus for only 2 bucks. The night life! What every 20 something is woundering! So we have lots of pubs and a couple bars 1 casino and one club if you will. The pubs all have great food none that I didn't like. The casino is your regular slots sometimes poker games are held. Video poker and video black jack the food there is great! The northern ( what you would call the party spot or club ) is great they usually have a live band on the weekends along with a dj. It's greasy but it fun I'm sure I don't have to say much else. It's got 2pool tables there also. The best thing about all these bars in terrace is they all have their own shuttle service FOR FREE they even pick you up at home and drive you to your destination making bar hoping extremely easy and there really is no need to drink and drive!
The bad and ugly.
There is a homeless problem lots of people wandering the streets. People passed out on the side walk. People pushing carts full of their belongings. Some street people are annoying. Mostly keep you themselves tho. Drugs are rapid here there is no shortage. If you don't get into that life it won't ever find you tho. You have to look for it. We don't have major business like Cosco or anything like that. Buying furniture here is through the roof. Buying a home that's okay starts at 400k the town is going to get worse as the LNG keeps going through. Not much of a fancy dinner date town. Town closes early. Very hard to get a family doctor.
Annnnnddd that's a ramble. I missed a bunch of things I'm sure.
If anybody is looking to move here please ask all the questions you can and want I'd be happy to answer
submitted by Beautiful_First to britishcolumbia [link] [comments]

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]

Full Summary of Wade Keller's Huge Interview With AEW President Tony Khan

submitted by miber3 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

What's Happening in CT 12/20 - 12/22

Quick message - who would like to see me as a mod for this subreddit, that way I can always update/pin my newest posts to the subs.if any mods are reading this that would be great as the pinned post right now is almost 2 months old lol.

Friday, December 20th 2019:

Saturday, December 21st, 2019:

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019:


Check out more things to do here:


See a new movie like:
submitted by SheCalledMePaul to Connecticut [link] [comments]

Current situation on COVID-19

Nota Bene: The pandemie is still in its early stages, so a lot of the information is based on preliminary information and it may change.

General information on COVID-19:


COVID-19 is a strain of the Coronavirus family. While the Coronaviruses existed since some time, COVID-19 developed at some point in the end of 2019. As most of the flus, it originated in animals. It is yet unclear how it got transferred to people (despite the Internet rumour that it is due to a bat soup\*)*

The symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. It does not include sneezing.
PSA: Just because somebody coughs, it doesn't mean that they're sick. My sister told me recently that she saw a person with asthma getting kicked out of the metro in Sofia because they started coughing.

When the disease was discovered, a lot of people compared it to the seasonal flu, saying that it wasn't that bad, because the seasonal flu killed more people. They didn't take into account however that this was in the early stages.
It is believed that COVID-19 is at least twice as contagious (although new numbers from South Korea may mean this number is even higher) and 12-24 times deadlier (yes, 12 to 14 times). In addition, there is no vaccine against any of the coronaviruses, including COVID-19 (and no, Volen Siderov probably doesn't have a cure\*)*

As noted, COVID-19 is a virus that's highly contagious. It's easy to spread around.
While it is not safe, we have to admit that most of the young people with it either don't show any symptoms, or don't die from it (the current death rate of young people in good health with the virus is around 0.2%-0.4%). However, starting from 50 years old and more, the death rate is more -- reaching 15% in people of more than 80 years old.
Even if you're young, you might be fine. However, you are a potential transmitter even if you don't develop any symptoms. If you're not careful, you might get somebody in a risk group else sick. This might be your parents, your grandparents, your neighbours or a close one with asthma or other health issues.
We're in this together, as a society.
"But I haven't seen anyone dying?!" (bg mama edition\*)* We are currently in the prevention period, at least in Bulgaria. The goal is to stop the spread. Once this becomes actually serious, it's too late.

The virus mostly spreads from human to human. This is why it's important to avoid handshakes, high-fiving and etc. In addition, it is recommended to keep a distance of 1 m - 1.5 m from other people (let's say in queuing). There is a myth that you can only catch the virus if you're in the company of someone for more than 10 minutes. This is not the case - same way as how the 5 seconds rule is not true. There are also myths that children or dogs don't catch it - the science is inconclusive on this.
Even if you don't touch anybody directly, you can touch a surface somebody else touched and thus catch it. How long the virus survives on a surface depends on the material. The spoons from BOC / БПЦ are not immune to it.

Obviously, don't touch anyone directly. Be careful when touching the points of entry to your body as well - i.e. your eyes, mouth, etc.
Next, wash your hands regularly. Due to the nature of the virus' outer layer, soap is extremely effective against it. You should wash your hands with soap for at least 20-30 seconds in order for it to act. Another option is hand sanitizer. Since it's currently a bit difficult to buy any, you can make it at home - you need 3 parts of isopropyl alcohol (90% or more; rakia won't help unless your granddad is a mad man\*******)* and one part of aloe vera gel.
In general, it's a good idea to sanitize the objects you are in contact with - e.g. your phone. As noted, the virus can be transmitted on surfaces as well and phones are one of the objects we touch the most.
Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing - either with a tissue or your elbow. I didn't think I'd say this, because it's common knowledge, but do it now even more. It's better if you sneeze/cough in your elbow rather than your hands - given the fact that you touch everything with your hands.
A lot of people are currently panic-buying face masks. You only need a face mask if you're taking care of a sick person or if you're have the symptoms. Otherwise, you're only buying the stock that would normally go to the hospitals.
Do not use ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory drugs. They can only suppress the immune system and aggravate the symptoms. Paracetamol is fine though.
If you can, go give blood and blood platelets (тромбоцити) if you can. It won't hurt you as long as you keep social distancing and it will help the health system handle it better. Also, don't visit your doctor if you don't need to. Chances are they're already overwhelmed with work and they need to focus on the important patients.
And don't take advantage of the cheap tickets, for fuck's sake. You're not a tarikat; you're an idiot.

The virus spreads from a person to a person. Going out per say isn't bad; going out where there are other people is bad. The less exposure it has, the easier it is to handle. We are still in the prevention phase. The goal of the governments is to ensure that when there are cases, the health system has the capacity to handle it. The goal is not to cure it, the goal is to prevent it.
To everybody that lives abroad: if you plan to go back to Bulgaria to be with your family, the general advice is not to do it. Travelling to a certain place means that you might potentially bring the disease to somewhere where it didn't exist (especially given the fact that there aren't a lot of cases in Bulgaria). In addition, given the fact that most people abroad are young people that want to go back to their parents, you might expose elderly people who are a risk group to the disease.

This only makes sense if you plan on not going out at all. In the foreseeable future there won't be any shortages of stock (even if your local supermarket doesn't have a lot of stock at the moment, it will be restocked soon enough), but you need to be careful not to buy products you'll end up throwing away.

No, but you should be reasonable.

Information on the current situation in Bulgaria:

Note: the below information is most likely not complete. My fellow redditors, I might need some help on this, as I no longer live in Bulgaria and it's hard to be up to date

A state of emergency is a constitutional right of the government that allows it to rearrange the social life in case of an emergency. The definition range is intentionally wide, so you can expect more measures to come into place.
It is currently announced that it will last until 13 April. It is possible, however, that it will be extended.
The current measures (updated 16 Mar) is that:
This list is probably going to be updated regularly.

Other businesses are open. However, companies should offer to their employees that they work from home if possible - don't hesitate to ask your manager about it. If you can't work from home, your company should provide you with anti-epidemic measures - e.g. antibacterial gel.
If you are pregnant or a mother of a child of 12 years old or less, you have the right to ask for a paid or unpaid leave during the state of emergency (it can't be refused).
In addition, any business trips are cancelled.

As noted, it is highly recommended to avoid any travel. Most European countries have a lock down on non-essential travel. Some countries have closed their borders as well. As of 16 March, I'm still waiting for news if travelling from a non-Schengen but EU country to a Schengen one is permitted or not (Macron just gave a speech on this, but the language he used wasn't clear\***)*
Travelling to Serbia is still allowed but traffic is directed through Kalotina (Калотина) or Vrashka chuka (Връшка чука)
If you are to travel abroad, it is mandatory to have a medical insurance.

It is currently under consideration to have cares for coronavirus refunded by the National Health Fund.
Any ID card that expires between the announcement of the state of emergency until 31 October is prolonged with 6 months.

Yes - by law, if you're guilty of spreading around a disease (guilty = either doing it intentionally; or unintentionally, but not respecting advice/common knowledge\*****)*, you can pay a fine or even go to prison.
In the end, it's not about breaking the law. It's about acting responsibly.
submitted by sKru4a to bulgaria [link] [comments]

A Place I call MISIMS (My Impossible Simulation) / My Heaven??

Note: This post wont be for everyone since it really long. I just wanted to post and share for those who might be interested in a place I frequently visit when I go to sleep. For those that do read the entire post, I appreciate it. And for those that dont, I totally understand. Im not one to read very long post but I do come across a few that make me glad that I did take the time to read it all. I'm hoping that this is one of those posts. Anyways, thanks in advance!


MISIMS, a place that I find myself visiting very frequently. This is an attempt to describe this place as this place has grown in size and details since the beginning.
I don't think that I've ever had dreams where I find myself frequently visiting the same places and seeing the same structures. So this got me thinking, did I build this place or did someone build it for me? Ill will talk about different areas and stuff, just keep in mind that this is a collection of all the times that I have been in this place. I didn't see all of it in one shot. This is a combinations of over a years worth of dreaming about this place. Ill try and add as much details as possible but its almost impossible to write down everything I saw, did or felt while I'm there.
In the beginning, this place was very dark. The sun never rose or set when I first appeared there. The sky was filled with a with a dark bluish and sometimes black hue in the sky. The temperature was always perfect, never too cold or too hot but the surrounding environment was weird.
As I try to think back at the first moment I ended up here, the main thing that stick out is the huge hotel/casino that sat on a hill. It is un-like any other hotel/casino that I have ever seen. Ill do my best to explain. Lets start with the parking garage as its the most simplest to explain in this whole place. The parking garage itself is a massive structure. One can get easily lost in here and the doors that lead to inside the main building are a "walk right through" sort of set up. In fact, just thinking about getting from the parking garage to the main building is so confusing that i wont try and explain it at the moment.
The best way to get a sense of this place (for those of you that have been to a casino) is, you know how when you're walking through the parking garage and the ceiling to the floor above you is pretty close. Some times its close enough that someone with a good vertical jump could easily touch the tips of their fingers and other times its a slight bit taller then that. Well this parking garage was like having double the space of any parking garage that you ever been into. It almost didn't make any sense as to why it was this high up. To add to that, there were many many floors to the garage put the parking spots all looked normal size.
Now the parking garage looks attached to the main building so I'm sort of lost as to why its so confusing to get into the main building. The last time I tried, I found myself taking a lot of lefts and rights down this enclosed hallway. I could tell which way I was facing after a while.
At some point in (in another dream) I was standing in the main hotel casino area. Here is where its going to get challenging. Just keep in mind about the size of the garage cause this place is the exact same way. They have just about everything in here. A lot of casino games for kids, a movie theater, a pool, an area for shows, bowling, you name it and its there except not everything is easily accessible. For example, in a real life hotel, there are always signs letting you know which way to go for what ever it is you're looking for. Its the same in MISIMS except you have a bunch or signs leading you to different direction. If in real life a casino has 6 or 7 listing of things to do in a certain direction then MISIMS has about 20-30.
At one point I found myself floating through this place. Although I only scratched the surface of this place, I was able to also test a few of my abilities within the hotel/casino grounds. One of them being x-ray vision. There were a lot of people walking through the casino this one particular night and the walk ways where really crowded. I wanted to know what was behind every door and I even opened up a few to take a look inside. One of the doors lead to a movie theater but I didn't stay long but it was packed. At one point i went to reach and open a door when i found myself looking through it and seeing what was on the other side. I believe this is where my lucidity became more prominent and I began to become curious about a few things. I continued testing the x-ray vision on all the walls I walked passed. I noticed that I was seeing a lot more rooms and places to go but no doors to get to all of them. (That's if I remember that correctly.)
After seeing a few different rooms, I wanted to test some of the other abilities that I used in previous dreams. Shortly after deciding this, I found myself in a gun range looking down the barrel of a few people holding rifles. You guessed it! They fired them. I performed the same move Neo did in the matrix. I stuck my hand in front of me and all of the projectiles came to a halt and fell. I was starting to get the hang of things at this point.
On another trip here, I found myself in a bad mood for what ever reason and this time I was in the front of the hotel. Best way to describe this areas is to think of a house where you can drive up to the front door and when you look into the front yard, its a huge pool area with just about everything you can think of. Bars, pool side bars, chairs, cabanas all very nice. Now amplify that cause this is no house. lol Its like having a pool party in the front of the hotel rather then the side or back of it. So I remember walking to the main area where people where congregating and drinking at. I remember turning to everyone there and telling them that it was time to go home. I was kicking people out. I saw some people simply vanished while others looked at me with this look of, "ummm who are you!?" Also keep in mind that its completely dark out. There was no sun still at this point and I wonder if that could have been a reason why I had flipped out.
*Prior to this dream, I kept asking myself why was this place always night time? It never really had a negative vibe or anything but I believe at one point I started to view this place as simply a dark place to be. I didn't understand that completely until the next time I would come here. But before I get to that, I want to explain briefly what I saw that made up the rest of this place.
On one of my ventures into the parking garage, I had walked from outside, in front of the hotel to around the corner to the parking garage. This was the time that I got lost in this place and started taking mental notes of what I was seeing. While on my way to the garage, I had looked around this place. Not the hotel itself but the rest of the "city" I guess you can call it. It was an utter mess. The best way I can describe it is like grabbing a huge piece of land and everything that's build on it and moving it to another location where there are several more huge pieces of land that where pressed together crudely to make one giant land scape. What I did notice after some time was that everything seemed to even itself out more and more with every visit. At one point, I couldn't tell the difference from one piece to another however, every section still maintains its own sort of vibe. Example: If the hotel/casino building is a Vegas theme, it still carries that feeling to it. Same with the other areas but I have a feeling that sooner or later these feeling are going to fade and its going to feel like its own place. Hence why I have called this place MISIMS (MY Impossible Simulation).
Side note: I wonder if we all have a place like this?
It was a new day in MISIMS and the first thing that stuck out to me was...... THE SUN! Wow it was so good to feel that bright light just basking on my skin with perfect weather outside. It certainly was a sight to see after spending all that time in the dark night sky. Having the sun out brought on new experiences and I wondered if I would ever see this place dark again. But I didn't think about that for too long as I was very happy it was bright out side.
From here I started to venture to other parts of this place. Some close and some far. Some areas even lead to other location that I have not been able to confirmed if its all apart of the same or if its more like a portal to a different place.
I guess I should explain some of the different places I'll be going over and talking about. So we have the casino area which reminds me of Vegas. There was a place that reminded me of New York (although this place has changed as well since the beginning.) There's also a suburban area, very nice and quiet. The houses have back yards and stuff. There is also this one place that reminds me of a some what low income projects kinda of housing. This place is after you go through that portal thing I was talking about earlier which is behind this walking path behind a school. At least I believe that its a school. I have never actually went inside this place.
I think it might also help to kinda give a general location to these places to help layout the landscape somewhat.
The casino would be located North of the city. If you travel all the way south, you reach the suburban community and in between the casino and this community would be the center of this place. When ever I find myself in need or want of a vehicle, I can usually find one of mine some where in here. (3 cars and 3-5 motorcycles. 3 are running and 2 are not for the time, red and blue crotch rockets.)
If you head east from the center of the city and head a little south, you come up to this pretty big building that I've come to call a school. Again, Idk if it is indeed a school. All I know if that behind this place there is a walking path that takes you through a little desert scenery, small shrubs and stuff but if you continue walking through here, you end up coming across a road that either goes left or right. So it literally looks like a small beaten pathway off the side of a road that leads to some where else. The vibe that I get is a Colorado vibe except it doesn't look like it. There are a lot of trees after you get to a certain point and overall greenery.
I believe if I turn left, then I end up in that low income housing place. I feel calling it that sort of leaves a negative connotation to this area which isn't the case. The building that i find myself in is a little beaten down and slightly crowded but I never seem to look at this place as something beneath me. I actually like this place and the people that i visit here from time to time. I haven't ventured too much on this side though. I usually find myself just relaxing in a small room with like 1-3 other people. It gets pretty cramped in there but we some how always find a way to manage with what we have.
Now if i head right on that road that I'm lead to the Colorado vibe area. I have been to this side a little more I think. At least I remember a little more from this side then the other side. Sometimes weird shit happens here though. In one occasion, we found a house that looked like someone had left behind and it was in a slight rough condition. The trees and shrubs had over taken the house a bit and there where some areas that needed minor work to become livable. Now I don't think actually moving in this place was the idea for anyone I was with but I could be wrong.
I remember weird or odd characters popping up out of nowhere towards the back yard area so I'm not exactly sure what the whole deal was with that. The feeling I get sometimes feels like people just watching us. Never really there to do anything but I guess that's what makes it all feel weird. I suppose the only other thing to say about this area is the change in feeling that i get when i come to the end of that walk path and end up at the crossroads. I cant explain it but it feels different. Sort of like this, imagine you're walking down the pathway and once you cross a certain point, the next time you blink your eyes and reopen them like normal, you're there. It's like there is a gap or transitional phase that happens or like a quick 1 sec white loading screen behind your eye lids or something. It happens effortlessly so its nothing that I feel myself having to focus on or anything. This is why I believe it to be a portal of some kind although I could always be wrong on that.
This part is going to be on the Suburban area. There might not be much here to really explain as everything that I saw here was more of a design change from anything I've seen in my waking life. For example, the way that some of the streets twist around or lead to other parts of other neighbor hoods is vastly different. But there are one or 2 homes in this area that I found myself either living at or visiting. The first was this beautiful 2 story home. All I remember seeing was a lot of white everywhere and a woman who lived there. I don't know who she is to me but the vibe was nice. It could have been a significant other or just simply a close friend. And not to far from this place is a bigger more luxurious home. It was like a small mansion but very nicely done and I think someone lived in it when I went walking in there which was a weird experience. Imagine someone walking into your home out of nowhere and instead of flipping out and asking questions, they're like "hey!! come on in". Super sweet people and just prior to that, I was walking around like i was sneaking a peek in someones home.
For as much as I have written, this doesn't begin to scratch the surface of details in this place. I will admit that someone the details are more personal details on what I was seeing and interpreting them and the overall action of what I was doing during that time. Example: I was riding one of my heavier motorcycles around the freeway which circles around the out skirts of the city (also leads into the city) when I went over the median very hard, (didn't fall) and broke something on the rear of the motorcycle. I remember thinking to myself, suck it up and call someone for help. Don't try and take care of this yourself this time. So I called my dad and explained what happened. I'm on the phone telling him what happened and I think he said something like he was waiting for me to call. I thought, what!? Apparently all I needed to do was just ask and I would be okay. The scene flashes forward and we just got to the house and we are looking over the bike. What I remember being as broken was now indeed fixed but I noticed that the broken piece looked way different then the new part that was on the bike. Either way, I was back in business to enjoy another ride.
There are other parts that are more on the personal side like when I went to the festival or parade that they were having. This part of the city reminded me of San Francisco except it wasn't. From there the rest of that was just enjoying and seeing the things that I was seeing.
What I've taken from this place:
Between being there from the beginning to now, a lot has changed big time. There seems to be 2 sides to this place. The side where I'm simply enjoying this place for what it is and the other side is more like leaving this place to go work on the spiritual side. I don't ever recall being in this place and feeling like I was on a mission or anything.
Something else I have come to notice is I don't really fly around in this place. I mean I can but I find myself using my vehicles to get around instead. If I come to a point where there is somewhere I really need to be in a hurry then I'll fly but for the most part, I don't. In the dreams where I feel like I'm on a mission or something, I am always flying.
So thinking back on all of this made me want to type it all out, share it with you simply to ask you, do you think this is MISIMS or my version of heaven?
submitted by fumez23 to LucidDreaming [link] [comments]

As promised: My comprehensive (and biased) list of fun or interesting things to do, eat, and see around Miami and Florida

General things anywhere (tourist friendly):

MIAMI:

South Beach/Miami Beaches/Key Biscayne:

-SoBe (not touristy):



-North Beach:


-Biscayne/Virginia Key:


-Wynwood/Midtown/Downtown:

Food/Bars:



North Miami:



Gables area/Key Biscayne (I’m not too familiar):


South Miami/Homestead:




BROWARD:






PALM BEACH/BOCA:



THE KEYS:


ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:



NORTH FLORIDA:

TAMPA/ELSEWHERE:


SCUBA DIVING SPOTS :


submitted by fartsmagoo to Miami [link] [comments]

The International 8 Pubstomps Thread

View this thread for the most up to date pubstomp list! This thread is updated everyday! Organizers, you can create an account and publish your event on Esports-Tickets.com if you plan to sell tickets, $0 fees promo for organizers
I tried to look for a pubstomp thread but couldn't find one so here it is! Usually Reservoir_cat creates this one but I haven't been able to get in touch with him/her. Here's the old TI7 and TI6 pubstomp threads.
There are a couple of threads made to ask for surveys/feedback/how-tos about pubstomps, feel free to PM me because I've organized several pubstomps in the past and partnered with sponsors such as RedBull, Logitech, GameVox, AMD, etc. as well and can offer a few tips and tricks!
Comment below with the country, city and description for your pubstomp, it helps a lot to include a link for additional details.
Country City Description
Australia Brisbane Event Link - Tickets $20 before 18/08, $25 after. Food and Drinks provided, giveaways and 1v1 tournament as well. luberk
Australia Melbourne Event Link - One amazing guy has rented a cinema in Melbourne, Australia if you feel like joining us at 3am! priorax
Australia Sydney Event Link - The same amazing guy that rented out a cinema in Melbourne, Australia has also rented out a cinema in Sydney, Australia if you feel like joining us at 3am.
Austria Vienna Event Link - HurghtRS
Belarus Minsk Event Link Official Secret Shop, bars , cosplay & sponspors giveaway. Velcom Cinema & Galileo Silver Screen RestorKa
Brazil Belo Horizonte Event Link - We will broadcast every game, including group stages, at WASD eSports Bar in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. For the finals we are planning a big event with giveaways and x1 with pros and semi-pros. The tickets are R$ 10,00 and you can check it out here. Urso_WASD
Brazil Porto Alegre Event Link - Venha assistir a final do The International 2018 ao vivo, em um telão, na Lends Club! Teremos comida, chopp e premios! Come watch The International 2018 finals on a big screen, at Lends Club! We'll have food, draft beer and prizes for atendees! esportsPOA
Canada London Event Link - We will once again host @ The Squire Pub & Grill in London, ON, CAD. RGBKnights
Canada Ottawa Event Link - At Click eSports Sat, 25 August 2018 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT. Ticket types to only watch or to also use gaming PCs at same time (note that I am not the organizer) Cote-de-Bone
Canada Toronto https://esports-tickets.com/event-public/ti8ve - Join us again this year at the Cineplex Yonge and Dundas! We’ve always sold out every year for the pubstomp and the crowd is always awesome! Need more information? Information and tickets are on our Esports-Tickets.com event page and you can join the Canada Dota 2 group. Some ticket packages are limited in quantities, so if you can't purchase a specific ticket, it means that it has been sold out. chibista
Denmark Copenhagen Event Link - Cinema viewing party for the Lower Bracket Final and Grand Final of TI8 on 25. august 2018. 17:45-04:00 CET (or whenever it ends) with competitions, giveaways, free Coca-Cola at entrance, hosts, entertainment and a great atmosphere. Panel, interviews, and ceremony will all be broadcasted as well. OlLi_-
Estonia Tartu https://www.facebook.com/events/218604902140257/ - Hey! I'm organising a pubstomp in Tartu, Estonia. No ticket and proper pub food at the pub Illegaard. More info can be found at our FB event. dekamano
Finland Helsinki https://www.facebook.com/events/285584798893275/ - PHZ.fi in co-operation with Aalto Gamers are organizing a viewing party in the Helsinki metropolitan area (Espoo, Otaniemi to be precise). You can get there very easily by metro from Helsinki. Come enjoy the final day of TI8 with us! There's gonna be pizza & soft drinks available for free + there's a grocery store and a grill close by to the venue phzgames
Finland Jyväskylä Event Link - There's one here organized by JeSSe Ry: Jyväskylä, Finland. Ilokivi onstage. Facebook link for the event: This is 18+ event. Hallunder
Germany Karlsruhe Event Link - Since we have successfully hosted Germany’s biggest Dota 2 public viewing for a couple of years now, we want to try meet the expectations this year once again. We will be broadcasting the grand finals on August 25th on the AKK tribune starting at 7pm. There, we want to collectively experience the biggest spectacle in this Dota 2 year with all the fans from near and far. Not only Dota 2 players but also DotA veterans, Dota 2 newbies and everyone who wants to get to know the phenomenon Dota are welcome to join us. spcemarine
Germany Regensburg Event Link - The 4th year in a row we are organizing the Dota TI finals public viewing in the old town of Regensburg. The event will take place at Picasso Regensburg. Starting time is 18:00 at the 25th of august. Like the last years the entrance is free, we have a pubquiz and MEGA Dota related drink specials. This year we also organized a Fotobox (thanks to the Gamerverein Regensburg) were you can take fotos with your favourite Dota heroes or even become one yourself! For further details you can look up the event page or contact us via facebook. Kryptondifluorid
Hong Kong Hong Kong Event Link - Location is still to be determined. Dota2 HK is hosting one on Grand Finals Day. Aug 25, 10pm HK Time. cybuster2
India Delhi NCR Event Link - Dota 2 Delhi pubstomp is back sunnydiv
Ireland Dublin Event Link - It's in the same pub as previous years. Strictly 18+ unfortunately. Hopefully can get added to the list. KC252
Netherlands Amsterdam Event Link - Confirmed to broadcast as many of the games as possible, even after official closing times. No Facebook event yet. Razorya
Netherlands Rotterdam Event Link - Pretty sure there is one in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I'm not sure it's a "pubstomp" but they're supposed to be hosting something. justanothrunistudent
Russia Saint-Petersburg http://dota2vo.ru/ti8 - Organizing pubstomp 6th time in awesome theatre with lounge zone, secret shop, 1x1 tournament and other stuff. Come to us on 25th of august finargot
Singapore Singapore Event Link - Singapore's one's at SAFRA Yishun, main atrium. Minimum spending of S$5 as per the post, for snacks pass. Cannot go because i booked a hotel somewhere else. nekosake2
Singapore Singapore Event Link - 2nd one is at Singtel Comcentre, with PMS nekosake2
South Africa Cape Town Event Link I think there's something happening in Cape Town (South Africa), I'm definitely gonna attend it :D meeposki
South Africa Johannesburg Event Link - Sparky_Naartjie
Sweden Stockholm https://www.facebook.com/events/206858336604801/ - I'm not entirely sure, but I believe it's an 18+ event. burger_stand
Thailand Bangkok Event Link - Not sure if this counted as pubstomp but we are having one in Bangkok, Thailand. Sponsored by Lenovo Thailand. It will be hosted at Siam Pavalai Theatre on the 6th floor of Siam Paragon shopping mall. Aug 25-26 10pm-10 am local time. Rawinza555
Thailand Bangkok Event Link - Another BIGGEST PUBSTOMP in BKK THAILAND is held by INVATE, Esport Specialist in Thailand (The best Live Broadcasting), who will bring the best experience to all Dota 2 fans!! discotechssss
Ukraine Odessa Event Link - there is pubstomp in Odessa, Ukraine if anyone even cares
United Kingdom London Event Link - This event is pending and not finalized JawnisBritish
United Kingdom London https://www.facebook.com/events/259335661345723/ - We are having one at the Carlsberg Esports bar in central London with free entry, food and drinks available and more to be announced. BanKseSports
United Kingdom Manchester Event Link - Over 18s only (they are Casino venues) epicWinbar
United Kingdom Newcastle-upon-Tyne Event Link - Over 18s only (they are Casino venues) epicWinbar
United Kingdom Reading South Event Link - Over 18s only (they are Casino venues) epicWinbar
USA Acton https://m.facebook.com/thepizzaplaceacton - Considering doing deals on pizza, apps, and Beer if we can get anyone out there. 85" TV and 6 TV'ss total in the sports bar. Pictures on Facebook. At this point its just me and my one friend. renorhino88
USA Baltimore Event Link - Hey, representing the Baltimore one as well! This event is 21+, food specials. It's the fourth year we've participated! Seanbiscuit
USA Chicago Event Link - If you're 18+ in Chicago and want to watch Grand Finals surrounded by fellow fans, come out to a FanHome hosted International watch party at Hi-Point, the gaming lounge of Highline in River North on Saturday, August 25th. Tickets are sold above, each ticket provides you entrance to the bar, food, giveaways from FanHome's beverage partner, and enters you into a raffle. Jayhawk2b
USA Cincinnati Event Link - I’m proud to announce the official TI8 Pubstomp this year in Cincinnati! I’ve been working with the owners of 16-Bit Bar+Arcade. We have a great venue setup, with our own reserved seating to accommodate however many people show up. We'll even have a signature drink just for the occasion! Please be sure to tell your friends and family (even those who haven’t watched or played DotA – they might leave a fan!).This event is for guests 21 and over, so please keep that in mind. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions and please RSVP if you plan on attending. Banana___Hammock
USA Houston Event Link - The International 8 Watch Party on August 25th In Houston, TX! Whether you love Dota, or have never seen a game this is going to be a great party for all gamers! We will have special guests, vendors, raffles, drink specials, food, hookah stands and much more! We will be raffling off a Hyper X gamer setup including a Mechanical Keyboard, Mouse, and Headset! LotharThrowaway
USA Medina Event Link - Welcome to the 6th year of me hosting Dota pubstomps in Medina Ohio. Last year was a great turnout but after many people saying that it was too small i looked for a new place again. Luckily the place i hosted in 2016 is back and that's where we are this year. As always the event is open to anyone of any age and no cover charge! I just strongly encourage anyone who attends to Eat and Drink there as they are giving us the place for the whole day for free. theaxel11
USA Oakland Cafe el Patio - In Oakland, California is going be showing everything from the group stages to the Main event finals! Address is 4030 International Blvd, Oakland CA. There is limited seating but there are three TVs. typicalhonduran
USA Sacramento Event Link - Come watch The International 8 at my house! Join us for our second annual Pubstomp! We host Friday and Saturday and setup a LAN party in the dining room to play between matches. Fairfield is located directly between San Francisco and Sacramento (North-East bay). Last year we had six viewers. Please RSVP so we can plan for food and message you the exact address. Amenities include: 75" 4k UltraHD stream with Pioneer 5.1 Surround Sound, Pizza, Beer, Nachos and More, Couches, Enthusiasm, Fast Internet, 420 Friendly josher777
USA Seattle Event Link - If you're over 21 and are in the Seattle area during TI, @FollowMe has organized a pubstomp in Capitol Hill for Saturday, August 25th. Sketches_Stuff_Maybe
USA Washington Event Link - Join us at Tenley Bar and Grill to watch the finals on their projection screen. This event is ALL AGES and cosplay is encouraged. There will be giveaways throughout the day of some Dota2 swag as well as 3 full event tickets for GEXCon (gexconvention.com) coming up at the end of the month. dmr83457
Vietnam Hanoi Pending details from 23 Creative VN ptaqll5
Vietnam Hai Phong City Event Link - Time 21:00 , day 25 / 08 , location : 21 Trần Hưng Đạo Street - Vườn Xuân Coffee butchimau_hp_95
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Event Link - Watch their full HD video for the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOLKzDDyNuU ptaqll5
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Event Link - Time: 21 h00 day 25/8-10 h00 day 26/8, location: Restaurant 68 lộc shots, number 213 to theme, Ward 15, District 10, TP. Ho Chi Minh. All details, please contact MEGA esports gaming house at 0909791809 ptaqll5
--- --- ----
PS: Also still hoping Valve would ship this merch out to us pubstomp organizers :D
PS: Discount on ticket fees on esports-tickets.com, pm me for details.
submitted by chibista to DotA2 [link] [comments]

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