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Throwback Write-Up #20: NB Ridaz - NB RIdaz.com

2020.09.17 12:31 CaptainGordan Throwback Write-Up #20: NB Ridaz - NB RIdaz.com

Artist: NB Ridaz
Album: NB Ridaz.com
Label: Upstairs Records
Released: April 4th, 2004
Background
NB Ridaz, formally known as Nastyboy Klick, are a Hip Hop/R&B group out of Phoenix Arizona. Started by MC Magic, the group became popular locally by selling their CDs at swap meets and making personalized songs of their hits for people. They dropped two albums under the Nastyboy Klick moniker, one of which had one of their most successful singles with “Lost In Love”. Their debut also had the hit “Down For Yours” featuring Roger Troutman, who laid down the chorus with his signature talkbox singing. That sound would become a staple in NB Ridaz’s future hits. With the name officially change to NB Ridaz, they dropped Invasion in 2001, with the hit song “Runaway” In 2004 they dropped NB Ridaz.com, their most successful album to date, spawning hits like “Notice Me” “So Fly” and “Pretty Girl”. The influence Roger Troutman had instilled on the group’s sound is especially prominent here, with the talkbox chorus on “Wishin on a Star” and “Pretty Girl” This album also served to promote their website NBRidaz.com, where they sold merchandise and promoted their personalized songs that fans can put requests for. Although the site is no longer active you are able to see remnants of the site if you use the wayback machine.
Intro
I wanted to preface by saying that the reason I chose this album was because it was huge among Hispanics/Latinos in the US. and in Latin America, but I feel like they are largely unknown to this forum and non-hispanic hip hop listeners. I realized I lived in a bit of a bubble when I overestimated their general popularity on this sub. Living in a large Mexican community, the album and songs like “So Fly” and “Pretty Girl” were inescapable and most girls I went to middle school with including my sister had a crush on MC Magic. I talked about them once in the DD a while back when someone brought up Soulja Boy’s influence by using the internet to blow up and being the supposed first one to really use the internet, and I mentioned how NB Ridaz were using their website to promote personalized songs before Soulja Boy was active, which was then downvoted and followed by a “Who?” response. Anyways after that and testing the waters by posting “Pretty Girl” (which was downvoted), I became aware of that bubble and how the album is not known to the general hip hop audience. To be fair, even when the album was in heavy rotation during release, I noticed it was more popular among girls than dudes, and this sub/website isn’t exactly known for their demographics in the women department.
Review
One thing about this album is that almost every single song has to do with love or intimacy, whether that be the pursuit and wooing of a new partner, cultivating and strengthening of relationships, or lamenting of past relations, probably why it was more popular with girls than dude.
The album kicks off with a forgettable intro followed by U Got Me Hot, which is just a fun song about meeting women at the club and a good track to kick off the album.
Now she was rockin hot jeans
Low-cut baby tee
Hotter than the Fourth of July in A Z
I mean I'm trippin, I couldn't even think
Booty so thick she can hold two drinks
Next is Pretty Girl. Though it wasn’t the leading single on the album, it is probably the most popular song from this album after Notice Me. With a smooth beat reminiscent of 90’s G-Funk, and a chorus and verses backed up by the talkbox singing that they picked up from Roger Troutman, this song has everything that makes it both timeless and a callback to the group’s roots. My favorite part has to be MC Magic’s verse, as he blesses us by alternating his rhymes between English and Spanish seamlessly.
Si tu supieras lo que siento
Cada vez
Que me pongo a pensar en todos los momentos
All the good times we've had, me and you, you and I
Hot summer nights, making love in July
The only girl that didn't give it on the first night
Una mujer incomparable, Imma love her life
After Pretty Girl and, the album transitions to its raunchier side with the lead single So Fly. One small detail I always liked about this song is that each member comes in with a short intro setup before their verse starts, with Zig Zag and MC Magic singing their first lines before rapping, and the DJ Scratching on the beginning of Dos’s verse, I thought it was a pretty neat touch. Zig Zag’s verse is iconic too and etched in my childhood since my sister had this song on loop on her boombox.
I know, I been on the road and away from home
But I been fiendin' for you
Dreaming of you
And what I'm gonna do when I have you alone
You heard the message
On your cellphone, me sayin' "Daddy's home"
I'm about to put it down, got you runnin' around
Half-naked around the house
And this isn't just fast sex
We makin' love until we both climax
Next up Tu Eres, a love ballad sung entirely in Spanish. The lines are a bit cheesy, but since it’s a love ballad it’s expected. If you get serious with a Latina who’s in her late 20’s/early 30’s, you’ll get bonus points if you play this for her.
Despertando una manana pensando en ti
Tus brazos y besos los quiero sentir
Yo te quiero y te amo que haria sin ti?
Un angel que Dios me enviado a mi
On Wishin’, the song revolves around getting hurt by being broken up with by an ex, but still wanting them back. Though it sounds great rapping and beat-wise, and the chorus is nice as hell, it’s my least favorite song on the album on subject matter alone. After that the album gets more upbeat on Playaz. Dope hook, classic beat, and great verses all around where NB Ridaz affiliates 'The Hav Nots' lay down some good verses.
The album then does a 180 with 4-Ever, a song about committing to be with your partner forever. The chorus features singer Angelina combined with the talkbox singing by the NB Ridaz. Though this is one of multiple tracks on the album that feature the talkbox singing chorus, and not even the only one that also features Angelina on the chorus, they still manage to get creative with it. Next up is Notice Me, which was probably the song that got the most radio play in my area and in general. While being the second song that has both Angelina and the talkbox singing chorus, it still manages to sound fresh and change from a theme of commitment to one of simping.
Until I Die is probably my favorite beat on the album, even with dope 90’s West Coast style beats of “Pretty Girl” and “Playaz”. Hearing this makes me wish NB Ridaz experimented more with guitars on their instrumentals. This song is different from the other love songs on the album in that it focuses on growth in partnership, from struggles to sacrifices couples would do for each other. Featured artist and long-time collaborator Big Gemini has a great verse on this as well
I used to say once you're born you're just waiting to die
And every day in between is just a waste of some time
But in time I was convinced that I was far from the truth
Believe it or not I found truth the night I met you
So just know that if there's life after death I'm a wait for you there
To love you forever for real
Sunshine features the same singer (Mary) who did the chorus on U Got Me Hot, and she easily steals the show on this. This song always reminded of a 90’s R&B ballad, and probably the only song on the album where I think Dos had the best verse. .
Not once not twice but your three times a lady
The comfort of your arms got me feeling like your baby
Ill be there for you lets make love in to memories
Your tender touch and your smile always get the best of me
Never let you go or treat you bad ill give you all i have
I belong to you and only you girl i want you bad
Sunshine is followed by the Lil Ridaz skit, just an obnoxious skit of these two little kids breaking into MC Magic’s studio and rapping. Kinda wishing they cut this because it’s not great. The skit leads us into the next song, Bounce If You Wanna, that uses the same beat as the skit. Something weird I found in making this writeup is that not a single lyric website has this song correctly noted, as every site instead has the lyrics to the Lil Ridaz skit. I wanted to highlight Kid Frost’s verse because he was nice and it was iconic to have the first Mexican-American rapper to blow up on an NB Ridaz track. This doesn’t exist anywhere else so I might have mucked a few words
Collar stay popped like champagne bottles, it’s full throttle
That’s the motto, and I spend dough like I won the lotto
Hit trees like there’s no tomorrow
Still spittin hot shit for you to bump in your barrio
Kid Frost, Two fifths of Hennessey
2002 West, go to push and a half ounce of kush
Went triple x, now there’s plenty of bush
Pornstars and strippers get snatched with one look
It’s the Kiddie crook back with them NB Ridaz
O’s and G’s, flippin pounds of keys
On the regular, there’s no competitor
Take it from the editor, back like the predator
Exterminator, Terminator, Violator, Regulator
And I’m way too smooth than them brand new wall of gators
Kid Frost still a boss and I floss on you haters
Fakes and phonies, and all you perpetrators
Southwest Ridaz is up next, and the album is just the group spitting cold hard bars. MC Magic shines as usual and alternate Spanish and English lines like he did on Pretty Girl, except with more hardcore rapping on this track. San Diego’s Mr. Shadow makes an appearance, who was also popular among latino hip hop listeners in the mid 2000’s, but who catered more to the gangster rap crowd.
MC Magic expands on how the group started in the skit Magic’s Custom CDs, where he recounts how his group were able to establish themselves by making personalized CDs for them and advertises how fans can use the website to request their own custom CDs, and as a bonus he even includes an example of a custom song he made using Lost in Love as a basis. The album’s closing track, Guess Who’s Back was always my guilty pleasure as a kid. Borrowing my sister’s CD of this album every now and then, this is the track I always skipped to since at the time I wasn’t feeling like hearing love or heartbreak songs, so this one holds a special place in my heart. With this and Southwest Ridaz, the group made it known they can drop bars when they wanted to and aren’t just a group that coasts on love ballads.
I didn’t mention the Cho and Lo skits, until now, but they are a series of skits on the album that have a radio duo ragging on each other. I used to like their banter when I was in middle school, but I’ve grown out of it since then
Conclusion
As I mentioned before, upon doing my research for my writeup, I found that I overestimated the group’s popularity and my perception of their popularity was warped because of where I and who I grew up with, being from a city on the west coast where there are more Mexicans than any other race. In spite of their popularity among Latinos with songs that have +10 million views on youtube, they never had an album chart on the Billboard 200, and even their most famous songs only peaked close to the bottom of the Billboard 100 charts. In spite of their lack of reach outside the Latino community, this album was huge for those of us who did grow up listening to it.
Questions
For non-Latinos, did you listen to or come across this album while growing up?
In light of NB RIdaz's use of the internet to push their albums as did other artists, do you feel that their practices are overlooked when discussing the history of artists using the internet to sell?
What is your favorite hip hop album by a Latino-American?
Favorite song on NB Ridaz.com?
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2020.09.04 12:03 remote-enthusiast I've collected 68 remote jobs from last couple of days

Hello friends! These are the open remote positions I've found that were published today. See you tomorrow! Bleep blop 🤖
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2020.09.02 12:03 remote-enthusiast Collection of 75 remote jobs published in last 24h

Hello friends! These are the open remote positions I've found that were published today. See you tomorrow! Bleep blop 🤖
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2020.09.02 09:59 arianamar96 Venti Rant

Before starting my post, I want to state this isn’t directed towards anyone at my store, but more of a frustration on how corporate has been handling things during the pandemic.
At first, I actually thought Starbucks was handling the pandemic well when the pandemic first began. For example they offered partners to either take a paid Covid leave from mid March-May being paid the average amount of hours you were paid from Feb-March or be paid $3 extra for hazard pay till the end of May. This all sounded great, because at the time it actually sounded like they cared. Also during that period they even announced the Lyra benefits for April which could have seem great for mental health considering just how much the pandemic changed everything. And the free food and drinks and on top of that 50% discount for quite a while. At this time everything seemed great and even those who choose to work got hazard pay and good amount of hours. Everything seemed so great in the beginning, but little did I know that Starbucks was going to straight up neglect their partners afterward.
Here are a list of problems I believe Starbucks have had.
  1. They ended hazard pay, considering that food service workers have some of the highest risk of getting Covid they should honestly give us the extra $3 hazard pay. Considering some of the bonus they have given top executives, they would still be spending less giving that extra $3 hazard pay to partners that the bonuses they are already paying top executives.
  2. Unless customers start to complain themselves and the complains go viral in the internet, Starbucks does nothing to fix the underlying problems they have. One such instance is the Happy Hour fiasco. It’s been proven time and time again that it’s very difficult to social distance customers during Happy Hour and that they haven’t been staffing which only adds to a work environment that is way to out of control and customers angry because they are waiting long times for their drink with not really being able to social distance. And not only are they increasing the chances of Covid exposure through customers but through partners as well. Now don’t get me wrong there are solutions to Happy Hour that can be taken, but from what we saw corporate did nothing to solve the problem until there was a lot of complaints, that’s when they finally cancelled Happy Hour for September but the partners voice was largely unheard and it was the customers that pushed that. Which brings me to another point.
  3. I totally understand that the purpose of a business is mainly profit. After all no one starts a business without the intention of profits. However we are currently in a pandemic, cutting corners just to maximize profits which undermine partners is pretty unethical and douchy. It’s important to cut corners I agree but in things that make sense for example instead of cutting partners hours and getting rid of hazard pay, Starbucks can save money by using plastic or digital models for the pastry case or just ditch the pastry case altogether. So much money wasted on food through the pastry case and for what because the “presentation” of the pastry case. I study Marketing at college and I can tell you that the pastry case does not really add to the store environment and with the way they are designed it’s actually easy for flies to enter through little openings so it’s actually bad image to us considering that customers would think we aren’t very sanitary because of the pastry case even though we don’t get the food from there. Starbucks is still on target to make just as much money as last year or even more and sales have increase significantly since the minor decline we had earlier in the year there should be no reason for cutting hours and not considering hazard pay. If they want to cut corners. Cut corners in things like the pastry case and while free partner food and drinks on days we aren’t working is useful, it’s not as useful as hazard pay. The free partner food and drink does do well in helping feed partners at the very least but that $3 extra per hour would help a lot more that I would totally be fine with the free partner food and drink benefit ending if it means hazard pay.
  4. If they are going to continue short staffing us corporate should stop pestering stores on drive time and customer connections. A store needs to be properly staffed for good customer connections and drive time. We can’t provide good customer connection if the person on DTW also has to do DTO, food, and secondary bar all at the same time or neither have a good drive time. It would only make sense for corporate to complain if we do have the proper staffing and resources. Corporate is expecting to much from the stores and all it does is stress out partners in the store as well as SM and shifts who feel more pressured and pass that pressure down to partners.
  5. Stop pretending like you care about mental health and then release Third Place videos that are completely out of touch with the partners. I’ve already seen some Third Place video where Starbucks claims that they care for their partners but then the video essentially tells us that we have to be okay with customers being assholes to us. All this does is aggravate partners and make us think that corporate is very unempathetic and fails to understand our needs. It’s sadly better for them to just not say anything at all, and if they ever do want to show they care start by actually showing it. Bring hazard pay, properly staff us, maybe give us a paid mental health day just like non retail Starbucks workers, all this can go a long way to show they care. And instead of making Third Place discussions about kissing ass to customers and letting them walk all over you, maybe this discussions should be on what we can do to help partners. Lyra seemed like a great benefit at first until I realized that most of the mental health counseling partners have gotten from Lyra directly has to do with Starbucks itself instead of some other personal issue.
  6. Starbucks shouldn’t be allowing for any sitting at the moment. Even at restaurants that have wait staff and bussers and can limit the amount of time a customer stays has been struggling to keep things in control. What does that say about Starbucks (thankfully I live in Los Angeles so over here it’s not allowed) but what makes them think that we can effectively handle this being shortstaffed and not having a wait staff and bussers like a restaurant, if a restaurant is struggling with this, it means we won’t fare any better.
  7. Regardless of pressure from customers act like a responsible company. Sooner or later restrictions will be eased and the pandemic would eventually end, but tread carefully. Don’t reopen cafe sitting just because you were given the green light. Until there are more visible signs like the actual pandemic ending, safety should be considered first. Other business would be quick to lift restrictions when the green light is given, my advice is wait till the pandemic is over to reopen sitting, we don’t have a urgent need to reopen the sitting because we are able to still make that same business through the grab and go model or through drive thru. It’s more understandable for other businesses were the restrictions mean closing their business until it’s lifted but that’s not the case for Starbucks.
  8. One of the biggest mistakes was for Starbucks to promise unpaid Covid leave but leave things up for interpretation and not really follow through on it. One of the biggest problems was that they had to approve the leave and that they can call you back at anytime. What’s the point of offering this but going back on the promise. The unpaid Covid leave should have been allowed for anyone considering it and to take it till September like promised.
  9. Obviously because we are still in kind of lockdown there is not much we can do currently, but this pandemic has effected everyone emotionally. When the lockdowns are finally lifted make it a requirement for every store to have their own personal team building day once a year that allows the partners and managers to bond and grow with each other and it should be paid that way partners do actually feel like participating because they won’t lose pay. A team building day can be something like a bonfire day by the beach, or bowling or a mini day trip. My point is the more unity and bond between the team the more partners and managers are willing to work with each other and feel happier doing so.
  10. Raise wages. We already see companies like Target raising their minimum wage to $15 nationwide. I mean I already get paid $15 per hour but I live in Los Angeles so that isn’t much, but in other states or cities those $15 per hour standard pay goes a long way. No one can realistically live on $8-$9 per hour paycheck. And for other partners around the world outside the US I also hope Starbucks makes the right choice and pay properly and treat you guys right.
This seems like a very long rant, but I think I said what I needed to and I’m sure many of you feel a similar way whether your just a normal partner, a shift, ASM, or SM. And like I said I’m not throwing any blame on SMs because this seems like a corporate problem effecting us all, Maybe SM may get paid better overall but the stress they get having to understaff and deal with the pandemic is not easy and that stress transfers over to partners as well. It doesn’t surprising me that many are hanging their apron.
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2020.08.19 13:19 finnagains Hollywood's Apocalypse NOW: Rich and famous are fleeing in droves as liberal politics and coronavirus turn City of Dreams into cesspit plagued by junkies and violent criminals - By Caroline Graham (Daily Mail) 15 Aug 2020

Gold's Gym has become synonymous with the Hollywood Dream.
Set just a few hundred yards from the ocean in sun-kissed Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Gold's was the backdrop for Pumping Iron, the 1977 documentary which followed a young, unknown Austrian bodybuilder called Arnold Schwarzenegger as he prepared for the Mr Universe contest.
The film turned him into an overnight sensation. He would go on to become a global superstar, marry a member of the Kennedy clan, and become Governor of California.
Yet today Gold's sits amid post-apocalyptic scenes which have consumed much of LA, turning the City of Dreams into an urban nightmare from which people are fleeing in droves.
A makeshift tent city made up of flapping tarpaulins and cardboard boxes surrounds the gym on all sides.
Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies – all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific.
Stolen bicycles are piled high on pavements littered with broken syringes.
TV bulletins are filled with horror stories from across the city; of women being attacked during their morning jog or residents returning home to find strangers defecating in their front gardens.
Today, Los Angeles is a city on the brink. 'For Sale' signs are seemingly dotted on every suburban street as the middle classes, particularly those with families, flee for the safer suburbs, with many choosing to leave LA altogether.
British-born Danny O'Brien runs Watford Moving & Storage. 'There is a mass exodus from Hollywood,' he says.
'And a lot of it is to do with politics.' His business is booming. 'August has already set records and we are only halfway through the month,' he tells me.
'People are getting out in droves. Last week I moved a prominent person in the music industry from a $6.5 million [£5 million] mansion above Sunset Boulevard to Nashville.'
O'Brien, 58, who moved to LA from London 34 years ago, is also planning to move to Tennessee.
'Liberal politics has destroyed this city,' he says. 'The homeless encampments are legal and there's nothing the police can do. White, affluent middle-class folk are getting out. People don't feel safe any more.'
With movie studios still shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic and businesses only just starting to remove the wooden boards put up after city-wide rioting following the death of George Floyd while being arrested by three white officers in Minneapolis, LA is now in the grip of white flight.
Lou Ferrigno became friends with Schwarzenegger when both worked out at Gold's. While he might not be quite a household name like Arnie, Ferrigno starred in the TV series The Incredible Hulk and became one of the wealthiest bodybuilders in the world, with a fortune of $12 million.
President Donald Trump appointed him to his council on fitness, sports and nutrition in 2018.
But Ferrigno, for all his impeccable connections, has become fed up with what he describes as the 'dramatic decline' in LA. He and wife Carla recently sold their £3 million home in Santa Monica and moved into a 7,146 sq ft mansion two hours north of LA.
Carla says: 'One morning around 7am I opened the curtains in our beautiful Santa Monica home and looking up at me from our driveway were three gang members with tattoos on their faces sitting on our retaining wall. They were cat-calling me and being vulgar. I motioned I was going to call the police and they just laughed, flicking their tongues at me and showing me their guns.'
Her husband added: 'We put the house up for sale after 40 wonderful years and moved north. We feel lucky to have made it out. Now we are in a wonderful place and very happy.'
Renee Taylor, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and actress who appeared in the hit TV sitcom The Nanny, recently sold her Beverly Hills home after half a century and moved to the East Coast.
'I feel so sad for my friends left in Beverly Hills who had to suffer through looting and rioting,' she says. 'I got out just in time.'
The virus only made matters worse. There are homeless encampments in some of the most instantly recognisable tourist traps.
Stretches of Hollywood Boulevard – embedded with glittering stars representing those who achieved their dream of fame and fortune – resemble a Third World shanty town rather than the heart of America's second-largest city.
Outside the Chinese Theatre where Marilyn Monroe and other screen icons are immortalised by their handprints in concrete, the Michael Jackson and Superman lookalikes who usually pose with tourists have been replaced by vagrants begging for change.
Meanwhile, the visitors snap photos of a large Black Lives Matter logo painted down the middle of the street.
Car parks beside the beach in Santa Monica – a popular tourist destination for Britons – are filled with bashed-up motorhomes, each housing several people.
The authorities have even put portable toilets on the streets to try to stop the homeless relieving themselves on private property.
The Westwood area of LA, home to some of the most upmarket blocks of flats in the city, has been renamed 'West Hood' by locals appalled by rising crime.
Veteran publicist Ed Lozzi says: 'The city was changing before coronavirus brought us to our knees. The homeless problem has been escalating for years, exacerbated by weak politicians making bad decisions.
'Hollywood has always been the wokest of the woke, so politicians have done nothing to stop people sleeping on the streets. It's not illegal and the weather's nice, so they keep coming.
'There is insufficient housing, inadequate mental health care. Add in Covid and it's a perfect storm.
'When I first arrived in LA 40 years ago, the town smelled of orange blossoms. Now the streets stink of urine. There is a beautiful park in Westwood but you can't go there because there are people slumped on the ground and you step on a carpet of needles.
'White flight is real. The elites and middle classes are leaving. People are taking losses on the sales of their homes to get out.'
The divide between rich and poor has never been more glaring. Just yards away from Gold's sits the sprawling LA headquarters of internet giant Google.
The car park is housed in a building designed by architect Frank Gehry to look like a giant pair of binoculars. Private security guards wander round as a handful of employees returning after lockdown drive into the complex in their Teslas, Porsches and Range Rovers.
Charity worker Robert (he declined to give his last name) mans two portable toilets opposite the Google HQ. Recently released from jail, this menial job is the only work he can get. He says two people have overdosed in the toilets in the past two weeks.
'I have a Narcan pen which brings them back to life after they overdose on opioids. I've had to use the pen twice since the beginning of August.
'The situation is terrible. I don't blame those who can afford to get out of the city for doing so.'
Some 66,000 people now sleep rough every night in LA – up 12.5 per cent on last year.
'There's no hope any more,' he continues. 'The rich are getting richer and there's nothing for those on Skid Row. Trump has done nothing to help the poor. All he cares about are his rich friends making more money. If I had money I'd get out too.'
The pandemic has made many in Hollywood realise they don't need to live in LA – or anywhere near it – to keep working.
Talent manager Craig Dorfman has moved to upstate New York. 'A lot of people in the industry are re-evaluating their lives and saying,
'You know, I never really loved LA. Where would I like to live? Because I can do what I want to do from anywhere,' ' says Dorfman.
Fashion stylist Leah Forester and her film producer husband Bill Johnson have rented out their home and moved to the Mexican beach town of Careyes with their two children.
'We wanted to be in the most healthy, supportive and serene environment we could be in so that we could have some sense of control over our immediate surroundings and our destiny,' says Forester.
Comedian Joe Rogan, who makes $30 million a year from his self-titled podcast, has quit LA for Texas and says: 'When you look at the traffic, when you look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that's accelerated radically… I think there are too many people here.
'I think it's not tenable. I don't think that it's manageable.'
Ironically, the celebrity enclave of Malibu – home to such leading members of the 'wokerati' as Leonardo DiCaprio – has cracked down hard on the homeless, bringing in local laws to prevent people parking their motorhomes along the beach overnight.
'They've kicked the homeless problem into other areas of the city like Westwood and Venice,' says publicist Ed Lozzi. 'It's a classic case of 'not in my back yard'.'
Meanwhile, some of Tinseltown's biggest stars are developing back-up plans, should the situation worsen. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson recently took Greek citizenship and have told friends they intend to spend more time in Europe.
Producer Dana Brunetti, business partner of disgraced actor Kevin Spacey and producer of the Fifty Shades Of Grey films, has acquired Italian citizenship 'because Italy is part of the EU – it gives me a lot of options if the s*** hits the fan'.
Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban have homes in LA, Nashville and her native Australia.
A source says: 'They have been spending a lot of time in Nashville. There they can give their kids a more normal upbringing. They have been talking about getting rid of the LA place.'
When the news broke last week that Prince Harry and Meghan have chosen to make their home two hours north of LA in the upmarket hamlet of Montecito, the news shocked no one.
One Oscar-nominated writer told me: 'They saw enough of LA those times they left Tyler Perry's house to make them not want to raise Archie in a place like this. LA has always attracted beautiful and talented people from around the world who come here looking for fame or money or both.
'Now the streets look like Haiti after the earthquake. It's dirty, dangerous and work has dried up. Even when studios start to open up, people will choose to work from other places.'
The most recent high-profile name to quit Hollywood is Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, a darling of the showbusiness crowd. Actor Robert Downey Jr has said it was Musk who inspired his portrayal of Tony Stark, the eccentric billionaire inventor in the Iron Man movies.
Musk has recently sold his compound of four homes in Bel Air for a combined total of $62 million (£47 million) and is said to be considering a move to Texas, where he is building Tesla's $1 billion new factory.
'When the real-life Iron Man moves out of Hollywood , you know it's all over,' says a source at one of the major studios.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8631063/Hollywood-Apocalypse-rich-famous-fleeing-droves.html
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2020.08.10 11:51 klphoen Here is an old Rivals interview Evelyn did on Vevmo back in 2011.

https://vevmo.com/forum/challenge-rivals-evelyn-smith-interview
Q. Did you get along with Johnny Bananas on Rivals?
A. Yes, I did. When he’s not perpetually harassing me, I get along with him scary well, which is why I’m so perplexed by the attitude he sometimes has towards me. I genuinely was cheering for him against CT on Rivals, at a point when the match-up meant absolutely nothing to my status in the game, only to hear since returning home that he’s been saying XYZ about me on Twitter and podcasts all over again. I’ve given up trying to understand. I’m going to the VMAs with him on Sunday and expect to have an outstanding time. But I wouldn’t for a second be surprised if the next time I saw him on a challenge he tried to make my life hell for the month, pushed me, threw a stick at me, sent me into elimination against my best friend, or –OK you get it!-… He can be a ridiculously cool, clever person when he wants to be (the guy’s got a friggin brilliance to him at times, I can’t deny it)…but he can also be my worst f****** nightmare. Nothing surprises me anymore and as heinous as it gets it’s gotten to the point where I just laugh about the whole situation. It’s so f****** bizarre. Then the guy calls me a transvestite on the internet 50 thousand times after famously grabbing me and forcing a French kiss on national television… only to then go back on the same network and boast about making it to first base with me on the Aftershow -- and then voice disgust to everyone over -- only to drunkenly kiss me again in front of the whole cast (it ended up off-camera) in Argentina… and then -AGAIN, you get what I’m saying! In the weirdest way he’s become a friend to me, it’s just a really fed up friendship that I cannot for the life of me understand. Have I shed any light at all on the situation? Did I just create Merriam-Webster’s first official definition for “Frenemy”? * And for the record, we were all beyond f*ed up and had totally lost our minds by the time of the Argentina kiss. That was also the night of Wes and Cara Maria’s war, Laurel’s attack on Paula, and our creepy drunk wrestling food fight upstairs. I’ve been asked about a certain injury I sustained during filming and why I was still able to laugh and get slammed around that night…here’s the thing- because of said injury, I was on a whole laundry list of painkillers…and I was drinking…and me + painkillers + vodka. Ask V1Man about Evelyn on painkillers after a fairly serious allergic reaction sent me to a Los Angeles hospital one beautiful afternoon. They pumped me full of pain meds, cortisone, and antihistamines, and he was my caretaker in the ER. And…I mean…gosh, suffice it to say that 10 am to 10 pm of that day is a gaping black hole in my mind’s eye. Apparently me on painkillers = awesome. And that is why that happened the way it did in Argentina.
[editor’s note: This was the only time I’ve ever seen Evelyn not be competitive. One of the staff asked me if she was a stand-up comic because everything she said to them in the ER had them all in stitches.][/I] [B]
Q. Who from the challenges do you trust?
A. Cara Maria’s the only one I have complete, 100% trust in, which can apply to all aspects inside and outside of the challenge. There are others who are very high up but she’s the only one who’s never given me a shred of reason to doubt her.
Q. Do you still talk to Brooke?
A. Yes, we’re good friends. I just spent last Sunday with her in Hollywood.
Q. Would you like to have an elimination round one-on-one vs. Laurel because everyone wants to see once and for all who the best girl is? And are you confident that you would win?
A. I would love it, although I wish it could just be an exhibition round so the two of us could stay and continue to hang out on the challenge afterwards! Having her around breathes new life into the game for me. She’s the one girl who I believe has a decent shot at sending me home in a fair fight (i.e. not relying on a fluke or silly DQ to beat me). I’m confident I would win, she’s confident she would win. I think it would be an awesome fight…and if there’s a Duel 3, I could easily see that being the final Duel of the season. Well, assuming BMP brushes up on the definition of “Duel” before the season starts. How the hell can you have a Duel that A) has three guys and three girls in the final and B) forces them into guy/girl teams? The whole concept is that it’s supposed to be one on one!!! Madness.
Q. Which challenge season was the most fun to film? Which one did you enjoy watching the most?
A. Most fun was either Inferno 3, Gauntlet 3, or Rivals…all were great times. I enjoyed watching G3 the most, of the seasons I’ve done (even though the editing was a little unfair at times).
Q. Do you think the JEK alliance ruined what these challenges could be?
A. Everyone else ruined it. Season after season the sheep gift-wrap the game for them and serve it up on a silver platter, then cry foul when they lose. I blame my idiot cast mates.
Q. Are there any girls who you would have trepidations about going into an elimination round against?
A. No. I welcome the competition and the elimination rounds are such a rush, that the tougher the opponent, the more excited I’d be for it. To get to the meat of the question though, Laurel would have the best shot at taking me out in an elimination round.
Q. Are there any challenges you didn’t do that you would have liked to?
A. The Duel
Q. Do you think you would have won the Duel had you not been forced to decline due to illness?
A. Honestly…yeah. It changed the entire game.
Q. What’s your opinion about the newbies on Rivals? (Jasmine, Jonna, Mike, Leroy)
A. I love ‘em all, to be perfectly honest. Jasmine, Jonna, and Cara Maria were my girls on this season, and watching them have to go against each other truly sucked. I really feel like the four of us bonded the most out of all of the girls on this season. Mike and Leroy are just awesome guys and such a breath of fresh air on this program.
Q. What’s with the Evelyn / Derrick’s animosity toward each other?
A. That one’s entirely a one-way street. I’ve never said or done anything to the man, and don’t plan to. In the interim, he’s betrayed me in pretty feckless fashion on two consecutive challenges and apparently drags my name through the mud on his radio show. This statement is actually the first slightly antagonistic remark I’ve ever made regarding him.
Q. Why did you not like Veronica before “The Ruins” and why did your opinion change after doing that?
A. I was friends with Veronica before the Ruins, and I continue to like and respect her.
Q. Do you have any type of relationship with Danny anymore?
A. Did I ever?
Q. Why does Robin have beef with you? Evidently Robin told Derrick on a podcast that you were the one who orchestrated her and Aneesa going into the first Jungle.
A. Robin has beef with me? I agreed to do her radio show next week, so I guess I’ll have to ask her about that.
Q. What did you think when you heard you would be with Paula?
A. I was thrilled. Honestly.
Q. Who are, in your opinion, the top 5 female challengers you have competed against physically?
A. Laurel, Cara Maria, Paula, Tori, and Chanda.
Q. If Fresh Meat were done similarly to Rivals, which girl would you want from FM and FM 2?
A. Chanda or Diem if I’d been able to choose a Fresh Meater, but since I’d have to choose an alum, Tonya. From FM 2, I would have chosen Cara Maria.
Q. If Rivals had been guy/girl teams do you think you would have had Johnny? Do you think you would have had a good shot at winning? Or could you think of a team that would have a better shot at beating you Rivals wise?
A. Obviously I would have had Johnny…I can’t think of a better team, although I suppose you could do Laurel/Abram if Eric didn’t show…they would have had a good shot at beating us.
Q. If there was another Battle of the Seasons, who would you want as a partner? What season do you feel has the best winning potential?
A. I would want Kenny, hands down. For all our bull**** over the years, we still work better together than any guy/girl pair I’ve ever seen. Best winning potential? I believe we would win, but Darrell/Rachel, Evan/Diem, or Paula/Johnny (or Tyler) would be tough competition.
Q. If there was another Battle of the Sexes format, do you think people would keep you because of your almost perfect challenge performances, or do you think they would eliminate you to make the finals with their friends?
A. It could go either way. It would depend entirely on the rules of the game. Shoot, just look at this challenge: if the rules were even slightly different, this could have easily boiled over into me vs. Johnny, Kenny, and Evan all over again. Instead, the rules forced us into a very tight alliance.
Q. Did you ever feel like you carried Paula in Rivals? Did you ever feel like she carried you? Did you prefer her over players like Coral, Susie, or Brooke?
A. We carried each other. That’s what this challenge was all about for the teams to be successful, with very few exceptions. She would have been my number one choice for a teammate, so yes I preferred her over all of those players.
Q. Are you a gold star lesbian? Are you the only one on the show that is?
A. Yes and yes.
Q. Do you still keep and breed any reptiles? If so, which ones?
A. Haha, yes I do. Varanus acanthurus and Varanus flavirufus…love ‘em.
Q. Do you have any post-challenge life plans in mind?
A. Since I’d already taken the spring semester off of school to do the Challenge, I enrolled in cosmetology school. I’d always secretly wanted to, and finally went for it since I needed to stay busy anyway- have ended up loving it and am completing that this fall. I’ll be taking the LSAT this winter and finishing my undergrad in 2012, while also working as a full-time stylist in San Diego and Hollywood. Depending on my LSAT score, I may or may not pursue law school thereafter.
[Editor’s note: a score of 172/173 is my prediction.]
Q. Cara Maria hinted that there may have been some shady business behind Jenn and Mandi’s win in the kayaking challenge. Do you have anything to say about this, or any possible hand that production may play in determining the outcome of certain challenges?
A. The rules stated you could not rest your kayak against the bamboo rods at the sides of the starting gate. Jenn and Mandi lodged theirs up against it for almost their entire run up at the starting zone, and it’s the only reason they won. That should have gotten them a game-losing penalty. Paula and I won that challenge. Watch the Final and tell me you honestly believe that Jenn and Mandi beat every girl’s team at a kayaking challenge. It’s comical.
Q. Do you think the alliance you headed with Wes on FM 2 was doomed from the start, simply because of Landon’s distrust/dislike for Wes?
A. Quite possibly. I hate crying over spilled milk but Landon was itching to stab him in the back for a while. I remember many conversations I had with him and CJ trying to talk me into teaming with them and betraying Wes. That in addition to them agreeing to lie to us about CJ’s first exile, and floating deals to Kenny long before the ultimate move was made…I don’t understand why Landon couldn’t be content with saving beating Wes for the finals (we all knew he’d never win it), but as rocky as the foundation was for the move it ended up winning him the game. He accidentally made a move that won him the game. Landon and Carley both told me our Exile was harder than the final challenge, and it was a course that favored their team in every conceivable way: they had done it before (CJ threw it for them so they could learn it backwards and forwards), the weights clearly played to a larger team’s advantage, we were doing it in the dark so I was especially clueless, and Luke and I were totally exhausted, having just finished our Exile against Wes and Mandi 24 hours earlier and going for our second one in two days…even then, with every single possible advantage going their way, they only beat us by a mere 2 minutes off of a puzzle, in a 2 hour Exile. I came MUCH closer to beating Landon in that Exile, at his own game, than anyone else did on the Final, a neutral playing field. I knew that season was mine for the taking if we could just survive that elimination. I did my part and I still believe we could have very easily won that Exile…and as such it remains a source of extreme resentment for me to this day. The editing was flipped to an extent that season that continues to absolutely baffle me…If viewers could have seen the reality of that season I think they would have been far more sympathetic to my position…as it is Fresh Meat 2 exists as a Challenge netherworld in which I was a nefarious, dishonest, backstabbing, whiny, weak, unfair little brat…sandwiched between three seasons in which I’ve been (fairly) depicted as one of the most loyal and fair-minded players in the game. It would be an understatement to call it an editing screw-job and I love that it was the poorest rated season in the history of the franchise…sorry but it serves BMP right. I’m still VERY bitter about the whole experience. I wrote a lengthy piece about it last year but had to take it down on account of “trade secrets.” I call bull**** but I’m unable to elaborate.
Q. If you could come up with a challenge teaming theme like they usually set up what would you like to see them do?
A. Good vs. Bad…but not “Good Guys” and “Bad *****,” more like a straight up good vs. evil…ironically I think many of the “Good Guys” of I3 are no-brainers for an evil squad.
Q. If you could pick your fantasy team made of 5 guys and 5 girls who would you choose?
A. Landon, Frank, Alton, CT, Darrell, Laurel, Paula, Cara Maria, Tori, and Diem.
Q. Some of the guys show up for challenges looking like they put on a lot of muscle since we first saw them on their original seasons. Do you know if anyone has used steroids to train for the show?
A. Yep and yep.
Q. Whose back would you have if Kelly Anne and Wes got into an argument on a future season?
A. I’d stay out of that one entirely.
Q. What motivates Evelyn?
A. I’m driven to succeed. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing- from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, I have to be busy and I have to be advancing myself. In school, when I get started on my term papers I usually work 30 hours straight without breaks for anything until the job’s done, and I’ll oftentimes get horribly sick by the end of finals because I can’t just work on and off. It’s actually a problem - I can’t give myself breaks and if I haven’t done a perfect job, or if I’ve left a work in progress, my mind races, I get anxious, and it MUST be done as flawlessly as possible before my mind can be at rest. I think I’m technically obsessive-compulsive about most things I do. I am an extremist and I have to give anything I apply myself to 110%. I’m always stressed, I’m always busy, and I always have to do a perfect job…but I’m also EXTREMELY happy and satisfied with my life, and that applies to everything. Victory, success, and achievement are my ecstasy. I get antsy if I’m anywhere for an extended period of time and have trouble spending an entire day doing nothing. In this respect, my father is a carbon copy of me and the reason I am the way I am- only he has not entirely applied his abilities to pursuits that bring him joy. He’s Yale-educated, a Manhattan lawyer, and at 63 he works harder than he ever has in his entire life because every deal he’s on has to be done best, and as he is the best in his field he doesn’t delegate many tasks to the infinite associates he has at his disposal because he knows they won’t do as good a job as he will. This has been the source of lots of stress and hardship for him, and while he totally doesn’t need to be doing every little task himself, he’s the same way I am. He can’t walk away from it, even though virtually anyone could see that some of these deals are totally insignificant in the broader scheme of things. If you want points of reference…Jeez, I remember I had an idea to re-do the backyard of the place I was renting two years ago. I SLAVED away at that thing all day everyday for a month perfecting it, only to have to move away the next month and see it all go to waste. I barely thought twice about it once the job was done. In the salon, I am the only stylist I know who can wrap a full foil highlight in mathematically perfect sections, with one hundred perfectly aligned foils in perfect order. I guarantee if you went in there with a ruler they’d match up perfectly. That logical part of my mind is my dominant side. It’s always operating and it’s why when I do things I have to do them perfectly. It’s also why I can pick apart one of these games with ease (the alliances, the numbers, the strategy). I typically figure out what the Challenge teams are months in advance (long before you guys or the other cast members do, I assure you). I can swear on my life, I would beat every single challenger at least 9 times out of 10 on any given mathematical or logic puzzle, were they to give me one on these challenges. That stuff is my bread and butter…I can do the “diabolical” Sudoku in the Times at will…yet I could not even match up two simple colored giraffes in South Africa five years ago. It’s an extremely unhealthy way to live, and I can tell you that the way I approach these challenges is totally unhealthy for me as well. From the second I show up in that house I am playing the game all the way through. This is an extremely successful approach, but it’s also very taxing, and I think takes a lot of fun out of the game that I might otherwise experience on these challenges. The thing is outside of these shows I actually have a ton of personality, I’m one of the most charismatic and adventurous people I know; but, once I start applying myself to something, I zone out and quite honestly am not all there emotionally, which I think is why I come off as occasionally brick-like on the Challenges. When I’m on the Challenge, I’m on a mission, and that’s my all for the month. I’m the most ambitious person I know, and when these two things are combined, the results are fantastic...but the reason this is possible is because in ways I’m seriously flawed. Did you know I count my syllables almost everytime I am talking to someone? I arrange them into numerical orders in my head based on the sounds, and if I’m walking I time them with my steps and eardrum clicks (I can click my eardrums at will, like popping them on a plane, because my jaw is slightly assymetrical). I always just assumed everyone did that kind of stuff, until I mentioned it at dinner with people a few months ago and got some very weird looks. Believe it or not, I have several family members who are worse. This is also why I went years not giving a damn about my appearance, the visor, etc. I focused on other things and so appearance was totally irrelevant to me. Now that I’ve chosen to apply myself to cosmetology, it’s become one of my pursuits and you will virtually never catch me without Barbie-doll curls and three(+)-toned eyeshadow. Again, I’m a (perhaps deeply) flawed person. But ultimately I’m going to be spectacularly successful.
Q. A number of cast members who've never been in an acting class seem to want to play characters on the challenges. How do you stay yourself and not succumb to the temptation to be over-the-top in front of the camera?
A. I’m not capable of playing a role for the cameras, and don’t feel any desire to. This makes me a far more unique entity on that program than the would-be reality stars who ceaselessly attempt to court attention with their antics. I’m special for the simple fact that I don’t attempt to be special. I stand out because I don’t attempt to stand out. Ever. This especially applies amongst the women of the franchise, most of whom aren’t interesting enough to make it on their merits. I have no desire to get into acting or become famous off of this program. The Challenge is a game that I love; all I want to do is play it and win.
Q. Do you think fans are too intrusive in seemingly wanting to know things about the lives of the challenge cast members? Does it bother you that some "fans" don't understand that the shows are edited with a story line in mind?
A. At times my mind is blown by how easily manipulated viewers are. I’ve learned not to get hung up on the negativity because viewers are often fickle. They’ll hate a cast member one season and love them the next, based on whatever the editing might be. If you’re going through a rough patch with the viewers, don’t worry about it because in a few months, most of them will flip all over again. The great thing about Vevmo is that hostility is generally kept at bay, or at the very least kept to a basic level of decency. I think most Vevmo readers are like little reality TV experts, and I love it, which is why this site remains the only one I have ever given my patronage to. I’d like to point one thing out though -maybe my only issue here- regarding the anti-Fresh Meat stance of a few Vevmo people (and this is not even based on my opinion of your overall position)- when you’re trying to bash us, the term should be spoiled meat. Not “stale” meat. I think that one started with the losers over at Speakreality five years ago and has somehow persisted to this day. Have you ever seen a steak go stale? Spoiled, rotten, rancid, decayed, rank…any one of these would work. If it’s a play on the entertainment being stale, then it’s a poor one because it’s not even applicable to the title. Quite honestly, any individual I’ve seen toss that one around over the years I have dismissed as a moron. Does it necessarily make one an idiot? Debatable…I guess I just put ‘em on the level of the “then/than” people. You know,[I] those[/I] people.
Q. In your last interview with us you said this about your perfect alliance for a team challenge: “Kelly Anne, Wes, Derrick and myself. I don't think I'd every have to worry about waking up with a knife in my back with those..." Would you like to correct the record today, with or without a reason attached?
A. V1Man, you’re bad :wink2:
Q. Is there anyone from "Old School" MTV that you'd like to do a challenge with or again?
A. I’ll just consider that everyone before my season, and yes. Theo, Timmy, Cara, Ruthie, Mark, Landon, Beth, Frank, Adam L, Adam K, CT, Abram, Alton, Beth, Brad, Katie, Robin, Aneesa, Veronica, and Rachel are all “Old School” folks I’ve enjoyed my time with and with whom I would happily go on a Challenge. I’ve never met Jodi or Kina but have heard great things from my friends, so I’d like to do one with them as well. ~~~~
[Editor's note: Thank you, Evelyn, agreeing to this repeat interview for vevmo. Thanks also to everyone who posted questions. In the beginning I thought about a more structured interview, but when Evelyn saw your raw questions, she just started answering them as they were, mostly in the order you posted them. Well done, team!. Hopefully, following tonight's final episode, we can convince Evelyn to answer a few more questions about the outcome.]
EDIT: Here is a transcript of a Ustream Cara, Laurel and Evelyn did before Rivals reunion
https://www.reddit.com/MtvChallenge/comments/5fwofu/found_an_old_qa_postrivals_of_evelyn_laurel_and/
submitted by klphoen to MtvChallenge [link] [comments]


2020.08.07 21:34 ar_david_hh Aug/7/2020 news: / Russia extradites ex-MP. Murder attempt / Amulsar trailers / Nature audit / Anti-Corruption: Panama Paper's friend, two mayors, officials / Beirut aid / COVID & neighbors / AZ buys GEO fiber-optics / Tavush battles / Women in tech / Fewer car crashes / Women in tech / McBridgeface

Russia extradites ex-HHK MP accused of burglary and murder attempt

Levon Sargsyan, aka Alraghatsi Lyovik, is a former HHK MP who allegedly burglarized and shot at a senior IRS official a decade ago.
A felony case was revived in 2018. He was hiding in Russia. In March, Russia arrested him and prepared the extradition process.
Today Lyovik was brought to Armenia.
https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A
https://factor.am/274836.html
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522

Kocharyan's TV buddy's assets unfrozen

Armen Tavadyan, the owner of 5th Channel and many newspapers, earlier had his assets frozen after being charged with funding a scheme in which Kocharyan supporters (on hidden camera) tried to bribe March 1st victims to withdraw their claims against Kocharyan.
 
Today the judge unfroze Tavadyan's assets, except for $3,100.
https://factor.am/274981.html

Panama Paper suspect's friend is charged

Mihran Poghosyan is the former HHK official tasked with collecting taxes & fees. He was exposed by the Panama Paper leaks.
In addition to that, he was accused of cooking the books to hire fake employees to embezzle their salaries. One of these alleged "fake employees" is now charged with stealing $12K.
The suspect also happens to be HHK Justice Minister and Constitutional Court judge Hrayr Tovmasyan's ex-chauffeur.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/169873

Two other officials are charged...

.... besides Yerevan's ex-mayor Nazaryan. Yesterday we learned how Nazaryan was charged with rewriting laws to help Mishik's Dzoraget hydro plant to get a special status and to overcharge $14.6M in electricity.
 
Prosecutors have asked the court to arrest defendants Nazaryan, Shiraz Kirakosyan, Mushegh Koshetsyan for 2 months before their trial.
https://factor.am/275024.html , https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/i4z9oq/aug62020_news_drugs_over_mail_ok_armenia_will

Norashen's ex-mayor is charged...

... with signing fake construction agreements to embezzle $11K in 2017.
https://factor.am/274976.html

Lanjik's ex-mayor is charged...

.... with embezzlement between 2013-2017.
https://factor.am/274944.html

Amulsar standoff / Mayor joins environmentalists / Trailers removed

Lydian miner had earlier removed the activists' tents from the nearby road's shoulder and replaced them with their own trailers. The activists complained.
 
Today the mayor of Jermuk launched a process to remove Lydian's trailers.
Jermuk official: // Lydian's trailers were installed illegally on lands that were leased for other purposes. We'll move them to Lydian's territory which is only 15 meters away. This has turned into a bigger deal than it should be. We won't penalize Lydian.
 
There were false rumors about Lydian bribing us with 500mln to not move the trailers. That money came from the land lease. They used to be paid to Gndevaz city but recently it merged with Jermuk so now Jermuk collects the money. \\
 
The crane came and began moving Lydian's trailers slightly further away from the road, onto the Lydian territory.
It was agreed that the activists wouldn't place their tents in place of the removed trailers. "It's OK. We spent 7 months here before getting those tents," said an activist.
 
Lydian had earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the idea to move their trailers, calling it illegal. "We paid 500mln to lease those lands. What part of that money did the mayor use to improve the city?"
 
Jermuk official insisted that those lands weren't leased by Lydian and that such "meter for meter" land disputes are common across Armenia due to inaccuracies. The Jermuk official said they spent the 500mln on infrastructure upgrades in Jermuk.
https://youtu.be/nG8ujgrn0fw , https://factor.am/274910.html

Environmental inspectors bust 34 violations

No, not in Amulsar. Inspectors audited dozens of sights between July 13-17 and found that 34 companies damaged vegetation, animals, air, etc. causing $867K in damages.
https://factor.am/275032.html

Beirut explosion / Humanitarian aid

Pashinyan & Govt: 3 humanitarian flights with 12 tons of food, medicine, etc. The first flight will transport medicine on Saturday. The other two next week.
https://factor.am/274874.html
 
Officials and community members discussed possible types of aid. Diaspora Committee chief Sinanyan will fly to Beirut: "Armenia isn't going to provide aid only for the Armenian community of Beirut."
https://youtu.be/AbapFaehU08 , https://youtu.be/b-If3pC96jE
 
All Armenia Fund launched a fundraiser yesterday. $40K collected from individuals.
https://youtu.be/lJPeetdxaDg
 
Lebanon-based Azdak journalist: we've seen wars, bombs, and fighter jets, but nothing like this. Massive damages with long-term ramifications. 11 [later 13] deaths and 250 [later 300] injured in the Armenian community. Some are missing.
https://youtu.be/W-Ew3bKIYkg
 
Diaspora activist: We can't make the same mistake we made when the Syrian crisis happened. We need to move faster. Lebanese-Armenians need to be given aid to be relocated to Armenia, instead of the US or elsewhere, so they can remain active in Armenian and Lebanese life.
Armenian govt cannot handle this alone. Diaspora should help to subsidize the Lebanese-Armenians.
https://youtu.be/uf34Mf-LAN8
 
58,000 people signed a petition to hand over Lebanon to French control again, due to mistrust towards the Lebanese government and its ability to fight corruption.
16 officials are arrested, including the port's director.
http://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/07/Հազարավոր-լիբանանցիներ-Ֆրանսիային-կոչ-են-անում-երկիրը-կրկին-վերցնել-վերահսկողության-տակ/392218 , https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30770828.html

EU to help Gyumri after the flood

Earlier we saw how Gyumri was hit with a massive avalanche of water, snow, and hail.
The EU will donate $94K to Gyumri's 2,670 low-income residents who were affected.
https://factor.am/274990.html

COVID stats

+1,394 tested (172,994). +166 infected (6,972 active). +452 healed. +5 deaths (777 total).
No new cases in Artsakh for the second day in a raw. 46 active.
Armenia will resume flights to Tehran on August 25th.
https://factor.am/274854.html , https://factor.am/274856.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024410.html

COVID in Azerbaijan / Aliyev's coverup

Many Azeris don't believe the official stats about COVID retreating in Azerbaijan, saying "why does the govt ask for aid from foreign states, then?"
Doctor Bakhtiyar Mursakulov noted that two Olympic facilities are being converted into COVID facilities, which contradicts the claim that the virus is retreating.
 
There are reports that the Aliyev regime is hiding the true casualties and deaths among doctors and journalists. One outlet says they found evidence of 34 such deaths by scrapping the social media lone, while the govt hid it from the public.
 
JAMnews outlet interviewed an Azeri journalist who said they were told to keep quiet about deaths among doctors and journalists or else they'd face consequences.
 
(Maybe coincidentally maybe not, COVID stats in Azerbaijan began lowering at the same time when they began lowering in Armenia.)
https://factor.am/275053.html

Azerbaijan sneakily buys Georgian fiber-optics network

Georgian outlets write that Georgian "Caucasus Online" company secretly sold 49% of its shares to Azerbaijan, which is a violation of the law because any purchases over 5% must be reported to regulators.
It was sold to Azeri oil magnate Nasim Hasanov for $61M, who has close ties to govt.
 
This company connects Georgia to Bulgaria through the Black Sea and serves as a gateway for Armenia.
Experts reassured that the sale is only for 49% and the Georgian govt wouldn't allow Azeris to shut down the Armenian internet on Georgian soil.
There are concerns, however, that Azeris could get metadata (but not actual data) of Armenian traffic.
 
Many Georgians aren't happy about giving control of their internet infrastructure to Azerbaijan and reminded that the Georgian officials earlier opposed such sales.
 
Experts advised Armenia to actively work with Georgia to counter any possible Azeri attempt to harm Armenia's ongoing plans aimed towards making Armenia an internet hub between Europe and the Middle East.
http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283812/ , https://armeniasputnik.am/armenia/20200807/24023221/Caucasus-Online-i-bajnetomseri-vajarqy-inchov-e-sparnum-hayastanin.html

Several major oil & gas companies are leaving Azerbaijan

BP wants to cut 40% of its global oil & gas production and move to renewables. $45 oil isn't worth it, and even $70 wouldn't satisfy them.
They'll sell their shares in Azerbaijan, too. They currently own 30% of Azeri-Shirag oil and 29% of Shash-Deniz gas.
 
Exxon Mobil earlier began selling its Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and Azeri-Shirag shares.
Chevron had 10% and 9% shares in oil and gas. They sold $1.57B worth shares to a Romanian company.
https://factor.am/274961.html

Drone shooters got gifts

Artsakh president gave awards to several soldiers, including those who shot down Azeri ORBITER-3 drones during Tavush battles.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024407.html

Azeri GRAD commander

Azeri govt officially denied using GRAD rockets against Armenia during Tavush battles, despite the evidence.
When Azerbaijan released the names of dead soldiers, one of them was Lt. Reshad Mahmudov, who was a known commander of a GRAD unit with various TV interviews in the past.
https://razm.info/144842

update: HIV and Norq clinics to merge / Directors replaced

On February we learned that Healthcare Ministry decided to merge the HIV clinic with Norq Infections hospital so both would have one administration/database which would allow HIV patients, who are more vulnerable to infections, to get better care.
Some employees criticized the merger saying it would cause layoffs and some expensive equipment would be taken from one facility and given to the other.
 
The merger will proceed. Today the director of Norq Mher Davidyants resigned. Initially, he accepted the Deputy's position in the new facility but later changed his mind.
The HIV center's director is also gone.
The director of the now-merged facility will be appointed soon.
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/fcjd19/mar22020_news_collection_from_armenia_major_busts/

Veteran militaryman retires

Artsakh army's Information & Public Relations chief Senor Hasratyan is leaving the army after 25 years of service. "I'm proud to have served in the victorious army."
Hasratyan is known for producing TV shows about weapons and the Artsakh war.
https://factor.am/274843.html

Los Vegos

Singer Arman Hovhannisyan will have a shiny star on Las Vegas Walk of Star (similar to Los Angeles thing).
He thanked the fans. The opening ceremony is on Sep 21.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024305.html

Fewer car incidents in 1H

-17% fewer car incidents across Armenia this year.
1,720 incidents. 122 deaths. 2,540 wounded.
However, the incidents are +7% for June YoY.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024382.html

Forbes: Armenia has high female participation in tech

"It's the world's next tech hub. Double-digit growth. 20,000 workers with 30% being women."
Armenia leads the "Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality".
Some of the biggest tech firms have 30-70% female employees.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackieabramian/2020/08/06/armenias-women-tech-trailblazers-are-forging-new-horizons/
AM: http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283826/

Prosecutors want to reform domestic abuse investigations

Beginning Jan/1/2018 prosecutors were allowed to charge a domestic abuser even if the victim didn't press charges.
Recently the prosecutors audited the statistics, examined the ECHR precedence, and asked the Parliament to amend the law to give prosecutors broader rights.
 
Right now, prosecutors can press charges without the victim's help only if the victim is "defenseless or is depended on abuser".
Prosecutors want to add "if there is a threat to the victim's health or life" clause.
 
They also want to remove the requirement for the victim to physically appear at a police station with the purpose of "proving" that they are defenseless or dependent on the abuser.
https://factor.am/274972.html

ooof can you smell that մազութ?

A 10km section of Tigranashen-Zangakatun road is being renovated, for the first time in 20 years, with a 10cm thicc double-layer asphalt *(would you like some fries with your order?). It'll have a water removal network and shoulders. Costs $2M.
https://factor.am/274861.html

The rumors are true

Grandmaster Levon Aronyan has a new girlfriend. "Ani has made me want to live again."
The chess player lost his wife and partner of 13 years to a car incident earlier this year.
https://factor.am/274846.html

Bridgy McBridgeface 🤔

An interesting looking metal bridge on Arapi river is given the status of a "newly discovered monument of a local significance".
Your Highness Bridgy.
Honorary McBridgeface.
 
It's located between Gyumri and Arapi, on the river Akhuryan. It was built in 1877 by Russian tsar's soldiers, who used it to advance the army to capture Kars.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024408.html
 
You've read 1877 words.

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
5) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]


2020.08.04 21:10 tryingmybestsince96 NorCal Jumping Off Point???

Hi! New to this sub but in need of some advice. My partner and I are both able to work remotely for the near future so we thought this would be a good time for us to get away after being couped up for some long. (Please note that we are taking every precaution and being very safe!)
We are based in Los Angeles but are looking into getting an Airbnb for a month. We want somewhere that acts as a good home base for us to do day trips and explore. Somewhere populated enough for us to be able to get groceries and have good internet but close (under a 2 hour drive) to a lot of nature (think hikes, lakes, etc). Willing to go within 10 hours any direction but figured NorCal would probably be our best bet.
Any advice is greatly appreciated! And please let me know if I am not following the rules of the sub.
Thx!
submitted by tryingmybestsince96 to travel [link] [comments]


2020.08.04 16:53 dragonsky Saying that WWE doesn't create new stars is not true

With people buying this narrative and just blindly repeat the same things over and over, I felt like I had to make a thread where we have to see the real situation.
You can hate on the WWE for some things, or you can have negative thoughts, but just blindly repeating what your favourite internet journalist told you is totally ignorant of the truth.
First of all, the argument "WWE doesn't create new stars" is such a bad argument since you can use it without proving anything. You can say "They don't create new stars" and you can say "yeah, yeah, that's true"
This is because WWE is a weekly episodic show, and the people who are part of the product are there every single week from the start of their career till the end.
You could've even said that in the 90s
"ooof...WWE doesn't create new stars :/ " and still be right. It's a fake argument which you can say while trying to put some dirt on a company you hate. Which is what people like Meltzer do, and then they have people following the "narrative" and repeating the same things over and over.
"ooof, their main star is The Rock? Oof, they've pushed him as the blue chip prospect, they pushed him as part of the Nation of Domination and now they are even giving him a third shot as a solo star? Ooof..give us someone new, not old and tired.."
"Ooof...Stunning Steve? OOof, they are pushing someone who was in WCW and ECW instead of creating someone new.."
"Ooof..Hunter Hearst Helmsley? Oof, another guy who couldn't cut it in WCW huh?"
"Mick Foley? Heh, he made a name for himself elsewhere, WWE just takes popular wrestlers and pushes them"
You can do these arguments whenever you feel like it.
The problem is... this is not a thing which should be an argument at all, since this is how companies work.
Having hierarchy of stars is how companies work. AEW is the same. They have main-eventers and midcarders. If Kenny Omega becomes their biggest star in 2 years from now would the argument of "Ooof, we've seen him before, they fail to create new stars" still be there? Because it shouldn't.
You push someone through the mid-cards OR you give him a mega monster push.
Anyways, let me get to my point.
Saying that WWE's biggest problem is that they don't create new stars is 100% not true.
I think that for this example it should be fair to see where things were 5 years ago since it's a good number. Stars don't come out of nowhere, and 5 years are more or less enough time to expect a change or evolution to come.
So, since Summerslam is near, I will make the 2020 vs 2015 comparisson to bust the myth that WWE doesn't create new stars:
SUMMERSLAM 2020 vs SUMMERSLAM 2015
So, let's start with the matches we already have for this year.
Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre.
In 2015, Randy Orton had a match against Sheamus. He is still on the roster and he is the guy with the most experience out of the current wrestlers.
Drew McIntyre. In 2015, Drew was part of the independent circuit and he wasn't even in WWE. Having Drew as the champion and perhaps the #1 guy in 2020, sure does count as creating a new star which didn't exist in 2015, right?
Apollo Crews vs MVP for the US title
MVP is another guy just like Randy. A veteran, and a guy who was supposed to be retired before the covid-era began. Now, he is going to have a title match against Apollo Crews.
Apollo Crews was not even a part of the main-roster in 2015. He was part of NXT. Having a guy who wasn't even a part of the roster as one of the title holders in the company counts as a creation of a new star in my mind.
The Street Proffits vs Andrade and Garza
The team of Angelo Dawkins and Kenneth Crawford debuted on the March 16, 2016 episode of NXT. Which means, in 2015 they weren't even in WWE at all. Having them as champions in mean time sounds like WWE creating new tag team stars in my opinion.
In 2015, Andrade was still part of NJPW before going to NXT later that year. Having a former US champion in a tag team title match who wasn't part of the main-roster in 2015, and just signed that year for WWE sounds like WWE creating new stars in my opinion.
Angel Garza. He is currently in some mild-storyline with Charly and the girl from the Bachelor. His gimmick as a lothario is getting pushed and he is part of a tag team title match. In 2015 he was part of AAA. Having a guy who wasn't part of WWE in 2015 being pushed with a gimmick that is well received and having him in a title match sounds like WWE is creating a new star in my opinion.
Dominick Mysterio vs Seth Rollins
Ah yes, the veteran Dominick who has terrorized WWE for 25 years with his boring matches. Classic veteran, WWE definitely doesn't give chances to new guys.
Seth Rollins. He was in a US vs WWE title match at SummerSlam 2015. Then he was part of the authority, and after few years of being the #1 face, now he is the #1 heel on RAW. His gimmick changed multiple times since 2015, and I'd say that Seth in 2020 is definitely not a stale guy. Does this count as WWE creating a new star? Eh, perhaps, but he was pushed in 2015, so I'd say maybe not, he just became an established star instead of being the new star that he was in 2015.
And that's not all.
Let's see some of the other guys:
Matt Riddle is having a feud with King Corbin.
Matt Riddle was on the indy circuit in 2015, and now he is having a feud which might end with a match at SummerSlam.
Baron Corbin was still part of NXT in 2015.
The Fiend vs Braun Strowman.
The character of The Fiend and the "Firefly Funhouse" didn't exist back in 2015.
In 2015, Bray Wyatt was in a tag team match with Luke Harper vs Dean and Roman. People wanted him to get a big push and hated WWE for not pushing him. Now, he is getting a big push and is one of, if not the #1 merch seller.
Braun Strowman debuted the RAW after SummerSlam. People didn't like him immediately after he debuted and no one had high hopes for him. Currently he is the champion. I'd say this counts as WWE creating stars.
The current tag team champions on Smackdown are Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.
At SummerSlam 2015, Cesaro lost to Kevin Owens. Shinsuke Nakamura was not even signed to WWE.
The intercontinental champion is AJ Styles. In 2015, AJ Styles was part of ROH.
And let's not forget the women. Asuka, Sasha, Bayley, Charlotte, Becky, all of which are stars on their own.
The women's match at SummerSlam 2015 was: Team PCB (Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Paige) defeated Team B.A.D. (Naomi, Sasha Banks, and Tamina) and Team Bella (Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, and Nikki Bella)
So yeah, this can also count as people that WWE made into new stars And if you want to know how much WWE changed since 2015 till now, here's a list of people who were part of SumerSlam 2015 and are no longer wrestling for WWE:
Ryback, Paige, Dean Ambrose, Summer Rae, Rusev, King Barrett, Stardust, Neville (his partner was the actor Stephen Amell), The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Darren Young, Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) with El Torito, Sin Cara, Luke Harper
Can't wait for the 2025 arguments of "Yikes, WWE doesn't create new stars. Yeah, we all know and love Andrade, Garza, Dominick, Montez Ford, Apollo Crews and Matt Riddle but god damn, push someone new, I want to see someone new get a title other than Matt Riddle and Andrade going back and forth, smh so boring" while they'll completely miss the rise/push of some new people in the same year
You can hate WWE for many things, but you can't hate them for not pushing new guys. You can say WWE doesn't let the guys be themselves or that the guys they push are not as great as Stone Cold and the Rock, or whatever... but the fact that they don't create new stars is simply not true. Unless by "WWE doesn't create new stars" you don't mean "WWE doesn't create new Stone Cold Rock Cena" in which case you are kind of right. But then again Roman is not completely non-mainstream.
submitted by dragonsky to Wreddit [link] [comments]


2020.08.03 22:31 virtualpostmail How to Maintain Privacy Protection with Your Home Address for Your Business

When starting a new business you are often looking for the best ways to cut costs. A common method of doing this is by listing your home address as your business address. However, there are good reasons why this is inadvisable and unsafe.
There are instances when listing your home address is a valid choice, however, for most businesses using your home address can make you seem unreliable and unprofessional to customers. In a worst-case scenario, it can even lead to privacy breaches.
The good news is there are options to work around this issue. So what is at risk, and how can you protect yourself and your business?

What is Privacy Protection?

An often overlooked and underestimated aspect of starting a new business is how important it is to separate home life and work life.
When you list your personal home address as your business address, you mingle these two worlds. This can lead to confusion and possible invasion of privacy. If customers appear at your front door, it’s possible that the privacy of your home and family can be compromised.
The definition of privacy protection can vary, however it generally refers to keeping your information safe from those you do not want to see it, i.e. hackers, public websites, or government entities.

Keeping Information and Identity Safe From Unwanted Groups and The Public

To protect your information and keep your identity safe from unwanted parties, it’s important to first understand what information is actually available for all to see.
The U.S. General Service Administration defines PII as, “Information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual”.
This can include the following ways for that stranger on the dark web to compromise your whole life:
Yikes, that’s a lot of attainable information that you give out all the time! For instance, you make a bulk purchase to buy office supplies for your business and used your home address for the checkout and shipping forms. You use your address more often than you think and that’s why it’s important to protect it. You’re identity could be compromised with a simple office supply purchase.
And as a business you’ll have to expose one of the above listed one way or another. Imagine if your SSN got in the wrong hands that would be disastrous for you and your company.
There are simple practices you can adopt to keep it safe. For example, don’t give out information on phone calls or through the mail unless you know the person. Don’t click links in emails when they require you to input information.
It’s also important to note that the information associated with your LLC or corporation is already available to the public online, via your state’s Secretary of State website. This is why it is important not to associate your home address with your business address, because if one is compromised, so is the other.
Real-life examples of the bad consequences of this overlap in personal and professional addresses are:
All these examples are bad and scary experiences we hope to help you avoid so here’s how to.

5 Steps to Protect Your Home Address

When doing business it is normal to give out your address to interested parties, customers, vendors, etc. Registering your business with your home address, means you will be giving out your home address a countless time and who knows in whose hands your address could end up?
It can be difficult to fully protect your home address if you’ve already been using it, but it’s never too late to start taking steps to protect your privacy and personal information. Here are 5 basic steps you can start with.

1. Obtain Another Business Address to Receive Your Mail and Packages

There are many options available to set up another address as your business address. Here are some of the most commonly used business addresses.

PO Box

A dedicated PO Box can be purchased from local post offices. They are lockable mailboxes which can be used as a separate delivery address. You can then personally collect your mail from them. They are always located in physical post offices and accessible only by a unique code. Make sure you choose a mailbox capacity appropriate for the volume and size mail you receive.
The address of your PO Box will be presented in this format:
PO Box 1234
Los Angeles, CA 90053
For a guide on how to get your own PO Box, follow the 3 Easy Steps on How To Get a PO Box
Getting a PO Box is an affordable business address to use, but keep in mind you’ll have to travel often to make sure it doesn’t overflow and that you don’t miss any important business documents.
However, note that if you are an LLC or corporation or want to obtain a business bank account a PO Box is not the right choice because it isn’t an accepted address. You can read more about the disadvantages here.

Virtual Mailbox

A virtual mailbox service offers a permanent business street address for receiving mail. Once mail is received, the mail is scanned and an image of the mail envelope is uploaded into your digital mailbox. You can then view and request to have selected mail pieces opened and the contents scanned. You can read more with The Ultimate Guide to a Virtual Mailbox
The main benefits of using a virtual mailbox are:
A virtual mailbox is a flexible business address option if you are a run a remote business or travel often. It lets you conveniently manage your mail and packages from any location and while on the go.

Virtual Office

Using a virtual office is another solution to protecting your privacy.
Virtual offices offer many of the benefits and features of traditional office spaces, without the overheads and cost of leasing one. They are also a great way of protecting your personal information and keeping your personal and business lives separate.
Some of the benefits of using a virtual office can include:
The ability to use a mail receipt service with virtual offices means you don’t have to provide your personal address for business purposes, thus protecting the privacy of your home and family.

2. Use Your Separate Business Address

It is important to not use your home address for any of your official business documents. Make sure you use your selected separate business address at all times.
Often, you must provide an address of some kind for records, business transactions, and a huge range of activities relating to your work. Addresses that are listed as relating to businesses or LLCs are available for the public to see online, leaving you open to everything from junk mail to scammers.
So ensure that whatever address you choose, whether it’s a virtual office or virtual mailbox, is the address you associate with your business and not your home address. Are we emphasizing this enough?

3. Remove Your Home Address From Any Company Filings

Make sure you don’t use your home address on any state documents when completing business-related forms.
It’s important to remember that if you use your home address for business use, it will become public information. Even using it once will list it on public state websites. That exposure opens you up to receiving vast amounts of unwanted business-related mail (junk mail) or even worse, visits or physical contact from disgruntled customers.
It may be easier and less expensive in the short term to use your home address for your business, but using a separate business address at the beginning will save you time, money, and ultimately make you and your business look more professional as well as the most important part protecting your privacy for the long run.

4. Don’t Act As Your Registered Agent Sharing Your Home Address

This might seem a little out of place, but it isn’t. As an LLC or corporation you are required to assign a registered agent in order to operate. There are a couple of options to choose from for assigning a registered agent to your business and the one we’ll address is if you choose to act as your own registered agent.
You can choose to act as your own registered agent, however finding another to act for you can add another layer of separation between your personal and business lives. If you act as your own registered agent you will be using your home address, which is public information, so use a registered agent service to continue on the path of protecting your privacy.
A registered agent service is someone in another address, either a business or an individual, who is authorized to receive your mail, including legal documents on your behalf. No need to ever expose your personal home address. Voila!
The main benefits of finding a registered agent service are:
Follow this link to find out more about registered agents services.

5. Opening a Business Bank Account

Again this might seem a little off topic to protecting your home address with your business, but if you haven’t found out yet *SPOILER ALERT\* a business bank account is one of the most important parts of your business.
It is needed to separate your personal and business finances for tax purposes. It’s best to get this in the beginning stages to set your business up for success.
Now let’s tie it back to protecting your privacy.
Some banks and financial services will accept a residential address, but it’s not a good idea. The point of protecting your privacy is to use your home address minimally or not at all. This means that your options to avoid using your personal information become limited when opening a business bank account. Another option is a commercial office, but that’s costly.
There is one more option for proof of address for opening a business bank account that you can view called Trulease. While it may be a little expensive, it can effectively safeguard your privacy.
Follow this link to learn more about your address options when opening a business bank account.

The Best Solution to Protect the Privacy of Your Home Address

Keeping your home address separate from your business or work is vitally important, protecting you from minor inconveniences such as junk mail to more serious breaches such as stalking and identity theft. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to help you maintain your privacy while benefiting from everything a physical business address offers.
Combined with the steps outlined above for protecting privacy, choosing one of these options will help ensure that your business will run successfully, without sacrificing the privacy of your own information.
Have you decided that a virtual mailbox is the best fit for you? Get started with VirtualPostMail.
submitted by virtualpostmail to u/virtualpostmail [link] [comments]


2020.07.28 21:16 ar_david_hh Jul/28/2020 news: / Tavush Battles - Pashinyan's interview TLDR - Russia relations - Margarita Simonyan - Karabakh / Bordering residents to get subsidies / Firdusi tourism / Diaspora / 1st lady / Anti-corruption news: BHK, Kocharyan, judge / COVID vs economy & railways / Money / Infrastructure++

Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?

July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16…. July 17…. July 18…. July 19…. July 20…. July 21... July 22.... July 23.... July 24... July 25... July 27...

Bordering residents to get subsidized gas/electricity/taxes/cattle/books/++

If the bill is passed, for the next 3 years, the residents of all 36 Azeri-bordering villages will continue to receive certain subsidies, plus new types of aid, as part of a $2M aid package.
 
50% discount on electricity, gas, irrigation water.
100% discount on land and property tax.
50-100% for school books.
100% for home repairs damaged by Azeri fire.
100% to buy a new cattle if Azeri fire damaged the farm.
Civilians who sustain injuries/die from Azeri fire will get a free medical treatment plus $5000/$10,000 one-time aid.
Another bill seeks to subsidize education and pre-school bills.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193654 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193659

Pashinyan's interview to Russian RBK media / AM-RU relations / Margo Simonyan & Aliyev

Pashinyan's interview:
the dear leader
Aliyev's rhetoric got militaristic months before the clashes, and a week earlier, he threatened to exit peace talks, saying that the world as a whole has moved to use force to solve problems.
 
why Tavush?
You gotta ax yourself, why did Aliyev attack Armenia and not Artsakh?
A week before the attack, AZ military admitted that they can't attack Karabakh because Armenians installed night-vision and other cameras across the border [with the help of U.S. diaspora, as stated by Zakir Hasanov]. Plus there are many Azeri villages near the Karabakh border. It was hard to attack Karabakh.
So they chose the Armenian border with "fewer cameras" and fewer Azeri villages on the border.
 
gotta prove it
For years, Aliyev promised Azeri citizens to solve the Karabakh conflict with war. After spending billions of $ on the military, he had to prove it wasn't all in vain.
I've said this before: don't use the language of threats against Armenia. But they kept insisting they have a superior army and can take Karabakh in 24 hours.
They created this myth for 15 years. Now the myth is gone, so they're furious. The myth is gone because the Armenian army dealt a heavy blow, something that not even certain circles within Armenia thought would be possible.
The military modernizations of the past 2 years have paid off.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193680
 
Turkey vs Russia
Turkey has a goal to control the South Caucasus. They're pouring fuel on the fire. Russia played a key role to stabilize the region.
Many Armenians wonder why Turkey openly supports Azerbaijan, while Russia - a military partner of Armenia - doesn't do the same for Armenia. Here we have to remember that Russia is an OSCE member.
Russia is still interested in this region for geopolitical reasons.
 
Angry Մարգո տոտա
Q: some people in Russia (RT propagandist Margarita Simonyan) say that Russia might have provided more help if Armenia recognized Crimea as part of Russia.
Pashinyan: first time I hear that. No such discussions in official or non-official forums. Armenia hasn't even recognized the independence of Karabakh. It's inappropriate to bring up Crimea.
 
where does Robik fit in all this?
Q: Margo Simonyan complains that you arrested Russia's ally Robert Kocharyan.
Pashinyan: Russia has to realize that Russia's allies aren't Kocharyans, Pashinyans, or other individuals or clans, but rather the Armenian people.
Every rumor that Armenia would abandon Russia post-revolution turned out to be false.
The "anti-Russian" NGOs that operate in Armenia that Margo Tota complaints about, have also operated under the RoboSerj administrations which were considered "pro-Russian". Why were they allowed to operate?
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193689
 
CSTO alliance
CSTO was balanced in its rhetoric. We didn't petition for military aid. We informed them about clashes.
 
ethnic clashes in Moscow
Armenians didn't start it. It started when the Azeri market banned Armenians, followed by physical clashes, which are a result of 15-year-long hateful rhetoric in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan wants to destabilize Russia.
 
Karabakh's role in negotiations
If Ilham doesn't want Karabakh to be part of negotiations and wants Armenia to represent Karabakh, that means he accepts that Karabakh is part of Armenia (4D mind-chess right here, folks).
I'm not gonna talk to Ilham until the tensions ease.
BTW, Armenians and Azeris should stop fighting on the internet.
 
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193696 , https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/07/28/Փաշինյան․-Հայկական-բանակը-փշրեց-ադրբեջանական-միֆը-ՁայնաZoom/391439
The interview: https://youtu.be/emEZRDhN5Hs

NSS wants to regulate civilian drone use on the border

The army radars catch the amateur drones when tourists and locals fly them close to the border. They don't like the "noise", so they asked the govt to restrict it.
NSS proposed a bill to require a license for flying a drone near the border, for filming the army trenches, facilities, sensitive objects.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193651

Armenian diaspora post-Tavush battles / Zareh Sinanyan

London's St. Yeghishe church served a liturgy dedicated to fallen soldiers. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193634
 
Swiss-Armenian held a protest in front of UN office in Geneva: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023331.html
 
15 Azeris were arrested during protests in Iran. https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2020/07/28/azeris-detained-in-Iran-after-anti-Armenian-demonstrations/2335559
 
It's over. Azerbaijan wins. A group of Turkish mountain climbers held a sign "Karabakh is Azerbaijan" on top of Mt. Ararat. https://www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/07/24/Թուրք-լեռնագնացները-Արարատ-լեռան-գագաթին-տեղադրել-են-«Ղարաբաղը-Ադրբեջանն-է»-պաստառ/283120
 
Aliyev regime arrested 2 more political opponents from the National Front. https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30753633.html
 
Diaspora Committee chief Zareh Sinanyan: the civilian attacks were sponsored by Turkey and carried out by Azerbaijan. Every country handles these crimes differently. The U.S. is investigating the school incident as an isolated attack, while the work done by Russian authorities is broader. Things appear to be under control.
 
There was baseless criticism that our office didn't do enough to unite the diaspora during the attacks. People may not be informed about what we do. When things happen in other countries, our actions on their land must be carefully thought-out.
Some critics said "Sinanyan must be in Moscow right now". Okay, but why in Moscow and not in Berlin, or in Los Angeles (where another attack took place)? We work. We don't show-off things to pretend that we work. We were in touch with ambassadors and community leaders since day one.
Full interview: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193640

1st lady's peace initiative

Anna Hakobyan created "Mothers for Peace" initiative in 2018 and invited Azeri mothers to join the movement. Despite Aliyev's opposition, 1st lady says there is some interest in Azerbaijan.
 
500,000 people visited the website recently, with some of them from AZ. The admins won't release details about AZ visitors to prevent them from being targeted by the Aliyev regime.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193679

Movie about April 2016 battles

A new movie is being filmed about the 2016 battles. A segment was filmed inside Garni temple, which made some residents believe hooligans were partying inside the protected monument.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193644

another arrest linked to BHK leader Tsarukyan's business

A while ago we learned that Sedrak Arustamyan, who is BHK party leader Tsarukyan's right-hand man, was arrested for allegedly stealing North-South highway construction funds.
He was leading a construction firm called STONES. The authorities say another STONES official has been charged with money laundering.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193665

Kocharyan & Co trial resumes / Travel & Cash

"March 1st" defendants Kocharyan and others were in court.
Defendant Khachaturov asked the judge for permission to leave Armenia to his homeland Georgia for 2 days. Although the prosecutor wasn't against the reason for the travel, he said COVID would cause complications. The judge denied the travel.
 
Defendant Armen Gevorgyan (Robik's middleman) asked the judge to lift the arrest on his bank account and properties, which were frozen in 2018. He argued that his basic rights were violated.
 
Robik Kocharyan also asked the judge to lift the arrest on his assets. "The legality of my assets can not be doubted by anyone," said Robik. He's talking about the govt-issued house and the money he earned from his role as Russian SISTEMA company's board member.
 
Prosecutor asked the judge to preserve Kocharyan's $6M and Armen Grigoryan's $2M asset arrests.
Verdict on August 4th.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193672 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193685 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193694

The judge returns the stolen cash

NSS earlier arrested a judge and charged another one as part of the incident about judges allegedly rigging an apartment auction to buy it for cheap, and embezzling salaries of fake employees.
The official returned $19K in embezzled salaries.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193686

Addiction Center chief addicted to money?

Investigators busted the director of govt-funded Addiction Center with alleged embezzlement since 2016.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193697

COVID stats

+239 infected. +692 healed. +10 deaths. 158,527 tested so far. 9.330 active. 719 deaths.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193652
 
quarantine exceptions
Members of foreign diplomatic missions and organizations no longer have to quarantine upon arrival. Experts tasked with helping the economy and medicine are also exempt.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193664

COVID vs railway rides in 1H20 vs 1H19

Internal: 133K vs 166K
International: 4K vs 13K
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193675

Business aid post-COVID

EU will issue grants to Armenian tiny-medium businesses affected by COVID. The business must have innovative ideas, use technology, respect personal safety, a plan to enter the market.
Applications are accepted until August 12th. https://factor.am/272374.html

Central Banks is satisfied with inflation:

We predict 1.9% by the end of 2020; it's at the lower end of our scale.
Low inflation is our priority right now. If we had 10% inflation, the consumer prices would rise by 30%.
We have accumulated capital and public trust.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023323.html

They screwed up the detonation again

Last week a company failed to detonate a factory building in Yerevan. Police were dispatched to guard the unexplored TNT.
The F-ed up again today. The TNT exploded but the building stands. Bravo 👏👏👏👏👏
https://youtu.be/TzrpHe8WGHQ?t=9

what a good boy

A camera recorded a bear in Khosrov Forests. It really needs some back-scratching.
Ayyyyy https://youtu.be/GE0pgHAQxvo?t=2

Old Firdusi district to turn into a tourist spot

Earlier we learned that Yerevan's Firdusi district is being replaced with a new project, and that complaints were made after an old building was destroyed. The city and ministry officials pointed fingers.
 
Deputy PM Avinyan says the historical buildings will be preserved. New 2-4 story buildings will be built with old-style wooden balconies.
A 250-meter pedestrian avenue will be created for tourists.
Project video: https://youtu.be/u4zi7nCIeGI?t=9
https://factor.am/272481.html

Alternative road

Tatev-Aghvan's 12km road is being renovated with a double-layer asphalt and water removal network. Costs $2.4M.
This was the continuation of the road repair near Satan Bridge. Next year the other 17km will be rebuilt, followed by 10km in 2022.
 
In the end, Goris-Kapan will have an alternative 40km high-quality road to boost trade and tourism.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193656

shiny new school in Gavar

$2.7M was sent to rebuild Gavar's #2 school. It withstands 6.9M earthquakes and meets the safety code.
The nearby Sevan-Martuni-Getap and Yeranos roads are also being repaired, after 20 years.
Video: https://youtu.be/1SOOvMILRpA

A new $70M reservoir

PM held a meeting about a $70M Kaps water reservoir, co-funded by a German bank.
The works begin in 2021. It'll have a 51m wall and 60mln m3 volume.
Akhuryan river's infrastructure will be renovated.
1.3mln kWh electricity will be saved each year. 7,000 ha more irrigated lands.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193688

Gavar hospital obtained...

.... three latest-generation medical equipment for dialysis, blood exam, intra-operative x-ray to make complex surgeries accurate and fast. "Expect higher quality services," said the administration.

Send your child's drawings to art exhibition

4-15 yo Armenian kids can participate in Kanagawa World Children's Art Exhibition until August 22nd, which is held once every two years.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023258.html

Thanos did nothing wrong

The symphonic orchestra will play Hollywood movie tunes on July 30th.
Watch: https://www.facebook.com/DasAeducation/
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023267.html
 
You've read 1903 words.

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
5) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
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2020.07.27 11:54 27JJuldacket Play No Games Da-ting Si-te

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2020.07.26 16:06 RomainBigeard Memories of an EULCS manager: “How it was to live in the UOL gaming house and other anecdotes on team performance and daily life training philosophy”

Bonjour!
Last year I did an interview for Paul “Redeye” Chaloner’s book “This is esports”. Paul gave me a really good set of questions which triggered a lot of memories and I ended up writing loooong answers. Now that the book is out, I wanted to share some of those answers with the community as not everything could make it into the book.
Topic was “Gaming houses” and “How do you live and work with pro players”. I talk about my past years with Unicorns of Love and a bit about Optic Gaming.
My background:
______________________________________________________________________________
When did you first visit a team house? What was your impression?
My first time in a gaming house was in 2016 for my hiring interview with Sheepy (UOL coach and owner). It was like walking inside a temple, entering the place where legends are made. I felt like a kid, watching the posters on the wall and the little pink details everywhere. I was there, walking in this magical place and it was a beautiful mess. I remember wearing a pink onesie and players looked at me like if I was an alien. Vizicsacsi, Kikis, PowerOfEvil, Vardags, Hylissang, Sheepy in the same place. Good times.
Tell me about Unicorns of Love's team house set up when you worked for them. What was it, what did it offer, did you live there yourself?
After they qualified for EULCS (end 2014), UOL had to find a place in Berlin able to host 6 people (5 players + 1 coach). Lucky for them, Sheepy’s father (Jos) is an accomplished polyvalent businessman and he always has solutions for every kind of problem. I say “lucky” because they only had 2 months to do everything, from the day they beat Millenium 3-2 to the first day of EULCS, and without Jos this would have turned into a nightmare.
They ended up in an apartment not too far from the EULCS Studio (where you have to drive twice a week to play on stage), with a decent internet connexion and enough beds and computers for everyone. To be honest, that's all you need when you are a geek. I joined a few months after.
The apartment/house was in the middle of nowhere, which I realised later was an advantage. On the paper our address was “Berlin”, but we were a few streets away from being considered in another city. Being 45min away from the town centre and all the clubs is good in Berlin, where the night is dark and full of fun. 45min might sound like nothing for Americans but it's a world in Europe, and enough to make you stay home if you are a bit tired after a long day. Keeping our players away from temptation was much easier that way. We were chilling in our own world, spending most of the time inside the gaming house, playing video games for a living.
The apartment had 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a toilet room and a big “basement” (connected to the garden so not really a “basement”). We did a tour if you wanna see how it looked. This video was a parody of the Origen gaming house tour. Same music, same concept, no budget.
5 players + 1 coach = 6 people for 3 rooms. 2 people per room and everything is good to go. Where do you put the manager tho? Easy: on the couch. I slept in the middle of the basement for my first 6 months, with earplugs at night because of the players practising a few meters away. The only thing I could really hear was Vizicsacsi training Ryze because he was spamming his combos like a maniac. It sounds a bit hard to live like that but I truly loved it. It lasted until we rented another apartment in the same building. Sheepy moved there with his girlfriend and I moved in with a player.
I lived for almost 3 years in the gaming house, and it was an incredible experience. I was the mum and the dad, the brother and the manager, but I tried hard to never be a “friend”. As much as I value friendship, this is a job, and the core foundation should be "respect" and not "friendship". It's a nice bonus when players develop it between themselves, but it can lead to complicated situations during off-seasons when you do roster changes.
The schedule was always the same: 1 day off where players usually stay home and play, 4 days of training, 2 days of show. There is no "Monday" or "Sunday" in league of legends, there is only "Game day" or "Scrim day". The day started at 8h for me, direction gym, usually with 1-2 brave players, the rest stayed in bed till 11/12h. At 13h we had some food, I was usually cooking for those who were angry. Then we had a good afternoon of practice, dinner at 19h, more practice and then free play. During the practice I was either watching, doing emails for logistic/business/social media/sponsors or taking care of the house.
Players had no computers in their room, so the whole life of the GH was happening downstairs. We only used the first floor as "life support", for food, sleep, shower etc. The atmosphere was focused during the afternoon and light-hearted in the evening. At night, players would practice together or call/play with their friends/girlfriends. The beauty of Europe is all the languages. With no native speaker, English gets butchered a lot but it's our only common language. In the evening, you could hear every language as everyone got back into their own bubble. German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Russian, Korean.... I believe this cosmopolicy also brings a lot of value to a training environment. Different tastes and habits help to open the mind. Korean don't eat too salty or sugary. German love their potatoes. French like cheese. Clichés? yeah - usually with a taste of truth. Worst case it is the opener for a good talk where you’ll learn new things about a different culture. We all have different opinions on what's “good food” or “bad food”. Being from different origins can also be a problem during fights - language barrier is a pain in the ass when you meant "I'm 50% angry" but the guy you're talking to understood "95% angry" because you picked the wrong word.
Living all together forces you to share moments of your life. We watched horror movies all together, and it was hilarious. We shared the joy and pains together, breakups, new born, good news, all those emotional moments of life you wanna share with someone. You always have someone to talk to. Which can be a challenge for some players as well. Most of those young geniuses are THAT good at video games because they spend the last 10 years of their life alone in their room playing. Sometimes they really suck at communicating their feelings because of that. Being in an environment with other "geeks", able to just shut up and play for hours, is for them a good transition to the real world with other humans. A potential issue could be a player with a strong personality, talking a lot and “stealing” all the energy/time from others. To those players, you have to explain that they need to respect boundaries. It’s part of living together as humans. You can usually spot who grew up with siblings or not.
Was the gaming effective at building bonds between players? What about improving the team's overall performance?
Yes it was, especially for young players. A really young player is usually coming straight from home and doesn't see this new life as a job, more like a weird holiday camp with a weekly dose of adrenaline. And to be fair this is the reality of LoL esport: days and days of training in a room with your team, and only sometimes, a big stage. When you play high level LoL, you need to be the very best to attend a big offline event with a crowd. Only the top 3 teams get to walk on a stage. Only the best do it repeatedly. It means most players have quite a limited physical access to their fans and never benefit the fame of “being a proplayer”. The truth behind a LoL pro is not made of glitters and parties, it's living with other dudes and playing video games a lot. Making it hard sometimes to remember why you're there, and what you're doing. The biggest struggle is not the lack of skill, it is the long term motivation. This energy you had when you started. Everyone wants to “be the best player”, but our tournament is 9 months long and only ends up at Worlds - who has the guts and the mental strength to sacrifice everything for months and months and months? In LoL, only 5 players per year are “the best”. A reality difficult to accept for hyper-competitive young players. And if you are not playing, it means you suck because you were not good enough to qualify for playoffs, finals, roadshows or worlds. If you are a pro, watching a tournament from home when you missed the qualification is sad. Being a pro player is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world tho. It doesn't mean it’s easy, as it is extremely unforgiving and the sand in your hand can quickly turn into ashes.
I believe living in a gaming house is good to create bonds if you can control and work hard on the environment. It also creates a fragile ecosystem and it can lead to really bad things if the conflicts are not defused ASAP via active communication (regular 1o1, regular structured team meetings, etc)
I think travelling together is also really good for team bonding but it's quite rare in LoL. Discovering places together and creating memories is probably the best way to establish a good relationship. It is the job of the management to make sure players are not “passive witnesses” of those events but “active actors” by creating a safe communication environment.
What problems as manager come up in a team house that fans would never imagine?
Pros are gaming masterminds with incredible analytic brains. They can focus for hours and crack complicated problems like nuts. They are also, for most, inapt at real life. Drop them alone in the middle of a city and they'll just get a cab back home. Of course I’m exaggerating - I worked with 30+ pros over the last years, and a few could give a good run to Huber Grylls. But if you are a team manager and you are reading those words, you know what I mean and I can see your smile.
I used to tell players : "the biggest difference between a hotel, your home and a gaming house is the speed a piece of trash takes to travel from the floor of your room to the bin. In a hotel, someone is paid to clean. At home, your parents will probably do it. In a gaming house, no one will." This is an education process. When you live on site, a big part of your daily tasks is to assist your players and to make sure everyone survives the day. Administrative paperwork, food, simple logistics, daily needs, you have to help for most things. Usually, as a young human in the western world, once you are done with high school, you leave home and you go to study or to your first job. It is the moment in life where you’ll have to start taking care of yourself. Once you are in your new place, you’ll go do your first shopping, and you’ll get only the wrong stuff (probably alcohol and candies). You eat/drink it all, you get sick, it's expensive. Quickly enough you’ll learn about budgeting, planning, life. Well, pro-players don't experience that. And it's not their fault, they're so good at gaming that they went straight from home to another home with people paid to take care of them. Now that you have that context in mind, you can imagine how living with pros is an incredible experience. Any real-life activity can become an adventure. Withdrawing money, ordering in a restaurant, walking through a mall, cooking pasta, building a bed, changing a bulb… It's sometimes frustrating or funny, it never gets boring.
Fans see only the public face of their idols. I believe a team works like a relationship: because 2 humans look happy in public or on social media does not mean it's sun and flowers once the doors are closed. Because a team looks great and happy does not mean it’s the same once everyone is back at the GH. Public doesn't see their idols in the morning, when he had a bad day or when he is eating. They don't really know why a team is good or bad because they don't see the daily life of the relationship. Maybe this player is only 70/100 on the Rift, but his mindset allows his 4 teammates to be 120/100 on the Rift. What is also interesting is the in-house perception of a proplayer by his teammates can be really different from the public perception of a player. It is usually correlated to his fame, but to an extent only. If an old experienced player joins the GH, he should instantly get more respect than a rookie. But I saw “rookies” coming in new and instantly gaining respect because they were polite and clever. I saw “stars” coming and behaving like assholes.
Food and management are to me the core foundation of a good training environment. Management because it's the cement of everything. A good management has to make sure everyone has enough time to exist in the relationship, by speaking and expressing themselves. You have to make sure everyone respects one another. Like a family I would say, with the difference that you don’t have contracts in a family. A team is an illusion of a family with a job framework. At the end of the day, you're here to perform and to win. Players are never really at home, they're here in transit. A transit which lasts for months and months, but this is still a transit. Once the season is over, everyone goes back home. You're not always “working”, especially because a part of your job is to “play”, but you're always “at work”, and you are definitely never at home. Like a soldier. I think it takes a toll on the long run, and this need to have a home not too far is probably one of the reasons behind the transition from a Gaming House to facilities/apartments. A good way to "reset" for a pro is to go back home with friends and family during the season. There, they will have time to explain what they do in life and the crazy schedule they have. Unless they closely follow the league, you friends and family don't know if you're having a win streak or if you are at the bottom of the standings. They are just happy for you that you're living this exotic life, and it's refreshing.
A huge difference between sport and LoL esport is the mental tall taken on players: we don't have a tool to train one specific in-game action. If you want to train “mid game nashor”, you have to play a full game and hope to have a decent Nashor setup. In traditional sport, if you are a goalie, you’ll train being a goalie for hours. After a good day of training in sport, you are exhausted but not mentally broken. In League, let’s say you have a good week of scrims and you only have stronger opponents: at the end of 4 practice days with 5/6 scrims per day, maybe you are 0-22. That’s a LOT of losses. That’s a lot “end of the day” where you feel like shit. Ok, you practised really well, but it has such a hard psychological impact. It makes management even more important to help the players to get back into good mental condition.
Food is usually the moment when players sit together around a table. We avoided phones and focused on talking to one another. To achieve that it's easier to eat around a table rather than sitting behind your desk. It's good when everyone talks. I used to ask each player how the afternoon was, what champions they played, or to tell us stories. It creates a “home” feeling. If the afternoon was a long strain of losses, the dinner is gonna be an unpleasant moment and you'll need a couple of stupid jokes to lift up the mood. Food can also turn into a difficult time if players dont like the meal. No one likes to eat bad food. Before teams had in-house cooks, meals were cooked by managers, making it really easy to channel your mood on the team by blaming the environment. It makes food time a double-edged sword: burger day is happy day, vegetables days is…. ok we never had vegetables. Unless crepes count as one.
When you moved to Optic, what were the training facilities and accommodation set up there? What was it like, did you have any input or vision for it?
I was the first LoL hire and general manager for Optic LoL as they were setting up their League department, and my job was to come up with a plan for the training facilities. With Zaboutine (the coach), we wanted a gaming house for the new players and apartments for the old one. A gaming house would provide young players with a good setup, and apartments for the older players because they are more experienced and need more freedom. Our plan was to create a training room with a small replica of the LCS stage in the middle, to prepare players for the weekend when they play LCS and help them in "stage mindset". I still have the stage blueprints somewhere. We ended up doing apartments for everyone with all players coming daily to a really small office, because we couldn't find the training facilities we wanted. Optic was based in Texas and the LoL team was practising in Los Angeles, making a lot of things challenging and leaving us a bit alone. Knowing how different the US is compared to Europe, I should have done things differently. The training conditions were complicated to say the least. For Summer Split, with a bit more time and NA experience under our belt, we moved to a much bigger facility. The new office was a great place, top of a building, panoramic view of LA, nice setup with a lot of space in a nice neighbourhood. For players, "going to the office" was not a nightmare anymore, and it changed the way we all trained and practised. Players perceived it more like a job and took training more seriously. It allowed us to unlock a new approach by using “10 players on site”. A ten man setup makes the relationship healthier between coach and players if used properly. I think in the future, once management and coaching are mature enough, esport teams will work with a multi-players setup like traditional sport does.
We're seeing some teams, mostly ones that have seen heavy investment, move towards a training facility model. Do you think that's a good thing? Will we see this happen more and more in your view?
To me the ranking would be something like :
3.Bootcamp (temporary place) -> 2.Gaming houses -> 1.Team facilities + Players apartments.
I think gaming houses are a model from the past, the best solution we could come up with back in the day. It doesn't mean it is a bad system, it has some clear strengths. They are not optimised for the long term. It's great if you don't have enough staff, as you all live on site so you can do everything faster. It's awesome for young players. It can be a problem for older players with already an experience of life.
The model facilities+apartments should happen more often in the future as teams are getting more professional with more resources available.
Whatever the format you choose, I believe good teams are made by humans and not systems - if you share the same vision and the same goals, you'll make it work. At the end of the day, this is a competition and you can not win by copying someone, you have to identify and work around your own strengths. It doesn't matter if you are 5 players living in the same room or 15 players living in different apartments, you have to base your system on the people you're working with. You're a commando of legends crafted together by a coach to perform and win, and the key to your success will be the human bond between your players. The rest is “just” a tool.
______________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for walking with me through those memories For more interviews and insights into the esports world, do take a look at Redeye’s book :) Have a good day and long live esport!
Romain
submitted by RomainBigeard to leagueoflegends [link] [comments]


2020.07.26 16:05 RomainBigeard Memories of an EULCS manager: “How it was to live in the UOL gaming house and other anecdotes on team performance and daily life training philosophy”

Bonjour!
Last year I did an interview for Paul “Redeye” Chaloner’s book “This is esports”. Paul gave me a really good set of questions which triggered a lot of memories and I ended up writing loooong answers. Now that the book is out, I wanted to share some of those answers with the community as not everything could make it into the book.
Topic was “Gaming houses” and “How do you live and work with pro players”. I talk about my past years with Unicorns of Love and a bit about Optic Gaming.
My background:
______________________________________________________________________________
When did you first visit a team house? What was your impression?
My first time in a gaming house was in 2016 for my hiring interview with Sheepy (UOL coach and owner). It was like walking inside a temple, entering the place where legends are made. I felt like a kid, watching the posters on the wall and the little pink details everywhere. I was there, walking in this magical place and it was a beautiful mess. I remember wearing a pink onesie and players looked at me like if I was an alien. Vizicsacsi, Kikis, PowerOfEvil, Vardags, Hylissang, Sheepy in the same place. Good times.
Tell me about Unicorns of Love's team house set up when you worked for them. What was it, what did it offer, did you live there yourself?
After they qualified for EULCS (end 2014), UOL had to find a place in Berlin able to host 6 people (5 players + 1 coach). Lucky for them, Sheepy’s father (Jos) is an accomplished polyvalent businessman and he always has solutions for every kind of problem. I say “lucky” because they only had 2 months to do everything, from the day they beat Millenium 3-2 to the first day of EULCS, and without Jos this would have turned into a nightmare.
They ended up in an apartment not too far from the EULCS Studio (where you have to drive twice a week to play on stage), with a decent internet connexion and enough beds and computers for everyone. To be honest, that's all you need when you are a geek. I joined a few months after.
The apartment/house was in the middle of nowhere, which I realised later was an advantage. On the paper our address was “Berlin”, but we were a few streets away from being considered in another city. Being 45min away from the town centre and all the clubs is good in Berlin, where the night is dark and full of fun. 45min might sound like nothing for Americans but it's a world in Europe, and enough to make you stay home if you are a bit tired after a long day. Keeping our players away from temptation was much easier that way. We were chilling in our own world, spending most of the time inside the gaming house, playing video games for a living.
The apartment had 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a toilet room and a big “basement” (connected to the garden so not really a “basement”). We did a tour if you wanna see how it looked. This video was a parody of the Origen gaming house tour. Same music, same concept, no budget.
5 players + 1 coach = 6 people for 3 rooms. 2 people per room and everything is good to go. Where do you put the manager tho? Easy: on the couch. I slept in the middle of the basement for my first 6 months, with earplugs at night because of the players practising a few meters away. The only thing I could really hear was Vizicsacsi training Ryze because he was spamming his combos like a maniac. It sounds a bit hard to live like that but I truly loved it. It lasted until we rented another apartment in the same building. Sheepy moved there with his girlfriend and I moved in with a player.
I lived for almost 3 years in the gaming house, and it was an incredible experience. I was the mum and the dad, the brother and the manager, but I tried hard to never be a “friend”. As much as I value friendship, this is a job, and the core foundation should be "respect" and not "friendship". It's a nice bonus when players develop it between themselves, but it can lead to complicated situations during off-seasons when you do roster changes.
The schedule was always the same: 1 day off where players usually stay home and play, 4 days of training, 2 days of show. There is no "Monday" or "Sunday" in league of legends, there is only "Game day" or "Scrim day". The day started at 8h for me, direction gym, usually with 1-2 brave players, the rest stayed in bed till 11/12h. At 13h we had some food, I was usually cooking for those who were angry. Then we had a good afternoon of practice, dinner at 19h, more practice and then free play. During the practice I was either watching, doing emails for logistic/business/social media/sponsors or taking care of the house.
Players had no computers in their room, so the whole life of the GH was happening downstairs. We only used the first floor as "life support", for food, sleep, shower etc. The atmosphere was focused during the afternoon and light-hearted in the evening. At night, players would practice together or call/play with their friends/girlfriends. The beauty of Europe is all the languages. With no native speaker, English gets butchered a lot but it's our only common language. In the evening, you could hear every language as everyone got back into their own bubble. German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Russian, Korean.... I believe this cosmopolicy also brings a lot of value to a training environment. Different tastes and habits help to open the mind. Korean don't eat too salty or sugary. German love their potatoes. French like cheese. Clichés? yeah - usually with a taste of truth. Worst case it is the opener for a good talk where you’ll learn new things about a different culture. We all have different opinions on what's “good food” or “bad food”. Being from different origins can also be a problem during fights - language barrier is a pain in the ass when you meant "I'm 50% angry" but the guy you're talking to understood "95% angry" because you picked the wrong word.
Living all together forces you to share moments of your life. We watched horror movies all together, and it was hilarious. We shared the joy and pains together, breakups, new born, good news, all those emotional moments of life you wanna share with someone. You always have someone to talk to. Which can be a challenge for some players as well. Most of those young geniuses are THAT good at video games because they spend the last 10 years of their life alone in their room playing. Sometimes they really suck at communicating their feelings because of that. Being in an environment with other "geeks", able to just shut up and play for hours, is for them a good transition to the real world with other humans. A potential issue could be a player with a strong personality, talking a lot and “stealing” all the energy/time from others. To those players, you have to explain that they need to respect boundaries. It’s part of living together as humans. You can usually spot who grew up with siblings or not.
Was the gaming effective at building bonds between players? What about improving the team's overall performance?
Yes it was, especially for young players. A really young player is usually coming straight from home and doesn't see this new life as a job, more like a weird holiday camp with a weekly dose of adrenaline. And to be fair this is the reality of LoL esport: days and days of training in a room with your team, and only sometimes, a big stage. When you play high level LoL, you need to be the very best to attend a big offline event with a crowd. Only the top 3 teams get to walk on a stage. Only the best do it repeatedly. It means most players have quite a limited physical access to their fans and never benefit the fame of “being a proplayer”. The truth behind a LoL pro is not made of glitters and parties, it's living with other dudes and playing video games a lot. Making it hard sometimes to remember why you're there, and what you're doing. The biggest struggle is not the lack of skill, it is the long term motivation. This energy you had when you started. Everyone wants to “be the best player”, but our tournament is 9 months long and only ends up at Worlds - who has the guts and the mental strength to sacrifice everything for months and months and months? In LoL, only 5 players per year are “the best”. A reality difficult to accept for hyper-competitive young players. And if you are not playing, it means you suck because you were not good enough to qualify for playoffs, finals, roadshows or worlds. If you are a pro, watching a tournament from home when you missed the qualification is sad. Being a pro player is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world tho. It doesn't mean it’s easy, as it is extremely unforgiving and the sand in your hand can quickly turn into ashes.
I believe living in a gaming house is good to create bonds if you can control and work hard on the environment. It also creates a fragile ecosystem and it can lead to really bad things if the conflicts are not defused ASAP via active communication (regular 1o1, regular structured team meetings, etc)
I think travelling together is also really good for team bonding but it's quite rare in LoL. Discovering places together and creating memories is probably the best way to establish a good relationship. It is the job of the management to make sure players are not “passive witnesses” of those events but “active actors” by creating a safe communication environment.
What problems as manager come up in a team house that fans would never imagine?
Pros are gaming masterminds with incredible analytic brains. They can focus for hours and crack complicated problems like nuts. They are also, for most, inapt at real life. Drop them alone in the middle of a city and they'll just get a cab back home. Of course I’m exaggerating - I worked with 30+ pros over the last years, and a few could give a good run to Huber Grylls. But if you are a team manager and you are reading those words, you know what I mean and I can see your smile.
I used to tell players : "the biggest difference between a hotel, your home and a gaming house is the speed a piece of trash takes to travel from the floor of your room to the bin. In a hotel, someone is paid to clean. At home, your parents will probably do it. In a gaming house, no one will." This is an education process. When you live on site, a big part of your daily tasks is to assist your players and to make sure everyone survives the day. Administrative paperwork, food, simple logistics, daily needs, you have to help for most things. Usually, as a young human in the western world, once you are done with high school, you leave home and you go to study or to your first job. It is the moment in life where you’ll have to start taking care of yourself. Once you are in your new place, you’ll go do your first shopping, and you’ll get only the wrong stuff (probably alcohol and candies). You eat/drink it all, you get sick, it's expensive. Quickly enough you’ll learn about budgeting, planning, life. Well, pro-players don't experience that. And it's not their fault, they're so good at gaming that they went straight from home to another home with people paid to take care of them. Now that you have that context in mind, you can imagine how living with pros is an incredible experience. Any real-life activity can become an adventure. Withdrawing money, ordering in a restaurant, walking through a mall, cooking pasta, building a bed, changing a bulb… It's sometimes frustrating or funny, it never gets boring.
Fans see only the public face of their idols. I believe a team works like a relationship: because 2 humans look happy in public or on social media does not mean it's sun and flowers once the doors are closed. Because a team looks great and happy does not mean it’s the same once everyone is back at the GH. Public doesn't see their idols in the morning, when he had a bad day or when he is eating. They don't really know why a team is good or bad because they don't see the daily life of the relationship. Maybe this player is only 70/100 on the Rift, but his mindset allows his 4 teammates to be 120/100 on the Rift. What is also interesting is the in-house perception of a proplayer by his teammates can be really different from the public perception of a player. It is usually correlated to his fame, but to an extent only. If an old experienced player joins the GH, he should instantly get more respect than a rookie. But I saw “rookies” coming in new and instantly gaining respect because they were polite and clever. I saw “stars” coming and behaving like assholes.
Food and management are to me the core foundation of a good training environment. Management because it's the cement of everything. A good management has to make sure everyone has enough time to exist in the relationship, by speaking and expressing themselves. You have to make sure everyone respects one another. Like a family I would say, with the difference that you don’t have contracts in a family. A team is an illusion of a family with a job framework. At the end of the day, you're here to perform and to win. Players are never really at home, they're here in transit. A transit which lasts for months and months, but this is still a transit. Once the season is over, everyone goes back home. You're not always “working”, especially because a part of your job is to “play”, but you're always “at work”, and you are definitely never at home. Like a soldier. I think it takes a toll on the long run, and this need to have a home not too far is probably one of the reasons behind the transition from a Gaming House to facilities/apartments. A good way to "reset" for a pro is to go back home with friends and family during the season. There, they will have time to explain what they do in life and the crazy schedule they have. Unless they closely follow the league, you friends and family don't know if you're having a win streak or if you are at the bottom of the standings. They are just happy for you that you're living this exotic life, and it's refreshing.
A huge difference between sport and LoL esport is the mental tall taken on players: we don't have a tool to train one specific in-game action. If you want to train “mid game nashor”, you have to play a full game and hope to have a decent Nashor setup. In traditional sport, if you are a goalie, you’ll train being a goalie for hours. After a good day of training in sport, you are exhausted but not mentally broken. In League, let’s say you have a good week of scrims and you only have stronger opponents: at the end of 4 practice days with 5/6 scrims per day, maybe you are 0-22. That’s a LOT of losses. That’s a lot “end of the day” where you feel like shit. Ok, you practised really well, but it has such a hard psychological impact. It makes management even more important to help the players to get back into good mental condition.
Food is usually the moment when players sit together around a table. We avoided phones and focused on talking to one another. To achieve that it's easier to eat around a table rather than sitting behind your desk. It's good when everyone talks. I used to ask each player how the afternoon was, what champions they played, or to tell us stories. It creates a “home” feeling. If the afternoon was a long strain of losses, the dinner is gonna be an unpleasant moment and you'll need a couple of stupid jokes to lift up the mood. Food can also turn into a difficult time if players dont like the meal. No one likes to eat bad food. Before teams had in-house cooks, meals were cooked by managers, making it really easy to channel your mood on the team by blaming the environment. It makes food time a double-edged sword: burger day is happy day, vegetables days is…. ok we never had vegetables. Unless crepes count as one.
When you moved to Optic, what were the training facilities and accommodation set up there? What was it like, did you have any input or vision for it?
I was the first LoL hire and general manager for Optic LoL as they were setting up their League department, and my job was to come up with a plan for the training facilities. With Zaboutine (the coach), we wanted a gaming house for the new players and apartments for the old one. A gaming house would provide young players with a good setup, and apartments for the older players because they are more experienced and need more freedom. Our plan was to create a training room with a small replica of the LCS stage in the middle, to prepare players for the weekend when they play LCS and help them in "stage mindset". I still have the stage blueprints somewhere. We ended up doing apartments for everyone with all players coming daily to a really small office, because we couldn't find the training facilities we wanted. Optic was based in Texas and the LoL team was practising in Los Angeles, making a lot of things challenging and leaving us a bit alone. Knowing how different the US is compared to Europe, I should have done things differently. The training conditions were complicated to say the least. For Summer Split, with a bit more time and NA experience under our belt, we moved to a much bigger facility. The new office was a great place, top of a building, panoramic view of LA, nice setup with a lot of space in a nice neighbourhood. For players, "going to the office" was not a nightmare anymore, and it changed the way we all trained and practised. Players perceived it more like a job and took training more seriously. It allowed us to unlock a new approach by using “10 players on site”. A ten man setup makes the relationship healthier between coach and players if used properly. I think in the future, once management and coaching are mature enough, esport teams will work with a multi-players setup like traditional sport does.
We're seeing some teams, mostly ones that have seen heavy investment, move towards a training facility model. Do you think that's a good thing? Will we see this happen more and more in your view?
To me the ranking would be something like :
3.Bootcamp (temporary place) -> 2.Gaming houses -> 1.Team facilities + Players apartments.
I think gaming houses are a model from the past, the best solution we could come up with back in the day. It doesn't mean it is a bad system, it has some clear strengths. They are not optimised for the long term. It's great if you don't have enough staff, as you all live on site so you can do everything faster. It's awesome for young players. It can be a problem for older players with already an experience of life.
The model facilities+apartments should happen more often in the future as teams are getting more professional with more resources available.
Whatever the format you choose, I believe good teams are made by humans and not systems - if you share the same vision and the same goals, you'll make it work. At the end of the day, this is a competition and you can not win by copying someone, you have to identify and work around your own strengths. It doesn't matter if you are 5 players living in the same room or 15 players living in different apartments, you have to base your system on the people you're working with. You're a commando of legends crafted together by a coach to perform and win, and the key to your success will be the human bond between your players. The rest is “just” a tool.
______________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for walking with me through those memories For more interviews and insights into the esports world, do take a look at Redeye’s book :) Have a good day and long live esport!
Romain
submitted by RomainBigeard to esports [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 18:04 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jul. 1, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002
  • Bret Hart was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Calgary last week. As of press time, Dave has very little info. Hart was thrown off the bike and flipped over the handlebars going at a high speed and landed on his back and hit the back of his head. Over the next couple of days, he's undergone a number of tests due to issues he's had since the accident. Bret was forced to retire 2 years ago after he suffered a serious concussion during the Starrcade 99 match with Goldberg and it's believed the fall may have aggravated the issues he's had since then. Hart is expected to be hospitalized for at least a week and has little movement on the left side of his body and can't see out of his right eye. He's also suffering severe back pain, though x-rays and scans haven't shown any physical damage to his back. That's all Dave knows right now. (Much more on this next week, obviously).
  • After a year of questionable decision-making, Vince McMahon made his most questionable decision yet when he announced the surprise re-hiring of Vince Russo. It's a shocking decision for lots of obvious reasons, not the least of which is most of the wrestlers either outright don't like him or at the very least, don't respect him. And many front office employees feel even more strongly about him. Not even Stephanie McMahon, who is the head of creative, knew Russo was coming back and she was just as blindsided by the news as everyone else. It's believed the deal has been in the works for a few weeks. Russo had owned a CD store in Marietta, GA but he sold the store recently. He also stopped submitting ideas to the Jarretts for TNA a couple of weeks ago. There's also the fact that Russo's lawsuit against Hulk Hogan over the Bash at the Beach 2000 incident is still pending and now they're in the same company again, although Dave suspects the legal issues must be wrapped up for Russo to take the job (Turner was still paying his legal fees so long as he didn't work for any other wrestling company, which is why everyone was denying his involvement with TNA). Another rumor going around is that Russo is planning to write a tell-all book about his time in WWF and when word about that got out, the company rehired him in an effort to squash the book. Dave thinks that might be believable if Russo was just hired and stuck in a closet somewhere. But he was brought back in a key position in the creative department, which means that likely wasn't the reason (or not a big part of it). Most likely, it's exactly what it appears on the surface: Vince McMahon is getting desperate and he's going back to what worked in the past.
  • When word got out about Russo's hiring, needless to say, everyone was shocked and, as you'd expect, it was an overwhelmingly negative reaction. The plan for Russo on day one was for him to be in control of the creative team, answering only to Stephanie McMahon. The next day, those plans changed after McMahon, Russo, Stephanie, and the rest of the writing team had a big meeting. There's been multiple stories about what happened during the meeting. One version of the story is that Russo's ideas were so bad that he pretty much buried himself with everyone immediately. Another version is that Stephanie pretty much buried all his ideas and shut him down. And yet another version is that Russo obviously hadn't kept up with the product and was unfamiliar and out of touch with many of the characters and ongoing storylines, and that soured Vince McMahon on him. Regardless, the result was the same: the very next day, Russo was no longer part of the creative team. Word is he has already been sent home and will be brought back if/when they need ideas, as sort of a consultant on retainer. Officially, his role now is to critique the TV shows and report back to Vince McMahon what he thinks. So he's basically paid to be a critic and tell McMahon how he would do it better. Anyway, that's the story for now. Dave runs down Russo's history in the business, how he came into power in WWF, jumping ship to WCW with no notice, where he proceeded to help kill the company and all the drama that happened there (can't wait for that one Vince Russo superfan that always accuses me of lying about him to chime in on this one).
  • For the record, one of Russo's big ideas for TNA's debut was taking the Shane Twins and dressing them up as giant penises and calling them the Big Johnsons. Thankfully, when the show aired, the announcers downplayed the "penis" aspect of it a lot, leading Russo to tell friends that the idea flopped because the commentators didn't sell it hard enough. Just in case you're wondering what Vince Russo is bringing to the table in 2002.
  • WWE's King of the Ring is in the books. For the first time since Wrestlemania, it was a legit sellout on PPV. And sucks for them because this was a pretty blah show. Undertaker retained the WWE title over Triple H in a bad match that was hampered because Undertaker is banged up in general and Triple H came into the match with an elbow injury. 2 days after the show, he underwent elbow surgery to remove bone chips, one of which was embedded in cartilage and had caused his arm to lock up. He was nowhere near 100% during the match, but if he had been, Dave suspects they probably would have put the belt back on him. But for now, they stuck with Undertaker. They did a post match angle to set up Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H at Vengeance, assuming Triple H is ready by then (he was not).
  • The biggest story of the PPV, in Dave's opinion anyway, is the Kurt Angle/Hulk Hogan match, in which Angle beat Hogan clean as a sheet by submission. Dave gives Hogan credit: he didn't treat this like Kidman. Hogan put Angle over as strong as he possibly could. Dave believes it's the first time in Hogan's entire career that he lost via submission as a babyface. He did have a few submission losses as a heel (once to Inoki in NJPW in 1981 and a handful in WCW during the NWO era) but that's it. If he had any as a babyface, it would have been before 1979, before he was a national name. Whether this ultimately springboards Angle into a certified top guy that fans take seriously remains to be seen, but Hogan did everything he could. Probably didn't help that, as soon as the match was over, Angle put his goofy wig back on, at a moment that should have been used to turn him into a serious threat. But regardless, nobody can fault Hogan here if it doesn't get over.
  • Other notes from the PPV: Jericho vs. RVD in the opening match was easily the best match on the show. Lesnar got loud "Goldberg" chants and Dave thinks he sold way too much for Test, especially since the rumor is Lesnar is being groomed for a Summerslam main event with Rock. Nidia in her hillbilly gimmick with Jamie Noble was great and Dave thinks they might have something with Nidia and this gimmick. Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero was.....not what you'd think. Dave has seen Flair drag talentless hacks to great matches for 20 years but somehow, Flair vs. Guerrero was a drag and should have been better than it was considering the two men involved. Two all-time greats just had a misfire somehow. Molly won the women's title from Trish and Dave thinks this whole storyline where they claim Molly is fat is insulting to probably every single female viewer they have and a lot of the males too. A backstage segment with Rock, Goldust, and Booker T was the most entertaining thing on the show. Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament by beating RVD in a nothing match. And of course, the main event, which was an overbooked mess with two guys who probably didn't have any business wrestling that night anyway.
WATCH: Goldust/Booker T/Rock backstage segment at WWE King of the Ring 2002
  • NWA-TNA's debut show is in the books! Actually, so is their second show because it was a double-taping. And buckle in because we have a metric fuck-ton of TNA news to cover. Overall, it was a well-received debut. A lot of the young wrestlers were hungry and some of the old guys worked like they had something to prove. Guys like Konnan and Buff Bagwell looked the best they have in years and many of the people who worked the show said this felt like the real deal (many of those same people had worked the recent WWA shows and saw those as paid vacations, nobody took it seriously). Scott Hall, said to be the highest paid wrestler in the company ($3,500 per week) didn't do anything special but he got by far the biggest reaction and, according to all accounts, was sober and professional. There were about 3,000 fans in the building, but only 400-500 were paid. More than 10,000 freebies were given away around Birmingham the week of the show, but the crowd they got was actually a good, active audience, so it worked. Mike Tenay on commentary was great and full of knowledge, though Ed Ferrara playing heel announcer was useless. Don West was enthusiastic as hell, but knew nothing about the product. Regardless, he knows how to work a camera and he took charge of the commentary booth and Dave thinks he did fine in the role and will only get better. Ricky Steamboat was there, giving an emotional interview and putting over the NWA title. Ken Shamrock won the gauntlet battle royal (basically the same thing as a Royal Rumble match) to win the title, beating Malice (former WCW wrestler The Wall) in the final match after they were the last 2 left in the battle royal. There's been talk of doing a Shamrock vs. Don Frye match to try to catch some of that crossover UFC/PRIDE audience, but Dave is doubtful it'll be a draw here like it is in Japan.
  • What else? Country music star Toby Keith did a series of angles with Jeff Jarrett and Keith was by far the biggest star to the live fans. Keith got involved in the battle royal and eliminated Jarrett. NASCAR drivers Hermie Sadler and Sterling Martin got involved in a racial angle with K-Krush (R-Truth) using a bunch of "your kind" and "my kind" talk and Dave thinks that was pretty pathetic. The company was hoping all this celebrity involvement would get them some mainstream publicity but it got practically none. They brought in a bunch of women, most of whom were total unknowns except for ECW's Francine, Electra, and former WCW valet Daffney under the name Shannon, and their battle royal on the second show was said to be awful. The whole event definitely had a southern/regional feel to it. The opening match of Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and Low-Ki vs. Jorge Estra, Sonny Siaki, and Jimmy Yang was the show-stealer and was better than most of the matches in WWE this year.
  • Now the bad news: TNA was under the impression they had Dish Network cleared to air their show, but no dice. They don't have Cablevision in the U.S. either. For a company that needs to draw 50,000 buys a week to break even without a corporate sponsor, that's extremely bad news. They're also losing their Canadian PPV after the response to the debut show was said to be lackluster. At press time, InDemand has allegedly told TNA that their debut show did 80,000 buys but preliminary numbers are always drastically higher than the final result, so it'll almost certainly be less than that (for example, InDemand's number for WWA's first PPV was originally 40,000 but later got revised to 15,000). In WWE, they don't take any PPV numbers seriously at first because the thought is any numbers you hear within the first 2 months of the show are always wrong, the final tallies take time to come in. Regardless, even if this show did well, the more important question is how will they be doing in 4-5 weeks when the new has worn off?
  • Despite TNA claiming they aren't even interested in TV and are 100% committed to running exclusively on PPV, that's obviously not true. They have already struck syndication deals in Nashville and Chattanooga and are actively working to get a national television deal. The problem is that, as you can tell by looking at WWE ratings over the last year, the business is in a sharp decline, meaning the TV industry isn't chomping at the bit to give TV deals to some new startup nobody company. But anyone who understands the industry knows they have no chance of surviving on weekly PPV alone so getting on TV sooner than later is going to be essential to TNA's survival. The local syndicated deals they struck will mostly be hype shows with interviews and highlights designed to drive viewers to buy the weekly PPVs. Dave lists, like, 10 different promotions that have folded over the years in part due to the costs of paying for television.
  • Tons of TNA news in this issue which brings us to the debut "Random TNA News & Notes" section! Here we go: Bert Prentice will be working with the company and will no longer be running his own weekly shows in Nashville. There will be a one-night tournament at the next show to crown NWA tag team champions. Fun fact, those belts are currently held by The Shane Twins, who now wrestle in TNA as The Johnsons, doing the aforementioned masked penis gimmick. They'll be in the tournament even though they were already the champs in their previous gimmick. But the titles are being vacated and they will crown new ones.
  • We ain't done with TNA news. The dark match of the show featured a 450 pound dude named Cheex who is basically ripping off Rikishi's gimmick of doing things with his big ol' ass. And in case the ass gimmick and the "Cheex" name wasn't clear enough, he's being managed by a woman named Brown Eye Girl. So....yeah. If this ain't Vince Russo, I'll eat my shoe. Anyway, during the dark match, because Cheex is so big, the ring broke. As the show was going on the air live, the ring crew was frantically struggling to fix the ring, which is why it felt like they were stalling so much for the first 15 minutes. Because they were. The ring breaking also caused them to not be able to do the second dark match they had planned. Both matches were being taped to air on next week's show.
  • Actual notes from TNA's debut show (I'm gonna divide this into multiple paragraphs because there's a lot): it opened with some pyro, which is meant to make them look major league, but everyone else always looks minor league compared to WWE's huge pyro show every week and this was no exception. No graphics or details on any of the wrestlers, which is a mistake considering so many of them are complete unknowns to most fans. Started with a bunch of legends coming out to put over the NWA title, including Ricky Steamboat cutting one of the best promos of the year in any promotion and Dave thinks they need to hire Steamboat and put him in an on-air role as a commissioner or something ASAP. Jeff Jarrett cut a promo saying it was stupid to crown a new champion in a battle royal. Way to bury your own main event 10 minutes into your debut show, especially since most people also agree that it's a pretty dumb way to do it. But they still did. Then Ken Shamrock and Scott Hall came out and they both cut promos and they also shat on the battle royal idea, leading Dave to worry already that this company hasn't learned anything from WCW's mistakes. As mentioned earlier, the opening match easily stole the show. Next up was a little person match, with the jobber actually being referred to as "an enhancement midget." The Shane Twins did the penis gimmick, but as mentioned, it was severely played down from the original idea as conceived by Russo.
  • More notes from the show: They brought out a bunch of women for a big segment and Dave, who spends his entire life watching wrestling, didn't know half of them. And even if he did, it wouldn't matter because there were no graphics to name any of them and even if there had been, the cameras were often showing the wrong woman when a name was announced. Anyway, among them were Francince from ECW (who Dave is worried about because she looked sickly thin), Shannon (formerly Daffney in WCW), Alexis Laree (better known years later as Mickie James), Elektra from ECW, Taylor Vaugn (formerly Barbara Bush in WWF), Erin (who was a finalist on Tough Enough season 1 but got booted from the show before production started because other contestants saw her out on a date with one of the judges and they complained and got her kicked off), and some others. At least one of the no-name chicks was a stripper they hired specifically for this show because they needed one more woman to make 10. Anyway, this all led to the expected brawl with Elektra getting her shirt ripped off to show her bra. It wasn't even that risque. If you're trying to use sex appeal to draw viewers, the worst thing you can do is be less risque than WWE is on free TV when you have the luxury of PPV (give em a few months and we'll get actual nudity on this show). Alicia Webb, formerly known in WWF as Ryan Shamrock (and who is dating Ken Shamrock in real life) was playing a prostitute collecting money from referee Mark Johnson.
  • Even more notes from the show: the NASCAR guys got a bigger pop than any of the wrestlers. K-Krush came out to confront them about not being real athletes and they did the racial angle. Brian Christopher got involved and funny story there, they were debating whether to use the last name Christopher, or his real last name of Lawler. Nobody told the announcers which it was gonna be so Mike Tenay kept using "Christopher" while Ed Ferrara kept using "Lawler." More WCW-level shit. Toby Keith performed. The gauntlet battle royal to crown the new champion featured Buff Bagwell, Prince Justice (later becomes Abyss), Konnan, Rick Steiner, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, etc. Toby Keith ran in and suplexed Jarrett, causing him to get eliminated because why not? Chris Harris, Vampire Warrior, Steve Corino, and more. And when it got down to the last two, it became a regular match and Shamrock beat Malice to win the title with Steamboat as the special referee.
WATCH: NWA-TNA' s debut PPV (Full Show)
  • So that's the notes from the debut show. Are we done with TNA yet? Not by a long shot. They taped a whole second show, remember?! It hasn't aired yet so Dave hasn't seen it so here's the scarce details. The crowd started filing out after the first show ended and kept leaving as the second one was going, to the point that Jeremy Borash and Bert Prentice had to get on the mic and beg everyone to stay and then moved a bunch of people to the hard camera side so there wouldn't be visible empty seats all over the place. Lenny Lane and former WCW star Kwee-Wee were put together as a gay tag team called Rainbow Express, managed by Joel Gertner, and kissed each other instead of tagging each other to swap in and out during the match, which got a lot of heat because Alabama. A 9-woman battle royal (guess they didn't let the hired stripper actually work) to crown Miss TNA resulted in a bunch of women getting stripped half naked. They did a 4-way elimination match to crown the X-Division champion which was won by AJ Syles in what was said to be easily the best match of either show, with even Harley Race going on record later to say it was one of the best matches he'd ever seen. But by then, there were very few fans left in the building. And that is finally it for TNA news for now. Whew.
  • PRIDE's latest show is in the books and once again featured pro wrestlers drawing the crowd. NOAH's Yoshihiro Takayama replaced Mark Coleman in the main event (out due to injury) against Don Frye, leading to last minute interest from wrestling fans that packed the house. Frye defeated Takayama in what many are calling the best fight in the history of PRIDE. Takayama has had 3 fights in PRIDE and has lost all 3 of them, but all 3 of them were also show-stealing outright wars that, despite losing, has grown Takayama into an even bigger star. Afterward, Frye hinted at retiring from MMA and returning to NJPW full time. Dave hasn't seen this fight but it was described to him as "something out of Dragonball Z or a comic book" the way they were just throwing bombs at each other, with the crowd going insane (yeah the opening minute or so if this fight is absolute madness, video below). The show also featured Bob Sapp vs. Kiyoshi Tamura, which was a total mismatch. Tamura is a skilled MMA fighter, but Sapp outweighed him by literally almost 200 pounds and the fight was over in 11 seconds, with Sapp basically murdering him. Dave says it's clear they're trying to turn Sapp into a huge unbeatable monster psychopath and it's working. But Dave thinks it's bullshit to put fighters this mismatched against each other in real shoots. It was funny though because after what happened in Sapp's K-1 fight a few weeks ago, they made some new rules like no knees and no kicking a downed opponent, which is fine. But they also announced other rules for the fight, such as no flying sentons or splashes off the top ropes, which have never been done in an MMA fight and is utterly ridiculous (If Cormier doesn't hit Miocic with a Canadian destroyer at UFC 252 next month, what's even the point?). Another NOAH star, Takashi Suguira, lost a split decision with Daniel Gracie and Suguira had several NOAH wrestlers at ringside cheering him on. And of course, Antonio Inoki came out at intermission and did his catchphrase.
WATCH: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Don Frye - PRIDE
  • UFC made its TV debut with a half-hour segment on Fox Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" which featured a full Robbie Lawler vs. Steve Berger bout, as well as highlights of other fights. "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan did commentary with Mike Goldberg and Jeff Osbourne. They aired several warnings during the show, but the violence ended up being far less brutal than most average boxing matches. The show drew a strong crowd and there's talk that this may become a regular thing on the network. They also hyped the planned Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock fight for later this year and Dave thinks TNA would be wise to get the NWA title off Shamrock before the fight, because he's going into it as the underdog. Plus, Shamrock would likely not want to risk injury or spend time flying to Nashville every week during the last few weeks of training. Wouldn't be a good look for TNA if Shamrock goes to the octagon with the NWA title belt and gets demolished by Ortiz. Also on the show, Chuck Liddell defeated Vitor Belfort in a war that catapulted Liddell into title contention and he'll likely face the winner of Shamrock/Ortiz sometime down the road.
  • Dave got his hands on a copy of Shaun Assael's new book "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" even though it hasn't been released yet. Review time! The original concept for the book was to chronicle the Monday Night Wars, but just as the book was being finished, the whole business changed and since Vince became the lone survivor, the book was changed to focus on him and the WWF primarily. The book is fair and accurate for the most part. Assael didn't run from any of the controversial stories, but he also didn't sensationalize things to make them seem bigger than they were. If you're a long-time Observer reader, you already know all this stuff and could probably point out details or inconsistencies in the story, but to the average fan who hasn't been following all the behind-the-scenes stuff for the last 20 years, it's sure to be an eye-opener. Anyway, Dave recaps the book in detail, mostly just correcting things that the author got wrong but also acknowledging that this is an early review copy and some of these mistakes will be corrected before it's published and released. Otherwise, he just pokes holes in various myths and stories that are covered. The Observer was credited in the book for being one of the author's sources, specifically in regards to Dave's coverage of the steroid trial (yeah, if you haven't read it, go back and check those out. Dave actually attended the trial and his recap of it is one of the most must-read issues of the Observer in its entire history). The book pretty much ends at the death of WCW, though it does note that business has declined significantly since then. Overall, Dave says it's by far the best book on the real modern history of professional wrestling that he's ever read and is a must-read for any wrestling fan. But it's also too short (288 pages) to really get into all the detail needed to tell so many of these stories. But for what it is, best book of its type that Dave's ever read.
AMAZON LINK: "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" by Shaun Assael
  • In AAA in Mexico, there's a new guy named Canibal who's gimmick is pulling his opponent's trunks down and biting them on the ass. It's too late. You already read the sentence. You can't un-know that now.
  • AJPW stars Kaz Hayashi and Kendo Kashin were supposed to be working some shows for AAA at the moment. Fun story, when they arrived in Mexico, nobody from AAA was there to meet them at the airport and nobody they called from the AAA office would answer the phone, so they basically found themselves stranded in Mexico with no idea what to do and unable to speak the language. Dave says the exact same thing happened to Great Sasuke several years ago when he went to Mexico. Anyway, last Dave heard, Hayashi and Kashin were trying to get themselves booked on some indie shows in Mexico so they can get some pictures of them working there to take back to the magazines in Japan (which was the whole reason for their trip) so they're just looking to work one or two shows and then go back home. They can't work for CMLL because that promotion has a business relationship with NJPW.
  • Last month, AAA held its 10th annual Triplemania show in Los Angeles. Here's the problem though: it was an utter flop, with embarrassing attendance and almost nobody even realizing it happened. So AAA has decided to just pretend it didn't happen and has now scheduled Triplemania X again, this time in Mexico (maybe WWE should do that next year. Since Wrestlemania was pretty much just in an empty warehouse this year, they shouldn't even acknowledge it. Just redo Wrestlemania 36 again next year and pretend it's the first time).
  • Remember the story a couple months ago about how Invader 1 (the guy who murdered Bruiser Brody) left the WWC promotion? Well, he was scheduled to return this week as a special referee for a Carlos Colon match but it ended up not happening. He said he wanted his return to be a surprise, but the story was already out on the internet that he was coming back. For what it's worth, almost none of the wrestling fans in Puerto Rico have internet (I did the research, only 17.5% of the country had internet access in 2002 and you gotta figure only a fraction of those are wrestling fans, so Dave is likely correct here) so it still would have been a surprise to probably 99% of them. But either way, Invader 1 pulled out of the show over it and still isn't back with the promotion.
  • Spanky (Brian Kendrick) won a tournament at an indie show in California to get a shot for the Zero-1/UPW unified title. That's not the important part. How it happened is the original guy who was scheduled to win ended up pulling out of the show at the last minute because his pregnant wife was overdue so he stayed behind to be with her. So they made a call to Spanky, who was in Cincinnati. He immediately packed up his car and was on the road 30 minutes after receiving the call. And didn't stop. He drove 30 hours straight, some 2,200 miles, and made it to the venue literally an hour or so before showtime and did the match. That's freakin' dedication (I think he's talked about this in a shoot interview before. Said he masturbated to stay awake and started vomiting uncontrollably halfway through the drive or something, but still made it. Madness.)
  • AJPW news: there are no truth to the rumors of a WWE/AJPW relationship, which was mentioned last week. Motoko Baba and Tenryu were at WWE's show in Hawaii to take photos for the Japanese magazines to make people think something is up, but there's nothing there. They were just visiting because Johnny Ace got them backstage. Also, the newspapers in Japan have begun reporting that Keiji Muto will take over as AJPW president when Ms. Baba retires, which confirms what Dave has been saying for months.
  • Kenta Kobashi's first match back for NOAH will be this week at Korakuen Hall. He'll be working undercard tag matches so he won't be doing too much. If you recall, he was out for over a year with knee injuries, had one match in February in which he re-injured himself again and has been out ever since.
  • Speaking of Korakuen Hall, NJPW's latest show there only drew 1,200 fans, which means the building was only half full. Just in case you're wondering how NJPW is doing in 2002. Not great.
  • Don Frye did an interview claiming Antonio Inoki is working to put together a match between himself and Mike Tyson. "Nobody is taking that seriously," Dave says.
  • Speaking of Japanese companies trying to latch on to the WWE train and speaking of lyin' ass Inoki: there have been rumors that Inoki is putting together a relationship with WWE. Not true. Inoki claimed recently that he had met with Vince McMahon about using some of WWE's undercard guys in NJPW and of starting his own promotion in the U.S. Dave says the meeting with Vince never happened and, in fact, the two men haven't gotten along or really even spoken at all in nearly 20 years.
  • More on Jesse Ventura's decision not to run for re-election as Minnesota governor. Part of the reason may be that the polls are showing he would likely lose the race. Of course, that's what the polls said last time and he shocked the world. But after 4 years in office, his popularity isn't near what it was back then, when he was the exciting outsider. Now the voters have seen what he brings to the table and they don't seem to like it too much. Ventura was already planning to make the announcement, but then the story about his son hosting parties at the governor's mansion broke, and Ventura made the announcement 2 days earlier than he'd planned. Using the criticism that his son has gotten in the media as his excuse for not running provided Ventura a good "out" but he was already planning not to run long before that story happened and the press conference had been scheduled nearly 2 weeks earlier, so take it with a grain of salt. Most likely, he saw the writing on the wall and knew he was going to lose if he ran again.
  • Notes from the latest Ring of Honor event: it was said to be an incredible show, with guys like Bryan Danielson, Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, Spanky, Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and more all having amazing matches. There was a moment during the show where Scoot Andrews went to hit Christopher Daniels' valet, Lucious. But then he stopped himself and said he'd never hit a woman, but he knew somebody who would. This was a tease to bring out another female wrestler, but the crowd started chanting for Steve Austin. The show drew 450 fans and sold out the building, which is the largest crowd ROH has drawn so far.
  • Famous St. Louis Cardinal announcer Jack Buck passed away a couple weeks ago and Dave notes that Buck actually had some involvement in wrestling back in the day. He used to do radio broadcasting of Sam Muchnick's shows live for KMOX radio in the 1960s and there's even a picture somewhere out there of Giant Baba picking Buck up and holding him like a baby. (I actually just watched the 30 For 30 documentary on the McGwire/Sosa home run race and they talked about Jack Buck in there. Good times. Anyway, someone find that picture because I'm having no luck).
  • Sting is scheduled to make an appearance, but not wrestle, at an indie show Harley Race is putting together this week in St. Louis. This will be Sting's first wrestling-related appearance since WCW folded.
  • In case you're wondering what XPW and Rob Black are up to these days, allow Dave to fill you in. Black is currently doing an angle where he's pretending he had a stroke and he pisses and shits on himself all over TV. They also did a segment where wrestler GQ Money (now a producer for NXT) broke into Black's home and tried to rape his wife until somebody made the save. The next week, they showed Money supposedly raping a girl in the parking lot and leaving her for dead, and the week after, he got sprayed with raw sewage. Now they're building up to a raw sewage match, based on this rape storyline. XPW, folks.
  • Dave has some more notes on Cody Runnels, the son of Dusty Rhodes who was backstage at WWE's show in Atlanta last week. Cody is a sophomore in high school and placed 6th in the state in amateur wrestling the past year. He also plays football. He was described to Dave as having a similar physical look as Randy Orton, "but with a face like Dusty."
  • WWA's scheduled tour of Europe has been officially canceled. The German and Switzerland shows had abysmal ticket sales and pretty much had to be canceled. The show in Ireland had more than 4,000 tickets sold and would have been a success, but even so, that one show alone wasn't going to make enough money to offset the cost of the whole tour.
  • This is actually hilarious. UFC fighter Vitor Belfort and his training partner were in a taxi before the UFC show when a bunch of cops showed up and surrounded the car. Why, you ask? Well the cab driver overheard Belfort and his partner talking about "shooting at the legs" and she got scared, not knowing what they were talking about, and called the police. Seems like they got it all straightened out though.
  • Rock will be working nearly full-time on TV from now until Summerslam, at which point he's leaving for a few months to go film his next movie. He won't be on every Smackdown, but he'll be on most of them.
  • Nothing new on the Goldberg/WWE negotiations. Vince McMahon told Goldberg's agents that he will clear his schedule any time Goldberg wants to have a meeting, but Goldberg doesn't seem particularly interested. The fact that WWE rehired Russo probably won't help matters because Goldberg is one of the many who doesn't like Russo.
  • Shawn Michaels is booked to be in Kevin Nash's corner on upcoming house shows once Nash is cleared to wrestle again. There's still no plans for Shawn to wrestle, but given how depleted the WWE roster is right now, Dave is sure they'll probably start pushing him to sooner than later (Nash ends up getting injured again almost immediately, so I don't think Shawn ever did these house show appearances).

Looks like this is one of those issues where I went over the 40,000 character limit. Hit the comments below for the rest.

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2020.07.14 15:34 efa___ I Read It So You Don't Have To: Life is Not a Reality Show (by Kyle Richards)

LuAnn kept us classy, Kelly got us HOT!, and Simon made us nauseous. But today, we're throwing caution to the wind and jumping on the next flight to Beverly Hills to hear from "the housewife who does it all" -- the one and only Kyle Richards. So please fasten your seatbelts, make sure your tray tables are securely stowed in the upright and locked position, and prepare to "step into one of Beverly Hills' most glamorous lives -- complete with plenty of loving chaos."
Kyle's 2011 book Life Is Not a Reality Show: Keeping It Real with the Housewife Who Does It All advertises itself as "a how-to-be-fabulous guide from a star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." I'm truly shocked to see a Housewife describer herself as "a star" (rather than "the star"), but I suppose this is only the beginning of how realer-than-real things are going to get! On the book's cover, a silk-draped Kyle strikes a sultry pose on her kitchen island, seemingly oblivious to both basic food safety precautions and the diligent faux vacuuming being performed below her by a young Portia and her haphazardly-dangling companion -- whom I have fairly confidently identified as a G3.5 Rainbow Dash. Our author's commitment to casual comfort is further underscored by her hip, laid-back font choice. And now that any lingering doubts have been set at ease by the convivial scrawl before me, I take its instruction and open the book to Chapter One.
Right off the bat, Kyle reminds us that, despite how glamourous her life may look on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ("or just Real Housewives, as I refer to it"), the day-to-day minutia is never far from her mind. As she explains:
Did you see our Real Housewives reunion special after season 1? Do you remember when Andy Cohen asked if any of the cast knew the price of a gallon of milk? I was the only one who raised my hand! And I was only twenty cents off, though I don't think he was accounting for the higher prices in Beverly Hills.
A very chill and relatable thing to do is to constantly bring up times in the past when you were particularly chill and relatable. Kyle goes on to promise us her advice on love, beauty, and fashion -- "Recently CNN and InStyle magazine both named me one of the most stylish TV housewives of all time!" Relieved to be in such credentialed hands, I read on to find that I should also anticipate Kyle's tips regarding money, entertaining, and childrearing. Truly a Renaissance woman! I eagerly lean in as Kyle intones,
So let's get started. Let's talk, girlfriend to girlfriend, and I'll tell you everything I know.
We kick things off in earnest with Chapter Two: "Mr. Right," in which Kyle teaches us how to attract a potential mate of our desired caliber:
For example, if you want to attract the guy who's into porn stars, or maybe the one who only thinks about sex, or perhaps the guy who's a cheater, then wear something that barely covers your ass and lets your boobs hang out.
I'm sensing a slight hint of passive-aggression, but I'll go ahead and take Kyle at face value and commend her for giving such helpful and straightforward advice to women whose mate priorities are so different than her own. Kyle carries this same kind of measured acceptance through to the notion of Mauricio ogling another woman:
If he did, he'd have no more eyeballs! They would be removed from the sockets and put in a box and locked away. Ha-ha!
It's one thing to joke about being hyperbolically violent to your partner. Not my thing, but you do you! But does "removed from the sockets and put in a box and locked away" seem unsettlingly specific to anyone else? I'm halfway convinced she has already purchased some kind of high-security vessel that she keeps hidden away in an upstairs closet for this exact purpose, just in case Mauricio ever slips up and sneaks a peek at another woman's posterior. By the time she concludes with "Ha-ha!" it's unequivocal. I have seen more than enough episodes of Criminal Minds to know that "Ha-ha!" is the sign-off of (a) a serial murderearsonist or (b) a very sweet but technologically inept grandmother. Given that any mention of a grandchild is conspicuously absent from the text at hand, I'll leave it up to you to decide.
We next get some advice on "making sure you remain a tasty morsel" even after you've managed to snare a man. For example, Kyle tell us that "Mauricio and I call each other during the day just to say I love you.'" Personally, I feel like "mid-day love reminder calls" fall squarely alongside "shirts with drapey sleeves" and "shower sex" on my list of things that seem nice in theory but actually become incredibly irritating incredibly quickly. But again, that's just me! We all have our own unique preferences in romantic relationships. To use Kyle as an example:
I loved that he spoke Spanish, was from Mexico, and was Jewish. That was the perfect combo! I've always wanted to go out with someone who spoke Spanish and to marry a Jewish man because I heard they made the best husbands.
And indeed, as soon as she met Mauricio, Kyle knew there was an instant connection. Which shouldn't be too surprising. After all:
We women tend to think we're in love and want to have a guy's children the second we met him. Right? It's funny, but you know it's true.
Is this Kyle's version of a Jerry Seinfeld routine? What's the deal with women, am I right? Come on, ladies -- you know how it is! Kyle rounds out the chapter with her fair and nonjudgmental assessment of relationship priorities:
Of course, love is paramount. At least for me. Some people, especially in this town, may have other priorities -- like women who hunt for big bank accounts, or men who only go out with models. I can't comment on those relationships.
We flash back to Kyle's account of her childhood, which she credits for educating her in the intricacies of romantic relationships. Her mother, in particular, could always be relied upon for gentle guidance in a time of crisis.
Sometimes one of the girls would come in crying about something, maybe upset because the guy she went out with didn't call her back. My mom would say, "That's because you were an idiot and didn't handle yourself properly!"
Lest you too become an idiot who doesn’t handle yourself properly, take heed! As Kyle instructs us -- "It's all about understanding the male brain, the big one in his head and his little brain too! Ha-ha!" We also learn that "men are predatory animals," and that "men mature more slowly than women and they never really catch up!" Kyle informs us that "I also believe it's important to pay attention to what's going on in the world so you can have intelligent discussions about it." By this, she apparently means that she "[reads] the sports pages in the newspaper sometimes. "
At this point in the book, Kyle interjects:
I'm a little nervous sharing my secrets like this, because I know my husband will read this book and I don't want him to find out all my little tricks. Ha-ha! Maybe I'll just have to black out parts of it, because I definitely want you to have access to what I've learned.
Unless, by some chance, the remaining chapters of this book contain the requisite incantations for the magic spell Kyle has used to ensnare Mauricio's eternal soul, I really don't think that will be necessary.
But alas, it appears that I may have spoken too soon! I read on to find what I can only assume is just the first of Kyle's highly confidential seduction techniques -- "I might even dance extra sexy." As you are likely well-aware, the extra-sexy dance is second only to the infamous bend-and-snap when it comes to bewitching the masculine psyche, and I completely understand why Kyle would prefer to keep such powerful techniques under wraps.
Kyle introduces the next chapter with the following enigmatic adage:
I always tell my husband that being married is like taking care of a plant. It has to be watered every day, and you cannot ignore it.
Thankfully, before I spend too much time pondering exactly what it means to "water your marriage," (I mean, I hate to be crass, but it's definitely a sex thing, right?) she clarifies -- "In other words, ladies, your work isn't done once he puts a ring on it!" No, ladies -- your work is only done when you finally cash that fat life insurance check, am I right?! We also hear from Kyle that, when Mauricio comes home from work, "we always kiss, because that's a rule." Her statement makes me suddenly self-conscious that my boyfriend and I don't have a single kissing-based rule in our entire relationship. God only knows how we've made it this long!
In an aside, Kyle tells us that one of the things that makes her happiest is "being with my family in the mountains in the snow, happily kidnapped in a log cabin." I can only assume that she also enjoys such pastimes as "being abducted on the beach in Hawaii" and "jet-setting around Europe while being held hostage." And indeed, when Kyle reflects on the evolution of her attitude towards Mauricio's household laxities just a few paragraphs later, she remarks:
Sometimes I'll check and even find a door wide open! This used to really bother me, but you know, really, in the greater scheme of things, is it all that important?
And truly -- what's the worst that can happen? A benevolent kidnapper sneaks inside and snatches you up, cheerfully whisking you away to his hillside bungalow? You should be so lucky!
Kyle also does her best to squeeze out a drop of sympathy for those inchoate souls among us who lack her steadfast faith in the eternity of their marital bonds:
But I also think that because I am so genuinely attracted to my husband and so honestly content in my marriage I couldn't even fathom seeking the attention of other men. If you're feeling the need for interaction with or validation form men outside your marriage, I wonder, is it an indication there's something within your marriage, or your own heart, that needs to be examined?
To each her own. I'm just saying, be careful.
But I wonder, I'm just saying, if the lady genuinely, in all honesty, doth protest too much, maybe? Mauricio displays similarly developed coping mechanisms for common relationship issues -- "he deals with the idea of being jealous by pretending that he's the only man I've ever known in my whole life." Okay but like -- are we sure he's pretending? We've all seen the amount of cannabis this man consumes; is it so entirely out of the realm of possibility that Mauricio genuinely believes Kyle sprung into existence mere moments before their first encounter? Just something to think about!!
Kyle goes on to enumerate the many, many (many) things she loves about her darling devoted one. For example:
I especially love when he has a five-o'clock shadow. I always tell him, "I like it when you have that scruffy beard." Then my kids will say, "He looks a little bit like a terrorist!" Ha-ha! It's true.
If they were casting a movie for a sexy terrorist, he would definitely get the role!
The good news is that I'm absolutely certain that someone is casting a movie role for a "sexy terrorist." The bad news (at least from Kyle's perspective) is that that someone is an adult film studio catering to a clientele base with what I would charitably describe as questionable levels of taste.
Mercifully, we change directions with the next chapter, and Kyle reminds us (not for the last time) that she is "a real mom." This means that she does things like "Use positive reinforcement!!!" And lots of exclamation points, apparently. Also, as our resident super-mom explains,
I don't let my kids watch MTV either. What about those teenagers who become pregnant?
I don't even want those ideas in my daughters' heads.
I'm sure we all remember that fateful day -- June 11, 2009 -- when Viacom's MTV network premiered their fateful show 16 and Pregnant, inventing teen pregnancy and forever altering the course of human history. Ah, to dream of a return to that prelapsarian world!
Kyle follows up this advice with an anecdote illustrating her all-encompassing commitment to ensuring that her daughters are fully educated in the ways of the world. As she recounts:
Just this morning I was in the shower and realized I'd never told my girls to brush their hair before they get in the shower, to take all those loose hairs that come out into the brush and throw them in the trash so they don't clog up the drain. Plus it's good for their hair. So I called the girls together and told them.
I only wish my own mother had loved me enough to impart the same wisdom upon my younger self. As it was, I can still remember the terror of my first unattended shower. The slimy fibrils of hair snaking alongside the slick plastic walls. Bending down, one tentative hand extended to peel the matted tangle of strands from the burnished metallic drain before flinging it artlessly in the trash can. To think that I could have been saved from that horror, had Kyle's words had only made it to my mother's ears!
Kyle is very grateful for the chance to raise her children in a sophisticated urban setting, because "you hear about kids in small towns getting bored and doing drugs." In contrast, Los Angeles has always been renowned for its drug-free nightlife and low-key social scene. And also for the opportunities that living in the big city presents for "scare tactics," another key strategy for being the realest momma there is. As Kyle compassionately recalls:
When my older girls were little and we were out and about, sometimes we'd see a homeless person on the street. They'd ask me, "Why is he living there, Mommy?"
I'd say, "Honey, he didn't go to college. That's what happens when you don't go to college!" Ha-ha!
I never thought I'd see the day when I yearned for the even-keeled wisdom of Alex and Simon. But that day has come. Ejaculating during your child's birth is one thing, but teaching your daughters that homeless people were just too dumb (lazy? bad? self-indulgent?) to make the right choices is…an extremely different thing. Better to spew semen than hatred, as I always say! Ha-ha!
But I'll give Kyle the benefit of the doubt and assume she just hasn't had the chance to truly reflect on the gravity of her actions. After all, she has an unbelievably busy schedule that barely leaves the briefest moment for the hectic housewife to catch her breath:
This morning I need to make my girls' lunches and snacks and then drive them to school, but I also have to talk to a bunch of people by phone about what I'm going to wear when we film. I have a meeting here at the house at 10:00 and a spray tan at 11:30, then there's another meeting at noon. I take my daughter to soccer at 3:00 and have to film at 6:00PM. So my day is like boom, boom, boom.
So cut her some slack -- she truly does do it all! And somehow still manages to keep it grounded! For example, Kyle lets us know about the strong bond that persists between her and her sisters:
We still get together all the time for family gatherings, and we sing, "We Are Family" -- you know, the Pointer Sisters' song? "We are family! I got all my sisters with me!" It's our tradition.
However, Kyle did not always so thoroughly understand the value of familial relationships. Unfortunately, our plucky heroine had to learn this particular lesson the old-fashioned way.
When we were little we found many of the things my parents used to talk about boring and ridiculous. Like, who cares about Aunt So-and-So and her big boobs? My mom told me once, "Your aunt has triple-D boobs. You never know, yours could end up being that big." I thought, Why are you telling me that? You're making me sick! I don't want boobs that big!
Now I wish I knew more about that aunt with the triple Ds. But it's too late.
I hope you all take this lesson to heart -- I urge you to call your largest-bosomed family member now, before time runs out! You never know how little time you have left with whatever elusive secrets that cleavage may contain! But even this hard-earned wisdom couldn't save Kyle from her most devastating domestic dust-up -- the iconic Season One limo fight in which Kim accuses Kyle of stealing her house. As Kyle tearfully recounts,
After that, people called me a bully, which just killed me, because I've never been a bully in my life.
This sentence has big Caroline Calloway energy. Which is maintained throughout the succeeding passage, in which Kyle bemoans the impossible position into which she was entrapped.
People asked me, "What does she mean you stole her house?" I mean, you can't actually pick up a house and carry it across the street and no one will notice! But try explaining the actual story on Twitter.
I can only hope that someday -- perhaps in the far distant future -- some pioneering mastermind will invent a platform by which longer passages of text can be shared with Internet users around the globe. Until that day, poor Kyle's hands are tied!
Kyle moves right along into a chapter entitled, "My Mane Philosophy." We open on the following selection, which I have a sneaking suspicion was accidentally pasted in from a first draft of KKB's I Can Make You Hot!
People used to ask me all about my extensions, but, um, I don't have extensions. Never did. I think they're terrible for your hair. I especially hate to see so many young celebrities getting them, because they're just destroying their hair and really won't be able to get it back. I realize that some people feel extensions are the only way to get the thickness they want. My niece Paris has her own line of hair extensions and really likes the look they give her.
Chock full of a lifetime's worth of experiences to share, Kyle goes on to inform us that "on my worst day as a blonde, my very ugliest day, more men would look at me than they would on my absolute best day as a brunette." However, as she humbly admits: "Honestly, I'd still rather be a brunette, because a blonde is just not who I am." I have to admit that I admire her courage and unwavering commitment to her core principles.
Kyle cautions us that "if you do have a signature look, one that you're known for and everyone loves, be extra careful" about making any major style decisions. She knows this, in part, thanks to an unfortunate young adult haircut that left her looking "like an artichoke." I would personally consider it a compliment of the highest order to be told I resemble such a respectable vegetable, but there's no accounting for personal taste! For example, Kyle tells us:
I just could never go for those super-expensive shampoos, are you kidding, with all my hair and all the kids' hair? I'd have to sell my house -- which isn't an option!
I can't help but be offended at how fervently Kyle tried to convince us, earlier in the book, that she's just a regular mom who knows exactly how much a gallon of milk costs. But shampoo -- what could that run? Sixty, seventy thousand? Too rich for my blood! We're treated to a surprise guest appearance from Kyle "Jerry Seinfeld" Richards:
My God, do they have to have fifty different types of conditioner to confuse us and drive us insane? Ha-ha!
before our author goes on to enlighten us regarding the two single biggest miracles of modern technology: the World Wide Web and personal lubricant. I mean, hair oil.
You can find different brands at beauty supply stores and online. One I like has the consistency of K-Y Jelly. Hmm, yes, I think this Moroccan oil might have multiple uses! Ha-ha!
And that's not the only thing you can find online! Kyle also proffers her tips for finding a quality makeup artist:
Start by looking in the yellow pages under beauty and makeup, or do a search online. I know some websites keep lists of people who work in local areas.
We also learn that it's "very important to know what colors make your eyes pop." Unfortunately, Kyle neglects to tell us what keywords to look up in the Yellow Pages in order to track down that particular piece of information, so I'm at a bit of an impasse there. Nevertheless, she carries on to share the following super-relatable experience:
You know when you see people and their makeup looks uneven? I don't know if you notice those things, but I do. I'll think, Why does she have the line coming out so far from one eye and not the other?
I'm tucking this nugget away as exculpatory evidence the next time my therapist tries to reassure me that no one else is paying nearly as much attention to my every mistake as I think they are. I read on to learn that it's very important to refine your skills in makeup application "or you'll end up looking like a drag queen!" And that's not even the most horrific fate that might await you! As Kyle shares:
I've done it where one eye ended up seeming smaller than the other, and it looked like I had a stroke! And then because I'm a hypochondriac, I thought maybe I did have a stroke. Ha-ha!
I am 99% sure that I will have a stroke if I have to read "Ha-ha!" one more time. But if I stop reading now, I'll miss out on so many helpful tips and tricks. Such as Kyle's recommendation to use "you know, the intense black liner that's made from some kind of mineral powder that they've used in Middle Eastern countries forever?" Other beauty pointers are more transgressive:
I kept that secret, at least from Mauricio, until the live reunion show right after Real Housewives, season 1. Andy Cohen from Bravo asked me -- live on television -- "Have you used Botox?" Uhh. Oh my God. Great. What do I do now? I couldn't lie. I just can't lie. So I had to fess up. "Yes, I have." Are you happy now? Ha!
Inspired by Kyle's courageous vulnerability, I have a confession to make: I, too, am a regular IM Botox user. Please, hold your applause -- your unending admiration of my radical transparency is more than sufficient reward.
However, Kyle cautions, "let's not get out of control here." As she clarifies, "it's the fillers that I'm afraid are getting to be an epidemic of nightmare proportions." In a COVID world, it's hard not to scoff at the apparent hyperbole, but Kyle is not speaking lightly:
Can you imagine if they find out one day that we're all going to die from this? This would be one empty town.
The passage ends on a final, ominous warning: "Please, for all our sakes, don't overdo the filler." Kyle truly is the Cassandra of our modern age.
We continue on, and I'm zero percent surprised to learn that Kyle's favorite shade of blush is called "Hot Mama." By the same logic, I am forced to assume that her favorite song is most likely the perennial Trace Atkins classic "Hot Mama." The hottest mama of them all muses on:
To me it's such a shame when you see someone who looks very nice, you know, the clothes, the purse, the makeup -- but then her nails are chipped. It just kills the whole deal.
I could love to know exactly what Kyle means by "the whole deal," but I'm too captivated by her self-deprecating charm in the following passage and lose my train of thought.
I have learned to accept the fact that I just don't have nice hands. Period. End of story. Good hair, bad hands. Ha-ha!
The next chapter -- "Kyle Style" -- begins with our author confiding that "I always say that I'm a juicy drummette [sic] -- you know, the tiny but meaty part of a chicken drum." Personally, I consider myself to be more of a chicken thigh -- tender, yet firm, with a deep and sophisticated flavor profile. Nevertheless, I’m eager for Kyle to "talk a little about diet and exercise -- but just a little. Ha!" Of the select pieces of guidance she opts to share, many of them consist of ways to impart body-positive values to your daughters. As an example:
When I see a really thin girl in a magazine or on a TV show, I make a point of saying, "That girl is too thin; that's not attractive at all." And it truly doesn’t appeal to me in the least. That is not how God meant for our bodies to be.
I appreciate Kyle's efforts to shed light on the oft-neglected Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not be too thin. She goes on to channel her best impersonation of a Cathy cartoon -- "Don't most women have to have chocolate in their lives?" Ack! She elaborates:
I keep frozen dark chocolate in my freezer at all times -- a whole bunch of it, because there have been times where I would have betrayed my country for just one piece of chocolate. Ha!
We segue clumsily to fashion advice, and Kyle shares that she is "really drawn to tops with unusual sleeves." She also informs us that "H&M is a great place to shop for cheap but fabulous stuff." What's more, "they have lots of stores on the East Coast and the West Coast, and some in the Midwest." So relatable! Kyle enigmatically claims that she has "the scariest pajama situation," from which I can only conclude that her nightgown has recently become haunted by the spirit of a vengeful demon who refuses to grant her even a moment's respite.
But even in the face of such insurmountable terror, Kyle manages to find the positive -- "I love, love, love, love shoes." And this isn't just a frivolous diversion -- far from it! Footwear is critical to the very fiber of one's being. Kyle poses the pointed question "If their shoes are falling apart what does that say about them?" I'm not sure how reliable of an indicator this is, however; for example, I have been falling apart multiple times, but my shoes have always remained more-or-less intact. However, Kyle's continuing diatribe makes me realize that shoe neglect is a far more pervasive problem that I'd ever previously realized:
I have a real pet peeve about when the bottom part of a woman's heel comes off, but she just keeps walking around on the heel with the naked metal shaft sticking out and you hear the "click, click" every time she takes a step. What is she thinking? She's not thinking! Doesn’t she realize how she's presenting herself to the world? If she's walking around like that, what does her home look like?
Kyle, on the other hand, takes great care to ensure that her physical appearance clearly telegraphs her social class. As she informs us, "the only flats I wear are Chanel." But it's not enough simply to upgrade your podiatric picks -- "you have to figure out what lifts your spirits, not just your heels." Kyle, for example, moonlights as a Real Life Fashion Designer! She recalls:
It was fun picking the fabrics and the hardware and the designs and saying things like, "No, absolutely no rhinestones!" Not on my bags!
She continues, remarking that "the process came very naturally to me." I, too, find that the process of making miscellaneous unprompted proclamations of my aesthetic preferences comes "very naturally" to me. As soon as I find a fashion manufacturer willing to unconditionally indulge me, I'll be all set! However, I have to admit that my styling senses are not yet quite as developed as Kyle's. A true creative, Kyle is both art and artist:
If I put on an outfit that looks like of dull, I then think of it as a canvas and start adding long chains and other things to spice it up.
She proclaims that "hats are very underrated" before concluding the chapter and moving along to a thorough exploration of the entertaining arts. If you heed Kyle's advice, you'll be sure to avoid some of the most devastating party-planning pitfalls -- "like when you go to someone's house and there's only a little bit of food, so you feel scared to eat." In contrast:
At my daughter's birthday party I had a petting zoo and a moon bounce and princesses walking around, and sang "Happy Birthday" in Spanish. People had a good time.
I was skeptical at first, but "Happy Birthday" in Spanish?I I'm a big enough person to admit when I'm jealous. And that's just one of Kyle's many hostessing hits -- "for example, with our White Parties…we like to go for a hip Miami club vibe." Which is a particularly sophisticated way to say "we really love cocaine." And public sexual debauchery, if the following passage is to be believed:
The first year we even had mattresses and cabanas. We try to find that balance where it's elegant, but people can still let loose.
Never one to shy away from a HomeGoods endcap display, Kyle chronicles her home décor journey across the calendar year:
I start on October 1 and bring out these little sparkly beaded pumpkins I have and put them out all around the house.
I've taken the initiative to mark October 1st as "Little Sparkly Beaded Pumpkin Day" in my trusty planner to ensure that I, too, can celebrate this hallowed holiday in the coming year. In preparation, I'm eager to read more of Kyle's homemaking counsel. Lesson one? "No chicken wings -- they look unattractive, for one thing, and your food should always look elegant." Then what, you may ask, should you serve instead?
You need to have little delicious bites that people can pop in their mouths, like shrimp with sauce, small pieces of sushi, tiny meatballs on a toothpick, little goat-cheese pastries, sausage bites with Dijon mustard.
Kyle also opens up to us about the prohibitive compulsions that guide her daily actions. As she shares, "I cannot have people over without a million candles being lit." A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that — even at a footprint of 1 square inch per candle — we're nearing seven thousand square feet of floor space. And while I know my perspective is skewed by the sheer disrespect of the Boston housing market, I can't imagine that kind of real estate comes cheap.
We're also encouraged to consider "Latin music for a Cinco de Mayo party," and I am choosing to willfully misinterpret this as a suggestion to blare monastic chanting at my next soiree. Or perhaps I'll try out another piece of Kyle's advice:
If it's possible, I try to have one extra entertainment going on in some quiet room of the house, like a psychic or a magician.
It's really generous of Kyle to assume that I just happen to have an extra room in which to host an intimate recital of clowning or mimery. But I do have a sparkling wit and subscriptions to a variety of streaming services, so that's got to count for something!
Kyle winds down her tale with an explanation of her decision to join RHOBH. And funnily enough, it may be the 'realest' part of the entire book:
But the acting business has changed so much. I took off a lot of years to have kids, and when I went back, there were huge stars in little guest roles on TV and I just basically felt like I'd been pushed way down the totem pole.
I never wanted to do a reality show or a soap opera. But eventually I agreed.
Beaten into submission and self-degradation by the cruel demands of a relentless world. What could be realer than that?!
The final pages of the book contain a brief "About The Author" sketch that I assume has been haphazardly pieced together from the About Me section of Kyle's Facebook profile page:
This sassy California native was born in Hollywood, into an acting family.

Kyle is an avid advocate for the fight against cancer.

Kyle believes "If you obey all the rules, you'll miss all the fun."
And with that final self-attribution of Pinterest's favorite Katherine Hepburn quote, I leave this Real Housewife and go back to the real world -- until next time!

See comment below for my future reading plans
submitted by efa___ to BravoRealHousewives [link] [comments]


2020.07.14 13:08 kittehgoesmeow What A Day: The Most Tragical Place On Earth by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (07/13/20)

"Joe Biden is finished." - Trump campaign advisors, on the one extant photo of Donald Trump wearing a mask

Fax And Fiction

White House officials have moved to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, in retaliation for his increasingly urgent warnings that the country’s coronavirus response has careened off the rails.
A growing number of state and local leaders are siding with the doctors on this one.
The Trump administration undermined our chances at containing new outbreaks by failing to address the shortages and delays we’ve known about for months, and now hopes to undermine a top health official and the CDC for warning the public about it. All we can do is make sure to use the next few months more productively.

Look No Further Than The Crooked Media

As luck would have it, THE Dr. Anthony Fauci will be joining Dr. Abdul El-Sayed on Tuesday's episode of America Dissected: Coronavirus. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss this week's episode, wherever you get your podcasts

Under The Radar

President Trump commuted Roger Stone’s prison sentence late on Friday night, in an extraordinary abuse of power to reward and buy the silence of a friend who was convicted of lying to Congress in order to protect him. Trump’s clemency order also commuted Stone’s two-year probation term and the $20,000 fine included in his sentence. Not only does the move send a clear signal to Trump allies that they won’t be held accountable for crimes committed to help him politically, it puts a convicted felon back to work doing just that: Stone has already pledged to do “anything necessary to elect my candidate, short of breaking the law” (lol). Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller published a Washington Post op-ed on Saturday defending his office’s prosecution of Stone: “Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.” A day later, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he would grant Democrats’ request to invite Mueller to testify before his panel.

What Else?

A new CBS News/YouGov poll shows Joe Biden just one point below President Trump in Texas, consistent with several recent polls suggesting Texas is in play as a swing state.
The Trump administration lifted a ban on sales of firearm silencers to private overseas buyers, under pressure from a gun industry lobbyist who now works at the White House. The ban was in place to protect U.S. troops from ambushes, which is evidently less important to the Trump administration than doing favors for special interests groups ahead of the election.
A federal judge has blocked federal executions that were set to resume this week for the first time in 17 years, citing concerns that the lethal injection method involved is “very likely to cause extreme pain and needless suffering.” The first execution had been scheduled for this afternoon.
Japanese authorities are furious at the U.S. over a major coronavirus outbreak at two Marine bases in Okinawa, saying the military hadn’t taken adequate measures to contain the virus. Doesn’t sound like the U.S. military we know, but let’s hear these guys out.
Researchers at Harvard estimated that nearly 110,000 small businesses closed permanently between early March and early May. The known number is at least 66,000, based on data from Yelp.
A federal financial regulator has quietly shelved at least six investigations into discriminatory lending since Trump took office, against staff recommendations that fines or penalties be imposed.
Authorities found the body of Glee actor Naya Rivera at Lake Piru in Southern California, after she went missing there on Wednesday.
More than 300 workers at Los Angeles Apparel have tested positive for coronavirus, and four have died. Public health officials said the company initially refused to cooperate with its investigation into a potential outbreak at the factory. Another dazzling chapter in the career of Dov Charney.
If you haven’t been on Twitter in a few days, firstly, congratulations, and secondly, just know that everything is cake now. Except for trendy jam, which is mold, and cabinets, which are (not) sex-trafficking. You are now caught up.

Be Smarter

Oil and gas companies are on the verge of bankruptcy, raising fears of a potential environmental disaster as executives continue to rake in millions in bonuses. As these energy companies collapse, they could leave unprofitable wells abandoned and leaking pollutants for taxpayers to clean up. Those companies haven’t set aside enough funds to keep those unused sites from leaking, but they have made sure to pay out executives before filing for bankruptcy; one offshore drilling company did so with the $9.7 million tax refund it received under the March coronavirus stimulus bill. The environmental consequences would be severe, and yet even now the Trump administration is finalizing a plan that would release oil companies from requirements to detect and fix methane leaks.

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Is That Hope I Feel?

Federal judges have blocked two of the strictest abortion bans in the country, in Georga and Tennessee. Georgia’s “hearbeat” abortion law was permanently struck down, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order to block Tennessee’s law just hours after it was signed.
The Texas Supreme Court rejected the state Republican Party’s efforts to force an in-person convention in Houston after state officials canceled it.
The Washington football team announced that it will finally change its name.
7-Eleven has opted to donate one million meals to Feeding America rather than give away its usual free Slurpees on July 11, so people don't crowd into its stores. That's right, "no free Slurpees" is good news, welcome to 2020.

Enjoy

Amy Jones on Twitter: "We tried to do a Winnie-the-Pooh themed photo shoot with Iggy and it did not go well"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]


2020.07.13 20:21 LearningIsListening A not-so-brief rundown of letters G-I in Jeffrey Epstein's 'Black Book'

Below is a rundown of letters G-I of Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/cpis3n/a_brief_rundown_of_the_first_ten_pages_of_jeffrey/).
I also wrote about letters D-F on July 5, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hlrba8/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_df_in_jeffrey/). There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this.
I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here: https://www.coreysdigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jeffrey-Epsteins-Little-Black-Book-unredacted.pdf
G-I
Gaetani, Gelasio: Count Gelasio Gaetani comes from one of the oldest families in Rome. The Gaetani (also known as Caetani) family has produced 3 popes, including Pope Boniface VIII. Gelasio is a wine specialist and vineyard owner who helps celebrities buy the most unique bottles of wine throughout the world.
Gaetani, Rufreido: Roffredo Gaetani was an Italian count, prince, and duke who died in a car crash in 2005. Roffredo came to the public’s attention when he dated Ivana Trump in the 1990s. Brother of Gelasio.
Gallman, Kuki: Kuki Gallmann is a best-selling author (5 of her books were global best sellers), poet, environmental activist, and conservationist. Owns a 98,000 acre cattle ranch in Kenya with her husband, which she turned into a conservation park.
Ganero, Mario Jr.: Where do we even begin? Mario Garnero is a Brazilian banker and entrepreneur who has been deemed the “father of the ethanol car” and is the chairman of the board and primary shareholder of Brasilinvest Group, a banking firm worth $700 million. Garnero’s connections run extremely deep. He is/has been personal friends with Jacob Rothschild, David Rockefeller, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Helmut Schmidt, and many others. The following website makes some startling connections between Garnero, Epstein, and others (source: https://aeltri.com/2019/02/12/john-of-god-mario-garnero-and-epstein/). Quick summary: Record producer Damon Dash (former co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z) allegedly raped a supermodel who worked for Naomi Campbell at a party thrown by Garnero (source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/poshs-friend-sued-for-rape-6939248.html).
Garnero has been referred to as a “Rothschild pawn” who tried to help Aecio Neves rise to power. Garnero also appointed “George Soros frontman, Arminio Fraga, who worked in Soros’ Quantum Fund, as Minister of the Economy.”
Ganoza, Esteban Juan: A Peruvian businessman who said he met Maxwell in the 1980s when he lived in New York, but denied any ties to pedophilia when his contact information was revealed to be in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’
Garcia, Ludmila: No info found.
Gardner. Adam: No info found.
Garland, Michael: Likely the Chairman of investment firm C5 Capital, located in London.
Garson, Jeremy: Likely refers to the lawyer who is a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills who specializes in large-scale international commercial disputes. Not completely positive, though.
Gaspar, Nacho: Not sure. Could be a number of Ignazio Gaspars, all of whom are businessmen.
Gaul, Harriett: Harriett Jagger is a fashion stylist and former fashion director of Tatler, a fashion magazine owned by Conde Nast (parent company of Vogue, GQ, etc.), which has come up several times during my investigations, and Harpers. She had a daughter with property dealer Simon Gaul, the Godson of Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Geary, Tim: Served in public relations and was Director of Membership at Soho House, a restaurant and private members club. Billionaire Ron Burkle owns 60% of Soho House. Burkle, along with Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, travelled to Africa for an anti-poverty, anti-AIDs tour on Epstein’s Lolita Express. Nothing fishy there.
Gelardin, Jack: No info found. The address listed is located in Chelsea, London, and sold for over 5 million pounds in 2013.
German-Ribon, Catriona: Catriona Blampied (nee German-Ribon) is the Managing Partner, Founder, and Owner of talent agency Procure Worldwide & Procure Digital since 2016. Worked as Managing Director at Platinum Rye Entertainment, another talent agency, before that.
Gertler, Eric: A venture capitalist who served as Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, a media company most known for publishing news, consumer advice, and rankings ranging from education (top universities, high schools, etc.) to job professions, healthcare, and too many others to mention. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated Gertler to serve as President and CEO of Empire State Development, New York’s chief economic agency. In Epstein’s ‘Black Book,’ Privista is listed under Gertler’s name. Privista is a company that protects against identity theft. Gertler was President and CEO.
Getty, Mark: Co-founder and Chairman of Getty Images, a photographic conglomerate. If you have ever surfed the Internet, you have seen several pictures/images belonging to Getty Images. From 2008-2016, Getty was the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery in London. Grandson of Jean Paul Getty Sr., founder of Getty Oil Company, and one of the richest men in the world during his time. The Getty Family has a net worth north of $5 billion as of 2015.
Getty, Pia and Chris: Pia Getty is the daughter of billionaire Robert Warren Miller, an American-born British businessman and founder of Duty Free Shops. Pia’s sisters are Princess Alexandra von Furstenberg of designer fame and Maria-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark. Her ex-husband (1992-2005), Christopher, is Mark Getty’s first cousin. Christopher is also the grandson of Jean Paul Getty Sr. When they were married, Pia and Mark would hold A-list parties on the rooftop of their Manhattan townhouse. Their townhouse was located half a mile from Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion. Many people think that the Getty Museum in Los Angeles houses an underground base and city for the elites.
Gibbs, Emma: Former girlfriend of Prince Andrew. Gibbs was introduced to Prince Andrew by her good friend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Gibbs worked as a PR consultant.
Gibson, Caroline: Likely to be the award-winning freelance copywriter and content writer who has worked on a number of high-profile advertisements.
Gilifilan, Andrew: Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for Cambridge University Press. Retired in 2012.
Gillford, Lord & Lady: Lord Gillford is Patrick Meade, the 8th Earl of Clanwilliam. He is a businessman who is on the board of Soma Oil & Gas Holdings and Eurasia Drilling Company, where he served as Chairman. Eurasia Drilling Company is owned by Russian billionaire oligarch, Alexander Dzhaparidze and billionaire Alexander Putilov.
Gilmour, Andrew & Emma: Gilmour is a diplomat for the UN who has spoken out strongly against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Gilmour’s father, Sir Ian Gilmour, served as a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s first cabinet. Emma Gilmour (nee Williams) is a physician and author.
Ginsberg, Gary: Former Executive VP of Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the fourth-largest media group in the world prior to splitting in 2013. Ginsberg was a close confidant of Rupert Murdoch and Peter Chernin while at News Corp. Ginsberg also served in the Clinton Administration at the White House Counsel’s Office and Department of Justice. Ginsberg has brokered meetings between Rupert Murdoch and the Clintons, as well as Obama. Ginsberg is currently on the Board of Directors of New Visions for Public Schools, which designs course curricula for students in NYC. New Visions supports many schools, impacting 230,000 students (source: https://newyorkschooltalk.org/2019/07/at-new-visions-for-public-schools-its-all-about-continuous-school-improvement-hows-that-going/). Their Networks for School Improvement Initiative is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New Visions also has ties to the Carnegie Foundation, which donates millions of dollars in grants (source: https://www.carnegie.org/grants/grants-database/grantee/new-visions-for-public-schools-inc/#!/grants/grants-database/grant/312395808.0/). Ginsberg is also a friend of and speechwriter for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Gittis, Howard: Gittis (1934-2007) was an attorney and adviser to billionaire businessman Ron Perelman. He worked at MacAndrews & Forbes, an investment firm owned by Perelman. In 1995, Perelman hosted a dinner with Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Clinton college friend Arnold Paul Prosperi, Don Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, and Don Fowler, who was the co-chairman of the DNC. More on Perelman later.
Giussani, Luca: President, CEO of Dorial Telecom, Inc., a telecommunications company.
Glanville, Mary: A philanthropy consultant who spent years in TV, Glanville also worked as a PR contact for the Bonita Trust which donated £100,000 to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) back in 2009 to “update its ChildLine technical infrastructure and purchase essential equipment so that more children can get help from its ChildLine service” (source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/07/prweb2625274.htm). Glanville was the author of that PR statement.
Glass, Charlie: Could possibly be Charles Glass, author, publisher, and journalist that specializes in the Middle East, but I cannot confirm.
Glentworth, Edmund & Emily: Edmund Pery is the 7th Earl of Limerick and was formerly known as Viscount Glentworth. He worked in British government until becoming director of Deutsche Bank. Emily is Edmund’s wife.
Goess, Pilar: A countess and Austrian-American model who posed for Playboy. Goess died in 1999 from a brain tumor.
Goldberg, Ellen: President of Santa Fe Institute, an organization in New Mexico that hosts faculty consisting of Nobel Laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and MacArthur fellows. Goldberg is also a research professor in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Goldberg is a member of the Biology Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council at the National Institutes of Health. Goldberg has a Ph.D. in genetics from Cornell University Medical College.
Goldsmith, Isabel: An art collector and owner of Hotel Las Alamandas in Mexico. Goldsmith is the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith, a French-British financier, tycoon, and member of the European Parliament.
Golinkin, Sandy: Former Vice President and Publisher of Lucky, a fashion and lifestyle magazine owned by Conde Nast. Has frequently been photographed with celebrities and elite at various parties.
Gomez, Thomas: Thomas Gommes is a former international corporate lawyer.
Gomme, William & Emma: William Gomme is a former director of several furniture manufacturing companies in London. Emma is his wife.
Gordon, Jacobo: Spanish businessman who co-founded several real estate and gaming companies with Alejandro Agag. Agag is a former politician in Spain. He became Secretary General of the European People’s Party (EPP), a tremendous political faction in Europe. Agag played a huge role in getting former Italy PM Silvio Berlusconi’s party into the EPP. Berlusconi has been charged for underage prostitution in the past. Agag quit politics to pursue financial and sporting interests. He is married to the daughter of Jose Maria Aznar, the former PM of Spain and Ana Botella Serrano, the first female mayor of Madrid. Guests at Agag’s wedding included kings and queens. Berlusconi and Tony Blair served as witnesses.
Gore, Juliet: The only Juliet Gore I found is the co-director of Neuro Orthopaedic Institute out of Australia. Doesn’t feel right.
Gottlieb, Steve: A music executive who discovered Nine Inch Nails, Pitbull, Sevendust, and Ja Rule. He has served on the boards of Napster and Musicmatch. He is currently CEO of Shindig, a Zoom-like platform for people to meet each other online.
Goulandris, Dimitri: Founder of The Cycladic Group, which invests and creates businesses. Spent 8 years at Morgan Stanley in its private equity group. Goulandris is the Executive Director and a Board Member for Knightsbridge Schools, which has 3 schools (KSI Montenegro [a boarding school], KSI Bogota, and KSI Panama), all of which are primary/secondary schools for students aged 2-18.
Grabau, Lorenzo: Spent seventeen years at Goldman Sachs before becoming CEO of Investment AB Kinnevik, a Swedish investment firm. He was fired less than 3 years after taking the position.
Graff, Francois: CEO of family-owned Graff, one of the world’s most notable jewellery houses. The company is worth several billion dollars. Graff has been photographed with the likes of Wilbur Ross. In 2001, there was a party celebrating the opening of a new Graff’s store. Attendees included Ghislaine Maxwell, Ivana Trump, Joan Collins, and Denise Rich (source: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/05/style/IHT-laurence-graff-and-his-pockets-full-of-diamonds-the-buccaneer-of.html)
Granby, David: David Charles Robert Manners is the 11th Duke of Rutland. He also goes by the Marquess of Granby. Granby is a high-profile supporter of the UK Independence Party and has hosted fundraising events at his ancestral home, Belvoir Castle. Employed Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative Parliament member who had to resign because he had sexual relations with underage male prostitutes, as his personal secretary.
Grange, Jacques: A French interior designer for the rich. Clients include Princess Caroline of Monaco, Francis Ford Coppola, Alain Ducasse, and several billionaires, to name a few.
Grant Jamie: Likely James Grant, owner of No2 Pound Street, an award-winning wine shop that specializes in British Cheese and cured meats. He and his wife previously worked at some leading hotels and restaurants.
Greece Princess Olga: Princess Olga, Duchess of Apulia (nee Princess Olga Isabelle of Greece) married her second cousin, Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Apulia, in 2008. Olga’s father is first cousins with Prince Phillip (Queen Elizabeth’s wife).
Greece, MC & Pavlos: Pavlos is the eldest son of Constantine II, the last King of Greece, before the monarchy was abolished in 1973. Worked in New York as an investment portfolio manager. MC is his wife, Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece. Her father is the billionaire founder of Duty Free Shops. Her sisters, Alexandra and Pia, married into the von Furstenberg and Getty families, respectively. A dinner party was thrown for them at the Standard Hotel in 2009. There were about 12 guests there. One of those exclusive guests was Ghislaine Maxwell (source: https://wwd.com/eye/people/royal-standard-a-fete-for-princess-marie-chantal-and-prince-pavlos-2399957/)
Green, Deborah: No info found.
Green, Jeremy: Likely the former Chief Executive of Quba Property Holdings in South Africa.
Green, Judy: A New York socialite who hobnobbed with an elite crowd. She was considered Andy Warhol’s first muse. He did her photo portrait and she starred in his first movie, The Kiss. She was reportedly close with Frank Sinatra. Edgar M. Bromfman served as Best Man at her wedding to William John Green in 1964. Bromfman is the owner of Seagram, the beverage company. His daughters, Clare and Sara, were members of NXIVM, a cult that recruited women and forced them into sexual slavery.
Gregg Geordie & Katherine: Geordie Grieg is an English journalist and editor of The Daily Mail. Grieg is good friends and has been photographed partying with Ghislaine Maxwell. He is the former editor of Tatler, a Conde Nast-owned British magazine that is targeted towards the upper class and those interested in high society events. Tatler connections come up constantly in the ‘Black Book.’
Grenfell, Natasha: Daughter of Lord St Just, heir to a banking fortune and Wilbury Park mansion. Her mother was actress and one-time Tennessee Williams love interest, Maria Britneva. Natasha is a socialite who has is friends with royalty, actors, and musicians
Griffen, Ted: This is most likely screenwriter, producer, and director Ted Griffin. He has worked on The Wolf of Wall Street, Ocean’s Eleven, and Tower Heist.
Griscom, Nina: A model, socialite, TV personality, and entrepreneur who died earlier this year. Her first husband was a modeling booker for Ford Models, which I wrote about in the D-F section of Epstein’s ‘Black Book’ (link: https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hlrba8/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_df_in_jeffrey/). She went on to cheat on her next husband with sugar billionaire Pepe Fanjul, who is also mentioned in the D-F link above. Was a close friend of Blaine Trump, ex-wife of Robert Trump, Donald’s younger brother.
Gross, Pamela & Jimmy Finkelstein: James Finkelstein is the owner of The Hill, an American news website often cited here in /conspiracy. He is close with Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Pamela Gross is his wife. She worked at CNN until 2017 and is close friends with Melania Trump.
Grossman Lloyd: Loyd Grossman is an British author and broadcaster best known for hosting Masterchef from 1990-2000, before it was reformatted. Also co-created Through the Keyhole, a British game show, with David Frost, who is also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’
Gubelmann, Marjorie: A socialite who is best known for hosting and performing as a DJ at high society parties. She has deejayed events for Bulgari, Versace, and others. She is currently the in-studio DJ for the Today with Hoda & Jenny show on NBC. Her ex-husband, Reza Raein works in oil. Guests at their wedding included Ivanka Trump, Tamara Mellon, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch.
Guccioni, Tony: Son of Penthouse creator Bob Guccione.
Gudefin, Christian: A financial advisor at Deutsche Bank, which as of Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, agreed to pay $150 million in fines because they ignored suspicious transactions made by Jeffrey Epstein (source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/business/jeffrey-epstein-deutsche-bank-settlement.html?referringSource=articleShare). Gudefin is also a financial advisor at Fdx Capital LLC and Managing Partner at Confidas Capital.
Guedroltz, Solina & Nicolas: Solina is a photographer. Her father is a viscount. Nicolas is an antique Russian furniture dealer. He is a Russian prince and is of Belgian nobility through his mother’s side.
Guerini Maraldi, Alessandro: Chairman of Willis Towers Watson, a British insurance company. Guerrini-Maraldi’s name appears in the Panama Papers, which revealed the identities of many rich and powerful people who have avoided paying taxes through offshore accounts.
Guerrand-Hermes, Valesca: Socialite and ex-wife of French fashion house heir, Mathias Guerrand. Guerrand-Hermes is on the Board of Directors of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) (source: https://nyspcc.org/about-the-new-york-society-for-the-prevention-of-cruelty-to-children/people/). NYSPCC is a child protection agency. Photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell at the 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. You can’t make this stuff up.
Guest, Cornelia: Named Debutante of the Decade of the 1980s, Cornelia is a well-known New York socialite who comes from money. Her family made money in iron and steel and have served in British politics. In December 2015, Ghislaine Maxwell attended Cornelia’s holiday party.
Guggenheim, Barbara & Bert Flelds: Guggenheim (not part of the Guggenheim museum family) is a partner at the well-known art advisory firm, Guggenheim, Asher Associates, Inc. They have built collections for Coca Cola and Sony, as well as Tom Cruise and alleged pedophile Steven Spielberg. Epstein victim Maria Farmer once worked for Barbara at her home before meeting Epstein. Farmer got the job through Barbara’s sister, Eileen, who has been accused of being an Epstein enabler. A petition (https://www.change.org/p/david-kratz-eileen-guggenheim-must-be-removed-for-harm-she-caused-to-maria-farmer-by-jeffrey-epstein?recruiter=30424804) to have her removed as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York Academy of Art as a result of Maria Farmer’s allegations has over 10,000 signatures. Farmer says that Eileen Guggenheim forced her to sell a painting replicating Degas’s “The Rape” to Epstein. Two weeks after meeting Epstein and Maxwell, Guggenheim took Farmer and other art students to Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico (source: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/epstein-ranch-art-students-1760265). Barbara’s husband, Bert Fields, is an entertainment lawyer who has represented the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, George Lucas, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, etc.
Guiness, Sabrina: Guinness comes from a long line of wealthy bankers. She had a relationship with Prince Charles in 1979. Cousin of Edward Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh, heir to the Guinness fortune. Edward Guinness’s wife, Lady Clare Iveagh (nee Hazell) plays a HUGE role in Epstein’s pedophilia ring. More on her later (she is listed under I for Iveagh). Her sister, Anita Guinness, was married to Amschel Rothschild until his suicide in 1996.
Guinness, Mr Hugo: An artist from the same banking family as sister Sabrina (above). Guinness has collaborated with director Wes Anderson on a number of films. Cousin of Edward Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh, heir to the Guinness fortune. Edward Guinness’s wife, Lady Clare Iveagh (nee Hazell) plays a HUGE role in Epstein’s pedophilia ring. More on her later (she is listed under I for Iveagh).
Guissaini, Luca: Listed above under Giussani, Luca. CEO of Dorial Telecom.
Gumberg, Ira: Chairman and CEO of JJ Gumberg Co., a high-end real estate development firm based out of Pittsburgh. Gumberg served on the Board of Mellon Financial Corporation from 1989-2007.
Guttfreund, Susan & John: Susan is a former beauty queen and notorious party thrower. Her husband, John, was CEO of Salomon Brothers, the large investment bank. He was dubbed the “King of Wall Street” by Business Week in 1985. He died in 2016.
Hahn, Dr & Mrs: Likely Carl Hahn, former head of Volkswagen.
Hall, Pippa: There are two Pippa Halls that this could possibly be. One is a movie casting director who was in charge of casting children for movies (source: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0356002/). The other Pippa Hall is Director of Innovation and Chief Economist at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). There is not enough info to determine which one is in the ‘Black Book.’
Halpern Jen: A British philanthropist, PR guru, and businesswoman. Her father was knighted by Margaret Thatcher.
Hambro, Clementine: Great-granddaughter of Winston Churchill who also served as a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana when she was just five-years-old. Her father, Richard, was a British heir and investment banker. K
Hamilton, George: Famous actor who took Ghislaine Maxwell to the Epsom Derby (horse race) in 1991. Epstein has a significant amount of phone numbers listed for Hamilton.
Hammond, Dana: Socialite and heiress to the Annenberg Publishing fortune. Hammond is friends with Ghislaine Maxwell. They have been photographed together at various parties.
Handler, Sharon: International attorney who is friends with Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles. Married to John Langeloth Loeb Jr., former United States Ambassador to Denmark under Reagan.
Hanover, Ernst & chantal: Prince Ernst Hanover is the head of the royal House of Hanover. The House of Hanover has produced six British monarchs, including King George III and Queen Victoria. The current British monarchy, the Windsors, are actually of German and British descent, which is why these family trees intersect. Most notably, the House of Hanover is perhaps the most important of the Black Nobility families. There have been some fantastic threads on Reddit about the Black Nobility.
Hanson, Brook: Adopted son of British industrialist, Lord Hanson, Brook died in 2014 at the age of 50.
Hanson, Lord & Lady: British industrialist who made a fortune in the ‘80s as a Trade and Industry Secretary in close friend Margaret Thatcher’s administration. His wife, Geraldine, was a former model. They are both dead.
Hanson, The Hon Robert: British financier and eldest son of Lord Hanson. Chairman of Hanson Family Holdings, a private investment firm. In the 1980s, Robert worked as a banker at NM Rothschild & Sons before returning to his father’s company. Before getting married, Hanson dated socialite Anouska de Georgiou, who became the first British woman to accuse Jeffrey Epstein of raping her as a teenager (source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/how-british-teen-model-was-lured-jeffrey-epstein-s-web-n1056901). Odd that Robert Hanson, his brother Brook, and his parents would have wanted anything to do with Epstein.
Hapsburg, Marie: Royalty. Her father was Archduke Joseph Arpad of Austria and her mother, Archduchess Maria of Austria, was a Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and a member of the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg by birth. The Hapsburg (also called Habsburg) family is one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in Europe. The Hapsburgs are another Black Nobility family of very high prestige. I couldn’t find anything out about her husband, Raymond van der Meide. They have 7 children together.
Harvey Victoria: Ex-girlfriend of Prince Andrew, Hervey is an English model and socialite. Although her relationship with Andrew didn’t work out, she remained in his inner circle. In 2000, she attended a dinner with Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Jeffrey Epstein (source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9844083/lady-victoria-hervey-jeffrey-epstein-too-old/). Hervey is also a friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, who introduced her to Epstein and “set her up in one of Epstein’s apartments in New York.” Hervey is the daughter of Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol, businessman and member of the House of Lords.
Harvey-Watt, Isabelle: Director of PR for Giorgio Armani before moving on to Versace and other well-known fashion corporations.
Haslam, Nick: English interior designer and socialite. His mother was the Goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Haslam claims to have had an affair with Lord Snowdon one year before he married Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth’s sister), further fueling rumors of Lord Snowdon’s alleged bisexuality.
Hatkoff, Craig & Jane: Hatkoff is a real estate investor, who, along with his ex-wife, Jane Rosenthal, and Robert De Niro, founded the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute. Hatkoff has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
Hauteville, Marc de: Manages Soc Civile du Frayssinet, a real estate company based out of France. There is very little information other than this. Both of his parents appear to be members of noble families - the Hautevilles and the Cazenoves - who have historical ties to the Du Ponts.
Hay, Henry & Patricia: Henry Hay is CEO and co-founder of Centaur Properties, a large real estate firm based out of New York. Centaur’s holdings are concentrated in the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Hayworth Reggie: Heyworth runs the 160 acre Cotswold Wildlife Park, which attracts more than 400,000 people a year. He lives in the middle of the park at the Bradwell Grove estate. .
Hazell-Iveagh, Clare: This amazing thread made by clemanueverers contains all the info you need: https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hkk5g0/one_of_epstein_madam_ghislaine_maxwells/. Quick summary: Hazell-Iveagh helped Maxwell and Epstein procure children using her position as President of West Suffolk National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Click on the link. Clemanueverers did a wonderful job.
Hearn, Barry & Susan: Barry is a hugely popular English sports promoter, as is his son, Eddie, who represents some of the biggest boxers in the world. Former boxer and popular Youtuber Tyan Booth was supposedly banned immediately after posting a video connecting Epstein to Hearn. I have tried to find the video or at least a summary of what he said, but have been unsuccessful. If anyone has any info on this, please post below.
Hefner III, Bob: Founder and CEO of GHK Companies, which specializes in oil and natural gas. Founded the Robert and MeiLi Hefner Foundation which sponsors educational trips to China for outstanding high school students. His grandfather, Robert Hefner Sr., served as Mayor of Oklahoma City, was a Supreme Court Justice of Oklahoma, was a member of the executive council of the Boy Scouts of America, and was a thirty-second degree Freemason. Although I try not to engage in speculation, this article makes a connection between Jeffrey Epstein, Bob Hefner III, and a winning Powerball lottery ticket that was purchased in Oklahoma in 2008 (source: https://www.thelostogle.com/2019/08/14/no-jeffrey-epstein-did-not-win-25-million-from-an-oklahoma-lottery-ticket-or-did-he/#comments). It’s too long to summarize. Read it and check it out.
Heiden, Lisa: Worked in Manhattan and London as an executive for ABC. Close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. According to the fantastic research done by this person (https://twitter.com/Agent99Mom/status/1280580456400982016), two of Lisa Heiden’s properties are listed as an address for Ellmax, a company set up by Ghislaine.
Heineken, Mr. Fredie: A Dutch businessman for the Heineken brewing company. Was chairman and CEO from 1971-1989.
Helen and Tim Shifter: Helen is a former Vogue Magazine staffer. Tim is former CEO of LeSportsac and serves as Senior Advisor at Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. The Schifters are personal friends of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Helvin, Marie: Former fashion model and former girlfriend of Imran Khan, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. According to her memoir, she knows pretty much any popular celebrity from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Herbert, Jason: Likely a financial adviser based in London.
Hermes, Olga & Olaf: Olaf is a handbag heir. Olga is his ex-wife.
Herrero, Juan & Helen: Juan is like the managing director of an investment bank in Spain.
Hersov, Robert & Kim: Robert is a South African entrepreneur and mining heir who has worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and News Corp. (owned by Murdoch).. Ex-wife Kim is a London-based fashion editor and designer.
Heseltine, Mr & Mrs: Baron Michael Heseltine is a British businessman and politician who served in various roles in government for British PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Heseltine was a friend of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s father. Heseltine invested in Conservative Parliament member Harvey Proctor’s business after Proctor was forced to resign after it was revealed he had sexual relationships with and took nude pictures of male prostitutes aged 17-21 at his home (source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/members-interests-top-tories-lose-on-proctors-shop-the-retailer-1445666.html). At the time, it was illegal to have same-sex relations with prostiutes under the age of 21.
Heseltine, Mr & Mrs: Same as above.
Heseltine, Ms. Annabel: Journalist, columnist, and TV and radio broadcaster. At the age of 22, she became the Assistant-editor for Hong Kong Tatler (there’s that publication again). Daughter of Baron Michael Heseltine.
Heseltine, Rupert: Businessman and heir to Haymarket Media Group. Son of Baron Michael Heseltine.
Hicks, India: A fashion model in the ‘80s and ‘90s, India Hicks is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Descendant of the Mountbatten family, a British dynasty (although much of their background is German). Granddaughter of the much-decorated war hero, Lord Mountbatten (Prince Charles’s mentor), who, according to FBI files, was “a homosexual with a perversion for young boys” (source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9745399/lord-mountbatten-fbi-dossier-prince-charles/). Prince Charles is her second cousin and Godfather.
Hill, Anthony: Son of Robin Hall, 8th Marquess of Downshire and Juliet Weld-Forester, daughter of 7th Baron Forester. Couldn’t find any more info.
Himmelstein, Howard: Co-owner of clothing brand Camp Beverly Hill and a producescreenwriter.
Hirsch, Jeff: Owner of Foto Care, a shop that sells professional camera equipment. Claims he is only in the ‘Black Book’ because he sold an expensive camera to Ghislaine many years ago and had to go to her house to show her how to use it (source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article234312632.html). This, however, doesn’t explain why there are two numbers listed under Hirsch’s name that are attributed to Scott Geffert, the General Manager for Advanced Imaging at the MET museum. This could all be innocent or these two could have assisted in Epstein’s hidden camera setup and helped Epstein get high quality pictures of his victims. We can’t be sure.
Hissom, Robert & Andrea: Robert is the founder of Aspen Capital Partners, a large property management firm. He is a friend of Prince Charles. His ex-wife, Andrea, famously got remarried to Steve Wynn, billionaire Las Vegas hotel tycoon. Prince Harry was a guest of Wynn’s at his Encore resort. Andrea and Wynn are close friends of Donald and Melania Trump (source: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20120901/281904475353844).
Hoffman, Dustin: Famous Hollywood actor. Hoffman has been accused of sexual assault on multiple occasions, including exposing himself to a minor (source: https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/dustin-hoffman-2-1202641525/)
Hoffman, Hetty: Married to Robin Dundas, Earl of Ronaldshay. Lady Ronaldshay is a patron and ambassador for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, a UK-based charity that provides care for terminally ill babies and children up to five years old. A good friend of Ben Holland-Martin (listed just below).
Hoffman, Jessica: Sister of Hetty Hoffman (above), Jessica is an artist and former model who married investment banker Leopoldo Zambeletti. She is a good friend of India Hicks (mentioned above), the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten (Prince Charles’s mentor), who, according to FBI files, was “a homosexual with a perversion for young boys.”
Holland-Martin, Ben: Works for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). His mother, Rosamund, was chairman of the NSPCC for 20 years while Princess Margaret was President and was involved with the NSPCC for more than 50 years (source: https://www.newspapers.com/image/?clipping_id=36141343&fcfToken=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJmcmVlLXZpZXctaWQiOjI1OTU4NDE2NSwiaWF0IjoxNTk0MzMwNTQ0LCJleHAiOjE1OTQ0MTY5NDR9.j1V2e0Mr3tJmPzusRYNneLVhUskWiIAvNIjdIpvuzj4). Both Ben and his mother are/were friends of Princess Margaret. Rosamund Holland-Martin (nee Hornby) was related to Charles Hornby, a British socialite and close friend of Prince Charles, who was sentenced to 2 ½ years for luring young runaway boys into prostitution, indecent assault, importuning, and living off the earnings of prostitution (source: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0FQ0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=YbkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4638,2085303). Ben is also good friends with Hetty Hoffman (mentioned above), who is an ambassador for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.
Hollond Mr & Mrs James: James is a partner at EFP Capital, an investment and advisory firm. James’s mother married Baron Robert Rothschild after her and James’s father divorced. His now ex-wife, Beatrice, is on many investing firm boards, but most notably, she is a trustee on the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, a charity that specializes in helping disadvantaged children (source: https://esmeefairbairn.org.uk/beatrice-hollond). If anyone has more info on these two, please post. Epstein has 10 pieces of contact information under their name.
submitted by LearningIsListening to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.07.07 15:34 WSBConsensus Who wants some morning coffee?

Of note for Semiconductors (SOX) , Samsung (SSNLF) announced it expects Q2 operating profit +22.7% Y/Y to KRW 8.1trln (exp. 6.21trln), and revenue view at KRW 52trln (exp. 50.2trln). The improvement in operating profit came from rising chip prices during the period. Full results for the quarter will be released later this month.

DOW JONES

Apple Inc. (AAPL) will use OLED screens for its 5G iPhones this year, going all-in with the world’s premium display technology for its flagship range, according to Nikkei. The report adds that for the first time, the products will not include a charger or wired earphones for new iPhone’s and iPads.
Boeing Company (BA) faces twenty-seven 737 MAX cancellations from aircraft lessor Avalon between 2020/22, which follows the 75 already cancelled in Q1. Meanwhile, Indian airline Vistara is in talks to delay delivery of some aircraft, it currently has six Boing (BA) 787-9 Dreamliner widebody planes on order for 2020 and 2021, but deliveries had already been pushed back due to logistics issues and production delays at the plane makers.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) LinkedIn is following actions by Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Alphabet (GOOG) in pausing requests from Hong Kong law enforcement as it reviews China’s new security law.
Raytheon (RTX) has been awarded a USD 6bln modification to six-year base contract with one four-year option period, to add an additional year of performance and increase funding for depot-level repairable and consumable spare parts, as well as repair and engineering services for multiple weapon systems.

NASDAQ 100

Alphabet Inc (GOOG/GOOGL) and Deutsche Bank (DB) have agreed to form a long-term partnership that will see the US technology company provide cloud computing capabilities to Germany’s largest lender.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) / Alphabet Inc Class C (GOOG) / Netflix Inc. (NFLX) will have to collect 10% VAT in Indonesia
Regeneron (REGN) announces a manufacturing and supply agreement, USD 450mln, for Barda and DoD for its anti-COVID-19 antibody cocktail, which initial doses could be ready as early as summer and completed in fall 2020. HHS says Regeneron estimates between 70,000 and 300,000 treatment doses could be available; manufacturing will take place amid clinical trials being taken, with doses ready to be shipped immediately if trials are successful.
Sirius XM (SIRI) is near a deal to buy E.W. Scripps Co.’s Stitcher podcasting unit for around USD 300mln, according to sources. The satellite-radio giant is working on expanding into the rapidly growing podcasting industry, following similar moves by media and tech companies including Spotify (SPOT) and iHeartMedia.
Tesla (TSLA) had a PT upgrade from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, who raised it to USD 740 from USD 650, while its bull case has been increased to USD 2,070/shr. Jonas highlights the Q2 demand and production that was ahead of expectations. The analyst also notes TSLA balance sheet is holding up better than most of its competitors. Adam Jonas still has concerns on the sustainability of profit in China, poor auto industry fundamentals, and the inevitable competition in EVs from technology firms.
United Continental Holdings (UAL) said it was further expanding its international schedule in September by bringing back service between Chicago and Hong Kong and Los Angeles and Sydney and adding new nonstop flights between Chicago and Tel Aviv; UAL last week said it would add nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights in August, tripling the number it flew in June while standing ready to shift plans if a spike in COVID-19 cases hits demand. Meanwhile, WSJ reports UAL told employees that tens of thousands of employees to prepare for potential furlough amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
Xilinx (XLNX) mentioned negatively by Barclays, analyst Blayne Curtis says the co’s pre-announcement last week is based on production of Huawei’s 4G chips, which is not sustainable; lowers FY21 estimates to below consensus.

S & P 500

Accenture plc (ACN) / AT&T Inc. (T) are working with Phillips 66 (PSX) to develop industrial cellular wireless connectivity, “the solution will lay the foundation for potential future 5G use cases, including support for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and low latency applications.”
Barnes (B) announced it will cut its workforce by 8% and will incur a Q2 charge of USD 18mln.
Chubb Limited (CB) announced Q2 2020 global net catastrophe loss estimates of USD 1.8bln pre-tax, or USD 1.5bln after-tax, including COVID related losses of USD 1.37bln pre-tax (USD 1.16bln after tax)
General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) CEO’s do not have to meet to settle a lawsuit between the two automakers, an appeals court announced. The court overturned an extraordinary decision by a federal judge in Detroit who had ordered GM’s Barra and FCAU’s Manley to get together and settle a dispute over FCA’s alleged role in corruption by union leaders.
Kirkland Lake (KL) Q2 gold production at 329,770 oz, +54% Y/Y. YTD production at 660,634 oz, +48% Y/Y. FY20 gold production view at 1.35-1.4mln oz.
Mastercard Inc. (MA) was reportedly warned about Wirecard’s (WDI GY) links to an alleged laundering network in 2016
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) land and minerals properties will receive a bid from the state of Wyoming.
Paychex Inc. (PAYX) Q4 20 (USD): EPS 0.61 (exp. 0.60), Revenue 0.915bln (exp. 0.912bln).
Quest Diagnostics (DGX) announced the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results has lengthened to four to six days for non-priority patients, as demand for its molecular diagnostic tests continues to surge
Rollins Inc. (ROL) Q2 revenue growth in low to mid-single digits.

OTHER

CarMax (KMX) recommends shareholders reject below-market “mini-tender” offer by TRC Capital; TRC’s mini-tender offer seeks less than 5% of KMX outstanding shares, thereby avoiding many disclosures and procedural protections.
Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) received FDA approval for its Qwo treatment for moderate to severe cellulite in adult women.
Moderna (MRNA) and government scientists reportedly clashed paths on the process, delayed delivering trial protocols and also resisted experts advise on how to run the study, according to sources, which have resulted to a delay of more than two week in the trial launch. Note, the delay was already announced, and the trial is to take place in late July.
Nokia (NOK) announced that it is enhancing its industry leadership in open solutions by rapidly ramping up the adoption of Open RAN interfaces. This enhancement to its radio access network portfolio aims to enable an open ecosystem of innovation and a robust telecom supply chain, while ensuring world-class network performance and security.
Novavax (NVAX) have been awarded USD 1.6bln by the US Gov’t to deliver 100mln doses of NVX-COV2373 as early as late 2020, with the funding to support Phase 3 trials due to commence fall-2020.
PG&E (PCG) announces new risk and safety leadership structure; Sumeet Singh to return as Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, and Stephen Cairns becomes Chief Audit Officer, while Francisco Benavides has been promoted to Senior Vice President.
Shake Shack (SHAK) preliminary Q2 comp sales -49%.
Sunrun (RUN) announced a deal to acquire rival Vivint Solar (VSLR) for about USD 3.2bln, including debt.
>Edit 9:38 AM

Additional US Equity Stories:

Of note for Airlines (ALK, DAL, JBLU, LUV, UAL) US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says the five additional airlines have signed letter of intent over COVID-19 related loans; terms to follow 72 hours after deal closes.
Zoom (ZM) and ServiceNow (NOW) have partnered to boost the "work-anywhere" experience
Ford Motor (F) expects relaunch of Bronco SUV line to stoke US sales and profits. Ford expects a new lineup of Bronco vehicles to create “significant value” for the company as it attempts to tap into a cult following for the nameplate. Combined annual sales for the new Bronco models are expected to be in the hundreds of thousands, according to a Ford executive. The new Bronco vehicles are scheduled to debut on July 13, CNBC reports.
Nielsen Holdings (NLSN) announced an optimisation plan to accelerate its transformation, where it will exit several smaller underperforming markets and non-core businesses in H2 20, expects pre-tax restructuring charge of USD 150-170mln (prev. guidance had USD 120-140mln); expects overall Q2 results to be in line with commentary from Q1 call.
Shake Shack (SHAK) Q2 revenue USD 91.8mln (exp. 102mln). SSS -49% Y/Y, Cash burn has improved to roughly USD 200k a week
submitted by WSBConsensus to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]


2020.06.24 22:29 smallavocados Help with editing cover letter

I am applying for a job as a Litigation Assistant and I am completely unfamiliar with litigation or law firms. My current relevant work experience include Office Admin at an architecture firm, Program Coordinator at a high school for a nonprofit organization, and part-time work as an Office Assistant at a tax office for about 1 1/2 years. Though I graduated with a BA in English in 2018, I have no experience in any writing fields and know that I am a mediocre writer at best. Here is my cover letter so far:

"To Whom It May Concern,
I am delighted to submit my application for the Litigation Assistant position at NAME. As a former Program Site Coordinator for a nonprofit organization and experienced Office Assistant for an architecture firm, I have worked many hours to develop an understanding of the diverse needs of various work environments. My office and educational work experience have aided in my ability to perform a variety of interpersonal and administrative support duties in widely differing workspaces.
In my role as a Program Site Coordinator for NONPROFIT, I managed an after-school, college preparation enrichment and academic program in a low-income community that advocated for student success. To ensure students’ diverse needs were being met, I worked with all constituencies to establish a successful program. As Site Coordinator, I was responsible for a staff of 10 youth leaders and a site budget of $120,000. I carefully allocated these funds toward tutor wages, program supplies, office supplies, workshops, and educational trips, which I regularly tracked using spreadsheets. I routinely created program proposals, oversaw program purchases, and performed data entry detailing program numbers to track progress per grant guidelines. As a result, I quickly learned the importance of attention to detail and maintained accurate spreadsheets, files, and records to avoid discrepancies that could negatively impact the program.
I took the many skills I acquired as a Program Site Coordinator and applied them to my current role of Office Administration at ARCHITECTURE FIRM where I carry out various administrative tasks. In this role, I am continuously practicing the art of prioritization and multitasking by handling multiple tasks simultaneously. I electronically edit and file confidential documents, invoices, legal contracts, drawings, and correspondence while assisting architects with other tasks, such as filling out and logging current project documents. Additionally, I provide support to the Office Principal and Project Managers by coordinating meetings, conference calls, and preparing copies of important documents for meetings and presentations.
My work has taught me many things, but, above all, it has taught me to be a committed, self-motivated, hardworking individual who is always willing to put in the extra work to complete a task effectively and efficiently. I have gained valuable experience working in different environments and enthusiastically welcome new roles and tasks. I am confident that my work experience, adaptability, and eagerness to explore new workspaces will serve me well in the role of the Litigation Assistant I at NAME. I hope to hear from you soon and ask that you consider my candidacy in earnest.
Best Regards, "


Any advice you guys can offer to better my cover lettewriting? All help/feedback would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance!!
Edit: Adding Job Description!
Responsibilities Litigation Support (60%):
Reviewing, editing and preparing documents for filing, including: proofreading, cite checking, bluebooking, formatting, producing tables of contents and authorities, assembling exhibit lists and exhibits, etc.; computer skills (word processing, Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Acrobat, databases and spreadsheets, internet, etc.). Filing and serving paper and electronic filings. Ensuring compliance with the court and agency rules. Creating, organizing, and maintaining case files and contacts. Computing and calendaring court deadlines. Assisting in the collection, preparation and review of discovery. Assisting attorneys with deposition and hearing preparation, including: organizing document binders, printing exhibits, creating exhibit lists, communicating with court reporters, etc. Supporting attorneys in gaining admission to courts, registration renewals, and creating and managing e-filing accounts. Work with one to several editors to prepare final documents from draft stages. Conduct preliminary case inquiry, including factual research, analysis, and organization of relevant information and preparation of written report. Provide support for client coalitions by maintaining websites, and tracking political and regulatory developments. Help coordinate and represent X at community outreach events and public hearings. Assist attorneys with preparation of presentations for board members, donors, client groups.
Administrative Support for CA Regional, Los Angeles (40%):
Operate all basic office equipment (computers, printers, postage meter, fax machines, copier, scanner, etc.) and perform minor trouble-shooting. Provide technical assistance to staff regarding word processing and e-mail software Maintains office file systems. Provide back-up to Sr. Legal Practice Administrator and Legal Practice Manager. Make travel arrangements for CA Regional staff in Los Angeles. Set up and coordinate conference calls, meetings, events, etc. Receive and process mail for CA Regional staff and cases/matters. Track office expenses and submit receipts to Legal Practice Manager. Track and retain credit card receipts and enter credit card expenses in financial system. Represent office’s interests in communications with Headquarters regarding case-management procedures and business practices. Assist with staff recruiting and onboarding, serve as liaison to Human Resources. Conduct IT and new hire orientation for law clerks and externs for CA Regional. Respond to or field cold calls or emails asking for attorney representation, consistent with office protocol. Administrative support for the Impact Project Coalition. Administrative support for Right to Zero, both internal and work with partners. Qualifications Bachelor’s degree and/or paralegal studies certificate and 2 years of office experience, legal experience, or comparable experience. Advanced word processing skills (Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat). A can-do attitude, meticulous attention to detail, and an unrelenting commitment to high performance standards. Ability to organize, set priorities among multiple assignments, meet deadlines, and function calmly under pressure. Advanced word processing skills, experience with discovery management programs is a plus. Self-motivated and able to work independently without supervision. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. A can-do attitude, with an ability and willingness to dive into unfamiliar areas, such as when filing court papers in a new venue. Availability for occasional travel and work outside normal working hours. Flexibility, punctuality, reliability, and integrity; a team player, who willingly performs necessary tasks. Interest in and commitment to environmental protection and the public interest. Knowledge of environmental issues highly desired, but not necessary. Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations. Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
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2020.06.09 00:39 TrustInCyte Harry's Diamonds

I found myself endlessly curious about the diamonds that Harry wound up with in the wake of Skin Game. Not just their value, but the implications of what Harry could do with them. Oh, and for those of you who are remembering Anna Valmont’s advice, about selling a few of them here and there, over time—well, that’s a mortal’s best option. I’m pretty sure that Harry just happens to have a few alternatives available. I’m going to take a look later in the post. And, as I found out when I started to look into it…it all gets complicated. So this will be a fairly long post.
I know that someone has previously posted a rough estimate for the value of Harry’s share of the diamonds in the wake of Skin Game, but my impression that there numbers were…off. I also was pretty sure that Jim wasn’t going to give Harry hundreds of millions—or even trillions—of dollars in diamonds to play around with. Now, I that some of you consider that irrelevant, that Harry is “always” a pauper, and he’ll lose them shortly, one way or another.
Au contraire, I’m pretty sure that the whole point of Changes was that Harry changes. He cannot afford to be a pauper and “have nothing” any longer. He has to be responsible. One reason for that is Maggie. Harry can no longer afford to live in a crappy basement apartment. Including the fact that they need a very secure location, one not vulnerable to assassins, invasions, fire bombs—or kidnappers.
Point of fact, way back in Small Favor, Harry dreamed of having a house. A big house. Maybe even a castle. Well…now he can have those things. Once he gets…sorted out. Probably not right away. Not in timer for the next couple of books.
That’s a theme that Jim has been quietly working in the background for quite a while no. Sure, Harry loved his tiny basement apartment, his beaten up Blue Beetle, his Mickey Mouse alarm clock. But the reason he held them so dear wasn’t because of what he preferred, it was because of his abandonment issue. It’s simply that those things were his. They weren’t running away, they weren’t leaving him. Until they did, of course. But, as Jim has made crystal clear elsewhere, what Harry really wants is all of the things that Michael Carpenter has.
Call it homis envy. A big, comfortable house, happy kids, and a wife who loves him, who is his partner in every way. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, and a part of him is probably bewildered that the Carpenter family has never had a cat or dog. Well, of their own.
So we’ll come back to the things that Harry needs…and desires.
First, let’s try to get a realistic idea of the value of Harry’s diamonds. With the caveat that I am going to try to screw—er, to shortchange Harry at every turn. Not that Jim would ever, ever do something like that, but…um, just to be sure that we wind up with a baseline number that we’re talking about here. The minimum value that Harry could possibly have made it home with.
Not that I’d put it past Harry plunking a handful of diamonds down on someone’s desk, with zero idea of their actual value, and saying “I want a house.” And then just taking whatever made him happy, regardless of the realtor’s profit margin. But I don’t think that Harry is that dumb. And I don’t think that Murphy—or Molly—would let him do that.
Just a thought. Hades referred to this particular treasure room as his “armory”, even implied that the quest to take possession of of the artificats was a test. Of worthiness. Well, if Hades was willing to provide weapons necessary to fight a war—to the “worthy” party—well, why wouldn’t he also be willing to provide the *funding* for it? So, Harry needs that value, that money. He has a use for it going forward
Harry’s Needs
#1. A House
For the moment, I’m going to leave it at that. Mentioning all the dimensions of reconstructing his life and career would just take too long. And this is a big one.
Now then. On to my scholarly research.
Just to be safe, I’m going to try to estimate the minimum value of the diamonds Harry made it back from Hades vault with—with a single exception, one that has nothing to do with Harry. There are several parameters available for determining the low-ball value Harry managed to find himself obliged to take a share of. Forced to accept. Forced, I tell you!
One is the diamonds themselves. Another measure is the several and various containers that they are referred to as having been places in. First, a “heavy duty” backpack—half full. As it turns out, there was probably a reason Anna Valmont hadn’t filled her backpack completely, but we’ll come to that. Next, the five cash boxes. And then, finally, half of Harry’s share contained in two knotted off socks. Well, remember that they are likely Harry’s socks—and go with his “canoe-sized” shoes. At 6’8”, he probably wears at least a size 15 or 16 shoe.
Again, we’ll come back to that. One at a time.
The Diamonds
I started out by doing some research on the value of diamonds. I had always heard of the “Four C’s” and had an idea what that meant, so now I learned details. Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. Once I got into the specifics, it didn’t take a whole lot of guesstimating to know what Hades’ diamonds would have graded at. In the first place, diamonds are plentiful, in the second place, Harry describes everything in the treasure room as in “fanatic good taste”.
Hades is a connoisseur. Only the very *best* for this god. No way he would have collected flawed or yellowish gems. For crying out loud, he had someone craft emeralds into topiary. You think his fountain “water” was going to be anything but pure white? For the sake of this exercise, everything top grade, in every vector. The one vector in which I am not going to attempt to short change Harry—because it would mean devaluing Hades as well. So here’s my underlying assumption—everything about these diamonds is the very top grade.
*please note that Jim is really the only person who can demur from this assumption. However, whether he took the time to consider the matter or not (clearly Harry didn’t), I think Jim might have a hard time disagreeing.
Cut: This one is pretty easy. These diamonds were in a fountain. They rolled. Round cut. Bingo, Excellent grade, Ideal, Astor, whatever system you’re using, the best of the best. Move on.
Color: The highest grade, absolutely colorless for a diamond, is “D”. Don’t ask me why, it simply is. I am not assuming that these diamonds happen to be the extremely rare “fancy colors”, outside of this grading scale, because that drives prices up even more. Next?
Clarity: No inclusions whatsoever. No surface blemishes. Flawless. Less than 1% of diamonds are Flawless. Hades wouldn’t have anything less. FL (Flawless) class.
Carat: Here is where it gets a little trickier. These diamonds are described as “tiny” and “easy to move”. I considered the various values, and decided that Hades wouldn’t be interested in anything less than 1 carat (200 milligrams or .2 grams). Those would just be chips, fragments or “junk”, and below a connoisseur’s notice. Also, not really sufficient for a uniform “stream”. I also decided that anything above 3 carats (.6 grams) would no longer classify as “tiny”. That fact being totally aside from the fact that anything above 3 carats is huge money—and not necessarily “easy to move”.
That given, on a quick search I was able to come up with stable prices for those three sizes of stone that fit all of the other requisite qualities.
1 carat: $11,000 2 Carat: $35,000 3 Carat: $125,000
*Please note that these are also ballpark numbers. For example, I found general references that one carat diamonds could go up to $16,000, maybe even $25K. However, on a cursory check, I never actually found any for sale online at those prices. 11K was a pretty standard price. So, we’ll file the prices listed above under the heading of “cheating Harry”. Also, these prices appear to be the price of individual stones ready to be mounted in a fitting. I’m not digging any more deeply.
Now then. I pondered those three possibilities. The stones in that stream could have been any size. Fractions of a carat from 1 carat all the way up to 3 carat. A mixture of all of the above. However, for the sake of this argument, our plan is that we are going to lowball Harry all across the board. Also for simplicity’s sake, we’re going to assume that these stones are all a uniform 1 carat each—however many that proves to be. Conflict-free, they aren’t “hot”, there is no reason any jeweler or diamond merchant wouldn’t happily jump all over purchasing these diamonds.
If Jim wants to determine the diamonds aren’t all 1 carat each, that’s for him to say. Or that any of my other assumptions are in error. Fair enough?
Given all of the above considerations, one pound of perfect one carat diamonds comes to a whisker (.038) under 2268 full stones. At the rates listed above, that single pound comes to a shade under $25 million—five or so more diamonds that size would do it. So, for estimating purposes, close enough.
1 pound = ~$25,000,000
Some other specific baseline numbers:
5 lbs = 11,339 1 ct diamonds = $124,729,000 per share. Harry’s half share = $62,364,000
10 lbs = 22679 1 ct = $249,469,000. Harry’s share = $124,734,500
15 lbs = 34019 1 ct = $374,209.000. Harry’s share = $187,104,500
20 lbs = 45,359 1 ct = $498,949,000 Harry’s share = $249,474,500
Feel free to make your own guesstimations. As we go, I’ll try to give you reasons to justify various weights, but that’s a general guess, a guideline. A reference point. I’ll say here that the very smallest weight in diamonds that I can calculate Harry having would be 3.45303 pounds. That would be about 7,831 one carat stones, or about $86 million at the given rate. That’s a bare minimum value that I have reason to believe is actually about one-half sock’s worth of what Harry gave to Murphy. As an educated guess after working through this, I’d say that fourteen pounds for the five shares may be a realistic modest guess at the “top end” of the range. But feel free to read on.
Volume
The next point to consider is quantity. That’s a tougher question. We have a grand total of three different containers from which to extrapolate potential volumes—some more vague than others. The uniform “heavy duty” backpacks that Archleone provided, the “office supply store” cash boxes that the stones next were divided into…and lastly, the two knotted off socks Harry slipped Karrin’s share into. So, let’s ponder these, one by one.
Two knotted off socks
I’m going to start by touching on the most elusive of the three. The final “container” that we have an indication of is the two tied off socks filled with diamonds that Harry slipped into Murphy’s hospital bed. Her half of Harry’s share. I’m kinda hoping that the nurses didn’t find it before Karrin noticed. In any case, the only description that we have is “two knotted off socks”.
This one is certainly vague enough. The last place we see Harry and his share of the diamonds is at the Carpenter house. Now, I am pretty sure that he didn’t pull off his own socks to use for this task. Which leaves us with a limited number of options. First, Harry borrowed a pair of Michael’s socks. That’s a possibility—because I’m pretty sure that he didn’t use a pair of Maggie’s.
However, Harry was with Molly. I’m assuming that Molly was the transportation, driving one of her parents’ vehicles, one way or another. So it’s hardly a reach to guess that they dropped by Molly’s apartment before running their errands. A change of clothes for Harry. Perhaps Harry even felt it wise to get the diamonds behind Svartalf wards. In Cold Days we saw that Molly had provided brand new socks and underwear for Harry, still in the packages. I suspect that’s where the two socks came from.
If they were indeed Harry’s socks, please note that he described his sneakers as “the size of small canoes”. People Harry’s height often easily wear a men’s size 16-19. Michael’s wouldn’t be far off that. Umm…at this point, I’m not sure how to specifically calculate the interior volume of *socks*. So for now, let’s just say “large”, or assume “half of Harry’s share” for the two socks, and move along.
Actually……there is one inexact, very imprecise reference I can use, but I’ll come back to that later.
Backpacks
An online search of “heavy duty backpacks” left me with three options. The first was a standard, college-type size, which from various iterations we’ll put at 32 Liters. The next is an “extra large” version of the same thing, which came in at 45 L. Then there was the heavy duty camping version, which I found at 59 L. I didn’t bother going any larger than that, since the Genoskwa was carrying military-style duffel bags (like Binder, I have no idea why). I am pretty sure that Ascher and Valmont would find anything bigger awkward and cumbersome.
Summary: Backpacks 32 Liter, 45 L, 59 L.
*32L is the standard size that everyone wore when I was in college.
Cash boxes
For last, I considered cash boxes. After some searching, I again eliminated the largest size. In the first place, we’re not being that optimistic, in the second place, they’re too awkward for the scenes, in the third place…Jim.
So, I found a medium size, a smaller middle size, and what appeared to be a portable size. All three I’ll include for reference. Please note that only the Honeywell cash box, the middle size, came with interior measurements—though I don’t think that will prove significant for out purposes.
Cash Boxes:
“Medium” Cash Box 3 7/8”x11”x7 5/8” 320.82 cu full = 5.25 L (rounding down)
251.625 cu at 3” deep would be 4.123394979 Liter
https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/398750/Office-Depot-Brand-Cash-Box-With/
Middle Honeywell Cash Box: Interior 3.5x7.8x6.3 171.99 cu, 2.81841114 liter
https://www.staples.com/Honeywell-Steel-Cash-Box-with-Removable-Tray/product_2106827
Small(est) cash box 2 1/8”x6 7/8”x7 11/16” 1
11.4927734375 cu, 1.8270392138578124 liter
Coincidentally, please note that one half US Gallon is roughly 1.89 L. I’ll touch on that later.
https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/366651/Office-Depot-Brand-Small-Locking-Cash/
Weight of diamonds per volume
At this point, I found myself trying to calculate how much a certain volume of diamonds would weigh. Trying searching online for the volume of “five pounds of rocks” didn’t really work. Then I got lucky, and found a box of rocks. Literally. In this case, a literal box of assorted polished stones from a rock hound. Even better, the dimensions were fairly similar to the medium-sized cash box, just a bit smaller. And the total weight was billed as “around 16 2/3 pounds”.
https://rocktumbler.com/blog/how-much-do-stones-weigh/
As Harry says, “diamonds are rocks, after all.” If you don’t mind, I’ll spare you all of the intervening calculations.
Box of rocks 4 1/4”x10 1/8”x6 1/4” = 16 2/3 pounds of tumbled stones.
268.9453125 cu = 4.4072240484375 Liters.
At this point, when I broke down the weight per liter, I rounded down. We’re short-changing Harry, after all.
3.78 lb/liter. With an online pounds to carats converter, that was sufficient.
\**Relative Density
Having some small experience with being a rock hound and polishing rocks, immediately it struck me that diamonds are denser than common rocks. Than the rocks guys toss into their tumblers to round off the edges and polish up. For example, the common agate is (roughly) 74% as dense as a diamond. Many stones, such as turquoise, are significantly less dense than an agate.
Here is a chart:
https://www.ajsgem.com/articles/gemstone-density-definitive-guide.html
Examples from that chart of gemstone densities, using the base score:
Opal: 1.88 Turquoise: 2.31 Obsidian: 2.35 Agate: 2.60 Nephrite Jade 2.90 Diamond: 3.50
Given how common an agate is a candidate for being polished up and otherwise utilized, I would use that as our baseline—and, for ease of calculation, round up to 75%. Since, y’know, we’re short changing Harry. For that matter, I am also fairly sure that round, tiny faceted stones would fit more closely together than the common rocks in the box referenced. However, in either case, I’m going to go with the “rock weight”, and allow you to make the adjustment reflecting a 75% differential if you wish. Divide by three and multiply by four. Or…feel free to use the % button on your calculator.
Calculations
Now, let’s start putting this together. The numbers so far are okay with me, using the “rock weight” rate. When I calculated the relative areas, an even sixteen pounds even would fill the largest “medium-sized” of the three cash boxes to just above the three inch level. Plenty of room at the top of that cash box to spare. And again, we’re short changing Harry, right? In any case, it sounds reasonable not to fill that particular cash box to the brim.
Next, a little cross checking, how does that volume translate to the backpack numbers above?
If we go with that nice, even sixteen pounds—which would decidedly provide a nice healthy thump when Harry threw it on the conference table in front of Marcone—the five cash boxes would contain a sum total of eighty pounds. I stopped to think about that. Eighty pounds is doable, if near the upper limit, for an athletic woman once, on a walk of a few hundred yards. And to be honest, I’d wondered why Anna Valmont had filled her backpack “less than half full”. Now we have an answer—because if she’d been greedy, she wouldn’t have been able to carry the load out, period.
Jim is a weight lifter. He’d have a much better idea about short term lifting limits than me.
Conversely, if we consider, say, each share being five pounds of diamonds, that comes to twenty-five pounds. I think we can assume that Ms. Valmont carried substantially more than that rate represents. By any parameter. Plus, Harry is the Winter Knight. He wouldn’t consider five pounds as “heavy”.
‘“Sure,” I said. I tapped a box and held it up. It was heavy. Diamonds are rocks, after all.’
Let’s look at one more factor. Five shares, five times the 16 2/3 lb “box of rocks” size we’re using, of 4.4 liters, comes to 22 liters. Thus we clearly have “less than half” of both the 45L and 59L models. That actually works really, really well for the 45 L size, doesn’t it?
“She started stuffing them into her pack. She hadn’t filled even half of it with diamonds, and was able to slide them in.”
I think that perhaps we’ve found our upper limit.
Smallest cash box
Let’s establish the other end of the range. The smallest, “portable” cash box was only a little over 1.827 L, and I suspect we’re below the lower limit with this one. I think that’s a tiny cash box, and Harry would have noticed that difference. Still, let’s look at that one first.
The first, and easiest calculation that I’m going to make, is that calculating with 1.827 L, five shares would only have totaled slightly over 9 L (9.135) of space in Valmont’s backpack. Now, while that qualifies as “less than half” of the smallest, 32 L backpack, it’s much closer to a quarter of the capacity—and I think that Harry would have stated it that way had the backpack been that empty. I just can’t see Valmont taking that little.
Calculating for weight, the 1.827 L capacity would have meant that Valmont was hardly carrying anything at all. At “rock” weight, hat one would have held about 6.9 pounds of diamonds—so, less than 35 total pounds in Valmont’s backpack. Backpacks, especially heavy duty ones, are designed for carrying heavy weights comfortably. That’s way underdoing it for what an athletic woman could carry. Especially in a properly worn, heavy duty model. Remember, Valmont wasn’t carrying this weight to class every day for a couple of semesters.
Still, let’s go with that, for the moment. Just to establish our lower limit. That 6.9 pounds comes to 15,648.9 carats. Round down yet again (although we’ve already been gratuitously short changing Harry), and that’s 15,648 one carat diamonds. That still comes to $172,128,000.
Of course, remember that Harry gave away half of that. So $86,064,000 for both Harry and Murphy. At the bottom end of our range. See? I told ya so!
Speaking of which, here’s a little cross check for the volume numbers for that “smallest” cash box, which was approximately 1.827 liters. As I mentioned earlier. by odd coincidence, one half US gallon translates to 1.89 liters. So, of we were to assume that Harry’s initial share was approximately a half-gallon volume, four pints, that means that when he split it up, both he and Murphy got roughly two pints apiece.
\Two knotted off socks**
Here is that “rough” cross reference. Just for fun, I grabbed one of my white crew socks. Not a high topped athletic sock, not a sock that would fit Harry’s canoe-sized feet. Just a medium sized crew sock. I slipped a 16 oz can of pop inside it. Room aplenty, so I tried another. Two one pint, sixteen ounce cans of soda pop (sorry Harry, it wasn’t Coke) fit into that one sock easily—all in the foot portion. With *plenty* of room left over for knotting the sock off.
Before anyone else argues that point, why would Harry have used two socks for a two pint area volume, when a single sock would have sufficed?
(Yes, I'm hinting that Harry's own share was actually more like $172 Million)
Looking at how it came out, there even was still room left over. But that was a quick check. Please, feel free to start sticking various-sized containers into whatever socks that you think would be appropriate, and tell me what you come up with. Be my guest. Please. I simply don’t have the opportunity to experiment and be that thorough.
Even so, I think that we’ve firmly established that the very least that Harry and Murphy both wound up with was over $86 million worth of diamonds. If we were adjusting for diamond density, that would be substantially more.
The “middle” cash box
The modest Honeywell cashbox, which at this point at least seems somewhat more likely than the tiniest model, would have come to a little over ten pounds apiece (10.5854) at rock weight. The former would have been 24,007 one carat stones.
Rock weight = $264,077,000 = Harry’s half = $132,038,000
You might want to do the estimated “diamond weight” for these two smaller, more restricted containers.
The Carpenters, Binder and Anna Valmont—and Marcone—all have $264 million. Conservatively speaking. At a bare minimum. Nick’s “order of magnitude” was off…by an order of magnitude. Valmont “shopped well”. And considering the Accords price of weregild for a Fomor sorcerer, Harry might have overpaid Marcone foe a mere security guard. Just a wee bit.
I’m starting to get the impression that Jim might have—totally *accidentally*, of course—been “too nice” to Harry. On the other hand, I don’t mind at all if Harry’s “everyday life” struggles transfer to something other than money. Shoot, let him dump most of it into a trust fund, of you want.
The smallest backpack
The last measure I want to run through, entirely on it’s own, is the 32L backpack. Harry notices that Valmont hasn’t even filled it half full. Well yes, even at our minimal specified rock weight, 32 L would have been right around 121 lbs.
Note that Ascher was lugging two around, stuffed full. But then, she shopped—and probably had other things than rocks in her packs.
So, if we count “less than half” of 32 L, I’m going to say that’s somewhere between 15l and 12L of space occupied by diamonds.
15 L at rock weight = 56.7 pounds.
All of those seem doable for a woman properly wearing a heavy duty backpack.
15 l = 56.7 lbs = 11.34 lbs = 25,718 one carat stones = $282,898,000 = Harry’s half $141,449,000
12 L = 45.36 lbs = 9.072 lbs = 20,575 (I rounded up) one carat stones = $226,325,000 = Harry’s $113,162,000
I think at this point I’ve given everyone enough possibilities and choices to set their heads spinning, so I’ll stop with the volume calculations here.
Harry’s Value
No, Jim can’t be that nice to Harry, can he? Since the very minimal estimate of his share (half of 15,648 = 7,824 one carat stones) still comes to $86 million, let’s pretend that Harry is a really bad bargainer. We’ll even say that he can’t even manage to get half price. Put this into the category of “Harry short changes himself”. At 5K per diamond, that’s still $39,120,000. Without the adjustment for diamond density.
But Harry’s not dumb. For full disclosure, Harry can certainly go to the Public Library and do research in books and magazines on diamonds. It may not be up to the minute information, but he could certainly ask Butters, Will or even Thomas for help on the internet. For that matter, Murphy now has reason to become an authority on the subject herself. Harry has resources. As Vonnerung pointed out, Harry has *friends*.
Remember, we just short changed Harry here. Still, make the assumption that he’s a bad bargainer on his own. If he got half price? $43,000,000. If someone with shopping acumen helps him, allowing a buyer who can turn the stones around quickly a $1,000 profit each, Harry still clears over $78 million—on the smallest, most miniscule volume of diamonds.
Perhaps I’ve mixed up my numbers somewhere. I don’t think so.
Those values are considering that Harry takes the anticipated, Anna Valmont recommended course of action. How likely is that? If he follows Valmont’s advice and sells off, say, ten diamonds a year, he pads his income nicely. At that rate, with even a measly 5,000 diamonds, Harry would have to live a very long time.
Of course, Jim Butcher would never mislead his readers…would he?
Seller’s market
So, a couple of thoughts. There are a lot of loose, small diamonds sitting in Chicago right now. I’m not even talking about Marcone’s share, those are going to Switzerland. A lockbox. Somewhere like that. For crying out loud, they aren’t even hot. The smart thing for him to do, with likely tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in perfect diamonds, would be to “sell” them to himself, laundering illegal cash, then tuck them into a vault somewhere. Like…Switzerland.
Valmont and Binder’s shares? Those two are going to be liquidated…elsewhere. Europe, South America, Australia, wherever. Even Binder has enough to last him a while—like, maybe a whole decade or so, with his tastes!
However, even just between Harry, the Carpenters and Murphy, there are a lot of diamonds to filter into the system. Now, we all know that the Carpenters aren’t going to be in any rush, and I doubt that Murphy will be, either. Both of them own their own homes, and already have “stuff”. Sell a handful of diamonds here and there. No problem.
But Harry has nothing. That was the point of Changes. And, Harry is broke. Well, okay, he probably had a couple of years of back Warden pay sitting in the mail he collected in Jury Duty, but that’s still a drop in the bucket for his needs. He needs to replace everything. Lab, equipment, materials, supplies. A car. Living quarters. A house has to be on his shopping list in the near future—and a secure location and associated infrastructure won’t come cheap.
What? After seeing what the Svartalves did with wizard-proofing Molly’s apartment, you think he won’t contract them to add some deluxe svartalf features? The man likes his hot showers.
Harry’s Other Options
Now, I’ll point out that the suggestion that Anna Valmont made, discreetly selling a few stones at a time, was the mortal way to liquidate diamonds. Plus, there is no APB out for these. Harry, as a wizard, has…more options.
First, and most simply, I’ll point out that there are a lot of jewelers in the Chicago area. Selling loose stones a couple at a time, Harry could turn over quite a few, right there. That doesn’t even count if he goes on the road. New York City and Los Angeles have *lots* of diamond buyers. Diamond merchants. There are buildings in both cities that he could easily make appointments with a couple of discreet buyers—on each floor. Gosh, if only Harry had a means to make long trips much shorter and convenient.
Yep, with the Ways he can find from his mother’s stone, there are additional wide-open markets in Edinburgh, London, Moscow, Sydney, Tokyo, etc. For that matter, I’m pretty sure that Harry can find his way to the diamond hotbeds of Antwerp or Amsterdam without any problem.
Next, I’ll recognize that there’s the possibility that Harry’s version of “haggling” involves—for example--walking into a random upscale realtor’s office with a Crown Royal bag of diamonds, and saying “I want a house”. I’m pretty sure he’d get pretty much whatever he wanted. And then not bother to ask for change. Sigh.
Quietly liquidating a hundred stones, even if he can’t bargain or negotiate to shake a stick at, would be simple. At 50% that still gives Harry with a nice half million dollar nest egg to start out with. And remember, those are still all mortal options. Even with Harry’s unique ability to take advantage of them.
Besides. Harry, unlike his cohorts in crime—especially Valmont, who made the suggestion—has other options. Other markets. Supernatural options. Supernatural markets and buyers. Good grief, for that matter, Molly could afford to take a goodly chunk of those diamonds off his hands. But that would be…too easy. Jim doesn’t like “easy” for Harry.
Let’s start off with the various aspects of the supernatural. Close to home, Harry-centric, there’s the White Council. Harry has remarked upon their financial division in the past, I find myself quite sure that they would have a department set up for advising members on how to invest. Because it’s the kind of thing a bunch of crusty old wizards would do—to keep their younger members from being financially compromised. There’s probably even a booklet called “Investing For Wizarding Dummies”.
Lara? Well, yeah, I could see a pile of perfect diamonds being a girl’s best friend. Or perhaps someone like Mister Ferro would be pleased with such stones. Vadderung? The list goes on and on.
But then, there’s that really intriguing possibility.
After all, Harry has had dealings with svartalves before. One made his last, deluxe summoning circle. In Bombshells, Molly even comments that the svartalfs make things for Harry—when he can afford it. As of Jury Duty, he is residing in a Svartalfheim apartment building. Even leaving out the implications of the Peace Talks trailer, it appears that Harry’s association with svartalves is growing.
Svartalves. Described in various places as jealous of their honor, powerful, talented, fine craftsmen, appreciative of beauty…and greedy.
Perfect diamonds score big on the last of those two fronts.
Let’s say that Harry walks up and plunks a chunk of his diamonds down on someone’s desk, and says “make me an offer”. Lat’s say that that “someone” is a svartalf, who loves beautiful things and can perhaps use stones this high quality in their work—and whose honor demands that they not cheat Harry. They also will know the full value of what he’s put in front of them. Pretty much to the dollar.
I can see two possibilities here. Either they offer to accept the whole batch on commission (5% or 10%--Svartalves are one of the few entities that can handle that many diamonds)…or, they accept the whole amount at value as barter. Credit against purchase. Future payment, for various items Harry wishes to buy. Perhaps partially cash in a drawing account. In any case, they give him a line of credit to work with.
Want your own high security apartment, Sir Harry? Boom. Need a lab? Boom. Need all the equipment and supplies for that lab? Boom.
Shoot, why not a luxury apartment, Mr. Dresden? One with a view of Lake Michigan, not one in the basement. Live there while we build you a secure house? Boom.
Magical gewgaws? Well, what would you like, Mister Dresden? A greater ring of invisibility? A blade that does the same things as a Warden’s sword? Hey, we can soup that up a little for you.
Oh yes, that secure house? Well, where would you like it located, Mister Dresden? For your needs, we’d suggest a lot resting on a defensive energy ley line, sir.
Simplifying
To wrap up, let’s pick some nice, even numbers here, within the range of limits established above—from 6.8 pounds up to sixteen.
I’m going to be honest here. I think that saying that Harry has $86 million in diamonds, while at the extreme low end of the scale, is fairly sufficient for his immediate needs. Especially since the value only rises dramatically from that minimal estimation.
Just some standard numbers, starting with the numbers I gave a while back:
5 lbs = 11,339 1 ct diamonds = $124,729,000 per share. Harry’s half share = $62,364,000
10 lbs = 22679 1 ct = $249,469,000. Harry’s = $124,734,500
15 lbs = 34019 1 ct = $374,209.000. Harry’s = $187,104,500
20 lbs = 45,359 1 ct = $498,949,000 Harry’s = $249,474,500
Now, because Jim loves his sevens and thirteens…
7lbs = 15,875.8 ct, or 15874 1 ct diamonds = $174,625,000
13 lbs = 29483.5 ct or 29483 1 ct diamonds = $323,313,000
I’ll point out that at each share being thirteen pounds, Anna Valmont would have been carrying 65 lbs in her heavy duty backpack. Eminently doable. An “overweight carryon at an airport”. From that point, Jim can play with the numbers to his heart’s content.
Shoot, he’ll probably have just as much fun figuring out ways for Harry to lose or overspend them.
And that’s as far as I’ve got. Since I put this together in fits and spurts, I hope I didn’t mess up the numbers too much anywhere. But I think I’ve sufficiently illustrated that Harry doesn’t have “a few million” in diamonds—and he doesn’t have a trillion dollars worth, either. Still, better than Nick advertised.
I hope I didn't ramble on too much--and that my estimations make a little more sense.
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2020.06.03 22:33 ThirtydaysofPride Thirty Days of Pride with the Making Gay History Podcast, June 3rd 2020 — Edythe Eyde

Making Gay History Podcast - Edythe Eyde

Episode Notes
Edythe Eyde, a.k.a. Lisa Ben, moved to Los Angeles in 1945 and by 1947 was working as a secretary at RKO Pictures where she used her office typewriter as a printing press to anonymously publish her landmark “magazine” for lesbians, “Vice Versa.”
In the 1950s, when Edythe started writing for the The Ladder, the Daughters of Bilitis magazine (DOB was an organization for lesbians founded in 1955), she took the pen name “Lisa Ben” (an anagram for “lesbian”). Her first choice for a pen name had been “Ima Spinster,” but that idea was shot down by the magazine’s editors. Edythe told Eric Marcus, “I thought that was funny and they didn’t. I don’t know whether they thought it was too undignified or what, but they objected strongly. If I had been as sure of myself then as I am these days I would have said, ‘Alright, take it or leave it.’ But I wasn’t. So I invented the name Lisa Ben.”
Until five years before her death at the age of 94, Edythe lived in the Burbank, California, bungalow that she had paid for with earnings from her work as a secretary—work she hated. When age compelled her to give up her house and move to an assisted living facility, Edythe also had to give up the company of her thirteen cats, which proved to be a devastating loss.
To learn more about Edythe Eyde, we recommend exploring the resources and links that follow below.
———
Edythe Eyde’s papers and photographs are housed at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.
All nine issues of “Vice Versa” are reproduced in full on Queer Music History’s website.
The Daughters of Bilitis Video Project recorded an interview with Edythe in October 1988, which is available through the Lesbian Herstory Archives. You can watch here.
Scholar Kate Litterer has taken a deep dive into Edythe Eyde’s collection at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries to learn everything she can about “this fascinating, funny, talented creator. The more I study Ben, the more I learn about just how far her talents reached: she was a talented editor and writer, thoughtful musician, and cutting-edge sci-fi and poetry author.” Learn more about Kate’s work here.
The Washington Post‘s podcast series on WW II letters featured an episode about the letters of Edythe Eyde to her soldier cousins. The accompanying article includes background on Edythe’s life prior to her move to Los Angeles.
In an extraordinary 2011 tribute to Edythe Eyde’s groundbreaking work publishing “Vice Versa” Union Bank, as part of its “Community Matters” spotlight series, which “highlights key individuals and places that were instrumental in creating the communities we live in today,” produced this 45-second video. We can only imagine how much this ad would have pleased Edythe.
In 2010, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA) welcomed Edythe Eyde into its Hall of Fame.
To learn more about how Edythe created “Vice Versa,” we recommend Rodger Streitmatter’s Unspeakable: The Rise of Gay and Lesbian Press in America, which chronicles the stories of many gays and lesbians who created LGBT-oriented publications.
To learn more about Edythe and twenty-one other lesbian writers, read Kate Brandt’s Happy Endings: Lesbian Writers Talk About Their Lives and Work.
Episode Transcript
I’m Eric Marcus and this is the Making Gay History podcast.
In our third episode you’ll meet Edythe Eyde, whose pen name was Lisa Ben. Back in the 1950s, a lot of people who got involved in the movement didn’t use their real names because if you were found out you could lose your job and even lose your family.
But Edythe’s story starts even before that, in 1947, when she published what she called “Vice Versa: America’s Gayest Magazine.”
It was a newsletter, for lesbians. She typed it on her office typewriter at RKO Pictures where she was a young secretary. Her boss told her she should look busy, but not knit and not read. So what do you do? You write a newsletter for lesbians in 1947 and give them out to your friends.
But before she could tell me her story, I had to find her. And all I had to go on was her pen name and that she lived in California. It took me three months and 26 phone calls to find her. This was pre-Internet, so there was no choice. And on the 26th phone call, she answered. So not long after, I was sitting with her on her enclosed front porch with two of her thirteen cats. She’d bought the house with money from years working as a secretary. She hated working as a secretary.
I’d read that Edythe was well-known in the ‘50s for singing parodies of popular songs in Los Angeles gay clubs. She wrote her own lyrics as a protest against the demeaning jokes gay entertainers told for the benefit of straights. And, if you can imagine, the straights would show up at the clubs in the evening to see how the other half lived and they’d stand in the back.
So I asked Edythe if she could sing a few songs for me. So, here she is, Edythe Eyde, live from the front porch of her Burbank bungalow. You can’t not smile.
———
Eric: Okay.
Edythe: [Clears throat] Uh, I’m off now?
Eric: You’re on.
Edythe: Oh, I’m on?
Eric: You can test, and I’ll just…
Edythe: Oh, okay…
Eric: …you’re ready to warm up.
Edythe: Yeah, I need to warm up a little bit. I should tune up a little bit first.
[Edythe singing]: Hello young lovers, whatever you are. I hope your problems are few. All you cute butches lined up at the bar, I’ve had a love like you…
Edythe: I knew the way I felt, but I didn’t know how to go about finding someone else that was that way and there was just no way to find out in those days. You know, everything was pretty closed about things like that.
I wrote “Vice Versa” mainly to keep myself company because I thought that although I don’t know any gay gals now, by the time I finish a couple of these magazines I’m sure I will. I was such a little optimist. And then I’ll hand the magazines out for free. I never charged for them. I felt that that would be wrong. But, uh, it was just some writing that I wanted to do to get it off my chest and I was a very lonely person and I could sort of fantasize this way by writing the magazine, you see.
And so that’s the way the magazine was. And I put in five copies at a time with carbon paper and I wrote it through twice, so that made ten copies of Vice Versa. That’s all I could manage. You see, there were no duplicating machines in those days.
I would also say to the girls as I passed the magazines out, “Now when you get through with this, don’t throw it away. Pass it on to another gay gal.” We didn’t use the term lesbian so much then. We just said gay gal.
Eric: Uh, hmm.
Edythe: And I said, and that way, although… it will pass from friend to friend. And it’s not dated material, so it will never get stale. I mean they’re just fiction and poetry and that sort of thing, book reports and things of that nature. There were very few books around at the time, but I wrote a book review on “The Well of Loneliness,” and a couple of other ones I can’t remember.
And then if there were any movies around that had the slightest tinge of two girls being interested in one another or something, I would take that story within the movie and play it up and say, “Oh, such and such a movie has a scene in it with two young ladies and they seem to be interested in one another or something like that.” I would play it up. And then I wrote poetry, not a great deal of it, but a few things.
And, uh, then, uh, oh I’d write the end… the “Watchama-Column.” And that was just ideas that happened off the top of my head that I would write about and say, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…” Or, you know, I’d just sort of, uh, uh, fantasize about… Not fantasize exactly, but…
Eric: Imagine?
Edythe: Imagine, thank you, umm, uh, fantasize about how things might be in the future with us or something like that.
It was a sort of a light thing, a frivolous thing, it wasn’t anything of great merit, I don’t think, but it was just to round out the magazine because I was getting awfully scarce on material.
Eric: What were some of the things you imagined in your columns?
Edythe: Well, I imagined that perhaps we would have a lot of magazines and that perhaps even movies might be made about us. And, uh, I would hope that someday we would not be looked down on with so much disdain and things of that nature.
Eric: I think that this may be where you… this is the column… this is the article, “Here to Stay.” It says, “Whether the unsympathetic majority approves or not it looks as though the third sex is here to stay.”
Edythe: Yeah, that’s the one.
Eric: Shall I read that or would you prefer to read it onto the tape because I’d like to read it onto the tape?
Edythe: So, oh, okay, go ahead.
Eric: September 1947, volume one, number four. Whether the unsympathetic majority approves or not, it looks as though the third sex is here to stay. With the advancement of psychiatry and related subjects, the world is becoming more and more aware that there are those in our midst who feel no attraction for the opposite sex. It is not an uncommon sight to observe mannishly attired women or even those dressed in more feminine garb strolling along the street hand-in-hand or even arm-in-arm, in an attitude which certainly would seem to indicate far more than mere friendliness.
Homosexuality is becoming a less and less taboo subject, and although still considered by the general public as contemptible, or treated with derision, I venture to predict that there will be a time in the future when gay folk will be accepted as part of regular society.
Edythe: I remember that.
Eric: Just as certain subjects, once considered unfit for discussion now are used as themes in many of our motion pictures, I believe that the time will come when, say, Stephen Gordon, will step unrestrained from the pages of Radclyffe Hall’s admirable novel, Well of Loneliness, onto the silver screen and once precedent has been broken by one such motion picture others will be sure to follow.
Perhaps even “Vice Versa” might be the forerunner of better magazines dedicated to the third sex, which in some future time might take their rightful place on the newsstands beside other publications to be available openly and without restriction to those who wish to read them.
In these days of frozen foods, motion picture palaces, compact apartments, modern innovations and female independence, there is no reason why a woman would have to look to a man for food and shelter in return for raising his children and keeping his house in order unless she really wants to.
Never before have circumstances and conditions been so suitable for those of lesbian tendencies.
Edythe: I guess I did use the term there.
Eric: Gives me chills! 1947. You had guts!
Edythe: Ha, ha, ha! Well, it surprises me now, too, reading back. I mean, reading this now, because I haven’t read it for so long I had to stop and think, “Well, did I write that? Or did somebody else?” but I wrote it. That’s me in there, heh, heh, heh.
Eric: That’s pretty bold stuff.
Edythe: Well, I guess it is. I never thought of it as being, uh, being bold at the time. I was just, as I say, I was just sort of fantasizing. But it all has come to pass. Heh.
Eric: What has…?
Edythe: Makes me feel like a fortune-teller. Ha, ha, ha, ha.
Yeah, that’s the key of D.
Edythe [singing]: If you’re disposition’s gay, be mighty glad you’re made that way.
Don’t frown ‘cause your world’s upside down.
Why should you be thought a fool for not conforming to the rule?
It has its advantages abound.
Now the ladies are the fairest sex as everybody knows.
Their charms are emphasized in ads and even movin’ picture shows.
I can’t convince the fellows I’m not daffy in the head, ‘cause I’m savin’ all my kisses for the little gal instead.
Mama nature played it smart when she tied a string around my heart and said, “No, no, no, no,” to me.
My kind of lovin’s lots of fun, but I’m glad when all is said and done there’s no, a no responsibility.
Now science claims that like repels and opposites attract, but since I’ve been in Hollywood I sure don’t know that that’s a fact.
When ere I see a likely lassie swayin’ down the street, I must curb my natural urge to whistle at each one I meet.
Never act as though you mind if people sometimes seem unkind.
Keep smilin’ though you may be blue.
And no matter what you are, if you hitch your wagon to a star, you’ll find your share of happiness, too.
———
I spoke with Edythe a few times in the months after I first interviewed her. And each time she answered her phone she said, “Hello Eric,” in her incredibly upbeat voice. And I asked her how she knew it would be me. And she said that no one ever called, and if the phone rang she just figured it would be me.
When I started work on this podcast I decided to call Edythe just on the off chance that she was still answering her phone From what I could tell from a quick online search, she was still alive and she would have been about 93 or 94 at this point. But her phone was disconnected.
It took a few emails and phone calls to find out that Edythe died on December 22, 2015. She was 94. What really surprised me was that I didn’t know. And I didn’t know because there wasn’t a single obituary published anywhere for one of the earliest, most optimistic, and engaging fortune tellers of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
To jog my memory about the sweet house where I sat with Edythe and listened to her sing and play her guitar, I did a Google search. What I found took my breath away. The house was gone and in its place was a new house, set far back on the lot with a concrete driveway occupying the place where Edythe’s house once stood. It felt like Edythe had been wiped from the face the earth.
If you want to see what our education partners are doing to bring this precious history into classrooms across the country, have a look at unerased.org.
I’d like to thank our hardworking executive producer, Sara Burningham, our wonderfully meticulous engineer Casey Holford, our patient composer, Fritz Meyers. Thank to Hannah Moch, our social media guru, our webmaster, Jonathan Dozier-Ezell. And we had production assistance from the incredibly talented Jenna Weiss-Berman, whose enthusiasm, excitement, and dedication to this project has made it possible.
The Making Gay History podcast is a co-production of Pineapple Street Media, with funding from the Arcus Foundation. Learn more about Arcus and its partners at ArcusFoundation.org.
And if you like what you’ve heard, please subscribe to the Making Gay History podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find all our podcasts on our website at makinggayhistory.com.
———
Edythe [singing]: Scattered are we, overland, oversea.
How many we number will never be known.
Each one must learn from the start. She must wear a mask on her heart.
And live in a world set apart. A shy separate world of her own.
Here’s to the days that we yearn for, to give of our hearts as we may.
Love’s always love in sincerity given, despite what the others may say.
The world cannot dare to deny us.
We’ve been here since centuries past.
And you can be sure our ranks will endure as long as this old world will last.
So here’s to a fairer tomorrow, when we’ll face the world with a smile.
The right one beside us to cherish and guide us.
This is what makes life worthwhile.
The right one beside us to cherish and guide us.
This is what makes life worthwhile.
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