at what count/true count should you start betting?
I'm very new to counting, I've been practicing with a deck of cards. I recently learned about the true count - is it more optimal to use than the running count? At what running count/true count is it considered optimal to start betting? Thanks!
Putting an asterisk on every VFL/AFL premiership ever
Recently there's been a bit of a debate around the traps concerning this 2020 season and whether or not the eventual premiership should have an asterisk next to it. And that's a silly debate, because of course every VFL/AFL premiership ever can have an asterisk next to it. Just pick and choose the asterisks that you personally believe should exist:
clearly the season should have ended on the drawn Grand Final, 69 to 69
Coleman kicks his 100th goal for the season in the concluding minutes of the GF - a story stolen directly from Jack Titus in 1940, you have to ask what else was faked about Essendon allegedly 'winning' this premiership #fakenewsflag
season destabilised by breakaway competition rumours
season tainted by biff: Lethal breaks Neville Bruns' jaw, John Bourke for the Pies reserves gets suspended for 10 years and 16 matches
illegal Tasmanian bank account
compromised draw with the new expansion teams
compromised draw with the new expansion teams
illegal Tasmanian bank account
replay of drawn Pies v Eagles QF pushes back whole finals schedule, disadvantging Essendon
take your pick of option 1, you can't play a legitimate GF at Waverley or option 2, match tainted by Bound for Glory
Vic teams get their zones taken away and a foreigner team wins as a result #AntiVicBias
Baby Bombers bust their way through the salary cap
rules tinkering: arbitrarily changing the length of quarters from 25 to 20 minutes
Diesel Williams the recipient of not only payments outside the salary cap but also one of the first ever racial vilification charges
West Coast forced to play 'home' semi final at the MCG
psychological warfare: Port Adelaide entering the comp and blasting innocent ears with their terrible club song - Crows unfairly advantaged by being already partly immune to Port bullshit - alternatively steroids in the AFL
Crows somehow allowed to win flag from 5th on the ladder edit: and while losing their first final, just like Carlton the next year
finals system is so shit that Carlton finishes 6th, loses first final, yet progresses to semi-finals where they play West Coast who are once again forced to 'host' a semi at the MCG - Blues make it to the GF where they're rolled by Norf
season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics (and retrospectively, Lions' intravenous saline scandal and Carlton's salary cap breaches)
Lions' intravenous saline scandal (and retrospectively, Carlton's salary cap breaches)
six games not involving Carlton forcibly moved to Princes Park after Carlton moves games to Docklands - meanwhile Carlton wins the spoon and then has their salary cap cheating exposed, fuck 2002 Carlton basically - also Adelaide forced to 'host' a semi-final at the MCG
all the non-Vic teams made finals #AntiVicBias
Brisbane forced to 'host' home prelim at the MCG - also because Port's win triggers insufferable debates about whether to count SANFL Port's flags
1) Cats commit murder in broad daylight and get away with it, 2) disgraceful Melbourne v Carlton spoonbowl with priority draft pick at stake, 3) 'Guttergate'
morally bankrupt Hawthorn triple team Fev to stop him also getting to 100 goals
take your pick of option 1, season tainted by Melbourne's tanking or option 2, Hawkins hitting the post
St Kilda robbed in broad daylight and the police did nothing about it
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - St Kilda robbed of momentum by replaying the GF the following week rather than playing extra time, replay replaced with extra time from 2016 season onwards
tainted by Meatloaf and the lavish Gold Coast concessions
season tainted by Essendon doping regime and the lavish GWS concessions
season tainted by revelation of Essendon doping regime
Brendon Bolton coaches Hawks to five wins from five games while Clarko out with Guillain–Barré syndrome yet nobody tests Bolton to see if he's some kind of cyborg or superman (though clearly swapped back for the real human version to go coach Carlton)
treatment of Adam Goodes puts a stain on the whole comp
umpiring so biased the AFL had to apologise for it
THEY'RE WEARING THE WRONG JUMPER
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - Cats forced to play 'home' QF at their opponent's home ground; veryparticularskills' suggestion - Cotch dodges suspension after PF
Sheed played on
edit: PyrrhicNicholas' suggestion - Maynard was blocked
If what everyone says about hatching eggs is true and that it refreshes every 60 seconds and that it only counts if it is 300m or less I bet that mailmen around the country are hatching some rare ass Pokémon
After getting some feedback on my previous thread I decided to make a list of info, advice, and tips on the FoMT remake. Please feel free to comment with anything else you think should be added! Obligatory shout-out to Fogu and the Ranch Story Wiki, both of which have been a great source of help.
This section contains advice to make sure you don't miss out on something important, or severely delay your progress. The Horse: In order to obtain the horse, you must introduce yourself to Mugi, the animal shopkeeper, in the Spring. If you don't talk to him by Spring 29 you will never receive the horse. After speaking with Mugi he'll give you a foal (baby horse) to raise. You must get the horse to 4 hearts by 90 days after receiving it. Mugi will come to collect in the Winter, and will take the horse away if it does not have a high enough affection. Raising the horse's affection isn't too hard, talking, brushing, and whistling increases affection. If you do 2 of these a day you should reach 4 hearts. If Mugi ends up taking the horse, you will get it back after a year. Cliff: (This section has been edited). By the end of Year 1, Cliff will leave Mineral Town if you don't meet the conditions for him to stay. On Fall 14, you'll need Duke to come by your farm and offer you a day's work at the winery. He'll tell you to invite someone, and you'll need to invite Cliff to make sure he stays in town. The next day you'll head over to the winery between 10 - 3 and either Accept or Refuse the job (does not matter for keeping Cliff). However Fogu and Ranch Story have conflicting information on how to go about this. There's also conflicting anecdotal evidence on this sub. Fluff_Master_Fanfic made this post and contacted Marvelous regarding the requirements to get Cliff the job. According to them, the only requirement for triggering the vineyard job is to trigger Cliff's first heart event. If you meet this requirement and are having trouble, it is likely a glitch. (Also shout-out to pungkk who tested this and even offered to provide video evidence). With that said, if Cliff leaves, after 30 days he'll return to town and permanently stay. Harvest Goddess Offerings: You cannot give more than 1 offering to the HG per day. Certain stuff like Van or the mine elavator take a while to unlock, so I suggest throwing a flower in every day from the start. On the topic of the Harvest Goddess... Marrying HG/Kappa: Once you give 20 offerings to HG, she'll ask if there's someone you like. If you plan on marrying HG or Kappa, you must choose their name! You'll be locked out of their marriage if you choose someone else.
One of the biggest struggles in the early game is making cash. Here are a couple of tips: Fishing: Even a small fish will sell for 50g. Catch just 10 of these and you're already making a few hundred a day, especially combined with foraged items. In addition, some events (both heart and festivals), will take place at the beach. Time is stopped, and you won't consume stamina, so it's a good opportunity to catch a bunch of fish. It's worth noting that your fishing rod will not level up if you fish during these events. Mining: You're going to collect a lot more ore than you need. For money making I recommend getting down to floor 10 or lower and collect/sell Mithril, Orichalcum, and Adamantite. See further down for how to explore the mines without using a ton of stamina. Pineapples: Probably the biggest money making crop. Seeds are 1,000g each, and each 1 star pineapple sells at 500g, making a 3,500g profit. Even just a few seeds can churn out a chunk of cash. Van's Favorite: Okay, now onto the big stuff. Every once in a while you'll get a letter from HG giving you a bottle called Van's Favorite. You could give it to Van...or you could sell it to Huang for 55-57,000g. The bottle isn't useful to Van until you have $1 mil, so I recommend keeping 1 and selling the rest. There is a video guide on how to get a bunch of these. I have not tried this method, but it's worth checking out if you're interested. Derby Betting: Each Spring and Fall season will have a Derby race. Save just before entering the town plaza, watch the race, and remember the winning colors. Reload your save, bet everything on the winner, and collect your tickets. The most profitable item is the dress, which you would sell to Huang (see below for how to). Dresses can be purchased after you buy the truth jewel and power berry. If you can't get the dress, or sell to Huang yet, I recommend buying brooches and shipping them. You'll still make a decent profit. Huang's Apple Game: Raise Huang's friendship to 6 notes, and you can play his apple game. Win 10 times, and get a white flower. You can sell these flowers to Huang for 78k - 86k. Or you can get 10 of those flowers, and offer them to the HG (remember - only 1 day at a time!) jk turns out you can give her all 10 at once. It just won't count toward your offering. She'll give you a Goddess flower back, which can be sold to Huang for $1 million. Most people recommend recording each round on your phone to beat the game. There is also a guide from the original game that still applies to the remake.
General Farm Tips/Info
Animals: The first animal you buy will only have 5 hearts, you'll need to breed that type of animal, gradually increasing the number of hearts until it reaches 10. It's my understanding that once you reach 10 hearts on a specific animal, you can buy any animal of that type, breed it, and the baby will automatically have 10 hearts. Verification on this would be appreciated! Winter: Absolutely no crops can grow in this season. There's no greenhouse either. Yes there's the seasonal suns, they are just there to sell and look pretty. This is a good season to mine, fish, and increase your friendship with the villagers. Fodder Grass: You'll start off with a patch of fodder grass on the lower right corner of your field. Both this and any more grass you plant has a chance of spreading each day. Any grass you don't cut down has a 75% chance of coming back after winter.
Noteworthy Villagers to Befriend
Nature Sprites: On the right side of the church, you'll see a pathway that leads to a small hut where the Nature Sprites live. If you befriend them, they'll help with chores on your farm. They all love wheat flour, and personally I find that to be the easiest gift, however for the most part each sprite likes grass of their own color. Some people have reportedly had trouble with Blueberry and Aqua, however I have not tested this. I believe you can improve their skill level by playing minigames with them as well. Huang: Get him to 4 notes and you'll be able to sell items to him. Get him to 6 and you can play the apple game. Gold is probably the easiest gift to get him. Duke and Manna: Already mentioned, but get them both to 4 friendship notes to keep Cliff in Mineral Town. According to Marvelous, this is not true. See above for details. Carter: Get him to 8 notes, and you'll gain access to his backdoor starting in the Fall. You'll need to see the event Carter's Secret, and the door will be left unlocked. This area can be used to forage various items, in particular the rare matsutake mushroom. Anna: Reach 8 friendship notes and you can attend her cooking classes to learn recipes. Ellen: If you reach 8 friendship notes with her, and give her yarn during the Winter, she'll knit you a stocking, and Thomas will leave a present on Winter 25. You'll need to give her the yarn between 9 - 11am, on a day that is not Wednesday, and between Winter 1 - 23. Once you give her the yarn, you'll be transported back to your house, and it will be 7 pm, so make sure your schedule is clear! Gotts: You'll want to be at 4 friendship notes with him by Year 3, otherwise he'll stop doing work until you give him enough gifts to reach 6 friendship notes.
Mining - Save Stamina: In order to conserve stamina while mining, simply save when you enter each floor. Once you find the ladder, reload and go straight for the ladder. It's also worth noting that the ores stay in place once you save, so if you have a good memory you can reload and go straight for the valuable ores. Eventually you'll need to recover stamina, curry udon is the best choice for this. If you don't have the recipe yet, fried rice and moon dumplings are other good options. Leveling up tools: Time doesn't pass indoors, so if you're having trouble leveling up, spam the tool inside either your house or Dudley's restaurant. To recover stamina either eat some food at the restaurant (the daily special recovers the most), cook, or use the bathroom in your house. Time also stops in the mines, so you could use the tool a bunch of times in there, refill your stamina at the hot spring, and just repeat the process. Shopping Channel: For players of the original, this no longer exists. You'll receive a letter from Jeff when cooking utensils are available to buy at his shop, and Gotts will sell you the large bed. Van: He's unlocked after giving 30 gifts to HG. He can be found at the upstairs of the inn every Wednesday, and in the lower-left corner of the town plaza on the 15th of each month. This is where you'll buy a pet and pet treats. Weather: To manipulate the weather, save before going to bed. Wake up, check the weather TV station. If it's bad weather for the next day, reload your save, go to bed, and try again until you get the desired outcome. Cooking: You can cook up to 9 of a dish at one time, there should be an indicator on the bottom of the screen with how much you'll prepare. Saves a lot of time when you're stocking up to go mining! The Elevator: After 100 gifts you'll unlock an elevator to the mine, which will take you to various floors you've reached manually (50, 100, 150, 200, and 225). This won't be announced, but you'll know you've unlocked it if you find the Super Fascinating Book on your bookshelf. You'll need to exit to the surface of the mine in order to trigger the dialogue about the elevator. Dating: There is no consequence if you give a preserved flower and date all the candidates. In fact there's an achievement for it! You won't lose friend points once you marry a partner. Hidden Foraging Path: Behind Jennifer's tent there's a pathway blocked by boulders that can be broken with a level 3 (silver) hammer. There's bamboo trees near the start of the path if you're having trouble finding it. Clear the boulders, run to the end of the path, and there's a chance you'll find a matsutake mushroom during the fall.
The Markets have an interesting behavior: they don’t care about something, until all at once they care, and they’ll care a great deal. At the beginning of May, states like Texas began to re-open. And for awhile, it seemed that it was the correct move. Cases weren’t going down but they weren’t going up either. Throughout most of may we even saw a slight though not significant decline. Governors and citizens became encouraged and started lifting restrictions and abandoning social distancing rules. History I promise you will rudely stamp these moves into textbooks as a lesson for people to learn from in responding to future epidemics and pandemics. We are in the middle of the next COVID crisis. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is frankly lying, or ignorant. Case counts have soared back to March and April levels, and it seems all but foretold that we will see the US break its record for coronavirus cases in a day by the end of next week. But this time, it’s worse: we have people ignoring social distancing rules across the country, believing the rhetoric of a deranged carrot saying the coronavirus is ‘fading away.’ The fear that helped save lives before has dissipated as the storm of warnings aren’t hitting people living under the umbrella of misinformation. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Gotlieb, two doctors for whatever the world thinks of them are some of the better experts on Coronavirus, have been messaging you for weeks warning things are getting out of control. Dr. Gotlieb mentioned this recent friday that the likelihood schools are going to be able to open nationally is in serious doubt. Dr. Fauci mentioned that the NFL may have serious trouble playing in the fall. These doctors, who understand way more about the virus than we do, are saying ‘We are going to have serious alterations to our lifestyles through the end of this year.’ Governor Greg ‘I guess I rushed into reopening’ Abbot just made a plea to Texans to not go anywhere unless they need to. Texas is the number two GDP state in the country. Basically giving a casual stay at home order does not bode well for the productivity of Texas, nor the outlook of its ability to fight the virus. California is really getting out of control. It’s the number one GDP producing state. Florida doesn’t give a fuck and man does the virus not give a fuck about their not giving a fuck. It’s the number four GDP producing state. This is getting so bad that the EU is considering a ban on travel from the US. You thought airlines had it rough with no flights to China and Europe for the last couple months? If they can’t get in a decent travel summer season on international flights, good luck to your calls. Hopefully JPow creates a credit facility to give loans to fucked airline call buyers since the government is willing to collateralize just about every other part of the airlines for their loans. We are simply doomed at this point to repeat our recent history. There will be a lot of denial, shouting, the carrot will turn red with anger, and there may even be violence, but eventually we will see some parts of the country forced to shut back down in the coming weeks and months. It’ll become a matter of hospital capacity becoming so overloaded that the state simply cannot manage the crisis. Bulls will say what they’ve said since the bottom: the fed will print the road out of this. Yeah, that was going to work for round one. Round two? Not so much. And the fed will have to start getting religious if inflation gets out of control. You can look at the inflation rate released every month and say ‘well the rate looks very disinflationary.’ Yeah, that’s not really how its playing out. Groceries are becoming more expensive, a tell-tale sign that inflation is kicking in hard. Commodity prices are generally rising (Even for oil, as oil inventories destroy expectations every time.) Meanwhile the DXY index is shedding value like its on a weight loss program. All of this to say: The fed can bridge a gap, it cannot replace the economy. And while their next moves will become increasingly exotic and aggressive, it will without a doubt at least come with long term scarring on the economy, if not outright damage upon implementation. Liquidity cannot replace solvency, and that’s something we’re starting to notice in such places as delinquency rates across CMBS’s. And wall street will finally have ‘fundamentals reassert’ as second quarter results come in with expectations grim as the hospitals overwhelmed with foolish policies playing out in real time. But let’s make one thing clear: New York proved that if we had simply waited an extra few weeks, been diligent with social distancing, and bothered to wear a mask we would be in a true recovery summer where businesses would have an opportunity to take in enough money to make through a long winter. That’s not going to be the case anymore through the summer. Long dated puts are all but guaranteed at this point. So, what are the moves?? First, get the FUCK out of cruise lines and airlines if you’re still in. You made a lot of money defying everyone with the stock going up, congratulations. Take profits. Don’t be an idiot. Tourism and travel will come back, but not before summer ’21 at the earliest, and many of the companies we know today won’t be around to take reservations. Border closings will be up for quarters at this point, let’s just be realistic about that. Second, Vix calls are the way. They are a cheap hedge that pay out huge and can pay for many bullish bets gone wrong in a portfolio. Full blown WSB should consider buying UVXY calls. Third: Realize that there’s so much credit and debt issued out to risky companies that we may have a serious problem in the coming months with defaults. At the same time this debt has been issued, debt downgrades are soaring. You wanna see the stock market tank? Two sizable S and P companies file for bankruptcy and the market wakes up from its wet dream to realize that stocks, are in fact, the riskiest asset to buy. I understand that bearish sentiment is usually great for being a contrarian indicator to buy. This is the exception to that rule, as we are not in a financial crisis, we are in a pandemic where half the populous won’t accept facts. This time, the bears will be right. If remember one thing from this post in the proceeding months, remember this: just because a phenomena isn’t happening to you, doesn’t mean the phenomena isn’t severely effecting others. Positions: Vix calls 9/18-12/15, XLF Puts dated longer than six months, GE puts, APT shares, hedges in renewable sectors, cash, long dated GLD calendars
how did the mit black jack team ever make so much bank when card counting only gives u a 1% edge according to wikipedia
What is the maximum edge u can gain from card counting? I remember watching a history channel doc on the subject and u would think if u counted correctly u were basically all in with topset vs a flushdraw or someshit, but wikipedia says different. "i could basically go to a blackjack table and make 20k in 30 minutes" ~ some card counter from a documentary i watched ages ago. I mean if it only gives u a 1% edge that just seems so incredibly high variance, plus u have to factor in the times when the deck isn't hot.
I've a 100 bet on with my friend that he won't complete this game in 3 days. >>>Day 2 <<<
Death Count: 160 Iudex Gundyr - Defeated Vordt of the Boreal Valley - Defeated Curse-rotted Greatwood - Defeated Crystal Sage - Defeated Deacons of the Deep - Defeated Abyss Watchers - Defeated High Lord Wolnir - Defeated Old Demon King - Defeated Pontiff Sulyvahn - Defeated Yhorm the Giant - Defeated Aldrich, Devourer of Gods - Defeated Dancer of the Boreal Valley Dragonslayer Armour Oceiros, the Consumed King Champion Gundyr Lorian & Lothric Ancient Wyvern Soul of Cinder I will be updating the key highlights every few hours as we proceed throughout the game over the next 2 days, as well as the death count. To make things easier to follow, I will have (updated) to the left of the most recent text below. The times I update may not be 100% accurate, but fairly close. For anyone who doesn't know what this is all about, check out the link below. https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/heepr2/ive_a_100_euro_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share Day 1: https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/hg43r5/ive_a_100_euro_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share Day 3: https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/hikegq/ive_a_100_euro_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share GMT+1 Standard Irish Timezone for people wondering. ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()() 10:05 - Welcome to the Catacombs of Carthus. A place that brings your Necrophobia to life and induces fear and trepidation, and then that fear quickly subsides once you realize the skeletons can be killed with one swing of your weapon. 10:33 - Grave Warden Skeletons are posing to be a minor issue as their sporadic circus clown like movements maneuver back and forth within the confined walls, difficult to block and counter. 11:02 - Approaches a disarticulated skull chalice sitting ominously on an altar surrounded by candles. I better touch it. 11:23 - High Lord Skeletor, Bearer of Gucci's Finest Jewellery. With the exception of exhaling a thousand years worth of bad breath as his most devastating attack, he had little else to offer and was sent back into the darkest depths of the Catacombs. 11:30 - It's back to the shaky bridge where he will descend into the Smoldering Lake. It was agreed prior to this play through that he will need to reach the ballista before taking on the Old Demon King. 12:10-"I thought the Giant is friendly now. What's with the spears?" No my friend, you seemed to have irked a different one today. As he tries to wade his way through Dark Souls version of the floor is lava, arrows rain down. With a giant Carthus Sandworm to the left and Great Ember Crabs to the right, he searches hopelessly for an opening. 12:31 - It seems that I'm not the only one who struggled terribly in this area. If it's not the Basilisk's overwhelming you, it's Knight Slayer Tsorig crushing you under his Fume Sword. And if it's not that then you're being set ablaze by Smoldering Ghru's orbs or knocked off the platform by a Black Knight. He's about half way through the area now. Huge improvement in playstyle regarding stamina management and timing attacks properly. 13:13 - The recent quarantine period has affected not only man, but Demon as well. This paunchy behemoth has clearly devoured one too many souls in the last few month's and it shows. Nothing a bit of exorcising can't fix. What he lacks in pace, he certainly makes up for in raw strength. This fire-breathing, meteor calling, club stomping grandfather still has quite a bit of fight left in him and isn't willing to accept his place in a nursing home just yet. 13:45 - With two excruciatingly close previous attempts, I can't see this one lasting much longer. Currently the Old Demon King is 8-0. Weapon update: No changes. Lothric Knight Sword and Grass Crest Shield. He will more than likely be using this sword for the duration of this play through. 13:55 - The last demon in existence has been banished from the world after the 10th attempt. He now ventures forth to Irithyll of Boreal Valley. A place that is the very definition of "looks can be deceiving." 14:15 - After the claustrophobic confined spaces of the Catacombs, to be met with this visually stunning scenery is a welcomed contrast. The beauty of the aquamarine filled sky speckled with star dust, the ever glowing crescent moon, the waves of the aurora washing over you, bathing in its beauty…and then he's ambushed from behind and torn apart by a Croco-dog. 14:47 - Pontiffs Knights are dishing out a world of hurt right now. It could be a while before he reaches the Swordmaster himself. 15:33 - The moment he has definitely not been waiting for. He's now ready to face off against Pontiff for the first time. Irithyll so far has made him a bit shaky and has poured doubt over his ability to play. It's not the right place or time for this to happen. This could go either way. 17:17 - Progress is being made, but just barely. Pontiff's wicked fast erratic combos are causing problems. With 12 deaths on the cards and no phase 2 yet in sight, he has hit his first major road block. We're going to take a short break. He needs to decide if he will go to the dungeons to gain a few levels and come back, or tackle this one head on. 17:43 - And we're back. I've got to admire this one's perseverance. He feels he's capable of doing this and has decided to get straight back into it. Round two. 18:05 - "You've got to be kidding me. Now there's two of them?". He took the words right out of my mouth. Phase 2 has been revealed. 18:52 - breaking news Extensive damage was caused to the interior of an Ithryllian church today after a confrontation between two men turned into a violent brawl. Witnesses say that one man was beaten down 28 times before crushing the others skull in with a charity box. The congregation will certainly not be too thrilled about this. 19:21 - The dungeons, where a medley of terrors lurk around each corner. Whilst he was still zoned out and discombobulated from the previous fight, a Reanimated Corpse's high pitched scream brought him back to reality and almost made him jump out of his skin. It was a joy to behold. More joy was had after watching greedy guts chase the shiny object glimmering in the distance, only to be pushed off the top dungeon floor by yet another Reanimated Corpse. Say what you want about these guys, they are the true underdogs of Dark Souls, if you ask me. 19:55 - Have you ever had a peace sign cattle-prodded onto your buttocks? If not, get in contact with a Jailer today. With your HP bar being reduced to 1 inch, size certainly does matter here. 20:21 - He's escaped the hellish dungeons and will now make his way to the Profaned Capital where Yhorm, the not so friendly Giant, patiently sits on his throne. 20:39 - The Monstrosity of Sin has brought a whole new meaning to the term fisting. He's found out the hard way that's it's not a good idea to take on more than one of them at a time. 21:01 - Quick progression is being made through the Capital with minimal deaths. Lost time needs to be salvaged after the Pontiff encounter. 21:20 - Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Unkindled One. I wonder how long it will take for him to figure out that the Storm Ruler exists. Because I for one have never heard of such a thing. 22:04- After spending over 40 minutes before figuring out there's an easier way to damage Yhorm than poking his toes with a sword, he cut that bean stalk down with ease using the Storm Ruler. Two Lords down, two to go. On route to the legendary city. 22:41 - As he tiptoes across the rooftops, Silver Knights take aim, nock their Greatbows and let loose a flurry of devastating blows into the unsuspecting victim, sending him plummeting towards his impending death. 23:04 - He's made it to the majestic Anor Londo, on the hunt for another skull souvenir to decorate Firelink Shrine with. 23:51- The Spider Monkey has been euthanized and a path has been cleared to Aldrich. With a can of Cillit Bang in his off-hand, he's ready to remove this mass of putrid sludge. 00:19 - He tells me Aldrich has been his most enjoyable encounter so far. Even more so after I explained the events that had once taken place in this very room. He's made it to phase 2 each time with relative ease but the swooping scythe attacks and barrage of arrows are proving to be problematic. (updated)01:06 - Another Lord of Cinder bites the dust. Making use of bug pellets for phase 2 made this encounter much easier for him. After almost getting a kill on the third attempt, it took another 6 to make certain of it. And that will be all for tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Tiredness has taken hold of the both of us. He can no longer play competently and I am finding it difficult to string a proper sentence of the English language together. With that, I bid you farewell and goodnight. Unfortunately, the third and final day will need to be postponed until Tuesday GMT+1 11:00am as we are both busy and will not be home for the next two days, so apologies for that. As usual, keep an eye out for the above title ending with Day 3. The Dancer awaits.
The roar of the crowd hauled my awareness out of the abyss and into my prone form. My limbs were sluggish to respond as I shimmied and stretched myself awake, but something at the back of my mind told me to treat things with a sense of urgency. Wait... roar of the crowd? I cracked an eyelid and confirmed that I was nowhere near my bed. Scratch that, I'm not even near the living room couch. Scuffed metal plates and rusted grating. What the hell? I opened both eyes, and a booming voice nearly caused me to jump out of my skin. "Look at that folks! Our competitor rejoins us in the world of the living! For now..." The roaring ambience redoubled at the commentary. Whatever this is, it's filmed in front of a live studio audience. The speakers started out blaring gibberish, but it was quickly cut over by English. Must be some sort of translator in here. I hauled myself into a sitting position and looked around with bleary eyes. This has gotta be a dream, right? "Ah and now it moves! This, [ladies and gentlemen] is a bilaterally symmetrical [warm-blooded] pack omnivore from a little [yellow-sunned] backwater in the [Orion-Cygnus arm]. Let's hear a big round of applause for the retrieval crew folks. This particular specimen had a vicious quadrupedal guard-symbiont inhabiting its lair, and I am told the casualties were... significant." If you did anything to my fucking dog I swear I'll... "Alas, their sacrifices were not to be in vain. This will be quite a show, [people]. Remember folks, this species is from a truly out of the way system. We're going to be learning about this organism in real time alongside you. The science team tells me this thing is a true generalist, within a standard deviation of the average for intelligence, speed and strength. A lack of natural weapons is somewhat disappointing, but we're excited to see the ways in which it compensates. That's great news for the fans. Our experts estimate this specimen will be in the 80th percentile for time-to-kill, which means incredible bang for your buck, folks. Really. People are going to be furious that they paid full price for next cycle's show when they see how long this one runs for. What a treat." Time-to-kill? Fuck that, it's time to get some answers. I looked around, but I was alone in here. Announcer must be working from a booth somewhere. I addressed the rough centre of my cell. "Hey, uh, announcer dude?" Just as I began to worry that 'dude' might be sufficiently gender-specific to cause offense, the voice begins again. "Your [audio senses] do not deceive you, folks. Our next contestant speaks! Greetings, biped. Welcome to the Arena. You're a hapless primitive, so this is no doubt the single most impressive place you've ever seen." So far as I can tell Roman architects had these guys beat 4000 years ago, let alone the guys who design the space casinos in New Vegas, but I'm just a hapless primitive so what the fuck do I know. It would just be snarky to interrupt him when he's on a roll. "You have been granted the tremendous honour of being selected as a contestant for this cycle's iteration of The Ambling Sapient!" Contestant? No way, pal. I didn't sign the release, and I am most certainly suing you the moment I can get in touch with my lawyer. "Well, consider me... tremendously... honoured... by that, but what exactly does 'The Ambling Sapient' entail?" The announcer chuckled disdainfully at that. I don't know where exactly one is supposed to punch disembodied voices, but his tone made me want to find out. "Oh, you quaint little thing. The Ambling Sapient is the most thrilling, most visceral, most state-sponsored form of entertainment this side of the galaxy! Each cycle we take a smattering of primitives like you from undeveloped worlds across the [Skryrn Empire], bolster their ranks with the incarcerated, the destitute, and other dregs of society, and turn the whole lot of you loose in the Arena's urban simulator to contend with an army of our murderous bounty hunters. Last sapient standing wins! Unless it's a bounty hunter, which it usually is, in which case the Empire wins!" The crowd went nuts again. Fuck. I managed to sleepwalk my way into organized, alien bloodsport. My therapist is gonna have a fuckin' field day with this. Maybe I'll omit the 'drunken blackout' factor in my retelling. "I didn't agree to this." The smug bastard actually guffawed at this, like it was a goddamn affront I'd take issue with being drafted into playing the most dangerous game for some jagoff xeno emperor. "Well no, you wouldn't have. If we cared what you thought you'd be a citizen of the Empire and you'd have actual rights and freedoms. We don't, because you're a shithead primitive from a civilization that can't even crack lightspeed, and we are like unto Gods to your puny backwater minds. See folks, this is half of the fun for an old windbag like me. This little monkey is still coming to terms with the realization that any sense of agency it ever enjoyed was a condescending illusion. There are greater forces at work in the galaxy, contestant, and you should be thankful to be borne along in their wake. This is an opportunity to transcend your ignominious existence and provide [minutes] of precious entertainment to a being so grand the very stars are shaped at his behest." I was starting to get a pretty good idea of the sort of asshole I was dealing with, so I chose my next words very carefully. "Gee, thanks. I'm humbled." "Now I understand that this is simply an artifact of your flailing attempts at proto-language, but my auto-interpreter just tagged that with 'ambiguous tone'. Do you mind reaffirming for the cameras just how humbled you feel to have been selected for Lord Pha'Gouad?" I hope the windbag's auto-interpreter caught the meaning of my smirk before I spat out my reply. "Hell no. This sucks sweaty taint, and you people are fucking barbarians. The last 'enlightened' human civilization to practice bloodsport also openly practiced pedophilia. Tell Lord Fuckwad he can eat my ass, right after I win your stupid game show." I could hear the gears failing to catch in the announcer's head as he struggled to process my little tirade. "I... excuse me? Why you insufferable little... Lord... what does [copulation-gobbet] even mean?" I couldn't help but chuckle as the smug douche went into fits. That'll teach the folks at home to watch with the kiddos. "It's what I'm going to blow, in your mom, after I'm done winning this thing and skullfucking your boss." "Cease this insolence AT ONCE!" I'd better cool it with the snark lest they execute me before it even begins. "You will remain silent whether you like it or not, contestant. I have cut your feed. I had intended to excite the audience for your brief tenure in the Arena, but now we're all united in hoping for your swift, painful death." Sure, buddy. I bet half the people in here hope I stick it to your smug alien ass. Something tells me this Lord Fuckwad isn't exactly the pinnacle of statesmanship. "We will begin ignoring you now. You will receive a final briefing from the holoscreen in your cell." I flipped off the centre of the chamber and started stretching. There was no telling when the contest was going to start and I wanted to hit the ground running. The holoscreen flared to life, projecting what was unmistakably one of those dry, HR-produced training videos into the air in a lattice of dancing light. "Welcome, contestant. Please pay careful attention to maximize the entertainment provided to the good spectators of The Ambling Sapient." I swear to God, these buffoons. They seriously added an echo and a thunderclap sound bite to emphasize the name of their stupid bloodsport. In their defense, whoever did the voiceover's monotone is bad enough that it might kill me via boredom before the door to my cell ever opens. "Your containment cell will be lifted and deposited via field-friction directly into the Arena, where it will open in synchronicity with the cells of all other contestants. Bounty hunters will be waiting for you, and a second wave will be released an indeterminate amount of time after the contest commences. You must use your environment, and your own natural gifts to evade the bounty hunters and eliminate rival contestants." I am not looking forward to killing other unwilling participants in this nightmare gameshow. Can't blame them for trying to off me though... I'll have to try and avoid everyone. Endurance is my most obvious natural gift, surely I can win this if I turn it into a war of attrition? "This cycle's theme is [Marathon]. In each contestant's cell there is a totem. Any contestant who can deliver their totem to a totem-specific receptacle hidden around the Arena will be released from the competition. Contestants who do so forego any other potential contest rewards, and count as eliminated for the purpose of determining the contest's winner. They will be granted Proletariat-class membership in the [Skryrn Empire]. The totem will periodically emit light to help usher the contestant in the direction of the receptacle. The minimum distance-to-travel is a staggering [5500 metres], with some totem-receptacle pairs requiring as much as [7000 metres] of foot travel, thus ensuring that contestants who attempt to exit the contest are not able to do so trivially." I try to maintain a cool exterior as inside my head I frantically celebrate being abducted by the laziest fucking aliens in the galaxy. I haven't had the wide-open space to run that I'd like to since I took that job starside, but my treadmill with elevation settings has done an admirable job of simulating the ground. I'm not 22 anymore, unless I want to identify as the number of alcoholic beverages I consume every weekend, but 5-7K is still a warm up and not a workout unto itself. "That concludes our The Ambling Sapient tutorial video. Good luck, contestant." The fucking thunderclaps. Good luck to you too, narrator, because if I get out of here I'm finding you and tearing out whatever passes for a larynx for your species, and I'm starting to get pretty darn confident that I'm getting out of here. At least the windbag with the audience had some theatrical flair. The cell lurched suddenly and I tumbled to the ground. I suppose the tutorial ending should have been a clue, but I'm processing a lot right now. I can forgive myself for a small lapse in foresight. I braced myself so as not to slide across the floor as an undignified heap, but besides the inertia of their friction-fields or whatever grabbing my cell it was a relatively smooth ride. I glanced around and spotted the totem. I think it must have been unlit before, or else I'm really not very perceptive while my brain is still waking up, because it was pretty much the cell's only obvious feature apart from the windows. It was a small baton, maybe a third of a metre in length and about as big around as a broom handle. It looked sturdy enough to hit someone with, I noted hopefully. If they arm me for my little warmup jog this will go down as the easiest life-or-death struggle in human history. Eventually the sensation of motion stopped, and I only stumbled a little as my balance adjusted. I hefted the totem and, sure enough, it would make for a great bludgeon in a pinch. I wasn't sure what sort of electronics they packed into the thing, but resolved only to risk breaking my ticket out of here if the alternative was death. The cell doors opened with a soft hiss. Swallowing the bubbling, subversive anxiety that was churning my guts, I stepped out into the streets of the Arena. The air smelled pretty much like a city's should. Dirty, artificially hot and packed with all the creatively diverse pollutants that any arrogant society is willing to lace their atmosphere with in the name of prosperity and advancement. I was reasonably sure the ambient light level was increasing, which meant I had maybe half an hour before the sun first peeked over the Arena's artifical horizon. The totem lit up just once, projecting a faint beam of light off into the city streets. Well, I thought, it's now or never. Time to show these assholes who they're messing with.
Chee Soon Juan has been Sec-Gen for 27 years without much success for the SDP and himself. Here are the reasons why I feel SDP should replace its leader.
Here are some reasons why I feel it's time for CSJ to move on:
SDP is currently CSJ party. He is 62 in the next election. Other than Prof Tambyah (who isn't exactly young either), I bet you cannot name other SDP candidates because they aren't impressionable enough. Unlike in WP, we have He Ting Ru, Jamus, Nicole Seah who are potentially WP's next gen leaders. Unless SDP wants to end up like Chiam See Tong's party, he better start doing something about it.
FYI, Low Thia Khiang is 63 this year and five years ago, we kinda know who will succeed him. Props must be given to him for planning the leadership transition which started when Pritam won Aljunied 9 years ago. Same for PSP, during the NCMP press conference, TCB made it clear leadership successions starts now. Whereas for SDP, they are churning out videos of CSJ not giving up, CSJ speaking to Bukit Batok residents, or why CSJ was not smiling in the televised debate. Why is the focus always on him???
It took PSP just one try and they got 40% of the popular vote. Whereas, SDP's popular vote is still under 40% despite a 10% swing against the PAP. This shows voters generally don't buy SDP style of politics. Like the PAP, SDP must do deep searching to find out why.
It's impossible to fix the negative public image he has, no matter what he does, especially for the older folks where the image of him screaming at PM GCT is still fresh in their minds. Not helping are the PAP IBs, who will always bring his bad record out during election period. Furthermore, there are many videos of him in YouTube participating in acts of civil disobedience which may spook swing voters who prefer PAP or PAP-lite style of engagement. His performance in the televised debate does reinforce the impression that he is confrontational.
His decision to re-accept Tan Jee Say back just one day before nomination does give me an impression he is an opportunist, unlike WP, where they assess potential candidates by how they work on the ground in Aljunied and Hougang grassroots activities. It's an open secret that Dennis was taking over Png Eng Huat and Leon/Gerald going over to Aljunied because they have been shadowing them for years prior.
One of the big reason why WP cracked Aljunied is because they hired Chen Show Mao. Many were surprised that WP managed to hire someone with an impressive CV. Same goes for PSP with ex-SAF officers and PSC scholars. Whereas, CSJ/SDP failed to do so in this election or in past elections.
Poor leadership decisions:
During the 2013 Punggol East By-election, he made a stunning proposal with WP that the SDP candidate will be elected into Parliament while WP will run the town council. What kind of stupid proposal is that?
I think as someone here mentioned, their campaign messaging under CSJ isn't effective. 4Y1N is a stupid slogan. Unlike WP's previous slogan of "Towards a First World Parliament", "Empower your Future" and "Make your vote count" which are memorable (even till today), catchy and sends a simple, coherent message that resonated with many voters. SDP also churns out so many policy papers that nobody reads. WP has made their stance on min wage model. What is SDP stance? Do I have to read their policy papers to found out?
Another self-pawn is asking ELD to rescind polling hour extension. Why so?? At 8pm, there are still snaking queues in Sengkang. How would voters feel if they cannot exercise their democratic right because SDP, of all party, who wants to deny it to them? Only WP showed true political acumen by refusing to comment on this extension when pressed by the media.
Conclusion: SDP is a sinking ship, and it's sinking fast, unless they change their image. They clearly have an image problem. To fix the problem, it includes getting rid of their leader, unfortunately. It's clear, WP and PSP are overshadowing them. Their current formula isn't working at all.
[Undertale Fan Art/Fandom] Sans is MINE!!1! and the tale of the tainted cookies
Welcome, one and all. I’ve been a lurker on this sub for a while, and I’ve decided it was time I contribute. This is my first shot with a story post on the snoo snoo site, so go easy on me. A warning for Undertale spoilers. Also, this write-up will make mention of pedophilia, incest, needles, tongue injuries, and food that has been tampered with. Yeah, the fandom gets kind of fucked up at points, but if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be writing this, now would I? Unless you make your residence under a rock, you’re aware of the 2015 indie game Undertale, developed by Toby Fox and Temmie Chang. You also probably know about its 2018 sort-of-sequel, Deltarune. But we’re not talking about Deltarune here. In a shellnut, the plot of Undertale is about a human child who falls into an underground world full of monsters. The monsters have been trapped there for centuries by magic, and the child’s soul is the key to their escape. The gimmick of Undertale is that the player can do a full “pacifist” run of the game in which they don’t kill a single NPC or random encounter creature. Doing this unlocks the Golden Ending. The player can also go out of their way to slaughter every NPC and creature in the Underground, in what’s called the “Genocide” or “No Mercy” run. The game will be sure to punish you for your pointless virtual cruelty if you do that (more on that later.) Undertale exploded in popularity because it is indeed a very well-made game. It’s been greatly praised for its themes, storytelling, music, humor, and atmosphere. Special mention goes to the characters; all the main characters and even some minor encounters are extremely well-developed and complex. Of these, fans are most obsessed with Sans the Skeleton. He’s a lazy but good-natured skeleton monster who loves cracking puns, drinking ketchup, and his brother Papyrus. In a pacifist run, he’s a fun jokester type and promises to look after you, but there are hints that he knows more about you and the game’s mechanics than he lets on. In a genocide run, all bets are off, since you killed his brother and everyone else. He subjects you to a ridiculously hard boss battle (you don’t fight him in a pacifist run at all) at the end of the run. Said boss battle is set to “Megalovania,” which Toby Fox composed for earlier games of his and then adapted for Undertale. Sans is a cool character. His boss battle is kickass. “Megalovania” is a banger. You can see where this is going. I don’t know why people are thirsty for Sans, though. Being obsessed with him for being cool, I understand. But the thirst, I don’t. He’s not hot and he wasn’t supposed to be, either. He’s short, implied to be chubby, always sports a shit-eating grin, and walks around in a hoodie, shorts, and silly bedroom slippers*. If you ask me, he’s more huggable than hot. But fans will be fans, I guess. It wasn’t long before there were scores of thirsty fans (mostly female, for usual reasons) all over this goofy skeleton. I don’t think I need to link fanart to prove it. Use your imagination. Insert pun about wanting to bone him. Sans would approve. What he wouldn’t approve, though, were some of their choices of who to ship him with. There are three Sans ships that are most popular in the fandom, and only one of them isn’t flagrantly creepy. Enter the stinkies, Frans and Fontcest, and the maybe-not-creepy Soriel. *There was a debate whether he wore slippers or sneakers. Undertale has simple pixel graphics and all battle sprites are in black and white, so it’s hard to tell going off the game alone. But the official merch shows him wearing slippers, so that’s what I’m going with. Frans refers to Frisk x Sans. If you didn’t know, Frisk is the canon name for the playable character in Undertale. Normally shipping the player character with an NPC would be fine, if not a bit wish fulfilly, since the PC is usually a stand in for you, the geek at the controls. Problem is, Frisk is a child, unambiguously so. They’re repeatedly called “kid,” “my child,” “kiddo,” etc. Based on the in-game sprite and official artwork, Frisk doesn’t look any older than 10. Sans, on the other hand, is clearly an adult. Cue the accusations of it being pedoriffic, and I can’t say as if I disagree. You most likely know the issue with Fontcest just by looking at the name. Yeah, it’s shipping Sans with Papyrus. His brother. Yuck. What is with fans and shipping incest? Anyway, Fontcest was also virulently hated in the fandom. Maybe even more so than Frans, since you can age up Frisk to make it less creepy, whereas explaining away Sans and Papyrus’s relationship is more difficult. Some people ship Fontcest shamelessly, while others try to find a workaround. Usually, they’ll bring in a Sans or Papyrus from one of the copious alternate universes in the fandom. (Most of which are just Sans and Papy in various hats.) Is it incest if they’re from different universes? I dunno, you make that judgment call. I’m just the reporter guy. That leaves us with Soriel – Sans shipped with Toriel, a character who is, thankfully, neither underage nor related to him. Toriel is an early-game NPC who rescues you from a flower trying to murder you (it makes sense in context) and escorts you through the tutorial level. (Toriel? Tu-torial? Get it? Yeah, I thought it was a little cheesy, too.) She’s a goat woman who loves humankind, despite what they’ve done to her race, and adores being a mom. She’s obsessively protective of you, to the point where she literally fights you when you try to leave her home. Her connection to Sans is that she befriended him through corny jokes and asked him to look after you. According to Sans, she’s the reason you aren’t “D E A D W H E R E Y O U S T A N D.” Okay, so Toriel isn’t underage, isn’t related to Sans, and has a meaningful connection to him, to boot. So where’s the problem? Why do fans get pissy over Soriel shipping? Well, to be honest...I have no idea. Sure, Toby Fox confirmed that Sans is too lazy for a relationship, but if you’re going to take that as gospel, then you shouldn’t ship him with anyone. And since when has the fandom listened to creators’ requests to not do the hippy dippy super shippy? Some people pulled out the “pedo” argument since Toriel is noticeably older than Sans (he even calls her “old lady” at one point), but an older woman and a younger man is different than an adult and a literal child if you ask me. Consenting adults and all that. Maybe the goat woman is a cougar, but I’d rather have that than skeletons being pedos and/or incest partakers. Of course, there’s always the tried-and-true “I’ll ship them with my OC.” Okay, fair enough, I guess. You do you. But you know how fandoms are, and naturally a lot of the Sans fangirls got slapped with “Sans is MINE!!1!” jokes. And who’s likely to root for Sans hooking up with some random chick instead of a well-known character, especially if said random chick stinks of Mary Sueishness and self-insert. I won’t cheer for Mary Sue x Sans, but it is better than those god-awful stories of him banging his sibling or creeping on a kid. So this probably just seems like normal fandom dumbfuckery, right? Well, I’m sorry to say that it goes beyond that. Our investigation into drama over who Sans should date leads us to the big incident that forms the real drama. Someone almost got killed because of Undertale shipping drama. Here’s the sordid story. This is where the part about the needles and tampered food comes in, so if that’s a trigger for you, this is your last chance to turn back. Apparently someone missed the core theme of the game – all that hoopla about mercy and love. A popular Undertale fan artist, Avimedes, attended a convention in Taiwan in 2017. While at the convention, a person, who has not yet been identified, approached Avimedes and offered her a box of homemade cookies. The artist, thinking it was a gesture of goodwill, accepted the treat and tried a cookie. Except this wasn’t a random act of kindness from a fan of her artwork; it was an attempt to get her hospitalized or worse. The cookies had needles in them – large sewing needles, to be exact. As Avimedes wasn’t aware of the adulteration before trying one, she ended up piercing her tongue on the needle and needed medical attention. Shortly thereafter, she posted a picture of the blood and needle on her Plurk (a Taiwanese social media site) with a morose comment about how she now has an extra piercing and can’t track down the person who did this to her. Despite the inability to catch the miscreant, fans suspect a particular motivation for the crime. Avimedes is a Frans shipper and often does artwork of it. Frisk is aged up in her artwork to avoid the whole deal seeming creepy. Despite the aging up, her behavior supposedly pissed off an “anti,” -- that is, a person who is opposed to shipping incest, pedo-ish stuff, and so on. The anti then concocted the tainted cookies and gave them to Avimedes with the hopes of injuring or even killing her. Fans have since been holding up the incident as an example of toxic anti culture (see the last two links in the references section), where moral ideology gets so fevered that it turns murderous. If that was indeed the cookie criminal’s intent, then those people have a point. As you’re probably well aware if you’ve spent five minutes in a fandom on Tumblr dot hell, shit really hits the fan when the antis and proshippers clash. But we don’t know the con criminal’s motives, and we never really will. Just don’t accept food from strangers at a con. And maybe don’t ship adults with children. References WARNING: Some links contain images of needles, blood, and chewed up food. DO NOT click on a link if those are a trigger for you.
Search the tags “undertale discourse,” “anti fontcest,” “anti frans,” and “anti soriel” on Tumblr to get a feel for what kind of fighting goes down in the fandom.
Sources on the tainted cookies story – a news article from Medium and a Tumblr post. Some links may lead to the photograph of the blood and needles; click links with caution if those are triggers for you.
Let Your Players Create The Puzzle They Need To Solve
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this. But here’s a recent example of what I mean: I thought my players would be empathetic to a group of travelers who couldn’t get into a city on lockdown. There had been a cultist terrorist attack in a nearby city, so this one was being extra cautious, and my group ended up paying their way in without helping the other travelers. Problem was: I was counting on them helping the travelers to prove their worth to a god that they’d been courting. So how do I justify these travelers showing up in the city? So that I can lay some groundwork / justification, the party hears from a crazy old man that there are secret ways into the city. One of the players says, “That could be a problem for keeping the cultist terrorists out.” Wow. That’s a good idea. Stash that away. I didn’t have any specific secret way into the city when I dropped the mention / hint earlier. But I’d based the crazy old man - in looks and voice - off of disguised Jafar from the animated Aladdin, so I figured some secret passage underground would work. So the party runs across this society whose headquarters is being overrun by the undead because something underground was disturbing their graves. The same player says, “I bet it’s cultists sneaking into the city.” Perfect. I can make that true - whether or not I’d intended it - because it makes the players feel like they’ve figured something out. And it’s just a good idea. tl;dr - Use your players’ guesses about what’s going to happen as what actually happens. When they say, “I knew it!” they’ll be right. Because they’re the ones that came up with it.
Will the Philadelphia Eagles win OVER/UNDER 9.5 games? By University Stats Prof!
The Eagles have been a good model of consistency. Over the past 20 years, they have had just four losing seasons. It wasn’t always pretty, but Philly managed to secure the NFC East title with a 9-7 record last year. They closed out the regular season with a four-game winning streak to edge the Cowboys atop the division. Unfortunately, Carson Wentz exited the wildcard playoff game early and the team couldn’t overcome his absence in a 17-9 home loss to the Seahawks.
2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs) Carson Wentz needs to be applauded for his 2019 performance. He had to deal with numerous injuries to his receiving corps and yet, he led the team to a playoff spot and he finished with a career-high in passing yards with 4,039. He threw 27 TD passes versus 7 interceptions, while playing all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season in 2016. In the season finale, his top targets were Boston Scott, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins, Deontay Burnett and Greg Ward. Outside of Goedert, none is an established starter in the NFL. The Eagles still secured the NFC East title with a 34-17 road win in New York. Philadelphia selected Jalen Hurts late in the second round of this year’s draft. He transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma for his senior year since Tua Tagovailoa was projected to be the starter. Hurst was actually replacing Kyler Murray who had just been taken as the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Cards. Hurts did not disappoint in his lone season with the Sooners. He completed 237-of-340 passes (69.7%) with 3,851 passing yards, along with 32 TD passes and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards with 20 TDs on the ground! His weaknesses are an average accuracy, inconsistent decision-making and a tendency to take off as a runner too often (sometimes when a receiver was open). He is likely to be used as a gadget player by Doug Pederson this year. Nate Sudfeld will compete for the backup job. He missed the entire 2019 season due to a wrist injury he suffered during preseason. He was a sixth-round pick out of Indiana in the 2016 draft. He has attempted just 25 passes in the NFL in four years, so it’s hard to tell what to expect from him. 2.2 Running Backs (RBs) Miles Sanders’ rookie season was a resounding success. He led all rookies with 1,327 yards from scrimmage. He carried a heavier workload as the season went on. During the first eight games, he averaged 8.3 carries per game, as opposed to 14.1 over the last nine contests (including the playoff loss to the Seahawks). Jordan Howard’s injury at midseason contributed to the increased usage of Sanders in the backfield. With Howard gone to Miami, the sky’s the limit for second-round pick out of Penn State. Darren Sproles retired and Jay Ajayi was waived. That leaves the door wide open for third-year man Boston Scott. He flashed big time last year and unquestionably passed my eye test. The 5’6’’ back is very explosive. Scott made a name for himself in Week #17 as he had to step in for Sanders who sprained an ankle in the first quarter against the Giants. Scott went on to rack up 138 total yards and three touchdowns. 2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs) This unit was decimated by injuries last year. DeSean Jackson pretty much played just one game, while Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor missed six and five games, respectively. Despite playing under his age-32 campaign, Jackson showed he still has field-stretching abilities in his lone meeting last year. He was spectacular with 8 catches for 154 yards and a couple of scores. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season very often in his career though. Jeffery is another aging receiver coming off a significant injury. He underwent Lisfranc surgery, which requires a long rehab period. He’s questionable for the start of training camp. Since two outstanding seasons in 2013 and 2014 with the Bears, Jeffery has missed four games per year on average, while showing signs of slowing down on the field as well. His 11.4 yards-per-catch average last year was a career low. To be honest, I feel like Jeffery’s time in the league is coming to an end soon. Lisfranc injuries can be tricky for wide receivers, and full recovery is even more difficult for guys above 30 years of age. Nelson Agholor was a younger WR who could have provided adequate depth, but he signed with the Raiders. The former first-rounder has not lived up to expectations, but he was still a decent pass catcher, albeit his drops were a big issue last year. Maybe a change of scenery will help rejuvenate his career. Philly drafted Jalen Reagor with the #21 pick overall last April. He’s a smallish deep threat who is at his best on straight routes. He was good with contested catches, but will it still be the case in the NFL given his size? That’s a big question mark. Reagor opened a lot of eyes by scoring eight touchdowns as a freshman with TCU after being a high recruit out of high school. He followed up with a great 72-1061-9 receiving line as a sophomore. Reagor’s numbers dropped quite a bit as a junior (43-611-5), but you can attribute that to having a freshman QB at the helm. He’s an electrifying player who can take it to the house every time he touches the ball. The competition for the number three role is also likely to involve Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. These two guys have had completely different paths before making it to the NFL. Ward went undrafted before joining the AAF. He eventually was added to the Eagles’ practice squad, and later on promoted to the 53-man roster until a depleted receiving corps forced him onto the field. Meanwhile, Arcega-Whiteside had more of a “conventional” journey by being drafted in the second-round of the 2019 draft. Such resumes would suggest Arcega-Whiteside would be the superior wideout, but that’s not what we saw on the field. He only caught 10-of-22 targets for a disappointing 45% catch rate. He was rarely targeted down the stretch, despite the numerous injuries at the position. On the other hand, Ward filled in admirably late in the season. Over the final four meetings, including the playoff game, he caught 20-of-25 targets (an 80% catch rate). He clearly deserves a shot as a top reserve for the upcoming season. 2.4 Tight Ends (TEs) The Eagles have a nice duo at the tight end position with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Ertz is a true warrior. He hasn’t missed more than two games in each of his first seven season in the league. Last year, he played with two rib fractures one week after lacerating his kidney. Talk about a tough guy. His numbers are also staggering. His lowest figures in terms of receptions and receiving yards over the past five years are 74 and 816. That’s truly remarkable! Please note that he’ll be turning 30 years old during the season. Just like Ertz, Goedert is also a former second-rounder. However, he is four years younger. He caught 58 passes for 607 yards and 5 TDs, all career-highs. He was targeted 4 times per game on average before the team’s bye week versus an average of 7.9 for the remainder of the year. Granted, injuries to other targets probably boosted his numbers, but he still developed nice chemistry with Wentz. 2.5 Offensive Line (OL) The Eagles have a heck of an offensive line. You cannot blame Jason Kelce for anything over the past five years. He hasn’t missed any start, while consistently being one of the top centers in the league. As a matter of fact, he was rated as the #1 center in the NFL according to PFF grades last year. He’s now 32 years old. Left tackle Jason Peters has been just as good as Kelce. He was nominated to nine Pro Bowls in his career and he finished as the number 6 tackle in the league with his 83.4 PFF mark. Unfortunately, the team decided to let the 38-year old hit the free agency market. EDIT: he was re-signed three days ago (this article was written several weeks ago). He is projected to play guard instead of tackle. Peters will be replaced with 2019 first-round pick, Andre Dillard. Is he ready to take on the full-time job? It remains to be seen, but it will be difficult to fill Peters’ shoes. As for Lane Johnson, the right tackle finished as the 3rd-best tackle in the league based on the PFF grading system. He’s been very good throughout his seven-year career; the former #4 overall pick has not disappointed at all! Brandon Brooks also had a huge 2019 season! He ended the year as the top guard in the NFL with a jaw-dropping 92.9 PFF mark. Much like Lane Johnson, Brooks is another player above 30 years old who’s been reliable his entire career. Left guard Isaac Seumalo started all 16 games for the first time of his career. He’s the one that received the lowest grades on this OL, but finishing 17th out of 81 guards is nothing to be ashamed of! The former third-round pick from the 2016 draft is not as talented as his colleagues, but you could do worse than having him as one of your starters. The team lost good depth with the departure of Halapoulivaati Vaitai to Detroit. The 2019 season was clearly his best year; it would have been nice to retain him but he signed a huge contract with the Lions. 2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE When comparing the upcoming 2020 season with last year, there are some positives and some negatives. Let’s discuss the negative stuff first. I do expect a downgrade on the offensive line. They played at an extremely high level last year with four guys finishing among the 6 players at their respective position (based on PFF rankings). That’s unlikely to happen again, especially with three linemen aged 30 years or above. Also, second-year man Andre Dillard has good potential, but it will be difficult to match Jason Peters’ 2019 performance. I do expect a drop-off here. At quarterback and tight end, the situation remains stable. At the running back position, losing Jordan Howard to free agency won’t hurt too much with the emergence of electrifying Boston Scott. Also, Miles Sanders is expected to take a leap in his sophomore season. Finally, how could you not expect better production from the WR group? They were hit by the injury bug a lot last year. Agholor’s departure is a moderate blow; getting DeSean Jackson back is a bonus! Hopefully, speedy rookie Jalen Reagor can provide a spark to an offense that sorely missed game breakers last year. The Eagles offense scored the 12th-highest number of points last year. My final conclusion, based on the arguments above, is that I expect similar production in 2020. Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable
3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs) Fletcher Cox is an animal. Plain and simple. Despite posting his second-lowest sack output of his illustrious eight-year career, he still graded as the 4th-best interior defenders in the NFL based on PFF rankings. On average, he has recorded 6 sacks per year (he only got 3.5 last year) He has also been very durable; he’s missed just three games out 128. He still has good years to come at age 29. Tim Jernigan was a decent starter next to Cox, but he clearly wasn’t needed on the team anymore after the Eagles signed stud DT Javon Hargrave. The former Steeler showed steady improvement in each of his first four years in the NFL. His 83.4 PFF mark last year put him in the 8th spot out of 114 DLs. With Hargrave entering his prime years and Fletcher Cox being a perennial beast, good luck running the ball inside the tackles against the Eagles in 2020. After playing three years in Indy, Hassan Ridgeway had a below-average season in his first year with the Eagles. He’s more of a rotational player, whom you hope won’t be needed as a starter. 3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED) Brandon Graham is 32 years old, but he refuses to slow down. He led the team with 8.5 sacks last year, and he has averaged six sacks over an eight-year period! The guy also finds a way to stay on the field. Can you believe he has missed a single game in eight years! He’s been consistently good and remains a force, both against the run and rushing the passer. Derek Barnett is a former first-rounder coming off a career-high in sacks with 6.5. However, his 2019 PFF grade was the lowest of his three-year stint in the NFL and he finished as the number 83 edge defender out of 107 qualifiers. He’s an “okay” player. Vinny Curry played 38% of the snaps last year, but it does not appear like he will be back with the team. At the time of writing, he was still a free agent. He did pick up five sacks last year, but teams seem reluctant to sign him because he’ll be playing his age-32 campaign. He actually played pretty well when called upon. With Curry gone, the team must hope Josh Sweat will elevate his game. The 2018 fourth-round selection posted his first four sacks of his career last year, but his 62.5 overall PFF mark ranked him as the 76th-best edge defender out of 107 guys. 3.3 Linebackers (LBs) After playing four years in Buffalo and four years in Philly, Nigel Bradham was cut by the Eagles, mainly for cap reasons. He provided average play at the LB position; he was good in coverage, but he was a liability defending the run. The team also lost Kamu Grugier-Hill, who signed with the Dolphins. You could characterize him as a decent player, albeit far from being great. That leaves the team pretty thin at the position. Nathan Gerry is the lone 2019 starter that is still with the team. He ranked as the 34th-best linebacker out of 89 players. He does not offer much upside, though. It would be stunning to see him crack the top 25 someday. Can Duke Riley and/or T.J Edwards crack the starting lineup? Neither seem to be an up-and-coming star. Riley was acquired for peanuts prior to last year and he played 35 snaps. As for Edwards, he was an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin that did well in limited time last year. He proved to be stout against the run. 3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs) Philly’s back end has been revamped for the upcoming 2020 season. The Eagles signed one of the best slot corners in the league: Nickell Robey-Coleman. He has received consistently good grades from ProFootballFocus over the past four years. At 5’8’’ he is pretty small, but you couldn’t tell from the quality of his game. He’s a nice addition. Philly also acquired Darius “Big Play” Slay, who played the first seven years of his career with the Lions. He had a down year in 2019, but I’m not worried he can rebound in a new environment. He’s been covering opponent’s top receivers for a while in this league, and he’s done a good job at it. He has 19 career interceptions. Ronald Darby’s career has been plagued with injuries recently and he was let go during the offseason. His PFF grade took an enormous drop last year, all the way from a respectable 70.6 in 2018 down to an abysmal 44.8 last year. He signed a one-year deal with the Redskins. Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox are still on the team, but neither has proven to be an impactful contributor. Both graded as very below-average corners in 2019. 3.5 Safeties (S) Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod both played the entire 2019 season. They ranked as the 32nd- and 52nd-best out of a bunch of 87 safeties. The organization and Jenkins couldn’t agree on a deal, so the Eagles had to let him go after six very successful seasons. He picked off 11 passes during his six-year stint in Philly. He signed with the Saints, with which he spent the first five seasons of his career. Even though he wasn’t getting any younger, his present will be missed. McLeod’s 2019 PFF grade was the lowest he had obtained over the past five years, but he still did a decent job. Jalen Mills will be one piece of the puzzle in replacing Jenkins. But let’s face the reality: he has been pretty awful throughout his four-year career, except 2017 where he did better. Another option will be newly acquired Will Parks, who is coming over from Denver. However, he’s clearly not a long-term solution either. He’s pretty versatile, but he’s a below-average player. 2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE This unit was upgraded quite a bit during the offseason at two positions, but it also suffered a severe downgrade at a couple others. First, acquiring Javon Hargrave to team up with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the line was big! At CB, getting Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman will provide much needed help at a position that has caused headaches for years in Philly. Unfortunately, the defense lost its best safety when Malcolm Jenkins signed with the Saints. Also, even though none of them was a true difference maker, losing linebackers Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill creates a hole. Since the team acquired some big time players while losing good/average players, I envision a small improvement. In 2019, the Eagles finished in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed per game (15th out of 32 teams). I envision Philly finishing around the #10-#13 spot this year. Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade
4. Regular Season Wins
According to sportsbooks, the Eagles are expected to win 9.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”? Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:
Use BetOnline.ag’s point spreads on all 256 regular season games.
Convert those point spreads into win probabilities.
Simulate each of the 256 games, according to those win probabilities, via the R statistical software.
Repeat the previous step one million times (you get 1M simulated seasons).
Count the proportion of seasons where the Eagles won more or less than 9.5 games.
Here are the results:
OVER 9.5 WINS
UNDER 9.5 WINS
Tip: Bet UNDER 9.5 wins Return On Investment (ROI): +13.7% Rank: 19th-highest ROI out of 32 teams Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -136 Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Eagles’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: +2 vs BAL, -10 vs CIN, -2.5 vs DAL, -4 vs LAR, 0 vs NO, -5 vs NYG, -2 vs SEA, -10.5 vs WAS.
Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020. I invite you to take a look at my other 31 NFL team previews! Good information if you are involved in fantasy football and/or if you want to be up-to-date on player movement and teams' strengths and weaknesses (for betting purposes)! Cheers, Professor MJ
Star Wars is easily the worst franchise to talk about on WhoWouldWin by far. At least with Naruto or Dragon Ball Z or One Punch Man there's some difference in the comments once in a while. But literally, and I mean literally, the replies of every single Star Wars thread, no matter the character, no matter the matchup, are exactly the same every single time without fail. Here's every Star Wars thread on WhoWouldWin ever:
Star Wars character vs. other character Round 1: Canon Round 2: Legends
Top comment with 3k+ upvotes: Star Wars character loses round 1, but in round 2 they absolutely godstomp 10/10 times they speedblitz the other character at FTL speeds and slash them seventeen thousand times in an attosecond with their lightsaber, or they use their Planetary+++ Force abilities to choke the other person to death and while they're choking them they stab them, or they make their heart stop or rip their organs out their chest with the Force in a microsecond. The other character literally can't even hit them because they're FTL and have nanosecond level precog that lets them avoid every hit ever. Palpatine can destroy planets Obi-Wan can open black holes with his mind Luke is literally a Force God who can annihilate half the galaxy with a blink LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!! Reply to that comment with 500+ upvotes: Yeah bro, this is kind of a complete and total godstomp, don't know why OP bothered posting it lol legends always wins LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!! Reply to first comment, score below threshold, hidden: Um, scans? Now, for all you people unfamiliar with Star Wars, you're probably wondering what "Legends" is. Legends is simply the official term used to refer to the old Expanded Universe content made for Star Wars, so books, comics, anything other than the movies pretty much. After buying Star Wars, Disney went and made the majority of the Expanded Universe part of its own separate non-canon continuity, meaning there's two versions of most Star Wars characters: Canon and Legends. "Star Wars Legends," or just "Legends" is used to refer to the Legends continuity as a whole. Legends, and I'm brave enough to say this, is the single most wanked series in battleboarding history. The way people talk about it, you'd think every book is a non-stop balls to the wall orgy of FTL and planet-busting feats. It's to the point where you don't have to link any scans or post any clips: just saying the words "LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO" is a bulletproof argument in and of itself. But is Legends crazy, bro? The answer is: It's fake. All of it. The feats, the preconceptions... it's all fake. I can't fucking stand Legends wank, mostly because it kills all discussion of Star Wars on versus sites. I like Star Wars quite a bit, and I'd like to see some intelligent discussion of it in my dumb, pointless hobby. But every attempt at a Star Wars thread is drowned out by the incessant drum of LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! It fucking haunts me, I close my eyes and instead of black it's just the Obi-Wan VS Kakashi Death Battle on loop. At the suggestion of my therapist, I'm fighting back. This is the beginning of a series of posts where I'm going to be debunking Legends wank I find on sites like VSBW. I decided to start with Palpatine because he's personally the character I see getting the most of it. And besides, this is gonna be my own personal Order 66 on Legends wank. So who else could be more appropriate? Onto the debunking:
The Claim: Palpatine can make planet-destroying Force Storms on a whim.
When someone mentions planet-busting Palpatine on WhoWouldWin, nine times out of ten this is what they're talking about. You usually don't get links for Legends claims, but for the power of the Force Storm ability, I usually see this one posted when its brought up. It's from a book called The Jedi Path, which is supposed to be an in-universe Jedi manual complete with notations from the characters who owned it. So the quote from Luke - "it has the power to kill worlds" - is an in-universe statement of power. So, what's Force Storm? Basically its an ability where a hyperspace wormhole is opened using the Force. It can be used to transport people across the galaxy and destroy things, which yes, includes planets according to The Jedi Path. It's a not very commonly seen Force power, first appearing in the Dark Empire comics. Palpatine creates one and uses it to do some major damage to Coruscant and the New Republic fleet. However, he ends up killing himself with the storm accidentally after Luke and Leia interrupt his connection to it. Palpatine can create Force Storms, Force Storms can destroy planets. So Palpatine's planetary. Seems pretty clean cut, right? Except, he can't create Force Storms. At least according to Tom Veitch, author of Dark Empire (which had the first appearance of the power). Third line. If you want to read the full 2016 interview, here it is. It's translated from Spanish, but the translation is very direct, at least for the relevant section. Yep, apparently Force Storms are "in fact a phenomenon that occurs rarely, when the minds of two great Force users meet and struggle with each other at a distance." Straight from the mouth of God, Palpatine can't make them of his own will. There's probably arguments you could make that he could, like Palpatine claiming he can create them of his own will in-story, but that same scan mentions him lying about how much control he has over the power, so I don't really buy his word. Some roleplaying guidebooks give him the power in his list of abilities (like if you want to play as him in the game or use him as an enemy) but I feel that's too tertiary to count. And really, it kinda makes sense he can't really pull them out all the time when you think about it. There's two sequels to Dark Empire where he's reborn again in clone bodies, and in none of the sequels does he try to use a Force Storm. Even though it would come in handy, like, a lot. In any case, if you're arguing Palpatine can make Force Storms, you're arguing against the guy that created Force Storms to begin with. I think he'd know how they work.
EDIT: Additional supporting content found.
Special thanks to GregLeagueGamingAlt for digging up another interview with Tom Veitch that backs up this other interview. (Sorry for being unnecessarily dickish to you, Greg, I was just in a bad mood) Basically, Tom reiterates what's said in the other interview, going into a bit more detail. He says that the intended mechanism behind the Force Storm in Dark Empire is the "meeting of two great minds" thing from before, with one being Luke and one being Palpy, with Palpy just being the one who can actually use the storm to his advantage. While he does say that there are other possible explanations, like Luke finding a Sith holocron or saying that the interviewer's suggestion of Palpatine maybe only stumbling across the power recently could work, the intended explanation when the comic was being published was the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation. I'd also like to mention the Force Storm's entry from the updated version of the Star Wars Encyclopedia: "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force. Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms. Emperor Palpatine claimed the ability to create and control Force storms at will. Light-side practitioners could also band together and create powerful Force storms." This backs up the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation in a few ways. First, going back to the interview, Tom implied that things were kept kind of vague about how the Force Storm works when details had to be hashed out to other publications. So that's probably why both this and the Dark Empire endnotes only say that Palpatine claimed he had the ability to create and control the storms at will. Second off, I'd like to point out the main description - "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force." Sounds a bit less like a standard Force power and more like something a bit more exceptional. The destruction of Alderaan caused a great disturbance in the Force, and that was a pretty major event. Also going back to the interview, Tom all but says he made this description up himself. Third, "Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms" seems like it could debunk the idea, unless you read it as "multiple Dark Side adepts working together could demonstrate limited control over the creation of a Force Storm," which I think is perfectly reasonable considering the next line about multiple Light-side practicioners having to band together to create one. This final line also gives canon support to the idea of multiple Force users being involved in the creation of a Force Storm. Yes, there are some sources that say he can make Force Storms of his own will, but for each of those sources there's also one that says it's a claim, and the Dark Empire endnotes prove Palpy isn't 100% trustworthy. Not to mention the other sources are, let's face it, pretty much on the level of WoG too. Just an author saying things about a story outside the context of that story. Do you take diluted, inconsistent, but published WoG from some handbooks, or do you take straight fron the source, consistent for 20 years (going off the second interview) WoG from the author of Dark Empire and creator of Force Storms himself? Personally, I'll take the latter, thanks. You can scream "WoG is fake!" until your face turns blue, I usually do too, but I feel this is consistent and not-off-the-cuff enough to count, and doesn't step on that many toes other than some guides he didn't even write published years after his own work. If you read Dark Empire with this idea in mind, you'll find pretty much everything makes perfect sense. I've also seen people bring up two things in trying to say that this couldn't possibly be true: one, that we've seen other people make Force Storms of their own power in Legends, and two, that Force Storms naturally occur on the planet Tython. The thing is, we haven't. The only other uses of Force Storm needed an incredibly powerful, magic, sentient staff that absorbs large amounts of Force to pull off, which actually supports the idea that Sith need an external force or push to be able to make a Force Storm, and the "Force storm" on the planet Tython is actually a different thing with the same name. In any case, I really don't think Force Storms matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Once again, Palpatine doesn't whip these out all the time, and its already been established that it's dubious he's completely making them of his own power, taking into account consistent Word of God, multiple sources saying he only claims he can make them of his own power, and a canon basis for it taking multiple Force users to make one. He'd probably end up killing himself if he tried to make one in a fight, and there's no other evidence to suggest that he has planet-level power anyway other than this one power in this one series that the primary author has said he can't really even do. Besides, it's not like the power for the Force Storm comes from Palpatine even if you believe (against the author of Dark Empire and creator of the power) that he can make them at a snap of his fingers. If you ignore Veitch's definition of the power, then we're left with stuff like Palpatine's descriptions to go off of, and he explicitly says in both the endnotes and audiobook that the Force Storm utilizes external energy. As I've said, I find his word iffy, but The Jedi Path also calls the Force Storm "pure natural energy," and the previously mentioned magical staff relies on absorbing external energy to create a Force Storm. Once again, even ignoring Veitch's words, it's consistent that it's external energy being used. So if you're trying to do a VSBW thing where "using the Force Storms means he has planetary power which he can harness in his other Force attacks," no. Finally, I'd like to debunk the idea that Palpatine created multiple Force Storms at once in Dark Empire. Post's too big to fit it, so read it here. To TL;DR it all, there's solid WoG backed up by canon evidence that says Palpy can't make Force Storms, and even if you throw that WoG out, Force Storms aren't applicable in most matchups since Palpy would almost certainly kill himself with one in a 1v1 fight because they're fucking massive and he hasn't shown full control over them. His other Force abilities don't scale to Force Storms either.
Updated Verdict: No, he still probably can't on his own, and if he can, they're still not particularly combat applicable and you can't scale his other Force powers to them.
The Claim: Palpatine is a SOLAR SYSTEM BUSTER!
This next thing I'm talking about comes from a novel called Darth Plagueis. This is the book your Legends fan friend wont shut up about. Basically, the prologue has a highly poetically worded scene describing Palpatine's feelings after killing his master. Some of it has been misinterpreted as actually happening in the context of the story. Here's the scene. I don't really know what else to say here, it's not actually happening. It's just a flowery description of how Palpatine feels, it's not literally going on. This was spread on VSBW as proof of Palpatine being planet/stasolar system level, I'm assuming because of these parts:
A tremor took hold of the planet. Sprung from death, it unleashed itself in a powerful wave, at once burrowing deep into the world’s core and radiating through its saccharine atmosphere to shake the stars themselves. At the quake’s epicenter stood Sidious, one elegant hand vised on the burnished sill of an expansive translucency, a vessel filled suddenly to bursting, the Force so strong within him that he feared he might disappear into it, never to return. But the moment didn’t constitute an ending so much as a true beginning, long overdue; it was less a transformation than an intensification—a gravitic shift. A welter of voices, near and far, present and from eons past, drowned his thoughts. Raised in praise, the voices proclaimed his reign and cheered the inauguration of a new order. Yellow eyes lifted to the night sky, he saw the trembling stars flare, and in the depth of his being he felt the power of the dark side anoint him. Slowly, almost reluctantly, he came back to himself, his gaze settling on his manicured hands. Returned to the present, he took note of his rapid breathing, while behind him the room labored to restore order.
His eyes sought and found an ascending constellation of stars, one of power and consequence new to the sky, though soon to be overwhelmed by dawn’s first light. Low in the sky over the flatlands, visible only to those who knew where and how to look, it ushered in a bold future. To some the stars and planets might seem to be moving as ever, destined to align in configurations calculated long before their fiery births. But in fact the heavens had been perturbed, tugged by dark matter into novel alignments. In his mouth, Sidious tasted the tang of blood; in his chest, he felt the monster rising, emerging from shadowy depths and contorting his aspect into something fearsome just short of revealing itself to the world.
Yeah, this is just... again, it's not actually happening. I could go on and say what each line represents about what Palpatine's currently feeling and how its clearly just a reflection of his emotions, but I don't have to. All I have to do is flip over to the last chapter of the book, which describes the same scene with a whole lot less flair. For anyone who wants to make the argument that at least the quake happened because the text I linked mentions overturned furniture, it was overturned in the fight between Palpatine and Plagueis. Not by any Force earthquake. So, yeah. It's just in Palpy's head after he kills his master. Not literal.
Verdict: Learn reading comprehension.
The Claim: Palpatine is 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light.
Of all the Star Wars stats, speed is the fuckiest of all. That's because the main projectile of the series, blaster bolts, are incredibly vague in terms of speed. The movies usually show them as like, Nerf dart to baseball speed, while the novels go as high as calling them lightspeed (they're obviously not, but that's for another post). Since pretty much all speed feats that would involve gunfire in other series instead involve blaster fire, it makes things really annoying to pin down, as well as open to dipshit amounts of wank. If you open up Palpatine's VSBW page, he's given a speed ranking of "MFTL+," thanks to incestuous scaling, taking blaster bolts as lightspeed due to like 7 dubious statements across 381 books, and a calc of the time his Sith spirit moved across the galaxy to inhabit a new clone body. The calc specifically puts him at 34,292c, or over 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light. Star Wars characters are fast, guise! Alright, let me try to explain why this is dumb. First off, why would the speed of Palpatine's spirit be equal to his speed in a mortal body? It's not like he can like, fucking fly through space like his spirit presumably can. I'm also going to guess his spirit weighs less, but, that's straying into dumb territory. To summarize this point: I don't see why Palpatine would be as fast as his disembodied consciousness, and I think it's kinda weird and dumb to assume so. Second off, here's a few lines of text I want to take a closer look at.
He had spent over a year disembodied, formless, drifting through the maddening void of the Dark Side. He had never foreseen having to transport his spirit so far across space. He had nearly dispersed forever, but he had survived, and now need never fear death again.
According to the Dark Empire Sourcebook, Palpatine traveled "through the maddening void of the Dark Side." Sounds a little different than traveling through actual space.
But in that moment, when flashing blue energy rushed from exploded flesh, the Emperor entered a bodiless transitional state. As conscious Dark Force he was translated across the Galaxy...
According to the Dark Empire Endnotes, he was "translated across the galaxy" as "conscious Dark Force," which again, sounds a little different from traveling the distance in real space as a ghost. There's other stuff like this too. Personally, I think there is far too much weirdness around this "feat" to count it as some sort of actual indication of Palpatine's speed. Force users generally don't seem this fast in the majority of Star Wars media anyway. Just as a note, Vitiate also has a feat that's pretty much the exact same as this one, and wrong for the exact same reasons.
The Claim: Palpatine scales to other Sith Lords who have CRAZY feats, bro!!1!!!
So, Palpy can't summon planet-destroying Force Storms whenever he pleases, rearrange stars with his own power, or move faster than the speed of light. But, I hear the people scream, what about scaling!?! Palpatine is routinely called the strongest Dark Side user in history, so he should scale to all previous Sith Lords and such, right? I can actually buy that, yes. There's tons of statements backing up Sheev as pretty much the ultimate Dark Side user, so I think it's reasonable enough to assume he can match his predecessors. So, lets look at all the high end Dark Side stuff I could dig up, and why it's all either fake or not really something you should scale Sidious to. Most of this stuff I found on VSBW. I might be missing one or two things, but honestly, they're probably just fake too.. If you're wondering about the absence of Vitiate and Nihilus, this is going to be a multi-post series, and I'm thinking KOTOR will just get its entire own post. That being said, most of Vitiate's stuff is rituals, which I think Palpatine could replicate but wouldn't really be able to in a standard matchup, and I think Nihilus's status as a wound in the Force explains his unique attributes, and as such I'm not really sure if Palpatine could replicate the things he does. I haven't really done much of the research in that department yet, though, so it's entirely possible I'm wrong.
Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress (and a Triceratops Jedi named Thon)
Jerec is a Miraluka Dark Jedi most famous for his appearance in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, a classic game starring the fan favorite Kyle Katarn. The Valley of the Jedi is a location of great power that plays an important part in the plot of the game. According to Qu Rahn, a Jedi Master, if Jerec gets his hands on the power in the Valley of the Jedi, he'll be strong enough to trigger supernovas and wipe out entire star systems.
So, what exactly is the Valley of the Jedi? Well, the backstory is that there was a war between Jedi and Sith there that culminated in the use of an ancient ritual which killed thousands of Jedi and Sith alike and trapped their souls in the valley. A temple was built there and the place became an incredibly powerful Force nexus. With all that laid out - remind me why VSBW says Palpatine should scale to this? It's a guy drawing power from the spirits of literally thousands of Force users. There's a ton of statements saying Palpatine is above all other Sith, but I don't really think that includes when they're being amped by the souls of countless other Force users. I feel this is pretty easy to throw out for that reason. I've seen some reasoning tossed around to try and support this scaling. Namely, that it took the power of Every Jedi Literally Ever to keep Palpatine from rising as a spirit again and just taking some new body in the last Dark Empire series. Except, it really didn't? It took fucking Chex Quest here to put him down. Read the scene for yourself. The wording here isn't "ugh, he's so powerful I need all the other Jedis help to keep him from rising again, Palpatine is literally stronger than every Jedi ever combined put together," it's "me, and the Force, and the other Jedi will keep him from reviving." The New Essential Chronology doesn't even bother to mention the other Jedi spirits, most sources give the credit to Chex Quest, and I think it's really sketchy to try and justify scaling Palpatine to a guy being amped by thousands of Force user spirits because his own spirit was pulled down by a Chex Quest guy and kept down with the assistance of other Jedi spirits and the Force itself too. We're getting into the same territory as Triceratops Jedi putting Sith spirits created by centuries of work in a lake here, there's just too much nonsense going on to get anything out of it. Anyways, TL;DR: Palpatine shouldn't scale to this. I can buy him scaling off of other Sith Lords, but not when they're being empowered by literally thousands of other Force users.
These two are different, but I'm lumping them together because the reasoning is the same. Wutzek is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one comic book (and a canceled novella). The World Razer is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one mission in an MMO (and a canceled novella). I'll talk about Wutzek first. Basically, he shows up in one weird UK story of the classic Star Wars comics. He's introduced as a bunch of glowing lights encased in a glass thingy. According to this weirdo that captured the crew of the Falcon, he's a "demon, a Force creature of unimaginable power." It's believed his kind owned the universe long ago. In the comic, there's a statement of Wutzek's power that puts him at like, planet or solar system. Though the most we see him do is incinerate some people and blow up a ship, then grow big and fly off. Next up, World Razer. Almost is nothing is known about this guy, even in universe. Here's his codex entry from the Old Republic game.
"Almost nothing is known of the ancient being known as the World Razer. No one has seen or spoken to the creature for thousands of years; the Rakata’s cryptic warnings suggest the World Razer is Belsavis’s oldest prisoner, and that the prison was first constructed to hold the terrible entity whose hunger consumed a thousand worlds. According to the Rakata inscriptions in the Tomb, it took the combined might of the Infinite Empire to subdue the World Razer, and an entire planet to contain its fury. If such a creature were ever released, its rage might very well shatter the galaxy."
Wow. "Shatter the galaxy?" Clearly this thing is galaxy level! Or... y'know, it's just fancy language describing how it could destroy the galaxy over a large span of time. That's at least the impression that I get from this one quote from the World Razer. Other in-game dialogue suggests the World Razer can destroy planets and stars as well. Sidenote: There's an infamous speed calc made off this statement which assumes a literal timeframe of one day based on what this character says about it happening "tomorrow." The character uses the word "yesterday" in the same scene to talk about something that happened a while in the past, so it's probably not literally being used to refer to one day. Sometimes the word "tomorrow" is used to refer to just the future in general, y'know, like how sometimes Superman is called "the Man of Tomorrow." Or, "Tomorrowland." If you look on dictionary.com, it's literally the second definition of the word. God, I have to explain words now, fuck Star Wars wank dude this is what it does to you. Moving on. Here's the thing about these guys: we know next to nothing about them. For fuck's sake, we don't even see the World Razer, even its in-game codex starts off with "almost nothing is known about this thing." Wutzek we know almost even less about, he's just apparently some Force demon from the beginning of the universe. Why is Palpatine getting scaled to these things? They're incredibly vague, ancient powers that definitely seem to be above any Force user we've seen. Are we really getting to the point where we're saying the main villain of the franchise is equal in power to two incredibly vague characters with one appearance each, for the sole reason of "they exist in the same universe?" This is just so stupid, and in my opinion, not legitimate in the slightest. About that canceled novella I mentioned: it confirms both of these guys as like, both being ancient Force gods. If the book was published, that'd be pretty solid evidence against Palpy scaling.
Update: This wasn't in the original version of the post. I found it afterwards, and I decided to add it in. I didn't think it was worthy of its entire own post. Did you ever hear about the multi-continental feat of Darth Plagueis The Wise? I thought not. Because it's fake as shit. This text comes from the Darth Plagueis novel I mentioned earlier:
Later it would be said by Naboo and Gungan alike that they couldn’t recall a colder winter than the one that followed Hego Damask’s autumnal visit to their world. The rivers and even the falls below Theed froze; the rolling plains and tall forests were blanketed three meters deep with snow; plasmic quakes rocked the Gallo Mountains and the Lake Country, the Holy Places and the undersea city of Otoh Gunga; and many of the egresses of the underwaterways that hollowed the planet were blocked by ice floes.
This one isn't serious, I just wanted to share this cause I think it's really fucking funny. One time when a VSBW person came on a server I was on, they were trying to argue planetary Star Wars with this. "Bane's world-crushing strategy!" Why are you so goddamn desperate? It's a fucking cropped book blurb or something, shut up. I don't know what this scan is particularly from, but its referring to something he's doing as a general, not Bane literally crushing a planet with the Force, Jesus Christ. This is 90% of Legends wank, just nonsense taken out of context, then completely and almost willingly misinterpreted. I swear, there's a single shriveled-up little brain cell being passed around at VSBW like the Fates from Hercules.
Verdict: Either the feats are fake or he doesn't scale.
So, after all that, I bet you're wondering how strong Sidious actually is then. The answer is: fuck if I know. Do you know how many goddamn Legends books and comics there are that he's in? I didn't read that all for this thread, but I can tell you this: he sure as shit isn't planetary or fucking solar system level. If there was actually a single, solid planet busting feat for him, or any other Force user you can scale others to, you'd see it paraded around every versus forum until the heat death of the universe. But guess what? There isn't. That's why you only ever see shit like Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress taking centuries to ruin a planet's surface or Yarael Poof and his non-feat being brought up. Speaking of that fucking long-necked bastard, I'm retconning this old post I made about him into the first episode of this series. Go read it if you're wondering about the infamous "Yarael Poof holding back a planetary explosion" feat, or re-read it if you want to see me address a defense I found, I added a new part to it. Gotta say though, making this post kinda made me want to go through and make an actually comprehensive Legends Palpatine respect thread. The one on the Respect Threads subreddit is pretty laughable, since it's literally just a segment of the "Force powers" section of his Wookieepedia article with added commentary. All the other ones I can find are pretty dogshit too. So maybe I'll put that out sometime, I don't know. Oh yeah, one last thing. If you're wondering about other characters you think Palpatine should scale to, like Legends Luke (everything you think you know about him is lies), Vitiate and Nihilus (explained above), and Abeloth (I haven't read any Abeloth stuff but it's probably all fake too, given Legends's track record), they're getting their own posts in the future. This post is specifically about Palpatine and C-list Sith stuff.
As this is a language of tastes and strands of DNA analog names cannot be written phonetically and are instead replaced with a human name or Earth analog in [brackets]. Span: The diameter of an average [Gaian] = 0.94mm, Kilospan = 0.94m. Beat: The amount of time it takes an average [Gaian] to move their cilia = 0.064s, kilobeat = 1min 4s. Work Cycle: 10 kilobeats. Equivalent to around 15 hours on their time scale Day: Day length on [Gaia] = 28h 16min. Equivalent to around 3 months on their time scale. Year: Year length on [Gaia] = 224.4 days = 264.3 Earth days. [First] [Previous] [Next] Director Townsend combed through the pile of reports in his inbox carefully, most of them were on the drone project. It was a massive stroke of luck that his facility was the one that was closest to where the drones had been captured, some components were going to be shipped to other labs soon, but at the moment his lab had a head start on any research coming out of these things. While his name won’t be on any of the papers, having them come from his lab was still something. Though there was also the risk of the unknown and active cyborg technology getting loose or self-destructing. The higher ups would not be pleased if his lab ruined their only samples. So far, the physicists were having little luck disassembling the device the drones had been found with. The drone dissection team was having a little more progress, though so far they were mostly just confirming data that had already been gathered from the first crushed drone. The ineffectualness of the comm jammers when the agents were capturing these things was still a worryingly open question. Oh well, its a bit optimistic to hope we would make much progress on the first day. He thought ruefully. He made his way down to the latest report from the dissection team, noting that there was a considerable pause between it and their last report. He clicked it open and as he read his bushy grey eyebrows rose steadily higher up his forehead. When he finished he sat back and stared at the far wall blankly for a few moments. …shit it really is aliens. Or at least the things are claiming to be from aliens. Jesus, if they are telling the truth this is an even bigger issue than we thought. He read the report again and started making calls. Alison was in the middle of explaining that the phase “we can fix that” can apply to metaphorical concepts like widespread fear when a knock on the lab’s outer door interrupted them. Carl went through the signal blocking pair of doors and had a brief conversation with the person outside. He walked back in looking thoughtful. “The director just read our report and is sending in some language experts, they should be here in a few hours. He called NASA too and they are wanting more data about the spaceship they’re looking for. I just gave the messenger our updated report about tiny things inside the wasps beingthe aliens, so that might cause some ruckus as well.” Alison glanced over at the cage. “Did you understand that?” She asked, testing their vocabulary. “Affirmative. Minor. Highly.” The wasp at the front of the cage replied. “What did you understand?” “Read. Arriving. Language. Desire. Information. Vessel. Message. Small. Inside.” “Yeah that’s pretty scattered. I’ll explain, it was multiple messages. The first was saying other people who have knowledge about languages are coming to help you communicate with us soon. The second was saying people are desiring more information about your vacuum ship, and the third message was that we told our decision maker that you are naturally evolved not made.” The bug stopped looking around at the ceiling and turned to face her again briefly. “Understood. Request. Vessel. Information.” Alison smiled. They are so ADHD. Or maybe they are trying to find escape routes. I’m glad they followed that explanation though regardless. “How large is your vacuum ship.” She asked, figuring that was a good place to start off. The bugs paused for a moment before the one up front held out two front legs around a millimeter apart. “Single. Length. Unit.” It said, gesturing at the two legs with a third limb. Alison nodded. “Understood. How many standard length units long is your ship?” She asked, as David zoomed in a camera to get a close up shot of the bug’s gesture. They hissed at each other for a moment before the bug replied “Lack. Knowledge. Numbers.” Alison sighed and began explaining base ten counting systems and the words involved. At this point most of her coworkers had returned to their various jobs examining the dead wasps and let Alison take the lead on the communication attempts, as her original job of studying the “drones’” computers was kind of out the window. I guess I’m not the worst of us have this job. Given all the behavior and computing capacity tests I was planning I’m probably the closest thing we have to an interrogator at the moment She thought wryly as she finished her short lecture. “Did you understand that?” She asked. “Eve! Wake up. It stopped talking.” Frank sent. Eve jerked out of the light doze she had fallen into. “Huh, what? Oh, yeah falling asleep in front of it during a lecture probably isn’t good.” She said, remembering the long kilobeats she had just spent trying to look like she was paying attention, it had been talking for ages. “Did anyone follow what it was saying?” She sent sleepily, the last she remembered it was drawing dots and symbols on one of its big glowing screens and saying something about places. “Yeah, we think those squiggles it was drawing under the clumps of dots are symbols for different numbers. They kind of match some of the symbols we have seen on the phone too, so that’s interesting. Anyway, it seems that it uses a system of displaying number in multiples of ten by grouping symbols next to each other. It’s pretty straight forward, though annoyingly it’s sound language messes things up. As best I can tell, they having different words for each grouping, so you need to learn a new word to say a larger type of number. Why not just say the names of each symbol making up the number?” [Frank] trailed off grumbling. [Walter] [sighed] and sent over [Frank] “Regardless, we think we know enough to use the symbol numbers at least. I still think we should have just sent them 330 [beeps]. That would have taken way less time.” “This will be faster in the long run.” [Eve] replied. “…I hope. How complex are the symbol numbers?” “I think we can show the length in just three symbols, so it’s not that bad.” [Frank] sent. “The vison-based version is actually logical…” “Alright, we get it, you don’t like the sound version. Let’s just answer the question already.” [Erin] snapped. Nerves were beginning to wear thin after nearly a tenth day stuck in this bare glass room. “Alright, alright, help me grab the interface tool.” Alison watched excitedly as the aliens began moving their little stylus on their phone again. They drew a crude 3 and then the radio let out three short tones. Ah good, checking their work I guess. “Three, yes.” She replied. They then drew another 3 next to the first and the radio let out a rapid squeal of beeps. “Err, I can’t count that fast.” Alison muttered as she played back the signal a few times slower. There were 33 beeps. She grinned. “Thirty-three, yes.” The drones then added a zero at the end and Alison rushed to count the slightly slower stream of beeps that the radio spat out. 330, they seem to have gotten it She thought with some relief after she finally finished counting. The bug up front was looking bored again. I really should try and tell them apart better; I might need to add some colored dots on them or something. Oh shit, they might have names, we never introduced ourselves. I’ll have to do that after this. “Three hundred and thirty, yes.” She replied, putting those thoughts out of her mind for the moment. The bugs carried the stylus away from the screen, thankfully not adding another digit. One of the ones standing near the phone flew onto the screen and pointed at the number. “Vessel. Unit. Lengths. Numbers.” The radio said, Alison wasn’t sure if it was the alien on the phone or the one up front speaking, they all used the same voice. “That’s the length of your vacuum ship in the units you showed us?” Alison checked. “Yes.” “Huh, so about this big?” She said, spreading her hands a third of a meter apart. “That’s pretty small.” “You. Large.” “…fair enough.” Alison said, noting the dimension down. “Is that the ship you used to travel between stars?” “Yes.” How the hell did they go interstellar in something the size of a football? She thought, shaking her head. Something for the actual interrogators to ask. “You drew the ship as an oval, is that roughly its shape?” She said, looking back up at the wasp in the front of the cage. “Word. Oval.” She drew a quick oval on her tablet. “That’s an oval.” “Vessel.” “No, I mean the shape, not what its representing.” “Symbol. Named. Query.” “Yes, we have names for different symbols.” “What. Symbol. Mean.” “It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a type of shape.” “Understood. Type. Form. Not. Symbol.” “Err, yes. Anyway, your ship is oval shaped?” “Not. Flat.” She sighed and tried gesturing with her hands to outline a 3d ovoid “Like this? A not flat oval?” The wasps paused and watched her hand motions for a bit before replying. “Yes.” Alison dropped the charades and grabbed her sketch again, drawing length and width lines around the craft. “Ok, so its three hundred and 30 units long, how wide is it?” She said, waving her stylus from one side of the drawing to the other. The creatures wrote 104 on their phone. “Unit. Lengths.” The radio finished. “Ok, what is the ship made of?” The wasps seemed to struggle for words for a bit before one of the drones grabbed one of the chips of plastic scattered around where they had been sawing on the phone. It gestured towards the fleck. “Minor. Link.” “Slightly similar? Comparable?” “Yes.” Alison wrote down ‘Some sort of polymer.’ She then quickly sketched the scene of the ship between Earth and the Moon. “Anything more you can tell us about the ship’s location?” She asked, pointing to the rather vague drawing. “No. Ship. Move.” “But it moves around in this area?” “Many. Do. Yes.” “Oh! So there are several here? How many?” The wasps froze and hissed at each other again briefly. They then wrote 38. That’s not suspicious at all. Alison thought, noting the pause. “Are you lying?” She asked, squinting at them. They flinched. “No. Considered. Found. Negative.” “Say again?” The little bug up front twitched with annoyance. “Considered. Lying. Decided. Not.” Hmm, I’m not sure if them admitting that makes me trust them more or less Alison thought, making a note of the incident. “Is there anything else about one of your ships that would help us locate them?” “No.” “Ok. I’ll send this to my decision makers now.” She said, stepping out of the lab briefly to feed a paper copy of her report to a scanner outside. This seems kind of over kill given they don’t seem to be classic computers at all, but they could still have some computers on board their little wasp vehicles, or they could just be good hackers. Cyberweapons could still be an issue. Alison mused as she walked back in. She stood looking at the cage awkwardly for a moment, wondering what to ask next. They look pretty pathetic in there; we need to get an actual habitat or something set up for them if we plan on questioning them for long. Oh right, I still haven’t done introductions. She cleared her throat. “I am sorry, I haven’t told you my name, I am Alison. Do you have names?” “Yes. Not. Sound.” “Your name is Not Sound?” “No. Name. Not. Word. Scent. Memory.” “Oh. So not speakable then?” “Yes.” “That is a shame. I would have liked to know them. You are multiple individuals, right?” The wasp up front tilted its head slightly. “Query.” “Different minds.” “Yes. You. Query.” “Yes, I am an individual too.” “You. Many.” “What do you mean?” “Many. Small. Life.” “Oh, cells. Yeah, I have lots of cells. I still only have one mind though.” “Confirmed. Idea.” “You were wondering about that? I guess we are pretty alien to you. Are you not made of multiple cells?” “One. Creature. Yes.” A biologist would have a million questions right now. Alison bet. “Hey Carl!, I think you’ll like this.” She yelled to her coworker on the other side of the lab room. He glanced up from a scan of one of the wasp’s legs and hurried over. “What is it?” “I figured you’d like to know our guests here are unicellular.” He blinked. “That’s…interesting. It fits what we saw when that one was crawling around. How the heck to they think though?” “Memory. Chain. Folding.” The radio hissed. “That isn’t very helpful.” Carl muttered. Two wasps grabbed their stylus again and drew a triple helix shape. “Memory.” The radio said. Carl peered closer. “…that looks like the triple stranded DNA analog we found in the wasps’ nerve cells. Interesting, they encode memories into their genome?” “Word. Genome.” “Err, data storage for replication.” “Similar. Type.” “Fascinating. I really wish I could get a good scan of one of them but that might hurt them. How tolerant of ionizing radiation are you?” Carl asked. “Word. Ionizing.” “Rips electrons, small charged matter pieces, from atoms, um, small matter building blocks.” “Large. Bad.” The wasp up front opened up its head, and a tiny shimmering ball oozed out. Alison zoomed in with one of the cameras and watched as it formed several limbs and began flicking them around just above itself. Alison frowned with confusion until she noticed the faint shimmering on its body was actually not on its surface at all, it was coming from a faint translucent sphere englobing the creature. The alien was gesturing at it. “Need. Shield. On. Surface.” The radio hissed. “Star. Power. Hurt. Forget. Insane. Die.” The creature slid back into its case again and the wasp shuddered back to life. “…ok, important note, X-rays are off the table.” Carl said worriedly as he jotted down a report on his tablet. “You said you need those shields on the surface, do you normally live under ground?” “Under. Water.” “Ah. Do you need those shields when in your flying bodies?” He asked. “No.” “How long can you stay in those things?” “Many. Day.” “How many?” “Err, I don’t know? It should be largely indefinite right?” Asked [Frank]. “The life support systems are only rated for around 4 days of total use. Indefinite for most practical purposes, though it wasn’t expected for us to be using them nonstop like this.” [Walter] sent softly. “At the rate this questioning is going they might actually keep us for that long. Heck, that would only feel like half a tenth day to them. And that’s assuming they are planning on letting us go at all.” [Erin] replied grimly. “Maybe that would be a good bargaining chip into letting us go? There is no point in keeping us longer if we will just starve.” [Eve] wondered. “I mean, they could just be planning on killing us when they are done. They might not want us reporting back to the fleet.” [Walter] pointed out. “Important questions.” [Eve] sent. “Lets ask them quickly.” The wasps drew a 4 on the tablet, Carl and Alison shared worried looks. “That won’t give us much time at all.” He said. The radio hissed “Time. Limited. Vessel. Return. Query.” Alison grimaced. “That depends a lot on how communications with your ships go. If they run away or attack then we won’t be able to send you back. How do you think your people will respond to us contacting them? Or will they contact us soon? They must know you are missing.” “Decision. Makers. Know. Self. Gone. Long. Time. Think. Dead. Highly.” “Hmm, will they be willing to talk if we contact them and show them that you are still alive?” “Possible.” “What would their reaction likely be?” “Fear. Curiosity.” “We can work with the latter. Is their understanding of this language similar to yours?” “Yes. Same.” “OK, we might want to improve yours more first so you can act as translators. We wouldn’t want a misunderstanding with them.” “How. Long.” “Depends on how fast your translator improves, I’ve already noticed some improvement.” “Interaction. You. Confirmation. Assists.” “That’s good, some language teachers should be arriving in a few hours and they should be even better at that.” “Word. Hours.” “One 24th of a day.” Alison said, writing the numbers out on her tablet. “Long. Time.” “Yeah, your craft running out in a few days is a worrying time constraint. We might have to work out a way of synthesizing the stuff you need. What is it that will run out in 4 days?” “Food. Machine. Fail.” “Could you give us a sample of your food?” “Do we really want to give them the ability to keep us here forever?” [Walter] asked. “Beats starving to death if the deeper downs do something stupid.” [Erin] replied. “Maybe we should wait until we know that has happened first. Getting rid of that leverage should be our last resort.” “Come on [Walter], they are slow, it might take them days to get a synthesizer running. Besides, we could still threaten to kill ourselves if they refuse to let us go.” [Erin] pointed out, gesturing at him with an antenna. “That’s a bit bright, but fine I get your point.” [Walter] [sighed]. “I guess I’ll give them the sample then.” Said [Frank] “You already have way too much exposure time [Eve].” “Fine by me.” She replied. “I feel no great need to make myself feel even more exposed again.” “Yes. Give. Where.” Alison pointed to the back wall of the cage where the hatches were set and then went into the back room where they were operated. The room was an organized mess of various boxes full of testing materials that had been hastily cobbled together when they had heard about the wasps being caught and sent here this morning. On the near wall was an array of small hatches and the mechanical levers that opened them. She pulled a lever that operated the inner door for the smallest of the four hatches, and waited a few moments until Carl told her a wasp had gone in and out. She then closed the inner door and opened the outer one on the little airlock like chamber. Looking inside she didn’t see anything at first, until she spotted a dark mote of dust sitting in the center of the cubby. Being careful not to blow it away she scooped it up with the tip of a scalpel and deposited it into a sample vial. She walked back to Carl and passed it to him, he squinted at it confused for a moment. “I’m pretty sure the little speck in there is the sample they gave us.” Alison said “Or it might be a mote of dust, I can’t really tell.” “I’ll go check with the microscope.” Carl muttered as he headed back over to his work station. A couple of moments later he yelled over his shoulder “Yeah this was it. It’s actually a tiny plastic bottle, looks like it was made with a bit of the plastic from the phone case. I’m going to need some really good tweezers to get this open.” Alison left him to his work and turned back to the cage. “After food is there anything else you will need?” “More. Cage. Swim.” “Yeah, that box was meant just for a few tests, not long-term habitation. What kind of habitat do you need?” “An apartment would be nice but somehow I’m guessing they don’t have a standard sized building laying around.” [Frank] muttered. “A water tank and a plastic block with some holes punched in it shouldn’t be too hard for them to make, and would give us at least some crude “rooms” to relax in out of sight.” [Eve] sent, along with a mental image. “Hmm, yeah. And if we specified a soft material it wouldn’t be too hard for us to just carve out rooms ourselves. There wouldn’t be any appliances in them or anything, but it beats swimming around an empty tank or just sitting in our craft for tenth days on end.” Another engineer agreed. “OK, let’s draw this out on the device.” Alison spent a few minutes copying several sketches for what amounted to tiny fish tank decorations, mostly some minuscule blocks of plastic and wood with various nooks carved into them. Security will probably want to go over all of this to make sure that they couldn’t make anything dangerous out of it but so far it seems pretty innocuous. “Alright, what water conditions do you need? Do you need salt water?” “Word. Salt.” “It’s a mineral made of…ok let me get a periodic table. I figure you guys know about atoms and stuff, right?” “Matter. Building. Blocks. Yes. Very.” “Good, let me just give you our words for them then.” [Walter] and [Erin] watched the giant’s slow lecture with bemusement. “I’m no chemist but they seem to have a decent grasp of the basics.” [Walter] remarked as the creature above them slowly blinked and one of its fingers continued its gradual progression towards the next label on the chart it was holding. “It didn’t mention quarks at all so they don’t seem to have gotten that far.” One of the fabricators replied. “True, though it seems to be trying to keep things short, thank the depths. Its only describing how they categorize different elements and isotopes, that just requires mentioning protons and neutrons.” [Walter] replied. “Also, look at how many elements they have on that chart, they must have some transuranic elements on there. I wonder how they got samples of those; you need to be pretty close to a super nova to get those.” “They use radioactive materials for power, they can briefly make supernova like conditions.” [Erin] pointed out. “Lovely thought.” [Walter] sent. That would be an interesting question to talk to the creature (err… Alison) about, but it taking a kilobeat to answer puts a damper on things. The creature eventually finished explaining the labeling system for the chart it was holding up, and pointed to elements 11 and 17 which it then called “Sodium” and “Chlorine”. It then drew a pair of circles next to each other with a dashed line in between. It labeled one circle 11 and the other 17. It tapped the drawing and said an unknown word, [Walter] figured it probably meant “ionic bond”. The creature did some more scribbling and then showed two smaller circles with 1’s in them linked to a bigger circle labeled 8. The smaller circles were linked to the bigger one with solid lines. It then drew a copy of that molecule next to the first and showed them being linked together with a dotted line. It then pointed to each type of line and named them. “Hmm, that’s clearly a pair of water molecule given the elements in them, I think it’s showing us how to draw different bonding types.” [Frank] sent. The thing began opening its mouth and the team waited a few hundred beats for it to speak. “Provide” “Many-atom” “Types” “In” “Water” “I think it wants us to list the minerals the tank water will need.” [Eve] sent. “That makes sense. Ugg, that’s going to take awhile to draw. Let’s get started on it then.” [Erin] grumbled as she flew over to the stylus again. The team spent a few kilobeats listing the components and concentrations of standard hab water. Alison finished noting down the materials list, it was pretty short, just water with a few trace minerals to keep osmosis in check. She didn’t know enough about fish tanks to know if the oxygen concentration listed was normal or not though. “OK, this all looks like stuff we can get. I’ll submit a request for this stuff to the director.” She said, walking out of the lab again. While she was waiting for the scanner in the hall to finish, she turned to the bored looking intern sitting nearby. “Any word about how the director is handling this?” She asked the messenger. “Nothing worth interrupting you guys.” He said, flicking through the messages on his computer. “Some notices to other departments about requesting equipment to studying that lifting machine, not much progress on that still. Some proposals to try getting your aliens to turn it on for us, though security is vetoing that idea at the moment. The director is in talks with the FBI about moving those things to a different facility, it’s kind of a clusterfuck at the moment. The government doesn’t really know what they want to do with the things.” Alison let out a breath “Yeah no kidding, I don’t think anyone has a plan for dealing with captive sentient amoebas. I think we might have to return them to their ship soon, their life support will supposedly run out in a few days. Any word on finding their ships?” “NASA is working on it right now.” Henry glared at the radar data again for the millionth time before starting slightly as his phone rang with his boss’s number. He worriedly grabbed it. “Hel-“ “DC called a few minutes ago. They are asking about any signs of small ovoid spacecraft in between the Earth and the Moon. The anomalies you are checking might not be an instrument error after all.” His boss said breathlessly. Henry blinked. “Umm, how big of a spacecraft are we talking here? The data is showing a football sized body zipping around. Are these some microsats they are trying to locate? There is no way they could have the fuel for the maneuvers this thing would supposedly be pulling.” “That matches what they described. They asked for 32 cm by 10 cm sized ovoids. The radar signatures you sent me last night are consistent with a rotating ovoid, and accelerating like that definitely rules out a natural body.” “It also rules out an unnatural body. The blip changed trajectories like crazy, the g’s those maneuvers would produce is absurd. It’s clearly an instrument glitch.” “On both the radar system and the thermal telescope?” His boss asked pointedly. Henry sighed. “Fine, if they want to double check it themselves they can be my guest. I’ll send the files over now.” Director Townsend had been juggling phone calls all afternoon thanks to this alien issue. The linguists and questioners the NSA was sending over were going to arrive any minute now, and there was talk of them leaving with the creatures. “Yes sir, I realize this is a matter of national security, in fact I would go so far as to say it’s a matter of international security. But we are currently one of the more secure locations to house these creatures, and we need to keep studying them. This is an alien species for crying out loud, the place we need them is in a lab. We don’t even know what they eat yet, we need to do more research on them before we can send them off to some military base.” Townsend said with restrained frustration, this was the third time the NSA director had brought this up. The man on the other end of the line sighed. “Fine, if there really is that much left to do you can keep them for now, but I will be sending additional security. Finish your work quickly.” Townsend glared at the phone briefly after the general abruptly hung up. Ugh, at least he was somewhat willing to compromise. He grumbled to himself as his phone immediately began ringing again, it was NASA. “Director Townsend speaking.” He said urgently. “Director, this is Bernstein again. We have found several matches for the objects you described. There were several unexplained small objects caught on radar over the last few weeks, and even some thermal images as well. We began a search for more of them an hour ago and we think we found another one. Its in a low elliptical orbit that misses most of our radar stations, though we managed to get a good read on it a few minutes ago. Its albedo is crazy low, its messing with the radar a bit too, but we spotted it with an infrared satellite as well. Its quite a bit warmer than a normal rock should be.” “Sounds promising. Keep a close eye on it, we might be giving them a call soon.” He hung up and checked his messages again and saw the interrogators had arrived. Let’s hope they don’t make a mess of things. (Continues in comments) [Next]
MIT Betting Strategy. The old school MIT strategy is as follows when the count is +2 or more: Amount to Bet = (True Count – 1) * Betting Unit. Using a table with a $5 minimum and a betting unit of $25, we have the following: Count 0 or Less: bet $5 Count +1: bet $5 Count +2: bet $25 Count +3: bet $50. Bankroll Management What this means is that up until 50% deck depletion, the player gained .53% on all his bets placed when the true count was +2. By the time 62.5% were dealt out, the player had gained .57% on all these bets at +2 true count. Most explanations of true count calculation simply say that the running count is divided by the number of remaining decks in the shoe. Blackjack card counting books generally provide a simple example, like a running count of +6 divided by three remaining decks yields a true count of +2 — and they leave it at that. For example, a 12 against a 6 may dictate that you stand if the true count is -1 or greater and hit if the true count is less than -1. The counter will also bet more when the true count is high, meaning the deck is rich in good cards. A problem arises when it comes to treating aces. True Count Betting Strategies. There are several ways of utilizing the true count when playing blackjack, and each different player will no doubt have their own niche way of strategically bringing it into play. Revere Point Count. This particular strategy was developed in the early 70s and assigns values of +1 to deuce and seven cards, +2 to
How much should you bet at each count level? Typical good blackjack games have return of -0.5% for a freshly shuffled deck (true count of zero), and the return improves by 1% for each +2 change in ... HOW TO COUNT CARDS WITH A 6 DECK SHOE, TEACHES YOU WHAT TO BET, GIVES THE PLAYING STRATEGY, AND HOW TO GET THE TRUE COUNT. This is a graph of the running count as the cards are dealt from a deck for a blackjack game (true count shown later). Each press of the F9 key deals out 52 cards and shows a graph of the count ... If your deck estimation is off, your true count and betting will be off. If your betting is off, you will increase your risk and decrease your win rate. So we recommend taking the time to practice ... In all other systems you must calculate the TC (true count) in your head after each dealt hand. Daunting to do in a crowded, noisy casino. My revolutionary system reduces this formula to a single ...