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#that's basically like sending in seven different asks
dailypronouns · a month ago
Names and pronouns related to fire, dogs, drawing, music/being a musician, sweet things, soft things, pastel things, and space pls if it ain't to much thank you
flame/flame/flames/flames/flameself
pup/pup/pups/pups/pupself
crayon/crayon/crayons/crayons/crayonself
sketch/sketch/sketches/sketches/sketchself
song/song/sings/sings/songself
sugar/sugar/sugars/sugars/sugarself
uni/unicorn/unicorns/unicorns/unicornself
dream/dreamy/dreams/dreams/dreamyself
star/star/stars/stars/starself
woof/woof/woofs/woofs/woofself
ash/ash/ashes/ashes/ashself
chorus/chorus/verses/verses/choruself
pinky/peachy/pinks/peaches/pinkself
choc/choccy/chocs/chocs/chocolateself
galax/galaxy/galaxies/galaxies/galaxyself
char/char/chars/chars/charredself
paw/paw/paws/paws/pawself
colour/colour/colours/colours/colourfulself
rain/bow/rainbows/rainbows/rainbowself
sky/sky/skies/skies/skyself pencil/pencil/pencils/pencils/pencilself create/create/creates/creates/creativeself art/art/arts/arts/artistself
Sparky
Wolf
Leo
Melody
Peppermint
Meadow
Lavender
Cosmos
Ash
Howl
Claude
Cadenza
Lolly
Halo
Polaris
Cinder
Romulus
Andy
Lyric
Candy
more sweet pronouns here if you want them more fire pronouns here if you want them more dog pronouns here if you want them more music pronouns here
more soft pronouns here  more pastel pronouns here (this one is pastel but also sweet so it fits well) more space pronouns
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If you get this, answer with three random facts about yourself and send it to the last seven blogs in your notifications, anonymous or not!
hi! thanks for the ask!!
1.) i can play three instruments
2.) i really really like old pirate ships
3.) i know the basics of swordplay, particularly broadswords, and can usually tell the difference between fights in movies that are accurate or completely made up (in terms of swordplay, not much else tho lol)
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theweasleyslut · 2 days ago
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Hey, Hi, Hello! Uhm, so...2k?! 
I really don’t know what to say anymore, I never expected to reach a thousand of you, let alone two thousand, so I’m just mind-blown. I am thankful for every single one of you, whether you religiously follow my content or not, you’ve followed me from the beginning or are just joining me, or if you mindlessly followed me, but enjoy the content I put out so you just keep following. it doesn’t matter how or when you found me, I’m just glad you did! 
Therefore, as a little thank you celebration, I’m going to be hosting a small writing challenge with a bit of a twist! Instead of giving you a basic list of prompts for you to choose from, I’m going to post a prompt a day for you to write a piece with, & I’ll be following along with you!
☆ Info ☆
+ this will be a writing challenge, just formatted a bit differently than others.
+ you do not need to be following me to partake, but it would be greatly appreciated!
+ every day for a week, I will post 2 trope/au promts & 2 dialogue prompts that have been chosen at random. your job is to chose 1 trope/au & 1 dialogue to write a piece with.
➳ if you’d like to try to incorporate all the prompts, you are more than welcome to! all i’m requiring, however, is 1 of each.
+ once all of the prompts are posted, you will have three weeks to write the seven fics.
+ can be any genre for any of the following fandoms - harry potter, criminal minds, marvel, & stranger things (list of characters I typically read for included below!)
+ all fics - including the ones I write for it - will be put into a masterlist & tagged in my navigation along with the tag #theweasleyslut’s 2k writing challenge
☆ Rules ☆
+ choose at least 1 trope/au prompt & 1 dialogue prompt for each day
+ ideally, you will have 7 fics at the end of the challenge
+ all written pieces will be new using the prompts given
+ no combining prompts from different days!
+ can be any genre (fluff, smut, angst) - just include appropriate warnings!
+ minimum of 650 words please (if not, no worries - i just really like reading longer fics!)
+ tag me & use #theweasleyslut’s 2k writing challenge
+ deadline of july 11th 2021
☆ How to Partake ☆
+ send me an ask saying that you’d like to take part & include the blog name on which the fics will be posted!
➳ I will be accepting entry to the challenge from now until the last prompt is posted (sunday june 20th 2021)
➳ once I receive your ask, I will add your username to a taglist which I will tag on each of the prompt reveals, as well as on the masterlist
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☆ Fandoms & Characters ☆
most read ones will be bolded - does not necessarily mean I prefer them, but more that it’s easier to find content for them
+ harry potter
➳ fred weasley, george weasley, bill weasley, charlie weasley, ron weasley, ginny weasley, harry potter, hermione granger, oliver wood, cedric diggory, draco malfoy, sirius black, remus lupin, james potter, lucius malfoy, narcissa malfoy, regulus black, blaise zabini, & tom riddle 
+ criminal minds
➳ spencer reid, aaron hotchner, derek morgan, emily prentiss, jj, penelope garcia, david rossi, jason gideon, & elle greenaway
+ marvel
➳ bucky barnes, steve rogers, natasha romanoff, peter parker, peter quill, scott lang, tony stark, clint barton, t’challa, wade wilson (deadpool), wanda maximoff, pietro maximoff, sam wilson, thor odinson, & loki laufeyson/odinson
+ stranger things
➳ steve harrington, nancy wheeler, jonathon byers, jim hopper, joyce byers, robin buckley, eleven, max 
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sammyjadedavis · 8 days ago
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Marrying Into The Lothbrok’s
Chapter one,
Daughter Of Harald Fine Hair
Ragnar's Point Of View
In my life I've seen many things death and life, felt pain and love and I've been given sons just like the Gods promised but I also have one daughter. All of my sons are in relationships but one, Bjorn. Ubbe has Margrethe and they've been married for about three years now, Hvitserk and Thora who have been married for two years, Sigurd who has been dating Thryi for about six or seven months now and my youngest son Ivar is dating Freydis and has been for almost four months but my eldest son has not been in a relationship since he was in high school and even then it was only for a few months. My daughter is engaged which scares me more then any of my sons marrying because Gyad is my only daughter, she's getting married to Toke. Toke is the one who is in a different gang to my family but his in the Danes gang instead of the Vikings.
For years we've been allies with the Danes but Harald has always kept his daughter out of the business till the start of this year, she's been coming to more and more of the events, since my son needs a wife I'm going to make it her. Torvi has been coming to the business meetings to, when her father is away it's not her brother who speaks for their father in his absence but her. She's got her own businesses and helps run all of her father's business even the gang related ones. She makes her own furniture, she owns a chain of restaurants, a chain of clothing shops, a chain of design stores, a few hotels, some resorts, three wineries and even a few wedding and party planning business, yet she's never been married or in a relationship that the press have followed.
"Mr Lothbrok, Mr Fine is here for you, do you want me to send him in?" My assistant asked me all I did was nod and she sent him in.
"Why am I here Ragnar?" Harald asked while walking around looking at all the books on my selves.
"As you know my son is yet to marry, and I know that your daughter is not married nor spoken for, so I wish to make a deal with you. I want our children to marry. My son Bjorn and your daughter Torvi." I said while looking at the picture that is always on my desk, one is my family with Lagertha the other my family with Aslaug, hopefully one day there will be a photo on this desk of my Grandchildren, if I am to have any.
"You want your son to marry my daughter. Why? Because you are Ragnar Lothbrok and there is always a reason behind everything you do." Harald was a smart man but I was smarter and I've had more experience in life then he has.
"I want grandchildren from all of my children not just a few, I've seen Bjorn watching Torvi at the last few events but it is not that which has court my attention with your daughter it is the fact that she's only twenty four and owns many businesses many which I do business with such as her wineries that I use as suppliers for my bars, night clubs, pubs, restaurants, resorts and even some of my hotels, she's only owned them businesses for a few months now and she's got more of a profit then even I did when I started in the world and she owns more then just a few wineries, I think that she will be good for my son and good for my other sons wives who are still not used to this world but she's basically a Princess of this world just like my own daughter is. It is not like she will be alone because Toke is also marrying into this family." I told Harald who was now seated in the chair across from me.
"We have a deal but my daughter is still going to be working but if your son stops her from doing so I will let her leave him as will you, if your okay with that then we have a deal." Harald told me while looking down at the photos on my desk some of my children and my wives other of my friends and the last is a picture of my whole family when I was a child.
"I can not say that I will let her run her business if she is ever pregnant but she will be able to run her companies and do what she pleases to unless it is being unfaithful to my son. I just we have a deal now and I guess we are now going to be family." I told Harald before shaking his outstretched hand and that was the start of the deal that would make my son have a wife, hopefully give me grandchildren and make my family have even more full. I know Lagertha may yell at me a bit from this deal but once she sees that it's Torvi she will not care, hopefully.
"Goodbye Ragnar I'll see you at the event tomorrow where my daughter will be sending the whole night with your son, then the next event or outing she will be wearing a ring."
"That she will, I'll see you tomorrow night Harald." I told Harald who then left not looking back.
"Ulf call my son, tell him I need to speak with him." Ulf nodded before calling my son, who soon came into my office taking the chair across from me that Harald had only left a few minutes before hand.
"Why am I here father?" Bjorn asked me knowing that that I would not ask him here without it being important because he was in the middle of a meeting.
"Your getting married." I saw Bjorn look a me with a face of pure shock.
"What do you mean I'm getting married?" He just looked up at me in the eyes as every word left his mouth.
"You will marry the daughter of Harald Fine Hair and you will be faithful to her, tomorrow night at the event you will be with her the whole night, you will leave with her. Make everyone believe that the two of you have been together for the passed two years but you've kept it private then you will start spending more time with her post photos if you have to, she is going to be apart of our family and you will make her feel welcome, she owns her own businesses and she will keep working when you two are married." I told my eldest son who just sat there looking at me with his mouth hanging open.
"I do not want to marry her." He told me only for me to shake my head no,
"You will marry her because it is what I wish for you to do, you are the only child of mine who is not in a relationship or married. Do not fight me on this Bjorn, you will not win, my son." Bjorn just nodded before leaving stopping at the door to look at me and I told him something that I've been feeling since Lagertha and mine's marriage ended.
"Happy isn't every, you are more common to be unhappiness then happiness so just live your life with Torvi." I told him then he left probably to go and try finish his work for the day then he'll probably go out with his brothers for the night, maybe Halfdan and Erik too.
Harald's Point Of View
"Torvi, you are getting married soon." I told her as I walked into her office at one of her wineries.
"Since when was I getting married?" My daughter asked while looking up from her paper work of some sorts, looking down at her lap top I saw Ragnar Lothbrok's name in her inboxes.
"Since I made a deal with Ragnar Lothbrok, you will marry his eldest son Bjorn Lothbrok. You can still own all your businesses and run them but you must marry him." My daughter just kept on working then she looked up at me and asked.
"Is there any way for me to get out of this or have you signed away my future."
"You are marrying Bjorn and there is no way out of it." She looked up at me and said,
"Then you are now only my father in blood and name nothing else and you will not give me away Halfdan will, hell I'd even let Ragnar Lothbrok give me away because at least he was not willing to sell me in away. So after today I'm only your daughter in name and because we share the same blood." She told me and I never thought such a thing would come out of her mouth but I guess I was wrong.
"You've been dating for the passed two years and tomorrow at the event you will be at his side all night you will arrive with him and leave with him. Goodbye my daughter I will see you tomorrow night." I told her before leaving her to finish her day of work and hoping that she will let me back into her life one day.
Originally posted on Wattpad @sam5943
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shiroi-no-kumo-blog · 16 days ago
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Heroes and Villains
Honestly, Shigaraki and Deku are the only ones I care about, and...
I mean, new chapter was very interesting. Hero Comission, killing people before they could do anything (in fact, this is not only about Twice. The prisoners of Tartarus were promised to be shot if they even thought about using their quirks). This is bad. This is horrible. Surprisingly, a lot of readers couldn't even imagine this before current chapter. 
I was really interested until one little phrase hit my heart hard:
"Compared to that, All for One's control is infinitely better" or "And she said that the future with AFO as leader seemed brighter than that."
I almost got sick.
That is, she, so clever, so rebirthed, is satisfied that the man, known to her as a criminal and manipulator, who stoles all the achievements of their saviour and asks her to shoot a sixteen-year-old boy, will rule the world?
Shigaraki and Deku are both sacrificial pawns in this war.
Let's see if villains and heroes are poor little kittens that AFO leads a pretty dance, or are they just selfish, no different from the flock of sheep that they kind of defended?
What they know about Deku:
Villains:
a) he is a child
b) he left his school
c) Stain pointed to him as a true hero
d) he is pretty strong but always ends up in the hospital
Heroes:
a) AFO hunts him because of his quirk
b) AFO is ready to torture another person for 15 years to get Deku's quirk
c) Deku is possessed by seven dead “heroes” who gave their lives to fight AFO
d) Deku's quirk destroys him
Etc.
Knowing this, the heroes send him as a bait for AFO and just sit on the priest while the villains in all seriousness try to kill or drag him to AFO to please demon lord.
Speaking about "sitting on the priest" I would like to express my indignation at All Might. This trash did absolutely nothing to help Deku. Sometimes I hate him even more than AFO. He watched Bakugo beat Deku to death and said, "What a good friend you have!" He hid from him the fact that OFA was killing its owner. He did not tell about Nana and her family. He NEVER helped anyone in his real form. He didn't even ever helped old lady cross the road. Now he stuck out his nose only because he had the imprudence to swear to Inko, otherwise he would have taken a shower without a single thought about how Deku is doing and what is happening to him.
Endeavor and chicken soldier did everything to deprive me of all sympathy for them. Even if one of them or someone as important to the plot as Best Jeanist dies I won't cry for long.
What they know about Shigaraki:
Villains:
a) he is a child
b) he released them from Tartarus
c) he is a commander of the PLF
d) he got a second quirk as a result of an experiment on himself
e) all his achievements were stolen by the AFO
f) LOV looks at him as if he were dead
h) in LOV, the majority are almost dead (or already)
Heroes:
a) he was kidnapped because of his surname
b) he was raised as a tool
c) he is suffering
d) he has been always right (even back in USJ)
e) experiments were carried out on him
f) he is basically an adult version of Eri
g) right now he is struggling for his body and losing
Etc.
The heroes, as always, DO know about the suffering of Shigaraki and LOV and they just don't care. The first and last time when any adult said something good about Shigaraki was in the first chapters: Principal Nezu suggested that he could be guided on the right path. In all other cases it was about punishment for, um, his existence.
As for the villains: were they brainwashed? Hey, fighters for freedom and justice! Don't you notice anything? You’re placing AFO - a monster and a manipulator - above you. You are again holding on to some vague definition of order but this time the control is not with the Hero Commission but with the AFO. Is it really going to make a difference?
It's funny that it was AFO who called himself a demon lord, while other people called Shigaraki a symbol of freedom, but the captives of Tartarus, freed by Shigaraki, followed the AFO.
About Dabi, whom his family is going to "handle", Toga, who was lost during the war, Twice, who was not good enough to take the chance and betray his friends... there's nothing to say. LOV is in agony right now but hardly anyone said a least "thank you" to them. In any case, so far this has not been shown anywhere.
It’s worth of mentioning that both Deku and Shigaraki were previously drawn as butterflies, trapped in a spider's web. Their wings symbolise their power. While trapped they have no wings and their inner monologues are tied to their main fear: being rejected. (taking control, AFO&OFA reject them as their own persons)
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Both of these webs are existing even now in their minds. They are locked in their own dark rooms and waiting for helping hand. LN isn’t best person but she finally said the truth: Deku IS a victim of hero society.
But the web can be used to symbolise AFO’s power as well.
Both heroes and villains threw them into the AFO web as sacrifices to slow him down and distract from themselves. “As long as we bring him what he wants he won’t care about us” is what the last chapters tell us. A fat old spider sucks life out of the first butterfly so the heroes have time to pack their suitcases, and the villains are trying to bring a second one in the spider-web so they can be sure that he is on their side.
Against this background, whole this pseudo-development of characters (Endeavor now burns people because he has changed and LN hunts children because she is no longer a killer), is truly annoying.
Horikoshi-sama made it pretty clear: majority of adults of hero society are useless and only making things worse. The future is in the hands of a new generation. 
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mechanicswichita · 18 days ago
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 BEST ADULT TRICYCLE ASSEMBLY SERVICE IN WICHITA KS
WICHITAADULT TRICYCLE ASSEMBLY
 Adult Tricycle Assembly Service In Wichita KS
Adult Tricycle Assembly Service near Wichita KS: Tricycles aren't just for kids. Maybe you want to carry larger loads than are safe on a bicycle or the casual feet-forward style of recumbent cruising appeals to you. Maybe you don't have quite the balance you once did. An adult tricycle is the solution and a great way to get around.
If you're looking for an adult tricycle, check out our buying guide, which includes reviews of some of our favorites at the end. Our top pick, the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle, offers the all-around quality, safety, and convenience that has made the brand famous.
Considerations when choosing adult tricycles
●      Tricycle styles
You basically have two types of tricycles: the classic sit-up model or the recumbent, where you're lower down with your feet out in front of you. The latter with its chair-like seat can be more comfortable but getting down onto it and up again is not for those with restricted mobility. The other consideration with recumbents is that because your weight is low and very much at the back, rear-tire wear rates are higher.
●      Tricycle construction
Steel is frequently used for frames. It's strong and relatively inexpensive but rusts if the finish gets damaged. Aluminum is lighter, doesn't rust, and is typically used on better quality trikes. It isn't quite as tough as steel, which may reduce maximum carrying capacity (though it can still be 250 pounds). Titanium is occasionally used. It's as light as aluminum and as strong as steel but extremely expensive.
●      Riding
Note that riders who are used to two-wheeled cycling can take a while to adapt to a tricycle, as there's a difference in technique. It's a good idea to get comfortable in a low traffic area before heading for city streets.
Features
Adult Tricycle Assembly Service near Wichita KS:
●      Speeds
Tricycles are often single-speed. They're made for relaxed riding rather than great physical effort. Three-speed and seven-speed models are the alternatives and worth looking at if you have a few hills in your area. Brakes are usually the caliper/horseshoe type -- basic but efficient.
●      Comfort
Comfort is a big issue and most seats are wide with good padding. Additional springing may also be used. Some have a backrest for lumbar support. Seat and handlebar height adjustment also have an impact, though the latter may be minimal.
●      Basket
If load carrying is important, check the size of the basket and if it can lie flat, allowing more load flexibility.
●      Price
Inexpensive adult tricycles cost from $180 to $200. They tend to be built tough, but quite heavy. Lighter and generally better quality models from well-known brands are $280 to $400. There are several in the $600 range, but it can be difficult to see what extra they offer.
What You Need To Know About Adult Tricycles
A few things I want to talk about. Obviously, a lot of people choose tricycles for many different reasons. One of them may be balance concerns. Another issue is for hauling things around. Or they're also kind of fun. I like it if I just want to get out not having to worry about being up on two wheels. You can really just not have to worry about holding the handlebars too much other than to steer a little bit here and there. So, they are super fun. Now, a couple things I want to point out. One of the great things of a tricycle is the mounting and dismounting is quite a bit easier. Obviously, on a bicycle you need to be able to get your feet to the ground while you're on the seat.
The one thing about a tricycle is, while you do want to be able to get your feet on the ground, when you stop, as an example, if I'm here, and I stop, and I can't get my feet down, you still cannot have to balance. So, on a normal bicycle you've got to be able to get your feet down to the ground to really be safe. In this case, the bike's not going anywhere. So long as you've pushed the brake down, you're good to go. And then you could just sort of slide forward and get off the seat. So, the other thing to look for is if mounting and dismounting is challenging for you, you obviously want to look for a really low step-through height. So we actually have two models, the Body Ease Tricycle, and the EVRYjourney Tricycle. The Body Ease Tricycle actually has a little bit lower of a step-over height. So that's going to be better for shorter riders or people, again, that maybe have some more balance concerns. On this particular bike I would say about 4'11, 4'10. As low as 4'10, 4'11 is okay to ride this bike.
If you are shorter, if you are 4'10, 4'11, I would just want to make sure that you are comfortable mounting and dismounting. One tactic is you can step onto the pedal and sort of push yourself over. Another option, again, is you can step through, then when you're here, you put your foot on the pedal and then you can get up to the seat. So, I would say even somebody 4'9 would probably be okay, but again, I'd want to make sure that you're comfortable getting on and off. And for Sixth three zero tricycles definitely the Body Ease Tricycle's going to be better for shorter riders. So other than that, the only other thing you need to be sort of careful on with a tricycle is taking turns. On tricycles sometimes if you take a turn too fast, you can actually pop up on two wheels.
So tricycles really are not meant for fast-paced riding. If you have some need for speed, please, I think two wheels actually would be safer. I've taken this up to about 15 miles an hour, but on turns you need to slow down to definitely about four or five miles an hour. And it also helps to just lean into the turn a little bit. So you keep the weight coming in so the wheels don't pop off the ground. Again, which is why I say this, if you're riding a tricycle you just want to be safe on it. And you don't want to have to be cruising around turns and really going fast. Now, if you're going to go on a dead straight away, it's okay to go 15, but make sure you slow into the turns. Again, on a normal bicycle, you don't have to slow down quite as much into the turns.
 TIPS
Adult Tricycle Assembly Service near Wichita KS:
●      Check tire pressure: Overinflated tires are as much to blame for pinch flats as under inflated ones. A floor standing pump allows you to pump large volumes of air with ease, making them quicker, easier and more efficient than a hand pump. Some bike shops will let you borrow theirs. Look on the side of your tire for a number.
●      Check brake pads: Worn brake pads reduce braking efficiency. If you feel your tricycle is no longer braking with ease, please get a qualified bike mechanic to repair or replace it as this is a vital part of road safety.
●      Clean your chain: Regularly cleaning your trike’s drive train, including the chain, means it will perform better and last longer. You don’t need to remove the chain; all you need is hot water, a toothbrush, rags, brushes and sponges, a degreaser and chain lube. For a quicker job, you can use a handheld chain cleaner. Just wash and degrease, rinse, dry and then lubricate.
●      Silence squeaky brakes: Screeching brakes are often dirty brakes, or at least dirty wheel rims. Clean and dry both properly, and 50% of the time you’ve solved the problem. If that doesn’t work, they might need adjusting.
●      Lubricate: Buy some bike-specific lubricant and use it sparingly on any parts of your bike where metal touches metal, such as the chain, brake and derailleur levers, cables and bearing systems. Don’t oil your chain unless you’ve cleaned it properly first, as this will create an abrasive paste that will grind away at the chain. Use a lube appropriate to the weather conditions you ride in.
●      True wheels: Turn your bike upside down and spin your wheels. Do they wobble a little from side to side? If so, they need truing, which involves adjusting the length of some of the spokes using a spoke key. Anyone can true a wheel but there’s a knack to it. If it’s your first time, best not to do it on your swanky racer! A bike shop will do this for a small fee. True wheels are stronger, roll better and don’t rub brake pads unevenly.
●      Sitting comfortably: If you are prone to sore bum syndrome, experiment a little with your saddle, raising or tilting it slightly to suit your riding style. If you get sore knees while cycling, you might have your saddle too low. When you pedal, your legs should be almost straight on the downwards revolution.
●      Storing your ride: Storing your bike somewhere dry, away from rain, dampness, dust and direct sunlight will improve your trike’s upkeep and reduce the amount of maintenance required.
●      Service your bike: Servicing your bike once a year is usually adequate, ideally at the start of spring if you’ve been brave enough to cycle through winter. However, there is no shame in getting an expert to take a look– think of it as your tricycle MOT.
 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do adult tricycles need much maintenance?
No. As with two-wheeled bikes, it's a question of occasional adjustment and lubrication. Manufacturers should provide instructions, but they aren't always as good as they can be.
 Can I store my tricycle outdoors?
It's nice to keep it in a shed if you can, but we know that's not always practical. If storing it outside, treat yourself to a weatherproof tricycle cover. Most are only $15 to $20 and do a lot to keep your tricycle looking good and working properly.
 How much does it cost to assemble a bicycle?
it definitely depends on how many parts the bike is in. My shop charges usually $70-100 for bike assembly (if you didn't buy the bike there).
 What is the best tricycle for adults?
Our top pick, the Adult Tricycle, offers the all-around quality, safety, and convenience that has made the brand famous. You basically have two types of tricycles: the classic sit-up model or the recumbent, where you're lower down with your feet out in front of you.
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xtruss · 19 days ago
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Global Cactus Traffickers Are Cleaning Out the Deserts
A recent raid in Italy involving rare Chilean species highlights the growing scale of a black market in the thorny plants.
— By Rachel Nuwer | May 20, 2021 | The New York Times
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Copiapoa cinerascens, a cactus, in Pan de Azúcar National Park in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit...Gretchen Mattison/Alamy
Andrea Cattabriga has seen a lot of cactuses where they didn’t belong. But he’d never seen anything like Operation Atacama, a bust carried out last year in Italy. A cactus expert and president of the Association for Biodiversity and Conservation, Mr. Cattabriga often helps the police identify the odd specimen seized from tourists or intercepted in the post.
This time, however, Mr. Cattabriga was confronted by a stunning display: more than 1,000 of some of the world’s rarest cactuses, valued at over $1.2 million on the black market.
Almost all of the protected plants had come from Chile, which does not legally export them, and some were well over a century old. The operation — which occurred in February 2020, but is being made public now because of the cactuses’ recent return to Chile — was most likely the biggest international cactus seizure in nearly three decades. It also highlights how much money traffickers may be earning from the trade.
Seeing the collected cactuses brought a profound sadness to Mr. Cattabriga.
“Here is an organism that has evolved over millions of years to be able to survive in the harshest conditions you can find on the planet, but that finishes its life in this way — just as an object to be sold,” he said.
As with the market for tiger bones, ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horn, a flourishing illegal global trade exists for plants. “Just about every plant you can probably think of is trafficked in some way,” said Eric Jumper, a special agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Cactuses and other succulents are among the most sought after, along with orchids and, increasingly, carnivorous species.
Trafficking can take a serious toll. Over 30 percent of the world’s nearly 1,500 cactus species are threatened with extinction. Unscrupulous collection is the primary driver of that decline, affecting almost half of imperiled species. Yet this realm of illegal trade is typically overlooked, a prime example of “plant blindness,” or the human tendency to broadly ignore this important branch on the tree of life.
“The basic functioning of the planet would effectively grind to a halt without plants, but people care more about animals,” said Jared Margulies, a geographer at the University of Alabama who studies plant trafficking. “A lot of plant species are not receiving the amount of attention they would be if they had eyes and faces.”
Yet the size of Operation Atacama could be a notable exception. It is also the largest known example of cactuses stolen from the wild being repatriated for reintroduction into their native habitat.
Experts also hope the case can be a turning point for how countries, collectors, conservationists and the industry deal with the thorny issue of international cactus trafficking.
“Society as a whole can no longer continue to have a naïve view of this problem,” said Pablo Guerrero, a botanist at the University of Concepción in Chile.
Passion For Rarity
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Italian investigators with Operation Atacama prepared a specimen of Copiapoa solaris for shipment back to Chile from a greenhouse in Milan, Italy. Credit...Andrea Cattabriga
Cactuses and other succulents are hot business today. They have become the darlings of social media, promoted by indoor plant influencers for their outlandish looks and minimal care requirements. The pandemic only increased their popularity, with shops struggling to keep some species in stock.
The average hipster’s cactus collection will include only common species propagated in nurseries. But for some specialist collectors — who tend to be middle-aged or older men — the hobby is much more serious.
“A lot of what drives the interest and passion for these plants is their uniqueness and rarity,” said Bárbara Goettsch, co-chair of the Cactus and Succulent Plant Specialist Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Many cactus species are highly localized, found, for example, only on certain steep limestone cliffs in Mexico, or a single sandy patch of less than one square mile on Peru’s coast. They also tend to be extremely slow-growing. Larger specimens, which are more highly sought after, can be decades or even hundreds of years old. These features make cactuses particularly sensitive to over-harvesting, but also particularly attractive to collectors interested in exclusivity.
Purchasing rare species legally, however, can be difficult to impossible. All cactuses and many other types of succulents require permits to be traded internationally, if they can be legally traded at all. Most countries also prohibit collection of some or all of these species from the wild, including the United States.
“For all cactuses, you cannot collect them off public land, period,” Mr. Jumper said. “Catching people in the field actually collecting cactuses takes quite a bit of luck, though, because they collect in some vast areas.”
Once cactuses are poached from the wild, illicit trade often happens in the open. High-end plant shops in Japan display protected, wild-harvested species, while sellers around the world advertise them on eBay, Instagram, Etsy and Facebook. Online ads are often accompanied by disclaimers that the cactuses do not come with necessary permits for legal trade, and poachers sometimes livestream videos from the field, asking customers which plants they want. Traffickers are rarely caught or prosecuted. While American, British, European and Japanese collectors have traditionally driven the illegal trade, more recently, interest has also spread to China, Korea and Thailand.
Although no estimates exist for the scope of the illegal cactus trade, many experts believe it is increasing. “It was a much smaller issue 20 years ago, but now, it is major,” said Jeff Pavlat, president of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. “Entire populations are being stripped.”
A Poacher’s Playbook
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Copiapoa Cinerea. Credit...Andrea Cattabriga
In February 2020, the Italian police, responding to a tip, visited the home of Andrea Piombetti, a well-known cactus collector and seller in Senigallia, a town on the Adriatic coast. In a makeshift greenhouse, officers discovered around 1,000 protected Chilean Copiapoa and Eriosyce species, ranging from the size of a baseball to a beach ball. Police officers seized the plants, along with Mr. Piombetti’s cellphone and passport.
It was not the first time Mr. Piombetti, who did not respond to interview requests, and who is now awaiting trial, had been accused of cactus trafficking. The police also seized a shipment of 600 Chilean cactuses from him in 2013. But the case was never prosecuted because of bureaucratic delays, and the statute of limitations passed.
“Many environmental crimes in Italy have this problem — they can’t be punished after four or five years,” said Lt. Col. Simone Cecchini, chief of the wildlife division of the local police department, who led the 2013 and 2020 investigations. “This time, our prosecutor said we’ll try to be very fast, because he wants to avoid what happened in 2013.”
Mr. Piombetti has not yet entered a plea in court.
Mr. Cattabriga and other experts carried out a number of analytical tests to confirm that the plants had not been homegrown, but instead were collected from the wild in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Mr. Cecchini and his colleagues found that Mr. Piombetti had made seven trips to Chile, most recently in December 2019, where they say he poached the cactuses in the Atacama Desert, near Pan de Azúcar National Park.
After collecting the cactuses, Mr. Cecchini’s investigation revealed that Mr. Piombetti allegedly mailed the plants to addresses in Greece and Romania, where international customs are more lax than in Italy. Because of their hardiness, cactuses can survive long journeys by post without soil, water or light.
Mr. Cecchini found many records of illegal cactus sales in Mr. Piombetti’s phone, including receipts from a Japanese company that seemed to place large monthly orders. Based on the prices quoted by text, the police calculated that the seized cactuses were worth over one million euros.
“We need bigger penalties in Italy for this type of environmental crime,” Mr. Cecchini said.
A First-of-its-kind Homecoming
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A specimen of Capiapoa conglomerata recovered by Operation Atacama. Credit...Andrea Cattabriga
After the seizure, Mr. Cattabriga arranged for the plants, many of which were in very poor health, to be transferred to the Città Studi Botanical Garden of Milan for temporary care. As the investigation progressed, the question of what to do with them became more urgent.
Cactuses confiscated by the Italian authorities are normally destroyed or, if they are rare species, sent to botanical gardens. But with Operation Atacama, “it was very different,” Mr. Cattabriga said. The number of cactuses was so large, and some were critically endangered species found in areas of Chile spanning just a few square miles with very specialized needs. Keeping the cactuses at the garden was a likely death sentence.
At first, there was discussion of sending the plants to other botanical gardens in Italy and broader Europe. But Mr. Cattabriga, Mr. Cecchini and Dr. Guerrero were adamant they be returned to Chile for both conservation and symbolic purposes.
Working with Dr. Goettsch and several others, they spent much of 2020 navigating Italian, Chilean and international bureaucracy to secure permission to send the plants home. “It’s the first time this has happened, so no one was really clear on how to do this,” Dr. Guerrero said.
The authorities finally agreed to the transfer in late 2020. But neither Chile nor Italy would pay the approximately $3,600 shipping cost.
Dr. Goettsch managed to secure about three-quarters of the funds from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the botanical garden in Milan pitched in as well. The rest was provided by Liz Vayda, owner of B. Willow, a plant shop in Baltimore that regularly donates to environmental groups.
Finally, in late April, 844 cactuses made the return journey to Chile. Around 100 others had died, and 84 stayed in Milan for study.
Mr. Cattabriga has been making daily video calls to try to ensure the plants are being properly cared for while they are in quarantine. According to Bernardo Martínez Aguilera, head of the forest inspection department at Chile’s National Forest Corporation, the final goal “is that the majority of these individuals return to their natural environment, which they never should have left.”
Carrots and Sticks
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Cacti of the Copiapoa genus in Pan de Azúcar National Park. Credit...Erlantz Pérez Rodriguez/Alamy
Operation Atacama is by far the biggest bust in recent history, but there are other signs that law enforcement is beginning to take note of cactuses. Six men were sentenced to a number of penalties after recent federal convictions involving a cactus trafficking ring that poached thousands of living rocks in southwest Texas for smuggling to Europe and Asia. Additional cactus-related prosecutions have taken place in California and Arizona.
But while stronger law enforcement is welcome, a variety of experts believe prohibition, on its own, will not stop trafficking. Instead, they favor meeting demand through sustainably managed collection of seeds or cuttings of wild plants, which could be used for artificial propagation by certified greenhouses.
Sales of these legally sourced plants could help offset illegal trade. Preferably, the proceeds would go directly to communities living alongside the species, the experts say, creating incentives to protect them. The cactus and succulent trade is “big business, but the majority of that money is not centered in countries of origin,” Dr. Margulies said. “I think there should be a push to engage in this more from a social justice lens.”
Many countries’ domestic legislation prohibits these types of activities, however, as do strict international trade laws and bureaucracy. The result, Mr. Cattabriga said, is a system that “discourages the reproduction of rare plants in captivity, and has the side effect of exacerbating the illicit trade.”
Dr. Guerrero hopes that Operation Atacama will ignite discussions of how to reform legislation to make it more amenable to solutions.
In the meantime, some plant enthusiasts are going out of their way to change cactus collecting culture. Ms. Vayda at B. Willow, for example, is in conversation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature about potentially establishing houseplant industry standards for certifying that greenhouses use legally sourced plants, similar to organic or fair-trade food labels. “Right now, I have to specifically ask a grower, ‘Where do your plants from?’” she said.
The Cactus and Succulent Society of America is trying to steer members away from the temptation of poached plants through educational talks, articles it publishes and other means. The society also banned growers from entering specimens into specialty shows and competitions that members would have no way of legally acquiring today.
“You can’t have a Copiapoa collected in Chile in the 1970s get the ribbon, and then tell members, ‘No, you can’t have that plant, you have to start from seed and in 200 years you can have it,’” Mr. Pavlat said. “We have to reset what people’s goals and expectations are.”
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mariposa324 · 20 days ago
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So, I have been seeing some interest in these two lately and I thought it might be fun to share some of their story. (At least I’ll do my best... I’m no seasoned writer.)
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       First they’ve been with me quite a while! I have had these characters since 2012 and they’re have been many design and story changes as well as several self-indulgent au’s along the way. Mary’s name used to be “Myla” before the creation of the Crystal Project universe. So, if you see a similar character in my old posts tagged with that name, know they are actually the same person.
       Mary and Clyde were initially created to be this sheltered princess-esque character and the big, intimidating softie, (cliché, I know.) Clyde has not gone through much (if any) personality changes, but Mary on the other hand is quite different from her beta. She evolved from a shy naive princess type to an outgoing, boisterous activist. Mary still plays the part of the “good little princess” in her father’s presence, but sneaks out nearly every night leading a double life.
       Marilyn Sinclair (or Mary) is the mayor’s daughter in a large bustling city at the peak of an industrial revolution. She’s a human and the oldest of seven children. She has a younger brother and five half sisters from a different mother, same father. Her own mother mysteriously disappeared shortly after her brother was born. (dun dun dun plot stuff) Mary has lived her whole life in the upper district, where the wealthy members of the city reside. For reference, the upper district consists mostly of humans and elves. In her academy days she experienced an eye-opening moment about how the real world actually works and this plays a huge roll in crafting her overall personality of wanting to help others. It is shortly after this she starts sneaking out and stealing from her father to give to the less fortunate.
      She is passionate, driven, decisive, supportive, fun to be around and a little bit chaotic, but in the best way. She cares a great deal for people, and can't stand to see others wanting for basic things when her family has so much. She gets along well with her step mom and half siblings, and is close with her brother. He covers for her a lot when she sneaks out. Even though she’s an adult, her father attempts to control her life and make her decisions for her. He’s tried on many occasions to persuade her to marry into another wealthy family for political reasons but she always finds an out. It seems there’s a new suitor procured by her father each month or so, and yet another reason to be at the mansion as little as possible.
     Clyde is a blue collar worker on the tall side for even a giant. He currently resides in a small (for him, at least) apartment in the central district of the city. He’s initially from a small town (a lot like the player character/main character) and came to the city to carve out a life for himself and send money back home to his family. His mother was a free spirit who rarely stayed in one place for too long and died rather young. She had Clyde and his sister from two different fathers both of which they never got the chance to know. The two were raised by their adorable grandparents and despite the situation with their parents, had a decent childhood filled with warmth. Clyde’s sister, Klara, takes a lot after her mother with her free spirit, though unlike her mom she is devoted to her six year old daughter.
       Clyde currently works in construction, but someday hopes to be an architect rather than constantly building the designs of others. He often sketches buildings and scenery as well as his own designs and ideas in a little leather-bound book he keeps with him. He also sometimes presses flowers in it, to send in his letters to his niece.
       He is quiet at a glance, but lively around close friends. He’s charismatic enough, but his height would make him seem clumsier to humans/elves in spaces made more for humans/elves, and he’s hyper aware of this. He’s shy and reserved, but also trustworthy and fiercely loyal. He favors a small inner circle of friends and dislikes large groups and crowded areas. 
       The two met late one evening in the middle of Mary’s first rebellious theft attempt. Mary stole prime cuts of dried meat from her family’s private kitchen to give to hungry people in the lower district. She acted without any sort of fully formed plan and ended up collapsing under the weight of the food before making it halfway through the central district. Clyde found her exhausted, sitting in the middle of the street, out of breath. After a fruitless argument of “I can do it myself” and attempting to continue on her own, she conceded and accepted his help. After the night was over the two had gotten closer over seeing how much they really did help people. They became rather inseparable after that.
Some things to note: 
       There is a misconception the two are a couple when they are actually just close friends. Well, when you first meet them, at least. You, the player character, will have the option in game to romance either of them regardless of gender. If you don’t romance either of them, or unlock the specific memories that trigger the ending where Mary marries Olive, the two will end up together at the end of the story. I also admit, a lot of au’s and art I make of them outside of the game itself, tend to have romantic implications. But that’s just because I’m a sucker for cute romantic fluff. 🥰 
Well, I hope that sums them up a bit. Feel free to ask questions if you want to know more about these characters, other crystal project characters or just the game itself! Just know I cant give too much away about the plot of the game.
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leaving84 · 20 days ago
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iwriteweirdshit · 26 days ago
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Welcome To A Day In My Life
[Prompt used:  A day in the life of a genie who annoyingly keeps getting summoned by inept humans.
Prompt source: reedsyprompts (fantasy section)]
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Hello to all Witches and Wizards of Magitopia! Welcome to my first blog entry. Do you ever think about your life? Like really think about it? What do you do if you are in your mid-twenties, have a very boring life and already feel like you are stuck at a dead-end job?
You start a blog, of course. To express your feelings and emotions and reach out to other magifolk and all that bullcrap. I don’t know how many people will actually read this blog but I really don’t care at this point, because I am tired. Utterly and completely tired.
So, for my first post, I thought I would talk about a day in my life. Spoiler warning: it sucks! :)
For this, I have decided to site the example of yesterday because it was royally annoying - as most of my days are. That should pretty much paint a vivid picture of how my life usually is. So, I woke up once again at seven in the morning - still half asleep and wishing I was either still asleep or better yet - dead. I made myself the reviving potion that humans call coffee. I drank it slowly, feeling grateful for its existence.
I did a little bit of workout to take a break from my usual, sedentary lifestyle. Then I checked my phone to see how things were going with all the magifolk that I know. There were a few texts from my mom. In one, she tried to subtly hint at my non-existent love life and asked “Have you been on any dates recently or are you still spending all your time alone?” I was kidding. Nothing about my mom is subtle. She is way too direct about everything. Not that I have an issue with it.
The second text spoke of the dinner we are supposed to have together this weekend. The third and last text said “I AND YOUR DAD LOVE YOU, HONEY HAVE A GOOD DAY TODAY”
She must have forgotten about the caps lock button we talked about again. I should probably tell her. I took a note of it and decided to do it later. I haven’t gotten to it yet. “Have a good day too, mom. Love you. Tell dad I love him too” I typed and hit send.
There were some more texts there but nothing worth mentioning. I checked them all and replied to the ones that required replies. Then I made breakfast. Nothing too fancy, just milk and cereal. I ate it by the kitchen counter.
The time for me to go to work was approaching so I changed into my work clothes. Oh, did I mention I work at Genie Inc.? As I said, the perfect example of a dead-end job for my dead soul. At least I work in the Young Adults’ department. Magifolk who work in the Children’s department have to be in blue body paint and weird clothes because that is apparently what humans think genies look like for some strange and obnoxious reason.
I don’t understand this. Why blue? Perhaps the humans couldn’t decide on a skin colour without getting into their petty issues like racism and all that? That’s why they chose a colour that humans could never have as their skin naturally? But we are not blue. We are pale green. Is that so hard to think up?
Anyway, those who don’t understand the name of my company are welcome to the club, because I don’t get it either. Genie is a stupid word that a stupid human invented one fine day and decided that it should be used for the wizard that appeared out of a dimensional portal. Okay so yeah, our dimensional portals look a little like ‘lamps’ that humans use, but the shape is integral to its functioning. I’m not saying I understand the functioning of it. I’m just saying that there must be some reason - that I couldn’t care less about.
Either way, so that flawed and dumb reasoning on the part of the human gave some wizards the idea to start a company named Genie Inc. where witches and wizards could work. Genie Inc spread out a whole lot of dimensional portals - or ‘magic lamps’ as humans call it - throughout their planet, Earth. You can’t see me but I am rolling my eyes right now. ‘Magic lamp’. Those dumb creatures.
It’s a business where each human that finds a dimensional portal can ask for three wishes and in return, we take a part of their soul. Soul can be converted into magic. Which we use as a resource on our planet, Magitopia, as we all know. The humans, however, think they are getting their wishes for free. Those idiots.
Anyway, I arrived at the Genie Inc. building and sighed, looking at the skyscraper. The huge glassy building spiralled towards the sky in front of my eyes. Humans have plain block-shaped buildings on their planet - can you believe that? Different shapes obviously look much better on buildings than the same cubes and cuboids they build everywhere. I mean look at this spiral!
I was sitting at my cubicle and waiting for the summons from my clients to start coming. I knew it was going to be a drag. The first summon came. I looked at the screen on the industrial-grade dimensional portal that I had on my office desk. Ugh not his idiot again, I thought. I thought about ignoring the summon but then remembered the last time I had gotten a warning from my boss for ignoring a client’s summon - the same client that was calling yesterday. I told him that this so-called client was a teenage boy who kept summoning me even after his 3 wishes were over. But my boss wouldn’t listen.
I grudgingly hit the Accept button and got sucked in through the portal. The other portal spewed me out on earth in front of my ‘client’. “Hey! I have a new wish!” said the kid. He had curly blond hair, thick black glasses, a freckled face and Carl as his name. I gave a professional smile with as much patience and resilience that I could muster and said, “You have already completed your quota of 3 wishes. To renew the pack you have to pay in terms of Soul- I mean, you have to give a part of your soul.” As if we weren’t already charging in terms of Soul. All business strategy. Making them think they had a choice in the matter.
“But I don’t wanna give my soul!” he whined. Too late, kid. “I’ll be leaving then,” I said and returned to Magitopia before he could whine anymore. I got a few calls from teenagers that day. Anisha was a new client. There were Steve and Kim on their second wishes each. Another 20-year-old named Robin was on her last wish. I got a call from a 13-year-old named Sofia who asked for a castle. Yes, because it is just that easy. She didn’t know that it would mean that a much larger part of her soul would be taken as payment because of it, compared to the usual “I wish she would love me back” or the “I wish I had the best grades in class”.
Sofia’s wish took me the longest to establish. I had to format the memories that everybody she knew had of her and implant the memory of her always having owned a castle. I had to change her parents’ memories so that they remembered getting a castle somehow - despite inconsistencies like the fact that they lived in a small apartment in a city and didn’t have enough money to do so at all. In short, Sofia was tedious work.
Carl and Nathan called me a bunch of times throughout the day. Carl had called me once while I was working on Sofia’s wish. I got so agitated with him that instead of appearing before him, I just turned the audio on and shouted, “NOT NOW, CARL!” That turned a few heads from the cubicles around me. I still haven’t gotten in trouble for that incident but I think I probably will.
Nathan is another annoying human who decided he has a crush on me. A stupid and annoying decision, really. Stupid for him. Annoying for me. I have had a few other such ‘clients’ who have claimed to either be in love with me or have a huge crush on me. This is why I don’t like working in the Young Adults’ department. All these human children going through their sad adolescent phases and deciding nobody understands them. Makes them do all kinds of stupid things - like claiming to be in love with an alien. Specifically, an alien that hates the whole human race.
At least I don’t have to put on body paint and wear weird clothes like the magifolk that work in the Children’s department. So, silver linings I guess.
So, basically, what I’m trying to say is that it was a tough day at work. Yesterday was as dull as the rest of my days. After work, I logged off from the corporate Portal-net and left for my apartment. On my way, I picked up some junk food and ate it after getting home.
Whatever little friends I had were going to be busy that night, I knew that. It was a weekday. So I ended up binge-watching the show G.E.N.I.E again. It is a sitcom about a bunch of people who work as a genie for Genie Inc. They make it seem funny on the show but nothing about being a Genie is funny. It is sad. And it is exhausting.
I ordered some food for dinner, after eating which I went to sleep, knowing I will have to wake up and live the same day all over again after the weekend is over.
So that is what a typical day in my life is like. Thankfully it is the weekend and I didn’t have work today. So I decided to start this blog now since I have some free time. I have absolutely no expectations from this blog so let’s see where it goes. I am getting late for dinner at my parents’ where my mother can pester me about my life to her heart’s content. So I gotta go. See y’all at my next post. (:
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sullys-adventures · 26 days ago
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Game night
Content warning: the following piece of writing contains swear words. (It’s Remus Lupin, what’d you expect)
“Guys?” Remus mumbles, peeking out from behind his potions book.
The other three were sitting on the floor by the fireplace, happily chatting about the latest quidditch match.
“Gu-uys?” He tries again, but they still don’t notice.
He sighs and slams his book closed, yet it still doesn’t catch their attention.
“Listen the fuck up, okay?!” The boy yells, finally getting his friends to notice him.
“Jeez Rem-Rem, what is it?” Sirius grins at him as he gets up to take a seat by the others.
“So, my mom heard about this game, from her friend Gladys, who heard about it fro-”
“A game? What kind of game?” James interrupts, making the others let out giggles.
“Yeah, it’s called uno, and it’s like-” Remus tries to continue but is again interrupted, this time by Peter.
“Isn’t that like, one in spanish?” He questions.
Sirius and James both nod thoughtfully, and Remus sighs.
“It probably is, but that doesn’t matter. It’s this card game, with coloured cards, and-”
“Do you have the game or are we just gonna hear about it?” Sirius asked, sending him a ‘uh, hello?’ look.
“Yes, I have the game,” the twelve-year-old sighed as he pulled the cards out of his pocket.
“So, we each get seven cards,” he explains, handing each of his friends their cards.
“Do these cards do anything? Or are they just… boring muggle cards?” James mumbles while twisting and turning his card, revealing it to be a blue i nine.
“No, James, you can’t… oh sweet fucking Jesus. You can’t show us your cards, it’s supposed to be a secret,” Remus groans, shutting his eyes and rubbing his temples.
“Oo, oo, I got this one, this one seems fancy!” Sirius grins.
Peter snatches the card, raising his brows at it.
“Very fancy.”
“What card is it?” Remus grumbles before Peter hands it to him.
A wild draw four. So they aren’t completely wrong about it being fancy.
“We’ll start with the basics, okay?” He asks, making the others nod excitedly.
“So, there are the normal cards. Those are yellow, blue, red, and green numbers from zero to nine. Everybody understands so far?” He questions with a small smile, and the others nod again.
“Then there are other cards. Draw two cards. They give the person after you two cards. Wild cards, they change the colour. Wild draw four cards, they give the person after you four cards and change the colour. Reverse cards, they make it go the other way around, so if I put a reverse card, then instead of it being Peter, it’d be Sirius again. And lastly, the skip cards. They skip people, basically. So if I put it, we’d skip Peter and it’d be James’ turn instead. You get it?”
They all nod again, but as Remus is about to continue, Peter says something.
“But what if I don’t wanna skip anyone? Do I have to skip them?” He asks quietly.
The other two burst out laughing, and Remus nods.
“Yes, you have to skip people,” he chuckles, then continues. “Like I said, we get seven cards each. I handed them out, so Peter will start. We turn the top card of the remaining pile of cards,” he says as he turns the card. A green three.
“And Peter places a green card. Peter, do you have any green cards?” the boy asks as he looks up at his friend. Peter nods.
“I have a few green cards. Which one should I use?” he questions, making Remus shrug.
“Use your plus two!” James breaks in, peeking over Peter’s shoulder.
“James, you’re not supposed to look!” Sirius screech while pulling him away,
“and that’s stupid! You’d get two more cards!”
“But more cards is good, right?” James says with a shrug.
“No, more cards is not good. It’s about having no cards left. The first person to have no cards, wins,” Remus tells him, making James let out an “oooh”.
“When you have one card left, you say uno. If you don’t say un-”
“Because it means one in spanish, that’s genius!” Sirius yells.
Remus sighs, again rubbing his temples.
“If you don’t say uno, you have to draw two cards and you get skipped for a whole round.”
“That is cruel!” James cackles, an evil grin on his face.
“Peter, just choose a card. If you have two of the same cards, then you can use both of them, even if they’re not the same colour,” Remus explains, completely ignoring the two scandalous gryffindors beside them.
Peter nods and places down two draw two cards, a green one first and then a yellow one.
“James, draw four cards,” Remus chuckles. James ended up on top of Sirius, explaining all the cruel ways he was going to make him get more cards.
His smile disappears though, when he hears what Remus said.
“What, no! No no!” He screams as he frantically crawls off of Sirius to look at the pile of cards.
“What?!”
“If you’d listened, I explained you can put two of the same cards, even if they’re different colours,” Remus calmly explains.
James grumbles the most innocent swear words while drawing his four cards, all while Sirius laughs his ass off.
“Sirius, your turn.”
Sirius nods and grabs his cards. Soon after, he places down the wild draw four card.
“Purple,” he says with a wide smile as Remus draws his cards.
“Sirius, you can’t choose purple.”
“Yes I can.”
“No you can’t.”
“Yes I can.”
“Sirius, just choose another colour,” Peter interrupts. Sirius pokes his tongue out at the two, then mutters something that sounds like “blue, then”.
Remus nods over at Peter to make him take his turn.
“Blue,” he mumbles. The boy nods and places a blue one.
“James,” Remus says, and James nods too as he places a draw two.
“ha ha! Two cards for you!” He laughs loudly before Sirius smacks him at the back of the head.
“Ow, frickle frackles,” he mutters, then lunges at Sirius. Remus sighs and puts down a blue nine. Peter stares at their two friends, rolling around beside them. They’re laughing loudly and spewing weird insults at each other.
“Should we just stop playing?” He asks. Remus nods.
“We can try another day when they’re tired enough to not go apeshit on each other.”
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elecman108 · 27 days ago
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Man, I forgot to post 90% of my art here for the past while. I’m gonna do an art dump in this post under the cut. Enjoy the bonk emoji if you don’t click the read more, and man am I dumb and forgetful lmao.
Includes: OCs getting names, a Sonic impression, a D&D map, homosexual energies, a sheep floating in the astral sea, a birthday drawing I already posted, Hex Maniac Ender, D&D Characters, D&D Characters as Miis in Miitopia, Little Hater Axel, local Demon in the consciousness of my D&D character yelling at him, illegal plants, a necromancer being cute, an actual event that happened in a D&D game two days ago, and Mermay drawing.
That’s everything in here as a TL;DR, I guess. Enjoy your day!
I’m gonna try and sort of have them in chronological order, oldest first, but I may end up putting them in the wrong order. If I do... Whoops, I guess?
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[04/14/21] - This isn’t really new art, but I started to work on giving the four OCs of mine without a full name full names... I have not finished this bit, though. So Hunter and Akira have full names, and Warlock and Assassin only have temporary names. This may end up like Seven where I put in their names as a temporary name (7th OC I’d made at that time) and it just kind of... sticks. Lmao.
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[04/20/21] - Alone on a Friday Night? God, you’re pathetic. I didn’t colour this one because it was a half-attempt at a meme image I still like it, though, so I might end up colouring it. It’s gonna appear again whenever I do my “unfinished drawings art dump” at some point probably in... June? I know I said I’d post them last month but forget it, lmao, it’ll happen eventually.
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[04/20/21] - A D&D Map! This was to help me visualize the layout of my D&D character’s ship he used to be on. Also for my DM if they ever put us aboard the ship. The little fella in the corner is just there to vibe. This map is made of free to use assets from This Website, so while I’m gonna say DONT USE MY MAP WITHOUT PERMISSION, feel free to make your own!
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[04/26/21] - Lesbian Day of Visibility drawing of yours truly, the disapointment! That’s... really all I have to say about this, honestly. It was just for that one day and that was it, lmao. I mean, I accidentally lined it in dark pink, so.. .That’s different, I guess?
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[04/30/21] - Do Astral Seas dream of Ensorcled Sheep? Does the City know what Sheepleb is going to do? What crimes he may commit? Who knows! This was fan art of Critical Role ep. 134 if I remember correctly, right at the end when they jumped into the portal into the astral sea and Caleb was a sheep. Using my knowledge of the German language, I knew the word for “shit”, and had to use it.
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[05/07/21] - This was already posted, but it’s going in here to dilinuate that it was drawn at this point. Also, aside from playing Miitopia, this is all I have to show for myself until the 12th.
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[05/12/21] - Hex Maniac Ender challenges you to a Pokemon Battle! WIll you win against my team? My sis, who loves fairy types, pointed out to me that there’s a fairy girl and hex maniac duo, so I’d be the hex maniac. I spent... Over a week drawing this, because I basically had to redraw the Hex Maniac art from scratch in a higher quality size, and then draw myself over it. So... You can excuse the low-effort background for once. It was basically this, and then my birthday doodle from May 1st to May 12th, and then I took a break to draw up several D&D characters quickly for fullbody references.
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[05/12/21] - Remember this art I made several months ago? I finally added my other two completed characters! I have three more named but without character sheet D&D characters, so for now this is just Kara, Axel, Golden Shadow, Kau, Cecillia, and Miri. Kress, Tempest, and Melia will have to wait until I make character sheets for them to be posted, and... For when I probably make more D&D characters. I have at least 9 additional, incomplete character ideas floating around, so... I’m never gonna be done this art, huh?
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[05/12/21] - Speaking of D&D characters, did you know I’ve been making them as Miis in Miitopia? So here is their finished full body art next to their Miitopia self! Some of them look a little off (Golden Shadow, Cecillia) because of limitations of the editor and shading issues, some of them look a little off (Kau, Kress) because this is a human face canvas that I’m using to make a non-human face, and some of them (Melia, Axel) look REALLY GOOD. Common traits among my D&D characters include green eyes and tall. You wanna know why? Because I am tall and... despite having red eyes, I do have green eyes under the coloured contacts.
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[05/15/21] - More D&D stuff! This is based around my D&D group’s current Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign where our Goliath Fighter, Nioh, ends up getting a little bit of hate for being cocky, and our little (well over 6′) hater, Axel, is just a man full of irritation. These are the tallest two characters of the group at the moment. Someone send help. Nioh belongs to one of the other D&D players, Axel (and his stupid additude) belongs to me.
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[05/15/21] - This is what me playing D&D feels like. Me, the demon entity trapped inside the head of my D&D character, yelling at them to do things while the dice decide that they’re gonna get bopped a hundred times by a yeti and somehow still survive. This is also a reference to our first or second game where I just ran off like sixty feet to one side of the battle map to fight a Crag Cat and was just in Gay Baby Jail until like two turns later when I could run back to the others. I also drew him not in his winter gear even though this is a bit from when we were atop Kelvin’s Carin in an icy cave, so maybe that’s why he’s at low HP.
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[05/15/21] - Melia has good gardening tips, such as Use A Mars Mii Trap To Hide A Body Because They Are Endangered And It Is Illegal To Dig Them Up. I love her a lot, because she’s the youngest of four, all four sisters based around the different seasons. She’s based around Autumn, so she’s all orange and yellow and brown and is so cute. Also she’s Chaotic Neutral, as if she didn’t need to be mildly more threatening.
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[05/15/21] - Cecillia is my Tiefling gal who lived in a very northern town plagued by cold weather and snow, and Axel is my Pirate guy who spent most of his time further south on the high seas and warmer weather. So, naturally... I’ll use the guy more acclimatized to the hotter weather in the campaign where we spend 99% of it in the snow. She uses Tarot Cards as her spell focus, and I decided to sneak my other D&D characters onto her Tarot cards so naturally, Axel is The Hanged Man, given his backstory and personality. She’s a very cheerful and friendly Tiefling Necromancer of the Hexblade, so she’d for sure take care of those around her to ensure their success. Especially if they’re on her Tarot Cards, and their spirit comes to her aid when she asks for them.
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[05/16/21] - Content Warning; Ryma thinks too much into local stupid moron’s lack of knowing how to answer a question and thinks too much into the reputation of Pirates. Poor Axel, man doesn’t know how to socialize with people who aren’t pirates and is used to being hostile towards everyone, so when he’s asked a question that his answer to is “uhh... no?”, he panics and ends up making a mistake that leads him to think that Ryma can read his mind. Ryma belongs to another of the D&D players. I guess me drawing all those spicy Cow Costumed OCs earlier just brought me to drawing Axel being a bottom in this, huh?
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[05/16/21] - It’s Mermay, which means more OC drawings! Here’s Theo after drinking some potion that turned him into a mermaid, and Seven, tiredly, collecting his stupid boyfriend so that Lailah can fix the fact he’s turned into a mermaid. Mer!Theo is based around his sword’s colours of indigo-purple with red accents, which looks a little weird since Theo is the Blue one of the group, but... it looks cool, I guess. Seven’s just the same outfit as always, just no gloves this time.
--
And that’s it for the art dump! This was, frankly, MASSIVE. I’ll try and remember to upload both on Twitter and Tumblr at the same time, but... Ah... I have been drawing a fair bit. Just mostly sketches and linework that I haven’t finished and may not actually finish. If they’re not completed, I’ll dump them all into something at the end of the month or whatever. Maybe you’ll get the old sketch of the Axel face in panel 3 because in the sketch phase it was an Ahegao face, in the clean sketch it was a lip bite, and in the linework and final it’s just horny face. lmao.
Top ten things I have to remember for drawing: AXEL HAS A SCAR AND GREEN EYES. I remember his eye colour now, but if you look at his fullbody ref, he’s got brown eyes. And, naturally, I keep forgetting to put in his scar. He has more, but most of them are located in areas covered by his clothes. So if I ever draw him shirtless I guess I’ll have to place them somewhere.
Also maybe finish the reference sheets I have left to finish so I can post more of them, since I have two “Pets” completed (Roko and Mona’s nameless pet), but I have to do up Hunter, Warlock, Assassin, Akira, Myuut, and Stella. I’m betting when I do complete two more, it’ll be Hunter and Akira. Those two are the most fun to draw, at least.
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draincongo84 · a month ago
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The 5 Principles For Manifesting Your Needs, Soul Junkie Kind
Right after the fantasy you are manifesting is in-line with assistance as well as motivation, it is invincible. Just in case you consider some amount of resistance, recognition it as well as then return to this prayer. You are switching around your plans and removing room for the endurance within the Universe to help you in such a way you can’t visualize. Manifesting isn’t about having full manage or fulfilling our short-term wishes. Real manifesting isn’t even about obtaining just what we consider you would like. It is concerning acquiring particularly just the thing particularly is from the top useful to all. Vision panels as well as positive affirmations are wonderful simply due to the fact they offer clearness. With days, the world attracts with your potential and also your hopes enter in to type. This method of enabling the manifestation to adhere to your interior belief is definitely the correct procedure for co-development. So while the vast majority of TikTok and Instagram video lessons present makers educating folks getting just what they need in every day lifestyle, it's heading a lot further than that. Chelsea Manigold, Law of Attraction instructor, credits manifestation as “coming as being a reaction to the Law of Attraction. It’s the concept you are able to deliver exactly what you want to you personally, by the thoughts as well as values. When we have been in the field of the perfect, we have now been I AM; if we are expressing ideals in imagined or perhaps in take action, our company is I will. Right after the I will becomes so soaked up in their industry of manifestation which it seems to lose vision from the suitable and centres all its interest in the manifest, it's basically Adam paying attention to the serpent and camouflaging from Jehovah God. Possessing a obvious aspiration plus different instruments, we training this usually. Thank you for visiting a meditative experience introduced by Purposely Connected Traveling. Here’s precisely what therapists look at working with manifestation to have some thing you wish or achieve your desired goals. Since you may get started your trip into manifesting your desires, don't be way too challenging on oneself. "Rid yourself of obstacles and restricting notion systems, check with the world, act, rely on this process," Potter says. She also cautions from obsessing over if your practice is "operating." Believe in that it's, in addition to be sure you display thankfulness for exactly what you currently have. Plus when I applied to believe my center college crush into asking me to get his partner as well as didn't definitely do nearly anything about it myself - that wasn't manifesting. "I don't would like to distribute the belief that when you rest as well as consider good opinions all of the several hours, what you want happens," Potter affirms. The world calls for great experts of your art. To the time getting, may possibly you find blessings on your manifestation quest, and in case you have any more questions in manifestations, keep a comment or send me a note and I would be glad to go over further together with you. Within the celebration you haven’t got the opportunity to undergo my personal post about precisely how to manifest, I would personally undoubtedly make time to experience that post. I jump strong for the process I make use of to manifest every part of residing. The problem is definitely the reality that typically our business is much better at manifesting everything we want when compared with exactly what we don’t want than most of us do wish. A lot of people are unconsciously manifesting our realities on a daily basis for that reason we may possibly not just like the end result. Give focus on one particular want, one aspiration as well as implement your self with laser light emphasis to the seven techniques seeking to that certain need. Naturally, the Law of Attraction is determined by you getting precisely what you concentrate on. However not each and every small bad believed will instantly bring misfortune into the life-span. Once we give, be that romance, hrs, money, or what ever, we transmission that people have ample from using it a whole lot that people may even supply. You cannot indicate abundance better, and also which will without doubt work with you to manifest more quickly.
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Soul Manifestation Review
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elisabettacormac · a month ago
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CHARLIE JANE ANDERS: I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS
I’ll have you know
“Tell me about your dreams,” Dr. Webbo says, without looking directly at El. Instead, she keeps her gaze focused on the middle distance, because El’s vitals and medical records are scrolling across her corneas.
“Boring. Weird,” El says. “A lot of shoe salesmen trying to get me to wear birdcages on my feet. I wake up feeling amazing, though.” Dr. Webbo’s private office looks just like a secluded meadow full of wildflowers.
“Hmm. It says here that you’re only on the most basic sleep package. Your dreams are keeping you young, but they’re not teaching you anything.” Dr. Webbo refocuses her view, and now she’s staring right at El. “You’re a hundred years old now—happy birthday, by the way!—so it’s more important than ever to keep learning.”
“What if I don’t want my dreams to teach me?” El says. “I still learn the old-fashioned way: by making a series of increasingly disastrous choices.”
Dr. Webbo doesn’t even laugh at El’s joke, which, let’s be honest, was only half a joke. El did try to re-skill as an interior-decor coder at age 83, right when all of the decor-scripting languages were becoming obsolete. And then there’s the matter of El’s roommate, whom we’ll get to soon enough.
“This is a quality-of-life issue.” Dr. Webbo furrows her high forehead, causing her locs to shift around. “You could live for another 25 or 30 years, and you want to make the most of the time you have.”
“Yeah. But I read online that these dream lessons are just a lot of mind control, to reprogram your behavior. That’s why they want to give them to old people, so we won’t make any trouble.”
“Don’t believe everything they say on the bubbs,” Dr. Webbo mutters. Then she shrugs. “Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?”
“Yeah.” El takes a deep breath. “I want to do it. I want to start hormones and nano-therapy. I wanna transition from male to female. As a hundredth-birthday present to myself.”
Yes
No
“Are you sure? It’s a big step at your age.”
“Yeah. This is probably the first good decision I’ve made in 40 years.”
Dr. Webbo asks El some more questions, but meanwhile the doctor’s already using her left index finger to click “yes” on a bunch of boxes. El produces a hologram of her therapist, Dr. Russell, winking and giving a big thumbs-up, and Dr. Webbo only glances at it. Seems like gender transition has gotten easier and less gatekeepery since the last time El looked into it.
El always pictured the first gender-confirmation treatment being a kind of glittery mist blown into her face from a cupped palm, like fairy dust. And yeah, that’s one of the options, but there’s also a kind of body paint (starts blue, turns pink, very on-the-nose) and a lozenge you can put under your tongue.
But El wants to make a wish and snort fairy-dust, so that’s what she goes with. Head rush!
“You should start noticing the effects pretty much immediately,” Dr. Webbo says. “Your body will look and feel different, and you might have some mood swings.” She gazes at the enhanced scan view. “Meanwhile, I’ll mark on your file that you declined the dream enhancements, but they’re still going to send you some literature.”
El’s head is still swimming from the sparkly flakes, and her whole brain is doing a happy dance. Today is the first day of my life as a woman, El says to herself. I finally found myself, and it only took a lifetime.
Then she registers the thing about “literature,” and starts to argue—but stops. After all, she’s starting her second century on this planet, and she just finally took the plunge and flipped her gender. Today of all days, she ought to be gracious. “I’ll check out the literature. I promise I’ll think about it. I’ll even talk to my roommate about it.”
Dr. Webbo shakes her head. “I would avoid discussing this with Goaty, if I were you.”
El still doesn’t feel any different when she by-scrolls away from the Hyper-Endocrinthology Center—but the world looks quite transformed. Her gender marker changed in every datasink while she was finishing up her birthday checkup with Dr. Webbo, so everywhere she looks, the shops are advertising these wraps that morph from sundress to corset-dress at sunset. Cartoon characters and knights in armor call her “Ms.” or “Ladyperson” as they pass on the scroll, and even the trees appear fluffier. Of course, every window and streetlight offers El various hundredth-birthday deals, which she’s dreaded (one reason she gave herself something else to celebrate today).
The newsbubbs are full of occurrences that would be terrifying on their own, but which collectively form a gaudy tapestry. The artificial reef we built off the Gulf Coast has been singing again, mostly Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. The Martian robot commune is threatening to shoot down any humans who approach. Five million people are threatening to go on an emotional-labor strike. The Patent Office is once again recognizing Inaction Patents (for new and innovative methods of refraining from doing something) and has already received thousands of applications.
By the time El gets home, her back aches and her knees are doing her a mischief, and all her euphoria at finally making the big change is wearing off. All she wants to do is sit down, maybe watch some stories. But of course, her roommate greets her at the front door, bouncing and demanding to hear every single detail.
Goaty is seven feet tall and teal-colored, except for a purple beard, and today they’re wearing a long crimson necktie and some Bermuda shorts on their woolly goat body. Plus very serious square-framed glasses.
“Not much to tell,” El tells Goaty. “Just a routine checkup. Oh, and I changed my gender at last. Feels good so far.”
“You don’t look a day over 90.” Goaty claps their hoofs.
Goaty’s ingratiating tone makes El suspicious, so she squints at them. “You’ve lost another 2% of your value.”
“That’s the trouble with a floating exchange rate,” Goaty says in a fake-cheerful tone. “Sometimes it just don’t float the way you want.”
When El decided to put all of her retirement savings into a new cryptocurrency, she never expected to end up actually sharing her apartment with the evolved form of Goatcash. For the first few years, Goatcash was fine, accruing value faster than a flesh-and-blood goat could chew through a trash pile. But something happened—the sort of thing that seems to happen all too often lately—and now Goatcash is a sentient being, who lives with her. And sometimes Goaty randomly devours all of El’s junk food, usually while taking terrifying dips in valuation.
“Today of all days, I don’t want to have to worry about you,” El says to Goaty. And then she can’t help mentioning the exact thing that Dr. Webbo told her not to: “My doctor thinks I should get my dreams enhanced.”
“Whoa. I’ve never dreamed, unless you count my birth, when I experienced delusions of liquidity.” Goaty strokes their glorious lavender plume of beard with their left hoof. “But don’t you want to make the most of your dreams? I’ve been watching you sleep, and I have to say you’re pretty uninspiring.”
“You’ve been ... watching me sleep.” El can feel her microbiome go feral.
“What?” Goaty turns shrugging into a dance. “You watch me sleep all the time.”
“That’s only because you sleep all the time.” El snorts. “You should get a job. Whatever kind of jobs they give to failed cryptocurrencies.”
“I’m a success on my own terms!”
It’s just barely nighttime, but El feels exhausted. Big day.
She crawls into bed and feels the gel slowly ooze over her, getting in her pores. While she sleeps, the gel will rejuvenate her cells, like always, and stimulate her neural pathways. She only looks up a few times to see if Goaty is watching.
Sometime in the middle of the night, the “literature” that Dr. Webbo promised arrives. Instead of the usual dream nonsense, El’s ninth-grade volleyball coach, Mr. Rayford, is standing next to her first real boss, Jayjay Manter, and they’re both talking to El about the benefits of enhanced dreaming.
“Just think. You could learn a language, or even become a juggler.” Mr. Rayford juggles three volleyballs.
“I dunno,” El says to these authority figures, whom her conscious mind barely remembers. “I worry there’s a thin line between sleep-learning and indoctrination.”
“All learning is indoctrination,” says Jayjay, with the smirk that El remembers from all those awful staff meetings. “Information is never truly content neutral, right? The point is, you don’t want to be left behind.”
El keeps arguing with them until she wakes up, feeling crampy. Goaty is making a big show of not looking at her.
"Here’s what I don’t get, though.” Goaty is doing some painfully incompetent goat-yoga. “You’re happy to alter your body, and to some extent your mind, by flooding yourself with female hormones and nanotech. But you don’t want to enhance your dreams? You could learn to code in Whut, or understand the new disunified ultrasymmetry physics.”
“Could I finally understand why I put all of my money into a cryptocurrency that keeps trying to eat my drapes?”
“Hey!” Goaty stops in the middle of violent planking. “I never promised to keep gaining value. Or to be a perfect roommate. All I promised is I would solve the Byzantine Generals Problem. Have you been attacked by a Byzantine general even once since you invested in me? No, you have not. Success!”
El keeps noticing weird sensations, like she can actually feel her fat redistributing to her chest and hips, and her skin softening. She almost cried at an ad for shower-grout caulk. She can still remember being in her mid-50s and desperately wanting to transition from male to female. It was right after her divorce from Bessie, which had felt like the end of her life, even though the marriage had only lasted seven years.
Back then, one thought stopped El in her tracks: What if I’m just too old? The idea of starting over at age 54, or 55, just seemed insurmountable, and El pictured everybody looking at her and going, Who do you think you’re kidding? But after she decided not to take the plunge, she kept meeting people her own age and even older, who’d transitioned “late,” and who seemed serenely happy in their own skins.
For decades, El kept finding reasons to hold off, like Why not wait until after the Robertsons’ picnic? Or Maybe once I’ve made myself indispensable at this new job. And then there was always another occasion where El probably ought to make an appearance as a distinguished older gentleman rather than ... whoever she was going to be after transitioning. And that was part of the problem, really: El had a hard time visualizing the person she was going to be, and how people were going to react to her, and she was really good at convincing herself that it was fine either way.
Until one morning, El woke up and realized that a) she was 99 years old, and b) she no longer gave a shit. And it was not too late at all, because it was never too late, and whatever El did, she would still be the same person, in most of the ways that matter. And the harder you try to get “taken seriously,” the less serious you’re actually being.
El goes out and scrolls to the tea-dome, where some friends around her age are getting wrecked on Lapsang souchong and shortbread. Everybody congratulates El on the birthday and transitioning and just generally still being a work in progress.
Turns out Yen and Harriet and a few others have been doing the “enhanced dreaming” thing. “I woke up having memorized all of Samuel Coleridge,” says Harriet with a laugh. “You don’t want to get left behind.”
“I can do my own taxes now, thanks to the enhanced dreaming,” adds Aaron. “You don’t want to get left behind.”
“Why do you all keep repeating that phrase?” El says.
“Which phrase?” Yen asks.
El repeats it: “’You don’t want to get left behind.’”
“I never said that,” Harriet protests.
That evening, El has a hot date, so she reaches all the way into the back of her closet for the dress she bought 20 years ago and never wore, and she feels a moment of panic as she slips it on. Like this dress could burst into flames as soon as she clasps the clasp. Her skin is so sensitive, all of a sudden. “What’s the point of dying without ever once getting to be real?” El says out loud. She wiggles her thumb and a mirror appears, revealing a round-faced woman with her white hair in a bob, who could be one of the old ladies on that comedy show El used to watch. She looks cute, but unremarkable. Which ... is perfect.
This is the person El was trying so hard to visualize, back in her 50s.
She hasn’t really been aware of her own body for a decade or two, other than as a flawed vessel that could break down at any moment. What if her body could be a source of joy once more?
El’s date, a 117-year-old nonbinary person named Ray, insists on getting a pitcher of margaritas, because what’s one more artificial liver replacement? The two of them eat nothing but chips and guacamole and red-hot salsa. Ray is extremely cute, with pink streaks in their hair and a velvet jacket. But they mention that they’re also doing the “enhanced dreaming” thing—and they also randomly keep saying, “You don’t want to get left behind.”
El ends the date early, even though she was having a pretty good time.
The weird sales pitch is back in El’s dreams. This time, it’s Dr. Lathorp, the marriage counselor who kind of took Bessie’s side during their divorce. “I’m glad you’re working through your gender issues at last,” Dr. Lathorp says, with maximum condescension. “But listen, you need to sign up for the enhanced dreams. You don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t understand.”
“You mean, I don’t want to get left behind. That’s what everyone keeps repeating to me. Like they’ve been brainwashed.”
“‘Brainwashing’ has a lot of negative connotations. But nobody wants a dirty brain.” Dr. Lathorp sounds exactly the same as when she called El a supporting character in her own marriage.
“Yeah, I think I’m gonna pass,” El says.
“I’m trying to help you.” Dr. Lathorp is scribbling with a pen that has no ink. “You don’t want Dr. Webbo to report that your faculties are impaired, or you could get put on Supported Living. You might not be allowed to leave your house without supervision, for instance.”
“If you were gonna threaten me, you shouldn’t have chosen the form of someone who was so bad at their job.” A chill is going all the way through El’s bones, and she suddenly doesn’t feel super confident of breathing.
When El looks again, Dr. Lathorp has turned into the state legislator that El interned for in college, Mitch Something-or-other. Mitch is holding out a piece of paper and saying, “C’mon, sign this, will ya? I have places to be.”
"What's the point of dying without ever once getting to be real?"
El ignores Mitch in favor of studying her surroundings. They’re in Mitch’s old office: glass case of softball trophies, shelf of unread books, beautiful desk supporting a crappy computer. El starts pulling books off the shelf and throwing them on the floor.
She’s just remembered two things: dream geography is bullshit. And El studied interior-decor coding for five years.
There, at the back of the bookshelf, El finds a ragged hole in the fake wood. She pushes her hand through, and then her whole body, until she’s in a dank secret passageway. Behind her, Mitch keeps explaining the many benefits of dream enhancement, in a stentorian tone. El keeps going down the passageway as it gets deeper and narrower, until she finds a bunch of roots dangling from the dirt over her head.
El can’t help giggling at the literalism, as she pulls on the roots and gets herself root access. As she suspected, there’s been some corruption here: a malicious codeset that embeds instructions like DON’T VOTE, NEVER CHALLENGE AUTHORITY, STAY HOME, YOU DON’T WANT TO GET LEFT BEHIND. She wishes she had a way to make screenshots of all this, and then her dream helpfully provides an old-school digital camera, like from her youth.
“I’m leaving,” El tells Mitch, who’s followed her down into the tunnel. “People are going to find out about your scam. If you know what’s best for you, you’ll clear the hell out of my dreams.”
“But—” Mitch Something-or-other sputters. “You’re making a terrible mistake.”
“Terrible mistakes are kind of my thing,” El says. “But you know what? I’m a success on my own terms.” She doesn’t even realize for a moment that she just quoted Goaty.
She pushes her way back into Mitch’s office, and keeps shoving through doors, until she finally pushes out of the gel’s dreamscape.
Back in the real world, El sits up, with the last of the gel evaporating off her skin. Goaty is lotus-positioning at the foot of her bed, staring at her.
“Whatever you just did, you should do it way more often,” Goaty says. “You’ve never slept this entertainingly before.”
El just rolls her eyes, and searches her image folder for the screenshots she took of the secret code at the heart of the enhanced-dreaming program. “You know what?” she says to Goaty. “I think I’m turning into the kind of old lady who makes trouble.”
Goaty is too busy trying to eat her only dignified pair of pants to answer.
Charlie Jane Anders is the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award–winning author of All the Birds in the Sky and The City in the Middle of the Night.
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marrydsouzaus · a month ago
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The fees structure for using the Cash App are as follows
The cash app by Square is a mobile payment app that has gained huge popularity among its users in the past few years. It is one of the most used money transfer apps of this generation and it offers a variety of other features which let you send, spend and save money in a quick and easy way and also lets you buy cryptocurrency using your mobile phone. The users are also provided with a free cash card which works like a normal debit card.
 How Does Cash App Work?
 So How Do You Use a Cash App? The cash app has primarily two uses, one is to send money to people living in the same country and another is to receive money. Before that, you can easily add an amount to your Cash app account with the help of a debit card that is linked to your existing bank account. It also offers you to transfer money to your bank account from the app and the complete process usually takes around two to three days.
 Here are the following steps which explain how to use the cash app card:-
 Tap on the dollar icon at the bottom of the app for either making a payment or receiving money from a certain individual. Enter the amount in the question section and tap on either ‘Request’ or ‘Pay’ depending on what you want to go ahead with. Enter the individual’s $cashtag which is either their mail id or phone number and click on send or request money.
 This is How Cash App Works: -
 How to use a Cash app Card for making payments by scanning?
 Alike to the other online payment platforms, this app does offer its users to send or receive money by the scanning option in the same location. Tap on the dollar sign at the bottom of the app. Click on the ‘Scan’ option available at the top left corner. For sending or requesting money, show the person your $Cashtag or tap on the ‘Scan’ option and use your smartphone’s camera to scan the unique tag.
 How to use a Cash app card?
 The main attraction of this application is its feature of a free Visa verified debit card which is commonly known as the Cash Card. This facility of this app is what makes it so different from the other online payment apps.
 This Cash app card can be used for making payments from your Cash app balance at retail shops and at ATMs for withdrawing money. Neither is it connected to the bank account nor with your debit card. However, it is compatible with both A Google Pay and Apple Pay and the Cash Card is available in two colours, either black or white.
 It also offers the option to personalize it by adding your signature at the front of the card and it generally arrives within 10 business working days. However, you need to be 18 or older to apply for a cash card.
 How does the cash app card work and how to request it?
 Launch the Cash app on your Android or iPhone device. And further tap on the Cash Card icon which is located at the bottom left of the screen.
Next, tap on the ‘Green’ order button.
 On the next page, the user needs to choose the Cash Card colour which is basically either white or black. Select the option which asks you whether you want your $Cashtag to appear on the front of the card or not. If you click on the toggle for ‘yes’, it will turn green, and if you click on ‘no’ it will turn black, and hence it won’t be placed at the front of your card.
 There is also an option to customize your card which means you can easily add your signature or draw something at the front of your card. Click on the ‘Tap to customize’ option and either scribble your signature or tap on the smiley face option which is located at the bottom for selecting an icon or for choosing the pre-drawn letters. Once you visit the next page, enter the address of where you want your Cash Card to get delivered. And further, click on the ‘Next’ button to confirm it.
 Confirm your first and last name that is supposed to be printed on the card and click on ‘Next. Enter your date of birth next and tap on the ‘Next’ option. Finally, enter the last four digits of the social security number and tap on ‘Next.
 A pop-up page would appear on the screen which would ask you to confirm your card request and hence click on the ‘Continue’ option. Next, you will be directed to a page where you can add funds to your card. You need to enter the number that you want to add and tap on the small grey ‘X’ for exiting from the screen. This is how the Cash app Card works. However, once you are done with requesting your Cash Card you need to wait for ten business working days for your card to arrive.
 How does the Cash app Card work and how to activate cash app card without a QR code?
 Launch the Cash app on your device. Once you get into the home screen of the app, click on the Cash card button which is the second one from the left bottom of the screen. Click on the ‘Activate Cash App Card’ option once you get to the next screen. Click on the ‘Missing QR code’ button and select the option of ‘Use CVV instead’.
 Enter the expiry date which is located at the button on your Cash Card and the CVV code as well. Your card is ready to use now as you are done with the setting up option.
 How to activate the Cash Card using a QR code?
 Launch the Cash app and click on the Cash Card option located at the left bottom of the screen. Tap on the ‘Activate Cash Card’ option to start with the process. You will be asked by the application to scan the QR Code by using your camera which is provided on the Cash App card. 
 Align the camera with the code and hold it until focused. As soon as you line up the QR code with the camera, your Cash Card will get activated officially and it will be ready for usage.
 Direct Deposit: You can easily get rid of your traditional bank and send your deposit directly to the Cash app. Because of this option, you can easily transfer or spend money straight from your pay-check by the Cash Card or Cash app. 
 Here are the following steps to get started with it:-
 Tap on the ‘Balance’ option in the Cash app and select ‘Cash’.
Scroll down and opt for the ‘Direct Deposit option.
Click on the ‘Get Account number’. 
Further, select the ‘Enable Account’ button.
 Lastly, you need to provide your Cash app account numbers to your company for getting your payment in the app. However, make sure you are having an activated Cash Card for enabling the option of direct deposits.
 The fees structure for using the Cash App card are as follows:-
 For new account holders, you can transfer up to $250 within any seven days and accept up to $1,000 within a span of any 30 days. In order to increase these limits, you need to confirm your identity and once you verify it, the transferring limit rises to $2,500 per week, and there will be no such limit to receive an amount any longer.
 You don’t need to pay any fees for adding money to your Cash App balance from your bank account. However, the instant transfer option from your debit card does cost about 1.5% of your transaction.
 The limit for ATM withdrawal is $250 per transaction, $1,000 within 24 hours, $1,000 in any seven days, and $1,250 within any 30 days. However, the Cash Cards work at any ATM with a $2 charge of the Cash app. Besides that, most of the ATMs charge an extra amount for using the card. The best part is, the Cash app repays these fees when you set up the option of direct deposits.
 At the time of using the Cash app make it a point to be extra careful while entering the recipient’s information correctly as if you end up transferring money to the wrong individual, there is no way you can recourse to get that back once the transfer process has started except to ask for the money back.
 This generation is opting for the idea of cash lessness as technology has made our lives easier with the option to send and receive money through your smartphone within a blink of an eye. Cash app really does offer some of the best options and it is quite easy to use which makes it stand out in the crowd. Besides transferring and receiving money, one can also invest it in stocks, buy and sell bitcoins and get a special savings opportunity by selecting the ‘Cash boosts’ option.
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teamdeal1 · a month ago
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STEPH CURRY'S SECRETS TO SUCCESS: BRAIN COACHING, FLOAT TANKS PLUS STROBE TRAINING GLASSES
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STEPH CURRY'S SECRETS TO BE ABLE TO SUCCESS: BRAIN TRAINING, FLOAT TANKS AND STROBE GOGGLES
Steph Curry and the world's elite athletes are utilizing deep science in addition to cutting-edge tech to examine and train their particular brains, and typically the results have already been profound? not only in their own games, but also their lives. You? ve probably seen the viral video. Steph Curry dribbles a new basketball with 1 hand and along with his other tosses a tennis golf ball backwards and forwards with his / her trainer. This is just one in the long series associated with his typical, elaborate dribbling drills? simply he? s furthermore wearing some sort of goggles, the lenses of which seem to become flashing black. Curry uses them by means of all kinds of different drills; these people? re a popular device for his coach, Brandon Payne, who says that the goggles are 1 of the largest main reasons why Curry created the three-point document to become the very first unanimous league MVP in history. Stephen Curry of the Golden State A warrior warms up prior to a game from the Cleveland Cavaliers about January 16, 2017 at ORACLE Industry in Oakland, Ca. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors warms up before a casino game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on The month of january 16, 2017 at ORACLE Arena within Oakland, California. (Getty Images) The glasses, however , are merely an aspect of any greater philosophy of which drives Curry and Payne? s training. Curry began working out with Payne in 2011 during the NBA lockout, driving a great hour south associated with his home in Charlotte to Fortification Mill, South Carolina, plus Payne? s bland-looking warehouse, home to be able to his private training business, Accelerate Golf ball. It was here that Steph Curry started to come to be STEPH CURRY. Today Curry flies Payne to Oakland all the time so they can exercise; Payne spends days if not months on the highway with your pet. And all of this is because, in inclusion to his experienced strength training plus physical conditioning, Payne is one of pro basketball? t foremost experts within what he phone calls? neurocognitive efficiency.? Payne and Curry make the perfect fit because, the way Payne puts it,? So much of it comes down to be able to the intelligence level of the ball player. You have to possess players who are able to look past the drill, who can know the multiple levels of benefit that every drill gives them. And Steph is the fact that kind of guy.? Curry is actually better than Payne imagined, because he will be uniquely intelligent, curious and unafraid to (a) ask questions, plus (b) try fresh things. And guy, has he tried out things. Three of his primary tests are the glasses, a high-tech training tool used in the course of shooting and flexibility drills called FITLIGHT along with a sensory starvation chamber. Perhaps even more telling compared to the stuff he or she? s using is why he? s deploying it? but first, typically the stuff itself. The goggles came to Curry from Physical Performance Technology, plus were called the Eclipse. They are an updated version regarding the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes? Nike pas cher discontinued the product the few years back. One of many guys working on their development was Herb Yoo, Nike? s overseer of innovation. Whenever Nike shut SPARQ down, he remaining and started a new new company, Senaptec, to build a lot more of the exact same. He has the saying: The eye are the windows to the brain. And his entire idea is in order to build better eyesight by building a new stronger brain. Yoo says,? You might have heard instructors, or analysts within the media, say,? Oh, that sportsperson has great vision.? But what really does that actually mean? They will don? t know. They? re applying the term eyesight as this umbrella term. But... better athletes have much better visual skills.? Just like Curry, let? t look past typically the surface down in order to the multiple tiers of it all. Great vision arrives down to amazing science: We experience our five sensory faculties because of specialised cells throughout the body called physical receptors, which transfer everything you sense, hear, smell, flavor and see in order to your brain. Stephen Curry of the Golden Condition Warriors dribbles previous Marvin Williams of the Charlotte Hornets on February one, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. Stephen Curry of the Gold State Warriors dribbles past Marvin Williams of the Charlotte Hornets on Feb . 1, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Getty Images) Of almost all the sensory pain we have, 70 percent are in our own eyes alone. That? s 260 mil (130 million each eye) receptors getting information in through the eyes in addition to sending it to the brain, by means of 2. 4 mil nerve fibers. This particular adds up to our eyes mailing our brain 109 gigabytes of information each second. Most of us could process that? plus a lot regarding it is selectively ignored by our own brain? but this? s the sports athletes who are able to process that the fastest who are among the particular greatest. Take Girl Ruth. In 1921, researchers from Columbia University? s psychology department performed some studies on typically the Great Bambino, in addition to they found he had one regarding the most impressive sets of sight? and one of the most athletic brains? in existence at that time. He prepared visual information 13 percent faster as compared to normal men, plus compared to the normal person, Babe? s aesthetic perception occurred 150 percent faster. (B/R Mag) The world seems to move around in slow motion for such athletes because their brain is usually working at warp speed. By causing the particular brain do a lot more with less, the strobe goggles are usually a way to make the brain more quickly reach said bending speed when one? s vision is clear. The FITLIGHT system is a lot of palm-sized discs about poles? or just stuck on typically the wall, or placed on the floor? that Payne sets up during drills. It was influenced by Erik Veje Rasmussen, a handball legend in Denmark who had this particular idea to create a method that can measure and train reaction time, velocity, agility and skill. Beyond sports, FITLIGHT has partnerships along with the United Says military. Their aim is basic: Link the particular eye recognizes to what the human brain thinks and exactly how typically the body reacts. Payne sometimes places the FITLIGHT discs on the side as Curry undergoes dribbling drills, or perhaps on the courtroom, where Payne puts them in diverse spots, then settings them utilizing a wireless remote. Each disc can be going eight different colors, and Curry provides to be certain techniques and take specific shots depending on just what colors he views. They? ll start with two to three reads, after that push up to be able to five to six in one drill. Payne says,? That? s incredibly overloading, when you? ve got that numerous decisions for making.? Their particular workouts shift day time to day, in addition to of course, they actually much more than just train along with the FITLIGHT system, but that type of sensory overload? overpowering the mind together with stress while driving quick decisions, usually by complementing FITLIGHT as well as other drills along with the strobe goggles? is the way toward neurocognitive efficiency. Stephen Curry from the yellow metal State Warriors sets over Arron Afflalo of the Sacramento Kings during the game at ORACLE Arena on February 15, 2017 inside Oakland, California. Stephen Curry from the yellow metal Condition Warriors shoots more than Arron Afflalo of the Sacramento Nobleman during a sport at ORACLE Industry on February 12-15, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Getty Images) Say they perform a seven-spot taking pictures drill. Curry has to make, point out, eight out of 10 shots in a certain spot before moving in order to the next. These people don? t count the shot since a make except if Curry not just can make the shot, yet reads the lighting correctly, too.? Of which? s a quite tough drill of which frustrates him,? Payne says.? I realize when I? empieza frustrated him, I? m doing my job, because he is not really gonna cease until he beats it. And trust me, frustrating that will guy achievement harder and tougher to be able to do.? For all this cutting-edge teaching, however , Curry needs time for you to download what he? s understanding, or just unwind right after a hard week or two. That will? s much easier said than completed in this frenetic, always-plugged-in modern globe of ours, where distraction is no further away than the phone/computer within our wallets. Naked in the dark plus floating in space, however, you see, listen to and feel absolutely nothing for as lengthy as you want. A person? re not necessarily in space. You? lso are lying within a large tub full of skin-temperature water and also a thousand pounds of Epsom salt. This can be a sensory deprivation chamber, furthermore known as a new float tank. The particular idea is always to totally remove any physical sensation, leaving just you and your own mind. Curry received into such float tanks prior to the 2015 season following the Players? new head regarding physical performance plus sports science, Lachlan Penfold, told the particular team to examine it out. http://www.strobetraining.com received hooked. He told ESPN in 2015 which he goes regarding a good drift at least when a week, usually at Reboot Health spa in San Francisco. (In the ESPN feature, Curry used swim trunks, nevertheless hardcore floaters know the simplest way to float is naked. ) The magnesium (mg) in the sodium is good regarding sore muscles, plus spending a couple of hours suspended weightless decompresses the spine and assists in easing out tension. Additionally, the time put in taking in literally nothing seems to be able to be fantastic regarding the mind. (Your mind goes from taking in greater than a hundred gigabytes of data in order to virtually zero. ) Curry doesn? t go too deep about it? all he? s stated is that this individual likes the chance to relax,? to get away from the demands and all the stimuli we have in typically the world in our lives.? But in order to go deep concerning it: Research provides found that a sensory deprivation knowledge rivals regarding a new meditation expert reaching a peak meditative state. Some critics see videos regarding, say, Curry dribbling a basketball while wearing all those strobe goggles, plus they hear Payne talk about? neurocognitive efficiency,? and they will say stuff just like, All you require is actually a basketball plus a court in addition to a hoop, and All training is brain. Payne? s experience of them provides us with an instance of what numerous people like him go through. He says,? Basketball mentors, for the the majority of part, I equate to the much radical religious proper. They? re therefore close-minded, and they will wish to accomplish it the particular way it? h always been done.? The phrase regarding death around throughout my office is usually, This is merely how we? ve always done that... because? how we? empieza always done that? is not as good as how we can do it these days.? It? s extremely difficult to imagine right now, nevertheless the criticism confronted by Payne and Curry and individuals of their ilk is exactly how the cynics regarding yore talked about physical training. The way in which sports athletes back then pursued a stronger, far better, faster body, right now the Steph Currys of the planet pursue a better, better, faster brain. And the real kicker here is usually that not only is Curry far through alone; what he or she is doing is usually far from just about all there is to perform. Athletes all over the world are using all kinds of various equipment, equipment and software to do everything from testing their brainpower to inserting themselves into virtual worlds wherein they could train with all the mental anxiety and fear and challenges that these people would face within the arena. A few of these usually are substances that go walking a fine legal grey line. Some are devices that deliver electricity into the head. And some of these things can literally look at your brain for action and sync it with your smartphones. strobe training baseball , in the hand from the hand. Coming from countless trainers like Payne and athletes like Curry in addition to scientists and businessmen wanting to help all of them all, there echoes a common plus thrilling refrain: Inside the words of Natural herb Yoo, who in Nike saw each of the world has to be able to offer these sportsmen,? There? s speed training, there? s speed training, there? s plyometrics? a lot of alternatives within the physical area. They? ve been maxed out.... Typically the sensory cognition, that will neuro, is the new frontier. This particular is really typically the next phase regarding human performance.? This has been excerpted from Head Amongst people: The Mental Executive of the Planet's Elite Athletes by Brandon Sneed. Copyright laws 2017 by Brandon Sneed. Used by permission of Régent Street Books, a new division of HarperCollins Publishers. All correct reserved. Visit headinthegamebook. com.
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