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A BL fan's guide to visiting Thailand

2023.06.02 14:24 Virtual_Tadpole9821 A BL fan's guide to visiting Thailand

There's been much talk about BL's potential as a driver of tourism. And it's evident, as some of you have shared your stories here in this sub, while others have asked for help planning upcoming trips. But there still appears to be a lack of easily accessible information for people visiting Thailand for the BL. Here's an attempt to remedy that, with this guide to visiting Thailand for BL fans. I've taken the liberty to incorporate suggestions from several previous threads here, as well as various other sources, so thank you to everyone who's contributed to the discussion.

First things first

This will only touch on things specifically of interest to BL fans. For the other aspects of your trip, including most basic planning stuff, please consult the usual travel resources.
That said, firstly you'll want to consider the purpose of your trip, and how much of it you want to dedicate to BL stuff. Do you just want a regular vacation, with a side stop for some merch, or are you here to relive the all the scenes from your favourite BLs? It's very possible to come up with a weeks-long itinerary of nothing but BL locations, and you could spend as much time mall-hopping to catch artist appearances, but Thailand also has a lot of other things to experience, whether you want to stick to the major attractions or go off the beaten track. It's all up to you.
Also, this probably goes without saying, but if you want to attend a specific event, be sure to plan around it and make travel arrangements accordingly. Concerts and fan meetings usually have tickets go on sale a couple of months in advance at most, so you'll want to have flexible options if you book your travel and accommodation before then.


Most of the BL-related things you can do will be concentrated in Bangkok, so it's where this guide will be mainly focused, but there are also several provincial locations that have featured in BL, especially Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north and Phuket in the south, all of which are major tourist destinations in their own right. Series have also spent time at plenty of beaches and resorts (particularly around Hua Hin and several towns in Chonburi province) as well as other popular excursions, most of which are short trips from Bangkok. Further out are the island resorts of Koh Samet, Koh Tao and Koh Lanta. The north-east Isan locations are rather off the tourist trail, but could well be worth the experience if that's your style of travel.

Getting immersed

Arriving in Bangkok, one of the first things you'll notice as a fan of Thai BL (or Thai dramas in general) is that you're surrounded by familiar faces everywhere, on banners and billboards and the back of tuk-tuks. Although BL actors aren't that well known among the general public (a surprise to some), the better known ones have a ton of brand endorsements and appear in ads for all sorts of products. Even if you're not planning your trip around BL, spotting actors you know in ads and fan projects can be an entertaining pastime.
Head into a 7-Eleven and you're pretty much guaranteed to see faces you recognize, perhaps on products you're already familiar with from all those series sponsorships and product placements. If the advertising worked and you're dying to know what that bottled green tea or that seaweed snack tastes like, this is your chance to give them a try.
Speaking of tasting, you'll probably be sampling plenty of Thai food while here, so why not include some of the food and drink items from the series you remember, be it som tam from What Zabb Man, the traditional desserts from UWMA, or the famous pink milk, known here as nom yen?
Meanwhile, if taking public transport, spend some time watching the people and see how BL imitates real life. Do you recognize the colours of the school uniforms? Or the university students in their white shirts and black slacks? You might even come across some engineering students in their workshop overshirts.
If you miss hearing the Raikantopeni disclaimer at the beginning of shows, be sure to turn on the TV to catch it as they air live. Be aware though that following shows in Thailand will be more difficult than at home, as they won't have subtitles on TV or on most local streaming services, so you'll likely need a VPN.

Merch stores & fan hangouts

This might be a bit of a letdown, but apart from GMMTV's, there aren't really any physical stores for official merchandise. But since you'll be in the country, you could check with your accommodation to see if they can arrange to accept local package deliveries for you, so you can place some online orders and avoid the international shipping fees. Be sure to check the processing and delivery times - this might be tricky (and won't work with pre-orders, only in-stock items).
GMMTV's shop is not a traditional giftshop as one might assume, but more like a kiosk at their office on the 30th floor of the GMM Grammy Place building - there's just a small product display and a cashier window. Apart from buying products, there's a good chance of running into some actors when visiting, though you're not allowed to linger and there's nowhere to hang out apart from some cafés on the ground floor. You will likely spot some fan-project displays (as mentioned above) outside and in the building, and the cafés will often have cup-sleeve giveaways by fans. Here's a very helpful guide by u/snuffles005: How to visit the GMMTV building and shop
Elsewhere, there's Wab Cafe' and Friends, by the Studio Wabi Sabi people. It's a café, so you'll be buying drinks there rather than merch, but it's very much a space created for fans, and there will often be something going on like fan projects and giveaways, or maybe mini-events with actors making an appearance. It's in RCA, Bangkok's main clubbing neighbourhood (and home to studios where many productions hold their workshops), which takes a bit of an effort to get to, but it's also probably the most dedicated hangout space for BL fans there is.
From Star Hunter, there's Hunter Village, a studio space (mostly used for dance classes) in MBK Center, one of Bangkok's most popular malls. It's a mostly open space, so you'll be able to see if there's someone coming in or something going on, but I'm not sure if it's really somewhere you can hang out at.
Other than that, quite a few actors have their own cafés or some other business, which you might want to visit to support them directly. Clothing and fashion items (perhaps from brands with your faves as presenters) may also be something you'd want to go shopping for.
For manga and anime (including BL/yaoi) there's an Animate store (the specialty chain from Japan), also at MBK Center. In addition to imported works, they also have an extensive Thai section, with both translated and original works.
If you want to observe the Thai novel scene, just walk into any major Thai book store, where you'll likely find rows, maybe entire shelves, of BL novels, prominently displayed - BL has very much gone mainstream in the Thai publishing industry. You'll also find glossy magazines featuring actor photoshoots here. You'll have less luck finding English translations, though, as most translated works are e-book only. For English-language (and Japanese) books in general, your best bet is Books Kinokuniya. They do have Japanese and Chinese translations of some Thai BL novels, as well as the English manga versions of SOTUS and Manner of Death, at international prices.

Catching events

Seeing actors up close (or at a distance) in real life will probably be the BL highlight of your trip for many of you. And unless you're ultra specific as to whom you want to see, there are ample opportunities to catch these actor appearances.
The biggest experiences will of course be the major events - concerts, fan meetings, and the like - that you'll have to buy tickets for. As mentioned above, you'll have to plan around them if you want to attend (which also limits how long you can plan in advance), and make sure to actually get those tickets. They're usually announced very publicly, so it's hard to miss them if you follow the usual news update channels. If you're around when one takes place but can't attend, it can still be worth dropping by if you want to get hold of the merch or just check out the crowds.
For more casual fans, you'll still have plenty of chance to see actors at smaller events, as there's pretty much always something happening somewhere, though there might not be much choice on who you get to see. These events vary a lot in scale, and can be anything from product launches to movie premieres. Most artist's agencies will announce them on their social media channels, usually on a weekly basis, and fan accounts may help share and/or translate them. You'll have to follow them to keep updated.
Most of these events will be held in Bangkok's plethora of malls. The biggest ones are mostly lined along the BTS Skytrain's Sukhumvit Line, so if you plan to do a lot of mall-hopping, whether for events or just shopping, consider getting accommodation with easy access to the BTS for convenience. Here's a great post by u/BumblingWombat that describes the experience in detail: What it's like to go to BL events in Thailand (Oh yeah, there are also top-spender events, which I won't go into, as I don't know anything about them. Those who're aiming for them probably won't need this guide anyway.)
Aside from these specific events, there are also annual book fairs that are partially or directly BL-related, where actors from various agencies may make appearances. The mainstream National Book Fair and Book Expo are usually held at the beginning of April and some time in October. Since last year, BL novels and publishers have had a large presence there, and GMMTV actors made daily appearances with fan gatherings in the car park. There are also smaller book fairs directly focusing on BL: Y Book Fair in July, and International Novel Festival at the end of November. They also feature actor appearances, but can also be worth seeing just for the atmosphere if you're interested in experiencing the literary BL scene here.
On the other hand, to experience more of the community side of the fandom, you might want to check out some fan-held events, such as the birthday projects that fan clubs often do, which may be in the form of café galleries or mini-gatherings. Info will mostly be on Twitter, though it may not be readily translated.

Visiting filming locations

If BL inspired you to make the trip to Thailand, no doubt you'd be interested in visiting some of the filming locations yourself. But while some of them are traditional tourist attractions in their own right, most aren't normally on the radar for general visitors, so it'll take a bit of investment (in time and travel) to include them in your trip.
If there's a single most iconic location to recommend, it must be the Rama VIII Bridge over the Chao Phraya River, which shows up in more BLs than anywhere else. So far, it's been seen in SOTUS, SOTUS S, Gen Y, Tonhon Chonlatee, I Promised You the Moon, My Ride, Enchanté, Cutie Pie, KinnPorsche, Even Sun, 2 Moons: The Ambassador, and Boyband. It's not really a tourist attraction, but it's a major landmark of modern Bangkok that everyone knows, and isn't too hard to get to. It's a bit of a walk (some 15 minutes, or just take a tuk-tuk) from either the Phra Athit or Thewet Pier if you're coming from the main riverside attractions and use the Chao Phraya Express (or Tourist) Boat. If you're into financial history, the Bank of Thailand Learning Center and museum is right next to the bridge. Otherwise, Suan Luang Rama VIII Park by its base is also nice, and also a filming location. The bridge itself is most photogenic at night, but make sure you have transport back if you stay late. Consider one of those dinner cruises if you want to experience it from the same angles as KinnPorsche and Cutie Pie.
For other locations, you'll need to do some research. If there's a specific series you want to follow, try searching to see if someone has already compiled a list of locations, which is likely the case for the more popular series. Most info will be on Tumblr or Twitter.
Filming locations may be public places, shops and businesses, private establishments, or purpose-built or converted studios, so remember to think of their ability to welcome visitors. Dress appropriately for the venue, take care to respect their regular functions, and be considerate to other people. Some of the most familiar locations are university campuses, and the grounds will generally be open to the public, but they're not usually equipped to deal with large numbers of visitors. So if you do visit, have fun reliving those memorable scenes but make sure not to disturb the real students who are there for class. Meanwhile, cafés, bars and restaurants would surely welcome your patronage, but please do not snoop around private offices or people's homes. It all boils down to following common sense, really.
A lot of the locations will be quite spread out and some distance away from downtown, so you'll have to plan carefully if you want to hit more than a few. You might want to hire transport for the day, but also take the traffic into consideration.
If you've always wanted to sleep in the same room that your favourite characters lived in (or at least an identical one), you might be in luck. Some of the apartment locations may have rooms available for daily renting, so check with them. As above, though, their location can be rather inconvenient transport-wise. On the other hand, you might want to opt for the hotels and resorts that featured as locations, which will be better equipped with tourist facilities.
For houses specifically, I have a post on The houses of Thai BL. Most of them are private property rented out as studios, but some will be happy to accept visitors (for a fee) on their off days. Contact their management to see if a something can be arranged. Or if you're serious about it and ready to pay, just rent the place at full price for your own personal photoshoot. If you try it either way, do let us know how it turns out. On the other hand, Wawa House (To Sir, With Love) has a café for visitors, Slōlē (Golden Blood, Bite Me, Enchanté, The Tuxedo, The Eclipse) is a real-life café when not filming, and Red Brick Kitchen (Not Me, KinnPorsche, War of Y) features a chef's table dining experience (reservations only, 4 persons minimum).
If you're just looking for some usual attractions that happen to have BL appearances as a bonus, here are a few (very non-exhaustive) suggestions for Bangkok:
While Bangkok's malls are very much major attractions by themselves, I didn't include them as their appearances are quite too numerous to list.
Outside of Bangkok, each series will mostly feature locations relatively near each other (except Cupid's Last Wish, which went all over the country), so I'll just list the series by destination without going into each location's detail.

Further resources & suggestions

The Let's Talk BL podcast hosts talked about their experience in Thailand last year, covering a lot of the above points over several episodes at the beginning of season 3. Be sure to check them out if you want all the details, especially S3 EP3: Tips & Tricks for the perfect BL experience in Bangkok. Some of their main tips that I didn't mention above are not to overstretch yourself trying to go to everything, and to use a map to plan your days.
Colourme-feral on Tumblr has an incredible Google Map that plots locations from several series, and more in their blog, which a lot of the above is sourced from. For Bad Buddy specifically, Telomeke-bbs on Tumblr has a series of posts that analyse the locations at an insane level of detail.
I'm sure I haven't covered nearly everything in this post, so please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments. (I'll try to expand the locations list as I get around to digging for more series.) If you have questions or need help identifying a specific location, feel free to ask! (Though no guarantees there.)
For full disclosure, I'm receiving no compensation whatsoever for writing this. Any biases or omissions are purely unintentional.
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2023.06.02 06:26 venusedain I think my past life was in the USSR... I need to find out who I was! Help!

Hi guys. First of all, I'm really sorry if I misspell something, english is not my first language.
Last night, I was sleeping and having a "normal" dream until something else invaded that dream. A door or portal (I'm not sure) started forming in the air right in front of me. I became very curious and as I approached, the door opened, revealing a huge, dark, and cold corridor. It was dark, and there was a spiritual aura in that corridor that frightened me. Just as I was about to give up on entering it, I felt a hand on my shoulder. When that hand touched my shoulder, I shrunk down and started crawling on the ground (I think I transformed into a snake), and that somehow made me feel safe enough to pass through the corridor.
Inside the corridor, there were many doors, and I could see glimpses of light and images through the cracks. These seemed like memories. I could hear various sounds coming from the doors, voices conversing, laughter... But I didn't want to enter any of those doors, despite my curiosity. I stopped at the end of the corridor when the last door in front of me opened, and I entered it, and then I started watching a new dream, and I'm pretty sure it was my past life - all of the sensations were TOO VIVID and I can even remember smells, writings on banners, and too many details that I wouldn't remember if it was just a weird dream.
After I entered the door, it seemed like I "returned" to being human and started witnessing several memories of a past life, but they were scrambled and out of order.
The first memory that came to mind was when I was wearing red lipstick, a long dress that didn't seem to belong to this era, and I was smoking a thing that looked like a thin stick, like, it wasn't a common cigarette. I appeared to be young but trying to portray a mature woman. I remember I was scared, not wanting to be recognized. I was on the rooftop of a condominium or hotel (I'm not sure) waiting for my mama, and a very confident, charming, and polite man with a mustache and a suit became interested in me, he was watching me from a distance. He started talking to me, I remember I was trying to be seductive and wanted to look like I was bored, but he made me smile and laugh, and that sensation was weird, it was like I haven't laughed in a while, it felt like relief. Even when I rejected him and tried to be rude, he didn't give up the interest in me, he laughed and seemed to like me even more.
The second memory was of when I was a little girl, wearing a standout red cardigan, living in a village with lots of snow. I would walk home following a train line that was still being constructed I guess, and the men in that village would fish in a large lake, that would freeze in the winter. The houses were small, there were no tall buildings, and the only vegetation was like a tundra. [When I talked to my best friend about this part of the dream, we researched similar places to this one that I dreamed, and after some time we found pictures of places in Russia that seemed veeeeeery similar to this place, specially a city called "Murmansk". I didn't even know this city even existed and never heard of that place in my life, I'M A BRAZILIAN].

The third memory I had was when I was a slightly older girl, but it was before the first memory, I think here I was what, 13? 16? I'm not sure. I had long, brown hair and wore a white dress with ruffled edges that went down to my calves, like girls would wear in ancient times, around 1910/1920. I lived in a house that looked like a mansion, with brick roofs and a large estate that included a grove and a fountain. I remember the memory starting with me arriving from the sky, perhaps by a small airplane or helicopter (??) or some other aerial vehicle (?? i really don't know). I was truly wealthy, with one or two servants waiting for me, and my father was a wealthy man who loved me dearly. I was his darling. He seemed to be a professor at a university or something similar, he was a man of knowledge. I remember hearing people calling me... "Masha," "Masha". I was really happy and lived a good life around that time, I remember feeling like everything was right. [When I told my best friend about that, she enlightened me that Masha is a Russian name and that it was actually a nickname for Maria. And I didn't even know Maria was a Russian name, since it's pretty common here in Latin America too. I was mesmerized. Still am.]

The fourth memory is precisely with my father. I remember being in some place underground, like a mine or a metro (I remember it had a train line and some trolleys) and oddly enough, that's where I studied, alongside other young people, some girls and mostly young men. I studied in a laboratory with my father's support, but what I was doing seemed to be illegal, I don't know. I think it was not allowed for me to study. I apparently had a fiancé, a blond, white man, and he was really wealthy. I loved him at first, but something involving sex happened, I'm not sure. It was after this "sexual encounter" that I completely lost interest in him, I felt disgusted by him and only wanted to know about studying, I didn't want to be his wife. I reall can't remember how, but in the end I avoided marrying him. That's when everything seemed to start going wrong, but I don't know how either.

The fifth memory is of my engagement party with the charming mustached man I met in the first memory. I truly loved him and was very, very happy, oh my god, I can't even describe. We were celebrating our engagement in a place that looked like a small dinebar and I remember the smell of strong perfum, food that involves garlic and sweat (but I didn't find it disgusting, it was hot inside while it was really cold outside, as always. I remember I was so happy I was ecstatic). I remember having diverse guests, some people who seemed to be on the margins of society, like black people, homosexual people, etc. They were all my friends, dear people to me. I remember reaching the back of the diner and seeing my mother wearing a fur coat and a pearl necklace, dressed in 1920s attire, all elegant compared to the rest of us, who were not simple but not so wealthy looking. She was crying because my father had already passed away and because she had no money for anything. She was devastated, and that saddened me deeply, cause I missed her and I missed the feeling of not being the mother to my own mother. I was a 100% certain she would use the money I gave her to buy alcohol since she had become an alcoholic by that point. She smiled at that moment (that was the only time she smiled the entire night) and left through the back with a friend. I remember that impacted me very much, and my fiancé comforted me.
The sixth memory is strange. I was much poorer, living in a very simple cottage with my mother and the man who had become my husband. I remember being in the bedroom with my husband, being... Y'know... intimate, and the sensations felt really real. And my mother was clueless and quite intrusive. She entered the room without knocking or giving any warning, and it was a very embarrassing moment, I remember losing my temper with her and almost yelling that she couldn't do that kind of thing. Then, I remember putting on my clothes, a long-sleeved dress that went down to my calves and was straight, and brown boots. I was skinny and lived in a village with some trees and wooden houses. I recall being a teacher at a school for homosexual boys, I was protecting them from the law, trying to teach tem how to survive while everybody thought they were there to be "reformed". My husband knew everything and was very supportive. Then there was this day when a really strict general entered the school, I already knew him from before. He was there again, wanting to see if the boys were "reformed," and I had to quickly warn the boys to maintain their composure. I remember the general wearing black leather clothes, an imposing hat/beret, and I was so afraid of him that my legs trembled and despite me being a rebel at that point of my life, I was scared like a chicken. I felt like he knew I was lying, like he caught me but acted cool, and I remember thinking that my life was in danger. [Later, when talking to my best friend, I realized that the way he dressed and his behavior reminded me a little too much of a nazi general/soldier. I'm not sure, but this could be it].

The last memory I recall is visiting my husband in prison during winter when there was A LOT of wind and snow. I was wearing a dress, boots, and a warm brown coat, with two pigtails on each side of my head, like "Mary Jane" style. I had a heavy heart as I entered a dark and gray corridor, searching for my husband in the cells until I found him. He was shirtless, barefoot, wearing only gray sweatpants, lying on a stone bench, and he was very strong. I remember being horrified and screaming in despair with all the strenght I had in my lungs, "They're going to kill him! He will die of cold! Cover him up right now!". It was truly horrifying to me, specially because the reason he was there wasn't fair, he didn't do anything wrong, in fact he was fighting for what was right (I don't know what it was, but I remember I kept repeating this inside my mind, like, talking to myself, so revolted for all of this situation, as if it all wasn't fair at all). I recall another man, I'm not sure if he was a corrupt prison guard or a fellow inmate who had been released, gave me the key, and I managed to open the cell where my husband was. It seems like it was planned but I didn't know, we escaped and started running. I remember running through the emergency exit, the fire stairs, and the alarm was triggered. Men in uniforms came running after us with weapons in their hands. I remember almost losing my husband of sight because he was trying to close the door so we could win time, but I waited for him until the end, and we were going downstairs, jumping the stairs. In the end, I only remember that by some miracle, we managed to escape and reached an abandoned wooden cottage where he got dressed, and there was hot soup prepared by his sister, who provided us shelter, but I don't think we had a 'plan B' to get out of there and move on. We had nowhere to go, I guess, but I'm not sure. I just remember being tired, running, the sensation of my heart pulsing so fast I could feel it in my head. I was determined to save my husband.

That's the last memory I have. After that, I don't remember anything else, but I woke up with a sense that our story ended badly. I remember I could'nt stop crying. And I know it all sounds too much of a fanfic but I swear I'm not lying, I swear to god - my boyfriend texted me that morning when I was talking to my best friend about this weird dream, and told me he dreamt that he was a doctor and lived in Russia with me. When I started talking to Erica (my best friend) about it, he was still sleeping. He's my bestfriend since we were little, we've been together for 5 years now and it's been a while since we started talking about marriage, which is something that we plan for the near future. I don't know if he was the man in my dreams, but what he said is stuck in my head. Could he be that man?

I'm certain it wasn't just some hallucination, it was a past life memory. I just don't understand, why would the universe/god/whatever's up there make me remember this life? Because it wasn't a hypnotherapy, I wasn't meditating, I was SLEEPING. It happend involuntarily. What do they want to tell me? Why couldn't I see how I died, was it too traumatizing? Who was Masha/Maria? Who was her father, what was the name of my husband? Will I ever know? I'm just so, so curious. I want to know more.

What do you guys think of this all? What should I do? I'd like to go to a hypnotherapy session but I'm so afraid of, Idk, feeling pain, or seeing how I died and ending up more terrified than I already am of death. I really don't know. But I want to know who Masha/Maria was, what was her last name, if she really existed... I just need to know it was real.
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2023.06.02 01:52 Drty994 Whiskey Tango Ep # 1 Pilot


A young man, JAKE (25), is sleeping in his seat, wearing a wrinkled shirt and a tired expression. He has a small suitcase and a laptop bag with him. A voice over the PA system announces that the flight from London to Miami is about to land.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now approaching Miami International Airport. The local time is 9:22 a.m. and the temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Please remain seated with your seatbelts fastened until the seatbelt sign is turned off. Thank you for flying with us and enjoy your stay in Miami.

Jake opens his eyes and rubs them. He looks out the window and sees the blue sky and the ocean. He sighs and stretches his legs.

I can't believe I'm doing this. Flying across the Atlantic for a job interview that could make or break my career. A job that involves wrestling and TV. Two things I love more than anything. Well, almost anything.

He takes out his phone and turns it on. He checks his messages and sees one from his girlfriend, LUCY (24).

Hey babe, how was the flight? Did you get any sleep? Good luck with the interview, you'll do great! I miss you so much. Call me when you can. Love you xoxo

Jake smiles and texts back.

Hey love, flight was long and boring. Got some sleep but not enough. Thanks for the good wishes, I need them. Miss you too. Will call you later. Love you more xoxo

He puts his phone away and looks around. The plane is full of passengers, mostly tourists and business people. He sees a couple of kids running up and down the aisle, a woman reading a magazine, a man watching a movie on his tablet.

I wonder what they're all here for. Vacation? Work? Family? Maybe they're all going to the same place as me. The Whiskey Tango Studios. The home of the hottest wrestling show on TV. The show that I've been watching since I was a kid. The show that I've been dreaming of working for since I was a teenager.

He takes out his laptop and opens it. He has a folder with his resume, portfolio, and samples of his work as a writer and producer for various TV shows in the UK.

I've worked hard to get here. I've paid my dues in the industry. I've written scripts for soap operas, sitcoms, dramas, reality shows. You name it, I've done it. But none of them gave me the satisfaction that wrestling does. Wrestling is more than just entertainment. It's art. It's storytelling. It's passion.

He clicks on a file that shows a video of him interviewing one of his favorite wrestlers, THE ROCK (45), at a press event in London.

This was one of the best moments of my life. Meeting The Rock in person and asking him about his career, his movies, his advice for aspiring wrestlers and writers like me.

The video plays on his laptop screen.

So, Rock, what would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and become a wrestler or a writer for wrestling?

Well, first of all, I would say thank you for being a fan and for having such passion for this business. Second of all, I would say you have to work hard, be humble, be hungry, and be respectful of everyone who came before you and who will come after you.

The video cuts to Jake nodding and smiling.

That's awesome advice, Rock.

And third of all...

The Rock leans closer to Jake and raises his eyebrow.

THE ROCK (ON VIDEO) have to know your role...

Jake gasps in excitement.

...and shut your mouth!

The Rock laughs and Jake joins him.

Oh my God! You just did it! You just did the catchphrase!

Of course I did! It's what I do!

The video ends with Jake shaking The Rock's hand and thanking him profusely.

That was amazing. He was so cool and nice to me. He even gave me his autograph and took a selfie with me.

He closes his laptop and puts it back in his bag.

But that was just a taste of what I want to do for real. I want to write for Whiskey Tango Wrestling. I want to create stories and characters that will make people laugh, cry, cheer, boo, feel something.

He looks out the window again and sees the plane descending towards the airport.

And this is my chance to do it. This is my shot at making my dream come true.

He fastens his seatbelt and takes a deep breath.

Whiskey Tango I come.


The sun is shining brightly over the busy airport. A large passenger plane lands on the runway and taxis to the gate.


JAKE COHEN, 25, a scruffy and weary-looking man in a wrinkled suit, wakes up from his seat as the plane comes to a stop. He rubs his eyes and checks his phone. It's 9:32 AM.

He grabs his small cabin case from the overhead compartment and slings his laptop bag over his shoulder. He mumbles a "thanks" to the FLIGHT CREW as he shuffles off the plane.


William steps out of the plane and is hit by the Miami heat. He squints as he adjusts to the bright sunlight. He follows other passengers down the flight steps and onto the runway.

JAKE waits in line at the customs booth. He looks nervous as he approaches the CUSTOMS OFFICER, who scans his passport and asks him a few questions.

What's the purpose of your visit, sir?


How long are you staying?

Just a couple of days.

Do you have anything to declare?

No, nothing.

The customs officer nods and stamps his passport.

Welcome to Miami, Mr. Cohen.

Thank you.

JAKE breathes a sigh of relief as he walks away.


Jake enters the bathroom and washes his face at the sink. He tidies his hair and sprays some deodorant and cheap aftershave on himself. He brushes his teeth with a travel toothbrush and toothpaste. He looks at himself in the mirror and grimaces. He should have packed another suit or shirt, or something.


Jake exits the bathroom and walks into the arrivals lounge of the airport. He scans the crowd for a sign with his name on it.

He spots three burly LATINO MEN standing together near the exit. One of them is holding a sign that reads "JAKE COHEN". The other two are wearing sunglasses and earpieces.

The three men notice JAKE and approach him with smiles. They shake his sweaty hand one by one.

RICARDO FUENTES DIAZ, 50s, a well-dressed lawyer and accountant, introduces himself.

Senor Cohen? I'm Ricardo Fuentes Diaz, I'm the lawyer and accountant for Mr. Alejandro Rivera. Mr. Rivera has arranged for you to be staying at The Villa Casa Casuarina down on South Beach for the duration of your visit.

Nice to meet you, Ricardo. And these are...?

Oh, these are Mr. Rivera's associates. This is Carlos and this is Miguel.

CARLOS and MIGUEL nod but don't say anything.

I see. Well, thank you for picking me up.

It's our pleasure, senor. Mr. Rivera is very eager to meet you and discuss business with you. He's expecting you at his office at noon.

Okay, great.

Shall we go then?

Sure, let's go.

Ricardo leads Jake to the exit, followed by Carlos and Miguel.


Ricardo, Jake, Carlos, and Miguel walk out of the airport and head towards a black SUV parked outside.

Ricardo opens the passenger door for Jake.

Please, get in.

Jake gets in the SUV and buckles up.

Ricardo closes the door behind him and gets in the driver's seat.

Carlos and Miguel get in the back seat behind Jake.

Ricardo starts the engine and drives away from the airport.


The SUV speeds along the highway
“No! No issues at all Mr Diaz. Isn’t that the former Versace Mansion?” I quizzed him. Ricardo seemed taken aback by my knowledge and started smiling.
“Indeed it is Mr. Cohen. Please don’t take offence. but I can see you’re a man of champagne taste, and beer money?”
I started chuckling at the comment. “None taken. I’d say more beer taste, and lemonade money.”
“Ah, I see. Well, I’m sure what was arranged with yourself over the phone, but Mr Rivera has mentioned that he will cover your expenses during your time here in Miami. Now, if you will follow me to the car. I’m sure we can stop off at a tailors along the way to get you a new suit. Mr. Rivera will be arriving at your suit around 4pm this afternoon. So when you get back, relax. Eat. Sleep.” replied Ricardo as he led me out of the airport and in to an immaculate deep red Bentley Flying Spur as we drive to the nearest tailors
Scene goes to commercial

COHEN, a handsome but weary-looking man in his early twenties, is dressed in a charcoal suit. He checks himself in the mirror and adjusts his tie. He walks to the living room area of the suite, where a laptop and a coffee maker are on a table. He pours himself a cup of coffee and opens the laptop.

I've never been a man of luxury. I grew up in a rough neighborhood, where you had to fight for everything you wanted. But when Alejandro Rivera called me and offered me a job as the head writer for his new wrestling company, I couldn't say no. He said he was impressed by my work as a journalist and a podcaster, and he wanted me to help him create something different. Something edgy. Something that would shake up the wrestling world.

He types "Alejandro Rivera" on Google and hits enter.

The only problem is, I don't know much about him. Who is he? What is his story? What is his vision? He said he would explain everything in person, at this fancy hotel in downtown Miami. He booked me a suite and paid for my flight. He said he had some other guests he wanted me to meet. He said it was all part of his plan.

He scans the search results, but before he can click on anything, there is a knock on the door. He closes the laptop and walks to the door.

Well, I guess this is it. Time to find out what this is all about.

He opens the door and sees BEN, a cheerful bellboy with a cart full of drinks and menus.

Good afternoon, Mr. Cohen. Sorry to bother you, but we tried calling you on your cell phone. Your guests have arrived.

Oh, really? That was fast.

Yes, sir. They're waiting for you downstairs in the lobby. Shall I bring them up?

Sure, sure. That would be great.

Very well, sir. I'll be right back with them. And here are some menus and drinks for you to enjoy.

Thank you, Ben.

You're very welcome, sir.

BEN smiles and leaves with the cart. COHEN closes the door and takes a deep breath.

Okay, Cohen. You can do this. You've been in this business for over a decade. You've interviewed some of the biggest names in wrestling. You've written some of the most controversial stories. You've got this.

He walks back to the living room and picks up one of the menus.

Besides, how bad can it be? It's just a job interview. With some mysterious billionaire and his entourage. In a luxury hotel suite. In FL.

He flips through the menu and sees some expensive dishes and drinks.

What could possibly go wrong?

He puts down the menu and picks up his coffee cup.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...

He takes a sip of coffee and makes a face.

...this is decaf.

WILLIAM COHEN, a young and ambitious TV writer, enters the luxurious suite with RICARDO DIAZ, a slick and charming producer. They are greeted by BEN, a friendly hotel employee.
BENWelcome to the penthouse suite, gentlemen. I hope you enjoy your stay.
RICARDOThank you, Ben. You're very kind.
BENCan I get you anything? A drink? A snack?
RICARDONo, thank you. We're fine.
BENAlright then. I'll leave you to it. Have a good night.
BEN exits. RICARDO turns to WILLIAM and smiles.
RICARDOWilliam! Good to see you again.
He shakes WILLIAM's hand warmly.
WILLIAMHello, Mr. Diaz.
RICARDOMr. Cohen, I would love to introduce you to my boss, Mr. Alejandro Rivera.
WILLIAM's eyes widen as he waits for the big reveal. He hears a door open and turns to see ALEJANDRO RIVERA, a short and chubby man in a bright pink Hawaiian shirt, beige pants and brown shoes. He is wearing a fedora and sunglasses and is followed by two muscular bodyguards.
ALEJANDROAhh, Mr. Cohen. What a pleasure to finally meet you!
He takes off his sunglasses and hat and hugs WILLIAM tightly.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)How was the journey?
WILLIAMMr. Rivera! The pleasure is all mine. The journey was fine, thank you.
He tries to hide his disappointment and confusion.
WILLIAM (V.O.)This is the guy? The king of Miami? The visionary behind Whiskey Tango? He looks like a tourist who got lost on his way to Disneyland.
ALEJANDROI must admit, I'm very grateful for the suit, the room, and the generosity you've shown me already!
He releases WILLIAM and shakes his hand firmly.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)Is it OK to call you William?
WILLIAMThat's absolutely fine, Mr. Rivera.
ALEJANDROPlease, please. My name is Alejandro. Come on, let's sit and we can talk and order some food.
He leads WILLIAM and RICARDO to the living room area, where one of the bodyguards pours whiskey into glasses.
They toast and drink.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)So, let's cut to the chase, William. I'm a man who has a lot of pull in this beautiful city. I'm well respected. I love the bright neon lights. I love the beautiful Miami sunset. It takes me back to being a kid where I would see similar sights on the TV with Miami Vice, and even wrestling. Mi madre also loved telenovelas back then and I was hooked in. The glitz. The glamour. The violence. The storytelling. That's me, man. Yeah I watch wrestling now, but it's not the same. I want all three entities and mix them up. I saw the stuff you sent to me.
He pulls out a script from his bag and hands it to WILLIAM.
ALEJANDRO (CONT'D)This is brilliant, William. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Whiskey Tango is going to be the next big thing on TV.
ALEJANDRO: (smiling) My brother, Dario, once told me that running a wrestling company was easy. He said all you need is passion, vision and guts. Well, he was wrong. He's gone now, and he running a company in Mexico, and I'm the only one left to carry on our father's legacy. (He gestures to the table) That's why I hired you, Jake. You're the best writer in the business. You have a flair for creating compelling stories and characters. You have a knack for making wrestling exciting and unpredictable.

JAKE: (nodding) Thank you, Mr. Rivera. I appreciate the opportunity. I've always admired your work. You have a reputation for being innovative and daring. You're not afraid to take risks and challenge the status quo.

ALEJANDRO: (clapping) Exactly! That's what I like to hear. You see, Jake, I have a vision for a new wrestling company. A company that will revolutionize the industry. A company that will combine the best of both worlds: the athleticism and skill of USWF, and the drama and spectacle of WWA. A company that will appeal to fans all over the world, especially in Latin America and Europe.

JAKE: (intrigued) Wow. That sounds amazing. What's the name of the company?

ALEJANDRO: (grinning) Lucha Libre Elite.

JAKE: (impressed) I like it. It has a nice ring to it.

ALEJANDRO: (leaning in) And you know what else? I want you to be my head writer. I want you to be the creative force behind this company. I want you to work with me and help me make this dream a reality.

JAKE: (stunned) Me? Really?

ALEJANDRO: (nodding) Yes, you. You have what it takes, Jake. You have talent, passion and vision. Just like me.

RICARDO: (clearing his throat) Excuse me, boss. Jake. If I may interject for a moment.

ALEJANDRO: (annoyed) What is it, Ricardo?

RICARDO: (nervous) Well, boss, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but we have to be realistic here. We have money, yes, but we don't have unlimited resources. We have to be careful with how we spend it. We have to be smart and strategic.

ALEJANDRO: (sighing) Ricardo, Ricardo, Ricardo. Always so cautious and conservative. Don't you see? This is our chance to make history. This is our chance to change the game.

RICARDO: (shaking his head) Boss, I'm just trying to look out for you. For us. You know how tough the competition is out there. You know how ruthless they can be.

ALEJANDRO: (glaring) Who? Who are you talking about?

RICARDO: (swallowing hard) You know who I mean, boss.

JAKE: (confused) Who? Who are they talking about?

ALEJANDRO: (turning to Jake) Jake, let me ask you something. Have you done any research on me? Have you Googled me or read anything about me? Do you know who I am?

JAKE: (hesitant) really...Mr. Rivera.

ALEJANDRO: (laughing) Good! Good! That's good! Because ignorance is bliss, my friend. And trust me, you don't want to know too much about me or my family.

JAKE: (curious) Your family?

ALEJANDRO: (standing up) Yes, Jake. My family. The Cuetos. The most powerful and dangerous family in the world of wrestling. And're part of it too.

(He hugs Jake tightly)

ALEJANDRO: Welcome to La Familia de Cueto. Welcome to Reyes del Mundo, and your the prince of this kingdom, while I reign, as its beneficiator behind the scenes.
Show ends..
submitted by Drty994 to fantasybooking [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 03:34 harry-jg How to Pay Hulu Outside in USA

Can't access Hulu outside the United States? It's as if the universe has conspired against you, demanding you provide a US credit card and asking you to physically be in the country. This becomes particularly vexing when you're on a vacation in, say, Paris, and all you want is to binge-watch your favourite show while munching on a croissant. Turns out, renewing your subscription can be as complicated as explaining the plot of a time-travel movie to your grandmother.
So here's the trick: You need a VPN. Hulu, being the sly fox that it is, looks at your IP address to see if you're within the good ol' USA. But a VPN, with its digital cloak of invisibility, lets you masquerade as a Yank, regardless of your actual whereabouts. Meaning, you could be sipping sake in Tokyo or riding a camel in Egypt, but Hulu will think you're eating apple pie in the heartland.
Through diligent labour, my team and I scrutinized over 60 VPNs designed to finagle Hulu's geoblocks. And standing tall among the crowd, we have ExpressVPN. It's the Brad Pitt of VPNs, offering multiple US servers and lightning-fast speeds to let you access Hulu without as much as a hiccup. And just to sweeten the deal, you can take ExpressVPN for a spin without any risk, as it's protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it doesn't tickle your fancy, getting your money back is as easy as pie.
Getting Cozy with Hulu Globally: A VPN's Role in Your Streaming Escapades
Ever tried to access Hulu outside the United States? It's like attempting to communicate with a mime—nearly impossible and often met with an unamused silence. Hulu, with its treasure trove of binge-worthy content, unfortunately, dons an armor of licensing restrictions that keep it securely tethered to the Land of the Free. Its digital gatekeepers, aptly called geoblocks, detect the non-US IP address and give you a digital cold shoulder. And if you thought that's the end of your woes, there's more! Setting up a new Hulu account would need a US credit card, a hurdle that's hard to leap.
In these dire times, one can count on the prowess of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Picture a VPN as a savvy undercover agent, masterfully disguising your IP address as if you're lounging on a couch somewhere in New York, even when you're actually sunbathing in Barcelona. A VPN juggles your internet traffic, directing it through a server of your choice, thereby replacing your original IP address with a shiny new one from the chosen location. This high-tech sleight of hand can bamboozle streaming platforms into thinking you're within their allowed borders.
In layman's terms, pick a VPN server located in the US and voila! You get a US IP address. When Hulu gazes upon this borrowed IP, it believes you're a proud dweller of Uncle Sam's land, lifting the barriers. Suddenly, signing up, renewing subscriptions, and accessing your beloved Hulu shows become a cakewalk, no matter where on the globe you're perched.
Imagine you're trying to sprint a marathon on stilts - pretty inconvenient and unstable, right? Now swap those stilts with a pair of world-class running shoes, and suddenly you're Usain Bolt. That's precisely the upgrade ExpressVPN offers when you're trying to subscribe to Hulu or streaming in Ultra High Definition.
In a test of virtual athleticism, ExpressVPN's New York, Dallas, and Chicago servers gave a stunning performance. Clocking in at an average speed of 91 Mbps, they fell only a hair short of my prime 100 Mbps connection. It’s like running a race and placing a close second to a cheetah. Given that you need merely a humble 25 Mbps to stream in UHD, this VPN crosses the finish line with excessive energy to spare. Even when I indulged in a hair-raising episode of American Horror Story, buffering was a foreign concept.
In addition to its impressive speed, ExpressVPN offers a roster of 24 US locations, akin to a digital buffet of options for connecting to Hulu on your world travels. Even from the other side of the world (9,153 km away, to be exact), my New Jersey server stood like a steadfast guard, ensuring my connection remained unbroken.
What's more, ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer acts as a secret decoder ring, enabling you to watch Hulu on devices that usually don't shake hands with VPNs. PlayStation, Xbox, or even that one smart TV you got at a Black Friday sale years ago; all can be brought into the fold. The setup process was quicker than making a microwave popcorn bag. Simply jot down a code from your ExpressVPN account dashboard, feed it into your smart TV’s network settings, and voila! I found myself catching up on Hulu shows on my antiquated Samsung Tizen TV with no hiccups.
While ExpressVPN might ask for a few more pennies than its fellow VPN services, the sheer performance justifies the price tag. It's like paying extra for a VIP concert ticket - you're assured of the best experience. And with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can test drive it on Hulu, no strings attached. And if you decide it's not your cup of tea, their customer support is there to process your refund without quibble. They’re rather nice about it, really.
Picture CyberGhost as the highly competent butler of your digital mansion, ensuring a seamless Hulu streaming experience. This ace up the VPN sleeve not only provides fast and reliable connections but serves them with a silver platter specifically designed for Hulu. Imagine a world where buffering is as extinct as dial-up internet, all thanks to CyberGhost’s Hulu-optimized servers. I frolicked in this paradise while renewing my subscription using their Miami server.
Using CyberGhost's Hulu-optimized servers is like walking through an automatic door; it's a breeze. The interface is as user-friendly as a Labrador puppy. A simple peck on your keyboard typing "Hulu" in the search bar under the "For streaming" tab, and you're given a list of servers that are specially designed to work magic on Hulu. Better still, some of these servers have undergone a digital personal training regimen to optimize their performance for Fire Stick and Android TV specifically.
While CyberGhost may not be as predictably consistent as ExpressVPN, akin to a weather forecast, its connections still hold strong. Think of it like a relay race with the US, UK, and Australia servers, each passing the baton without letting the speed dip below an 82 Mbps average. I was treated to uninterrupted feasts of "Santa Evita" and "House of the Dragon" in Ultra High Definition, without so much as a single awkward pause or hiccup.
Private Internet Access
Imagine a scenario where you have a myriad of IP addresses at your disposal for streaming Hulu like a monarch, that's exactly what PIA offers. This VPN is a playground teeming with server options in the US, reducing your chances of being in the middle of an overcrowded digital mosh pit. Trust me, you'd prefer your own breathing room when renewing your Hulu subscription, which I did with as much ease as butter sliding off a hot knife. With such an extensive server network, you have a buffet of alternative routes should Hulu unexpectedly pull the roadblock on one.
What sets PIA apart from the crowd is its penchant for personalization. Think of it as the bespoke suit of VPN apps. This little wonder comes with an array of widgets that are as flexible as a yoga instructor, ready to twist and bend to suit your interface aesthetic. Additionally, it hands you the reins of encryption, allowing you to choose between the Fort Knox of security - the AES 256-bit encryption, or the slightly more fleet-footed but still quite secure AES 128-bit encryption.
Now, this plethora of customization options could be a bit like being lost in a tech version of Narnia for the newly initiated. It's a lot to take in. But give it a little time, a few exploratory clicks and swipes, and you'll find the app's interface becomes as familiar and easy to navigate as your favorite neighborhood bistro.
Five Secret Passages to Hulu Land Without a US Credit Card in 2023
Juggling through the nuances of signing up for Hulu, especially without a US credit card, can make your head spin faster than a hamster on a wheel. So let's pop the lid off Pandora's box and unveil the five undercover methods to bring Hulu to your fingertips.
Before you sprint into action, let's cross off a couple of quick checks:
Make sure to equip yourself with a VPN. Any VPN on my coveted shortlist should do the trick, but I would tilt my hat towards ExpressVPN. It zips along at breakneck speeds and boasts a generous offering of US servers to select from
Now you're in the right gear, but you need to be in the right place. As Hulu only pays house visits to those who reside in the US (virtually, of course), that's where you should connect.
With these quick checks done and dusted, you're ready to proceed. Brace yourself as we unveil the five secret scrolls to gain access to the tantalizing world of Hulu.
MyGiftCardSupply: Your Key to Unlock Hulu's Magic Box
A Hulu gift card from MyGiftCardSupply is your golden ticket to the land of unlimited entertainment.
Step 1: Buying a ticket. Venture into the online bazaar of MyGiftCardSupply, and procure a Hulu gift card ranging from $25 to $100. The amount depends on how deep you want to dive into the ocean of Hulu content. Be sure to sign up if you haven't already - think of it as a friendly handshake.
Step 2: Sniff out the code. Once the gift card purchase is complete, you'll receive an email with the precious code. Open it, and gently copy the code.
Step 3: Claim your prize. Stride confidently to Hulu's redemption page, type in your hard-earned code, and create your account. Do remember to use a US address and zip code when signing up – they are quite particular about that.
Step 4: Let the show begin. Slide into Hulu's log-in page and gently type in your shiny new credentials.
Step 5: The Grand Finale. Now it's time to sit back, relax, and bask in the glory of endless entertainment on Hulu. Step into your personal streaming universe and enjoy the show!
Hitching a Ride on iTunes US: Your Unconventional Route to Hulu
Now, let's stroll down a different route, this time, a path known as 'iTunes US.'
Step 1: Set up camp in the Land of Apple. Visit Apple's website and pitch your digital tent by creating a new account. Consider this your personal American outpost in the universe of iTunes.
Step 2: Stock up on provisions. Replenish your digital coffers either directly through iTunes or via a US iTunes gift card, which is akin to your secret stash of apple cider in the cellar.
Step 3: Summon Hulu. Type "Hulu" into the search bar and download the app. Much like calling a pet, it'll come running and install itself onto your device.
Step 4: Enter the realm of Hulu. Use your iTunes funds to either get a shiny new plan or renew an existing subscription, and then log into your Hulu account. This is you officially checking into the grand Hulu Hotel.
Step 5: Savour the spectacle. With all these steps complete, you're now in a position to pay for and enjoy your Hulu account. It's time to kick back and indulge in the smorgasbord of entertainment that Hulu has to offer.
Hopping onto the Hulu Train with a Prepaid US Card: A Thrifty Globetrotter's Guide
Let's now venture down a pragmatic avenue, namely the 'Prepaid US Card' route.
The first station is "Prepaid US Card Central". You'll need to navigate your way to VISA or MasterCard, where you can choose your ticket – the prepaid card.
Next, we arrive at "Funds Station". Here, you need to fuel up your prepaid card. This can be done directly or by transferring money from your bank account, given that your card of choice supports such cheery transfers.
Having acquired your ticket and made sure it's packed with funds, it's time to board the Hulu Express at the "Hulu Account Terminal". Here, you'll need to check-in, select a subscription plan, and jot down the necessary particulars.
We're almost there. The last stop before you start your entertainment journey is "Registration Point". Here, you pay for the service using your shiny new prepaid card. Now, if this doesn't work for some reason, perhaps the ticket machine is being obstinate, don't fret – just try the gift card method instead.
With the ticketing process complete, you're all set to start watching. It's time to sit back, kick off your shoes, and let the Hulu Express whisk you away into a world of non-stop entertainment, right outside of the USA.
PayPal Your Way to Hulu Paradise: A Modern Maverick's Approach
Welcome to the "PayPal method", a trail favored by modern mavericks, digital nomads, and online shopping aficionados.
Begin this journey by constructing your own digital finance fortress – a PayPal account. You'll need to swing by PayPal and ensure you're setting up a US account. Now, it's imperative that you get this right, because Hulu can be a bit snobbish when it comes to foreign PayPal accounts. If setting up a US PayPal account starts to feel like trying to lasso a greased pig, simply revert to our old reliable – the gift card method.
Having established your PayPal account, you're now ready for the next leg of the journey. Head on over to Hulu, strut your stuff, and log in using your credentials.
Next up, it's time to pay the piper... or rather, the subscription. If your account is a newborn, fresh out of the internet womb, you can also kick off a free trial.
With these steps accomplished, it's time to kick back and start watching. Dive headlong into the ocean of your favorite Hulu shows, and swim around in the thrill of it all.
StatesCard: Your Magic Carpet Ride to Hulu Bingeing
Behold, the wonders of StatesCard, the 21st-century magic carpet ride to the land of Hulu bingeing!
Your journey starts at the port of StatesCard, where you'll need to carve out your digital presence by clicking the "Sign Up" button. Having successfully become a part of the club, add a little bit of that digital money to make it official.
Your next stop is Hulu. Log in with your carefully crafted credentials or take a bold step and create a whole new identity for yourself (strictly on Hulu, of course).
Once settled in, it's time to pay the virtual ferryman. Use the card information you secured from your new friend, StatesCard, to pay for or renew your Hulu subscription. If you do this right, you'll have successfully purchased your ticket to endless entertainment.
Having accomplished these milestones, you're now fully armed and ready to embark on the Hulu adventure. Sit back, relax, and let the world of your favorite Hulu shows envelop you.
submitted by harry-jg to topvpn [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:04 Fast-Service-280 ($BCNN) Management Discussion and Analysis – Outlook 2023

This management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) includes information that will help you understand management’s perspective on the Outlook for 2023 for Balincan USA Inc (BCNN) and its subsidiary Tekumo LLC (the “Company”). We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from our recent customer announcements will exceed more than $6 million.
As you review this MD&A, we encourage you to read our interim financial statements and notes for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, our consolidated financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2022, and our Letter to Shareholders dated May 9, 2023 (all filed with OTC Markets).
Caution about forward-looking information
This MD&A includes statements and information about our expectations for the future. When we discuss our strategy, plans, future financial and operating performance, or other things that have not yet taken place, we are making statements considered to be forward-looking statements under United States (US) securities laws. Please see the disclosure relative to forward-looking statements at the base of this discussion.
The Company offers a service delivery platform that solves the "last-mile" of installing, monitoring, and maintaining technology systems and smart connected devices.
We play at the intersection of two major trends: the “Uber-ization” of product and service delivery, and the explosion of smart connected devices brought about by the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Our Service Delivery platform was designed to intelligently automate the installation and maintenance of products by offering On-Demand local technician resources, as well as providing a “smart interface” for the monitoring and management of connected devices.
This service platform caters for a broad range of technologies from POS systems, kiosks, digital menu boards, cameras, cabling, Wi-Fi and networking, to water and energy management, lighting and HVAC control, smart homes devices, wearable sensors, and access control.
Our platform results in “less people, less time and less cost” for our customers.
Tekumo started its journey as a small IT managed services company while we developed our Service Delivery Platform, recording service revenue of $2+ million in 2022 and 2021. We pivoted away from that managed service orientation to our real “soul” as a software-based solution at the end of 2022, having invested over $3 million in completing the Platform.
We have recently announced anchor customers in multiple industry segments. We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from these announcements will exceed more than three times our previous annual revenue and will grow.
IT and Retail Services:
Most of our historical revenue has come from this segment. We have completed projects for such companies as Target, Home Depot, McDonalds, US Bank, 7Eleven, and AT&T. Our median work order is $250 for a 2.65-hour engagement.
Smart Homes/Buildings:
The Smart Home Industry is already large and is expected to grow quickly. We have installed smart door locks, smart switches, access control, smart thermostats, and water leak sensors at an average per unit revenue of $200-250.
Regulations to protect employees and guests in hotels are changing rapidly. We have been engaged to install panic buttons and other wireless technologies in a leading hotel group. These projects will be sold on a monthly recurring revenue basis
Financial Summary:
Our gross margin of 40% from 2022/21 is expected to continue in 2023. Operating Expenses ran $2.2 million in 2022, and there will be no major changes in fixed costs. An expected $6 million revenue rate would result in a near cash flow breakeven, with a continued investment in our technology and sales efforts fostering growth into 2024. We expect to see the effects of these recent partnerships from Q3 onwards.
As of May 29, 2023 our common share structure is:
BCNN SECURITY DETAILS (OTC) Authorized Shares1,500,000,0005/29/2023 Outstanding Shares182,163,3175/29/2023Restricted135,040,8105/29/2023Unrestricted47,122,5075/29/2023 Held at DTC 45,238,9565/29/2023 Float 15,747,50712/31/2022
During the first quarter, the Company only issued a total of 31,375,000 common shares pursuant to our Regulation 1-A offering filed with the Securities and Exchange commission as of September 23, 2022. Under such an offering, the Company may issue up to 100,000,000 shares.
Drawing down the balance of the Reg A offering will provide necessary working capital and will only result in outstanding shares of approximately 250 million.
On February 3, 2023 The Company announced that it had filed for a formal name and symbol change to Tekumo, Inc., TKMO, subject to the approval of FINRA. The Company has answered all questions as part of the preliminary review. However, there is a secondary review related to a filing that was not made back in 2010. This does not pertain to present management or operations, and we remain confident that we will announce a change in due course.
About Balincan USA, Inc.
Balincan USA, Inc (OTC: BCNN) is an alternative reporting publicly held company that wholly-owns Tekumo LLC.
submitted by Fast-Service-280 to StockTradingIdeas [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:03 Fast-Service-280 ($BCNN) Management Discussion and Analysis – Outlook 2023

This management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) includes information that will help you understand management’s perspective on the Outlook for 2023 for Balincan USA Inc (BCNN) and its subsidiary Tekumo LLC (the “Company”). We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from our recent customer announcements will exceed more than $6 million.
As you review this MD&A, we encourage you to read our interim financial statements and notes for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, our consolidated financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2022, and our Letter to Shareholders dated May 9, 2023 (all filed with OTC Markets).
Caution about forward-looking information
This MD&A includes statements and information about our expectations for the future. When we discuss our strategy, plans, future financial and operating performance, or other things that have not yet taken place, we are making statements considered to be forward-looking statements under United States (US) securities laws. Please see the disclosure relative to forward-looking statements at the base of this discussion.
The Company offers a service delivery platform that solves the "last-mile" of installing, monitoring, and maintaining technology systems and smart connected devices.
We play at the intersection of two major trends: the “Uber-ization” of product and service delivery, and the explosion of smart connected devices brought about by the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Our Service Delivery platform was designed to intelligently automate the installation and maintenance of products by offering On-Demand local technician resources, as well as providing a “smart interface” for the monitoring and management of connected devices.
This service platform caters for a broad range of technologies from POS systems, kiosks, digital menu boards, cameras, cabling, Wi-Fi and networking, to water and energy management, lighting and HVAC control, smart homes devices, wearable sensors, and access control.
Our platform results in “less people, less time and less cost” for our customers.
Tekumo started its journey as a small IT managed services company while we developed our Service Delivery Platform, recording service revenue of $2+ million in 2022 and 2021. We pivoted away from that managed service orientation to our real “soul” as a software-based solution at the end of 2022, having invested over $3 million in completing the Platform.
We have recently announced anchor customers in multiple industry segments. We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from these announcements will exceed more than three times our previous annual revenue and will grow.
IT and Retail Services:
Most of our historical revenue has come from this segment. We have completed projects for such companies as Target, Home Depot, McDonalds, US Bank, 7Eleven, and AT&T. Our median work order is $250 for a 2.65-hour engagement.
Smart Homes/Buildings:
The Smart Home Industry is already large and is expected to grow quickly. We have installed smart door locks, smart switches, access control, smart thermostats, and water leak sensors at an average per unit revenue of $200-250.
Regulations to protect employees and guests in hotels are changing rapidly. We have been engaged to install panic buttons and other wireless technologies in a leading hotel group. These projects will be sold on a monthly recurring revenue basis
Financial Summary:
Our gross margin of 40% from 2022/21 is expected to continue in 2023. Operating Expenses ran $2.2 million in 2022, and there will be no major changes in fixed costs. An expected $6 million revenue rate would result in a near cash flow breakeven, with a continued investment in our technology and sales efforts fostering growth into 2024. We expect to see the effects of these recent partnerships from Q3 onwards.
As of May 29, 2023 our common share structure is:
BCNN SECURITY DETAILS (OTC) Authorized Shares1,500,000,0005/29/2023 Outstanding Shares182,163,3175/29/2023Restricted135,040,8105/29/2023Unrestricted47,122,5075/29/2023 Held at DTC 45,238,9565/29/2023 Float 15,747,50712/31/2022
During the first quarter, the Company only issued a total of 31,375,000 common shares pursuant to our Regulation 1-A offering filed with the Securities and Exchange commission as of September 23, 2022. Under such an offering, the Company may issue up to 100,000,000 shares.
Drawing down the balance of the Reg A offering will provide necessary working capital and will only result in outstanding shares of approximately 250 million.
On February 3, 2023 The Company announced that it had filed for a formal name and symbol change to Tekumo, Inc., TKMO, subject to the approval of FINRA. The Company has answered all questions as part of the preliminary review. However, there is a secondary review related to a filing that was not made back in 2010. This does not pertain to present management or operations, and we remain confident that we will announce a change in due course.
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2023.05.31 18:02 Fast-Service-280 ($BCNN) Management Discussion and Analysis – Outlo

This management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) includes information that will help you understand management’s perspective on the Outlook for 2023 for Balincan USA Inc (BCNN) and its subsidiary Tekumo LLC (the “Company”). We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from our recent customer announcements will exceed more than $6 million.
As you review this MD&A, we encourage you to read our interim financial statements and notes for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, our consolidated financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2022, and our Letter to Shareholders dated May 9, 2023 (all filed with OTC Markets).
Caution about forward-looking information
This MD&A includes statements and information about our expectations for the future. When we discuss our strategy, plans, future financial and operating performance, or other things that have not yet taken place, we are making statements considered to be forward-looking statements under United States (US) securities laws. Please see the disclosure relative to forward-looking statements at the base of this discussion.
The Company offers a service delivery platform that solves the "last-mile" of installing, monitoring, and maintaining technology systems and smart connected devices.
We play at the intersection of two major trends: the “Uber-ization” of product and service delivery, and the explosion of smart connected devices brought about by the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Our Service Delivery platform was designed to intelligently automate the installation and maintenance of products by offering On-Demand local technician resources, as well as providing a “smart interface” for the monitoring and management of connected devices.
This service platform caters for a broad range of technologies from POS systems, kiosks, digital menu boards, cameras, cabling, Wi-Fi and networking, to water and energy management, lighting and HVAC control, smart homes devices, wearable sensors, and access control.
Our platform results in “less people, less time and less cost” for our customers.
Tekumo started its journey as a small IT managed services company while we developed our Service Delivery Platform, recording service revenue of $2+ million in 2022 and 2021. We pivoted away from that managed service orientation to our real “soul” as a software-based solution at the end of 2022, having invested over $3 million in completing the Platform.
We have recently announced anchor customers in multiple industry segments. We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from these announcements will exceed more than three times our previous annual revenue and will grow.
IT and Retail Services:
Most of our historical revenue has come from this segment. We have completed projects for such companies as Target, Home Depot, McDonalds, US Bank, 7Eleven, and AT&T. Our median work order is $250 for a 2.65-hour engagement.
Smart Homes/Buildings:
The Smart Home Industry is already large and is expected to grow quickly. We have installed smart door locks, smart switches, access control, smart thermostats, and water leak sensors at an average per unit revenue of $200-250.
Regulations to protect employees and guests in hotels are changing rapidly. We have been engaged to install panic buttons and other wireless technologies in a leading hotel group. These projects will be sold on a monthly recurring revenue basis
Financial Summary:
Our gross margin of 40% from 2022/21 is expected to continue in 2023. Operating Expenses ran $2.2 million in 2022, and there will be no major changes in fixed costs. An expected $6 million revenue rate would result in a near cash flow breakeven, with a continued investment in our technology and sales efforts fostering growth into 2024. We expect to see the effects of these recent partnerships from Q3 onwards.
As of May 29, 2023 our common share structure is:
BCNN SECURITY DETAILS (OTC) Authorized Shares1,500,000,0005/29/2023 Outstanding Shares182,163,3175/29/2023Restricted135,040,8105/29/2023Unrestricted47,122,5075/29/2023 Held at DTC 45,238,9565/29/2023 Float 15,747,50712/31/2022
During the first quarter, the Company only issued a total of 31,375,000 common shares pursuant to our Regulation 1-A offering filed with the Securities and Exchange commission as of September 23, 2022. Under such an offering, the Company may issue up to 100,000,000 shares.
Drawing down the balance of the Reg A offering will provide necessary working capital and will only result in outstanding shares of approximately 250 million.
On February 3, 2023 The Company announced that it had filed for a formal name and symbol change to Tekumo, Inc., TKMO, subject to the approval of FINRA. The Company has answered all questions as part of the preliminary review. However, there is a secondary review related to a filing that was not made back in 2010. This does not pertain to present management or operations, and we remain confident that we will announce a change in due course.
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2023.05.31 18:01 Fast-Service-280 ($BCNN) Management Discussion and Analysis – Outlook 2023

This management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) includes information that will help you understand management’s perspective on the Outlook for 2023 for Balincan USA Inc (BCNN) and its subsidiary Tekumo LLC (the “Company”). We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from our recent customer announcements will exceed more than $6 million.
As you review this MD&A, we encourage you to read our interim financial statements and notes for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, our consolidated financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2022, and our Letter to Shareholders dated May 9, 2023 (all filed with OTC Markets).
Caution about forward-looking information
This MD&A includes statements and information about our expectations for the future. When we discuss our strategy, plans, future financial and operating performance, or other things that have not yet taken place, we are making statements considered to be forward-looking statements under United States (US) securities laws. Please see the disclosure relative to forward-looking statements at the base of this discussion.
The Company offers a service delivery platform that solves the "last-mile" of installing, monitoring, and maintaining technology systems and smart connected devices.
We play at the intersection of two major trends: the “Uber-ization” of product and service delivery, and the explosion of smart connected devices brought about by the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Our Service Delivery platform was designed to intelligently automate the installation and maintenance of products by offering On-Demand local technician resources, as well as providing a “smart interface” for the monitoring and management of connected devices.
This service platform caters for a broad range of technologies from POS systems, kiosks, digital menu boards, cameras, cabling, Wi-Fi and networking, to water and energy management, lighting and HVAC control, smart homes devices, wearable sensors, and access control.
Our platform results in “less people, less time and less cost” for our customers.
Tekumo started its journey as a small IT managed services company while we developed our Service Delivery Platform, recording service revenue of $2+ million in 2022 and 2021. We pivoted away from that managed service orientation to our real “soul” as a software-based solution at the end of 2022, having invested over $3 million in completing the Platform.
We have recently announced anchor customers in multiple industry segments. We expect that the revenue generated over the next 12 months from these announcements will exceed more than three times our previous annual revenue and will grow.
IT and Retail Services:
Most of our historical revenue has come from this segment. We have completed projects for such companies as Target, Home Depot, McDonalds, US Bank, 7Eleven, and AT&T. Our median work order is $250 for a 2.65-hour engagement.
Smart Homes/Buildings:
The Smart Home Industry is already large and is expected to grow quickly. We have installed smart door locks, smart switches, access control, smart thermostats, and water leak sensors at an average per unit revenue of $200-250.
Regulations to protect employees and guests in hotels are changing rapidly. We have been engaged to install panic buttons and other wireless technologies in a leading hotel group. These projects will be sold on a monthly recurring revenue basis
Financial Summary:
Our gross margin of 40% from 2022/21 is expected to continue in 2023. Operating Expenses ran $2.2 million in 2022, and there will be no major changes in fixed costs. An expected $6 million revenue rate would result in a near cash flow breakeven, with a continued investment in our technology and sales efforts fostering growth into 2024. We expect to see the effects of these recent partnerships from Q3 onwards.
As of May 29, 2023 our common share structure is:
BCNN SECURITY DETAILS (OTC) Authorized Shares1,500,000,0005/29/2023 Outstanding Shares182,163,3175/29/2023Restricted135,040,8105/29/2023Unrestricted47,122,5075/29/2023 Held at DTC 45,238,9565/29/2023 Float 15,747,50712/31/2022
During the first quarter, the Company only issued a total of 31,375,000 common shares pursuant to our Regulation 1-A offering filed with the Securities and Exchange commission as of September 23, 2022. Under such an offering, the Company may issue up to 100,000,000 shares.
Drawing down the balance of the Reg A offering will provide necessary working capital and will only result in outstanding shares of approximately 250 million.
On February 3, 2023 The Company announced that it had filed for a formal name and symbol change to Tekumo, Inc., TKMO, subject to the approval of FINRA. The Company has answered all questions as part of the preliminary review. However, there is a secondary review related to a filing that was not made back in 2010. This does not pertain to present management or operations, and we remain confident that we will announce a change in due course.
submitted by Fast-Service-280 to pennystocks [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 03:35 Master_Antelope What if I Rewrote Miraculous? (Season 4, Eps 1-13) (minor spoilers for S5)

Sorry I've been gone for a bit, I had a storyline to finish up and a few bad bouts of writer's block, but I managed to get to this finished up! Here's Season 4, eps 1-13! Be sure to leave some feedback!
Season 4 (March-April):
  1. Truth: First change (shared with Lies): Lukanette/Adrigami are clearly established to have been a thing over multiple weeks/a month, with the NY special being the second(?) time they’re truly established. I doubt it’s truly satisfactory, but stuff still has to work within this specific season/the larger narrative, so… eh. Second change: Andrew Hendrol is present for the concert on the Liberty (“I might have to challenge you guys to a battle of the bands one day.”) and slips off to transform into Dragonus just before Luka arrives akumatized. He absorbs Truth/Eyebeam’s (renamed Light Eye) powers then buggers off to appear later in Lies. Third change: Shadow Moth’s design. While I personally like it, it wasn’t terribly popular. So here's a slight redesign: the main body can stay the same with its purple overcoat and black lapels but make the purple a bit darker and the lapel is the same as it was on Hawk Moth. His cowl is now a chromed blue with a peacock feather “eye” right on the forehead instead of his Zuko monocle. His skin turns indigo like Mayura’s and his eyes are like Duusu’s, but more malevolent. The biggest change to his costume is the function of the tailcoat itself: its tail is like a male peacock’s train, long and vibrant blue with pinkish feather eyes in the back, and it opens and spreads in reaction to his emotions. For example, if he’s pleased or angry, it opens up and spreads out behind him, and if he’s exasperated/neutral, it folds back down. Fourth change: Marinette’s transformation into Ladybug is fixed this time around.
  2. Lies: First change: Marinette isn’t as fan-girly over the Adrien life showing, instead wondering if he’s doing alright with his schedule. Tikki and the others assure her that he’s probably used to it, and she doesn’t have to be so worried about it. Of course, this doesn’t dissuade her nerves, especially not when the modeling session the show films has Lila in it. Second change: The art room scene gets a couple added lines of dialogue (“Adrien. Our parents raised us for perfection, but we don’t need that. We’re already perfect. We’re perfect. Just show me your truth.” “But… I’m not sure what that truth is.” “Let me show you.”) before their class starts. Third change: the Hendrols are present for Prince Ali’s birthday party – it’s why Dragonus skedaddled from the fight – and Andrew manages to hide and transform without anyone noticing, avoiding Lies’ sphere. Even Dragonus can’t risk touching the sphere, even if his cravings for power – much like a vampire – don’t go away.
  3. Gang of Secrets: First change: Tikki attempts to console Marinette after she talks about worrying about Shadow Moth and Dragonus (“Well, Duusu had always been a bit chaotic. I could imagine that he might be causing Shadow Moth a problem or two. As for Dragonus… he can’t have it much better than you right now, right?”), which cuts to Andrew Hendrol and the Dark kwamis all having a dance party to unknown song that sounds suspiciously similar to “Hips Don’t Lie”. Second change: Instead of the girls just barging up, Tom and Sabine give them permission to go up and check on Marinette. “She hasn’t been answering for us, maybe she will for you.” And the dollhouse doesn’t break from Rose taking off the roof. Rather, Rose trips on something – maybe a roll of thread or a screwdriver or loose paper – and knocks into it. Same result, though, but Alya rightfully calls Mari out: “Okay, Marinette, something is really wrong with you. I’m sorry we can in uninvited, but your parents said we needed to check up on you, and I’m sorry Rose broke the house, but it was a complete accident and you’re blowing up over it. There’s more going on here than just boy trouble, isn’t there? We’re your friends, girl, we want to help.” To which Mari replies: “Maybe I don’t want your help, or your friendship anymore. Get out!” Third change: Dragonus swoops in during the fight and knocks around the Gang of Secrets himself after LB catches Lady Wifi, which inadvertently gives LB time to talk LW into rejecting her powers. Fourth change: Rena Rouge doesn’t look as off in this episode, where her skin was a few tones too light. Dunno if it was intentional, but that still could be fixed. The episode ends as normal.
  4. Mr. Pigeon 72: First change: a biggie. Alya acknowledges Lila’s number of akumatizations and says, “You know, even if you couldn’t tell me about Lila’s lying about being BFFs with Ladybug, you still could’ve told me – or anyone, for that matter – about how she threatened you in the bathroom. No one threatens my BFF with impunity.” I know a lot of people were upset with Alya’s passiveness over the whole Lila situation, but this line will have impact throughout the rest of the rework. Second change: I found this out on a whim, but it turns out city pigeons are a kind of dove, so Bob Roth wasn’t entirely wrong. Fun. Third change: Andrew Hendrol is watching the evil pigeons transform people outside and figures out he can’t go out, transformed or not, without getting touched. Vorrath: “When has that stopped you before?” Andrew: “I’ve got it.” Cut to later, he invades the fight between the illusions and Mr. Pigeon in a giant mech made out of a sentimonster that he teleported into so he could fight. Overkill doesn’t begin to cover this guy. Fourth change: I’m tempted to change Ladybug’s Lucky Charm suit to her permanent one, but if I did, certain episodes wouldn’t have as much oomph later… hmmm. For now, her suit can stay the same.
  5. Psycomedian: Honestly don’t know what to do with this one, it’s a fairly solid little episode; funny, love square-y, gives Gabriel some background and Cat Noir some spotlight. I guess I can really just add Dragonus to the mix: Psycomedian tries his emotion-gimmick on him and he no-sells it (there is a lot, and I mean a lot of lore behind Dragonus/Andrew Hendrol, so I think it would be easier to link my original fics with him up to the point I’m at for posting and you can explore his background there, as well as his powers) then proceeds to quickly skirmish with Angrybug: “There’s the fire I sensed when I absorbed your powers! Why don’t you let loose like this a little more? Finish the job!” (Again, lore makes sense if you read my main fics, I’m sorry, but he’s such a big character in my works that I don’t know how to condense it down. I’ll try but expect that later.)
  6. Furious Fu: First change: I’m really, really confused as to why Fu and Marianne are not referred to as husband/wife or at least married. They would’ve gotten married, right? It’s not a thing that I or the fandom seem to be upset about, I’m just super confused, and if anyone is willing to enlighten me, I’d be thankful. For now, Fu and Marianne are a couple, husband and wife, like they should’ve been since Backwarder or before. Second change: During the fight between LB/CN and Su-Han, guess who shows up but Dragonus. Su-Han freezes for a moment, which gives LB/CN time to snatch the Miracle Box, but Su-Han tries to pull it back. SH: “Ladybug! You did not tell me the Dark Dragon Miraculous was in Paris!” CN: “Sounds like you never asked!” Dragonus: sarcastically “Aw, now you’ve hurt my feelings.” Draws sword and points it at SH. “So you’re the Celestial Guardian I heard about. Head honcho, I’m guessing.” SH turns his aggression towards Dragonus. SH: “You and your kind are a blighted spot amongst the history of the Miraculous, demon!” Lunges. “Heavenly Retribution! The Righteous Will of the Justiciar Breaks the World’s Evil!” Dragonus dodges most of the attacks and matches a few of them, but Su-Han lands one good punch to the stomach. Dragonus: “growls Alright, then. You aren’t as much of a pushover as they are… or the Guardians at the Temple were. If we’re going to talk in metaphors, here's mine.” Flies away from SH and presses center of sword, opening a compartment and pulls out a purple pendant on a chain, emblazoned with a stylized T-rex face. “The grand unity of dinosaurs and dragons humbles the arrogant monk. Rexx, Vorrath, Unify!” (See here for appearance: use ctrl-F and search "Thero"). “Thero Dragon flies as the Dark Guardian!” This reveals to everyone present that Dragonus has more of the Dark Miraculouses at his disposal and subsequent “oh crap” from Su-Han reveals how serious it is. By this point, LB/CN ran off, Thero Dragon taunts Su-Han and flies off, then doesn’t return until the battle with Furious Fu in the stadium, where he absorbs FF’s powers and briefly fights LB/CN before flying off again, proclaiming that “You haven’t seen the last of Thero Dragon!”. Episode ends as normal, but Su-Han will appear again this rewrite before Ephemeral.
  7. Sole Crusher: Okay, major change time again. I know a lot – almost utterly ridiculously so – of people do/did not like Zoe in the slightest. But, since I’m trying to stay fairly… fair to the source material (while adding new and interesting concepts), we are including Zoe, only her introduction is going to be quite different. Zoe has come to Paris because her time at her boarding school was cut short due to complete and total bullying, and her own father, a man we know as Robert Lee from Audrey, is too distant to think of another arrangement within NY and sends her to Paris to be with her mother. So, Zoe is going to be quite sullen/angry with her situation, and this becomes apparent when Marinette runs into her. Marinette apologizes profusely, but Zoe gives her a glare and basically tells her to bugger off. Marinette, though, recognizes something is wrong and pries just a little more (and it’s framed as Marinette trying to keep Zoe from attracting Shadow Moth’s attention while simultaneously trying to help), and Zoe reveals a bit of what’s happened – including the one friend – but not the full story nor which family she’s living with. Marinette, being the all-but-Lila-loving hero she is, preps a bag for the new girl. “Even if life has been bitter, it helps to have something sweet!” Marinette says. Zoe gives her a strange look. “What’s your angle? Everyone has one. Why’re you helping me?” Zoe asks, confused and suspicious. Marinette blinks in surprise and shrugs. “It’s the right thing to do, especially when you’re in a new place. I gave you my number if you’d like to chat.” Zoe blinks twice, clearly surprised by the generosity and seeming genuine nature of the girl in front of her. “Okay, then. I guess I should give you mine so… you know.” Marinette holds out her hand. “So I don’t lose it.” The first step to breaking Zoe’s rough exterior has been taken, but said rough exterior still persists when Zoe arrives at the hotel. Another major change: Audrey, while trying to be more supportive of Chloe, still has her preferred child, and that preferred child is Zoe, because, and this will cause drama later, “Zoe is one of only four people in my life who don’t grovel at my feet.” Chloe walks into the lounge/dining hall and hears this and immediately goes nuclear, but her rant is cut short by Zoe snapping at her to “Shut your mouth, you little brat.” Chloe is, of course, horrifically offended, but Audrey breaks it up before it escalates and sends them to get to know each other better… which, given this Zoe, goes about as well as expected. She snaps at all of Chloe’s rules, throws the diamond heels, and when Chloe calls her a “horrible half-of-a-sister”, Zoe throws it right back at her. This back-and-forth continues to school, where Zoe doesn’t bend to Chloe’s whims, but instead blows up at her again – which inadvertently does two things: it proves that Zoe isn’t like Chloe, but she’s quote-unquote “bad” in other ways. Of course, someone – Andrew Hendrol – sees this whole debacle and comments, “Such a powerful response to Chloe’s bratty self, such a temper. Oh, yesss, I like her.” There’s still “scaring Damocles” and “Marinette/girls talk about Zoe and Chloe”, but it’s less of Chloe’s influence and more “wow she’s scary but I bet Chloe had something to do with it.” Marinette and Zoe’s text still goes through, and Chloe still snaps at her for texting Marinette, but Zoe just snaps at her. “It’s none of your business, Chloe.” Chloe, on the other hand, makes it her business and goes back to her notebook, eventually landing on cockroaches in the locker (reused material, really?) to punish Marinette, and Zoe actually stumbles, a haunted look in her eyes. She staggers out of the room (taking the heels with her) and out to the roof, prepping to throw the shoes away in anger (perhaps a metaphor for something more disturbing) before losing the will to and she just breaks, resting her head against the bar and starts to cry. Andre comes up to her, they talk, and Zoe reveals her original dream of acting. “I’m good at it, but then everyone expected a different Zoe and they pressured me and I broke and now I can’t think of acting or anything without getting angry… I don’t like being angry. Not with the people who don’t deserve it, not with Chloe, not with anyone… I just want to be me, but I’m scared that the angry one is me…” Andre sighs. “You know, it might be good for you to… put a little bit of time between your past and now. Choose what you want to put in the Dream Cellar, and once you’ve… adjusted, you can come get it. Or you can leave it. The choice is yours.” Zoe’s akumatization stays the same, the general akuma battle remains the same, except for Thero Dragon Siphoning off Sole Crusher’s powers and stomping a few civilians for big kaiju battle time while taunting Chloe (“You can run, but I know I’m in your nightmares!”), which provides LB/CN enough time to find the akumatized sneakers and break them. The barge scene is a little different: Zoe explains what happened, and while her backstory with the crowds and roaches hasn’t changed too much, she adds, “I had one friend, but even she wasn’t around very much… not enough to help me when I needed it. I don’t blame her, she had a rough childhood, too, but I still pent that up. I’m sorry you had to see my outbursts. I get it if you don’t want to be my friend.” Of course, huggy happiness still ensues, the Bourgeois confrontation still happens, though Chloe’s basis for her demands is “If she stays here, she’ll make me stress out and ruin my perfect me!” and her threat is to crush you like your NY classmates did, while Audrey just rolls her eyes. “Chloe, quit being melodramatic. I understand Zoe’s not been the best sister – which is a discussion we will have later – but she’s not going back to New York now. I’m certainly not going to be responsible for her return fares.” The episode ends with Andre asking Zoe to “Call me Dad. I know your father is… distant, and I don’t know if I can replace him, but-” Zoe hugs him. “Thanks, Dad. Promise me you’ll make the choice to take your past out of the cellar, too.” The episode ends the same, with a much happier Zoe thanking Marinette for everything as a photo album (with dates so we can at least see it was a week or two between this and Queen Banana!) plays across the screen.
  8. Queen Banana: First change: Chloe’s “half-of-a-sister” bit when she bursts into the art room is now “Giving the lead role to my half-of-a-sister who just came out of nowhere a week ago?!”, and all of the talk of going back to New York is replaced with snappy but ultimately toothless posturing about ruining her life. Zoe, of course, is having none of that and snaps back at her with “The only way you’re ruining this movie is if you pry it from our hands!” The art room scene ends the same way as in the original, but the scene in Bob Roth’s office is changed a little bit: Not as much mention of going back to New York and more mention of Chloe’s pride as she says “You said our hands, which apparently includes the producer’s hands, too. Oh, I love a good loophole!” Zoe is oddly okay with this and confidently whispers to the others “We just need to outlast her, trust me.” Second change: Andrew Hendrol is part of the filming crew – “Live soundtrack design” he calls it, while Chloe calls it useless – and escapes the ‘enchanted sleep’ part of the filming, and is shown to get increasingly more annoyed with Chloe, to the point of risking his secret identity as Thero Dragon by offering to play the fire-breathing dragon suggested by Alya (“Lemme do it, I’ll knock that role out of the park, just let me actually blast her with fire.”). Third change: After Marinette’s rousing soapbox speech, Zoe pats her on the shoulder. “See what I meant about outlasting her?” Fourth change: Not to be outdone, Everett Hendrol, Andrew’s father (who is also present in the theater unlike Gabriel, showcasing the closer relationship Everett has with his son than Gabriel does with his), has also chipped in some pocket change (an amount of several thousand euros in Europe money I guess), so the film is entirely cut off from the city’s funding and Chloe’s interference, and when Chloe runs off, Everett darkly chuckles once as Andrew calls out “Cry me a river, Queen Banana!” (Everett is aware of Chloe’s antics and the Hendrols as a family have no sympathy for those, especially the rich, who act like fools). Fifth change: Again, Chloe’s revenge plan isn’t to get Zoe sent back to NY, she’s going to crush Zoe in a way only she can come up with… which is banana. Sixth change: There’s less of a “my fault” moment from Zoe and that weird “promise” bit is gone, now it’s just Zoe deciding to face down her sister and give her a reality check. “You want to know why we waited until you were gone to shoot the movie? Why we talked Gabriel Agreste into funding it? It’s because no one could stand your bratty behavior! Not because we hate you, not because anyone turned against you, but because you couldn’t swallow your pride and work as part of the team. If this is how you acted as part of Ladybug’s team when you were Queen Bee, it’s no wonder you were kicked off!” Queen Banana gets infuriated, Ladybug saves Zoe, they scooter off into the subway, where Ladybug commends Zoe’s bravery, but definitely winces a little bit regarding Queen Bee. “Chloe, for all her faults, wasn’t terrible as Queen Bee, but she really had attachment issues to the Miraculous, even after I tried… and failed to explain to her that her secret identity was compromised. But I doubt I’ll have that issue with you. Zoe Lee, (insert Miraculous speech here).” Seventh change: Once Queen Banana’s banana gun is glued up and she realizes she’s about to lose and runs, guess what, Thero Dragon drops in front of her, triggering Chloe’s trauma from the Miracle Queen incident. Thero Dragon Siphons off Queen Banana’s banana powers for the fun of it, then activates the power of the Dark T-rex Miraculous, Silver Tongue, which manifests as a purple blast of energy that, if it hits a human target, allows the T-rex holder to manipulate the minds of their target… which Thero Dragon uses to break down all of Chloe’s confidence and restraints, all the while tormenting her with things like “Your mother hates you,” “Your so-called friends despise you,” and “You’re utterly ridiculous.” Ladybug and Cat Noir start driving him back, but he managed to do enough damage as he needed. “I don’t know why you bother defending a traitor,” he says. “She wouldn’t do the same for you.” Queen Banana by now has fallen back, crying, and freeing her from Shadow Moth is an act of mercy, but Chloe still refuses the Magical Charm based on her own (self-nurtured) hatred for Ladybug and Vesperia, both for replacing her and failing to save her from Thero Dragon. Eighth change: Chloe, in her anger, swings at Zoe when she declares her hate, only for Zoe to catch it way too fast and lower Chloe’s fist while she gives her speech, and once Chloe takes the Charm and the akuma is repelled, Andre steps in and reprimands her for trying to hit Zoe, even going so far as to… “Chloe Bourgeois, your behavior is becoming completely unacceptable. You are embarrassing yourself and your family. Give me your phone. You are hereby grounded for a week.” Chloe looks shocked. “WHAT?!?” Andre is stern. “I’ve failed as a father. I should’ve tried to keep your behavior in check when you acted out, and I see I’ve failed terribly. There are so many people we will have to apologize to, especially your classmates for everything you’ve done to them.” The episode ends with Marinette and Tikki wondering if this new approach to Chloe’s behavior will do anything good.
  9. Gabriel Agreste: First change: Shadow Moth’s monologue is merged with Gabriel’s scene in the mausoleum under the mansion, first with Gabriel with his back to Emilie’s coffin before he turns to face it. Second change: When Nathalie offers Gabriel half of her sandwich, he initially refuses (“You need your strength.”) and she insists, then he crumbles (“You’ll need your strength, too.” “…Alright. Thank you.”). Third change: Andrew Hendrol is not present at the art-room fairy-tale-comparison blah thing, but Zoe’s response to Marinette’s question changes to “My mother has been attempting to treat her kids equally. Unfortunately, that means when Chloe got grounded for a week, I had to miss out on the dinner party. Had I known this was gonna happen, I would’ve put up more of a fight.” Also because of this, Zoe is NOT in Marinette’s room, but she is patched into the whole conversation thanks to Max and Markov. Fourth change: Audrey Bourgeois is throwing glares at Andre (apparently over punishing Chloe) and takes note of the solitary gold-trimmed black mask shaped like a lion’s head. “Don’t tell me he’s coming. You invited Hendrol?” “I had to. Otherwise he’d invite himself and ruin everything unexpectedly. At least now we can expect it.” Continuing the trend, after the Tsurugis arrive at the party, a shiny silver sedan rolls into the front gate, and Everett and Andrew Hendrol step out. Everett is in a pure white suit, in complete contrast to the rest of the party, and the hostility in the air is palpable as the car mogul and his son enter the foyer. “Gabriel.” “Everett. I would… like to welcome you to the party. Though the dress code specified darker clothes for all attendees.” “Really? I didn’t notice that, but even if I had, my black suits are all being cleaned. This is all I had.” “Indeed. Your mask, as requested.” Everett weighs the black lion mask in his hand. “Well, it’s not quite the cut obsidian I had hoped, but given your work, I shouldn’t be surprised.” Gabriel is imperceptibly seething. “I must ask you to stow your device-” “Neither of us will do that, and your little scrambler isn’t going to work on it, either. Your tricks, Gabriel, have been done by men greater than you a thousand times. And I’m the only one still standing.” Of course, when Chloe and Marinette sneak into the ballroom, everyone is giving Everett Hendrol a wide berth as he’s drinking something. Sixth change: The transformation into Shadow Moth from civilian form is still “Nooroo, Duusu, Unify!” I always hated that Dual Metamorphosis nonsense. Seventh change: Andrew Hendrol is fiddling on his phone – the only one that works, but Chloe can’t take it bc he already slapped her hand – when people start to leave Adrien’s room. Eighth change: Gabriel’s threat to Felix is more explicitly “I just need to snap my fingers, and you will be thrown out of here and I will tell everyone the truth about what you did and what you are. Think of your mother, Felix. She’d be devastated to see her only son hauled off for stealing from me… or the Hendrols. Everett is easy enough to provoke, and all I’d have to do is blame whatever I do on you. He’d personally see your life become pure torment.” Ninth change: Thero Dragon pounces on the Collector and Siphons from him, chuckling darkly as he does. “Clever plan, Shadow Moth, clever plan, indeed. But you aren’t fooling anyone.” Tenth change: We get a second epilogue: after Gabriel’s scene, we cut to a scene in the Hendrol mansion. Everett Hendrol is sitting at his desk, watching a chess board on the surface. The white pieces are miniature statues of him and other people, including Andrew, the black pieces are mini statues of Paris’s elite and relations: Gabriel as the king, Emilie queen, Tomoe and Amelie as bishops, Audrey and Andre as knights, Bob Roth and one unknown person as castles, and the pawns are their kids (Adrien/Chloe/Kagami/Felix/XY and three blank ones). The pieces are all at rest like the beginning of a game, but the queen (Emilie) and one castle (as yet unknown) are lying down. Everett just smirks, moves one of the white pieces a space forward, then a black piece. Everett Hendrol declared war.
  10. Mega Leech: First change: Polymouse or Manimouse for Mylene’s super-name? I want public opinion on this. Second change: Andrew Hendrol is present at the “Stop Project Oxygen” rally and reveals a bit more depth to his character (and potentially a motivation for Thero Dragon): he is very conscientious about the environment, and he becomes increasingly annoyed with the ad and brutally picks it apart. “Two of my best friends’ parents work for the Hendrol Motors Advertising Division and this is exactly what they said a bad ad looks like. Also, Paris’s investors are brainless idiots who barely know how to stand up for themselves, let alone save the planet.” And he snaps at Chloe. “Wasting water? You mean like you do by existing? And don’t get your dad in this, my dad would destroy him.” All in all, he sides with Mylene first. “I’m getting my dad to counter-fund this scheme, he’s already gone to war.” Andrew then leaves right before the Minidiktators show up to transform into Thero Dragon. “After all, they can’t get me if my ears are covered.” Thero Dragon is just brutally attacking Mega Leech by himself… revealing a scary level of contempt for sentimonsters. Third change: The Minidiktator possessing Cat Noir is expelled through his real ear, not the cat one. Fourth change: Ladybug’s suit doesn’t weirdly swap between Lucky Charm suit and normal near the end, it just stays normal. The rest of the episode… ends as normal. Even that scene at the end.
  11. Guiltrip: I don’t really have too many problems with this episode, nor do I really remember any complaints about (though I’m sure I’ll be corrected in the comments), the most I can really think of is adjusting it to fit my current ideas. So… First change: Juleka speaks clearly and no one’s parroting her words. Second change: While the first half of the episode plays out the same, Andrew Hendrol is noticeably absent, but once the second half starts, he shows up and he’s very unhappy/unpleasant to be around. It’s explained that he had to take a day off for stomach flu (and, little lore bit, he’s always very temperamental after a bout of sickness). As such, he doesn’t have much in the way of patience for the second half’s antics, but unlike Chloe, he’s quietly stewing and not drawing too much attention to himself. This extends to the later fight within Guiltrip (after he leaves the science lab when he realizes the only ones left are him, Chloe, Sabrina and Lila), as his negative emotions as Thero Dragon end up being so bad that Guiltrip gets hurt by them… and he flies off the handle once a bubble pops against him. He cools off eventually, but yeah. Third change: No animation errors. God, this episode was a doozy.
  12. Crocoduel: First change: Luka acknowledges that Marinette hasn’t been around since Zoe first joined the group instead of not seeing her since their breakup. Gotta love the writers forgetting characters being in places at times ugh. Second change: Fix the animation errors. Third change: About half the partygoers (Mylene/Ivan/Rose/Nino/Alya) know that Jagged Stone is the twins’ father. Fourth change: The sky doesn’t immediately become overcast the moment Jagged and Anarka are akumatized. That was just weird. Fifth change: When Cat Noir complains that he and Ladybug don’t have wings, Thero Dragon flies over them and taunts “But I do!”, he flies up, Siphons from Guitar Villain and Captain Hardrock, then pits them further against each other for giggles. Then he reappears to Siphon off Purple Tigress’s power. Sixth change: The Tiger Miraculous transformation phrase is “Paint my Stripes!” not “Stripes On!”. The episode ends otherwise normally.
  13. Optigami: First change: As an extra precaution to keep potential suspicion from Ladybug away, Gabriel makes sure Audrey invites Adrien’s entire class plus two extra invitations that go to Luka and Kagami. Second change: The first elevator bit with the entire class is stupid, so it’s getting changed to “Andrew Hendrol (who is in the elevator) rolls his eyes and punches the close button while Marinette tries to avoid Alya”. Third change: Andrew Hendrol slips out just before Audrey gets akumatized and discreetly transforms into Thero Dragon, and he immediately picks up on the smell of Shadow Moth in the building. He starts prowling around the building, waiting for the right moment to strike. This moment comes when Style Queen is about to hit the elevator Marinette/Adrien are trapped in, just before Shadow Moth calls her off. He blindsides her with his clamp weapon, then disarms her (literally) with his sword before Voyaging to the floor below, cackling the whole time. Fifth change: When Ladybug realizes that “Nino” is actually a sentimonster and calls out Shadow Moth, “Nino” starts laughing as his eyes glow gold and his body starts to deform into a monstrous shape. Thero Dragon’s voice starts echoing out of it. “And to think you almost got revealed because of an ally’s actions, Ladybug,” he said. “First the Turtle brought out without your explicit orders, then what? Someone betrays you for the Miracle Box? The only way to protect what you hold dear is this: ally yourself with me, and I can grant you access to powers you could only dream of. Consider my offer, because if the trend continues, you might lose more than just your privacy because of a fake butterfly.” Ladybug runs off to get the Turtle Miraculous Cataclysmed. Sixth change: Marinette is a little shaken by the end of the episode and some of her words are a little more barbed than intended, to which she apologizes and offers a solution to the problem faced that day, giving Alya the Fox Miraculous full-time, but gives her a few rules to follow. “If I find out you broke one, I’m taking the Miraculous back. Understand?” The episode ends pretty much the same. Oh, and that phone in the Miracle Box container? It’s (a little clunkily) mentioned that Marinette created the one during a “random creation attempt” session with Alya.
So, yeah. Now that I've finished working on my main Dragonus storyline and summer's on the way, I might be able to get the second half (plus the halves of Season 5!) out relatively quickly. As I promised, here is the link to the main Dragonus storyline, I'm almost finished posting it all. It's a divergence from Season 3 with some concepts pulled from the NY special and Season 4/5, but all in all it's a pretty good read (I don't exactly redeem Chloe as much as punch her until she understands that she's been horrible but she definitely becomes better):
Give me feedback, please! Your feedback helps me make this better!
submitted by Master_Antelope to miraculousladybug [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 01:37 NotJiggyWitIt Trip Report - First time in Japan (13/5 - 26/5)

Hey gang,
My partner and I just got back from our first trip to Japan so I thought I'd do a write up of our experience.
All in all, we enjoyed the trip. It had it's hiccups but we'd definitely go back.
submitted by NotJiggyWitIt to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 17:41 jhpratt2 $nwbo-Pakistan

Currently, NWBO's Sawston plant is the only visible global hub for DC VAX L manufacturing and distribution (MHRA MIA approval 3/20/23) . For $400 , FED EX ( ships anywhere globally within the required timeframes.A SAGE ( 5/26/23 scientific publication demonstrates intent by Pakistani neurosurgeons to treat and cure their GBM patients. Looks like the DC VAX L JAMA paper and LIAU- Bosch presentations since 10/26/22 have created global awareness that DCVAX L will be is a major global cell based biotech therapy, addressing GBM , and all solid tumors(
With 50% of LIAU-SPORE-UCLA combo patents living 10 years, DC VAX L has turned SOC's GBM treatment from a terminal (16.5) months disease into a chronic treatable malignancy .
Dr. Greg Zivic:
"This treatment can turn a Glioblastoma into a chronic treatable disease even after recurrence of the tumor . "
Monday, May 29, 2023 9:13:34 AM
Post# 596739 of 596755 4 Pakistani neurosurgeons endorsing the JAMA Liau dc vax l phase 3 study. Will the RA in Pakistan facilitate their patients' resected GBM tumors and lysate being sent to Sawston , with syringes of dc vax l sent back to Pakistan?
IMO,BB's consultant is a "legend ", as alleged.Therefore, I recommend reading every on of his posts, word for word.
Bright Boy Brian F Egolf Sr M: Bright Boy
Re: ae kusterer post# 593171
Sunday, May 14, 2023 2:22:21 PM
Post# 593185 of 593185 I am definitely not a biotech expert and what I've learned about Northwest and DCVax-l was shared with me by one of the legends in the biotech world !!! My biggest takeaway is this:
From 2018 forward, it became apparent that DCVax-L was a breakthrough, technological process for the treatment of nGBM and rGBM, but its true potential was only known by a "handful" of experts, and as such, the understanding of the broader market implications was a relative unknown. Early on, several of the comments that I heard from BP were," The GBM market is really not that big!" and " Personalized, Immunotherapy vaccines are not really in our 'Wheelhouse'. We sell compounds/pills!!" On and on! The comments didn't mean that BP wasn't paying attention! Quite the contrary, BP was watching like a hawk as results from Dr. Liau and the UCLA trials began to leak into the medical community suggesting a broader application of DCVax-L on a "stand alone" basis and in combination with CI's for all large tumor cancers ( mentioned in the latest 10Q for future trials), thus dramatically expanding market potentials!!! But the "Big Moment" occurred in late October of last year when the STADIUM LIGHTS turned on, shining bright lights on the latest nGBM/rGBM ,Dr. Liau trial data suggesting 50%to 65% OS for 8 years with emphasis on rGBM !!! That was the point in time when BP and the entire biotech world realized that GBM/rGBM would be treated and managed as a CHRONIC DISEASE!!! with unlimited PROMISE and HOPE for patients and unlimited marketing potential to finance existing vaccine production and the continuing development for improved treatments for all diseases!!!!!
So that's what I learned and that's my story and I'm stickin to it!!!!
Cheers especially to all the Mom's and to everyone !!!
Joseph H.Pratt:
Bright Boy Re: None Saturday, March 18, 2023 12:38:55 PM Post# of 596750 Go People, People, People !!!!
The light switch just turned on for me !!! I'm not a doctor or scientist or a STEM concentration "rock star", but if I read something over and over again several times and look carefully at the pictures SOMETIMES, NOT ALL THE TIME, a major mental breakthrough occurs and I believe that I've discovered something very profound!!
In this case, I believe the main message from the slide deck is that DCVax-L, either by itself or in combination with CI's has turned the whole thing around for treating nGBM/rGBM from having to kill the tumor to a "management process" !! It looks like now with this new information, that GBM patients can receive vaccinations as needed with "Zero" side effects and live a long and happy life !!! A comment from a medical expert that DOES KNOW !!!:
Dr. Greg Zivic:
This treatment can turn a Glioblastoma into a chronic treatable disease even after recurrence of the tumor.
So help me out here. Does the above reasoning seem logical based on the slides all of us have just reviewed?? If it does or is, then little Team Northwest has just changed the healthcare landscape forever in the way that we treat disease!!!!!
Am I way off base or are all of onto to something that is fabulous beyond belief???
Bright Boy Re: thermopost# 591947 Tuesday, May 09, 2023 8:41:30 PM Post# of 596749 Go The UK is determined to be the world carrousel for use of immunotherapy vaccines to treat cancers and all forms of disease!!! From my friends in the UK, my use of the word "determined" grossly understates the effort behind the "Grand Plan"!!
So far, the MHRA has not only accepted and approved the MIA application (manufacturing license), but voluntarily offered the expansion to a GLOBAL MANUFACTURING" license allowing for the import of live cells and the export of vaccines to the far corners of the earth!!! People!!! That is huge!!!!! BUT as always 99.99% of the retail investors don't understand the significance of that license or anything else about the process and look to the screen to validate the importance/value of the license, where they are greeted by Citadel and Virtu and the rest of the gang that manipulate the price to new lows, confirming that, in spite of everything they just read from the greatest medical minds in the universe, is a bunch of crap!!!!
Fortunately for the cancer patients and shareholders of Northwest, the MHRA does not include in their decision making process the current SP of NWBO or the opinion of the "gutter filth" that manage those companies or any other companies that participate in the ordered destruction of small biotechs that are engaged in the development of immunotherapy vaccines!! So, it's on to the filing of the MAA (marketing license), the approval and the decisions that will guarantee swift treatment deliveries to patients!!
So Griffin and Cifu and Fuerstein and the rest can lie all they want , but the GREAT UNITED KINGDOM will not be denied the ultimate crown of being the WORLD CENTER for CANCER TREATMENT !!!!!
Bright Boy Re: hoffmann6383post# 578889 Tuesday, March 21, 2023 1:55:12 PM Post# of 596749 Go People, People, People!!! It's your friendly "hillbilly" here with some more great news!! Don't know if I can "one up" my earlier post about the "Dog eating the license", but I'll try. So here we go!!
I don't think everyone realizes how dynamic and important the manufacturing license really is so I'll take a shot at giving you my take on it. First of all, the marketing approval (MAA) and the government subsidy approval(NICE) are pretty much in the bag before the manufacturing team gets the "green light" to proceed. The MAA and NICE teams talk to the MIA team and say," This stuff looks really cool and we wanted to let you know before you run off and do a lot of work on something that we won't approve when you're finished!!" Okay! So that's the first part.
Now for the second part and this is the part that involves a lot of money so read very carefully!!! The MIA license allows for global export of the vaccines and global import of immune cells/tumor resected material. Anyone in the entire world that is diagnosed with GBM can NOW ship their tumor samples to Northwest/Advent/Sawston to have their personal vaccine made and stored, all to be shipped back to the patient/doctor on a prescribed injection schedule. The beauty of this process is that patients everywhere can NOW receive their vaccine on a compassionate care basis. No more waiting!! No more opportunities for the "dark forces" to delay or deny suffering cancer patients their desperately needed treatments !!!
People, as of yesterday, Northwest is now IN BUSINESS !!!! AND that opens the door for institutional investors and an uplist to the New York or Nasdaq exchanges!!!!
All of the above is as good as that first sip of ice cold buttermilk on a hot summer day!!!! AND for those unfortunate shorts and haters it adds a whole new description to the letters FTD and I'll let you guess what that might be!!!
Bright Boy Re: None Tuesday, March 21, 2023 9:05:54 PM Post# of 596749 Go The MIA allows for "International Immune Cell Imports" and "International Vaccine Exports" !!! That is big news and a big, big market and should access every cancer patient in need!!!!
ae kusterer
Re: None
Monday, May 29, 2023 9:13:34 AM
Post# 596739 of 596755 4 Pakistani neurosurgeons endorsing the JAMA Liau dc vax l phase 3 study. Will the RA in Pakistan facilitate their patients' resected GBM tumors and lysate being sent to Sawston , with syringes of dc vax l sent back to Pakistan?
Abstract Objective: To define the landscape of treatment patterns and current epidemiological data regarding gliomas in Pakistan.
Methods: As part of the Pakistan Brain Tumour Epidemiology Study (PBTES), data were collected from 32 neurosurgical centres across the country. Our retrospective study looked at patients who underwent surgical procedures for gliomas in 2019 in neurosurgical centres. The data was collated and analysed using STATA version 15.
Results: A total of 781 patients with gliomas were identified 479(61.8%) in public sector hospitals, 302(39.1%) in the private sector). The most common histopathological subtypes were glioblastoma 262 (33.5%), followed by astrocytoma 147(18.8%) and oligodendroglioma 93(11.9%). Gender distribution was skewed towards men 508(65%). Private institution hospitals performed surgical biopsies as the first surgical procedure 75(23%) more often than public hospitals 38(9%). Chemotherapy was given to 115(29.8%) patients, and there was no data regarding 467(53%) of patients. Similarly, only 202(43.9%) patients received radiation therapy, and there was no data for 469(60%) of patients. For high-grade gliomas specifically, only 95(31.8%) patients with HGG have a record of receiving radiation therapy, and only 57(18.9%) had a record of being started on chemotherapy.
DCvax: A promising advancement in oncology for the treatment of glioblastoma Areeba Fareed [email protected], Samia Rohail, […], and Abdul Moiz Khan all authors and affiliations All Articles
Contents Declaration of conflicting interests Funding ORCID iDs Footnotes References PDF / ePub More Dear Editor, Glioblastoma is a malignant neoplasm of the central nervous system that arises from glial cells, primarily astrocyctes and is characterized by poorly differentiated, fusiform, round or pleomorphic astrocyctic cells with marked nuclear atypical and brisk mitotic activity.1 Despite advances in early diagnosis and comprehensive treatments, there is nearly 100% recurrence rate and dismal patient survival.2 According to researchers, more than 13,000 Americans are diagnosed with Glioblastoma annually, causing significant morbidity and mortality. There has been no cure for Glioblastoma so far.3 Treatment options often include surgical removal of the tumor followed by concomitant radiation and adjuvant temozolomide TMZ chemotherapy which has been the standard of care for glioblastoma since decades, but exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation is a well-known exogenous risk factor for glioblastoma. The inability to cross the BBB is the major obstacle in achieving remission after surgical resection followed by chemotherapy and radiation.4 As a result, glioblastoma typically recurs within six to 8 months and the survival rate is generally less than 5%.2 Despite the development of novel, complex, multidisciplinary, and targeted therapies the outcome for patients remains almost universally lethal.5 Therefore, the need for effective treatment is undeniable. For this reason, it has been a priority area in cancer research. Recently, US biotech company Northwest Biotherapeutics has developed a brain cancer vaccine, called DCVax, which is designed to help patients' immune system to target their tumors that may prolong their life by months or, in some cases, years.5 Thus, opening a door for the development of innovative therapy for targeting glioblastoma. The vaccine is created for each patient individually by isolating dendritic cells, from their blood which is then primed with biomarkers from a sample of the patient’s tumor.6 Dendritic cells present tumor antigens to the immune system, prime T cells, and mobilize antitumor responses.6 To evaluate the safety of the vaccine and its impact on survival time in patients with Glioblastoma, a phase 3 randomized control trial was conducted.7 In this trial, 348 patients newly diagnosed with Glioblastoma were tested at King’s College Hospital and other centers around the world for 8 years.7 Patients had surgery to remove their tumors as much as possible, followed by radiation and chemotherapy as the standard treatment for Glioblastoma.7 Among these patients, two out of three were treated with the vaccine, DCVax-L, with the remaining one-third receiving a placebo.7 The astonishing result of the trial has shown that newly diagnosed patients who received the vaccine survived for 19.3 months compared to 16.5 months for those who received a placebo.8 Overall 13% of all trial participants treated with DCVax lived more than 5 years after diagnosis compared with 5.7% in the comparison group who did so.8 Moreover, this is the first time in 17 years that such a significant result has been achieved in a Phase 3 trial of a systemic treatment for newly diagnosed Glioblastoma, and it’s the first treatment in 27 years for patients with GBM recurrence.9 Thus, this development represents a major step forward in our efforts to combat this devastating disease. Based on the findings of the trials evaluating the drug’s efficacy, it has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients, especially for the elderly and those unable to have surgery. A global clinical trial has concluded that the DCVax is the world’s first vaccine to treat deadly cancerous brain tumors that could help patients to live for years.9 This breakthrough could benefit 2500 people a year in the UK being diagnosed with Glioblastoma.9 It has also been shown that this therapy can be used to treat cancers other than Glioblastoma.9 However, due to high recurrence rate and lethal outcomes, the treatment of gliblastoma has seen significant transformation, switching from an aggressive surgical strategy to a more cautious one. The endorsement of the vaccine is a commendable achievement, and it demonstrates the unwavering commitment of researchers and healthcare professionals to discovering effective treatments for such lethal disease. Furthermore, vaccine may enhance the quality of life of a patient and provides a new hope for patients and their families Thus, it is crucial that we continue to support research into Glioblastoma and the development of novel treatments so that we can envision a future where this disease is eradicated. Declaration of conflicting interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. ORCID iDs Areeba Fareed Samia Rohail Alishba Adnan Abdul Moiz Khan Footnotes Author’s noteNot commissioned, externally peer reviewed. ContributorshipAreeba Fareed and Samia Rohail wrote the draft. Alishba Adnan and Abdul Moiz Khan proofread it. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript. Data availabilityNo new dataset generated. References 1. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023). GO TO REFERENCE Google Scholar 2. Liau LM, Ashkan K, Brem S, et al. Association of autologous tumor lysate-loaded dendritic cell vaccination with extension of survival among patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma: a phase 3 prospective externally controlled cohort trial: a phase 3 prospective externally controlled cohort trial. JAMA Oncol 2023; 9(1): 112–121. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023).
PubMed Google Scholar 3. Pelc C. Experimental cancer vaccine both treats and prevents brain cancer in mice [Internet]. East Sussex, UK: Medical News Today, 2023. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023). GO TO REFERENCE Google Scholar 4. Rong L, Li N, Zhang Z. Emerging therapies for glioblastoma: current state and future directions. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2022; 41(1): 142. (cited 9 April 2023). GO TO REFERENCE Crossref PubMed Google Scholar 5. Aldape K, Brindle KM, Chesler L, et al. Challenges to curing primary brain tumours. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2019; 16(8): 509–520. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023).
Crossref PubMed Google Scholar 6. Technology Networks. Brain cancer vaccine shown to extend patient survival [Internet]. Sudbury, UK: Technology Networks, 2022. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023).
Google Scholar 7. Study of a drug [DCVax®-L] to treat newly diagnosed GBM brain cancer - full text view - [internet]. Bethesda, MD:, 2023. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023).
Google Scholar 8. Campbell D. Vaccine shown to prolong life of patients with aggressive brain cancer. London, UK: The guardian [Internet], 2022. Available from: (cited 9 April 2023).
Google Scholar 9. Delgado-Martín B, Medina MÁ. Advances in the knowledge of the molecular biology of glioblastoma and its impact in patient diagnosis, stratification, and treatment. Adv Sci 2020; 7(9): 1902971.
Crossref Google Scholar📷 0 Share Reply/Post Keep Last Read More Next 10 Prev NextNWBONorthwest Biotherapeutics Inc (QB)0.615 0.011 (1.82%)Volume:1,013,957Day Range:0.6011 - 0.62Bid:0.61Ask:0.615Last Trade Time:3:59:10 PM EDTTotal Trades:378
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2023.05.29 03:12 Myopic_Subsidies What kind of rat snake is this?

What kind of rat snake is this?
Spotted this noodle chilling in the shade near Frederick, MD. We assumed it was a rat snake, being all kinked up like that.
submitted by Myopic_Subsidies to snakes [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 02:59 autobuzzfeedbot 23 Useless Disney Facts That Are A Lot More Interesting Than These People Gave Them Credit For

  1. "Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the performers for Alice in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the 1970s."
  2. "How about the bullet hole in the glass above the ballroom scene in The Haunted Mansion?"
  3. "There are at least four (unsure of the number since 2018 when I last worked there) beagles that sniff the Disneyland hotels for bedbugs almost daily. They're amazing little sniffers and loved by all that work with them or have been honored to meet them. Disneyland makes good and sure no bedbugs come bugging ya!"
  4. "Doritos were invented at Disneyland."
  5. "The Jungle Cruise is behind the stores on Main Street. So all the trees you see over the tops of the building are jungle on the other side. It's most notable next to the fire station. Just a weird little tidbit that puts the size of the park in perspective."
  6. "Disney parks use a grayish green color nicknamed 'go away green' to camouflage things like show buildings and electrical boxes that they don't want you to notice in the park."
  7. "The letters that spelled out 'C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A' at California Adventure are now in Sacramento at Cal Expo. This is my favorite Disney fact. I grew up climbing on those letters and now I live close to Sacramento."
  8. "I’m Korean American, and I remember there was a 'Korean Day' at the parks in the ’80s! With a parade of Korean Celebrities! The park was packed with Korean People!"
  9. "A lot of people know about the Disneyland cats! They are an integral part of the Disneyland ecosystem. But what you might not know is that cats that are considered 'too friendly' are adopted out! Usually, Disney works with the local shelters and rescues to adopt out the super friendly kitties!"
  10. "You used to be able to buy bras on Main Street in Disneyland!"
  11. "Walt Disney designed the push-flap garbage can. He took it to manufacturers and everyone thought it was useless so he never filed for a patent."
  12. "New Orleans Square at Disneyland cost the same amount of money as the Louisiana Purchase."
  13. "There was a hostile Yippie takeover of Tom Sawyer's Island at Disneyland in 1970 that effectively shut the park down for one out of the only four times the park has been closed."
  14. "Back in 1999, they put a cast member in the haunted house dressed in a suit of armor. He prowled the area near the corridor of doors and his job was to sneak up on the doom buggies to scare passengers. It did not last because people would get scared and punch the knight or he would discover people doing intimate things in the buggies. I was on it with my dad, the knight scared the bejesus out of me and I screamed really loud and startled him too."
  15. "There are small offices in the castle. Source: Worked in one above Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique."
  16. "In 2004, Cary 'Jay' Sharp won a charity auction to become the Haunted Mansion’s 'official' 1,000th ghost. His honorary tombstone can be found near the Phantom Five at Disneyland with the text 'JAY, doctor lawyer legal clerk, forever buried in his work.'"
  17. "The singing bust on the haunted mansion that people think looks like Walt Disney is actually the guy who voiced Tony the Tiger (Thurl Ravenscroft). He did many other voices throughout Disneyland, too."
  18. "One of the more well-known ones, but it's still fun to drop on people who aren't park regulars or don't know about it. Haunted Mansion is mostly a facade building, with the stretching room (elevator) taking guests below ground, then they walk through a tunnel (double-image portrait gallery) that passes under the park's train tracks and into a whole other building for the majority of the Doom Buggy ride."
  19. "Bank of America was the sponsor of It's a Small World when it opened in 1966 at Disneyland. Louis B. Lundborg, the bank's board chairman, sat in the first boatload with Walt and some children."
  20. "On Main Street, on the right-hand side facing the castle, there's a little inlet roughly halfway through, by where the Starbucks is. There's usually some seating back there and that's where Disneyland's lockers are. Right next to the lockers, there's a brick wall with a water fountain. This wall was where they tested the look of various bricks while constructing Disneyland. One side has very smooth and regular bricks, the other has uneven and mismatched bricks, so they could see which style they preferred. When construction was finished, they either didn't have the money to replace the wall or left it there as a little nod to the construction efforts."
  21. "When I worked in the parking structure I found out there are way more plainclothes officers and security guards at the park than I previously thought."
  22. "Before popcorn was in the parks they used to sell peanuts but the shells were so messy so they switched to popcorn!!"
  23. Finally, "My 1992 season pass to Disneyland cost $250. It was a laminated card with my photo and was called a 'Disneyland Picture Passport.' It was good for the following 365 days, had no blackout days, and included parking."
Link to article
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2023.05.27 07:53 Prof-Wagstaff-42 Trip report from a month ago

Ok, so I saw other folks doing this and kept forgetting to do it. I had never been to Disneyland before last month. I've been to WDW four times (twice as an adult) and I love it. So, yes, there was a lot of comparing of the two.
I went with a crew of 7 Disney fanatics, all adults on the outside. One of crew used to work at WDW and had only been to DLR once years ago, so she was basically in the same boat as me. None of them had been since Galaxy's Edge opened
We got to Anaheim on Monday and hung out in Downtown Disney most of that day. It's fun. Basically the same as Disney Springs, but about a quarter of the size. That means that it's easier to get around, but once you eat, go to World Of Disney and the Lego Store, you're pretty much done. (Well...I am, anyway. Those were the two places I spent the most time...and money.) We had fun playing with our Magic Bands at the big Disney 100 coins. My WDW friend and I were the only ones who knew the true potential of the bands, but then we were like, " can't do that with them here? Or that? Or that? Whaaaaaaat?"
Next day was Disneyland. Rope drop to close, baby. We jumped from dark ride to dark ride in Fantasyland. I was excited because I had only done Peter Pan in WDW. (I'm sure I did Mr Toad as a kid, but it's a faded memory.) They're all fun, but really Mr Toad and Peter Pan are the best. The rest are just kind of running through the movies in 3 minutes.
My friends are all obsessed with Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, so we did those soon after. (I also love HM. Maybe the best dark ride here and Magic Kingdom.) Of course, I've ridden Pirates in WDW, but I never understood the obsession with it. I's fun. It's definitely one that I make sure to do when I'm there. After riding the DLR version, though, I get it! It's SO much better. There's an actual story! And the two drops make a huge difference! And the battle scene! And the time travel! It's all pretty perfect and I was happy to ride it as many times as they wanted to.
Outside of the Hatbox Ghost (which is pretty awesome), HM isn't too different between the two parks. There are differences like the long hallway to get you beyond the berm and the "Hurry back" being after you get out of the Doom Buggies, but I like them both pretty equally. I have to say, though, that I like the exterior of WDW's better. The house is grander and the queue is more fun.
We went to Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel where my friends got zombies and rum-filled Dole whips. I'm not a huge pineapple fan, so Dole whips aren't a huge deal for me, but I do think they're better at DLR. (Not being a drinker, mine wasn't rum-filled.)
I don't know how, but It's A Small World is better at DLR. Maybe it's just because it's the original that was moved from the World's Fair to California or maybe it's because of the movie characters interspersed throughout...I don't know, but it didn't annoy me quite as much as it usually does. I actually thought that I wouldn't die if I had to ride it again. (We didn't.)
We did two of the mountains this first day: BTM and Space. Didn't make it to Splash and the Matterhorn was closed. (One of my two big disappointments of the trip. My mom always talks about the Matterhorn and I was excited to ride it. Booooo.) Space Mountain is quite possibly my favorite ride anywhere. I ride it every chance I get at WDW and I always ride it slightly crouched because I always think I'm going to get hit in the face with a crossbeam. (I'm not even that tall, btw. Pretty average at 5'9".) To me the ride itself isn't all that different even though it's significantly smaller here. But the theming! SO much more fun! In WDW you just walk through halls like you're going to Soarin'. In DLR there's a full spaceship! And the lights in the tunnel are better, too!
A couple of my friends are not thrill ride people and only went on Space Mountain because they felt like they had to. The ride pic of one of them is priceless. She looks like she's dying and our friend next to her is leaning over saying, "It's almost over!"
On the way off the ride one of my friends dropped her phone and nearly exploded because the CMs kept telling her "We'll get it, just keep moving." It wasn't made clear to us that they were going to pull the car off so they could search it while the ride kept going. It just seemed like they were dismissing it like, "You'll get it back some point...maybe."
So...note to CMs: maybe explain a bit more, but also sorry my friend kinda went off a bit. (Turns out her phone somehow went THROUGH the car and landed on the track. They got it and she thanked them profusely. It was still a lot, though.)
I also got to introduce my friends to two of my other favorite rides in the world: Rise Of The Resistance and Micky & Minnie. I could just ride those two and Space Mountain all day and be perfectly happy. I wasn't super into paying $20 to ride them, though. That's a bunch-a bs. I honestly may not have if it wasn't for the fact that I really wanted to ride them with my friends who had never ridden them before. That made it worth it because they were all pretty blown away by both rides.
Speaking of Star Wars, I got to watch one of my friends tear up as we came around the corner to see the Falcon for the first time. That's a special moment. The first time I saw it in WDW I couldn't take my eyes off of it for a while. I love Galaxy's Edge and if I was a season pass holder and lived nearby I would go some days just to watch people come around that corner. It doesn't matter how old or jaded you are, that will turn you into an 8 year old again.
They all liked Smuggler's Run, too. Well...all of them but the one who gets motion sickness really easily. That was not his favorite ride.
And Indiana Jones. Oh, man. I love Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom, but this is Indiana Jones! Pretty hard to beat that.
That night we did Land of the Giant Ducks while everyone else was watching not fireworks. It was fun, but we couldn't understand a word the CM was saying.
Wed was California Adventure. It's a smaller park and there doesn't seem to be as much to do, but there are enough great rides to make up for it. Guardians is just as fun as Tower of Terror. The rest of the Avengers Campus is kind of meh, but we did get to see the Dora Milaje, so that was pretty awesome. And Webslingers was fine. Not as good as Midway Mania, but better than Buzz Lightyear.
Carsland is amazing! I'm not a huge fan of those movies, but I'm a fan of the land. Beautiful at night, too! And Radiator Springs Racers is so good! So much like Test Track, but with actual fun theming. (Test Track fits Epcot better, but this was more fun.)
The real revelation for me in CA, though, was Incredicoaster. I could have ridden that three or four more times. (I tried to that night, but it was closed for World Of Color - One. Bastards. (Apparently they're leaving it open now. Bastards.)
"And the baby is gone."
We ate at Lamplight Lounge and it was fine. Someone had raved about the lobster nachos, so a couple of us got them. They were fine. Really nothing to write home about. I kind of see how people who go to DLR more think that the meal plan isn't worth it. The table service meals aren't as big of a deal here as they are in WDW. They're fine, but I would rather eat at Ohana or Sanaa. And those are more expensive than LL, so it makes more sense to have a meal plan if you're going to do stuff like that.
A couple of us stuck around for WOCO, but my feet were killing me, so I was ready to gtfo way before it was over. (I stuck it out, though.)
Biggest disappointment of CA? I didn't get to meet Oswald. He was there. One of our crew saw him and took a picture of him for me. But I didn't get my picture taken with him. Sad day. I love Oswald and I'm so happy that he's finally getting some love. But...just...ugh...
Our last day in the parks was at Disneyland again and it was probably our most memorable day. We rode Splash Mountain for the last time ever. I love that ride and the joy that surrounds it. The music is fun and the characters are great and it seemed to all be working. And, honestly, it has my vote as the scariest ride in the park (that I've ridden) if only because there are no restraints on it! On the final drop I felt like I could actually fly out of my seat and die! It was awesome.
I'm glad I got to ride it one last time...but I get it. It's based on a movie that, at its core, is pretty racist. Yes, they changed it from tar to honey (good call), but come on. Even if there's no mention of Uncle Remus outside of all of the quotes all over the place, it's a movie that even in its time was called out for being pretty bad. I've seen it a few times and, yeah. It's not easy to watch at times.
All that being said, I don't like censoring art and I wish it was available legitimately with ALL the disclaimers.
But I digress...back to the parks.
At this point we went over to Micky & Minnie again. I decided that I didn't want to pay another $20 to ride a ride that I've done about five times (as much as I love it), so I wandered around ToonTown. There's really no equivalent in WDW, so this was all new to me. So many children having the time of their life. Soooooo many children. And so many parents NOT having the time of their life. Mickey wasn't currently doing a meet & greet in his house, so we got to wander through it. That's a lot of fun, but waiting in a line that long to get your picture with Micky is...oof. Nah. (We did get our pictures taken with him in CA. No line there.)
Mid-day we all realized that we were old and tired and needed a break, so we went to Earl Of Sandwich in Downtown Disney for drinks and a rest. This is where one of my friends got a little too much rum in him and became VERY happy. We spent about two hours at EOS and finally decided that it was time to get back to the park via Monorail.
We go to the DD station and I saw that the car we were about to get on was full of teenagers. My first thought was "Ugh. This is going to be obnoxious." Three of us got on that car and the other four got in the next one. Joseph (aka Rum Boy for this story) was in my car with the teenagers. The kids start to sing Shaboom Shaboom because Cars. Joseph starts singing along with them. They get to the end and he says, "What's your FAVORITE Disney song!?" "Part Of Your World!"
He then proceeds to lead an entire car full of teenagers in Part Of Your World IN ITS ENTIRETY. Not one word skipped! Sometimes those words were shouted.
We get to the end just as we get to our destination. The doors open and everyone cheers. Joseph's wife in the next car, who heard NOTHING of what was going on until the doors opened, said, "That'll be my husband."
One of the teenage girls, on the way down the stairs, said, "I wanna be like THAT guy when I get older!"
The rest of the night was all downhill from there! I mean, how do you top that? We did a few more rides, went to Galaxy's Edge again for the night view, and a couple of us did Star Tours and Space Mountain as our final rides. SM broke down just as we got in the loading room and we were worried that we wouldn't get to ride it again. But we got to watch them take one car off and put another car on the track, so that was fun. Then all was right in the world again.
Friday we did some more Downtown Disney before we went to the airport. Not much to report from there.
This went on longer than I thought it would, but a fun time was had by all. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things.
In short (too late), WDW has my heart because that's where I've been the most. It's where I went as a kid and it's where my ex and I had two of our best trips together. (Including our honeymoon for the shortest marriage ever outside of Hollywood.) But there are definitely some things that are just better in DLR. It's where Walt walked. It was his baby. And I get the love for it...even if the castle is tiny. (I wish you could walk through Cinderella's castle, though. That's a pretty cool feature.)
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2023.05.26 02:40 Steve_En In Defense of The Game's Ending.

The Game (1997) is my favorite film of all time, and therefore I recognize that I have a positive bias towards it and I feel as though it is my obligation to state so beforehand. While I will try to be as impartial as I can, this is essentially me defending my favorite movie from a common criticism.
When I hear people talking about David Fincher's The Game, a common complaint that people have is that they don't like the ending because they feel as though it ultimately undermines everything that the film tried to build up beforehand, a notion which I heavily disagree with.
To summarize the movie, it centers around a highly wealthy broker named Nicholas Van Orton. Nicholas is, in the context of this movie, someone who has everything he could ever want or need; a mansion, millions of dollars, a maid, expensive food, access to luxurious hotels and restaurants, and a life where his biggest worry is whether or not his dinner will be overcooked today. He has everything he could ever ask for; except for love.
He's divorced from his wife, he is estranged from his brother, he has no children or relatives that contact him, and his father, also a detached rich man, commit suicide in front of Nicholas' eyes by jumping off a building when Nicholas was a child.
On his 48th birthday, his brother, Conrad, gives him an invitation to play a "game" orchestrated by the Consumer Recreation Services company. After going through a lengthy psychological profiling, the game begins and Nicholas finds himself being mentally tormented by CRS as the line between reality and fiction begins to blur in his mind. His television begins talking to him, he nearly gets mauled by dogs, he gets driven underwater in a locked cab, and he loses all of his money and gets stranded in Mexico.
One of my favorite scenes in the film which truly shows how Fincher has an incredible grip on suspense and atmosphere is when Nicholas, inside the house of one of the few people he thinks he can trust, begins that where he is may not exactly be as it seems -- the lamp still has the tag on it, the faucets don't release water, there is absolutely nothing in the fridges or cabinets, and even the photograph is found to be nothing more than a piece from a newspaper.
This kind of paranoia would be easily cheapened by a less advanced director, perhaps with the addition of unnecessary dialogue or Nicholas talking to himself, but the way Fincher executes it shows that he is a master at forming dread and suspicion within the audience after they had been lured into a false sense of security, exactly as Nicholas is in that seen.
At the end of the film, Nicholas storms CRS' headquarters and, on top of the roof, shoots the first person that comes out of the door; revealed to be Conrad holding a bottle of champagne and arriving to celebrate Nicholas' birthday. For the first time since his father's death, Nicholas shows true humanity. Not anger, resentment, annoyance, or indifference as we've seen him express, but true and utter grief after realizing he has killed his own brother.
In a scene paralleling the death of his father, Nicholas leaps off the roof of the building to commit suicide, before he is caught on a large airbag. Being helped out by men in suits, he finds himself in the middle of a luxury restaurant and sees Conrad, still alive, telling Nicholas that all of this has been his birthday present. Nicholas, realizing that the game was nothing more than a way of teaching him to appreciate life and the people around him, hugs Conrad as he realizes the nightmare is over and starts his new life as a changed man.
This ending is easily the most controversial scene of the film and it is the leading cause of breaking people's enjoyment of it. Some people believe that the movie would have been far better if Nicholas truly had killed Conrad and himself -- a bleak and twisted ending that Fincher exceeds in a la Se7en, while some people believe that this optimistic and sentimental end is the most fitting conclusion they could've possibly given this film, an opinion that I and David Fincher himself share.
I believe this ending works because of the ethos behind it all, and to explain why, I need to give an overview on the type of man that Nicholas Van Orton is.
Over the course of the film, we've seen a man who has little regard for anything other than his bank account and who finds no bearing in his complete loneliness outside fellow brokers and his maid. A man who fires people, destroying their livelihood and putting their family at risk, and then goes to sleep at night like a baby. A man with all of the money in the world and none of the humanity.
In flashbacks, we see his father, whom it is implied Nicholas inherited a large amount of wealth from. Like Nicholas himself, the father appears detached and uninterested in all that happens around him, not even smiling in photographs with his son. Eventually, the mediocrity and monotony of his life becomes too much to bear and he kills himself by jumping off the roof of the mansion, all while the young Nicholas watches from below.
When the game begins, Nicholas experiences real, unfiltered emotions. Emotions not clouded by the façade of sterile professionalism or cold apathy. While he may have seen it as a negative experience, there is no doubting that Nicholas has never felt more alive than when he was desperately hiding from CRS agents attempting to gun him down.
And as the film reaches the crescendo, Nicholas finds that he has lost everything that made him the emotionless blank slate of a man he was. His mansion is vandalized, he begs people for rides to Los Angeles, going as far as to sell his watch as it's the only possession he has left for a lift. He no longer has any concern for money, but rather is fighting to stay alive. It is through the game that Nicholas realizes what it's like to be the people under him, the people he fires at work, the homeless men he passes on the street, the people he spits on as they work for years to make what he accrues in a single month.
This is a thought that has crossed the mind of everyone, especially the rich and undoubtedly someone like Nicholas, but it's not one that they look upon with much consideration, who needs to worry when you have all the money in the world?
But when Nicholas loses everything that he has, he looks towards the things he neglected for so long. He meets up with his ex-wife and finally apologizes for what he did to her, making amends with something that he was far too proud to show remorse for. He even meets up with his brother in a scene that reveals their strained relationship; Nicholas always wanted Conrad to turn out like him, however his brain had no such desire and as such a growing vitriol was brewing between the two of them.
Before the game started, he never so much as considering making things right with his ex-wife or speaking with Conrad again, but when your possessions are taken away from you, you're only left with the things you can't buy.
And so this is where the ending comes in.
The ending of the film makes no attempt at concealing the parallels between Nicholas and his father, going so far as to show the same flashbacks as he jumps off the building to what he presumed to be his demise, a cruel, if mockingly poetic conclusion to the life of a man who's biggest concern in life was a pen stain on his shirt.
However, Nicholas had what his father never did and that was people who were willing to go to Hell and back for him, people who truly wanted to see him change himself for the better, co-workers and employees who only crossed his mind whenever they were named but who thought about him every day.
In the end, it's revealed that everything that happened to him was staged to teach Nicholas that, if he continues going down the path of avarice and egotism, all that awaits him is the same fate as the father he watched. A father who was like Nicholas in every way except for the fact that he could not be saved.
Every single thing that happened during the game was staged using the hours of psychological information that he gave to CRS, which was nothing more than a corporation that planned elaborate parties for people like Nicholas. Everything from the taxi that they knew he'd pick up and escape, the agent they ordered to miss every shot, the television channel they knew he'd been watching, and the smoke detector camera they knew he'd break. Nothing was unintentional, nothing was not planned beforehand to every last meticulous detail. It was all orchestrated from the beginning knowing that Nicholas would leap off that building to his death, only to discover the true nature of the game.
The ending was described by David Fincher as comparative to the ending of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge, a selfish business man just like Nicholas, turns his life around after seeing a vision of his gravestone and realizing there will be no one to mourn him if he contains going down the path of greed and loneliness.
The ending of The Game works precisely because it is in complete contrast to the rest of the film, a paranoid experience of untrustworthy labyrinths and twisting mazes with no end in sight. The juxtaposition of the previous 10 minutes is exactly why the ending succeeds in shocking the audience, Fincher's intended goal. Prior to that, the film never showed any sense of sentimentality or beauty, and, despite how well-made it was, it was otherwise comparable to your average action thriller starring A-list actors. Had the end been any different, I don't believe that The Game would be considered more special than any flick Hollywood has been putting out for the last 30 years.
Bleak endings can be greater than a good ending, and David Fincher has proved he's capable of masterfully doing them in Se7en and Fight Club, both of which would be ruined with happy endings, but the end of The Game succeeds due to not existing in isolation, but rather in the context of the last 2 hours of the film and everything we knew about the protagonist.
Nothing lives in a vacuum and everything must have its surroundings considered before evaluation. In the case of The Game, we see the cautionary tale of a man who has everything and, only in the complete loss of his materialistic possessions, does he realize that no amount of wealth will fill your funerals with people or your life with meaning and that that must come from swallowing your pride and bettering yourself as a person.
At the end of The Game, Nicholas is alive, his brother is alive, and those 2 facts mean that he can change for the better and appreciate his existence for what it's worth, even if it took psychological warfare to get him to realize this.
Do I believe the ending of The Game is perfect? No, I believe it could've been far better executed. I found the shirt and dancing to be overly comedic and complete tonal whiplash, but I don't believe they detract from the overall genius of the film's conclusion and everything it means in the context of the story that David Fincher built up throughout the 2 hour duration of the movie.
What birthday present do you get the man who has everything?
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2023.05.25 22:40 mrgoalie Trip Report: (5/14-5/21) - 7 days of parks for 6 people

Past few years, when our kids are done with their homeschool studies, we've jetted somewhere for a good week long vacation. We've done WDW with 2 kids in 2013, 3 kids in 2014, and 4 kids in 2018. 2019 we did a "California Adventure", with a few days in LA and a day at Disneyland, and then a NorCal stint to visit family. 2021 we jetted down and did a few days in Clearwater, and then Legoland, and then re-visited Legoland and Universal in December that year. We decided on WDW for 2023 mostly because all the shows were reopened - and we hate trying to battle lines and people the entire time. Didn't do a of reading up on this trip, other than for Genie+.
Couple of things we did differently than on other WDW trips:
1) We made the decision to stay off-site and rent a car. We have done a ton of traveling in the last few years, and my side consulting hustle has exploded in demand in the last couple years as well. Sleeping 6 at a WDW property is not cheap, and we typically only use the room to sleep, not to lounge and relax in during the day. In previous years, we were sort of frustrated with WDW transportation as well. Our previous stays were at Pop Century and Caribbean Beach, which typically had long wait times for transportation both to and from the parks, and the bus stops felt like the furthest away from the park entrance.
2) This would be the first trip we've made without a stroller. In our 2019 Disneyland day, that was done on a whim and we didn't bring a stroller with us, and decided not to rent one for the day and see how it went.
Our typical strategy for keeping things affordable and maximizing our time is to be at the park at rope drop, and then eating one meal that we kept in our backpacks, and another meal in the park. My kids rage in age from 14 down to 7. We decided in advance to do Genie+ for every single day other than our last day.
May 14 - Travel Day
We took a new airline out of our city, Avelo. Total cost with checked bags ended up being about $110 round trip per person. Airport is about 5 minutes from our house, and we breezed through TSA not only because we had precheck, but it's a small airport, so there was about 2 people in front of us when we got to security. We boarded early and took off early because everyone was checked in at around 6:15pm. Arrived in MCO 30 minutes ahead of schedule, picked up our Turo rental, and headed to the Home2 suites we booked on points near the outlet mall and the south I-Drive corridor. Headed to Walmart to pick various grocery items needed for the week. Avelo really was great, and we walked in not expecting much, but the service was really friendly, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
May 15 - Epcot
We originally scheduled to do Epcot first because we didn't think we'd get in on time with the budget airline, or be able to breeze through check-in at the hotel. Originally, we thought we'd be getting groceries and entering the park closer to 10-11a, but instead, we were able to rope drop the park. We got boarding group 16 for Guardians, so we walked there first. Guardians is easily one of the best themed roller coasters I've ever been on 10/10. Enjoyed the entire thing from the standby line to the ride itself. Went and did Mission: Space, made me a little motion sick, my oldest daughter sat out with claustrophobic feelings. Our lightning lane for Remy was right after we got off Guardians, so we booked it back to France to do that. Again, fantastic ride, loved the new ride tech they're using now. Then we double backed to Canada and decided to do the family friendly "eat around the world", so we got a small poutine to share, and watched Far and Wide. Stopped in the UK to visit Mary Poppins for a quick second, got some chips, and then headed back to France for a crepe, and we watched the Beauty and the Beast sing-along. Stopped in Morocco for a kebab, and then got some teriyaki chicken in Japan. Headed to the US section, listened to the choral group, and sat through the animatronic show - and fell asleep a few times. Celebrated with a funnel cake. Then headed to Italy for some gelato, got a pretzel in Germany, and then our lightning lane was good for Frozen. Finished that, got some kind of dessert roll from Norway, and then went to the China pavilion for potstickers, meeting Mulan, and the 360 movie. Went into Mexico, rode the 3 caballeros, and concluded with some tacos and churros. Headed over to the Seas to do the Nemo ride, Turtle Talk, let the kids look at the fish, then went over to Soarin'. We were getting pretty tired at that point, so we scouted a spot outside of the Canada pavilion and sat down for about an hour. Got some glow stuff out that we brought with us, and let the kids do mad-libs and DIY pictionary for the balance of the time. Watched the fireworks and headed back to the hotel. Just over 9 miles of walking that day.
May 16 - Magic Kingdom
Woke up early, got group 36 for Tron, and booked a lightning lane for Peter Pan's flight. Ended up buying an ILL for Mine Train, and rope dropped Space Mountain at the last second - original plan was to rope drop Mine Train, but the ride was down early, so we had to change up our plan. By then my oldest daughter was having a slight anxiety attack over the change, so we did a time-out and did the carousel of progress to hopefully give her a little time to reset. That did not work, and she had a full on anxiety attack as we were entering the virtual queue for Tron. I ended up jumping out of line with her to sit with her, and get her hydrated and some food in her. That helped, and we waited for the rest of the family to finish. Once they were off, they all headed to Laugh Floor, while I went through the Tron line solo. As a lot of other people have commented, the theming for the ride was really well done, but I felt the ride itself was a disappointment because it was too short. I met everyone for our LL for Peter Pan. Walked across to It's a Small World, and then watched Philharmagic. Did a standby line for Enchanted Tales, and then our ILL for Mine Train was next. From there, we did a LL for the Ariel meet & greet, and then rode the Little Mermaid ride in the standby line. Rode the train over to Adventure Land, rode Big Thunder on LL, and then headed over to Magic Carpets, and then the Tiki Room. Got a LL for Pirates. Ate dinner at Pecos Bill's. Walked towards Tomorrowland via Haunted Mansion, then hit the teacups, and then divided and conquered as I took my older kids back to the Laugh Floor, while my younger ones did the speedway. By then our LL for Jungle Cruise was active, so we did that and then went over to Mine Train to walk on it twice while the fireworks were going. Closed out the day heading over to Winnie the Pooh, sat and let the throng of people go down a bit, and headed out of the park around 10:45. Around 11 miles walking total for the day.
May 17 - Hollywood Studios
Another early day. Got a LL for Slinky Dog, and rope dropped Rise, waited about 30 minutes total. Amazing experience all around. Walked up to Toy Story land and did swirling saucers, and then the LL for Slinky Dog. Got a LL for Toy Story Mania, but the track went down for maintenance as we were about to get on (more on that later). Decided to use the freebie LL for Smuggler's Run. Again, amazing experience. Took a break for lunch and blue milk. Went to the Frozen Sing-along, where my daughter decided to yell "puddle", got a LL for Runaway Railway and then went over to Star Tours, and then MuppetVision. By then we realized that technically we used our LL for Toy Story Mania, but never got on the ride, so we visited customer relations, and explained the situation, and they tossed a Toy Story Mania LL back on our party's plan. We took an ice cream break, and headed over to the Indiana Jones show. My wife wanted to do the Edna meet and greet, so we did that, and then finally got on Toy Story Mania. Most of my family concluded the day with dinner at Woody's Lunchbox, and one more trip on Smuggler's Run. One of my older daughters stuck with me in the park until about 9:15 jumping between Rise, Smuggler's, bounty hunting, and Toy Story mania. Another 11 miles walking for the day.
May 18 - Hollywood Studios (Day 2)
Rope dropped Slinky Dog on this day, hopped over to Toy Story Mania, and then went back to Slinky Dog. Swirling saucers, and then TSM again. Took a AC break in the Walt Disney movie, and then went over to the BB8 and Darth Vader meets. Then walked back over to Star Tours, and Smuggler's Run before having lunch at Mama Melrose's. Then did the Beauty and the Beast show, and then the Lightning McQueen racing school show. Had a LL for Runaway Railway, so walked back to the main portion of the park. By then, we wanted to kill time for a little bit, so we exited, and took the skyliner to Epcot and then came back to Hollywood Studios. Re-entered, did Star Tours, and then walked onto Rise. Then walked onto Smuggler's Run and was told that we got a top score by the cast member (didn't get a picture of the score). By then weather was a concern, so we went out and watched the projection show in the rain, rode Runaway Railway again, and then took an ice cream break while Fantasmic was cancelled for the first show, and then waited until about 10:15p until they called the 10:30p show. 10 miles of walking.
May 19 - Magic Kingdom (Day 2)
With all the rope dropping, we opted for a late start on this day. Booked a LL for Peter Pan's flight, and then got into the park around 10:15a, and headed back there. Did It's a Small World right after. Opted to go back onto Little Mermaid, and then got a LL for the FoF parade and had lunch, so we didn't have to fight for seats. Went back to Philharmagic, then did Big Thunder. Took the train over to the splash pad, rode Tron, and then walked to Pinocchio Village Haus for dinner. After that, we did our LL for Jungle Cruise, and then camped out for the fireworks while a subset of kids and my wife went on Space Mountain. Watched the fireworks and headed out. 7.6 miles walked.
May 20 - Animal Kingdom
We never have done either Avatar ride, so we rope dropped Flights (also amazing), and then Navi River. Walked up to Africa for the Lion King show - one of our favorites, and then a LL for the Safari, also one of our favorites. Walked the gorilla trek halfway before we were turned around for work being done. Most of the family went on Kali River Rapids, while I waited, and then we did Everest twice. Took a break for lunch, and then went to the Nemo show, another one of our favorites. Walked back to Africa for one more safari, then called it a day with dinner at Flame Tree BBQ. Went back to the hotel to do laundry and swimming. Ended up taking one of our kids to Disney Springs to hit World of Disney to pick up something that she was eying. 10 miles walked.
May 21 - Epcot (Day 1.5)
Checked out of our hotel, rope dropped Soarin, and then headed to the Seas for Turtle Talk x2, and some fish watching. Did the Joy and Vanellope meets, and then had lunch at Connections before heading out to MCO. My wife did a couple loops of World Showcase buying up some Christmas ornaments for the tree. 5 miles walked.
Overall thoughts
We had a pretty ambitious schedule, and no real huge hiccups. All of our kids really did well and there was minimal complaining about the heat after day 3. Parks were not very busy, and felt dead at times. Confirmed with many CM's that it was very slow that week - Star Wars land was almost a ghost town after 6pm both days we were there. Genie+ really enabled us to make more use of our time, and we got a ton of value for it. However, the ability to NOT be able to select a time further out in the future caused a lot of unnecessary walking and juggling of return times. We often would book one farther out in the future and hit low standby line time rides, but then once we got the first two out of our way, we would just book one and use it pretty much right away. In a way, the system is a lot more fair, and is closer to the MaxPass that Disneyland had when we visited, but we wish we could have the same Genie+ rules apply, but schedule a return time further ahead in the day. We would end up using it on rides that really didn't need LL, just to push our time forward for a ride that you wanted to use LL for that wasn't offering a return time that worked with what we were planning. The regular genie "service" was a joke and we never used it. For a family that has always used Disney on-site transportation, we were shocked at how much time was saved by driving our own vehicle. And by being in the park early, we got great spots and could be in our car about 5 minutes after leaving the park.
Animal Kingdom was by far the most disappointing park. The theming of each area is always been great, but we felt that there wasn't much there to tie it all together anymore. Park needs a ton of work to become magical. We even felt the rewrites of the Nemo show really actually hurt the show than helped it. The characters on the motor boats was laughable. Always felt that the park was very heavy-handed with the environmental message, but it just felt over the top now.
The rest of the parks were great. We didn't encounter any visitors that were giving CM's grief or generally being stupid, and we made sure to give plenty of kindness to the CM's who often get the short end of the stick. Felt really bad for the Kidcot CM for England who lost her voice, but still engaged with us the best she could, and appreciated us telling her to feel better soon. Had a really poor experience with many of the CM's from France, they were particularly rude and were disengaged. Told my wife maybe that's part of the theming of the French being rude to Americans, but I felt it was unnecessary. Our waitress at Mama Melrose's was absolutely a gem, made sure to keep us hydrated to stay out of heat exhaustion trouble, and brought me a kid's dessert since most everyone else at the table had a kid dessert as well.
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2023.05.23 05:27 theMezz Utica’s F.X. Matt moves into top tier of craft brewers 2023-0522 /drinks/2023/05/uticas-fx-matt-moves-into-top-tier-of-craft-brewers-with-purchase-of-marylands-flying-dog.html
Utica’s F.X. Matt moves into top tier of craft brewers with purchase of Maryland’s Flying Dog
Updated: May. 22, 2023, 5:14 p.m.Published: May. 22, 2023, 4:40 p.m.5-6 minutes 5/22/2023
Utica’s F.X. Matt (Saranac) Brewing, makers of the Saranac line of craft beers and the traditional lager Utica Club, has agreed to purchase Flying Dog Brewing, a large craft brewer based in Maryland.

News of the deal was broken by Brewbound, a site that covers the national brewing industry.

The deal announced today will likely make combined Matt / Flying Dog one of the ten largest craft brewers in the country, according to statistics compiled by the national Brewers Association, based in Colorado.

In 2022, the most recent year analyzed, there were more than 9,500 craft brewers and 9,700 total brewers in the country, the association reported. For that year, the BA ranked Matt as the No. 14 biggest craft brewer and listed Flying Dog at No. 34 based on the amount of beer produced.

The terms of the purchase were not revealed. F.X. Matt was founded in 1888 as the West End Brewing Co. and is the oldest family-owned brewery in New York state.

Flying Dog started in Colorado in 1990 and has built a reputation for quality beers and controversial imagery. Among its best known beers is an IPA called Raging Bitch. Flying Dog acquired the Frederick Brewing Company in Frederick, Md. in 2006, and moved its headquarters there in 2007.

Brewbound reported that production of Flying Dog beers is expected to begin moving from Frederick to Utica this summer, with production ending in Maryland by August. Matt is exploring the possibility of opening an “innovation brewery and taproom” in Frederick at a later date, Brewbound said.

Matt Brewing had been brewing some Flying Dog beers under contract for the past decade because of capacity limits at the Frederick brewhouse.

FX Matt CEO Fred Matt said Flying Dog offers his company “a great opportunity to grow in the Mid-Atlantic region,” Brewbound reported, citing a news release.

“When you think of craft beer in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic, Flying Dog is the first brand that pops into your head,” Matt said. “We are excited to join forces with such a great brand and look forward to helping Flying Dog reach new heights.”

Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso added that he “could not imagine a better steward for the Flying Dog brand going forward than FX Matt,” according to the Brewbound report.

“We have worked with them for many years, they are a prestigious family-owned brewery with more than 135 years of history, they are committed to building on the deep roots Flying Dog has established in Maryland, and their capabilities will take Flying Dog to a new level,” Caruso said.

Matt Brewing was founded by German immigrant F.X. Matt, Fred Matt’s great-grandfather. It was long known for its traditional American lager, Utica Club, and, since the 1980s, for the line of Saranac craft beers. It has also long been in the business of making beer under contract for other notable beer brands, including Brooklyn Brewery, which acquired a 20% stake in Matt a few years ago.

Matt also owns Buffalo’s Flying Bison Brewing and has a production/distribution partnership with Lake Placid Brewing in the Adirondacks.

Matt is the second oldest brewery in New York state (after Genesee in Rochester) and third in size behind only only Genesee and the Anheuser-Busch InBev plant near Syracuse. Neither Genesee nor AB InBev are considered by the Brewers Association to be craft brewers, based on a definition that takes into account both production volumes and brewing ingredients/techniques.

Matt Brewing also makes many different beverages under contract for other companies and brands. Many of its products today are hard seltzers, canned cocktails and other products that are not strictly beer.

In one of its most recent ventures into the non-beer category, Matt Brewing partnered with Flying Dog and Boston-based Harpoon Brewing on a line of canned cocktails called Vodka Whips.

In 2021, Matt Brewing completed a $35 million expansion that was included giant new brew kettles and fermenting and storage tanks, along with a new digital/computer-operated control system. That was intended to help it move further into the category of alcoholic products like hard seltzers and canned cocktails. Fred Matt had said at the time beer could soon account for less than half the total output of the brewery.

Don Cazentre writes about craft beer, wine, spirits and beverages for, and The Post-Standard. Reach him at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), or follow him at, on Twitter or Facebook.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.
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2023.05.22 04:34 tvocii Eastern Ratsnake shepherded off of a road near Frederick, MD

Eastern Ratsnake shepherded off of a road near Frederick, MD submitted by tvocii to whatsthissnake [link] [comments]

2023.05.20 14:15 Routine_Bunch_5842 Princes' Islands

Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands (also known as Adalar in Turkish) are a group of nine small islands located in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul, Turkey. They are a popular getaway destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful and serene atmosphere away from the bustling city.
The four main islands open to visitors are Büyükada (the largest and most popular), Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kınalıada. Each island has its own unique charm and attractions, with horse-drawn carriages and bicycles being the primary modes of transportation.
The Princes' Islands are known for their beautiful beaches, pine forests, historic buildings, and quaint village vibes. You can explore the islands by taking leisurely walks, enjoying scenic bike rides, or hopping on a horse-drawn carriage tour.
One of the main highlights of the islands is the absence of motorized vehicles, creating a peaceful and pollution-free environment. This makes it an ideal place to escape the noise and traffic of Istanbul. You can wander through the narrow streets, relax in waterfront cafes, indulge in delicious seafood at local restaurants, or simply soak up the sun on the beaches.
Each island has its own attractions, such as Büyükada's historic mansions, Heybeliada's Naval High School, or Burgazada's Monastery of St. George. You can also visit the Hristos Church, Aya Yorgi Monastery, or take a boat tour around the islands for panoramic views.
Overall, the Princes' Islands offer a delightful retreat from the city and provide a unique experience for visitors. Whether you want to spend a day or a weekend exploring the islands, it's a charming destination to relax, unwind, and enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the area.
Turkey is generally considered a safe destination for solo female travelers, but as with any country, it's important to take certain precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some factors to consider:
  1. General Safety: Turkey is a relatively safe country with millions of tourists visiting each year. The majority of visits are trouble-free, and Turkish people are known for their hospitality and friendliness.
  2. Dressing: Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and while it is modern and cosmopolitan in many areas, it's still advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or more conservative regions. This can help you avoid unwanted attention.
  3. Awareness of Surroundings: Like in any other destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution, particularly in crowded areas or at night. Keep an eye on your belongings, use reputable transportation, and trust your instincts if you feel uncomfortable.
  4. Public Transportation: Turkey has a well-developed transportation system, including buses, trams, and metros, which are generally safe to use. However, it's always a good idea to be cautious, particularly in crowded places, and avoid empty or poorly lit areas at night.
  5. Accommodation: Choose reputable and secure accommodations, such as hotels with good reviews and security measures. It's also advisable to inform the hotel staff of your travel plans and seek their advice on safe areas and transportation options.
  6. Local Customs and Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with local customs and cultural norms to ensure you respect the local culture. Being polite and showing respect will generally help you have a positive experience.
  7. Emergency Contacts: Keep important contact information handy, including the local emergency services number and the contact information of your embassy or consulate in Turkey.
It's worth noting that situations can vary, and it's always a good idea to stay updated on current travel advisories and follow the advice of your own government regarding travel to Turkey. Additionally, connecting with other travelers, both locals and fellow tourists, can provide valuable insights and enhance your safety while traveling solo.
  1. Explore the Historical Mansions and Streets of Buyukada
Buyukada is full of little treasures. At only one hour by boat from the city, you will find yourself in a beautiful and natural environment completely different from the chaos of the tentacular metropolis of Istanbul. The other islands are also worth a look, especially if you travel to the archipelago on weekends. They are quieter and less touristic than Buyukada. Buyukada is visited by tourists coming to Istanbul with its historical structures, mansions, natural beauties, and unique bays.
  1. Swim in the Most Famous and Magnificent Bays of the Island
The most famous and magnificent bays of the island are Princess Bay and Yorukali Beach. You can reach them with your own private boat or boats at the pier.
  1. Have a Nice Island Breakfast
Don't forget to have a nice island breakfast while you are here. You shouldn't leave without having a Turkish breakfast. We chose the Ada Palas Hotel for stay and breakfast. Ada Palas Hotel is very historical, a 19th-century masonry wooden mansion. On the islands, motorized vehicles are prohibited. You can choose buses to travel around the island. It takes about 25 minutes and costs 13 TL per person. The price of the bike rental is on average between 25 and 50 TL for the day depending on the days of the week or weekend. Also, it is possible to rent it by the hour.
  1. Visit Aya Yorgi Church
A classic to visit is Aya Yorgi Church that goes up to Aya Yorgi Hill. You can find on all the islands many active synagogues, churches, and mosques. Also, don't forget to visit Prinkipo Greek Orthodox Orphanage.
  1. Have a Dinner While Enjoying the Sunset and the Sea
You should definitely try their fresh fish when you visit Buyukada. Stop by the Island's famous ice cream shop, Prinkipo. One of the interesting aspects of the Princes' Islands is that the archipelago is a real ethnic and cultural mix. Each island has a majority religious community. In addition, you will have many opportunities to try local street delicacies on the island and enjoy your holiday with live music at the end of the day. Today we visited Buyukada for you. The largest and most touristic place of the Princes' Islands. I hope you like it and don't forget to like and subscribe. See you soon!
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2023.05.20 13:03 FelicitySmoak_ On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - May 20th

On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - May 20th
1972 - "Rockin' Robin" enters the UK Top 50 Singles chart where it will peak at #3 during a fourteen week run.
1973 - The Jackson 5 had a two-show gig at Vets Memorial in Columbus, Ohio. Ticket prices were $6, $5, and $4.
The next day, The Dispatch published a review with glowing terms, including "undeniably funky." The story, Soul-Swinging Jackson Five Score in Two Shows, said the performances "turned out mostly J-5 patriots" who had waited nearly two years for the Motown rockers to return to Columbus. (Previous shows were at Vets Memorial on 1/30/71 & at the Ohio State Fair on 8/28/71)
The evening performance featured 18 songs, including Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" & The Temptations' "Poppa Was a Rollin' Stone."
"Individually, Michael and Jermaine lead the vocal work," reported Jack Willey of The Dispatch staff, "with Michael's striking flexibility acting almost like a lead instrument for the band. Whether fronting his brothers ... or soloing ... his style is clear, precise and very much his own."
The opening band was a new soul group called the Commodores
1975 - On their Destiny Tour, The Jacksons play the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee
1997 - Michael Jackson's Blood On The Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix was released in the US
1997 - Michael Jackson's video HIStory On Film Volume 2 was released
2003 - Michael Jackson arrives in Indianapolis with his cousins Rijo, Simone, Elijah & Levon. He came to give a deposition in court following a lawsuit brought by Steeltown Records boss Gordon Keith. The lawsuit accuses the Jackson Five and others of infringing the trade name of Ripples and Waves, another Gary band from the 1960s, and two of their songs.
The time and place of the deposition are being kept secret, but some fans thought they knew where it would take place.Jackson's attorney has also asked to keep the transcript of the deposition sealed, bar media from the deposition room, and prohibit recording devices other than those utilized by the court reporter and videographer.
WISH-TV reported that a few dozen fans gathered outside the Canturbury Hotel, where Jackson had rented out the entire 12th floor, in downtown Indianapolis in hopes of catching a glimpse of him
Fans got their first closeup glance of him as he toured Circle Centre Mall
People who waited to meet Michael say he was nice and courteous. He signed several autographs and even at one point ended up in the middle of the crowd while trying to get out of the mall.
He's expected to spend most of tomorrow afternoon giving his deposition
But fans just wanted to know if his Indiana roots are still in tact.
"Michael, what's it like to be back in Indiana? What's it like to be back in Indiana?'
"It's the best! Best baby, yea."
2005 - Trial Day 57
Michael goes to court with Katherine & Randy.

Amidst speculation that the trial could wrap up as early as next week, Michael's former defense attorney resumed his testimony. Mark Geragos told jurors last week that he had ordered the surveillance of the Arvizo family because he “was concerned they were meeting with a lawyer to make some accusation or sell their story to tabloids.”
The lawyer also said he did not remember being told that the Arvizo family had returned to Jackson’'s Neverland Ranch in mid-February and said he was uneasy about that possibility because he "was concerned about a false story or a concocted one."
Geragos testified that he gave a “broad directive” to investigator Brad Miller to follow the family, instructing him to “find out who they're meeting with and what they're doing.” However, he said he did not specify the particular surveillance methods to be used.
Prosecutors have previously shown surveillance videos of the family to support their allegations that Jackson & his associates were attempting to hold the Arvizo family captive.
Prosecutor Ron Zonen tried to link Miller to the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. He asked Geragos if he was aware that an employee of Millers is alleged to have thrown rocks at the house of the accuser's grandmother.
Geragos responded, "“I don't send people out to throw stones at people's houses"
Prosecutors also questioned Geragos about the Arvizo family’s interview with the DCFS in February, 2003. In previous testimony the mother, Janet Arvizo, claimed that Miller & a man she knew as “Asef” had attended the interview. She said “Asef”, whom she believed was a part of Jackson’s security team, had asked her to secretly record the interview. She further claimed that “Asef” had threatened the safety of her parents should she not comply.
Geragos testified that he was aware the interview was taking place but said he did not direct Miller to attend or to secretly tape the interview. Importantly for the defense, he also said that Asef Vilchic in fact worked for Miller and not for Jackson.
Once again, exchanges between Zonen and Geragos were often heated. At one point, Judge Rodney Melville criticized the prosecution for approaching the witness stand too often without permission.
Geragos had refused to answer certain questions during his testimony last Friday due to a limited waiver of his attorney-client privilege. Judge Melville had been under the impression the waiver was complete, but in fact it only covered Geragos for events leading up to Jackson’s arrest.
Judge Melville said “I feel deceived by Mr. Mesereau and I am considering ... sanctions of some sort against Mr. Mesereau”. Mesereau had apologized for the confusion, explaining that he had not thought the period after the arrest would be relevant. Court observers expected the sanctions to include a fine.
The Judge said that he could have stricken Geragos’ testimony from the record but did not feel this was viable as the jury had already heard his testimony. However, he said he would entertain the prosecution's motion to strike the testimony from the record once completed.
Judge Melville also stated that a condition of his allowing Geragos to resume testimony was that whenever prosecutors asked him about events after November 2003, he was to tell the jury, "I refuse to answer that question based on attorney client privilege."
Zonen stated in court Friday that the defense may rest their case as early as next week.
"We're approaching the end of trial," he told Judge Melville. ”The defense has indicated they may be resting as early as next Tuesday."
Defense attorneys did not contradict the statement but did not comment on it.
Court Transcript
2006 - Michael meets with Prince Abdullah (Bahrain) for the last time and informs his host that he is travelling to London and Tokyo. Shortly after producer Bill Bottrell and drummer Brian Macleod arrives in Bahrain to work on new songs for Michael’s project
2009 - Michael goes to Dr Klein’s in Beverly Hills
2009 - Kenny Ortega and Randy Phillips announce in a press conference that the 4 opening O2 shows have been rescheduled from July 8 to July 13 due to production delays
2009 - In a letter signed by Michael, Leonard Rowe is prevented from working or speaking on his behalf. Frank Dileo is now Michael's one & only manager.
The letter was only publicized after Michael’s death. Leonard Rowe also claims (Like Tohme Tohme) that he never received such letter. The letter did have a Michael Jackson signature. By whom & when was this letter was actually signed is unknown. 
2013 - Jackson v AEG Trial Day 14
Katherine, Rebbie and Trent Jackson are at court.
LATimes reported that Jacksons offered a settlement.
Kevin Boyle , a lawyer for Katherine Jackson and Michael's kids , said they offered to settle the lawsuit against AEG, but that they never got an answer. Kevin Boyle said the family made the offers in January & March. Boyle would not provide details but said AEG's insurance would have paid, which means they could have settled the case without them paying a dime of their money. He said AEG has never offered to settle & they haven't apologized.
Marvin Putnam, an attorney for AEG, said it was inappropriate to discuss settlement discussions, "We don't settle matters that are utterly baseless. We believe that is the case in this matter. I can't see why we would consider a settlement as anything other than a shakedown"
CNN Reports there was a snack controversy during trial: AEG lawyers gave a bag of peppermint candy to the bailiff to hand out to the jury this week. Even Katherine Jackson enjoyed the treat but Jackson's lawyer raised an objection, suggesting jurors might be influenced if they realized the source of the sweets. A compromise was reached. Each side can provide snacks for jurors, but they'll be placed at the bailiff's desk before jurors enter court so they have no clue who brought it.
Shawn Trell Testimony
Jackson direct
AEG Live General Counsel, Shawn Trell, told jurors that he had forgotten that Kenny Ortega was working under a signed contract.
Trell said he met with his attorneys last night and reviewed one doc -- Kenny Ortega's contract. "He had a written contract," Trell said. "I remember the email dynamic. I'm not too proud to admit that I didn't recall the cover contract," Trell said he was changing his previous testimony to add that Ortega had a written contract, not only emails between him and AEG
Next topic was Insurance: Cancellation/Non-Appearance/Sickness. Trell said he started working on insurance for the tour in November of 2008. Panish showed several chains of emails where the parties talked about the insurance for the tour
Email from Bob Taylor insurance broker to Trell on 1/7/09:
Prior to speaking with carriers we ask the artist to attend medical with a doctor...A full medical with both blood/urine tests. The doctor also wants to review the medical records over the last 5 years to ensure full disclosure. Insurers require further medical examination to be carried out by their nominated doctor. They may restrict illness coverage or death from illness coverage until this examination has taken place
Email from 4/30/09 - Wooley to Trell :
"We have no coverage against Michael sickness unless and until he submits to another medical in London
Email from 5/28/09 - Trell to Taylor:
"We really need to get that medical done"
Email from 6/23/09 - Trell to Taylor :
"Any update on the availability of Term insurance?" (life insurance)
Trell said if they secured life insurance, they would get money if Michael died. "We would get the money owed to us, yes," Trell testified. Trell also said he continued discussions with an insurance broker about additional coverage to recoup AEG Live's investment if the tour had to be canceled.
Email from 6/24/09 -Taylor to Trell :
Insurers have refused to move on this. Huge amount of speculation in the media regarding artist's health. They feel if they're to consider providing illness to cover this particular artist, they must have very through medical report
Email from 6/25/09 - Gongaware to Taylor :
"If we don't get sickness coverage, we are dropping this policy"
Email from 6/25/09 - Taylor to Gongaware :
The consultation in London is critical. The doctor is holding the afternoon of the 6th July open at Harley St. But keep in mind the visit could take 2 hours plus
Next topic: Budget/Costs. Panish showed an email from AEG's Rick Webking to Michael's estate with 1st report of artist advances/expenses. This was a letter sent to the estate containing the expenses incurred, Trell said. "It seems to me we submitted this report for their review, I don't see any request for payment," Trell said.
Trell said he spoke with Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware about Michael's physical condition prior to coming to testify. "I had heard about rehearsals in which Mr. Jackson was fantastic," Trell said
Trell said he's aware of email from Ortega saying doctor was not allowing Michael to attend rehearsal on June 14, 2009. "I was aware of the doctor not allowing him to attend rehearsal," Trell said
Email from 6/17/09 from Phillips:
"...Ortega, Gongaware, Dileo, and his doctor Conrad from Vegas and I have an intervention with him to get him to focus and come to rehearsal"
Email from 6/17/09 from Gongaware to Phillip's assistant:
"We need a physical therapist and a nutritionist"
Email from Production Manager - Gongaware/Phillips on 6/19/09 :
"Paul/Randy I'm not bring a drama queen here. Kenny asked me to notify you both Michael was sent home without stepping foot on stage. He was a basket case and Kenny was concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet, be hurt. The company is rehearsing right now, but the DOUBT is pervasive"
Email from Randy Phillips to Tim Leiweke on 6/19/09 :
"We have a huge problem here."
"I think he recognized there was a problem on the 19th," Trell said. "I would take it seriously, as I believe Mr. Phillips did." Trell agreed with a statement by plaintiff's attorney, Brian Panish, that company executives knew by then there was a "deep issue" with Jackson
Does Trell consider that exchange a "red flag" that AEG Live should have noticed, Panish asked. "I would take it seriously, as I believe Mr. Phillips did," Trell answered. "I don't know I would use the word 'red flag'
One of the emails shown to the jury was from Jackson estate co-executor John Branca, sent 5 days before Jackson's death & marked 'confidential':
"I have the right therapist/spiritual advisosubstance abuse counselor who could help (recently helped Mike Tyson get sober and paroled) Do we know whether there is a substance issue involved (perhaps better discussed on the phone)
The email was sent the same day that a meeting was held at Jackson's home with Murray. No further info given to jury.
Trell said Mr. Phillips never told him about this email
Email from Ortega to Randy Phillips on 6/20/09: (chain of emails)
"I honestly don't think he is ready for this based on his continued physical weakening and deepening emotional state"
Trell said he didn't see these emails. He said he spoke with Randy Phillips about Phillips' perception of Michael, in order to prepare for testifying, but not about specific emails. Trell has been designated as the most qualified person to speak on behalf of AEG
Email from Phillips to Gongaware on 6/20/09 at 1:52 am :
"Tim and I are going to see him tomorrow, however, I'm not sure what the problem is Chemical or Physiological?"
From Gongaware to Phillips, on 6/20/09 at 5:59 am :
"Take the doctor with you. Why wasn't he there last night?"
From Phillips to Gongaware, on 6/20/09 at 2:01 pm :
"He is not a psychiatrist so I'm not sure how effective he can be at this point obviously, getting him there is not the issue. It is much deeper"
Trell said Randy Phillips went to a handful of rehearsals, three at the Forum and two at Staples Center. The head of the marketing department attended rehearsal on June 23, 2009. "She was blown away by it," Trell testified.
He said he was unaware of issues with Jackson at rehearsals."I knew of no problems with Michael Jackson at all",Trell testified.
Trell said he never saw the emails from Phillips directing people to exclude images from This Is It of Michael looking "skeletal" while rehearsing. "What were his observations of Michael's physical condition during rehearsal," Trell said. "I asked for his (Phillips) personal opinion."
Next line of questioning is about human resources and background checks. Trell said they can be valuable and useful tools when hiring. Background check costs around $40 to $125. Trell said AEG Live could afford this fee. "We don't do background checks on independent contractors," Trell said. Trell said he was involved in the hiring by AEG Live for the This Is It tour. His department was responsible for retaining independent contractors. Trell said he is not familiar with background check process for hiring. "I am not familiar with the process of doing background checks," Trell said. "No training."

Panish: "There was no hiring criteria for the This Is It tour, correct?"
Trell: "Not to my knowledge"
Trell testified that when it comes to independent contractors, they have either worked with the artists, AEG or known in the industry. Trell agreed that no background check was done on anyone working on the This Is It tour. AEG Live General Counsel Shawn Trell told jurors that no legal or financial checks were done involving Conrad Murray or anyone else who worked as an independent contractor on the This Is It shows.
Depending on the nature of the position, a background could be done, Trell said, like for potential employees in the financial area. Trell said he thought a background check would be appropriate for people working in financial roles, but not tour personnel who weren't employees of AEG
As to independent contractors, Trell said there's no supervision and monitoring like there's for employees
Panish: "You don't do anything to check into background, supervise or protect the artist?"
Trell: "No, safety is a concern"
Trell said that AEG did not hire Murray, that the doctor was like many independent contractors, "When they leave the environment, what they do on their own time is their own business.
Trell testified he doesn't believe the artist is more at risk because AEG Live doesn't do background checks
"We did nothing to monitor Dr. Murray," Trell said. "We did not monitor whatever it was that he was doing, no."
"It called for Michael Jackson being able to terminate Dr. Murray at will," Trell said about the contract. "If the concerts didn't go forward, and he was terminated under this provision, Dr. Murray would not be paid going forward," Trell explained
As to Dr Murray being under dire financial straits, Trell said that he doesn't know if he agrees with it, everyone's perception is different
Trell: "I certainly wasn't aware of it at the time"
Panish: "Because you didn't check, right?"
Trell: "That's right"
"I don't think conflict of interests are a good thing, and we would want to prevent it," Trell said
Email from Kathy Jorie to Shawn Trell on 6/24/09 at 12:54 am:
Subject: Revised agreement with GCA Holdings/Dr. Murray
It had two attachments Attachments: Revised Michael Jackson -AEG GCA Holdings Murray Agreement 6-18-09 Final MJ -- AEG GCA Holdings Agreement (Dr. Murray) 6-23-09
Email chain from 6/23/09, 5:39pm from Jorrie to Wooley, Murray
Subject: RE: Michael Jackson - Revised Agreement with GCA Holdings/Dr. Murray Email:
I have redlined the Word version so that you can see all of the revisions. In addition, I've attached clean PDF version for execution" (The email says that if Dr. Murray approved it, he was to print it, sign and send it back to Jorrie)

Panish: "Did Ms. Jorrie call this contract a draft?"
Trell: "She called it a Final Version"
"Every document is a draft until it is executed," Trell said.
Panish showed emails exchanged among AEG executives that contained drafts of Murray's contract. Although Murray had signed a contract with the company, neither Jackson nor anyone from AEG had added their signatures. Trell testified that a copy of the contract had never been sent to Jackson
With Trell on the stand, Panish played part of an interview that AEG Live President Randy Phillips gave to Sky News television soon after Michael's death. "This guy was willing to leave his practice for a very large sum of money, so we hired him," Phillips said. Panish also showed jurors an e-mail between AEG lawyers suggesting that Phillips told other interviewers AEG Live "hired" Murray.
Panish: "Isn't it true that Randy Phillips made numerous comments that AEG Live hired Dr. Murray?" Trell: "I know he has made that statement"
Panish said AEG higher-ups became concerned after Phillips made such admission. Trell said he didn't know if that was true. Bruce Black is the General Counsel for parent company of AEG and AEG Live. Michael Roth is AEG's media relations
Email from Kathy Jorrie to Bruce Black and Michael Roth on 8/25/09: Subject: AEG Live president says AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray
Panish shows Trell a deposition, under oath, given by insurance broker Bob Taylor on another case. Trell said he has never seen or read it. Trell denied having a telephone conversation with Mr. Taylor where Trell asked him if a doctor's compensation was covered in the insurance.
Panish: "Does that refresh your recollection that AEG was employing Dr. Murray?"
Trell: "Mr. Taylor has this completely wrong"
After lunch break, Brian Panish asked if Shawn Trell wanted to change anything else in his testimony, to which he said "No"
Bruce Black, attorney for Anschutz, was present in the meeting with LAPD. Trell met with the police on 1/12/10. Trell told the police that day that Dr. Murray would receive $150,000 compensation per month. Trell also said that Dr. Murray requested and AEG would provide necessary medical equipment and a nurse. More than five months after Jackson's death, Trell said, he informed LAPD detectives that Murray initially requested $5 million to join the tour but eventually agreed to a salary of $150,000 a month for 10 months.
Panish: "As far as you know, all the agreements written for TII tour was done under AEG Live Productions, right?"
Trell: "Yes"
Panish: "Was Dr. Murray trying to help AEG get insurance?"
Trell: "The policy was in both names, so he was helping both parties"
Trell said Dennis Hawk, who represented Michael, was in touch with Taylor regarding the insurance

Panish: "As of June 2009, you don't even know whether Mr. Jackson had a personal manager working for him, right?"
Trell: "Well, my understanding at the time there were a couple of people acting in that capacity"
Email on 6/2/09 from Randy Phillips to Jeff Wald:
"Jeff, remember getting Michael to focus is not the easiest thing in the world and we still have no lawyer, business manager, or, even real manager in place. It is a nightmare!"
Trell said the only time he saw an artist's signature required to retain an independent contractor was for Dr. Murray. Trell said his understanding was that Dr. Murray worked for Michael for 3 years; didn't know how many times MJ saw Dr. Murray. "I've never spoken with Dr. Murray ever. And I met/spoke with Mr. Jackson once," Trell said.
"He was a significant expense," Trell testified about Dr. Murray. Trell said AEG Live didn't do anything to check Dr. Murray's competency as doctor, other than checking his physician license. Trell said AEG didn't do anything to determine Dr. Murray's financial conditions in 2009.
Jury was shown an email that Phillips sent to Kenny Ortega on night of June 20, 2009. It was email urging Ortega to stand down.
Email on 6/20/09 Phillips to Ortega :
Kenny it's critical that neither you, me, anyone around this show become amateur psychiatrist/physicians. I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more. He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform & discouraging him to will hasten his decline instead of stopping it. Dr. Murray also reiterated that he is mentally able to and was speaking to me from the house where he had spent the morning with Michael. This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical
Panish asked Trell whether Phillips "characterization to Ortega, given no background check was done, was a lie". Trell responded that he didn't know what Phillips knew or was thinking when he wrote that email to Ortega. Trell also said he expected Randy Phillips to testify at some point during the trial, so he could address the email himself

Panish then asked Trell, "Sir, you never checked out one single thing about Dr. Murray -- you've already told me that, correct?"
"As of the date of the email, that would've been correct",Trell said.
When pressed by Panish, Trell said that Phillips' statement that Murray had been checked out, along with the executive's claim that the doctor 'does not need this gig' were inaccurate. "I don't know where Randy's understanding or impression comes from", Trell said. Trell testified that Phillips might have been "misinformed" or simply was stating his impression of the Las Vegas cardiologist
Panish: "But no one at AEG checked Dr. Murray to see if he was successful or not, isn't that true?"
Trell: "Yes"
Panish then asked several pointed questions about whether Shawn Trell agreed with Phillips telling Ortega they'd checked Murray out. One of Panish's questions was whether Trell thought Phillips' email was 'acceptable conduct'
Panish called Phillips' statement "a flat out lie" and asked Trell whether he agreed with it or if it signified how AEG did business. Trell said he didn't know what Phillips thought he knew when he wrote the message. "I know this statement is not accurate, but you'd have to speak with Mr. Phillips about what he thought or meant in saying it," Trell said.
Panish: "That's a flat out lie, isn't it sir?"
Trell: "I don't know what Mr. Phillips intended to say, this should be a question to him"

Panish: "You don't know if he was successful or facing bankruptcy, did you?"
Trell: "No"

Trell: "I know the statement is not accurate. You have to speak with Mr. Phillips about what he meant to say"
Panish: "Do you agree with the CEO of your company making untrue statements?"
Trell: "I don't know that he didn't know it wasn't true when he said it"
Trell said Phillips never told him that he checked Dr. Murray out. As to reference in Phillips' email about Dr. Murray being unbiased, ethical, not needing this gig, Trell said it was Phillips' impressions. He said AEG typically only runs background checks on candidates applying for full-time jobs with AEG, not independent contractors.

Panish: "Isn't it true AEG Live does not do background check on independent contractors?"
Trell: "That's true"
Trell said that no one from AEG interviewed Dr. Murray because he was an independent contractor.

"Did anyone from AEG ever at any time interview Dr. Murray", asked Brian Panish
"No", Trell replied.
Panish showed a document used by AEG entitled "Disclosure and Authorization to Conduct Background Check". Doc is used for employment, promotion, retention, contingent or the rate staffing, consulting, sub-contract work, or volunteer work. Panish asked if there was any reason why Dr. Murray was not given a background check. "He wasn't an employee, he wasn't applying for a full time position with the company," Trell explained. Trell said theoretically they could've asked to check Dr. Murray's background and credit.
AEG Cross
Jessica Bina began her examination by showing the letter submitted by AEG's CFO to the Estate of Michael Jackson for their review. She asked Shawn Trell about the estimate presented to Jackson's estate that included Murray's $300k fees. She asked why it was prepared. Shawn Trell said it was done at the request of the estate. He said Jackson's estate wanted to know state of tour finances when Jackson died. Trell said the report was requested by the Estate after a series of meetings after Michael's death. "The purpose of the meeting was to wind up the business affairs of the tour due to Michael's death", Trell said. "It was my understating in June Tohme was back in the picture in some capacity. I'm not sure which, Mr. DiLeo was in it too," Trell said

Bina: "Is there any request for payment?"
Trell: "No, there's no demand for payment, it's for review"
Stebbins Bina asked about the inclusion of Murray's fee in the document. Bina showed the report that was attached to the letter. Murray's fee on the document had a footnote. Trell read what that footnote said, and explained why estate wasn't asked for Murray's fee. Next to "Management Medical" there's a reference to footnote 3. Note 3: 'Contract is not signed by Michael Jackson and such signature was condition precedent to any payment obligation' - Footnote on Murray fee. Trell testified Webking, the CFO for AEG, did not ask Michael's Estate for payment of Dr. Murray's salary
"You testified you were somewhat confused (by the inclusion of the $300,000)?", Bina asked Trell as she projected the list, dated July 17, 2009, on a screen for jurors.
"Do you see there's something in parentheses?', Stebbins Bina asked, zooming in to blow up a footnote from AEG CFO Frederick Webking that stated Michael Jackson never signed Murray's contract, so its terms were not enforceable.
"Is Mr. Webking asking the estate to pay?", Stebbins Bina asked Trell. "No", he replied, explaining that upon reflection he believed Mr. Webking was just being 'thorough' by including the $300,000 as a budgeted cost.

"Did Mr. Webking make a mistake as you thought yesterday?",she asked.
"No, he did not", Trell answered
Second report made to the Estate on 9/18/09, there was no amount next to management medical. Stebbins Bina then showed a Sept. 2009 report of This Is It's finances to Michael Jackson's estate. Murray's fee is not listed in that document
Trell went through his job description with AEG. He said he has five lawyers in his department and has worked on thousands of agreements. Trell explained what PMK is -- Person Most Knowledgeable, identified by the company to testify on its behalf. Trell said he didn't know about all the topics he was designated, so he had to do some studying and interviews with people
As to Ortega's contract, Trell said he was aware of a string of emails being at least a part of the original agreement with Kenny. "When we were done here yesterday, I looked at Kenny Ortega's original agreement," Trell said. Trell noted he hadn't looked at Ortega's agreement since it was entered into in 2009. Before the afternoon break, Trell and jury were shown Kenny Ortega's tour agreement. It was signed in April 2009. The agreement was three pages of legalese, with several pages of emails attached that confirmed the terms. The first three pages included some paragraphs that described who owned the rights to This Is It content. A large number of emails are part of the agreement as exhibits. Trell said he recalled the emails exchange and admitted again not being proud of forgetting the cover contract portion. Bina showed Ortega's executed contract with everyone's signature on it. Trell said Kenny Ortega was paid after his contract was signed.
Trell, Phillips and Kathy Jorrie were involved in drafting and negotiating the contract with Michael Jackson. For MJ, Trell said Dr. Tohme Tohme and attorneys Dennis Hawk and Peter Lopez represented him. He said there were multiple drafts. "It's my understanding they were talking to, or at least receiving offers from, a competitive of ours, Live Nation," Trell said. Trell also said that before signing an agreement with AEG, Jackson had been considering a tour offer from its main competitor, Live Nation.
Bina showed the jury the final tour agreement. Trell said he went to MJ's home at Carolwood to sign it. Upon arrival, Trell said Mr. Jackson got up from where he was seated, and said 'Hi, welcome, I'm Michael." Trell said it was pretty funny, since he was a very distinct person. Trell said they shook hands, he had a good firm handshake and his voice was not what people think
"He popped up, came over, introduced himself, was very cordial, there was a real positive energy, good vibe in the room," Trell said. "He seemed genuinely enthused," Trell added. "He had the contract in front of him, said he read every page, seemed very enthused." Trell said they all signed it and Mr. Jackson was really keen on the 3-D stuff, that he was already down the road in his mind. "I was probably there just a little less than an hour. And that was the only time I met him," Trell recalled.
Bina discussed the contract for the tour agreement:
A first class performance by Artist at each show on each of the approved itineraries. Contract: Artist shall perform no less than 80 minutes at each show, and the maximum show length for each show shall be 3.5 hours. Artist shall approve a sufficient number of shows on itineraries proposed by promoter or producer as to recoup the advances made. Trell said compensation was agreed on 90-10 split. Artist received 90% of what's defined contingent compensation.
Trell explained to jury how concerts get paid for. One scenario is artist pays for production up front. A second scenario is that the promoter gives artist an advance, and then they use the money to put together the show. The third option, Trell said, is the artist pays someone like AEG Live to produce and promote the show, with costs to come out of their pay. Trell called the second and third option like an interest-free loan. In Jackson's case, AEG agreed to a 90/10 split of show's proceeds. Jackson would have received the 90 percent portion, Trell said. Jackson was also on the hook for a 5% production fee
AEG Live was promoter & producer. "We advanced the money necessary to mount the tour," Trell explained. "It's interest free money". Trell testified that Jackson's advance, which covered his $100,000-a-month rent on his mansion and a $3-million payment to settle a lawsuit that would free up his performance rights, was considered a loan to be paid back to AEG.
Part of the advance was to pay off the settlement agreement of $3 million in London court. The underlying dispute was that a company owned the rights for Jackson's live performance. "The rights needed to be freed up," Trell said. The advances were to be paid back to AEG Live before the split of revenue. Production Advances were capped to $7.5 million. Contract:
Artist was responsible for all the production costs in excess of the cap and had to reimburse promoter.
"Michael Jackson was known to have very elaborate productions," Trell said. "Production values can get significant, for lack of a better word, it really depends on how many bells and whistles they want," Trell said. Trell said AEG would not advance money without the artist requesting it.
Trell said it's not only typical and customary, but standard and artist needs to secure either non-appearance or cancellation insurance. Their interest in the policy, Trell said, was to cover the advances and production costs incurred with the production of the show. "If the were no obligations to AEG, the payout would go back to the artist", Trell explained, "It just recoups our loan made to the artist."
Trell was also asked about elements of tour insurance policies and an agreement with former manager Tohme Tohme. Jackson's contract called for him to represent to AEG that he didn't have any health conditions that would keep him from performing.
Artistco hereby represents and warrants that artist does not possess any known health conditions, injuries or ailments that would reasonable be expected to interfere with Artist's first class performance at each of the shows during the term
Oh Tohme's $100k per month agreement, Trell was shown a January contract that Jackson signed to pay that amount. However, Trell said Tohme's agreement was predicated on Jackson getting tour cancellation insurance by a certain date. Deadline passed and by that point Tohme was no longer Jackson's manager, so he wasn't entitled to be paid his monthly fee.
January 24, 2009 -- agreement entered with Dr. Tohme Tohme. Trell said Michael was involved and signed this agreement. "This agreement was entered into January 26, Trell testified. "There are conditions that needed to be met before any payment could be made." One of the the conditions was placement of non-appearance insurance, Trell said. That placement was done in late April, early May. In May, AEG received letter from MJ saying Tohme didn't rep him anymore. "No payments were ever made under this agreement," Trell explained.
Julie Hollander Transcript
Shawn Trell Transcript
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2023.05.19 13:42 No-Knee-12 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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2023.05.18 20:39 OrdinarryAlien Violence and Chess

Written by Bill Wall
Perhaps the oldest anecdote of chess and violence is the case of al-Walid I (668-715) who was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 705-715. He was playing chess (shatranj) with one of his courtiers, who was a much stronger player than the Caliph, but was purposely making bad moves in order for the Caliph to win. One day, the Caliph observed this and was highly offended. He seized one of the heaviest chess pieces and hurled it at the courtier's head saying, 'May evil befall thee, base sycophant! Art thou in thy senses to play chess with me in this foolish manner?' An Arabic manuscript says that the caliph broke his opponent's head with a blow with his firzan (equivalent to the Queen piece).
One of the Charlemagne romances that may not have any historical importance is the following incident, related by Murray in the History of Chess, page 413. The son (Charlemagne?) of Pepin the Short (714-768) was playing chess against the son of Okarius (Okar), the prince of Bavaria, and became so enraged at repeatedly losing, that he hit the prince in the head with one of the chess pieces (rochus or rook) and killed him on the spot. In those days, chess pieces were usually made of rock crystal.
The Arab historian al-Masudi (896-956), writing in his travel diary in 950 A.D., described how they played and betted on chess in India. Players would wager their fingers on a game of chess. If a player lost, he would cut off a finger with his dagger, then plunge his hand in boiling water with special ointment to cauterize the wound. Then he returns to the game. Another loss would mean another loss of another finger. Sometimes a player who continued to lose would cut off all his fingers, his hand, his fore-arm, his elbow, and other parts of his body. After each amputation, he could cauterize the wound and return to another game of chess. (Murray, page 37)
Canute (995-1035), king of England, Denmark, Norway, and part of Sweden, was said to have killed an earl over chess. The story is found in The Chronicles of the Kings of Norway called the Saga of Olaf Haraldson. In 1028, the king, also known as Cnut the Great, was playing a game of chess with his brother-in-law, Earl Godwin Ulfnadson (Ulf), the husband of the king's sister, when the king made a bad move, which led to a loss of one of the king's pieces (a knight). The king took his move back, replaced his knight, and told the earl to play a different move. The earl got angry over this, overturned the chess board and started walking away. The king said "Runnest thou away, Ulf the coward?" The earl responded, "Thou wouldst have run farther at Helga river if thou hadst come to battle there. Thou didst not call me Ulf the coward when I hastened to thy help while the Swedes were beating thee like a dog." The earl then left the king's quarters. The next day, the king ordered the earl to be killed. The earl was stabbed to death at Saint Lucius' church. In 1035, Canute died at the Abbey in Shaftesbury, Dorset. According to Henry Bird in Chess History and Reminiscences, the king was killed while watching a chess game. Armed soldiers rushed into the building and slew Canute while his friend, Valdemar, who was playing chess, was severely wounded. Valdemar escaped using the chess board as a shield.
Around 1060, William the Conqueror (1027-1087), was playing chess with the Prince of France and got checkmated. The king then took the chessboard and hit the prince over the head with it.
Around 1120, King Henry I (1068-1135) of England and King Louis VI (1081-1137) of France got into a fistfight over a game of chess in Paris. One story says that Louis threw the chessboard at Henry; another says that Henry hit Louis over the head with the chessboard. Courtiers stepped in to stop the fight. This episode supposedly was the start of events that kept England and France at war for almost 12 years.
Around 1213, Jeanne or Joan (1194-1244), Countess of Flanders and the daughter of Baldwin IX (1172-1205), count of Flanders and first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, beat her husband, Ferdinand (1188-1233), prince of Portugal, in a game of chess. He got so mad that he hit her. In revenge, she left her husband in French captivity from 1214 to 1226, refusing to ransom him. (source: Murray, A History of Chess, 1913, p.436).
In 1251, the first known court case involving chess and violence appeared. It dealt with a chess player who stabbed his opponent to death. A quarrel arose between two players of Essex over a chess match. One of the players who lost was so angered that he stabbed his opponent in the stomach with a knife, killing him.
In 1263, an English court case was opened when a man stabbed a woman to death with his sword after losing to her in a game of chess (ad scaccarium). David de Bristoll was playing chess with Juliana, wife of Richard le Cordwaner, at Richard's house. David lost to Juliana, then stabbed her in the thigh before fleeing. (source: The London Eyre, 1276, case 151)
Atahualpa (1497-1533) was the last sovereign emperor of the Inca Empire. In 1532, the Spaniards sacked the Inca army camp and imprisoned Atahualpa. While in prison, he was taught chess by the Spaniards and became very good at it. Atahualpa advised Hernando de Soto in one game of chess that helped defeat one of the Spanish friars named Riquelme. Popular tradition in Peru says that Atahualpa would not have been condemned to death if he remained untutored in chess. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by 13 votes for and 11 against. It was Riquelme's vote that broke the tie that called for the death sentence. The Peruvian people say that Atahualpa paid with his life for the checkmate that Riquelme suffered because of his advice.
In the Middle Ages, murders resulting from chess were classed as lesser crimes, like wife-beating and dog napping.
In 1867, Wilhelm Steinitz got in a dispute with Blackburne at a City of London Chess Club game. Blackburne made an insulting remark and Steinitz spat towards Blackburne. Blackburne then smashed Steinitz in the face with his fist. Steinitz wrote, "...he struck with his full fist into my eye, which he blackened and might have knocked out. And though he is a powerful man of very nearly twice my size, who might have killed me with a few such strokes, I am proud to say that I had the courage of attempting to spit into his face, and only wish I had succeeded." Later, at a tournament in Paris in 1878, Blackburne returned to the hotel drunk and got in a quarrel with Steinitz. Steinitz wrote, "...and after a few words he pounced upon me and hammered at my face and eyes with fullest force about a dozen blows...But at last I had the good fortune to release myself from his drunken grip, and I broke the window pane with his head, which sobered him down a little." [sources: International Chess Magazine, Nov 1889, Chess Amateur, March 1913, pp. 132-135, and American Chess Bulletin, June 1913]
In the 1890s, Peter Hill (1870-1929) of Boston was operating the automaton Ajeeb at the Eden Musee when one defeated chess woman got so enraged tht she stuck a hatpin into the mouth of the automaton, wounding Hill. [source: Time magazine, Feb 4, 1929]
In 1915, the chess automaton was set up at Coney Island. One player lost to it and was so angry he took out a gun and shot at the automaton. It killed its hidden operator, which was covered up. In another incident with Ajeeb, a Westerner emptied his six-shooter into the automaton, hitting the operator in the shoulder. [source: New York Times, Jan 1929]
At Vienna in 1922, Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) got so mad that he resigned in a game against Ernst Gruenfeld (1893-1962) by throwing the king across the room. (source: Reinfeld and Kmoch, Chess Review, Feb 1950, p. 55)
In May 1923, Alekhine smashed all the furniture in his hotel room at the Helenenhof Imperial Hotel after losing a game to Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) at the Carlsbad tournament. (source: Kmoch, Chess Review, May 1950, pp. 136-138).
In 1940, German Nazis arrested all the Jewish chess players that were meeting at the Kwiencinski Chess Cafe in Warsaw. The Germans had banned Jews from playing chess there. The Jews were all taken to a concentration camp and were later killed in a mass execution. Those killed included Polish masters Dawid Przepiorka, Achilles Frydmann, Stanislaw Kohn, and Moishe Lowtzky. [source: Chess Review, Jan 1942, p. 17]
In 1948, grandmaster David Bronstein (1924-2006) survived an assassination attack during the first chess Interzonal in Saltsjobaden, Sweden. On the last day, Bronstein was playing Tartakower when, suddenly, a Lithuanian made a lunge at Bronstein to kill him. Several spectators grabbed the would-be assassin. The attempted killer wanted to murder a Russian because he claimed the Russians were responsible for sending his sister to Siberia and murdering her.
In 1950, Walter Bjornson of Vancouver, British Columbia, was cut with a knife by his opponent during a chess game, leaving a 4 inch gash in his forearm. [source: Chess Review, Feb 1951, p. 38]
In 1954, the Argentine Chess Federation called off its national chess tournament in Buenos Aires after one of its invited chess players, Pedro Martin (1931-1973), punched one of the tournament directors. Martin was banned from Argentine tournament for one year. Twelve other chess masters joined Martin in a protest over the judging, so the national championship was cancelled. [sources: New York Times, Dec 1, 1954, p. 45 and Chess Review, Dec 1954, p. 358]
In 1959, there was a fight between two scientists over a game of chess at the Vostok Station in Antarctica. When one of the chess players lost his chess game, he became so enraged that he attacked the other with an ice axe. It is not known if the attack was fatal. Afterwards, chess games were banned at all the Soviet Antarctic stations.
In On June 1, 1960, an American sailor, Michael L. George, got into a fight at a Greenwich Village bar, Chumley's at 86 Bedford Street, when a spectator criticized the sailor's chess game after he lost. The sailor struck the spectator (Clinton Curtis, a free lance editor from Miami) with a broken beer bottle, which cut his jugular vein, and he died. The sailor was eventually acquitted of murder and charged with accidental death instead. (sources: New York Times, June 2, 1960 and The Village Voice, June 8, 1960).
In 1962, chess master Abe Turner (1924-1962) was stabbed to death by Theodore Smith at the office of Chess Review magazine. His body was found in a safe. [sources: The New York Times, Oct 26, 1962 and Tartajubow on Chess, July 16, 2011]
In May 1962, during the Candidates Tournament in Curacao, Bobby Fischer and Pal Benko got into a fight after Fischer asked Bisguier to assist him during an adjournment. But Benko also wanted Bisguier to help with his own adjournment with Petrosian. Benko supposedly insulted Fischer and Benko responded by slapping Fischer.
In 1964, chess master Raymond Weinstein (1941- ) killed an 83-year old man in a nursing home. He was judged mentally ill and is confined to Ward's Island for the mentally ill. [source: Tartajubow blog spot, Oct 11, 2011]
In 1966, ex-world chess champion Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) was beaten up and hit on the head with a beer bottle during the 1966 Olympiad in Havana. He was drinking and had been flirting with a woman in a bar when her drunk jealous boyfriend got in a fight with Tal. He missed the first five rounds of the Havana Chess Olympiad because of his injuries. [source: "17th Chess Olympiad: Havana 1966,"]
In 1979, Patrick McKenna, a prisoner in Nevada, strangled his Las Vegas cellmate, Jack J. Robles, after an argument over a chess game. He has been on death row for over 30 years. He was denied the latest in a long line of appeals. [source: Pinnock, "10 Facts About the Most Dangerous Criminal in Nevada — Patrick McKenna,", Jan 17, 2020]
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union banned cosmonauts from playing chess in space with each other (they can play against ground control personnel) after a fist fight once broke out between cosmonauts over a chess game.
From 1992 to 2006, Alexander Pichushkin (1974- ) went on a killing spree in Moscow. Pichushkin claimed he killed 63 people (48 confirmed) and his aim was to kill 64 people, one for each square on a chessboard. He is known as The Chessboard Killer.
In 1993, a person was shot and killed while playing chess in Bosnia, the first to die from sniper file while playing chess.
In 1994, Martin Wirth of Fort Collins, Colorado, shot Vernie Cox after the two argued over a chess game. Cox died of two gunshot wounds to the chest. Witnesses said that Wirth had lost a chess game with Cox, knocked over the chess board and some furniture, then began to argue with his opponent. Wirth went across the street to his home and returned with a gun and shot Cox to death.
In 1997, the Japanese ambassador's mansion in Lima, Peru, was taken over by a terrorist group with 72 hostages. A chess set was delivered during the hostage crises. Embedded in the chess pieces were tiny microphones. That gave the Peruvian commandos knowledge of the hostage takers. The information allowed an assault by the commandos, which freed 71 hostages. One hostage died of a heart attack. All 14 terrorists were killed.
In 2000, Laurence Douglas of Puoghkeepsie, New York, stabbed Craig Williams to death over a chess game. Williams had just beaten Douglas in a chess game that had a $5 wager. Williams took a$5 bill from Douglas after the game. Douglas then pulled out a knife and stabbed Williams 16 times.
In 2002, two players got into a fight at the World Open in Philadelphia when one of the players threw a basketball at another player between rounds.
In 2003, Simon Andrews of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, stabbed to death Jerry Kowalski during a chess game. Authorities said that Andrews was disturbed by Kowalski's constant talking during their chess games. Andrews then pulled a knife from under a sofa-bed mattress and stabbed Kowalski in the neck. Andrews was sentenced from 15 to 30 years in state prison.
In October 2004, the FIDE vice president, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, was punched, wrestled to the floor and dragged to jail by a group of security agents. During the closing ceremonies, he tried to get closer to the stage, but security people stepped in front of him, pushed him back, and assaulted him.
In 2005, chess master Robert Snyder was arrested in Colorado on charges of sexual assault. He later escaped and was featured on America's Most Wanted in 2009. He was later captured in Belize after someone recognized him from the TV show.
In 2006, Angela Gilbert, the mother of chess prodigy Jessie Gilbert who fell to hear death from a hotel, was arrested for threatening to kill her ex-husband.
In 2007, two players got into an argument at the Village Chess Shop in New York during a chess game. One player was using his piece to knock off the other player's piece rather than using the hands to remove a captured piece. One player than picked up the wooden board and hit the other player in the mouth, which drew blood. The police were called. The player that was hit was pressing criminal charges and vowed to sue.
In January 2008, Zachary Lucov was playing chess with Dennis Klien in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, when a scuffle broke out. Luco pulled out a gun and Klein was shot in the elbow. Lucov was arrested for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
In October 2008, David Christian of Iowa City got in a fight with Michael Steward while playing a game of chess at the rooming house where they both lived. He was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Christian choked Steward to death.
In February 2009, a man killed a friend with a sword after a chess game in Alameda, California. An argument broke out during their game, and the two started wrestling. Joseph Groom retreated to his bedroom and returned with a sword, which he used to stab Kelly Kjersem once. Kjersem later died.
On August 15, 2010, someone fired a shot at The Chess Club in Syracuse, New York. Damani Prince, a 16-year old boy received a gunshot wound to the foot. The shooting occurred shortly before midnight after a fight broke up a party at the Chess Club.
On September 1 2010, a chess game between inmates at the Indian River County Jail in Florida led to a fight. Christopher Brown was playing chess with another inmate in the cell block when Christopher O'Neal, 22, who was watching the game, commented about the game on the other inmate's behalf. Brown told O'Neal to shut up, but O'Neal ignored him and continued to discuss the ongoing chess game. The two then got into a fight. It took several detention deputies to break up the flight.
On August 11, 2011, two people were stabbed at Chuy's restaurant in Phoenix after police say a person got mad over a game of chess. Officers at the scene said two people were playing a game, but when one person won the game the other person got mad and stabbed the winner twice. The victim's friend jumped in and tried to help, but he was also stabbed.
In January 2012, K. Mohan stabbed a cabby, Ngoh Chin Boon, in the neck in Singapore after the victim ticked him off for disturbing his chess game. Mohan was talking loudly and shouting vulgarities while using a phone. Boon told Mohan to not talk so loudly because he was concentrating on a game of chess with a friend. A fight broke out and Mohan left, only to return with a knife. Mohan attacked Boon with the knife until he was pulled away by Boon's chess partner.
In July 2012, Jessie Leeth and Charles Cox were playing a game of chess in Morgan County, Alabama, when Cox started winning. Leeth got upset that Cox was winning and they got into a fight. Leeth then stabbed Cox in the side with a knife. Leeth was charged with assault.
On July 17, 2013, two players got in an argument over a chess game in Bellevue Washington. One of the men invited his neighbor over for a game of chess, but they got in an argument about the game. The man then pulled a gun on his opponent (perhaps they were playing bullet chess). The opponent fled the house and called the police. This led to an 8-hour standoff until a salvo of "flash bang" stun bombs and gas grenades were thrown into the house. The man then surrendered.
In January 2014, a 39-year-old minister named Tom O'Gorman was found stabbed to death in Dublin, Ireland in what detectives believe may have been a dispute over a late night game of chess. A man covered in blood was taken into custody and said to officers that a dispute started when an illegal move was played. An Italian man, Saverio Bellante, who had been living in a rented home in Dublin, killed his landlord over a game of chess. He was arrested for the killing after stabbing his landlord, Tom O 'Gorman, multiple times. Bellante told police that they were fighting over a chess game. Bellante was then asked by O'Gormon to leave the house following an argument over a chess move. Instead, Bellante found a kitchen knife and stabbed O'Gormon, then beat him over the head with a dumbbell. Bellante was also accused of eating the heart of his victim.
In March 2015, Stephen Dillard, a chess master, chess organizer (Vice President of the Kentucky Chess Association) and chess teacher, was stabbed by Ronshal Jenefor more than 140 times. Jenefor claimed that Dillard had molested him.
In October 2015, a fatal stabbing was averted at a library. James Vernon, a 75-year-old public library chess club teacher was injured saving children from a knife attack. He acted as a human shield against a public library attacker with two hunting knives. The attacker, Dustin Brown, barged into the classroom where Vernon was teaching chess claiming he was there to kill somebody. The children escaped, and Vernon suffered several knife wounds. The attack occurred at the public library in Morton, Illinois.
In June 2020, Ian Lewis, 56, was playing chess with his friend Louise Bailey, when he lost a game then became violent. He flipped the chess board over, pulled out a knife, cut her arm, and plunged the knife into her thigh at his home in Brighton, England. The knife did not penetrate an artery or cause more serious harm, bur her arm and thigh required several stitches. Both had been drinking. Lewis was sentenced to 3 years in prison in November, 2020. [source: New York Post, Nov 12, 2020]
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