Anyone know about Next option binary trading firm in London?
Few days ago I got a message on my LinkedIn from a woman who told me about stocks and commodity trading. Won't go into detail but I gave them my phone number (I reside in Singapore btw) and a couple of hours ago I was an hour long call with them. I did a background check and the company doesn't seem to be a scam but I don't want to take my chances just like that. They're a binary trading firm and Google searches confirm that as well. I didn't deposit any money in my account because a broker would call me on Monday to explain stuff so thought I'd wait till then. Is anyone able to confirm if this company is legit or if they're a scam? Help would be appreciated! This is the office address as seen my multiple sources: 336 Pinner Road, Harrow, Greater London HA1 4LB, UK
At the end of the Second World War, Europe realized that their hold on their colonial holdings was slipping fast. Most of them began to draw up plans to gradually grant independence. The people within these countries however had different priorities. They saw their chance to break from the colonial masters and took it. In 1950, only Egypt, Liberia, Ethiopia, and South Africa could be considered independent, by 1965 the vast majority of nations were on their own. Some flourished, some languished, but almost all improved with their newfound freedom. At this time, the world was locked in a struggle between Western Democracy and Communist Dictatorship. With little warning, a new theater opened in the Cold War. Africans were given the decision of who to side with. As an enemy of their former masters, the Soviet Union made a natural ally, and Socialism's anti-imperial (theoretic) stance appealed to people in post imperial regions of the world. Since independence, seventeen African nations have had a government which self-identified as socialist, six of those as Marxist-Leninist. Like Africa itself, socialist movements in the continent were varied and diverse. Ranging from self described socialist Nelson Mandella becoming celebrated world wide for his devotion to peace and equality to Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose violence and economic mismanagement killed thousands. The purpose of this post is to describe the ideological origins and tenets of African socialism, with a look at what makes it distinct from mainstream Communist movements. On this map red shows those states which identified as Marxist, yellow shows those which identified as with a variety of other forms of socialism, and green shows those which more closely fall under the Arab Socialist movement and will not be discussed here.
Broadly speaking, African Socialism drew inspiration from two main sources, the traditional body of socialist literature and that of the Pan-African movement. Socialism Both the ideological tenets of socialism and the practical concerns socialist nations played a role in African nations adopting socialism. Most of the nations of Africa were in a struggle for freedom from capitalist European countries and found a natural ally in the Soviet Union. Following WWII, it was in many ways a binary choice to side with the US or USSR. Those who led rebellions or coups against US backed leaders had few options other than the USSR. Political concerns aside, there were many reasons why socialism was ideologically attractive to educated Africans. Socialism is at its base revolutionary. "Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries unite!” With even a cursory glance at Marx, it doesn't take much imagination to see why people oppressed for decades would turn to him. The anti-Imperial rhetoric of socialism (regardless of the actual aggression of the USSR and PRC) was another motivating factor. In this case, I point to Vladimir Lenin's Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this work, Lenin points towards imperialism as a symptom of the capitalist system. However, one of the reasons this work remained applicable after the collapse of most overseas empires is due to his characterization of imperialism. One example he gives in the book speaks of US domination of the Argentine beef industry. According to Lenin, though the US never carved out a concession area or installed a governor general, they used economic power to dominate the industry and exert control over the country. This characterization rang true for many people who looked at the efforts taken by former colonial powers looking to retain their economic stakes in their old colonies. One of the problems socialists face in implementing their policy is that Orthodox Marxism is heavily based on the conditions of 19th century Western Europe, and when applied outside of those conditions, thinkers need to reconcile the inconsistencies with the conditions on the ground. While we will look at how various African leaders adapted the ideology, one sub-ideology which played a major role in African Socialism was Maoism. Orthodox Marxism focuses heavily on a revolution based around industrial workers. Early 20th century China, much like post-colonial Africa had little in the way of industry. Mao re conceptualized the idea of the proletariat to include peasant farmers and made the revolution as agrarian as it was industrial. For example, the first president of Socialist Madagascar released an ideology book heavily inspired by Mao's Red Book. China also served as an alternative source of support in the event of a conflict with Russia; Somalia received aid from the PRC when they were at war with Soviet aligned Ethiopia. Pan- African Movement The Pan-African movement did not solely influence the African Socialist movement. In fact, almost all post-colonial governments took inspiration from many of the tenets of movement. Nor were all the central figures socialists, indeed Emperor Halie Salassi of Ethiopia was about as far from socialist as could be. However there was a degree of mutual influence in a number of places. The start of it can be traced to Jamaican thinker Marcus Garvey. The Pan-African colors and the icon of the Black Star both came from him. Kwame Nkrumah mentioned him directly as an influence. This remained on the nationalist and pan-nationalist side of African socialism. This and racial empowerment remained a constant theme in African socialism, with many African thinkers rejecting class reductionism. African's tended to be acutely aware of the role of race in world politics and used it in conjunction with class and capitalist interest to explain the world. Another major thinker was American W. E. B. du Bois. One of the founding members of the NAACP and author of one of the first sociological works about African Americans, Du Bois is one of the most important figures of the American Civil Rights Movement. Du Bois was in reality a Social Democrat, who often saw world communist governments as a means to an end for black people. In Socialism and the American Negro, he referred to the New Deal as a America's foray into Socialism. Though a stalwart supporter of democracy he visited Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin personally. He was a strong opponent of colonization and spoke to young leaders in the 1945 Pan-African congress. There he met future President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah. He would become a mentor to Nkrumah and move to Accra in his final days.
Many of the most interesting and successful movements in Africa were non-Marxist-Leninist. They took local beliefs and attitudes and molded socialism to fit them. These were incredibly diverse, ranging from forms of social democracy to far more authoritarian structures. The leaders ranged from educated elites to guerrilla leaders. The first socialist governments sprang up at independence and continued through the Cold War. These are some of the more notable ones. Consciencism Few other thinkers have had near the lasting influence on African politics and philosophy as Kwame Nkrumah. Born to a poor family in the British Gold Coast, Nkrumah was sent to school by his family where he excelled. Interested in Politics and Philosophy, he saved money to pay to visit the United States. He worked menial jobs to put himself through school at Lincoln University and University of Pennsylvania. In the US he became close to expat and American leftists as well as enjoying African American culture. After graduating he went to the London School of Economics. This is where he began political organizing. He returned to the Gold Coast where he founded the Convention People's Party. When the British began increasing local rule, his party swept. When the British did not meet the demands of the Ghanian people, he became a champion of the people with his down to earth nature and organization of general strikes. When Ghana was given full independence, he was the overwhelming choice. A strict empiricist, Nkrumah sought to make an organic political philosophy that was designed to change as the material needs of the country changed. He determined that the welfare of the individual was the most important concern of the government and society. It was from this lens that he criticized capitalism, contending that it reduced man to a means to achieving the goal of profit. He pointed to traditional African values, Islam, and European influences as the three ideological tides that shaped Africa. The latter two he condemned, though admitted their merits where he saw them (such as the French education system), and gave qualified approval to the first. African society was to be, in spirit but not practice the driver of society. This meant that pan-Africanism and historical study were to be focused on, but the actual institutions such as tribalism, traditional monarchy, and class hierarchies were to be abandoned. This is where socialism came into Nkrumah's Consciencism. It was not out of devotion to Marxist thinking, but out of a belief that socialist economic structures would be the most effective way of leading the country to prosperity. In a 1967 address he gave in Egypt he stated "Socialism is not spontaneous. It does not arise of itself. It has abiding principles according to which the major means of production and distribution ought to be socialized if exploitation of the many by the few is to be prevented; if, that is to say, egalitarianism in the economy is to be protected. Socialist countries in Africa may differ in this or that detail of their policies, but such differences themselves ought not to be arbitrary or subject to vagaries of taste. They must be scientifically explained, as necessities arising from differences in the particular circumstances of the countries themselves." To Nkrumah, Socialism was not prescriptive, but rather a process where one used communal ownership as needed to create a better society. He was a believer in the idea of scientific socialism in believing that socialism came from the natural needs of the people, rather than an ideological devotion. Ujamaa If Nkrumah was a product of the study of Philosophy, Julius Nyerere was a product of the study of anthropology and history. Unlike Nkrumah, Nyerere was the product of elite lineage. His father was a chief who earned the favor of both the German, and later British Administrations in Tanganyika. He was chosen by the British to receive education to be a local leader and studied at Makerere College before finishing his post graduate work at University of Edinburgh. Upon returning, he founded the Tanganyika African National Union, which pushed for independence from the UK through non-violent protest. His philosophy of Ujamaa, meaning familyhood in Swahili, became the guiding ideology of the party and independent Tanganyika (and Tanzania after their unification with Zanzibar). In this ideology, Nyerere posits that socialism is the natural state of African people. Before the introduction of Western influences, African people lived in an equal and communitarian society. While he admits the existence of elites he countered that the relative equality of means meant that there was no comparison to modern economic structures. For Africans to be prosperous, they had to return to the social structures as well as the spirit of pre-colonial Africa, while accepting modernizations that would benefit the common man. He posited that African society had a natural social value attached to work, and this work was done, not to the benefit of a capitalist elite, but to the benefit of society, thus with the fruits of labor belonging to society, they could be considered socialist. Through a return to these structures, they could have a socialist society that was structured on the needs of Africans, rather than those of 19th century Europeans. He regarded Marxists as rigid and dogmatic, stating that, "The works of Marx and Lenin are regarded as holy writ… We find them condemning others actions because they do not accord with what the 'priests of scientific socialism' have decided is the true meaning." His ontology marked the community as the basic unit. He believed in socialism through consent of the people, but not necessarily through democracy.
Marxist-Leninist nations in Africa tend to fill a different niche that those of non-Marxist states. Non-Marxist states tended to grow from movements within the countries with a locally based variant of socialism guiding the development of government structures. Marxist states on the other hand tended to come from the geopolitical needs of the nation. They tended to lean heavily into the support of the Soviet Union or People's Republic of China. These governments tended to be criticized by Orthodox Marxists both within the countries and abroad for simply slapping a Marxist aesthetic on a run of the mill authoritarian state. This is not universal, and depended on the leader and movement. Thomas Sankara (referred to as the African Che Guevara) is celebrated by leftists for his attempts to organize Burkina Faso, whereas his successor Blaise Compaoré simply co-opted Marxist symbolism until the end of the Cold War when it was dropped entirely. The two states I will profile show a best and worst case for African Marxists. Benin Nothing I write would be complete without me mentioning Benin somewhere. The Republic of Dahomey gained its freedom from France August 1st, 1960. At that time Hubert Maga, a school teacher turned politician from the North was named first president. Benin is divided into three broad super-cultural groups (though there are a total of 64 ethnic groups). The Fon in the South, the Yoruba in the East, and the Bariba and other Muslims in the North. The Maga government was soon overthrown and the country rapidly switched between a number of governments, each dedicated to giving as much as possible to their constituent area before being removed from office. This changed in 1972 when a young army officer named Mathieu Kerekou led a successful coup. Kerekou was different in the sense that he had no real ties to any of the political families that had been competing for power. He also ended the system of clientism that had defined Dahomeyan politics to that point (though some contend he showed bias against the Fon. Strongly nationalistic, Kerekou made his hatred for the French clear early on, pointing to them as the cause of many of the country's problems and the patron of the old regime. In 1974, Kerekou changed the country's name from the Republic of Dahomey to the People's Republic of Benin and formally adopted Marxism-Leninism as the guiding ideology of the nation. Oil reserves and refineries as well as the banking system were rapidly nationalized and Kerekou made overtures to international communist nations for aid. Austerity programs were also quickly ended. The North Koreans were particularly close allies. Curiously, Kerekou worked to retain warm relations with the United States. Peace Corps remained in operation through his entire presidency and working in the American embassy was considered a strong stepping stone. The practical effects for the average Beninese person varied from urban to village. Local leaders were required to be members of the People's Revolutionary Party, and extreme corruption and inefficiency meant that few resources radiated outside of population centers. Instilled with a strong labor union tradition during French occupation, the national labor movement was consolidated into a single approved union that was basically mandated to follow government orders. Unionized workers as well as students were the chief opponents of the regime and faced significant surveillance and harassment. This started to change in the mid 80s as it became clear that the regime's economic reforms weren't working. Benin was lagging behind its neighbors Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria. On top of this, student groups and workers in unofficial unions were demanding change. Simultaneously, the election of Francois Mitterrand in France opened a new era in Franco-Beninese relations, shifting the nation back to Western alignment away from the moribund USSR. Under mounting pressure, Kerekou agreed to a constitutional referendum and free elections. Upon his loss, he gracefully stepped down in 1991, but was reelected in 1996. Having dropped Marxism, he led his second term as a moderate liberal, doing little to harm the economic and political reforms of the early 90s. Ethiopia Ethiopia, on the other hand, faced the fullest horror of Communism and likely suffered to a similar extent to Ukraine and China. In 1970, the Solomonic Dynasty leading the Empire of Ethiopia was one of the oldest royal houses in the world dating back to 1270 and drawing its lineage back to the Biblical King Solomon. Their last Emperor was Halie Selassie, celebrated among Pan-Africanists as one of the only African leaders to resist colonization. Though celebrated by the diaspora, Selassie's rule was authoritarian and secretive. In 1973, a famine hit Ethiopia. Rather than petition for aid Selassie covered it up, and only accepted aid on the contingency that it was given in secret. The inaction of the Emperor prompted a revolutionary council known as the Derg to take over. This council quickly moved to numerous industries. Eritrean, Tigre, and Somali nationalists took advantage of the situation to launch offensives against the government. When the Carter Administration warned the Derg to cease the human rights violations they were committing in the crackdown, they cut ties with Washington and invited East-German and Soviet military advisors. In the Tigre region, the Ethiopian military embarked on a scorched earth offensive to quell the rebellion. Using such tactics in a nation with food security concerns was probably ill-advised. The offensive in the North consumed around two thirds of the national budget. The problems the Derg had created were compounded in 1983. In 1982, the rains failed and there was risk of another great famine. Having become an international pariah due to the extreme violence of Derg forces, the international community was reluctant to give aid and the Reagan administration lobbied heavily against it as part of his campaign to halt Communism in the Horn of Africa. When the famine hit in earnest, the Derg mobilized to create collective farms. These farms were incredibly inefficient, consuming 82% of imported fertilizer while contributing only 15% of grain production. To staff these farms, people from offending areas, particularly Tigre were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped to location. Africa Watch estimates that around 50,000 people died on these farms alone, comparing conditions to the Ukrainian farms in the days of Stalin. In total, as many as 1.2 million people were killed, 2.5 million displaced, with Human Rights Watch estimating that around half could be attributed to government actions.
Socialism is a phenomenon that struck the African continent in many ways across the Cold War era and beyond. Its incarnations were as diverse as the groups it affected. This is by no means an exhaustive look at African socialism, but simply a chance for the reader to find a starting place for further study and give context to an under studied part of the world. Indeed, there were many important people and thinkers left out, such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Walter Rodney, and Siad Barre. Please let me know in the comments what if anything you would like to learn more about. If you found the philosophical analysis or historical fact more interesting, I would be happy to write more about it. Sources African Socialism Revisited- Kwame Nkrumah Ujamma – The Basis of African Socialism- Julius K. Nyerere Drought, War, and the Politics of Famine in Ethiopia and Eritrea- Edmond J. Keller Applying the weapon of theory: comparing the philosophy of Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah- Tomáš František Žák Three African social theorists on class struggle, political liberation, and indigenous culture : Cheikh Anta Diop, Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah - Charles Simon-Aaron Socialism and the American Negro- W. E. B. Du Bois Benin- Chris Allen
Secured Trade Investment: The latest recovery scam
For those who were the victims of online trading scams it is as one scam victim said to me, “living in never-ending nightmare”. Many do not know where to turn. For those who seek help, there is another sinister scam that has reared its ugly head: Recovery scams. Preying on those who were victimized, they actively solicit their fraudulent services, often with a guarantee that they can recover the lost funds. One company, in particular, is Secured Trade Investment.
It never ends
This “recovery” firm is the latest scam to further add a black mark on the online trading industry. They convince individuals that have been scammed by binary options brokers in particular that they can recover their stolen funds. However, in reality, that is just a ruse. Almost always, they demand a heavy upfront fee and do nothing, which means a second loss for the victim. Made-up team members and fictitious testimonials are the most misleading elements found on the site. Supposedly Owen Beamont is the CEO and Mathew Macleod is the Assistant Manager of Secured Trade Investment but research has shown that both of these individuals do not exist. These two invented identities are nothing more than images generated from an online image bank. When viewing the contact information on the website we are given two separate addresses, the first being 7 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London NW1 3HG UK. Unsurprisingly, when this address is entered into a Google search query the company that matches this address is not Secured Trade Investment. Additionally, the second address, 1270 E Broadway Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282 is associated with a different business What is most disturbing about Secured Trade Investment is that they seem to be directly conspiring with the very same fraudulent forex and binary options brokers. Numerous individuals have told us that Secured Trade Investment had their information before they submitted their claim.
Take action today
If you are the victim of an HBC Broker scam be sure to send your complaint to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process.
Nhật Bản túc tốc ký kết nhiều thỏa thuận đặt mua vaccine Covid-19
Thách thức phòng dịch khi Olympic diễn ra vào năm tới tại Nhật Bản vô cùng lớn và vaccine được xem là vũ khí quan trọng giúp đẩy lùi đại dịch Covid-19. Như nhiều quốc gia phát triển khác, Nhật Bản đang ký kết hàng loạt những thỏa thuận thu mua vaccine Covid-19 khác nhau nhằm dự phòng trường hợp một số vaccine có thể thất bại trong các cuộc thử nghiệm lâm sàng hoặc người dân có thể phải tiêm nhiều hơn một mũi. Chuyên gia cho biết đây là một cách thức tiếp cận tương đối an toàn. https://preview.redd.it/99cafwarhak51.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=73bdd61f296529165983b71da9f6196f202f1a30 Nhưng ngoài việc kiểm soát và thắt chặt an ninh người dân khỏi đại dịch, Nhật Bản còn hướng tới một tiêu chí khác khi phấn đấu triển khai kế hoạch tiêm chủng đại trà: Tokyo sẽ phải đón tiếp hàng nghìn vận động viên và người hâm mộ tham gia thế vận hội Olympic năm 2021 sau khi sự kiện thông báo hủy bỏ vào năm nay vì Covid-19. Chánh văn phòng Nội Các Yoshihide Suga cho biết Nhật đang thảo luận với ban tổ chức Olympic về việc làm cho thế nào để tổ chức đại hội thành công, nhấn mạnh tiêm chủng đại trà là yếu tố thiết yếu, Vì lý do này cần phải bảo đảm cung cấp đầy đủ số lượng vaccine. Nhiều tổ chức "có thể sẽ sản xuất được vaccine trong khoảng thời gian từ cuối năm nay đến tháng ba năm sau", ông đề cập với Reuters trong 1 cuộc phỏng vấn cách đây không lâu. "Chúng tôi đã cân nhắc rất nhiều nhưng trên hết, chúng tôi muốn tổ chức Olympic bằng mọi giá". Nhật Bản có kế hoạch mua 521 triệu liều của 5 dòng vaccine Covid-19 trong năm 2021, gấp 4 lần dân số 126 triệu người của nước đó. Những ký hợp đồng gần đây bao gồm ký kết với Pfizer Inc, Mỹ, và AstraZeneca PLC, hội sở tại Cambrdige, Anh. "Bạn phải đặt cược đồng đều để hạn chế khả năng không nhận được gì", Giám đốc Viện Y tế Công cộng quốc gia Nhật Bản Tomoya Saito, cho hay. Một số nhà phê bình nhận định Nhật Bản vội vàng thu mua vaccine Covid-19 số lượng lớn bắt nguồn từ mong muốn chính trị cho thế giới thấy họ toàn tâm toàn ý với Olympic. "Kế hoạch là kỳ vọng vào một phép màu rồi sau đó tận dụng triệt để phép màu đó", Michael Cucek, giáo sư khoa học chính trị ở đại học Temple, Nhật Bản, cho hay. "Nhưng quỹ thời gian để đạt được phép màu đang ngày càng hẹp lại". Bộ Y tế và những quan chức từ Văn phòng Nội các không trả lời các nghi vấn về việc liệu quyết tâm bảo đảm vaccine của Nhật có liên quan đến Olympic hay không. Giới chức Nhật Bản đã bàn luận về việc tổ chức một Thế vận hội "đơn giản hóa", dự kiến ban đầu sẽ thu hút 600.000 du khách. Nhưng sự kiện vẫn sẽ có sự tham dự của khoảng 11.000 vận động viên từ khắp nơi trên toàn cầu. Với quy mô của sự kiện và số lượng người đổ đến Nhật Bản lớn như vậy, ban tổ chức Olympic rõ ràng "cần một số lượng vô cùng lớn vaccine hiệu quả", Kenji Shibuya, giám đốc Viện Sức khỏe Dân số tại Đại học Hoàng Gia London, Anh, nhận xét. Xem thêm:Cách chơi Binary Option cho người mới bắt đầu Việc tổ chức một Thế vận hội giữa đại dịch sẽ tạo ra thách thức hậu cần khổng lồ trong khi hàng nghìn vận động viên phải luyện tập và đi lại tới những địa điểm tổ chức thi đấu. Không những thế, việc tiếp đón hàng chục nghìn người mến mộ cũng trở nên vô cùng khó khăn ở thời điểm mà nhiều đất nước có khả năng vẫn bị tác động nặng nề bởi dịch bệnh. Nhật Bản hiện vẫn áp lệnh cấm di chuyển với trên 140 nước. Ngay cả khi sở hữu đủ lượng vaccine cần phải có, việc tiêm chủng cho những vận động viên và khách quốc tế trước hoặc sau lúc hạ cánh xuống Nhật Bản cũng là một thách thức lớn. Một "vấn đề rất rất quan trọng" đối với công việc tổ chức Olympic là lúc đã có đủ vaccine thì việc phân bổ chúng sẽ được thực hiện ra sao, Thống đốc Tokyo Yuriko Koike hôm 25/8 nói. "Chúng tôi sẽ làm tất cả mọi giá để ngăn nCoV lây lan ở Nhật Bản, song song với việc chào đón các vận động viên đến từ các quốc gia khác".
Is FAANG really the only way to get a combo of high pay, good experience, healthy work-life balance and job security these days?
So I am in my 20s, based in London and have been in the industry for 5 years now, first as a software engineer and later - after completing my Masters - as a data scientist. Never had a full-time job at FAANG, partially because I'm not that good at reversing binary trees on a whiteboard (had a summer internship at Google but failed the conversion interviews), partially because I never really saw getting there as my goal and haven't interviewed with any of the big companies since then. Now, I always had this idea that at start ups, there is this trade-off that your work-life balance might be not as good - but you are much better off in terms of getting interesting experience, having more personal growth and flexibility, as well as often more money. My personal experience so far, however, has been kinda frustrating and I can't help but feel like FAANG is superior in every single way:
Getting good experience: this has really been the biggest pain for me as a data scientist. Most people I met had no idea what data science is and expected me to work on ETL pipelines and dashboards, completely ignoring my desire to get better at Machine Learning and predictive modelling. At my last company, I ended up changing the team trying to get more relevant DS experience but in the end it turned out to be even worse (even though the team lead promised otherwise). As a result I am in this kinda weird situation when with my YOE I'm expected to be at the mid-senior level, but to be honest, I don't feel that my ML skills are much better than that of a junior. Don't think this could ever happen at Google or Facebook.
Personal growth: there's been little to no mentorship at my previous company, just when I needed it the most when I was still fairly junior. My impression is that at start ups people are just too busy firefighting to actually invest their time in mentoring junior colleagues.
Flexibility: if there is any flexibility then it is that sort of flexibility with which the CEO at my last job could ping me on evenings and weekends. When I tried moving to a different team, it took me 10 (TEN) months to finally finish this move (the company keeps lying to people in interviews that it is easy to do so).
Salaries: to be fair, I think my salary progression so far has been better than what I would have at FAANG. But given how low my starting salary was as a fresh grad I'm still lagging behind my FAANG friends in terms of saving money (which means that they will sooner be able to buy a house, have a family etc.).
Sign-on bonuses: none of the smaller companies I've had offers from over the past few years (even those with 1000+ people) offered cash bonuses. You can get something like £25k in share options, but the more I learn about these share option schemes the more they seem like a scam to me (the 4-year vesting period in particular is a joke). My friend with the same YOE as me just got an offer at FAANG and got a £15k sign-on bonus in CASH which seems ridiculously high (again that's the difference between this guy buying his first house later this year and me MAYBE getting rich in 4 years when the options fully vest and if the company doesn't blow up like my previous ones did).
Performance bonuses: I basically never had any performance bonuses despite being promised so and having good performance reviews. It just turned out that none of the start ups I was working for had sustainable business models and all ended up being sinking ships.
Job security: the current COVID crisis says it all really. Everyone at my current company is suffering pay cuts and / or furloughs, but I keep seeing ads from Facebook Recruitmens saying that they still want to hire 1000 more staff in London this year.
It feels a bit like I've reached my "fuck it" moment and that I should just start spending all my free time on LeetCode practicing binary trees reversals to finally land a job at FAANG. So I am really just looking for opinions here. Is there indeed such a big gap in the quality of life of the FAANG people compared to everyone else? Or does anyone have any good stories about working for a small company where they would still feel safe, get a decent pay and good experience, and have time for their hobbies and families? TL;DR: Spent the first few years of my CS career at smaller companies and can't help but feel inferior to my peers who have been enjoying their time at FAANG. This makes me think I made a bad mistake by not following the same path. The risks just don't seem worth it and this COVID crisis is kinda the last straw
What movies did you watch last week (26.04.2020 - 02.05.2020)?
Hello FG, The weekly thread is back. Hope y'all fine. Let's begin. BESSIE (2015) - 8/10
The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.
A wildly sexy movie. And that’s surprising because you don’t expect it to be so. On a first look, “Bessie” is just another biographical drama from the category “been there, done that and finally died”, but correctly placed priorities and Queen Latifah in the lead role do their job: the film is difficult to look away from. For writedirector Dee Rees there was surely something personal in a story of a plus-sized, queer, dark-skinned black woman who managed to be boss bitch in the era when the odds were disproportionally against her. The heroine exudes an outrageous self-confidence and no-fvks-given attitude and that turns on. Plus, the film is devoid of pathos and didacticism which are typical for this genre. AMERICAN WOMAN (2018) - 9/10
In a small, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, a 32-year-old woman's teen daughter goes missing and she is left to raise her infant grandson alone. The story is told over the course of 11 years, from the time her daughter vanishes, through the the trials-and-tribulations of subsequent years looking for closure, leading up the long-awaited discovery of the truth.
The tragedy always hits when you expect it the least. Just when you feel the most comfortable in the ordinariness of day-to-day routine, the life kicks the stool out of your feet and watch you hanging in the air with your face turning dark red and hands frenetically trying to break a tight rope. Any loss is a punch in the gut; the loss of the loved one, however, is one of the most agonizing torments the human being can possibly endure. It screws up your inner compass, deprives of confidence in tomorrow, pushes you in the dark and forces to find an exit all alone and by touch. However, despite its monstrous power, the loss is relatively fugacious. Soon, it dissolves in a stream of casual chores and concerns, becoming finally a black dot on a map of memories, the look at which gives you a light pinch in the heart but nothing more. The central enigma of “American Woman” which sets the plot in motion is a teenage girl with ashy-blonde hair and smirky face of Sky Ferreira, who disappears without a trace in the very beginning, leaving her mother with a distressing ignorance regarding her fate and a little grandson on hands. Initial despair gives way to tranquility, the boy grows up, the woman gets a new man and a new job and as years pass by, her missing daughter slowly turns into a yet-another random person on family photos – a barely recognizable and uninteresting phantom from the remote past – until the gut-wrenching finale. It’s remarkable how in spite of its painful, bleeding core, the movie succeeds to convincingly focus on such mundane things as love, tenderness and support and to convey them even during moments when it seems that there are none of it on screen. In short, it’s an outstanding film: simple, humane, bittersweet and relatable to anyone with a heart. Sienna Miller, who plays the lead role, has never been better. Her heroine electrifies the plot and contaminates with a fierce, kinetic energy. She’s like a wild tigress you can only admire from afar: magnificently gorgeous, unpredictable, fervent and endearing. It’s a bravura performance. RADIOACTIVE (2020) - 2/10
A story of the scientific and romantic passions of Marie Sklodowska-Curie (Polish scientist) and Pierre Curie, and the reverberation of their discoveries throughout the 20th century.
Marie Curie may have died more than eighty years ago, but destructive power of her discovery continues to strike, and after Hiroshima, Chernobyl and North Korean nuclear program, its poisonous rays has finally polluted the world of cinema, as Marjane Satrapi, for some reason, has decided to make a movie based on her life, and in doing so, has dropped a major toxic bomb on those poor souls who decided to give it a time. It didn’t take me long to understand what sort of biopic I’m about to watch: as soon as the clumsy script has pushed Marie and her future husband Pierre against each other on a dreamy Parisian street (so in the first five minutes), I realized that this movie will join the vast and dubious groups of biopics whose writers overstuff them with real-life facts without giving them a proper direction or reflection. “Radioactive” is a retelling of a Wikipedia article for the dumb. Actors, with a smart look on their faces, pour black liquids from one vial to another and say with the aplomb how greatly it’s about to change the course of history. Throwaway stuff like this – which took a “big” subject and degreased it to the state of tasteless, distilled water – was produced by broadcast networks in the 70s and 80s and starred washed-up stars from previous decades. Why the hell it still gets greenlit and is given solid budgets? Satrapi tried to decorate the overall awfulness with various visual delicacies, thanks to what, the film at times looks like a cross between a live-action comic book and a Disney fairy tale, but at the end, all her efforts had an effect of a fig-leaf. THE WHITE CROW (2019) - 8/10
Director Ralph Fiennes captures the raw physicality and brilliance of Rudolf Nureyev, whose escape to the West stunned the world at the height of the Cold War. With his magnetic presence, Nureyev emerged as ballet's most famous star, a wild and beautiful dancer limited by the world of 1950s Leningrad. His flirtation with Western artists and ideas led him into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with the KGB.
As an art form, ballet exists outside the zone of my comprehension. I can’t follow the plot, don’t see the beauty in pliés and fouettés, and thus, this biopic of Rudolph Nureyev was interesting to me primarily as a story of a person who lashed out against the system and hasn’t collapsed under its onslaught. Nureyev, as played by the handsome and charismatic actor Oleg Ivenko, is a hot-tempered, narcissistic diva, consumed inside by insecurities, ardent passion for his craft and a desire to enjoy life in all its fullness. The personal in him vastly outweighs the social, and this will undoubtedly put off certain viewers; when given a choice between a duty and an ego, he always goes for the second option. Ralph Fiennes stays away from reflections on whether Nureyev is “likeable” or not, his interest lies in the notion of personal freedom and how it correlates with the one’s social responsibility. For the protagonist, being free meant to drink expensive booze, to visit bawdy shows, to sleep with whomever he wants and to enjoy the company of bourgeoisie (dance in the movie is rather the framing of the story than its heart and pulse). He was an unapologetic hedonist who was self-sufficient enough to not care what others think of him, and the society often get riled up by people like that, while envying them internally. Of course, for the oppressive communist state propagating a hypocritical “equality” and collectivism, and dictating what everyone has to think, do and enjoy, Nureyev was like a fat forehead pimple that was asking to be popped. I don’t really like when movies use such obvious metaphors, but here, a simplistic binary division into “black” and “white” is dead-on, since it highlights the complexity of the character’s nature and his choices. THE LODGE (2020) - 5/10
A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé's two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place.
Disappointing. This movie has a very interesting idea, but the unconvincing twist completely ruins it. THE MAN WHO CRIED (2000) - 7/10
A young refugee traveling from Russia to America in search of her lost father falls for a gypsy horseman.
Милая сказка, в которой важен не сам сюжет, а то как он снят. Напоминает мультфильм Дона Блута, сыгранный живыми актерами и рейтингом 18+. EASTERN PROMISES (2007) - 6/10
A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.
Пересмотрел это первый раз за десять лет. Помню что это был триллер на десятку, но сейчас увидел лишь слабое б-муви с колоритным Вигго Мортенсенем. Героиня Наоми Уоттс - тупая дура. WHY DON'T YOU JUST DIE! (2018) - 3/10
Andrei, a detective and the world's most horrible father, brings together a terrible group of people in his apartment: his resentful actress daughter, an angry thug, and a cheated cop. Each one of them has a reason to want revenge..
Если бы папа сдох в самом начале, фильм бы из-за этого только бы выиграл. WENDY (2020) - 7/10
The classic story of Peter Pan is wildly reimagined in a ragtag epic. Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up.
The concept of "Wendy" is so simple and obvious that during the entire film I couldn't shrug off the feeling that I'm rewatching something I've seen many times before, even though this is the first time when "Peter Pan" was reimagined as a Malickian parable where magical realism clashes with hyper-realism. Breathtakingly beautiful and achingly sad at times, but in terms of messages and metaphors, it's something that only a fifth grader would think of as new. BIRTHDAY GIRL (2001) - 3/10
Internet love connections and mail-order brides rarely ever work out, and John should have known. Having never been lucky in the game of love and tired of waiting for the perfect woman to come along, John decides to take his chances and orders a mail-order bride from Russia online. At first, things seem perfect: his new bride Nadia is a gorgeous woman, and although she may not speak much English, her skills in the bedroom more than make up for any communication problems. When Nadia's 'cousins' unexpectedly arrive to celebrate her birthday, John is drawn into their web of corruption and crime.
Блёклая и скучная комедия где весь потенциал был слит в унитаз. Фильмы как этот актеры обычно делают в перерывах между более стоящими проектами.
20 Point and Click Games You Should Play Right Now!
1.Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Monkey Island 2 follows Guybrush's continuing adventures some time after defeating the Ghost Pirate LeChuck. His arrival on Scabb Island was in pursuit of the legendary treasure of Big Whoop.LeChuck's Revenge plays like most SCUMM-based point-and-click adventure games. Actions and dialogues are depicted on an Animation Window which covers the top of the screen; verbal commands are listed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, while Inventory items are shown as icons on the lower right-hand corner. A Sentence Line is located below the Animation Window and serves in describing the actions of the player.The game was one of the few adventure games that offered the player a choice in levels of puzzle difficulty. In some versions, before starting the game, the player is prompted to choose between regular version and "Monkey 2 Lite", a relatively stripped-down experience that bypasses many puzzles entirely. On the back of the game's packaging it is (jokingly) stated that this mode is intended for video-game reviewers. 2.Day of the Tentacle The game, a loose sequel to Maniac Mansion, is focused on Bernard Bernoulli — the only one of the three playable characters that was featured in the first game — and his friends Laverne and Hoagie, as they help Dr. Fred Edison using a time machine to prevent Purple Tentacle from taking over the world. The game utilizes time travel and the effects of changing history as part of the many puzzles to be solved in the game. Day of the Tentacle follows the point-and-click two-dimensional adventure game formula, first established by the original Maniac Mansion. Players direct the controllable characters around the game world by clicking with the computer mouse. To interact with the game world, players choose from a set of nine commands arrayed on the screen (such as "pick up", "use", or "talk to") and then on an object in the world. This was the last SCUMM game to use the original interface of having the bottom of the screen being taken up by a verb selection and inventory; starting with the next game to use the SCUMM engine, Sam & Max Hit the Road, the engine was modified to scroll through a more concise list of verbs with the right mouse button and having the inventory on a separate screen.Day of the Tentacle uses time travel extensively; early in the game, the three main protagonists are separated across time by the effects of a faulty time machine. The player, after completing certain puzzles, can then freely switch between these characters, interacting with the game's world in the separate time periods. Certain small inventory items can be shared by placing the item into the "Chron-o-Johns", modified portable toilets that instantly transport objects to one of the other time periods, while other items are shared by simply leaving the item in a past time period to be picked up by a character in a future period. Changes made to a past time period will affect a future one, and many of the game's puzzles are based on the effect of time travel, aging of certain items, and alterations of the time stream. For example, one puzzle requires the player, while in the future era where Purple Tentacle has succeeded, to send a medical chart of a Tentacle back to the past, having it used as the design of the American flag, then collecting one such flag in the future to be used as a Tentacle disguise to allow that character to roam freely.The whole original Maniac Mansion game can be played on a computer resembling a Commodore 64 inside the Day of the Tentacle game; this practice has since been repeated by other game developers, but at the time of Day of the Tentacle's release, it was unprecedented. 3.The Secret of Monkey Island It takes place in a fantastical version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy. The player assumes the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate and explores fictional islands while solving puzzles. The Secret of Monkey Island is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Via a point-and-click interface, the player guides protagonist Guybrush Threepwood through the game's world and interacts with the environment by selecting from twelve verb commands (nine in newer versions) such as "talk to" for communicating with characters and "pick up" for collecting items between commands and the world's objects in order to successfully solve puzzles and thus progress in the game. While conversing with other characters, the player may choose between topics for discussion that are listed in a dialog tree; the game is one of the first to incorporate such a system. The in-game action is frequently interrupted by cutscenes. Like other LucasArts adventure games, The Secret of Monkey Island features a design philosophy that makes the player character's death nearly impossible (Guybrush does drown if he stays underwater for more than ten minutes). 4.Loom Loom is based on a serious and complex fantasy story. With its experimental interface, it eschewed the traditional paradigm of graphical adventures, where puzzles usually involve interactions between the game character, the environment, and items the character has in their possession. Loom's gameplay centers instead around magical four-note tunes known as "drafts" that the protagonist, Bobbin Threadbare, can play on his distaff. Each draft is a spell that has an effect of a certain type, such as "Opening" or "Night Vision." Some drafts can be reversed by playing their notes backwards, so the "Dye" draft played backwards becomes "Bleach," while others, such as the "Terror" draft, are palindromes (e.g. C–E–E–C) and so cannot be reversed in this manner. Bobbin can learn drafts by observing an object that possesses the qualities of the desired draft; for example, by examining a blade while it is being sharpened, Bobbin can learn the "Sharpening" draft. When the game begins, Bobbin is only able to play drafts using the notes C, D and E, limiting his ability to reproduce more powerful drafts. As the game progresses and additional notes become available, so his ability to play new drafts increases. The game can be played at three difficulty levels, each differing in how clearly the notes being played are labeled. For example, the "Standard" level indicates the notes on a scale below the distaff, while the "Expert" level shows no notes and must be played by ear. In the original release, expert players are rewarded with a cutscene that does not appear for the other two difficulties. The later CD-ROM release, however, shows an abridged version of this scene to all players. 5.Beneath a Steel Sky Beneath a Steel Sky is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The player uses a point-and-click interface to interact with the environment and to guide protagonist Robert Foster through the game's world. To solve puzzles and progress in the game, the player collects items that may be combined with one another, used on the environment, or given to non-player characters (NPCs).The protagonist converses with NPCs via dialogue trees to learn about the game's puzzles and plot.Clues and other information are obtained by clicking on items in the inventory and on objects in the environment.Unlike in most adventure games at the time, the protagonist's death is possible, after which the player starts from the last save point.The player controls a character called Rob Foster. Rob was rescued by a tribe of bandits as a child after he was found as the only surviving member of a helicopter crash, on which his mother was also a passenger. He is raised by the tribe and comes to look upon them as his family, learning skills such as hunting and building himself a robot from discarded scraps found in local garbage dumps. They inhabit a barren wasteland known as "The Gap", a deserted area that was once part of the Australian outback, a harsh place where daily survival is a struggle. 6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure Last Crusade was one of the most innovative of the LucasArts adventures. It expanded on LucasArts' traditional adventure game structure by including a flexible point system—the IQ score, or "Indy Quotient"—and by allowing the game to be completed in several different ways.The point system was similar to that of Sierra's adventure games, however when the game was restarted or restored, the total IQ of the previous game was retained. The only way to reach the maximum IQ of 800 was by finding alternative solutions to puzzles, such as fighting a guard instead of avoiding him.This countered one common criticism of adventures games, whereby since there is only one way to finish the game, they have no replay value.Also, the point system helped the game to appeal to a variety of player types. Some of the alternative fights, such as the one with the Zeppelin attendant, were very difficult to pass, so the maximum IQ was very difficult to achieve. 7.Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis The plot is set in the fictional Indiana Jones universe and revolves around the eponymous protagonist's global search for the legendary sunken city of Atlantis. Sophia Hapgood, an old co-worker of Indiana Jones who gave up her archaeological career to become a psychic, supports him along the journey. The two partners are pursued by the Nazis who seek to use the power of Atlantis for warfare, and serve as the adventure's antagonists.Fate of Atlantis is based on the SCUMM story system by Ron Gilbert, Aric Wilmunder, Brad P. Taylor, and Vince Lee, thus employing similar gameplay to other point-and-click adventures developed by LucasArts in the 1980s and 1990s.The player explores the game's static environments while interacting with sprite-based characters and objects; they may use the pointer to construct and give commands with a number of predetermined verbs such as "Pick up", "Use" and "Talk to".Conversations with non-playable characters unfold in a series of selectable questions and answers.Early on, the player is given the choice between three different game modes, each with unique cutscenes, puzzles to solve and locations to visit: the Team Path, the Wits Path, and the Fists Path.In the Team Path, protagonist Indiana Jones is joined by his partner Sophia Hapgood who will provide support throughout the game.The Wits Path features an abundance of complex puzzles, while the Fists Path focuses heavily on action sequences and fist fighting, the latter of which is completely optional in the other two modes.Atypical for LucasArts titles, it is possible for the player character to die at certain points in the game, though dangerous situations were designed to be easily recognizable.A score system, the Indy Quotient Points, keeps track of the puzzles solved, the obstacles overcome and the important objects found. 8.Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Sins of the Fathers follows the eponymous Gabriel Knight, owner of a rare book store, and fledgling writer, as he investigates a series of local murders he plans to use as the basis for his new novel.Its story unfolds, mostly linearly, over a sequence of "days", each of which has a required set of actions which must be performed before proceeding to the next day. However, within each day, play may be nonlinear. Throughout the game, a running score is kept as new challenges, both required and optional, are completed.Unlike newer graphical adventure games using context-sensitive cursors that change based on what the cursor is hovering over, Sins of the Fathers uses "dumb icons" or "dumb cursors" so that the correct cursor must be chosen for a specific interaction with an on- screen object. The various cursors are accessed by either selecting the respective icon from the "icon bar" or by cycling through the cursors in a predefined order. The available cursors are: "WALK", "LOOK", "ASK", "TALK", "PICKUP", "OPEN/CLOSE", "OPERATE", and "MOVE". Inventory items can also be used as cursors with the active inventory item also available in the cursor cycle.Also located on the "icon bar" are the "INVENTORY" and "RECORDER" buttons, the active inventory item window, score, and the "CONTROLS" and "HELP" buttons. Clicking on the "INVENTORY" button will open the inventory window, where items can be selected and combined as well as cursor icons that allow the player to use "READ", "OPEN", and "LOOK" commands with any inventory item.The "ASK" and "TALK" cursors differ in their functions. The "TALK" cursor functions as a short, general, interaction with most characters. The "ASK" cursor is available in "interrogation mode" and is only available with main characters. Interrogation mode allows the player to ask the main characters questions by clicking on a topic from the displayed list. Global Topics may be asked of any character and are always present in the lists, while specific topics are unique to each character and are subject to change. Past conversations are accessible through the "RECORDER" button which opens a recorder tapes window that displays tapes for each of the main characters.At certain points during the game, the player is required to translate and send Drum Codes and Voodoo Codes. This is done by either selecting the correct character for the Voodoo code or by selecting the correct sequence for the drum code. 9.Full Throttle Set in the near future, the game's story follows Ben, the leader of a biker gang, who is framed for the murder of a beloved motorcycle manufacturing mogul and seeks to clear his and his gang's names. Players can move the player character to any place on the scene, interact with objects that are highlighted by the cursor, or leave scenes via exits - either on foot for most scenes, or via the character's motorbike, both types denoted by their own icon. As with other LucasArts graphic adventure games of the era, dialogue plays a large part in the game, presenting story elements and information necessary to advance, as well as fleshing out the characters. During conversations with other characters, several choices of dialogue are presented. The currently selected choice is highlighted, and once clicked, the player character responds with the selected choice. Choosing the correct response allows the player to advance the conversation and ultimately advance the scene.Following on from LucasArts' previous graphic adventure, Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993), which introduced a new inventory and interaction system to replace those of their prior games,Full Throttle continued to refine on the changes introduced in Sam & Max Hit the Road: Objects or characters with which Ben can interact are indicated by a red square appearing around the cursor's crosshairs when it is placed over the object. When this occurs, holding down the control on this causes a contextual pie menu to appear - designed upon the emblem of Ben's biker gang: a flaming circle topped by a skull and flanked by a boot and a gloved hand. The player hovers the cursor over elements of the emblem and then releases the mouse button to attempt various interactions with the object; for example, selecting the skull's mouth to speak to a character, its eyes to examine an object, or the hand to pick up, use, or pull the object. Right-clicking anywhere on the screen brings up the player's inventory of collected objects, which can be examined or dragged and dropped in order to use them with other items in the inventory, or with objects or characters in the scene. 10.Sam & Max Hit the Road Based on the 1989 Sam & Max comic On the Road, the duo take the case of a missing bigfoot from a nearby carnival, traveling to many Americana tourist sites to solve the mystery. The player uses Sam to explore the pre-rendered cartoon environments of the game and solve a series of puzzles using a simple point-and-click interface.The game's puzzles have logical solutions, although a number of them have far-fetched solutions due to the game's cartoon setting. Players can set the game's cursor in a particular mode to designate how Sam interacts with the environment: Sam can walk around an area, talk to other characters, look at objects, pick them up or otherwise try to use them.The cursor's graphic changes when it is hovered over an in-game entity that Sam can interact with. When talking to another character, the player is given a choice of subject areas to discuss, depicted in a conversation tree as icons at the base of the screen. In addition to specific topics involving the game's plot, Sam can inject unconnected exclamations, questions and non sequiturs into a conversation.The game incorporates an inventory system for items that Sam picks up during the course of the game. Items can be used on other entities in the game world, or can often be combined with other inventory items to provide a new object necessary for solving a puzzle. Although Max's character will walk around the game's areas by his own will, Sam can also use Max at various points by using an inventory icon of Max's head on game objects—usually on characters where the solution to a problem involves violence.Sam and Max travel to different locations in the game using their black and white 1960 DeSoto Adventurer, which when clicked on in-game will present a map of the United States with all the available locations the pair can travel to shown. As the game progresses, the number of locations on the map increases.In addition to the main game, Sam & Max Hit the Road includes several minigames. Some of these, such as a carnival game based on Whac-A-Mole but involving live rats, must be completed in order to receive new items and further the game's plot, while others, such as a car-themed version of Battleship, are entirely optional as to whether the player uses them.As with the majority of LucasArts adventure games, Sam & Max Hit the Road is designed so that the player characters cannot die or reach a complete dead-end. 11.Simon the Sorcerer The game follows a boy named Simon, who is transported to a parallel universe to embark on a mission to rescue a wizard called Calypso from an evil sorcerer named Sordid. As a point-and-click adventure game, the player controls Simon using the mouse.Gameplay involves moving Simon around and interacting with objects and other characters. The player can make Simon perform actions such as giving an item to another character, talk to another character, and pick up (add to inventory), examine, use, move, consume, wear, or open or close an item. Some actions are binary: they involve two objects and the player sometimes, after telling Simon to use an item, needs to specify what to use it with.A map that enables Simon to instantly transport to a major landmark (if it has been discovered) is provided.The postcard is used to load, save, or quit the game.The game includes parodies of various popular books and fairy tales, including Rapunzel, The Lord of the Rings, Discworld, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. 12.Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe The Evil wizard Sordid is brought back to life when a magic-book of his is set ablaze and thrown into the middle of a chalkboard pentagram by the father of Runt, a young boy wanting to become a mighty sorcerer. Sordid promises him that he can become his apprentice if he helps him exact his vengeance on Simon.Several months later, Sordid's Fortress of Doom is reconstructed and Sordid has a new robotic body. He sends a magical wardrobe to fetch Simon but it accidentally ends up on the doorstep of Calypso, the wizard Simon had to save in the last game. Simon then starts to look for a fuel called mucusade which he needs to power the wardrobe in order to get home. 13.Flight of the Amazon Queen Flight of the Amazon Queen is a point and click graphic adventure game. It follows a pilot for hire named Joe King who is hired to fly a famous actress to her next job, but ends up in a lightning storm and crashes deep in the Amazon Jungle. In the jungle, Joe uncovers a plot by a mad scientist to take over the world by creating an army of dinosaur women created from Amazon women. 14. Dark Seed Unlike most point-and-click adventure games, which give the player time to explore, many actions in Dark Seed must occur within precise time limits, or the game will end up in an unwinnable state. As a result of this, one must start over repeatedly to win without resorting to a walkthrough. Amiga Format, in its review, stated with regards to Darkseed's gameplay: "Too many things in the game need to be done within a specific time, or in a certain order, and you don't necessarily know when you've passed that 'critical point' after which you're fighting a lost cause. As a result, you often have to play the game several times over, going through scenes you've seen countless times before." Certain events/puzzles rely on the player dying and then learning from there what to do: for instance, on day two, police wait outside Dawson's house in the afternoon to arrest him if he steps outside the front door, with no clue as to their presence until it's too late, resulting in a game over. Similarly, the player must take a painkiller each morning in the bathroom or the protagonist continually complains about a headache after every line of dialogue; there is no hint or indication to do this.The player has three real time hours within which they must complete the game, which is the equivalent of three in-game days. Time can also be passed by using the in-game wait function, and the time can be checked by looking at Dawson's watch, or by inspecting the grandfather clock in the house. At the end of each day, Dawson goes to sleep and upon going to bed, each night he has a nightmare of the Dark World. Dawson automatically goes to sleep at ten P.M. each night, regardless of where the player is. If it becomes night while Dawson is in the Dark World, he will fall asleep and die, resulting in a game over. Dawson is able to access the Dark World on day two upon receiving a piece of a mirror in the mail and re-assembling it with the rest of the mirror, creating a portal to the Dark World. Every room, person and object in the normal world has a Dark World equivalent and this is often necessary for puzzle solving.When interacting with objects, the options available to the player include look/inquire, touch/manipulate, and move, denoted by a "?", a hand, and four arrows pointing inwards respectively. Looking at an object and manipulating an object are context-sensitive: the "?" becomes a "!" when the cursor is over items or areas of interest and the hand icon points upwards when the cursor is over items that can be picked up or manipulated. 15.The Dig In the game, the player takes the role of Commander Boston Low, part of a five-man team planting explosives on an asteroid in order to avert its collision course with Earth. Discovering the asteroid is hollow, Low and two of his team are transported to a long-abandoned complex, filled with advanced technology, on a strange alien world. Low and his companions must utilize xenoarchaeology to learn how the technology works, discover the fate of the alien race that built it, and solve other mysteries to find a way to return home. The Dig is a point-and-click adventure game, where the player, as Commander Boston Low, uses the mouse cursor to point to people, objects, and other parts of the environment to look at or interact with them, collect and use items in their inventory, and talk to non-player characters. The game runs on the SCUMM game engine, and was the eleventh LucasArts game to do so. A minigame can be found on the communicator menu, consisting of "Asteroid Lander", a Lunar Lander like game. During development, there were plans to include role-playing game elements, but these were scrapped before the game's release. 16.Maniac Mansion It follows teenage protagonist Dave Miller as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend Sandy Pantz from a mad scientist, whose mind has been enslaved by a sentient meteor. Maniac Mansion is a graphic adventure game in which the player uses a point-and-click interface to guide characters through a two-dimensional game world and to solve puzzles. Fifteen action commands, such as "Walk To" and "Unlock", may be selected by the player from a menu on the screen's lower half. The player starts the game by choosing two out of six characters to accompany protagonist Dave Miller: Bernard, Jeff, Michael, Razor, Syd, and Wendy. Each character possesses unique abilities: for example, Syd and Razor can play musical instruments, while Bernard can repair appliances. The game may be completed with any combination of characters; but, since many puzzles are solvable only by certain characters, different paths must be taken based on the group's composition. Maniac Mansion features cutscenes, a word coined by Ron Gilbert, that interrupt gameplay to advance the story and inform the player about offscreen events.The game takes place in the mansion of the fictional Edison family: Dr. Fred, a mad scientist; Nurse Edna, his wife; and their son Weird Ed. Living with the Edisons are two large, disembodied tentacles, one purple and the other green. The intro sequence shows that a sentient meteor crashed near the mansion twenty years earlier; it brainwashed the Edisons and directed Dr. Fred to obtain human brains for use in experiments. The game begins as Dave Miller prepares to enter the mansion to rescue his girlfriend, Sandy Pantz, who had been kidnapped by Dr. Fred. With the exception of the green tentacle, the mansion's inhabitants are hostile, and will throw the player characters into the dungeon—or, in some situations, kill them—if they see them. When a character dies, the player must choose a replacement from the unselected characters; and the game ends if all characters are killed. Maniac Mansion has five possible endings, based on which characters are chosen, which survive, and what the characters accomplish. 17.The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel In November 1888, Sherlock Holmes is engaged by Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard to help with the murder investigation of a young actress, Sarah Carroway. She was killed outside a theatre in the Mayfair area of London. Lestrade thinks the manner of her death shows that this is another strike by Jack the Ripper, but Holmes believes someone else committed the crime. It appears that the victim was killed with an unusual knife, one shaped like a scalpel but with a serrated blade.The investigation takes Holmes and Dr. Watson to many parts of late 19th Century London, including a perfume shop, the zoological gardens, the morgue, a pub, several dwellings, Surrey Commercial Dock, Savoy Street Pier, St Pancras Station, and of course 221B Baker Street. They encounter a number of characters connected to the case and also get assistance from Inspector Gregson, the leader of the Baker Street Irregulars named Wiggins, and the invaluable tracking dog Toby. The player moves around London via an elaborate overview map. Additional locations become available when Holmes finds additional leads. In each location, the player can select nine different verbal options to interact with objects or people. When accessing the inventory menu, the player has three different verbal actions to manipulate any items Holmes has picked up. When talking to people, Holmes has different dialogue options to gain information or try to get their cooperation. Dr. Watson can give his views, which may serve as puzzle hints. He may even help Holmes to perform an action he cannot do alone. Dr. Watson's journal also references the events in the gameplay.The graphics are VGA, with MIDI music and a few scenes with digitalized speech (in the intro and end sequence, and the cutscene at St Pancras Station. In the other scenes there are sound effects, but no speech). The player interacts with the characters through a command menu with verb icons that is intuitive for anyone who had played other adventure games of the period. The 3DO version consists of full voiced dialogue and the portraits of the talkers were replaced by clips with filmed actors, but also drops Dr. Watson's journal feature.In the video clips in the 3DO version, Sherlock Holmes was played by David Ian Davies, and Dr. Watson was played by Laurie Main. 18.Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders The story is set in 1997, 9 years after the game's production. The plot follows Zak (full name Francis Zachary McKracken), a writer for the National Inquisitor, a tabloid newspaper (the name is a thinly veiled allusion to the National Enquirer); Annie Larris, a freelance scientist; along with Melissa China and Leslie Bennett, two Yale University coed students, in their attempt to prevent the nefarious alien Caponians (who have taken over "The Phone Company", an amalgamation of various telecommunication companies around the world) from slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth by emitting a 60 Hz "hum" from their "Mind Bending Machine". The Skolarians, another ancient alien race, have left a defense mechanism hanging around to repulse the Caponians (the "Skolarian Device"), which needs reassembly and start-up. Unfortunately, the parts are spread all over Earth and Mars. 19.The Curse of Monkey Island The game's story centers on Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who must lift a curse from his love Elaine Marley. As the story progresses, he must deal with a band of mysterious pirates, a rival stereotypical French buccaneer, a band of cutthroat smugglers, as well as his old nemesis Captain LeChuck. The Curse of Monkey Island is a point-and-click adventure game. The SCUMM engine was also used in this Monkey Island installment but it was upgraded to a "verb coin" (modelled after Full Throttle), an interface that consisted in a coin-shaped menu with three icons: a hand, a skull, and a parrot, basically representing actions related to hands, eyes and mouth, respectively. These icons implied the actions Guybrush would perform with an object. The hand icon would usually mean actions such as picking something up, operating a mechanism or hitting someone, the skull icon was most used for examining or looking at objects and the parrot icon was used to issue Guybrush commands such as talking to someone or opening a bottle with his teeth. The inventory and actions were thus visible on click, rather than on the bottom of the screen as previous point-and-click games by Lucasarts.The player controlled a white 'X' cursor with the mouse, that turned red whenever landing onto an object (or person) with which Guybrush could interact. Holding left click over an object, whether in or outside the inventory, would bring up the coin menu, while right clicking it would perform the most obvious action with this particular object. Right clicking a door, for example, made Guybrush attempt to open it, while right clicking a person meant talking to him or her. 20.Grim Fandango Grim Fandango takes place in the Land of the Dead (the Eighth Underworld), where recently departed souls aim to make their way to the Land of Eternal Rest (the Ninth Underworld) on the Four Year Journey of the Soul. Good deeds in life are rewarded by access to better travel packages to assist in making the journey (such as sports cars and luxury ocean cruises), the best of which is the Number Nine, an express train that takes four minutes to reach the gate to the Ninth Underworld. However, souls who did not lead a kind life are left to travel through the Land of the Dead on foot, which would take around four years. Such souls often lose faith in the existence of the Ninth Underworld and instead find jobs in the Land of the Dead. The travel agents of the Department of Death act as the Grim Reaper to escort the souls from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead, and then determine which mode of transport the soul has merited. Each year on the Day of the Dead, these souls are allowed to visit their families in the Land of the Living.The souls in the Land of the Dead appear as skeletal calaca figures. Alongside them are demons that have been summoned to help with the more mundane tasks of day-to-day life, such as vehicle maintenance and even drink service. The souls themselves can suffer death-within-death by being "sprouted", the result of being shot with "sproutella"-filled darts that cause flowers to grow out through the bones. Many of the characters are Mexican and occasional Spanish words are interspersed into the English dialogue, resulting in Spanglish. Many of the characters smoke, following a film noir tradition; the manual asks players to consider that every smoker in the game is dead. Grim Fandango is an adventure game, in which the player controls Manuel "Manny" Calavera (calavera being Spanish for 'skull') as he follows Mercedes "Meche" Colomar in the Underworld. The game uses the GrimE engine, pre-rendering static backgrounds from 3D models, while the main objects and characters are animated in 3D. Additionally, cutscenes in the game have also been pre-rendered in 3D. The player controls Manny's movements and actions with a keyboard, a joystick, or a gamepad. The remastered edition allows control via a mouse as well. Manny must collect objects that can be used with either other collectible objects, parts of the scenery, or with other people in the Land of the Dead in order to solve puzzles and progress in the game. The game lacks any type of HUD. Unlike the earlier 2D LucasArts games, the player is informed of objects or persons of interest not by text floating on the screen when the player passes a cursor over them, but instead by the fact that Manny will turn his head towards that object or person as he walks by. The player reviews the inventory of items that Manny has collected by watching him pull each item in and out of his coat jacket. Manny can engage in dialogue with other characters through conversation trees to gain hints of what needs to be done to solve the puzzles or to progress the plot. As in most LucasArts adventure games, the player can never die or otherwise get into a no-win situation (that prevents completion of the game).
May report: Metro series, Yakuza closure, and Egyptian wonder
Another huge month. I was in holiday at home for two weeks and it shows. I took great advantage of Game Pass once more (Metro series, Unavowed, Red Strings Club, Astrologaster), got to dig up almost decade old games from my backlog (Splinter Cell conviction, Left 4 Dead), get closure on one of my favorite series (Yakuza 6), and even advance my list with a long open world (AC Origins). Metro 2033 Redux (PC)
Playtime: 8 hours
In my backlog since December 2011 (non Redux version though)
Review: Metro 2033 is a corridor shooter set in a post apocalyptic russian metro network. The Redux version helps a lot visually, and the whole game is still quite beautiful. The world is really detailed and feels credible and lived in, if desolate. This world is the game's best quality, as the gameplay felt unremarkable despite a few notable flourishes. You battle both humans (not very smart), and mutant monsters (too bullet spongey) while managing carefully your resources: bullets, gas mask filters, and your various pieces of equipment. This created a nice tension, which added to the already singular setting. The silent protagonist isn't very present or charismatic, neither are the secondary characters, but the tale is straightforward enough so it all worked out, and I was never lost or bored. I found the game competent and the world interesting enough to make me want to play the sequel.
Splinter Cell Conviction (PC)
Playtime: 6 hours
In my backlog since July 2012
Review: The advantage of playing games years after their release, without factoring in costs, is that you're much more forgiving. Conviction must have felt like a slap in the face of hardcore fans, ditching the slow and methodical gameplay style of earlier games for action seemingly lifted wholesale from Jason Bourne and a character closer to Jack Bauer than anything else. Personally, once I accepted a pacifist playthrough wasn't possible, I quite liked the casual nature and the spectacle of it all, like a B movie you lazily watch on a weekend. The automated kill feature (Mark and Execute) allows for ridiculous feats, and your main objective is simply to make sure that you can activate it as often as needed, by silently meleeing an enemy. The game is fun but very forgettable all things considered, though there's one sequence that works particularly well (with unlimited Mark and Execute to depict Sam's rage).
Metro Last Light Redux (PC)
Playtime: 10 hours
Review: A direct continuation of the first game, I thought it was much more successful, mostly thanks to a better execution. Your involvement in the story is greater, you share your adventure with multiple sidekicks throughout, the setpieces are more varied, the weapons feel better, stealth feels more viable, and the universe is still captivating. It's a bit gamey still, with sidekicks you have to follow, binary stealth, and a linear adventure, but it works quite well. The characters aren't as likeable as in Wolfenstein The New Order, the gameplay isn't as smart as in Half Life 2, but I thought this was one of the best solo FPS campaigns of recent times, mostly on the strengths of its world and atmosphere.
Playtime: 9 hours
Review: A spiritual successor to the Blackwell point & click series, it's as charming and successful. The writing is on point, and the game tries to keep things fresh, with selectable backstory for your character and multiple companions to chat with. The story follows a handful of cases, which makes for a snappy pace, and the puzzles are as logical and unobtrusive as ever. The best Wadjet Eye game yet.
The Red Strings Club (PC)
Playtime: 4 hours
Review: A short cyberpunk point & click/visual novel. The story isn't too great or innovative, but the game does its best to mix things up with different minigames (of various quality), and its dialogue system. The main point of the game is to extract info from the customers entering your bar. You mix cocktails to influence them and pick the questions accordingly (induce empathy with your drink and ask about a suffering coworker for instance). This is already nice, but the neat trick is the multiple choice questions you get afterwards to test you on your understanding, on what you learned from the customers. This makes every dialogue a tense exchange where you have to deduce or guess what's not explicitly said, lending every character a nice depth. The last part of the game is also remarkable, a puzzle quite open with a lot of options and choices.
Metro Exodus (PC)
Playtime: 25 hours
Review: This last chapter in the Metro trilogy is more ambitious, taking the form of an odyssey through Russia, aboard a train where every stop is a small open world area, with occasional linear dungeons here and there. This takes the previously linear shooter closer to a Far Cry of sorts, with Fallout undertones due to the post apocalypse setting and light crafting elements. And it's quite good overall, mostly thanks to the always great atmosphere. I really liked the structure of the game, centered on an evolving base of operations where you regroup with your small crew between missions, getting to know them, sharing human moments over the course of the game. Too bad the writing isn't up to the task, and too often the conversations go on for too long (my guess is they're supposed to be background chatter and not be actively listened to). The open world sections make the stealth more integral to the experience, which resulted in a greater tension, but it also hurt the pacing a bit (a stregth of the previous episode). Overall, I enjoyed this last travel with the characters, and the Metro series is now one of my favorite shooters, in no small part due to its fantastic mood: tense, desolate, frightening but still hopeful.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PS4)
Playtime: 45 hours
Review: I never expected to play another Yakuza game two months after finishing Yakuza 0, but after the harrowing Metro series (in the good sense), I felt like some familiar experience would be good, so I got it on sale, and Yakuza 6 delivers. Any self respecting Yakuza fan should play this one, as it closes the Yakuza series for now, but as expected, newcomer should steer clear, since it's best experienced with the rest of the series under your belt. Overall, I was very impressed with the new engine, and the streets of Kamurocho, and especially Onomichi, the quiet coastal town, are a delight to visit. It evoked perfectly my holidays there, and is the closest to virtual tourism in Japan you're likely to get. Otherwise, there were less side activities and minigames, which I didn't really mind, having gorged myself on Yakuza 0 (and at this point, who's going to miss the same black jack minigame, or gachapon, or bowling). There's still more than enough side quests (I very much liked the baseball success story and there are some weird lewd videos for the lustful crowd), and it benefits a more tight and personal story. It's still a bit ludicrous and overly long, but it's enjoyable and the cast is nicely endearing. The combat started out really nice, but didn't evolve much over the course of the game. I'm not sure I find the conclusion satisfying, but I'm glad to have taken the journey with Kazuma Kiryu to its end, the series has been a recurring favorite this past fourteen years. Now if only we could have English versions for Kenzan and Ishin...
Left 4 Dead (PC)
Playtime: 4 hours
In my backlog since February 2009
Review: I'd played it for some short sessions, but had never played it throughout. Mostly because it is damn difficult (for me), and playing it on nomal, even with experienced players, was exhausting. I played it solo on easy, and got to experience the brilliant level design and encounter design, and masterful pacing, and all the stress and fear and close-victory elation it all creates. I really like the game, and no doubt it's even more fun with allies, but even solo, it was a masterful focused FPS experience.
Playtime: 6 hours
Review: Played it as it was recommended by OdaNova, who praised its narrative and voice acting. And indeed, the setup is original, playing a unlicensed doctor in Shakespearean London, reading the stars and dealing with ridiculous patients. It is a very British game throughout from the topic, to the accents, and the humor. It really felt like a theater production brought as a popup book. I also really liked the funny choir introducting each patient, and the novelty of the premise. Unfortunately, I found the game a bit long, and I never felt really involved in the character, so it felt a bit too aimless.
Assassin's Creed Origins (PS4)
Playtime: 65 hours
In my backlog since October 2019
Review: I have long been an avid player of Ubi open worlds, despite their flaws. That's why I enjoyed my time with Mad Max and Mafia III last year. But Assassin's Creed Black Flag didn't grab me in any way, so I was a bit wary starting this one. And the intro is quite awful, with time jumps that left me feel like I had missed a cutscene. But the game was quick to charm afterwards, with a stunning world. Ptolemaic Egypt is full of life and awe inspiring monuments and vistas. This is the best use of AAA money I've ever seen, allowing us to roam this land and feel for ourselves how it was back then, thanks to the obvious research and care that went into crafting this world. Everything is beautiful to an almost otherworldly degree, but still felt true to life. The rest of the game didn't disappoint. I did every side activity in the game, cleared the whole map, because I enjoyed the simple stealth in big outposts, and the grind it represented allowed me to keep at a level where stealth was possible (one shotting enemies with the hidden blade or arrows). I'm aware that mainlining the game brings issues where you can't sneak properly, and can't even advance the main story without grinding, but my playstyle nicely avoided the issues related to enemy levels (which are in themselves infuriating and so pointless any way). The combat, derived from Dark Souls, didn't feel meaningfully upgraded from before, but was serviceable. Lastly, the main characters were great, relatable and likable, with enough rage, warmth and even style. They're easily my favorite from the series. The quests themselves aren't great, definitely not up to The Witcher 3 standards they aspire to be, but they still nicely flesh out the world and the bad guys. The plot is for the most part a straight forward revenge plot, without too many convolutions, and the historic part is handled nicely, with much fewer facepalms than before in my experience. I also played the Discovery Tour extensively, a free DLC that transforms the game into a museum exhibition, teaching many things about Egypt and the time. It's a bit dry, but very welcome. Overall, a game that I enjoyed greatly, and that I would easily recommend to people interested in Antiquity, if only for the Discovery Tour.
Playtime: 3 hours (abandoned)
Review: It's a rhythm game, with a good electro soundtrack (I'm not an expert on the exact genre though), abstract visual reminiscent of Zone mode in Wipeout and it's quite difficult. I had to quit because the game got too hard and didn't explain its gameplay properly, which is a shame since I quite liked the game, which was very entrancing.
Hope you had a good month. I'll probably ease up a bit on my progress in June, and go back to some old favorites like The Last of Us in anticipation of its sequel, and probably replay some Dishonored (spurred by the great NoClip doc). Happy gaming and stay safe.
Hello ladies, gents, and non-binary bougie pals! I took it upon myself to do what no one wanted and no one asked for: DIY designer fragrance candles!
Obligatory aside: this is my first time posting here in repladies, and my first time making an attempt at a longer posting in general, so bear with me and my formatting! I'll do my best. ☺️
A Bit of Background... (not required reading, just context!)
I was OBSESSED with u/onthevergeoftears's post on DIY and rep fragrances, and more recently u/diambra's post on rep. fragrances! I stumbled upon deadass identical to the read thing designer "inspired" perfume oils a bit before I found those posts – my main hookup is OilPerfumery! They've got a large range of Western and Arabian fragrances that I really enjoy (also use code OP20 for 20% off but don't tell them because I'm not supposed to know about that code...) Now, I am but a poor college student and generally do not have the resources to compare their work to the real deal, but I will say their La Vie Est Belle and Light Blue for Her are pretty spot on. Anyways my first DIY dream was to convert the oil perfumes into sprays and transplant them into the authentic bottles. I researched the process for 30 minutes quite some time before deciding I probably didn't have the patience to tackle that yet. My next stroke of genius was to created candles with my perfume oils and transplant them into authentic designer candle cups – helluva lot easier lemme tell you. This came after reading up on people's fears about burning rep candles with how expensive they were to ship because of their weight. With minimal effort, I have achieved some degree of success and would like to share the process and results with you!
The Good Stuff 🤩🕯
I created 2 DIY Jo Malone candles in authentic candle cups – cups? glasses? holders? The whole process was relatively inexpensive (considering the cost of an authentic Jo Malone candle): I purchased 1lb. of paraffin wax from Michael's craft store for $7.50, a package of 9 candle wicks for about $3 I think also from Michael's, my oil perfumes from OilPerfumery for appx. $11 each, and the 2 Jo Malone empty candle jars (we're going with jars now) for $20 on Mercari. I find that between offerup, Poshmark, eBay and Mercari, eBay and Mercari had the most reasonably priced candle jars and empty perfume bottles! I also purchased a teeny plastic syringe and a pack of tin pans from the dollar store for a total of $2. Accounting for only using 2 of my wicks, this project cost me $54 for 2 finished candles. An equivalent candle from Jo Malone costs $78 individually, so I'm pretty proud of my $27 ones! I'm sure it could've been done a bit cheaper had I not poured the entire bottle of oil perfume into my first candle, forcing me to use another bottle for the second candle been a bit more conservative with the amount of fragrance I added to my candles.
Note: I chose to use paraffin wax, despite online hysteria that it will cause cancer – authentic Jo Malone candles also are rumored to use paraffin wax because of their unobtrusive smell (and I didn't see any evidence that really convinced me that my candle would kill me). Soy wax has a very intense and distinctive smell that I found to be rather unpleasant, and I didn't want my perfumes fighting for odoriferous dominance! There's a massive collection of videos on what waxes work best for what on Youtube, take a look for yourself to see what might be the best option for you! I just chose this because the color was close to authentic, it was less stinky, and it was cheap.
I said f the rules and didn't match my scents to the original Jo Malone candle jars - I used JM Wild Strawberry and Parsley (so freakin' summery) and I used JM Pomegranate Noir (so not summery but deep and yummy regardless). I began by melting ½ lb. of the paraffin wax in my DIY double boiler. Wax is a BITCH to get out of your prized cookware, do not melt wax in something you care about. While I waited for the wax to melt, I hot glued my wick into the first jar. That's a lie that I just realized my next photo exposes - I gorilla glued it, which was a terrible idea that didn't work. Hot glue yours. I then attempted to use my dollar store syringe to suck out some of the oil perfume – it sprayed everywhere and my whole kitchen still smells like wild strawberry and parsley, 0/10 do not recommend. Instead, as I did with my second candle, simply remove the rollerball applicator and pour the oil perfume into the wax. Now I will say, there is a science to adding the oil at the right temperature depending on the type of wax and the shape of the candle, but I was on a mission and did not bother checking the temperature of the wax. I let it melt in the double boiler (and I never allowed the water below it to get to a full boil - it was that stage of teeny baby bubbles all over the bottom of the pan) and then waited about 5 minutes to ensure it was heated thoroughly. Next, it's time to fill the candle! This is where I was most thankful for my lil syringe. After several failed attempts to pick up the pan and pour the was, I realized that my potholders were completely saturated in wax, and that there was no easy or clean way to pour. Instead, I used the plastic syringe to suck up a bit of melted wax and transplant it into the jar. I'd highly recommend something like this to get the cleanest end results if you're a candle making noob like I am! Once you've filled the candle with the liquid wax, it's time to let it set (either on the counter or in the fridge). It will set on the outside relatively quickly, but I'd say it took a solid hour for it to be "done" to the point of being stable enough to move around. During this time, you'll need something to support the wick so it stands upright. I struggled, obviously. It was on my second candle that I realized a mechanical pencil clip (or pen clip) did an awesome job!BIG IMPORTANT FACTOID is that upon cooling, you candle will make a weird cratedivet in the middle - there's some scientific reason behind it, I'm just too lazy to find it again. That being said it is important that you don't put all of the wax into your candle jar on the first go - you need to save a bit to fill in the crater. Again, you'll let it set. After that, snip your wick and...
You have a Jo Malone candle! All things considered, I'm pretty proud with how they turned out! Had I just wanted them for decoration, they would have come out to less than $15 each - I will (probably) eventually burn them to enjoy the scent. They're both fragrant enough that you can smell them within a couple feet of walking by the candles. That being said, ½ bottle of the perfume oil I'm sure would have been plenty, I just have no self control. Save yourself some money for that next TB haul and DIY your next luxe candle! If there's any information I may have missed, please let me know - I'd be happy to fill in the gaps! I'm incredibly lazy and will 100% not proofread this before submitting. Thanks for being such a great community! 💛🥰
Edit: please look at the comments from people much wiser than I explaining some of the scientific-y bits I was too lazy to look into, super important lol
Any advice for Non-binary individuals wishing to transition?
Hi all, I hope you can excuse my ineptness when it comes to this. In essence, I wanted to know whether anyone knew of any options in the UK for an AMAB Non-Binary individual wishing to transition to a more effeminate body (hormones/bottom surgery). I have spent a solid six or so hours today browsing the web to find any options for enbies, with very little avail. I have tried looking through GenderCare, The London Transgender Clinic and GenderGP, among others, yet cannot find any information regarding surgical transitioning (the primary cause of my dysphoria). Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
Download any of these for free at https://oppfiles.com/585933 DM me if you have any requests for anything not on the list. If you want solution manuals/testbanks, you can also request them Almost all the books are in their latest editions and some of them are available in multiple editions too. Please subscribe the sub to find all the latest textbook releases. Enjoy! [Book] Art is an endangered species: a History of western art, Paleolithic Romanesque(self) 1 [BOOK] Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector by Shai Dromi(self) 2 [Book] Prehospital Emergency Care 11th Edition(self) 1 [Book] JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods 1st Edition by Edward Livingston, Roger Lewis(self) 3 [Book] Annual Editions: Anthropology 42/e, Elvio ANGELONI(self) 4 [Book] Donnelly, Seth 2019 The Lie of Global Prosperity: How Neoliberals Distort Data to Mask Poverty & Exploitation. Monthly Review Press.(self)NSFW 6 [Article] "What's Your Title?" - 'The Turn of the Screw.'(self) 3 [Article] Risk and survival of patients with head and neck cutaneous melanoma: national perspective. Al-Qurayshi Z et al(self) 1 [Book] [Taylor & Francis] Maritime Disputes and International Law: Disputed Waters and Seabed Resources in Asia and Europe by Constantinos Yiallourides(self) 2 [Book] Computer Network Security by Ali Sadiqui(self) 1 [Article] [Brill] Several articles from The Australian Year Book of International Law Volume 34(1)(self) 2 [Book]The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art(self) 1 [Book] (Taylor&Francis) Human Biological Diversity by Daniel E. Brown(self) 4 [Article] [tandfonline] Memory for emotional words: The role of semantic relatedness, encoding task and affective valence(self) 5 [Article] Please help me to find this paper :( Shippers' Transport Efficiency: The Balance Between Required and Available Capacity(self) 6 [Article] [Heinonline] Trusts in Mixed Legal Systems: A Challenge to Comparative Trust Law - Michael Milo and Jan Smits(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] Non-Variation Clause - A Further Postscript(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] Force Majeure and Hardship Under The Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts - Joseph M Perillo(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] The Enforcement of an Oral Pactum de non Petendo Where a Contract Contains a Non-Variation Clause - Tukishi Manamela(self) 4 [Article] [Brill] Joint Development of Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in the South China Sea by John Abrahamson(self) 2 [BOOK] Med School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Medical School Experience: By Students, for Students(self) 4 [Book] [Bloomsbury] The Hague Trusts Convention: Scope, Application and Preliminary Issues - Jonathan Harris(self) 4 [Article] The UNIDROIT Principles and the Arbitral Tribunals - Fabio Bortoli(self) 2 [Article] The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Idiopathic Hypersomnia: A Pilot Study(self) 4 [Book] [Bloomsbury] The South China Sea Arbitration Toward an International Legal Order in the Oceans by Yoshifumi Tanaka(self) 1 [book] International Law Commission and Future of Int. 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It’s time for MAME 0.218, the first MAME release of 2020! We’ve added a couple of very interesting alternate versions of systems this month. One is a location test version of NMK’s GunNail, with different stage order, wider player shot patterns, a larger player hitbox, and lots of other differences from the final release. The other is The Last Apostle Puppetshow, an incredibly rare export version of Home Data’s Reikai Doushi. Also significant is a newer version Valadon Automation’s Super Bagman. There’s been enough progress made on Konami’s medal games for a number of them to be considered working, including Buttobi Striker, Dam Dam Boy, Korokoro Pensuke, Shuriken Boy and Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Capsule. Don’t expect too much in terms of gameplay though — they’re essentially gambling games for children. There are several major computer emulation advances in this release, in completely different areas. Possibly most exciting is the ability to install and run Windows NT on the MIPS Magnum R4000 “Jazz” workstation, with working networking. With the assistance of Ash Wolf, MAME now emulates the Psion Series 5mx PDA. Psion’s EPOC32 operating system is the direct ancestor of the Symbian operating system, that powered a generation of smartphones. IDE and SCSI hard disk support for Acorn 8-bit systems has been added, the latter being one of the components of the BBC Domesday Project system. In PC emulation, Windows 3.1 is now usable with S3 ViRGE accelerated 2D video drivers. F.Ulivi has contributed microcode-level emulation of the iSBC-202 floppy controller for the Intel Intellec MDS-II system, adding 8" floppy disk support. Of course there are plenty of other improvements and additions, including re-dumps of all the incorrectly dumped GameKing cartridges, disassemblers for PACE, WE32100 and “RipFire” 88000, better Geneve 9640 emulation, and plenty of working software list additions. You can get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page (note that 32-bit Windows binaries and “zip-in-zip” source code are no longer supplied).
MAME Testers Bugs Fixed
04300: [DIP/Input] (cliffhgr.cpp) cliffhgr, cliffhnga: DIP switch values are reversed for “Short Scenes”. (italiandoh)
06897: [Graphics] (stfight.cpp) empcity: Red screen during scene transitions. (sasuke)
07336: [Sound] (intv.cpp) intv, intvoice [b17bomb]: No speech in Mattel Intellivision games. [iwilliamson]
07516: [Crash/Freeze] (twins.cpp) twins, twinsed2: Games lock up or reset after level 1-5. (Angelo Salese)
07530: [Crash/Freeze] (apollo.cpp) dn3000, dn3500, dn5500: Resetting via typing RE crashes the emulator. (Ivan Vangelista)
07531: [Crash/Freeze] (pong.cpp) breakout: MAME crashes with exception with -video bgfx. (Couriersud)
07533: [Graphics] (bnstars.cpp) bnstars1: Broken sprites and missing graphics. (cam900)
07534: [Timing] (apple2e.cpp) apple2ee: Time advances too quickly when using Thunderclock. (R. Belmont)
07554: [Graphics] (m68705prg.cpp) All machines in m68705prg.cpp no longer show LED values (default 000) when booting. (hap)
New working machines
The Apprentice (Senario, Plug and Play) [Sean Riddle, David Haywood]
Big Bonus Slots (Senario, Plug and Play) [Sead Riddle, David Haywood]
Conny PDC100 - Pocket Dream Console [Sean Riddle, David Haywood]
Cosmo Girl (Senario, Plug and Play) [Sean Riddle, David Haywood]
Takara / SSD Company LTD / newgent e-kara (Spain, includes 3 songs) [Sean Riddle, ClawGrip]
VS Computer Mahjong [ShouTime]
Wild Cat 3 (CMV4 hardware) [Ioannis Bampoulas]
ZIDA 4DVS [rfka01]
New working software list additions
Air Navigation Trainer (cleanly cracked), Barron's Computer SAT Study Program (Version 1.0) (cleanly cracked), The Boy Jesus (cleanly cracked), Diascriptive Reading I (cleanly cracked), Green Globs and Graphing Equations (cleanly cracked), In Search of the Most Amazing Thing (First Revision) (cleanly cracked), Instant Recall (Version 1.1) (cleanly cracked), Magic Mailer (Version 1.1) (cleanly cracked), MicroChess (Version 2.0) (cleanly cracked), Mind Over Minors (cleanly cracked), The Spy's Adventures in North America (Version 1987-10-31) (cleanly cracked), Temple of Apshai (cleanly cracked), What's My Logic? (Version 1.0) (cleanly cracked), Wiziprint (Version 2.01) (cleanly cracked) [4am, Firehawke]
Adventure Creator (cleanly cracked), Construct-A-Word II (cleanly cracked), Life Science (cleanly cracked), MIDI/4 (Revision 5) (cleanly cracked), The Quarter Mile (Version 4.0) (800K 3.5") (cleanly cracked) [4am, san, Firehawke]
apple2_flop_orig: The Abyssal Zone, Adventure, Adventure Construction Set, Alien Typhoon, The Alpine Encounter, Amazon, Amnesia, The Ancient Art of War, Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur, The Bard's Tale, Borg, The Breckenridge Caper of 1798, Chess (Odesta) (Version 7.0), Crown of Arthain, Cuban Fantasy, The Dark Heart of Uukrul, Dave Winfield's Batter Up!, Diamond Mine, Dinosaur Days Plus!, Drug Alert!, Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (Version 1), Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (Version 2), Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (Version 3), Dunjonquest: The Temple of Apshai (Revision 1), Dunjonquest: The Temple of Apshai (Revision 2), Dunjonquest: The Temple of Apshai (Revision 3), Dunjonquest: The Temple of Apshai (Revision 4), Earth Orbit Stations, Ecology Simulations II, Galactic Attack, Gears, Gold Rush! (Version 1.0M), Green Globs and Graphing Equations, Horizon V, The Hunt for Red October, In Search of the Most Amazing Thing, Interpreting Graphs, Into The Eagle's Nest, Journey (version 16), King's Bounty, Koronis Rift, Lords of Karma, Neuromancer, New World, Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It (Release 19 / 870722), Now You See It, Now You Don't - Was it there? Was it missing?, Portal, Quest for the Scarlet Letter, Questprobe featuring The Hulk (Version 2.3/127), Rambo: First Blood Part II, Shogun, Southern Command, Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter, Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator, SwordThrust, Tangled Tales, Thrilogy, Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds (Version PV3S2V1/10-MAR-82), Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (Version 2.1), Wiziprint (Version 2.1), Xyphus, Zork Zero [4am, Firehawke]
bbcb_flop: AMX Stop Press, BBC-Z88 Transfer Link, Beeb OPL: AdLib Christmas Carols, Beeb OPL: AdLib Classical Favourites #1, Beeb OPL: AdLib Jukebox, Beeb OPL: AdLib Jukebox Bonus Disc, Beeb OPL: AdLib Pop/Rock Grooves, Beeb OPL: Brix, Beeb OPL: Droplay, Beeb OPL: DynaBlaster, Beeb OPL: Jill of the Jungle, Beeb OPL: KiloBlaster, Beeb OPL: Solar Winds, Beeb OPL: Wacky Wheels, Beeb OPL: Xargon, Beeb OPL: Zone 66, BeebSID 19 - Classical, Chauffeur, Christmas Crackers, Enigma, EV1 Camera Interface, Harston ADFS System Disk 6.10, Icon Art Master, The Krystal Connection, MagScan - The Beebug Bibliography Disc v1.31, MEDL Tracker Ball Utilities, Mountain Panic, MR4200 32K RAM Board, Paranoid, UTILRAM: The Utility RAM, Video Camera Interface, VideoNuLA Support Disc, The Wapping Editor Utilities 1.21, The Wapping Editor Utilities 1.30, White Light, Zap! [Nigel Barnes]
BMX Racers (set 4, Visiload loaders), The CF Power Pack Tape 5, Hero of the Golden Talisman, Match Point (set 2), Mermaid Madness, On Court Tennis, On Field Football, Outlaws, Rad Ramp Racer, Run the Gauntlet, Short Circuit, Skate Rock Simulator, Space Hunter, Spellbound, Sweep, Talladega, Yogi's Great Escape (set 2) [FakeShemp]
Hole In One [FakeShemp, c64tapes.org]
Emit Vol. 3 - Watashi ni Sayonara o, The New Zealand Story (HMA-213) [redump.org, r09]
Shooting Towns [rockleevk, r09]
gameking: 4 in 1 - SeaGuard + Whirlybird + Spectask + Captain (set 2), 4 in 1 - Three Battles + Light Sword + Risker + Metal Deform (1MB cartridge), 4 in 1 Vol. 10 - Soldier + Seatercel + General + Seafight (1MB cartridge), [TeamEurope, SSJ]
gmaster: Finite Zone [SSJ, Maxime Cohin, PeT]
UCSD p-System [Davide Cavalca]
Apogee Software Bonus Disk (Jumpman Lives!, Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons) [Justin Kerk]
ibm5170: Goal!, Street Fighter II [ArcadeShadow]
jupace_cass: Forth Surround, Superchess II [Robbbert]
jupace_snap: Casse Briques, Champs De Mines, Millipede, Pacman, Valkyr [Robbbert]
megadriv: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (World, prototype 19920821), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (World, prototype 19920914) [drx, FakeShemp]
n64: 007 - The World Is Not Enough (prototype, version 21) [Paulweeze71, FakeShemp]
casloopy: Little Romance, Video Seal Wordprocessor [SSJ, TeamEurope]
gmaster: Space Warrior [SSJ, Maxime Cohin, PeT]
iqunlim_cart: Englisch für Anfänger [TeamEurope]
pi_storyreader_cart: Toy Story 2 [Sean Riddle, ClawGrip]
pi_storyreader_v2_cart: Toy Story 2 [Sean Riddle, ClawGrip]
sega_beena_cart: Kazoku Minna no Nouryoku Trainer, Meet Bub-Bub to Eigo Tanken, Oshare Majo Love and Berry-Cute ni Oshare, Oshare ni Henshin HeartCatch PreCure!, Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Chinou Ikusei Pokémon Daiundoukai [TeamEurope]
telestory_cart: La Cenicienta - Bellezas en Flor / Cinderella - Beauties in Bloom (Spain), El Rey León II - El orgullo de Simba / The Lion King II - Simba's Pride (Spain), Winnie the Pooh - Salta, Tigger, Salta / Winnie the Pooh - Bounce, Tigger, Bounce (Spain) [Sean Riddle, ClawGrip]
vbaby_cart: El Jardín de los Sueños... (Spain) [Sean Riddle, ClawGrip]
bus/ss50/dc5.cpp: Added configuration option to force ready when motor is enabled. [68bit]
Allows SWTBUG to boot without patching the ROM to ignore the ready status.
formats/ap2_dsk.cpp: Don’t use symbolic names in the options specification, as the values are used as preprocessor tokens. [68bit]
cpu/t11: Changed disassembler and register display to use octal number format, and fixed disassembly of SOB instruction. [AJR]
cpu/v60: Sign-extend displacements for various addressing modes and DB/TB instructions. [AJR, Tahg]
Added disassembler and preliminary emulation for National Semiconductor PACE CPU architecture. [AJR]
Added disassembler AT&T WE32100 CPU architecture. [AJR]
rendebgfx: Fixed incorrect swapping of red and blue components of screen tint. [AJR]
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