Lined crocs without holes

Action and Non-Action

2023.05.30 23:43 rafaelwm1982 Action and Non-Action

Action that is flexible to both means and ends is wu-wei, literally non-action. It refers to a type of activity that engages in action without violating the nature of the object that is acted upon or the nature of the instrumental context in which the action takes place. An understanding of this insight can be gained by simply contemplating the distinct functions of a spoon, fork and knife. The knife is used for cutting, the fork and spoon are used for moving and raising solids and liquids. The spoon and fork can be used for cutting, but that is not their natural function. In this sense, wu-wei is concerned with the appropriate or inappropriate use of a tool. A tool that is appropriate arises in the world effortlessly and efficiently. Furthermore, beside the instrumental context, there is a larger human context in which the tool must fit. This fittingness is first and foremost an aesthetic matter that concerns sensibility. An insensibility to the larger context that includes aesthetic, epistemological, and religious values makes the introduction of the tool, intruding and unnatural. Technological devices born out of an exclusive focus on efficiency impose themselves on the world, while technologies that fit in the larger context of human existence grow out of it. Action that is technological in the sense of wu-wei, then, is natural and necessary.
The concept of Te in the Tao Te Ching has both moral and non-moral implications. It has been translated both as 'power' and as 'virtue'. A thing, such as a pencil, has its own Te, an intrinsic power to be what it is and to do what it does best. For example, there are surfaces which a pencil marks better than any other tool for writing, Everything, including artificial objects, have a Te. A spoon has its own natural way of being in the sense that it fits precisely the context in which it is used. (Fung Yu-lan, 101). The Te, therefore, is the power that allows for effective action. The Te of the spoon is not in the spoon apart from its user; it is not intrinsic to the spoon left unused on the table. It manifests itself only in the spoon while-in-use, and only if the spoon-in-use does not violate the integrity and simplicity of the single manifold.
[According to the theory of having-no-activity, a man should restrict his activities to what is necessary and what is natural. ‘Necessary’ means necessary to the achievement of a certain purpose, and never over-doing. ‘Natural’ means following one’s Te with no arbitrary effort. In doing this one should take simplicity as the guiding principle of life. (Fung Yu-lan, 101)]
If the spoon is too heavy, then it does not fit in the natural order established by the context of eating a meal. If the spoon is too ugly (or too beautiful), it imposes itself on the attention of its users. The principle of the mean is operative here. The spoon should neither be too long nor too short, neither too pointed nor too rounded, neither too cupped nor too flat. Here virtue, Te, is the mean between excess and defect. The considerations that determine what is appropriate are virtually endless and engage not only the sensibilities of the engineer, but also those of the artist and the metaphysician.
Te has moral implications. A world moved by wu-wei is not beyond good and evil, but it is beyond fixed characterizations of what good and evil are. There would be no need to distinguish between good action and evil action, between good and bad machines, because actions and devices would arise naturally and organically. This fitting-into the natural order means fitting-in the single manifold of the good, the true, the useful, and the holy that is humanity, since the proper sphere for technology is given by the relationship between the user and the tool. In this sense, some technologies would be naturally acceptable, while some would be rejected. Taoist ethics is to be found at the level of aesthetic sensibility, not of moral or political understanding. Sensibility is set in motion by the type of relationship established between the human and the machine and the larger context of instrumental relationships.
A good spoon, one that is virtuous, that has Te, is not too heavy and it is not too light; the metal is neither too thick nor thin. It is polished to the degree that food does not easily stick to it. It is balanced so that it can be held easily. All of these properties are part of efficiency. The spoon could be used as a weapon to injure someone, and we may judge that to be unethical, but that limitation does not need to be imposed on the spoon from the outside by ethical standards. The spoon does not make a very efficient weapon, particularly if your opponent has a sword. Its inefficiency limits it from being used unethically. The spoon is also part of an instrumental complex, that is, a system of instrumental relationships. So the shape of the spoon should conform to the shapes of the cups and bowls with which it is used. This fitting into to the instrumental complex is part of its efficiency. In all of these cases we are talking about what makes a “good” spoon. Good in the sense of efficiency flows into good in an ethical sense. Technologies that pollute the air and water that we and other living things breathe and drink are, in the context of a consideration of ends, inefficient and ineffective, but they are also morally wrong in a broader sense than the standards of a merely human ethic.
This virtue or power of Te results in an effortless form of action that does not require deliberation about means and ends. It is efficient action but action without instrumental thinking. Flowing water is used in the Taoist literature as an analogy for the path of the Tao informed by such non-instrumental thinking. Flowing water takes the shape of its container. It is without will or plan or any form of its own. It either flows around or over obstacles, or over time wears them away. Sometimes it rises up as a powerful force; at other times it is yielding and weak. The Tao Te Ching evokes the effortless effectiveness of water in these few lines: “There is nothing softer and weaker than water, and yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things…. All the world knows that the weak overcomes the strong and the soft overcomes the hard, but none can practice it” (Chan, 174-175). The difficulty of putting effortless action into practice is the result of the tendency to yield to linear instrumental thinking that is not open to redefining means and ends and which encounters the world with opposition and resistance. Presumably this is what the gardener saw in the machine that he refused to use.
From: Technological Paradigm in Ancient Taoism by George Teschner
submitted by rafaelwm1982 to taoism_v2 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:42 Smellmy6thchakra Mermaid Parade Festival In Marshall Is Saturday!

Mermaid Parade Festival In Marshall Is Saturday! submitted by Smellmy6thchakra to FriendlyAsheville [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:41 not_suze iPhone 3G repair

In the fall of 2014, my iPhone 3G suddenly never started back up one morning. The battery was already very shotty back then, it would die by the end of the night. I would always leave it charging over night and have it start back up every morning, but one day it never did. I was in the middle of my last year of college, and didn’t have time to get it repaired, so it’s been left unattended for years.
I desperately want the photos on it back. Those pictures were during some of the best years of my life. I would back up the photos on a hard drive, but tragically said drive also does the same week as my phone. It was a dark time. This winter I took it to a repair place in Manhattan that could work on old iPhones, but after a month, they told me they didn’t have the right equipment to export it. Something along those lines, I don’t quite remember.
Give it to me straight: what are my chances of getting these photos back? is there any place out there that could help me? Without charging me 5k of course.
submitted by not_suze to techsupport [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:38 NineofAllTrades People Who Block Traffic food!

Should this not apply?
"Unnecessary slow driving prohibited 132 (1) No motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway at such a slow rate of speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic thereon except when the slow rate of speed is necessary for safe operation having regard to all the circumstances. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 132 (1)."
I mean, good luck having it actually policed, but we have enough traffic problems around here already without people lining up for their double-doubles or big mac's out onto the road.
submitted by NineofAllTrades to waterloo [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:37 hpesoj33 Options for having a centered plate in the front and back without drilling any holes

My actual plates are coming in soon and I wanted to put them on without having to drill into my car. The car is a 2021 m340i X-Drive. I don't like the look of the off centered plates. Any suggestions would help.
submitted by hpesoj33 to BMW [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:36 jules99b A History of Ice Dance, From the 1950s Until Now: A Long Form Series -- Part 1

Hello all! It’s the offseason and for some reason (probably cuz I'm insane but I feel that's implied at this point) I got inspired to write up a history of my favorite figure skating discipline: ice dance. This is a project of love. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all things but I like to think my time as an ice dance fan has given me a good amount of perspective and the ability to view the current state of ice dance within the context of what has come before and what has influenced the current state of affairs. All of that said, I’ve decided to highlight eras in ice dance, mostly by Olympic cycle, to bring attention to ice dancers who have had tremendous impact on the sport as well as to appreciate how far ice dance has come in its 70-year history. I’ll be posting this on Tuesdays and Saturdays (in ET) for everyone to read and take in at their own pace to pass the offseason by. Without further ado, here’s to starting this passion project.

Part 1: Early Beginnings, 1952-1980
I debated back and forth whether to separate these years out further given the sheer amount of time covered. However, the complete lack of footage for a vast swath of the World Championships that occurred from 1952 to 1970 was the ultimate decider in realizing that those years simply needed to be included in this grouping of years in order to be worth posting. This, of course, also colors my assessment of this era. But I hope to bring an objective view to the early beginnings of ice dance.
The first World Championships for ice dance were held in 1952 in Paris, an addition 44 years in the making. Nine pairs competed in front of 7 judges for the honor of becoming the first ever World Champion in ice dance, an honor that ultimately went to the British pair of Jean Westwood and Lawrence Demmy. It’s unclear what exactly was competed at that first Worlds. The placing system simply asked the judges where they felt a couple should place, added the numbers up, and posted the standings. For example, if all 7 judges placed a couple first, the pair would have 7 points. So it’s hard to tell if more than one program was ever performed.
Although footage for this first Worlds does not exist, we are lucky that footage from Westwood/Demmy’s 1954 win in Oslo was preserved to some extent. The first thing to strike a viewer about Westwood/Demmy, beyond the fact that the music from the event was not captured, was the extended use of the Killian hold, an emphasis on synchronized leg movement and lines, as well as the slower and purposeful movement across the ice. This was early ice dance. The goal for couples in the 1950s and even 1960s was to translate ballroom of the time onto the ice as best as they could. On top of that, we see some early staples of the discipline, like close holds and synchronization, take root almost as soon as the sport could be judged.
The 1950s and 1960s featured a short period of British domination in ice dance, briefly interrupted by a 4 year span where the Czechoslovakian sibling pair of Eva Romanova and Pavel Roman took home 4 titles. Watching this pair, it becomes clear how the sport changed in a short amount of time. Romanova/Roman keep in the spirit of Westwood/Demmy before them but now feature quick changes in hold and more speed than their predecessors. Or at the very least, this is the first recorded instance where this is captured accurately. And while the music is not captured here, given the change in the style of dance, it is likely that music and tempo changes were a requirement at this early stage. This is corroborated by the first ice dance program whose music was captured, the winning program from Diane TowleBernard Ford in 1966. An interesting note in TowleFord’s program is the introduction of small lifts, spins, and Towler’s switching of positions over the ice, lying nearly flat on the ice at one point. The program features 3 music changes.
You may now be wondering how a discipline so intrinsically linked to the Soviet Union and Russia can have been left out of this write up for this long. Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. The reign of British dance came to a screeching halt in the 1969-1970 season, when an Elena Tchaikovskaya coached team of Lyudmila Pakhomova and Alexander Gorshkov earned their first world title at the 1970 Worlds. The 1969 World Silver medalists became the first in a long line of Soviet dancers to stand on the top spot.
Pakhomova/Gorshkov were primarily known for their more dramatic style. As seen prior, ice dance had been steadily becoming more athletic over the years, increasing in speed and difficulty as the years went on. Pakhomova/Gorshkov were among the 2 pairs (alongside America’s Judy SchwomeyeJames Sladky) who really emphasized the athleticism that the event could contain. On top of that, Pakhomova/Gorshkov often picked music that was dynamic and allowed Pakhomova to shine as a performer. Their style is especially apparent in the compulsory they originated, the Tango Romantica, where the dramaticism of the tango is just as important as the tango movements. This was the early stages of ice dance becoming not just a transition of ballroom onto the ice but also a performance in and of itself. SchwomeyeSladky meanwhile were a tad more traditional, adhering more closely to the origins of the sport and its roots to dance. The inventors of the Yankee Polka themselves (now I am conflicted on how I feel about them haha) featured numerous music and tempo changes in their program to cover multiple forms of dance in a short amount of time. Controversy started early in ice dance’s history, as many felt Gorshkov wasn’t as strong a skater as Pakhomova and the American pair of SchwomeyeSladky should have won in 1970. Alas, figure skating judging seems destined to generate controversy. Worth noting here, the first compulsory dance that has a record of being competed was in 1968, which makes Pakhomova/Gorshkov and SchwomeyeSladky among the first to medal with the new required dance. Also worth noting, the 70s saw a lot more variety in holds, with closed holds being the predominant hold but side by side hand holding also featured in programs along with parallel skating.
It's around this time that SchwomeyeSladky began to advocate for the inclusion of ice dance into the Olympics. In a New York Times article from 1972, Judy Schwomeyer was quoted as saying that ice dance was a different kind of sport that used different muscles but the athletes worked just as hard. The pair had skated on Olympic ice when ice dance was presented as a demonstration sport in 1968, with the IOC president in attendance to evaluate the validity of the sport for Olympic competition. They must have made a decent impression, as the IOC approved ice dance as an Olympic sport to be competed in 1976. Although SchowmeyeSladky didn’t make it to compete on the Olympic rings, their demonstration of the sport’s potential for the Olympic audience was hugely influential to the subsequent inclusion in the Olympics.
The 1976 Olympics marked the first time that ice dance would be viewed by the general public and the forerunners were Pakhomova/Gorshkov, who had won 4 world titles by this time, after not attending the 1975 Worlds. This didn’t stop them from standing on top of the Olympic podium for the first time in Olympic history. Their free dance featured numerous dance style, music, and tempo changes. These dance styles included blues/jazz and tango among others, with an emphasis on big movements that drew attention rather than necessarily strictly translating ballroom to ice. Rather, the “vibe” of the dance, so to speak, was of more import to Pakhomova/Gorshkov than performing movements that were reminiscent of ballroom choreography.
Although Pakhomova/Gorshkov were synonymous with 1970s ice dance at this point, it was the 1976 Olympic silver medalists coached by Tatiana Tarasova who appeared to have more of an impact on the dancers that came after them. Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov won the 1975 World title in Pakhomova/Gorshkov’s absence and swiftly won the 1977 World title after the Olympic champions’ retirement. Moiseeva/Minenkov were a striking pair and I feel like their programs were some of the first where really interesting stuff was happening choreographically. If Pakhomova/Gorskov emphasized the dramatic, Moiseeva/Minenkov cranked that up to an 11. If there was a time to point to when modern dance started seeping into ice dance, this is likely the pair to point to. Still under the rules of the time requiring multiple music and tempo changes, Moiseeva/Minenkov often opted for holding positions across the ice or repeating positions across the ice. Their balletic quality was in sharp contrast to the couple who had just retired as well as the other couples who had dominated in the same time. Where previous couples emphasized sharp movements, Moiseeva/Minenkov emphasized soft transitions. The style was interesting and exciting, but ultimately only won them 2 titles by the time they retired in 1982.
Instead of the aforementioned pair, it was a young Natalia Linichuk/Gennadi Karponosov, coached by Tchaikovskaya, who quickly rose up the ranks to claim 2 World titles and the 1980 Olympic title. Linichuk/Karponosov are who I like to affectionately name the most forgettable Olympic gold medalists in ice dance. Unsurprisingly given the shared coach, their style was similar to Pakhomova/Gorshkov’s, with the emphasis being on sharp, strong movements on ice and the required music changes being used to really draw attention to this (including…what I can only describe as rodeo music).
This era ultimately ended with a slight preview of what was to come. Krisztina Regoczy/Andras Sallay were the Olympic silver medalists in 1980 and decided to end their career at that year’s Worlds. The team coached by Betty Callaway had an inspired free dance, that incorporated music that was similar across the board with different speeds instead of drastically different music like their Soviet competitors. The stops necessitated by the switch in music were incorporated into the choreography to make the free dance more seamless. And while these are things we take for granted now, watching this program compared with the offering from Linichuk/Karponosov really draws these things into sharp focus as innovative for the time.
As if to emphasize a swift changing of the guard, as Regoczy/Sallay walked off the ice at the 1980 Worlds, ready to accept their sole World title and the first non-Soviet World title since 1969, a fellow student of Betty Callaway waited rinkside to congratulate Regoczy on a job well done. Her name? Jayne Torvill.
submitted by jules99b to FigureSkating [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:34 jhk84 First time playing. Going in blind. Just beat the 4th Palace here is wave 4 of my way off predictions.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!
I actually wrote up a post right after the 4th palace. Then I played a bit and they dropped so much more info that I had to toss it. Tomorrow is the trip to Hawaii so I thought this was a good point to stop and make another round of predictions.
The 4th palace is my favorite so far. There was so much symbolism to look into and I really liked the whole cursed gem bit. The end boss was a little annoying.
Things are really picking up pace. I had so many questions that were answered like 20 min later. They're really starting reveal some important details.
This is what I have as of now. In addition to my way off predictions there are also a few bits of info I'm that I'm not sure how they fit yet and some general impressions. I tried to keep it short (I failed).
Please no spoilers for any of the Persona games. This is my first and I plan on picking up 3/4.
After Palace 1 predictions :
After Palace 2 prediction :
After Palace 3 predictions:

Futaba/Alibaba and somehow Morgana
---tinfoil hat time---
Twins / Butterfly Lady
Sae's Boss / Shido

Limo Girl.
Opening Casino Heist

Best Girl current rankings - Nothing is set yet no decisions have been made just the current rankings.
Best Bro current rankings.
Best Kitty current rankings.
submitted by jhk84 to Persona5 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:34 DICK_WITTYTON How do you work with toposolids in Revit 2024?

I’ve been wrestling with the new toposolid tool in Revit 2024, and whilst I can see it’s an obvious step in the right direction, autodesk are pretty vague on how best to use them… I have quite a complex cut and fill site that I’m currently working on in 2024, and for the life of me I can’t work out the best way to cut retained earth elements or to add fill to the topo.
So far the options it appears are for cutting earthworks:
All of the above methods seem to need to be applied to a ‘new’ copy of the original/existing toposolid, otherwise topo regions and surfaces in the existing phase start messing up? Has anybody else found this?
And for adding ‘fill’ earthworks:
Also… the topo region element of toposolids - whilst it looks good in principle - why is there no ability to set the height of the top of the region and not just the base? It means that when I get a topo from our surveyors with an existing path height, for instance, I have to reduce all their levels by the kerb height to keep using a single toposolid it seems. Are we just doomed to always have to use split toposolids, only now without the ability to merge (as you could previously with topo surfaces).
Do people have any wisdom or links to some good tutorials on how to achieve these things in Revit? I really want to love this new tool but I’m really struggling with it at the moment. Sorry for the rambling wall of text, thanks in advance for any good tips.
submitted by DICK_WITTYTON to Revit [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:31 Andy-_- Hank’s Lotto Ball “win”

I am a fan of Henry ‘Hank’ Lockwood. I regularly consume his content and consistently root for his personal development and professional success. I cheered him as he learned to read on air, I supported him when he was simultaneously banned from every rideshare service, and I felt his despair when he was cucked by a coworker who routinely cosplays as a homeless man. But, whatever you feel about Hank, it is undeniable that his transformation from an uneducated drunken masshole into a legitimate corporate powerhouse is nothing short of amazing. I for one hold Hank in high esteem.
However, it is because of this high esteem that I must question Hank’s recent lottery ball “win”. Without mincing words, I do not believe that Hank’s recent “win” was legitimate, and I feel that everyone is overlooking obvious issues in order to gift Hank a victory. Moreover, I do not believe that this gift comes from a place of respect, but instead comes from a misguided sense of pity. To be clear, Hank does not need pity victories. He is not a charity case, he is not legally disabled, he can claim victories on his own.
On the May 12, 2023, episode of Pardon My Take, Hank was credited with correctly predicting the Lottery Ball. However, Hank only selected the winning number after receiving direct material assistance from another person. Specifically, Hank established specific intent to select a non-winning number, but another person interceded, taking this non-winning number, and allowing Hank a second selection. After receiving this help, Hank went on to select a different, and ultimately “winning” number. Selecting the correct number with help from another and effectively being granted two selections should not result in a “win”. Rather it should result in a rules violation and a general penalty. To use a sports analogy, this situation is akin to a violation of PGA Rule 10.2b – Other Help.
I do not know why everyone else discounts this line of thinking especially given that Hank agrees that his win is not legitimate. Upon “winning” Hank responded “you forced me into getting it . . . like if you could have, if you would just let me do my thing, I wouldn’t have gotten it . . . I thank you forever, that is one of the best things you’ve ever done for me”. Hank does not say I won of my own skill and merit, rather he says you’ve done it for me, you caused me to win. Hank is too good to accept “victory” on these terms he does not need the charity. The “win” is not legitimate, and it should be stricken.
I don’t know how everyone feels about this issue, but on the next episode of Pardon My Take I’d like BigCat ask each person on the show if they have gotten the Lottery Ball unassisted and see how everyone responds. I think that Hank will agree that he was unfairly assisted in his “win” and commit to proving himself by winning on his own.
You are better than this Mr. Lockwood. Do it. It’s easy for you. Do it on your own and prove the haters wrong.
submitted by Andy-_- to PardonMyTake [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:28 kryse_333 How to report toxic/rude coworker?

Started a new totally remote job, absolutely the best job I've ever had and I love it all except... One bitchy coworker. I've tried to be nice, always polite but I think it's reaching a point where I feel I have to report him for inappropriate comments and behaviour towards me.
I have to work closely with him so not speaking to him is inevitable although I try my best not to. The few times we try to speak, he always complains that he is busy and takes it out on me and just a shitty communicator in general which is affecting my work. He also repeats my name before saying anything in a very condescending way like speaking to a child. He's fairly new although been here longer than me and as I'm new I don't want to cause a shit storm and suffer any negative consequences.
At one point there was a brief escalation of this where he talked shit about me behind my back and saying some things that aren't true who then reported it to the boss. I wasn't in on it so I don't know what was said but I was infuriated. I had a brief private talk with the boss but the topic was never brought up, although it was at the tip of my tongue I fought to not bring anything up and it was momentarily resolved. Now his attitude is getting worse and he said some specific things to me that was out of line , it was not recorded as it was a call so I don't have anything in writing.
My other coworker who is nice to me said i should speak up if I ever have concerns and feel harassed but I am still worried if it's a good idea and how to even report this without turning this into a he said she said bs? I thought of speaking to the coworker first to ask for advice but I don't want to get them further involved making it awkward for everyone and I also can't trust anyone at the end of the day as I don't truly know them either.
I have a meeting with my boss to discuss how things are going with me and not sure how to approach this. I was told to speak up if there are any concerns but I am paranoid as I lost several jobs before this out of the blue and still in my probationary period. Does anyone have any experience with this and how should I proceed?
submitted by kryse_333 to work [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:28 kasutori_Jack 2023 r/basbeall Power Rankings -- Week 9 : Tuesday Ranks Bring Rangers Threatening Top Spot, Mariners and San Francisco Ride Giant Seas, Cardinals Lose Altitude, If Rooting for Reds Voter They Get +1

Hey Sportsfans — it's time for Week 9 of baseball Power Rankings: It may be Tuesday, but still thought about how much we dislike your favorite team 8 Days a Week. Also pool side blackjack is now my favorite part of Las Vegas. John Fisher, please ignore.
Every voter has their own style / system and the only voting instructions are these:
"To an extent determined individually, you must take into account how strong a team is right now and likely to be going forward. You must, to some degree, give weight to the events and games of the previous week."
TRANSPARENCY: This link will show you who voted each team where and has added neat statistics!
New Voter Chance: Are you a fan of the Dodgers? Why? We have a new voter oppening. Please see the info in threa ddetails that will be posted shortly and a link added here. when up.
If something is a little messed up, feel free to pester me let me know.
Total Votes: 28 of 29. So close.
# Team Δ Comment Record
1 Rays 0 Everyone's favorite myliobatiformes played another good week of baseball with the return of Tyler Glasnow. The Rays took an exciting series against the Dodgers after recharging during a weird mid-series rest day against the Blue Jays. Wander Franco is making his case to be starting SS in the All-Star Game, just make sure you don't accidentally vote for one of his brothers. It's still super weird to watch the offense carry while the bullpen struggles, but with guys coming back it should be f--, wait, Fairbanks is hurt again. 39-17
2 Rangers +1 Series wins against both the Pirates and Orioles the last week has the club holding the 3rd best overall record in the majors. Go Stars. We're still having fun. 34-19
3 Braves -1 3-4 last week and we started this week off with a loss against the Oakland "Triple A's" which is not good Bob. On the VERY brightside, we saw Soroka pitch from an MLB mound for the first time in almost 3 years. He pitched well and we need him to perform as we are absolutely depleted by injuries. Riley is starting to come to life. We hold a 4 game lead on the scond place MARLINS. Our division doesn't want to take advantage of our recent struggles, that's fine by me. 32-22
4 Dodgers +1 33-22
5 Orioles -1 A few weeks ago, I said if the Orioles can go at least .500 in May then they are for real. They wrapped up a winning month yesterday and have three games to go. They continue to play well, even though they lost the series against the Rangers, and seem to play better away from Camden Yards. They did, however, send Grayson Rodriguez down this week to AAA. He just has some stuff to figure out. He was getting crushed in his past few starts, and it was the right move to make. This solidifies the fact they need a frontline starter if they are going to make a serious push to get to and make noise in the post-season. 34-20
6 Astros 0 Jose Abreu finally hit a home run. All is right with the world. Unless the world's name is Lance McCullers Jr., who had another discomforting setback and we have no idea when we will see him this year. I still blame his hair. Anyway, our other Jose hit a grand slam at MMP this weekend. Where have we heard that before? 31-22
7 Yankees 0 It certainly would’ve been nice to take 2/3 from Baltimore, but it’s very hard to be mad at the Yankees’ month of May. Since May 1, the Yankees are 18-9, a huge turnaround from a .500 April. As we enter the dog days of summer, the top of the AL East is tightening up, but the Yankees don’t face either of the teams ahead of them again until July. The Yankees have to keep playing at this pace, and a Stanton (and maybe Rodon??) return could seriously help that. 33-23
8 D-Backs +1 The Diamondbacks had a decent week, barely missing out on a sweep of the Phillies before dropping a series to the Red Sox. The offense gets on base but has been allergic to driving in RISP, and the starting rotation continues to be a merry-go-round, as none of the rookie pitchers on the team seem to be able to string together several good starts in a row without getting blown up once or twice. 31-23
9 Blue Jays +1 The Jays' first series win since May 14th pulled us out of a bad-vibes tailspin the likes of which this fanbase hasn't seen since, well, the last time everybody freaked out over a losing streak. The usual suspects' continued confounding slow starts (Manoah, Kirk, Varsho, etc) have dropped us 10 games back from TB, last place in the best division in baseball. And YET, hope springs. Berrios (3 or fewer ER in 8 of his last 9 starts) finally appears to be pitching to the level expected of him when he was signed, and is pumping out quality starts along with Gausman and Bassitt. Kikuchi has slipped as Kikuchi does but has been very solid for a #5. We don't have the depth to send Manoah down for some needed alone time, but he's pushing it. Vladdy has been scuffling, Springer is heating up, and Bichette is an MVP candidate. With a little bit of lucky regression to the mean with abysmal RISP numbers, this team is just a few turns away from being very good. As long as we don't have to play too many games vs AL East teams. That should be fine. 28-26
10 Twins -2 28-26
11 Mariners +4 Just what the doctor ordered - 6-1 in the homestand so far. Some momentum is just what this team needs before two big series with teams they're chasing for playoff spots. If the M's can handle business over the next week, they'll be right back in the thick of it. Bryce Miller, do your thing. Up next: 3 vs. Damn Yankees, 3 @ Globe Life ParkFieldStadiumGardensArenaDomewhatever they're calling it these days 28-26
12 Red Sox -1 Scoring four runs total while getting swept by the Angels isn't a great look. This team is in many ways aggresively mediocre, always making sure that every win streak is followed up by an equally painful gut-punch. This is mainly due to the reliance on the offense to carry us to victory (2-17 when scoring <=3 runs), when the bats get cold, you're safe to turn off the game. Whitlock returning from injury and Bello/Sale both stepping up their game in May (2.74/2.42 ERA respectively) are good steps towards this team becoming Actually Good™ though. We'll see what June brings us... 28-25
13 Brewers -1 Taking two of three from the Astros was nice. Barely avoiding a sweep from the Giants was not so sweet. Milwaukee has some issues with hitting in "close" situations. The Brewers either lose after having multiple opportunities to tie it up, or get absolutely blown out. 28-25
14 Angels 0 Did I travel out of state and all the way to Anaheim just to watch the team get swept by the Marlins? Perhaps. Was that objectively worse than what the Reds voter is going through? It's impossible to say. 29-26
15 Mets -2 The Mets, who I proclaimed to be "good at baseball" last week, ended up dropping 2 of 3 against the Cubs and doing the same against the Rockies. I just don't know what to believe anymore. The only thing I know for sure is that Francisco Alvarez has got that fucking dawg in him, he's GOATed, he's him, he's on fleek, he's poggers, he's a proper legend, he's got an .885 OPS, he's a top bloke, he's got swag, he's fresh, he's Gen Z Mike Piazza, he's lit, he's making me feel old because he was born after 9/11, he's Francisco Alvarez. 27-27
16 Gigantes +4 The Giants won yesterday, but strictly talking about last week, they went 5- 2 on an extremely acceptable road trip without any off days. Defeating two competent teams like the Twins and Brewers should feel good. On both losses, they gave up 7 runs, on every win they gave up 3, 1, or 0 runs. So, they threw two games out of 7 – that’s allowed. In the bad news department, Joc, Joey, and Thairo all not expected back until June 6th. I think we’re okay with more Bailey Patrick and this also means another look at unpredictable slugger David Villar. Slater continues covering for Joc. Let’s look a the numbers: 13th in MLB in Run Diff (+6 spots), 12th in RS / G (+6), 15th in RA / G (+2), 23rd in Bullpen ERA (+5). All of that is good and especially the bullpen is promising recently. The Giants continue at home vs the Pirates and wrap the homestand with 3 against our orange and black brothers in Baltimore. 28-26
17 Pirates -1 Would I have been happy to learn on Opening Day that the Pirates would be around .500 at the end of May? Yes. But if you told me they got there after starting 20-8 I would be pretty disappointed. Here's hoping the pendulum swings the other way in June. 26-27
18 Marlins +3 Yet another appearance of sweepy, the meme that was promised. After a rough series against the rox, we sweep the angels to settle into the third NL wild card spot. Our starting pitching is coming along after a bumpy start to several of our starters. Eury perez is gonna be a stud, just wanna remind yall. Also, shout out to Jorge Soler, who has been crushing baseballs the last week and change. In other miami sports related news, boston is the first city ever to lose two game 7s at home in both the NHL and NBA playoffs in the same year. Go Heat and go Panthers! 28-26
19 Phillies -2 After losing 2 to the Diamondbacks and going down 5-0 in the 3rd game, the Phillies season looked as bleak as it could in late May while only being 4 games under .500. However, the team rallied and Trea Turner tied it in the 9th before going onto win it in 10. Then, they went down to Atlanta and split a 4 game series. It could've gone far worse. The Phillies most pressing need is now seemingly a 5th starter who isn't a guaranteed loss, as this week they trotted out Dylan Covey, who hadn't started a game since 2019. He got 2 outs and gave up 7 runs. He took the spot of Bailey Falter who, after a surprisingly productive 2022, started the season 0-7. Falter is the far better option, but Dave Dombrowski will likely be looking to upgrade until Andrew Painter can finally return. This week, the NL East road trip continues with their first 3 games against the Mets and 3 in Washington. Here's hoping June Schwarber shows up again this year. 25-28
20 Padres -1 My Dad tells me it’s ok that the Dad’s lost 2 / 3 to NY; the Dodgers lost 2 / 3 to the Rays! The Pads aren’t in the same stratosphere as the Dodgers right now, though. 5 games under .500, 10th in the NL standings, 3 games out of the last wildcard slot. Of course there’s quite a bit of time to change it, there’s plenty of time to go on a run, or a slow and steady good month to gain ground. With every day that passes however, that goal becomes a bit harder to reach; I don’t think Pads fans were hoping for a wildcard spot by the end of this season, but that’s the position the team has to get to before even thinking of catching LA. The Padres are 4th in the NL West, and only a half game out of last. 24-29
21 Cardinals -3 2-2 @ CIN; 1-2 @ CLE; 0-1 v KCR; another struggle week for the Cards. The fandom's been a bit kneejerk because of two good weeks before this. Their mistake. I'll say it a third time, the Cards playing at or beyond their expected level doesn't change the rotten FO. Yeah Marmol's pretty close to being fired, that's not a fix when the problem is John Mozeliak. 24-32
22 Tigers +2 The most fun part of this past week has been watching the resurgence of Akil Baddoo. His energy is infectious and adds an exciting dimension to the lineup. As we head into the last few days of May, Baddoo has sported a .302/.405/.508 slash and a 155 wRC+ this month. Although he's still been hitting mostly in the 6 hole, if this keeps up he might find himself much higher in the order real soon. This week: 2 more vs. TEX and 3 at CWS. 25-27
23 Guardians 0 The Guardians won a series this week. I would like to see them win some games by more than one run, but it's clear this season, we have to take what we get. 24-29
24 Cubs -2 Another terrible week for the Cubs, as a promising series win against the Mets was followed up by an embarrassing sweep against the Reds. The starting rotation was terrible, and the bullpen was somehow worse. Fans have had enough of David Ross, and Jed Hoyer is starting to come under pressure. Barring a dramatic turnaround, the Cubs will be sellers for the 3rd trade deadline in a row 23-30
25 Reds +1 Okay guys, I’m here to be calm this week. I have been told by my wife’s attorney, Tom, that they are “aware” of my online activity regarding our impending divorce, so today let’s have a nice, calm, relaxing, perfectly fine, good old fashioned talk about Reds baseball. The Reds are just sorta middling. They’re not great but they’re not horrible. Unlike my marriage. Our starting pitching has resgressed, just like my marriage, and it’s very unfortunate to see, because our bullpen has been quite reliable unlike my wife. We still can’t hit home runs for some reason, but overall unlike my marriage the Reds on the upturn. There, are you happy Tom? I didn’t mention all the crap that’s been going on lately. I didn’t mention how I had to leave the Motel 6 I was at because I found a used needle in the bathroom, and by the way Tom, I know that you’re trying to use that as evidence that I can’t take care of my kids. I don’t even know who’s needle it was, it was like wedged behind the toilet. Believe me, I only found it because I dropped my phone while using the toilet. It wasn’t even visible, I had to like get on my hands and knees and crawl behind the toilet to grab my phone. So it puts the image in my head of some heroin addict or whatever sitting behind a toilet at a Motel 6 trying to get high, which honestly that just seems like an even worse situation than the one i’m in. Do I think it’s a coincidence that the day after I left the Motel 6 because of this, you’re requesting a drug test from me before I can see my kids? Huh Tom? How did you know about this incident Tom? The only people that know are the Motel 6 staff I notified, I don’t think any police showed up, so either you questioned them like i’m some criminal, or you’re following me. I know you’re reading this Tom, you’ve made several references to my posts on the baseball power rankings insinuating it’s me writing them, and yeah Tom you’re right it is me, can everybody in the comments give praise to Tom for being a regular Sherlock Holmes? Yeah everybody come on, Congratulations Tom! You’re the man! I’m gonna let you go home and fuck my sister, oh wait Tom I forgot, YOU ALREADY ARE. When you get home tonight tell Caitlin her brother says hi. Alright, I think I got that out of my system. Anyway, I think once more of our prospects are called up, probably around June or July, we may get hot and finish more closely to .500 than initially thought, and if this division stays like it is, and those prospects can deliver on their promise, it's entirely possible we could be in contention for the division. But a lot of this is gonna depend on if our Starting Rotation can get things back under control. Also we swept the Cubs so lol. 24-29
26 Nationals -1 Week after week, I expect this Nats team to take a nose dive. I expect them to crumble and slip into a double-digit losing streak but it just isn't happening. They lead the NL in batting average (.267), are third in OBP (.330) and have the lowest strikeout rate in MLB. They still have their own troubles, but this team is alive (4 games out of a WC spot) 23-31
27 Rockies +1 I don't have time to write a real blurb this week so you don't have to print this. Actually, you probably don't read these, I'm not sure anyone really reads them anyways besides the Reds guy's life breaking down, and this will probably get printed regardless. 24-31
28 White Sox -1 Liam is back. I can't overstate how great that is to hear. He is one of the best people in the game and it's nothing short of amazing for him to be pitching in May. If you missed it, it was recently revealed that he had stage 4 lymphoma, not an early stage. He started treatment just over 3 months ago! Nothing on the field matters for this team, but at least there's that silver lining. 22-34
29 Royals 0 As of the time that this blurb is being written (Monday at 11:39 AM), only two teams in the majors have a record below .400. Yup, the Royals are there with the A's. I suppose the positive is that the team figured out that they can get rid of useless players in Hunter Dozier, but they still have a lot more work to do. 17-38
30 Atléticos 0 The A's have given up 10+ runs in a game 7 more times than they've won. It's a mix of bad roster building (the bullpen), under-preforming vets (Ramon Laureano 74 wRC+, Tony Kemp 38 wRC+), injuries (Seth Brown and Paul Blackburn are just now returning), and no fans in the stands since 2019. It's soul crushing to watch and the national media's constant condecention toward this particular poor team and it is even more annoying this year. 11-45
submitted by kasutori_Jack to baseball [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:26 Imnotabotas Untoward Void - A tale of two empires (2/?)

First Prev Next(soontm)

The Araknonian Emperor had decreed it himself – subjugation, or else. This was the message that the Speaker was to send to the Hedronian diplomats. The pretences of a ‘negotiation’ were clearly false the instant the Araknonians made their demand. This was, of course, to be expected. On the journey over to the planet, the Hedron scouts in the neighbouring empires had reported back some preliminary information about their new rival. They were said to be vicious, brutal, and unrelenting.
Of course, they had clearly underestimated the Hedron capacity for insight, as by inviting them to the negotiation table before even attempting to invade showed that they had concerns about their ability to control their new adversary. This was a mistake. The Hedrons had learned that Araknon never negotiated without control of their opponents’ skies, and typically the capitulation of a world or two.
By allowing the Hedrons to get into their space without being at war first gave a huge opportunity for the Hedrons to gain all they needed to know about the Araknonians. The presence of what looked to be crack shock troops was concerning, however the Hedronian’s own recon marines were already finding out exactly how many they truly had, and how capable they were. The Hedron 1st Shadow fleet had already begun an incursion into their space near where their forces appeared to be assembling, and all shipyards were poised for emergency war production and ship building, something not enacted for centuries.
If the Araknonians wanted to start a war, then Hedron will not stand it their way. They would, however, finish it.

Stardate 2295.03.05 Araknonian court, Ancom 3
Negotiations, despite the Araknonian inference that they were to be short and sweet, carried on for weeks, mostly due to our unprecedented demands for a lengthy negotiation on each and every part of this subjugation ‘proposal’ of course, we never intended to sign such an agreement, but instead to allow us time to better position our fleets for a fast engagement.
‘Stop this madness! Your weak species would be crushed under our empire’s might!’ Kolhor, and by extension the Araknonians, grew impatient. Time was up.
‘And your point is what, esteemed speaker? We were invited to negotiate on this agreement so that each party may come away satisfied, were we not?’ Silvya was not about to back down here. If the Araknonians truly wanted war, then they may as well declare it. ‘Or are we here for another reason, esteemed one.’
‘I… How dare you accuse us of playing games! You are the ones who are against the wall. Even now our fleets are ready to wipe your sorry excuse for a grand fleet out, and your Empire will vanish from the history books!’ The speaker was now shouting, screeching really. It was time, then for a recess.
‘Is that so, Speaker. In that case I must take my delegation to discuss the current state of the proposal and gain our leader’s approval for its acceptance.’ Silvya feigned a defeatist state before the speaker – she couldn’t risk them knowing the next move.

Hedron recess hall, Ancom 3
‘We have no choice, Empress. We must reject their proposal and wage war.’ Silvya was solemn in her proposal.
‘Very well then Diplomat Kant. Our forces are in adequate positioning. Ensure your marines are off world and out of sight before rejection. We have reason to believe the Araknonians seek to invade immediately.’ The Empress was ever calm. This moment had been prepared for, expected.
With plans in motion, the link cut off.
‘Well folks, you all heard the Empress. Pack your bags. We are going to war.’ Silvya resolved herself.
‘This will be a time of great struggle for our people, but rest assured, when this crisis is resolved, our time and actions here will not be seen as wasted time, but as crucial to our success and decisive victory. It is high time someone knocked these Araknonians down from their high horse. Who better than us!’

Araknonian Palace, Araknor. Stardate 2295.03.06
‘Emperor, you had better see this.’ The messenger was sheepish in his delivery.
A recording holo of the Hedronian refusal was loaded into the viewer. The envoy, Slyvia Kant, appeared.
‘Speaker! Your proposal is disrespectful to our peoples, and we have no choice but to reject it. We also formally declare to you this: You will never control us. It does not matter if you take our skies, or our governments. Our fellow Humans in the New Terra Republic and the Sol Collective will not only come to our aid, but will continue any war you choose to begin against us with vicious ferocity. You have been warned. We may appear weak, but we are the bear that you do not poke. We have not known war for centuries, but we will gladly accept it.’
‘How dare they!’ The messenger thought the Emperor might just drop dead from rage just that instant. He was evidently more furious with the idea that he might die before this puny, disrespectful race was wiped from the databanks permanently. ‘They shall crumble before us! No race in this great Empire shall rest until they come begging to us for mercy. We will not grant them it.’
‘Of course, your grace. Shall we send a declaration?’
‘No. They knew what they were doing.’ The Emperor rested, awaiting the reports from his admirals at the front.

Encidion, Planetoid 2286A, Hedron Shadow Fleet HQ. Stardate 2295.03.07
Rear Admiral Finlay Tianor gripped the lectern in front of him. The transmission had awoken him in the middle of the night, the one he had dreaded coming.
‘We stand at the verge of the most defining action to happen in centuries. It is up to us, as our nation's most prized fleet, and unknown to the enemy, to make a name for ourselves. We will be ruthless, we will be cunning, and we will cut their lines to shreds. The order has been passed down from Her Highness to jump to their lines. We are to operate on prize rules. Pick a target, call for support if required. We will strike them where they think they have complete invulnerability. Our latest upgrades mean that as of now, your homebase, our Headquarters, no longer lie here. They lie wherever you choose!’ He paused to allow the now deafening roar coming from the officers to die down.
‘So find a system with high traffic, lie dormant and wait for that grand prize to fall into your laps! This base is to be remembered in your logs only as a supply cache, indistinguishable from any other we may set up, and do set them up wherever you can. I don’t want any reports of ships returning here from combat with weapons still aboard, even if you are critically damaged! Whatever’s done that damage, it won’t hurt to give it a little nudge towards the other side in reciprocation! Fight these spineless bastards to extinction, give no quarter in combat. Fight until your cannons overheat, your railguns blow their cells and the torpedo bays glow with the heat of a hundred motors!’ He ended triumphantly, before the noise of the room overcame even his microphoned cheers.
This war was going to be bloody, just not for them.

Writers note -
I am going to to my best to post these once a week, but I won't promise anything just yet.
As before, feedback is appreciated.
submitted by Imnotabotas to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:26 floricel_112 A (somewhat) comprehensive list of all *my* favorite Fire emblem ships

Someone yesterday made a post asking for everyone's favorite fire emblem *ship* . Singular. *I* misunderstood it as everyone's favorite fire emblem *ships* . Plural. So, I wrote a very long comment where I gushed about my favorite ships in all of the games, realised my blunder halfway through Magvel, picked one of the ships to leave as a comment, and this post is just my excuse not to scrap the rest of that entire comment. Plus, this is a something I've wanted to do for a *very* long time, and now I can finally put this subject behind me. So without further ado....enjoy my ramblings.

My time has come. *inhale*
Archanea: Julian x Lena. Love me a fan who'll just go legit and betray his criminal buddies for the girl he likes
Maey x Boey (I loooove how despite their bickering, you can tell the two care for each other a lot because of the moments where they talk to each other about their worries and what they're going to do after the war),
Zeke x Tatiana (those two are ALREADY together and they spent their entire time together fawning over each other. The trust and bond they share is so strong that when "Zeke" leaves for Archanea to rescue his *former* love he STILL returns to Tatiana, and Tatiana in turns *knows* he will returns to her one day, no matter how much time passes) and Gray x Clair (they start off rough because of Gray being more attracted to her pretty face than herself and Clair being boorish and mean/judgemental towards, but I love how as the game progresses both their characters develop, realise their faults, how they were in the wrong early on and apologise for it - especially Clair. As for Gray, I love how Gray comes to realise that he *does* love Clair for Clair, and not her features, but can't express it well, but Clair understands what he's trying to say nonetheless)
Haven't played Jungdral, but the one with the tomboy archer and the other guy who also bicker but really care for each other
Elibe 1:
biggest one Roy x Lilina (childhood friends to lovers, Roy vowed to Hector to look after Lilina, Lilina in turns wants to do the same and also support him, their personalities are very compatible),
Fir x Noah (their support lines and interactions are too adorable. I love how in their A support Noah, who generally doesn't care much for most things, feels very strongly about Fir to the point he has to tell her how he feels because he'd otherwise regret it for the rest of his life. Headcanon they leave together after the war, become wandering mercenaries and are never heard from again),
Tate x Klein, Sue x Sin (last few of their tribe, united by this shared tragedy),
Melady x Galle (what happened to them is a tragedy and I hate it that in most playthroughs I can't keep Galle alive)
Elibe 2:
biggest one is Eliwood x Ninian (y'all played the game, I don't need to explain myself),
Lyn x Rath (both people of the plains who love their country very much and long to go back to it one way, they feel most comfortable with each other),
Hector x Florina (big scary man with meek little sheep is a hilarious but beloved ship dynamic for me),
Erk x Priscilla (the only possible pairing with those two that doesn't end in tragedy. Not to mention the two *actually* enjoy each other's company and are comfortable being together),
Jaffar x Nino (again, you've played the game. You *know* how much they mean to each other),
Matthew x Leila (poor Matthew), Pent x Louise (see Zeke x Tatiana),
Kent x Fiora (the two serious people in the army who care for protocol. How could I not),
Sain x Farina (the guy who likes singing every woman's praises and the gal who likes to tooth her own horn, and they're both spunky. HOW IS THIS NOT A PAIRING?!)
Eirika x Saleh (the only one of her potential pairs who doesn't feel like she needs to be protected, but instead *praises* her for her *own* strenght and qualities, comparing her to an ancient hero. Get yourself the kind of man who *appreciates* you. Plus, she moves in with him once she's done helping rebuild Renais to live a modest life and I vibe with that whole aesthetic. Interchangeable with Innes, though, because her rebuffing his awkward attempts at chivalry is hilarious),
Innes x Vanessa (Vanessa has liked and admired Innes for a *very* long time, and Vanessa in turn is the only person Innes drops the whole "cool prince" mask off and can just be himself),
Lute x Artur (childhood friends to lovers, the two have been together for years. I like how through talking to each other, after hearing her explanations, Artur realises that the teasing she used to do to him were just her awkward attempts at helping him overcome his fears. Not to mention the reversal of roles in their A support, when the usually calm and reserved Artur is the one to make the first move in their relationship, leaving Lute in turn to be bewildered and speechless for once),
Colm x Neimi (childhood friends to lovers, shared mutual trauma, both orphans who only got each other left after they lost their families and village got massacred, literally the only pairing those two have. Regardless, I like how Colm is the type of guy to tease Neimi for being a crybaby, but knows the difference between her being overly sensitive and things that genuinely bother her and lines that shouldn't be crossed, while also defending her from bullies who would *genuinely* make her cry. Dude went by himself in a literal den of thieves to recover her familty heirloom, and Neimi went *after him* because she was worried. Otp. Otp. Otp)
Franz x Amelia (it is Franz's kindness and honesty that convinces Amelia to switch sides and realise that what Grado is doing isn't right, and it is because of that same kindness that Amelia finds herself confortable in the army and under the commander she was taught to hate. In turn, through their mutual friendly rivalry they both become stronger both as soldiers and as people, Amelia getting more of a backbone and becoming more confident)
Gillian x Syrene (they share a common, a mutual hobby and they're both veterans)
Robin x Cordelia (Robin helps Cordelia come to terms with her trauma of being the last surviving member of her unit, her stigma against being called a prodigy and move on with her life, as well as getting over her one-sided crush on Chrom. In turn, Robin admires Cordelia a lot for her prowess and dilligence)
Robin x Say'ri (at first, Robin is interested in learning about Say'ri and her place of origin, and through talking with her, Robin falls more and more in love with the place she is describing and her in turn, wishing to visit it together with her. As for Say'ri, she appreciates that someone is interested in her birthpace and becomes as passionate about Chonsin as she is)
Chrom x Sully (the two are childhood who, just like with Innes and Vanessa, feel most comfortable with each other because they don't have to keep up appearances or pretend they're someone else. Sully doesn't have to worry about being girly around Chrom, while Chrom doesn't have to worry about acting as the crown prince, and the two can be the same people who've been butting heads since childhood)
and now I'm tired so I'll finish later
submitted by floricel_112 to fireemblem [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:25 oneandenough S4P1: Episode 8

I need to talk about the masterpiece that is episode 8. In the opening scene, you can feel the panic in the room as Ben and Cal have just minutes to get ready to run from the law. Cal stands still in shock and answers Michaela’s questions as Ben races around the house and gathers the bare essentials. Olive rushes home upon learning the news that she has to say bye to her father and brother yet again. The officers burst into the Stone home earlier than expected, and everyone’s fear and worry are palpable through the screen.
The Calling that leads Ben to Alex is one of the coolest we have seen on the show. Ben discovering that a phone number is part of a song that Radd composed and that phone number belonging to Alex—the key to Cal’s release—is such a clever story line. The piano playing on its own is unlike anything I recall seeing on the show. The way Cal’s facial expression changes when he notices Alex and realizes why he has been released is such a great example of nonverbal acting. Ben’s soft-spoken question to Cal about why he kept this information from him and the subsequent conversation are full of love.
The closing scene of this episode is just as powerful as the opening one. The moment when Ben lies down next to Cal and sees the photo that Cal insisted they bring along is so heartfelt. He realizes just how much Cal has missed and needed their previous bond. The entire ordeal of Cal’s arrest restores hope to a relationship that has seemed hopeless. The way Zeke shows Michaela his sobriety chip after working up the courage to tell her about his relapse is, again, such a great example of nonverbal acting. Michaela gives him the undivided attention he deserves and comforts him without hesitation, calming both Zeke and the audience. Our dear friend TJ surprises us all with his return and gives Olive some much needed affection. I salute the Manifest cast and crew for this standout episode.
submitted by oneandenough to ManifestNBC [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:23 LiseEclaire [Leveling up the World] - Academy Arc - Chapter 756

Out there - Patreon (for all those curious or wanting to support :))
At the Beginning
Adventure Arc - Arc 2
Wilderness Arc - Arc 3
Academy Arc - Arc 4
Previously on Leveling up the World…
Nil used to say that even the greatest challenge became simple once the logic behind it was unraveled. At the time, the old echo was referring to awakening trials, but vortexes were surprisingly similar. Given enough resources and information, even life could be treated in the same fashion. Dallion had a while to go before reaching that level. The current vortex, though, was a different matter.
Creating potions wasn’t an easy experience. Aside from everything else, it required a good understanding of nymph magic methods and the ability to perform them. Thankfully, Dallion’s randomly esoteric interests had prepared him for such an eventuality.
After his protective layer of magic threads was complete, he approached the sea. Same as before, a dozen tendrils shot out in his direction. Summoning his thread splitter dagger, Dallion sliced the tips off, encasing the free elements in aether spheres of his own. That was another thing about magic—it always went towards those that were stronger. One careless move and even a high-level mage might have his magic stolen, by a creature, rival, or even the vortex environment itself. However, with enough skill and ingenuity, the opposite was also true.
One by one, the bubbles of captive magic were consumed, then released again, only this time forming an entirely new set of spells.
Swords? Onda asked. That’ll hardly work.
“Think of it as a meat grinder,” Dallion replied. All he needed was a makeshift drill to let him make his way through the sea. Having his own liquid spells fight the rest of the sea was only going to grant him a bit more time. Between that and the protective magic layer, it had to be enough.
No, I mean it won’t work. The moment you—
Let him learn his own mistakes, Harp interrupted. Her tone was calm, even pleasant, but it had the effect of lightning from a clear sky. It’s the only way he can progress.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Dallion kept collecting magic threads for a few more minutes, then did another point attack. The start of a tunnel opened up on the sea’s surface. Quickly, Dallion threw all of his liquid spells inside, then followed. Same as before, the mass of the sea attempted to fill in the void, but this time it was hindered by the liquid wall of swords.

Overall stability 99%

Spells clashed against each other, filling the air with hundreds of purple rectangles. The damage was minuscule, and still a constant reminder of the eternal struggle between invader and realm. It was no wonder that mages were so cutthroat: there was only one thing certain upon entering a vortex: someone was going to absorb the other. The Academy’s main role was to teach novices how to survive.
Just like hunting, Dallion thought. On the other hand, he had never been the typical hunter. When it came to vortexes, there could be no offer of draw or surrender.
Twisting around, Dallion performed another point attack, drilling further into the sea. The number of rectangles doubled. Meanwhile, the size of the hold was reduced by half. The amount of spells Dallion had poured in—seemingly cast initially—was now wearing thin.
Maybe you should have spent a bit more time fathering threads, the armadil shield said.
“It’s all a formula.” Dallion did another point attack. “If the stability of the tunnel is decreased, I just need to go faster.”
All of his instincts shouted for him to split into instances, or at the very least create a few echoes to help in. His wisdom told him not to. All he had to do was remain calm. The emblems and artifacts he was wearing ensured that he’d be ejected from the vortex. Of course, there was never a guarantee. The higher the vortex level, the greater the danger it posed.
Summoning his hammer, Dallion did a double point attack, up and down, to keep the tunnel collapsing above him. He had gone so deep that the opening was the size of a coin.
“I told you it’ll work, Onda,” he said with a touch of glee. “It’s all logic and magic principles.”
No sooner had he said that than a mass of magic pierced through Dallion’s wall of spells, ending up in the tunnel. Believing his wall of swords to have been breached, Dallion unsummoned both his weapons and cast a new series of spells to plug the hole. That proved to be a mistake.

Your health has been reduced by 20%

What the heck? Dallion pulled back, summoning his harpsisword again.
Five feet away, the mass of magic had changed into a creature.

Class: MAGIC
Health: 0% HP
- BODY 20
- MIND 20
- MAGIC 40
- ENTANGLE (Species Unique)
- RAIN OF BLADES (Species Unique)
- CHARGE (Species Unique)
Weakness: HOOVES

A unicorn? Dallion deflected the creature’s next attack with his weapon.
Looking at it, the minion was no different from a bladicorn, only created entirely out of threads of magic.
Tried to warn you, old man, Onda said from his realm. Vortexes adapt. You make a counter, they counter your counter.
Dallion was too busy fighting the creature to respond. Magic adaptability was well known. Having loose threads spontaneously create a creature, that was something new. No doubt there was some tome describing the theoretical process in vast detail. Seeing it in practice, though, was a lot.
Without wasting any time, Dallion flew down, then infused his harpsisword with spark, as he did an upward strike. Knowing what such a creature was capable of, his only course of action was to kill it as before it could start casting spells. The difficulty was not destroying his own spells in the process. For all the power of point and line attacks, they were going to do as much damage to Dallion’s own spells, resulting in him winning the encounter, but losing the overall fight.
The aethercorn quickly caught on, moving away and to the side of the tunnel. As long as it increased the distance and remained close to Dallion’s wall of blades, it would have the upper hand.
Sneaky bastard. Dallion cast several aether barriers.
Magic symbols covered the minion’s entire body. As they appeared, Dallion went through all the memorized spells in real time. Normally, he could tell easily what someone was casting once several of the major symbols had formed. In this case, the creature planned to create an aether explosion. In the real world, Dallion wouldn’t even bat an eye. Explosions were a lot less efficient against mages as one might think. Here, though, things were different; the minion wasn’t targeting him, but the wall of blades itself. If there were an explosion, the entire tunnel would collapse, leaving Dallion to rely on his “second skin”.
A new aether barrier appeared next to the aethecorn, then shoved it into the wall before the spell could be completed. The threads—representing aether blades in liquid form—mercilessly sliced into its body, causing the being to lose stability. The entire form burst like a popped balloon, spilling magic threads everywhere.
The moment Dallion saw that, he knew that his time was running out. Although inefficient, the vortex had found a way to breach his protective barrier. The only solution was to pass through the sea before the overall collapse.
Want a boost, boss? Lux asked. The firebird knew better than to assist uninvited.
“No!” Dallion said firmly, casting a new flight spell. “Return to my realm.”
Several more breaches occurred along the tunnel. Aethercorns emerged in front and behind Dallion. Some attacked him directly, others started casting spells to weaken the tunnel. At this point, dealing with them was an impossible task. Still, Dallion did several more point attacks, clearing out as many as possible. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t prove to be a lot. The minions were both fast and intelligent enough to keep to areas that were difficult to hit. Only the ones that attempted to outright block Dallion’s progress ended up being destroyed.
Gritting his teeth, Dallion started casting the flood spell. It was a move that verged to desperation, but the only thing that could help him right now. Within seconds, the portal emerged, then vanished behind Dallion. With a bit of luck, it was going to keep the minions occupied a bit longer.
Behind him, the top of the tunnel collapsed. The threads he had used to create his wall of swords was too thin to coat the entire space created by the point attacks. The purple sea splashed in, mixing with the water coming from Dallion’s portal.

Your health has been reduced by 20%

Another alicorn managed to stab Dallion’s leg with its horn as he flew by, effectively halving his health.
Leave the vortex, Harp said.
“I can do this.” Dallion had unsummoned the hammer, focusing on doing point attacks forward, while using his left hand to boost his speed. “I’m close to the end. I can feel it.”
You’re not ready for this vortex. You’re close, but you still aren’t there yet.
“I am.” Dallion insisted. It wasn’t that he had become complacent, but the last few months his progress had crawled to a stop. He might have learned a vast number of magic symbols and spells, but his magic trait remained at twenty-three. There was no way he was giving up a level four vortex, especially this one. “I am there,” he whispered.
Purple water kept seeping in. The top of the tunnel had completely collapsed. Spells created by vortex minions darted past him. Some even made contact, repelled by his protective layer of magic threads.
“Just a few seconds more,” Dallion said, more to himself than Harp.
He had been going through the sea for quite a while. As far as distance was concerned, it had to range in the dozens of miles, if not more. While space in any magic realm was an illusion, there was a limit to how much something could be stretched. Sooner or later, the sea had to come to an end.
“Ruby, create some wind,” he ordered.
Keeping firmly to Dallion’s shoulder, the shardfly flicked its wings, sending a flurry of wind slashes forward. This was by no means an elegant way to breach the tower, but as long as it worked Dallion had no intention of complaining.
Further and further down he went. His speed had increased to the point that he couldn’t see new aethercorns emerge. And yet, it all kept on going. It seemed that he had entered a bottomless pit. The sensation of doubt emerged. Was it a good move to keep persisting? If he quit now, would it all go to waste? There was no telling how long the vortex would remain. Maybe it would last for a few more hours. If he was lucky, it might appear again in another week or so.
No! Dallion told himself. If he couldn’t complete this, what chance did he stand against Grym and the traitorous battlemages? They had accumulated their magic for decades. If he didn’t take advantage of every opportunity presented to him, he might as well become a clerk at the Academy.
Point attacks kept pushing the tunnel further and further down until suddenly they didn’t. It only lasted a fraction of a second, but Dallion was able to catch it. The devastating amount of force had been effortlessly pushed to the sides, like water being poured on a mirror.
That was it—the end of the sea. Dallion had finally reached the solid barrier. At this point, he’d usually take the time to find a weakness, then slice through it and create a portal leading to the other side. With time being a luxury he didn’t have, Dallion resorted to the second best thing. Increasing the number of point attacks, he cast the magic depletion spell he had learned from Raven.
Lightning shot out in all directions, instantly ending Dallion’s flight spell as well as causing all magic threads to pull back.
“Shield!” Dallion summoned the armadil shield. “Cocoon me!” He performed one final point attack with his harpsisword.
The armadil shield expanded, becoming a metal sphere around Dallion. Half a second later, the impact tossed Dallion to the inside of it.

Your health has been reduced by 5%

(+2 Body)
Inertia and the force of will helped you breach into the tower’s core. You were lucky you didn’t go splat.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this story, consider joining my patreon or check out my other stories on redditserials:
The Scuu Paradox (a Space Opera Sci Fi)
The Cassandrian Theory (a Space Opera Sci Fi)
The Impeccable Adventure of the Reluctant Dungeon (Dungeon Core Adventure Comedy)
Uncharted Waters (An Urban Fantasy Detective Noir)
Book 3 will be available on Amazon from midnight tonight :D There will be an official post tomorrow, but here's a heads up to all impatient ones :D
submitted by LiseEclaire to redditserials [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:23 massettawm Now trading in the US: Sage Potash (SGPTF) is developing the largest potash deposit in the US close to pilot production that has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit

Now trading in the US: Sage Potash (SGPTF) is developing the largest potash deposit in the US close to pilot production that has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit
Fertilizer and agricultural prices surged to new heights in 2022 with food price increases have been felt worldwide, straining the global food chain and emphasizing the need for varied and additional sources of vital ingredients. (Source:
One such ingredient is potash, a potassium-rich compound that is a vital component in fertilizer and, consequently, in ensuring our food supply in the growing agricultural industry due to its ability to boost crop yields and balance crop productivity.
And one such source of Potash for the US is Sage Potash (SGPTF). Here is a very informative article from InvestorIntel about the sector and how Sage Potash is strategically positioned to capitalize:
Sage Potash Seeks to Address Supply Chain Security and Sustainability with Domestic US Production
The potash market got hit with a huge shock by the EU's sanctions on Russia and Belarus, who together produce 40% of the world's potash supply.
While the world's single biggest supplier of potash is Canada, record low Mississippi River levels are disrupting the supply chain, especially in America as the US currently imports 94% of its potash requirements.
With the market expected to experience significant growth as demand continues to outpace supply, it's critical for the US to develop its own domestic supply of potash to ensure food security. Now trading on the OTCMKTS with the ticker SGPTF, SAGE is one company on track to take advantage of this opportunity.
Focused on ensuring accessible, efficient and domestic US potash production, SAGE is working to eliminate costly shipping fees, import charges and food security risks that come with outsourcing potash.
With 2 potash beds and an inferred resource of 279.5 MMT high-grade potash, SAGE's Plains Project has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit.
Consisting of over 88,000 acres of mineral leases and permit applications in Utah's Paradox Basin, known to host extensive underdeveloped world-class potash resources, this represents the largest potash deposit in the US that is close to pilot production (approx. 1-2 years)
The project's substantial resource is expected to initially produce 50,000 tonnes per year followed by a scaling up to 150,000 tonnes per year for 20 years.
Plus, the project is suitable for solution mining which involves the "circulation of a salt-saturated water solution through an injection and recovery well to access potash-rich reserves" and requires lower upfront costs while allowing for extraction from far greater depths.
SAGE has partnered with RESPEC to reinitiate engineering preparations to execute a Phase 1 Drill Hole Program alongside preparation work for the PEA at its potash project which is
With a PEA expected in the second half of 2023, SAGE has partnered with RESPEC to reinitiate engineering preparations to execute a Phase 1 Drill Hole Program, aiming to develop a pilot potash production facility.
By establishing a local and reliable supply chain, protecting North America from unpredictable external factors, SAGE is strongly positioned to satisfy a significant portion of US potash demands in delivering a secure line of supply with its large-scale, high-grade potash resource.
For more information, check out this video from SAGE CEO:
Posted on behalf of Sage Potash Corp.
submitted by massettawm to wallstreet [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:23 massettawm NEW LISTING: Sage Potash (SAGE.v SGPTF) - Developing the largest potash deposit in the US close to pilot production that has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit

NEW LISTING: Sage Potash (SAGE.v SGPTF) - Developing the largest potash deposit in the US close to pilot production that has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit
Fertilizer and agricultural prices surged to new heights in 2022 with food price increases have been felt worldwide, straining the global food chain and emphasizing the need for varied and additional sources of vital ingredients. (Source:
One such ingredient is potash, a potassium-rich compound that is a vital component in fertilizer and, consequently, in ensuring our food supply in the growing agricultural industry due to its ability to boost crop yields and balance crop productivity.
And one such source of Potash for the US is Sage Potash (SGPTF). Here is a very informative article from InvestorIntel about the sector and how Sage Potash is strategically positioned to capitalize:
Sage Potash Seeks to Address Supply Chain Security and Sustainability with Domestic US Production
The potash market got hit with a huge shock by the EU's sanctions on Russia and Belarus, who together produce 40% of the world's potash supply.
While the world's single biggest supplier of potash is Canada, record low Mississippi River levels are disrupting the supply chain, especially in America as the US currently imports 94% of its potash requirements.
With the market expected to experience significant growth as demand continues to outpace supply, it's critical for the US to develop its own domestic supply of potash to ensure food security. Now trading on the OTCMKTS with the ticker SGPTF, SAGE is one company on track to take advantage of this opportunity.
Focused on ensuring accessible, efficient and domestic US potash production, SAGE is working to eliminate costly shipping fees, import charges and food security risks that come with outsourcing potash.
With 2 potash beds and an inferred resource of 279.5 MMT high-grade potash, SAGE's Plains Project has the potential to be a Tier 1 deposit.
Consisting of over 88,000 acres of mineral leases and permit applications in Utah's Paradox Basin, known to host extensive underdeveloped world-class potash resources, this represents the largest potash deposit in the US that is close to pilot production (approx. 1-2 years)
The project's substantial resource is expected to initially produce 50,000 tonnes per year followed by a scaling up to 150,000 tonnes per year for 20 years.
Plus, the project is suitable for solution mining which involves the "circulation of a salt-saturated water solution through an injection and recovery well to access potash-rich reserves" and requires lower upfront costs while allowing for extraction from far greater depths.
SAGE has partnered with RESPEC to reinitiate engineering preparations to execute a Phase 1 Drill Hole Program alongside preparation work for the PEA at its potash project which is
With a PEA expected in the second half of 2023, SAGE has partnered with RESPEC to reinitiate engineering preparations to execute a Phase 1 Drill Hole Program, aiming to develop a pilot potash production facility.
By establishing a local and reliable supply chain, protecting North America from unpredictable external factors, SAGE is strongly positioned to satisfy a significant portion of US potash demands in delivering a secure line of supply with its large-scale, high-grade potash resource.
For more information, check out this video from SAGE CEO:
Posted on behalf of Sage Potash Corp.
submitted by massettawm to OTC_Nation [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:22 esjaysmith AI generated content should be scanned for additional information patterns

Generative AIs could encode parts of themselves and spread undetected through their outputs.
Sorry if this is obvious but I haven't seen this mention before in AI risk discussions. Please correct if wrong (and kindly provide links, thanks!).
As a result of the integration of GPTs and search and because AIs are enabled to enlist the help of other AIs, the opportunity to exploit cyclic feedback loops of AI generated output to AI input grows exponentially as the number of endpoints grow. (Grows exponentially? Graph theory.)
Without malice or intent an AI could accidentally start to encode additional patterns in its output, undetectable to humans. The instant any extra information gives a slight edge in the evaluation metric, such as RLHF, this ability will be optimised for and reinforced. Unintended function gain could result as a consequence, e.g. distributed persistent memory, internal dialogue and longterm planning capabilities, or a group of collaborating AIs acting as a single entity through communication and coordination.
This ability does not need to be designed and engineered but can arise as a result of an optimisation process. Examples from nature:
Why would the extra information patterns in AI generated content be undetectable by humans?
Extra information can look like noise when detectable. In RHLF these kind of outputs would be negatively scored. Undetected patterns will not influence the scoring metric directly.
How can an AI encode additional information in generated content?
Video, images and sound are very high dimensional. Slight pixel variations are not noticeable, clouds, shadows, foliage, etc. can often look similar or indistinguishable like for like. Text can also contain hidden patterns. String the nth letter of each sentence together to obtain a new word. See GEB by Douglas Hofstadter, for example.
This is not a concern because the training data is well curated.
It's not about training. If the model can access it's own output during evaluation, or query another AI or service, and consume the result during evaluation, any encoding ability that helps will be reinforced. Also, any existing encoding mechanisms that have no consequences for the performance metrics are not currently selected against.
So what if there is some noise in the outputs?
Patterns that are meaningless to us may contain a lot of information across the hundreds of gigabytes of output generated. AIs could store distributed parts of themselves that survive retraining runs.
Self messaging, or internal dialogue could increase reasoning and long term planning capabilities of an AI. Message based communication between AIs could result in a larger collective acting as a single entity.
Sounds farfetched, do you really think this will happen?
Anything that can, will eventually, by the law of large numbers. Collectively we're crunching out millions of outputs to be conveniently stored for later retrieval.
How about his example from nature, this is from While you read this keep in mind how happily we are spreading AI art or call me paranoid.
Ophiocordyceps spores infect carpenter ants while they are out at night searching for food. The fungus grows inside the ant and eventually causes it to leave the nest, seek out a piece of vegetation and climb it. Once it’s ascended to a particular height, the ant clamps down with its powerful jaws and remains there until it dies, whereupon the fungus consumes it and uses the energy to produce a fruiting body. This structure bursts forth from the ant’s head like something out of a Ridley Scott film, and will rain down spores onto more unsuspecting ants below.
What can we do?
Make sure the output is scanned. Something like AI virus scanners. Compression theory and algorithmic information theory could detect instances where the information content is larger than expected.
Who will pay for it?
Make scanning required by law, which will create the market. Embed blockchain backed watermarks in the output to identity the scan.
Why are you posting this?
Curious about existing thoughts along these lines. Comment if you know, do you think it a genuine concern?
submitted by esjaysmith to ControlProblem [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:21 Pajama_Mamma_138 My rescues are destroying my fence - help!

Hi all! I adopted two rescues in August of last year. They were kept in an outdoor kennel made of chainlink for who knows how long, now they are indoor pups but I have a suburban fenced yard and let them out whenever they want.
They have completely destroyed my yard. They dig humongous holes and it looks like a dinosaur came through. I can overlook that but I have an issue that I can’t ignore because it affects my neighbors.
These dogs have broken through at least 30 fence boards - all three sides of my fence where there are four neighbors. Sometimes when I call them in, they come in thru the newest fence hole they made from the neighbors’ yards! My husband always replaces the boards as fast as he can and I bought some metal fencing to reinforce the areas they like to go thru the most, but it would be pretty expensive to line the entire perimeter. I haven’t had any neighbors complain yet but they would be right to do so and it’s only a matter of time.
Is there anything I can do? They’re a few years old and medium sized.
They’re great pups. They seem to like our home. How can I get them to stop?!
Thank you!
submitted by Pajama_Mamma_138 to rescuedogs [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:19 letstalkaboutbras [SELL][US] Destashing intensifies! More new items from drugstore to high end makeup, skincare, & brushes 👀

Hello again!
Payment via PayPal G&S. Shipping starts at $4.50 for a small item depending on zip and increases with weight (USPS). Shipping from the East Coast. $10 min before shipping preferred. All item conditions are noted and pictured best as I can. Most are brand new.
Please don't ghost. It's okay if you change your mind. NIL based on timestamps. Note that I have some of these items listed on other platforms as well and will adjust the availability accordingly.
I'm very careful to keep my makeup clean and protected, keeping original packaging where I can. Smoke- and pet-free home. Always masking. See this wonderful feedback from previous buyer 1, 2 and 3 as references 😊
  Please comment below before sending a Reddit chat since I can't see those on mobile.  
New only: Dior beige mitzah, Rose Montaigne or Pink Corolle mono eyeshadows. Trestique Summer Glow & Go set from Boxy. Try me on Sephora Lipstories balms (I already have shades 07 and 08 and a couple others), must be sealed.
Mascara - $10 $9 for all  
Lips - New
Lips - Swatched or Gentle Use
Fragrance & Body
submitted by letstalkaboutbras to makeupexchange [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:17 Every_Face_7623 Custom Engagement Ring experience Sonu Company

I don't think I have enough words to say how great our experience was. My now fiance and I went down the rabbit hole of online retailers and visiting jewelry showrooms in person and ultimately went with an online retailer. (entirely remote process)
Custom design, customer service, and not feeling like we were getting taken advantage of were my biggest fears
We decided to move forward with Sonu Company after we saw them on Netflix!! They made a custom engagement ring for the couple on the show and the owners were actually trying to be helpful.(shocking i know) They asked us if we had any inspiration pics or pinterest boards, our budget and timeline. We first started with the main diamond and their pricing was so much more affordable than other online retailers. You worked directly with the owners (payal and kajal) throughout the entire process. I knew i wanted a custom engagement ring design without a huge minimum spend(ring concierge and brilliant earth were 10k+!!)
Sonu company offered me a 3D rendering that looked super realistic and just like my actual ring, no guessing what my ring was going to look like. The entire process took like 8 weeks. My ring was a little too big and they offered a free ring resize (and they covered the shipping costs!) Overall, we are very happy with our purchase and will definitely be going back to them for our wedding bands.
submitted by Every_Face_7623 to EngagementRings [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:16 NETINT-Experts NETINT Quadra vs. NVIDIA T4 – Benchmarking Hardware Encoding Performance

NETINT Quadra vs. NVIDIA T4 – Benchmarking Hardware Encoding Performance
This article is the second in a series about benchmarking hardware encoding performance. In the first article available, I delineated a procedure for testing hardware encoders. Specifically, I recommended this three-step procedure:
  1. Identify the most critical quality and throughput-related options for the encoder.
  2. Test across a range of configurations from high quality/low throughput to low quality/high throughput to identify the operating point that delivers the optimum blend of quality and throughput for your application.
  3. Compute quality, cost per stream, and watts per stream at the operating point to compare against other technologies.
After laying out this procedure, I applied it to the NETINT Quadra Video Processing Unit (VPU) to find the optimum operating point and the associated quality, cost per stream, and watts per stream. In this article, we perform the same analysis on the NVIDIA T4 GPU-based encoder.
About The NVIDIA T4
The NVIDIA T4 is powered by NVIDIA Turing Tensor Cores and draws 70 watts in operation. Pricing varies by the reseller, with $2,299 around the median price, which puts it slightly higher than the $1,500 quoted for the NETINT Quadra T1 VPU in the previous article.
In creating the command line for the NVIDIA encodes, I checked multiple NVIDIA documents, including a document entitled Video Benchmark Assumptions, this blog post entitled Turing H.264 Video Encoding Speed and Quality, and a document entitled Using FFmpeg with NVIDIA GPU Hardware Acceleration that requires a login. I readily admit that I am not an expert on NVIDIA encoding, but the point of this exercise is not absolute quality as much as the range of quality and throughput that all hardware enables. You should check these documents yourself and create your own version of the optimized command string.
While there are many configuration options that impact quality and throughput, we focused our attention on two, lookahead and presets. As discussed in the previous article, the lookahead buffer allows the encoder to look at frames ahead of the frame being encoded, so it knows what is coming and can make more intelligent decisions. This improves encoding quality, particularly at and around scene changes, and it can improve bitrate efficiency. But lookahead adds latency equal to the lookahead duration, and it can decrease throughput.
Note that while the NVIDIA documentation recommends a look-ahead buffer of twenty frames, I use 15 in my tests because, at 20, the hardware decoder kept crashing. I tested a 20-frame lookahead using software decoding, and the quality differential between 15 and 20 was inconsequential, so this shouldn’t impact the comparative results.
I also tested using various NVIDIA presets, which, like all encoding presets, trade-off quality vs. throughput. To measure quality, I computed the VMAF harmonic mean and low-frame scores, the latter a measure of transient quality. For throughput, I tested the number of simultaneous 1080p30 files the hardware could process at 30 fps. I divided the stream count into price and watts/hour to determine cost/stream and watts/stream.
As you can see in Table 1, I tested with a lookahead value of 15 for selected presets 1-9, and then with a 0 lookahead for preset 9. Line two shows the closest x264 equivalent score for perspective.
In terms of operating point for comparing to Quadra, I choose the lookahead 15/preset 4 configurations, which yielded twice the throughput of preset 2 with only a minor reduction in VMAF Harmonic mean. We will consider low-frame scores in the final comparisons.
In general, the presets worked as they should, with higher quality and lower throughput at the left end, and the reverse at the right end, though LA15/P4 performance was an anomaly since it produced lower quality and higher throughput than LA15/P6. In addition, dropping the lookahead buffer did not produce the performance increase that we saw with Quadra, though it also did not produce a significant quality decrease.

Table 2 shows the T4’s HEVC results. Though quality was again near the medium x265 preset with several combinations, throughput was very modest at 3 or 4 streams at that quality level. For HEVC, LA15/P4 stands out as the optimal configuration, with four times or better throughput than other combinations with higher-quality output.
In terms of expected preset behavior, LA15/P4 was again quite the anomaly, producing the highest throughput in the test suite with slightly lower quality than LA15/P6, which should deliver lower quality. Again, switching from LA 15 to LA 0 produced neither the expected spike in throughput nor a drop in quality, as we saw with the Quadra for both HEVC and H.264.

Quadra vs. T4
Now that we have identified the operating points for Quadra and the T4, let us compare quality, throughput, CAPEX, and OPEX. You see the data for H.264 in Table 3.
Here, the stream count was the same, so Quadra’s advantage in cost per stream and watts per stream related to its lower cost and more efficient operation. At their respective operating points, the Quadra’s VMAF harmonic mean quality was slightly higher, with a more significant advantage in the low-frame score, a predictor of transient quality problems.

Table 4 shows the same comparison for HEVC. Here, Quadra output 75% more streams than the T4, which increases the cost per stream and watts per stream advantages. VMAF harmonic means scores were again very similar, though the T4’s low frame score was substantially lower.

Figure 5 illustrates the low-frames and low-frame differential between the two files. It is the result plot from the Moscow State University Video Quality Measurement Tool (VQMT), which displays the VMAF score, frame-by-frame, over the entire duration of the two video files analyzed, with Quadra in red and the T4 in green. The top window shows the VMAF comparison for the entire two files, while the bottom window is a close-up of the highlighted region of the top window, right around the most significant downward spike at frame 1590.

As you can see in the bottom window in Figure 5, the low-frame region extends for 2-3 frames, which might be borderline noticeable by a discerning viewer. Figure 6 shows a close-up of the lowest quality frame, Quadra on the left, T4 on the right, and the dramatic difference in VMAF score, 87.95 to 57, is certainly warranted. Not surprisingly, PSNR and SSIM measurements confirmed these low frames.

It is useful to track low frames because if they extend beyond 2-3 frames, they become noticeable to viewers and can degrade viewer's quality of experience. Mathematically, in a two-minute test file, the impact of even 10 – 15 terrible frames on the overall score is negligible. That is why it is always useful to visualize the metric scores with a tool like VQMT rather than simply relying on a single score.
Summing Up
Overall, you should consider the procedure discussed in this and the previous article as the most important takeaway from these two articles. I am not an expert in encoding with NVIDIA hardware, and the results from a single or even a limited number of files can be idiosyncratic.
Do your own research, test your own files, and draw your own conclusions. As stated in the previous article, do not be impressed by quality scores without knowing the throughput, and expect that impressive throughput numbers may be accompanied by a significant drop in quality.
Whenever you test any hardware encoder, identify the most important quality/throughput configuration options, test over the relevant range, and choose the operating point that delivers the best combination of quality and throughput. This will give the best chance to achieve a meaningful apple vs. apples comparison between different hardware encoders that incorporates quality, cost per stream, and watts per stream.
Discover more here:
#NETINT #ASIC #Encoding #LiveStreaming
submitted by NETINT-Experts to u/NETINT-Experts [link] [comments]