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Which awards are locked in? Which are still up for debate? a glance through the odds and campaigns in each category
It feels like it's been 5 years since we've seen actual NBA basketball, which may make awards debates and campaigns more difficult. Wait, who was playing well again...? Dennis Schroder? Seriously? Huh. Okay then. As we soldier back into the bubble, there's a risk that awards voters will forget about that early part of the season (aka the vast majority) and fall victim to recency bias. Given that, we wanted to glance through the major races and determine which -- if any -- awards may still be in debate. For this exercise, I'm using the current odds as listed by an online betting site (bovada). Note: the percentages do NOT add up to 100% because online betting sites like your money. MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo: - 3500 (97%) LeBron James: +600 (14%) is the race over? This betting site heavily favors Giannis Antetokounmpo, although some other metrics have it closer than that. Basketball-reference's MVP tracker lists Giannis at 50.7% and LeBron at 17.3%. I'm more inclined to believe the latter and that LeBron James would be closer to 15-20% odds. No doubt, Giannis is a worthy MVP. He's been a dominant force (again) for the top statistical team in the league (again.) He's racking up 30-14-6 in only 30.9 minutes per game. In most circumstances, he'd win this award in a walk. That said, you can never discount "narrative," and LeBron James has a few of those going for him. The Lakers have vaulted up to the # 1 seed in the West, outperforming preseason expectations. James has played exceptionally well, and even led the league in assists. Partly because of that, James' camp has successfully gotten the media to buy into the storyline that he made a sudden transition to point guard (ya know, because he had always deferred to his point guards like Mo Williams and Mario Chalmers in the past...) More than that, James may benefit from this strange corona-bubble. He's been a leading advocate for continuing on, and as always, players tend to follow his lead. I can see more than a few media members giving James an MVP vote for "saving the season." All in all, I expect this vote to be closer than it should be (and I expect poor James Harden to finish well behind where he should as well.) So James will get some votes, but can he actually win the award? I wouldn't rule it out. The Lakers are currently 3 games behind the Bucks for the # 1 overall seed. It's hard to imagine Milwaukee losing enough to slip, but it's not Wallace Shawn inconceivable either. If the Lakers somehow manage to catch them, then I actually think LeBron will win MVP. Of course, it's more likely the Bucks will hang onto the # 1 seed, and Giannis will hang onto MVP. But again, I don't think it's a stone cold lock -- yet. Rookie of the Year Ja Morant: - 3500 (97%) Zion Williamson: +850 (11%) is the race over? It should be. Zion Williamson is freakin' amazing, but he's played 19 games so far. That's 40 less than Ja Morant, who has played stellar ball for a rookie from a small school, and somehow led the Memphis Grizzlies to the 8th seed. Still, we can't rule out the risk of recency bias and a wild overreaction from the media. Williamson has a chance to lead the Pelicans up to the 9th spot, at which point they'd play Morant's Grizzlies. If Williamson can lead New Orleans to two victories over Memphis in a row -- and thus leapfrog them in the standings -- then it's very feasible the media would throw their vote his way. The media (and the league as a whole) tends to like this Zion fella, if you haven't noticed. Sixth Man Dennis Schroder: - 220 (69%) Montrezl Harrell: +190 (34%) Lou Williams: +450 (18%) Derrick Rose: +3000 (3%) is the race over? Simply put: no. It's still a three-man race in my book. The Clippers' Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell finished 1-2 last season, and are right back in the thick of things this year. Among the two, it's harder to justify Williams' winning for the third season in a row. He hasn't played as well as last year, and hasn't been as big of a focal point for the Clippers' game plan. With Sweet Lou taking a slight step back, it's opened the door for Dennis Schroder. He's having a career season in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's hard to understate his jump this year. In his six previous seasons, his career high true shooting percentage was only 53.3%. This season? He's vaulted up to 57.3%. The question is: have enough voters noticed? OKC has been a feel-good story this year, but Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tend to get the most credit for that. Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if voters get lazy and just fall back on the highest scorer among the three. And even by those standards, the race is wide open. Schroder is at 19.0 PPG, Williams is at 18.7 PPG, and Harrell is at 18.6 PPG. A strong (or bad) week or two in the bubble may tilt this race in any direction. Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo: -500 (83%) Anthony Davis: +200 (33%) Rudy Gobert: +2800 (3%) is the race over? Even among savvy and analytically-inclined media members, "defense" is still something of a mystery to quantify. We see a lot of herd mentality emerge for DPOY voting, with candidates needing to stake their claim early on and campaign all season long. In terms of storylines and narratives, it felt like Anthony Davis had the early momentum. He's a wrecking ball (1.5 steals, 2.4 blocks) who helped improve the Lakers' defense from # 12 to # 3 this season. Still, Giannis Antetokounmpo has steadily built his case for a double MVP + DPOY, and currently ranks as the betting favorite on this site. Personally, I believe it's a closer race than these numbers suggest. At the same time, I'm not sure what their play in the bubble is going to do about it. More likely, it'll be an influential media piece (like Zach Lowe pushing for Marc Gasol) that may get voters ushering on one side or another. Most Improved Bam Adebayo: -150 (60%) Brandon Ingram: +250 (29%) Luka Doncic: +500 (17%) Jayson Tatum: +900 (10%) Devonte Graham: +1000 (9%) is the race over? Again, this race feels "too close to call" to me. John King and David Chalian may be tallying up the counties all night long. Earlier this season, I looked back at previous Most Improved winners and tried to find some common threads. On average, the winner improved from 11.7 PPG to 19.6 PPG (roughly +8 points.) Historically speaking, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum fit close to those templates. Ingram has swelled from 18.3 PPG to 24.3 PPG in his first season in New Orleans (+6). Tatum has made an even bigger leap, going from 15.7 PPG to 23.6 PPG (essentially our exact +8). Of the two, I may lean more to Ingram myself. Tatum's taking more shots and more threes, but he was already considered a proven star prior to this. Ingram had been more of a question mark before, but has now established himself as a potential max player. The key for him has been an improved FT%. In his first three seasons, he shot 62%, 68%, and 68% from the line. This year, he's up to 86%. That's major progress, and represents a massive difference in his efficiency "floor." Still, you wonder if Ingram's momentum peaked too early. Ever since Zion Williamson came back, it feels like Ingram has been an afterthought in the media. Conversely, Bam Adebayo's reputation within the media is still surging. He's been a major reason for the Miami Heat's success this year, nearly doubling from 8.9 PPG to 16.2 PPG (+7.3 overall.) He's also doubled his assists (from 2.2 to 5.1). If you wanted to nitpick Adebayo's candidacy, you may suggest he was pretty darn good already. A lot of the statistical upswing comes from an increase in minutes, from 23.3 to 34.4 this year. Overall, I'd say Abebayo is the favorite, but I wouldn't lock it in yet. A player like Brandon Ingram could get hot and have a few 40 point games, at which point the momentum may swing back in his favor.
The Markets have an interesting behavior: they don’t care about something, until all at once they care, and they’ll care a great deal. At the beginning of May, states like Texas began to re-open. And for awhile, it seemed that it was the correct move. Cases weren’t going down but they weren’t going up either. Throughout most of may we even saw a slight though not significant decline. Governors and citizens became encouraged and started lifting restrictions and abandoning social distancing rules. History I promise you will rudely stamp these moves into textbooks as a lesson for people to learn from in responding to future epidemics and pandemics. We are in the middle of the next COVID crisis. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is frankly lying, or ignorant. Case counts have soared back to March and April levels, and it seems all but foretold that we will see the US break its record for coronavirus cases in a day by the end of next week. But this time, it’s worse: we have people ignoring social distancing rules across the country, believing the rhetoric of a deranged carrot saying the coronavirus is ‘fading away.’ The fear that helped save lives before has dissipated as the storm of warnings aren’t hitting people living under the umbrella of misinformation. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Gotlieb, two doctors for whatever the world thinks of them are some of the better experts on Coronavirus, have been messaging you for weeks warning things are getting out of control. Dr. Gotlieb mentioned this recent friday that the likelihood schools are going to be able to open nationally is in serious doubt. Dr. Fauci mentioned that the NFL may have serious trouble playing in the fall. These doctors, who understand way more about the virus than we do, are saying ‘We are going to have serious alterations to our lifestyles through the end of this year.’ Governor Greg ‘I guess I rushed into reopening’ Abbot just made a plea to Texans to not go anywhere unless they need to. Texas is the number two GDP state in the country. Basically giving a casual stay at home order does not bode well for the productivity of Texas, nor the outlook of its ability to fight the virus. California is really getting out of control. It’s the number one GDP producing state. Florida doesn’t give a fuck and man does the virus not give a fuck about their not giving a fuck. It’s the number four GDP producing state. This is getting so bad that the EU is considering a ban on travel from the US. You thought airlines had it rough with no flights to China and Europe for the last couple months? If they can’t get in a decent travel summer season on international flights, good luck to your calls. Hopefully JPow creates a credit facility to give loans to fucked airline call buyers since the government is willing to collateralize just about every other part of the airlines for their loans. We are simply doomed at this point to repeat our recent history. There will be a lot of denial, shouting, the carrot will turn red with anger, and there may even be violence, but eventually we will see some parts of the country forced to shut back down in the coming weeks and months. It’ll become a matter of hospital capacity becoming so overloaded that the state simply cannot manage the crisis. Bulls will say what they’ve said since the bottom: the fed will print the road out of this. Yeah, that was going to work for round one. Round two? Not so much. And the fed will have to start getting religious if inflation gets out of control. You can look at the inflation rate released every month and say ‘well the rate looks very disinflationary.’ Yeah, that’s not really how its playing out. Groceries are becoming more expensive, a tell-tale sign that inflation is kicking in hard. Commodity prices are generally rising (Even for oil, as oil inventories destroy expectations every time.) Meanwhile the DXY index is shedding value like its on a weight loss program. All of this to say: The fed can bridge a gap, it cannot replace the economy. And while their next moves will become increasingly exotic and aggressive, it will without a doubt at least come with long term scarring on the economy, if not outright damage upon implementation. Liquidity cannot replace solvency, and that’s something we’re starting to notice in such places as delinquency rates across CMBS’s. And wall street will finally have ‘fundamentals reassert’ as second quarter results come in with expectations grim as the hospitals overwhelmed with foolish policies playing out in real time. But let’s make one thing clear: New York proved that if we had simply waited an extra few weeks, been diligent with social distancing, and bothered to wear a mask we would be in a true recovery summer where businesses would have an opportunity to take in enough money to make through a long winter. That’s not going to be the case anymore through the summer. Long dated puts are all but guaranteed at this point. So, what are the moves?? First, get the FUCK out of cruise lines and airlines if you’re still in. You made a lot of money defying everyone with the stock going up, congratulations. Take profits. Don’t be an idiot. Tourism and travel will come back, but not before summer ’21 at the earliest, and many of the companies we know today won’t be around to take reservations. Border closings will be up for quarters at this point, let’s just be realistic about that. Second, Vix calls are the way. They are a cheap hedge that pay out huge and can pay for many bullish bets gone wrong in a portfolio. Full blown WSB should consider buying UVXY calls. Third: Realize that there’s so much credit and debt issued out to risky companies that we may have a serious problem in the coming months with defaults. At the same time this debt has been issued, debt downgrades are soaring. You wanna see the stock market tank? Two sizable S and P companies file for bankruptcy and the market wakes up from its wet dream to realize that stocks, are in fact, the riskiest asset to buy. I understand that bearish sentiment is usually great for being a contrarian indicator to buy. This is the exception to that rule, as we are not in a financial crisis, we are in a pandemic where half the populous won’t accept facts. This time, the bears will be right. If remember one thing from this post in the proceeding months, remember this: just because a phenomena isn’t happening to you, doesn’t mean the phenomena isn’t severely effecting others. Positions: Vix calls 9/18-12/15, XLF Puts dated longer than six months, GE puts, APT shares, hedges in renewable sectors, cash, long dated GLD calendars
A PC-User's Purchase "Guide" (it's not...just the ramblings of an idiot) to High Quality Audio on your system.
Hello friends, today I'd like to talk about an aspect of our glorious systems that get overlooked a lot: our audio experience on our battlestations. Thanks to paoper for formatting. Again disclaimer that I am an idiot, so take this post with a grain of salt. Better info and more accurate info from people way more knowledgeable than I am is readily available from /audiophile/budgetaudiophile and /headphones, this is just a start-up guide for the beginner. NOTE: The monster I gave birth to has become too long. I felt that instead of a short list of things to order, I needed to give context as high fidelity is really all about what sound is like in your experience. Also a fun read if you are interested. Feel free to skip to the actual list (ctrl+f active speakers, passive speakers, headphones, subwoofer, amplifier)! I have limited the price range of the products, because this is after all just food for thought and not even a proper guide; real audio purchases will require elbow-grease and research from your end to see if the product's sound signature will match your preferences in music and sound. If your product is not here, do not worry. I have put in products that I have had experience with and those that were recommended by multiple reviewers I hold in high regard (with the exception of a 2.1 system you will see later), and I had to consider the endless number of headphones/speakers vs the ones that are worth your hard-earned cash (and products vs how they compare to my current setup which includes both "high-end" and budget options).
I've been building systems for myself and others since I randomly took a buildapc course in middle school (currently 28) and enjoy music very much (I grew up on linkin park, dre, biggie smalls, 3 6 mafia, tupac, ac/dc, red hot chilli peppers am fond of electro and dubstep and various genres of music). I have 2 decades of experience playing saxophone, clarinet, and the electric guitar, and have performed in jazz bands, rock bands, and an orchestra. My ear is highly trained from raw musical performance and not just listening to speakers from home, as well as having the nuance to differentiate between good speakers. I have owned many many forms of audio gear (instruments, speakers, headphones, studio monitors).
So wtf is this?
So occasionally while answering questions on this subreddit (mainly on why new builder's systems aren't posting, or what components they should get, or just mourning with fellow builders for systems that have passed on as well as celebrating the birth of new systems and fellow pc builders who take their rite of passage of building their own system with their own two hands) I would come across the occasional "what speakers/headphones are best under $xx" and with the state of pc products being "gaming rgb ultimate series XLR" or w/e, it's hard to discern what audio products are actually worth your money. Note that if you are using just "good enough" cheap speakers, any of the speakers/headphones on this list will blow your mind away. Get ready to enter a new world of audio.
Why should I bother getting better speakers/headphones?
I have owned $20 logitech speakers, I currently own $1500 speakers. I have owned varying levels of headphones. The first half-decent (to my standards) speakers I had was a hand me down stereo set from an uncle. This thing was massive, but this thing was good. It's difficult to explain to you the sensation of music enveloping you with great speakers. Speakers are meant to reproduce sound, as in the sound of the instruments in the song. So great speakers and headphones can literally make you FEEL the music like at a rave or a concert or performance in the comfort of your home. This is why Home Theaters were so popular in the 80s/90s. Upgrading will GREATLY enhance your music, netflix and gaming experience. In fact with passive bookshelf speakers, you can not only use them for your desktop setup, but also chuck them together with a tv and you've got a fine starter home theater system in your hands. You can even upgrade down the line incrementally, one speaker at a time, to a 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 7.2 Dolby Atmos Home Theater Setup where your movies make you feel like your in SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I currently live in a small apartment with my TV right next to my battlestation, and when i want to sit down on my couch and watch TV, I simply move 1 speaker from my desk to next to my TV, turn my AVR on and I have an easy 5.1 home theater in my tiny apartment. Move the speaker, revert back to 2.1 (or 5.1 if i choose to but i dont because of badspeaker placement when I'm sitting at my desk) amazingness at my battlestation. Consider this an investment into massively improving your experience of playing video games, watching netflix, or listening to music. You think those 4k graphics and ULTRAWIDE monitor is giving you more immersion in your game? Shit...having great speakers or headphones can make you feel like you're IN NORMANDY BEACH DURING THE FUCKING LANDINGS
General considerations (or feel free to just skip ahead to the list)
Now, I totally understand using simple logitech speakers due to budget/space/easy-access from best buy or not knowing about the wider audio world. So I am here today to give you a perspective on what audio components are TRULY worth your hard-earned cash. I have owned $20 logitech speakers in college, I have owned guitar amps as well as studio monitors/other speakers ranging from $100-$1500. Do know that all of this information is readily available in /BudgetAudiophile/audiophile and /headphones . I am merely condensing all of it into a single list, and attempt to sort of explain it to the pc builders, or just an idiot rambling. If you would like more information on specific speakers, I would check out reviewers on youtube like zerofidelity, steve guttenberg, nextbigthing (nbt) studios, and thomas and stereo. For headphones, metal751, innerfidelity, Ishca's written reviews, DMS. Z reviews is okay and he reviews everything from amps and dacs to speakers and headphones, but he gives 90% of his products good reviews, and has affiliate links to every single product he reviews....so you see where my dislike of him as a reviewer comes from. He is still an expert audiophile , he just chooses to not use his knowledge and ramble on in his videos, plus the shilling. Great place to start for audiophiles, as he is still a professional. I just think many move on to other reviewers. Also with speakers, speaker placement is extremely important. Get those speakers off your desk and the woofers/tweeters to your ear level NO MATTER THE COST. Stack boxes/books, buy speaker stands/isolation pads from amazon, at worst buy yoga blocks from amazon. Put your speakers on them, get ready for even better audio. General rule of thumb: dont buy HiFi at msrp. There are ALWAYS deals on speakers/headphones to take advantage of at any given time (massdrop for headphones, parts-express, accessories4less, crutchfield, adorama, Sweetwater, guitar center, etc). Speakers will get cheaper over time as manufacturers have to make room for new products/refreshes of the same models just as with headphones. If theres a particular headphone model you want, check to see if massdrop has it (website where users of the website decide what niche products the website will mass order, and both the website and you the users get reduced pricing). Now this list is just simple guide. Obviously for $150 budget, theres probably like 10 different speakers to choose from. You will catch me repeat this many many times but sound is subjective, I don't know what genres of music you enjoy and what sound signatures in headphones/speakers you would prefer (warm sounds? bright? aggressively forward? laid back sound signature? importance of clarity vs bass?) So consider this list with a grain of salt, as this is after all, the ramblings of an idiot on reddit.
So I will be splitting this list into 4 categories:
And before I start, bass depth and low end does not fucking equal bad boomy bass. I absolutely detest low quality boomy bass like in Beats headphones and general "gaming speakers" or w/e. Also the budetaudiophile starter package is the dayton audio b652 + mini amp combo from parts-express. All the speakers that were considered were basically compared to the b652 before making it on here (and whether they justified the price bump over the b652)
Active vs. Passive (crude explanation)
So when a speaker plays music from your pc, the audio is processed by the audio card on your motherboard, which is then sent to the amplifier where the signal is amplified, and then finally is sent to be played on your speakers. Active speakers like logitech speakers that have a power cable running from the speakers directly to the wall socket have built-in amplifiers to power the speakers, whereas passive speakers require a separate amplifier to amplify the audio signal and feed the speakers power. Active vs passive, no real difference as both types of speakers will have good audio quality depending on how they are made and which ones you buy, but in the ultra budget section of speakers (under $300) actives tend to be cheaper than their passive counter parts. This is due to the manufacturer cutting corners elsewhere. Take for instance the Micca MB42X passive speakers($90) which also have a brother, the Micca PB42X ($120) powered speakers. Same exact speaker, but built in amp vs the amp you buy. Obviously the mb42x will sound marginally better purely from the virtue that the amplifier is not inside the goddamn box. But the mb42x + amp + speaker wire will probably cost you anywhere from basic $130 to $200 with difference in amplifier and whether you use bare speaker wire or banana plugs/cables. Cabling aesthetics and management will be greatly affected, with sound quality affected to a lesser degree, or more (but at what cost?). Amp choice to be explained later. Now generally speakers should be recommended based on your music/audio preferences and tastes as speakers and in a larger part, speaker brands will have their own unique sound signatures that some will love and others will hate as sound is such a subjective experience. But since this is meant to cater to a wide audience, note that my list is not the ALL inclusive, and again is only the ramblings of an idiot.
If you want to add bluetooth capabilities to your wires active or passive speakers, simply buy the esinkin W29 wireless bluetooth module, plug your speakers in, connect to your bluetooth on pc/phone/w/e, enjoy.
Simply connect to your PC or TV via 3.5mm (or the occasional usb). Note: you may experience a hissing with active speakers that may annoy you to no end even up to the $400 mark. This is a result of the amplifier being built in to the speaker in close proximity, as well as sometimes the manufacturer cutting corners elsewhere. Passive speakers do not have this unless you buy a really shitty amp. Note that while bigger woofer size does not necessarily indicate better quality/bass, this does more often than not seem to be the case as manufacturers put bigger woofers on the higher stepup model. Note that while I have included 2.1 systems here, I would always recommend you get good bookshelves first, save up money and buy a subwoofer separate.
Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP 2.1 $40. This is the I'm broke af but I need speakers route. 2.1 setup for 40 bucks. We do not have the luxury of options here. Enough said. Amazon
Okay, for under $100 for good quality active speakers, there really is no other choice here besides Edifier speakers on amazon. In fact, their entire lineup is pretty solid all around ranging from the 980T for $70 to the S350DB which is a 2.1 system with 2 bookshelves and a sub for $300. Differences in the models are basically bigger woofers/tweeters as you go up in price, resulting in better bass performance and clarity (again crude explanation). If you don't want to research much and want simplicity, any of the edifiers are the way to go, with the 1700BT being the goto 2.0, or the 1850db which as a sub-out so you can add in a subwoofer into your setup later.
Micca PB42X: $120- The active version of the popular MB42X passive speakers. Very good performance for price.
Mackie CR3/4 $90/$140- Now normally I don't recommend these, but they are okay/meh speakers and have that razer aesthetic going on, and aesthetics are big part of speaker choice, so if you like the black/green color scheme, I guess these are passable.
Klipsch Pro Media 2.1: $150- the only 2.1 system I'd recommend under $200. The thing about adding in a subwoofer to a 2.1 system under $200 means they have to cut corners elsewhere. This is the main difference of 2.1 systems vs bookshelves. While the subwoofer will allow your music to hit the lower notes in frequency resulting in deeper and more bass, this will usually come at a cost of audio quality in the mid and upper ranges in the music. If you are a BASSHEAD then yeah you probably want a subwoofer, though bookshelves under $200 also have decent bass. Note, ALWAYS BETTER TO BUY BOOKSHELVES AND SUBWOOFER SEPARATELY, but this will be pricier. Klipsch Website Direct or amazon.
Fluance ai40/ai60: $200/$300- nice looking speakers that come in white and walnut and black that also have good clarity and quality. Their bass is surprisingly okay as they are rated to go a little bit below in the lower frequencies than speakers in similar price. I have listened to these before shortly for 2 hours, and would recommend. IIRC the ai60 has a subwoofer out. Mind the size of the 60s, quite big. Fluance direct or amazon.
Kanto YU4: $270 Direct competitor to fluance ai series. Comes in white as well.
Audioengine A2+/A5+ :$270/$400. I have no experience with this lineup, but lots of love/hate dynamic with this brand over on budgetaudiophile. Good and bad thing.
JBL 305P: $300 - maybe the endgame speakers of this list. These are very famous and respected studio monitors that music artists and producers use often. They are sold $150 per speaker, and you will need to get 2. Hooking them up requires separate cables, as these are standalone speakers with it's own volume control on each speaker. Simplest way is to buy a 3.5mm to dual TS Cable. Set both speakers to same physical volume level via knob, and adjust volume using windows settings (having a volume knob on your keyboard helps immensely here). Or buy a separate in line volume control from amazon ($20 bucks or under) and connect via 3.5mm to rca. Being studio monitors, these are meant to reproduce sound neutrally (they will have no external flavoring like how Beats adds muddy boomy bass to its headphones to use as a bad example) and may not sound alive or bright or to your tastes. They can be demo-ed/tested out at guitar center if you have access to one in this pandemic.
Logitech G560 RGB Gaming Speakers: $200 (yes, you read that right): Okay, now normally I'd be crucified for recommending a logitech speaker in the other audio forums. But I have used these speakers briefly for about 3 months when I got them cheap from a friend. The sound quality of these satellite speakers are....surprisingly not bad? Might I dare to say that these are even....decent for it's price? Now these are $200 speakers for a 2.1 system. This means that it's either this or Klipsch 2.1. Honestly my vote here goes to the logitechs. I owned the Klipsch promedia 2.1 for about half a year. I can definitely say I prefer the clarity of the logitechs vs the boomy bass of the Klipsch. The subwoofer on the 560 does NOT have its own control knob, so you would need to adjust bass settings through logitech eq. Note, these speakers will not sound good out of the box. You will need to go into the eq settings via logitech software, and change the settings to match your tastes. Honestly the fact that you have to tweak the eq through shitty logitech software to make these sound good is pretty bullshit. Note that I am not recommending the z623/625. Don't get those. I used these in college in my apt in brooklyn, and while boomy bass, I'd definitely go with the B652 + mini amp, klipsch 2.1, or the g560 over the z623/625 FOR SURE.
Second-hand market: okay, let's say you are determined to get quality speakers but you do not have the budget. Look around on the second hand market for stuff from KRK, Emotiva, Ascend, HSU. Make sure to demo them out for as long as you can until the seller gets pissed (please don't), so that you can test to see if you like the sound.
These speakers will require you to buy a separate amplifier, as well as separate cables. But the passive route allows you to have a modular audio system that allows you to upgrade parts as you go along in your life (yes I said life for once you dip your toes into high fidelity, you will get hooked onto a great lifelong journey searching for the perfect setup), or even just add parts in altogether (like having a miniamp on your desk for your passive speakers, having a separate dac or bluetooth module for your speakers so you can connect the passive speakers via USB or bluetooth wirelessly, stacked on top of a headphone dac/amp combo, stacked on top of a preamp, etc). Amplifier list to follow later. Passive speaker specs to pay attention to will be their impedance (measured in ohms) and their sensitivity (measured in xx db/1w/1m). Speaker ratings in wattage are measurements of how much power can be driven to them (higher watts, higher volume...once again crude explanation). A 20 watt x 2 channel amp (measured in 4 ohms) is enough to power 4 and 6 ohm speakers rated at 100 watts to moderate/decently loud listening levels on your desktop. Now the sensitivity thing. A speaker with a rating of 85db/1m/1w means it will produce 85 decibels of noise at 1 meter with 1 watt of power. Now this not linear....to make the same speaker go up to 90 decibels may require 10 or 15 watts of power depending on other variables. Depending on how loudly you play your music and what impedance/sensitivity your speakers have will result in your choice of amplifiers. More on this later. The thing about passive bookshelf speakers are that you can use them in your desktop setup, AND with your TV as a legitimate starter 2.1 home theater setup (which you can upgrade to 3.1, and then 5.1/5.2, just buy a used receiver from craigslist for 50 bucks, ez)
What you will need for passive setup:
Note that passive speakers and amp require you to purchase speaker wire separately (fairly cheap) and strip them (youtube video will guide you, very easy). Or if you like clean cable management and easy setups, banana plug cables from amazon will set you straight, and while these banana plugs and cable are nice and PURELY OPTIONAL, they will add up in cost as your buy more of them for frankenstein 2.1 cabling. Also a 3.5mm to rca cable will be required. The connection will be your pc -> 3.5mm->rca->amp->speaker wire-> speaker wire->speaker. (replace speaker wire with banana plug if going that route). Subwoofer connection will be explained in subwoofer section.
Dayton audio b652+ mini amp combo on parts-express for $60/70. Two combos, two separate mini amps, one from lepai (china) and one from dayton. Same shit. It LITERALLY does not get better than this for under $100, maybe even $150. CHIEF THIS IS IT, i cannot stress this enough. This is the budgetaudiophile 101 starter pack. I'd recommend these over the active Mackies, Edifiers (up to the 1700), and any and all logitech/creative pebble/cyber w/e EVERYTHING systems (except for the g560). These are very BIG speakers and hence will deliver good sound and good bass due to its big woofers. If you have less than $100 to spend on the ENTIRE audio setup, go get these and speaker wire/banana plugs no questions asked. gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Dayton Audio B652 AIR $70- The difference between the AIR and the normal 652 is in the tweeter. The AIR tweeter on this speaker costs as much as the entire b652 speaker. This tweeter upgrade gives even more clarity and quality in the treble range (middle upper sound frequency). The next best thing for under $100, though doesn't come with the mini amp combo.
Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speakers. $150 msrp, $120 on amazon/bestbuy until recently, and sometimes goes on sale for $75. These are 3 way speakers with woofer, tweeter and supertweeter. The strength of these speakers lie in its unmatched clarity in the highs and upper mids. I still have these in my collection, and VERY WORTH though my opinion of these is skewed as I got them for $75/pair. If you appreciate bass, you will need to add a subwoofer with these (or generally any speaker below $500....some people would say you cant listen to music on bookshelves without subwoofer) as they sound a bit thin compare to the b652s (a bit less bass because smaller woofer) but better sound quality (though this is just my SUBJECTIVE thought after listening to the cs5s and b652s). These have 5 in woofers and have okayish small form factor.
Micca MB42X $90- the passive version of the powered PB42X in the active list. The difference is between the amplifier built into the PB42X vs the one you're going to buy separately to power the MB42X. Obv the MB42X route is going to be better because the amplifier in the PB42X will be shit compared to the one you're going to buy ($30/50/75/150 options to follow later)
Micca RB42X $150 - Amazing small size speakers. For under $200, either this or the cs5s. The rb42s have a bit more bass.
Elac Debut 5.2/6.2 ON SALE NOW FOR $230/250. GET EM WHILE IT LASTS. Normally $280/350. These are speakers highly acclaimed by many of the speaker reviewers I consider the best (imo zerofidelity, steve guttenberg, nextbigthing (nbt) studio, thomas and stereo). Great bass, warm sound signature. Just go, what are you waiting for. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Q Acoustics 3020/3030i $230/400. Highly acclaimed by reviewers, look VERY NICE in white, and have a warm sound signature with lots of bass clarity and bass depth. These speakers are big, which is why they have great bass. Check the dimensions. Their size is the only downside to these fantastic speakers.
PSB Alpha P5 $400: Great speakers for nearfield listening, aka at your desk, excels in this department more so than the other speakers (better at low volume, etc). Just all around amazing. Get these if the Q Acoustics ones are too big.
Triangle BR02/03 $450/550. Coming from across the atlantic, these french speakers made a splash last year destroying its competition in the below $1000 range. Highly acclaimed to the point where some see them as overrated (too much hype out of nowhere in such little time). If you have the space in your setup as well as in your wallet for these, they are the way to go. Comes in black, walnut, white.
Obligatory Klipsch R15/R51/RP600 post: you've heard of klipsch. They're widely available audiophile speakers, and so sometimes get the "overrated" hyped up treatment. They are good speakers but their have their own unique aggressively forward sound signature with the horn style tweeter. These were designed to make you feel like you're at the rock concert direct, may not be for everyone (much so not for me).
Okay here is where we need to get into specific numbers. Active speakers have built-in amplifiers so they are exempt. But passive speakers will require separate amps and so you will need to pay attention to certain specs. In speakers you will need to pay attention to their impedance (measured in ohms) and their sensitivity (measured in xx db/1m/1w). The typical mini amplifier will be class D (small form factor amps for desktop use) and their wattage per channel will be usually expressed in 4ohms. Take for instance the popular SMSL SA50. This is an amp that delivers 50 watts to its 2 channels, rated at 4 ohms. Speakers will have impedance of 4, 6, or 8 ohms usually. 50 watts at 4 ohms can be 25 watts at 8 ohms, but is probably more like 20 watts at 8 ohms, refer to product specs for specific wattage ratings at specific ohms. Speakers with high sensitivity (85-95 db/1w/1m) that have 6 ohm impedance are easier to drive with lower wattage. But here's the thing, an the smsl sa50 will not deliver 50 CLEAN watts. Somewhere in the 30-40w range distortion will start to appear. But for reference, 30 clean watts is enough to drive sony cs5s to uncomfortably loud levels in an apartment (the whole apt, not just your room) so listening on your desktop, you only really need 10-15 clean watts (only after turning up your preamp input to maximum volume, which in this case is your youtube/windows10 volume level). Do note that if you have the space, a used $60 AV Receiver that will just shit out watts and have 5.1 surround will be the best, but these things are massive.
Lepai 2020ti (LEPAI and not Lepy be wary) $25. 20 watts in 2 channels. Budget
SMSL SA36 $62: SMSL's 2x20w.
SMSL SA50 $72: The most bang for buck amp that's also decent. 2x50watts.
Topping MX3 $130: Speaker amp, headphone amp, dac rolled into one. Allows for your speakers and headphones to be connected via USB and Bluetooth.
SMSL AD18 $150: SMSL's answer to the MX3. This one is probably the goto. It's got 2x80w at 4ohms, has USB connection, has subwoofer out, has bluetooth connection, headphone amp, coaxial and optical connection.
If you need more watts than the AD18, you're gonna need to get a class a/b amp that just shits out watts for cheap, or get a used av receiver. If you want a new one, the best budget option is the DENON AVR-S540BT 5.2 channel AVR from accessories4less.
Good subwoofers are expensive, and cheap subwoofers will hurt your listening experience rather than improve it (muddy boomy shitty bass). Your best bet may be to simply find a used subwoofer from craigslist or offerup, just dont get the polk audio PSW10, this is a very common sub you see on the 2nd hand market, because it is a shitty sub and so people get rid of it. Now as to whether you need a subwoofer. If you are in a dorm, don't get a subwoofer. Because.... if you live in a dorm, do not get a fucking subwoofer. Now if you live in a small apartment, fear not, proper subwoofer management will save you noise complaints. A good subwoofer will produce good quality low end you can hear and feel without having to turn up the volume. You want to look at the subwoofer's lowest frequency it can go to. That will show you how "tight" the bass will be. Now, low volume levels on a good sub will produce that bass for you without vibrating your walls (though subwoofer and speaker isolation as well as PLACEMENT (refer to the sub-crawl) will do more for getting the most sound out of your speakers without having to turn up the volume....and just turn off the sub after a reasonable time) Now as to how to add a subwoofer to your system will depend on what setup you have and the available connections. If your speakers or amplifier has a subwoofer output, simply connect that to your subwoofer, set the crossover freuency (the frequency at which the subwoofer will start making sound) to 80hz, or lower depending on how low of a frequency our bookshelves can go down to. If your speakers/amp do not have a subwoofer out, you will need to find a subwoofer that has high level speaker inputs. You will need to connect your bookshelves to the speaker outputs on the subwoofer via speaker wire/banana plugs, and then run speaker wire/banana plugs from the subwoofer input to your amplifier, ending with rca to 3.5mm connection to your pc.
Dayton Audio SUB-800 $100: The cheapest one, don't go any cheaper. Enough said. Get from parts-express. If you need cheaper, 2nd hand market.
Dayton Sub-1000 $120: The bigger brother. This thing is 10 inches, be prepared for a BIG box sitting in your room.
Bic Acoustech PL-200 $300: Has good bass, goes down to 22hz. Very good bang for buck "good" subwoofer. A BIG step up from the daytons.
Okay, I keep saying headphones and not headsets right. But you ask, Kilroy, you're an idiot. You're posting on buildapc for PC gamers and builders but you're talking headphones and not headsets. How idiotic are you? Pretty big, but friends hear me out. Now I used to live in South Korea, where PC Bangs (internet cafes) set the nation's standards for computers. All the places had to get the best bang for the buck pc gear to stay in business and remain competitive (all 100 computers at these places had like i5-6600k and gtx 1080 in 2015 or something I don't remember, along with mechanical BLUE SWITCH FUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK (imagine 100 blue switch keyboards being smashed on in a small underground area in Seoul) keyboards and decent headsets. So I have tried MANY MANY different headsets, here is my conclusion. Just get proper headphones and get either get an antlion modmic, or V-MODA Boompro mic both available on amazon. (short list of mics later) or get proper headphones and usb mic. Okay, I have seen the headphone recommendation list, and the only one I would give any (if at all) weight to in the usual pc websites that our subreddit goes to, is the list from rtings. These guys mainly measure monitors and tvs (very well might i add) but the writer for their audio section is lacking it seems. Please dont get Astro AXX headphones or corsair rgb xxxxxx w/e. Please for the love of god, take your good hard earned cash and get yourself a NICE pair of cans my fellow PC users. The mic part is secondary as GOOD headphones will forever change your PC using and music listening experience FOREVER The TWO EXCEPTIONS that I have observed to this rule are the Hyperx Clouds and Cooler Master mh751/752.
Hyperx Cloud CORE/1/2/ALPHA (please find prices on amazon). So these headphones are a rare instance of when a gaming branded pair of headphones was actually a good no bullshit product. These are hyperx reskins of OEM Takstar Pro 80, a pretty damn good pair of cans from china for under $50 (no longer available on aliexpress but Seoul had a SHIT load of these) with a mic attached to it. Chief, this is it. Reasonably good audio quality from headphone drivers for their price, and you get a mic for discord needs.
Coolermaster MH751/752 $90/110. Now beware, on amazon there are the mh630/650/670 series headphones that are in the same...product "selection" styling part of the product page. Do NOT GET THESE, these are the typical bullshit gaming branding and are pretty bad. Now, the mh751 and 752s are coolermaster's copycat of the hyperx clouds. They are coolermaster reskins of the Takstar pro 82, another good pair of headphones. I cannot comment on this one, as I have not used either the takstar variant nor the cm variant. But the pro 82s are just as good as the 80s. If i had to guess, different styling (headband) and maybe slightly different sound signature. Difference between the 2 is the dac (the block thing in between your headphones and the wires to your pc). The dac the mh752 is most likely inferior to the dac on your mobo's build-in soundcard. Get the 751, unless you have a laptop, then the 752's dac may be better.
Audio-Technica ath-m40x $80: You may have heard of the ath-m50/x. Now these headphones are looked down on, on the headphone forums or reddit. The m40/x is the bass reduced, aka the neutral version of the m50x for cheaper too. Great headphones for under $100. Now, I have owned the m50 waay back, and I think if you enjoy bass, then go for it. After all, they are YOUR fuckin pair of headphones and ears, who are others to say shit?
Sony MDR7506 $100: I remember these were $75, but I guess everything changed when the coronavirus attacked. Anyway, these are the venerated mdr7506, the industry standard for headphones in the professional audio/music industry. Great quality, cheap price. They just, dont have anything going on in the looks department. These are it for pure price/performance.
BeyerDynamic DT770 (32, 90, 250 ohms) $150: Amazing pair of cans, very comfortable. 32 ohm version if simply plugging into your motherboard. The higher ohm versions may require separate headphone amp. Generally more amps=better audio quality, but differences are NEGLIGIBLE to nonexistent with low output amps (this is like the difference in sound of the same 100w speaker powered by a $30 smsl amp vs a $5000 Mcintosh amp at the same volume levels, very subtle and small but it's there)
Sennheiser 650/6xx from massdrop/660 $220-$400. The legendary series of headphones from sennheiser. Highly venerated.
HifiMAN DEVA with Bluemini Receiver $300: Interesting set of open-back planar headphones that came out recently that also allow for usb connection, as well as 3.5mm, but the bluetooth function is a separate module (with a built-in mic) that you connect to the side of the headphones. So it's actually a wired set of planar headphones, but the separate bluetooth module also allows for wireless connection. The module only has enough battery for 5ish hours, so while that is charging you will have to use the wired connection. This is a usb dac/amp/bluetooth module rolled into one. Very stylish and interesting design.
Audeze Mobius $400: "Gaming" wireless headphones from Audeze, a high end audiophile grade planar magnetic headphone manufacturer. If those words don't mean anything to you, these are wireless headphones with a detachable mic made by an extremely respected audiophile headphone manufacturer. If you want wireless headphones, I would also suggest these or the hifiman deva. These are closed-back headphones vs Hifiman's open back. These headphones also have an onboard dac for usb/3.5mm/bluetooth connection.
Now obviously, there's other choices. A metric fuck load of them. But I had to account for how much you should be paying (price range) for upgrades in sound quality and performance.
Example options (Wireless headsets)
Okay. Wireless headsets, now let's think why do you need a wireless headset? Do you want to walk around your house while on discord? Maybe you want to keep the headset on while having to afk real quick for a smoke break or whatnot.
TaoTronics 5.0 Bluetooth transmitter+receiver unit $30. It's a small device that can either A: give your non-bt PC bluetooth capabilities by acting as a receiver, or give your wired headphones wireless connectivity to your pc by acting as a transmitter. This thing is battery powered (like a wireless gaming headset) up to 10 hours. You just plug your wired headphones in, put the thing in your pocket and leave your pc.
See Hifiman Deva above.
Still here? Fine then. Steelseries artis 7. I put this....thing on this list mainly for true wireless headset inclusion. Still would recommend other headphones.
Other wireless recommendations: Sennheiser pxc 550 and Sony wh1000xm2 and Bose QC35.
HEADPHONE AMP/DAC (digital to analogue converter)
My knowledge/experience with headphone amps and dacs are...extremely lacking, I'm more of a speaker guy. But, here is a list for you guys.
SMSL M3 $85 - has usb and spdif connections and line out rca. good starter dac/amp combo.
Schiit Magni $99- probably the most popular one here. This will drive anything but the most power hungry of headphones. The Schiit stack with the Magni and the Modi is the goto stack for small form factor amp+dac.
Micca Origen G2 $110 - DAC/amp combo that has usb and fibre, and has a switchable pre-out for powered speakers. Accepts 3.5mm and 1/4''
V-MODA BoomPRO $30: this is a mic with a 3.5mm that plugs in to your headphones that have a removable cable, simple.
Antlion modmic $50: yes the modmic. You've probably heard of this.
Fifine K669B condensor mic $46: simple mic on a stand that plugs in via usb. Imo has better recording quality than Blue snowball.
Blue Snowball $57: Yes, you've most definitely heard of this.
Other mics? Yes, but are they worth the extra $$ for marginally better audio recording? You decide.
Cool. Stay safe in these dark times brothers. Have a glorious day.
I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One
NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride! ------- So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin. I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell. But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ! In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what?I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation. Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper. Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.
For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.
…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.
pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley. Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself. Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant. Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!" The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!" If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats. We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think. We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices. As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun." I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.
When in doubt, have fun.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.
The Graham cracker diet does not work.
Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time! Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment. But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie."Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help! In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time." In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.) Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag! Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong. Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.
Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate."Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know. The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on. For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
A defense of the existence of money in the Federation
3 months ago u/maximus-butterworth posted this thread on the Federation and money. It is quite a detailed thread--however, I disagree with his interpretation. Although it seems self-evident that the Federation has money, as will be argued in this post, upon closer examination, the evidence is not so clear. The evidence: Do we or don't we have cash Common wisdom teaches that the world of the Federation is free of money. Gene Roddenberry legendarily stipulated that, by two centuries hence, humanity would no longer use money, as we would have abandoned the vice of acquisition. This would appear to be confirmed by evidence within-universe--take for example Kirk's explicit statement in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:
They're still using money. We've got to find some.
and his exchange with Gillian:
GILLIAN: Don't tell me they don't use money in the twenty-third century. KIRK: Well, they don't.
However, the conventional wisdom runs into a few problems--namely, that Star Trek has explicitly referenced money before. Take Kirk. In The Original Series, we have direct evidence from the man himself that the Federation uses money and provides wages more than a few times on the show.
Well, the Federation has spent a lot of money on our training. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy") You just earned your pay for the week! (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine", to Scotty) I think you've just earned your pay for the weak. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?", to Chekov) I’m authorized to pay at an equitable price. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")
We can see Kirk explicitly stating that money exists and that Starfleet officers are paid in it. In "Mudd's Women", Harcourt Fenton Mudd is shown to have a criminal history. Among the crimes committed, buying a starship with counterfeit currency. A direct quote of the police record:
Offenses: Smuggling. Sentence....Suspended. Transport of stolen goods. Purchase of space vessel with counterfeit currency. Sentences: Psychiatric treatment....effectiveness disputed.
You can't counterfeit something that doesn't exist. Hence, the Federation must have money. In TOS: "The Apple", Kirk reminds Spock obliquely of the amount Starfleet invested in him. In Spock's response, he begins to list off a very detailed number, implying that the Federation uses discrete units in investing in Starfleet officers, which would, again, imply the existence of currency.
KIRK: Do you know how much Starfleet has invested in you? SPOCK: Twenty-two thousand, two hun- [here Spock is interrupted by Kirk]
Or, take McCoy's haggling with an alien for passage to Genesis in Star Trek III: Search for Spock.
ALIEN: Oh. Mutara restricted. Take permits many. Money, more. McCOY: There aren't going to be any damn permits! How can you get a permit to do a damn illegal thing?! Look, price you name, money I got. ALIEN: You name place, I name money. Otherwise, bargain, no.
Again, we see that money exists. The alien here is bargaining with McCoy Furthermore, the Federation not only has money but also currency accumulation. In TAS: "The Survivor", Dr. McCoy says of Carter Winston:
I'm especially honoured to meet you, Mister Winston. My daughter was going to school on Cerberus about ten years ago when the crop failure occurred. The entire population would've starved, Jim, if Winston here hadn't used his personal fortune to bring in enough food and goods to carry them through the crisis.
Similarly, Kirk says:
Kirk: The Enterprise has rescued a living legend, the foremost space trader of our time. Carter Winston has acquired a dozen fortunes only to use his wealth time and again to assist Federation colonies in times of need or disaster.
What could Winston have accumulated a fortune in, if not in money? What about people like Picard or Janeway? In the first episode of Voyager, we have Tom Paris. Let's take a look at this quote.
Paris to Janeway: He considered me a mercenary, willing to fight for anyone who'd pay my bar bill.
What does this tell us? It tells us that money still exists (how else could people pay off Paris' bar bill) and that people are willing to work for it (how can Paris be a mercenary if he isn't fighting for money). Why the Federation has money The Maximus Butterworth states:
Now, what about those references that seem to suggest that money does exist? Like, that one in "Errand of Mercy" where Kirk says to Spock that the Federation "has invested a great deal of money" in their training? Or the one from "Catspaw" when DeSalle says he would wager "credits to navy beans"? Well these kinds of references can be easily explained as figures of speech. Why? Well, because similar references exist in shows where it's explicitly said that money doesn't exist. For example, Chakotay once said in Voyager "My money's on B'Elanna". You can find references like this in Enterprise too. This is an obvious figure of speech, he was not talking in literal terms. These kinds of references aren't all that interesting to me.
This is an interesting line of approach. It could conceivably explain Kirk's reference to pay; just like how we say that our money's on someone when we aren't actually betting, Kirk could be saying that Scotty and Chekov have earned their pays as a figure of speech. However, in other instances, this doesn't actually work. Take "Errand of Mercy". In Errand of Mercy, Kirk explicitly states that the Federation has paid a lot of cash to train himself and Spock. This is an oblique reference to actual monetary investment. There is a massive amount of difference between saying "my money's on (insert person)", which is a figure of speech in the 21st century as well as the 24th, and saying, "(insert government) has spent a lot of money on our training". Chakotay uses the former, Kirk, the latter. It takes a huge stretch to say that Kirk explicitly pointing out that the Federation uses money is some sort of figure of speech. Furthermore, there's the existence of the Federation credit. The Federation credit is used explicitly as money. Take for example "Trouble With Tribbles". Uhura jets down to DS-K7 and buys a tribble from the Federation bartender. The Maximus Butterworth says:
If money doesn't exist, and we have ample evidence that it doesn't, then Federation credits are obviously not money. There is one very clear pattern to their usage - they are apparently used for economic interactions with societies that still use money. I postulate that the Federation credit is a kind of non-monetary resource allocation mechanism primary used for two functions - distributing certain scarce luxuries, and facilitating trade with cultures which still use money. How exactly it works... I have no idea, because there is not enough data to postulate further. Have you folks ever heard about labor vouchers? That's one possible way for it to work...
This, however, in my view, does not square up with the evidence. Why? The credit is clearly not only used in transactions with foreign societies, but with Federation citizens. When Uhura is buying tribbles from the Deep Space K7 barman, she is buying from a clear Starfleet outpost, within Federation territory, manned by Federation officials. The bartender, therefore, would've been dealing primarily with Starfleet men and women most of the time. Therefore, if the Federation didn't have money, there'd be no reason nor purpose Now, what do we see in K7? We see the bartender uses Federation credits in his transactions as bartender, that means that Starfleet people, who are Federation citizens, accept credits as a means of exchange. This implies that credits are, in fact, a form of currency. This also doesn't explain McCoy's interactions in the bar in Search for Spock. If credits were only a non-monetary means of payment used with non-Federation civilizations, then McCoy could only have been digging around in a non-Federation bar. However, that doesn't bear up with the facts. Immediately after McCoy tries to get passage to Genesis, this happens:
CIVILIAN: Sir... I'm sorry, but your voice is carrying. I don't think you want to be discussing this subject in public. McCOY: I'll discuss what I like, and who the hell are you?! CIVILIAN: Could I offer you a ride home, Dr. McCoy? McCOY: Where's the logic in offering me a ride home, you idiot! If I wanted a ride home, would I be trying to charter a space flight?! How the hell do you know who I am? CIVILIAN: Federation Security, sir.
Now, this implies that the alien bar is on Federation territory. If I were another country, I certainly wouldn't want Federation security running around my country. Now, maybe they're secret agents in a foreign country. But that also doesn't make too much sense. The description of the bar in the script calls it:
A crowded, smoke-filled watering hole of the twenty-third century, filled with a smattering of civilians, Starfleet personnel, and visitors from strange and far-off civilizations. It does not have the bizarre qualities of the "Star Wars Bar" which is across the street.
Now, Starfleet personnel and visitors from strange new civilizations could square with the idea that this is an alien place. But there's Federation civilians there, which means this is definitely on Federation soil, and therefore, that the credit is being used in Federation transactions. Well, maybe in this instance, the credit's being used for scarce goods. But that just doesn't make much sense at all. McCoy's in here ordering a drink, which isn't exactly some kind of treasure. Even now, drinks aren't exactly the scarcest of commodities. Harry Mudd could be an independent trader, perhaps. But this would not make too much sense. If Mudd were an independent trader, then he'd be able to bring that up in front of Kirk, as Kirk would not have significant authority over him. He could temporarily incarcerate him, but Mudd could ask for extradition, and Kirk would have to follow the law in that case, or risk making the Federation look bad in front of independent traders. The fact that Mudd doesn't bring that up, and that Kirk hauls him to Federation courts shows that Mudd is, in fact, a Federation citizen. Furthermore, in "The Escape Artist" (Short Treks), Mudd is previously charged by the Federation for counts of homicide and other various crimes, implying that Mudd is under Federation jurisdiction and therefore a citizen. How does this all work? So, what does it all mean? How does the Federation use money and not use money simultaneously? I submit that money, while still existent in the Federation, is used primarily only in the exchange of luxury goods like latinum, and that most basic goods are provided out of hand. Hence, Federation officials like Janeway, Picard, and Kirk, wouldn't use money in their day-to-day operations, and thus wouldn't carry money on them. Why would they need to? Everything they need for their journeys is on the Enterprise! The vast abundance of material goods means that many people will do work for free. This explains Jake Sisko's assurance to Quark that he did not, in fact, receive money for writing a book (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited").
QUARK: Raise it. You're up early. I thought writers slept late. JAKE: Not always. I sold my first book today. QUARK: Really? How much did you get for it? JAKE: It's just a figure of speech. The Federation News Service is going to publish a book of my stories about life on the station under Dominion rule. QUARK: And they're not paying you? JAKE: No.
Or rather, if this seems contradictory, consider that many men of material wealth have written treatises and papers likely for free. David Ricardo was rich from banking, so he spent his spare time as an economist. He probably did not receive much money for his work, or at least, the amount he did earn was negligible compared to that which he earned from banking. This is definitely true for most people. Because everyone is practically a millionaire compared to we in the 21st century, most people don't need to get money for their efforts. They're rich enough already! However, when buying luxury goods, due to the higher value of these goods, money is more often in use, which explains why Kirk asks around for money in The Voyage Home yet Uhura is no stranger to bargaining when it comes to tribbles. Ultimately money is said to have gone the way of the dinosaur in the future. Now let us remember what happened to the dinosaur. It evolved, and its descendants, in the form of birds, still live on today.
GTA Online Casino Inside Track Horse Racing glitch SOLO works for PC (maybe XBOX AND PS4 as well?)
Go to Diamond Casino
Walk up to the cashier and exchange for chips if you don't have any
Go to Inside Track Horse Racing
Click on Place Bet (Single Event)
Check horse odds
Disable internet connection
Bet any amount on any horse and it will say unable to establish connection to rockstar servers
Enable internet connection and bet max on your horse
Repeat until you have enough money
This is reviving the reset horse odds glitch that used to exist before this was patched. Picture guide here: https://imgur.com/gallery/fuGSpfW Instructions are pretty simple. Use any method to disable/enable your internet connection whether it is pulling the plug or using a 3rd party program it is up to you. Just repeat step 5/6/7 until you get your desired odds. Make sure to reenable your internet connection before betting when your horse is favorable. Note: You need to disable your internet when you are about to refresh the race (horse list). Reenable your internet when you have the horse you want to bet on. DO NOT have your internet disconnected for too long or it will kick you from the game. It shouldn't take too long to cycle through the line ups. Just do it quick and use a macro or a script. For example if you see double evens (which is considered the worst lineup) bet any amount on any horse (provided that you have already disabled your internet). Cycle through the list until you find a good lineup and before placing a bet, reenable your internet. DISCLAIMER: I am only posting this as a guide and I bear no responsibility if you lose money betting. This glitch works as is and does not guarantee you a win in any way. You are just pushing the odds into your favor easier. Use this link for how to disable/reenable your internet connection: https://www.reddit.com/gtaglitches/comments/gt3vgm/pcimproved_apartment_glitch_improvement_bette If you don't know which horse to bet use this guide: https://www.reddit.com/gtaonline/comments/ekp8na/gta_online_inside_track_odd_calculato EDIT: Easiest way to block connection is through Windows Defender Firewall. If you are not tech savvy enough I or someone can create a batch file to do this all at once or even an AHK file but here are the steps to do this.
Open Windows Defender Firewall by pressing start menu and typing "Windows Defender Firewall" (without quotes) and it should be the first option.
On the left side click Advanced Settings
On the left side click Outbound Rules
On the right side click New Rule...
Select your GTA5.exe in Steam folder or Epic Games folder
Select Block the Connection
Profile can be all checked
Type in the name such as GTA block
On the right side Enable/Disable the rule to connect/disconnect
TLDR Karen thinks my daughter works for the HOA and wants her fired after several incidents. To be fair on Karen I think she was having one of those days where life is hard as a racist and nothing is going your way because frankly the rest of us refuse to put up with that kind of troglodyte behavior. In our area there are no zoning laws so we have homeowners associations (HOA). That way a bar can’t be built next door to your dream house. You pay an annual fee and there amenities like maybe a park and a pool. The HOA contracts with a company for lifeguarding and pool cleaning to avoid liability. Cast: LG- my daughter the lifeguard Lifeguard: any other lifeguards working that day Karen- she’s lived her forever and getting YOU fired KH- Karen’s hubby Jr- Karen’s 4 yr old son IF- innocent family Setting: it’s a beautiful summer morning in Pool wonderland. Children laughing and splashing and several lifeguards including my daughter sitting on her throne of peace and tranquility. Pool wonderland has some new rules this summer.
No going down the water slide with a child in your lap
No non-swimwear in the pool. If you happen to require a head covering of any kind it must be swim wear material. This is an important detail for later
SCENE 1 Karen: KH take jr down the water slide KH: sure thing! Lifeguard atop the slide: sorry sir no children riding in your lap, we do apologize, it’s a new rule this year. KH: hey no problem. Jr: disappointed but not an unruly little thing. Karen: what the fuck? That’s rude! Jr: beginning to cry as I assume this tone signals to Jr that once again mommy is gonna lose it. KH: it’s no big deal Karen: now addressing LG why can’t my son go down the waterslide with his dad? LG: (explains the rules and Karen doesn’t like it but complies in a huff) SCENE 2 IF shows up and orders pizza. They have a small family birthday party which was scheduled in advance with tables reserved. Many of the women are wearing what I understand to be Muslim swimwear- appropriate fabric for the pool and covers much of the body including a hijab. IF decides to get in the pool. Karen also gets in the pool wearing a tshirt and some shorts. LG: ma’am I’m sorry but you will have to get out of the pool. You can’t wear that in the water. Karen: excuse me I pay for the privilege to swim here and you cannot tell ME what to wear. LG: it’s a new rule this year we can’t allow people to wear cotton fibers in the water because it messes up the plumbing. Karen: what about THEM (she says disgustedly referring to the ladies in the IF) if I have to get out so they THEY LG: now realizing she’s dealing with a racist. Ma’am they wearing swim wear, you are not. Karen: we’ll see about that. At this point Karen is now being told by the lifeguard supervisor on duty being told the same thing. Nice try Karen! SCENE 3 Pizza arrives. There are 4 and drinks and breadsticks. Karen gets up and takes the pizza which was paid for already I imagine as no money changed hands. Not even for a tip. #%*!!!! Karen juggles all this to her table and sticks her legs in the water on the side of the pool. Another pizza arrives and the IF is approached by a lifeguard as they were expecting a delivery. IF says no that isn’t ours. We ordered 4 pizzas and drinks and breadsticks from . LG looks around and sees 4 pizzas and drinks and breadsticks on Karen’s table. LG to IF: I bet I know who this belongs to, let me help you! she didn’t even say anything. LG walked to the table, set the pizza down and helped the IF carry the 4 pizzas and drinks and breadsticks. Karen: EXCUSE ME WHERE DO YOU THINK YOIRE GOING WITH OUR FOOD? LG: this pizza isn’t your pizza ma’am. She has the order on her phone matching the pizza place and the order. Your pizza was delivered a moment ago and on your table. Karen glances back in confusion covering her embarrassment (it wasn’t even the same damn delivery place) with pure rage now yelling at LG and demanding the police be called. LG: why would you call the police? Karen: you have been harassing me all day and I know you have been staring at my son! I have lived her for years and I’m going to the HOA board to have you fired! LG: laughs nervously and turns and walks back to her stand. (My daughter has bad anxiety and for years, she’s perfected a stonewall exterior where you think she doesn’t care but she will cry later because I mean she’s human) Karen trailing behind and yelling expletives now. Karen proceeds to use her phone camera to video my daughter hoping to catch her doing what...I dont even know I mean she’s literally paid to watch and scan patrons of the pool. That’s most of your damn job as a lifeguard. By the end of the day the police have been called because Karen insisted the staff was out of line. Karen’s disruptive behavior has actually bothered other patrons (mostly the IF) as ugly comments about swim wear were overheard and made them uncomfortable. It was following guards and taking cell phone video that that actually got Karen and her family kicked out. Many lifeguards are minors and this made the staff uncomfortable. Not to mention it’s ludicrous to be distracting a first responder from their job. Karen did not return to the pool for the remainder of the summer. Not because she was banned. Hopefully she went home and looked in the mirror and was too embarrassed by her behavior.
Another chapter from u/eruwenn and myself. First / Prev / Next Aaron couldn’t help but be a little underwhelmed by the star port. When he had been told about a large space station that served as a central hub for the entire system he was expecting some bizarre bazaar of goods from every corner of the galaxy. What he found was a joyless jumble of bulk traders, hauliers offices and bars. This wasn’t the Azrimad with its prestigious shops and expensive cafes; this was a place for work. As they walked further along, the occasional gambling house or unique vendor would crop up, and Aaron spotted a couple of places that might be worth a second look. An Arkellian souvenir shop looked the most interesting thus far. They had various ceremonial outfits and cultural items from throughout their history, and he thought he could find a fun gift for Alexa there. A few people paid attention to the pair in the Gal. Fed. uniforms, but not many noticed Aaron. Without Sassie he was just another biped, a less common colour but hardly remarkable. On board the Azrimad he'd become accustomed to the constant glances. It was nice to blend in, and he was enjoying the anonymity. The high-pitched scream caused the whole thoroughfare to fall silent. Aaron spun around and saw a young Arkellian girl in oversized overalls pointing at him. “It’s really you!” she exclaimed; people were staring and Aaron was definitely being noticed now. The young girl grabbed the front of her overalls and tore them open to reveal a pale blue Cupcake Coalition t-shirt. “The first human. You’re him right?” She walked forward excitedly while clutching her hands to her chest, eyes wide. The crowd, realising this wasn’t going to turn into street theatre, quickly lost interest and the background chatter returned. Aaron let out a short laugh of relief and waved. “Hi there. Nice shirt.” Clak’Soon took his hand from his sidearm and Ha’Mon stepped out from behind the J’Rami. He was about to speak when the young Arkellian began gushing. “I couldn’t go to the march but I watched from my dad’s hauler. Where’s Sassie? I buy cupcakes every cycle and I have three t-shirts and a hat. My dad says I can get a Sassie onesie if I do well at school! Where is Alexa? Did you invent cupcakes? I watch all your videos, I subscribed when you only had four videos, and only three thousand followers. I decided to make my own channel too, and so far I've made six videos and gained twelve followers. Oh, oh, oh!” She was dancing from foot to foot. “Will you be on my channel? Please!” She’d spoken quickly and even though she’d stopped it still took a moment for them to process everything she’d said. Clak’Soon and Ha’mon both looked to Aaron – his fan, his problem. Aaron took a knee, bringing himself down to the girl’s eyeline. “First, please don’t eat a cupcake everyday. They’re treats, so space them out. Sassie and Alexa are packing up our belongings because we’re going on an adventure.” He paused as he tried to remember everything she’d said. “Oh, I didn’t invent cupcakes, just adapted a recipe from home. But,” -he leaned forward a little and whispered- “we managed to make safe chocolate chips, mostly.” As he said this next word he spread his hands like he was creating a rainbow in front of his face. “Cookies.” “OOooooooooh!” Her little dance became even more energetic, then she stopped as a puzzled look appeared on her face. “What’s a cookie?” Aaron’s laughter rang out and he stood up. “Don’t worry, they’re being approved in the next day or so. Do you have your camera?” “No.” She looked at her feet, and with sadness in her voice and the beginnings of tears in her eyes as if remembering some great trauma, she replied, “I’m not allowed to take it off the shuttle, after I lost my first one.” Aaron saw that she was getting upset and tried to make her feel more at ease. “Don’t worry about it, I lose stuff all the time. I lost my whole planet!” Her head lifted with a bright smile and she laughed. “I can run and ask my big sister to borrow hers.” Aaron was pleased he had cheered her up, but the constant shuffling of his companions reminded him they had somewhere to be. “We have an important meeting to get to. If you see us later we can do it then, ok?” She nodded. “What’s your name?” She paused and in a conflicted tone replied, “Dad says, I’m not supposed to tell strangers.” Realisation struck her and, once again, her smile vanished. ”Dad says, I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.” Attempting to head off another emotional roller coaster, Ha’Mon was quick on the rescue. “How about you bring your big sister? Then we can introduce ourselves and not be strangers.” It took a moment for her to think it through, then her face once more erupted in a smile and her excited dance started again. “I’ll go ask her.” She didn’t even wait for a reply before she dashed off into the crowd. A large hairy J’Rami hand pulled Aaron upwards. “We’re late.” The shops they passed were now a blur. They had to increase their pace to a brisk walk, and as a result had to focus on not bumping into people as they hurried along. The Engineer’s Pit was hard to miss. Who needs a sign with a smell so pervasively unique? It was a scent with layers. Beyond the sweat, vomit and stale drink he caught the faint aroma of wet fur, grease and smoke. Aaron caught a brief glimpse of the frontage before they turned off down the Junak Arm, and the descriptor 'dunghole' seemed to be generous. He had no doubt that the floor within would be sticky with substances he didn't want to imagine. The arm that extended away from the Pit was clearly a recent addition, cleaner and brighter although still not a patch on the Azrimad. There were less stores, and no cafes or bars, simply a multitude of offices and what looked like warehouses attached to docking ports. Xii’Nok Wholesalers was just along from Xii’Nok Industries, and a little farther they passed Xii’Nok Construction. Finally they reached Xii’Nok’s Used Ships. An Arkellian in a smart, white suit was standing out front. He looked agitated, but as they drew closer his smile brightened and he rushed forward. “Ambassador Cooper!” He regarded the others, noting that neither was an officer. “And his loyal Galactic Federation assistants. Welcome, welcome, welcome. I am Lek Xii’Nok, please call me Lek, I’m sure we’re going to be great friends.” His handshake became a guiding arm on Aaron’s shoulder as he led him swiftly inside, leaving the others to trail behind. Aaron looked helplessly back over his shoulder as he was corralled into a seat. “Nice to meet you, Lek. Please call me Aaron.” Lek bowed deeply. “Thank you, Ambassador Aaron.” He stood and quickly clapped twice; the lights dimmed and a soft spotlight fell on Lek, while relaxing music began playing from hidden speakers. “I understand you are here for an extra-system ship. A first contact in my home system that wants to venture forth. It's a beautiful moment for our two species.” He seemed to choke up momentarily. “That you would choose my shipyard to find your vessel, your new home amongst the stars. I am honoured.” Another bow, and this time he raised his head to give Ha’Mon and Clak’Soon an irritated glance as they found their seats either side of the human. This was not exactly what Aaron had expected. It seemed more than a little theatrical for a simple sales pitch. “So...” He cleared his throat. “As we mentioned in our call, we don’t have much time. I’d like to see the ships as quickly as possible.” “Absolutely,” He quickly pulled a controller from his pocket and began clicking buttons. A large holo-display appeared in front of them with Lek’s face appearing as a logo, glowing brightly and smiling at them. “I always admire those with a decisive disposition. I have seen the footage and know that you are a man of action as well. Here I have selected an exceptional ship.” He clicked a button, with a flourish, and the hologram head became a large sleek ship. “This is a vessel befitting an Ambassador-” “Bollocks!” Clak’Soon yelled out, “The Keflox series are all looks and no oomph!” Ha’Mon was mortified by Clak’Soon’s rudeness but he had to agree. “It is true Aaron, and the repair costs are excessive due to their abundance of non-standard parts.” Lek’s mouth opened and shut as he tried to recover his composure. Before he could, the human spoke. “Next.” “Yes. Of course.” Lek fumbled, recovered, and performed another overly flamboyant click. The ship dissolved to be replaced by a smaller, more rounded ship. “This is-” “Bah!” Clak’Soon called out immediately. “Kasurian? No offence Ha’Mon, old pal. You guys make some fast racers, but the human can’t go around in a Kasurian ship. Do you know how often people try to kill him?” Lek blinked, looking from Clak'Soon to Aaron to Ha'Mon. Before he could say a word, the Kasurian spoke up instead. “It’s true. Half the people he meets try to kill him.” Aaron, slightly offended, quickly turned defensive. “I wouldn’t say half.” The large J’Rami stood and took the controller from Lek’s hand. “Let’s see if you have anything good.” He began clicking and ships, shuttles and tankers started whizzing past, the security officer oblivious to the outrage on Lek’s face. Ha’Mon jumped up and joined his friend. “I have it narrowed down already. He has all the ships listed on his portal. Stop clicking so fast!” Clak'Soon and Ha'Mon spoke in rapidfire shorthand, something they had clearly developed over a long friendship. Aaron couldn't follow a word of it, and instead watched the small Kasurian engineer. He darted this way and that, repeatedly trying – and failing – to obtain the controller. Lekfinally stood still, admitting defeat. He was clearly not happy that his slick presentation was ruined, and after a moment's contemplation more he rushed out of the room. “Somebody help! Security!” Aaron watched him leave, and a moment of worry passed over him as quickly as the ships flashed past his eyes. If they could find a ship he was fairly certain the salesman would forget about any inconvenience they had caused. The barrage of images slowed to a halt, revealing only three ships on display. Aaron stood and walked towards them, pointing out. "You know, you could have just asked him." Clak'Soon shrugged, but at least Ha'Mon had the decency to look ashamed. "So... what are my options?" The J’Rami and Kasurian looked at each other, then came to an unspoken agreement. Ha’Mon began. “Not good. If you were looking to haul cargo, then you’d have a better selection.” The human shook his head. “I don’t need something that big.” “Well not much else makes it this far out,” Ha’Mon continued. “We do have three that might work.” He pointed to the first ship and Aaron could tell it was Fae’Dan. Such a predictable style. “This is a Calarel series, functional and reliable. Your crystal life will be good, but in system you’re going to be pretty defenseless if you get into a fight-” “If? Hah!” Clak’Soon interrupted. “The only thing it’s good for in a fight is a swift surrender. No good for a human.” Aaron wanted to argue, but his track record was decisively against him. “Ok, that’s fair. But, fighting isn’t really the plan, remember?” Ha’Mon looked at Aaron seriously. “My people call you Lefu’Yendra. You know what that means?” Aaron was well aware, as he'd asked Agent Fenink about it. “Walking Death. Or, so I’ve been told.” Ha’Mon nodded, fixing the human with a fierce stare. When he spoke, it was cautious, hushed, as if he were reciting from a holy text. “It is more than just a name. Where you walk, Death is summoned. Like the Leokas, the great servant of Death, it is drawn to you. Others will cross your path, some as friend and some as foe. You will never know peace.” Aaron wasn’t superstitious, but the Kasurian’s intense glare was a little disconcerting. The dim lighting and strange background music wasn’t helping, and for a moment he was caught in the spell. Luckily, Clak’Soon was there to shatter it. “Stop being weird Hammy. Next ship.” Ha’Mon snapped out of it and immediately returned to his presentation. “So our next option is Clak’Soon’s choice. Honestly, I have no idea how Lek got his hands on this. It’s a Rinoxian hazardous materials transport.” Eyebrows raised, Aaron looked at the space Volvo. “Alright, you got my attention.” Hooting excitedly, Clak'Soon took over. “Blast proof -” “From the inside.” Ha’Mon said quietly. “- Industrial, max grade, atmospheric scrubbers -” Clak’Soon wasn’t deterred. “That sometimes removes the oxygen as well.” “- Emergency cargo hold separation -” “Which has a zero point five percent chance of auto-activating due to faulty sensors, jettisoning your cargo into space. Rinoxians aren’t known for reliability.” “Hey!” Clak’Soon, growing louder, had had enough. “You don’t like it? The human can fly this thing straight through another ship and he’ll probably be fine!” Ha’Mon yelled back, “You could never get close enough to ram another ship, those things are slower than… than… Slo!” “STOP!” The human silenced them both instantly. “I get it. Tough, but slow, and it might break or kill us. Let’s see what’s behind door number three.” They gave him a puzzled look before dismissing it as a human thing. Ha’Mon moved to stand beside the third option. “This is a Niham design, a basic hauler, but it does have a good size hold and space for four shuttles on board. It’s an Argo class, ten crew cabins and the captain’s quarters, a bit smaller than the others.” Ha’Mon stopped talking, the human was standing transfixed, looking at the Niham ship with a smile. Aaron rubbed his hands together. “You had me at Argo.” Clak’Soon gave him a puzzled look. “You’re a fan of farm animals?” “What?” The J’Rami explained, “Argo is an animal on Niham, the meat is very versatile. Like the ship.” Understanding dawning, of course it wasn’t an epic greek reference, the ship was basically a space pig. “Ahh. On my world Argo means something else.” He stood and waited, but they didn’t say anything more. “I’m waiting for the downside. What’s wrong with it?” Clak’Soon shrugged, and with his large shoulders it was an impressive feat. “They’re boring.” Ha’Mon’s head bobbed from side to side as he sort of agreed and disagreed. “They aren’t boring, they’re average. This one isn’t currently working; a few parts need replacing and there’s some damage to repair. It’s salvage. Raiders killed the crew and someone brought it in and sold it to Lek. Money gets split between the families of the survivors and the salvage crew. It’s already been cleaned, so no blood at least.” He gave a little shudder. “A couple of cycles and a good team, it’ll be fine.” A little annoyance tinged the human’s reply. “I don’t have a bicycle.” The J’Rami let Aaron’s strange phrasing slide over him and applied his superior logic. “Use a bigger crew.” The Kasurian engineer looked furious, opened his mouth to argue, and then stopped. “That might work, actually. There are always engineers and ship hands hanging around these places, waiting for someone to take them on. But we still need parts, and somewhere to work.” Aaron clapped his hands together, startling the others. “It’s a plan. Let’s find Lek; he should be back soon with security. He has to know someone who sells parts.” They walked outside to find Lek leaning against the wall. “Made your decision then?” Aaron looked around. “No security?” Lek laughed. “Tulseria’s balls, no. I’ve dealt with their kind before.” He gestured to the Gal. Fed. duo. “Know every ship inside and out, and have strong opinions on all of them. Bah, I have no chance. All they’ll do is criticise my choices to prove they know more than me.” Aaron gave a single nod of agreement. “We’ve chosen a ship.” “Of course you have! I said you were decisive, didn’t I?” Lek stood up straight and with a cheerful voice asked, “Which one? I’ll bet it’s the Rinoxian ship, hard to find one like that. You can keep those Inorganics in the secure hold. If they try anything funny” -he made a gesture with his hands indicating separation- “just shoot them into space and protect the real people.” Aaron's smile stayed in place but his eyes grew cold as he replied, “It’s the Argo.” Lek was a savvy businessman and could read people well. Something had changed in the human, and it was not a pleasant change. “Fine ship, good choice. You are aware it needs some repair work? I have it docked on a lower arm awaiting repairs. If you give me three cycles I’ll have it in a condition worthy of an Ambassador, four if you want any big alterations. Once we have the details finalised I can work on a price. Of course, as the ship was salvaged, you will need to register it again.” Aaron shook his head. “I don’t have that kind of time. Give me a price now, as it sits. I’ll hire my own repair team and buy the parts myself to speed things up.” Momentarily flummoxed, Lek was quick to rebound. “I have already hired a crew, they won’t be happy to lose out on three cycles of work.” A large J’Rami shadow fell across Lek. “Humans can be very persuasive.” Lek swallowed hard, recalling the video feed of the incident on Arkellis. “Fine. I was planning on selling that ship, once repaired, for over a million credits.” Clak’Soon scoffed. “You can buy a new one for that much!” With a smile Lek countered, “Maybe on Niham, but this is the fringe, my friend.” Aaron let out a long sigh. “Look. I don’t have time for this. How about we do the short version? I counter with half that, as the thing’s busted and I’m paying to fix it. You say nine hundred thousand because you’re an asshole, and I say six because I’m a bigger asshole. I say, I won’t pay over seven hundred. You’re trying to squeeze me so you’re going to say eight hundred, probably adding ‘it’s only this cheap because you like me’ or some other utter shite.” Lek was growing to like the human, he was exciting. “So we will both settle at seven hundred and fifty thousand credits. Yes?” “No.” Aaron leaned in close. “Remember, I’m the bigger asshole. Seven hundred, because I’m going to register this ship as an Earth vessel. Same as the K7. No sales tax or fees. Special Ambassador discount.” The Arkellian’s mind buzzed with possibilities. Was this legal? Probably not. Would anyone ask? Probably not. He always looked into new clients, especially those planning to spend a great deal. From what he’d seen and heard regarding the human, he was a walking loophole. Registration fees and sales tax could be anywhere from ten to thirty percent, depending on the world, and that’s if they even accepted your application. “Done.” Ha’Mon elbowed Aaron in the hip. “We also need the use of his repair station.” Aaron cracked his knuckles. “I’ll pay you twenty thousand credits for one cycle at the repair station. I’ll cover parts you supply, at cost plus five percent, and I’ll add five percent to the price if you help us get it done by morning.” Negotiations were a reflex for Lek, and he barely skipped a beat. “Ten percent on both.” “Done.” The Arkellian salesman began walking them back down the arm. “Your ship is at the repair station on the Himbak Arm. Drones, lifters, everything is there along with the team I hired. Dismiss them or hire them, it’s your problem now. You need more, try the Engineer’s Pit. I’d tell most people to avoid it but...” He looked at Aaron and then Clak’Soon, and an unpleasant grin spread across his face. “Some of them deserve your kind’s attention.” Clak’Soon laughed, still proud that Aaron was descended from an ape-like species in a similar way to himself. “No one will mess with the primates!” The human slapped the large J’Rami on the back. It was nice that he thought of him as one of his own. “Apes together strong.” He was going along with things right now, but he wasn’t a tool to be pointed at people Lek didn’t like. He was still harboring a grudge that the Arkellian had said Alexa wasn’t a real person. “Alright, that’s workers. What about parts?” The Arkellian looked genuinely angry, furious even. “Go see that miserly Doytaran, Essad Hoy, two decks down from the repair station and a quarter turn spinward. The crew I hired are preparing a list of what they will need.” The thinly-veiled hostility intrigued Aaron. “Something I should know?” Lek looked uncomfortable and avoided Aaron’s gaze. “Business disputes, and some personal grievances, ha. I’m a businessman and I look out for my interests. He doesn’t like that. Let’s get the paperwork out of the way; tiks are credits, as they say.” With a hefty bonus on the line the paperwork was processed remarkably quickly, helped along by the lack of requirements from the planet of registration. There was a lot more documentation for the extra-system ship, more regulations and protocols to be observed. Aaron hadn’t realised that he would get to rename the ship. Shuttles weren’t named but the larger ships were. He realised it made sense, as you had to distinguish between ships of the same class. The planet you registered with usually had naming rules, or a process to automatically assign a designation. Aaron marched from Lek’s office, a man on a mission, head held high and mind racing with the task ahead. Ha’Mon had to scamper to keep up and even Clak’Soon with his long legs was breathing heavily from the pace. The human came to a sudden halt before the Engineer’s Pit and turned to the others. He tapped his ear piece, wanting Slo to hear this as well. Once he had confirmed the Jaimsmae was listening he began. “First, I want to thank you guys for coming to help me choose a ship. It was a huge help. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve done me a big favour already. You never agreed to this next part. So, right here, I’m giving you the chance to walk away, no hard feelings. ” A large hand covered in orange fur rested on Aaron’s shoulder, and a large face with a toothy grin looked down at him. “You know nothing about ships. You need us. Anyway, this is the most fun I’ve had since I joined the security team. Shuttle bay guard is not as exciting as it sounds, you know? I’m with you.” Ha’Mon looked less enthusiastic but just as determined. “We’ll get your ship ready if I have to do the repairs myself.” Aaron delivered a gentle punch to the Kasurian’s shoulder. They all waited for Slo’s answer. “So you found a ship?” “He’s in.” Clak’soon slapped his hands together as he had seen the human do. It was surprisingly satisfying, he decided as he turned to Aaron. “Time to do things your way.” With a look of mild confusion Ha’Mon asked, “What is the human way?” Aaron gave a broad grin. “It’s like the wrong way, but faster.” With that he leaned back, raised his right leg and kicked open the double doors to the Engineer’s Pit.
[first] [prev] [next] Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd crouched down next to the dumpster that was beside the back door to the bank. Major Bloodfist was lounging next to a sign for the bank, doing something that Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd had discovered was called 'smoking a cigarette' in order to ingest a complex multi-function drug. Chrome Cortez was reading something called a newspaper as he sat on the bench outside the bank. Otto was telling him what to do over his comlink as Heinrich kept an eye out for any LawSec response. "All right, Comrade Ya'ahrd, the guard moved through the copy room and into the stairwell, it looks like he's coming out back. Make sure to use your silenced weapons so we don't alert anyone," Otto said over the comlink. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd shuffled back slightly, checking the silent pistol in his hand, then looking up. The guard came out and Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd shot him once in the head, dropping him down. "Answer his radio or the cops will get suspicious," Otto said. The radio crackled and someone at a LawSec building asked for a report. "I... uhh... went outside to smoke a cigarette and look at pornographic holocubes," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said into the radio. "All right. Don't take too long. I'll log you as on break," the LawSec being said. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd pulled a body-bag out of his belt, put the human inside, and threw him in the dumpster so that nobody noticed a dead Sec-guard on the ground. "There's another one, he's walking to stand by the ATM's at the entrance. The other one is walking from the vault back to the offices. You should be clear to take out the security survelliance room," Otto said. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd snuck carefully in, making sure his shoes didn't clatter on the cement floor. He checked up the stairwell, then moved through the door into the small cement alcove. An open doorway led into the bank, with the copy-machine room right across and the door to the security office on his right. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd leaned back, reared up, touched his hoof to the keycard reader, and activated his hoof EMP generator. The keycard reader let out a little smoke and the room unlocked. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd whipped open the door and shot the guard at the console twice in the head, then answered the radio and gave the excuse that his bowels were full and he needed an elimination break. The LawSec communications officer seemed satisfied and Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd relaxed. That left only the two guards in the bank. The vault was full of gold, cash, jewelry, and other stuff. He trembled at the thought of opening the high security safe deposit boxes to see the contents. Terra is so exciting, Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd thought to himself. "OK, he's coming to you. Looks like he's heading to the roof. Wait for him to get to the stairs and take him out," Otto said. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd waited for the human, dressed in black pants with a white shirt and a gunbelt, to go by and shot him in the back of the head. He dropped and Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd fast talked the LawSec guy again, using a Telkan accent. Not a good one, but good enough to fool the LawSec agent. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd took out another body bag, rolled the human into it, zipped it up, then dragged the body into the camera room. "OK, wait so you can see the copy room. He should come in there soon. Everything is going good," Otto told him. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd moved into the cement alcove and waited, his pistol held ready. The last human guard kept wandering around, from the ATMs to talk to some clerks back to the desks, then to the ATMs, then... "Here he comes." Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd lifted up his pistol and sighted it. When the guard appeared in the doorway the led from the copy room to the back hall Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd shot him in the forehead then quickly galloped into the copy room, chortling to himself that the man and woman attempting to secure a loan from a bank officer hadn't noticed him. He answered the radio, bodybagged the dead Terran, then galloped back to the camera room carrying the body. Humans know how to do covert actions. This is much better than the last mission I did where my overwatch forgot that LawSec guards could open doors, Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd thought to himself. "OK, go get the thermal drill. I had a guy stash it out back," Otto said. "So far, nobody has to break cover." "Excellent," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd replied. He trotted out the back door and into the parking lot, following the annotation on his retinal link for where the drill was. It was in the back of a truck and Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd noticed it was quite heavy. It made him stagger to carry it back in. "OK, go in and menace the people in the loan officer area, don't let the tellers or anyone waiting to do banking see you," Otto said. Outside Cortez sighed. It had been nearly a half hour but the client wanted to be sneaky and quiet instead of running in shooting. A whole bunch of security officers had still collected the day's pay but were no longer on standby to go along with a tense hostage situation. At least 'Bloodfist' get to go get the car, he thought as he turned the page of the 'newspaper' and read the "Lanaktallan Spy Raids Area-51!" article. Inside Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd ran up and pointed his shotgun at the bank customers and the loan officers. "Get on the ground, in the name of the Lanaktallan Unified Espionage Council," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd ordered. The Terrans raised their hands and slowly got on the floor. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd put their hands behind their back and ziptied them, chuckling to himself at how simple this was. "OK, flashbang the crowd, run behind the teller counter, knock out the two tellers, then threaten everyone with your shotgun," Otto said. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd trembled with excitement, pulling out a flashbang. He snuck into the copy room and peeked out the door. There were a dozen Terrans waiting to see the tellers, two tellers, and he could see two of his Ninjas in the alleyway playing dice. Perfect. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd threw the flashbang, rushed in and TASER's both tellers, ziptied them, then galloped out into the main area. He knew Otto and Heinrich were jamming their com-links so they couldn't call out for help as he galloped twice around the teller area, waving his shotgun around. "Everyone get on the ground! Now! No heroics!" he ordered. The Terrans obediently got on the ground, some of them making crying noises. "Don't try anything and everyone goes home safe," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd assured them as he ziptied them. Then, following Otto's advice, he moved them all into the copy room, went in and picked up the thermal drill before staggering over to the vault. It was really heavy. When he unzipped the bag, he just stared. It had a tubular metal frame and seemed pretty complex. Luckily Heinrich advised him how to set it up. Then he had nearly ten minutes to wait for the drill to get into the door. That's OK, it gives me time to loot the offices, he thought to himself. He went around and picked up the bundles of 'cash', which was Terran criminal slang for non-electronic paper money notes. He flipped the end of one bundle and sniffed it, finding the smell of fresh paper and ink satisfying. Finally the vault creaked open and Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd galloped inside. Outside Major Bloodfist pulled up in the car, got out, and opened the spacious trunk before leaning against the car and sighing. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd stared around him with wide eyes. Stacks of gold bricks, cubed stacks of cash, all waiting for him to steal to fund his espionage. He began bagging it all up and carrying it out the car, stopping several times each trip to catch his breath. The bags were heavy. At least while he was getting the bags Chrome Cortez went in and used a saw to open the ATM's and the safe deposit boxes, letting him loot those too. He found all kinds of interesting things. Gold bars, jewelry, rolls of money. Finally, it was all cleared out and he galloped out to the car, climbing carefully in and driving away, slamming down the gas pedal so he left behind a cloud of smoke as he roared out town and onto the highway. "HAHAHAHAH! Another masterful job by I, Ya'ahrd, Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd, Secret Agent Supreme!" the Lanaktallan crowed as he sped down the road. "Indeed you are a masterful criminal genius, sir," Major Bloodfist said. "Why thank you, Major," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said, rolling down the window and putting both his left elbows on the windowframe as the wind whipped in and ruffled the hair on his flank. "That was most enjoyable and now we have plenty of black market currency to help fund our operations." "It's almost nightfall. We should stop at the hotel and refuel the car, have the oil changed, and spend the night. You must be exhausted after all your dastardly deeds, sir," Major Bloodfist said, checking his datalink. "Excellent plan. Ensure there is a food seller about, I worry about you minion's nutritional needs," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said magnanimously. "You are most considerate, sir," Major Bloodfist said. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd was satisfied when he pulled into the hotel. He trotted around the building twice, making sure there were no Terran Intelligence Agents hiding in the bushes (which he was careful to poke with his shotgun to make sure they weren't Lanaktallan-eating bushes) or any High Threat Response Teams from local LawSec or CorpSec lurking about. Satisfied he trotted into his room, took out a cube of dehydrated cud, and put it in his mouth. It slowly expanded as he sat on the bed and counted the stacks of money. He shivered in pleasure with the amount he had made off with. Surely this would hamper the Terran's war fighting efforts. He had stolen nearly thirty million Hamburger Kingdom dollars. The sight of the ominous and deadly looking crowned Terran with "In Burger King We Trust" underneath did give him the chills. The dead ruler's eyes seemed to follow him around as if to say "Where is your God now?" with its cold gaze. "Herr Ya'ahrd," Heinrich broke in as Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd was turning all the stacks of bills face down so he didn't have to lock eyes with the long dead ruler of the Hamburger Kingdom. "Yes, yes, Heinrich, I am here," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said, trotting over and moving the curtain slightly to check out in the parking lot for any lurking vigilantes. He'd seen the documentary about the immortal Frank Castle, who often blew up entire hotel rooms, and had no desire to have the frightening Terran vigilante hunting him. "You may want to turn on the Tri-Vid, mien Herr," Heinrich said, with a click of his shoes that Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd could hear through the comlink. "Channel 1842." "Very well," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said, turning and picking up the remote. He turned on the Tri-Vid and punched in the channel code. "I hope it is... HOW DARE HE!" On the Tri-Vid it showed a Lanaktallan ship landing, then cut to the ramp coming down, then to... to... Yu'uMo'o trotting down the ramp, followed by members of the Unified Diplomatic Council! The chyron at the bottom of the screen read "LANAKTALLAN DIPLOMATIC MISSION LANDS IN ORDER TO ENSURE RULES OF WARFARE ARE ADHERED TO" followed by "GREEN MANTID SURFING CONTEST PUT ON HOLD AFTER BIG BIRDS SIGHTED IN HAWAII" and then "VERONICA SWALSQWIK CROWNED MISS CONFEDERACY AFTER BODY BUILDING COMPETITION!" Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd waved his hands, urging the chyron to go faster as the camera zoomed in on Yu'uMo'o waving to the crowds from in between the big black warborgs of the Confederacy. "GURDY'S DUCK FEATHER TONIC STOCK RISES 15 POINTS" scrolled by. "Uh, mien Herr, try turning up the volume," Heinrich suggested, appearing next to Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd and making him jump in surprise. "Of course. I was merely... uh... examining how it looks," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd said. He turned up the volume. The reporter was talking about how the Lanaktallan's had sent political envoys to discuss such things as prisoner exchanges, the status of unaligned planets, and such things. The Lanaktallans were restricted to a single island in the middle of one of the massive islands, but still... ...IT WAS YU'UMO'O! "Get me his comlink number!" Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd yelled, pointing at the image of Yu'umo'o smugly inflating his crests as he talked about how hopefully the Confederacy and the Unified Council could get by what was obviously a tragic mistake regarding an attempt to provide medical assistance being mistaken for biowarfare and how unaligned elements of the military, successionists who were fighting against the council, had attacked Harmony. "I have it, Comrade Ya'ahrd," Otto said. "PUT THAT RECYCLED CUD CHEWER ON THE LINE RIGHT NOW!" Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd screamed. His comlink clicked a few times then it was answered. "Most High Yu'umo'o here. Who is this and how did you get this comlink number?" "You neo-sapient sexual molester, what makes you think you can intrude on my operational sphere and get away with it?" Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd asked, shaking with rage. "Ah, Ya'ahrd," there was a muffled question. "No, it's Secret Agent Ya'ahrd. He's upset that I'm setting up an espionage operation under the cover of a diplomatic mission." There was muffled laughter. "YOU WILL RUE YOUR INTERFERENCE IN MY AREA OF OPERATIONS!" Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd bellowed. "I doubt it. I've already gotten away with it," Yu'umo'o gloated. "We'll see about that," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd snapped and shut off the comlink. He threw the remote and the Tri-Vid changed channels to show a big brown duck paddling around a pond, focusing on the fact a back gate was open and swinging gently in the breeze. "No time to rest, we must hurry to the volcano lair before my arch-rival Yu'umo'o is able to interfere with my operations," Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd barked. He snapped his fingers at the closet. "Quickly, ninjas, to the Ya'ahrd Mobile!" The closet door opened and the two ninjas somersaulted out then jumped out the window, leaving behind a cloud of smoke. On the Tri-Vid the screen was showing a big brown waterfowl with gleaming golden-brown feathers on its body and a tail of brillant multi-hue feathers spread out like a colorful rainbow, all being sighed at by muscular gray skinned females as it waddled down the sidewalk. Ba'ahn Ya'ahrd grabbed his shotgun and grenade launcher, fuming as he ran for his car. "Oh, he will rue the day, yes he will," he muttered as he got in. ------------- TREANA'AD HIVE WORLDS >jams popcorn in his mouth with both hands. It's so exciting! ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- MANTID HIVE WORLDS I can't stop watching. It's like a slow motion train wreck. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- TELKAN FORGE WORLDS Is it wrong that I can't stop laughing? ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- TNVARU GESTALT I don't understand what's so funny? Now there's ANOTHER group of spies on Terra? And the first one stole valuable military secrets? Why is it all funny? ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- RIGELLIAN COMPACT Oh my God, the porn in the background as he ran out of the room. I couldn't stop laughing. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- TNVARU GESTALT Why isn't TerraSol worried? ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- DIGITAL ARTIFICIAL SENTIENCE SYSTEMS Those two are going to be so busy with each other that they won't get anything done. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- BIOLOGICAL ARTIFICIAL SENTIENCE SYSTEMS They're both confined to islands with restricted airspace and can only operate through locally hired employees. They're going to be monitored in ways that are borderline illegal. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- TELKAN FORGE WORLDS My money's on Ba'ahrn Ya'ahrd sending ninjas after the other guy. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- MANTID FREE WORLDS I'll take some of that action. I bet he tries to run him over with his car. ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- TREANA'AD HIVE WORLDS This is just so exciting! ---NOTHING FOLLOWS--- [first] [prev] [next]
The easiest way to understand moneyline wagers is by using a $100 bet. Using an example from Super Bowl 54, the moneyline on the underdog San Francisco 49ers opened +108 at DraftKings Sportsbook.A $100 wager would pay $108 profit if the 49ers won the game (for a total payout of $208). In point-spread betting, the bookie hopes to have an equal amount of money wagered on each team, which guarantees a profit. In moneyline betting, the bookie assumes most people are going to wager on the favorite and sets the line on the underdog so as to cover any potential losses on the favorite. 7. Soccer Moneyline wagers have three outcomes: home team win, away team win and draw. Draw occurs when a game is tied after 90 minutes of regulation time plus injury/stoppage time. There is no Push option on Soccer Moneyline. 8. Wagers made on a team winning a specific cup or trophy will have action through Extra Time and Penalties. 9. Normal handicapping rules apply with moneyline betting, and the goal is to place your bets on the side you feel gives you the greatest chance of being right. What is a Moneyline Bet? A moneyline wager is a straight bet on the winner of a game. There are no point spreads attached or any other factors to consider. The sole concern is which side July 27th Update: BetOnline reverted back to the more 'traditional' betting rule for when a game is complete. They have changed it so that "moneyline wagers will once again have action if the game
Top 10 important rules in Betting bandile zalisile. Loading... Unsubscribe from bandile zalisile? ... Moneyline parlays on big favorites - Duration: 4:31. SbrJustin 142,172 views. $5000 BET (real money) online gambling - Did he win or lose? - Duration: 5:44. Sodapoppin 5,021,301 views. 5:44. Moneyline sports betting is explained in this articles, with examples from MLB baseball and NHL hockey betting. We illustrate how moneylines are typically displayed on sportsbooks and how to ... The aim is to place a bet on the symbol that you think will be lucky on the next spin.The Odds for the sections are displayed on the wheel and on the table, ranging from Even Money to 47-1.