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Offseason Blueprint: The Toronto Raptors already had their fairy tale ending, but now they'd like a sequel

2020.09.26 15:38 ZandrickEllison Offseason Blueprint: The Toronto Raptors already had their fairy tale ending, but now they'd like a sequel

The playoffs continue to rage on, but there are 26 teams sitting at home with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs, watch the Conference Finals, and wait for next season to start.
For their sake, we wanted to look ahead with the next edition of the OFFSEASON BLUEPRINT series. In each, we'll preview some big decisions and make some recommendations for plans of attack along the way. Today, we're looking at the Toronto Raptors
step one: Wish Upon a Star...
When the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies came into the league (in 1995), expectations weren't terribly high. They felt like filler teams, made for Michael Jordan to break records against. Maybe they'd have a playoff appearance here and there, but there's way that they'd ever be an elite contender. There was no way that some random ass team from Canada would rise to the top of the league. Sadly, Vancouver has fallen off the map (for now), but Toronto has exploded as one of the best stories and best franchises in the association.
This fairy tale didn't happen overnight. The Raptors had some nice moments and nice young stars in the past -- Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh -- but they won a grand total of 1 playoff series over their first 20 seasons in the NBA. Given that, their latest stretch has been remarkable. They've won 48 games for seven seasons in a row, including 50+ in each of the last five. They won with Kawhi Leonard, but they managed to survive and stay relevant without him as well. Making the playoffs has become part of their DNA. Masai Ujiri, Nick Nurse, and Kyle Lowry have earned a lot of attention and credit for that (rightfully so), but we also have to give credit to Coach Dwane Casey and DeMar DeRozan for helping to get the ball rolling in the first place.
Wisely, the Raptors locked up Nick Nurse to a contract extension this offseason. The next step should be doing the same with Ujiri. The fact that high-profile teams and big markets like the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Lakers, and L.A. Clippers all have power brokers in place should be seen as a positive there. There aren't many franchises that in a position to throw $10M+ his way. Still, there's no reason the team should let their magic genie Ujiri go. In a league where role players get $10-15M a year, top executives deserve to get obscenely rich as well. Losing Ujiri would sting badly -- not only for basketball reasons, but also for reputation reasons. The Raptors have had all their wishes come true so far; they can't start pinching pennies now just because it's expensive to varnish a magic lamp.
step two: convince FVV that there is nothing more than this provincial life
It's the dream of every college basketball player to earn the attention and affection of NBA scouts. At Wichita State, Fred VanVleet did his part to turn their eye. He started 100+ games, and helped lead the Shockers to a combined record of 121-24 across four seasons on campus. When he finally strolled into the NBA ballroom... he received nothing but crickets. Eyerolls. Murmurs about his unappealing body. He didn't get drafted at all.
Now, four seasons and one championship later, the league suitors are singing a different tune. It's going to be a weak free agent class, and FVV is one of the Belles of the ball. There's talk that he can generate $15M, $18M, $20M! in salary per season. Heck, I've even heard some talk like 4 years, $100M (that's $25M per year, if you're no bookworm like Belle.)
Ironically, it's some of the same qualities that made NBA scouts dismiss him that make FVV an appealing target now. He's shorter and stubbier, but that strength allows him to play and defend both PG and SG. In fact, basketball-reference charted him as playing 56% of his minutes at SG this season. VanVleet's shooting prowess (39.3% from three for his career) also fits like a glove in the modern NBA. He can be a lead guard, or he can be a complementary 3+D spacing guard... he can do a variety of things to win a team win. As such, he's a "high floor" and "high character" acquisition that can justify an inflated salary, a la Malcolm Brogdon last year (who got 4 years, $85M total from Indiana.)
VanVleet would be a valuable addition to any team, but he's especially valuable to this particular Toronto team. He's already shown that he can play alongside Kyle Lowry, but he may have an even larger role in the future. Lowry's massive contract ($30M per year) is coming off the books after next year. As good as Lowry has been, he's 34 now, and he's not going to be a viable starter forever. VanVleet can continue to play in tandem with Lowry now, and then potentially take the reins of the lead guard position for the next 5 years after. Through that lens, $20M doesn't sound unreasonable at all. I also like the idea of retaining some members of the title team as long as possible, as it adds prestige to the franchise.
No doubt, the Raps will want VanVleet back, even if he's paid $20M per season. He may be worth that. The question is: what happens if he gets offered more than he's worth? What if the Knicks get crazy and offer him $25M or more?
Toronto can't get into an unreasonable bidding war, but they can evoke VanVleet's emotional connection to the franchise and fan base. They helped give him the development and opportunity to become a star. And while Toronto isn't a traditional "big market" compared to New York City, it may be more appealing. Toronto’s a thriving city, where $20 (or $20M) goes a lot further than NYC. Moreover, VanVleet will be a beloved member of the Raptors' franchise and their legacy. If he goes off to be a hired gun somewhere else, those new fans may turn on him as soon as his shooting slumps. If Toronto is effectively "The Beast" (that you learned to love), the Knicks may be "Gaston," the showy rival that you'll only end up resenting. I truly believe that VanVleet is better off in Toronto (even at 80-90% of the price) than going to a franchise like the Knicks. Of course, it's not my decision to make.
step three: Jack and the (singular) Beanstalk
Presuming that Toronto is able to come up with a new accord with Fred VanVleet, they'll have limited coins left in the purse. They may need to make a decision regarding their bigs, with both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka entering free agency as well. These are two decorated veterans who have gotten used to gold (this season, Gasol made $25.5M and Ibaka made $23M.)
While the Raptors' frontcourt depth helped them win a title, it doesn't make sense to double dip and OVERLOAD on the position. The modern NBA doesn't cater to centers, so you don't want to tilt your salary cap too much in that direction. Moreover, backup Chris Boucher (also a free agent) deserves some more playing time. It's very realistic for the team to pick one of their current bigs, and roll with Boucher as a backup.
Between the two bigs, I'd lean to retaining Serge Ibaka over Marc Gasol myself. As always, Gasol's raw stats -- 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds -- don't reflect his actual value. He's a good, heady basketball player who is able to stretch the court offensively. Even at age 35, he's still a good defensive presence. In fact, ESPN's RPM metric graded him as a +3.4 impact per 100 possessions on defense, 5th best among all centers. Still, it's hard to ignore the age factor. Gasol's 35 now, and turning 36 in January. Based on either the eye test or analytics, you can see some decline in his play. Retaining him on a 1-year deal would make sense, but anything more than that would be risky.
Meanwhile, Serge Ibaka is no spring chicken himself. He's listed at 31 (and some think he may be older than that.) Still, he doesn't appear to be in as noticeable of a decline. He still has some spring to his legs, which aids him as a rim protector and also helps him convert inside on offense. He actually outpaced Gasol this year in terms of true shooting percentage 58% to 55%. Overall, Gasol vs. Ibaka is fairly even right now, but we'd have to lean in favor of the younger player as we project to the future. All things (and contracts) being equal, I'd re-sign Serge Ibaka. If Gasol wants to undercut Ibaka and come in for a cheaper deal, then that's a legitimate option as well. Center is less of a priority for all teams right now, and the Raps shouldn't overpay for competent play down low.
step four: dream of a date with Prince Charming, but settle for Prince Charming-Enough
The Toronto Raptors and their fans have their eyes on the prize: Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak may hit free agency in 2021, at which point the Raptors could be a legitimate contender for his services.
Realistically, it's hard to imagine the team clearing enough space to sign Antetokounmpo outright. They'd have the room if they didn't re-sign Fred VanVleet or Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, but if they did that, why would Antetokounmpo want to come play for them? He's not leaving Milwaukee unless he signs up with a superior roster.
More likely, Toronto would need to work out some sign and trade centered on Pascal Siakam (and his $30M salary.) If the Raptors had the chance to grab Antetokounmpo, they wouldn't mind waving their diamond in the rough Siakam goodbye. There's some duplication to their talents and skill sets, only Antetokounmpo is a much better version of it. He's also about a year younger. With a Siakam to Antetokounmpo upgrade, the Raps would be right back in the title picture again.
While this whole entry has been about fairy tales, let's take a step back and presume that doesn't happen. What then...?
The first step would be trying to put Siakam in better situations to score. He had been incredibly efficient as a secondary option behind Kawhi Leonard, crashing in the paint and shooting 60.2% from two-point range. This past season, as the go-to scorer, he found those shots harder to come by and saw his two-point percentage plummet down to 49.9%. As a result, his true shooting numbers crashed from 62.8% to 55.4%. Some of that is injury related, but a lot of it is shot distribution and defensive attention. Simply put, Siakam had to work a lot harder to get his points. The prior season, 49% of his twos and 98% of his threes were assisted. This year, those numbers dropped to 42% and 66% respectively. He also took longer threes. In 2018-19, 68% of his three pointers came in the corner. This year, that dropped to 22%. (All numbers courtesy of basketball-reference.)
Overall, the Raptors may need to rethink their usage of Siakam and have him take a step back as a lead option. While the team was still successful overall, their offense wasn't any great shakes, ranking 14th overall. That has to improve if they want to win the East again. One way to potentially do that is to redistribute the scoring wealth. Rather than treating Siakam as a top option, treat him as an option. He's a solid scorer and ball mover -- like most of his teammates -- so let's get them all involved equally. The Raptors goal should be to have their top 6 players (Siakam, Lowry, FVV, O.G. Anunoby, Ibaka/Gasol, and Norman Powell) all average around 15 points per game. They can also get more from rising players like Chris Boucher, Terence Davis, and Matt Thomas (a better marksman than Snow White's Huntsman). With balanced scoring like that from all over the roster, they may be able to get their offense back into the top 10. Better still, they may spin a whole new fairy tale for the Canadian kids to enjoy.
previous offseason blueprints
ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, GS, LAC, MIL, MIN, NYK, ORL, POR, SA, SAC, UTA
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 02:48 normancrane Iris [1/3]

Part 1 <-- You are here.
Part 2
Part 3 [Soon!]

Iris

The first person to ever tell me the theory was Iris. It was nighttime in 2015, and we were lying on an old mattress on the roof of a four-storey apartment building in a university town in southern Ontario. A party was going on downstairs to which we’d both been invited and from whose monotony we’d helped each other escape through an ordinary white door that said “No entrance”. It was summer. I remember the heat waves and the radiating warmth of the asphalt. Our semester was over and we had started existing until the next one started in the way all students exist when they don’t spend their months off at home or touring Europe. I could feel the bass thumping from below. I could see the infinite stars in the cloudless sky. The sound seemed so disconnected from the image. Iris and I weren’t dating, we were just friends, but she leaned toward me on the mattress that night until I could feel her breathing on my neck, and, with my eyes pointed spaceward, she began: “What if…”
Back then it was pure speculation, a wild fantasy inspired by the THC from the joint we were passing back and forth and uninhibited by the beer we’d already drunk. There was nothing scientific or even philosophical about Iris’ telling of it. The theory was a flight of imagination influenced by her name and personalized by the genetic defect of her eyes, which her doctors had said would render her blind by fifty. Even thirty-five seemed far away. It’s heartbreaking now to know that Iris never did live to experience her blindness—her own genetic fate interrupted by the genetic fate of the world—but that night, imagination, the quality Einstein called more important than knowledge, lit up both our brains in synapses of neon as we shared our joint, sucking it into glowing nothingness, Iris paranoid that she’d wake up one morning in eternal darkness despite the doctors’ assurances that her blindness would occur gradually, and me fearing that I would never find love, never share my life with anyone, but soothed at least by Iris’ words and her impossible ideas because Einstein was right, and imagination is magical enough to cure anything.

2025, Pre-

I graduated with a degree in one field, found a low paying job in another, got married, worked my way to slightly better pay, wanted to have a child, bought a Beagle named Pillow as a temporary substitute, lived in an apartment overlooking a green garbage bin that was always full of beer cans and pizza boxes, and held my wife, crying, when we found out that we couldn’t have children. Somewhere along the way my parents died and Kurt Schwaller, a physicist from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, proved a grand theory of everything that rather than being based on the vibrations of strings, was based on a property of particles called viscous time force. I never understood the details. To me they lacked imagination. The overriding point, the experts on television told us, was that given enough data and computing power we could now predict the outcome of anything. The effect was that no one wanted to study theoretical physics and everyone wanted to make breakthroughs in data collection systems and biological hardware. Hackers created a version of Linux that ran from DNA. Western Digital released the first working holographic storage drive. The NSA, FSB, BND and other agencies rushed to put their suddenly valuable mass of unprocessed raw spy data to prognostic use. A Chinese bookmaker known only by the nick ##!! wrote a piece of Python code that could predict the outcomes of hockey games. Within a month, the NHL and KHL were scrambling to come up with ways of saving their leagues by making them more unpredictable. They introduced elements of chance: power plays without penalties, a tilting ice surface, fluctuating rules that sometimes allowed for icings and offsides and sometimes not, and, finally, a pre-game lottery by which the names of the players on both teams were put into a pot and randomly drawn into two squads. Given enough variables, the strategy did thwart the code, but the inherent unfairness of the innovations alienated the players, the draft made owners question why they were paying the salaries of superstars who played against them half of the time, and the fans simply stopped paying attention to a league full of teams for which their already dwindling loyalty had bottomed out. Besides, the code was basic. ##!! had room to expand. The KHL folded first, followed by the NHL, and then the other sports leagues, preemptively. They didn’t bother to wait until their own codes were broken. I remember seeing an interview with ##!! while this was still front page news. The reporter, a perpetually smiling big-breasted blonde with blindingly white teeth, asked him if he thought that hockey could be rescued by the creation of roving blue lines that would continually alter the relative sizes of both offensive zones and the neutral zone. ##!! answered that he didn’t know what a blue line was because he’d never watched a hockey game in his life. His voice was cold, objective, and there was something terrifyingly inhuman about the idea that a person with no knowledge of a subject could nevertheless understand it so completely. Content had become a mere input of form.
By 2025, mainstream interest in the theory of everything faded, not because the theory was wrong but because it was too right and too abstract and now there weren’t any young theoretical physicists to help explain it using cute graphics on YouTube. We consumed what we understood and passively accepted the fallout while going on with our daily lives. The people who did understand made money, but for the rest of us the consequences were less than their potential, because even with enough time, memory and microprocessors the most we could know was the what and the when, not the why. For the governments and corporations pouring taxes and tax-free earnings into complex models of world domination, that didn’t matter. They weren’t interested in cause. They were in the business of exploiting certainty to gain power. As long as they could predict lightning, they were satisfied. If they could make it, all the better. Away from the cutting edge, however, like ants or ancients, what we craved to know was where the lightning came from, what it meant, and on that issue the theory was silent. As Kurt Schwaller put it in a speech to the United Nations, “All I’ve given you is a tool—a microscope to magnify the minutes, so to speak—with which to investigate in perfect detail the entirety of our interrelations. But the investigations still have to made, ladies and gentlemen. Have a hay stack, look for the needle. Know there might not be one.”
In January, my wife and I began a fertility treatment for which we’d been saving for years. It was undoubtedly the reason we became so emotionally involved in the media attention around Aiko, the lovely, black-haired and fashionable Crown Princess of Japan, who along with her husband was going through the same ordeal that we were. For a few months, it seemed as if the whole world sat on the edges of its seat, wishing for this beautiful royal couple to conceive. And we sat on two, our own and one somewhere in an exotic Japan updated by the royal Twitter feed. It strikes me now that royalty has always fascinated the proles, a feeling that historically went in tandem with hatred, respect or awe, but it was the Japanese who held our attentions the longest and the most genuinely in the twenty-first century, when equality had more or less rendered a hereditary ruling class obsolete. The British declared themselves post-Christian in 2014 and post-Royal in 2021, the European Court of Justice ruled all other European royals invalid in 2022, and the Muslim monarchs pompously degraded themselves one-by-one into their own exiles and executions. Only the Japanese line survived, adapting to the times by refusing to take itself seriously on anything but the most superficial level. They dressed nicely, acted politely and observed a social protocol that we admired without wanting to follow it ourselves. Before he died, my father had often marvelled that the Second World War began with Japan being led by an emperor god, and ended with the American occupation forcing him to renounce his divinity. The Japanese god had died because MacArthur willed it and Hirohito spoke it. Godhood was like plaque. If your mother told you to brush your teeth, off it went, provided you used the right flavour of Colgate. Kings had once ruled by divine right. By 2025, the Crown Princess of Japan ruled our hearts merely by popular approval. She was our special friend, with whom we were all on intimate and imaginary terms. Indeed, on the day she died—on the day they all died—Princess Aiko’s was the most friended account on Facebook.
That’s why March 27, 2025, was such a joyous occasion for us. In hindsight, it’s utterly sick to associate the date with happiness of any kind, but history must always be understood in context, and the context of the announcement was a wirelessly connected world whose collective hopes came suddenly true to the jingle of a breaking news story on the BBC. I was in the kitchen sauteing onions when I heard it. Cutting them had made me cry and my eyes were still red. Then the announcer’s voice broke as he was setting up his intro, and in a video clip that was subsequently rebroadcast, downloaded and parodied close to a billion times in the one hundred thirty-two days that followed, he said: “The Crown Princess of Japan is pregnant!”
I ran to the living room and hugged my wife, who’d fallen to her knees in front of the wall-mounted monitor. Pillow was doing laps on and off the sofa. The BBC cut away from the announcer’s joyful face to a live feed from Japan. As I held my wife, her body felt warm and full of life. The top of her jeans cut into her waist. Her tears wetted the top of my shirt sleeve. Both of our phones started to buzz—emails and Twitter notifications streaming in. On the monitor, Aiko and her husband, both of their angular faces larger than life in 110” 1080p, waved to the crowd in Tokyo and the billions watching around the world. They spoke in Japanese and a woman on the BBC translated, but we hardly needed to know her exact words to understand the emotions. If them, why not also us? I knew my wife was having the same thought. We, too, could have a family. Then I smelled burning oil and the pungency of onions and I remembered my sauteing. I gently removed my arms from around my wife’s shoulders and ran back to the kitchen, still listening to Aiko’s voice and its polite English echo, and my hands must have been shaking, or else my whole body was shaking, because after I had turned down the heat I reached for the handle of the frying pan, knocked the pan off the stove top instead, and burned myself while stupidly trying to catch it before it fell, clattering, to the floor. The burned onions splattered. I’d cracked one of the kitchen tiles. My hand turned pale and I felt a numbness before my skin started to overflow with the warmth of pain. Without turning off the broadcast, my wife shooed me downstairs to the garage where we kept our car and drove me to the hospital.
The Toronto streets were raucous. Horns honked. J-pop blared. In the commotion we nearly hit a pedestrian, a middle-aged white woman pushing a baby carriage, who’d cut across Lake Shore without looking both ways. She had appeared suddenly from behind a parked transport—and my wife instinctively jerked the car from the left lane to the right, scraping our side mirror against the truck but saving two lives. The woman barely noticed. She disappeared into a crowd of Asian kids on the other side of street who were dancing to electronica and waving half a dozen Japanese flags, one of which was the Rising Sun Flag, the military flag of Imperial Japan. Clutching my wrist in the hope it would dull the pain in my hand, I wondered how many of them knew about the suffering Japanese soldiers had inflicted on countless Chinese in the name of that flag. To the right, Lake Ontario shone and sparkled in the late afternoon light. A passenger jet took off from Toronto Island Airport and climbed into the sky.
In the hospital waiting room, I sat next to a woman who was reading a movie magazine with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s face on the cover. The Cannes film festival was coming up. My wife checked me in at the reception desk. The woman beside me put down her magazine and told me that she was there with her son, as if needing to justify her presence. I affirmed by nodding. He’d hurt his leg playing soccer for a local Armenian junior boys team, she went on. I said I’d hurt myself frying onions and that I was here with my wife. She said my wife was pretty and asked if I liked movies. Without meaning to do it, I tried to guess her age—unsuccessfully—and proceeded to imagine having doggy style sex with her. She had dark eyes that barely blinked and plump thighs. When I started to feel guilty, I answered her question: sometimes I watched movies at home, but I hadn’t been to a theatre in a decade. When my wife sat down, I let the two of them talk about the woman’s son. I was having trouble concentrating. I took my phone out of my pocket and read all the new emails about the royal conception, then stared at the seconds hand going slowly around its digital clock face on my home screen, wondering why we so often emulated the limitations of analogue machines on devices that were no longer bound by them. I switched my clock type to a digital readout. Now the seconds no longer rotated but flickered away. They called my name over the crackling intercom and a nurse led me to one of the empty rooms. “How about that baby,” he said while we walked. I didn’t see his face, only the shaved back of his head. “The things they can do these days, even for infertile couples.”
I waited for over thirty minutes for a doctor. When one came in, she inspected my hand for less than ten seconds before telling me that I was fine and hinting that I shouldn’t have wasted her time by coming to the emergency room. She had high cheek bones, thin lips and bony wrists. Her tablet had a faux clipboard wallpaper. Maybe I had only misinterpreted her tone. “How about that baby,” I said.
“It’s not a baby yet,” she answered.
This time her tone was impossible to misinterpret. I was only repeating what the nurse had said, I told myself. But I didn’t say that to her. Instead, I imagined her coming home at night to an empty apartment, furnished possibly in a minimalistic Japanese or Swedish style, brewing a cup of black coffee and settling into an armchair to re-read a Simone de Beauvoir novel. I was about to imagine having sex with her when I caught hold of myself and wondered what was up with me today.
When I got back to the waiting room, my wife was no longer there—but the Armenian woman was. She pointed down the hall and told me a room number. She said that sometime after I left, my wife had gotten a cramp and started to vomit all over the floor. Someone was still mopping up. The other people in the waiting room, which was filling up, gave me tactfully dirty looks, either because I was with the vomiter or because I’d shirked my responsible by being away during the vomiting. Irrationally, I wiped my own mouth and fled down the hall.
Inside the numbered room, my wife was sitting hunched over on an observation bed, slowly kicking her feet back and forth. “Are you OK?” I asked.
“Come here,” she said.
I did, and sat beside her on the bed. I repeated my question. She still smelled a little of vomit, but she looked up at me like the world’s luckiest puppy, her eyes big and glassy, and said, “Norman, I’m pregnant.”
That’s all she could say—
That’s all either of us could say for a while.
We just sat there on the examination bed like a pair of best friends on a swing set after dark, dangling our feet and taking turns pulling each other closer. “Are you sure?” I finally asked. My voice was hoarse. I sounded like a frog.
“Yes.” She kicked the heel of my shoe with the rubber toe of hers. “We’re going to have a baby.”
It was beautiful. The most wonderful moment of my life. I remembered the day we met and our little marriage ceremony. I thought about being a father, and felt positively terrified, and about being a better husband, and felt absolutely determined, and as I kissed my wife there in the little hospital room with its sterile green walls, I imagined making love to her. I kept imagining it as we drove back to the apartment through partying Toronto streets. “Not since the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup!” the radio announcer proclaimed—before I turned him off. I also turned off my phone and my wife’s phone. No more buzzing. In the underground parking lot, I leaned over and licked her soft neck. I pushed her through the open apartment door and straight into the living room, onto the sofa, and wished I could be the cushions beneath her thighs and the air invading her lungs. Pillow barked a greeting and wagged her tail. The monitor on the wall showed talking heads and fertility experts. I unbuttoned my wife’s blouse. She unbuckled my belt. The picture on the monitor dissolved to a close-up of Aiko’s smiling face. My wife and I took turns sliding off each other’s jeans. I kissed her bare stomach. She ran her hands through my hair. I dimmed the lights. We made love.
When we were done it was starry nighttime. My wife bandaged my hand. We turned off the television. The silence was refreshing because people on television too often talk like they’re trying to push you off a ledge. My wife excused me from the duty of making supper because of my ineptness with the frying pan, and handed me a leash instead. I hooked it up to Pillow’s collar and took her outside. While she peed, I gazed up at the sky and identified the Big Dipper. It and the Little Dipper were the only constellations I could identify without using a smartphone app. After Pillow finished, we ducked into a nook and I peed, too. The March sky was amazingly clear of smog. My urine splashed on the concrete and I felt embarrassingly primal. I breathed in, shook out the last drops and zipped up.
In the apartment, we ate grilled portabella mushrooms topped with parmesan and parsley and drank brown rice tea. My wife had changed into fresh clothes. I had changed into fresh skin. Every time she said “mom” and “dad”, the words discharged trickles of electricity up and down my peripheral nervous system. We were happy; we were going to have a baby. The whole world was happy; the Crown Princess of Japan of was going to have a baby. The sounds of drunken urban celebrations drifted in through our bedroom window all night like fog, and we barely slept.

2025, Post-

Gold is precious because it’s rare. Now close your eyes and imagine that the next time you open them, everything in your world will be golden: your kitchen table, the bananas you bought on the way home from work yesterday, your bottle of shampoo, even your teeth. Now blink. You’re not alone. The market’s flooded. Gold isn’t rare anymore. It’s everywhere. Which means that it’s worth about as much as its weight in mud, because there’s nothing intrinsically good about gold. Can you write on your gold table? It scratches. Surely you can’t eat your golden fruit. Your shampoo’s not a liquid anymore, so your hair’s already starting to get greasy. And if you do find something to eat that’s not made of metal, how long will those gold teeth last before you grind them into finely polished nubs?
For two days the Earth glittered.
For two days we lived in a daze of perfection.
And then, on March 29, a researcher working with lab mice at Stanford University noticed something odd. All of his female mice were pregnant. He contacted several of his colleagues who were also working with mice, rats, and monkeys. All their female animals were pregnant, too. Some of the colleagues had wives and girlfriends. They took innocent-seeming trips to their local pharmacies and bought up all the available pregnancy tests. At home, women took test after test and all of them showed positive. By midnight, the researchers had drafted a joint letter and sent copies of it to the major newspapers in their countries. On the morning of March 30, the news hit.
When I checked my Twitter feed after breakfast, #impregtoo was already trending. Throughout the day, Reddit lit up with increasingly bizarre accounts of pregnancies that physically couldn’t be but, apparently, were. Post-menopausal women, celibate women, prepubescent girls, women who’d had their uteruses removed only to discover that their reproductive systems had spontaneously regenerated like the severed tales of lizards. Existing early stage pregnancies aborted themselves and re-fertilized, like a system rebooting. Later term pregnancies developed Matryoshka-like pregnancies nested within pregnancies. After a while, I stopped reading, choosing to spend time with my wife instead. As night fell, we reclined on the sofa, her head on my chest, Pillow curled up in our tangle of feet, the television off, and the streets of Toronto eerily quiet save for the intermittent blaring of far off sirens, as any lingering doubts about the reality of the situation melted away like the brief, late season snow that floated gently down from the sky, blackening the streets.
On March 30, the World Health Organization issued a communique confirming that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all female mammals were pregnant. No cause was identified. It urged any woman who was not pregnant to step forward immediately. Otherwise, the communique offered no guidance. It indicated merely that the organization was already working with governments around the world to prepare for a massive influx of human population in approximately nine months’ time. Most places, including Toronto, reacted with stunned panic. Non-essential workplaces and schools were decried closed. People were urged to stay indoors. Hospitals prepared for possible complications. A few supermarkets ran out of canned food and there were several bank runs, but nothing happened that the existing systems couldn’t handle. Populations kept their nerve. Highway and air traffic increased slightly as people rushed to be with their friends, families and gynaecologists. We spent the entire day in our apartment and let Pillow pee in the tub. Except for the conspiracy theorists, who believed that the Earth was being cosmically pollinated by aliens, most of us weren’t scared to go outside, but we were scared of the unknown, and we preferred to process that fear in the comfort of our own dens.
The New York Times ran a front page editorial arguing for an evaluation of the situation using Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything. In conjunction with The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Wikipedia Foundation, a website was set up asking users for technical help, monetary donations and the sharing of any surplus computing power.
The project quickly ran into problems. To accurately predict anything, the theory of everything needed sufficient data, and, on April 2, cryptome.org published a series of leaked emails between the French Minister of Health and a high-ranking member of World Health Organization that proved the latter’s communique had been disingenuous at best. Externally, the World Health Organization had concluded that all female mammals were pregnant. That remained true. However, it had failed to admit an even more baffling development: the wombs of all female mammals had inexplicably become impenetrable to all rays and materials that had so far been tried against them. For all intents and purposes, there was no way to see inside the womb, or to destroy it. The only way to revert the body to its natural form, to terminate the pregnancy, was to kill the woman—an experiment that, according to the high-ranking member of the World Health Organization, the French government had helped conduct on unwilling women in Mali. Both parties issued repeated denials until a video surfaced showing the murders. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. They spun their denials into arguments about the necessity of sacrificing lives for the greater good.
Reminded once again of the deception inherent in politics, many turned to religion, but the mainstream religions were hesitant to react. They offered few opinions and no answers. The fringe religions split into two camps. Some leaders welcomed this development, the greatest of all known miracles, while others denounced the same as a universal and unnatural punishment for our collective sins of hedonism, egoism and pride. The most successful of all was the Tribe of Akna, a vaguely mystical Maya revival cult that sprang up seemingly overnight and was led by a Guatemalan freelance programmer named Salvador Abaroa. Although it originated in Mexico City, the Tribe spread as quickly across the world as the computer viruses that Abaroa was notorious for creating. On the Tribe’s homepage, Abaroa could be seen striking an antique brass gong and saying in Spanish-tinged English, “Like energy, life is never destroyed. Every one of us plays an integral part of the cosmic ecosystem. Every man, woman and virus.” Elsewhere on the website, you could buy self-published theological textbooks, listen to scratchy recordings of speeches by Alan Watts and read about the hypothesis that Maya thought was deeply connected to Buddhism because the Mayans had crossed the Pacific Ocean and colonized Asia.
But despite the apparent international cooperation happening at the highest levels, the first week of April was an atomizing period for the so-called people on the ground. We hunkered down. Most personal communication was digital. My wife and I exchanged emails with her parents and sister, but we met no one face-to-face, not even on Skype. We neither invited our neighbours to dinner nor were invited by them, despite how easy it was to walk down the hall and knock. I read far more than I wrote, and even when I did write, responding to a blog post or news story, I found it easier to relate to strangers than to the people I knew. My wife said I had a high tolerance for solitude. “Who do you know in the city?” she asked. Although we’d been living here together for three years, she still considered Toronto mine. She was the stranger, I was the native. I said that I knew a few people from work. She told me to call one of them I’d never called before. I did, and the next day’s sky was cloudless and sunny and there were five of us in the apartment: my wife and I, my friend Bakshi and his wife Jacinda, and their daughter, Greta. Greta drank apple juice while the rest of us drank wine, and all five of us gorged ourselves on freshly baked peach cobbler, laughing at silly faces and cracking immature jokes. It hardly registered for me that the majority of the room was unstoppably pregnant, but wasn’t that the point: to forget—if only for a few hours? Instead of watching the BBC, we streamed BDRips of Hayao Miyazaki movies from The Pirate Bay. Porco Rosso ruled the skies, castles flew, a Catbus arrived at its magical stop. Then Bakshi’s phone rang, and he excused himself from the table to take the call. When he returned, his face was grey. “What’s the matter?” Jacinda asked him. He was still holding the phone to his ear. “It’s Kurt Schwaller,” he said. “They just found his body. They think he killed himself.”
Proceed to Part 2
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2020.09.14 00:23 NewYorkMetsBot POST GAME THREAD: The Mets fell to the Blue Jays by a score of 7-3 - Sun, Sep 13 @ 03:07 PM EDT

Mets @ Blue Jays - Sun, Sep 13

Game Status: Final - Score: 7-3 Blue Jays

Links & Info

Mets Batters AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG OBP SLG
1 McNeil - 2B 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 .319 .390 .493
Guillorme - SS 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .370 .455 .457
2 Davis, J - DH 4 1 1 0 1 1 1 .263 .376 .401
3 Conforto - RF 5 1 2 0 0 3 3 .343 .428 .566
4 Frazier, T - 3B 4 0 2 1 0 1 1 .248 .322 .403
5 Smith, Do - LF 4 0 2 2 0 0 1 .333 .396 .637
6 Alonso, P - 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .222 .325 .443
7 Rosario, A - SS 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .268 .367
a-Canó - 2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .320 .358 .544
8 Nimmo - CF 4 0 2 0 0 1 2 .258 .388 .450
9 Chirinos, R - C 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 .119 .197 .153
b-Gimenez - PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .284 .337 .421
Totals 37 3 12 3 2 9 17
Mets
a-Grounded into a forceout for Rosario, A in the 8th. b-Struck out for Chirinos, R in the 9th.
BATTING: 2B: Nimmo (7, Ryu). TB: Alonso, P; Conforto 2; Davis, J; Frazier, T 2; McNeil; Nimmo 3; Rosario, A; Smith, Do 2. RBI: Frazier, T (9); Smith, Do 2 (38). 2-out RBI: Smith, Do. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Conforto; Guillorme; Chirinos, R 2. GIDP: Rosario, A. Team RISP: 2-for-8. Team LOB: 9.
FIELDING: E: Rosario, A (2, throw).
Blue Jays Batters AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG OBP SLG
1 Biggio - RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .253 .372 .431
2 Bichette, B - DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 .333 .361 .609
3 Guerrero Jr. - 1B 3 1 0 0 1 0 3 .241 .321 .412
4 Grichuk - CF 3 2 1 0 1 0 1 .273 .316 .485
5 Gurriel Jr. - LF 3 2 1 2 1 0 0 .285 .339 .481
6 Villar - 2B 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .248 .316 .312
7 Davis, J - RF 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 .250 .333 .750
a-Shaw, T - 3B 2 0 1 0 0 1 3 .248 .315 .403
8 Espinal, Sa - SS 4 1 1 3 0 0 3 .246 .279 .316
9 Jansen, D - C 4 0 1 1 0 1 2 .151 .292 .301
Totals 31 7 7 7 6 6 17
Blue Jays
a-Struck out for Davis, J in the 6th.
BATTING: 2B: Espinal, Sa (4, Hughes); Biggio (13, Hughes). HR: Gurriel Jr. (7, 2nd inning off Peterson, D, 1 on, 0 out). TB: Biggio 2; Espinal, Sa 2; Grichuk; Gurriel Jr. 4; Jansen, D; Shaw, T; Villar. RBI: Espinal, Sa 3 (5); Gurriel Jr. 2 (25); Jansen, D (14); Villar (13). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Guerrero Jr. 2. Team RISP: 2-for-5. Team LOB: 6.
FIELDING: Outfield assists: Grichuk (Frazier, T at home). DP: (Villar-Espinal, Sa-Guerrero Jr.).
Mets Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR P-S ERA
Peterson, D (L, 4-2) 5.0 3 2 2 2 2 1 81-52 4.17
Brach 0.0 0 3 3 3 0 0 16-4 3.75
Hughes 1.0 3 2 2 1 2 0 25-15 4.76
Ramírez, E 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 28-19 0.90
Totals 8.0 7 7 7 6 6 1
Blue Jays Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR P-S ERA
Ryu (W, 4-1) 6.0 8 1 1 0 7 0 92-62 3.00
Hatch 1.0 4 2 2 0 0 0 29-20 2.11
Cole, A 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9-6 2.21
Dolis 1.0 0 0 0 2 2 0 23-12 1.61
Totals 9.0 12 3 3 2 9 0
Game Info
Pitches-strikes: Peterson, D 81-52; Brach 16-4; Hughes 25-15; Ramírez, E 28-19; Ryu 92-62; Hatch 29-20; Cole, A 9-6; Dolis 23-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Peterson, D 7-0; Brach 0-0; Hughes 1-0; Ramírez, E 1-1; Ryu 4-2; Hatch 2-1; Cole, A 2-0; Dolis 1-0.
Batters faced: Peterson, D 20; Brach 3; Hughes 7; Ramírez, E 7; Ryu 24; Hatch 7; Cole, A 3; Dolis 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Hughes 3-3; Cole, A 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Chad Fairchild. 1B: Carlos Torres. 2B: Paul Nauert. 3B: Jansen Visconti.
Weather: 71 degrees, Partly Cloudy.
Wind: 19 mph, L To R.
First pitch: 3:09 PM.
T: 3:12.
Venue: Sahlen Field.
September 13, 2020
Inning Scoring Play Score
Top 1 Dominic Smith singles on a line drive to center fielder Randal Grichuk. Jeff McNeil scores. Todd Frazier out at home on the throw, center fielder Randal Grichuk to catcher Danny Jansen to second baseman Jonathan Villar to catcher Danny Jansen to shortstop Santiago Espinal. 1-0 NYM
Bottom 2 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homers (7) on a line drive to left field. Randal Grichuk scores. 2-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Jonathan Villar walks. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scores. Randal Grichuk to 3rd. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to 2nd. 3-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Santiago Espinal doubles (4) on a line drive to left fielder Dominic Smith. Randal Grichuk scores. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scores. Jonathan Villar scores. Santiago Espinal to 3rd. Santiago Espinal advances to 3rd, on a throwing error by shortstop Amed Rosario. 6-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Danny Jansen singles on a line drive to center fielder Brandon Nimmo. Santiago Espinal scores. 7-1 TOR
Top 8 Todd Frazier singles on a sharp line drive to right fielder Cavan Biggio. J.D. Davis scores. Michael Conforto to 3rd. 7-2 TOR
Top 8 Blue Jays challenged (slide interference), call on the field was upheld: Dominic Smith grounds into a force out, first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to shortstop Santiago Espinal. Michael Conforto scores. Todd Frazier out at 2nd. Dominic Smith to 1st. 7-3 TOR
Team Highlight
TOR Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s diving grab (00:00:34)
NYM Dominic Smith opens the scoring (00:00:34)
TOR Blue Jays execute rundown (00:00:30)
TOR Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s two-run HR (00:00:32)
TOR Teoscar Hernández update (00:00:33)
TOR Guerrero Jr. crosses the dish (00:00:15)
TOR Espinal's bases-clearing double (00:00:37)
TOR Danny Jansen's RBI single (00:00:25)
NYM Todd Frazier's RBI single (00:00:23)
NYM Michael Conforto scores in the 8th (00:00:27)
NYM Brandon Nimmo's curious catch (00:00:34)
TOR Blue Jays score five runs in 6th (00:01:18)
TOR Santiago Espinal's nice snag (00:00:23)
TOR Rafael Dolis gets the last out (00:00:31)
NYM Jeff McNeil leaves the game (00:01:10)
TOR Jonathan Villar's awesome grab (00:00:35)
NYM Mets vs. Blue Jays Recap 9/13 (00:03:39)
NYM Todd Frazier's slide ruled legal (00:02:01)
NYM David Peterson's solid outing (00:00:45)
NYM CG: [email protected] - 9/13/20 (00:05:06)
TOR Hyun Jin Ryu's strong start (00:01:04)
TOR Charlie Montoyo on Blue Jays' win (00:01:31)
TOR Espinal, Ryu on the 7-3 win (00:01:53)
NYM Luis Rojas on Mets' 7-3 loss (00:00:42)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E LOB
Mets 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 12 1 9
Blue Jays 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0 7 7 0 6

Around the Division

ATL 8 @ WSH 4 - Final
PHI 1 @ MIA 2 - Final
PHI 1 @ MIA 8 - Final

No-Hitter Alert

Final R H E
Cubs 12 10 0
Brewers 0 0 3
Next Mets Game: Tue, Sep 15, 07:05 PM EDT @ Phillies (1 day)
Last Updated: 09/13/2020 11:04:27 PM EDT
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2020.09.13 19:07 NewYorkMetsBot GAME THREAD: Mets (21-25) @ Blue Jays (25-20) - Sun, Sep 13 @ 03:07 PM EDT

Mets @ Blue Jays - Sun, Sep 13

Game Status: Final - Score: 7-3 Blue Jays

Links & Info

Mets Batters AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG OBP SLG
1 McNeil - 2B 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 .319 .390 .493
Guillorme - SS 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .370 .455 .457
2 Davis, J - DH 4 1 1 0 1 1 1 .263 .376 .401
3 Conforto - RF 5 1 2 0 0 3 3 .343 .428 .566
4 Frazier, T - 3B 4 0 2 1 0 1 1 .248 .322 .403
5 Smith, Do - LF 4 0 2 2 0 0 1 .333 .396 .637
6 Alonso, P - 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .222 .325 .443
7 Rosario, A - SS 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .268 .367
a-Canó - 2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .320 .358 .544
8 Nimmo - CF 4 0 2 0 0 1 2 .258 .388 .450
9 Chirinos, R - C 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 .119 .197 .153
b-Gimenez - PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .284 .337 .421
Totals 37 3 12 3 2 9 17
Mets
a-Grounded into a forceout for Rosario, A in the 8th. b-Struck out for Chirinos, R in the 9th.
BATTING: 2B: Nimmo (7, Ryu). TB: Alonso, P; Conforto 2; Davis, J; Frazier, T 2; McNeil; Nimmo 3; Rosario, A; Smith, Do 2. RBI: Frazier, T (9); Smith, Do 2 (38). 2-out RBI: Smith, Do. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Conforto; Guillorme; Chirinos, R 2. GIDP: Rosario, A. Team RISP: 2-for-8. Team LOB: 9.
FIELDING: E: Rosario, A (2, throw).
Blue Jays Batters AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG OBP SLG
1 Biggio - RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .253 .372 .431
2 Bichette, B - DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 .333 .361 .609
3 Guerrero Jr. - 1B 3 1 0 0 1 0 3 .241 .321 .412
4 Grichuk - CF 3 2 1 0 1 0 1 .273 .316 .485
5 Gurriel Jr. - LF 3 2 1 2 1 0 0 .285 .339 .481
6 Villar - 2B 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .248 .316 .312
7 Davis, J - RF 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 .250 .333 .750
a-Shaw, T - 3B 2 0 1 0 0 1 3 .248 .315 .403
8 Espinal, Sa - SS 4 1 1 3 0 0 3 .246 .279 .316
9 Jansen, D - C 4 0 1 1 0 1 2 .151 .292 .301
Totals 31 7 7 7 6 6 17
Blue Jays
a-Struck out for Davis, J in the 6th.
BATTING: 2B: Espinal, Sa (4, Hughes); Biggio (13, Hughes). HR: Gurriel Jr. (7, 2nd inning off Peterson, D, 1 on, 0 out). TB: Biggio 2; Espinal, Sa 2; Grichuk; Gurriel Jr. 4; Jansen, D; Shaw, T; Villar. RBI: Espinal, Sa 3 (5); Gurriel Jr. 2 (25); Jansen, D (14); Villar (13). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Guerrero Jr. 2. Team RISP: 2-for-5. Team LOB: 6.
FIELDING: Outfield assists: Grichuk (Frazier, T at home). DP: (Villar-Espinal, Sa-Guerrero Jr.).
Mets Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR P-S ERA
Peterson, D (L, 4-2) 5.0 3 2 2 2 2 1 81-52 4.17
Brach 0.0 0 3 3 3 0 0 16-4 3.75
Hughes 1.0 3 2 2 1 2 0 25-15 4.76
Ramírez, E 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 28-19 0.90
Totals 8.0 7 7 7 6 6 1
Blue Jays Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR P-S ERA
Ryu (W, 4-1) 6.0 8 1 1 0 7 0 92-62 3.00
Hatch 1.0 4 2 2 0 0 0 29-20 2.11
Cole, A 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9-6 2.21
Dolis 1.0 0 0 0 2 2 0 23-12 1.61
Totals 9.0 12 3 3 2 9 0
Game Info
Pitches-strikes: Peterson, D 81-52; Brach 16-4; Hughes 25-15; Ramírez, E 28-19; Ryu 92-62; Hatch 29-20; Cole, A 9-6; Dolis 23-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Peterson, D 7-0; Brach 0-0; Hughes 1-0; Ramírez, E 1-1; Ryu 4-2; Hatch 2-1; Cole, A 2-0; Dolis 1-0.
Batters faced: Peterson, D 20; Brach 3; Hughes 7; Ramírez, E 7; Ryu 24; Hatch 7; Cole, A 3; Dolis 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Hughes 3-3; Cole, A 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Chad Fairchild. 1B: Carlos Torres. 2B: Paul Nauert. 3B: Jansen Visconti.
Weather: 71 degrees, Partly Cloudy.
Wind: 19 mph, L To R.
First pitch: 3:09 PM.
T: 3:12.
Venue: Sahlen Field.
September 13, 2020
Inning Scoring Play Score
Top 1 Dominic Smith singles on a line drive to center fielder Randal Grichuk. Jeff McNeil scores. Todd Frazier out at home on the throw, center fielder Randal Grichuk to catcher Danny Jansen to second baseman Jonathan Villar to catcher Danny Jansen to shortstop Santiago Espinal. 1-0 NYM
Bottom 2 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homers (7) on a line drive to left field. Randal Grichuk scores. 2-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Jonathan Villar walks. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scores. Randal Grichuk to 3rd. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to 2nd. 3-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Santiago Espinal doubles (4) on a line drive to left fielder Dominic Smith. Randal Grichuk scores. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scores. Jonathan Villar scores. Santiago Espinal to 3rd. Santiago Espinal advances to 3rd, on a throwing error by shortstop Amed Rosario. 6-1 TOR
Bottom 6 Danny Jansen singles on a line drive to center fielder Brandon Nimmo. Santiago Espinal scores. 7-1 TOR
Top 8 Todd Frazier singles on a sharp line drive to right fielder Cavan Biggio. J.D. Davis scores. Michael Conforto to 3rd. 7-2 TOR
Top 8 Blue Jays challenged (slide interference), call on the field was upheld: Dominic Smith grounds into a force out, first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to shortstop Santiago Espinal. Michael Conforto scores. Todd Frazier out at 2nd. Dominic Smith to 1st. 7-3 TOR
Team Highlight
TOR Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s diving grab (00:00:34)
NYM Dominic Smith opens the scoring (00:00:34)
TOR Blue Jays execute rundown (00:00:30)
TOR Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s two-run HR (00:00:32)
TOR Teoscar Hernández update (00:00:33)
TOR Guerrero Jr. crosses the dish (00:00:15)
TOR Espinal's bases-clearing double (00:00:37)
TOR Danny Jansen's RBI single (00:00:25)
NYM Todd Frazier's RBI single (00:00:23)
NYM Michael Conforto scores in the 8th (00:00:27)
NYM Brandon Nimmo's curious catch (00:00:34)
TOR Blue Jays score five runs in 6th (00:01:18)
TOR Santiago Espinal's nice snag (00:00:23)
TOR Rafael Dolis gets the last out (00:00:31)
NYM Jeff McNeil leaves the game (00:01:10)
TOR Jonathan Villar's awesome grab (00:00:35)
NYM Mets vs. Blue Jays Recap 9/13 (00:03:39)
NYM Todd Frazier's slide ruled legal (00:02:01)
NYM David Peterson's solid outing (00:00:45)
NYM CG: [email protected] - 9/13/20 (00:05:06)
TOR Hyun Jin Ryu's strong start (00:01:04)
TOR Charlie Montoyo on Blue Jays' win (00:01:31)
TOR Espinal, Ryu on the 7-3 win (00:01:53)
NYM Luis Rojas on Mets' 7-3 loss (00:00:42)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E LOB
Mets 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 12 1 9
Blue Jays 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0 7 7 0 6

Around the Division

ATL 8 @ WSH 4 - Final
PHI 1 @ MIA 2 - Final
PHI 1 @ MIA 8 - Final

No-Hitter Alert

Final R H E
Cubs 12 10 0
Brewers 0 0 3
Last Updated: 09/13/2020 11:02:52 PM EDT
submitted by NewYorkMetsBot to NewYorkMets [link] [comments]


2020.09.09 20:45 __justsayin__ Bank of Montreal CEO fights skeptics who see business loan woes

Bank of Montreal’s top executive says it’s a “myth” that his company’s commercial lending business is taking big risks and argues the bank will come through the recession with fewer loan losses than rivals.
“I’ve got skeptics against me out there right now that there’s going to be a shoe to drop in our commercial bank because of loan impairments that will be higher in a COVID recession than they might be in other recessions,” Chief Executive Officer Darryl White told Bloomberg in an interview. “I’m happy to take them on because I predict that we will continue in this environment to have lower loan losses than our peers.”
Bank of Montreal’s emphasis on commercial lending has helped the Toronto-based firm increase earnings in recent years while expanding in the U.S., where the company owns Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank and has an investment-banking presence. About 57 per cent of its loans were to businesses and governments in the fiscal third quarter, higher than the 41 per cent average for Canada’s six biggest lenders, according to the banks’ financial disclosures.
Yet with this year’s virus-fueled recession and a poor showing in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual stress test, some have questioned whether the bank is too exposed to business lending. Among Canada’s six large banks, only Bank of Nova Scotia’s share price has performed worse this year.
The Fed’s stress test results released in June concluded that in a “severely adverse scenario” the capital strength of Bank of Montreal’s U.S. holding company would be the lowest of 33 banks reviewed -- a finding the bank disputes.
“There’s a little bit of myth-busting that I think we need to do to get people enlightened on what our North American commercial business is and how powerful it is -- and how completely integrated it is with our Canadian business,” White, 49, said. “This is a leadership business that will be with us for a very long time.”
Bank of Montreal’s underwriting practices haven’t changed and its bankers have been able to select business clients they think can weather the downturn, White said, adding that he sees nothing in the current environment to suggest they’re going to face outsized losses. He aims to prove the naysayers wrong at a Sept. 30 investor event.
White became CEO of Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets in November 2017. Within his first year he set a goal to increase earnings from the U.S. to a third of overall profit, up from about 24 per cent before he took over. The U.S. share of profit reached 34 per cent in fiscal 2019 and was at 32 per cent in the first nine months of fiscal 2020, according to company disclosures.
A U.S. earnings contribution between 33 per cent and 35 per cent is “comfortable,” White said, adding that he doesn’t see a need to deviate from that range.
“Relative to what I see today in terms of economic activity in Canada and the U.S., I think it’s a great number for us as a bank,” White said. “More of the same would be fantastic, but we’ll do it with the discipline on efficiency.”
White also reiterated his interest in improving productivity at what has been Canada’s least efficient bank, though he said his goal will be harder to reach because of the business impact from COVID-19. The bank has a target of improving its efficiency ratio -- a measure of what it costs to produce a dollar of revenue -- to 58 per cent or better on an adjusted basis by the end of fiscal 2021. The measure has fallen to 60.2 per cent for the year to date, an improvement from the 61.9 per cent level at the end of his first year.
“At this point, we’re not waving the flag and we’re going to stay committed to the objective,” White said. “It’ll be harder to get to, for sure, but we’re still on it.”
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/bank-of-montreal-ceo-fights-skeptics-who-see-business-loan-woes-1.1491310
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2020.08.30 03:59 NotTerriblyHelpful That time Egypt pulled BYU's excavation license because Kerry Muhlestein made inaccurate and exaggerated claims about his excavations.

tldr: Muhlestein, one of the Church's two big Book of Abraham apologists, provided misleading and exaggerated findings at a scholarly conference and got BYU's excavation license yanked by Egyptian authorities.
Kerry Muhlestein has been taking a lot of heat on the Mormon internet recently for making poorly sourced and exaggerated claims in support of the Book of Abraham, but the furor that has erupted over the last couple of weeks is nothing compared to when he made international headlines back in 2014.
In 2011, Muhlestein became the team leader of a big BYU dig in Egypt called Fag el-Gamous where the school excavated a small pyramid and a bunch of corpses from the 1st century to 7th century A.D. https://lifesciences.byu.edu/from-the-sands-of-egypt BYU had been working at this site to one degree or another for about 25 years. Most of Muhlestein's non-Mormon Egyptian scholarship is related to this dig (see his cv here: http://byu.academia.edu/KerryMuhlestein/CurriculumVitae ).
In 2014, Muhlestein attended the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference in Toronto. There, he excitedly announced to the scholars in attendance that Fag el-Gamous may hold more than a million mummies! The description of this huge find was important enough that it made mainstream international news in mid-December of 2014.
"In a square that is 5 by 5 meters across and usually just over 2 meters deep, we will typically find about 40 burials," Muhlestein explained in an email to Newsweek. "The cemetery is very large and so far seems to maintain that kind of burial density throughout. Thus the math suggests that there are over a million mummies in the cemetery, though we cannot be certain of this without further exploration and a thorough academic review process." He added that the findings are only preliminary. https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615
"We are fairly certain we have over a million burials within this cemetery. It's large, and it's dense," Project Director Kerry Muhlestein, an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, said in a paper he presented at the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium, which was held last month in Toronto. https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
The headline at the Daily Mail trumpeted "Cemetery with one MILLION mummies unearthed in Egypt." https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877855/Cemetery-one-MILLION-mummies-unearthed-Egypt-1-500-year-old-desert-necropolis-largest-found.html. News of the announcement hit NBC, CBS, NPR, pretty much everywhere.
This was a stunning announcement and made for great headlines. Imagine, a million mummies in the Egyptian desert. Unfortunately for Muhlestein and BYU, the excitement generated by this big find, and the mainstream attention, was shortlived - and quickly turned to embarrassment. There was a problem with the announcement: it was inaccurate. Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of the Ancient Egypt department of Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities issued harsh criticism of Muhlestein's announcement and revoked BYU's excavation permit, ending BYU's 28 years of work at Fag el-Gamous.
Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of Ancient Egypt department, said to Luxor Times on phone “What was published in the newspaper is not true. There are no million mummies, a mummy definition to begin with means a complete mummified body and there is only one mummy found at the site of Fag El Gamous in 1980 which is at the Egyptian museum since then.” Dr. Youssef added “In the past few seasons of the mission’s work at the site, only poor skeletons were found and some thousands of bone’s remains. The mission violated the rules and regulations of the agreement with the Ministry of Antiquities concerning making press statements and that’s why the committee of the ancient Egypt department took the decision to stop their permission to work at the site after 28 years of working at the site and the last season finished last March.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/
"There’s no way that cemetery has a million mummies, there are maximum a few thousand,” said Yousef Khalifa, chairman of the Egyptian antiquities sector."Even if the cemetery is huge, it would take the bodies to be buried over each other and upon each other to fit in the space,” said Khalifa. “Only one mummy was found in that cemetery in 1980, and the rest are just remains of old dead bodies." https://dailynewsegypt.com/2014/12/18/controversy-surrounds-excavation-million-mummy-tomb/
The drama between BYU and Egypt also hit the news. Newsweek reported "Tale of a Million Mummies Unravels" https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615. Gizmodo reported "Archaeologists Have Dig Licenses Revoked After 'Million Mummies' Claim." https://io9.gizmodo.com/archaeologists-have-dig-licenses-revoked-after-million-1674466896 Archeology News Network reported "BYU Dig License Revoked Over 'Million Mummy' Claim." https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/12/byu-dig-license-revoked-after-million.html My favorite was "Mummy Curse Strikes Again: MSA Stops BYU Mission." http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/
BYU losing its dig license was obviously a big deal. Muhlestein quickly backpedaled from his announcement. “I believe there have been some misunderstandings. I would like to work this out with the Ministry, for whom I have the greatest respect.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/. BYU quickly moved to repair the damage that had been done to its relationship with Egyptian authorities. By mid-January, 2015, BYU and the Ministry had mended fences. “I am fully pleased with the spirit of cooperation and communication we have had with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities over the years and during the last few weeks,” Muhlestein said. “It has allowed miscommunications to be rectified.” https://universe.byu.edu/2015/01/26/byu-archaeologists-allowed-to-dig-in-egypt-again/. The Daily Universe reported that Muhlestein would be returning to work at Fag el-Gamous, but it is unclear whether that ever happened.
So, what can we learn about Muhlestein as a scholar from this event? I am not an Egyptologist,but it appears that Muhlestein got in trouble with Egyptian authorities for two reasons. First, he characterized the human remains he was excavating as "mummies" when they weren't. Mummies have a very specific definition in Egyptology. Old human remains found in the desert in Egypt are not necessarily mummies unless they have been mummified. The Egyptian minister noted that the remains BYU had excavated were simply old human remains. Only one mummy had been removed from the site, and that was decades before Muhlestein was there.
Second, Muhlestein predicted that the site contained a million corpses based on a very small data set. At the time, BYU had excavated about 1,700 corpses. Based on that number, Muhlestein predicted a million burials. The Egyptian minister found this prediction laughable.
It is informative to compare Muhlestein's scholarship in this regard to that of Dr. C. Wilfred Griggs, Muhlestein's immediate predecessor as head of the BYU Fag el-Gamous excavation. In 2010, near the end of his time at the BYU excavation, Dr. Griggs published a paper called "Artifacts, Icons, and Pomegranates: Brigham Young University Egypt Excavation Project" in the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 46, 215-231. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41431581 In his paper, Dr. Griggs never refers to the human remains that were excavated at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies. He takes great care to identify the human remains as "burials." This makes sense because the corpses that were recovered are not mummies and should not be identified as such.
Second, Dr. Griggs does not expressly calculate the number of burials he believes are located at Fag el-Gamous, but it appears that his estimate is significantly lower than Muhlestein's. Beginning on page 222, the paper quotes an entry from Dr. Grigg's 1987 field book
"...more and more I wonder if this cemetery, or at least this part of it, is filled with burials of nearly the same time, suggesting an epidemic of some sort in the middle byzantine period. One further wonders where the thousands (tens of thousands) of people lived who are being uncovered here. We are some 5 miles south of Philadepphia, and I cannot tbelievehat this necropolis would have been used for that city - unless this was considered an especially holy burial region from ancient times..."
To be clear, Dr. Grigg's reference to "thousands or tens of thousands of people" in the quote was based on the data available to him in 1987. Obviously, the data available to him probably changed significantly in the 23 years prior to publication in 2010. However, if it appeared to him in 2010 that that Fag el-Gamouns contained anywhere near a million burials, it seems likely that he would have addressed the fact that his 1987 estimate was 100 to 1,000 times too low.
In any event, it is surprising that Muhlestein would repeatedly publicly assert that there were likely a million sets of remains in Fag el-Gamouns based on only 1,700 excavations. It is not surprising that the Egyptian minister found his estimate to be ludicrous based on the available data.
Unfortunately, I have not found any sources where Muhlestein addresses this fiasco. I suspect he would contend that the entire event was a miscommunication that was started by livescience.com, which appears to be the first outlet that reported the news of the "million mummy" announcement, and that he never called the human remains "mummies" in the technical sense. And to be fair to Muhlestein, it appears that he tried to clarify that he did not necessarily mean "mummies" in the sense of a corpse that had been carefully mummified and prepared for burial.
"I don't think you would term what happens to these burials as true mummification," Muhlestein said. "If we want to use the term loosely, then they were mummified." https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it appears that Muhlestein never published the paper that he presented in at the 2014 Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference that started this whole mess. Thus, we cannot say for certain whether he ever referred to the human remains he excavated as mummies. However, it seems unlikely that livescience.com would run a story about a "million mummy" discovery unless Muhlestein referred to the remains as mummies. Additionally, the livescience.com story demonstrates that Muhlestein was definitely using the term "mummy," even if he was using the term "loosely" and not in the scientific sense. Finally, Muhlestein has referred to the remains at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies in several other settings. The the BYU Religious Education Review magazine, Muhlestein referenced " a tomb of mummified cats, some jewelry in the shape of the cross, some spectacularly wrapped mummies, and a beautiful golden mummy" that had been excavated. https://religion.byu.edu/event/egyptian-excavation-exhibit. He references the mummies of Fag el-Gamouns several times in his 2015 paper "Rethinking burial dates at a Graeco-Roman Cemetary: Fag el-Gamous, Fayoum, Egypt. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X15000188 In 2011 he published an article called "Pyramids and Mummies: the BYU Egypt Excavation Project" in the Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.
The point here is that that Muhlestein's tendency to present exaggerated and unfounded scholarly conclusions is not limited to the field of Mormon studies. His failure to properly identify mummies got himself and BYU kicked out of Egypt for a while.
He practices in an arcane field, and it is difficult for most Latter-day Saints to determine whether his opinions regarding Egyptology are valid. It is hard for us to know whether he is correct when he claims that Egyptians practiced human sacrifice as opposed to state-sanctioned killings or executions. It is hard for us to know whether a random Egyptian papyrus really says "Abraham on the couch" or if its just a love spell with mumbo jumbo words. None of us know Egyptian and he expects us all to accept his opinions on faith. However, we can know that 1) all of the best Egyptologists disagree with his opinions and 2) he's been kicked out of Egypt for overstating and exaggerating his scientific findings. Frankly, he hasn't earned our faith.
submitted by NotTerriblyHelpful to exmormon [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 03:54 NotTerriblyHelpful In 2014 Egypt pulled BYU's excavation license because Kerry Muhlestein made inaccurate and exaggerated claims about his excavations.

Kerry Muhlestein has been taking a lot of heat on the Mormon internet recently for making poorly sourced and exaggerated claims in support of the Book of Abraham, but the furor that has erupted over the last couple of weeks is nothing compared to when he made international headlines back in 2014.
In 2011, Muhlestein became the team leader of a big BYU dig in Egypt called Fag el-Gamous where the school excavated a small pyramid and a bunch of corpses from the 1st century to 7th century A.D. https://lifesciences.byu.edu/from-the-sands-of-egypt BYU had been working at this site to one degree or another for about 25 years. Most of Muhlestein's non-Mormon Egyptian scholarship is related to this dig (see his cv here: http://byu.academia.edu/KerryMuhlestein/CurriculumVitae ).
In 2014, Muhlestein attended the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference in Toronto. There, he excitedly announced to the scholars in attendance that Fag el-Gamous may hold more than a million mummies! The description of this huge find was important enough that it made mainstream international news in mid-December of 2014.
"In a square that is 5 by 5 meters across and usually just over 2 meters deep, we will typically find about 40 burials," Muhlestein explained in an email to Newsweek. "The cemetery is very large and so far seems to maintain that kind of burial density throughout. Thus the math suggests that there are over a million mummies in the cemetery, though we cannot be certain of this without further exploration and a thorough academic review process." He added that the findings are only preliminary. https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615
"We are fairly certain we have over a million burials within this cemetery. It's large, and it's dense," Project Director Kerry Muhlestein, an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, said in a paper he presented at the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium, which was held last month in Toronto. https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
The headline at the Daily Mail trumpeted "Cemetery with one MILLION mummies unearthed in Egypt." https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877855/Cemetery-one-MILLION-mummies-unearthed-Egypt-1-500-year-old-desert-necropolis-largest-found.html. News of the announcement hit NBC, CBS, NPR, pretty much everywhere.
This was a stunning announcement and made for great headlines. Imagine, a million mummies in the Egyptian desert. Unfortunately for Muhlestein and BYU, the excitement generated by this big find, and the mainstream attention, was shortlived - and quickly turned to embarrassment. There was a problem with the announcement: it was inaccurate. Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of the Ancient Egypt department of Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities issued harsh criticism of Muhlestein's announcement and revoked BYU's excavation permit, ending BYU's 28 years of work at Fag el-Gamous.
Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of Ancient Egypt department, said to Luxor Times on phone “What was published in the newspaper is not true. There are no million mummies, a mummy definition to begin with means a complete mummified body and there is only one mummy found at the site of Fag El Gamous in 1980 which is at the Egyptian museum since then.” Dr. Youssef added “In the past few seasons of the mission’s work at the site, only poor skeletons were found and some thousands of bone’s remains. The mission violated the rules and regulations of the agreement with the Ministry of Antiquities concerning making press statements and that’s why the committee of the ancient Egypt department took the decision to stop their permission to work at the site after 28 years of working at the site and the last season finished last March.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/
"There’s no way that cemetery has a million mummies, there are maximum a few thousand,” said Yousef Khalifa, chairman of the Egyptian antiquities sector."Even if the cemetery is huge, it would take the bodies to be buried over each other and upon each other to fit in the space,” said Khalifa. “Only one mummy was found in that cemetery in 1980, and the rest are just remains of old dead bodies." https://dailynewsegypt.com/2014/12/18/controversy-surrounds-excavation-million-mummy-tomb/
The drama between BYU and Egypt also hit the news. Newsweek reported "Tale of a Million Mummies Unravels" https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615. Gizmodo reported "Archaeologists Have Dig Licenses Revoked After 'Million Mummies' Claim." https://io9.gizmodo.com/archaeologists-have-dig-licenses-revoked-after-million-1674466896 Archeology News Network reported "BYU Dig License Revoked Over 'Million Mummy' Claim." https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/12/byu-dig-license-revoked-after-million.html My favorite was "Mummy Curse Strikes Again: MSA Stops BYU Mission." http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/
BYU losing its dig license was obviously a big deal. Muhlestein quickly backpedaled from his announcement. “I believe there have been some misunderstandings. I would like to work this out with the Ministry, for whom I have the greatest respect.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/. BYU quickly moved to repair the damage that had been done to its relationship with Egyptian authorities. By mid-January, 2015, BYU and the Ministry had mended fences. “I am fully pleased with the spirit of cooperation and communication we have had with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities over the years and during the last few weeks,” Muhlestein said. “It has allowed miscommunications to be rectified.” https://universe.byu.edu/2015/01/26/byu-archaeologists-allowed-to-dig-in-egypt-again/. The Daily Universe reported that Muhlestein would be returning to work at Fag el-Gamous, but it is unclear whether that ever happened.
So, what can we learn about Muhlestein as a scholar from this event? I am not an Egyptologist, but it appears that Muhlestein got in trouble with Egyptian authorities for two reasons. First, he characterized the human remains he was excavating as "mummies" when they weren't. Mummies have a very specific definition in Egyptology. Old human remains found in the desert in Egypt are not necessarily mummies unless they have been mummified. The Egyptian minister noted that the remains BYU had excavated were simply old human remains. Only one mummy had been removed from the site, and that was decades before Muhlestein was there.
Second, Muhlestein predicted that the site contained a million corpses based on a very small data set. At the time, BYU had excavated about 1,700 corpses. Based on that number, Muhlestein predicted a million burials. The Egyptian minister found this prediction laughable.
It is informative to compare Muhlestein's scholarship in this regard to that of Dr. C. Wilfred Griggs, Muhlestein's immediate predecessor as head of the BYU Fag el-Gamous excavation. In 2010, near the end of his time at the BYU excavation, Dr. Griggs published a paper called "Artifacts, Icons, and Pomegranates: Brigham Young University Egypt Excavation Project" in the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 46, 215-231. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41431581 In his paper, Dr. Griggs never refers to the human remains that were excavated at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies. He takes great care to identify the human remains as "burials." This makes sense because the corpses that were recovered are not mummies and should not be identified as such.
Second, Dr. Griggs does not expressly calculate the number of burials he believes are located at Fag el-Gamous, but it appears that his estimate is significantly lower than Muhlestein's. Beginning on page 222, the paper quotes an entry from Dr. Grigg's 1987 field book
"...more and more I wonder if this cemetery, or at least this part of it, is filled with burials of nearly the same time, suggesting an epidemic of some sort in the middle byzantine period. One further wonders where the thousands (tens of thousands) of people lived who are being uncovered here. We are some 5 miles south of Philadepphia, and I cannot tbelievehat this necropolis would have been used for that city - unless this was considered an especially holy burial region from ancient times..."
To be clear, Dr. Grigg's reference to "thousands or tens of thousands of people" in the quote was based on the data available to him in 1987. Obviously, the data available to him probably changed significantly in the 23 years prior to publication in 2010. However, if it appeared to him in 2010 that that Fag el-Gamouns contained anywhere near a million burials, it seems likely that he would have addressed the fact that his 1987 estimate was 100 to 1,000 times too low.
In any event, it is surprising that Muhlestein would repeatedly publicly assert that there were likely a million sets of remains in Fag el-Gamouns based on only 1,700 excavations. It is not surprising that the Egyptian minister found his estimate to be ludicrous based on the available data.
Unfortunately, I have not found any sources where Muhlestein addresses this fiasco. I suspect he would contend that the entire event was a miscommunication that was started by livescience.com, which appears to be the first outlet that reported the news of the "million mummy" announcement, and that he never called the human remains "mummies" in the technical sense. And to be fair to Muhlestein, it appears that he tried to clarify that he did not necessarily mean "mummies" in the sense of a corpse that had been carefully mummified and prepared for burial.
"I don't think you would term what happens to these burials as true mummification," Muhlestein said. "If we want to use the term loosely, then they were mummified." https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it appears that Muhlestein never published the paper that he presented in at the 2014 Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference that started this whole mess. Thus, we cannot say for certain whether he ever referred to the human remains he excavated as mummies. However, it seems unlikely that livescience.com would run a story about a "million mummy" discovery unless Muhlestein referred to the remains as mummies. Additionally, the livescience.com story demonstrates that Muhlestein was definitely using the term "mummy," even if he was using the term "loosely" and not in the scientific sense. Finally, Muhlestein has referred to the remains at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies in several other settings. The BYU Religious Education Review magazine, Muhlestein referenced " a tomb of mummified cats, some jewelry in the shape of the cross, some spectacularly wrapped mummies, and a beautiful golden mummy" that had been excavated. https://religion.byu.edu/event/egyptian-excavation-exhibit. He references the mummies of Fag el-Gamouns several times in his 2015 paper "Rethinking burial dates at a Graeco-Roman Cemetary: Fag el-Gamous, Fayoum, Egypt. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X15000188 In 2011 he published an article called "Pyramids and Mummies: the BYU Egypt Excavation Project" in the Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.
The point here is that that Muhlestein's tendency to present exaggerated and unfounded scholarly conclusions is not limited to the field of Mormon studies. His failure to properly identify mummies got himself and BYU kicked out of Egypt for a while.
He practices in an arcane field, and it is difficult for most Latter-day Saints to determine whether his opinions regarding Egyptology are valid. It is hard for us to know whether he is correct when he claims that Egyptians practiced human sacrifice as opposed to state-sanctioned killings or executions. It is hard for us to know whether a random Egyptian papyrus really says "Abraham on the couch" or if its just a love spell with mumbo jumbo words. However, it is clear that his opinions and scholarship are viewed with great suspicion in his own field of expertise.
Do any of you know any more about this fiasco? I would love to know how BYU smoothed everything over with Egypt. Do we know whether Muhlestein ever returned to Fag el-Gamous? It looks like he edited and contributed to a book about it that is being published this year.
submitted by NotTerriblyHelpful to mormonscholar [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 03:26 NotTerriblyHelpful That time Egypt pulled BYU's excavation license because Kerry Muhlestein made inaccurate and exaggerated claims about his excavations.

tldr: Muhlestein, one of the Church's two big Book of Abraham apologists, provided misleading and exaggerated findings at a scholarly conference and got BYU's excavation license yanked by Egyptian authorities. He claimed he found a million mummies in the desert. The fiasco made international news.
Kerry Muhlestein has been taking a lot of heat on the Mormon internet recently for making poorly sourced and exaggerated claims in support of the Book of Abraham, but the furor that has erupted over the last couple of weeks is nothing compared to when he made international headlines back in 2014.
In 2011, Muhlestein became the team leader of a big BYU dig in Egypt called Fag el-Gamous where the school excavated a small pyramid and a bunch of corpses from the 1st century to 7th century A.D. https://lifesciences.byu.edu/from-the-sands-of-egypt BYU had been working at this site to one degree or another for about 25 years. Most of Muhlestein's non-Mormon Egyptian scholarship is related to this dig (see his cv here: http://byu.academia.edu/KerryMuhlestein/CurriculumVitae ).
In 2014, Muhlestein attended the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference in Toronto. There, he excitedly announced to the scholars in attendance that Fag el-Gamous may hold more than a million mummies! The description of this huge find was important enough that it made mainstream international news in mid-December of 2014.
"In a square that is 5 by 5 meters across and usually just over 2 meters deep, we will typically find about 40 burials," Muhlestein explained in an email to Newsweek. "The cemetery is very large and so far seems to maintain that kind of burial density throughout. Thus the math suggests that there are over a million mummies in the cemetery, though we cannot be certain of this without further exploration and a thorough academic review process." He added that the findings are only preliminary. https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615

"We are fairly certain we have over a million burials within this cemetery. It's large, and it's dense," Project Director Kerry Muhlestein, an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, said in a paper he presented at the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium, which was held last month in Toronto. https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
The headline at the Daily Mail trumpeted "Cemetery with one MILLION mummies unearthed in Egypt." https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877855/Cemetery-one-MILLION-mummies-unearthed-Egypt-1-500-year-old-desert-necropolis-largest-found.html. News of the announcement hit NBC, CBS, NPR, pretty much everywhere.
This was a stunning announcement and made for great headlines. Imagine, a million mummies in the Egyptian desert! Unfortunately for Muhlestein and BYU, the excitement generated by this big find, and the mainstream attention, was shortlived - and quickly turned to embarrassment. There was a problem with the announcement: it was inaccurate. Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of the Ancient Egypt department of Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities issued harsh criticism of Muhlestein's announcement and revoked BYU's excavation permit, ending BYU's 28 years of work at Fag el-Gamous.
Dr. Youssef Khalifa, head of Ancient Egypt department, said to Luxor Times on phone “What was published in the newspaper is not true. There are no million mummies, a mummy definition to begin with means a complete mummified body and there is only one mummy found at the site of Fag El Gamous in 1980 which is at the Egyptian museum since then.” Dr. Youssef added “In the past few seasons of the mission’s work at the site, only poor skeletons were found and some thousands of bone’s remains. The mission violated the rules and regulations of the agreement with the Ministry of Antiquities concerning making press statements and that’s why the committee of the ancient Egypt department took the decision to stop their permission to work at the site after 28 years of working at the site and the last season finished last March.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/

"There’s no way that cemetery has a million mummies, there are maximum a few thousand,” said Yousef Khalifa, chairman of the Egyptian antiquities sector.
"Even if the cemetery is huge, it would take the bodies to be buried over each other and upon each other to fit in the space,” said Khalifa. “Only one mummy was found in that cemetery in 1980, and the rest are just remains of old dead bodies." https://dailynewsegypt.com/2014/12/18/controversy-surrounds-excavation-million-mummy-tomb/
The drama between BYU and Egypt also hit the news. Newsweek reported "Tale of a Million Mummies Unravels" https://www.newsweek.com/tale-million-mummies-unravels-293615. Gizmodo reported "Archaeologists Have Dig Licenses Revoked After 'Million Mummies' Claim." https://io9.gizmodo.com/archaeologists-have-dig-licenses-revoked-after-million-1674466896 Archeology News Network reported "BYU Dig License Revoked Over 'Million Mummy' Claim." https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/12/byu-dig-license-revoked-after-million.html My favorite was "Mummy Curse Strikes Again: MSA Stops BYU Mission." http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/
BYU losing its dig license was obviously a big deal. Muhlestein quickly backpedaled from his announcement. “I believe there have been some misunderstandings. I would like to work this out with the Ministry, for whom I have the greatest respect.” http://luxortimes.com/2014/12/mummy-curse-strikes-again-msa-stops-byu-mission/. BYU quickly moved to repair the damage that had been done to its relationship with Egyptian authorities. By mid-January, 2015, BYU and the Ministry had mended fences. “I am fully pleased with the spirit of cooperation and communication we have had with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities over the years and during the last few weeks,” Muhlestein said. “It has allowed miscommunications to be rectified.” https://universe.byu.edu/2015/01/26/byu-archaeologists-allowed-to-dig-in-egypt-again/. The Daily Universe reported that Muhlestein would be returning to work at Fag el-Gamous, but it is unclear whether that ever happened.
So, what can we learn about Muhlestein as a scholar from this event? I am not an Egyptologist,but it appears that Muhlestein got in trouble with Egyptian authorities for two reasons. First, he characterized the human remains he was excavating as "mummies" when they weren't. Mummies have a very specific definition in Egyptology. Old human remains found in the desert in Egypt are not necessarily mummies unless they have been mummified. The Egyptian minister noted that the remains BYU had excavated were simply old human remains. Only one mummy had been removed from the site, and that was decades before Muhlestein was there.
Second, Muhlestein predicted that the site contained a million corpses based on a very small data set. At the time, BYU had excavated about 1,700 corpses. Based on that number, Muhlestein predicted a million burials. The Egyptian minister found this prediction laughable.
It is informative to compare Muhlestein's scholarship in this regard to that of Dr. C. Wilfred Griggs, Muhlestein's immediate predecessor as head of the BYU Fag el-Gamous excavation. In 2010, near the end of his time at the BYU excavation, Dr. Griggs published a paper called "Artifacts, Icons, and Pomegranates: Brigham Young University Egypt Excavation Project" in the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 46, 215-231. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41431581 In his paper, Dr. Griggs never refers to the human remains that were excavated at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies. He takes great care to identify the human remains as "burials." This makes sense because the corpses that were recovered are not mummies and should not be identified as such.
Second, Dr. Griggs does not expressly calculate the number of burials he believes are located at Fag el-Gamous, but it appears that his estimate is significantly lower than Muhlestein's. Beginning on page 222, the paper quotes an entry from Dr. Grigg's 1987 field book
"...more and more I wonder if this cemetery, or at least this part of it, is filled with burials of nearly the same time, suggesting an epidemic of some sort in the middle byzantine period. One further wonders where the thousands (tens of thousands) of people lived who are being uncovered here. We are some 5 miles south of Philadepphia, and I cannot tbelievehat this necropolis would have been used for that city - unless this was considered an especially holy burial region from ancient times..."
To be clear, Dr. Grigg's reference to "thousands or tens of thousands of people" in the quote was based on the data available to him in 1987. Obviously, the data available to him probably changed significantly in the 23 years prior to publication in 2010. However, if it appeared to him in 2010 that that Fag el-Gamouns contained anywhere near a million burials, it seems likely that he would have addressed the fact that his 1987 estimate was 100 to 1,000 times too low.
In any event, it is surprising that Muhlestein would repeatedly publicly assert that there were likely a million sets of remains in Fag el-Gamouns based on only 1,700 excavations. It is not surprising that the Egyptian minister found his estimate to be ludicrous based on the available data.
Unfortunately, I have not found any sources where Muhlestein addresses this fiasco. I suspect he would contend that the entire event was a miscommunication that was started by livescience.com, which appears to be the first outlet that reported the news of the "million mummy" announcement, and that he never called the human remains "mummies" in the technical sense. And to be fair to Muhlestein, it appears that he tried to clarify that he did not necessarily mean "mummies" in the sense of a corpse that had been carefully mummified and prepared for burial.
"I don't think you would term what happens to these burials as true mummification," Muhlestein said. "If we want to use the term loosely, then they were mummified." https://www.livescience.com/49147-egyptian-cemetery-million-mummies.html
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it appears that Muhlestein never published the paper that he presented in at the 2014 Egyptian Antiquities Scholars Colloquium conference that started this whole mess. Thus, we cannot say for certain whether he ever referred to the human remains he excavated as mummies. However, it seems unlikely that livescience.com would run a story about a "million mummy" discovery unless Muhlestein referred to the remains as mummies. Additionally, the livescience.com story demonstrates that Muhlestein was definitely using the term "mummy," even if he was using the term "loosely" and not in the scientific sense. Finally, Muhlestein has referred to the remains at Fag el-Gamouns as mummies in several other settings. The the BYU Religious Education Review magazine, Muhlestein referenced " a tomb of mummified cats, some jewelry in the shape of the cross, some spectacularly wrapped mummies, and a beautiful golden mummy" that had been excavated. https://religion.byu.edu/event/egyptian-excavation-exhibit. He references the mummies of Fag el-Gamouns several times in his 2015 paper "Rethinking burial dates at a Graeco-Roman Cemetary: Fag el-Gamous, Fayoum, Egypt. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X15000188 In 2011 he published an article called "Pyramids and Mummies: the BYU Egypt Excavation Project" in the Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.
The point here is that that Muhlestein's tendency to present exaggerated and unfounded scholarly conclusions is not limited to the field of Mormon studies. His failure to properly identify mummies got himself and BYU kicked out of Egypt for a while.
He practices in an arcane field, and it is difficult for most Latter-day Saints to determine whether his opinions regarding Egyptology are valid. It is hard for us to know whether he is correct when he claims that Egyptians practiced human sacrifice as opposed to state-sanctioned killings or executions. It is hard for us to know whether a random Egyptian papyrus really says "Abraham on the couch" or if its just a love spell with mumbo jumbo words. None of us know Egyptian and he expects us all to accept his opinions on faith. However, we can know that 1) all of the best Egyptologists disagree with his opinions and 2) he's been kicked out of Egypt for overstating and exaggerating his scientific findings. Frankly, he hasn't earned our faith.
submitted by NotTerriblyHelpful to mormon [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 18:42 alikedating Shot in the dark: Any advanced Flutter developer who's passionate about Asian representation and in the right stage of life to join a startup?

I apologize for posting this to death in this sub. It's something I will not give up on, and one that I know many in this sub will appreciate and benefit from when it becomes available.
Alike is moving forward with the launch of our beta, albeit at a much slower pace, but we are still searching for a CTO & co-founder - one that's advanced in Flutter & Dart development.
Alike is a video dating app that celebrates the Asian identity, culture and story, and we’re looking for a new technical co-founder to continue our mission. (www.alike.dating)
We have over 950 people signed up to be beta testers, a team of 5 passionate individuals and we were just 2 weeks away from launching our beta when our CTO suddenly had to leave the project due to family circumstances.
We’re looking for a talented Flutter & mobile dev who’s passionate about Asian representation and wants to help build a platform where Asians can represent their unique story, show their personality and transcend stereotypes with the end goal of finding meaningful connections.
This app is about more than just helping Asian individuals “hook up”. It’s about healing. It’s about recognizing that the collective Asian diasporic community is on a journey to heal from the generations of ancestral trauma and internalized racism. It’s about empowering Asian individuals to tell their stories and, through that process, find self-acceptance and self-love. Our mission is to help Asians lead happier lives.
The company is based in Toronto but this is a remote position to anyone living in Canada or the U.S. We are looking for someone who can commit to joining full-time, but we’re open to the possibility of part-time.
Responsibility
The role is to oversee, manage, execute and problem-solve all things technical for the app and startup, including building the app. They will eventually have to lead and manage a team of developers. The first and most immediate responsibility, however, will be to complete the beta, which is 95% complete, and roll it out to the 950 beta testers.
Requirements
Non-Technical
Technical
Compensation
You will become an equity partner, like the founder, until the startup successfully raises funds. The amount of equity is to be negotiated and will depend on your level of experience, skills, commitment and other factors.
Other Traction
Contact
Please message me at [email protected] to discuss this position. Thank you.
submitted by alikedating to aznidentity [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 18:40 alikedating Shot in the dark: Any advanced Flutter developer who's passionate about Asian representation and in the right stage of life to join a startup?

I apologize for posting this to death in this sub. It's something I will not give up on, and one that I know many in this sub will appreciate and benefit from when it becomes available.
Alike is moving forward with the launch of our beta, albeit at a much slower pace, but we are still searching for a CTO & co-founder - one that's advanced in Flutter & Dart development.
Alike is a video dating app that celebrates the Asian identity, culture and story, and we’re looking for a new technical co-founder to continue our mission. (www.alike.dating)
We have over 950 people signed up to be beta testers, a team of 5 passionate individuals and we were just 2 weeks away from launching our beta when our CTO suddenly had to leave the project due to family circumstances.
We’re looking for a talented Flutter & mobile dev who’s passionate about Asian representation and wants to help build a platform where Asians can represent their unique story, show their personality and transcend stereotypes with the end goal of finding meaningful connections.
This app is about more than just helping Asian individuals “hook up”. It’s about healing. It’s about recognizing that the collective Asian diasporic community is on a journey to heal from the generations of ancestral trauma and internalized racism. It’s about empowering Asian individuals to tell their stories and, through that process, find self-acceptance and self-love. Our mission is to help Asians lead happier lives.
The company is based in Toronto but this is a remote position to anyone living in Canada or the U.S. We are looking for someone who can commit to joining full-time, but we’re open to the possibility of part-time.
Responsibility
The role is to oversee, manage, execute and problem-solve all things technical for the app and startup, including building the app. They will eventually have to lead and manage a team of developers. The first and most immediate responsibility, however, will be to complete the beta, which is 95% complete, and roll it out to the 950 beta testers.
Requirements
Non-Technical
Technical
Compensation
You will become an equity partner, like the founder, until the startup successfully raises funds. The amount of equity is to be negotiated and will depend on your level of experience, skills, commitment and other factors.
Other Traction
Contact
Please message me at [email protected] to discuss this position. Thank you.
submitted by alikedating to AsianMasculinity [link] [comments]


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submitted by IdolA29Augl to u/IdolA29Augl [link] [comments]


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submitted by IdolA28Augl to u/IdolA28Augl [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 14:43 FIArrari Throwback to the Caterham - Forza Rossa deal in 2014, in which Ecclestone played a big role (Very long read)

This is the story (or the mess) surrounding the Caterham - Forza Rossa deal in 2014. The story is very entangled. I translated this because I feel the effects of F1 withdrawal and maybe, for some of you, will kill the time til Friday. Added some parts of mine too. Lots of politics, corruption. It's a godamn thriller.
I will not do a TL;DR because it simply cannot be done more than the title says. If you have trouble sleeping, read it. AND READ THE NOTES AT THE END FIRST
The ties are maintained by greedy ministers, controversial oligarchs, dentists who have become trusted people, floor washers turned overnight into Directors of Formula 1 teams, plus two key figures: Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old with a fortune of nearly $5 billion, and Victor Ponta, Romania's 42-year-old prime minister (ages in 2014), passionate about motorsports. One of the most influential people on the planet, Ecclestone is turning his favorite toy, Formula 1, to eastern Europe in search of new sources of income, regardless of color and smell. Ponta needs such a toy for which he is willing to pay, but not out of his own pocket.
Old Romulus Kolles, real name Colesnic, laughs at the rumor that he was Ceausescu's dentist. "I was a mechanic, I finished Polytechnic." His son, Calin, or Colin as he is known in Formula 1, with whom he emigrated in the 1980s to Germany, is a dentist by profession, but for a while he works as a "firefighter" in the sport transformed by Bernie Ecclestone in his own business. He saves teams," says the proud father. For the past 9 years, Colin has been director of Jordan, Midland, Spyker, HRT F1 Team and Force India. Of those, only the last one still existed in 2014 in Formula 1, and Kolles' reputation certainly is not one commensurate with his father's praise.
The story begins with the two Kolles, or Colesnic, as you prefer, because they hold the key to Romania's entry into Formula 1. They are the turntable between Ecclestone and the crew supported by Victor Ponta.
Let's go back in time by 10 years.
The ProSport reporter asks: "How did your son get into Formula One?"
"I can't tell you.", Romulus Kolles said, but fatherly pride takes control of the tongue: "A Russian billionaire came to visit us. We asked him to do a Formula 3 team and he said he will not do that. He said to Colin: . My son bought Jordan . The Russian locked his son in a room with all the papers. For months, he checked all the papers. Then he took Jordan and... This Russian had a Ukrainian partner, a university professor. He didn't like Formula 1. The Russian was a smart man. A smart Jew. I'm not Jewish, but I esteem them."
The Russian billionaire Kolles senior is talking about is Alex Shnaider, a Canadian billionaire born in Leningrad 43 years ago but settled in Toronto after his family initially emigrated to Israel. A business partner with Donald Trump, Shnaider bought the Jordan team in 2004 for $60 million, and Kolles was appointed director. The first Russian Formula 1 team launched their car in Moscow's Red Square and scored 12 points in 2005. In 2006, renamed Midland F1 Racing, the team did not produce any more points, and at the end of the year the Russian-Canadian businessman exited Formula 1, selling the team/spot for $102 million. $42 million more in less than two years!
Alex Shnaider has a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.5 billion in real estate and metallurgical industry. Kolles senior is right. In 2004, Shnaider had a Ukrainian associate, Eduard Sifrin, a university professor. Meanwhile, the two broke business ties. Sifrin remained with 1.6 million square meters of commercial, residential and hotel spaces in Russia, and Shnaider took over the business part of Canada and the Dominican Republic.
Like other Russian oligarchs, Shnaider got rich overnight in President Boris Yeltsin's tenure from the privatisations of the remaining industrial colossus legacy after the breakup of the USSR. Coincidentally or not, the marketing director of Midland F1 Racing was named Boris Yeltsin junior, grandson of the former Russian president.
Shnaider's image is not impeccable. He was accused of giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Moscow police to put pressure on a business partner. Islamist media speak of his ties to Mossad, the Israeli secret service, and conspiracy theorists suspect the recruitment of two major pawns in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.
What was Alex Shnaider, a controversial billionaire, doing in the Kolles family home in 2004? Colin was involved in several Formula 3 projects, but nothing of the scale sought by Shnaider. The explanation came right out of Bernie Ecclestone's mouth: "I feel a little guilty that I advised Shnaider to buy Jordan," the Formula 1 master said in February 2006. So the billionaire visited the Kolles family on Ecclestone's advice. But what relationship did the Romanian-Germans have with the most influential man in motorsports to be recommended by the man nicknamed El Supremo?
According to the statements, Kolles is handled by Ecclestone, a disclosure containing a significant dose of conflict of interest and influence peddling. Why does the F1 boss need a team director that he places as a chess pawn in some hot areas of the phenomenon?
Bernie Ecclestone is the emperor who has been leading Formula 1 since the late '70s, the auto-moto version of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president increasingly accused of corruption in recent years. The son of an English goon, a former director of the Brabham Formula 1 team, Ecclestone built his position in sport by controlling TV rights: 47 percent of the money went to the teams, 30 percent to the FIA, and 23 percent went into the F1 boss's pocket.
"Abuse of influence in Formula 1 is huge. It's a lot of business. You know, it's not what you see on TV that's Formula 1. There are other things, many. If I wrote a book about what's in there, you'd be scared." - Romulus Kolles, November 2014.
In 2006, the investment giant CVC Capital Partners bought all Formula 1 Group shares, including Bernie Ecclestone's share, from the market. After trying to bribe the officials of the German bank Bayerische Landesbank to sell their shares to CVC, the head of F1 bought shares in the newly established firm Alpha Prema that controls the Grand Circus.
During the trial, Ecclestone was accused of bribing three team executives, Eddie Jordan, Alain Prost and Tom Walkinshaw, $10 million each to sign the new TV rights agreement.
Accused by German prosecutors of paying $44 million in bribes to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former director at Bayerische LB, Ecclestone escaped conviction by paying $100 million to Bavaria. During the trial, Gribkowsky told investigators that Ecclestone had tricked the British IRS by avoiding paying nearly $1.5 billion in taxes, a third of his estimated wealth in 2013.
A possible explanation for tax evasion ignored by the UK authorities can be found in a case in 1997 under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Blair government's drastic tobacco advertising policy suffered a sudden sweetening after a secret donation by Ecclestone to the Labour Party. Ecclestone needed major F1 tobacco sponsors and had ways to get government favors, too. Health Minister Tessa Jowell, later secretary of state for sports, was also involved in the scandal. Her husband had worked for Ecclestone. Following British media pressure, the Labourists revealed they had received a £1 million donation from Ecclestone. Tony Blair publicly apologized for the scandal, but lied about making the decision. After the term ended, the internal memos from 10 Downing Street showed that the change in tobacco advertising policy was taken immediately after meeting Ecclestone.
17 years after the scandal in which he took the Prime Minister and the Social Health Worker in the UK, the head of F1 turned to the Social Democrat government in Romania. In December 2013, Ecclestone announced the opening of the Formula 1 gates for new teams. In the first wave of registrations appeared Forza Rossa, a project led in plain sight by Ion Bazac, a former Minister of Health, with controversial relations inside the Social Democrat Party from Romania, and supported from the shadows by Prime Minister Victor Ponta through the current Minister of Health, Nicolae Bănicioiu. The interface between Ecclestone and the Romanian part is provided by Colin Kolles. "In the FIA app, Colin's name appears because he got all the approvals from Ecclestone," reveals Romulus Kolles, father of the "firefighter" Colin.
Here are the main events in 2013-14. It helps us to better understand the behind-the-scenes of the case.
December 2013: Ecclestone announces FIA awaits new teams in Formula 1
February 2014: A delegation led by Nicolae Banicioiu, Minister of Youth and Sport of Romania, meets in Geneva with FIA representatives
April 2014: Ecclestone announces the filing of the files of two teams: HAAS and Forza Rossa, and says the FIA wants to accept them.
June 2014: Ecclestone says the new projects submitted have been accepted by the FIA.
June 2014: Forza Rossa announces that the team director will be Colin Kolles.
July 2014: Romulus Kolles is appointed director of Caterham Sports Limited.
July 2014: Constantin Cojocar, a former footballer at Steaua Bucharest, arrives at the Caterham factory in Leafield, who is employed as a carer. Cojocar was hired to clean the factory.
July 2014: 40 employees at the Caterham factory in Leafield are sacked by new investors and are suing the company.
September 2014: Cojocar is appointed director and sole shareholder in Caterham in place of Romulus Kolles.
October 2014: Cojocar officially introduces Caterham into insolvency.
October 2014: Although Colin Kolles denies he is behind Cojocar, and Engavest announces that he has sold Caterham, the former footballer admits that his boss is Kolles.
October 2014: The international media takes possession of Cojocar's statements before the Supreme Court in London in which he says the Caterham factory is going to draw and build cars for Caterham and Forza Rossa. Kolles is suspected of wanting to secure Caterham's assets for Forza Rossa at a reduced price.
October 2014: Forza Rossa announces that it has nothing to do with Kolles' involvement at Caterham and that he is still awaiting official confirmation from the FIA regarding his participation in the 2015 F1 season.
November 2014: Caterham does not participate in F1 races in Austin and Interlagos. Marussia is in the same situation.
November 2014: Court administrators at Caterham claim they have received offers to sell the F1 team.
November 2014: FIA announces the provisional list for the 2015 season. Forza Rossa wasn't on the list. The final list is expected to be announced on November 30, the date by which new teams must pay $518,000.
November 2014: Caterham's judicial administrators launch a fundraising campaign for the team to participate in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. In the first 24 hours, they raise £400,000, and Bernie Ecclestone condemns the initiative.
And now, let's dive deeper into this complicated story
On 2 June 2014, renowned F1 journalist Adam Cooper wrote that the FIA had accepted the Forza Rossa dossier, a team to be led by Ion Bazac, "the president of a consortium of private and state investors whose reason is to promote Romania's interests and which has the support of the government". Immediately after this information emerged, Bogdan Sonea, marketing director of Forza Rossa, told the romanian website Gandut that the project is "entirely private".
Things don't add up. At the end of February, the then Minister of Youth and Sport, current Minister of Health, Nicolae Banicioiu, had met with representatives of FIA in Vallery, near Geneva. The reason for the visit was, according to another renowned journalist, Joe Saward, to present the file to FIA engineers led by technical director Bernard Niclot.
If the project is "entirely private," what did a minister look for visiting the FIA to expose the technical details of some Formula 1 car? If the answer is "promoting Romania's interests", then why the information that Nicolae Banicioiu is lobbying for a project of national interest did not appear on the Ministry's website?
If Banicioiu is the "right hand" of the current Socialist Democrat Party leader Victor Ponta, the man who runs the project, Ion Bazac, is a businessman brought into politics in 2000 by former Socialist Democrat Party chief Adrian Nastase, who also recruited Ponta politically.
A former Employee of the World Bank, Bazac is a capitalist who has fallen at one point into the clutches of social democracy. He has several apartments in Monaco, has Ferrari's franchise for Romania and Moldova and runs his business with his wife Camelia through the holding company Forza Rossa, an offshore firm that has the registration address in a mailbox in Nicosia, Cyprus. Ion Bazac and Camelia Bazac have an estimated fortune of 15-16 million euros by Forbes magazine. Both were doctors, but in 2005 they were granted the right to import the Ferrari brand into Romania.
In June, all Forza Rossa employees declared, black on white, that the project would be led by Colin Kolles. On October 30, after the start of the ProSport investigation, they said: "We have no agreement with Colin Kolles at the moment." Untrue! According to Romulus Kolles, Colin is listed in Forza Rossa's application at the FIA.
But what links Ion Bazac and Colin Kolles, Ecclestone's trusted man? According to Joe Saward, if he enters Formula 1, Forza Rossa will use the technical facilities of the Kolles family in the Bavarian town of Greding. From here Romulus and Colin Kolles coordinate the activities of their Lotus Kodewa team in the World Endurance Championship.
The key is Lotus, the British manufacturer of cars and motorcycles. The Kolles family is the official Lotus importer, Ion Bazac is also the official Lotus importer. In 2012, Bazac, the Romanian businessman opened the world's first Lotus Originals store in Monte Carlo, and the ribbon was cut by Prince Albert of Monaco himself.
Therefore, the team suspected of fueling the money of Romanian citizens, Forza Rossa submitted its application for entry into Formula 1. But what is the participation cost?
Given that it's a small team, the spending is comparable to those at Caterham. The British team's latest accounting balance shows that in 2012 spending on a season was $73 million: $27 million on staff costs, $27 million on research and $19 million on administrative costs. If Forza Rossa wanted to build a team from scratch, tens of millions of dollars were added at the end of the line for the car and equipment. If, however, the Romanian project takes over the assets of another team, the costs decrease. How competitive a team can be that competes with slow cars taken from others and repainted is another discussion. In Formula 1, small teams know their place, but money has to flow.
Coincidentally, in June, after Ecclestone announced acceptance of the Forza Rossa project, Colin Kolles, the man who is to become the team's director, returned to Formula 1 as an advisor to Caterham, a team bought by Engavest, a mysterious "Swiss-Arab" company. Hence begins the fast moving of the events leading to the conclusion that the British team Caterham was sacrificed by Ecclestone to make way for the Romanian low cost project supported by Victor Ponta, the Romanian Prime Minister.
To resume it a bit: Colin Kolles' first move was the appointment of his father, Romulus, as director. Then was Constantin Cojocar, a former team-mate of Hagi at Steaua in the spring of 1988, former bus station chief in Brasov, who posted a CV on the Internet announcing that he wanted an unskilled worker position abroad. Coming to the Caterham factory in Leafield as a caretaker, Cojocar became a director and shareholder of the firm in just one month, in place of Kolles senior, while another 40 employees, mainly engineers, were fired. The fired officials immediately sued the company.
In a discussion with ProSport reporters on 31 October 2004, Romulus Kolles revealed that he had paid three Romanians, including former footballer Cojocar, to spy on employees at the Caterham factory. A few days later, Kolles senior told ProSport: "We kicked 40 employees out because there are 300, sir, and they do nothing except drink coffee all day. I have written data, I have information. There's pictures of them sitting for coffee instead of producing. Yes, it was a an easy life at Caterham. One night there were over 80 people on the computers and sometimes the power went out and they didn't do anything. In England, you get paid after you produce."
After finishing his job as a "carer" and "spy", Cojocar was appointed director by Colin Kolles – a fact recognized in an interview for ProSport – and put the company into insolvency. According to financial experts consulted by ProSport, insolvency is a perfectly legal way to reduce a company's liabilities. Caterham had debts of 23 million debts and if someone from the outside who wants to take over the team at a reduced price manages to infiltrate the company, insolvency is the cheap solution.
The situation was summed up at the end of October 2014 by Racecar Engineering, the world's leading motorsport technology magazine: "Caterham is now on sale, and all the pieces Forza Rossa needs will be sold at a low price."
Definitely, Forza Rossa will compete with already used cars, let's call them secondhand. "Romania does not have the technology to build a Formula 1 car. If Forza Rossa intended to do this, we would have found out from the distributors. The cable part comes only from the US, UK or France, tanks are made only in the UK, gearbox in the UK or Austria. No one has given any signal in the market that they want new products," British journalist Sam Collins explained.
At the Supreme Court in London, Constantin Cojocar, the newly appointed director of Caterham, said: "I bought Caterham Sports with the intention of drawing and building cars for Caterham and Forza Rossa." "He bought" = he was named by Colin Kolles as director. The problem is that the "Romanian investors" who had to pay down Caterham's debts stopped paying, Cojocar argues. (what happened was that soon after the Prime Minster of Romania said the Government isn't involved in any way and no public money were to be spent, official papers submitted to FIA were published by the media. The Prime Minster himself and one Minster from his Cabinet have signed the papers and they committed to invest public money into the team. The day after, Forza Rossa made an official statement saying that they need another call of confirmation from FIA - they already had the file approved, this was just the bailout -. Ofc, the new confirmation didn't came, FIA didn't needed to do it again. So Forza Rossa didn't paid the entry fee).
This is where the corruption that Kolles senior was talking about comes into action again. Having prepared Plan A at Caterham, Colin Kolles and the people at Forza Rossa can easily turn to plan B. Even C or D. The financial crisis in Formula 1 allows them.
The surprise could've come from the Russian team Marussia who had just announced that they were severing their work and laid off 200 employees. According to F1 specialists, Marussia is a cheaper option than Caterham, where Kolles is fighting former owner Tony Fernandes. "By the first tests in 2015 there are 10 weeks left, and the Marussia is slightly better than Caterham. The important work on the Marussia MR03 model is already done. Adaptations for the Ferrari engine, transmission, regular chassis, aerodynamic tests. Kolles has nothing to do but a discreet redesign. He's done that before with the HRT F1 team. Caterham uses Renault engines. If Forza Rossa wants Ferrari engines, working on Marussia chassis will be easier," says Sam Collins. Outside the Marussia plan, Kolles has two other options: Sauber and Force India, teams that were in great financial difficulty. Marussia is a bargain, the other two cost.
Mid November 2014, FIA announced the provisional list of teams for 2015. Caterham and Marussia were on the list, but no Forza Rossa. At this point, Romanians decided to back down because everything transpired in the media. With an approved file to join, they took the easy way out. They didn't paid the entry fee of $518.000 by November 30.
Constantin Cojocar was targeted by an investigation in the UK following the events. Last thing I knew about it was from 2016. I have no idea what happened to him.
NOTES
\this is a translation of the investigation work made by the journalist Costin Stucan*
\I have modified the text to give it more sense, but I haven't changed the narrative*
\A lot of the article has been cut because it involved too much politics and corruption*
\Even if I cut like 25% of the article, there's till much politics involved. Because that's how F1 works. If I would've removed it completely, this would had zero logic*
\There are 4 or more articles about this matter. The interview with Cojocar is very good. He is a simple and ... quite stupid individual. So he told everything with a sincerity of a 5 years old child. If you are interested in that, let me know and I will translate*
\First events regarding Jordan and the entering of Kolles occur in ~2004. The Forza Rossa story is ~2013-2014. Don't get confused by that. You will get confused anyway by the names*
\If any mistakes slipped in or if it's something that you cannot understand (doesn't make sense), let me know and I will sort it out. On such a long text, I am sure I fucked up many times*
\Even if everything colapsed in a mater of hours, 50M EUR were transferred from Romania to some Swiss account for Forza Rossa's beginning in F1. No one knows anything about the whereabouts of the money.*
\I might do more edits on the text for formatting or other grammatical errors. I'm sorry, English is not my native language and I've never studied it. I've learned it on my own and I lack a lot of stuff still.*
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2020.08.20 21:57 Yountsmonster How long does it take a department to review their own body cam footage?

I’m sure many of you have seen the incident with Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri.
Following the Raptors Game 6 win against the Golden State Warriors, he walked toward the court and was stopped by a Sheriff’s Deputy with 20 years experience.
There were differing accounts of what happened next, but no one was arrested or charged.
Witnesses claimed that the Deputy shoved Mr. Ujiri unprovoked. Mr. Ujiri also claimed he was shoved by the Deputy first.
The Deputy claimed that Mr Ujiri shoved him first and hit him with two fists including a strike to the jaw.
This happened on June 13, 2019.
June 19: Alameda County Sheriff’s department announced they are recommending misdemeanor battery charges against Mr. Ujiri to the DA.
June 19: Deputy files workers compensation claim claiming a severe jaw injury and concussion caused by a blow to the head.
October 23 (4 months later): DA announces that they will not pursue charges.
February 10: Deputy files lawsuit against Mr. Ujiri citing “suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries, including, but not limited to, lost wages, lost opportunity for financial gain, future earning capacity, and past and future medical care and expenses,”
Unknown date: Deputy was placed on paid medical leave.
August 18 (over a year later): Bodycam footage is released. https://youtu.be/-A_srKsHjKg
————
Question: How long does it take to process bodycam footage. This incident has turned into an embarrassment for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. The Deputy lied about what happened, possibly faked an injury and even sued.
If they got the video immediately, why recommend charges and let the Deputy spread a false narrative? Did they believe that the video would never be released? Did it take 4 months to process the video? I’m confused about this one.
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2020.08.18 20:04 bjorn987 Using a trigger to update a spreadsheet based on another spreadsheet

I've also posted this on GoogleAppsScript since I wasn't sure which was best.

I'm using sheets from Canada
I have a spreadsheet document, let's call it document 1, where a group of people are editing. I have another spreadsheet document, document 2, where I want to record the last time any of the people editing document 1 edited it.
Document 2 has rows like this:
A ... K
Full Name date last modified
This is the script I've been running as an on edit trigger in document 1:
function myFunction(e) { var row = e.range.getRow(); var col = e.range.getColumn(); var time = new Date().toLocaleString("en-US", {timeZone: "America/Toronto"}); var ID = "I put the ID here"; var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.openById(ID); var target = sheet.getSheetByName("Sheet1"); var lastColumn = target.getLastColumn(); var lastRow = target.getLastRow(); var range = target.getRange(1,1,lastRow, lastColumn); var data = range.getValues(); var userEmail = e.user.getEmail(); var array = userEmail.split("."); var firstName = array[0]; for (var i=1; i<5; i++) { var rowTwo = data[i]; var columnTwo = rowTwo[0]; var name = columnTwo.split(" "); var firstNameTwo = name[0]; if ((firstName == firstNameTwo)) { target.getRange(rowTwo, 10).setValue(time); } } } 
"My Executions" isn't showing any errors but it is still not functioning. Would anyone know why?
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2020.08.18 19:48 bjorn987 Using a trigger to update a spreadsheet based on another spreadsheet

I've also posted this on GoogleAppsScript since I wasn't sure which was best.
I have a spreadsheet document, let's call it document 1, where a group of people are editing. I have another spreadsheet document, document 2, where I want to record the last time any of the people editing document 1 edited it.
Document 2 has rows like this:
A ... K
Full name date last modified
This is the script I've been running as an on edit trigger in document 1:
function myFunction(e) { var row = e.range.getRow(); var col = e.range.getColumn(); var time = new Date().toLocaleString("en-US", {timeZone: "America/Toronto"}); var ID = "I put the ID here"; var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.openById(ID); var target = sheet.getSheetByName("Sheet1"); var lastColumn = target.getLastColumn(); var lastRow = target.getLastRow(); var range = target.getRange(1,1,lastRow, lastColumn); var data = range.getValues(); var userEmail = e.user.getEmail(); var array = userEmail.split("."); var firstName = array[0]; for (var i=1; i<5; i++) { var rowTwo = data[i]; var columnTwo = rowTwo[0]; var name = columnTwo.split(" "); var firstNameTwo = name[0]; if ((firstName == firstNameTwo)) { target.getRange(rowTwo, 10).setValue(time); } } } 
"My Executions" isn't showing any errors but it is still not functioning. Would anyone know why?
submitted by bjorn987 to googlesheets [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 19:44 bjorn987 Using a trigger to update a spreadsheet based on another spreadsheet

I've also posted this on googlesheets since I wasn't sure which was best.
I have a spreadsheet document, let's call it document 1, where a group of people are editing. I have another spreadsheet document, document 2, where I want to record the last time any of the people editing document 1 edited it.
Document 2 has rows like this:

A ... K
Full name ... date last modified

This is the script I've been running as an on edit trigger in document 1:
function myFunction(e) { var row = e.range.getRow(); var col = e.range.getColumn(); var time = new Date().toLocaleString("en-US", {timeZone: "America/Toronto"}); var ID = "I put the ID here"; var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.openById(ID); var target = sheet.getSheetByName("Sheet1"); var lastColumn = target.getLastColumn(); var lastRow = target.getLastRow(); var range = target.getRange(1,1,lastRow, lastColumn); var data = range.getValues(); var userEmail = e.user.getEmail(); var array = userEmail.split("."); var firstName = array[0]; for (var i=1; i<5; i++) { var rowTwo = data[i]; var columnTwo = rowTwo[0]; var name = columnTwo.split(" "); var firstNameTwo = name[0]; if ((firstName == firstNameTwo)) { target.getRange(rowTwo, 10).setValue(time); } } } 
"My Executions isn't showing any errors but it is still not functioning. Would anyone know why?
submitted by bjorn987 to GoogleAppsScript [link] [comments]


2020.08.15 15:24 weedislifeman U.S "Trigger Event" - When this takes place we own 70% of Acreage/ 15% TerrAscend /15% Slang.....

U.S "Trigger Event" - When this takes place we own 70% of Acreage/ 15% TerrAscend /15% Slang.....
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Agripharm expects to supply flower and concentrates under the supply agreement beginning in September 2020 and edibles at a later date.Agripharm has exclusive Canadian rights to the intellectual property, strains and brands of Green House Seed Co., one of the preeminent global providers of cannabis genetics, and its sister brand Strain Hunters. Last month, Agripharm obtained a Health Canada licence to sell extracts and edibles, including SLANG’s Firefly, O.penVAPE, Bakked and District Edibles brands, to authorized retailers in Canada. “Securing its first supply agreement in its home province is an important milestone for Agripharm,” said SLANG Executive Chairman Peter Miller. “It’s also great news for Ontario consumers. In addition to SLANG products, consumers will now have consistent access to award-winning strains from Green House Seed Co. and Strain Hunters.”The OCRC agreement marks the first provincial supply agreement in Canada for Agripharm, which is also in discussion with other provincial regulatory authorities to secure additional distribution. About SLANG Worldwide Inc.SLANG Worldwide Inc. is a global leader in the cannabis CPG sector with a diversified portfolio of popular brands distributed across the United States. The Company specializes in acquiring and developing market-proven regional brands as well as launching innovative new brands to seize global market opportunities. . Slang has a portfolio of branded products and a presence in 12 states in the U.S., with products available in over 2,600 retail stores. To date, consumers have purchased over $350 million of Slang products.According to BDS Analytics 2019 sales data, District Edibles was one of the top-10 best performing brands in the gummies category in Nevada, Colorado, and California.Cannabis consumer packaged goods company Slang Worldwide Inc. is expanding its edible offerings across the U.S.The Toronto-based pot firm said Tuesday it is launching a new line of sour gummies under its District Edibles brand to go along with its recently introduced THC-infused chocolates.The sour gummies will come in peach, lime and apple flavours and each portion will contain 10 milligrams of THC. The product is sold in a 10-piece blister pack that the company says is discreet and child-resistant.Slang focused on weed brands, not cultivationThe company said the new sour gummies will be first available in Colorado at the end of the month, with distribution expanding in new states throughout the year.According to its website, Slang currently sells its District Edibles products in over 300 stores across Colorado, California, New Mexico and Nevada.Unlike most cannabis companies, Slang does not grow pot or operate retail stores.Instead, the company sells a variety of weed products — from flower and beverages to vape pens and hardware — under 12 different brands. You can find the products in 2,600 stores spread across five continents and 12 U.S. sates. The first SLANG brands to be offered to Canadian consumers will include the following:O.penVAPE: The O.penVAPE brand has a 10-year heritage, and has been ranked by BDS Analytics as the #2 best-selling cannabis brand in the United States since 2014. Its RESERVE cartridges offer a curated selection of top strains available at a competitive price. The RESERVE line uses both botanical and cannabis terpenes to deliver memorable moments to the quality-conscious consumer.Firefly Mini: Firefly is known for simple, elegant design that employs innovative technology to create the best experience for consumers. The Firefly Mini vaporizes oil at an optimal temperature (428 F / 220 C) selected for its ability to express the full range of flavors found in each strain, and to provide a cooler and more comfortable draw.Bakked Dabaratus: Bakked develops innovative product forms that make dabbing easier. The Dabaratus provides a clean, one-click dabbing solution that delivers a consistent dose of high-potency extract, dispensing only what customers need every time.
Submitted August 15, 2020 at 01:41PM
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2020.08.05 00:31 __justsayin__ Globe: As hundreds of stores shut down, retail landlords cut rents in bid to help struggling companies survive

Some retail landlords are starting to chop rents to help tenants survive as the coronavirus pandemic enters its fifth month and a flood of retailers close stores and seek creditor protection.
The Retail Council of Canada estimates that one in five stores are now vacant across all types of malls, plazas and big-box centres. A growing number of brands – including Aldo, Ann Taylor, Reitmans, DavidsTea and Mendocino – have announced plans to shutter hundreds of locations.
While the economy is showing muted signs of recovery, retail continues to languish, especially in enclosed malls. Landlords are being forced to make concessions, as they balance rental revenue and their ability to fill vacant spaces with new tenants.
“We are taking a hit like everybody else,” said Eric Carlson, chief executive officer of B.C.-based Anthem Properties, which has $5-billion in retail, office and industrial properties in Western Canada and the United States. “Retail can’t survive without customers. Every landlord will want their retailers to survive,” he said.
DavidsTea to close 82 retail locations in Canada amid COVID-19
Anthem is forgiving rent for some of its tenants that were not allowed to open. It expects grocers, liquor stores and others with strong sales to pay full rent. But after months of deferrals, Mr. Carlson has had to change course for his hardest hit retailers.
“You have to give them some slack and give them an abatement,” Mr. Carlson said. “It’s not just out of virtuous nobility that you take that. It’s rational self-interest. The more everyone does well, the more everyone comes through. The better we will all do in the long run.”
Tenants are also pushing for new rent deals that are based on a percentage of their sales instead of the standard fixed amount every month. Landlords are reluctant to provide this because the rental income is unpredictable, as well as a logistical nightmare to verify sales of privately held companies. If landlords agree to an interim period of percentage rent, they are asking for something in return, such as a lease extension.
“More of these deals are being struck,” said Jordan Karp, who heads Savills Canada’s retail unit and represents tenants and landlords. Mr. Karp said he has told landlords: “At the end of the day, do you want them to be there and operating or do you want someone brand new? A lot of landlords say, ‘I want them here, so when we come back on the other side, they are there.’”
SmartCentres REIT, which operates 165 retail plazas in the country and leases space to 115 Walmarts, has agreed to percentage rent for a handful of its tenants.
“We are customizing rent payments around the realities of each vulnerable retail tenant’s situation, giving them as much as we can, taking into account the reality of our own situation,” said SmartCentres CEO Mitchell Goldhar, adding his trust is on track to collect more than 90 per cent of the rent because Walmart and Loblaw grocery stores make up a large part of its portfolio.
Enclosed malls are in a different position. Their properties were among the last to reopen amid crowd restrictions and physical-distancing requirements. Major operators collected about 15 per cent of their rent in May and approximately 25 per cent in April, according to real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.
Since those dismal months, rent collection is rebounding. But it is still below normal levels. Store hours have been reduced, retailers are failing and even if they have reopened, they are attracting fewer shoppers.
On an afternoon late in July, one of the country’s most profitable malls, the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, was subdued. Most stores were advertising deep discounts. The food court was quiet, with staff behind counters beckoning shoppers to their restaurants and a string of eateries closed. There were lineups for a couple of brands, Apple, Lululemon Athletica and Uniqlo Co., which were restricting the number who could enter their shops. But other stores had little traffic.
“Malls have been quieter than they would have been. The less people in shopping centres, the less sales there will be,” JLL executive vice-president Tim Sanderson said. “The longer this goes on, the more people will change their shopping patterns and go online.”
Downtown Vancouver and Toronto, once hubs of activity with a giant office work force, are now mostly vacant. Street retailers in their cores that were once teeming with activity are much quieter.
“It’s pretty tough because there isn’t the volume of people coming downtown,” said Scott Lee, JLL’s executive vice-president of retail for Western Canada. “The domino effect is that people are not eating out much, not grabbing as much coffee and not shopping as much in general,” he said.
In Vancouver, at a popular shopping area on Robson Street, JLL said the vacancy rate is 15 per cent today compared with 9 per cent before the pandemic. Similarly, in Toronto, at a busy shopping area on Queen Street, vacancy jumped to its highest level in two years and rents hit the lowest since early 2016, when the brokerage started tracking rents.
“With more space coming available and fewer tenants in the market there will be downward pressure on net rental rates,” said Brandon Gorman, JLL’s senior vice-president of retail in Toronto, who represents landlords.
Mr. Gorman said tenants are looking for percentage rent deals that convert to a fixed rent at a later date, as well as later possession dates and rent-free periods.
Even strip malls, where stores such as Walmart remained open through the pandemic and others were allowed to open earlier than enclosed malls, are losing revenue. Some of the chains that typically lease space in plazas, such as Hudson’s Bay Co., The Brick, GoodLife Fitness and Cineplex Entertainment, did not initially pay the rent when non-essential shopping was closed. And because of their size, they did not qualify for taxpayer-funded rent relief for small businesses.
As of the end of July, taxpayer-funded rent relief had been provided for 63,000 small-business tenants, according to the federal finance department. However, Ottawa’s rent relief program is due to finish at the end of August after two extensions.
Major mall operators Cadillac Fairview, Oxford Properties and Ivanhoé Cambridge have provided deferrals and applied for the federal government’s rent relief. Oxford has submitted more than 1,000 applications, on behalf of mostly its small retailers. Cadillac has about 1,400 tenants that qualify for the relief. Ivanhoé had deferred rent for more than 70 per cent of its retailers at its malls.
“Brick-and-mortar stores will need to reinvent themselves, not only because of the rise of e-commerce but also because consumers’ changing lifestyles and shopping habits,” said Diane Brisebois, president of the Retail Council of Canada.
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2020.07.30 00:26 Ginger_Shepherd Did you want some more animated Invader Zim? Let's talk about that! - [PART 1- who said what, when, where, and why]

LINK TO PART 2


If you want more animated Invader Zim stories done in a way that series creator Jhonen Vasquez would be proud of then please keep tabs on the stickied threads I will post right here on /InvaderZim. I'll be updating it with new information when I can.
First, you'll want to know what has been said, who has said it, and when it was said. Invader Zim has been plagued with messy troublesome rumors for the better half of twenty years.
Greenlighting a revived Invader Zim in any form has had key obstacles.
Don't take my word for it. Let's have a little Zim history recap from 2008 to now.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First, let's talk about why it cancelled.
From Eric Trueheart's webpost "Memoir: Invadercon Memories"
It was hard telling people the truth about why ZIM was cancelled; Viacom’s stock fell, the order was given company-wide to cut the budget, and we were the problem show with the lowest ratings. It’s one of those confusing, grown-up moments when you realize the world genuinely isn’t fair and the power of corporate reality really does trump things like “sense.”
It was also hard telling people why ZIM didn’t come back again recently. It once again came down to money — or at least that’s what I’ve been told. Nicktoons was interested, but didn’t think they had the budget to do it right. I said to this baffled, disappointed crowd that the biggest chance the show had was to get back on Nickelodeon proper somehow. Would it be possible? Who knows. But the good news is the current crop of executives know the show is popular. They know it has a huge fan base. They look back on it as something the network mishandled, not the problem show that didn’t know what it was doing. Damn, you try to be anything but hopefully when you’re looking into the eyes of a few hundred fans.
Now here's Jhonen's take on Nicktoons' efforts for new Zim
source: Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2019 panel "Spotlight: Jhonen Vasquez and J.R. Goldberg!" 05:23 mark
"in 2008 they approached me again about doing more Zim and it was interesting, y'know, we talked back and forth and we sorta decided that for the budget that they were offering, we weren't going to be able to make it 'the series' again that people [would] recognize. It would end up having to be really renovated and sort of Adult Swim looking, just really rigid. I like plenty of rigid adult animation but I don't like it as animation. . . .There's plenty of [those] shows that I love but . . .imagine how much cooler they'd be if they had the budgets of a Spongebob [instead of a] Rick and Morty. If you see any adult animation stuff that is impressive, those animators are usually killing themselves for no money."
____________________________________________________
Another revival pitch was made to him in 2010 and budget was once again a factor
source: J.V's official website blogpost "Don't Cry For Zim, He Was Already Dead"
"The weird energy around resurrecting the show (that’s actually how one of the NICK execs referred to it) ebbed a bit in recent months and it looks like it’s not going to happen. Reasons? The usual. Too expensive.
We learned from that blogpost that, yes, Jhonen would want to return. Notice that just because he loves it, that doesn't mean he'd blindly say yes to every offer. Budget, support, availability, and a good idea are all factors.Jhonen writes:
"Now here’s the part that doesn’t quite play into the lunatic agenda of spreading hilarious misinformation: I loved the idea of doing more ZIM stuff! . . ..The second something becomes even remotely possible [such as Invader Zim] specials, that’s the instant my brain just goes nuts with new ideas, places to go, stupid jokes and horrific new stories.
So I had my meetings, and phone calls, and listened to people discuss my show in that strange way that makes dealing with a network so unlike dealing with an actual human being that knows what it likes, knows what it wants and expresses a love or hate of anything. It’s that particular way of interacting that made me decide a few years back that if I was to do ANYTHING, be it animation, live action stuff, comics…basically anything creative, it was going to be something worth driving yourself mad for because that’s what inevitably happens, you drive yourself to exhaustion to get an idea out of your head before you die, and you do it as best you can. . .
_________________________________________________
That blog post influenced fans into action. There was a surge of fan activity that I could go into in great detail with an entirely separate post but let's stay on track.
Invadercon in 2011 occurs. Rikki Simons was then approached about starring in animated shorts that are centered around GIR. This was confirmed 8 years later at Long Beach Comic Con 2019 panel The Voices of Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. [24:48 mark]
"[Nickelodeon] had started asking me if I wanted to do GIR shorts and I said well y'know if Jhonen wants to do them I guess. But Jhonen didn't want to do them, . . . . 'Cuz that's kind of weird to do GIR by himself."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then the fan mail event Project Massive orchestrated by Operation Head Pigeons kicked off at Invadercon 2 in 2012. The goal was to demonstrate that Jhonen's required budget would be worth Nick's investment. There was a noticeable impact such as improved time slots on Nicktoons network, little did we know.... a difficult reality set in.
Timing became the biggest obstacle.
in 2013 as confirmed in 2019 by Jhonen and Jenny at TCAF [04:23 mark]
Jhonen: "Nickelodeon had been sort of. . . .
Jenny: courting
Jhonen: Yeah, poking at me for a few years before [Enter the Florpus]
Jenny: Even when we were pitching our own project around [in 2013] we'd go in and be like "we have this new thing" [and they'd be like] "that's great, let's talk about Zim"
This project became the pilot for Very Important House.Here's a back up source from Collider
The special came together from years and years of Nickelodeon sort of bringing it up. One time I went in to pitch a completely different show and the first half hour of the meeting was just them saying, “So, Zim, huh?” I’m like, “Yeah.” I think it was kind of hard for them to ignore the fan response over the years.
__________________________________________________________
The project he and Jenny were referring to was what became the pilot for Very Important House in 2015. .... And as a lot of fans are aware, Very Important House not only was rejected but all intellectual property rights to it are kept by Disney. Jhonen and Jenny can't work on Very Important House ever again.
2015 is key in that his availability, interest, and sense of being supported by the network are a factor on top of budget and the fan interest required to justify that budget. it all has to come together. Here's my evidence from San Diego Comic Con 2018 Invader Zim Enter the Florpus panel [05:49 mark]

"So, Jhonen. . . .You did it. Zim is back. It is an immortal hideous-"
J.V: "I didn't do it. You guys [the fans] did it. No, I'm just kidding. No, I'm kidding. I did it.
"What did Nickelodeon have to do to entice you back? Was it [TMNT: Don Vs Raph]?
J.V.: "That was kind of part of [bringing Invader Zim back], just the process of making that was kind of the process of working with the people that are there now. That was 2015. Jenny and I were developing our own thing elsewhere and . . . it was a horrible experience. So the opportunity to do, like, a Ninja Turtles short just sounded like a lot of fun at a time when I wasn't having fun. And talks about Invader Zim had started up again because it had just been a thing that Nickelodeon had been asking about for a long time. So, when I was doing that Turtles short, and they brought up Zim again, and my experience elsewhere being absolutely unhappy, I just thought the fact that someone wants something and [I'm] not trying to prove that someone should make something just sounded like a nice break from the general mood at the time. And that's kind of how it happened."
Also from Collider's interview with Jhonen
"And a lot of the people at Nickelodeon over the years were a lot more supportive, because they were the people who are working under the people who were in charge of the programming back in the day. And so these people ended up becoming the higher ups and they just had a soft spot for Zim. . . when this movie got going, it was just a far more supportive environment than we’ve ever had. The timing just happened to work out.
2015, 2016? I think the comics had been coming out. They’re doing well and I just was a lot more receptive to the idea of doing more Zim as opposed to the last several thousand years. It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t something that was really pushing me. I didn’t really want to do more. It’s not that I wanted to avoid it. It’s just I had other stuff on my mind.
Even with the budget, the availability, and support from network and fans alike... He has to have an idea or none of it will be worth the stress of this line of work.
from an interview for Polygon
I hadn’t planned on doing more animated Zim, but Nick’s latest approach just happened to sync up with me wanting to work on something with a greater chance of actually happening. Even then I knew I wouldn’t work on anything until I had an idea that justified the work beyond simply providing something because people wanted it. I had to think it sounded fun.
_____________________________________
During production, there was a change in leadership becoming a factor.From an interview with Decider in August, 2019.
The interviewer states that "a few Nickelodeon executives were excited about the idea of an Invader Zim revival. However, these executives have since moved on from the company. At the moment, only fans have seriously discussed [continuing] the series."
From an interview with Collider in August, 2019.
I don’t know. It’s a thing that comes up now and then. It used to come up a lot more during production. There was a lot of talk about bringing the show back but then those conversations just went away when there were changeovers at Nickelodeon. Everyone thinks that when the movie comes out, if it does well… I have no idea. I don’t know. I don’t know that I’ll know if it does well or not. Netflix doesn’t really… It’s got that whole mysterious “keeping the numbers secret” kind of thing. It will be interesting to see how people respond to it.
On the subject of Jhonen continuing to make new animated Invader Zim stories:
from The Decider
"if it was a thing where someone said you press this button and there will be more Zim, just that [supportive] experience of working on the movie and having the cast and crew back, I wouldn't say no. But I think it would have to be done in some way where I'm able to do other stuff. It would be interesting if there was a way to put a team together with me writing but not necessarily being the showrunner whose life is bound to the show. [Similarly, to overseeing] the comics so I'm still around to ensure that the identity, [or] personality is still there but I [would be also] working on [separate projects]." According to Jhonen, there are people who worked on the series he believes would be interested in showrunning. However, at the moment he's more interested in exploring projects that are [as quite] limiting as [a] Nicktoon.
from The Collider:
I’ve been getting [asked] that all the time. I don’t know. Working on this movie, coming up with one story and then spending years on it, versus a few weeks and then you’re onto the next thing where you can change direction, take it somewhere else, I got incredible frustrated. I got very impatient. And so, of course, I was thinking it would be great to do this or that with Zim. Or how fun would it be to be able to tell this story? So, it’s in me to just make this stuff. And the logistics though, I don’t know.
I would love to work on other things. I’d love to be able to work with a greater range of emotions than what Zim lets me do. But, I would still definitely like to see these characters living and doing other stuff. But really, it all depends on what kind of arrangement would I be allowed. Maybe I’m just writing it and I’m writing it from my space station far away and I don’t have to be going in to a studio like I used to.
I’d love to be able to work on other stuff while keeping Zim alive.

When elaborating on any creative limitations of working on Invader Zim:
. . . "[The tone of Invader Zim] is incredibly focused. To stay true to that world you really just have to look at a very limited range of emotions and they're all real nasty. I want to be able to stay in a nasty world but also be able to do a little bit more than that, things that I think would start feeling insincere if you start pulling them off in Zim."
____________________________________________
and finally, in 2019, there are concerns that Invader Zim might need support from the fans yet again
source: San Diego Comic Con 2020 Invader Zim Conquers Everything [34:54 mark]
"Next year marks, the 20th anniversary of Invader Zim so to speak. Any big plans to celebrate the occasion?"
Eric Trueheart: I don't know if anybody's planning anything and this is probably something I shouldn't tell out of school but I happen to know that after Florpus aired, nobody from Nickelodeon or Netflix, like, called up Jhonen to say 'Hey, nice job' so, um, maybe I might not be able to tell people that... but I just did! So the feeling might be that there might not be people at Nickelodeon or Netflix who are really focusing on the fact that the 20th anniversary of Invader Zim is coming up so it might be incumbent upon fans to remind them and that's basically the very vague thing I can say
Aaron Alexovich: I just know that everybody that was on the Florpus crew would love to make more and it's gonna be up to the fans to resurrect it again.
Eric: At this point, yeah, I think everybody would love to see more I mean The Florpus was getting 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You know, 100% positive. Granted, it wasn't reviewed by, like, 500 different outlets like, say, an Avengers film is, but it was doing really well and it had a great response and it kept popping up on everyone's Netflix queue and it seems like it did real well so why not do another one?
Aaron: Well, I think the coolest thing would be just to do a movie every couple years or something.
This does not confirm nor deny whether Nickelodeon has lost interest in Invader Zim nor does it confirm or deny anything about Netflix either. It does not hurt to gently let Netflix and Nickelodeon know that we'd enjoy more.__________________________________________________________________________________
So to recap:
We do not know for sure who are the people at Nick who feel that way and, I cannot emphasize enough, that it is never just one person. The source I cite refers to multiple executives and not just one. So put down your pitchforks and take a deep breath. You cannot and must not point fingers at anyone without all the information otherwise some misguided fool will, I dunno, blame Nickelodeon's newest president as of 2018 Brian Robbins as if it's his fault for replacing Cyrma Zarghami. I'm not being snide. I'm not being sarcastic. This is not a cheeky hint or code. Seriously do NOT, do NOT, do NOT........ do not blame or accuse any one person. There are too many cogs in the machine.
This post is running long as is. I open the floor to any discussions or ideas.Some topics you can expect in upcoming posts will be:
Lastly, I want to thank ParanormalFantasy. A year ago, there were concerns that Enter the Florpus' release date was up in the air. I had requested help finding any information since 2013 in which cast, crew, Jhonen, Nick representatives, reputable journalists, etc gave any citable pertinent information. ParanormalFantasy gave me a lot to work with and it paid off. Cheers, fellow fan.
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2020.07.28 15:12 Traditional_Sail_343 Workstation Cranes Market Growth 2026: including key players Konecranes, Demag Cranes, Spanco

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Sample Table: Global Workstation Cranes Market Size By Regions (USD Million) (2015-2026)
Regions2014201620182020202220242026CAGR % (2020-2026)North AmericaXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%EuropeXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%APACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%Rest of the WorldXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%TotalXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%
Quantifiable data: • Market Data Breakdown by Key Geography, Type & Application / End-User • By type (past and forecast) • Workstation Cranes Market-Specific Applications Sales and Growth Rates (Historical & Forecast) • Workstation Cranes revenue and growth rate by market (history and forecast) • Workstation Cranes market size and growth rate, application and type (past and forecast) • Sales revenue, volume and Y-O-Y growth rate (base year) of Workstation Cranes market
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Following are list of players : Konecranes, Demag Cranes, Spanco, Gorbel, Unified Industries, Ergonomic Manufacturing Group, Dongqi Crane, G.W.Becker, Toronto Electric, CraneWerks, Nebraska Hoist & Crane
2) What is the expected Market size and growth rate of the Workstation Cranes market for the period 2020-2026?
** The Values marked with XX is confidential data. To know more about CAGR figures fill in your information so that our business development executive can get in touch with you.
3) Which Are The Main Key Regions Cover in Reports?
Geographically, this report is segmented into several key Regions, consumption, revenue (million USD), and market share and growth rate of Workstation Cranes in these regions, from 2020 to 2026 (forecast), covering North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific etc
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Chapter 1: Overview of Global Workstation Cranes Market (2015-2026) • Definition • Specifications • Classification • Applications • Regions
Chapter 2: Market Competition by Players/Suppliers 2014 and 2018 • Manufacturing Cost Structure • Raw Material and Suppliers • Manufacturing Process • Industry Chain Structure
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Continued........
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2020.07.27 21:18 __justsayin__ Monday’s TSX breakouts: A newly listed growth stock trading at a record high with further upside potential

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/markets/inside-the-market/article-mondays-tsx-breakouts-a-newly-listed-growth-stock-trading-at-a/
On today’s TSX Breakouts report, there are 38 stocks on the positive breakouts list (stocks with positive price momentum), and nine stocks are on the negative breakouts list (stocks with negative price momentum).
Discussed today is a stock that surfaced on the positive breakouts list. The company recently announced a large, attractive pending acquisition that would rapidly expand the company’s presence in the U.S. market. If approved, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the third-quarter. This could be a near-term catalyst for the stock with analysts’ potentially revaluing their target prices using a higher multiple. Featured today is GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL-T).
A brief outline is provided below that may serve as a springboard for further fundamental research when conducting your own due diligence.
THE COMPANY Ontario-based GFL has three main sources of revenue: solid waste (e.g. residential and commercial garbage collections and landfills), infrastructure and soil remediation, and liquid waste (e.g. liquid waste from industrial and commercial customers such as used motor oil).
In 2019, solid waste represents the bulk of the company’s revenue, 74 per cent of revenue, infrastructure and soil remediation accounted for 16 per cent of revenue, and liquid waste represented 10 per cent of revenue. Last quarter, residential collection represented 26 per cent of total revenue, and commercial collection represented 33 per cent of total revenue.
The company has a diversified customer base with the top 10 customers representing roughly 10 per cent of 2019 revenue. No individual customer accounted for more than approximately 3 per cent of 2019 revenue.
HIGHLIGHTED BELOW ARE SEVERAL KEY ATTRIBUTES: * Industry leader: GFL is North America’s fourth largest diversified environmental services company. In terms of geographical revenue mix, in 2019, 53 per cent of revenue was from Canada, with the remainder, 47 per cent, from the U.S.
Since 2007, the company has completed over 100 acquisitions. The industry is highly fragmented with many regional and independent operators providing GFL with opportunistic tuck-in (smaller) acquisitions to fuel the company’s continued growth.
The company will be reporting its second-quarter financial results after the market closes on Wednesday Aug. 5. Management will be hosting an earnings call the following day at 8 a.m. (ET).
The Street is anticipating the company to report revenue of $994-million and EBITDA of $246-million.
The stock has a dual-class share structure with subordinated voting shares and multiple voting shares.
The stock is dual-listed, trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker GFL.
Dividend policy
GFL pays its shareholders a quarterly dividend of 1 US cent per share, or 4 US cents per share yearly, equating to a current annualized yield of 0.2 per cent.
Analysts’ recommendations
The company is actively covered by 12 analysts, of which nine have buy-equivalent recommendations and three analysts have neutral recommendations.
The firms providing research coverage on the company are: Barclays, BMO Nesbitt Burns, CIBC World Markets, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, J.P. Morgan, National Bank Financial, Raymond James, RBC Dominion Securities, Scotiabank, Stifel and TD Securities.
Revised recommendations
Earlier this month, two analysts revised their expectations higher.
CIBC’s Kevin Chiang upgraded his recommendation to an “outperform” from a “neutral” but maintained his target price at $29.50. Mark Neville, an analyst at Scotiabank, lifted his target price to US$25 from US$23. Financial forecasts
The Street is forecasting EBITDA of $1.05-billion in 2020, rising 25 per cent to $1.31-billion in 2021.
Earnings expectations have increased in recent months. For instance, three months ago, the consensus EBITDA estimates were $1.03-billion for 2020 and $1.19-billion for 2021.
Valuation
According to Bloomberg, the stock is trading at an EV/EBITDA multiple of 10.4 times the 2021 consensus estimate. In comparison, industry peer Waste Connections Inc. (WCN-T) is trading at an EV/EBITDA multiple of 17.2 times.
The average 12-month target price is $29.85, implying the share price has nearly 8-per-cent upside potential.
Insider transactions
Year-to-date, there have not been any trades in the public market reported by insiders.
Interestingly, according to Bloomberg, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board owns 16 per cent of the shares outstanding.
Chart watch
The stock just began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange on March 3, 2020. As a result, technical analysis is limited.
The initial public offering price was US$19. One month later, the share price nose-dived to around US$12 (closed at CDN$16.84 on April 3) as COVID-19 concerns permeated equity markets. Since then, the share price has staged a strong recovery, closing at US$20.54 or CDN$27.76 on Friday – a record closing high.
In terms of key resistance and support levels, the next major ceiling of resistance is around CDN$30. Looking at the downside, there is initial support around $26, near its 50-day moving average (at $25.61). After that, there is strong support around $24.
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