Ontario dating dating site

Beginner Fishing at Colpoy’s Bay, Georgian Bay / Bluffs Ontario

2020.10.28 03:23 FatManParadox Beginner Fishing at Colpoy’s Bay, Georgian Bay / Bluffs Ontario

Hello, I’m going to be going up North in the near future and am looking for some pointers from people who are familiar with the area specified. Ontario offers a lot in terms of information access however due to the current circumstances and with the season I’m finding some of the information that’s provided to be slightly out of date.
If possible I’m looking for a few things:
-Common fish found in said area during this season (Trout, Salmon, ETC) -Some of the regulations pertaining to catching common species in that area and keeping fish that meet said regulations. -Some baits that would be beneficial for the common fish population in that area (Spinners and live baits such as worms) -What fish are good to keep and if there are bag/size limits. -Any other general information if anyone here is from that area and fishes.
Thanks! Some of this info I have had a hard time locating and other pieces I’ve heard different information from various sites.
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2020.10.26 22:38 mdmarian77 Newly out and want to meet someone!

Im 43 and newly out as bisexual....but not fully out! I want to meet a woman so bad and go on a date but I'm having difficulties doing this because I cant yet post pictures of myself on dating sites (because I'm not fully out)
Is it possible to meet someone on a dating site without a picture? Every site I've checked out so far requires a picture and I'm becoming a tad bit frustrated because I just really want to meet someone!
Does anyone have any suggestions?
I'm from ontario canada. What are the best sites I can meet someone on?
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2020.10.25 16:42 samreenfashion Deemas Fashion

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2020.10.25 03:10 CostcoHotdawgs Any experience/advice for an Ontarian fighting a ticket in Quebec??

Went to Quebec a month ago and got mailed a nasty $489 ticket for having an expired sticker on my plates. Specifically, the ticket is for "failing to register my vehicle with the competent authority” (Section 6 of Highway Safety Code).
Service Ontario’s site currently says “Products that expired on or after March 1, 2020, have an extended expiry date until further notice. We will notify you when it is time to renew”. My sticker expired in June. Yes I know I could have renewed online but that isn’t the point here, so please don't bother telling me I could have avoided this. And yes, I know I'll have to pay for this year's sticker... I'm not trying to avoid paying. Service Ontario said the expiration is extended and my stickers are good until further notice, their site urges people not to come in and they say we will be notified when it's time to renew. Hence, I have not renewed.
I want to fight this ticket since my vehicle was actually registered when I got the ticket since my expiration was extended. My own province says it’s totally good and legal to be driving with those plates. There's even documentation out there saying this extension is being recognized in the USA. But it's Quebec who issued this ticket.
I have heard horror stories about Ontarians fighting tickets in Quebec. I need to write a written explanation and mail it back to when with my ticket and I’m planning on printing and attaching the Service Ontario site page where it says the expiration is extended. I wish I could get more in writing from Ontario to say they weren’t expired.
If anyone has experienced something similar or has any advice for me fighting this ticket, I would love to hear it.
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2020.10.18 16:31 CostcoHotdawgs Any experience/advice fighting tickets in Gatineau??

Went to Nordik last month and just got a nasty $489 ticket in the mail for having an expired sticker on my plates.
Service Ontario’s website currently says “Products that expired on or after March 1, 2020, have an extended expiry date until further notice. We will notify you when it is time to renew”. My sticker expired in June and I have not renewed it since they said we will be notified when it’s time to renew.
I am wanting to fight this ticket since the expiration on my plates was extended by my province of residence. My own province says it’s totally good and legal to be driving with those plates. But Quebec issued this ticket. To me, this is like someone from Quebec coming to Ontario with no front plate on their car (totally fine for them) and receiving a ticket for it since it’s against our rules here.
Yes I know I could have renewed online but that isn’t the point here. Service Ontario said the expiration is extended. My stickers are good until further notice according to them.
I have heard horror stories about Ontarians fighting tickets in Quebec like people tickets being doubled. I don’t speak good enough French to communicate. I need to write a written explanation and mail it back to when with my ticket. I’m planning on printing the Service Ontario site page where it says the expiration is extended. I’m also going to see if I can contact the MPP. I wish I could get more in writing from Ontario to say they weren’t expired. If anyone has experienced something similar or has any advice for me fighting this ticket, I would love to hear it.
EDIT: Since so many are asking why I just didn't renew online, it's because I am working temporarily 6h away from home as a respiratory therapist for the pandemic. I came here to work before my sticker expired. If I renewed online, my sticker would get sent to my home which isn't where I am which doesn't help. It is directly related to the pandemic that I have not renewed which is why the pandemic extension is helpful for some. I didn't renew to try to avoid paying for my sticker
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2020.10.17 06:00 AutoModerator Happy Cakeday, r/PositiveDating! Today you're 3

Let's look back at some memorable moments and interesting insights from last year.
Your top 10 posts:
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2020.10.15 00:59 Ificouldonlyremember Annotated Guide to Free Fossil Identification Resources

This did not receive a lot of love in fossil collecting subs, but may be someone here will find it useful.
An annotated guide to free fossil identification and collecting resources.
Delaware:
“A Guide To Fossil Sharks, Skates, And Rays From The Chesapeake And Delaware Canal Area, Delaware” BY Edward M. Lauginiger And Eugene F. Hartstein, 1983, 65 pages, 6MB. Essential for identifying Delaware fossils.
https://www.dgs.udel.edu/sites/default/files/publications/OFR21.pdf
“Cretaceous Fossils From The Chesapeake And Delaware Canal: A Guide For Students And Collectors”, By Edward M.Lauginiger, 1983, 61 pages, 2MB. A revised version of the above intended for teaching.
https://www.dgs.udel.edu/sites/default/files/publications/SP18.pdf
Florida:
“Vertebrate Fossil Localities In Florida”, Stanley J. Olsen, 1965, 36 pages, 9MB. Definitely dated, things have changed so much in Florida, but worth a look.
http://publicfiles.dep.state.fl.us/FGS/FGS_Publications/SP/SPPRIDE/SP12PRIDE/FSGS%20Special%20Publication%20No.12.pdf
Illinois:
“Guide For Beginning Fossil Hunters” by Charles Collinson, 2002, 64 pages, 4MB. A really nice guide for identifying Illinois fossils.
http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/ges/ges15.pdf
“Guide to Pennsylvanian fossil plants of Illinois” by James R. Jennings, 90 pages, 8MB. Very nice detail on where to look for fossils.
http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/ges/ges13.pdf
Iowa:
“Fossil Collecting Areas in Iowa”. Brief 2-page guide from U of Iowa with some good references:
https://www.iihr.uiowa.edu/igs/publications/uploads/Em-04.pdf
“Fossils and Rocks of Eastern Iowa” by J.N. Rose, 1967, 83 pages, 43MB. A large file but an essential free resource for fossil collecting in Iowa.
http://publications.iowa.gov/25584/1/2015-12-17_15-12-29_es-1.pdf
“Fossils of Iowa” by Robert Charles Wolf, 2006, 200 pages. Not free, but IMHO among the best state guides to collecting fossils anywhere. Detailed descriptions of exactly where to look. A nust if you are hunting fossils in Iowa.
Kentucky:
“Fossil Beds Of The Falls Of The Ohio”, by Greb, Hendricks, and Chesnut. 1993, 48 pages, 7MB. Detailed guide to a small area.
https://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/KGSXISP19reduce.pdf
“Paleontological survey of the Pennsylvanian rocks of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field” by Donald R. Chesnut Jr, 1991, 74 pages, 29MB. A highly technical list of which species have been described from where.
https://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/KGS11IC36.pdf
“Mississippian rocks in Kentucky” By Edward G. Sable and Garland R. Dever, Jr. 133 pages, 32MB. A USGS publication. Not about fossils, technical guide to rock formations, but will tell you where to look.
https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1503/report.pdf
“Paleontology of Kentucky” 1931
http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KPS/poky/indexpoky.htm
Maryland:
“Miocene Fossils Of Maryland”, By Vokes, Glaser and Conkwright, 1999, 80 pages, 8MB. Technical, but a very useful identification guide.
http://www.mgs.md.gov/output/reports/BULL/BULL_20_2000.pdf
“Maryland Geologic Survey, Miocene Text”, 1904, 722 pages, 32MB
“Maryland Geologic Survey Miocene Plates”, 1904, 262 pages, 8MB
Old, dated, and too technical, but the plates are worth looking at.
https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc6000/sc6046/000000/000001/000000/000040/pdf/msa_sc6046_1_40.pdf
https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc6000/sc6046/000000/000001/000000/000041/pdf/msa_sc6046_1_41.pdf
Michigan:
“Guide to Michigan Fossils”, 1962, 9 pages, 6MB. Very basic.
https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/GIMDL-PA03_216189_7.pdf
“The complete guide to Michigan fossils”, by Joseph J. Kchodl, 2006. Not-Downloadable. Nice pictures.
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015064698932&view=1up&seq=3
Minnesota:
“Guide to Fossil Collecting in Minnesota” by Hogberg, Sloan and Tufford, 47 pages, 2.5MB. Basic guide to Minnesota Ordovician fossils.
https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/57229/MGS_ES_1_revised.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Missouri:
“Owl Creek (Upper Cretaceous) Fossils from Crowleys Ridge Southeastern Missouri” by Lloyd William Stephenson, 1955, 72 pages, 4MB. A technical list of Missouri fossils with some nice detail about collecting locations at the beginning and plates at the end.
https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0274e/report.pdf
Nebraska:
“Record in Rock: A Handbook of the Invertebrate Fossils of Nebraska”, by Roger K. Pabian, 1970, 108 pages, 13MB. Detailed fossil identification guide.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=conservationsurvey
New Hampshire:
“Fossils of the Littleton Formation (Lower Devonian) of New Hampshire”, by By A. J. Boucot and Robert Arndt, 1960, 24 pages, 3MB. Technical. https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0334b/report.pdf
New Jersey:
“The Cretaceous Fossils Of New Jersey, Parts 1”, by Horace Richards, 1958 373 pages, 16MB.
“The Cretaceous Fossils Of New Jersey, Parts 2”, by Horace Richards, 1962 345 pages, 13MB.
Extensive figures useful for identification.
https://www.nj.gov/dep/njgs/enviroed/oldpubs/bulletin61-I.pdf
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/enviroed/oldpubs/bulletin61-II.pdf
Ohio:
Identification Guide for Common Fossils of the Cincinnatian, 2013, 133 pages, 30MB. Glossy, basic guide with very nice color photos.
https://www.cedarville.edu/~/media/Files/PDF/Geology/fossil-identification-guide.pdf
“Middle and Upper Ordovician Nautiloid Cephalopods of the Cincinnati Arch Region of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio” by Robert Frey, 1995, 180 pages, 16MB. Worth looking at just for the plates.
FIND
https://kb.osu.edu/bitstream/handle/1811/78526/OGS_1955_B-54.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Pennsylvania:
“Fossil collecting in Pennsylvania”, by Hoskins, Inners, and Harper, 1983, 228 pages, 14MB. Detailed list of collecting locations.
https://archive.org/details/fossilcollecting00hosk_0
“Fossil Collecting in the Pittsburgh Area”, by John A, Harper, 1990, 53 pages, 2MB. A field trip guide, but there is some specific information of fossil collecting locations.
https://pittsburghgeologicalsociety.org/uploads/pubs/1990pghfossils.pdf
South Carolina:
“Fossil Locations in South Carolina”, by Jerry Howe and Andrew Howard, 63 pages, 27MB. As titled, lists specific fossil locations across South Carolina.
https://dc.statelibrary.sc.gov/bitstream/handle/10827/9610/MUSEUM_Bulletin_3_1978.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Tennessee:
Lower Devonian Fossils Of Tennessee”, by Kieran Davis, 20 pages, 8MB. Basic guide to Devonian fossils.
http://www.memphisgeology.org/images/Devonian%20Fossils%20of%20West%20Tennessee.pdf
Texas:
“Texas Fossils: An Amateur Collector's Handbook”, by William Matthews, 1960. Not downloadable. Good identification guide.
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/56315/56315-h/56315-h.htm
Utah:
“A Collector’s Guide to Rock, Mineral, & Fossil Localities of Utah”, James R. Wilson, 1995, 156 pages 1.5MB. Fossils and minerals. Fossil and mineral sites listed by county
http://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=39081
Vermont:
“Paleontology Of The Champlain Basin In Vermont”, by Charles W, Welby, 1962, 92 pages, 27MB. Useful for the plates at the end for identification purposes, and the plate legends have specific collection locations.
https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/geo/MiscPubs/Welby_1962.pdf
Washington:
“Fossils in Washington”, by Vaughn Livingston, 1959, 41 pages, 1MB. Dated very basic guide.
https://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/ger_ic33_fossils_in_wa.pdf
West Virginia:
“Concise Guide to Common Plant Fossils of West Virginia”, 11 pages, 5MB. Simple but nice guide to plant fossils.
http://www.wvgs.wvnet.edu/www/geoeduc/AdaptiveEarthScienceActivities/Extras/ConciseGuideToPlantFossilsWV.pdf
Wisconsin:
“Common Paleozoic Fossils of Wisconsin” by R.H. Nehm, and B.E. Bemis, 2002, 36 pages, 1.4MB. Basic identification guide useful for teaching.
https://wgnhs.wisc.edu/pubs/es045/
“The Fossils and Stratigraphy of the Middle Devonic of Wisconsin” by Herdman F. Cleland, 1911, 289 pages, 7MB. Old amd technical, but with some information on collection locations.
https://wgnhs.wisc.edu/pubs/b021/
Wyoming:
“Fossils of Wyoming” by Michael Hager, 1970, 35 pages, 5MB. Basic guide to identification of Wyoming fossils.
https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/products/wsgs-1971-b-54.pdf
Ontario:
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 1: The Trilobites” by RoifLudvigsen, 1979, 104 pages, 7MB.
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 2: Macroinvertebrates and vertebrates of the Champlain Sea”, by Frances Wagner, 1984, 68 pages, 4MB.
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 3: The eurypterids and phyllocarids”, by M.J.CopelandandThomasE.Bolton. 1985, 52 pages, 4MB.
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario01bolt/mode/2up
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario02bolt
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario03bolt
submitted by Ificouldonlyremember to ScienceTeachers [link] [comments]


2020.10.14 01:43 Forsthis Don't know what to do without proper Identification and/or supporting documents

I've been trying to get my life back on track after years of neglect, I'm recently working again newly moved to Toronto but I don't know how to get around the roadblock of not having photo ID.
Housing is available for cheaper closer to my work (in which case I also save on transit), but I need a credit card which although I'm eligible for I cannot claim without proper identification (I also want it to rebuild my credit).
The only documents I possess is a long expired Alberta Driver's License, an Alberta Health Card (no photo), and a SIN card. I have an old photocopy of my birth certificate but not an official copy of it, otherwise I haven't seen a doctor or dentist or lawyer or any such in 10+ years and don't have any guarantors.
Applying for an Ontario Photo Card or Health card I don't meet the documents requirement according to the site. But trying to obtain supporting documents like my birth certificate requires identification which I don't have and can't get without said documents.
Appointments are very limited (I'm not even sure where to go and if they're accepting them) and calls have been long hours plus wait times that get dropped or lead to dead ends.
I'm looking for any advice on how to move things along to get over this hump which seems to be blocking me from getting anywhere.
I do have a bank account with a debit mastercard. I lived in Montreal for several years prior but I never had my identification kept up to date. I'm wondering how longterm homeless people get identification.
submitted by Forsthis to PersonalFinanceCanada [link] [comments]


2020.10.14 00:12 TheGate182 Every credible source, study or paper on THE RONA that the media and Government hopes you never find and read.

COVID Facts By Doctor & Science , not Media
6% of COVID deaths in the USA were actually COVID - the rest were old age or very extremely sick people with more than 2 conditions as per the CDC - so that means somewhere around 9-10,000 died in the USA . SOURCE : https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrcovid_weekly/index.htm
The mortality rate for the virus sits between 0.02 and 0.04% leaving the virus with a survival rate of 99.9% as per the CDC. Includes all age groups with the most up to date current numbers . https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html#box1
The virus doesn’t really spread on surfaces at all as per the CDC SOURCE : https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/health/cdc-coronavirus-touching-surfaces.html And here that is on the CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html
Toronto Public Health inflates COVID numbers by 50% (Under Case Detection) SOURCE : https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/2020/06/covid19-epi-case-identification-age-only-template.pdf?la=en
The Governments need there to be no effective theratpeutic, cure or treatment in order to keep Emergency Use and push a vaccine through in a year (Page 8) SOURCE: https://www.fda.gov/media/97321/download
HYDROXICHLOROQHINE is an effective treatment for SARS in 2005 - (Dr.Fauci) NIH SOURCE: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16115318/
Random study on Hydroxichloroquine and Azithromicyn being effective - https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/La-Scola-et-al-V1.pdf
Half of the COVID TESTS are not accurate creating 50% false positives. SOURCES: https://bestlifeonline.com/cdc-coronavirus-tests-inaccurate/
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybee2020/05/26/cdc-says-possibly-less-than-half-of-positive-antibody-tests-are-correct/
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-many-covid-diagnoses-are-false-positives-
PCR Tests pick up other viruses - https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/04/16/Other-viruses-make-COVID-19-diagnosis-tracking-challenging/7741586964993/
Maybe your PCR test shouldn’t say (+)- https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html
Covid study from UCLA and Stanford that says people 50 -65 have a 1 in 19.1 million chance of dying
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.06.20124446v2
Proof it came from lab virologist - https://nypost.com/2020/09/11/chinese-virologist-says-she-has-proof-covid-19-was-made-in-wuhan-lab/ Paper by MD,PhD ,Virologist(Li-Meng Yan) Escaped from Wuhan,China on why the COVID-19 virus was bioengineered in a lab over 6 months. https://zenodo.org/record/4028830#.X2Ac1ZBq3Du
https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/chinese-defector-virologist-dr-limeng-yan-publishes-report-claiming-covid19-was-made-in-a-lab/news-story/36decb0c2bca253b696dec0cb665c970
Here is the SECOND RELEASE FROM LI MENG YAN(escaped Virologist phd) - Chinese Bioweapon - https://zenodo.org/record/4073131#.X3-RiSVq3Ds
CDC accidentally admitting masks don’t work . They say it won’t filter smoke (smoke is 0.4-0.7 microns - virus is 0.1 microns) - https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html
2003 study on how well masks protect people against SARS - conclusion- they do not. https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/infection-control/the-effectiveness-of-surgical-face-masks-what-the-literature-shows-30-09-2003/
An updated study from 2015 at The University Of New South Wales about the effectiveness of the cloth masks ability to filter out infections properly - they believe higher infection rates being Because they’re dirty , not supposed to be used and a wet breeding ground for bacteria - they offer little to no resistance against viruses. - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150422121724.htm
More research put together from the NIH to prove that masks are ineffective. - https://www.technocracy.news/masks-are-neither-effective-nor-safe-a-summary-of-the-science/?print=pdf
Top Doctor saying that COVID-19 is officially less deadly than the common flu now. https://mailchi.mp/tomwoods/irelanddoctors?e=087f2620ee
Chief Science Officer for Phizer says Second Wave Faked with False Positive PCR TESTS - https://hubpages.com/politics/Pfizer-Chief-Science-Officer-Second-Wave-Based-on-Fake-Data-of-False-Positives-for-New-Cases-Pandemic-is-Over
WHO pushed quite heavily in the beginning that masks did not work at all for healthy people - not many remember them admitting masks do not work. There have been no controlled studies done since - but their narrative has completely changed. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ap07/face-masks-cannot-stop-healthy-people-getting-covid-19-says-who
Canada’s intention to have COVID DETENTION (Concentration) CAMPS - https://buyandsell.gc.ca/cds/public/2020/09/16/20659b7271164ad9984dc3f33b194f38/ABES.PROD.PW__ZL.B105.E38463.EBSU000.PDF
First papers published scientifically about REGENERON - https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6506/1010.full
Ontario admits that they are counting non COVID deaths as COVID , and they’re not keeping track to how many times this is happening - https://torontosun.com/news/provincial/ontario-death-count-includes-people-who-didnt-die-of-covid-19-but-exactly-how-many-is-unknown
US Deaths 2017 (2.8 million) - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db328.htm
US Deaths 2018 (2.8 million) - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db355.htm
US Deaths 2019 (2.8 million) - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrprovisional-tables.htm
Us Deaths 2020 (2.1 Million and adding in for presumptions to 2.8 million) based on these numbers - https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Weekly-Counts-of-Deaths-by-State-and-Select-Causes/muzy-jte6
Canada Death Stats 1950-2020 : https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/CAN/canada/death-rate
Stats for Ontario Deaths by year - https://www.statista.com/statistics/443061/number-of-deaths-in-canada/
LOCKDOWNS LEAD TO SPIKE IN OVERDOSES - https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-pandemic-canada-fatal-drug-overdoses.html That is backed up by the CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0318-data-show-changes-overdose-deaths.html
David Nabarro (WHO LEADER) says new guidelines from WHO urge World Leaders to stop Lockdowns - https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/who-official-urges-world-leaders-to-stop-using-lockdowns-as-primary-virus-control-method/ar-BB19TBUo
No Quantified Isolate of virus exist as per CDC data and document on PCR testing July 2020 (page 39) That means it’s a lie that Aus,Can, India - whoever says they isolated it , they did not.- It also means , there is no effective vaccine actually being made , Because it’s not isolated. https://www.scribd.com/document/479229640/CDC-2019-Novel-Coronavirus-2019-nCoV-Real-Time-RT-PCR-Diagnostic-Panel#from_embed
Here’s the same information as above on the FDA docs - https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download
And under FOI CANADA - here is what turned up when inquired about when searching for this so called “Isolated virus” zilch , nothing - never happened- Canadian Databanks HAVE NO SUCH RECORDS - https://www.fluoridefreepeel.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FOI-responses-re-covid19-virus-isolation-from-13-institutions-Sept-12-2020.pdf
70.2% of people who ALWAYS wear a mask get COVID - whereas those who don’t actually fall in at 3.9% - Page 4 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwvolumes/69/wpdfs/mm6936a5-H.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1FFuBJLFYLXW44xvO_o_fZD5mmY2RnMAnzf0LkghziZvK5CcLcmFW2rKI
The Great BARRINGTON Declaration , staring the lockdowns and draconian measures in dealing with COVID is doing irreparable harm to kids , teens and adults alike and need to be stopped, signed by 8100 public health scientists , 20,000 medical practitioners and 324,000 of the general public - https://gbdeclaration.org/
Grand total of 6 recorded cases of Influenza in 2020- https://ipac-canada.org/influenza-resources.php
Covid -19 labelled PCR tests being shipped in 2017 - https://wits.worldbank.org/trade/comtrade/en/country/ALL/yea2017/tradeflow/Exports/partneWLD/nomen/h5/product/382200?fbclid=IwAR1UuxOU6bE0oJVnWIhHcn6hLgUgUFiqbJWQ3AmG1jpMhJKaAKwVGkmON3Q They changed this one to Medical Kits but the story and video can be found here - they have since changed it to say MEDICAL TEST KITS- but I WITH MY OWN EYES - saw it like this video and page shows... the archives , have all been wiped - https://healthandmoneynews.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/world-bank-covid-19-test-kits-were-imported-in-2017-the-disease-did-not-exist-yet/
submitted by TheGate182 to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.10.05 07:21 lordhexfuzz Finally ditching the old gaming laptop for a multipurpose $2K-2.5Kish build ~~ AMD Ryzen 9 3900X && Asus GeForce RTX 3080 OR MAYBE something else???? [Canadian]

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What do I use my computer for? I'm in college for coding & design, so I run Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, Android Studio & Emulating for coding. For design: Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Blender (low level renders so far). In the future I plan on doing gaming (obviously), I also want to branch out to streaming as well as YouTube video creation & editing. So Premier Pro, and Davinci. Maybe in the future some after effects or blender for amateur film stuff. Lots of productivity stuff day to day- Lots of chrome tabs, discord, Spotify, etc. in the background.
What games do I want to play and what settings? Pretty high task games and as mentioned before I’ve been budget gaming for a while I want some good sh!* now. I like FPSs mostly. Games: Doom Eternal, Halo MCC, r6siege, Borderlands series, Witcher 3, Fallen order, Destiny 2, Tomb Raider, civ6, etc. and basically anything I want to play, I don’t want to be limited.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
$2K is ideal but chances are it will be closer to $2.5K technically I can go higher but I don’t think I need to
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
As soon as possible but I may wait for Cyber Monday & the AMD launch upcoming.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Everything but OS, second monitors, keyboard, mouse, HDDs are optional.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
Canada-Southern Ontario. Can travel to Toronto.
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
I use a Corsair Nightsword (I opted for this over the classic Logitech G502) and I have a Razer keyboard that needs replacing with quieter keys and a new model. I am open to suggestions on the keyboard, I have a Razer Kraken Headset already.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I don’t really know enough to overclock yet, I don’t even know if it’s worth it, so maybe? I must do more research before I can answer this question perfectly. But I’m definitely interested int it.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
You can refer to my use section and I will be including the build I have made so far
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Whatever can hold all my parts so probably a mid/full tower. Black is safe. I’m not a fan of rainbow RGBs but I kinda like the idea of being able to control the RGB theme to one or more colors like I can on My corsair mouse and many keyboards.
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
I will be using 10 Pro probably, I don’t need it included
Extra info or particulars: Below is what I have written to share around for help/advice, some stuff is repeated but it's worth reading in context (i think)
Hi everyone, Hex here! Looking for some advice, opinions or at the very least confirmation. Here’s all my info below! Enjoy and thanks for any thoughts, opinions or advice in advance!
For some background: I've been budget gaming my whole life on 1080p laptops or (friends') PC rigs. My current everyday computer: Dell Inspiron Gaming laptop (here's a link: Dell Inspiron Amazon (I don't 100% know if this is the exact model) Specs: i5-7300HQ CPU u/2.5GHz , 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, 1TB HDD. I bought it second hand 2 years ago for college at $800 online from someone, I think it goes for $600 now second hand. It’s actually served me pretty well (for gaming, school and everyday use) other than blue screening and lately feeling a lot more slowdowns in everyday use & Android Studio type tasks (but this may be software/my fault for not cleaning or something).
So after 8-16+hrs of research (I haven't been following the latest PC build news for a while), I have put together a build. Here it is (so far):
PCPartPicker Part List
Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor $649.99 @ Newegg Canada
Motherboard Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard $249.99 @ Newegg Canada
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory $154.99 @ Newegg Canada
Storage Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive -
Video Card Asus GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB TUF GAMING Video Card $699.99
Power Supply Corsair RM (2019) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply $179.99 @ Newegg Canada
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit Purchased For $0.00
Monitor Asus VE248Q 24.0" 1920x1080 Monitor Purchased For $90.00
Monitor Asus VE248Q 24.0" 1920x1080 Monitor Purchased For $90.00
Mouse Corsair NIGHTSWORD RGB Wired Optical Mouse Purchased For $90.00
Headphones Razer Kraken 7.1 Channel Headset Purchased For $50.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $2254.95
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-10-05 02:22 EDT-0400
What I used for research: I started with benchmark lists, mixed with Newegg searches to narrow down/cross off items, quantitative research. Then I started more opinion & qualitative research, I watched some LTT and then some very specific comparison videos when needed I have a spreadsheet, a playlist of videos, etc. (I get a hard on for organization), I can share these & reference some of the stuff I've read if people are interested.
My level of experience: I have a decent amount of knowledge about computers and I built some stuf maybe 5+ years ago and have friends that build PCs and are actual enthusiasts so I have soaked some knowledge and I know how to use good ol’ Google but I have never build my own rig before.
Why did I choose the parts I did? I focused on GPU & CPU first. I looked up ranking lists for both and had a lot of trouble picking between Intel & AMD processors, at first I thought AMD and got confirmation from a computer store guy and a few YouTube videos then with more research into benchmarking for gaming I saw that intel was top. But then after doing more research I decided because I’d be doing more than just gaming, I would probably like the extra CPU power for tasks w/more core/threads and I liked the value I was getting from AMD vs. Intel: Like a stock fan, just simply cheaper prices as well as cheaper compatible motherboards and more forward & backwards compatibility with AM4. With the GPU I first thought I’d go with a GTX2070 for price but my s/o recommended I upgrade to a new GTX 3080 and with some research on the new jump in processing I decided it was worth it to me. My only worry is the issues surrounding the new GTX 3080 cards. I chose the Asus TUF version originally because it matched my MO but also because I have some bias towards Asus and then with more research I found that the ASUS TUF GTX 3080 was the best, with better cooling than the Founders Edition as well as the heatsync, etc. and not having crashing issues. For the MO I chose the Asus TUF because on a benchmarking site I saw it was the most used MO in combination with a 3900X CPU, a combination of that list of most used MOs as well as best selling/best rated on Newegg I thought the ASUS TUF MO was a good value and had no problems with the overall look. This is not something I’m certain about, I don’t want my MO to be a bottleneck but I don’t really need a lot more than casual usage, I highly doubt I will want to do any overclocking but I also don’t want my MO to limit or bottleneck and I do care about aesthetics. For a CPU cooler I plan on trying the stock AMD Wraith Prism cooler but I was planning on using the classic (if needed) ol’ reliable Cooler Master Hyper 212 because other more expensive coolers don’t seem to give more cooling for the price- ESPECIALLY AIO! But maybe Corsair or Noctuna (black) or anything else recommended, if it’s really worth the price jump. For RAM I found that 16GB is about enough for gaming but I wanted to make the jump to 32GB while still leaving space for upgrading so I chose the 2x16GB ol’ reliable Corsair Vengeance LPXs. For SSD & Power Supply I kind of just picked the best rated/best selling/best value items. But especially for SSD I don't want to make a bottleneck there, I chose a 1TB but I would like to potentially have more or at least have the space to upgrade, I also don’t know if I chose the best SSD version for value, I also definitely want more space, maybe more SSD if necessary (I currently can fill a 1TB with OS, games and software, so maybe upgrade to a 2TB SSD or more and then HDDs for storage, either right away or as I need it. So what’s left? The case! I am going to start looking but I’m open to suggestions, I don’t want to spend more than $2-300 ideally (going over the $2k price point), but it really depends on what my research reveals. Lastly all this could be all for nothing with AMD launches coming up as well as Cyber Monday sales, I’m not in an immediate hurry and I want to do this right which is why I’m asking for criticism, advice and/or opinions, etc.
What do I use my computer for? I'm in college for coding & design, so I run Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, Android Studio & Emulating for coding. For design: Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Blender (low level renders so far). In the future I plan on doing gaming (obviously), I also want to branch out to streaming as well as YouTube video creation & editing. So Premier Pro, and Davinci. Maybe in the future some after effects or blender for amateur film stuff. Lots of productivity stuff day to day- Lots of chrome tabs, discord, Spotify, etc. in the background.
What games do I want to play and what settings? Pretty high task games and as mentioned before I’ve been budget gaming for a while I want some good sh!* now. I like FPSs mostly. Games: Doom Eternal, Halo MCC, r6siege, Borderlands series, Witcher 3, Fallen order, Destiny 2, Tomb Raider, civ6, etc. and basically anything I want to play, I don’t want to be limited.
Do I have a monitor? I just recently got two 1080p Asus monitors second hand for a good price (that have displayport wowwee) for secondary screens for work/school with a middle laptop, my plan is to get a middle screen for gaming and have a three screen setup, my budget is ideally under $1000, and comfortably below $800. I have looked at 4k displays & information (Linus Tech Tips, etc.) and don’t think the 4k 60fps sacrifice is worth it or worth the price to jump to something like the ASUS ROG Swift 4K 144Hz PG27UQ which is basically as expensive as my whole PC (wtf), so overall I’m looking to get something 120 or 144hz and lower quality? because this is apparently more important for gaming, and probably more so than the jump to 4K (but who knows what the future holds there).
What aesthetics are important to me? I’m not a big fan of rainbow RGB builds but I’ve taken some care to choose MO & coolers, (no case yet), that are relatively nice to my eyes. Aesthetics are not my #1 priority, performance is, but I would like to do a glass sided case and have a nice look ideally. I don’t really know much about RGB stuff so I’m curious what control I could have- I’d like to be able to set themes like all orange, green or red or something. But mainly I’m going for black for parts. I don’t want to shell out a lot of money for aesthetics and I definitely don’t want to sacrifice performance.
Thanks for reading and I will update/reply with more info (as if that’s not enough) if I think of stuff.
Cheers, ~Hex
2020-10-05 2:09am UPDATE: Updated the pcparts link
submitted by lordhexfuzz to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.10.04 21:39 normancrane Iris [3/3]

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 <-- You are here.

- - -

I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

Iris

“What if the whole universe was a giant garden—like a hydroponics thing, like how they grow tomatoes and marijuana, so there wouldn’t need to be any soil, all the nutrients would just get injected straight into the seeds or however they do it—or, even better, space itself was the soil, you know how they talk about dark matter being this invisible and mysterious thing that exists out there and we don’t know what it does, if it actually affect anything, gravity…”
She blew a cloud of pot smoke my way that made me cough and probably gave her time to think. She said, “So dark matter is like the soil, and in this space garden of course they don’t grow plants but something else.”
“Galaxies?”
“Eyes.”
“Just eyes, or body parts in general?” I asked.
“Just eyes.”
The music from the party thumped. “But the eyes are our planets, like Mars is an eye, Neptune is an eye, and the Earth is an eye, maybe even the best eye.”
“The best for what? Who’s growing them?”
“God,” she said.
I took the joint from her and took a long drag. “I didn’t know you believed in God.”
“I don’t, I guess—except when I’m on dope. Anyway, you’ve got to understand me because when I say God I don’t mean like the old man with muscles and a beard. This God, the one I’m talking about, it’s more like a one-eyed monster.”
“Like a cyclops?” I asked.
“Yeah, like that, like a cyclops. So it’s growing these eyes in the dark matter in space—I mean right now, you and me, we’re literally sitting on one of these eyes and we’re contributing to its being grown because the nutrients the cyclops God injected into them, that’s us.”
“Why does God need so many extra eyes?”
“It’s not a question of having so many of them, but more about having the right one, like growing the perfect tomato.” I gave her back the joint and leaned back, looking at the stars. “Because every once in a while the cyclops God goes blind, its eye stops working—not in the same way we go blind, because the cyclops God doesn’t see reality in the same way we see reality—but more like we see through our brains and our eyes put together.”
“Like x-ray vision?” I asked.
“No, not like that at all,” she said.
“A glass eye?”
“Glass eyes are fake.”
“OK,” I said, “so maybe try something else. Give me a different angle. Tell me what role we’re playing in all of this because right now it seems that we’re pretty insignificant. I mean, you said we’re nutrients but what’s the difference between, say, Mars and Earth in terms of being eyes?”
She looked over at me. “Are you absolutely sure you want to hear about this?”
“I am,” I said.
“You don’t think it’s stupid?”
“Compared to what?”
“I don’t know, just stupid in general.”
“I don’t.”
“I like you,” she said.
“Because I don’t think you’re stupid?” I asked.
“That’s just a bonus. I mean more that you’re up here with me instead of being down there with everyone, and we’re talking and even though we’re not in love I know somehow we’ll never forget each other for as long as we live.”
“It’s hard to forget being on the surface of a giant floating eyeball.”
“You’re scared that you won’t find anyone to love,” she said suddenly, causing me to nearly choke on my own saliva. “Don’t ask me how I know—I just do. But before I go any further about the cyclops God, I want you to know that you’ll find someone to love and who’ll love you back, and whatever happens you’ll always have that because no one can take away the past.”
“You’re scared of going blind,” I said.
“I am going blind.”
“Not yet.”
“And I’m learning not to be scared because everything I see until that day will always belong to me.”
“The doctors said it would be gradual,” I reminded her.
“That’s horrible.”
“Why?”
“Because you wouldn’t want to find someone to love and then know that every day you wake up the love between you grows dimmer and dimmer, would you?”
“I guess not,” I said.
“Wouldn’t you much rather feel the full strength of that love up to and including in the final second before the world goes black?”
“It would probably be painful to lose it all at once like that.”
“Painful because you actually had something to lose. For me, I know I can’t wish away blindness, but I sure wish that the last image I ever see—in that final second before my world goes black—is the most vivid and beautiful image of all.”
Because I didn’t know what to say to that, I mumbled: “I’m sorry.”
“That I’m going blind?”
“Yeah, and that we can’t grow eyes.”
This time I looked over, and she was the one gazing at the stars. “Before, you asked if we were insignificant,” she said. “But because you’re sorry—that’s kind of why we’re the most significant of all, why Earth is better than the other planets.”
“For the cyclops God?”
“Yes.”
“He cares about my feelings?”
“Not in the way you’re probably thinking, but in a different way that’s exactly what the cyclops God cares about most because that’s what it’s looking for in an eye. All the amazing stuff we’ve ever built, all our ancient civilizations and supercomputers and cities you can see from the Moon—that’s just useless cosmetics to the cyclops God, except in how all of it has made us feel about things that aren’t us.”
“I think you’re talking about morality.”
“I think so, too.”
“So by feeling sorry for you I’m showing compassion, and the cyclops God likes compassion?”
“That’s not totally wrong but it’s a little upside down. We have this black matter garden and these planets the cyclops God has grown as potential eyes to replace its own eye once it stops working, but its own eye is like an eye and a brain mixed together. Wait—” she said.
I waited.
“Imagine a pair of tinted sunglasses.”
I imagined green-tinted ones.
“Now imagine that instead of the lenses being a certain colour, they’re a certain morality, and if you wear the glasses you see the world tinted according to that morality.”
I was kind of able to imagine that. I supposed it would help show who was good and who was bad. “But the eye and the tinted glasses are the same thing in this case.”
“Exactly, there’s no one without the other, and what makes the tint special is us—not that the cyclops God cares at all about individuals any more than we care about individual honey bees. That’s why he’s kind of a monster.”
“Isn’t people’s morality always changing, though?”
“Only up to a point. Green is green even when you have a bunch of shades of it, and a laptop screen still works fine even with a few dead pixels, right? And the more globalized and connected we get, the smoother our morality gets, but if you’re asking more about how our changing morals work when the cyclops God finally comes to take its eye, I assume it has a way to freeze our progress. To cut our roots. Then it makes some kind of final evaluation. If it’s satisfied it takes the planet and sticks it into its eye socket, and if it doesn’t like us then it lets us alone, although because we’re frozen and possibly rootless I suppose we die—maybe that’s what the other planets are, so many of them in space without any sort of life. Cold, rejected eyes.”
From sunglasses to bees to monitors in three metaphors, and now we were back to space. This was getting confusing. The stars twinkled, some of them dead, too: their light still arriving at our eyes from sources that no longer existed. “That’s kind of depressing,” I said to end the silence.
“What about it?”
“Being bees,” I said, “that work for so long at tinting a pair of glasses just so that a cyclops God can try them on.”
“I don’t think it’s any more depressing than being a tomato.”
“I’ve never thought about that.”
“You should. It’s beautiful, like love,” she said. “Because if you think about it, being a tomato and being a person are really quite similar. They’re both about growing and existing for the enjoyment of someone else. As a tomato you’re planted, you grow and mature and then an animal comes along and eats you. The juicier you look and the nicer you smell, the greater the chance that you’ll get plucked but also the more pleasure the animal will get from you. As a person, you’re also born and you grow up and you mature into a one of a kind personality with a one of a kind face, and then someone comes along and makes you fall in love with them and all the growing you did was really just for their enjoyment of your love.”
“Except love lasts longer than chewing a tomato.”
“Sometimes,” she said.
“And you have to admit that two tomatoes can’t eat each other the way two people can love each other mutually.”
“I admit that’s a good point,” she said.
“And what happens to someone who never gets fallen in love with?”
“The same thing that happens to a tomato that never gets eaten or an eye that the cyclops God never takes. They die and they rot, and they darken and harden, decomposing until they don’t look like tomatoes anymore. It’s not a nice fate. I’d rather live awhile and get eaten, to be honest.”
“As a tomato or person?”
“Both.”
I thought for a few seconds. “That explanation works for things on Earth, but nothing actually decomposes in space.”
“That’s why there are so many dead planets,” she said.
submitted by normancrane to stayawake [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 21:47 normancrane Iris [4/5]

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Since

Blood, guts and bone shards blanketed the surfaces of the waiting room, making it look like the inside of an unwashed jar of strawberry jam. My wife was gone. Every woman in the room was gone. The space behind the reception desk stood eerily empty. The television in the corner was showing the splattered lens of a camera that a hand suddenly wiped clean—its burst of motion a shock to the prevailing stillness—to reveal the peaceful image of a Los Angeles street in which bloodied men and boys stood frozen, startled…
I was too numb to speak.
Someone unlocked the hospital doors but nobody entered.
The waiting room smelled like an abattoir.
My clothes smelled like an abattoir.
I walked toward the doors, opened them with my hip and continued into the morning sunlight. I half expected shit to rain down from the skies. If I had a razor blade in my pocket I would have slit my wrists, but all I had was my wallet, my car keys and my phone. Sliding my fingers over the keys reminded me how dull they were. I didn’t want to drive. I didn’t want anything, but if I had to do something I would walk. I stepped on the heel of one shoe with the toe of another and slid my shoe off. The other one I pulled off with my hand. I wasn’t wearing socks. I hadn’t had enough time to put them on. I threw the shoes away. I wanted to walk until my feet hurt so much that I couldn’t walk anymore.
I put one foot in front of the other all the way back to my apartment building, waited for the elevator, and took it to my floor. In the hall, I passed a man wearing clean summer clothes. He didn’t give my bloody ones a second glance. I nodded to him, he nodded back, and I unlocked the door to my apartment and walked in. My feet left footprints on the linoleum. A dark, drying stain in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall was all that was left of Pillow. She’d squeezed in and died alone. I took out a mop and rotely removed the stain. Then I took off my clothes, flung them on the bed, which was as unmade as when we left it, took a shower and laid down on the crumpled sheets beside the only pieces of my wife that I had left. My sleep smelled like an abattoir.
I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

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2020.10.01 18:00 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Apr. 25, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 3-21-1988
3-28-1988 4-4-1988 4-11-1988 4-18-1988
  • The WWF and NWA have major events this coming week. WWF is having their first live shows after Wrestlemania with tapings Thursday and Friday, while the NWA has the Crockett Cup set for Friday and Saturday. Additionally, World Class and Memphis are preparing for their big shows on May 8 and 9, respectively.
  • Rounds one and two of the Crockett Cup will take place on the first night. That’s roughly 14 matches, assuming a double elimination in the first round, plus a Jimmy Garvin vs. Kevin Sullivan blindfold match. The second night should have the quarter finals through the finals, Midnight Rider vs. J.J. Dillon in a bullrope match, and Flair vs. Koloff for the NWA Title. There are still two unannounced teams for the tournament, and Dave lists the ones he does know. One of the unannounced teams is simply listed as “The Japanese Entry.” Dave figures LugeWindham or the Road Warriors should be the favorites to win, with the Fantastics as the longshot team.
  • World Class has only announced four matches for the Mike and David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. King Parsons defends the title against Kerry Von Erich, Bill Irwin faces Angel of Death, and then two gimmicks. The first they’re calling a Texas Roundup. It’s a Royal Rumble, and since it’ll be Mother’s Day, every mother in the audience gets to pick a wrestler and if that wrestler wins, he draws a name from his supporters in the crowd and whomever he picks, she wins a prize. The other gimmick match is something Dave understands is brand new, but that’s about it - he’s unclear on the actual nature of the match. Let’s just say it’s called a “Triple Dome of Terror” match and wait for Dave to find out what that is and what it means.
  • Memphis rarely pushes a card weeks in advance, but they’re making big efforts for May 9. The LawleHennig match for the AWA World Title has a few stipulations attached to it. First, Lawler has vowed to retire if he does not win the title. They also have a special referee, with a 900 number set up to poll fans with the fan poll deciding whether the referee will be Larry Hennig or Jackie Fargo. Obviously, they’re going to bring in Fargo - he was the big name in Memphis before Lawler. And since it’s going to be Jerry Lawler night, they want to break the all-time gate record for the building (currently standing at $80,000 for a 1985 Lawler vs. Flair match), they’ve raised ringside ticket prices to $25 with ringside fans allowed to attend a post-match party for Lawler. Man, if they’ve got a party planned? I wonder who’s going to be AWA champion starting May 9.
  • So those letters to Financial News Network that Observer readers have been sending seem to be effecting some change. They got a lot of letters asking about airing New Japan, so they’ve cleared a tentative time slot and seem ready to begin negotiations. There’s a lot to work out before any kind of deal can be made (cost of tape, commentary, etc.), but Dave thinks there’s a decent chance we could see New Japan on American tv sometime soon.
  • It’s still a slow week, so Dave’s going to go more in depth on the reader poll about Wrestlemania/Clash and other stuff. He got over 600 responses, and the ratio since he first reported on the poll results still stands roughly 13:1 in favor of Clash, and only four picked a Wrestlemania match for best of the night while Sting/Flair beat Fantastics/Midnight Express by four votes.
  • The non-Wrestlemania/Clash questions got much less response. Opinion split 55% to 45% against state athletic commissions. Most in favor said they don’t want regulation in the ring, but do think wrestling itself needs some regulations, while some of the votes against aren’t opposed to the concept, but voted based on how it works out right now. An overwhelming majority felt blood should be used in wrestling at least occasionally, with 67% even choosing “occasionally” as their response. Dave asked the same question two years ago, and comparatively it seems fewer fans these days want blood frequently and fewer want it outright banned as well. Only 8% wanted blading banned, and only 20% wanted more than one match a night to have blood. Stylistically, New Japan’s style won 53% of the vote for style preference, with Mid South’s style winning 16%; NWA, Memphis, and Stampede all winning 7-10%; and WWF style receiving 4% of the vote. Many votes for New Japan specified their junior heavyweight style specifically, effectively voting for smaller, faster, better conditioned wrestlers and maybe more technical wrestling than brawling. Or maybe just more action and cool moves as the basis for the action.
  • Gordon Solie has been flown in to Memphis weekly lately to do voiceovers of Memphis matches for that new tv show he and Jerry Jarrett and others are trying to start up in Florida.
  • A deal is in the works for Jerry Lawler’s weekly Jerry Lawler Show. It’s a 30 minute talk show he does on the local NBC affiliate on Sunday mornings, mostly about wrestling but sometimes other sports too, and there’s talk of getting it syndicated nationally or put on cable.
  • [Memphis] Jeff Jarrett has a real problem here with getting over as a babyface. They’re booking him as this heartthrob babyface, but he gets major heat with the fans because he’s small and it’s well known that his father runs the company. Since most of the fans are men, this has led to his cheers from women and girls getting drowned out by boos because the men, particularly the teenagers and early 20s set, don’t want to cheer for a guy they perceive as skinny, and especially not for a skinny guy who’s marketed as a sex symbol for girls. Turns out Jarrett will never be a guy who can get over as a babyface. He just doesn't have it in him.
  • Stampede is doing really well still, though that may cool off once Owen Hart leaves for a tour of Japan in May. After that he’s going to join the WWF, where the speculation all seems to be toward the idea of him and Bret teaming as a babyface tag team.
  • TSN is only three weeks behind on Calgary tapes for Stampede now. When they started broadcasting the shows they were 11 weeks behind, so this is a major improvement.
  • Diamond Dallas Page debuted for AWA at the April 16 taping. Dave notes that he has a good look and seems like he can do well for himself, but he also appears to be 6’4”, which means he towers over most of the AWA roster. He’s also unique as a manager, being the first Dave’s ever seen to have his own valet.
  • A little perspective on how shit AWA is at this stage: in one match on that taping, Wahoo McDaniel beat Curt Hennig in a non-title cage match with an Irish Whip. Also, they had Paul Diamond beat Greg Gagne by disqualification when Marty Janetty ran in and attacked him after he threw salt in Greg’s eyes. Dave asks how out of touch they have to be to use “that ancient salt gimmick.”
  • Chavo Guerrero is in Mexico, teaming with his younger brother Eddie. Eddie is apparently really hot on the scene there right now.
  • At AWA’s last ESPN taping, they had a graphic for this blond kid that labeled him Pistol Pete. Well, he’s not Pistol Pete, and most California readers would know that already. The real Pistol Pete balked at the idea of doing three jobs for only $150 and decided not to work the show, but since they’d already set the graphics, they grabbed another jobber and called him Pistol Pete.
  • [USA Wrestling] Buddy Landel is doing an amazing job of making Doug Furnace look fantastic. Dave thinks it’s clear Furnas has potential, and Landel is doing splendidly at helping him showcase that potential, but the more he sees the less convinced Dave is that Furnas has it. He’s a tremendous athlete, but his promos and working just aren’t there at all. They’ve got their own name for their ripoff Royal Rumble: the Cyclone Stampede.
  • Some correction and clarification on Chris Adams and his injuries from last week. He didn’t suffer a broken cheekbone, and he returned to the ring three days after the injury and is wearing a baseball catcher’s mask. World Class is ignoring that Mike George did it with a dropkick and are instead claiming that Terry Taylor paid “another wrestler in another territory” to hurt him. Why not just write that Taylor paid George to do it? That just feels easier.
  • World Class is still advertising Fabulous Lance everywhere they’re going. He’s still not here. In fact, he’s very probably still in South Africa, where he’s been wrestling under the Lance Von Erich name.
  • Another correction, this time to Dave’s prior correction last week. Black Bart and Buddy Roberts were in fact shining flashlights into fans’ eyes during the blackout during the King Parsons/Kerry Von Erich title match. As creative a finish as it was, Dave still thinks Parsons as champion was a terrible idea. A title means something when the fans believe it has value, and that’s why most titles in wrestling today mean nothing. It needs a world class performer to hold it to build that meaning, and the World Class title has meant next to nothing its whole existence, so for it to be won the way it was won and be held by a prelim guy like the Iceman means nothing good for the title or the promotion and does not help sell tickets. WCCW needs to put on good matches and sell tickets if they want to improve their standing, not hot shot a bunch of stupid creative gimmicks. Honestly, WCCW at this time almost sounds like post-Russo WCW.
  • [All Japan] Yoshiaki Yatsu worked through a broken leg against Bruiser Brody on April 4. The winner would face Tenryu on April 15 to unify the titles. Brody won, obviously. Yatsu took a heavy dose of painkillers meant to last an hour at 7:30 pm, but since the card went long, his match didn’t start until after the painkillers started wearing off. He worked 15 minutes like that before losing by countout, causing Brody to retain the International Title.
Watch: Yatsu vs. Brody
  • All Japan is also planning to unify its three tag titles into one supreme tag title in May. Tenryu and Hara hold the PWF World Tag Titles, the Road Warriors hold the International Tag Titles, and Footloose (Samson Fuyuki and Toshiaki Kawada) hold the Asian Tag Titles. Well, not exactly, Dave. The All Asia Tag Titles will stay separate, but they will unify the PWF and International Tag Titles, but it won’t happen until June 10.
  • Ivan Putski is a feature story in June’s Muscle Training Illustrated. He now owns a Gold’s Gym in Austin, Texas. Fun fact - Pustki was my dad’s favorite wrestler when he was a kid.
  • There’s a guy on the independent scene in Ohio who’s still running shows and wrestling at the age of 67. Luis “Arriba” Martinez is said to be a physical marvel.
Watch: a bit of Luis Martinez wrestling in 1980. If he looked even half this good 8 years later, yeah, that’s impressive
  • New Japan ran a fan appreciation card on April 10 with a ton of gimmicks. They had a five minute judo exhibition with Seiki Sakaguchi (former 3rd place in the world in judo in the late 60s before becoming a pro wrestler) drawing against comedy jobber Don Arakawa. Tatsumi Fujinami went to a couple five minute draws, then Inoki also had two five minute matches, beating Masaharu Funaki before losing to Keiichi Yamada when Funaki interered, leading to Yamada pinning Inoki. That’s the big surprise of the show. Also, Hiroshi Hase won a sumo tournament on the show.
  • Leilani Kai and Judy Martin will be showing up in AJW to work with the Jumping Bomb Angels for the rest of their time there, until the end of June or early July.
  • Reborn UWF officially announced its formation at an April 8 press conference. Maeda says they’ve learned from their mistakes and are claiming that the reason they can only run one show a month is because since they are promoting “shooting fights” the punishment involved precludes more frequent shows.
  • Road Warriors aren’t on the next tour for All Japan, so it looks like title unification plans need to be postponed.
  • The NWA looks poised to lose access to the Nassau Coliseum. Coliseum officials want to go back to WWF, which won’t run shows there as long as they let NWA run shows, and that puts the proposed June 24 Crockett show in jeopardy. It also means Crockett’s got a tough road ahead if they want to keep promoting shows in New York, because that leaves them the Westchester County Center as their best option. And while that building is more accessible than the Coliseum, it has the reputation of being a minor league building, so the draws will be less.
  • The scoreboard at the end of the NWA’s April 15 Boston Gardens show read “We hope you enjoyed tonight’s WWF event.” LOLNWA
  • If you missed any NWA tv this week, you didn’t miss anything. Commentary and interviews talked about nothing but Dusty Rhodes and Midnight Rider. We’re a week out from the biggest event of the year to date for them, so you’d think they’d acknowledge the Crockett Cup. Nope, only barely acknowledging that. Not one first round pairing was named (probably for the best to make people actually want to go to the Greenville show), no teams listed, nothing but a shitty skit between J.J. Dillon and Jim Crockett and an announcement that Flair is defending against Nikita Koloff. They’d better hope Dusty can draw for the next four months with the Midnight Rider gimmick, because that seems to be the only thing they’re banking on. Dave thinks NWA have already managed to piss away whatever momentum they had coming out of Clash by refocusing everything back on Dusty, when what helped make Clash work was Dusty taking a back seat. He’s not saying Dusty should retire, but he shouldn’t be the top star. Take a role more like Jimmy Valiant had for a while - he’s got a big following, could sell some tickets, and could be used to feud with low or midcard heels in short, bloody matches that the crowd ate up.
  • Not much of consequence in the letters, but one guy thinks Dave is unfair to Stan Kowalski and thinks if “we had more of the old crop of wrestlers still active, this sport wouldn’t be a one promotion business as it is today.” If more promotions embraced the aging part timer, we’d have a healthier business, I guess is the logic.
  • Looks like Hillbilly Jim is not on the WWF spring cleaning list after all. And also looks like most of the releases will happen in May or June.
  • WWF has put out ads in some cities for Honkytonk vs. Beefcake listing Honkytonk as the challenger. So expect a title change soon, Dave reckons. It may be a misprint, but Dave doesn’t believe in misprints on this kind of stuff. Yeah, not yet and not Beefer.
  • WWF Magazine is scheduling a piece revealing Earl Hebner as Dave Hebner’s twin brother. Guess they aren’t dropping that angle after all.
  • There’s talk of WWF doing a big show at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto again. WWF’s last show there had Hogan vs. Orndorff drawing just under 70,000 fans. Andre/Hogan again would pop a big turnout, and Ontario was the only place where Wrestlemania this year drew enough at closed circuit for it to be worthwhile.
  • In the wake of the David Sammartino attacking a fan thing, WWF has sent letters to all wrestlers and office staff saying that such incidents are grounds for immediate dismissal. Linda McMahon even sent a “personal nasty letter” to Sammartino as well. Sammartino had been booked for several independent shows in New York against Iron Sheik, but the state commission has suspended him for three months. Dave commends the WWF for instituting such a policy, but wonders where this energy was in previous years when other wrestlers did such things. In Fresno, Randy Savage went into the stands once some time back to hit a guy and according to newspaper reports the guy ducked and he knocked out a 14 year old girl. There’s rumor of a San Francisco lawsuit coming against a WWF wrestler who knocked a security guard over in February. So this smells like a double standard of sorts to Dave, just like the drug policy, which the wrestlers joke about, saying you catch a suspension if they find coke in your system and you catch a suspension if they don’t find roids in your system. So this feels like PR rather than real, substantive policy.
  • Dave’s got some word on the gimmick for the Memorial Parade of Champions at Texas Stadium. It’s going to be called something like the Triple Tower of Doom and have three rings put on top of each other with a cage around them and matches going on in all three simultaneously. The top two rings will have some kind of hole cut through them with a firefighter’s pole allowing the wrestlers to slide down to the other rings when they want to. Apparently Dusty is pissed off about this because it was his idea for this year’s Bash (a la WarGames last year) and Michael Hayes has beat him to it. Dave wasn’t wrong about not quite understanding the gimmick earlier, because that description is off. Rather than explain it myself, I’ll let WCCW do that for me and you can marvel at how awful this is. If this really was a Dusty idea, then I’ll say it straight up: Dusty lucked out in coming up with WarGames.
Watch: The Triple Dome of Terror
NEXT WEEK: Windham becomes fourth horseman, Sting and Luger win Crockett Cup, UWF sets sellout record - 15 minutes, Roddy Piper to make surprise appearance, Brody does clean job in Japan, and more
submitted by SaintRidley to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 17:55 throwtheballaway123 Barrie COVID-19 Update (September 30, 2020)

It’s Thursday again, so here is the update as of yesterday’s data.
Last week we were at a 7-day rolling average of 4.11 cases/day. As of this morning's update from the health unit we are at 3.57, so a little lower but same statistical ballpark. 3 new cases reported in Barrie on the 30th. Graph Here I’ve also put together a chart for just September Graph Here. One note on the data, you’ll see weekly flat spots on Saturday/Sunday and spikes on Mondays, that’s because our health unit does not report on the weekends (many across the province do), so Monday is essentially 3 days. I thought about averaging Monday over Saturday, Sunday, & Monday but have decided to leave the data as is. Since we’re using a 7-day rolling average it shouldn’t really impact the number (as you can see by no dramatic spikes or dips in the line)
Using the government's criteria of 14 days from positive test to recovery, we have ~45 active cases in Barrie (this isn't something I've been tracking over time but maybe I'll go back and find the trend for this – note: I said the same thing last week and haven’t done it yet.
In terms of schools in Barrie, there are 3 with active cases (below). I have also added the first report date for the school as a column in the chart. Last week there was some discussion based on my source (covidatschool.ca) not matching the official government listing. My hypothesis is that the government site reports the same schools every day until they are resolved. With that said, I have a new source (linked below) that is the government site that lists active cases in schools. Please note, this source shows 4 schools with Father F.X. O'Reilly Catholic School being included. I have excluded it because it’s in Tottenham:
School # Cases First report Date
St John Vianny 1 9-18-2020
Bear Creek SS 1 9-21-2020
Sister Catherine Donnelly 1 9-24-2020
I mentioned last week trying to calculate Barrie’s Rt, with that said I’ve come to the realisation that I will not have the time to do that any time soon. Ryan Imgrund on Twitter posts updates for Ontario if you’re interested. Link
Happy to try to address any comments people have.
Sources:
SMDHU Data
School Data – Schools with active COVID-19 cases file
EDIT: corrected the first report date on schools.
EDIT 2: Adding active case trend Graph Here
submitted by throwtheballaway123 to barrie [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 15:01 Xethernety WCEXF (ASK @ 0.02)

World Class Extractions Subsidiary Acquires $11.5 Million Senior Secured Convertible Debenture from Aphria for $5,000,000

World-Class Extractions Inc., is pleased to announce that its 50%-owned subsidiary, Cobra Ventures Inc., has acquired a senior secured convertible debenture of HydRx Farms Ltd. o/a Scientus Pharma in the principal amount of CDN$11,500,000, plus accrued and unpaid interest and charges from Aphria Inc.
"World-Class is pleased to report its participation in the acquisition of this debenture. This interest-bearing, $11.5 million, first-position debenture is secured against all of the assets of HydRx, which includes a state-of-the-art facility and business in which over $50 million has been invested to-date. Having completed its most recent Health Canada inspections, the HydRx site is fully licensed to cultivate, process, produce and sell medical and recreational cannabis and cannabis products.
We believe this is one of, if not the most advanced cultivation, extraction, and Cannabis 2.0 production facilities in Canada. We continue to evaluate the opportunities that our investment in this debenture presents for World-Class."
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-class-extractions-subsidiary-acquires-073000647.html
###################################################################

World Class Extractions is pleased to Reports Operating and Financial Results for the Three-Month Period Ended July 31, 2020

Pineapple Express Delivery Inc. ("PED"), a company which offers compliant and secure delivery of government-controlled substances and regulated products, including medical and recreational cannabis in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and liquor delivery in certain jurisdictions in Saskatchewan.
Financial (unaudited)
More here:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-class-extractions-reports-operating-185000502.html
submitted by Xethernety to Penny_Stock_USA [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 14:59 Xethernety PUMP.CN (ASK @ 0.025) ---> 2 News!

World Class Extractions Subsidiary Acquires $11.5 Million Senior Secured Convertible Debenture from Aphria for $5,000,000

World-Class Extractions Inc., is pleased to announce that its 50%-owned subsidiary, Cobra Ventures Inc., has acquired a senior secured convertible debenture of HydRx Farms Ltd. o/a Scientus Pharma in the principal amount of CDN$11,500,000, plus accrued and unpaid interest and charges from Aphria Inc.
"World-Class is pleased to report its participation in the acquisition of this debenture. This interest-bearing, $11.5 million, first-position debenture is secured against all of the assets of HydRx, which includes a state-of-the-art facility and business in which over $50 million has been invested to-date. Having completed its most recent Health Canada inspections, the HydRx site is fully licensed to cultivate, process, produce and sell medical and recreational cannabis and cannabis products.
We believe this is one of, if not the most advanced cultivation, extraction, and Cannabis 2.0 production facilities in Canada. We continue to evaluate the opportunities that our investment in this debenture presents for World-Class."
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-class-extractions-subsidiary-acquires-073000647.html

###################################################################

World Class Extractions is pleased to Reports Operating and Financial Results for the Three-Month Period Ended July 31, 2020

Pineapple Express Delivery Inc. ("PED"), a company which offers compliant and secure delivery of government-controlled substances and regulated products, including medical and recreational cannabis in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and liquor delivery in certain jurisdictions in Saskatchewan.
Financial (unaudited)
More here:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-class-extractions-reports-operating-185000502.html
submitted by Xethernety to Penny_Stocks_Canada [link] [comments]


2020.10.01 11:21 heathen_match Alternative Lifestyle Partner

Heathen Match is an Alternative Life Style Dating Site and Community to meet people and find a Lifestyle Partner that allows you to interact with people of different nationalities just by completing your profile.

Contact Us:

Address: 96 Mowat Ave, Ontario, Toronto, M6K3M1,Canada
Email: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Phone: 4165385457
Website: https://www.heathenmatch.com/
submitted by heathen_match to u/heathen_match [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 21:47 WorkingInOttawa Ottawa Job Listing: Eastrock Equipment Inc.: Heavy Equipment Sales Representative

EastRock Equipment Inc is a Heavy Equipment Dealer representing Furukawa Rock Drills, Furukawa Breakers, and the full Doosan Equipment line.
In the Fall we are moving to our brand-new full-service dealership in Vars, Ontario.
This position specializes in the sale and rental of Heavy Equipment, Breakers and Demolition tools.While there are some primary functions, we need the right candidate to be able to perform immediately, we are most interested in finding the right person with a ‘can-do’ attitude.
This roll is best suited for an individual who is Customer focused, enjoys taking on new challenges, solving problems, working in a collaborative team environment.Duties include, but are not limited to:Daily territory management; Establish new accounts through cold calling prospects and site visits; Keep current oncustomers’ business activities, needs and react appropriately while understanding market conditions and local competitor pricing.Sell new and used whole goods product within the designated sales territoryKeep current on product knowledge and equipmentPrepare customer status reports, including but not limited to sales call activity, closing, follow –up, and prospect reports as requiredRequired SkillsStrong Bilingual – French and English – Read, Write and SpeakMust be up to date with Technology usages; SalesForce usage considered an asset.Good Organizational and Time Management SkillsHigh energy, self-starting and highly motivated.Must have a Recent Clean driver’s abstractSales industry experience and/or comprehensive knowledge of rock drilling machinery, breakers and heavy equipment considered an asset.College or University graduate considered an assetBenefits & Compensation:Competitive base salary (negotiable, based on experience)Great commission structureSmall company atmosphere with the resources of a large size DealershipRRSP matching, medical, dental, vision, paid vacation, long-term disabilityJob Types: Full-time Salary plus Commission, Permanent
The post Eastrock Equipment Inc.: Heavy Equipment Sales Representative first appeared on Working in Ottawa.
from Working in Ottawa https://ift.tt/2SbuVuC
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2020.09.30 05:22 WoefulKnight 2020 Elections Information and Links

Well, tonight seems about as good of a night as any other to remind everyone to VOTE on Nov. 3rd.
Here's some information about local races (which are just as important as the national and state elections).
https://www.citybigbearlake.com/index.php/newsroom/news-events/333-2020-municipal-election-november-3-2020
https://www.sbcountyelections.com/

Important Dates to remember:

The deadline to register online or by mail is Oct. 19.

Available locations to Vote Early:

San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office:
777 E. Rialto Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Hours:
Monday, October 5 - Tuesday, November 3
Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, October 12 - Closed in observance of the holiday
Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Town of Apple Valley Recreation Center
14955 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley, CA 92307
Hours:
Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30
Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Joshua Tree Community Center
6171 Sunburst Street
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Hours:
Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30
Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Toyota Arena
4000 East Ontario Center Pkwy
Ontario, CA 91764
Hours:
Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30
Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
San Bernardino International Airport Domestic Terminal
105 North Leland Norton Way
San Bernardino, CA 92408
Hours:
Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30
Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hook Community Center
14973 Joshua Street
Victorville, CA 92394
Hours:
Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30
Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Other Important items Amid COVID-19

Quick Links:

submitted by WoefulKnight to bigbear [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 21:58 matthewkoehler How to Address the Toronto Housing Crisis While Benefiting Both Homeowners and Renters, and Without Costing Taxpayers a Dime.

The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Toronto was $2,013 for September 2020 according to Rentals.ca. With the most recent data provided by Statistics Canada showing a median monthly pre-tax income of $2,883 in 2018 for Toronto, this equates to $2,361 after taxes. Leaving a very comfortable $348 left for all other expenses. Clearly something needs to be done to address the affordability crisis in this city.
With a moderate increase in density in residential neighbourhoods we could significantly increase the supply of new rental units. A bylaw change which allows for one additional storey in residential neighbourhoods provided the additional square footage is allocated to a rental unit is one way in which this could be accomplished. See *link* for more detail on how this can be done.
There are 341,755 single- or semi-detached homes in Toronto, with the number increasing to 846,405 when considering the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). By promoting the construction of one rental unit per home we can apply a sustained downwards pressure on rental rates across the city for years to come.
This policy will tackle the housing crisis without the need for increased government spending, a factor which is especially important given the record ballooning debt of both Ontario and Canada.
One of the key benefits to this policy is that it benefits both renters and homeowners, a critical consideration when attempting to garner political support.
Benefits to Homeowners of Constructing a Rental Unit Under Proposed Program
1 - Providing a new source of monthly income.
2 - Providing a viable long term housing solution for elderly family members, children, individuals with special needs and others.
3 - Increasing the value of your home.
4 - Retaining all of your current living space, while being allowed to build higher to accommodate a rental unit. See *link* for more detail.
Below you will find economic, social and environmental reasoning for this policy.
Economic Reasons
1 - Expanding the labour force capable of contributing to housing supply.
2 - Reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies.
3 - By allowing for stick frame construction up to 4 stories we allow for construction methods of approximately 30-35% lower cost in comparison with typical Toronto condominiums.
4 - Stabilizing the cost of doing business in Toronto.
5 - Fostering a competitive marketplace in the construction industry.
6 - Supporting thousands of well paying construction jobs in the city of Toronto.
Social Reasons
1 - It is detrimental to social cohesion to allow housing costs to rise to the point where many Torontonians are unable to live in the city.
2 - The neighborhood in which you grow up is one of the most statistically significant predictors of socioeconomic status later in life. Segregating Toronto neighborhoods based on wealth inhibits socioeconomic mobility as well as eroding social trust in our society.
3 - Helping to create more livable communities.
Environmental Reasons
1 - Combating climate change and protecting the health of local ecosystems.
Informative links
Examples of Other Governments Taking Similar Approaches
submitted by matthewkoehler to urbanplanning [link] [comments]


2020.09.28 21:18 normancrane Iris [3/3]

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 <-- You are here.
I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.

Iris

“What if the whole universe was a giant garden—like a hydroponics thing, like how they grow tomatoes and marijuana, so there wouldn’t need to be any soil, all the nutrients would just get injected straight into the seeds or however they do it—or, even better, space itself was the soil, you know how they talk about dark matter being this invisible and mysterious thing that exists out there and we don’t know what it does, if it actually affect anything, gravity…”
She blew a cloud of pot smoke my way that made me cough and probably gave her time to think. She said, “So dark matter is like the soil, and in this space garden of course they don’t grow plants but something else.”
“Galaxies?”
“Eyes.”
“Just eyes, or body parts in general?” I asked.
“Just eyes.”
The music from the party thumped. “But the eyes are our planets, like Mars is an eye, Neptune is an eye, and the Earth is an eye, maybe even the best eye.”
“The best for what? Who’s growing them?”
“God,” she said.
I took the joint from her and took a long drag. “I didn’t know you believed in God.”
“I don’t, I guess—except when I’m on dope. Anyway, you’ve got to understand me because when I say God I don’t mean like the old man with muscles and a beard. This God, the one I’m talking about, it’s more like a one-eyed monster.”
“Like a cyclops?” I asked.
“Yeah, like that, like a cyclops. So it’s growing these eyes in the dark matter in space—I mean right now, you and me, we’re literally sitting on one of these eyes and we’re contributing to its being grown because the nutrients the cyclops God injected into them, that’s us.”
“Why does God need so many extra eyes?”
“It’s not a question of having so many of them, but more about having the right one, like growing the perfect tomato.” I gave her back the joint and leaned back, looking at the stars. “Because every once in a while the cyclops God goes blind, its eye stops working—not in the same way we go blind, because the cyclops God doesn’t see reality in the same way we see reality—but more like we see through our brains and our eyes put together.”
“Like x-ray vision?” I asked.
“No, not like that at all,” she said.
“A glass eye?”
“Glass eyes are fake.”
“OK,” I said, “so maybe try something else. Give me a different angle. Tell me what role we’re playing in all of this because right now it seems that we’re pretty insignificant. I mean, you said we’re nutrients but what’s the difference between, say, Mars and Earth in terms of being eyes?”
She looked over at me. “Are you absolutely sure you want to hear about this?”
“I am,” I said.
“You don’t think it’s stupid?”
“Compared to what?”
“I don’t know, just stupid in general.”
“I don’t.”
“I like you,” she said.
“Because I don’t think you’re stupid?” I asked.
“That’s just a bonus. I mean more that you’re up here with me instead of being down there with everyone, and we’re talking and even though we’re not in love I know somehow we’ll never forget each other for as long as we live.”
“It’s hard to forget being on the surface of a giant floating eyeball.”
“You’re scared that you won’t find anyone to love,” she said suddenly, causing me to nearly choke on my own saliva. “Don’t ask me how I know—I just do. But before I go any further about the cyclops God, I want you to know that you’ll find someone to love and who’ll love you back, and whatever happens you’ll always have that because no one can take away the past.”
“You’re scared of going blind,” I said.
“I am going blind.”
“Not yet.”
“And I’m learning not to be scared because everything I see until that day will always belong to me.”
“The doctors said it would be gradual,” I reminded her.
“That’s horrible.”
“Why?”
“Because you wouldn’t want to find someone to love and then know that every day you wake up the love between you grows dimmer and dimmer, would you?”
“I guess not,” I said.
“Wouldn’t you much rather feel the full strength of that love up to and including in the final second before the world goes black?”
“It would probably be painful to lose it all at once like that.”
“Painful because you actually had something to lose. For me, I know I can’t wish away blindness, but I sure wish that the last image I ever see—in that final second before my world goes black—is the most vivid and beautiful image of all.”
Because I didn’t know what to say to that, I mumbled: “I’m sorry.”
“That I’m going blind?”
“Yeah, and that we can’t grow eyes.”
This time I looked over, and she was the one gazing at the stars. “Before, you asked if we were insignificant,” she said. “But because you’re sorry—that’s kind of why we’re the most significant of all, why Earth is better than the other planets.”
“For the cyclops God?”
“Yes.”
“He cares about my feelings?”
“Not in the way you’re probably thinking, but in a different way that’s exactly what the cyclops God cares about most because that’s what it’s looking for in an eye. All the amazing stuff we’ve ever built, all our ancient civilizations and supercomputers and cities you can see from the Moon—that’s just useless cosmetics to the cyclops God, except in how all of it has made us feel about things that aren’t us.”
“I think you’re talking about morality.”
“I think so, too.”
“So by feeling sorry for you I’m showing compassion, and the cyclops God likes compassion?”
“That’s not totally wrong but it’s a little upside down. We have this black matter garden and these planets the cyclops God has grown as potential eyes to replace its own eye once it stops working, but its own eye is like an eye and a brain mixed together. Wait—” she said.
I waited.
“Imagine a pair of tinted sunglasses.”
I imagined green-tinted ones.
“Now imagine that instead of the lenses being a certain colour, they’re a certain morality, and if you wear the glasses you see the world tinted according to that morality.”
I was kind of able to imagine that. I supposed it would help show who was good and who was bad. “But the eye and the tinted glasses are the same thing in this case.”
“Exactly, there’s no one without the other, and what makes the tint special is us—not that the cyclops God cares at all about individuals any more than we care about individual honey bees. That’s why he’s kind of a monster.”
“Isn’t people’s morality always changing, though?”
“Only up to a point. Green is green even when you have a bunch of shades of it, and a laptop screen still works fine even with a few dead pixels, right? And the more globalized and connected we get, the smoother our morality gets, but if you’re asking more about how our changing morals work when the cyclops God finally comes to take its eye, I assume it has a way to freeze our progress. To cut our roots. Then it makes some kind of final evaluation. If it’s satisfied it takes the planet and sticks it into its eye socket, and if it doesn’t like us then it lets us alone, although because we’re frozen and possibly rootless I suppose we die—maybe that’s what the other planets are, so many of them in space without any sort of life. Cold, rejected eyes.”
From sunglasses to bees to monitors in three metaphors, and now we were back to space. This was getting confusing. The stars twinkled, some of them dead, too: their light still arriving at our eyes from sources that no longer existed. “That’s kind of depressing,” I said to end the silence.
“What about it?”
“Being bees,” I said, “that work for so long at tinting a pair of glasses just so that a cyclops God can try them on.”
“I don’t think it’s any more depressing than being a tomato.”
“I’ve never thought about that.”
“You should. It’s beautiful, like love,” she said. “Because if you think about it, being a tomato and being a person are really quite similar. They’re both about growing and existing for the enjoyment of someone else. As a tomato you’re planted, you grow and mature and then an animal comes along and eats you. The juicier you look and the nicer you smell, the greater the chance that you’ll get plucked but also the more pleasure the animal will get from you. As a person, you’re also born and you grow up and you mature into a one of a kind personality with a one of a kind face, and then someone comes along and makes you fall in love with them and all the growing you did was really just for their enjoyment of your love.”
“Except love lasts longer than chewing a tomato.”
“Sometimes,” she said.
“And you have to admit that two tomatoes can’t eat each other the way two people can love each other mutually.”
“I admit that’s a good point,” she said.
“And what happens to someone who never gets fallen in love with?”
“The same thing that happens to a tomato that never gets eaten or an eye that the cyclops God never takes. They die and they rot, and they darken and harden, decomposing until they don’t look like tomatoes anymore. It’s not a nice fate. I’d rather live awhile and get eaten, to be honest.”
“As a tomato or person?”
“Both.”
I thought for a few seconds. “That explanation works for things on Earth, but nothing actually decomposes in space.”
“That’s why there are so many dead planets,” she said.
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2020.09.28 03:15 matthewkoehler Argument Against Single Family Zoning

Looking for any feedback on how to improve this document, thanks.
How to Address the Housing Crisis While Benefiting Both Homeowners and Renters, and Without Costing Taxpayers a Dime.
The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Toronto is $2,013 for September 2020 according to Rentals.ca. With the most recent data provided by Statistics Canada showing a median monthly pre-tax income of $2,883 in 2018 for Toronto, this equates to $2,361 after taxes. Leaving a very comfortable $348 left for all other expenses. Clearly something needs to be done to address the affordability crisis in this city.
With a moderate increase in density in residential neighbourhoods we could significantly increase the supply of new rental units. A bylaw change which allows for one additional storey in residential neighbourhoods provided the additional square footage is allocated to a rental unit is one way in which this could be accomplished. See *link* for more detail on how this can be done.
There are 341,755 single- or semi-detached homes in Toronto, with the number increasing to 846,405 when considering the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). By promoting the construction of one rental unit per home we can apply a sustained downwards pressure on rental rates across the city for years to come.
This policy will tackle the housing crisis without the need for increased government spending, a factor which is especially important given the record ballooning debt of both Ontario and Canada.
One of the key benefits to this policy is that it benefits both renters and homeowners, a critical consideration when attempting to garner political support.
Benefits to Homeowners of Constructing a Rental Unit Under Proposed Program
1 - Providing a new source of monthly income.
2 - Providing a viable long term housing solution for elderly family members, children, individuals with special needs and others.
3 - Increasing the value of your home.
4 - Retaining all of your current living space, while being allowed to build higher toaccommodate a rental unit. See *link* for more detail.
Below you will find economic, social and environmental reasoning for this policy.
Economic Reasons
1 - Expanding the labour force capable of contributing to housing supply.
2 - Reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies.
3 - By allowing for stick frame construction up to 4 stories we allow for construction methods of approximately 30-35% lower cost in comparison with typical Toronto condominiums.
4 - Stabilizing the cost of doing business in Toronto.
5 - Fostering a competitive marketplace in the construction industry.
6 - Supporting thousands of well paying construction jobs in the city of Toronto.
Social Reasons
1 - It is detrimental to social cohesion to allow housing costs to rise to the point where many Torontonians are unable to live in the city.
2 - The neighborhood in which you grow up is one of the most statistically significant predictors of socioeconomic status later in life. Segregating Toronto neighborhoods based on wealth inhibits socioeconomic mobility as well as eroding social trust in our society.
3 - Helping to create more livable communities.
Environmental Reasons
1 - Combating climate change and protecting the health of local ecosystems.
Informative links
Examples of Other Governments Taking Similar Approaches
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