Speed dating i San Francisco Bay Area

BTWH Frequently Asked Questions

2020.10.23 08:16 Killer_The_Cat BTWH Frequently Asked Questions

Gameplay
Q: When will the mod release?
A: We plan to release a demo set in the New England region first, before an initial release later. There are no firm release dates for either: we will announce them when we get closer to release. (If you would like to speed up this process, you should join the mod! :P)
Q: Is the rest of the world on the map?
A: The map only covers North America: Canada, the United States, Mexico, and portions of the Carribean and Central America.
Q: I noticed that Alaska and Hawaii aren’t on the map. Will they eventually be on the map?
A: In a later update, although that might not be on release.
Q: Will Canada/Mexico/the Rest of North America have content?
A: Yes, there are plans for the entire map to have content. This probably won’t happen in the initial release, however.
Q: Will there be a new tech tree?
A: Yes.
Q: Will this mod be more gameplay-focused (like Kaiserreich) or more narrative-focused (like TNO)?
A: This is primarily a narrative-based mod, perhaps even more so than TNO. However, that doesn’t mean we’re ignoring gameplay - we aim to design the story and gameplay in a way which compliment each other.
Q: How long does the mod last?
A: The mod starts on May 1st, 1969. It is planned to run until the mid-80s (provisionally, May 1st,1985.)
Lore
Q: Why is a civil war happening?
A: Check the initial Dev Diary. TLDR: A series of corrupt and reactionary presidents drive the civil rights movement underground, decentralizes the federal government, and lays the seeds for a military coup which destroys the foundation of American democracy.
Q: What is the Denver Government?
A: The Denver Government constitutes the remnants of the federal government that have retreated to their new base in Denver. It is one of the central factions in the mod.
Q: Where is (X historical figure) in the mod?
A: Wait and see, and make sure you’re watching the teasers on discord! Part of the fun of BTWH is seeing historical figures both obscure and renown within the context of a civil war.
Q: How do all these movements have so much support?
A: We use the 12x rule as a rough estimate- meaning that any radical organization has about twelve times their original number. The much more chaotic and violent political atmosphere of the BTWH timeline has led to a corresponding growth of support to militant left and right wing organizations. The average person is not necessarily more radical than our timeline - they are just more willing to accept violence as a means for social change.
Q: Why are the south and midwest different colours to the rest of the starting map?
A: They are part of the Governor’s Pact and Midwest Civil Defense Alliance, respectively, alliances designed to contain the uprisings facing their territories. Due to the immediate threat to the state governments, they are unable to act in complete accordance with the Denver Government. They still de-jure recognize their authority however.
Q: What are all of these red spots on the starting map?
A: These are the various revolutionary movements that exist at the start of the game, the:
A large variety of new organisations and revolts can show up dynamically later during the game, of course.
Q: What’s the difference between the new and old left?
A: The Old Left tends to be more skeptical of what is nowadays described as identity politics (feminism, black nationalism, gay rights, etc). Additionally, the New Left almost universally rejects reformism, tends to be skeptical towards the “United States” as an entity, and is highly devoted to the ideology of Mao Zedong and Jiang Qing.
Q: What’s the point of divergence (PoD) for this mod’s alternate history?
A: Hubert Humphrey is unable to deliver his renowned speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention (in OTL), which leads to a split between southern and progressive factions within the party over civil rights. This results in a far stronger Progressive Party than in OTL, a loss for Truman to Dewey in the 1948 elections, and subsequent MacArthur-backed nuclear strikes on China and the DPRK in the Korean War.
Q: What is happening in Cuba?
A: During the Goldwater presidency (see Dev Diary I), a full-scale invasion of Cuba took place. Cuba starts under a US-aligned administration, but has an active insurgency.
Q: What is happening in St. Pierre and Miquelon? Will France have content?
A: At one point in development there was extensive content planned but the lore was judged to be too outlandish to incorporate - so unfortunately there is no French content.
Q: Who leads China in the mod?
A: Chairwoman Jiang Qing, the wife of Mao Zedong (who died in the atomic bombing of Beijing during the Korean War).
Q: Who leads the Soviet Union at start?
A: Nikita Khrushchev.
Q: Who leads the Denver Government at the start of the mod?
A: John W. McCormack, a Democratic politician who took over the presidency in the aftermath of McGovern’s resignation (see Dev Diary I).
Q: Who are the ‘Funny Sword People’ or ‘CSAL’?
A: The CSAL (The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord) are a Christian fundamentalist organisation that will feature in the mod.
Q: Are all the characters within the mod real people?
A: Yep! Every single person given a full name is a real person who lived within the time period. Some of them might be pretty obscure, however - there are quite a few leaders who don’t have wikipedia pages.
Team Structure
Q: Who is the lead dev? Who came up with this idea?
A: Laura (@anarchomastia on discord) is the lead dev of BTWH.
Q: Wait, is she that one-
A: Yes, she is that CHAZ person.
Q: How do I join the team?
A: You can apply as either a writer, a coder, or an artist using the dev application sheet!
Q: I applied but I never heard back!
A: We tend to onboard applicants based on our present needs. We often go back through older applications and ask if folks are still interested in working on the team - it’s all about if we have a specific project for you to get to work on!
Q: If I join the team, will I be able to implement (X) idea I had?
A: Woah there cowboy! New factions and lore isn’t implemented by individuals - this is a collaborative project, and so our lore and setup is ultimately collaborative too. Especially as a new team member, you won’t be able to implement all the pet projects you want - you’re gonna have to run things by our regional coordinator and lead developer. If you can make a case for it fitting within the theme, lore, and setting of the mod, it might just get a stamp of approval.
Another important thing to note: BTWH isn’t a memefest - it aims to be a relatively serious narrative-focused mod, and so anything implemented can’t just be for the memes - it has to be based on real life political movements and people! If you want to implement something super wacky to the mod, you should wait til release and make a submod!
Community
Q: What is a “yooper”?
A: Yoopers are the inhabitants of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (sometimes referred to as “Superior”). They have gained notoriety among the BTWH community due to their rather humorous flags and merchandise that publicize the area, often proclaiming “AMERICAN BY CHOICE, YOOPER BY DA GRACE OF GOD”. This has led to quite a few memes based off of these flags and “yooper culture” in general.
Q: ...Solanas?
A: Valerie Jean Solanas (1936-1988) was an American lesbian feminist and activist, most notable for writing the SCUM Manifesto and for her attempted murder of pop artist Andy Warhol in 1968. Her rather esoteric feminist beliefs (notably advocating the abolition of men through various means including eugenics and the medical altering of the mind) has lead to quite a few in-jokes about her and her ideology. She co-leads a radical feminist faction in NYC in the mod.
Q: Why are there so many trans people in the community? I’m not complaining, just, wow.
A: Yeah, we’re not sure either.
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2020.06.22 00:49 BotheredEar52 Weekly Discussion #3 - City of San Francisco

Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word 'Frisco'... shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor - Alleged proclamation by Emperor Norton
 
San Francisco is a historic city that serves as the primary hub of Northern California. It is both a city and county, and is the densest American city aside from New York City. The city has a population of roughly 900K, and a size of about 47 square miles. San Francisco is located on the tip of a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The city is very hilly, with a mild Mediterranean climate. San Francisco became a major city during the Gold Rush era, where it served as Northern California's primary port. With its role in shipping vastly reduced, San Francisco is now a major hub for finance, tourism, and information technology. In 2018 34% of San Franciscans commuted by transit.
San Francisco is shaped like a square. The downtown financial district is based around Market Street, which extends Southwest from the historic port in the Northeast of the city. Aside from the densely populated areas around Market, major neighborhoods include the Richmond District, Mission, and the Sunset. The city's limited industrial base and mainline rail are found along the East coast of the peninsula. Much of the coastline has been expanded through landfill, as has Treasure Island, located at the midpoint of the Bay Bridge. The streets attempt to force a regular grid upon San Francisco's hostile topography, but are broken by exceptionally large hills in the middle of the city. San Francisco was home to some of the first Freeway Revolts. The only complete Interstate through the city is I-80, which runs through the Eastern part of the city, connecting to the Bay Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge connects the city to Highway 1, which runs through the Western neighborhoods as an at-grade boulevard.
San Francisco is generally considered to be part of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, which also includes the major cities of Oakland and San Jose. We'll discuss those cities, as well as the suburbs of the Bay Area, in future posts.

Transit Network

Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway)

Bus + Rail Map
First founded in 1906, the municipal transit company had acquired its privately-owned competitors by the 40s. San Francisco's steep hills necessitated extensive transit infrastructure, such as streetcar tunnels, cable cars, and trolleybuses. Much of this infrastructure could not be repurposed for or replaced by automobiles or diesel buses, enabling Muni to preserve historic services when most American cities did not. Muni focuses almost entirely on local service, with a number of other agencies providing trips to areas outside the city limits.

Muni Metro

Metro Map
As the modern incarnation of San Francisco's historic streetcar system, the Muni Metro serves roughly 150,000 riders a day, making it the second busiest light rail system in the US. Prior to COVID-19, all lines ran through a subway under Market Street. The system primarily serves the Western half of the city, tunneling under the hills to reach these residential neighborhoods. The exception is the relatively new T line, which is a more modern light rail alignment that serves the East coast of the city. The placement of the Muni Metro's lines is largely a historical accident: the only lines that survived were those that ran in tunnels. Because of this, dense neighborhoods like the Richmond are not served by rail. Additionally, since all lines are routed through a single pair of tracks under Market, reliability is a major issue. The Central Subway project, expected to finish in 2021, will go some of the way towards solving these issues. A number of other proposed expansions could finally bring rail service to the entire city. In the immediate future, a modified operation plan will provide reliable service as Muni and San Francisco reopen.

Muni Bus

Note that COVID-19 has resulted in major cuts to bus service. Though Muni intends to return service to roughly its former state, that date is still a long time away.
With much of the city unreachable by rail, buses serve roughly 3/4 of Muni trips. Prior to COVID-19, Muni operated a dense grid of high frequency routes. Buses are fairly slow due to heavy traffic, though this is somewhat mitigated by all-door boarding and extensive bus lanes. In order to cope with steep hills, Muni maintains an extensive trolleybus system, which accounts for about a third of all bus trips. Though Muni provides high-quality bus service by American standards, many corridors are approaching the limits of what buses can do. The 38 route runs articulated buses along Geary Street every two minutes at peak times, and they're at standing room only. Both Geary and Van Ness Streets are slated to have BRT service, but these routes are busy enough to justify heavy rail.

Other Service

Muni operates a heritage streetcar service along Market Street and Embarcadero using surface tracks. Designated the E and F lines, they are popular among tourists but operated as legitimate transit, with high frequencies and ridership. The famous cable cars, on the other hand, have a different fare structure and are primarily tourist attractions.

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

System Map
BART is the primary regional transit provider for the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Built in the 70's, it connects San Francisco to most of the other cities in the Bay. It is an absolutely critical piece of infrastructure, carrying more people between Oakland and San Francisco than the parallel Bay Bridge. However, BART was intended to be more extensive than it ended up being. This is partly why Muni lacks a rail line along Geary, as it was planned to be covered by a BART branch to Marin. Though recent expansions have brought BART to many key areas, it now struggles with issues of core capacity. A second tunnel between Oakland and San Francisco has been proposed as a solution. Though BART is primarily a regional transit system, it makes several stops along Market Street and in other parts of the city, and therefore serves as a useful urban subway for SF residents. BART also connects San Francisco to its two closest airports, SFO and OAK.

Caltrain

System Map
Caltrain connects San Francisco to San Jose via the Peninsula, connecting the Bay's two largest cities along a corridor with minimal BART service. From its roots as an obsolete commuter line, incremental upgrades have brought express service and skyrocketing ridership. Future upgrades associated with the California High-Speed Rail Project will electrify the line and extend it to a more centrally located station underneath the Transbay Transit Center.

Regional Bus Service

Before BART was built, interurban trains stopped in San Francisco at the Transbay Transit Center via the Bay Bridge. Those tracks are now paved over, but the building is still a major hub for bus service. AC Transit runs buses between SF and the East Bay, while Golden Gate Transit connects to Marin and the rest of the North Bay. SF lacks an Amtrak station, but Amtrak Thruway coaches connect to train stations in San Jose and the East Bay. Note that there are plans to bring Amtrak to SF via a tunnel from the East Bay. Intercity buses like Greyhound stop at the Transbay Transit Center as well.

Ferries

Ferries were once dominated the Bay Area, but after the bridges went up they declined in importance. They have had a slight resurgence recently due thanks to their immunity to choked bridge traffic. Golden Gate Ferry and San Francisco Bay Ferry stop at the San Francisco Ferry Building, a grand building comparable to the historic train stations found in other American cities.

Ratings

+ Dense and highly walk/bikeable city
+ Frequent service throughout the city
+ Many stops have shelters and countdown timers. All-door boarding is standard
+ Extensive fleet of zero-emission LRVs and trolleybuses
+ Strong commitment to historic preservation which boosts local tourist industry
+ Strong integration between local and regional transit. All regional bus and rail lines connect directly to Muni Metro
+ Fast and reliable regional rail services with high ridership
+ Modern and appealing bus terminal
- Poor accessibility, many trolleybuses and all LRVs are high floor. Many surface Muni Metro stops board in the middle of the street
- No rapid transit connection to dense neighborhoods like the Richmond and Chinatown
- Not enough dedicated ROW, packed trains and buses are often stuck in traffic
- All Muni trains routed through single subway, no redundancy
- No regional rail to North Bay
- Poor fare and schedule integration between the numerous transit providers
- Unaffordable housing forces commuters to live outside the city, in places poorly served by transit
- Standard fares of $2.50 are somewhat high

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2020.06.18 18:15 MikeTysonChicken r/NFL Top 100 of the 2019 Season - #60-51

Welcome to the reveal for players ranked 60-51 for this year’s NFL Top 100 Players for the 2019 Season!

Players whose average rank had them land in places 60-51 are on this portion of the list revealed today. Players are associated with the team they finished 2019 with.
Below you will see write-ups from rankers summarizing the players' 2019 season and why they were among the best in 2019. Stats for each player are from this season and are included below. Additionally, their previous ranks in this long running series are also available for all of you.
Methodology
LINK TO THE HUB POST WITH A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY
  1. A CALL FOR RANKERS just after the Super Bowl.
  2. Rankers for each team nominated players to rank. 10 Games Played Minimum Threshold. Players are associated with the team they finished the 2019 Season with.
  3. The Grind. Utilize ranking threads for individual rankers broken up by positional group. Users were tasked with ranking players within the following tiers based on their evaluation: T-25, T-50, T-100, T-125 based on 2019 regular season only. There were no individual case threads. There were no arbitrary position limit caps. Just questions and rankings.
  4. Users submitted their individual Top 125 list. Ranking out to 125 is new for this year.
  5. User lists were reviewed for outliers by me with assistance from two former rankers. Users were permitted to correct any mistakes found. Once complete, lists were locked.
  6. Reveal the list… right now.
So now, without further ado, here are the players ranked 60-51 in the NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season!

#60 - DeForest Buckner - Interior Defensive Line - San Francisco 49ers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R 66 52
Written By: scmsf49
DeFo may not have replicated his gaudy numbers of 2018, but for the first time in his career, he didn’t have to do everything. He finally had a true edge rusher to take advantage of him eating double teams, and for about 30% of snaps, he had two of them, and paved the way to the quarterback for both.
Buckner was again an integral part of the pass rush unit in San Francisco, and even if he wasn’t throwing up double digit sacks again, opposing offenses were aware of his impact and contributions. One team was really aware, and they traded a first round pick for Buckner (who would have been difficult to retain at his price point) and immediately made him the 2nd highest paid defensive tackle in the game (you know the first), and it isn’t a decision they’re likely to regret.
There aren't many interior defenders capable of chasing down a mobile quarterback in open field. The loss of Buckner will definitely be felt at first, and it's going to be tough to see him shoveling the grass at Lucas Oil, but the trade was necessary to maintain cap flexibility, and could end up being a rare win-win deal for a guy who is consistently among the best at his position, and has fantastic fashion sense. Losing Buckner on the field is devastating, but his role in the community can't be disregarded, either. He was present at nearly every charity event or community outreach program the team organized. Buckner is not only a great player, but a great person, and he'll be missed in San Francisco.

#59 - Joe Thuney - Offensive Guard - New England Patriots

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R
Written By: KingDing-a-Ling13
The Patriots offensive line took a step back in 2019, largely a result of constant injuries. Joe Thuney bucked that trend, though. Thuney stood as a lone bright spot on the line for the entire season, breaking out while playing one of the most overlooked positions in the game. Since his rookie year of 2016, dependability has been his calling card, starting every game of his career, including all 16 in 2019, providing some much needed stability to the Pats. After his 2018 and 2019 seasons, Thuney has established himself as more than just dependable, but as one of the top pass-blocking guards in the league. He first really put himself on the map in Super Bowl LIII, where he played a huge role in neutralizing Aaron Donald. He built off of that new attention, earning himself All-Pro Second Team honors from both the AP and PFF. He was PFF’s 4th ranked guard overall with a 77.4 rating across the regular season, and had his highest rated game of the season in a divisional loss against the Titans (not considered in the rankings). There’s not many sexy stats to throw out for lineman, but how about no penalties, one sack allowed and 16 total pressures allowed across 1140 offensive snaps, the second most out of any guard last year? Good for a 98.7% pass blocking efficiency, third best out of guards last year? Those are some sexy blocking numbers, and watching Thuney play is some hot blocking porn.
Going into 2020, it’s not hard to fathom Thuney’s play actually improving. With center David Andrews returning after missing all of 2019 to lead the o-line, every piece should run smoother, allowing for better overall play across the line. Even if injuries tear the line up again, you can count on Thuney being there to start every game and every snap, and remain a constant force against opposing IDLs.

#58 - Casey Hayward - Cornerback - Los Angeles Chargers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/R N/R N/R N/R 42 12 N/R
Written By: milkchococurry Chargers
When Casey Hayward was signed by the Chargers in 2016, he was considered an adequate to good slot corner that the Packers felt wasn’t enough to retain him. The Chargers gave him a chance and he made the most of it and then some. Coming into the 2020 season, Casey Hayward is considered one of the premier coverage cornerbacks in the NFL, spending most of his time on the perimeter locking down the opposing team’s WR1.
From a pure statistical standpoint, Hayward may appear to have regressed in some areas on the surface. His 2 interceptions in 2019 are a far cry from the 11 total INTs he racked up in his first two seasons with the Chargers and his 32 combined tackles are the lowest he’s had in any full season that he’s played. However, his coverage traits are as sharp as ever. Hayward was only targeted 47 times in his 944 snaps on the field last season, making him perhaps the least targeted cornerback in the NFL, if not one of the least. Hayward allowed 26 receptions and 329 receiving yards, both very low numbers for a starting cornerback. But what makes Hayward stand out among cornerbacks in the league is this number: 58. That’s the number of yards after the catch that Hayward allowed in 2019. Yup. 58. That’s it. If a receiver managed to make a catch against Hayward, that was pretty much as far as he went.
Hayward will enter the 2020 season on the second year of a three-year contract extension that averages over $11M per season. His deal puts him among the highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL, but new contracts have pushed Hayward’s deal out of the top 10 for AAV. If Hayward continues to be the anchor for a Chargers secondary that appears as one of the strongest in football, he will be a highly coveted (and highly compensated) asset that the Chargers would be remiss to let leave like the Packers did four years ago.

#57 - Dak Prescott - Quarterback - Dallas Cowboys

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R
Written By: slayer1791
This past season Dak Prescott finished 2nd in passing yards, 4th in passing touchdowns, tied for 1st with the most 400+ yard passing games and was 4th in deep passing performance. Even his warm-ups took the league by storm. Overall, it was a very good season for Dak. As I am sure everyone will agree, his 57th spot in our rankings is well deserved.
2019 saw Dak take a major step forward in his game. His next gen stats from 2018 compared to 2019 show how his performance throwing to multiple areas of the field greatly improved, even if his WRs dropped a league high 46 passes. On straight drop back passes (no play action fake) Dak was 70.1% accurate, which was good for 1st in the NFL. Dak’s pocket presence also greatly improved as he was able to reduce his sack total from 56 to 23 and fumbles from 12 to 6. No more did Cowboys fans have to watch the Cowboys get to the opponents 35 yard line only for Dak to take an unnecessary sack and drop them out of field goal range.
Dak was given the chance to air it out a lot more this past season. A vast majority of his passing yards came when games were well within reach. Of his top 4 passing efforts: vs Vikings 397 yards, vs Giants 405, vs Detroit 444 and vs Green Bay 463, only one of those games were the Cowboys in catch-up mode. In fact, Dak was 4th in the NFL in passing yards when the game was within 10 points in either direction. He was asked to shoulder a significantly higher portion of the load vs years past and was successful, even if his coaching staff did their best to get in his way.
Some examples of Dak’s improved ball placement can be seen here and here. He was far more willing to make difficult throws With all of his passing improvements, he still proved to be a very good runner.
In 2020 Dak will be one of the highest paid players in the NFL. With an improved coaching staff, there will be even more pressure on him to elevate his game. Cowboys fans will be anxiously awaiting to see how much more distance Dak can put between himself and Wentz in next year’s top 100 rankings.

#56 - Tyrann Mathieu - Strong Safety - Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R N/R 10 N/R N/R N/R
Written By: DTSportsNow
Number 56, not bad for someone who was coming into his 3rd team in 3 seasons. Mathieu spent 5 years with the Cardinals before taking a 1 year deal with the Texans. There he went on to have a good but not great season, then the Chiefs came in and paid Mathieu an (at the time) league leading average salary contract for a safety. Some fans derided the signing calling Mathieu overpaid. But within less than a year of signing, Mathieu has already more than proved his value.
One of the things that makes Mathieu so valuable is his leadership skills, and in 2019 the Chiefs were looking for a new leader for their new defense. He stepped in right away playing 1080 total defensive snaps, 32 more than anyone else on the team. Those snaps were important too, in a new defensive scheme you need time to adjust. During the first 10 weeks of the season Mathieu was graded as just the 40th highest graded safety. Over the last 7 weeks he graded out as the 3rd highest safety. He finished with the 3rd lowest passer rating allowed (70.0) and 6th lowest yards per snap allowed into coverage (0.90) in slot coverage. Proving to be one of the best defensive players in the league.
As a strong leader and playmaker, Mathieu is the heart of the Chiefs defence. Going into a season where new players coming in may not get a lot of in person practice together, it’s important for players like Mathieu to be a guiding force. Not long after the draft Mathieu reached out to his new teammates offering whatever help they might need in their transition to the pros. With a Super Bowl ring and a recent all-pro designation, I don’t think he’ll have any problem getting them to listen.

#55 - Lane Johnson - Offensive Tackle - Philadelphia Eagles

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R N/R N/R N/R 22 80
Written By: MikeTysonChicken
Lane Johnson is one of the quintessential check the tape players in the NFL especially when you are talking Offensive Line play and PFF grades. Listen, Offensive Line play is hard to rank, grade, and just flat out evaluate. I'm not going to bullshit you and say that I am some expert, but I am also not going to sit here and say that PFF got it right when their pass blocking grade for Lane Johnson has him as the 20th rated tackle in their metrics (50% snap threshold). Lane Johnson is, and was for 2019, one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL regardless of position. His ability as a pass blocker, especially given what the team asks of him and his level of execution, puts him in a rare territory for modern NFL tackles. His run blocking ability is also tremendous, which did happen to be reflected in his PFF grade. Middle of this list is fine considering the missed time; but make no mistake, Lane Johnson was having another All-Pro caliber season in 2019.
A big part of what makes Lane Johnson so dominant is his athletic ability. As a blocker in the run and pass game, Lane has fine-tuned his abilities and possesses an arsenal of pass rush moves to give the opposition fits on a regular basis. He's also one of the best pure athletes in the NFL; being able to combine the technical proficiency and nuances of offensive line play with an ability to physically outmatch all of your opponents is a rare gift. Knowing all of this, Lane is tasked with much more than most tackles in the NFL. Lane is routinely left on an island to block the edge. This is a huge plus for the Eagles as it allows the offensive staff the ability to line up the tight ends and utilize the RBs in different ways since they can rely on Lane to consistently win 1v1 outside. It also allows them to send help to the other side of the line, whether via alignment of slide-blocking. He also communicates well with the rest of the offense and is able to easily pick up other blitzes. This was just effortless. It's just easy for him at all times.
Lane Johnson is a consistent performer against all competition. Check out this vertical set he used against Leonard Floyd. The athleticism to move like that is tremendous and that ability to anchor just erases opposing rushers with ease. He can even make Khalil Mack look ordinary. As a run blocker, Lane's athletic ability affords the Eagles the opportunity to have a diverse run game. They can do outside zone, inside zone, duo, traps, etc. They can also do it from a variety of packages and formations. He has the power to execute combo blocks while climbing to the second level effortlessly in the same play. His excellent agility and anchor allow him to seal off the backside with ease. He's also not afraid to send players like Ryan Kerrigan to the shadow realm. Take about burying a dude, sheesh.
All in all, Lane Johnson was just as dominant as he has been throughout his career, arguably having his best season to date. Unfortunately, like a lot of other Eagles, his season was cut short by injury when he was rolled up on. His value to the Eagles this past season and moving forward is vital to their success. He allows the Eagles staff the luxury of being able to just let him hold down the right side with limited worry. This is especially pertinent right now with the recent loss of Brandon Brooks (injury) and a changing of the guard at left tackle with Andre Dillard. Lane is in rare company among today's greats along the offensive line and belongs on this list for 2019.

#54 - Dalvin Cook - Running Back - Minnesota Vikings

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R
Written By: TheSwedew91
Dalvin Cook is coming off a career best year and was a major reason the Vikings found so much success on offense. But alas, it was still a year that included him being banged up and missing significant time, which likely kept him from being ranked higher. Instead of trying to extrapolate what could have happened if he would have stayed healthy, I thought I would just highlight area's he still managed to excel at despite playing injured and missing time. He was 4th in the league in rushing TD's. Despite not being a big bruising back, Dalvin scored the majority of his TD's in the redzone. Here he is showing great patience following blockers and making cuts in tight spaces against the Falcons in week 1. He was ranked 5th most elusive RB by PFF largely due to his 11 yards per catch after reception, and 3 yards after contact per rush. As this tweet points out, the way his feet cut and churn generate tremendous lateral quickness and power, a rare combination in any back.. Using the metrics of 10+ yard runs, 10+ run %, and 15+mph % per run, Dalvin was second in the league in explosiveness according to NFL.COM. Here he is exploding up field for a big gain against the Raiders. He gets into the secondary SO quickly after hitting the hole it's hard for anyone to react before he is already gained 15 yards. And, here he is showing that top end speed against the Packers for a 75 yard TD. And it’s not just PFF and NFL.com who like Dalvin. According to Football Outsiders Dalvin was 5th in yards above replacement. The last aspect of Dalvin’s rushing ability I will touch on is Dalvin’s second effort after contact. According to Rotowire Dalvin was 7th in total yards after contact, 6th in % of yards after contact, and 7th in average yards after contact. Here he is against the Lions turning a tackle for loss into a 15 yard gain with a combination of power, balance, and those little feeties churning away. As with most RB’s on this list, Dalvin is also a serious threat in the passing game, he just did it a little differently than most. According to Airyards.com, Dalvin was dead last in air yards at -94, 3rd in receiving yards after the catch, and 6th in total receiving yards. Here is Dalvin making literally half the Redskins defense miss on a screen pass for a big gain. In an attempt at brevity and to tie it all together, [here is what I thought was one of Dalvin’s most complete games, and one that really showed his game changing ability. It was a Week 10 showdown Vs the Cowboys during primetime and he led the team in both rushing yards at 97 yards, and in receiving at 86 yards in a pivotal win for the team. His performance was so dominant, him and Zeke traded jersey’s after, with Zeke signing his “Go Get That Bag $$”.

#53 - Marlon Humphrey - Cornerback - Baltimore Ravens

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R 94
Written By: robdog1330
Heading into 2019, there were high expectations for Marlon Humphrey after he played well in both his rookie and sophomore season. He exceeded those expectations this past season as one of the best young defensive backs on one of the league's top defenses. Humphrey posted career-highs in a lot of statistics; interceptions (3), forced fumbles (2), fumble recoveries (3), and tackles (65) just to name some of them. Humphrey, who was a 1st Team All-Pro at the DB spot, also had 14 passes defended and allowed a passer rating of 74.9 when thrown at. One of his best moments came against the Patriots (who were undefeated heading into their Week 9 SNF showdown with Baltimore) when he recovered a Julian Edelman fumble and returned it 70 yards to the house. With his best season yet in his third one, I think Humphrey is going to continue to be one of the biggest names at corner next year and for years to come, especially if you add in that he's going to be turning 24 in July.

#52 - Earl Thomas - Free Safety - Baltimore Ravens

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
61 5 9 21 76 63 N/R
Written By: UnbiasedBrownsFan
Last offseason the Ravens were able to strike gold by adding the quintessential free-safety in Earl Thomas. Thomas returned with a vengeance after breaking his leg in 2018 and proved to be a catalyst for an improving Ravens defense. His coverage ability didn't skip a beat, as he was able to earn picks against the GOAT Ryan Fitzpatrick and eventually Tom Brady. I mean, just watch him snap back up and speed away after snagging that pick. You would've thought he saw his wife in that endzone. But even with his coverage ability, the Ravens decided to take a new approach with Earl Thomas this season, playing him in the box more than he had his entire career in Seattle.
And it paid dividends for both the Ravens defense and Earl Thomas. Earl got to check off getting a sack on his career bucket list and he also added 6 more QB hits, more than the rest of his career combined. Just look at this hug he gave to Ryan Tannehill. They're so close you'd think they were brothers! Of course, these are just additions to his uber athleticism, which has allowed him to excel his entire career.
He just hasn't lost a step, and his mind is only growing sharper, allowing him to diagnose plays and cut off the ball carrier with the same viciousness he displayed as a part of the Legion of Boom. That sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability has made him into a Johnny-on-the-spot turnover machine his whole career and I don't expect that to change in Baltimore. And now I'll have to watch him roam the middle of the field twice a year for the foreseeable future... Goddammit, I wish we got Earl Thomas...

#51 - Terron Armstead - Offensive Tackle - New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R N/R 45 N/R N/R 73
Written By: Dahki
Just shy of the top 50, we have another member of the Saints impressive 2019 O-line. Terron Armstead was one of just three nominated tackles to allow no sacks during the season. Though he did miss a game due to a high ankle sprain, the seven-year vet played an incredibly solid campaign on his way to notching his second consecutive pro-bowl selection, allowing just 15 hurries. The main knock on his play this year would be penalties. Armstead was caught protecting his QBs a bit too creatively 5 times on the season.
Armstead also made his presence felt off the field. En route to being named the Saints team 2019 man of the year, he gave back to both his hometown of Cahokia, Illinois and to New Orleans by hosting back-to-school events, free football camps, and by partnering with the Special Olympics, among other efforts.

LINK TO 2019 POSITIONAL GROUPING TRACKER

LINK TO 2019 RANKER SHEETS

LINK TO HUB

submitted by MikeTysonChicken to nfl [link] [comments]


2020.06.13 20:54 ShadyApp [WTT] 2016 BMW X3 AWD Fully loaded for shinny

Howdy, PROOF
EDIT Proof w date: https://imgur.com/a/ixNKmjS
KBB ~ $24,000 will trade for 11 AGE or Buffalos or 11oz of fractional gold, or 1,100 silver rounds or 1,050 oz of gov silver (not junk) or bars. Will also consider $19k in bitcoin BTC or monero XMR. Meet in Bay Area / Northern California or ship at your expense. Thanks for looking

Selling our beautiful, black on black, FULLY LOADED, 2016 BMW X3 xdrive28i (AWD All Wheel Drive). It has very low miles at just 31,000 and is in fantastic shape. The front glass has two tiny chips and some of the doors have very small dents/scratches, normal from life in San Francisco, but the car is in phenomenal shape, newly detailed and a dream to drive.

All services done at the San Francisco BMW Dealership (have dealer records for your files).

Single owner, non smoking, the car is beautiful!

Details:
submitted by ShadyApp to PMsTradingPost [link] [comments]


2020.05.14 05:52 getsituated My ordeal with Carmax attempting to purchase a 2015 M4

A lot has happened, so I feel like this story needs a timeline. Names changed and locations removed to prevent personal information from being leaked. Skip to the end if you want a TLDR.
March 9th: Contacted a Carmax out in Georgia to give me details about a 2015 BMW M4. I did my homework, reached out to BMW dealerships about the service history, and gave the Georgia store a call to do a once-over with the car before I made the decision to pay $949 to transfer it to my local store in (Local California Carmax). The transfer put an automatic hold under my name.
At this time, I also asked for their Maxcare service. The email they sent me showed a generated maxcare report of the general car information and prices for deductibles. The information showed 2015 BMW M4, Mileage: 54,570. The payment for 100,000 miles/60 months and $500 deductible was listed as $3,559. This number was satisfactory for me and I give the okay to charge my credit card for the shipment. Well worth finding the car in the exact spec I wanted.
March 12th: The car shipped out from Georgia to Local California Carmax.
March 17th: Local California Carmax informed me that shelter-in-place closed the down indefinitely.
Fast forward a few months of being without a car and for the most part, rationing take-out and dried pasta. It’s fine, but I miss the grocery store and going on drives to vent.
May 3rd: The San Francisco Bay Area announced that they would extend the SIP mandate at least another month and I reached out to Local California Carmax to consult about my options. They confirmed that it doesn’t look like Local California Carmax or any other Bay Area location will be opening up in the “forseeable future”. At this point, they recommended that I transfer it to their other California Carmax Location (I'll be referring to this as CA Carmax 2), which is a good 2.5 hours round trip to and from San Francisco. That sucks, but I’ll deal with it. I agreed to have it transferred to CA Carmax 2 from their local storage facility, where their cars were held during shelter-in-place. I was connected with employee 1 (let’s call him Mike) of CA Carmax 2 to continue this process. At this point, I was told it would take up to 4 days to transfer the car to CA Carmax 2.
May 8th: It has been 4 days, so I reached out to CA Carmax 2 on the morning of the 8th about the status of the car and was told somebody would call me back regarding it. Nobody called me.
May 9th: I reached out to CA Carmax 2 again on the morning of the 9th about the status of the car, still nothing, I was once told I’d receive a call back. Nobody calls back. I called back a half hour before the store closed and was finally able to reach somebody to provide an answer. Employee two (let’s call her Rachel), told me the car had arrived and that they needed to handle the paperwork and “get the car ready”. That’s fine, I could wait a little longer because I need to get my car next Saturday at the very latest.
May 11th: Mike finally contacted me and while frustrating, it was decided that unless I wanted to sign the purchase contract sight unseen, then I would have to make one trip out to test drive/view the car and a second trip to pick up the car later on. Annoying, but I get it.
Following this call, I was curious and checked the Carmax app, it turns out that the bay area stores have somehow opened up again for appointment only. Basically, I transferred the car 1.5 hours away for nothing. I didn't want to go through the hassle of another transfer, so I just stuck with the game plan of arranging another ride to CA Carmax 2.
May 12th: I told Mike that I would be showing up to the CA Carmax 2 on May 13th to view and test drive the car. He gives me the okay.
May 13th: It’s been frustrating up to this point, but justifiable because of the difficulty that COVID-19 has caused everybody, but today is what set me off. I walked into CA Carmax 2 today at 2:45PM and was immediately told that Mike took the day off and that test drives had a 2.5 hour wait time. They tried to turn me away by saying they were no longer taking test drives.
I was not happy about this and stated that it was unacceptable considering the ample time I had provided for Mike to let his team know I was coming in. Thankfully, Rachel was there and overheard the conversation, she remembered my difficulty in reaching anybody at the store and has been super helpful, so she tried to speed the process up on the test drive for me. I ended up waiting 30ish minutes and test drive the car. It drives amazing and the condition is as-described! Fantastic! I asked to begin the paperwork process so we can move the ball along. Rachel assures that she will be sending me one of her favorite reps (employee 3, let’s call her Angie) to help me continue the process due to the complications I have dealt with.
I should have expected another hiccup, but this still caught me by surprise. While Angie was pulling up the numbers, there was a discrepancy.
1. Instead of the originally-stated 54,470 miles on the car, the car now has 56,832 miles. Where did this additional 2,400 miles come from? The original mileage was dated 3/9/20 and I let them charge my credit card on the same day for shipping.
2. The Maxcare warranty was now $340 more than originally quoted (from $3,559 to $3,899).
I brought this discrepancy up with Angie (she’s been great thus far), and she went to speak to her GM (let’s call him Richie). Angie comes back and lets me know the $3,899 price is the current price. I asked her why there is a mileage discrepancy and she explained that “CarMax sometimes allows their executives drive cars for up to a month before it is put out on the lot, so that might be why”. I was absolutely livid at this point. I broke it down to Angie from my point of view:
“So, some Carmax executive decides to drive the car I paid $1000 to ship here for 2400 miles before it arrived to me, and I have to pay an extra $340 in warranty because of that? Is that correct?”
Angie had no words and asked if I wanted to speak to her GM. Hell yeah, I wanted to speak to Richie. I was IRATE of the possibility of some jerkwad higher up from Carmax joyriding for 2400 miles in the car I paid $1000 to ship to me before I had a chance to pick it up.
Richie came over, and at this point, I regrettably lose my cool, raise my voice, and drop an obscenity or two. The first time I've ever raised my voice at a sales associate.
“Here’s the situation: Some fucking asshat Carmax executive decides to drive the car I paid $1000 to ship here for 2400 miles before it arrived to me, and you expect me to pay extra $340 in warranty because of that? Is that correct?”
Richie asked me to calm down and to not curse. I apologize, this whole process has tested my patience. I asked, can you explain to me why there is an extra 2,400 miles on this car that I PAID to have transferred to me?
Richie stated that what “probably happened” was that before the car was put on the lot, some executive drove the car around for a bit and put it back on the lot without updating the mileage. I paid $949 to ship a car that somebody drove around for 2400 miles without updating their records and they were going to try and let that slip by throwing on an extra $340 onto the warranty.
Richie stated that he would see what he can do and came back to adjust the Maxcare plan back to the original price. There is nothing he can do about the mileage. I will definitely be reaching out to Carmax corporate about this, but it is likely that I will just receive a long-winded excuse.
At this point, I’m fucking LIVID and if there was any other car with the same options out in the market with comparable warranty as Maxcare, I’d jump on it. Knowing how long I have waited for something like this, I just want to complete this deal and get the paperwork done. Angie helped me finish up the paperwork and we agreed to meet Saturday, May 16th for me to pick-up the car. I left Carmax at 6:30PM.
TLDR: Carmax tried to ship my car during COVID, which was fantastic, but also made this the most difficult transaction of my life. Carmax also attempted to pull off some highly questionable business practices and pass it off as normal. I am furious and exhausted, but I am also in love with the spec of this car and have invested a lot of time and research into this particular vehicle. I will pick this vehicle up but with a complete loss of respect towards Carmax and a buyer beware for everybody to keep record of the numbers that were posted in the ads, because they might just pull the switch-up on you. Carmax has sucked the joy completely away from the purchase of one of my dream cars and left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Carmax's motto is "This is what car buying should be". A car purchase should not involve an executive "borrowing" a performance car for 2,400 miles, selling it as originally recorded, and trying to pass that cost off to the customer.
submitted by getsituated to cars [link] [comments]


2020.05.03 20:00 cuteshooter California San Francisco Area Lockown Extended beyond logic says marine corps veteran

May 1, 2020 By Phillip Sprincin 7 Comments
On Wednesday, Bay Area health officials extended shelter-in-place orders through May, bringing their duration to 11 weeks. The new orders very minimally loosen restrictions to allow construction and some outdoor shops and activities, but most businesses remain closed. The announcement comes as California’s Covid-19 situation is looking better, in terms of infections, while the economic, social, and even health repercussions of its stay-at-home orders mounts. A rational cost-benefit analysis of the public-health response should encourage California and the Bay Area to begin a phased reopening.
The health situation in the Bay Area, and California as a whole, appears far from dire. Data on new Covid-19 cases show a clear flattening of the curve. The number of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in the Bay Area has dropped almost every day for a week. According to the website rt.live, the effective reproduction number (known as Rt or Re) in California, and in almost every other state, is below 1, indicating a decline in infections. The seven-day average for new infections in the Bay Area is the lowest in a month. California’s 16 northernmost counties, with a population of more than 1 million, have seen only 181 confirmed cases — a lower known infection rate than South Korea’s.
Meantime, some 26 million people have filed for unemployment nationally over the past month, including 3.2 million in California, a crushing tide of layoffs that dwarfs prior job-loss records. Almost one-third of Americans did not pay their rent this month. Businesses everywhere are struggling, with small businesses faring the worst and museums and nonprofits in jeopardy, too. Transit agencies face enormous financial losses because of lost riders. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has said that the economy is deteriorating “with alarming speed.” In a tragic irony, hospitals that worried about an overflow of Covid-19 patients are now laying off workers due to cancellation of elective surgeries and also, perhaps, sick people avoiding treatment for fear of infection. Lines at food banks are staggering. People talk openly not just of recession but depression.
Luckily, recovery should be easier than from a typical recession, since this one is a forced abnormality. Millions of people could have their jobs back tomorrow if shelter-in-place orders were eased — and as the impact of the virus wanes, it makes sense to begin lifting them, as European nations such as Norway and Austria are doing, and as Texas has begun to do. Even New York, far harder hit than California, has tentatively scheduled an end to its statewide “pause” on May 15.
Yet California shows no inclination to ease up. The statewide order has no end date. Governor Gavin Newsom refuses to set one, saying only that the end is “weeks away.” Newsom has outlined criteria to lift the order, but some of his requirements—such as sufficient hospital capacity and progress toward a treatment—are unnecessary or unrealistic. The state’s 5,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations represent a small fraction of its approximately 75,000 staffed beds. A vaccine could be more than a year away and like the swine flu virus, Covid-19 may never even get a silver-bullet cure. Neither the Bay Area nor California have put together a clear plan for reopening.
Newsom is not the only one taking a hard line. Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has stated that there “is no cost that is too high to save any one precious life.” Some infectious-disease specialists argue that restrictions should remain in place until the infection rate is nearly zero. These are impossible standards to meet, and not applied to any other danger or disease. Governor Murphy has never ordered streets and highways closed despite more than one life lost each day in New Jersey car crashes. According to the CDC, swine flu has continued to kill about 7,500 Americans each year since the outbreak in 2009. We must accept that Covid-19 will probably never go away entirely.
For some observers, the idea of quantifying human life in economic terms sounds heartless. Yet we perform such cost-benefit analyses all the time, both as individuals—when we choose between riding a motorcycle or a station wagon—and as societies—when we choose whether to put more money into cancer research or into studies of rarer diseases. Every developed nation maintains value of statistical life (VSL) measures, for use in planning, transportation, and health policies.
There are social as well as economic costs. The effects of job losses and recession fall hardest on the poor and working class. People living paycheck-to-paycheck, or without savings, are suffering most. As the economy sinks, it takes with it the livelihoods and aspirations of tens of millions of Californians. It is reasonable to argue that we cannot destroy the economy trying to stop every possible Covid-19 death. When people can’t eat, that’s a health problem, too.
There are even direct health reasons to reopen. After six weeks of shelter-in-place, cracks are appearing in California. San Francisco police broke up an illegal nightclub, surely not the only infraction. More people are circulating outside, and the size of the groups suggests that it’s no longer just roommates walking together. People are more likely to take risks the longer their confinement lasts. Far better to begin a gradual reopening, with a highly publicized campaign to encourage mitigation measures, such as wearing masks.
Another public health reason to begin to lift restrictions is that if stay-at-home orders ruin the lives of millions, they will be much harder to implement in the future. A future disease could be worse than Covid-19—the fatality rate of SARS, in 2003, was 11 percent—but resentment over a “Covid recession” might make it much harder to get people to cooperate next time.
California led the nation in shutting down, but the state is lagging the country, and the world, in opening back up. New Zealand planned its successful lockdown on the scientific basis of two incubation cycles, or 28 days. The sequence lasted slightly longer, but after 33 days, the country began a phased reopening this week. Operating on the same parameters, California could have started lifting restrictions last week. Instead of waiting four more weeks, it should start a phased reopening now.
The stay-at-home orders have been very successful and given California a relatively low infection rate despite one of the earliest exposures. Most people have complied, and local officials should trust them to behave responsibly as restrictions lift, rather than trying to micromanage their activity. And all phases of reopening would include continuing effective mitigation measures—washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing, self-isolation of at-risk people, and tracking and quarantining of those testing positive for Covid-19.
Each region of the United States has experienced the pandemic differently; a phased reopening would work differently in each place. The current approach—where largely healthy Northern California lives under the same restrictions as harder-hit Los Angeles—is not tenable. It’s time to begin the gradual lifting of shelter-in-place orders before these orders do more damage than the illness they were issued to fight.
Phillip Sprincin is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
submitted by cuteshooter to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.05.01 15:13 rusticgorilla Coronavirus response: Trump denies funeral aid as minority communities suffer without tests & treatment

Welcome, dear readers, to my coronavirus roundup. I'm posting these every Friday in addition to Lost in the Sauce on Mondays (for non-coronavirus news).
Title refers to the sections "Minorities and low-income communities" and "Trump sits on funeral aid"
TLDR pinned at top of comments
Housekeeping:

Intelligence warnings

More than a dozen issues of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) in January and February contained warnings about the novel coronavirus, its spread, and the suppression of information in China. During this period, Trump downplayed the virus and insisted it was under control.
U.S. officials emphasized that the PDB references to the virus included comprehensive articles on aspects of the global outbreak, but also smaller digest items meant to keep Trump and senior administration officials updated on the course of the contagion… One official said that by mid- to late January the coronavirus was being mentioned more frequently, either as one of the report’s core articles or in what is known as an “executive update,” and that it was almost certainly called to Trump’s attention orally.

Part of a pattern

The president did not take the warnings seriously, if he noticed them at all: Trump “routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week.”
According to then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in 2017, Trump prefers “killer graphics” in his briefings and doesn’t want too many details so intelligence officials try to “get to the core of the issue quickly.” A year later, in 2018, the Washington Post reported that even the simplified briefings were too much of a hassle for Trump:
Trump has opted to rely on an oral briefing of select intelligence issues in the Oval Office rather than getting the full written document delivered to review separately each day...Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning” ...After several months, Trump made clear he was not interested in reviewing a personal copy of the written intelligence report known as the PDB
Critically, years ago intelligence officials warned that “by not reading the daily briefing, the president could hamper his ability to respond to crises in the most effective manner.” Trump’s handling of the pandemic proves that his inability or refusal to pay attention to the intelligence briefings has harmed our country, leading to tens of thousands of deaths that could have been prevented with a faster response.

Trump blames Pelosi?

ABC News reporter Jon Karl asked Trump about the report, to which Trump responded by repeating a fake story about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Karl: “Were you warned about coronavirus back in January?”
Trump: “I think probably a lot more than the Democrats because a month later, Nancy Pelosi was saying, 'Let's dance in the streets of Chinatown.” (video)
Trump then lied about Dr. Fauci saying the virus “was no problem” in late February - Fauci did not say that - and pivoted to talking about the restrictions he placed on travel from China. Karl pressed him again on when he received warnings in his briefings and Trump said: “I would have to check, I want to look as to the exact dates of warnings.”
Trump has repeatedly lied about Pelosi’s February trip to Chinatown in San Francisco. Before any shelter-in-place orders were issued, tourism in the area had fallen dramatically amid public fears of a Chinese virus and prejudice against Asian Americans.
Pelosi while in Chinatown on Feb. 24: “I do think that because it started in China, there’s a concern that are the — is the Chinese government doing what it needed to do early enough, and now as we go forward. But that should not be carried over to Chinatown and San Francisco.”
She did not “dance in the streets” or propose a parade, as Trump has previously claimed. In hindsight, Chinatown was exceptionally well-prepared to handle the coronavirus: According to the New York Times, the community put in a place a plan of action on Feb. 1 “emphasizing frequent hand-cleaning, availability of sanitizers and education on basic hygiene principles, including frequent use of masks.” Trump, on the other hand, did not address the need for such measures until mid-March.

Man-made virus conspiracy

Last Friday, the Trump administration abruptly cut off funding for a project studying the transmission of coronaviruses from bats to humans after conspiracy theories linked the work to a lab in Wuhan, China. An official with the National Institutes of Health claimed the project does not align with “agency priorities,” but the NIH’s strategic plan for studying the coronavirus includes the exact mission of the bat project: understanding the origin and transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Suddenly ending a grant early is an unusual move for the NIH, which typically takes such steps only when there is evidence of scientific misconduct or financial improprieties — neither of which it has alleged took place in this case.
The project is run by a U.S. based nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance, which invests in health research across the world. The nonprofit has been given millions of dollars in grants over the years, most recently in 2019.
  • Scientists have studied the genetic structure of the novel coronavirus and confirmed that it is naturally-occurring: "Two features of the virus, the mutations in the RBD portion of the spike protein and its distinct backbone, rules out laboratory manipulation as a potential origin for SARS-CoV-2." There is also no evidence that a natural bat virus “escaped” a lab: “the level of genome sequence divergence between SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 is equivalent to an average of 50 years (and at least 20 years) of evolutionary change."

Rightwing media

Rightwing media in America seized on an April 11 story in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, that implied a link between these grants and the spread of the pandemic. On April 17 the story entered the mainstream when a Newsmax reporter asked Trump about the grants, framing it as an Obama Administration decision. In reality, the NIH has awarded grants to EcoHealth since 2005, which distributed the money to fund research in Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore, as well as Wuhan.
On April 26, Rudy Giuliani appeared on a New York radio show to falsely suggest that the coronavirus was created as a biological weapon, blaming Dr. Fauci and Obama for the spread:
“China for the last 10 to 12 years has been carrying on these experiments, including in this Wuhan laboratory, with animals, and actually making this virus more dangerous,” Giuliani said on the show. “You could say that’s for scientific purposes, or you could say that’s for the purpose of weaponizing them.”

Trump buys in

Days after Giuliani’s interview, the New York Times reported (non-paywalled) that the Trump administration had tasked intelligence agencies to “hunt for evidence to support” the theory that the virus originated in the Wuhan laboratory.
Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a nonlaboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.
Yesterday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - currently run by Trump loyalist Richard Grenell - released a statement refuting the conspiracy touted by Trump allies: “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified."
Current and former national security officials said they were surprised by the release, and suggested it could be a sign that the intelligence community feels it is being pulled into a political battle. The administration has been pressuring analysts, particularly at the CIA, to search for evidence that the virus came from a lab and that the World Health Organization helped China cover it up, according to a person briefed on the discussions.
Later in the day, Fox News reporter John Roberts asked Trump about the statement, who responded by casting doubt on the director he handpicked for the job:
Roberts: The Director of National Intelligence today put out a statement saying they believe [the coronavirus] was naturally occurring, it was not manmade-
Trump: Who was that-who was that who said that?
R: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
T: But who in particular? Who was the man who made that statement?
R: It was a statement from the ODNI-
T: Oh, he would know that, huh? National Intelligence. So we’ll see-
R: That would be your Director of National Intelligence, Ric Grenell
T: No I know, I think it’s - I mean you’d have to tell me who specifically, who made the statement?
R: The statement was just put out under the offices of the ODNI.
T: Okay, we’ll see. I mean, I have to see the statement. I just haven’t seen it. (video)
Roberts then redirected the question, asking:
R: Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?
T: Yes, I have. And I think that the WHO should be ashamed of themselves, because they’re like the PR agency for China... They shouldn’t be making excuses when people make horrible mistakes. Especially mistakes that are causing hundreds of people around the world to die. (video)
"And what gives you a high degree of confidence that this originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology?" Roberts asked again, later.
"I can't tell you that," Trump said. "I'm not allowed to tell you that." (video)
  • More fact-checking: WaPo "Was the new coronavirus accidentally released from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful."
  • Further reading: Reuters “Trump says China wants him to lose his re-election bid,” CNN “Trump administration draws up plans to punish China over coronavirus outbreak.”

White House testing plan

On Monday, Trump unveiled an 8-part plan to increase testing capacity across the country with the goal to reopen states. The presentation slide showed blue checkmarks indicating stage 1 “launch” and stage 2 “scale” are already complete, with only one step remaining to “support opening up again.” Conveniently for the administration, this final step is the responsibility of the governors, who must find a way to fulfill to vague mandates: "develop testing plans and rapid response programs" and "maximize the use of all available testing platforms and venues.”
"This document does nothing new and will accomplish nothing new," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement. "It doesn't set specific, numeric goals, offer a timeframe, identify ways to fix our broken supply chain, or offer any details whatsoever on expanding lab capacity or activating needed manufacturing capacity. Perhaps most pathetically, it attempts to shirk obviously federal responsibilities by assigning them solely to states instead."
The president said the federal government will be shipping states a once-per-month supply large enough to test 2% of the population. Experts say this is not nearly enough:
Paul Romer, a Nobel Prize-winning economist from New York University who has recommended that 50 percent of the population be tested each week, said testing 2 percent “is not enough to test everyone in health care even once, let alone to keep retesting them every day, which is what it would take to keep those who do get infected from going on shift and infecting their colleagues.”
At this pace, testing 2% of the population at a time, it would take almost four years to test the entire U.S. population once, assuming the supply chain problems that have plagued the federal government’s response thus far suddenly clear up.
Despite the White House’s plan, during a press briefing on Wednesday President Trump downplayed the importance of testing:
"You shouldn't be hearing about testing, but that's the last thing [the media] can complain about I guess ...We’ve done incredible with the testing... I don't know that all that [testing] is even necessary." (video)
  • Fact check: Trump has claimed on a regular basis (video) that the U.S. has “tested more than every country combined.” Even just taking the top five countries as far as cumulative number of tests, the U.S. has actually conducted about 20 million fewer tests than those five countries combined.
  • Additionally, what matters most is the per capita testing rate. The United States’ number of COVID-19 tests performed per 1,000 people is below the average of the 36 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to figures released Tuesday by the international body. The United States had conducted 16.4 tests per 1,000 people, compared to Iceland, top of the list, which had tested 135 people per 1,000.
  • More: Politico: As Trump Claims US Has Best Covid-19 Testing in the World, Capitol Physician Says He Lacks Capacity to Test All 100 Senators

Minorities and low-income communities

Meanwhile, there are still people in the nation dying after being denied a coronavirus test. A Detroit phlebotomist, Deborah Gatewood, reportedly died from coronavirus symptoms on April 17 after being denied a test four times. Her daughter told NBC News that Beaumont Hospital “said she wasn't severe enough and that they weren't going to test her...They told her to just go home and rest."
It is unclear why Gatewood was denied a test so many times, but hospitals across the country have complained of shortages of swabs, reagents and other supplies needed for testing kits, as well as delays in securing test results.
Gatewood’s story also exemplifies the disparities in testing and treatment between minorities and classes in America. From Charlotte, NC, to Illinois to Michigan, African Americans make up a disproportionately large amount of coronavirus cases compared to the demographics of the population. Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, is just 26% black, yet African-Americans account for almost half of the coronavirus cases and 80% of the deaths,
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA County health director: People who live in wealthier communities in LA County have been tested more than people who are living in communities where there is less income. (video)

Disparities

Fisher Island, a private island off the coast of Miami, Florida, is the richest ZIP code in the US, home to 800 families and staffed by over 400 workers. While the majority of Americans cannot get tested and some are denied tests even if they present symptoms of COVID-19, residents of the private island have spent tens of thousands of dollars to purchase thousands of rapid COVID-19 blood test kits that detect antibodies.
The purchase and availability of the testing are in sharp contrast to much of the rest of the state, where only about 1 percent of the population has been tested for the deadly virus that has caused a global pandemic… The tests, which are finger-prick blood tests, detect the presence of antibodies, an important aspect that could determine who has already had the disease and is likely immune… The tests haven’t been widely available in South Florida.

Trump sits on funeral aid

ProPublica reported yesterday that Trump has yet to release federal assistance specifically intended to help families cover burial costs for victims of the coronavirus.
Approximately 30 states and territories have requested the funding as the pandemic spreads across the country and struggling families ask for help burying their dead… In response to questions, FEMA stated that the decision on which programs to fund is in Trump’s hands.
...GoFundMe sites that have sprung up in the crisis show the shortfalls many families are facing. Family and friends of Devin Francis, a 44-year old radiology technician in Miami who was about to get married when he died of COVID-19 in early April, raised $4,300 of its $5,000 GoFundMe goal. Other posts cite burial costs for a father and son in New York who both died of the disease, and a chef in Chicago.

Seized supplies

VA masks

Each week we learn of more and more instances of the federal government intervening to seize supplies ordered by states and hospitals. Yet, in many cases, we still don’t know for certain where these supplies are ultimately going and why.
Last weekend, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration Richard Stone finally acknowledged the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the VA and revealed that FEMA blocked an order of 5 million masks from reaching VA facilities. “I had 5 million masks incoming that disappeared,” Stone said, adding that FEMA instead sent the masks to the Strategic National Stockpile.
VA’s four-week supply of equipment — on the shelves of 170 medical centers and in an emergency cache normally used for hurricane responses — was almost gone, and employees have held protests to say they were not safe… After an appeal from Secretary Robert Wilkie to top FEMA officials, the emergency management agency provided VA with 500,000 masks this week, FEMA said in a statement. It did not address questions about the agency’s diverted equipment orders.

Miami firefighters’ masks

Last Wednesday, the director of emergency management for Miami-Dade County (Florida)reported that a shipment of 1 million N95 face masks meant for local firefighters had been seized by FEMA. "We thought we were in pretty good shape with having that amount coming in, and they were — we were — usurped,” Director Frank Rollason said.
FEMA defended such confiscations, saying that bringing too much personal protective equipment into coronavirus hotspots can disrupt supply chains to other parts of the country. However, the White House repeatedly told state and local authorities to obtain supplies wherever they could.
At the time of writing this post, Miami-Dade county surpassed 12,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, the highest in the state.

San Francisco’s challenges

Last Friday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed held a press conference in which she described the difficulties the city has faced obtaining PPE:
“We’ve had issues of our orders being relocated by our suppliers in China,” she said. “For example, we had isolation gowns on their way to San Francisco and they were diverted to France. We’ve had situations when things we’ve ordered that have gone through Customs were confiscated by FEMA to be diverted to other locations. We know everyone is dealing with a serious challenge. Through Customs, we’ve had situations where those items have been taken and put out on the market for the highest bidder, putting cities against cities and states against states.”

Maryland guarding its tests

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was forced to turn to South Korea to obtain coronavirus test kits in early April, using his wife - a Korean immigrant - as a key lifeline for his state. Speaking about the ordeal yesterday, Hogan described the operation like a top-secret mission, hiding the planeload from the feds out of fear FEMA would confiscate the test kits.
"This was an enormously valuable payload. It was like Fort Knox to us, because it was going to save the lives of thousands of our citizens.”
Like Fort Knox, the supplies are currently at "an undisclosed location” under the protection of the Maryland National Guard and state police. "The administration made it clear over and over again they want the states to take the lead, and we have to go out and do it ourselves, and that's exactly what we did," Hogan said.

Mismanagement of contracts

In 2015, the Obama administration inked a contract with medical manufacturer O&M Halyard called for the creation of a “one-of-a-kind, high-speed machine” that could produce at least 1.5 million N95 masks per day. In September 2018, the company delivered detailed plans for the machine to the Trump administration… but Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not proceed with making the machine.
“The Halyard contract was part of an explicit strategy to ensure we could surge mask production in the next crisis,” said Nicole Lurie, who was the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response under Barack Obama. “Now we’re dealing with the consequences of not having that capability.”
HHS officials have said that there was no funding to build the machine, but the department that solicited the design had a budget of nearly $1.5 billion for 2020, according to an HHS report.

Contracts to Trump allies

In early March, Mike Bowen, the executive vice president of the medical mask manufacturer Prestige Ameritech, found the perfect way to drum up some federal business: He went on Steve Bannon's podcast, which is highly popular at the White House… A month later, at the explicit request of the White House, Prestige Ameritech had a $9.5 million contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Bannon told NBC News that his team put Bowen in touch with White House advisor Peter Navarro, who apparently facilitated the deal.
In the only other agreement with a similar notation that NBC News could find in the 11 years or so of online disclosure of federal contracts, one that was first reported by ProPublica, the Trump White House was named in March as the authority seeking a $96 million deal with the Canadian company AirBoss of America. As ProPublica reported, the deal calls for the delivery of 100,000 respirators and filters to New York and other locations by July 31, and it isn't clear why the White House was eager to award the no-bid contract to the company.

All it takes is a tweet

An electrical engineer in Silicon Valley (with 75 followers) responded to Trump’s tweet about ventilators at the end of March with his own tweet claiming he could “supply ICU ventilators.” Apparently this was all it took for the White House coronavirus to recommend the individual to New York state officials, who quickly paid Oren-Pines $69.1 million for 1,450 ventilators - at least triple the standard retail price of high-end models.
Now, a month later, not a single ventilator has arrived and the contract was terminated. New York state is trying to recover all of the money it paid the man, Yaron Oren-Pines. “The guy was recommended to us by the White House coronavirus task force because they were doing business with him as well,” said the New York state official.

Stepping up

A profile of the efforts of an ex-Google software developer to obtain medical supplies for American healthcare workers demonstrates “that this is not an impossible task and that the Trump administration has failed miserably in this mission.”
Ning Mosberger-Tang, of Boulder, Colorado, founded “Step Up in Crisis” to raise money and purchase PPE from China, despite having no previous experience in procuring medical equipment.
In late April, the first shipment of PPE obtained by Step Up in Crisis—50,000 of the surgical masks and the shoe covers—reached a warehouse in Los Angeles. The rest of the supplies are scheduled to arrive in different shipments through the first three weeks of May… Step Up in Crisis is looking to sell the PPE at its cost to hospitals that can afford to buy the supplies, but it also intends to donate some equipment to facilities that are financially strapped.
...Mosberger-Tang, an American citizen, points out that the current anti-China talk from Donald Trump and his political allies does not help on this front: “I wish the US government could be smarter in dealing with China. They know this manufacturing is in China. There is no point to calling this the ‘Chinese virus’ and irritate the Chinese government and end up not getting the equipment you need.”

FEMA stepping back

Other than seizing supplies, what is FEMA up to? The Trump administration is reportedly planning to end the role of FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in managing the federal response to the coronavirus crisis. Its responsibilities will be handed over to unnamed persons at HHS.
House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney responded:
President Trump seems to be declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ while hundreds of Americans are dying every day, communities across the country are facing critical shortages of test kits and life-saving medical equipment, and millions of Americans are out of work and need assistance. The Administration has not briefed Congress on this move and has not identified a clear, unified command structure for the continued federal response.”

Hydroxychloroquine update

Federal prosecutors are investigating a New York doctor who appeared on Fox News frequently to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The doctor, Vladimir “Zev” Zelenko, has been in touch with the White House
Zelenko came to the feds’ attention when - get this - Jerome Corsi (an associate of Roger Stone) accidentally sent an email intended for Zelenko to another “Z” name in his address book — federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, a member of Mueller’s team.
Zelinsky is tasked now with investigating coronavirus-related crimes in the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office, as part of a directive from U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr to prioritize such cases. The department already has charged a medley of fraudsters for peddling fake cures
Vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright is preparing to submit a whistleblower complaint documenting Trump’s push of an unproven anti-malarial drug. “It is expected that Bright’s complaint, when revealed, will shed new light on the political pressure exerted by the Trump administration on health officials to back up the president’s sweeping praise of the drugs as a key weapon against Covid-19.”

Further reading

States and reopening
  • On Thursday, hundreds of protestors - some armed - stormed Michigan’s state capitol to protest the governor’s use of emergency powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic: A tightly packed crowd of protesters, some carrying rifles, attempted to enter the floor of the legislative chamber, and were held back by a line of state police and capitol staff...“Let us in! Let us in!” the protesters chanted (video).
    • Friday morning, Trump tweeted his support for the armed protestors: “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”
  • NBC News: As a handful of states begin to ease stay-at-home restrictions, no state that has opted to reopen has come close to the federally recommended decline in cases over a 14-day period.
  • CNN: Florida will start to reopen May 4, but for now Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties won't be included. DeSantis said restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity.
    • Tampa Bay Times: Florida medical examiners were releasing coronavirus death data. The state made them stop. When the medical examiners’ list was available, it showed more deaths than the state’s count.
  • The Atlantic: Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice. The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.
  • WaPo: Iowa, Oklahoma and other states reopening soon amid the coronavirus outbreak are issuing early warnings to their worried workers: Return to your jobs or risk losing unemployment benefits.
  • Houston Chronicle: Texas reports most deaths in a day from COVID-19 as Gov. Abbott prepares to drop stay-home order
  • The Hill: Tennessee has highest one-day jump in coronavirus cases ahead of restaurant reopening
  • ABC news: A Michigan judge sided with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday in a lawsuit filed against her shelter-in-place order and denied the plaintiffs an injunction.
  • CBS News: A southern Illinois judge on Monday blocked Governor J.B. Pritzker's 30-day extension of the state's stay-at-home order, granting a temporary restraining order sought by a Republican state lawmaker who argued the governor overstepped his authority
  • AP: More than 50 people who voted in person or worked the polls during Wisconsin’s election earlier this month have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
  • Center for Economic and Policy Research: Meatpacking Workers are a Diverse Group Who Need Better Protections
    • Government Executive: Federal Inspectors Are Fearful, Angry About Trump's Order to Reopen Outbreak-Stricken Meat Plants. USDA is still not providing masks and is doing "absolutely nothing" to protect workers, inspectors say.
Informative reads:
  • The new coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years—until 60% to 70% of the population has been infected, a team of longstanding pandemic experts predicted in a report released Thursday.
  • Center for Global Development's Jeremy Konyndyk: it looks like US-style lockdowns are enough to freeze transmission in place (R=1) but not enough to drive it down (R<1). Which suggests that without further measures, we could remain on this plateau for quite a while... for each month we remain on the plateau, we risk losing more Americans than we lost in nearly a decade in Vietnam. If we spend May like we spent April, we will blow past 100k dead in weeks.
    • The way forward is very clear: test, trace, isolate, protect. Putting that infrastructure into place can bring down cases to a manageable level, enable us to relax lockdowns, and move to a posture of sustainable suppression. But that will be tough to deliver without the feds... We are stuck in an untenable holding pattern as long as federal leadership means vague slide decks and empty assurances rather than test kits, PPE, and accountability.
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2020.04.24 02:59 BruteSentiment Foster City Corona Virus update - April 23rd

Link

City News

Foster City Offers $10 Vouchers to All Stamp Me Customers The City of Foster City is offering free $10 vouchers to current Stamp Me customers or new customers who download the app.
Download the Stamp Me App at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, register, then join Foster City Rewards! The free $10 voucher appears in the Rewards section and can be used at any Foster City Rewards participating restaurant. Visit local.fostercity.org for more information about participating restaurants. Vouchers are only valid for take-out orders only and must be validated in-person. Please remember to practice safe social distancing (six-feet) and wear a mask or other face covering when picking-up food and validating your voucher.
Businesses interested in joining the Stamp me app can email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) for more information.
Friendly Streets, Foster City Due to the significant increase in recreational activity along the Levee Pedway, the City will be dedicating approximately a 1.75 mile stretch of road on northbound Beach Park Boulevard for bicyclists and runners. One lane will be barricaded off from cars to allow bicyclists and runners to safely use the designated detour. In parallel with the detour, please reserve this stretch of Levee Pedway for walking only. With the shelter-in-place still in effect and more users outdoors along the pedway, the goal of this effort is to make Foster City streets friendlier and safer, as well as to sufficiently provide physical space for pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists.
Starting today, April 23, the Public Works Department will work to implement the modifications. The closure will be one lane northbound on Beach Park Boulevard from Foster City Boulevard to Teal Street. That area is currently a no parking zone. All parked vehicles should be moved immediately. No turn movements will be affected. With the designated bike lane in place, the City requests bicyclists and runners to courteously use the detour and reserve the pedway for walking. Pedway walkers should exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear face coverings, particularly when passing others.
All pedway users should remember to follow the tips below so everyone may safely continue to enjoy the trail:
The City Council had voted Monday evening to implement these temporary configurations to better accommodate the need for safe, social distancing among trail users.
Levee Pedway Maintenance Beginning May 5 Starting May 5, Foster City Parks Maintenance will begin its annual weed abatement and vegetative management along the Levee Pedway. Hours of work will occur from 8:00a.m.-3:00p.m. and is expected to be completed May 7. Work will begin at the south end of the pedway and City staff will work in sections (no more than a half mile in length), closing the sections they are working on as the work is being completed. Staff will direct pedway traffic around the closure. For the safety of trail users and staff, we ask that the community proceed with caution or avoid the pedway if possible during hours of work. Hand held power equipment and other large equipment will be in use. Certified City maintenance staff will be applying herbicides to remaining vegetation to aid in the reduction of weeds. This annual work will help ensure that pedestrian and fire safety are maintained.
While work is in place, drivers on Beach Park Blvd should exercise caution and slow down as necessary along Beach Park Blvd due to the increased variety of users. Thank you for your cooperation as the maintenance work is completed! For more information or questions, please contact [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
We're in this Together
As part of Parks and Recreation's FC Fun at Home, Mondays are dedicated to motivational, uplifting 'chalk' messages. We've reserved this section of the update to spread some of the positivity and reinforce that we are all in this together.
San Mateo County Updates
The San Mateo County Stay-at-Home Order is Extended though May 3
Health Officer Issues Order Requiring Face Coverings
On April 17, San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow issued a new order requiring the public and workers at essential businesses to wear face coverings outside the home for certain activities and in places of business. Read the order here. For more information, including FAQs, click here.
Face coverings can be purchased or home fashioned from a variety of materials. They must cover only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas and should be secured to allow breathing and not require constant adjustment. Medical grade and N-95 masks are in short supply and should be prioritized for health care workers.
Any child aged 2 years or less must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation. The order does not require any child aged 12 years or less wear a face covering.
The order details requirements for businesses and drivers or operators of any public transportation, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.
Board’s Action Makes SMC Strong Funds Available to Small Businesses The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors authorized San Mateo Credit Union’s (SMCU) Community Fund to administer and distribute $1 million in Measure K funds from the San Mateo County Strong Fund to San Mateo County small businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19.
The online portal to apply for funds is expected to begin accepting applications Monday, April 27, at www.SMCStrong.org. It is anticipated that approximately 100 businesses will be assisted by the $1,000,000. All qualifying small businesses, regardless of the immigration status of the business owners, may apply.
Application information will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Decisions by SMCU’s underwriting department are expected to take seven business days from submission date.
Reminder that Property Tax Payments Must Be Received by May 4 The County of San Mateo’s deadline for the second installment of property taxes is May 4. There are a variety of ways to make payments, including online here. South San Francisco, Redwood City and Half Moon Bay locations will accept cash-only payments in person, 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m., on April 30, May 1, and May 4. You will be required to wear a face covering when paying in person. Check payments can be mailed or placed in exterior drop boxes at all locations or at the mobile drop box on Middlefield Road in Redwood City, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., on April 30, May 1, and May 4, only. More information about tax payment locations and hours can be found here.
San Mateo County COVID-19 Testing Information Online A new page on San Mateo County’s website lists COVID-19 testing options, providers and posts answers to frequently asked questions about testing. The page also provides instructions about how to isolate if you have tested positive and how to quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who tested positive. Visit the page here.
It's National Volunteer Week! This week is National Volunteer Week! If you're interested in learning more about how you can help during this difficult time, residents under the age of 60 should visit the San Mateo County volunteer page here. Through a quick survey, prospective volunteers identify their availability, how they want to help, and areas of expertise or volunteer experience. The page also lists community-based organizations and cities that are recruiting volunteers. In the short period of time since volunteer recruitment began, close to 1,800 people have stepped up and offered their time. Email your questions about volunteering to [SMC_[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Additional Resources and InformationCoping with Stress We understand this is an unprecedented time in history and it is normal to feel stress or anxiety. As we work to support and care for our family and friends, it is important that we also tend to ourselves. Learn how you can plan, prepare, and cope with stress here.
Resources
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2020.04.16 22:04 lisagreenhouse He’s been a suspect in the disappearances of at least five girls, inserted himself into missing-persons investigations, and played mind games with victims’ families and police. Is Timothy Bindner a serial killer, or is he just a creep?

Edited 7/22/2020: Disturbed Podcast recently created an episode about Timothy Bindner featuring the text from this write up. I highly recommend it--you can listen to it here: https://www.disturbedpodcast.com/bindne

Who Is Timothy Bindner?
Timothy Bindner was 43, married, and a working at a sewage treatment plant in 1991 when he first became known to law enforcement in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. While investigating the cases of several missing girls along the I-80 corridor, his name came up multiple times in conjunction with disturbing behaviors toward and regarding young girls.
Parents in the East Bay began reporting that Bindner was sending birthday cards, small gifts, and money to their young daughters, trying to strike up friendships with them. One mother gave police letters that Bindner had sent to her daughter; one was written backward so it could only be read when held up to a mirror, one contained small trinket gifts, and another contained a love poem and Bible verses with certain words underlined: “I have chosen you… be with me where I am.” When asked why he was contacting the girls, Bindner told investigators that he was being kind and that the girls were “lonely.”
During their research into Bindner, investigators discovered that in 1985 he was fired from his job as a Social Security claims processor after his boss caught him collecting the names, addresses, and birth dates of young girls in Colorado. He’d sent approximately 40 girls $50 on their 14th birthdays. When questioned, Bindner said he was mimicking a TV show in which a man surprised strangers with money, saying he thought it was “a touch of magic for the kids.” Parents complained and Bindner was fired. However, he was rehired 16 months later after an arbitrator found that he hadn’t used the records for personal gain and therefore there was no just cause in his firing.
Bindner drove a light-blue Dodge van with a vanity license plate reading “Lov You.” He’d wallpapered the inside of the van with pictures of children, Bible verse quotes, and crayon drawings. He was one arrested for trying to lure two young girls into his van, but the charges were ultimately dropped. His only other arrest and conviction was on a public drunkenness charge.
Bindner had a reputation for spending time in cemeteries and volunteering to repair gravestones, and he once had a job working in a crematorium.
Parents of missing girls reported that Bindner called or visited them to offer help in locating their children. The mothers of Amber Swartz-Garcia and Michaela Garecht (both still missing) have specifically mentioned his interference in their daughters’ cases, including searching on his own, visiting the families, and calling them repeatedly to offer his help. Bindner has downplayed the involvement, describing himself as a good Samaritan. However, families and law enforcement said that Bindner appeared to be playing mind games with them and that he seemed to enjoy taunting families into believing he was involved in their daughters’ abductions.
Angela Bugay was five years old in 1983 when she was abducted from Antioch, California. She was later found, sexually assaulted and strangled to death. Bindner repeatedly visited her grave, often late at night. He was said to have gone there more than 80 times to spend time and talk with her, and he was known to clean and decorate the grave. In an interview with a forensic psychologist, Bindner said that he liked that Angela’s photo was on her gravestone. “I fell in love with her,” he said. “You’re not supposed to be in love with a dead girl.” Investigators never considered Bindner a suspect in her murder; Angela’s mother’s ex-boyfriend was found guilty using DNA evidence. However, some investigators believe that Angela’s abduction and murder could have triggered Bindner. Days after Amber Swartz-Garcia disappeared, Bindner visited Angela’s gravesite, “kissed the gravestone and simulated a sex act,” according to FBI surveillance. Sources also say that search dogs either traced the scents of Amber Swartz-Garcia (disappeared June 1988) and Amanda “Nikki” Cambell (disappeared December 1991), to or indicated their scents at Angela’s grave. Bindner is considered a suspect in both of their disappearances.
At one point, Bindner invited Linda Golston, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, to interview him. He set the time and place for the interview—at 4:30 a.m. at the Oakmont Cemetery, where Angela Bugay was buried. During the interview, Golston said Bindner asked to play his favorite song for her—“Jesus, Here’s Another Child to Hold.” He said he thought of the missing girls as his children. He also offered specifics about how he thought the girls reacted when abducted, outlining that one was submissive while the other fought back, but he claimed that he was just guessing about their reactions. Golston also said that “He had convinced himself that he was rescuing these girls and he was delivering them to Jesus.”
In 1988 Bindner wrote a letter to police saying that he thought the next girl who disappeared would be nine years old. Nine-year-old Michaela Garecht disappeared shortly after the letter arrived. He also sent an FBI profiler a Christmas card with an image of a little girl holding up four fingers. Four-year-old Amanda “Nikki” Campbell disappeared soon after, on December 27, 1991.
He also gave police tips and offered them what he considered his special expertise in crimes against children. This included theorizing who may have taken them, why and how they were taken, and what happened to them. At least once he suggested that the killer may have disposed of the girls’ bodies in open graves at Oakmont Cemetery (the cemetery Angela Bugay is buried). His home was searched by police in late 1992, but nothing of interest was reported to have been found.
After the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, the California State Patrol gave Bindner a heroism award for assisting earthquake victims. Defenders say that this is proof that Bindner is simply a helpful guy.
In 1998, Bindner was featured in the book Stalemate by John Philpin, a forensic psychologist, which detailed Bindner’s strange behavior and the ways he inserted himself into the searches for missing girls and their families’ lives. Philpin says that Bindner willingly spoke with him for “hundreds of hours.”
In a strange twist, a man who was convicted of killing his teenage son in 2009 asked for a new trial because Timothy Bindner was a juror on his case and, according to the man’s lawyers, misrepresented himself in order to be on the jury. Prosecutors argued the guilty verdict should stand because Bindner was required to reveal that he was a person of interest in multiple crimes. One disturbing item from his time on the jury is a statement that while discussing the crime the man on trial for, Bindner gave a long explanation of choking someone and how long it would take to choke a person to death; he said that he knew the information because he’d been choked himself.
A news article covering the request for a new trial stated that Bindner was at the time 61 and living in San Pablo. It also mentioned that he’d previously been removed from a jury in the murder trial of a 17-year-old accused of killing a woman. The article also noted that he was never arrested or charged but had been nationally recognized as a suspect even though he had always maintained his innocence in the cases. In fact, he’d repeatedly said that he’d never harmed or even met any of the missing girls; he was simply “deeply affected when he heard of their disappearances and wanted to do anything he could to help.”

Potential Victims
Amber Swartz-Garcia, 7, disappeared from her front yard around 4:30 p.m. on June 3, 1988. She had been playing unattended for about 15 minutes; when her mother checked on her, she was gone. She was playing with an adult-sized leather jump rope with wooden handles that has never been located. The day after her disappearance, investigators found a pair of pink socks near a baseball diamond by the creek behind her home. The socks were found in an area that had already been searched, so investigators believe they were left there after the initial search.
The day after she was last seen, a witness claimed to have seen a white man throwing a girl that matched Amber’s description into a tan four-door car. Investigators have never been able to verify that the girl was Amber. In 1991, three years after Amber’s disappearance, a man claimed to have witnessed a bearded man force a girl into a vehicle on the day Amber disappeared. He believed the girl matched Amber’s description. Investigators said Bindner did not have a beard at the time, and they traced the reported vehicle’s license plate to an impound lot in Los Angeles. They have never said whether the child seen that day was Amber or if the vehicle is related to her case.
Bindner has been accused of being “obsessed” with Amber’s disappearance. Three days after Amber disappeared, he approached her mother, Kim, and told her that he’d been searching for her daughter. In one interview, Kim quoted Bindner as saying, “I wanted to be the one to save her. I wanted to be the one to bring her home to you.” Kim reported the contact, and investigators believed that Bindner looked like the man reported to have been seen throwing a girl into a vehicle on the day Amber went missing. Investigators asked Kim to befriend with Bindner in hopes of discovering whether he was involved in Amber’s disappearance or those of other missing children. Nothing definitive was discovered, but Bindner reportedly continued to contact Kim for years, offering his help searching for Amber.
Scent dogs traced or found Amber’s scent to/at the grave of Angela Bugay, a place Bindner was known to frequent. Investigators have never had enough information to prove Bindner was involved in Amber’s disappearance, but it is believed that he remains a suspect. The FBI extensively questioned Bindner after Amber’s abduction, including polygraph testing that was inconclusive (disclaimer that polygraph testing is not considered reliable).
In 2009, investigators said Curtis Dean Anderson, a convicted pedophile, was responsible for Amber’s kidnapping and murder. Anderson confessed in 2007 while already in prison and a month before his death. He claimed to have taken her to Arizona, murdered her, and left her body beside a highway. However, her remains have never been located, and Anderson was known to have confessed to many other crimes. He signed a statement in Amber’s case and police say they were unable to refute it, but many people, including Amber’s mother, are skeptical of Anderson’s confession.
Michaela Garecht, 9, was abducted from a parking lot in Hayward, California, on November 19, 1988. She and a friend had ridden scooters to the store to buy candy. Upon leaving, Michaela noticed that her friend’s scooter had been moved. When she went to get the scooter, an unknown white male forced her into a vehicle and drove away. Her friend reported the kidnapping right away, but the vehicle, the perpetrator, and Michaela were never located. Investigators have said that Bindner had a possible connection to her case, but no further information was ever given.
Ilene Misheloff, 13, disappeared while walking home from school in Dublin, California, on January 30, 1989. Classmates saw her taking a shortcut through John Mape Park along a dry creek bed. She was carrying a dark blue backpack and a black plastic flute case. After her disappearance, the backpack was found in the creek bed in an area that had already been searched. Investigators believe it was placed there after the search.
Tara Cossey, 12, walked to the store to buy a bag of sugar for her mother in San Pablo, California, on June 6, 1979. She was last seen inside the shopping center and never returned home. Investigators have said that Bindner had a possible connection to her case, but no further information was ever given.
Amanda “Nikki” Campbell, 4, was last seen near her home in Fairfield, California, on December 27, 1991 between 4:30 and 5 p.m. She had been playing at a friend’s house four doors down from her own home and left to ride her bike around the corner to a different friend’s house. Her brother and a friend were outside and saw her bike away. Her bike was found that evening, abandoned a few blocks from her home. Authorities searched the area but were unable to find anything other than a pair of blue children’s socks; however, they could not be confirmed to be Nikki’s.
Scent dogs traced Nikki down the street where she was last seen, through a drive-through at a local fast food restaurant, and then to the westbound I-80 onramp. Investigators believed she was pulled into a vehicle and taken. Search dogs also either traced Nikki’s scent to or indicated upon her scent at the grave of Angela Bugay, a place Bindner was known to visit. However, investigators have never had enough information to prove Bindner was involved, but it is believed that he remains a suspect. Investigators publicly named Bindner as a suspect. In 1997, Bindner won a $90,000 defamation suit against the city of Fairfield, claiming that they’d harassed him and ruined his reputation.

*It is important to note that Bindner is not the only suspect in these and other local disappearances of young girls. Several others are also suspects in many of these cases, including convicted rapists and murderers and child predators like James Daveggio and Michelle Michaud, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, Wesley Shermantine an Loren Herzog (the “Speed Freak Killers”).

Theories and Discussion
While there was never enough evidence against Bindner for his arrest, there are a lot of creepy details and actions that make him look guilty. It seems that police were never able to conclusively rule him in or out with the actual evidence available despite seriously investigating him for years and in connection to several crimes. In one article, John Philpin, the criminal psychologist who interviewed and researched Bindner for his book Stalemate, said, “This kind of accumulation of coincidence is not anything that I've ever encountered in 25 years of investigative work.”
There’s a lot about Bindner that is unsettling at best. The description of his van is disturbing, as is his obsession with Angela Bugay and her death. Writing letters to children he didn’t know and sending them money is strange behavior, and the way he inserted himself into investigations and sought out interactions with missing girls’ families is something other known killers have done. His jobs, including working at a crematorium and sewage treatment plant, also could have given him access to locations that would have easily allowed him dispose of remains.
It’s clear that someone or someones were kidnapping little girls in the area where Bindner lived in the late 1970s through early 1990s. While multiple other individuals have been arrested and found guilty of similar crimes and some disappearances have been solved, there are also many unsolved cases and girls who remain missing.
It’s possible Bindner is responsible for the disappearances of these girls and potentially others. Then again, it’s also possible that he’s psychologically off and simply has too much of a fascination with missing children. Those of us on this sub share an interest in unsolved crimes, missing people, and similar happenings, and there are individuals here and on other true crime subs that get over-involved and too passionate about certain cases (I’m specifically thinking of people who get overly passionate about learning personal details about recently identified individuals like Buckskin Girl/Marcia King or Lyle Stevik, demanding information and harassing their families and investigators). Is it possible that Bindner is simply too fixated on missing children and really does just want to help find them? Or is there a darker truth?
Let’s discuss.

Resources
ABC News story from 2006 about the missing girls and Bindner’s involvement: https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=132655&page=1

Amber Swartz-Garcia’s Charley Project profile: http://charleyproject.org/case/amber-jean-swartz-garcia
Michaela Garecht’s Charley Project profile: http://charleyproject.org/case/michaela-joy-garecht
Ilene Misheloff’s Charley Project profile: http://charleyproject.org/case/ilene-beth-misheloff
Tara Cossey’s Charley Project profile: http://charleyproject.org/case/tara-lossett-cossey
Amanda “Nikki” Cambell’s Charley Project profile: http://charleyproject.org/case/amanda-nicole-eileen-campbell

Blog post about Bindner and his connection to Bay Area cases: http://crazyinsuburbia.blogspot.com/2009/05/crime-degrees-of-separation-girls-1983.html
News article from 2009 detailing Bindner’s controversial presence on a jury, including information about his past as a suspect in kidnappings: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2009/05/08/killer-seeks-new-trial-juror-timothy-bindner-was-suspect-in-girls-disappearances/
Former post on this sub (from 2016) about the four missing girls Bindner has been connected to: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/42d3m0/four_missing_girls_and_the_man_that_searched_fo
Link to Stalemate by John Philpin, the 1997 book about Bindner and the missing girls: https://www.amazon.com/Stalemate-Shocking-Story-Abduction-Murdedp/0553762044
A thread with content from news articles about the missing girls (few articles on these cases are still available online; this source includes copy of articles no longer available): https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missing87975/abducted-child-amanda-nicole-campbell-t1877-s10.html
Lyric video for “Jesus, Here’s Another Child to Hold,” Bindner’s favorite song that he played for a journalist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dl--BWMo5A
Unsolved Mysteries featuring Amber Swartz-Garcia’s case and mentioning Bindner and the other missing girls (from 2002): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HiaTa1Mq7A&feature=youtu.be (Thanks to u/Tighthead613 for finding and posting the link in the comments below)

Disturbed Podcast (from 7/16/2020) featuring the content of this write up: https://www.disturbedpodcast.com/bindne
submitted by lisagreenhouse to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.04.14 03:11 Arbutustheonlyone 4-13 Update to Bay Area COVID-19 Growth Rate Charts

4-13 Update to Bay Area COVID-19 Growth Rate Charts
https://preview.redd.it/2fpq07460os41.png?width=901&format=png&auto=webp&s=a2b0bd15728e125c606d2e8fcd4ce12e44ee5c6e
This is a daily update of the Bay Area (formally Santa Clara County) COVID-19 growth rates. Previous postings 3-28 (initial), 3-29, 3-30, 3/31, 4/1, 4/2, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/8, 4/9, 4/10, 4/11, 4/12.
Wow, yesterday's post and intro to calculus was well received, thank you all. So today (currently) the nine Bay Area counties have reported 153 new cases for 4/11, bringing the total to 4,968. However, yesterday I said they reported 168 cases, with just 20 from San Francisco. This morning San Francisco had updated their data to show 72 cases for that day (the other counties except Santa Clara also all had smaller changes). So the total for 4/10 was in fact 225. What I believe is happening is that Santa Clara is reporting it's figures slightly differently than most others. The daily figures are the number of positive test results received on that date. Other counties such as San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda and Solano's data is the number of positive cases tested on that day. This means they are constantly revising their daily figures - as each day's batch of results comes in they are going back and adding them to the daily totals on the day the test was performed. This is probably a more accurate representation (it removes the variable test time) but it does mean that I frequently have to update the whole series of data each day and that the number of cases on any given day is likely to change. Which just goes to show we shouldn't worry too much about the daily ups and downs and instead try to just observe the longer term trends. Which have not changed over the last few days.
https://preview.redd.it/vummvfs22os41.png?width=476&format=png&auto=webp&s=7b4477e5d0d61e30f7fa31b092614344e9b5c41c
Santa Clara County reported 45 new cases today bringing the total to 1,666. This point, just like the previous 4 days is just above the model line and so the predicted zero-case day has moved out another day to May 10.
https://preview.redd.it/x844fml0zns41.png?width=897&format=png&auto=webp&s=4453cea3805ac4c2b0e01c132431c6c8c7ca9e27
https://preview.redd.it/j8yos2bzyns41.png?width=474&format=png&auto=webp&s=6738144cdda9f653250c686f51515c7e67886d4f
One of the comments yesterday asked why are the model fit is so good. This is also called 'r-squared' and it is the little figure (with a value close to 1) in the top left corner of the charts. In simple terms it is a math formula that puts a value on how close the red model line is to all the blue dots. If every dot was exactly on the line then the value would be exactly 1. The closer you are to 1 then the better the model is matching the data. Today's r-squared figure for the Bay Area chart is 0.9991 which is very close to 1, almost too close. That is to say, it's almost unbelievably good. [I'm glossing over a bunch of detail here, for those interested in how r-squared is calculated for this non-linear regression you can read this paper, I'm using equation (3)] Most of the time I would be pretty happy with an r-squared above 0.8 and I think people that do a lot of modeling for their work would generally agree. So when you see 0.9991 it looks almost too good to be true. You can just eyeball the chart and see that data is really close to the model so we shouldn't be surprised that r-squared is so good. But the deeper question is: why does the model appear to work so well in the first place? I thought I'd spend some time today to talk about that because it goes to the heart of whether or not we should pay attention to models in general and this one in particular.
There is a joke familiar to most physics students, I'll tell it briefly though it's not that funny. A farmer is having problems with his cows, they're just not producing enough milk. He has tried many things that haven't worked so finally in desperation he asks the professors at a local university if they can help him. After some time collecting data, measuring cows and inspecting grass a physics professor says he has a solution. "Great!", says the farmer. "What is it?" The professor replies, "First assume a spherical cow in a vacuum." That's the joke, but it goes to the core of a key element of models - they simplify reality. The skill is knowing what to leave out while still retaining the essence of whatever you're trying to model. A simple example to illustrate this would be modeling a car crash, a good model would certainly have the speed and weight of the car, but exclude it's color, brand of air-freshener and type of seat covering as these factors probably don't have much effect on the result of the crash.
So it seems that the current situation is really complex. We have an infectious disease that capable of spreading easily; millions of people interacting in different ways; varying susceptibility or response to exposure, some people have no symptoms while others die and quickly changing restrictions on what people can do with varying levels of compliance. But while it seems complicated the basic mechanism of generating new cases is not very complex. New cases are caused by existing cases multiplied by some probability of transmission. So from a math perspective the model is not complicated and that is expressed in the relatively simple formula I'm using to make the logistic curve. So in this case a spherical cow in a vacuum is close enough to reality to be useful. In contrast something like a weather forecasting model is incredibly complicated with thousands of variables linked by lots of complex math.
The other issue is sometimes referred to as the law of large numbers. What that means for us is that random variations cancel out more and more when you look at bigger and bigger numbers. So the fit for the whole Bay Area is better than for just Santa Clara and Santa Clara's fit is better than Marin's fit. This is because we're looking at larger numbers of cases in bigger more populated areas. Additionally, modeling the cumulative number of cases means that up days and down days cancel each other out and so that daily noise is much reduced. less noise means a better fit, the numbers end up close to the line rather than bouncing above and below it randomly.
There is a well known saying (in modeling that is), "All models are wrong, but some are useful". And that is the case here. This model will only be useful as long as the underlying mechanism stays true to its current state and that is by no means guaranteed. So for example the model shows the new cases reducing to zero sometime in mid May. But I wonder if that will really happen, I suspect that little spot fires or clusters of infections will keep springing up and will need to be contained so that may become the new 'background level'. That is not something that this model can calculate so we have to be vigilant and be ready to say it's not working anymore. That was probably more text that I was intending to write or you wanted to read so I'll leave it there for today. Stay safe.
submitted by Arbutustheonlyone to bayarea [link] [comments]


2020.04.13 02:00 Arbutustheonlyone 4-12 Update to Bay Area COVID-19 Growth Rate Charts

4-12 Update to Bay Area COVID-19 Growth Rate Charts
https://preview.redd.it/s6vvuf0ipgs41.png?width=901&format=png&auto=webp&s=17d07fd079f027e06b69be9a6e7161b5d3503108
This is a daily update of the Bay Area (formally Santa Clara County) COVID-19 growth rates. Previous postings 3-28 (initial), 3-29, 3-30, 3/31, 4/1, 4/2, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/8, 4/9, 4/10, 4/11.
On 4/10 the 9 counties of the Bay Area have reported a total of 168 new cases bringing the cumulative total to 4,724. The biggest contributor by far was Santa Clara with 82 cases (reported yesterday on the Santa Clara Chart) with just 12 from San Mateo, 20 from San Francisco, 28 from Alameda and 21 from Contra Costa.
https://preview.redd.it/0yhj2j6lpgs41.png?width=476&format=png&auto=webp&s=7d4d8f958786889bed0e78817924d4e10043e8e9
There were some questions and comments yesterday relative to passing the the peak and about the terminology around rates of change. It is quite easy to get confused with these concepts. In normal life we don't often think about rates of change and here were sometimes talking about rates of change of rates of change! The English language doesn't help, it's just not very precise and I've tried to avoid using technical language (like first and second derivatives) which while precise, many people may not understand even if they took a calculus class many moons ago.
So I'm going to attempt to use an analogy to something we all know and try to impart a better understanding of how to interpret these charts. The left y-axis of the top chart is titled "Cumulative Cases" and corresponds to the blue dots. This is the sum of all cases so far. So let's assume we are on a car journey, cumulative cases is the same as miles driven. You've been driving for 2 hours, you've traveled 100 miles so your speed over that time was 50 miles per hour. Speed is the rate of change of miles traveled (aka the 1st derivative). If we made a chart of miles driven on the y-axis versus hours on the x-axis then assuming you're on cruise control at a constant speed of 50 mph then the chart would just be straight diagonal line going upwards to the right. The slope of that line would be 50, because every hour you added 50 miles to the distance driven. In our case the number of new cases per day is exactly the same as speed. Now if we have the same number of cases per day, everyday then that is the same as keeping cruise control at a fixed speed. The chart is a straight line and it is called linear (as in 'line') growth. But in our situation we don't have linear growth, it is faster than that. What we have at the beginning is accelerating growth and this is exactly analogous to putting your foot on the gas peddle. So now were talking about how much faster your're going after pressing the gas peddle for some period of time. Let's say for example you press the gas and after 1 second your speed has risen from 50 mph to 60 mph, after another second it is 70 mph. You speed is increasing by 10 mph for every second you keep the gas peddle pressed, or to put anther way your acceleration is 10 mph per second (aka 2nd derivative). But, and here is where it gets tricky, what we have often been talking about is actually how hard you're pressing the gas peddle and whether thtn pressure is increasing or decreasing. So we're actually talking about the rate of change of acceleration (3rd derivative). One way to make this simpler is to start talking about speed (or number of cases per day), basically moving one step along the chain. The chart below is EXACTLY the same data at the top chart, but instead of charting cumulative cases on the y-axis we're charting new cases per day.
https://preview.redd.it/fq2m445cygs41.png?width=902&format=png&auto=webp&s=3a2f217ed349284143230655017bebe463f20425
The blue line is the actual data and the red line is the model. Immediately you can see what the 'peak" is and that it is behind us. So if we imagine the red line was the speed of our car on a trip what would we be doing with the gas peddle? Well if we just set a constant pressure on the peddle then we would accelerate up to a maximum speed - our change in speed would be constant and if we made the same chart it would be a straight diagonal line from 0 mph up to the maximum speed. Once we hit the maximum speed we start to apply the brake in the same way and slow back down at a constant deceleration until we're stopped. The chart of speed would look like a tent, straight line up and to the right, to a point then straight line down and to the right. But our chart above doesn't look like that, it is more rounded, the lines up and down are not straight and that means we don't have constant acceleration or deceleration - it is changing. Basically we are changing how hard we press on the gas or on the brake - so now it is possible to talk about how we're changing the pressure on the gas or the brake which corresponds to the steepness of the slopes in the chart. So lets make a chart of that.
https://preview.redd.it/pb2igl8k3hs41.png?width=901&format=png&auto=webp&s=2134fd3775d6493b9f186048bfce8e804032202e
So here you can see the English language has failed us, we are charting the Daily Change in New Cases per Day which is pretty incomprehensible. But all you need to understand is that it is chart of how hard we're pushing the gas or the brake, the bigger the positive number the harder we're hitting the gas and the bigger the negative number the harder we're hitting the brake. You can see that we start barely touching the gas, but start to press harder until we reach a maximum then we start to ease off until our foot is off completely, this is the peak speed (the point of inflection). Now we start to hit the brake, gently at first but then harder and finally easing off as our speed drops to zero.
So yesterday I was saying that we weren't slowing as fast as I though we would and by that I meant we weren't hitting the brake quite as hard as I thought we would be by now. I hope that this lengthy explanation hasn't bored everybody to tears or left math teachers and calculus professors in tears and that we can all now talk about the 3rd derivative of cumulative cases in automotive terms.
In related news, Santa Clara County reported 55 new cases today bringing the total to 1621. This is down from yesterday but not down as far as predicted earlier. Consequently the zero-case date has moved out a couple of days to May 9th.
https://preview.redd.it/nm7en7ml5hs41.png?width=897&format=png&auto=webp&s=2f94096f325c899b1ab7e1d887fc33229228ac86
https://preview.redd.it/n7j59rhn5hs41.png?width=474&format=png&auto=webp&s=fa2981b1bc3bcf0dd3c7a1216adac5a823581c44
In summary, we have learned about 3rd derivatives and that they're just a fancy name for brake peddles. The situation is much the same as it was yesterday, we are seeing slowing, but not as fast as the model predicted. Stay safe.
submitted by Arbutustheonlyone to bayarea [link] [comments]


2020.03.30 21:13 admijosco05 [RF] Old Fashioned

Sitting at a high-top chair at the bar in the restaurant I drank my drink, alone and silently. Honestly, I wasn’t a big drinker, but I like an Old Fashioned from time to time, it made me feel like I was in an F. Scott Fitzgerald book. Soft, classical music hummed in the background as I watched the ice cube slowly melt and mix like a complicated dance with the last sip of whiskey. Drops of condensation beaded down the lowball glass as I continued to acknowledge my decision.
Glancing up from my drink I gazed into the mirror of the bar. A short brunette walked through the door. She scanned the room looking for someone and began walking towards the bar. Delicately and discretely my eyes followed her over my shoulder as she got closer and closer. Quickly I looked down as she was only a few feet away. I suddenly felt a gentle touch on my shoulder. Confused, I turned around and blurted, “Hello!”
“Hi, I’m Cora. Are you Duncan?” Her voice was soft but high pitched and clearly excited, but how did she know my name?
“Yes, how…” she interrupted me.
“I’m good, just a little nervous about this whole thing.” She took off her jacket and pulled out the chair next to me. My mouth opened to tell her she had the wrong person, but she quickly continued, “I’m kind of cynical about blind dates, but I like dating apps even less.”
“Yeah, I agree,” I said in an attempt to slow her down and correct her. Duncan was a fairly unique name, but I knew I wasn’t the Duncan she was looking for. My dad was Irish and a big fan of all types of race car driving, so he named me after Duncan Hamilton, who was known for being a lively extrovert described as “fiercely independent”, “colorful”, and an “adventurer”. I didn’t inherit any of the qualities of my namesake.
Before I could tell her she had the wrong Duncan she started talking about meeting people the “old fashioned” way and how she always expected to meet a guy the way they did in movies or TV shows. Some type of meet-cute at a coffee shop or a grocery store, maybe at a concert or while reaching for the same copy of Wuthering Heights at a used bookstore. I nodded along wide-eyed and at the mention of “old fashioned,” I unintentionally looked at my drink.
“It looks like you need a refill.”
I looked at her, ready to set the record straight about her innocent mistake. She was cute, and she has incredible curly hair with an ear to ear smile. Most obvious of all was that she seemed happy. I don’t know what possessed me to say what I said next, it makes no sense, but I did. “Sure, why not!”
She waved at the bartender, Roger - who I affectionately dubbed Rog to no one but myself, came over and she asked for a Manhattan, then pointed to me and I asked for another Old Fashioned. “What a classy group we are!” She laughed and poked me in the shoulder. I gave a shy side smile back.
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Any minute now some guy also named Duncan was going to come walking through the door and I was going to look like some creep who pretended to be other people’s dates. I know I should have said something and just put a stop to this charade, but first of all, I was having a tough time stopping her from talking and from stopping myself from listening. It had been a while since I talked to someone like this and it was nice. Rog mixed our drinks and Cora dove into the Cliff Notes version of her life. Like most people living here nowadays, she was a transplant to San Francisco. She was originally from a suburb south of Tulsa and she grew up in a house alongside the Arkansas River. She told me that when she was feeling homesick, she would go to the Sutro Baths to daydream by the water and examine the graffitied run-down remains of the old public bathhouse. She said it’s what most of the mid-west looked like now.
Our drinks arrived and I studied her patiently. She was effortless, she was confident and dynamic as she resumed telling me about how she started pre-law at OU and found her calling for helping people after taking a course on Indigenous Peoples Law. She graduated, finished her law degree at Berkley and is now an Immigration Lawyer at a nonprofit.
“Wow, I’ve been going on for forever,” I didn’t care, “and I haven’t asked anything about you.” She raised her glass to her lips and took a quick sip. “So, what do you do? Where are you from? What do you do for fun?” She jokingly rattled off the questions are breakneck speed. “You know, all that good first date stuff.”
A first date.
I hadn’t been on a first date in over nine years. I don’t even know how these are supposed to work anymore and I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. Sure, I was born and raised in the Bay Area, I was an urban planner and for six years I was married to my best friend, but that wasn’t why I was sitting at this bar.
My wife, Elizabeth, and I met at a house party during my junior year at the University of Washington. She was also from the Bay and I fell for her that night. Liz, on the other hand, thought I was a huge dork but kept me around, I spent the next two years convincing her I wasn’t, and somehow, I tricked her into marrying me. Over the course of our relationship, I grew more as a person than I could have imagined. She got me to do things I never thought I could do and be someone I didn’t think even existed. She was great at that, making people feel at ease and bringing the best out of them.
A few months after we moved back to San Francisco to be closer to our families while we planned to start our family, she found a lump on her breast. We were about to go on a vacation with my parents to Ireland. She reassured me and told me that she would get it checked out once we got back in a couple of weeks. It’s a ridiculous idea, but I can’t help but wonder if we would have gone in and found out what it was before we left, we could have fixed it all in those thirteen days we missed. It’s a misguided notion and it’s not how cancer works, but it’s stuck in my head as much as the memory of sitting in the doctor’s office as UCSF Health is seared there as well. She told us that Liz had stage 4 breast cancer at it metastasized to her brain. Like a coward, I froze as Liz dived in with questions about treatment plans and the next steps. The world around me stopped until I ultimately spat out a question I shouldn’t have asked. “How long do you think we have?” I shouldn’t have asked.
The deterioration was rapid and unforgiving. She was the fiercest person I knew, and I watched my wife lay in bed not strong enough to even eat. A week after our sixth anniversary she died. I died that day too.
A funeral, a burial, endless condolences and countless offerings of prayers, months and months of monotonous going through the motions led me to this barstool. I was ready. I was ready to die. I put on a suit, slipped a $100 bill into my wallet and went to our favorite special date night spot. I would order a drink and then go home and take a handful of Ambien. Simple, quiet and bromidic, just like me.
“Are you from here?”
“Yeah, born and raised, I think one of the few anymore. I went to school in Seattle though, and moved back a few years ago.”
We went back and forth with casual banter about ourselves, our likes and dislikes, our travel dreams, odd hobbies, and our passions. Since Liz died I hadn’t done this, not just go on date, but just talk to someone. Loneliness can creep in swiftly and attach itself like a weed, unchecked it can spread without someone even realizing it’s there. I got so used to being alone and talking to myself that I completely forgot how nice it can be to make a simple human connection. Cora was a revelation to me, and she didn’t even know it. Hell, she didn’t even know who I actually was. We continued talking for about twenty minutes when she got a text message.
Duncan (BLIND)
Hi, I’m running late, be there in 10.
I only caught a quick glance, but I knew what was coming next.
She squished her face quizzically. “Is your name really Duncan?”
“It really is, but I’m the wrong Duncan. I’m so sorry, I meant to tell you when you first sat down.” I hesitated and stumbled with my words, “I just, I, I don’t even know. I’m just really sorry for the mix-up.”
With an awkward half giggle, she slid herself from the bar and lifted herself out of the chair. “Well this was…” she paused, “interesting? But I’m going to go wait for my date over there.”
I nodded and smiled embarrassedly with just my lips.
Cora wandered off to the other side of the restaurant and I went back to staring at the ice cube melting and the condensation racing down my glass. A few minutes later at tall businessman type walked in and waved to Cora. I smiled and took one final swig of my cocktail; I sat the glass down and slid the $100 bill across the bar. With a long sigh, I gripped the leather chair pushing myself out my seat and made my way to the exit.
submitted by admijosco05 to shortstories [link] [comments]


2020.03.30 07:52 admijosco05 Old Fashioned (Hello! This is my first time writing in years and I would like some feedback - I would love to know where I could add more, or if short is sweet and maybe some feedback on my beginning. Thank you for looking! 1697 words)

Sitting at a high-top chair at the bar in the restaurant I drank my drink, alone and silently. Honestly, I wasn’t a big drinker, but I like an Old Fashioned from time to time, it made me feel like I was in an F. Scott Fitzgerald book. Soft, classical music hummed in the background as I watched the ice cube slowly melt and mix like a complicated dance with the last sip of whiskey. Drops of condensation beaded down the lowball glass as I continued to acknowledge my decision.
Glancing up from my drink I gazed into the mirror of the bar. A short brunette walked through the door. She scanned the room looking for someone and began walking towards the bar. Delicately and discretely my eyes followed her over my shoulder as she got closer and closer. Quickly I looked down as she was only a few feet away. I suddenly felt a gentle touch on my shoulder. Confused, I turned around and blurted, “Hello!”
“Hi, I’m Cora. Are you Duncan?” Her voice was soft but high pitched and clearly excited, but how did she know my name?
“Yes, how…” she interrupted me.
“I’m good, just a little nervous about this whole thing.” She took off her jacket and pulled out the chair next to me. My mouth opened to tell her she had the wrong person, but she quickly continued, “I’m kind of cynical about blind dates, but I like dating apps even less.”
“Yeah, I agree,” I said in an attempt to slow her down and correct her. Duncan was a fairly unique name, but I knew I wasn’t the Duncan she was looking for. My dad was Irish and a big fan of all types of race car driving, so he named me after Duncan Hamilton, who was known for being a lively extrovert described as “fiercely independent”, “colorful”, and an “adventurer”. I didn’t inherit any of the qualities of my namesake.
Before I could tell her she had the wrong Duncan she started talking about meeting people the “old fashioned” way and how she always expected to meet a guy the way they did in movies or TV shows. Some type of meet-cute at a coffee shop or a grocery store, maybe at a concert or while reaching for the same copy of Wuthering Heights at a used bookstore. I nodded along wide-eyed and at the mention of “old fashioned,” I unintentionally looked at my drink.
“It looks like you need a refill.”
I looked at her, ready to set the record straight about her innocent mistake. She was cute, and she has incredible curly hair with an ear to ear smile. Most obvious of all was that she seemed happy. I don’t know what possessed me to say what I said next, it makes no sense, but I did. “Sure, why not!”
She waved at the bartender, Roger - who I affectionately dubbed Rog to no one but myself, came over and she asked for a Manhattan, then pointed to me and I asked for another Old Fashioned. “What a classy group we are!” She laughed and poked me in the shoulder. I gave a shy side smile back.
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Any minute now some guy also named Duncan was going to come walking through the door and I was going to look like some creep who pretended to be other people’s dates. I know I should have said something and just put a stop to this charade, but first of all, I was having a tough time stopping her from talking and from stopping myself from listening. It had been a while since I talked to someone like this and it was nice. Rog mixed our drinks and Cora dove into the Cliff Notes version of her life. Like most people living here nowadays, she was a transplant to San Francisco. She was originally from a suburb south of Tulsa and she grew up in a house alongside the Arkansas River. She told me that when she was feeling homesick, she would go to the Sutro Baths to daydream by the water and examine the graffitied run-down remains of the old public bathhouse. She said it’s what most of the mid-west looked like now.
Our drinks arrived and I studied her patiently. She was effortless, she was confident and dynamic as she resumed telling me about how she started pre-law at OU and found her calling for helping people after taking a course on Indigenous Peoples Law. She graduated, finished her law degree at Berkley and is now an Immigration Lawyer at a nonprofit.
“Wow, I’ve been going on for forever,” I didn’t care, “and I haven’t asked anything about you.” She raised her glass to her lips and took a quick sip. “So, what do you do? Where are you from? What do you do for fun?” She jokingly rattled off the questions are breakneck speed. “You know, all that good first date stuff.”
A first date.
I hadn’t been on a first date in over nine years. I don’t even know how these are supposed to work anymore and I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. Sure, I was born and raised in the Bay Area, I was an urban planner and for six years I was married to my best friend, but that wasn’t why I was sitting at this bar.
My wife, Elizabeth, and I met at a house party during my junior year at the University of Washington. She was also from the Bay and I fell for her that night. Liz, on the other hand, thought I was a huge dork but kept me around, I spent the next two years convincing her I wasn’t, and somehow, I tricked her into marrying me. Over the course of our relationship, I grew more as a person than I could have imagined. She got me to do things I never thought I could do and be someone I didn’t think even existed. She was great at that, making people feel at ease and bringing the best out of them.
A few months after we moved back to San Francisco to be closer to our families while we planned to start our family, she found a lump on her breast. We were about to go on a vacation with my parents to Ireland. She reassured me and told me that she would get it checked out once we got back in a couple of weeks. It’s a ridiculous idea, but I can’t help but wonder if we would have gone in and found out what it was before we left, we could have fixed it all in those thirteen days we missed. It’s a misguided notion and it’s not how cancer works, but it’s stuck in my head as much as the memory of sitting in the doctor’s office as UCSF Health is seared there as well. She told us that Liz had stage 4 breast cancer at it metastasized to her brain. Like a coward, I froze as Liz dived in with questions about treatment plans and the next steps. The world around me stopped until I ultimately spat out a question I shouldn’t have asked. “How long do you think we have?” I shouldn’t have asked.
The deterioration was rapid and unforgiving. She was the fiercest person I knew, and I watched my wife lay in bed not strong enough to even eat. A week after our sixth anniversary she died. I died that day too.
A funeral, a burial, endless condolences and countless offerings of prayers, months and months of monotonous going through the motions led me to this barstool. I was ready. I was ready to die. I put on a suit, slipped a $100 bill into my wallet and went to our favorite special date night spot. I would order a drink and then go home and take a handful of Ambien. Simple, quiet and bromidic, just like me.
“Are you from here?”
“Yeah, born and raised, I think one of the few anymore. I went to school in Seattle though, and moved back a few years ago.”
We went back and forth with casual banter about ourselves, our likes and dislikes, our travel dreams, odd hobbies, and our passions. Since Liz died I hadn’t done this, not just go on date, but just talk to someone. Loneliness can creep in swiftly and attach itself like a weed, unchecked it can spread without someone even realizing it’s there. I got so used to being alone and talking to myself that I completely forgot how nice it can be to make a simple human connection. Cora was a revelation to me, and she didn’t even know it. Hell, she didn’t even know who I actually was. We continued talking for about twenty minutes when she got a text message.
Duncan (BLIND)
Hi, I’m running late, be there in 10.
I only caught a quick glance, but I knew what was coming next.
She squished her face quizzically. “Is your name really Duncan?”
“It really is, but I’m the wrong Duncan. I’m so sorry, I meant to tell you when you first sat down.” I hesitated and stumbled with my words, “I just, I, I don’t even know. I’m just really sorry for the mix-up.”
With an awkward half giggle, she slid herself from the bar and lifted herself out of the chair. “Well this was…” she paused, “interesting? But I’m going to go wait for my date over there.”
I nodded and smiled embarrassedly with just my lips.
Cora wandered off to the other side of the restaurant and I went back to staring at the ice cube melting and the condensation racing down my glass. A few minutes later at tall businessman type walked in and waved to Cora. I smiled and took one final swig of my cocktail; I sat the glass down and slid the $100 bill across the bar. With a long sigh, I gripped the leather chair pushing myself out my seat and made my way to the exit.
submitted by admijosco05 to ShortStoriesCritique [link] [comments]


2020.03.16 14:31 bbwbbm The NYC subway’s new tap-to-pay system has a hidden cost — rider data

New York City’s subway system, a 24/7 behemoth that logs a billion and a half trips per year, is synonymous with archaic technology, from a signals system that dates to the Great Depression era to rail cars in service for more than four decades. The introduction last year of OMNY, a $574 million new contactless payment system for city buses and subways, bucks that trend.
However, experts say the OMNY payment scheme is rife with problems, based on the limited information about the system made public in its terms of service and privacy policy. The collection of significant amounts of information from users, including smartphone device identifiers and location, which, coupled with payment and transportation data, could be used to map out riders’ patterns of life in minute detail and create a privacy fullz.
Created for the MTA by Cubic Corporation, OMNY uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to enable tap payment at turnstiles via debit cards, smartphone payment apps, and eventually a loadable card such as those used by transit riders in London, Sidney, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Cubic has created NFC card payment systems for transit systems in San Diego, Sydney, Vancouver, and the Bay Area in recent years, and is also expected to debut mobile payment apps on the Chicago Transit Authority later this year.
This replacement for the venerable MetroCard (the magnetic stripe swipe card introduced in 1992 to replace the cvv shop token) will supposedly speed up bus service and entry to the subway system – and spare countless out-of-towners the embarrassment of not knowing how to correctly swipe in at a turnstile.
In addition to privacy concerns, there are also questions related to the security of such data, whether OMNY could be used by the MTA to unilaterally exclude people from New York City’s transit system, and language in the payment system’s terms of service that indemnifies the MTA from liability for customers being double-charged for rides.
The problems have been exacerbated by the MTA’s refusal to engage with questions about different aspects of OMNY, even as the payment system is being rapidly introduced throughout the city. By the end of 2020, OMNY validators will be in every subway station and bus in the city. Early next year, the new payment system will be introduced to the Metro North and Long Island Rail Road commuter lines.
Riders of New York City subways and buses are well accustomed to the reality that they are being tracked on public transportation. Surveillance cameras proliferated as anti-terrorism and crime measures in the years after 9/11, while MetroCard data is routinely used by police to recreate a criminal suspect’s movements.
NYPD officers and district attorney investigators have for years used judicial subpoenas to retrieve MetroCard information stored by the MTA to track criminal suspects. One such instance involved the murder of a baby boy by his father, who worked as a subway cleaner. Detectives used the man’s MTA-issued MetroCard to track his movements from Co-Op City in the Bronx to lower Manhattan, where he allegedly threw his son’s body into the East River.
However, the introduction of a payment system that ties a rider’s movements not only to their bank card, but potentially their smartphone via payment apps creates a raft of privacy and data security issues. In OMNY’s privacy policy, the MTA states that information including, but not limited to, payment information, billing address, and the point of entry to the transit system will be logged in Cubic Corporation’s servers.
Steve Brunner, Cubic’s general manager for the tri-state area, said the firm had multiple local data centers to safeguard against losing information in a catastrophic event. “If there is an outage or failure of a component at one data center, it will automatically either partially or fully roll over to the other data center,” Brunner said in an interview with The Verge last year.
In addition, the privacy policy authorizes the MTA and Cubic to retain the data for an indefinite period — the MTA claims that it stores transaction information for six months, but keeps other portions of the transaction information for up to seven years. Riders can log in to their OMNY account and review their movement history for the 90 days prior.
submitted by bbwbbm to u/bbwbbm [link] [comments]


2020.03.11 12:39 StygianSagas The Lurker on the Stairway

Cambodia was not a place I had been before, nor was it a place I had ever planned to go. This whole, disastrous expedition started when a friend of mine pitched it as a solution to my looming monetary woes. It offered me a cheap cost of living, many times lower than that I could have found back in the states; a way to continue to work for myself as a copywriter without having to seek part-time work at some soul-crushing depression factory in the service industry. Perhaps more importantly, though, she saw it as a way to force me out of my shell into more regular interactions with the world around me.
Though I have never been prodded and probed for any traditional diagnosis, I am an excessively reserved person, with a disruptive distaste for interaction with new people and places that has long dictated the ebb and flow of my days. I would not describe the way I interact with the world as fearful, but rather, disinterested. I find great comfort in stewing alone among my thoughts for long periods, undisturbed by the intrusion of anything I don’t grant permission to intrude. The king of my own keep, in a sense, with the drawbridge firmly fastened against all but the most familial and vital company.
Having seen me forced into a semi-regular schedule of public outings and social gatherings in college, my longtime friend thought this trip abroad could solve the dread of a nine-to-five job and my penchant for self-isolation in one fell swoop, allowing me fiscal security and independence on my own terms while also forcing me to do a bit of learning and exploring to find my way in a new place. Ever the schemer, she had sold the idea with a salesperson’s gusto that made her hard to rebuff, and the initial plan had been for us to go together, for she too was in search of greener and significantly cheaper pastures. The passing of her mother and the subsequent stress this placed on her family prevented this, though, and a departure together turned into a sort of delayed entry plan, with me deciding to keep my booked flight and go ahead, and her promising to follow in five or six months’ time, when things at home allowed her to operate for herself again.
The first week or so went smoothly enough. I picked up the social lubricant words –hello, please, thank you- that sort of thing. I made myself get out and see some of the museums in Phnom Penh. It was uncomfortable, the heat and my desire for quiet scratching at the back of my skull, but I was busy and entertained enough exploring temples and seeing sights to ignore it. That all changed once a week or two had passed, and I’d gotten settled in. Stripped of the excitable tourist’s fresh eyes and forgiving demeanor, the city became a different animal as experience stripped away the veneer of charm and I laid eyes upon the true face behind the mask.
The filth in Phnom Penh is omnipresent, its trash heaps ever looming and spilling into the streets while dogs run over weeks ago burst with maggots in the heat upon streets moldering after decades of neglect. The canals, murky stewpots filled with sewage and the rain-sodden garbage knocked down from the streets, stink under the heat of the sun as it rises through the day, making certain sectors of the concrete forest almost intolerable. Rats the size of a man’s forearm and roaches longer than my thumb flourish in the tropical heat amidst the murk, bold enough to leap over shoes and scuttle underfoot as pedestrians walk after dark. Wat Phnom, a well-aged jewel of a temple the better part of a thousand years old, is stalked by as many prostitutes as trinket vendors, its beauty lost in the sea of social decay. My rearing in southeastern Kentucky had taught me of poverty, but it was the utter dissolution of shame and restraint that truly shook me.
One reading this might think this is an indictment of Cambodia’s capital, but it isn’t uniquely a Cambodian problem. Cities in my home country, from New York to San Francisco to Atlanta, exhibit the same kind of disarray and filth, even if a better urban organizational structure keeps the visual horror in check. Human beings, packed in atop one another in numbers beyond tally, lose grasp of what life was like outside the towers of stone, and lose grasp of the niceties and boundaries that made existence tolerable before such terrible numbers were brought to bear. Even as the residents of such urban strongholds as Chicago or London proclaim their cultured produce of theater or art, they live existences that would make the founders of civilization weep. If whatever priest-kings raised Sumeria’s cities in the cradle of civilization could have witnessed the Phnom Penh today, they would burn their creations to the ground, to spare future generations such torment. The mouse utopia experiment comes to mind.
I should have expected such things, for I had seen cities of scale, whose occupants numbered in the millions, before. But the starry-eyed hope of the tourist combined with the sense of adventure and challenge promised by a new and uncomfortable environment blinded me to the weight of the stygian nightmare that is metropolitan life until I was already set up in my apartment with a six month lease to my name. The apartment, however, was comfortable, my landlady hospitable, and my rent spectacularly low. I resolved as those first few weeks came to an end that I would keep my head down, avoid discouragement, and get as much work done as possible while I rode out the inexpensive rent and mitigated my exposure to the outside world as much as possible. In half a year, with ten or twelve months of work under my belt in half the time, I could return to the states, either bolstered by more steady clients or stabilized by enough stored cash to keep me secure while I sought other ways to buoy my income. My friend, should she still aim to follow me then, could have the urban sprawl. I had seen more than enough already.
My existence was one of nearly monastic solitude scheduled around outings which were planned with great care to ensure the least friction possible. I left my room just once every week, to walk about eight blocks to a 24 hour grocery on a street not far from mine. During the first of these trips each month, I would stop by an ATM down a side street along the way and withdraw around four hundred dollars for rent and groceries, and on the way back, I would drop the 200 dollars owed for the month’s rent through the slot on my landlady’s door. The trips initially were plotted out to avoid the heat of the day, starting around nine at night, but after being accosted by a trio of toothless ladyboys astride a motorcycle looking for clients during one of these trips, I moved the schedule past midnight, to around two in the morning. At this hour, the residential streets were entirely empty save the occasional honking passage of a cab or motorbike, and offered me as placid an atmosphere to navigate the trash warrens as was possible, my safety from the city’s occasional knife crime ensured by the fact that I was nearly a foot taller than the tallest Cambodian man I had seen since landing in the country. I was left alone with the rats and the stray dogs to operate like clockwork, counting the paces from block to block, knowing that it would take me nine minutes out and nine minutes back to complete my grocery run.
Between these walks, in the solitude of my apartment, only the occasional Gecko scurrying in under the balcony door of the fourth-floor room to escape the heat by camping on the cool interior wall troubled my doorstep, and I didn’t mind the silent intrusion. I ate, worked out, scanned email and job-posting boards for writing contracts, and typed. My focus was so complete that I could forget the days of the week, the hour of the day, and the posturing of the world beyond, the heavily curtained windows of my room keeping the dreadful humid sun of the equator at bay. There are many who would balk at that sparse a schedule, but with the occasional call to a friend or sibling back home keeping me connected, I had all the contact I needed. I thrive in a space all my own, on my own, and with nothing save a concrete hell beyond my door to distract me, my work flourished in the months I spent holed up in Phnom Penh. Right up until I took my second to last walk, as the day of my escape closed in on me.
I had just over five weeks to go before April 22nd, my planned departure date. I began my walk, aiming for the familiar store down the street and following my route without a single hiccup, mulling over a braggadocios biography I was working on for an Indian businessman’s personal website, my mind staying as far away from the squalor of the street as was possible. The road was unusually vacant, with only one or two loud bikes sputtering past during my initial trip. My shopping was done with mechanical skill: the same twelve items bought with the same three bills, a thank you to the now-familiar night cashier, and away I went, tossing a few cashew nuts to a friendly and legendarily mangy mutt that haunted the corner a block down from the shop when he approached to greet me, as was tradition. Things only went south near the end of the trip, when I reached one of the canals on the way back.
The canal, perhaps fifteen feet deep with a stew of stagnant liquid haunting its innards, ran off to both sides, visible in either direction for a block or so before another concrete bridge similar to the one I crossed blocked my view. It abutted the road which intersected my own, and as I looked down the way to ensure no speeding rickshaws or bikes were headed my direction, a burst of motion on the bridge to my left caught my eye. My initial thought was that a mugging was underway, but as I slowed and took in the scene on the quiet streets of this sleeping quarter of the city, I quickly dismissed that possibility.
An older man, who I can remember spotting on prior walks leaning against the canal rail as he dragged on cigarettes, had been seized from behind, a large figure nearly enveloping him as they struggled on the far bridge. This figure, a man at first glance, was overstretched and disproportioned, its skin the greenish-grey color of mold and its nude form tapering from a man’s wiry torso into a writhing lower body that looked almost like a snake’s. This tail, if that’s the word to describe it, was affixed to a rusted metal beam beneath the bridge, the willowy creature having clambered up over the rail to seize its target unaware. Its massive hands enveloped the old man’s head, whatever protest or screaming might have been done muffled before it could begin. When he fell, perhaps four or five seconds after I first spotted this baffling struggle, the creature let him fall, a fleshy tongue latched to its prey following the man’s throat as he went down. It stayed there, perched on the rail, for a few more seconds as it finished its work. Then, the tongue came free with an audible pop, a spike at its end making me think of hypodermic needles or a mosquito’s proboscis. This tongue withdrew with lightning speed like a frog’s before, in one fluid motion, the creature swung back under the bridge and dropped with a muted splash into the thick soup below in the canal, the ripples of its impact invisible in the shadows cast by the street lights above.
An approaching truck, perhaps the source of its departure, rumbled past on the road along the canal, jolting me back to awareness. After a glace back up at the man on the bridge, now laying lifeless on the pavement, the gleam of the truck’s lights brought my eyes back down to the water of the canal, where two glimmering pools of yellowish light gazed at me form the obscuring shadow. I didn’t need any more motivation than that.
I sprinted across the next street and up the following four blocks, almost to my building’s locked door in an alley off the road and fumbling with the keys in my pocket before I risked a glance back down the road towards the canal. The street was empty despite the pursuit I imagined was underway, but that didn’t stop me from shouldering through the entrance the second the key was turned and tossing my bagged groceries to the floor without mind for the noise, spinning to bar the metal door at my back the second I was safely inside. I gathered them up, stormed up the steep steps winding their way through the haphazard building, and hastily unlocked my own door, suddenly painfully aware of how close my top floor apartment sits to the open exit onto the covered roof where the laundry machines sit just up the stairs. Once my own door was bolted behind me, I could catch my breath, dwell on the insanity of what had just occurred, and weigh my options.
Fast deciding there was no way a report to the local police could end well, I opted to stay silent for the moment, and tell my story in a slightly edited form should I ever be questioned, with the seemingly inexplicable nature of the attacker evaded as best was possible. I settled into my usual routine as faithfully as I could, but vexation about what had occurred kept me from being the paragon of focus that was the norm. My work suffered, and my sleep suffered more, my already nocturnal schedule now a godsend as paranoia made me dread the thought of slumber in a darkened room. There was little rational drive to fear when I was locked away in my sturdy old apartment, but the feeling of fear haunted me all the same. It was, perhaps, this heightened sense of paranoia that ballooned my awareness enough to allow me to perceive the odd sounds which infiltrated the neighborhood in the days following my sighting.
In the dead of night, hours after the early-rising city had closed its doors and dimmed its lights, a kind of cackling screech could occasionally be heard echoing down the alleys and through the streets, a far cry from the cat screams and dog barks native to the area, which themselves seemed to have been erased form the night’s ambience. The best I can do to describe it is to indicate the more otherworldly vocalizations of foxes, but these calls were of a much deeper pitch, and carried a far greater distance around the rotten city they stalked. My isolated mind invested these noises with the shape of that thing form the canal, bringing its corpse-like flesh to my imagination as a companion to every scream through sleeping Phnom Penh. This persisted throughout the next week, growing more pronounced as the due date for my rent and the dwindling food in my small kitchen marched closer by the day. When the 22nd of March came, I had formulated a plan, one I felt sure would both appease my paranoia and keep me safe and secure until my departure in a month’s time.
I would depart the building, braving the crowds, hookers, and curious children of the early evening to feel more secured against things that go bump in the night amidst busier streets, and hit the ATM, retrieving my final rent payment and the money for the month’s groceries. Then, I would buy everything I could carry at the store, cautious to ration it once I got it back to my building, eliminating the need for any more shopping excursions during my stay in Cambodia. Finally, I would slip my rent through my landlady’s door, finalizing my fortified existence until April 22nd finally released me from my self-imposed prison, all while safe from the twisted phantoms I now imagined behind every corner on the streets outside.
The walk was uneventful, but continuously slowed by my jittery scans of the world around me, each clatter of rats in the trash heaps or street stalls closing up shop for the night making my heart leap at the sound. I diverted from my road toward the ATM one block down from where I usually walked to the southerly street, not wishing to walk alongside the canal where I had seen that inexplicable sight a week prior. I still had to cross the bridge on the way over, though, a process made only slightly easier by the passage of a loud band of drunken Australian expats on their way back from a bar, the raucous laughter making it seem less treacherous. Without incident, I rounded a corner and came within sight of the ATM, glad on one level that there were no people around this little street to witness a foreigner withdrawing cash, but equally perturbed by the silence that seemed to rule this little stretch of roadway. The hum of the Khmer Rouge-era streetlights overhead seemed to strangle the honks and engine growls of neighboring streets, my footfalls sounding catastrophically loud to me in a way that I knew was imagined. I ignored my nerves, and pressed into the little booth, focusing on the task at hand.
Flying through the process of the withdrawal with practiced ease urged on by the oppressive memory of the canal just up the road from where I stood, I emerged with money stowed safely away less than a minute later. I thought I noticed, during my paranoid scan of the roadway upon exiting the booth, a flurry of motion in the direction of the hated canal, but there were several gargantuan rats running here and there upon the roadway, so it was easy to shrug this off as a peripheral misinterpretation. Still, I made with speed for the store, going about my business with the same level of calculated efficiency as I had in the ATM. Outside, I was momentarily distracted by the absence of the familiar dog that haunted the street corner, but even after shaking the tin of cashews I’d bought, he didn’t surface, and I resolved to move on. By the time I passed the canal balancing three dangerously overfilled plastic bags on each side of me like some serf hauling grain, I estimated I had made better time on this final outing than on any other walk I’d made in the country thus far. Glances to either side of me showed nothing but the stinking cauldron of refuse below, and the omnipresent thrum of engines and voices guided me safely past the water and into the home stretch of this expedition into the urban unknown. It was only in the last harrowing minutes of the trip that things truly went south.
I arrived at my building’s door, about a third of the way down an alley which led to a little courtyard of dumpsters between the adjacent buildings, and set my bags on the ground to get the door unlocked, keys fast springing to hand. It was only after I had the door open, and bent to grab the bags one more, that I thought I spied a silhouette as it jerked back around the corner. My impression was of a head and shoulders rapidly withdrawn, but as I stood there in the bluish glow of the streetlight staring after movement I wasn’t certain was real, nothing resurfaced, and I forced myself to move into the door and bar it behind me, my fortress now closer than ever. My rent dropped off in typical fashion, I brushed past and up the steep stairs, turning on and off lights at each floor to show me the way through the dark, mindful not to crush geckos spending the night in the cool stairway.
I rounded one corner, then the next, finally reaching the top floor apartment and once more setting down my bags to undo the padlock and enter my holdfast, safe from the world outside. I glanced to the rooftop doorway, thankful to see no trace of movement, and brought my bags inside, setting them right against the fridge and doubling back to lean out my door and turn off the light on the stairway. It was then that I saw it.
With the light clicked off, I turned, hand on the sturdy metal door handle, to close my apartment behind me, and as my eyes passed the moonlit canvas through the rooftop exit up the little stairway next to my door, I froze. Hanging from above the top of the doorway which had been empty just a moment before, long fingers gripping the top of the doorframe like a windowsill, was a noseless, slack-jawed face with great reddish eyes not dissimilar to those of a frog, blessedly obscured by the newly fallen darkness in the stairway. Beneath the wavering flap of skin making up its fleshy jaw, a tapering worm of pinkish sinew weaved back and forth like a snake charmer’s charge, its needle-like tip glinting with noxious spittle that dripped in moldering pools upon the tile of the stairs. The second’s hesitation felt long, halted, as if played out a half speed, but as it moved to swing itself into the stairway, I slammed shut the door in one fluid motion, the bolt being jammed into place with another.
The door, forged of heavy metal and built to deter burglars, shouldn’t budge, but I backed away none the less, expecting some terrible clatter as the thing pounded against the gatehouse of its escaped prey. Instead, silence fell, and I was left standing in my front room between the sink and the fridge, groceries forgotten, for a half hour as I listened for noises from the stairway which never came. Once I finally made myself move, I crept up to the metal door and listened. Minutes stretched on, and still, no sound came. Relenting after nearly an hour on watch by the door, I backed away, at a loss as to how I should interpret what had just happened. All I could do in that moment was to ensure the padlock holding the bolt in place on the door was fastened and the lock set into the handle was turned, put the groceries away, and dim the lights. There were just three rooms in the apartment, with the kitchen and an adjoining bathroom up front and the bedroom in the back, and it was here than I holed up for the night. The balcony door, of the same metal make as the front door, was kept permanently locked, and the bars upon the window were well positioned and close together, giving me more than enough security to feel at least mildly safe.
The night passed in silence, my mind on nothing save the rooftop doorway and that thing from the canal, until, at long last, the sun rose and the noises of the street swelled outside, allowing me enough ease to finally find sleep. Waking that afternoon from dreams stalked by rot-bathed wraiths and skittering rats, I immediately checked -and double checked- that my rationing plan was in order, and that my stored food could last me through the next four weeks. Then, steeling myself for the wait and trying my best to focus on work, I sat before my computer and pecked away at its keys, finding myself absently staring at the curtained window and pondering the streets beyond much more frequently than I’m comfortable admitting. When the sun set, stripping the thin lines of light from the edges of the curtains, I allowed paranoia to creep back in, silencing the music I had been playing and killing the loud fan in my room despite the heat, working in silence over my laptop with my ear honed for anything amiss.
The first night passed peacefully, my greatest disturbance being that those fox-like screeches had rather conspicuously disappeared from the streets outside, leaving the world beyond my curtained window an occasionally motorbike-desecrated churchyard of hushed anticipation. I planned my meals so that I did all my cooking in the front room kitchen near the stairs before the night had fallen, so the relative safety of my back room aided me in feeling at ease while I replayed in my mind the image of the slinking wretch from the canal hanging from the roof. I made an effort to sleep better the following day, settling in earlier in the morning and rising later in the afternoon, but that didn’t stop me from feeling haggard and worn by nightfall, the days of fretting starting to catch up to me. The second night would not go so smoothly.
It was two hours past midnight when I noticed a sniffing, not dissimilar from a dog’s but pitched low like that of the black bears back home, emanating from the bottom of my balcony door. It sounded once, drawing my eyes to the door in the dark, the blackness of the balcony beyond preventing me from making out any shadows cast on the small space between the door and the tiled floor. I froze and made as little sound as I could manage, ears straining for more sound. None came for fifteen or twenty agonized minutes, the air itself seeming cooler under the icy press of this terrified atmosphere. Then, a tendril of glistening flesh crept in beneath the door, snaking along the tiles like a serpent, its dark, wet form easily visible even in the darkened bedroom against the pale linoleum of the ground. The stink of the canals after a day’s boiling in the sun slunk in with it, permeating the room almost as soon as I spotted the intrusion. At its tip, the familiar pointed stinger or needle gleamed, leading its exploration of the room.
From where I sat upon my bed, situated in the opposite corner of the room from the door, I inched back upon the mattress into the furthest corner, still endeavoring to make as little noise as possible. The thing on the balcony seemed to sense this, though, and the seeking tongue made its way for the bed, bringing the worst sorts of fear-conjured images to mind. Fortunately for me, the length of the vile protrusion fell short, and after several moments of straining there against the door in vain, it was withdrawn, disappearing back out into the night from whence it came and leaving a sort of slick snail trail in its wake. The tongue’s owner did not depart, though, occasionally sniffing at the crevice over the next hour or so, seeing if its quarry would attempt to move. When dawn began to approach, the noises died away as the thing returned to whatever safe hideaway it kept during the sun’s waking hours, and I fell into a nightmare-addled sleep, continuously waking to check the balcony door and sleeping with my closed eyes honed on the entryway, ready to snap open at the faintest sound.
That afternoon, still at a loss as to how I would report such an invasion without being accused of lunacy, I took my defense into my own hands. I went about fortifying my position against this new threat, setting my suitcase against the door to obscure the crevice at the base and weighing it down with filled water bottles and Tupperware to add bulk, covering these with shoes, clothes, spare cutlery, and anything else I could find that I felt would hinder the interloper. With perhaps seventy pounds crammed into the suitcase, my mind could sit a little easier. The next few nights, the thing continued its visits, but, with its tongue rebuffed by the suitcase, its probing was limited to sniffing at the door. By the end of the first week, the stalker form the canal seemed to have moved on, with those familiar fox-like noises I had begun to attach to its jawless visage resuming their serenade out on the streets of the city, echoing to my ears now and then. Days returned to normal, my paranoia gradually receding as first one week and then another was passed in relative peace. It was not to last, though, and during my final week in the apartment, my nocturnal caller would pay me one last, unexpected visit.
Though my nights had become less dreadful, that did not mean I had grown careless. Always, I endeavored to have my lights dimmed and my apartment silenced by sunset, to have any food or water I planned to consume during the night squirreled away next to my bed, and to get any necessary trips to the bathroom out of the way while the sunlight still shone on the roof above. That evening, I had decided to shower before the night confined me to my back room, beginning around six, while the sunset had yet to deepen the hues of the horizon beyond my walls. With nights being passed without air conditioning to better acquaint my ears with the world outside the window, I valued going into what I knew would be an uncomfortably humid night clean and relaxed. I had only been in the bathroom for three or four minutes, eyes closed against the water, when the fan mounted on the wall of the little space halted, its sudden silence oddly deafening. With power outages common in Phnom Penh, I fast shook away the water and backed out of the stream from the inexpensive wall-mounted water heating system on the wall, expecting my eyes to find the bathroom dark and anticipating a drop in water temperature after the loss of electricity. The cramped space, to my surprise, was still lit.
The building was old, and I am fortunate that in the moment I didn’t just ignore the halted fan and go about my business. Perhaps, even if I didn’t consciously associate the stairs with the fan at that moment, I reflexively recalled on some deeper level how close that fan set into the wall was on the stairway walls outside to the rooftop doorway, where just one month ago some unknown wretch had writhed in search of a new feast. My real salvation, however, was that wretched stink from the canals, reaching my nose and putting my heart into a ragged sprint. I looked to my right, eyes finding the small, dust-choked fan in the wall, and what I saw there sent me stumbling out the bathroom door and slamming it behind me with the water still running. It would stay that way for nearly two days, only being switched off when my landlady walked upstairs one morning to complain about how much water I must be using. Hanging there, twitching and thrashing in an attempt to force its way through the small opening between the plastic fan blades, was the familiar sheen of that needle-like proboscis, its bulk having stopped the fan cold while its owner hung latched to the wall of the stairway outside like some twisted vampiric treefrog, invisible to me save for that insectile, otherworldly tongue.
Eventually, my departure date arrived, and I had long worried that I would exit my apartment with suitcase and wallet in hand for my final walk down the precarious stairs to collect my security deposit and make for the airport only to find my unwanted visitor clinging to the stairway roof in protest to the sunlight outside, ready to finish the job. No such terrors came to pass. I arrived home about twenty-four hours after walking out the door for the final time, staying with friends until I could secure my own place, having survived that otherworldly visitor on the stairway.
I have never, in several years spent pondering the events since, been able to piece together what that thing I saw beside the canal could have been, or why it had such a fascination with me after my chance encounter with it on the rat-stalked streets of Phnom Penh. No major news, official or unofficial, out of the Cambodian capital has commented on any strange disappearances or sightings save a blog post I stumbled on one day by an animal shelter in the city celebrating the sudden drop in the stray population in Phnom Penh, which I couldn’t help but lay at the feet- or tail, as the case may be- of a much more sinister presence than increased civic awareness.
Perhaps it was several entities, the stalking being not a symptom of singular awareness, but rather of a hungry and growing population. I find this hard to believe, though, for the number of missing exsanguinated vagrants and night workers would be monumental. Equally hard to believe is the explanation of hallucinatory paranoia, for as comforting as it would be for me to sit here safe in the knowledge that no threat had ever been posed by the sniffing at my door and the snaking tongue worming its way through the fan, I have never in any period of stress or isolation since had any analogous experience, whether waking or sleeping. Rather, I’ve been forced to accept the possibility that, heavy as it weighs on my mind and disastrous as it is to my worldview, there is something monstrous stalking the canals, alleys, and rooftops of nocturnal Phnom Penh. Mostly, perhaps, it feasts on dogs, rats, cats and chickens as it claws its way through trash and across deserted streets. But occasionally, as I obsessively scroll through news feeds and blog entries made from Phnom Penh in the dark of particularly solitary nights, I stumble across a story about declining homeless populations in Cambodia’s capital, praising the uplifting grace of this or that government or non-profit initiative, and I am inclined to wonder how often someone, lying drunk or battered on the roads to sleep, is dragged down into the waters of the canals, never to surface again.
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2020.03.11 12:30 StygianSagas The Lurker on the Stairway

Cambodia was not a place I had been before, nor was it a place I had ever planned to go. This whole, disastrous expedition started when a friend of mine pitched it as a solution to my looming monetary woes. It offered me a cheap cost of living, many times lower than that I could have found back in the states; a way to continue to work for myself as a copywriter without having to seek part-time work at some soul-crushing depression factory in the service industry. Perhaps more importantly, though, she saw it as a way to force me out of my shell into more regular interactions with the world around me.
Though I have never been prodded and probed for any traditional diagnosis, I am an excessively reserved person, with a disruptive distaste for interaction with new people and places that has long dictated the ebb and flow of my days. I would not describe the way I interact with the world as fearful, but rather, disinterested. I find great comfort in stewing alone among my thoughts for long periods, undisturbed by the intrusion of anything I don’t grant permission to intrude. The king of my own keep, in a sense, with the drawbridge firmly fastened against all but the most familial and vital company.
Having seen me forced into a semi-regular schedule of public outings and social gatherings in college, my longtime friend thought this trip abroad could solve the dread of a nine-to-five job and my penchant for self-isolation in one fell swoop, allowing me fiscal security and independence on my own terms while also forcing me to do a bit of learning and exploring to find my way in a new place. Ever the schemer, she had sold the idea with a salesperson’s gusto that made her hard to rebuff, and the initial plan had been for us to go together, for she too was in search of greener and significantly cheaper pastures. The passing of her mother and the subsequent stress this placed on her family prevented this, though, and a departure together turned into a sort of delayed entry plan, with me deciding to keep my booked flight and go ahead, and her promising to follow in five or six months’ time, when things at home allowed her to operate for herself again.
The first week or so went smoothly enough. I picked up the social lubricant words –hello, please, thank you- that sort of thing. I made myself get out and see some of the museums in Phnom Penh. It was uncomfortable, the heat and my desire for quiet scratching at the back of my skull, but I was busy and entertained enough exploring temples and seeing sights to ignore it. That all changed once a week or two had passed, and I’d gotten settled in. Stripped of the excitable tourist’s fresh eyes and forgiving demeanor, the city became a different animal as experience stripped away the veneer of charm and I laid eyes upon the true face behind the mask.
The filth in Phnom Penh is omnipresent, its trash heaps ever looming and spilling into the streets while dogs run over weeks ago burst with maggots in the heat upon streets moldering after decades of neglect. The canals, murky stewpots filled with sewage and the rain-sodden garbage knocked down from the streets, stink under the heat of the sun as it rises through the day, making certain sectors of the concrete forest almost intolerable. Rats the size of a man’s forearm and roaches longer than my thumb flourish in the tropical heat amidst the murk, bold enough to leap over shoes and scuttle underfoot as pedestrians walk after dark. Wat Phnom, a well-aged jewel of a temple the better part of a thousand years old, is stalked by as many prostitutes as trinket vendors, its beauty lost in the sea of social decay. My rearing in southeastern Kentucky had taught me of poverty, but it was the utter dissolution of shame and restraint that truly shook me.
One reading this might think this is an indictment of Cambodia’s capital, but it isn’t uniquely a Cambodian problem. Cities in my home country, from New York to San Francisco to Atlanta, exhibit the same kind of disarray and filth, even if a better urban organizational structure keeps the visual horror in check. Human beings, packed in atop one another in numbers beyond tally, lose grasp of what life was like outside the towers of stone, and lose grasp of the niceties and boundaries that made existence tolerable before such terrible numbers were brought to bear. Even as the residents of such urban strongholds as Chicago or London proclaim their cultured produce of theater or art, they live existences that would make the founders of civilization weep. If whatever priest-kings raised Sumeria’s cities in the cradle of civilization could have witnessed the Phnom Penh today, they would burn their creations to the ground, to spare future generations such torment. The mouse utopia experiment comes to mind.
I should have expected such things, for I had seen cities of scale, whose occupants numbered in the millions, before. But the starry-eyed hope of the tourist combined with the sense of adventure and challenge promised by a new and uncomfortable environment blinded me to the weight of the stygian nightmare that is metropolitan life until I was already set up in my apartment with a six month lease to my name. The apartment, however, was comfortable, my landlady hospitable, and my rent spectacularly low. I resolved as those first few weeks came to an end that I would keep my head down, avoid discouragement, and get as much work done as possible while I rode out the inexpensive rent and mitigated my exposure to the outside world as much as possible. In half a year, with ten or twelve months of work under my belt in half the time, I could return to the states, either bolstered by more steady clients or stabilized by enough stored cash to keep me secure while I sought other ways to buoy my income. My friend, should she still aim to follow me then, could have the urban sprawl. I had seen more than enough already.
My existence was one of nearly monastic solitude scheduled around outings which were planned with great care to ensure the least friction possible. I left my room just once every week, to walk about eight blocks to a 24 hour grocery on a street not far from mine. During the first of these trips each month, I would stop by an ATM down a side street along the way and withdraw around four hundred dollars for rent and groceries, and on the way back, I would drop the 200 dollars owed for the month’s rent through the slot on my landlady’s door. The trips initially were plotted out to avoid the heat of the day, starting around nine at night, but after being accosted by a trio of toothless ladyboys astride a motorcycle looking for clients during one of these trips, I moved the schedule past midnight, to around two in the morning. At this hour, the residential streets were entirely empty save the occasional honking passage of a cab or motorbike, and offered me as placid an atmosphere to navigate the trash warrens as was possible, my safety from the city’s occasional knife crime ensured by the fact that I was nearly a foot taller than the tallest Cambodian man I had seen since landing in the country. I was left alone with the rats and the stray dogs to operate like clockwork, counting the paces from block to block, knowing that it would take me nine minutes out and nine minutes back to complete my grocery run.
Between these walks, in the solitude of my apartment, only the occasional Gecko scurrying in under the balcony door of the fourth-floor room to escape the heat by camping on the cool interior wall troubled my doorstep, and I didn’t mind the silent intrusion. I ate, worked out, scanned email and job-posting boards for writing contracts, and typed. My focus was so complete that I could forget the days of the week, the hour of the day, and the posturing of the world beyond, the heavily curtained windows of my room keeping the dreadful humid sun of the equator at bay. There are many who would balk at that sparse a schedule, but with the occasional call to a friend or sibling back home keeping me connected, I had all the contact I needed. I thrive in a space all my own, on my own, and with nothing save a concrete hell beyond my door to distract me, my work flourished in the months I spent holed up in Phnom Penh. Right up until I took my second to last walk, as the day of my escape closed in on me.
I had just over five weeks to go before April 22nd, my planned departure date. I began my walk, aiming for the familiar store down the street and following my route without a single hiccup, mulling over a braggadocios biography I was working on for an Indian businessman’s personal website, my mind staying as far away from the squalor of the street as was possible. The road was unusually vacant, with only one or two loud bikes sputtering past during my initial trip. My shopping was done with mechanical skill: the same twelve items bought with the same three bills, a thank you to the now-familiar night cashier, and away I went, tossing a few cashew nuts to a friendly and legendarily mangy mutt that haunted the corner a block down from the shop when he approached to greet me, as was tradition. Things only went south near the end of the trip, when I reached one of the canals on the way back.
The canal, perhaps fifteen feet deep with a stew of stagnant liquid haunting its innards, ran off to both sides, visible in either direction for a block or so before another concrete bridge similar to the one I crossed blocked my view. It abutted the road which intersected my own, and as I looked down the way to ensure no speeding rickshaws or bikes were headed my direction, a burst of motion on the bridge to my left caught my eye. My initial thought was that a mugging was underway, but as I slowed and took in the scene on the quiet streets of this sleeping quarter of the city, I quickly dismissed that possibility.
An older man, who I can remember spotting on prior walks leaning against the canal rail as he dragged on cigarettes, had been seized from behind, a large figure nearly enveloping him as they struggled on the far bridge. This figure, a man at first glance, was overstretched and disproportioned, its skin the greenish-grey color of mold and its nude form tapering from a man’s wiry torso into a writhing lower body that looked almost like a snake’s. This tail, if that’s the word to describe it, was affixed to a rusted metal beam beneath the bridge, the willowy creature having clambered up over the rail to seize its target unaware. Its massive hands enveloped the old man’s head, whatever protest or screaming might have been done muffled before it could begin. When he fell, perhaps four or five seconds after I first spotted this baffling struggle, the creature let him fall, a fleshy tongue latched to its prey following the man’s throat as he went down. It stayed there, perched on the rail, for a few more seconds as it finished its work. Then, the tongue came free with an audible pop, a spike at its end making me think of hypodermic needles or a mosquito’s proboscis. This tongue withdrew with lightning speed like a frog’s before, in one fluid motion, the creature swung back under the bridge and dropped with a muted splash into the thick soup below in the canal, the ripples of its impact invisible in the shadows cast by the street lights above.
An approaching truck, perhaps the source of its departure, rumbled past on the road along the canal, jolting me back to awareness. After a glace back up at the man on the bridge, now laying lifeless on the pavement, the gleam of the truck’s lights brought my eyes back down to the water of the canal, where two glimmering pools of yellowish light gazed at me form the obscuring shadow. I didn’t need any more motivation than that.
I sprinted across the next street and up the following four blocks, almost to my building’s locked door in an alley off the road and fumbling with the keys in my pocket before I risked a glance back down the road towards the canal. The street was empty despite the pursuit I imagined was underway, but that didn’t stop me from shouldering through the entrance the second the key was turned and tossing my bagged groceries to the floor without mind for the noise, spinning to bar the metal door at my back the second I was safely inside. I gathered them up, stormed up the steep steps winding their way through the haphazard building, and hastily unlocked my own door, suddenly painfully aware of how close my top floor apartment sits to the open exit onto the covered roof where the laundry machines sit just up the stairs. Once my own door was bolted behind me, I could catch my breath, dwell on the insanity of what had just occurred, and weigh my options.
Fast deciding there was no way a report to the local police could end well, I opted to stay silent for the moment, and tell my story in a slightly edited form should I ever be questioned, with the seemingly inexplicable nature of the attacker evaded as best was possible. I settled into my usual routine as faithfully as I could, but vexation about what had occurred kept me from being the paragon of focus that was the norm. My work suffered, and my sleep suffered more, my already nocturnal schedule now a godsend as paranoia made me dread the thought of slumber in a darkened room. There was little rational drive to fear when I was locked away in my sturdy old apartment, but the feeling of fear haunted me all the same. It was, perhaps, this heightened sense of paranoia that ballooned my awareness enough to allow me to perceive the odd sounds which infiltrated the neighborhood in the days following my sighting.
In the dead of night, hours after the early-rising city had closed its doors and dimmed its lights, a kind of cackling screech could occasionally be heard echoing down the alleys and through the streets, a far cry from the cat screams and dog barks native to the area, which themselves seemed to have been erased form the night’s ambience. The best I can do to describe it is to indicate the more otherworldly vocalizations of foxes, but these calls were of a much deeper pitch, and carried a far greater distance around the rotten city they stalked. My isolated mind invested these noises with the shape of that thing form the canal, bringing its corpse-like flesh to my imagination as a companion to every scream through sleeping Phnom Penh. This persisted throughout the next week, growing more pronounced as the due date for my rent and the dwindling food in my small kitchen marched closer by the day. When the 22nd of March came, I had formulated a plan, one I felt sure would both appease my paranoia and keep me safe and secure until my departure in a month’s time.
I would depart the building, braving the crowds, hookers, and curious children of the early evening to feel more secured against things that go bump in the night amidst busier streets, and hit the ATM, retrieving my final rent payment and the money for the month’s groceries. Then, I would buy everything I could carry at the store, cautious to ration it once I got it back to my building, eliminating the need for any more shopping excursions during my stay in Cambodia. Finally, I would slip my rent through my landlady’s door, finalizing my fortified existence until April 22nd finally released me from my self-imposed prison, all while safe from the twisted phantoms I now imagined behind every corner on the streets outside.
The walk was uneventful, but continuously slowed by my jittery scans of the world around me, each clatter of rats in the trash heaps or street stalls closing up shop for the night making my heart leap at the sound. I diverted from my road toward the ATM one block down from where I usually walked to the southerly street, not wishing to walk alongside the canal where I had seen that inexplicable sight a week prior. I still had to cross the bridge on the way over, though, a process made only slightly easier by the passage of a loud band of drunken Australian expats on their way back from a bar, the raucous laughter making it seem less treacherous. Without incident, I rounded a corner and came within sight of the ATM, glad on one level that there were no people around this little street to witness a foreigner withdrawing cash, but equally perturbed by the silence that seemed to rule this little stretch of roadway. The hum of the Khmer Rouge-era streetlights overhead seemed to strangle the honks and engine growls of neighboring streets, my footfalls sounding catastrophically loud to me in a way that I knew was imagined. I ignored my nerves, and pressed into the little booth, focusing on the task at hand.
Flying through the process of the withdrawal with practiced ease urged on by the oppressive memory of the canal just up the road from where I stood, I emerged with money stowed safely away less than a minute later. I thought I noticed, during my paranoid scan of the roadway upon exiting the booth, a flurry of motion in the direction of the hated canal, but there were several gargantuan rats running here and there upon the roadway, so it was easy to shrug this off as a peripheral misinterpretation. Still, I made with speed for the store, going about my business with the same level of calculated efficiency as I had in the ATM. Outside, I was momentarily distracted by the absence of the familiar dog that haunted the street corner, but even after shaking the tin of cashews I’d bought, he didn’t surface, and I resolved to move on. By the time I passed the canal balancing three dangerously overfilled plastic bags on each side of me like some serf hauling grain, I estimated I had made better time on this final outing than on any other walk I’d made in the country thus far. Glances to either side of me showed nothing but the stinking cauldron of refuse below, and the omnipresent thrum of engines and voices guided me safely past the water and into the home stretch of this expedition into the urban unknown. It was only in the last harrowing minutes of the trip that things truly went south.
I arrived at my building’s door, about a third of the way down an alley which led to a little courtyard of dumpsters between the adjacent buildings, and set my bags on the ground to get the door unlocked, keys fast springing to hand. It was only after I had the door open, and bent to grab the bags one more, that I thought I spied a silhouette as it jerked back around the corner. My impression was of a head and shoulders rapidly withdrawn, but as I stood there in the bluish glow of the streetlight staring after movement I wasn’t certain was real, nothing resurfaced, and I forced myself to move into the door and bar it behind me, my fortress now closer than ever. My rent dropped off in typical fashion, I brushed past and up the steep stairs, turning on and off lights at each floor to show me the way through the dark, mindful not to crush geckos spending the night in the cool stairway.
I rounded one corner, then the next, finally reaching the top floor apartment and once more setting down my bags to undo the padlock and enter my holdfast, safe from the world outside. I glanced to the rooftop doorway, thankful to see no trace of movement, and brought my bags inside, setting them right against the fridge and doubling back to lean out my door and turn off the light on the stairway. It was then that I saw it.
With the light clicked off, I turned, hand on the sturdy metal door handle, to close my apartment behind me, and as my eyes passed the moonlit canvas through the rooftop exit up the little stairway next to my door, I froze. Hanging from above the top of the doorway which had been empty just a moment before, long fingers gripping the top of the doorframe like a windowsill, was a noseless, slack-jawed face with great reddish eyes not dissimilar to those of a frog, blessedly obscured by the newly fallen darkness in the stairway. Beneath the wavering flap of skin making up its fleshy jaw, a tapering worm of pinkish sinew weaved back and forth like a snake charmer’s charge, its needle-like tip glinting with noxious spittle that dripped in moldering pools upon the tile of the stairs. The second’s hesitation felt long, halted, as if played out a half speed, but as it moved to swing itself into the stairway, I slammed shut the door in one fluid motion, the bolt being jammed into place with another.
The door, forged of heavy metal and built to deter burglars, shouldn’t budge, but I backed away none the less, expecting some terrible clatter as the thing pounded against the gatehouse of its escaped prey. Instead, silence fell, and I was left standing in my front room between the sink and the fridge, groceries forgotten, for a half hour as I listened for noises from the stairway which never came. Once I finally made myself move, I crept up to the metal door and listened. Minutes stretched on, and still, no sound came. Relenting after nearly an hour on watch by the door, I backed away, at a loss as to how I should interpret what had just happened. All I could do in that moment was to ensure the padlock holding the bolt in place on the door was fastened and the lock set into the handle was turned, put the groceries away, and dim the lights. There were just three rooms in the apartment, with the kitchen and an adjoining bathroom up front and the bedroom in the back, and it was here than I holed up for the night. The balcony door, of the same metal make as the front door, was kept permanently locked, and the bars upon the window were well positioned and close together, giving me more than enough security to feel at least mildly safe.
The night passed in silence, my mind on nothing save the rooftop doorway and that thing from the canal, until, at long last, the sun rose and the noises of the street swelled outside, allowing me enough ease to finally find sleep. Waking that afternoon from dreams stalked by rot-bathed wraiths and skittering rats, I immediately checked -and double checked- that my rationing plan was in order, and that my stored food could last me through the next four weeks. Then, steeling myself for the wait and trying my best to focus on work, I sat before my computer and pecked away at its keys, finding myself absently staring at the curtained window and pondering the streets beyond much more frequently than I’m comfortable admitting. When the sun set, stripping the thin lines of light from the edges of the curtains, I allowed paranoia to creep back in, silencing the music I had been playing and killing the loud fan in my room despite the heat, working in silence over my laptop with my ear honed for anything amiss.
The first night passed peacefully, my greatest disturbance being that those fox-like screeches had rather conspicuously disappeared from the streets outside, leaving the world beyond my curtained window an occasionally motorbike-desecrated churchyard of hushed anticipation. I planned my meals so that I did all my cooking in the front room kitchen near the stairs before the night had fallen, so the relative safety of my back room aided me in feeling at ease while I replayed in my mind the image of the slinking wretch from the canal hanging from the roof. I made an effort to sleep better the following day, settling in earlier in the morning and rising later in the afternoon, but that didn’t stop me from feeling haggard and worn by nightfall, the days of fretting starting to catch up to me. The second night would not go so smoothly.
It was two hours past midnight when I noticed a sniffing, not dissimilar from a dog’s but pitched low like that of the black bears back home, emanating from the bottom of my balcony door. It sounded once, drawing my eyes to the door in the dark, the blackness of the balcony beyond preventing me from making out any shadows cast on the small space between the door and the tiled floor. I froze and made as little sound as I could manage, ears straining for more sound. None came for fifteen or twenty agonized minutes, the air itself seeming cooler under the icy press of this terrified atmosphere. Then, a tendril of glistening flesh crept in beneath the door, snaking along the tiles like a serpent, its dark, wet form easily visible even in the darkened bedroom against the pale linoleum of the ground. The stink of the canals after a day’s boiling in the sun slunk in with it, permeating the room almost as soon as I spotted the intrusion. At its tip, the familiar pointed stinger or needle gleamed, leading its exploration of the room.
From where I sat upon my bed, situated in the opposite corner of the room from the door, I inched back upon the mattress into the furthest corner, still endeavoring to make as little noise as possible. The thing on the balcony seemed to sense this, though, and the seeking tongue made its way for the bed, bringing the worst sorts of fear-conjured images to mind. Fortunately for me, the length of the vile protrusion fell short, and after several moments of straining there against the door in vain, it was withdrawn, disappearing back out into the night from whence it came and leaving a sort of slick snail trail in its wake. The tongue’s owner did not depart, though, occasionally sniffing at the crevice over the next hour or so, seeing if its quarry would attempt to move. When dawn began to approach, the noises died away as the thing returned to whatever safe hideaway it kept during the sun’s waking hours, and I fell into a nightmare-addled sleep, continuously waking to check the balcony door and sleeping with my closed eyes honed on the entryway, ready to snap open at the faintest sound.
That afternoon, still at a loss as to how I would report such an invasion without being accused of lunacy, I took my defense into my own hands. I went about fortifying my position against this new threat, setting my suitcase against the door to obscure the crevice at the base and weighing it down with filled water bottles and Tupperware to add bulk, covering these with shoes, clothes, spare cutlery, and anything else I could find that I felt would hinder the interloper. With perhaps seventy pounds crammed into the suitcase, my mind could sit a little easier. The next few nights, the thing continued its visits, but, with its tongue rebuffed by the suitcase, its probing was limited to sniffing at the door. By the end of the first week, the stalker form the canal seemed to have moved on, with those familiar fox-like noises I had begun to attach to its jawless visage resuming their serenade out on the streets of the city, echoing to my ears now and then. Days returned to normal, my paranoia gradually receding as first one week and then another was passed in relative peace. It was not to last, though, and during my final week in the apartment, my nocturnal caller would pay me one last, unexpected visit.
Though my nights had become less dreadful, that did not mean I had grown careless. Always, I endeavored to have my lights dimmed and my apartment silenced by sunset, to have any food or water I planned to consume during the night squirreled away next to my bed, and to get any necessary trips to the bathroom out of the way while the sunlight still shone on the roof above. That evening, I had decided to shower before the night confined me to my back room, beginning around six, while the sunset had yet to deepen the hues of the horizon beyond my walls. With nights being passed without air conditioning to better acquaint my ears with the world outside the window, I valued going into what I knew would be an uncomfortably humid night clean and relaxed. I had only been in the bathroom for three or four minutes, eyes closed against the water, when the fan mounted on the wall of the little space halted, its sudden silence oddly deafening. With power outages common in Phnom Penh, I fast shook away the water and backed out of the stream from the inexpensive wall-mounted water heating system on the wall, expecting my eyes to find the bathroom dark and anticipating a drop in water temperature after the loss of electricity. The cramped space, to my surprise, was still lit.
The building was old, and I am fortunate that in the moment I didn’t just ignore the halted fan and go about my business. Perhaps, even if I didn’t consciously associate the stairs with the fan at that moment, I reflexively recalled on some deeper level how close that fan set into the wall was on the stairway walls outside to the rooftop doorway, where just one month ago some unknown wretch had writhed in search of a new feast. My real salvation, however, was that wretched stink from the canals, reaching my nose and putting my heart into a ragged sprint. I looked to my right, eyes finding the small, dust-choked fan in the wall, and what I saw there sent me stumbling out the bathroom door and slamming it behind me with the water still running. It would stay that way for nearly two days, only being switched off when my landlady walked upstairs one morning to complain about how much water I must be using. Hanging there, twitching and thrashing in an attempt to force its way through the small opening between the plastic fan blades, was the familiar sheen of that needle-like proboscis, its bulk having stopped the fan cold while its owner hung latched to the wall of the stairway outside like some twisted vampiric treefrog, invisible to me save for that insectile, otherworldly tongue.
Eventually, my departure date arrived, and I had long worried that I would exit my apartment with suitcase and wallet in hand for my final walk down the precarious stairs to collect my security deposit and make for the airport only to find my unwanted visitor clinging to the stairway roof in protest to the sunlight outside, ready to finish the job. No such terrors came to pass. I arrived home about twenty-four hours after walking out the door for the final time, staying with friends until I could secure my own place, having survived that otherworldly visitor on the stairway.
I have never, in several years spent pondering the events since, been able to piece together what that thing I saw beside the canal could have been, or why it had such a fascination with me after my chance encounter with it on the rat-stalked streets of Phnom Penh. No major news, official or unofficial, out of the Cambodian capital has commented on any strange disappearances or sightings save a blog post I stumbled on one day by an animal shelter in the city celebrating the sudden drop in the stray population in Phnom Penh, which I couldn’t help but lay at the feet- or tail, as the case may be- of a much more sinister presence than increased civic awareness.
Perhaps it was several entities, the stalking being not a symptom of singular awareness, but rather of a hungry and growing population. I find this hard to believe, though, for the number of missing exsanguinated vagrants and night workers would be monumental. Equally hard to believe is the explanation of hallucinatory paranoia, for as comforting as it would be for me to sit here safe in the knowledge that no threat had ever been posed by the sniffing at my door and the snaking tongue worming its way through the fan, I have never in any period of stress or isolation since had any analogous experience, whether waking or sleeping. Rather, I’ve been forced to accept the possibility that, heavy as it weighs on my mind and disastrous as it is to my worldview, there is something monstrous stalking the canals, alleys, and rooftops of nocturnal Phnom Penh. Mostly, perhaps, it feasts on dogs, rats, cats and chickens as it claws its way through trash and across deserted streets. But occasionally, as I obsessively scroll through news feeds and blog entries made from Phnom Penh in the dark of particularly solitary nights, I stumble across a story about declining homeless populations in Cambodia’s capital, praising the uplifting grace of this or that government or non-profit initiative, and I am inclined to wonder how often someone, lying drunk or battered on the roads to sleep, is dragged down into the waters of the canals, never to surface again.
submitted by StygianSagas to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.03.10 20:19 Oily_Messiah Why the US Sucks at Building Public Transit

America is worse at building and operating public transit than nearly all of its peers. Why is that? And what can we do to fix it?
American cities are facing a transportation crisis. There’s terrible traffic. Public transit doesn’t work or go where people need it to. The cities are growing, but newcomers are faced with the prospects of paying high rents for reasonable commutes or lower rents for dreary, frustrating daily treks...
This is a crisis facing American cities right now in 2020, but it’s an old crisis. The only thing that has changed is the problem has gotten worse.
Like most crises, there is no single cause. Our cities, and our federal government, have made a lot of mistakes. Some were obvious at the time, others only in hindsight, but most have been a combination of the two. We keep doing things that stopped being good ideas a long time ago.
Many of those mistakes have to do with housing policy, which is inextricably linked to transportation policy. But the most obvious cause of our transportation crisis is a simple one: America sucks at building public transportation...
[T]he problem isn’t limited just to new systems with growing pains. Older American cities with legacy systems have barely expanded to meet the growing footprint of their metro areas, as London and Paris are. The subway maps of New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia look almost identical as they did in 1950; in some cases, they’ve actually shrunk...
There is, of course, no simple answer why our transportation systems are broken, in much the same way there’s no simple answer to why our healthcare system is broken or why our criminal justice system is broken, beyond, as Freemark put it, that our “dysfunctional, irascible political system [is] woefully unprepared to commit to anything particularly significant...” It’s more important to understand all those causes now than ever... The answer to that question depends on understanding why we have failed so miserably up to this point. While researching the question of why our public transit is so bad, I’ve encountered a series of partial but ultimately incomplete explanations. If you don’t feel like descending into the transit nerd tunnel with me, here’s the tl;dr version:

“There Was Always A Subsidy Somewhere”
Before we go any further, it’s important to dispel a pernicious myth that has perpetuated in the United States about public transportation. This is the idea that transit ought to pay for itself just like any other business.
This was a popular position in local, state, and federal governments until the mid-20th century. It is also the founding principle of public authorities... This was never true. “There was always a subsidy somewhere".... Streetcars and early subways were paid for by wealthy financiers, real estate speculators, and electric companies, among others. The speculators bought cheap land on the outskirts of town and then built transportation that went there before selling the land for a tidy profit. Back in the day when lights were the main use of electricity, electric companies faced a huge surge at night. Streetcars were a convenient use of that excess electric capacity during the day when demand was lower... financiers (mistakenly) thought rapid transit would be a great investment, typically as part of an arrangement we now commonly refer to as public-private partnerships that required transit companies to keep fares low, usually at five cents... Private subsidies were replaced by public ones, just at the time when government was deeply, fundamentally uninterested in public transit. Because in the mid-20th century, cars were the future.
The Road to More Roads
From 1950 to 2017, the U.S. constructed 871,496 miles of roads, enough to go to the Moon, come back, return to the Moon again, and then get two-thirds of the way back to Earth... As traffic increased, it was accepted policy to widen a lot of roads under the mistaken belief this would reduce traffic... In the meantime, the U.S. barely built any new rail. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics only started tracking rail miles in 1985, but from that year through 2017 the U.S. constructed 6,247 miles of commuter rail, heavy rail, and light rail combined. That’s only 195 miles a year on average, compared to 10,017 miles of roads per year during that same time...
Of course, the short term cost of building a mile of road is lower than building a mile of transit, but that can be deceptive. According to Transportation for America, it costs $24,000 per lane-mile per year to maintain a road in good repair, and much more for those in disrepair, as many of America’s roads are. And that’s even before accounting for the strain on public services by encouraging and supporting sprawl where every mile of sewer, water, and power line serves fewer taxpayers.
Congress gives states roughly $40 billion a year for roads, according to Transportation For America, which can be spent either on new roads or maintenance at the states' discretion. Meanwhile, public transit agencies have to compete for only $2.3 billion in annual transit funding for big projects such as extending rail lines or building new ones...
That $40 billion a year in road money is given out to states based on a formula. It’s automatic, and states can spend that money however they wish. Not so with transit money. Transit agencies have to apply for funding for individual projects... the federal government will subsidize a much smaller percentage of the project costs than it will for roads. Transit agencies can get a maximum of 50 percent of the project cost covered by the feds, whereas roads can get up to 80 percent...
And this is just at the federal level. The discrepancy between road and transit funding is even wider at the state level, Freemark says, where legislatures are typically dominated by rural interests.
The Costs Are Too Damn High
Not only does the money get spread too thinly, but once cities do get their money, they waste a lot of it... New York City is responsible for the most expensive mile of subway track on Earth, at $3.5 billion per mile, the first segment of the Second Avenue Subway....
The problem is hardly limited to New York. California’s high speed rail project has given new definition to the term “boondoggle.” And, as Levy has documented, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and D.C., among others, all build subways and light rail lines at much higher costs than European cities.
“Nearly all American urban rail projects cost much more than their European counterparts do,” Levy wrote in Citylab. “The cheaper ones cost twice as much, and the more expensive ones about seven times as much.” This includes both heavy rail (subways) and light rail. “Only a handful of American [light rail] lines come in cheaper than $100 million per mile, the upper limit for French light rail.”
There are a lot of reasons for this, including: Over-engineered stations, Arcane labor rules that inhibit productivity such as requiring more employees to work at a machine than is necessary, and A lack of cooperation between agencies...
The Biggest Outside Influence of All
What are those “outside influences” Caywood referenced? The big one is politics.
“Transportation planning is not just a matter of letting the engineers find the best solution to a technical problem,” Schrag wrote, “but a political process in which competing priorities must be resolved by negotiation among interest groups...
[A]ny vague proposal for a transit project, whether it be highway or rail, produces competing coalitions with their own self-interests. Maybe they want to spur development in their own downtown area or make it easy for commuters to live in their suburb. These factions then weaponize the options on the table for their preferred ends...
Meanwhile, another cohort of interest groups form to stop projects they don’t want. Typically, these are neighborhood associations that don’t want a transit line coming through their block, either out of fear of construction impacts or racist concerns that it’ll disrupt the segregation of their urban area. Sometimes, they are not just neighborhood groups but entire regions...
[A] great political shift occurred in the United States that made transit’s prospects even worse. First was the Reagan-era movement away from services provided by the government and towards private enterprise... Transit was not spared. When Miami’s Metrorail opened, Reagan derided the “$1 billion federal subsidy” that “serves less than 10,000 daily riders” as a prime example of government waste....
Nevermind that all of those numbers were incorrect and deeply misleading because the project hadn’t even been completed yet, according to the Sun-Sentinel. But factual errors aside, there was a larger ideological one. “Even if Metrorail doesn't turn a profit,” the paper said, “it will be performing a valuable service. Without it, thousands of new commuters would be forced back into their cars, making the roads even more overcrowded.”
Ironically, some of the blame for the wastefulness of federal transit money belongs to Reagan himself. He spent considerable effort trying to kill the main transit grant program, according to Davis, but Congress wouldn’t let him because these projects were often popular.
In order to keep the funding going, Congress had to resort to doling out the money through annual appropriations—in other words, the 435 members of the House of Representatives, with all its byzantine committees and rules, deciding for itself which projects to fund rather than career experts in the Federal Transit Administration—through a process called earmarking. In this way, transit projects became just another horse to trade...
Not only did it become fashionable to slash funds for big transit projects, but so too was it the sign of the times to slash agency budgets as well. Expertise then migrated to the private sector, in many cases to the very consultants and engineering firms hired to execute the few projects that got done. As a result, agencies were—and remain—ill-equipped to make big decisions on big projects, who hire those aforementioned consultants, who in turn charge a pretty penny for their services...
There’s a very sad irony here. The Reagan era cuts were ostensibly designed to make the public sector more efficient by harnessing the power of the market, but instead it made public agencies reliant on for-profit contractors that jack up costs, only making government less efficient and more wasteful...
Who Decides?
So far, I’ve focused on the federal side of things because it has a lot of money and power. But what level of government is the right one to make decisions about massive transportation projects? Although there is no obvious right answer, it feels like the U.S. has discovered an awful lot of wrong ones.
As a nation, local authority is our founding principle... But unprecedented depressions and world wars have a funny way of harnessing big government power, and the feds continued to flex those newly-discovered muscles as American cities deteriorated in the years afterward. From New York to Los Angeles and in dozens of cities in between, so-called “urban renewal” programs used federal dollars to quite literally tear down and rebuild massive sections of cities from scratch, sometimes in order to build a highway through the demolished portion. One of the many legacies of this program, which destroyed entire neighborhoods, was a growing distrust in the government to sensitively execute centrally planned projects. The preferred remedy was to have more local control, neighborhood by neighborhood.
This approach has its merits, but for transportation it has serious drawbacks. Whether they be subways, light rail, bus routes, or even the humble bike lane, any transportation worth using is a network that allows people to get from one side of a city to another quickly and efficiently. Giving substantial input or even veto power to individual communities along that network undermines the entire concept...
Just as too much hyperlocal control can stymie useful transit, putting transit under the auspices of entire states can have downsides, too. Several of the country’s biggest transit systems including New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are controlled not by local authorities but state (or in D.C.’s case, quasi-federal) bodies. This means taxpayers who don’t obviously benefit from the system pay into it, a constant source of political tension. And when proposed projects cross state lines, it opens up a prolonged debate about who pays for what share, a fight that often takes years or decades to resolve...
This desire for local control yields bizarre outcomes. For example, Eidlin is working on a transportation hub project in San Jose, CA. Four different public agencies are involved, each for a different jurisdiction that will meet at the hub (this is indicative of the Bay Area, which has 27 transit operators and 151—yes, 151—transit agencies). As a result, Eidlin says much of the project’s work at this stage is not on the project itself, but administrative tasks to keep all the agencies up to speed.
How to Fix This
As dire as the American transit landscape is, there are specs of hope. Federal funds are no longer given out through earmarks; that stopped in 2010. Now, the FTA grades projects based on merit...
But we need much bigger solutions, not only to build transit systems faster and more efficiently, but to run them better, too. In the vicious cycle of transit funding, agencies that are perceived as wasteful or bad at providing services have a harder time getting money from politicians, which then makes it harder to run a good transit service. This cycle must be broken.
More money for transit would obviously help. Bernie Sanders has proposed$300 billion for public transit by 2030 and $607 billion for a high speed rail network (Joe Biden, in an excellent distillation of the failures of American transportation policy to date, does not commit any dollar amounts to these issues in his platform, but does commit $50 billion in his first year to repair roads, highways, and bridges).
The most noteworthy part of Sanders' platform, however, is not the money. It’s the framework under which it is proposed: the Green New Deal... “Transit, in most places, has very much been an afterthought or a reaction to some other perceived crisis..." But the very concept of tying transit construction to a crisis misses the point. Transit does address those issues, but it is more than that. We will never build good transit until we jettison the century-old misconception that it is a business the government happens to run out of necessity. Rather, public transportation is a public good on its own merits, good times and bad. Allowing people to move about their cities cheaply, efficiently, and quickly makes cities more productive and better places to live and has numerous knock-on public health, environmental, social, and economic effects. Public transit funding ought not to be a response to any crisis. It ought to be as natural a government service as trash collection.
submitted by Oily_Messiah to atlanticdiscussions [link] [comments]


2020.02.28 12:18 CuteBananaMuffin The Battle of Los Angeles - Photo Analysis

The Battle of Los Angeles - Photo Analysis
by Bruce Maccabee from Brumac Website

This is a discussion of the photographic print obtained by Frank Warren which was made from the original negative. Several different versions are presented in an effort to understand the nature of the “object” (dense smoke? solid body?) at the convergence of the beams.
The date of the photo is Feb 25, 1942.
The story of the Battle of Los Angeles near the start of WWII as told by newspapers and witnesses from several sources follows the photo analysis. If anyone has further information on this event, please contact me through this web site.
First we have the print as provided by Frank Warren:

https://preview.redd.it/w0xteft1fnj41.jpg?width=400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1b6e4729a4a77b6c98ca090ce9093312a8913016
Next we have some enhanced versions:

https://preview.redd.it/dqvnozd3fnj41.jpg?width=232&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b52737981654e983e1a86f6fb427ef7f7eb6ea43
Sometimes it is helpful to see a negative.
One presumes that this is what the actual negative looks like.

https://preview.redd.it/5n9v9rd5fnj41.jpg?width=400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c995f3ecd9a1e017c4f73ee173c492b45c557d2f
Self-explanatory:

https://i.redd.it/wwp2e8j6fnj41.gif

The caption under photo reads:
“SEEKING OUT OBJECT - Scores of searchlights built a wigwam of light beams over Los Angeles early yesterday morning during the alarm. This picture was taken during blackout; shows nine beams converging on an object in sky in Culver City area. The blobs of light which show at apex of beam angles were made by anti-aircraft shells.”
To get the true relative image brightnesses it is necessary to scan the original negative and then adjust the “gamma” (relation between film image density and the about of light which made the image) to match the gamma at development. This is typically 1, but they may have pushed the film to a higher gamma to get faint images.
There may well be information on the shape of the “object” which is not discernible from the print because apparently the exposure level of the “object” is quite high and so the image may be well into the range of brightness saturation of the print. IF this is so, i.e., if the print image is well saturated, no amount of analysis will “dig out” the totality of brightness information (variations in the high brightness levels) contained within the negative.
I don’t know the film speed or the f stop of the camera. However, I would guess that the f-stop was low (lens “wide open”; f/2 or 3?) and that this is a time exposure because,
the light beams show up there are quite a few “explosions” (I presume) which probably did not happen all at once
The exposure could have been several seconds.
The fact that the beams basically do not get past the “object” (there is some faint evidence of beams above the object), whatever was at the beam convergence must have been optically quite dense. If there was a lot of smoke swirling around the volume of air illuminated by the beams, I would expect to see variations in bream brightness (brighter where there was smoke).
There are variations, but they are uniform and agree with the distance (from the searchlight) and width of the beam. That is, the variations are consistent with each beam getting dimmer as it travels away from the searchlight. IF there were smoke within any beam it should cause an increase in scattered light where there is smoke (which is how we see the beams anyway... light bounced or scattered from dust or smoke particles in the air).
The beams are quite bright before they reach the “object” and zero or nearly zero afterward. Just how much optical density of smoke this requires I do not know. However, certainly a solid metallic object would be sufficient to block the beams.
How large is the “object”? If we knew the distance of the camera from the beam convergence and the focal length of the camera we could calculate the approximate size. This requires knowing what portion of the city the object was over, where the cameraman was, and the altitude of the “object.” An alternative method is to estimate the diameter of a spotlight beam at some distance from the spotlight and use that width as a reference size.
I found a research article by Dr. Louis Eltermann that reports research in the latter 1940’s in which he used an army searchlight to probe the upper atmosphere in order to determine the vertical distribution of dust in the atmosphere.
Note: Eltermann was the author of the infamous Project Twinkle Report in November, 1951, which ignored or “covered up” or, at the very least, misrepresented, the White Sands movie film that proved unidentified objects were flying around. See THE UFO-FBI CONNECTION by Bruce Maccabee [Llewellyn, St. Paul, MN, 2000. Also, http://brumac.8k.com/WhiteSandsProof/WhiteSandsProof.html]
Eltermann described the searchlight as being 5 ft in diameter and with a divergence of about 1.25 degrees or about 20 milliradians. This means that the diameter at a distance d from the mirror would be about D = 5’+0.02d. Thus at 1000 ft the diameter would be about 25 ft. Of course, the beam is not uniformly bright across its diameter, so the effective diameter might be closer to 20 feet.
Consider the beam at the right side of the photo.
It protrudes upward at some angle, probably not the angle in the photo. Suppose the elevation angle were 30 degrees. The “object” width is oriented horizontally (parallel to the ground) whereas the beam is assumed to be tilted at about 30 degrees. Hence the horizontal width of the beam, W, (not perpendicular to the beam axis) would be W = D/sin (angle of elevation) = D/sin(30) = 2D for the assumed 30 degree elevation angle.
Hence if the object were 1000 ft from the projection lens it was about 2 x 25 = 50 ft wide.
If at 2000 ft the calculation yields D = 45 ft and W = 90 ft.
One estimate of the height of the object was 8,000 ft. For a 30 degree slant angle of the beam from ground level up to 8,000 ft the distance along the beam would be about 8,000/sin 30 = 16,000 ft. If this were so, then the beam diameter at that height would have been about 165 ft and the horizontal width of the object would have been about 330 ft.
If the slant angle of the beam was less than 30 degrees then the calculated sizes would have been larger. Conversely, if the slant angle was greater the calculated sizes would have been smaller.
Based on the above calculations, and realizing that a much better estimate could be made if we had more accurate information on the spotlights, camera, etc., I would hazard a guess that the width of the illuminated “object” is on the order of 100 ft or more in size.
Without more solid information to go on this has to be no more than a WAG (wild...rear-end... guess) (but I bet its close to right!)
(NOTE: if you found this photo-analysis interesting you may want to check out the analyses of other photo cases at http://brumac.8k.com.)
THE STORY, AS REPORTED IN VARIOUS SOURCES
The following are excerpts from the primary front page story of the LA Times on February 26th. Note that there is not a SINGLE description of the object even though is was clearly locked in the focus of dozens of searchlights for well over half an hour and seen by hundreds of thousands of people:
Army Says Alarm Real Roaring Guns Mark Blackout Identity of Aircraft Veiled in Mystery; No Bombs Dropped and No Enemy Craft Hit; Civilians Reports Seeing Planes and Balloon Overshadowing a nation-wide maelstrom of rumors and conflicting reports, the Army’s Western Defense Command insisted that Los Angeles’ early morning blackout and anti-aircraft action were the result of unidentified aircraft sighted over the beach area. In two official statements, issued while Secretary of the Navy Knox in Washington was attributing the activity to a false alarm and “jittery nerves,” the command in San Francisco confirmed and reconfirmed the presence over the Southland of unidentified planes.
Relayed by the Southern California sector office in Pasadena, the second statement read: “The aircraft which caused the blackout in the Los Angeles area for several hours this a.m. have not been identified.” Insistence from official quarters that the alarm was real came as hundreds of thousands of citizens who heard and saw the activity spread countless varying stories of the episode.
The spectacular anti-aircraft barrage came after the 14th Interceptor Command ordered the blackout when strange craft were reported over the coastline. Powerful searchlights from countless stations stabbed the sky with brilliant probing fingers while anti-aircraft batteries dotted the heavens with beautiful, if sinister, orange bursts of shrapnel.
City Blacked Out For Hours The city was blacked out from 2:25 to 7:21 am after an earlier yellow alert at 7:18 pm was called off at 10:23 pm. The blackout was in effect from here to the Mexican border and inland to the San Joaquin Valley. No bombs were dropped and no airplanes shot down and, miraculously in terms of the tons of missiles hurled aloft, only two persons were reported wounded by falling shell fragments.
Countless thousands of Southland residents, many of whom were late to work because of the traffic tie-up during the blackout, rubbed their eyes sleepily yesterday and agreed that regardless of the question of how “real” the air raid alarm may have been, it was “a great show” and “well worth losing a few hours’ sleep.”
The blackout was not without its casualties, however. A State Guardsman died of a heart attack while driving an ammunition truck, heart failure also accounted for the death of an air raid warden on duty, a woman was killed in a car-truck collision in Arcadia, and a Long Beach policeman was killed in a traffic crash enroute to duty.
Much of the firing appeared to come from the vicinity of aircraft plants along the coastal area of Santa Monica, Inglewood, Southwest Los Angeles, and Long Beach.
The Times editorial reads:
“In view of the considerable public excitement and confusion caused by yesterday morning’s supposed enemy air raid over this area and its spectacular official accompaniments, it seems to The Times that more specific public information should be forthcoming from government sources on the subject, if only to clarify their own conflicting statements about it.” “According to the Associated Press, Secretary Knox intimated that reports of enemy air activity in the Pacific Coastal Region might be due largely to ‘jittery nerves.’ Whose nerves, Mr. Knox? The public’s or the Army’s?”

Army Gunners Fire At UFOs Over Los Angeles Courtesy UFO ROUNDUP Volume 3, Number 8 February 22, 1998 Editor Joseph Trainor On Wednesday, February 25, 1942, at precisely 2 a.m., diners at the trendy Trocadero Club in Hollywood were startled when the lights winked out and air raid sirens began to sound throughout greater Los Angeles.
“Searchlights scanned the skies and anti-aircraft guns protecting the vital aircraft and ship-building factories went into action. In the next few hours they would fire over 1,400 shells at an unidentified, slow- moving object in the sky over Los Angeles that looked like a blimp, or a balloon.”
Author Ralph Blum, who was a nine-year-old boy at the time, wrote that he thought “the Japanese were bombing Beverly Hills.”
“There were sirens, searchlights, even antiaircraft guns blamming away into the skies over Los Angeles. My father had been a balloon observation man (in the AEF) in World War One, and he knew big guns when he heard them. He ordered my mother to take my baby sisters to the underground projection room—our house was heavily supplied with Hollywood paraphernalia—while he and I went out onto the upstairs balcony.” “What a scene! It was after three in the morning. Searchlights probed the western sky. Tracers streamed upward. The racket was terrific.”
Shooting at the aerial intruders were gunners of the 65th Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) Regiment in Inglewood and the 205th Anti-Aircraft Regiment based in Santa Monica. The “white cigar-shaped object” took several direct hits but continued on its eastward flight.
Up to 25 silvery UFOs were also seen by observers on the ground.
Editor Peter Jenkins of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported,
“I could clearly see the V formation of about 25 silvery planes overhead moving slowly across the sky toward Long Beach.”
Long Beach Police Chief J.H. McClelland said,
“I watched what was described as the second wave of planes from atop the seven-story Long Beach City Hall. I did not see any planes but the younger men with me said they could. An experienced Navy observer with powerful Carl Zeiss binoculars said he counted nine planes in the cone of the searchlight. He said they were silver in color. The (UFO) group passed along from one battery of searchlights to another, and under fire from the anti-aircraft guns, flew from the direction of Redondo Beach and Inglewood on the land side of Fort MacArthur, and continued toward Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Anti-aircraft fire was so heavy we could not hear the motors of the planes.”
Reporter Bill Henry of the Los Angeles Times wrote,
“I was far enough away to see an object without being able to identify it...I would be willing to bet what shekels I have that there were a number of direct hits scored on the object.”
At 2:21 a.m., Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt issued the cease-fire order, and the twenty-minute “battle of Los Angeles” was over.
(See BEYOND EARTH: MAN’S CONTACT WITH UFOs by Ralph Blum, 1974, page 68. See also the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Long Beach Press-Telegram for February 25, 1942. All newspaper quotes taken from “The Battle of Los Angeles, 1942” by Terrenz Sword, which appeared in Unsolved UFO Sightings, Spring 1996 issue, pages 57 through 62.)
ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS BLAST AT L.A. MYSTERY INVADER Raid Scare Blacks Out Southland, but Knox Claims ‘False Alarm’
Glendale News Press Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1942
Washington (AP)
- Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said today that there were no planes over Los Angeles last night.
“That’s our understanding,” he said. He added that “ none have been found and a very wide reconnaissance has been carried on.”
He added, “it was just a false alarm.”
Anti-aircraft guns thundered over the metropolitan area early today for the first time in the war, but hours later what they were shooting at remained a military secret. An unidentified object moving slowly down the coast from Santa Monica was variously reported as a balloon and an airplane.
No bombs were dropped and no planes were shot down during the anti-aircraft firing in the Los Angeles area, the western defense command said in San Francisco.
“Cities in the Los Angeles area were blacked out at 2:25 a.m. today on orders from the fourth interceptor command when unidentified aircraft were reported in the area,” the western defense command said. “Although reports are conflicting and every effort is being made to ascertain the facts, it is clear that no bombs were dropped and no planes were shot down.” “There was a considerable amount of anti-aircraft firing. The all-clear signal came at 7:25 a.m.”
Army Scofts at Civilian Reports
Army intelligence, although uncommunicative, scoffed at reports of civilian observers that as many as 200 planes were over the area.
There were no reports of dropping bombs, but several instances of damaged property from anti-aircraft shells. A garage door was ripped off in a Los Angeles residential district and fragments shattered windows and tore into a bed where a few moments before Miss Blanch Sedgewick and her niece, Josie Duffy had been sleeping.
A Santa Monica bomb squad was dispatched to remove an unexploded anti-aircraft shell in a driveway there.
Wailing air raid sirens at 2:25 a.m. awakened most of the metropolitan’s three million citizens. A few minutes later they were treated to a gigantic Fourth-of-July-like display as huge searchlights flashed along a 10-mile front to the south, converging on a single spot high in the sky.
Anti-Aircraft Guns Open Fire Moments later the anti-aircraft guns opened up, throwing a sheet of steel skyward. Tracer bullets and exploding shells lit the heavens.
Three Japanese, two men and a woman, were seized at the beach city of Venice on suspicion of signaling with flashlights near the pier. They were removed to FBI headquarters, where Richard B. Hood, local chief, said, “at the request of Army authorities we have nothing to say.”
A Long Beach police sergeant, E. Larsen 59, was killed in a traffic accident while in route to an air raid post. Henry B. Ayers, 63-year-old state guardsman, died at the wheel of an ammunition truck during the black-out. Physicians said a heart attack was apparently responsible.
Rumors of Planes Downed Spiked Police ran down several reports that planes had been shot down, but said all were false alarms. Aircraft factories continued operation behind blackened windows, while ack-ack guns rattled from batteries stationed near-by.
A Japanese vegetable man, John Y. Harada, 25, was one of three persons arrested on charges of violating a county black ordinance. Sheriff’s Capt. Ernest Sichler said Harada, driving to the market with a load of cauliflower, refused to extinguish his truck lights.
Others held on similar charges were Walter E. Van Der Linden, Norwalk dairy man, accused of failing to darken his milking barns, and Giovanni Ghigo, 57, nabbed while driving to market with a truckload of flowers.
Traffic Snarl Follows All Clear Signal Soon traffic was snarled. Thousand of southern Californians were an hour or more late to their jobs. There were isolated incidences of failure to comply with black-out regulations. Neon signs were glowing inside stores. Traffic signals continued to flash in some areas.
Radio stations went off the air with the first alert, and were not permitted to resume broadcasting until 8:23 a.m.
There was speculation, that the unidentified object, might have been a blimp-although veteran lighter-then-air-experts in Akron, O., the nations center of such construction, said Japan was believed to have lost interest in such craft following experiments in World War I. These sources said inability to obtain fire proof helium caused discarding of such plans.
Observers lent some credence to the blimp theory by pointing out that the object required nearly thirty minutes to travel 20 or 25 miles-far slower then an airplane.
Unidentified Planes Pass Over Harbor AN official source which declined to be quoted directly told The Associated Press in Los Angeles that United States Army Planes quickly went into action. Later however, another official said no United States craft had taken off because of possible danger from the army’s own anti-aircraft fire.
A newspaper man at San Pedro said airplanes passed over the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor area. The craft were not identified.
There were no reports of any attempt to bomb southern California from the air although many war-vital factories, shipyards and other defense industries were on the route the object followed.
Although some watchers said they saw airplanes in the air, semi-official sources said they probably were the United States Army’s pursuits. All the action, clearly spotlighted for ground observers by 20 or so searchlights, was just a few miles west of Los Angeles proper.
Object Disappears Over Signal Hill Observers said the object appeared to be 8000 ft or higher. Firing, first heard at 3 a.m., ceased suddenly at 3:30 a.m., after the object disappeared south of Signal Hill, at the east edge of Long Beach. Anti-aircraft guns fired steadily for two minute periods, were silent for about 45 seconds, and continued that routine for nearly a half an hour.
All of southern California from the San Juaquin valley to the Mexican border was blacked out. Los Angeles doused its lights first, at 2:25 a.m.. San Diego, just 17 miles from the border did not receive its lights out order until 3:05 a.m.
When daylight and the all-clear signal came, Long Beach took on the appearance of a huge Easter egg-hunt. Kiddies and even grown-ups scrambled through the streets and vacant lots, picking up and proudly comparing chunks of shrapnel fragments as if they were the most prized possession they owned.
Recent testimony:
H.C. writes: I’m a WWII veteran. Just thought I’d let you know that I was an eyewitness to the event back in February of 1942. I was 14 at the time, living in the Adams and Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. My family and I observed the entire episode through the large bay window of our home facing west. The air raid sirens awoke us at 2 AM.
There was a period of silence following that, then the thumping of antiaircraft fire. The northwest sky was lit up with bursting shells and searchlights. The action was moving south along the coastline. I remember distinctly the convergence of searchlights reflecting off the bottom of some kind of slow moving objects, apparently flying in formation.
They seemed to be completely oblivious and impervious to the shells exploding around them. I was quite the aviation buff back then, as I am now, but I must admit that I had a devil of a time trying to identify the objects, what with the awe, excitement and speculation of the moment, the bursting shells, tracers, etc. I was surprised in the days that followed to discover that with all that aggressive firepower there was no evidence that we had brought anything down. I lived on Virginia Road, a half block south of West Adams Boulevard and one-quarter mile south of what is now the Interstate 10 Santa Monica Freeway; about 5.5 miles southwest of what is now the Los Angeles Civic Center; and approximately 10.5 miles due east of the Pacific coastline of Santa Monica. We were looking in a westward direction from our large living room bay window which gave us an unobstructed panorama of view facing the northwest, west and southwest. We then went to our south-facing kitchen and porch windows to observe the action where it culminated in the south. Ergo, the action followed the coastline. It could have been two, or three, or up to six miles away, I can’t recall exactly since it occurred so long ago. But I strongly remember the searchlights converging on the bottoms of the reddish objects flying in formation
Scott Littleton writes:
I was an eye-witness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February of 1942. I was eight-years-old at the time, and my parents lived at 2500 Strand in Hermosa Beach, right on the beach. We thus had a grandstand seat.
While my father went about his air-raid warden duties, my late mother and I watched the glowing object, which was caught in the glare of searchlights from both Palos Verdes and Malibu/Pacific/Palisades and surrounded by the puffs of ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, as it slowly flew across the ocean from northwest to southeast. It headed inland over Redondo Beach, a couple of miles to the south of our vantage point, and eventually disappeared over the eastern end of the Palos Verdes hills, what’s today called Rancho Palos Verdes.
The whole incident last, at least from our perspective, lasted about half an hour, though we didn’t time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spend the next morning picking up of pieces of shrapnel on the beach; indeed, it’s a wonder more people weren’t injured by the stuff, as we were far from the only folks standing outside watching the action. In any case, I don’t recall seeing any truly discernable configuration, just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob light-a single, blob, BTW. We only saw one object, not several as some witnesses later reported. At the time, we were convinced that it was a “Jap” reconnaissance plane, and that L.A. might be due for a major air-raid in the near future. Remember, this was less than three months after Pearl Harbor. But that of course never happened. Later on, we all expected “them,” that is, the Military, to tell us what was really up there after the war.
But that never happened, either...
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2020.02.27 17:40 Crypt0_Cthulhu [A Timeline Of Events] - Select Top Headlines From This Sub's Top 1000 Threads

Information is very hard to keep track of. In order to help catch people up to speed, I went through the top 1000 all time threads on this sub (yes it took many hours) and selected the threads of events I thought were noteworthy, and ones that would together help paint a clearer picture for you, your loved ones, friends, or strangers you want to share this with. I, like many, believe/know that most cases are undetected because of a lack of testing, making this situation worse than it seems/can be reported. I hope this timeline helps someone get a better picture of what's been happening, and thus be better informed and prepared.
Please share other important articles/headlines about events that I may have missed and I will update the list. I have excluded almost all first in country/region X as there were too many and the information can be found on wikipedia.
Also, if you're inclined to gild this, please don't and instead donate to Doctors Without Borders or my fundraising link for Bernie Sanders who is fighting for Universal Healthcare in the U.S.
DATE
(SOURCE) HEADLINE OR KEY EXCERPT + LINK [REDDIT THREAD]
Jan 28
(BNO News/TBS) Japan reports new case of coronavirus in person who has no history of traveling to Wuhan [Reddit]
Jan 30
(CNBC) CDC confirms first human-to-human transmission of coronavirus in US [Reddit]
Jan 31
Foreign Affairs) How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic -- Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security warns, "there is a clear possibility that nCoV may not be contained in time to prevent a large global outbreak. Countries should start preparing for that prospect now." [Reddit]
(BBC) First coronavirus cases confirmed in UK [Reddit]
Feb 1
(WHO Philippines) First death outside of China has been recorded in the Philippines [Reddit]
Feb 3
NZHerald) Coranavirus death rate may be higher than feared: Lancet study [Reddit]
Feb 4
(BBC) UK tells all 30,000 UK citizens to leave China if they can [Reddit]
Feb 5
(Sky News) Coronavirus: 'Significant breakthrough' in race for vaccine made by UK scientists. A vaccine may be close to being tested on animals and then humans, depending on the level of funding researchers get. [Reddit]
(CNBC) Trump imposes travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines over coronavirus outbreak
Feb 7
(Spiegel) A vaccine would come too late, says expert. The novel virus is spreading much faster than the SARS virus, which it is related. After only a few weeks, it has now infected more people around the world and has killed more patients in China than SARS did in nine months. [Reddit]
Feb 8
(WHO) WHO says 18% of novel coronavirus cases lead to "severe" or "critical" illness in the infected patient [Reddit]
Feb 10
(CBS SF Bay Area) State of Emergency declared in Santa Clara County [Reddit]
Feb 11
(WHO) "With 99% of #2019nCoV cases in #China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world" [Reddit]
(The Harvard Gazette) Coronavirus likely now ‘gathering steam’ [Reddit]
Feb 12
(The Guardian) First case of coronavirus confirmed in London [Reddit]
Feb 13
(NHK World Japan) First death confirmed in Japan [Reddit]
(NY Post) Coronavirus can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms, CDC warns [Reddit]
Feb 14
(BNO News) Egypt reports 1st case of coronavirus, first on mainland Africa [Reddit]
Feb 17
(The Australian) Harvard says 60-89% of Coronavirus cases are currently undetected in all countries outside China. [Reddit]
Feb 20
(BNO News/Reuters) Tokyo cancels major indoor events for the next 3 weeks due to coronavirus [Reddit]
(BNO News) South Korean President Moon on coronavirus outbreak: "It's a very severe situation" [Reddit]
(SCMP) Chinese respiratory expert warns tests show people who have recovered may still be infectious [Reddit]
(CNBC) Hospitals across the US prepare for coronavirus outbreak to become global pandemic.
Feb 21
(Taiwan News) Taiwan team develops antigen for Wuhan coronavirus within 10 days [Reddit]
(BNO News/Reuters) Iran's health ministry says 'it is possible' coronavirus exists in all Iranian cities; there are currently 18 confirmed cases, 4 dead - Reuters [Reddit]
(CNBC) CDC prepares for possibility coronavirus becomes a pandemic and businesses, schools need to be closed [Reddit]
(BNO News) U.S. CDC calls coronavirus a "tremendous public health threat," says future human-to-human transmission in the U.S. is "very possible, even likely" [Reddit]
(Fortune) 94% of the Fortune 1000 are seeing coronavirus supply chain disruptions [Reddit]
(People's Daily, China) A previously recovered novel coronavirus patient was re-hospitalized after testing positive. The patient had previously recovered from the disease 10 days earlier. [Reddit]
(BNO News) Italy reports first death from coronavirus [Reddit]
Feb 22
(The Straits Times) Man infected with coronavirus but did not show symptoms until 27 days later, says Hubei government [Reddit]
(WHO) "The increasing signs of transmission outside China show that the window of opportunity we have for containing this coronavirus is narrowing. We are calling on all countries to invest urgently in preparedness" [Reddit]
Feb 23
(BNO News) North Korea orders cargo arriving in the country to be isolated for 10 days and fully disinfected to prevent coronavirus. This follows an order to quarantine foreigners for 30 days [Reddit]
(Politico) White House to ask Congress for emergency coronavirus funding. However, the amount could be significantly lower than some public health officials have argued is necessary. [Reddit]
(CNN) Director of NIAID: We are clearly at the brink of a pandemic [Reddit]
(WaPo) Italy says number of coronavirus cases spiked from three to 132 in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia [Reddit]
Feb 24
(Global Times) A 56-year-old woman in SW China's Sichuan Province was confirmed with novel coronavirus infection Monday. She tested negative eight times in nucleic acid diagnosis. [Reddit]
(The Verge) Labs in the US will start looking for the new coronavirus this week [Reddit]
(NIAID) Remdesivir Prevents MERS Coronavirus Disease in Monkeys [Reddit]
(BBC) Iran: Dr. Ghadir, top health official in Qom now infected, tells State TV: The health ministry ordered Qom officials "not to publish statistics" related to coronavirus. [Reddit]
(BNO News) South Korea orders people with fever, respiratory symptoms to stop going to school or work [Reddit]
Feb 25
(BNO News) U.S. CDC: "We can have community spread in the United States and have it be reasonably mild, we can have community spread in the U.S. and have it be very severe. So that's what we don't completely know yet." [Reddit]
(Politico) U.S. coronavirus outbreak inevitable, CDC official says [Reddit]
(France24) France reports first citizen to die from coronavirus as three new cases confirmed [Reddit]
(BNO News) Bahrain closes all kindergartens, schools, universities, and training centers in the country for at least 2 weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus [Reddit]
(Sen. Blumenthal) This morning’s classified coronavirus briefing should have been made fully open to the American people—they would be as appalled & astonished as I am by the inadequacy of preparedness & prevention. [Reddit]
(BNO News) Brazil's Health Ministry says a man has tested positive for coronavirus in an initial test, but they're waiting for results from a 2nd test. If confirmed. it would be South America's first case [Reddit]
(AP) The U.S. military says one of its soldiers based in South Korea has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first American service member infected. [Reddit]
(Axios) Olympic official: Tokyo is "looking at a cancellation" if coronavirus not contained by late May [Reddit]
(ABC News) CDC warns Americans of 'significant disruption' from coronavirus [Reddit]
(BNO News) Iran's deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus; he had previously looked unwell during a press conference [Reddit]
(BNO News/SF Chronicle) San Francisco declares state of emergency to help prepare for an outbreak of coronavirus; there are currently no confirmed cases in the city [Reddit]
(The Straits Times) 14% of recovered coronavirus patients in China's Guangdong tested positive again [Reddit]
(WaPo) Experts fear the small number of U.S. coronavirus cases reflects limited testing rather than a lack of infections [Reddit]
(BNO News) U.S. CDC: "We're asking folks in every sector, as well as people within their families, to start planning for this, because as we've seen from the recent countries that have had community spread, when it hit in those countries, it has moved quite rapidly" [Reddit]
Feb 26
(WZ.de) PRICE GOUGING PREVENTION: Italy raids Amazon and Ebay centers and confiscates documents and data of sellers involved in price gouging of masks and disinfectants. [Reddit]
(Nikkei) A woman in Osaka, who tested positive in January and was discharged on February 1st, tests positive again [Reddit]
(The Atlantic/Yale MD) You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus - Most cases are not life-threatening, which is also what makes the virus a historic challenge to contain [Reddit]
(NY Times) C.D.C. Confirms First Possible Community Transmission of Coronavirus in U.S. [Reddit]
(CNN) It is "highly probable" New York will have cases of coronavirus, governor says [Reddit]
(Reuters) Japanese woman confirmed as coronavirus case for second time, weeks after initial recovery [Reddit]
(BNO News) Iraq closes all schools and universities for at least 10 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus [Reddit]
(CNN) Iran to cancel Friday prayers this week, health minister says [Reddit]
(WaPo) First U.S coronavirus case of unknown origin confirmed in Northern California, a sign the virus may be spreading in a local area [Reddit]
Stay safe, and stay informed.
submitted by Crypt0_Cthulhu to Coronavirus [link] [comments]


2020.01.18 15:17 s810 Old Austin Tales: Attack of the Airships - Spring of 1897

Lord, don't I wish I had a photo of the subject of today's story. You'll have to bear with me. Lots of descriptive 19th century newspaper articles coming through.
Today I bring you some Austin UFO stories from 50 years before the Roswell incident of 1947. I've seen and participated in a few discussions about this topic here before, but some new shit has come to light, so I've got to get this one off my chest. The acronym "U.F.O." gets taken for granted as something extra-terrestrial but it really means anything flying that's unidentified. Besides something alien, in today's world that could be anything from a weird looking drone or an Air Force test plane, or even a Chinese lantern.
There comes a time when technological progress advances to a point where the materials needed to invent something new and great are available to many people at once, so you end up with different people inventing things like the telephone, or the television, at roughly the same time. That's also kind of what happened with human flight. A few years before the Wright Brothers glided over a beach in North Carolina and before the Germans perfected the Zeppelin, there were apparently a few different people flying around the country in what was at the time referred to as "mystery airships". By most accounts these were cigar shaped craft, sometimes with elaborate sails or wings mimicking those of many different bird species, that could carry passengers and/or cargo flown over great distances. If you saw one today you would probably call it a blimp with wings, but it was really more like a floating paddleboat. Back in the late 1800s the thought of attaching a mechanical engine, whether steam or oil powered, to a balloon to guide it places was experimental and revolutionary. Different types of airships began test flights over Europe in the 1860s and by the 1880s there were Americans doing it too, although it would be more accurate to say these early inventors had very little idea what they were doing at all. They were basically trying out different forms of balloons with accessories more than inventing the blimp. But one thing is for sure, when these things would "fly"/float over anywhere near a populated area they would scare the crap out of the public and become the talk of the area for weeks. These were the UFOs of their time; some people thought they were from Mars. 123 years ago these things captivated The City of Austin when they began appearing over our violet crowned skies. There were more than a few sightings, locally, statewide, and nationally, and the Statesman of the time covered most of it. One Statesman reporter even had a sighting himself. The Legislature was freaking out over how to regulate them, and there was an incident at The Driskill. But as usual I'm getting ahead of myself.
The most famous incident during the "mystery airship" wave of 1896-1897 is probably the Aurora, TX UFO incident. To quickly sum it up, an airship with an alien visitor on board is supposed to have crashed after hitting a windmill in the small North Texas town of Aurora on April 17, 1897. The "martian" was said to have died from the crash, and was buried in an unmarked grave in the local graveyard.
That's a very important date to remember: April 17th, 1897. The following day on the 18th, the Statesman announced a "Strange and Startling" discovery. A few years ago Michael Barnes did a writeup on this in the Statesman, from which I quote:
Balloon? Airplane? UFO? What flew over Texas — including Austin — with searchlights in April 1897?
Bob Ward of the Travis County Historical Commission drew our attention to this airborne mystery. We’re not suggesting aliens, but the reports fit the definition of an “unidentified flying object.”
A headline in the April 18, 1897, Austin Daily Statesman shouted “Strange and Startling: A ‘What Is It?’ Serenely Sailing over the Blessed Long Star State.” Texans in Sherman, Fort Worth, Hillsboro, Marshall and Paris spotted unusual objects in the night sky. This was six years before the Wright Brothers took off from Kitty Hawk, N.C., and 50 years before an unexplained object crashed in Roswell, N.M.
On April 26, the Daily Statesman reported that airship had made another appearance, this time behind Mount Bonnell traveling north. “At least, three young men who were camping up on Bull Creek at Huddle’s Point say they saw it. Messrs. Geo. Powell, Ted Tobin and Jas. Caldewell went up the lake Saturday afternoon for a couple of days’ camp and pitched their tents. ... About 3 a.m. it began to rain and the men were compelled to get up and fasten the tent. It was at this time they saw the mysterious aircraft. They claim it was in sight fully 15 minutes and are positive they could not be mistaken. At intervals of every few seconds, it would throw its searchlights, and the boys say the light looked as big as four ordinary arc lights.”
Of course, those interested in UFOs have not let the subject of the 1897 aircraft go. An April 15, 2016, story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reached back to revive the tale of an airship that crashed into a windmill, “killing a spaceman,” in the North Texas town of Aurora on April 17, 1897. (In other words, before the Austin sighting.)
The town recently celebrated the crash with an event called the Aurora Alien Encounter with talks and shuttle tours, including a stop at the cemetery where the alien nicknamed “Ned” was supposedly buried.
This 2017 Statesman article was I think the first time I had heard of this story. So the same night a UFO allegedly crashed in Aurora, airship(s) were seen all over North Texas. The Statesman of 1897 reports on that, but then eight days later comes another report of some boys seeing an airship near Mt. Bonnell. Well come to find out that was only one of many local airship stories dating back to that Spring and Summer of 1897 in the old Statesman archive, and not even the best one in my opinion. Allowing for the yellow-journalism tendencies of The Statesman and newspapers in general at the time, some of the reports are made with intricate detail by otherwise credible people from all walks of life, while others seem obviously a hoax too fantastical to be believed.
I'm just going to go through Statesman articles in chronological order. We will start in 1896 with a bit more backstory:

May 31, 1896 - A New Flying Machine

Prof. Samuel P. Laughley's Successful Flying Machine.
Professor Langleys has invented a flying machine which is a success. At Occoquan, Va.. near Washington, D. C. the Smithsonian Institute Professor recently tested this machine to his complete satisfaction. The machine rose 200 feet in the air and flew steadily for half a mile. Fuel in the engine then gave out and the machine sunk gently to the ground. The flying machine carries a small steam engine of one-horse power. The whole contrivance weighs twenty-five pounds. Its light steel frame work holds extended horizontally three sheets of thin canvas. one above the other. The length over all is fifteen feet. The engine runs two propellers.
The machine could fly 100 miles, or even a much greater distance with a sufficient, supply of steam. But the small engine employed is not of the condensing pattern and has no means of using the same water over again.
...

October 2, 1896 - Flies Like a Bird

Remarkable Success of the Lamson AirShip at Portland, Ma.
Big machine rises steadily to an altitude of six hundred feet and then gracefully settles to the ground again. A New York Sun special from Portland. Maine. Charles H. Lamson performed a feat here the other day practically demonstrating that a large airship or kite capable of carrying a man can be floated successfully and steadily. He raised his ship with a dummy man on it 600 feet. The retaining rope broke when the ship was at that altitude. Had it not been for this break, Mr. Lamson would have sent up a man to navigate his ship. As it was, W. A. Eddy, of Bayonne, NJ. an authority on aerial experiments, declared that Lamson'a achievement was the greatest step toward solving the problem of aerial navigation of the age. Two records, at all events, Lamson made. He flew the largest kite or airship ever floated. He carried by mean of this kite the heaviest weight to the greatest altitude on record. Tbe kite which made the flight is an invention of Mr. Lamson and is called "The Lamson Airship." The kite, when in the air, resembles two large, oblong j boxes parallel to each other and attached to each other in the middle. It took 15 men to carry the kite or ship into the field from which it was to be sent up. The cord tested to a pull of 500 pounds This was made fast to a reel and four men attended to it. About 400 feet of the rope was run out along the ground, and at a signal from Mr. Lamson the snip was released. It quivered a m ment and then steadily rose skyward. Seated on the car of this ship was a dummy weighted to 150 pounds. The ship rose to an altitude of 600 feet, and was rising steadily, "when, with a sudden gust of wind, snap went the rope, showing what a tremendous pressure was brought upon it by the soaring of the ship. The ship floated out a half mile and descended as easily and gracefully as it went up. Had a man been in the car he would not have been harmed in the slightest.
...

November 23, 1896 - An Airship Sure Enough!

Frisco lawyer says one is perfected and has had a successful trial.
San Francisco, Nov. 22. The Chronicle printed a story which would indicate that the airship in practical form is at established fact. About 1 o'clock last Monday morning. the inhabitants of Sacramento who astir at that hour claim to have seen an airship passing rapidly over the city (Some merely say they saw a bnght light, while others went so far as to say they saw a cigar shaped flying machine and heard human voices from it.) The residents of Oakland also say they same the same sight. The story of the mysterious airship ha been told all over tin state and has created considerable amusement, as it was generally believed to he a hoax.
...
So you can see that at least a few people were experimenting with airships in various forms at that time. This brings us to 1897, and the first incident mentioned in the 2017 Statesman article. This was written the day after the Aurora incident but doesn't mention Aurora by name.

April 18, 1897 - Strange And Startling

What is it serenely sailing over the blessed Lone Star State? Be it a big airship or something else seen in the heavens at various North Texan points.
Keep a Watch Out Here. Of late strange sights have been witnessed in the heavens and some day ago.
The Statesman obtained a dispatch saying that an airship or something of that sort had been seen sailing over Oklahoma. Now the mysterious aerial craft has been seen at various points in Texas and from all accounts it is a fast sailer. Friday night at Sherman, Mr. W. S. Hellyer, cashier of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, saw a mysterious oval-shaped object of large proportions plass over the moon. On the same night, Conductor W. M. Honney of Fort Worth, his wife and mother saw a strange object pass over the city.
On the same night Hon. J. S. Bound of Hillsboro, on his way to visit a sick friend, had an experience he will not forget soon. He was jogging alone quietly, when suddenly his horse whirled around and came near overturning the buggy. There was a brilliant light, as if coming from an arc light. This light, he says rested on him less than a minute and then he saw it gliding over a field nearby. It then turned upward and he watched it until he says it must have been 1000 feet in in the air. The light appeared to him to be the headlight of some kind of it ship. While he watched, the light went out and small ones such a incandescent lights, appeared all around the body of the vessel, or whatever it was.
The strange craft sailed slowly in a southernly direction and while Mr. Bounds watched it all the lights were extinguished and then it disappeared.
On the same night, about 2 o'clock, J. A. Black of Paris, Tx., night watchman at the Paris Oil and Cotton company's plant, observed a faint but luminous body in the northeast heavens. It looked at first like a luminous cloud, but as it drew nearer he saw it was some, huge monster. He hurried over to the cabin of a negro named Jim Smith and woke him up, and when Jim caught sight of the heavenly visitor his wool promptly straightened out and Jim piously went to praying. Mr. Black watched the object carefully, and to a Dallas News reporter he said its body was shaped something cigar, and appeared to be 200 feet long. It carried sails and attachments that looked like great fans. It finally disappeared, going in the direction of the Mississippi river. Mr. Black's dog was with himi when he first discovered the monster and he was greatly agitated and moaned until the thing disappeared.
On the same night Conductor Virgil Brown and his brakeman on the Texas-Pacilic Railroad saw the curious monster near Jewella. La., about thirty miles east of Marshall. It appeared to have a search light attached to it that threw out rays in several directions. It appeared to be going in the direction of Marshall and traveled faster than his train. On the same night at Marshall, Marshal Dick Wentberby. night watchman at the Pacific Railroad shops, saw the monster pass over. From Jewella to Hillsboro is some 300 or 400 miles, and the ship being seen at both places only a few hours apart shows it is a traveler. Whence is it? 'What is it and whither is it going, anyhow? Are we living in the days when strange sights are to appear in the heavens?
From this point onward the word was out that these things were being seen in Texas. What follows in the coming days in the Statesman seems like borderline mass hysteria.

April 20, 1897 - Rickety Airship

The report that Deputy Sheriff Thorp and Uncle Dick Boyce, afraid of the airship, were sleeping in the boiler room at the court house, is untrue. They stay in the basement of the Capitol. No weak boiler room for them with a rickety airship sailing overhead.

April 20, 1897 - The Heavenly Mystery

Possible soldiers from warlike Mars out on a terrestrial reconnoiter
An astronomical theory about the mysterious stranger as seen in Chicago. The celestial craft the talk of the town.
The great and mysterious aerial vessel that has thrown north Texas and many parts of the country into a state of excitement and commotion, was first seen sailing over Kansas, but the stories about it did not excite much attention. Since then, however, the mysterious stranger has been seen in many parts of the country, and Friday night last reputable citizens in scores of Texas towns had a view of the aerial vehicle. It has traveled over Illinois, Indiana, Iowa. Wisconsin, Arkansas, Louisiana and other states, and everywhere has excited great curiosity and in some places provoked consternation. On Friday night, April 9, the strange light skirted over the northern border of Chicago and could be seen, according to the numerous reports of residents in that neighborhood. A great crowd gathered at the corner of Milwaukee and Oakley avenues and gazed at the object, trying to figure out to their satisfaction what it might be. It was an "airship" for lack of a better name to designate it by, but most were skeptical about the identity of the "manifestation." It was said the object looked very much like a balloon, but the "red light" was plainly discernible. Many of the people mounted the roofs in the neighborhood and all the field glasses in the vicinity were called into play.
...
In Texas:
The strange craft seen at many points in North and East Texas Friday night has thrown those parts of the state into a whirl of excitement. Col. R. N. Burt, cashier of the National Bank of Ladonia, Texas, saw the craft, or whatever it is, last Friday night. His description varies very little from that of others, only that it appeared much larger to him, as he says that it seemed to be about 300 feet long, its wiungs being enormous and looking like huge sails. It seemed to hover for a short time over the city and then rise and go rapidly in a southwesterly direction. At Farmersville, Texas, Friday night, as reported in the Dallas News, about 9 o'clock a dim tight was seen in the northwest, apparently moving slowly to the south or southeast. When first seen it did not look larger than an ordinary 30-cent silver piece. Those watching it soon discovered that the object was approaching the city. It traveled; at the rate of sixty or eighty miles an hour. Some thought it to lie a cloudless tornado, and those who had storm houses lost no time in getting into them, whilst the more unfortunate waited and watched the result, of the approach of the queer object. In a very short time fully two-thirds of the citizens of the city were out looking at what they then supposed to be a large planet or meteor approaching the earth. In a few moments, in fact, in less time than one can tell it, the queer thing was almost hanging over the city. City Marshal Brown was in the western part or the city making his rounds before going home and says the ship or balloon passed over him about 200 feet from the ground. Mr. Brown says he could see two men in the ship and something resembling a large Newfoundland dog. Mr. Brown says he was close enough to hear them talking, but could not understand one word of their language.
Mr. Walter L. Norwood, an undertaker at Galveston, had a professional call about 3 o'clock Saturday morning, and he says he and his driver. Bob Tevis, saw the airship and said to a Galveston news reporter: "The moon was shining brightly, and we could see almost as fully as in daylight. There was not a cloud in the sky. When we were out on the beach not far from our destination I happened- to look up and saw the thing. It moved to the eastward down the beach, following the line of the beach as closely as one would do in driving a buggy. We stopped and watched it. When down about the end of the island it turned and followed the bay front until almost Tremont street, when it turned and went south out over the gulf, disappearing in the distance." It was pointed at both ends, according to Mr. Norwoods description, and the headlight was directly in front. It looked like a great big bird, with wings flapping regularly and it traveled swiftly.
Statesman's Mystery Man.
The mystery man of The Statesman heard yesterday that Mr. R.H. Cousins had caught a glimpse of the mysterious ship Friday night, and Mr. Cousins was seen about it. 'No, I saw no ship," he said. "I stepped out into my yard and my attention was attracted by a moving light which appeared to lie some distance above the earth, not far from the residence of Mr. J. W. Graham. I first I thought it was a meteor, but I soon discovered it moved too slow for a meteor. In the light was not very large, I think possibly I could have covered it with my hand. I watched it as it moved and it passed over and down in the direction of Shoal Creek. I saw no dark object, nor anything that resembled a ship; I saw nothing but the light, and at the time thought nothing about it. The story, as reported, was that Mr. Cousins had seen a large ship-like shape, with the light attached to it. To the Statesman's gang last night the mystery man, to the utter consternation of the boys, gave it as his unalterable opinion that there was something in this airship business. "Where there's so much smoke there must be some fire," he said. "So many reports, from so many different points can not be fabrications. People may say what they will, but there's something in it."
The gang was visibly moved. "It is my opinion," continued the mystery man, "that the airship, so-called, is nothing more nor less than a reconnoitering aerial war car from warlike Mars, investigating the Conditions of the United States to see what reinforcements we'll need when the country is invaded by the allied armies of Europe, the Mars soldiers having no confidence whatever In the American jingoes as real fighters," "With these soldiers of Mars cavorting around over our heads, do you think there is any danger to us of the earth?" asked the gang in concert,' "I most emphatically do.
Last Thursday night one of their aerial boats exploded, and scraps of steel and piece of electric wire were found on the school house, the roof of which workmen were repairing. They heard an explosion during the night, and just before it took place the aerial vehicle was seen sailing through the air. There is great danger in venturing out these nights. What if one of those fellows from Mars should tumble out and fall on you ? The city editor and telegraph man were profoundly impressed, and last night they slept under a table in the editorial rooms.

April 21, 1897 - Shadbolt gets a package at the Driskill

Say, you people all know Shadbolt, manager of the Driskill, and are acquainted with his reputation for veracity? The fact that he is in the category with George Washington in this line, inclines me to take stock in these airship yarns that are at present flooding the country. Shad asserts that while on the roof of the hotel last Monday night engaged in taking clothes off the line, he was astonished first by a peculiar sizzling noise, followed immediately by a biff, bang, whiz, and a current of cold air that chilled him to the marrow. Dodging behind a chimney pot, he saw coming towards him a frightfully constructed cigar-shaped balloon, or something of that character.
His heart was in bis throat for a moment, but swallowing it with an effort, be sang out: 'Ship ahoy!' A voice replied: 'Howde? Is this Austin?' 'You're bloody right,' yelled Shad, whereupon the main guy on that flying monster called out: 'Stand by you lubbers, and let go that freight'. Something struck the roof, and the startled manager says as the thing went out of sight there was a man sitting cross-legged on the quarter deck, working a concertina. and grinding out the music of 'Me 'Art Is True to Poll,' (???) In the bundle, which smelled of stale fish and a few decayed things of that kind, was a note stating that the ship was en route to China, but would return in October next, by which time the writer hoped the Texas legislature would have passed all the blooming (democrat) platform demands formulated at Fort Worth. Now Shadbolt will not deny bis fondness for potted cheese and a bleeding glass of 'alf and 'alf, but be says neither of these appetizers had the slightest connection with his experience on the roof. He's got the note, and the brick that came with it, and will take pleasure in showing it to his friends.

April 21, 1897 - Weary Man Sick of Hearing About Airship

A weary man: "Can yon direct me to a boarding house where they do not talk of the airship?"

April 24, 1897 - Airship Resolution

Proposal to have the commission regulate them.
Yesterday morning, in a spirit of fun, Mr. Brigance offered the following resolution about airships: "Whereas, There is an airship sailing around Texas, carrying freight and passengers; and whereas the owners or incorporators of said airship pay no taxes for said traffic; and whereas, the railroad commission have been derelict in their duty in fixing rates tor said airship; and whereas, The State of Texas is badly in need of fund to run the state government; therefore,
Be it resolved that the advocate of revenue measures. Hon. J. T. Curry, the representative from Van Zandt county, is hereby requested to be the master of making rates for the government of said airship before the Railroad Commission of Texas and request that said commission proceed at once to make rates and charges for the transportation of passengers and freight in Texas, and in default of the payment of said rates, said commission shall apply to the Justice of the Peace of Precinct No. 1, Travis County, and procure an attachment and proceed to levy the same upon said airship for the purpose of collecting said rates, etc.
Now comes the second instance mentioned in the 2017 article.

April 26, 1897 - Airship Again

The airship made its appearance again early yesterday morning. At least three young men who were camping up on Bull creek, at Huddle's point, say they saw it. Messrs. Geo. Proctor, Ted Tobin and Jno. Caldwell went up the hike Saturday afternoon for a couple of days camp, and pitched their tents at Huddle's point. About 3 o'clock yesterday morning it began to rain, and the young men were compelled to get up and fasten their tent. It was at this time they saw the mysterious air craft. They claim it was in sight fully fifteen minutes and are positive they could not have been mistaken. At intervals of every few seconds it would throw its searchlight, and the boys say the light looked as big a four ordinary arc lights. It made its appearance from behind Mount Bonnell and traveled north. The boys broke camp last afternoon they say because it was raining so hard, but that mysterious light probably made the rain seem wetter than usual.

April 27, 1897 - Another Airship Again

It seems impossible to hide anything from the "argus eyes and ears" of a Statesman reporter. Mr. Teagarden of Teagarden & Shumate, "The Peacemakers," has been in "telepathic" communication with the inhabitants of Mars for some time past. In fact his summer location on the summits of various mountains in Colorado has been the means of enabling him to adopt a system of telepathic communication, and he intimates that "the airship" now voyaging around us is for the purpose of discovery, and not war, as some suppose. The ship is named "The Peacemaker" and is now used in the interest of his manufacturing centers of goods kept by this firm and perfect such arrangements as may be necessary for their interests. Upon his return early in May, Mr. Teagarden designs taking a trip over the eastern continent as a guest of the representatives of the fiery planet. No alarm need be felt by the inhabitants of Earth as the appearance of the ship only betokens peace. In fact, wars are a thing of the past in Mars, and the art is lost with them.

April 27, 1897 - Airship Located

It is en-route to Cuba to scatter dynamite for Wyler's forces.
A carefully planned expedition left for Cuba last night from near Sea Isle, N. J. The supply of arms and ammunition left New York Saturday on lighters and was placed on a tug between Barengal and Long Branch. The tug came steadily down the coast and was soon joined by another boat. In the way of munition, the expedition took along a Hotchkiss gun. 1000 rifles, 13000 rounds of ammunition, 2000 machetes, a lot of medicine and what is known as an experimental flying machine adapted to the use of dynamite.

April 29, 1897 - Airship Seen Here

It passed over the city yesterday morning in a rain.
Moved Slowly, Plainly Visible
Seen by more than one person. Work of Hiram Wilson, son of the master-mechanic for the New York Central (Railroad).
The airship, carrying a large headlight, passed over the city yesterday morning, apparently about 300 or 400 feet above the earth. It moved slowly at first, traveling in a northwesterly direction, but its speed seemed to lie greatly increased when it reach a point probably over Shoal creek. A gentleman out north of the capitol saw it, and a colored man living on Robertson Hill had a sight of the aerial visitor. A fine view of it was had by Mr, Otto F. Porsch, an intelligent and wholly reliable gentleman living at the corner of Colorado and Second streets and doing a grain and feed business at 402 East Sixth street. He is well known and has a large circle of friends. A Statesman reporter saw Mr. Porsch at his place of business yesterday, and he told the following story: "I was aroused from my sleep by my dogs barking and growling, and I went to a window and looked out. It was very cloudy and dark, and I saw the glare of a big light on the clouds. I thought a large fire was in progress and hastily put on my clothes and went out into the yard to see where it was. As I opened the door to go out, my young dog, greatly scared at something, pushed by me and went into the house. My old dog stayed in the yard, and I noticed he was barking at something overhead, and I looked up and saw great light slowly moving over the Salge Hotel. It was coining from the southeast and moved in a northwesterly direction. It appeared to me to be about 300 or 400 feet above the hotel, and it traveled very slow, the light being so blinding that I could not see the shape of the vehicle or whatever it was carrying it, I watched it carefully, and after it had gone some distance and has passed me, I could see the shape of the rear end of the vessel, and it appeared to be in this shape." And Mr. Forsch arranged his hands in a V shape, somewhat like the tail of a fish. "It was still moving very slowly, but as I watched 1 saw a movement on each side of it like a bird flap ping its wings, and its speed was once greatly increased, and I watched it until it disappeared, which was not long after it began to increase its speed. It was drizzling a little, and it rained pretty hard after the light disappeared. Asked if he saw any colored lights, he said "No, I did not. It was a very large, ordinary light and very blinding until it passed me." Mr. Porsch said that a gentleman living out north of the capitol told him yesterday forenoon that he had seen the ship at the same time Mr. Porseh did. Mr. Porsch said: "After it had disappeared I went buck into the house and looked at the clock, and it was exactly fifteen minutes after 4." A colored man named Gray saw the ship as it passed over yesterday morning.
The Galveston News of yesterday contained a story that the vessel landed in Uvalde a few days ago near the residence of Sheriff H. W. Baylor. Two men were aboard, with whom Mr. Baylor talked, one of them giving bis name as Wilson, and he said be had lived in Fort Worth, and the News of yesterday confirmed bis story and shows he did live in the Panther city, where he worked on an arship.
...

May 2, 1897 - Letter to Sheriff Baylor of Uvalde

A gentleman in this city has written Sheriff Baylor of Uvalde for the particulars of the airship he boarded and inspected at Uvalde.

May 4, 1897 - Cripple Creek Airship

The airship has been heard from at Cripple Creek. The information comes through a letter dropped from the airship. The letter states that there are three person in the airship, and that they are out of water and can not make a landing on the earth and have given up in despair. A man who could invent such an airship a that would have the ingenuity to condense water from the clouds, but the whole thing about the airship seems to be getting to be "in nubibus." (?)

May 4, 1897 - Airship demonstrated at Nashville

A sure enough airship
A Practical Demonstration Given at the Nashvllle Exposition
Today at the Tennessee Exposition, Professor Arthur Barnard, physical instructor of the Young Men's Christian Association of Nashville, began a jonrney in an airship constructed by himself. Professor Barnard promised to sail against the wind after arising into the air, and he did so. The airship will be continued in use at the exposition. Professor Barnard said he would land at the starting point tonight. The ship is 4 feet long and 20 feet in diameter
...

May 11, 1897 - Travis County Man Knows How To Build An Airship, But Won't

In a burst of confidence yesterday, Uncle Dick Boyce informed a Statesman reporter that Joe Costa had seen an airship sailing majestically through the deep blue heavens.
Joe was hunted up and asked if he saw the aerial mystery.
"I have not seen an airship, nor do I want to see one," he indignantly said. "If I wanted to see an airship I'd build one and be done with it. I know exactly how one should be constructed. You know I've watched buzzards and a ship modeled after them will fly"
...

May 23, 1897 - Webberville Airship

It was seen in Austin and Webbervllle Friday night.
Friday night, about 12:30 o'clock, Mr. O'Brien, the Associated Press operator in the Statesman office, while standing on the gallery in front, saw what was evidently the airship, or at least the mysterious aerial body that has been seen several times in these parts. Mr. O'Brien watched it about a half minute, and then hastened to the window and called to the telegraph editor to come quick. The latter, although mentally absorbed in the interesting St. Louis produce market, hastened to the gallery, but when he got there the airship had passed out of view behind the business buildings southeast of the office. Both watched for some minutes in vain, and then returned to their work, the operator with a puzzled look, and the telegraph editor with an incredulous smile flitting across his face. They resolved not to say anything about it till next day, to see if any other night hawk had seen anything of the sort. Yesterday word came from Webberville announcing that John T. McCall, a prominent citizen of that section, had seen the airship about 10 o'clock Friday night. It was sailing very low, and he had a good view of it. He said it looked to be about fifty feet long, and was brilliantly lighted, looking something like a steamboat at night. This description tallies exactly with Mr. O Brien's description. There is about two and a half hour s difference in the time the two men saw it, but this could be easily accounted tor. There is evidently something prowling about the heavens in this neck of the woods, whether it is an airship or some other illuminated body.

June 2, 1897 - Edison Says Mysterious Airship is Fake

Thomas Edison, Denounces It as a "Pure Fake" Thinks It Absurd, Believes, However, That Airships Will Be Successfully Constructed in Future.
...

June 2, 1897 - Legislature Sees An Airship

Along about 10 o'clock some enthusiastic member saw what be thought was an air ship hovering over the university, and in a many seconds as it take to tell it, all the dear solons were rubbernecking toward the airship. The House and Senate both were nearly disbanded in their vain endeavor to see the airship. It could be plainly seen hovering over the university, and the members spent some time in discussing exactly how the ship was operated. They will probably not feel so cheerful in the morning when they discover that the impossible airship that excited their admiration was but a kite -an aeroplane- the university professors were operating for the purpose of trying to secure electrical experiments. The horse is on the solons, and they might as well give in.
Well I'm almost out of space but I think you get the picture. It goes on like this throughout the summer of 1897 and into 1898 when primitive airships were used in the Spanish-American war. There is an old truism that says necessity is the mothers milk of invention, but I have always said ubiquity does the same thing. In this case it seems to fit, the materials for flight were available everywhere and a few visionaries put it together. As for all the Austin sightings, I can't say who it was or what they were trying to do. But I do think if even one of those sightings was real then there is probably a chapter on human flight in some history books that needs a little expanding.
No Bonus Pics today I'm afraid. I hope to make it up to you next time.
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2020.01.14 19:12 jenniferisdone "Give me the number if you can find it"-Operator, Jim Croce

I would like to start by saying this is a labor of love for the tribe and in if someone has already posted it, then maybe it can just be for comparison but...
I have recorded every number I could find visibly or audibly for every episode. I did not record "how many times x happened" or count numbers of objects (unless they were really obvious) nor did I mark the timing on each incident so this may be incomplete but I haven't seen this posted before. I know u/jacksoncari posted some meaning behind numbers (amazing!) but I am looking for patterns.
Notes if you decide to use this:
  1. All numbers I found are in order from S1E1-S2E8.
  2. Dates and times (including clocks, phones, watches and computer screens)
  3. Addresses and license plates (including some inconsistencies)
  4. Songs in the Soundtrack and Film references with numbers. (Yeah, I went *there*) but it’s incomplete.
  5. Random numbers and stretches with things like "second", "half" etc... (included some really obscure shit and long walks, but just in case...)
  6. Patterns? not yet-I have not analyzed anything...I NEED YOUR HELP!
OA and Karim said together, "Line up the patterns-you solve the puzzle." Is there a pattern in the numbers?
Homecoming
"Blink twice if you can hear me"-nurse
Prairie has been in the hospital for 3 days.
Prairie's hospital room is #405, inside the room it says 405A on the wall.
Hard to read time behind Nancy as she enters the room? Can anyone see it?
"She was 7 years ago she was blind"-Abel
"I was present for all of it. 7 years, 3 months, 11 days."-Prairie
Coupons on the bulletin board in Nancy's office: Avocados are 5 for $5, something is 2 for $4 and some meat for $2.99
Steve's parents wouldn't let him go out for "like 3 years".
Reporter on TV "Of those, more than 200,000 are abducted by family members. Only an estimated 115 are the victims of kidnapping cases like Elizabeth Smart's."
Clock in dining room reads 4:45.
French's jersey number is 21.
The Choral Room at Lincoln is #273
"I try to imagine you at his age, 16, 17"-OA about Homer
Prairie's laptop shows Tuesday 10:08 AM, July 17 when looking at the Asheville video which has 3,401 views (NOTE: THIS IS THE ONLY TIME A DATE IS SHOWN ON A COMPUTER)
"I need 5 people" -OA to Steve
Johnson car license plate 85L 3SGR
Number on mailbox that I can't make out but address given later.
"you can save 40-50%" off at the store.
Many equations on BBA's chalkboard- hope to compare to Michelle's equations
"What was your 1st reason? Steve is your 1st reason." -OA to BBA
"Cast of 2... over many dimensions"-OA
Homer's jersey number is 7.
Homer video is dated 11/2/2007 from channel 10 news and has 11, 492 views
Homer was in a coma for 1 year.
Steve's gym locker is 309
"listen, I need 5 people and I need them tonight."-OA
"midnight, 5 people, you gave me your word."-OA
"Your son is 17, not 7"-Nancy to Ms. Winchell
Video of OA's eye 0:05:32, 55 mins/207 mins
BBA is making a math quiz on Pi, The Golden Ratio, Euler's Number and the square root of 3
Prairie's video was filmed February 9, 2016, has 5 views
French is studying math for the SAT in the Olive Gardner
Prairie gets discouraged at 12:20 am
Hey you want to drink a 40?-Steve to dog
"Yo, keep the 40"-Steve
"I need at least 5, I told you."-OA
"We are 5."-Steve
"I need to leave something behind...And it only works if there are 5."-OA
"I was born in Russia in 1987."
The snow was 7 feet high.
"I was always first." (to be picked up by the bus)
"They all died. Every single one of them"-OA
NEW COLOSSUS:
Nina's watch says 1:25-1:30?
"I could find you in a million violins. With 1 note, maybe 3."-Roman
Nina's watch shows 1 pm at the dean's door
Clock behind Zoya in her house shows 8:35
Nina's watch shows 4:00, downstairs shows 3:00 (I think)
Clock on Psychiatrist desk shows 10:20
"1, 2, 3" Nancy rinsing Prairie's hair
"I was medicated for 13 years"-Prairie
21 wax candles on dream cake
"I turned 21 today"-Prairie
She can have 1 hour to walk at night- Abel
French's phone shows 8:03 AM when he's at his locker
"It's from 1995"- pic of bridge crash on French's phone. There is a countdown from 5 in the top right corner then transition to next photo.
The message is from 1ostboy
Clock on Gilcrest desk is 8:05 AM
The calendar in Gilcrest desk says 10
Football player numbers on the wall 2, 5, 8, 32, 41,... 6, but there are more
On the wall at the subway station is the number 933.
I remember my 1st coffee.-Hap
"Ketchup at midnight, mustard at 4 mayo at 8."
"I'm working with 3 [NDEs] right now."-Hap to Prairie
This can make a heartbeat audible at 500 ft.
Clock behind Prairie phone call is 4:30 (when Jim Croce is playing)
"2 sets of stairs, first one is the easy one."-walking down to the basement
CHAMPION:
I spent 8 months with that family-Pat
15 weeks on the NYT best seller list- referring to Jaime's abduction book
Pat has been vegan for 5 years
5 slices of pizza in the box
"8 when he was abducted, 15 when he returned" (Jaime)
Homer says he was taken "like a year and 36 days ago "= 401 days?
HAP will give Homer 500 bucks for the study
Mandy was 2 months pregnant
French: "I'm not 12 anymore" to Steve
7:44 AM BBA checks phone
BBA's classroom is 173
Hap code is 4 numbers?
Zip code on envelope is 12213
There was a 2 lane highway
We cant be more than 4 hours away from NYC, maybe 5
4 of us are being held captive
We are held 4-5 hours from NYC
He had to refuel plane twice
Rachel's brother's address 3512 Mapleton Ft. Wayne, IN
Prairie's address 189 Mill Pond Claude, MI
"It's probably 8,000 feet underground."
AWAY:
"All 5 of you will need to work together as 1 to avert a great evil."-Khatun
"There are only 4 of us."
Prairie had no pulse for 7 minutes.
"You, blind; have done all 3." Hap to Prairie
Jesse's house is 52.
Hang with the blind girl for the 4th time?-Ally
Rod's office is 303
Theo left BBA $50,000
He was my twin (2)
There are 2 1000 piece puzzles and 550 piece on top of cabinet in Theo's room
Jesse says his mom would be 45 and his dad would be ~47
Scott says "I will see the 3 of you on the other side"
"Girls pass out in like 5 minutes"-Steve
HAPs watch shows 11:35 when he is prepping Homer
LOTS of numbers behind him in booth 15157, 14900, 0394 and 0600 are most prominent
"3 years passed" while trying to die awake
The discs in the booth are numbered
Homer runs into room 345 in his NDE.
PARADISE:
Hap walks past a house in Cuba #460
4, 3, 2, 1, Homer and OA doing push ups. "10 more."
Scott's watch shows 2:08?
Visible numbers outside Rachel's cell: 1/4 or 9?. 20, IV
Numbers on front door keypad: 3 numbers or 4 entered?
On HAPs computer: Data disk 10.0.118.130
2014, 2015, 2016 Champs on the windows
"Cant imagine what the 5 of you have in common."-Gilcrest to French
There are two 15s, two 18s on Elias' game.
The game ends on the number 36.
"Michigan's economy is ranked 13th in the nation."-At French award dinner
French works 2 jobs
French's license plate 60X9LH
Lots of numbers on HAPs plane controls
Clock behind Homer in hotel says 6:30
"How many mines are there like that? What, a hundred?"-Homer to Hap
HAP: "Approximately 500,000"
They will find us in "Like 24 hours, no in like 12 hours"-Homer
Renata asks Homer how old he is: 22? 25?
"You said we needed 5, now we're 5."
"There are movements. 5 of them and you need 5 at least. 5 movements open a tunnel to another dimension."-Scott after resurrection
"I have the 3rd movement"-Scott
"I'm going to teach you the movements-all 5 of them."- OA to Crestwood FIVE
FORKING PATHS
"Michelle is 15 years old"
2 years passed in captivity.
"Scott had given us the 3rd movement, Renata the 4th."-OA to C5
"We had to have all 5 movements"
"It had been 1 year since Renata got the 4th movement."
"Would we ever get the 5th?"
Maybe a year, a year and a half- how far away Leon says he is from the truth
"In the center, number 20" (when Leon asks HAP to check out the morgue)
We both need the 5th movement- HAP
1 of us will get it- OA
"Khatun, we need the 5th movement"
Homer talking about gardening "The 2nd year...The 3rd year we grow a special nettle plant that keeps the mites away."
EMPIRE OF LIGHT:
"Was it 1 of those dreams?"-Abel to Prairie
There are 6 tables reflected in the ceiling when Elias and Prairie are talking
"Then you're 21"-ER to Prairie
"The first time...The second time, I thought I solved the puzzle."
"It's been over an hour"-Nancy to Abel
Abel is reading Metal Floss and the number 500 is on the front cover
"You want to take us through the 2nd movement?"-OA to Stever
"Homer's movement, the 2nd movement..."-OA
Steve's dad "Had to shell out $5,000" to Miles' parents
BBA's fridge is 10 years old
Asheville vam plates 85I-Y76C
Speed limit is 50
"table for 3" at the Olive Garden
Prairie orders 5 cheese ziti
"How long did you 2 date?"-Nancy to Prairie
"...Like 4 months"
The number 115 is on the side of the Asheville van
"molestation is illegal in all 50 states"
"You were 10 feet away"
BBA gives the guys $50,000
Prairie's scars-"They are 2 notations of the 5 movements."
BBA's plates: D61 2HSC
INVISIBLE SELF
"I have 5 people locked up in the basement"-Hap to Stan
They brought him [Scott] back 11 hours later.
"This man's wife is sick and you 2 are going to heal her."
Evelyn says 1 day will help 2 captive angels
The 5th movement...its always a matter of will.-Evelyn
I have the 5th movement- HAP
5% maybe 10% discount-Nancy about the hotel
A Scott Brown disappeared in 1995.
"I went 7 years without touching someone"- OA (but what about Hap? They touched?)
"Everyday for over 7 years"
"You know what 2nd hand trauma is?"-Elias
Amazon box says 1A5
On BBA's chalkboard: "Can you solve for x?"
-3(2x-1)+x = 2x-2(5x+4) The chalkboard shows that Alfonso solved it.
There appears to be the number 5 in the driveway aerial shot.
Ambulance plates RXG N6A, top right CC5
S2
ANGEL OF DEATH
7 hours 46 minutes earlier.
Numbers on Duke's boat I can't read
"2 weeks ago, it stops"-Michelle's messages + money
Grandma Vu's phone is at 41%
Messages from Michelle are at: 6:34 pm and the last one was at 10:10 am
GV's phone is now 90% (probably just continuity)
It is 2:23 pm on GV phone
Michelle's Ether is 29.482 or 31, 096 USD
"Most girls under 18 go missing over 72 hours are never found again or are found dead."-KW
Vietnamese family apartment is 213
Michelle gave the family $50, twice
Alleyway address is 658, next one is 66_?
"The House" number 9783
Equations in Michelle's hideout plus these numbers 3, 5, 8 in a box 29, 15, 35, 43, 37, 39, 27, 12, 51, 4, 90
The number 3 is circled next to 5, 7, 70
"What $100? More. $31, 000?"-After basketball game
Liam says that has seen a million versions of himself
"Be there by 10 am"-Detectives to KW
On the club door: Saturday, May 21st, $8, doors at 11
Gaming Tournament: 8:30 on 5.25.2016 $5 fee
Pod Blotz May 16, 2016, $7, 10 pm
8:25 when Karim is in the club
Michelle stopped going to big blue "A little over 2 weeks ago"
There are 5 levels: Level 1 is $50, Level 2, $500, Level 3 $5000
Level 4 is $50,000, Level 5 is $1 million
Numbers on Fola's phone 19976, 5791, 0002
5 letter word on the game
You only get 3 tries
Flights visible through phone BA411, VU411, QP522 I H744, RQ633
3 Wise Man
Ambulance in D1= RXG N6A, D2= 4049958, top right 305
How many fingers am I holding up? 4 fingers
The year is 2016
Nina's drivers license: 9P78001L
Address 4248 Washington Street Unit 9
San Francisco, CA
Expires: 10/16/2021
DOB: 10/16/1987
Bottom right 08222010
"Combative patient, 5150"-Nurse
Karim says that Michelle has $30K, no $36K not consistent with earlier #?
Address while walking: 125 Waverly Place
3symbol?3 while walking
$5,000 for the best low-cost panel, overnight 200 people working for him-about Ruskin
There are TWO Homer Roberts in Northern California! A man in his 60s in Sacramento.
Nina was age 8 when she was adopted. (That would make the baby ~20 years old at this time?)
They want to monitor you for another 14 days
you can volunteer yourself for a 14 day stay
Police plate 3Q449927
Car says #0917, then later same plate says #3252
70 degrees on the thermostat
Karim's plates: 4D0Q678
Ruskin Interview on phone: battery at 12%, 4383 views
"Those 5 kids in the Bay Area."
There are like thousands of kids playing.
Ruskin car license plate 5PCI147
I'll give you $400 to let me sub for 1 of your men tonight."
$500.
Iside CURI-Subject 2-056 on computer screen
The center of the blue light in CURI shows 04:19
Nina's room is 342
Dr. Roberts is a 3rd year resident
Scott is in room 348
TREASURE ISLAND
The time on the Ferry Building is 5 pm or am
Homer had 56 minutes of REM sleep
Addresses behind 940 Duncan, 5160 Diamond Heights
Clock in HAPs office shows 10:15?
2 days after I left you
Paralysis kicks in after 11 minutes, the heart stops in 13 to 15.
Dr. Percy's watch shows 2:40?
Clock shows 8:45?
"5 of hearts- you'll fall in love 5 time"-Dreamers to Karim
Every night each of us has 4 maybe 5 dreams
Marla listens to Hundreds of them every night
Address on Karim's yellow shirt show 4157 Normal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA P phone # 741-8489
The game is at 7-thats 8 hours
We checked the camera the last 4 weeks
You're the only 2 we got going in and out
"I've been more of a prison guard for the past 2 months." -Dr. Roberts
She was MI-5
in 2010 Ruskin headhunted Marla Rhodes
14 days ago, she left CURI
She was audited in 2013
Calendula Books is at 7213 Bier Drive Grass Valley, CA 95945 (cross street is Third street)
Remember that we were together for 7 years- OA to Homer
I've got to get back to Oakland in like 3 hours-Karim
Delivery girl license plate 6PCI487
Nina Azarova 0073401
"My family immigrated to Miami when I was **12"-**Renata
I went through 20 of these [drones] before I got it right-Marla
The crows defend their nests with **numbers-**Marla
10, 20, 30 [crows] will unite
Karim had 5 years of field work in the FBI
Monopoly money in different amounts
"In Germany in the 1920s"-Dreams of Bloody Rivers
Over 400 dreams to process every day
Over a **few months-**patterns emerged
Last year in a weekly set of 2, 000 dreams 3 images emerged
There are millions of these things on their own
Karim's phone reads 4:43
The house address is 9783 Sutter
It's been 60 hours since Liam was in the house
He saw 47 selves
Buck's house is 44
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MAGIC MIRROR
Crewtwood 5 in a circle in opening credits
Speed limit is 45 as Steve drives
Time on Bucks phone is 9:58, battery is 78%
Angie's address is 10629 West Payne Court
There are people saying you should have been shot the second you stood up
Prairie's funeral program shows 1987-2016
BBA is watching Wheel of Fortune and Pat Sajak says "there are 6 of them" and then "**$4, 200"...**Don't let the cat out of the bag
Are there any numbers on the map?
French's phone shows 1:07 pm
Jesse's meditation app "over the course of the last 18 hours of so" I USE THIS ONE! It's very helpful!
"We move in 2 days"- Ms. Vu
Gary is like 2 hours away
The hotel pool is 5',15"
Truck parked outside pool shows 5 on the top in reference to the flavors?
Goodwill closes at 5
"You 2 are made for eachother" about Steve and Jesse
French's phone is at 58%
French's hook up is 5"10", 180 lbs
It's 8:53 in the car
Jesse give the dealer $40
Time at apartment is 11:31
Aunt Lily has 4 stars on Yelp
It's almost 500 miles to Aunt Lily's
That's a man-100% About Steve McQueen (need to rewatch Bullit)
You mean the 7 heavens?
There's 2 mirrors upstairs, 1 in the hall and 1 in the back
On the TV: "get 10% off" , 4, "1st clue, 2,...
Courtesy of u/Night_Manager https://www.reddit.com/TheOA/comments/eick53/for_nubes_like_me_who_missed_it_the_first_time/fczi47?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
https://www.reddit.com/TheOA/comments/eick53/for_nubes_like_me_who_missed_it_the_first_time/fczpdwt/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
SYZYGY: (means 3 in alignment)
Never spent 7 years underground
Karim to Nina-Every 24 hours that passes...
within the next 15 minutes
Missing girl, 16
She was staying at 828 Sutter, your house."
"He turned that into a **5250"-**Nina to Karim
Another 12 days here is doable
They duck into room 335
"by Nixon in '74"
The house was built in 1910.
Various measurements on blueprints of the house
These plans are from the 60s or 70s.
Three Wise Man
Numbers at bottom of Karim's phone: 19976, 5791, 0002
Numbers on the clock above HAP don't make sense: I, II, II?
HAPs phone shows 10:30, battery is 58%
Homer has called 2 times, 3 minutes ago and 6 minutes ago
She's a 5250
Check in every half hour
on one of the 2,500 nights underground
Tells her on the 1st date
Then 1 day out of the blue
Code to Nina's closet 10-15-87
Nina grabs a tape labeled Paris 18 September 2009 + many other labeled tapes with dates
There is a small clock on the shelf that reads either 5:35 or 6:25
On the tape, Nina says March 24, 2013
Homer is on tinder and is looking at Heather, 25 Hannah, 27 Hollie, 23 Noelle, **24 ,**Dharmi, 24, Yassi, 27
battery at 87%
Yassi gives 0 fucks
Kyoshi's at 8
Yassi lives 2 miles away from Homer
Nina's phone say 6:14 PM battery also at 87%
Phone number for Syzygy is (213) 999-3650
See you at 9
There are 5 tables in the living room
You get 4 other people and you do the movements
So you owe $44.50, and I owe $49.64
About $5?
We can't be more than .5 mile away from the house.
Stairwell floor 2
Nina 5...
Cue spots in 5, 4, 2, 1
Old Night has 8 arms, of course
He must kill me for 37 seconds
Old Night counts down backwards
Did you see these 2?
THE MEDIUM AND THE ENGINEER-5
Double sided staircase
Folders in file: 85, 81
Just give me 1 minute
Phone (510)555-0100 for transfer clinic
Rachel last visit 5/10/2016
Discharge date: 5/20/2016
I'm the only one here
Clock on Hap's desk shows 12:10
Again: the house was built in 1910
Childless couple in their 40's
Karim sees a million versions of himself?
I'm sorry you're not the chosen one
I found 1 hospital in the Bay Area
Some dude can put you underground for 7 years
MIRROR, MIRROR-6
Amber alert for 15 year old
Can you give us a minute, we could really use a minute
Buck's watch shows 10:10
Background outside of gas station Propane 504-TANK
How come there are only 5 phones?-BBA
The bus number is 6200
Theo and I were maybe 16
Those 2 or 3 weeks every summer is the only time we got to breathe
Amy's license plate 3DHI932
Elias' business card phone numbers- office: 212-555-0100 cell: 212-555-0132
We need 5
NINA AZAROVA-7
Toxicology report: Karim 990 ppm, 3,000 ppm
After the 2nd, the 3rd...
There are more than 1,000 young smart people playing that game and you got farther than 99% of them"- Karim to Fola
I called your phone 20 times.
The video of Michelle show rose-08 and 21:16...
How come you didn't find it the 1st time? -Karim to OA
2 hour parking outside the house
I'm trying to have a baby, give me a minute.
8 minutes apart, then 7 minutes
Mo's doctor will be by in about an hour
There are 3 distinct Karim's walking away from Mo.
You're the one that Dr Percy loves.
The dreamers all dreamed of 4 things
OVERVIEW-8
Nina is in camera five and the time reads 23:02:...
Inside clinic dates in lobby: 1950, 1969
It's a 5 sided aquarium
Nina read Quantum Psychotic in a single night
Can't see the numbers on Haps lab board?
Are you sure you're ready? HAPS DOOR CODE: 235#62???
No human could run a mile in under 4 minutes
Then one day it was done in 3:59
Karim's shirt Giants champs 2010
Ready, 1, 2... lifting Brit
Ambulance license plate YX59 EXW
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SOUNDTRACK SONGS WITH NUMBERS:
"Waiting, watching the clock it's 4 o'clock, it's got to stop." -Better Man, Pearl Jam
"'Cause I can't read the number that you just gave me"-Operator, Jim Croce "Give me the number if you can find it"-Operator, Jim Croce
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INFLUENCES WITH NUMBERS:
Slaughterhouse FIVE
2001: A Space Odyssey
Twin Peaks
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EDIT: DOH! THE ROSE WINDOW ( which is what started me on numbers in the first place from drawing it out)
The center is a blue hexagon (6 sides) surrounded by a 6 petal "flower" from there outward are 12s... 12 arms, 12 "roses". Inside those are 8s in white petals.
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That's what I have so far! If I see something as I continue to rewatch, I will add it with an edit note.
Let's be otters? Please share whatever connections you have or things I missed and I will add it with a reference.
Edit: In the music video for Downtown, the numbers 5 and 3 or visible on the walls. I’m still looking for a solid 53 though! @ u/lorzs
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