Business-District

there have been 2 car bomb explosions in baghdad, iraq. 24 people have been killed from an explosion outside a popular ice cream parlour and 12 killed from another explosion in a busy district (near al Shahada bridge). please keep these innocent souls in your prayers as they’re often forgotten by western media

i think it’s time i told you (i’m a fan of your universe) (1/1)

Years after Hawkmoth’s defeat, Ladybug and Chat Noir have a conversation about life, love, and marriage.

Ladybug checked her communicator for the third time that night, and frowned.

The green pawprint blinked idly back at her, resting at a junction between city streets—the same place it had been every other time she’d checked.

They hadn’t arranged to meet up that night. It was her turn for a solo patrol tonight, and there hadn’t been any trouble big enough to make calling for help a necessity. She’d stopped a couple muggings, interrupted a robbery—normal, small things. Nothing that needed an extra pair of hands.

And, sure, they both transformed just for the fun of it sometimes. Sometimes they caught one another out on morning strolls or midnight snack runs or impromptu patrols, but usually those involved moving around.

Chat’s tracker hadn’t moved in the past two hours.

She shouldn’t worry—Hawkmoth had been in jail for the past three years and Chat wasn’t in a bad part of town right now—but…

But…

The green pawprint blinked at her from the same junction, at the same pace, unmoved.

Ladybug abandoned the end of her route and headed downtown.

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Android Companion AU

Lucis is an advanced civilization, the crown city of Insomnia is self sustaining and generally safe, but the limited land with which to build on can barely fit the growing population. You are an independent adult who had landed a dream job in the heart of the city, your parents bid you farewell from their farmhouse just east of Lestallum, and now you are living alone in a very crowded, claustrophobic, and constantly noisy business district.

One day, you find an offer of comfort in your solitary life:

Model: NOCT-1.5 (limited number of units produced):

  • This model is the cutting-edge technology of all companions available in the market, the be-all end-all royalty of the trade. it is never advertised because very few people can afford it, but you’re a tech nerd and you’ve heard of the legends
  • It’s usually ridiculously expensive and waaaay out of your range, for some reason, this one is on sharp discount in your local computer shop
  • the clerk tells you it’s on a discount because it has been taken out of the box by a previous owner and returned, but is in top shape otherwise
  • it’s a small investment even after the price cut and you’re seriously trying to talk yourself out of it, but the more you look at the android behind the sheer plastic, the more you are entranced by the sharp features and slim design.
  • a part of you hungers to see what the eyes look like once turned on, and what kinds of apps and functions you can install on such a rare product
  • you take it home, and the moment you plug it- him in, bright piercing eyes glow red for three seconds, and then mellow out to a soft crystal blue

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Ride the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar in Orleans

Unfurling a miles-long panorama of Southern street life, it stretches from the Central Business District to Audubon Park, and way Uptown. 

You can even take a guided tour through the neighbourhoods that were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, which showcase the resilience of the locals and displays the restoration of the city.

Discover seven other amazing experiences in New Orleans with our guide

Titles of Wikipedia entries from an alternate universe, as generated by a neural network:

  • The County Route 37th District Championships (Minnesota)
  • Sonic police of the Georgia
  • Berry War
  • Sinister of the Canada and Stars (language)
  • Telephosphate (disambiguation)
  • Great Story Conservation
  • Alan Communication (Australian politician)
  • USS Simple District
  • South Business (The Fish Mool Soundtrack)
  • Community of Battle of the San First Airlines in Montance Regiment
  • Boogo (disambiguation)
  • William Cardinalists (song)
  • Saint-Doctor County
  • Color of Saint-Berlin (disambiguation)
  • Order of Santa (film)
  • Star Sharker
  • Blue High School (District of Historic District)
  • Robert Recomatory (comics)
  • Anti-Family Dendric River
  • Speed Baronet
  • Stricture of the Range (disambiguation)
  • Bear of Santa (footballer)
  • Single and Engineering Act 1982
  • Canton of Dark of Business
  • Shine County Controller
You Win Some, You Lose Some

“Why are we scowling today?” Hoody asks you as she sits down next to you.

“I’m not scowling. That’s just my face” you answered her back not looking up from your tablet.

“No, babe. I know your resting bitch face. That one is a scowl.” She tells you again, poking your forehead.

“Leave me alone.” You told her as you attempted to bite her finger.

“Ugh. What did he do now?” she asks crossing her arms across her chest.

“Nothing. Nothing at all. And that’s the problem.” You replied with a tinge of annoyance.

Right on cue, Jay walks out from his office and approached you and Hoody. The moment he saw the annoyed look on your face, he knew that he was close to winning this thing.

“Aww babe. You wore overalls.” He says as he stands in front of where you were seated.

“I’m kink shaming you!” Hoody says covering her ears.

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Kiss Me Again [Christian Yu]

Originally posted by mayfifolle

Artist: Christian Yu | Word Count: 2.504

Hello anon, I’m sorry for taking so long! I don’t think this is angsty enough but it’s leaning more to fluff? Because I didn’t felt like writing angst for this request:( Thank you for the support and for requesting darling, I hope you like it<3

****

It happened around five years ago, at the backstage of a music show, when you were fumbling with your microphone only a few minute before your performance. The look of panic was all over your face as there was no staff to help, while time continued to slip by. That’s when Barom stepped in, curious of your trouble, and helped fixing the microphone in merely a minute left before your show. You thanked the man and went to the stage, and three minutes later you found him leaning against the walls, eyes wide in amazement after your performance.

And that was when the amazing friendship started, a bond you were so grateful even until now. Being a soloist was pretty lonely for you, especially in your first year. But Barom was always there, despite having five rambunctious and energetic boys to lead. He was there to listen to your awful jokes, random splutters, deep thoughts, and anything that’s making you sad or happy. And you did the same, listening to his dreams in bringing his group to success, being known worldwide, making his parents proud back in Australia, and to learn about cinematography one day. Both of you always tried to be there for each other, despite the hectic performances and limited sleep hours.

But one day, everything spiraled down, and you found yourself staring in shock at the person standing in front of your apartment.

Barom slowly retracted his hand back to his sides after loudly knocking. His eyes were bloodshot, nose flaring, and mouth slightly open as he tried to breathe. The man didn’t care one bit to cover his identity, carelessly displaying his face to public. And by the looks of the situation he was in, deep down you knew today was the dreaded day. You quickly pulled Barom inside your apartment, locking the doors and turning towards the broken man, your eyes questioning him silently.

“They did it, they disbanded the group,” Barom whispered, his voice full of pain, “I’ve failed all of them, (Name), I couldn’t stop this from happening.” Fresh tears started to pool in his eyes and the man wasn’t ashamed to let them slide down his cheeks.

“Oh Barom,” You gasped, feeling the agony he felt transferred to your heart, “Barom, don’t blame yourself! I’m sure you did your very best, and there was nothing left you could’ve done.” Bringing your hands gently to his face, you gently wiped the tears away from his cheeks.

"Please hold me.” The request was simple, and Barom didn’t need to repeat to feel your arms snake around his waist, hugging his bigger form closer to yours. The man leaned in and placed his head on your shoulder, sobbing quietly while you felt your shirt getting damper.

“I let everyone down, I’m putting our fans through a tough time and not to mention ruining our own future!” Barom started, letting his poisonous thoughts slip through his lips, “My boys put so much trust into me, hoping I could prevent this from happening. I made the fans wait anxiously, and they’d wake up tomorrow knowing their group had disbanded. And what will we be next, (Name)? Will the bond our group share die like this as well?” He had stopped crying so you pulled him away to stare deeply into his eyes, those beautiful brown orbs that were full of storms and raging seas.

“Listen Barom,” You started, clearly torn apart hearing his thoughts, “You have done your best, you are the greatest leader your friends could ever have, your fans would respect the decision and will continue supporting you all, there would be stronger friendship ahead, and no one’s future is going to be fucked! If someone were to blame it’s definitely the company Barom, not you. I believe you did well, I believe you tried saving them from this, and you’ve done so well, so stop beating yourself up!” At this point you were getting emotional as well, and you gulped as you watched Barom’s face contort from sadness to realization.

“You really think so?”

“Yes! So don’t blame yourself, please. Because all you did was the right thing. And nothing’s going to change except the fate of the group.” Barom lets out a sigh, the tiredness in his soul carried by the huff of air. You gave him a sympathetic smile and patted his hair affectionately.

“Do you want to stay here tonight?” You offered, knowing the distance to his dorm was far and the night was getting late, “We could watch movies, or play games, or-“

“Actually I have to go, (Name),” Barom cuts you off reluctantly, an apologetic look on his face, “In a few hours.”

“What? Go where?”

“Back to Australia,” The man chuckled, sounding bitter and hoarse, “Mom invited me to come back home immediately, and I thought that’ll be a great place for me to meditate and rearrange my life again.” He looked relieved, and you were more than happy to see the pain subsiding from here. But the answer you got next wasn’t so pleasing to hear.

"How long will you be gone?” You asked, bouncing nervously on the pad of your heel, “And when is your flight?” The confliction in the window of his soul was crystal clear, and you grew more nervous for his answer.

"I don’t know how long I’ll be gone (Name), and I’ll be going in three hours,” Your eyes went wide hearing his answer, quickly looking up to the clock to note his flight was during midnight, “Probably when I’m sure what I’m going to do next with my life. But in the meantime, even though it’s selfish of me to ask this, but could you wait for me? I promise I won’t be long, and I won’t cut any communications with you.” There was hope in his voice and you nodded, knowing without him having to ask you’d wait for him anyway.

“Of course I will!” You answered, trying to smile reassuringly to the man, “Just take care, alright? And know that everything’s going to be fine.” Barom finally grinned that night and hugged you close, telling you how grateful he was for having you around. And that night, Barom parted with tangled arms that don’t want to let each other go and a goodbye kiss at the forehead.

That was two years ago, when Barom was going through the hardest time of his life. He came back later, and proposed the idea of making a group that specializes in visual editing with his friends. The man came back with amazing skills of video editing, and he had not only changed his looks but Barom was much wiser and stronger than before. You were proud and happy for the man, and continued to maintain the unbreakable friendship you both had.

But as the years flew by you felt something more for Barom, and it was something more than just friendship. People would conclude you two were best friends because of all the years spent together, and you both thought of each other like that as well. But not to you, as you started to notice how Barom would teasingly play with his hair, flash that cocky grin towards you, or when he looked good in anything that he wore. You paid extra attention to the words he said, blushing at every usual comment he made about you, your heart beating fast for every hug and kissed being shared. It was weird how you would be an emotional wreck when you’re with him, yet you didn’t want to disappear from his side at all.

And that’s when you realized you’ve fallen for the man you called your best friend. The catch was you were already in a relationship before the puzzles started to piece together, and your boyfriend of six months sensed the sudden change in your attitude, which lead to a not-so-peaceful breakup. You walked through the night, the umbrella shielding you from the rain, your feet taking you anywhere.

After thirty minutes of walk you stopped at a business district, at the heart of Seoul. You closed your umbrella and laid it carelessly outside and quickly made your way inside the building. It was raining hard as summer had officially come to Seoul, as thunders and lightning painted the dark sky. The emotions inside your heart were similar of the weather outside, the heavy pouring rain representing the sadness looming over you. When you arrived in front of an office, you didn’t bother to knock and went inside anyway, knowing Barom would be the only one left at this hour.

Barom stopped the video he was working on and saved his progress, turning his chair to see the visitor that had walked in. He thought it might be one of his friends retrieving a forgotten item from their desk, but he was taken aback seeing you standing a few feet from his table, eyes looking hollow and tired. His heart broke seeing you looking so fatigued, and deep down he had a guess of what had happened earlier.

“Was it your boyfriend?” Barom started, walking towards your spot. You only nodded, feeling your voice disappear when you most needed it.

“Please hold me.” With all the power you had you whimpered those words, and Barom quickly scooped you into his arms, engulfing you in the warmth of his body. When your head lay on his chest and his fingers slowly stroked through your hair, you lost it. It was like a dam broke inside of you, letting the tears that’ve pooled in your eyes fall free to your cheeks. Your sobs were muffled, but the sound was enough to tear Barom’s heart apart. He hated seeing you like this, especially if your boyfriend makes you cry.

“Do you want to tell me what happened, darling?” Barom coaxed, slowly rocking you in an attempt to calm your cries.

“It was my fault in the first place, Barom,” You started, your voice interrupted by hiccups, “I realized just a few days ago that I was never in love with him. He noticed my change of attitude and he was mad, he has all the right to be, but I just hate myself!” The statement that escaped your mouth caused Barom to stop moving his feet, gently letting you go to examine your face.

“So you’ve never loved him all this time?” His question was met by a nod, “And he was the one that called quits?” Another nod was given to him, and Barom could only gulp as nervousness started to bubble inside of him.

Barom searched all his memories, replying every story you told about your ex, remembering how you looked so happy with him and how it tore his heart apart. But now he was left to wander of who you had actually fallen for, and a small part of him hoped that he could be the man. He felt like your friendship with him was something more than best friends, that Barom had tainted his relationship with you with love, and he couldn’t help but ask in his heart if you felt like that.

“To be honest (Name), I don’t think all the fault is at you,” Barom started, rubbing his hand on your shoulders in reassurance, “I mean, you realized this when it’s kind of late, which you didn’t mean to happen, right? Your feelings were clouded for a moment, but I think it’s better if things end now rather than holding the truth from your ex for further time.” His opinion didn’t seem to help you much, as your face was still frowning, like there’s more problem than that.

“Did I say something wrong?” Barom asked hastily, hoping that he didn’t say anything to make things worse. You shook your head, mind suddenly going blank on what to reveal next.

“What? No! It’s just that…” You trailed off, suddenly feeling blood creeping up to your cheeks, “I’ll face the guilt one day. But my feelings for this guy— oh god, where do I even start?” Groaning, you pulled your hands up to your face, trying to cover the blush that’s settled on your cheeks. Barom broke into a laugh, finding your current state cute and feeling warm all of a sudden.

"Who is this guy anyway?” Barom asked, the curiosity getting the better of it yet he felt too anxious to hear your answer. Your eyes widened and they looked terrified, as you gulped and thought of a way to evade the question.

“You really won’t like him, Barom.”

“What? You’re not in love with an old grandpa that’s giving you money, right?”

“Of course not!”

“Or my arch nemesis?”

"No!” You shouted, breaking into a laugh at his accusation, “But seriously Barom, you won’t be pleased to hear it.” You prayed that Barom would take the hint, but the man only leaned closer, staring at you with a glint of mischief in his eyes.

“As long as it’s not old rich hags or my rival that you like, I’m cool with it.” Barom was relentless now, and it was hard avoiding his question when he chose to pester you around until you open up.

With a sigh, you stared dead on to Barom’s eyes, his orbs full of curiosity. And then your eyes moved down, from his pointy nose down to those luscious lips. And without giving much of a thought, you crashed your lips to his, and Barom’s eyes went wide when he felt you soft lips against his. The man quickly grabbed your chin and kissed deeper, and the kiss soon turned passionate, as if you both were waiting for this moment to happen. Barom parted away, chest panting up and down as he stared at your flushed face, finding it hard to believe the bizarre kiss had just happened. The kiss that he waited all this time!

“See? That’s why you won’t like it when I say it,” You started, eyes gazed down to the floor and oblivious to the love in Barom’s eyes, “Because after all these years, I’ve just realized I love my best friend so fucking much! And now I just did something stupid that will break our relationship, and—“

“And I love you!” Your head snapped up, seeing Barom looking at you with so much warmth and love that you’ve never felt before, “Didn’t you felt it when I kissed you back? Didn’t you feel the spark we share during that kiss? I love you too and our relationship won’t change at all!” Your heart sped at his confession, and you felt tears softly trickle down your cheeks but you were smiling wide in joy. Barom himself felt like he was in the clouds, and he gently laced his fingers with yours, feeling that everything was so right.

"Kiss me again, Barom. Prove it to me that you love me too.”

“I’d gladly do so, princess.”

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

At 11:02 a.m. on Aug. 9, 1945, the bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” exploded approximately 500 meters above Nagasaki, Japan. It instantly killed an estimated 70,000 of the city’s population. Three days earlier, on Aug. 6, 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress bomber called Enola Gay dropped a uranium-235 bomb on Hiroshima, eventually killing at least 140,000 people. It was the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over.

On the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki and amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, here’s a look back at that fateful event. (AP/Getty images)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

Destroyed Urakami Cathedral is see just after the atomic bomb was dropped in Aug. 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Almost nothing remained of this district in Nagasaki, Japan, as the result of the atomic bomb attack. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

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Four months after the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, an unidentified person stands beside a seared tree amid ruins and rubble, Nagasaki, Japan, Dec. 9, 1945. (Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Keloids cover the back of a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bomb. Keloids are dense, fibrous growths that grow over scar tissue. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

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The remains of Mitsubishi steel plant, which was 1 ½ miles from where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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A female Nagasaki atomic bomb victim receives a treatment at Shin Kozen Elementary School in Aug. 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

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Former business district of Nagasaki in Sept. 1945 where 18,000 hotels, office buildings and homes once stood before the total devastation of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped a month earlier. (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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Remains of trolley car in foreground, 2 ½ miles from where the U.S.dropped an atomic bomb in Nagasaki, 1945 (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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A small atomic bomb survivor receives a treatment at temporary hospital set at Shin Kozen Elementary School on Sept. 23, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

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Completely destroyed Urakami Cathedral is seen, 500 meters from the epicenter of Nagasaki atomic bomb, in Aug. 1945 in Japan. (Photo: Eiichi Matsumoto/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

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Lieutenant Colonel Kermit Beahan, who dropped an atomic Bomb in Nagasaki, is shown in Chicago Ill., on Sept. 19, 1945. (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

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Devastation left after an atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9 1945. No precise date is given for the photo, which was taken not long after the explosion. (Photo: U.S. Signal Corps/AP)

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The hospital at Nagasaki Medical College, located only 800 meters from ground zero, was destroyed when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city at the end of World War II on Aug. 9. 1945. Only the reinforced concrete buildings remain standing. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

This is the type of atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II, the Atomic Energy Commission and Defense Department said in releasing this photo in Washington, Dec. 6, 1960. The weapon, known as the ‘Fat Man’ type, is 60 inches in diameter and 128 inches long. The second nuclear weapon to be detonated, it weighed about 10,000 pounds and had a yield equivalent to approximately 20,000 tons of high explosive. (Photo: AP)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

August 1945 damage from the atomic bombing of the Japanese City of Nagasaki at the end of world war two. (Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

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A Japanese civilian pushes his loaded bike down a path which has been cleared of the rubble. On either side of the path debris, twisted metal, and gnared tree stumps fill the area in Nagasaki on Sept. 13, 1945. This is in the center of the devasted area. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

The crew of the United States Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress ‘Bockscar’, which dropped the atomic bomb ‘Fat Man’ on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. Front row, left to right: flight engineer John D. Kuharek, gunner and assistant flight engineer Ray Gallagher, tail gunner Albert Dehart, radio operator Abe Spitzer, unknown. Back row, left to right: bombardier Raymond ‘Kermit’ Beahan, navigator James Van Pelt, co-pilot Charles Donald Albury, co-pilot Fred Olivi and pilot Major General Charles W. Sweeney. (Photo: FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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A young man lies on a mat with burns covering his body, after falling victim to the explosion of the atom bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, 1945. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

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A child with her mother in Nagasaki on the morning after the dropping of the atomic bomb, Aug. 10, 1945. Both have received a rice dumpling from emergency supplies. They were 1.5 km southeast of the Epicenter. (Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Smoke billows over the Japanese city of Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

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Battered religious figures rest among the rubble of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing of the city by American armed forces on Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

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Men who helped drop the second war-stopping atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, study a map of their objective shortly before the take off of the B-29 “77” which dropped the bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. Left to right: Capt. Theo J. Van Kirk, navigator, who also made flight aboard the ‘Enola Gay’ when it dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima; Major Sweeney, commanding officer of the 393 bomb squadron and pilot. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

View of the radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki City, as seen from 9.6 km away, in Koyagi-jima, Japan, Aug. 9, 1945. The U.S. B-29 superfortress Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man,’ which detonated above the ground, on northern part of Nagasaki City just after 11am. (Photo: Hiromichi Matsuda/Handout from Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

General view in July 1946 of the Nagasaki Medical School in Japan. It was located at about one kilometer from where the American atomic bomb was dropped. The structure of the buildings held but debris and fallen trees are everywhere. One year after the explosion, the ruins of the bombing are still in evidence. The city, which is still radio-active, has been deserted by the survivors. (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

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Nagasaki in ruins after the atomic bombing of Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

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Only the reinforced concrete buildings of the Nagasaki Medical College hospital remain standing after the United States dropped its second atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. The hospital was located 800 meters from ground zero of the atomic bomb explosion. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

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The shapes of a man and ladder on the wooden wall of a factory is seen about 4 km away from where the atomic bomb ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on an unknown day of August, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. The areas shadowed by a man and ladder remained unburnt by the energy of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb dropped in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

One building still stands in a cityscape devastated by the atom bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

The flight crews of two planes go over planes for the dropping of the first atomic bombs. The middle-aged man in the center is Lt. Col. Payette. On the left, in the foreground in profile is Lt. Ralph Devore. The man looking over Payette’s shoulder is Major Chuck Sweeney. Sweeney commanded and Devore flew with the mission to drop the second bomb on Nagasaki. To the right in profile are Lts. Thomas Ferebee (in cap, with mustache) and Morris Jeppson, both of whom flew with the first mission to bomb Hiroshima. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

nytimes.com
Opinion | Is It Time to Break Up Google?
Let’s face it: The biggest tech companies are monopolies.
By Jonathan Taplin

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place. 

They’re all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. in classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about the “curse of bigness” were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson’s counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) “in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people.” We need to look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role Facebook and Google play in the “fake news” business to know that Brandeis was right.

While Brandeis generally opposed regulation - which he worried inevitably led to the corruption of the regulator - and instead advocated breaking up “bigness,” he made an exception for “natural” monopolies, like telephone water, and power companies and railroads, where it made sense to have one or a few companies in control of an industry.

Could it be that these companies - and Google in particular - have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than that what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to regulate them like public utilities?

Consider a historical analogy: the early days of telecommunications.

In 1895 a photograph of the business district of a large city might have shown 20 phone wires attached to most buildings. Each wire was owned by a different company, and none of them worked with the others. Without network effects, the networks themselves were almost useless.

The solution was for a single company American Telephone and Telegraph, to consolidate the industry by buying up all the small operators and creating a single network - a natural monopoly. the government permitted it, but then regulated this monopoly through the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T (also known as the bell System) had its rates regulated and was required to spend a fixed percentage of its profits on research and development. In 1925 AT&T set up Bell Labs as a separate subsidiary with the mandate to develop the next generation of communications technology, but also to do basic research in physics and other sciences. Over the next 50 years, the basics of the digital age - the transistor, the microchip, the solar cell, the microwave, the laser, cellular telephony - al came out of Bell Labs along with eight Nobel Prizes.

In a 1956 consent degree in which the Justice Department allowed AT&T to maintain its phone monopoly, the government extracted a huge concession: all future patents were licensed (to any American company) royalty-free, and all future patents were to be licensed for a small fee. These licenses led to the creation of Texas Instruments, Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor and many other start-ups.

True, the internet never had the same problems of interoperability. And Google’s route to dominance is different from the Bell System’s. Nevertheless, it still has all of the characteristics of a public utility.

(Continue Reading)

celestialxxxangel  asked:

Hello, Cross. I am really craving for a good Harry Potter fanfiction right now. Do you think you can share something? An except, perhaps?

Hmm I actually don’t have any new strictly HP excerpts to show. But I have a bit of an HPxHunger Games crossover fic with MoD!Harry I can post? I can’t remember if I already did but I wrote it a long-ass time ago and never really continued it, and it’s the only remotely HP thing I can find on my usb atm.

Here’s a bit of background first:

Summary: In a magic-fused Panem, tributes are allowed to bring a Contracted Creature with them into the arena… if they have one.  Harry’s not quite a Creature but nobody needs to know that, especially when the little Mockingjay girl he took under his wing five years ago volunteers for the Games in the place of her sister.  In the past, he’s kept out of human business for the most part – saves him grief in more ways than one in the long run – but the Capitol sickens even him, and when it threatens the few things he still cares about, Harry decides it’s time to return to the battlefield.

*Contracted Creature – A magical creature partnered with a human for a certain amount of time, agreed upon by both creature and human.  During that time, human is sworn absolute obedience from its creature, while the creature, depending on its strength, might need to draw on the human’s energy to fight.  Mostly, contracts are allowed to form only when the human finds and defeats the creature in battle.  When magically bonded, if one dies, so does the other.

And here’s the excerpt:

Keep reading

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone :-).

TEN ROMANCE FILMS FOR ARCHITECTURE / URBAN DESIGN ENTHUSIASTS

1.  A SINGLE MAN (2009) This story of love and loss stars John Lautner’s 1949 Schaffer Residence. The film’s immaculate Mid-Century style is the result of a collaboration between director Tom Ford and Mad Men production designer Dan Bishop. 

2. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000) Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful films ever made, this is as much a lyrical portrait of ‘60′s Hong Kong as it is a tale of doomed romance. The 12th Century Temples of Angkor Wat also make an appearance. 

3. BEFORE SUNSET (2004)  As in the previous instalment of this trilogy, the pleasures of wandering around an unfamiliar city provide this film with its context and structure, and also reinforce its romantic theme of a journey of accidental discovery. 

4. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) Wes Anderson’s signature aesthetic had its most elaborate outing then to date, with the iconic 111 Archer Avenue, home to (amongst others) star-crossed lovers /adopted siblings Margot and Richie. 

5. LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) The loneliness, cultural disorientation, and general sense of freedom and discovery that come with being in an utterly foreign city provide the catalyst for an unexpected romance. 

6. MANHATTAN (1979) See this film for a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, and for the fact that its central love story actually takes place not between the characters of Isaac and Tracy, but between Woody Allen and New York.

7. HER (2008) Spike Jonze’s near-future LA is a cleaned up, greened-up amalgam of the actual present-day city and the Pudong business district of Shanghai, infused with the palette of a Jamba Juice store.

8. BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945) One for all the urban designers out there, this is a film about two individuals who are drawn into each other’s lives by the use of public transport :-). For a less iconic riff on the same theme, there’s also the Meryl Streep / Robert De Niro FALLING IN LOVE (1984) (in which De Niro plays an architect). Both films celebrate the kind of chance encounters which are missed when sitting alone in a car on a motorway.

9. ONCE (2006) Again the city streets (in this case those of Dublin) are the catalyst for romance, here between a Big Issue seller and a busker, whose relationship evolves during a lunchtime spent in an local music shop. 

10. BLADERUNNER (1982) As with some of the others, this isn’t technically a romance film, but its love story is as integral to the movie as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, Sumner Hunt/ George Wyman’s Bradbury Building, and that perpetually rainy cyber-punk city. Cinema’s most beautiful (and romantic) urban dystopia.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994), WALL E (2008), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987), LA JETEE (1962), AMELIE (2001), À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (1960).

(Image: Schaffer Residence by Joe Fletcher, via Remodelista)  

Extracts from the Seattle Police Department Reports (end of 1975, beginning of 1976). I left out some parts. It’s basically Ted trolling the detectives following him. If you want to read the whole thing, it’s all in The Bundy Secrets. :

Surveillance of Homicide Suspect by Roger Dunn

This is to be a 24 hr. surveillance of a possible homicide suspect. He is to be watched as closely as possible. He is not to be arrested or confronted in any way unless he commits some overt act warranting immediate arrest (felony or other dangerous act.) Maintain running log of activity.

The subject of this surveillance is Theodore Bundy, WM 29 5-10 160 med. Bld. Brown, hair short, (mod) curly.

11 - 27 - 75

Mackie related that Bundy showed up at Horatio’s Restaurant where Liz Kloepfer was having dinner with some friends. He wanted Liz to leave with him but she refused but did meet him at her place later that night.

12 - 2 - 75

1400 Hrs. He had lunch with Ann Rule at the Pittsbourg, etc. in Pioneer Square. He did not say anything incriminating, was totally relaxed but did ask a lot of questions about what was going on here and stated he wanted to talk to the police.

12 - 5 - 75

1630 hours Subject and small W-F left the house in ABQ 894, drove to U of W Hospital. There he picked up W-F. went south-bound on I-5 into Pioneer Square. Tried to lose us and was successful. Officer Augerson found car parked in the 100 blk S. Washington a short time later unoccupied.

1809 hours Subject and both females returned to the car walking south-bound from Yesler on Occidental Ave S. drove uptown on third Ave, tried to lose us around 6th and 7th Pike and Olive - unsuccessful. Subject pull to the curb and turn out his lights, then pull away again. Subject got on the freeway northbound and drove to Northgate arriving there at 1830 hours. They parked in the lot south of 103rd and entered the complex - did not follow.

1930 hours Subject, girlfriend and the little girl came out of Northgate complex and entered their vehicle. They drove back to I-5 and went northbound to 145th, where they exited and went over to Aurore Stopped at JB’s hamburger restaurant.

12 - 8 - 75

1600 hrs. Subject came out of door of loc #2, emptied the garbage and waved at Sutlovich, then walked to the surveillance vehicle and asked if Sutlovich was a police officer, at the same time stating that the vehicle that Sutlovich was in was the same one that followed him last Saturday night. He got no reply and then continued passing the time of the day with small talk, then went back to the residence. He was wearing a long sleeved turtleneck sweater and jeans.

1607 hrs. Subject came back out of Loc #2 wearing also a blue jacket and glasses. He walked over again to Sutlovich and stated that he was going to pick up his laundry, Sutlovich followed him to a cleaners at approx 42 NE and University Way, then back to Location #2. Arrived back at 1700 hrs.

1700 hrs. Subject contacted Sutlovich again and asked if the surveillance was for his protection. Sutlovich informed him that he could consider that. He then stated that’s good, that he doesn’t have anything against the police, that he was wondering why the surveillance just started since he came back to town a week ago. Sutlovich then asked him if he would be going anywhere soon. He asked “You mean back in Utah”. Sutlovich said no, tonight. He stated that he mey be going over to Vortmans in Magnolia, then walked back to Location #2 and entered.

12 - 9 - 75

0815hrs. Susp. left house with Liz Kloepfer daughter and got into his veh. Dropped daughter off at school. Susp. went E/B on NE 52 and lost us in traffic after crossing 15 NE. Search made for veh. Proved negative.

1 - 12 - 76

Bundy in the area of 47th and 16th N.E. He just disappeared.

2135 hrs. Bundy went out the front of the house. He approached Det. Gillis, who was parked on the southwest corner of the intersection of 18th and 52nd. He took Gillis’ picture. He then walked down towards the alley where I’m parked and come up to the front of the car and bent down to where he could see my license plate, and he wrote my license number down. He then walked south back through the alley up to 52nd. I got out on foot and followed him. He stopped at the corner and started talking to Det. Gillis, who by this time was out on foot. At this time I then approached Bundy, and we all three talked for a little bit. He wanted to know why we were following him, what took us so long - he’s been in town a week. He said he tried to get a hold of Capt. Leich and Capt. Mackie to find out why, and he said he didn’t have any beef with the guys out on the street, and he said he might have to go back to court on the 20th of this month - he doesn’t know yet, but he says definitely, for sure, on the 9th of February. We talked for approximately 10 minutes, and about 2145 hrs he went back in to the residence. Ted was wearing a blue nylon down jacket, light tan corduroy pants, brown shoes, no hat, and he had about a month’s growth of beard.

1 - 13 - 76

0825 hrs. Bundy came out of the front door and began walking south on 18 N.E. He had on dark rimmed glasses, blue down ski parka, tan flared trousers, dark shoes and was carrying a green satchel under his left arm. I got out of my car and followed him on foot after advising Keppel.

Bundy walked at a normal pace up to 17. N.E. and south into the campus and was aware that I was behind him. He walked in near the Burke Museum and then back out onto 45th. He turned south on University Way N.E. very aware that I was behind him.

0840 hrs. He went into the Coffee Corral at N.E. 42 and U Way and came out a moment later smoking a cigarette.

0850 hrs. He walked up through Red Square and into the undergraduate library. As we got into a crowd, he went downstairs and through the cafeteria in an effort to lose me.

0855 hrs. Bundy went into a phone booth in Suzallo Library. The portion of the conversation I could hear was “There’s a detective following me, where’s the car?”

0858 hrs. Bundy came out of the phone booth and went into the men’s room in Suzallo Library.

0901 hrs. I went into the restroom and discovered that there was a backdoor that opened into an employee’s locker room. (…) I checked for Bundy in the immediate area but he was gone.

(At that point, they lost track of Bundy until 1230 hrs.)

1230 hrs. I drove to Marlin Vortman’s apartment in an effort to relocate Bundy. As I approached the apartment I spotted Bundy walking along the sidewalk dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt, faded green sweatpants, blue turtleneck and white tennis shoes. When he saw me he smiled. I waved and continued pas him to the corner of 36 W. and W. Gov’t Way. As I turned south I looked in my rearview mirror and saw Bundy sprinting into the woods in Discovery Park.

(….)

1328 hrs. Bundy walked up the street to the vehicle. It apparently didn’t start so he had to push it and then went to Gov’t Way.

I followed Bundy down into Ballard’s business district and it soon became evident that the only reason he was driving at all was to play tag with the cops. He would drive legally but try his best to lose me. Some typical maneuvers would be : park the car in hopes that I would have to drive by in traffic and or get out of the car (in sweats) and walk down the block, get one car between us at a stoplight and then make a free right turn and then a few more turns in an effort to get free of a tail. It became very easy to predict what Bundy would try to do but my car was not conductive to quick albeit legal maneuvers. Bundy was taking great delight in the ‘game’ and smiled when he would execute a clever evasive tactic.

1407 hrs. Bundy drove to the Ballard Locks, parked his car and jogged (in heavy rain) back along the railroad tracks and out of sight around the end of the government property.

I parked my car next to his and waited. 1416 hrs. Bundy came walking back to the car from the same direction. I got two impressions as to why Bundy uses a tactic of parking the car and walking away :

- He hoped that I would immobilize the operation of the car so he could scream “harassment’’.

- Hoped that I would get out and follow him on foot so he could double back to the car so he could drive off without a tail.

My impressions of Bundy during the day while I was following him is that he does not act like a normal, mature 29 year old law student. He seems to thrive on attention just like a spoiled child and that is the only reason he altered his behavior, which is to say the more ‘attention’ he gets, the more he eats it up. It would not be difficult to predict his actions in a situation like this, but trying to maintain a covert surveillance in hopes that he may go to a ‘stash’ or any other place that might tend to incriminate him would be fruitless and impractical.