City-Government

1. The phony iCloud breach

The scam: Scammers reach people by phone, saying their data was hacked or breached through iCloud, Apple’s online data storage service. The scam is so effective because it sounds plausible, what with all the reports of data breaches, Business Insider notes. The initial call is a robocall, which offers to connect the prospective victim to a live person who can “help.” The individual on the phone says they can fix the problem if provided personal information (which could possibly include your Apple ID password, credit card information). The scammers will use flattery and may even an offer of a free iTunes gift card to poach your information, Apple says.

What you should do: Never share your Apple ID or temporary verification codes with anyone, Apple advises. And using two-factor identification will add an extra layer of protection to your account. If you receive an unsolicited call, hang up immediately and contact Apple directly.

2. The shady taxi lost-and-found service

The scam: You are in a hurry and forget your bag or phone in the cab. What do you do? Use a helpful service, like Yellowcabnyc.com, to locate your missing item. Sounds legit, considering it has all the vital keywords like NYC and yellow cab, right? Unfortunately, this “service” offers to locate your lost item for $47, which of course goes directly into the scammer’s pocket and your item is seemingly never retrieved, the New York Post reported.

What you should do: If you lose something in a cab, call the cab company’s garage directly first, according to the City of New York government website. If you don’t recall the name of the cab company, you can complete this form. Additionally, you can call the lost property police precincts in each borough to see if your lost item was recovered. Not in New York City? You can still apply this advice no matter where you are, just by starting with the cab company’s office.

3. Airline ticket giveaway

The scam: If you put off booking that airline ticket for summer until now, you are probably thirsting for a last-minute deal. Then you happen to see an email or post on Facebook or Craigslist offering one. All you need to do is wire cash for the ticket to a Western Union account and you are given the ticket confirmation number. Unfortunately when it’s time to travel, you find out the “ticket” you purchased doesn’t exist.

Scammers steal credit card information and purchase airline tickets, Scam Detector says. They cancel the trip for credit but retain the ticket’s confirmation number. Then they sell the ticket at a “discounted” rate on a site like Craigslist, Kijiji, Oodle or Gumtree and make the sale look legit because they provide the confirmation number.

What you should do: If you purchase an airline ticket online, make sure you go directly through the airline site or a reputable site like Expedia or Kayak. While some deals may be tempting, they are most likely too good to be true. If you purchase a fraudulent ticket, share what happened to you on social media and contact the Federal Trade Commission.

4. The bogus government grant

The scam: Score! You receive a phone call that you’ve been awarded a healthy government grant because you paid your taxes on time. All you need to do is provide your checking account information so the money can be automatically transferred to your account, but also to cover a one-time processing fee. The caller may say they are from the “Federal Grants Administration” so the call sounds legitimate, but the scam is to obtain access to your bank account.

The hallmark of this scam is that scammers usually read from a script, congratulating you for your eligibility and confirming that your processing fee can be refunded if you aren’t completely satisfied, according to the FTC. Also, the phone number will not have a caller ID, although the call may appear to be coming from Washington, D.C. Additionally, know you’ll never have to pay money for a “free” government grant.

What you should do: Hang up and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

5. The imaginary vacation rental

The scam: The vacation rental house looks perfect online and the price is right — but is it? Fake vacation rentals and time-share offers account for about 8% of reports to the Better Business Bureau scam tracker in 2017. Scammers may hijack an actual vacation rental ad, posing as the agent to grab your money for the rental or will fabricate a fake ad, designing a property that doesn’t even exist, the FTC says.

What you should do: Before you pay for a vacation rental, be wary of someone asking you to wire the cash to them, the FTC advises. Also, anyone who cannot connect personally because they are out of the country or demands the security deposit up front should be a red flag. Also, if the listing seems too good to be true, it probably is, the BBB says.

6. The tax bill you don’t actually owe

The scam: About 5% of the scams reported to the BBB are criminals posing as IRS agents, threatening criminal prosecution for being remiss on paying your taxes. The “agent” claims they can waive arrest if you pay a hefty fine through a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer, the IRS says. The latest version of this scam includes the scammer telling the potential victim that two certified letters were mailed to the victim but were returned as being undeliverable.

What you should do: Know that the IRS will never ask for credit or debit information over the phone or demand immediate payment without the opportunity to appeal the amount, the IRS advises. Also, hang up the phone if you are contacted by someone posing as an IRS agent, the BBB says.

7. The jury duty scam

The scam: While missing your jury summons by mail could happen, you wouldn’t be harassed by someone on the phone if you do miss your notice. Scammers typically pose as a U.S. marshall or the local police, AARP says, claiming you may be arrested because you missed jury duty. Supposedly in order to confirm the call, the caller will ask for your Social Security number and any other ID and will then offer to wipe clean the warrant for your arrest if you pay a fine in the form of a prepaid debit or gift card.

What you should do: Federal courts will never ask for personal information by phone, the United States Courts says, and will not ask for Social Security or credit card numbers. Should you receive this call, hang up immediately and contact the agency the caller claims to be calling from, typically a government agency, Sheryl Presley, Oklahoma City Police Triad coordinator told AOL says.

8. The ransom call

The scam: Typically delivered under the cloak of night, the kidnapping scam plays on your fears that a loved one was kidnapped but would be returned safely as long as a ransom is paid. Scammers reach out by phone, email or Facebook message, claiming if you don’t pay up in the hour, your loved one dies, Men’s Health reports. The reason scammers get away with this is because they pick the right hour to deliver the scary message, usually in the middle of the night, so you are too disoriented to challenge or question the call.

What you should do: First reach out to the “kidnapped victim” before you jump to any conclusions, Men’s Health suggests. Even though you may annoy your buddy with a call at 2 a.m. to make sure they’re safe, shelling out thousands of dollars in “ransom” is far more annoying. Keep in mind, the scammers may have scanned your social media to identify a connection who posted about traveling or being on vacation, CBS Boston notes. This will make it harder to verify the whereabouts of your loved one. Call 911 in the event you receive a call like this and get police involved.

9. Fraudulent telemarketing calls

The scam: Just when you thought your mobile phone was safe, scammers target you with fake telemarketing calls. You first receive an email saying telemarketers may be calling your mobile phone, playing off the rumors of a 411 mobile directory, the FCC says. The idea behind the scam is if your number is listed on the 411 service, its open to telemarketing calls which is completely untrue and would be illegal.

What you should do: Never share any personal information or data by phone with a telemarketer. Most telemarketing calls placed to your mobile phone are illegal and should be reported to the FTC. Another trick: Block the caller on your phone so at the very least they’ll have to call from another number to reach you again.

10. The “spear phishing” email

The scam: While phishing accounts for 34% of the BBB’s complaints this year, “spear phishing” is on the rise. Phishing is when a business emails you and asks to “verify” your personal information, like your Social Security number, credit card numbers or passwords. “Spear phishing” gives the scam a more personal flavor, as it appears to come from someone you know and sounds more personal, USA Today says. This approach is far more dangerous because your guard may not be up, making you more likely to fall for this scam.

What should you do: As with any scam, be cautious of any emails asking for you to click on a link, USA Today advises. Also, legitimate companies aren’t going to ask for your password, and if a “friend” sends the email, reach out separately and ask if the friend really sent that message — sometimes tiny differences in an email address are hard to spot. Also, fraudulent emails are typically fraught with typos. Be wary of links that take you to a URL that begins with “http” rather than “https,” which is more secure. Read more (7/6/17)

follow @the-future-now

SOME MORE UPDATES AND INFORMATION ON THE SITUATION IN MARAWI, PHILIPPINES!

This was all taken from facebook because our own local media isn’t covering enough of this. But here’s what happened as of 12:24 AM PHT:

- DUTERTE DECLARED MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO ISLAND, INCLUDING TAWI-TAWI AND SULU!

- AFP: Marawi City situation under control as military pursues Maute bandits.

- AFP: Several members of the Maute group were killed.

-Duterte flies back home from Russia.

-AFP are sending more troops in Marawi

- Patients and nurses are safe inside the APMC and the latter are currently on duty.

- Armed men are confirmed to be the Maute group.

- The Maute group together with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

- A policeman and 2 ambulance drivers were killed.

- Homes are being trespassed.

- Women not wearing Hijabs are being taken away.

- AFP received an intel that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was with the Maute group.

- Some buildings in Dansalan College were burnt to ashes.

- Most affected areas are Basak Malutlut, Sarimanok, Marinaut, Provincial Jail, Amai Pakpak, Bo. Saber, Sarimanok and most of the key intersections in Marawi.

- Marawi City Jail is on fire.

- Detainees in the City Jail were freed by the group.

- At least 5 gov’t troops are now wounded.

- Chapel in Barrio Paypay is on fire.

- The group took away the firetrucks so that the fire can’t be put out.

- Marawi City is experiencing total electricity blackout.

- ISIS flags are raised in several areas in the city including hospitals, government establishments, and police cars.

- Maute group has left the Amai Pakpak Medical Center.

- Maute recruiting residents to join them.

- AFP issued a 5-hour ultimatum for civilians to leave before they start bombing Marawi again.

- Maute is interrogating civilians. If you can’t prove you are a Muslim, they will kidnap you and will be “taken cared of”

- Maute used trucks to block all entry/exit including bridges.

- Police captain killed.

- The group is seizing houses looking for men to recruit.

- Civilians are asked to recite the Shahada. If they can’t, theyre killed.

- Some of the teachers in Dansalan College are already dead. Their heads are being displayed on the highway.

DISCLAIMER: Most of the information here came from personal accounts of people inside Marawi City.

PLEASE signal boost this! I know there are many things happening right now, especially with what happened with Ariana’s concert. But this is really scary and there’s not enough information on it.

What I Read This Week

I had a great time reading this week!

#FREEWHALESFROMBUTTS by cuttlemefish, Mature, 3.8k
It’s just another day at Martha’s Vineyard for Katsuki Yuuri and Viktor Nikiforov. On break from Yale and Harvard respectively, Yuuri and Viktor are ready to fall back in love and look good while doing it (or so Yuuri thinks until he discovers that his boyfriend wears pastel shorts with whales). Or the plotless (rich) preppy fashion AU inspired by some anons on Tumblr who decided we should discuss the horror of Vineyard Vines pastel whale-print shorts. #FreeWhalesFromButts 

I. Am. Screaming. I loved this fic, it made all my rich kid/Ivy AU dreams come true. Thank you Wrath for showing me this fic when I needed it most. #blessed #FreeWhalesFromButts

Raison d'Être by cutesudon (vityanikiforova), Explicit, 12k
President Nikiforov of Russia has a few weaknesses: premium rye vodka, an attention span of 30 minutes, and a torrid love affair with the Japanese Prime Minister.

You all HAVE to real this. Seriously. So, so incredible. I loved every minute of reading this. Such an amazing fic!

Don’t You Know That’s the Way Love Comes? by ken_ichijouji (dommific), Gen, 15k (WIP)
Deputy Director of the Parks Department Victor Nikiforov gets the surprise of his life when the city government gets a visit from a pair of auditors.

As always, this pic is BOMB! Loved the update, and this pic in general. SO funny, cute, and light! Must read!

Smile, Open Wide, Let’s See What’s Inside by stanzas, Teen, 13k
“You should propose with a tooth instead of a diamond on it,” Yuri suggests out of the blue, and sighs when the game character on his screen falls off and dies again. He’s stuck on level 86, and his death count is in the low thousands. Not that Yuuri’s keeping track. “It’s romantic.” “That might be one of the most repulsive ideas you’ve ever shared,” Yuuri tells him, without looking up from his phone.

The sequel to the infamous (and amazing) dentist AU!! I loved this fic a lot, if you liked the first fic you MUST read this update! :D

28 Tuxes by vodkawrites, Teen, 25k (WIP)
While planning his 28th wedding, Yuuri begins to wonder if he can ever find love for himself.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD OMG!!!! This fic is so amazing, the last update KILLED me! I loved the movie, and this fic is even better. I can’t wait to read the final chapter!

“Be My Sex Coach, Victor!” by lucycamui, Explicit, 42k (WIP)
Yuuri Katsuki has always been his own worst critic, and a series of unfortunate short-lived relationships has him convinced that he flubs things more in the bedroom than out on the ice. So, of course it would turn out that the ridiculously charming Russian he’s matched with online is a pornstar. But perhaps, a ‘professional opinion’ is exactly what Yuuri needs…

I can’t believe how funny, sexual, and emotional this fic is!! Every update is amazing and I seriously can’t even believe this fic is real LOL You’ll never know how much you need this fic in your life until you read it! Check it out!

My Boy Builds Coffins by ken_ichijouji (dommific), Explicit, 9.5k (WIP)
Yuuri’s always dealt with a lot of (pun not intentional) grief about the family business, so much so he’s given up on making many friends or finding romance.But during one morning Starbucks rush, he meets a light-haired, blue-eyed man in dark colors and manicured nails who just might prove him wrong that no one will be able to get past his job.

Already a favourite of mine. Such a different AU that I was not expecting to love but I am so pleasantly surprised!! 

The Katsulanont Guide to Surviving College (Rice Cooker Required) by xylophones, Teen, 4.2k
A friendship told through three hamsters, a rice cooker, and the resurrected trade-and-barter system.

Such a fun and easy read. I love college!Yuuri and Phichit! 

Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts by Reiya, Explicit, 167k (WIP)
Part 2 of the Rivals series and companion fic to ‘Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches’. One small change alters the course of both Viktor and Yuuri’s entire lives, throwing them into a bitter rivalry that spans across many years and creates a world where they both tell a very different side to the story.

no. nope. i…. i am dead.


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Here’s to another week of great fic reading! Be sure to give the authors some love!

2

Recently Trump was elected as president of the United States amd the internet freaked out. These days in a less significant country named Romania, people are protesting in the streets of every city because the new government decided to change some laws making it possible for a criminal to pay his way out of jail. People are screaming their hearts out in the cold in order to make justice.

French Nobility

Originally posted by slainte71

Who are the nobility?

In France, nobility was a quality of the individual, a legal characteristic that could be held or acquired, and conferred some rights and privileges; such as levied taxes in times of war (since the nobility was supposed to fight for the sovereign), or since the 17th century, only weaker taxing exceptions. Also, a number of military and civic positions were reserved for nobility.

How is it inherited?

Nobility was usually hereditary only through the male line; a nobleman could marry a commoner and keep his nobility, but a noblewoman could not. When the nobility was hereditary, even though it was transmitted through the father, a higher percentage of noble blood or a higher number of noble generations in the family could be important as well.

How is nobility acquired?

  • By Birth. Usually from the father since 1370 (only exceptions are nobility in Champagne until the 16th century and Bar until the French Revolution). Bastards of nobles became nobles when legitimated by letters of the sovereign until 1600, after that a separate act of ennoblement was required (except royal bastards, they were always nobles even with no legitimation).
  • By Office. Depending on the office, the holder became noble either after a number of years in office or immediately. This kind of nobility could be personal or hereditary for 2, 3 or more generations. Here we have nobles for fiscal offices (tax courts and state auditors), “noblesse de robe” (for judicial offices, members of the parliament or courts that have been in office for 20 years),  “noblesse de cloche” (municipal offices, the mayors of towns), administrative offices (the places on the household of the king and the secrétaires du Roi) and military commissions (since 1750 officers reaching the rank of general would receive hereditary nobility).
  • By Letters. Meaning, by royal grant, meaning that the king could always ennoble whoever he wished.

Could nobility be lost?

Yes it could. You lose it by failing to your failing duties (this was called “déchéance”, kind of like Athos in The Musketeers BBC series); by practising forbidden occupations (called “dérogeance”), like commerce or manual crafts or farming someone else’s land (farming your own or the King’s land was ok). Funny that medicine, glass-blowing, exploitation of mines, maritime commerce and wholesale commerce was acceptable. Also, if you were a woman and marry a commoner, your nobility is lost.

What about the titles?

To bear a title you had to be noble. And a title is a rank attached to a certain piece of land. So, there could be nobles with no titles.

  • Duc. A duke (from the Latin dux, “leader”) was originally the governor of a province and a military leader. He was the possessor of a “duché” (a duchy).
  • Comte. A count (from the Latin comes, “companion”), originally an appointee of the king governing a city and its immediate surroundings. He was the possessor of a comté (county) or a high-ranking official in the king’s immediate entourage called Counts Palatine (palace counts).
  • Marquis. Originally the governor of a “march”, a region at the boundaries of the kingdom in need of particular protection. He was the possessor of a marquisat (marquessate).
  • Vicomte. A viscount was originally the lieutenant of a count, either when the count was not at home or then the county was held by the King himself. He was the possessor of a vicomté (viscounty).
  • Baron. Originally a direct vassal of the king or another major feudal lord (a duke or count or so). The possessor of a baronnie (barony).
  • Châtelain. A castellan was the commander in charge of a castle. Few chastellanies survived with the title or “Sire” (sir).
  • Prince. Possessor of a principauté (principality). This title was not the same as the rank of Prince and did not give his possessor precedence at the court.
  • Seigneur. A lord, possessor of a lordship.
  • Chevalier. The equivalent of a “knighted” or a member of certain chivalric orders or the head of the King’s guardsmen. Not the same as the rank of Chevalier.

Wait. Titles and Ranks are not the same?

No, they were not. Because French people are crazy and this could not be easy at all. Let’s say that there were two kinds of “titles”: the ones linked to the fifes (the feudal real estates, meaning the duchies and counties, etc) and the personal ranks.

  • Fils de France/Filles de France. The sons and daughters of the King.
  • Petit-fils de France. The grandchildren of the King through the male line.
  • Prince du Sang/Princesse du Sang. A Prince/Princess of the Blood was a legitimate descendant of the King but was not part of the immediate family. Meaning that they were not Fils neither Petit-Fils de France.
  • Prince/Princess Légitimé. The legitimized children of the King or other males of his dynasty.
  • Prince Étranger. A foreign prince naturalized and recognized by the French court.
  • Chevalier. A rank assumed ONLY by the most noble families and the possessors of very high dignities in the court. Note that the ones with the title of Chevalier and the ones with the rank of Chevalier are addressed differently.
  • Écuyer. This rank (squire) was the one of the majority of nobles. It was a member of the nobility with no title.

How are they addressed?

For this section I’ll use an example name, so each way of addressing will be very clear. Let’s use the Marquis de Castelnau: Philippe-François d'Albignac.

  • The simpler way to address a noble is using Monsieur, Madame and Mademoiselle: here, we would address Philippe-Françoise simply as Monsieur.
  • But of course it cannot be that simple, you could not be sure about who and which Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle you’re talking about. So, there is a simple formula: Monsieur/Madame + de + last name or house = Monsieur de Albignac.
  • But you can also refer to someone by their title and not their last name: Monsieur/Madame + le/la + title = Monsieur le Marquis.
  • And you can be even more specific, since we wanna know, are we talking about the same Marquis? You’d use: Monsieur/Madame + le/la + title in full style = Monsieur le Marquis de Castelnau.

Those are the general ways, but it can be very tricky or specific according the rank and title. Here is another helping guide:

  • The King. Majesté, Your/His Most Christian Majesty, Your/His Majesty, Monsieur Le Roi.
  • The Queen. Majesté, Your/Her Most Christian Majesty, Your/Her Majesty, Madame La Reine.
  • The Dauphin (the eldest son of the King). Monsieur le Dauphin, His/Your Royal Highness, Monseigneur le Dauphin, His/Your Royal Highness Monseigneur le Dauphin.
  • The Dauphine (the Dauphin’s wife). Madame la Dauphine, Her/Your Royal Highness, Her Royal Highness Madame la Dauphine.
  • The Fils de France. Referred by their main title, except the Dauphin. I.e. Monsieur le Duc d’Anjou.
  • The Filles de France. Referred as Madame+their given name. Except the eldest daughter that was called Madame Royale until she married, and then that style is used by the next Fille de France. I.e. Madame Victoire.
  • The Petit-Fils/Petit-Filles de France. Addressed using their full style titles.
  • Prince du Sang/Princesse du Sang. Usually styled by their main ducal title, but other more precise titles were also used. It could be used: Monsieur le Prince, Madame la Princesse, Monsieur le Duc, Madame la Duchesse, and so on. In writing only the style Serene Highness was used.
  • Prince Légitimé/Princesse Légitimé. They took last names according to the branch of the House their father belonged and after the legitimization they were given a title. Males were given titles from their father’s lands, and therefore addressed as Monsieur and the title or last name; females were given the style of Mademoiselle de “X”.
  • Prince étranger. Basically addresses as Haut et puissant Prince or Your/His Highness. They are tricky to address, since they could have ANY other kind of title (literally any, from Prince to Chevalier, everything in between), then they could be called according to their first title and/or as Highness. Let’s take the example of Hercule Mériadec de Rohan, Duke of Rohan-Rohan; he could be addressed as: Monsieur le Duc de Rohan-Rohan, His Highness Hercule Mériadec de Rohan, His Highness Monsieur le Duc de Rohan-Rohan, His Highness Monsieur de Rohan, Monsieur de Rohan.

Other words to keep in mind to address nobility:

  • Monseigneur. Used for those of very high office and noble blood, like the Dauphin, cardinals, etc. Usually used only for adults.
  • Excellence. Ambassadors, foreign dignitaries.
  • Eminence. Mostly for cardinals, along with Monseigneur.
  • Monsieur le Chevalier. ONLY used when Chevalier is the rank.
  • Chevalier+last name. To address those who are knighted members of chivalric orders.
  • Sieur. Like Sir in English. Usually used for property holders that are not noble. It is used as Sieur + de + name of the land.
  • Gentilhomme. Used for ANY noble, from the King to the last écuyer.

I hope this works for you @meltingpenguins :D

There will be a second part on English Nobility.

4

March 28th 1871: Paris Commune declared

On this day in 1871, following elections held two days prior, the Paris Commune was officially proclaimed. The Commune seized power in opposition to the election of a conservative National Assembly February 1871; republican Parisians feared that when they met in Versailles the royalist Assembly would restore the monarchy. When officials of Adolphe Thiers’s government tried to remove the city guard’s cannons as a precautionary measure on March 18th, the people rebelled. The city guard called municipal elections for March 26th, which saw victory for the revolutionaries, who established the Commune to govern the city of Paris. On March 28th, the new government held its first meeting and was formally declared. The Commune immediately set about enacting socialist policies, which included a ten-hour work day, abolition of the death penalty, end of military conscription, banning established religion and promoting female suffrage. They adopted a plain red flag as the flag of the Commune, and envisioned that the situation in Paris would encourage a nationwide revolution. The Commune’s lack of internal organisation left them vulnerable to attack, but the catalyst for retribution came when Communard soldiers killed two French troops. On May 21st, national forces entered Paris through an undefended area, launching a violent campaign of street fighting known as ‘Bloody Week’. Around 20,000 insurrectionists were killed before the Commune fell on May 28th. The government treated the surviving Communards and their supporters ruthlessly - arresting around 38,000 and deporting another 7,000. The Commune became a symbol of socialist revolution in Europe and further abroad, with their supporters lamenting the martyrdom of the Communards.

What I Read This Week

(4/16/17)

With all the Easter events I totally forgot to do “what I read this week” yesterday! Sorry!

Don’t You Know That’s the Way Love Comes? by ken_ichijouji (dommific), Gen, 10k (WIP)
Deputy Director of the Parks Department Victor Nikiforov gets the surprise of his life when the city government gets a visit from a pair of auditors. SO GOOD

Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts by Reiya, Explicit, 44k (WIP)
Part 2 of the Rivals series and companion fic to ‘Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches’. One small change alters the course of both Viktor and Yuuri’s entire lives, throwing them into a bitter rivalry that spans across many years and creates a world where they both tell a very different side to the story. I’M DYIN THIS IS SO SO AMAZING MY POOR SON VIKTOR I LOVE HIM

Masquerade by Ashida, Explicit, 74k (WIP)
“Just say the word.” came the whisper as Victor stepped close, behind them Yuuri was aware of guns out and at the ready, of confused men and questioned loyalties, here Victor was offering, and Yuuri was too selfish to say no.
“Ok.” Yuuri smiled as this game of masquerade came to an end, what would happen now, he didn’t know, he would probably die, his family would come after him and try to put a knife in his back or a bullet between his eyes, none of it mattered, because together they would fight, and the rest of the world would finally burn. The update killed me…. oh man I love love love love love love love this fic!

Twenty-Five Hours by 0lizzybennet0, Mature, 22k (WIP)
In which Yuuri spends a 25 hour flight next to Victor Nikiforov, skating legend, and feels it might simultaneously be the best and worst thing that has ever happened to him. ADHIUVBSDHIAFBDALHJBCDHJLS I AM YELLING THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE FICS

Language Barriers by Galloping_Monroe, Teen, 182k (WIP)
Victor Nikiforov had always wanted to travel the world. When an opportunity arises to spend his final year of university study abroad, he is quick to leap at the chance. Yuri Katsuki only applied because his friend forced him to. He’s just trying to get through the year, keep his head down and his grades up. Victor has other ideas. SUCH a good fic!

Like a Fairytale by lucycamui, Teen, 73k
In which Prince Victor gets swept off his feet at a royal banquet and will go to any length to find his ‘Cinderella’ Yuuri. (And Phichit is the fairy godmother who has no idea what he’s doing). THE ENDING WAS SO CUTE <3

Nerve Endings by Phyona, Explicit, 62k (WIP)
When Yuuri moves in with Victor in St. Petersburg, they have to work through Yuuri’s anxiety and Victor’s secrets to find their balance. aaaaaaAAAAAAAAA

Met by Accident (Shall We Skate?-YOIWeek2017) by paxton1976, Explicit, 293k (WIP)
Viktor is having the worst day of his life. He overslept and is late for work. To make things even better, he rear-ended the car in front of him. His attitude quickly changes when he lays eyes on the other driver. The man was shorter than him by a few inches. He had jet black hair that was slicked back with a bit of gel. His glasses left something to be desired, but Viktor admired those large chocolate brown eyes. Simply put, he was fucking gorgeous. I have been utterly obsessed with this fic!

Right Off His Feet by EmilianaDarling, Mature, 7.4k
One of Yuuri’s hands is sliding around his waist, guiding him effortlessly until they’re dancing together. Really dancing together, and Viktor forgets to think, to breathe. Yuuri’s so close that Viktor can feel the heat of his breath against the back of his neck, the warmth of his skin through his clothes. Then he closes his eyes, leans into the touch, and gives in completely as he lets Yuuri lead. This fic is AMAZING! Must read!

Victor!!! In IKEA by victoryinthestars, Gen, 1.9k
What happens when some of the best skaters in Russia help a lovestruck living legend, who’s always lived alone, prepare for his fiancée to move in? A trip or six to IKEA, of course. SO funny and a nice fic to read after some serious angst!

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Here’s to another week of great fic reading! Be sure to give the authors some love!

The Goiânia accident

The Goiânia accident was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, at Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, after an old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people, resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination and 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their bodies.

In the cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were removed and examined. Time magazine has identified the accident as one of the world’s “worst nuclear disasters” and the International Atomic Energy Agency called it “one of the world’s worst radiological incidents”.

What follows in a incredible series of events motivated purely out of ignorance, childish wonder and greed, and the dire consequences this brought to the people involved and the city as a whole:

The accident began when two thieves, Roberto dos Santos Alves and Wagner Mota Pereira, broke into the abandoned and partially demolished Instituto Goiano de Radioterapia (IGR), where they came across a caesium-137-based teletherapy unit.

 They partially disassembled the unit, and placed the source assembly – which they thought might have some scrap value – in a wheelbarrow, taking it to Alves’s home, and once there, they began dismantling the equipment. That same evening, they both began to vomit. Nevertheless, they continued in their efforts. The following day, Pereira began to experience diarrhea and dizziness and his left hand began to swell. He soon developed a burn on this hand in the same size and shape as the aperture – he eventually had partial amputation of several fingers. 

On September 15, Pereira visited a local clinic where his symptoms were diagnosed as the result of something he had eaten, and he was told to return home and rest. Alves, however, continued with his efforts to dismantle the equipment. In the course of this effort, he eventually freed the caesium capsule from its protective rotating head. His prolonged exposure to the radioactive material led to his right forearm becoming ulcerated, requiring amputation.

On September 16, Alves succeeded in puncturing the capsule’s aperture window with a screwdriver, allowing him to see a deep blue light coming from the tiny opening he had created. He inserted the screwdriver and successfully scooped out some of the glowing substance. Thinking it was perhaps a type of gunpowder, he tried to light it, but the powder would not ignite.

On September 18, Alves sold the items to a nearby scrapyard. That night, Devair Alves Ferreira, the owner of the scrapyard, noticed the blue glow from the punctured capsule. Thinking the capsule’s contents were valuable or even supernatural, he immediately brought it into his house. Over the next three days, he invited friends and family to view the strange glowing substance.

On September 21 at the scrapyard, one of Ferreira’s friends succeeded in freeing several rice-sized grains of the glowing material from the capsule using a screwdriver; Alves Ferreira began to share some of them with various friends and family members. That same day, his wife, 37-year-old Gabriela Maria Ferreira, began to fall ill. On September 25, 1987, Devair Alves Ferreira sold the scrap metal to a second scrapyard.

The day before the sale to the second scrapyard, on September 24, Ivo, Devair’s brother, successfully scraped some additional dust out of the source and took it to his house a short distance away. There he spread some of it on the cement floor. His six-year-old daughter, Leide das Neves Ferreira, later ate a sandwich while sitting on this floor. She was also fascinated by the blue glow of the powder, applying it to her body and showing it off to her mother. Dust from the powder fell on the sandwich she was consuming; she eventually absorbed 1.0 GBq, total dose 6.0 Gy, more than a fatal dose even with treatment.

Gabriela Maria Ferreira had been the first to notice that many people around her had become severely ill at the same time.

On September 28, 1987 — 15 days after the item was found — she reclaimed the materials from the rival scrapyard and transported them to a hospital. Because the remains of the source were kept in a plastic bag, the level of contamination at the hospital was low.

In the morning of September 29, 1987 a visiting medical physicist used a scintillation counter to confirm the presence of radioactivity and persuaded the authorities to take immediate action. The city, state, and national governments were all aware of the incident by the end of the day.

News of the radiation incident was broadcast on local, national, and international media. Within days, nearly 130,000 people swarmed local hospitals concerned that they might have been exposed. Of those, 250 were indeed found to be contaminated— some with radioactive residue still on their skin— through the use of Geiger counters. Eventually, 20 people showed signs of radiation sickness and required treatment.

Ages in years are given, with dosages listed in grays (Gy).

Fatalities:

  • Leide das Neves Ferreira, age 6 (6.0 Gy), was the daughter of Ivo Ferreira. When an international team arrived to treat her, she was discovered confined to an isolated room in the hospital because the hospital staff were afraid to go near her. She gradually experienced swelling in the upper body, hair loss, kidney and lung damage, and internal bleeding. She died on October 23, 1987, of “septicemia and generalized infection” at the Marcilio Dias Navy Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro. She was buried in a common cemetery in Goiânia, in a special fiberglass coffin lined with lead to prevent the spread of radiation. Despite these measures, news of her impending burial caused a riot of more than 2,000 people in the cemetery on the day of her burial, all fearing that her corpse would poison the surrounding land. Rioters tried to prevent her burial by using stones and bricks to block the cemetery roadway. She was buried despite this interference.
  • Gabriela Maria Ferreira, aged 37 (5.7 Gy), wife of junkyard owner Devair Ferreira, became sick about three days after coming into contact with the substance. Her condition worsened, and she developed internal bleeding, especially in the limbs, eyes, and digestive tract, and suffered from hair loss. She died October 23, 1987, about a month after exposure.
  • Israel Baptista dos Santos, aged 22 (4.5 Gy), was an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source primarily to extract the lead. He developed serious respiratory and lymphatic complications, was eventually admitted to hospital, and died six days later on October 27, 1987.
  • Admilson Alves de Souza, aged 18 (5.3 Gy), was also an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source. He developed lung damage, internal bleeding, and heart damage, and died October 18, 1987.


Devair Ferreira himself survived despite receiving 7 Gy of radiation. He died in 1994 of cirrhosis aggravated by depression and binge drinking.

Source 

6

Interviewer: But the question is more, how do you get there? Do you get there by confrontation, violence?

Davis: Oh, is that the question you were asking? Yeah see, that’s another thing. When you talk about a revolution, most people think violence, without realizing that the real content of any revolutionary thrust lies in the principles and the goals that you’re striving for, not in the way you reach them. On the other hand, because of the way this society’s organized, because of the violence that exists on the surface everywhere, you have to expect that there are going to be such explosions. You have to expect things like that as reactions. If you are a black person and live in the black community all your life and walk out on the street everyday seeing white policemen surrounding you… when I was living in Los Angeles, for instance, long before the situation in L.A ever occurred, I was constantly stopped. No, the police didn’t know who I was. But I was a black women and I had a natural and they, I suppose thought I might be “militant.”

And when you live under a situation like that constantly, and then you ask me, you know, whether I approve of violence. I mean, that just doesn’t make any sense at all. Whether I approve of guns.

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Some very, very good friends of mine were killed by bombs, bombs that were planted by racists. I remember, from the time I was very small, I remember the sounds of bombs exploding across the street. Our house shaking. I remember my father having to have guns at his disposal at all times, because of the fact that, at any moment, we might expect to be attacked. The man who was, at that time, in complete control of the city government, his name was Bull Connor, would often get on the radio and make statements like, “Niggers have moved into a white neighborhood. We better expect some bloodshed tonight.” And sure enough, there would be bloodshed. After the four young girls who lived, one of them lived next door to me…I was very good friends with the sister of another one. My sister was very good friends with all three of them. My mother taught one of them in her class. My mother—in fact, when the bombing occurred, one of the mothers of one of the young girls called my mother and said, “Can you take me down to the church to pick up Carol? We heard about the bombing and I don’t have my car.” And they went down and what did they find? They found limbs and heads strewn all over the place. And then, after that, in my neighborhood, all the men organized themselves into an armed patrol. They had to take their guns and patrol our community every night because they did not want that to happen again.

Angela Davis on violence and revolution (1972)

“Then who is running the city?” said William.
“I don’t know,” said Mr. Slant. “That is not my concern. I–”
“Mr. Goodmountain?” said William. “Large type, please.”
“Got you,” said the dwarf. His hand hovered over a fresh case.
“In caps, size to fit, ‘Who Runs Ankh-Morpork?’“ said William. “Now into body type, upper and lowercase, across two columns: ‘Who is governing the city while Lord Vetinari is imprisoned? Asked for an opinion today, a leading legal figure said he did not know and it was no concern of his. Mr. Slant of the Lawyers’ Guild went on to say–’“
“You can’t put that in your newspaper!” barked Slant.
“Set that directly, please, Mr. Goodmountain.”
“Setting it already,” said the dwarf, the leaden slugs clicking into place. Out of the corner of his eye William saw Otto emerging from the cellar and looking puzzled at the noise.
“‘Mr. Slant went on to say…’?” said William, glaring at the lawyer.
“You will find it very hard to print that,” said Mr. Carney, ignoring the lawyer’s frantic hand signals, “with no damn press!”
“‘…was the view of Mr. Carney of the Guild of Engravers,’ spelled with an e before the y,” said William, “‘who earlier today tried to put the Times out of business by means of an illegal document.’“ William realized that, although his mouth felt full of acid, he was enjoying this immensely. “‘Asked for his opinion of this flagrant abuse of the city laws, Mr. Slant said…’?”
“STOP TAKING DOWN EVERYTHING WE SAY!” yelled Slant.
“…Full caps for the whole sentence please, Mr. Goodmountain.”

– power of the printing press | Terry Pratchett, The Truth

anonymous asked:

In my story I'm leading my character down a path where she will eventually become mayor of the city she lives in. If the current mayor is murdered, what actions would the city take to get a leader again? Would they hold another election or would the vice mayor take his place? If it's the latter, what process would occur to replace the second in command?

Hi there! 

It is hard to say exactly what actions your city would take because each city has their own plans for mayoral succession. I [Mod M] think it is most common for cities to have a special election in event of a sudden vacancy; however, depending on when the general election falls, a city may not hold a special election at all. Some cities will have the President of the City Council act as mayor until an election occurs, others will have their city council designate a Mayor Pro Tempore. Some cities have deputy or vice mayors; if that is the case, then the deputy or vice mayor would assume the mayoral position. Some cities have multiple deputy mayors. In these cases, I would assume that there would not be a special election to replace the deputy mayor who became mayor. In the event there are not multiple deputy or vice mayors, a special election may replace either the deputy mayor or the mayor (and the mayor pro tem moves back down to deputy mayor). 

Ultimately, every city’s municipal code will designate what occurs in event of a mayoral absence. Most cities operate with a degree of autonomy which allows them to determine what occurs when a mayor becomes displaced. For your story, this means that you have a lot of flexibility to decide what happens after your mayor is murdered.

I’m sorry this is vague but I hope it helped at least somewhat!

anonymous asked:

First of all I want to say you guys are awesome and it means so much how you're our allies in these politically turbulent times. Is it alright if I ask something from all of you? If so, what event(s) in your life steered you to use your platform to support LGBT?

Back in the mid 80’s I was a young police officer with the Lafayette Police Department. One evening while dealing with a suicidal person I was deliberately exposed to the AIDS virus. The circumstances of this situation made national news.  I was treated by my peers as though I had been infected by the AIDS virus and was HIV-positive. With the exception of my family and my close personal friends, the only group in our community to provide unconditional support was our LGBTQ community. For that I will be forever in their debt and whenever possible, I will be their champion.

When serving on Council, my district was made up of people of all backgrounds, but a large population of the LGBT community found comfort in a neighborhood called Shadyside, which was a part of my Council District. The community helped to revitalize the neighborhood and they brought vibrancy to the East End of Pittsburgh. My District even hosted the first Pride event in Pittsburgh, which is now draws thousands of people each year.

I’ve long been a supporter of the LGBTQ community. For me, it wasn’t a specific event so much as a strong belief in justice, equality, and the value of all people. As a Latino, I understand, on a personal level, how harmful bias and discrimination can be. Those of us with the privilege to speak up against it have an obligation to do so.

Before I joined the City government, I worked as a lawyer for the Asian Law Caucus, fighting for the rights of immigrants and tenants facing racism and eviction. As someone who has witnessed discriminatory acts firsthand, I am determined to fight against that kind of action in all forms. My experience as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission also helped develop a strong sense of fairness and equality for all. I am driven by the belief that everyone deserve equal rights and treatment, regardless of gender, race, immigration status, religion, or sexual identity. Finally, as a longtime resident of San Francisco, I have grown close with so many members of the LGBTQ community, and I could not in good conscious allow policies that would harm those people.

4

“Down you must go then, each in his turn, to the habitation of the others and accustom yourselves to the observation of the obscure things there. For once habituated you will discern them infinitely better than the dwellers there, and you will know what each of the ‘idols’ is and whereof it is a semblance, because you have seen the reality of the beautiful, the just and the good. So our city will be government by us and you with waking minds…”

- Plato, The Republic (Allegory of the Cave)

We Can't Wait Another 40 Years to Close the Wage Gap

When I graduated from college back in 1976, women made 60 cents for every dollar that men made. That meant my classmates and I had far less value than our male peers, in the most literal way. That meant the deck was stacked against us from the start. And that meant we were set up for a lifetime of less pay, and the likelihood that we would never catch up.

Fast forward to last May, when my daughter, Chiara, graduated from college. You would think — you would HOPE — that in the four decades between her graduation and mine, we would have closed the wage gap. Here’s the reality: From the very beginning of our careers, women and people of color have been paid less than our colleagues for the exact same work. And every time we get a new job, our salary is based on what we were making before. So not only do we start lower on the earnings ladder — we don’t rise as high with each rung we climb.

Today, women of all ethnicities make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar men make. White women earn 82 cents for every dollar white men make. Black men earn 73 cents for every dollar white men make. And women of color are paid the least by far. For example, Latinas make just 54 cents for every dollar men make. How can this be the case in 2016, in a country that claims to be a meritocracy?

The City of New York is answering these questions with bold, progressive policy because we need to make fundamental changes in the way people are hired in our City. The Commission on Gender Equity, which I lead as co-chair, is working to close disparities in pay in NYC and improve economic mobility. We are bringing the full force of City government to jump-start the effort. The Executive Order we announced last Fall will go a long way to ensure equal pay for equal work in our city, beginning with our hardworking public servants. We can’t wait another forty years to close the wage gap — and we won’t.

washingtonpost.com
THIS IS NOT A TEST: Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states
The raids mark the first largescale immigration action since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.
By https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandhya-Somashekhar/424900341023463

U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

The raids, which officials said targeted known criminals, also netted some immigrants who did not have criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration that aimed to just corral and deport those who had committed crimes.

Trump has pledged to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records. Last month he also made a change to the Obama administration’s policy of prioritizing deportation for convicted criminals, substantially broadening the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all.

Immigration officials confirmed that agents this week raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, netting hundreds of people. But Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said they were part of “routine” immigration enforcement actions. ICE dislikes the term “raids,” and prefers to say authorities are conducting “targeted enforcement actions.”

Immigration activists said the crackdown went beyond the six states DHS identified, and said they had also documented ICE raids of unusual intensity during the past two days in Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia.

That undocumented immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported sent a shock through immigrant communities nationwide amid concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.

“This is clearly the first wave of attacks under the Trump administration, and we know this isn’t going to be the only one,” Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant youth organization, said Friday during a conference call with immigration advocates.

ICE agents in the Los Angeles area Thursday swept a number of individuals into custody over the course of an hour, seizing them from their homes and on their way to work in daytime operations, activists said.

David Marin, ICE’s field director in the Los Angeles area, said in a conference call with reporters Friday that 75 percent of the approximately 160 people detained in the operation this week had felony convictions; the rest had misdemeanors or were in the United States illegally. Officials said Friday night that 37 of those detained in Los Angeles has been deported to Mexico.

“Dangerous criminals who should be deported are being released into our communities,” Marin said.

A video that circulated on social media Friday appeared to show ICE agents detaining people in an Austin shopping center parking lot. Immigration advocates also reported roadway checkpoints, where ICE appeared to be targeting immigrants for random ID checks, in North Carolina and in Austin. ICE officials denied that authorities used checkpoints during the operations.

[The ‘sanctuary city’ on the front line of the fight over Trump’s immigration policy]

“I’m getting lots of reports from my constituents about seeing ICE on the streets. Teachers in my district have contacted me — certain students didn’t come to school today because they’re afraid,” said Greg Casar, an Austin city council member. “I talked to a constituent, a single mother, who had her door knocked on this morning by ICE.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said he confirmed with ICE’s San Antonio office that the agency “has launched a targeted operation in South and Central Texas as part of Operation Cross Check.”

“I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact dangerous, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state,” Castro said in a statement Friday night.

Hiba Ghalib, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta, said the ICE detentions were causing “mass confusion” in the immigrant community. She said she had heard reports of ICE agents going door-to-door in one largely Hispanic neighborhood, asking people to present their papers.

“People are panicking,” Ghalib said. “People are really, really scared.”

Immigration officials acknowledged that authorities had cast a wider net than they would have last year, as the result of Trump’s executive order.

The Trump administration is facing a series of legal challenges to that order, and on Thursday lost a court battle over a separate executive order to temporarily ban entry into the United States by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, as well as by refugees. The administration said Friday that it is considering raising the case to the Supreme Court.

Some activists in Austin and Los Angeles suggested that the raids might be retaliation for those cities’ “sanctuary city” policies. A government aide familiar with the raids said it is possible that the predominantly daytime operations — a departure from the Obama administration’s night raids — meant to “send a message to the community that the Trump deportation force is in effect.”

Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant advocacy group, said that the wave of detentions harks back to the George W. Bush administration, when workplace raids to sweep up all undocumented workers were common.

The Obama administration conducted a spate of raids and also pursued a more aggressive deportation policy than any previous president, sending more than 400,000 people back to their birth countries at the height of his deportations in 2012. The public outcry over the lengthy detentions and deportations of women, children and people with minor offenses led Obama in his second term to prioritize convicted criminals for deportation.

A DHS official confirmed that while immigration agents were targeting criminals, given the broader range defined by Trump’s executive order they also were sweeping up non-criminals in the vicinity who were found to be lacking documentation. It was unclear how many of the people detained would have been excluded under Obama’s policy.

Federal immigration officials, as well as activists, said that the majority of those detained were adult men, and that no children were taken into custody.

“Big cities tend to have a lot of illegal immigrants,” said one immigration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly due to the sensitive nature of the operation. “They’re going to a target-rich environment.”

Immigrant rights groups said that they were planning protests in response to the raids, including one Friday evening in Federal Plaza in New York City and a vigil in Los Angeles.

“We cannot understate the level of panic and terror that is running through many immigrant communities,” said Walter Barrientos of Make the Road New York in New York City, who spoke on a conference call with immigration advocates.

“We’re trying to make sure that families who have been impacted are getting legal services as quickly as possible. We’re trying to do some legal triage,” said Bob Libal, the executive director of Grassroots Leadership, which provides assistance and advocacy work to immigrants in Austin. “It’s chaotic,” he said. The organization’s hotline, he said, had been overwhelmed with calls.

Jeanette Vizguerra, 35, a Mexican house cleaner whose permit to stay in the country expired this week, said Friday during the conference call that she was newly apprehensive about her scheduled meeting with ICE next week.

Fearing deportation, Vizguerra, a Denver mother of four — including three who are U.S. citizens — said through an interpreter that she had called on activists and supporters to accompany her to the meeting.

“I know I need to mobilize my community, but I know my freedom is at risk here,” Vizguerra said.

The Signs and Cities III:

Aries: A city sinking into the mire. Its foundations the rooftops of old, great spires digging into the earth like pins.

Taurus: A colossal war machine, ever it ticks deeper. It seems to run without power. Where is it going?

Gemini: A city of worship carved into a great snowy mountain. Great effigies of holy beasts adorn its lonely walls.

Cancer: What was a city of refuge. All that remains are stone foundations and walls worn smooth to driftwood by the sea. 

Leo: A city on the other side. A city away from it all. A city governed by a jealous tyrant. 

Virgo: A city built as a warning. Great courthouses and barracks protecting what its residents believe to be the heart of something old.

Libra: A city taken from below. Its yards now overgrown and windows tarnished. What’s left of its residents now scour the deep as lost blind things.

Scorpio: A city of gutters and trash, but not seen as so by its residents. A house of parliament stands proudly at its center.

Ophiuchus: A city made from a forest of scarlet trees. The earth carries a different scent here.

Sagittarius: A city abandoned and overgrown. Your footsteps echo far too loudly here. Its vast vaulted halls are host to none, but you feel as if you are trespassing. 

Capricorn: A city shrouded in secret. The entrance is hidden, unreachable by those who do not know how to find it.

Aquarius: A city of noise and tunnels. Everything lost seems to turn up here eventually.

Pisces: A city of astronomers. Its ceilings glass, telescopes always peering into the void.

For @aveanexalea , since he requested it and it was on my vote list.

Back in the early portion of the cold war, US air planners and air defence controllers had a major problem. In the day and age of a single modern bomber being able to take out an entire city, or multiple in a single mission, the US had to guarantee that to the best of their ability to be able to take down as many soviet bombers as possible, preferably all of them, in the event of an atomic conflict.

From past experience, they knew that the “bomber would always get through”, especially when used in mass bomber swarms, or combat boxes, as was the US term. (More of a specific bomber formation doctrine, but eh). Conventional Anti-aircraft measures could and would down some of the bombers, but a large volume would get through. Any Soviet bombers escaping air defences would more than likely result in destroyed US cities and the millions of preventable casualties that would follow.

This was unacceptable. The USAF, taking a page from their Army comrades, decided to go nuclear. The US army’s doctrine was to use atomic munitions to vaporize soviet armoured divisions if they were able to roll through any conventional weapons, for the defence of Western Europe. The USAF decided that an atomic device air-burst in the middle of a soviet bomber formation would do just the trick.

New developments in US Atomics research had allowed for the development of sealed pit devices.

“A weapon “boosted” by tritium and deuterium gas would use much less fissile material to produce a large explosion. Right before the moment of detonation, these hydrogen gases would be released into the weapon’s core. When the core imploded, the gases would fuse, release neutrons, multiply the number of fissions, and greatly increase the yield. And because the fissile core would be hollow and thin, a lesser amount of explosives would be needed to implode it. As a result, boosted weapons could be light and small.“

Eric Schlosser,  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013), Pg. 103.

This new development allowed for more powerful weapons in smaller packages.

This allowed the Air-2 Genie to pack the punch it required.

The Air-2 Genie represented the first sealed-pit weapon to enter US stockpile. With conventional air-to air weapons proving inadequate, and the threat of a single Soviet aircraft wreaking havoc on the mainland US, the USAF deemed the safest option for the downing of US bombers was the detonation of small atomic devices over the skies of the mainland United States, Alaska, and Canada. 

This “view was endorsed in March 1955 by James R. Killian, the president of MIT, who headed a top secret panel on the threat of surprise attack”. - “The Genie would be carried by Air Force fighter-interceptors. It had a small, 1.5-kiloton warhead and a solid-fueled rocket engine. Unlike conventional air defense weapons, it didn’t need a direct hit to eliminate a target. And it could prove equally useful against a single Soviet bomber or a large formation of them”.

-Ibid.

The Genie was to be fired upon contact with a Soviet bomber. The sooner the better for the sake of the US, as will be explained in detail below. 

The on board fire computer would calculate the distance to the bomber, or bombers, and set the on board timer for the Air-2 Genie. After launch, the US fighter would bank hard and roll out and away from the projected device initiation point. Initiation of the device would occur once the timer ran out. The rocket would speed towards the hostile aircraft at Mach 3.3 powered by a solid fueled Thiokol SR49 rocket motor. Primary kill effects were caused surprisingly enough not by blast or heat, which, despite the low yield of 1.5 kilotons, were still effective out to a great distance. The Fireball would consume any aircraft within a hundred yards, yet the most effective killing agent of this device was the prompt radiation released. Even a bad miss could still kill, given that the lethal envelope of the prompt radiation had a radius of about a mile with “the “probability of kill” (PK) within that envelope [found] to be 92 percent”.

“The Soviet aircrew’s death from radiation might take as long as five minutes—a delay that made it even more important to fire the Genie as far as possible from urban areas. Detonated at a high altitude, the weapon produced little fallout and didn’t lift any debris from the ground to form a mushroom cloud. After the bright white flash, a circular cloud drifted from the point of detonation, forming an immense smoke ring in the sky”.

-Ibid.

The discussion of permission to fire these devices was brought up, and how a request to fire the devices may be delayed to the point where several US cities may well have gone up in smoke. In response to these concerns, the use of these devices were pre-delegated to the USAF, by Eisenhower in April 1956, with the actual order coming into effect in December.

In effect, the USAF was able to fire atomic air-to-air rockets at any target that was deemed ‘hostile’. While the joint chief’s of staff demanded that these devices were to be locked up in storage igloos, and never to be flown over the United States except in war time. Presumably, the reality of this was that a large volume of air interceptors were on the deck ready to jet in the event of a conflict. At first warning of the DEW line, Mid-Canada line or the Pine-tree Line, the aircraft would be armed, with Genies extracted from their storage sheds, with the air interceptors, now armed with atomic rockets, sent to intercept the soviet waves of bombers.


To prove the device safe in use, the USAF conducted  Operation Plumbbob on 19 July 1957. This proved to be the only live firing of a Air-2 Genie missile, which initiated somewhere  between 18,500 and 20,000 ft (5,600 and 6,100 m) above mean sea level. (Sources vary). A group of five USAF officers volunteered to stand hatless in their light summer uniforms underneath the blast to prove that the weapon was safe for use over populated areas. They were photographed by Department of Defense photographer George Yoshitake who stood there with them. Gamma and neutron doses received by observers on the ground were negligible. Doses received by aircrew were highest for the fliers assigned to penetrate the airburst cloud ten minutes after explosion.

Source

As shown in the video above, with the description just above, “The
officers wore summer uniforms and no protective gear. A photograph, taken at the moment of detonation, shows that two of the men instinctively ducked, two shielded their eyes, and one stared upward, looking straight at the blast. “It glowed for an instant like a newborn sun,” Time magazine reported, “then faded
into a rosy, doughnut-shaped cloud.”


Eric Schlosser,  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013), Pg. 105. 

Problems arise.  

Inevitably , problems began to arise. Given that sealed-pit weapons were quite new, with this model of weapon being the first in stockpiles, how safe were they? This was a bit of an unknown, one that needed to be found out when thousands of these devices would be put on airfields and storage facility’s across the country, many within city limits.

The U.S. government was quite public about the Genie missile. 

“When atomic bombs were first transferred to SAC bases in French Morocco, the French government wasn’t told about the weapons. But the deployment of Genies at air bases throughout the United States was announced in an Air Force press release.”

“The possibility of any nuclear explosion occurring as a result of an accident involving either impact or fire is virtually nonexistent,” Secretary of Defense Wilson assured the public”. 
His press release reported “that someone standing on
the ground directly beneath the high-altitude detonation of a Genie would be exposed to less radiation than “a hundredth of a dose received in a standard (medical) X-ray.”

-Ibid

However, it should be noted that “His press release about the
Genie didn’t mention the risk of plutonium contamination”,
not from an airburst anti-bomber detonation, but from an accidental surface burst.

The risks of plutonium exposure were becoming more apparent in the mid-1950s. Although the alpha particles emitted by plutonium are too weak to penetrate human skin, they can destroy lung tissue when plutonium dust is inhaled. Anyone within a few hundred feet of a weapon accident spreading plutonium can inhale a swiftly lethal dose. Cancers of the lung, liver, lymph nodes, and bone can be caused by the inhalation of minute amounts. And the fallout from such an accident may contaminate a large area for a long time. Plutonium has a half-life of about twenty-four thousand years. It remains hazardous throughout that period, and plutonium dust is hard to clean up. “The problem of decontaminating the site of [an] accident may be insurmountable,” a classified Los Alamos report noted a month after the Genie’s onepoint
safety test, “and it may have to be ‘written off’ permanently.” “.

Understandably, this would drive the civilian members in charge of safety quite quickly to protest, with the very thought of having to inform the public that a section, or perhaps all of a major US city would be uninhabitable for an extremely extended period being almost unthinkable.

There was heavy debate actually among those in the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), as to whether use a plutonium, or uranium-235 base for the fission products in the genie devices. 

“In one respect, uranium-235 seemed to be safer. It has a half-life of about seven hundred million years—but emits radiation at a much lower rate than plutonium, greatly reducing the inhalation hazard. And yet a Genie with a uranium core had its own risks. Norris Bradbury, the director of Los Alamos, warned the AEC that such a core was “probably not safe against one-point detonation.” In effect, shrapnel, or a stray bullet, or what have you from an aircraft crash, or sabotage, or whatever incident may well cause the device to, quite frankly, initiate. Heck, even a fire could cause it. 





In short, using uranium as the base fission product, the Genies would fail the one-point safety test, and could be set off very easily. Using Uranium as the base fission product, “Impact tests revealed that when the Genie was armed, it didn’t need a firing signal to detonate. The Genie could produce a nuclear explosion just by hitting the ground”.

Ibid-Pg 107

Understandably, “given the choice between an accident that might cause a nuclear explosion and one that might send a cloud of plutonium over an American city, the Air Force preferred the latter. Handmade, emergency capability Genies were rushed into production, with cores that contained plutonium”.

Ibid.-Pg 105

Even with the one-point safety test proven, there was still the potential for complications.
“The one-point safety tests at Nevada Test Site had provided encouraging results, and yet the behavior of a nuclear weapon in an “abnormal environment”—like that of a fuel fire ignited by a plane crash—was still poorly understood. During a fire, the high explosives of a weapon might burn; they might detonate; or they might burn and then detonate. And different weapons might respond differently to the same fire, based on the type, weight, and configuration of their high explosives. For firefighting purposes, each weapon was assigned a “time factor”—the amount of time you had, once a weapon was engulfed in flames, either to put out the fire or to get at least a thousand feet away from it. The time factor for the Genie was three minutes”.

Ibid.- Pg 109

Heck, there was concern that the fire may even start the standard detonation process.

“The heat of a fire might start the thermal batteries, release high-voltage
electricity into the X-unit, and then set off the bomb. To eliminate that risk, heat-sensitive fuses were added to every sealed-pit weapon. At a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the fuses would blow, melting the connections between the batteries and the arming system. It was a straightforward, time-honored way to interrupt an electrical circuit, and it promised to ensure that a high temperature wouldn’t trigger the detonators”.

Ibid.

In 1977, a study was completed that reported that “despite being the oldest sealed-pit weapon in the stockpile, vulnerable to lightning, and fitted
with an outdated accelerometer, the Genie was still being loaded onto fighter planes”.

Ibid. Pg. 223



In the end, over 3000 Genie’s were produced, being used by both the USAF from 1957 to 1985, and the R.C.A.F. from 1965 to 1984.

Here, have this for your troubles.

Sources-

Wiki, for basic info-

Schlosser, Eric.  Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.  New York: The Penguin Press, 2013.

okay since Beach City is a tourist town I can’t help but wonder if Mayor Dewey gives them all A Talk soon after arriving

“As the local Mayor I’d like to thank you all for visiting our fair city. Through the actions of our citizens and our local city government - that’s me - we have strived to make our city a peaceful oasis where you can let all your problems go! That being said, there are a few things about our fair town that I feel you should know before you can roam freely on the beaches.

Firstly, you may see individuals around town in unusual colors, some of which may be sporting extra eyes, limbs, and in one case torsos. That is completely normal, do not make a big deal about it.

Second, occasionally you will see or come into contact with a monster. In that case, head quickly to a nearby building and inform the other occupants. The proper authorities will take care of the situation.

If you see a giant pink lion walking around, that’s just Steven’s pet Lion. Stay calm, and whatever you do, do NOT run away from him screaming. He will think you are playing tag, and I do not know from experience that having a magical pink lion on top of you is highly unpleasant. Also, don’t let him fool you into feeding him. He can get food well enough on his own, even without the ungodly amount of ice cream he inevitably ends up consuming.

On a related note, if you see any sort of purple animal, ignore her. She’s just trying to get a reaction, and possibly steal your lunch.

You may see one of these individuals carrying a large pink sword. Don’t worry, they are trained professionals who know what they are doing. However, nobody else should try and handle that sword, ESPECIALLY if it is unsheathed. It is real, it is deadly, and again, should only be handled by trained professionals.

And finally, THIS is a picture my son Buck drew of me when he was six years old. I keep it on my fridge, and had it printed on a mug, which is now my favorite for that reason. It is a precious possession, dear to my heart, and I wanted to share it with you all.

Also don’t tell him I added this part, he thinks I’m embarrassing enough already.”

4

A few hours ago, a terrorist group took over a university in Marawi, Mindanao.

Mindanao is one of the three major islands in the Philippines. Divide has always been imminent since it is far from the central city of Manila where government is and the region is divided by religion, Islam and Christianity. Terrorist rebels and the Philippine Military are in constant war with each other.

Today military men have died and the city is under siege.

And less than an hour ago, our president (who is in Russia for a meeting with Putin) declared Martial Law in Mindanao.

This means he has complete control over all powers of the government. Administrative Judiciary and Legislative. He has complete control over everything.

When Martial Law is declared, anyone can be arrested. No right to trial. No need for warrants. Human rights are partially suspended in a sense.

There has been partial media black outs and we know very little of how many civilians, innocent people and children are hurt or worse.

Please help #PrayforMarawi

Humanity is being attacked by terrorism. not a race. not a religion. This instability calls for unity, not division.