exports and imports

anonymous asked:

I've been trying to write the plot for characters I've developed for months and I can never come up with a good enough conflict. I can develop characters for days but once it comes to writing conflict I'm at a complete loss. Nothing ever seems good enough or interesting enough. The story is supposed to have a dark undertone and takes place near the sea in the 20's. I'm at a loss after that...

Characters Without Conflict

Before we talk about conflicts, make sure that you’re judging what’s good enough and interest enough on the right scale. Your scale. You might be afraid that no one will like it because it’s been done, or because no one is reading stuff like this, or because it doesn’t feel like enough action. But whether or not something is good enough starts with you

The first thing you need to do is gain some confidence. Take a look @maxkirin‘s story idea test. Once you accept the truth of this post, you’ll feel a lot better. But now, onto adding conflict when all you’ve got is characters.

1) Character Drama

Examine the relationships between your characters and find things for them to fight about. The way they’re each living their lives, or a crucial decision that needs to be made, an unforgivable act that one of them committed, a secret that was kept. Find sources of drama between the two of them. It may be that whatever you come up with is enough to drive an entire story. 

2) The Dead Body Trick

This is going to sound cliche, but the dead body trick works well. Have your characters stumble onto a body or witness something being murdered. Then imagine the possibilities of what comes after. Do they become suspects in the murder when they discover the body? Are they threatened by the murderer when their presence is discovered? Are they more tied to the murder than it seems on the surface? 

The dead body trick need not apply only to strangers either. Have one of your characters going through a recent loss of someone, and write how the person died to help inspire you to tell the story. 

You can also apply this trick to one of your existing characters. Choose someone from your cast and say “This person is going to die at the end of the story.” Now you work backwards to determine why and how that’s going to happen. You’re forced to develop a conflict that results in this outcome. 

3) Use Your Setting

In the case of this anon, setting can help you develop conflict. If the story takes place in a specific time period and location, there will likely be historical and regional events that can create conflict surrounding your characters. If we’re talking the 1920s in America, you’ve got prohibition that immediately creates conflict as people choose sides. If the story takes place near waterways, you’ve got potential issues of storms, tourism, merchant and commercial importing/exporting, fishermen trade and their agreements with local restaurants and seafood shops. Look at the issues facing the people in your time period/setting and see how your characters fit into those issues. What roles do they play? What problems will they face in these roles?

4) Start With Just One Problem

Don’t try to overwhelm yourself by thinking of a half a dozen plot arcs to keep the story moving. Start with just one, and follow it through to conclusion. When you’ve identified one problem, keep asking yourself A) How can it get worse and B) What will my character do about it? Both of these questions will help you move to the next part of the story. When you have a complete narrative arc surrounding one problem, it’ll be easier to think about things like subplots and how to add complexity to the story overall. 

These are just some ideas to get you going. Keep brainstorming and thinking. Be patient with yourself through this process. It can take months before you find that magical “Aha!” revelation where everything in your story just falls into place. 

-Rebekah

the 9th house is ruled by sagittarius and associates with religion, politics, theology, philosophy, import/export business higher education, collective culture, foreign policy, and relating to law…

sagittarius is a sign of the mind (Jupiter is the higher mind), and they love a debate, they love anything that activates and stimulates their intellect and allows for the introduction of new ideas. politics is ever changing, and the humanitarian and global perspective of jupiter can make sagittarians naturals in politics 

Some Worldbuilding Prompts

1. Biggest and most important exports?
2. Who transports and distributes the food? What happens with out of season foods? How is food kept fresh?
3. What are standards for cleanliness? How do people get clean? Soap and water? Oil and a scraper? Sonic showers? Is bathing private or communal in nature?
4. Literacy rate? Who can read—everyone? Gentry? Religious persons?
5. What are some common musical instruments?
6. Are there calendars? Are they based on agriculture? Astronomy? Religion? Elections? Generations? Migrations?
7. What are some taboos? Are they cultural? Religious? Food-related? Unspoken ones?
8. Names? How and by whom are they chosen? Parents? Village elders? Is there a naming scheme? Bynames or surnames? Inherited titles, or only earned ones? Are names gendered or neutral? What age do people receive their name and do people’s names change as they age?
9. What are the attitudes towards casual sex? What laws might there be controlling casual sex? Are they enforced? Strictly?
10. Who builds new buildings? Skilled laborers or private individuals? Is construction a gendered skill set?
11. Are there non-human races present? How are they viewed/treated?
12. What happens with people’s trash? Where does it go, who removes it?
13. How are large objects moved/transported?
14. What do people do when they get sick? Healer? Home remedy? A doctor?
15. Mythical creatures? Real or fictional? How do people interact with them?
16. What, if any exist, are inheritance laws like? Who can inherit? Do things get passed down? Do titles?
17. Recreational drugs and other intoxicants? What are they, where do they come from, what are the attitudes surrounding their usage?
18. Is there a scholar vs warrior divide? A homemaker/career divide? Are they enforced? How are they valued?
19. Who makes the food? In what fashion is it served, and by whom? Are meals casual or formal? Does one pray before eating?
20. Are there any secret societies/organizations? What purpose do they serve?
21. Is there slavery? Indentured servitude? How does one distinguish between a slave and a freeman?
22. If your world has modern utilities are they widespread? Wealthy only? Do utilities have to be modified to work (electric lines coated with anti-magic coating, etc)
23. Exploration history? Colonialism or simply trade? Closed borders or open? Stagnant boarders, or is there a wish for expansion?
24. Are there guilds, corporations, unions? What laws govern them?
25. Are there gender roles? What are they? Are there even genders? How many? What are they? Are they lifelong? Who designates them?
26. Are there taxes? What kinds of things get taxed?
27. What does the oldest generation complain about most in the younger generations? Vice versa?
28. What goods/activities are considered luxury/upper class?
29. What are the most prestigious professions? The most reviled? The most misunderstood? Are there even professions as we know them?
30. How are children viewed? What roles do they play in society?
31. What are some great works of fiction? Why are they considered great? Does your culture even have fiction?
32. Most places have more than one religion being practiced—how do different faiths interact? Are all faiths in harmony or is there conflict? What are the specific points of contention? Must anyone practice their faith in secret?
33. What are some physical standards of beauty? What lengths do people go to to achieve these standards? (corsets, foot binding, etc)
34. Towns? Is the design planned or organic growth? Is there a center of the city/town? Is it a marketplace? Church? Park? Communal food hall? Are there multiple “center” nodes?
35. What technologies are known and widely available?
36. How do the various classes spend their leisure time?
37. Are there any religious orders? Temples? Nunneries? Monasteries?
38. Careers and Vocations? Soldier, farmer, apothecary? Is there any sort of marked economic bracket? Associated prestige?
39. Who founded the civilization/country/culture/mainstream religion? How are they remembered by their people? By outsiders?
40. Are there sumptuary laws? What are some examples?
41. Do people keep pets, or just working animals? Do they even have domesticated animals? Which ones might be common?
42. How do they get their news? Who writes/releases it? Word of mouth, or is their a newspaper? A town crier?
43. How are artists valued? What are the most common forms of artistic expression? What is the most uncommon?
44. What are the countries/planets/geographical features that form the borders around your culture/country?
45. Landownership—who, how much? Are there any limitations?
46. How do people wear their hair? Do they cover it or leave it uncovered?
47. How are buildings lit at night? Lamps? Candles? Electricity? Maybe they’re not lit at all, and the day ends with the sunlight?
48. How (if at all) are deities depicted in art?
49. Colors: What are the basic colors? Are any significant culturally? Religiously? Royally? Regionally? Clan or class or caste specific?
50. Common family size? Rate of reproduction? How is reproduction viewed or valued?
51. Who are cultural/historical heroes? What are they famous for? How are their stories told? How are they remembered?
52. What is the currency? Is there deviations in legal vs culture-wide currency exchange? Is there bartering or trade at a local or culture-wide level?
53. What kinds of building materials are available? Would the wealthy be able to send away for rarer building materials?
54. Education—are there school systems or are children taught via their parents, private tutors, apprenticeships?
55.  Fashion—is there any concept of it? Is there an industry? How is it valued? How quickly does it change? Are there class implications in styles? Class restrictions on fashion?
56. What are some rude hand gestures? Rude words and slurs?
57. Do people make holy pilgrimages? To where? Why? What god/dess?
58. How are items that take skilled labor to make crated and distributed?
59. What is considered the highest form of art? Music? Dance? Painting? Sculpture? Martial arts?
60. What is a typical home meal like? Does everyone eat together, or are there separate eating spaces for women/children/servants/etc.
61. What are some beliefs/understanding about the nature and structure of the universe? What do they know about the stars and astronomy?
62. Linguistics! Is it a gendered language or no? Do people have different pronouns depending on things such as gender, class, caste, etc.?
63. Hospitality—how does one treat a stranger and how does this differ from how one might treat a friend?
64. What are some minority groups? How are they treated by mainstream culture?
65. Does your mode of address change if someone is your superior or inferior? How? How rude is it if you don’t follow the usual rules of protocol?
66. What is the currency called? What increments does it come in (¼, ½, 1, 5, etc.)? What shape is it? What is it made from (paper, wood, metal, glass, plastic)? What are the exchange rates and processes with changing money to another currency?
67. What kinds of marriage practices are celebrated? Are couples matri- or patrilocal? Is there a bride price? Dowry? How many spouses? What does a marriage ceremony usually include?
68. What are funerals like? How is death dealt with? Is it considered unclean, or is it celebrated? Who takes care of the body? Burial or cremation or something else? Do people tend to believe in an afterlife?
69. What is considered a crime vs simply something uncouth? Who are these punished?
70. Romantic ideals? Taboos? Sexual ideals and taboos? Familial ideals and taboos? Platonic ideals and taboos?
71. What role does fantasy/imagination play? Is it significant? Is it valued? Restricted to art? Unacknowledged?
72. Where does the water come from? How is it distributed?
73. Are there any tourist destinations? Are they religious in significance or just scenic? Historic sites? Monuments? Man-made or natural?
74. What are the commonly accepted laws of public decency? Are there any unspoken rules on rudeness, courtesy, or lawfulness?
75. What is an average lifespan? How is becoming elderly viewed?
76. Sacred symbols? Plants, trees, animals, colors, shapes, icons, etc? Sacred to whom? How are these venerated? Protected or just observed?
77. Who does the majority of the child rearing in a family? The mother? The father? The older siblings? A grandparent? A nanny? Someone else?
78. Personal adornment! Jewelry, hairstyles, tattoos? Who wears such things, if anyone? Why? What could the lack of such adornment signify? Class restrictions?
79. Government system? Who is in charge, and what’s the chain of command like from them on down? What are some restrictions that might be in place regarding who is fit to rule?
80. Are books rare, common, or obsolete? How are they made, who writes them? Is there another way of record keeping?
81. What inspires the architecture? Function? A specific aspect of nature? Abstract art?
82. What are the attitudes of the majority culture towards LGBTQA peoples? Ahat terms do such people use to describe themselves?
83. Travel—are there maintained roads/routes or no? Preferred mode of transportation? What sorts of dangers might one encounter while traveling?
84. What sort of weather is typical? Extreme seasons, or mild ones? What sort of climate is it? What adaptations has the culture developed in response to their environment?
85. What sort of foods are parents forever urging their kids to eat “because it’s good for you!”?
86. What kinds of underclothes are typical? Are underwear the same for both genders? Does underwear change depending on your age?
87. Armaments? Pacifism? Armed citizens? Dueling? Violence restrictions?
88. Does your culture believe in the supernatural? Ghosts, spirits of nature? Of the deceased? Extra-planar? Are they revered, feared, both, neither?
89. Linguistics—what is their writing system like? Vertical or horizontal? Alphabet, syllabic, pictographic?
90. Magic? Real or just folklore? What is the basis upon which the system works? How is magic viewed by the masses? Who uses magic?
91. What is the basic family unit? Nuclear, extended, kids leave at 11, boys and uncles vs mother, sister, aunts, etc.?
92. Are meals communal to family, neighborhood, community? Completely private? Are the dishes in a meal communal or individual?
93. Are typical dwellings single-family, extended family, communal, apartment structure, etc.?
94. What are some notable historical periods? What are they called/named after? Why are they historically important?
95. What is the #1 political issue at the time of your story? How does it effect daily life of the common people vs the gentry?
96. Us vs them? Where does the line fall denoting foreigners? Outside of family? Culture? Language? Religion? Geography?
97. Hospitality—do you afford it even to your enemies? Is it valued?
98. Is the main religion polytheistic or monotheistic? Neither?
99. Standard medical practices? Nothing? Leeches? Antibiotics? Magic?
100. How is sewage dealt with?
101. What do people do in the case of natural disaster? Fire?
102. Is there a symbol of the ruling body? An icon? A royal seal or coat of arms? Does this symbol appear regularly, or is it only brought out on special occasions?
103. What is the age of adolescence? What is the age of adulthood? When does childhood end? Are there coming of age ceremonies? What are the benefits of adulthood?

He discovered that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia may not be the “best friend” he imagined and that staying out of the civil war in Syria was harder than he assumed. He acknowledged that 10 minutes of listening to China’s president made him realize he did not fully understand the complexity of North Korea. He dropped his opposition to the Export-Import Bank after learning more about it. And he said he no longer thought NATO was “obsolete.”
— 

Donald Trump’s week. From the New York Times

Note that China’s president taught Trump about North Korea. Since no one in the State Department or CIA could have done it –

Tattoo Girl (G.D) Part 1

Summary: Grayson, his twin brother and their 3 best friends work for the police force. They’re working on busting the biggest drug case of the century, ran by the most dangerous gang in America. While busting down doors, and trying to track down the bad guys, Grayson’s attention turns to a mysterious girl with a mysterious tattoo. Who is she? Where is she from, and what’s her story? What happens when you fall in love with one of America’s top 10 wanted criminals?

Warnings: Mentions of drugs, violence, guns, and blood. Cursing. 

A/N: It’s here! The new series is here! I’m really excited about this one! It’s a little different from all the fluffy lovely dovey stuff I write, but I really like it, and I hope you guys enjoy it! Feel free to let me know what you guys think about it! Love you guys <3

( All the characters are in their mid 20s in this series. )

* * Y/N/N : your nick name * *


Originally posted by secretlylia

Grayson’s POV

My name is Grayson Dolan, and I work for LAPD. I’m a head narcotics cop, and alongside me were my best friends Ethan Dolan, and Nate Garner. Ethan also happens to be my twin brother, and Nate has been our best friend since high school.

Our other best friends Aaron, and Jack works for the police force also. They were double agents, who would soon be ranked with us, once we bust this big drug case.

It was Ethan’s, Nate’s and I’s weekend off, but we were called into LAPD headquarters for a meeting. Chief never holds meetings on a Saturday, so whatever this was about, its clearly important.

I should be listening to the chief, but I was doodling away in my notepad. For the past 2 weeks, every page in my notes is filled with drawings of a compass, with leaves floating around it. It was actually a girl’s tattoo that I was drawing. I have no idea why, but I just couldn’t get it or the girl out of my head.  

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

(part 1) ur gonna roast me for this but im legit curious why mafia AUs are so bad? im asking in a non confrontational way, i get it romanticizing mafia is wrong, but i also believe that 1)most mafia AUs are a really toned down type of mafia;2)they do make for some interesting kinds of dynamics with fanart and with fics; 3)in a fic specifically u can create your own world and call something mafia and still make it so they don't kill innocent people but only idk members of other gangs or sth

(part 2) plus theyre a way to put ur charas in a completely diff context and see what theyll do. i mean i dont believe that writing ships in a certain context (like mafia) equals romanticizing that context. mafia AUs arent even my fav things to read (in fact i almost never do), im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.

I’m not gonna roast you don’t worry xD okay wait let me check if I replied to this already if yes I’m gonna c/p because it’s half past midnight otherwise I’ll just go at it again wait *checks tags* fff obviously I don’t have a general post but anyway pls read this after you’ve done with my post and then this which is also choke-full of links. plus for a (not nice) laugh: here. AH WAIT I FOUND THE POST.

okay, so, let’s have it out of the way: I have nothing against mob aus or crime aus. I have a problem against calling them mafia AUs because in the US mafia = organized crime at large, in Italy mafia = ACTUAL EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ACTIVELY HARMFUL. now that I introduced the topic I’ll c/p you the reply I gave to another anon who while discussing the issue pointed out that most writers don’t even know Italian mafia is a thing, which is pretty much on the same discourse so…

*The thing is - in the US it might not be enough of a deal anymore and I honestly do get why people make the mafia = regular mobsters, since the mafia was the first foreign organized crime being exported to the US via italian immigrants (sorry if this sounds horrible in English but I just woke up and I still didn’t have coffee) so I understand that mafia became the umbrella term.But the thing is that - as you said, these people don’t even know that there’s a mafia in Italy anymore or where the word comes from.

 I’m going to link to italiansreclaimingitaly’s tag about the mafia and its perception outside Italy because they posted about this extensively and it’s an excellent resource, but meanwhile I’m gonna do a very short bullet point list and about the topic:

  • Mafia might not be a big deal in the US, but it still is here. We have the beauty of four different mafias (Cosa Nostra - the Sicilian one, camorra which is the one in Campania but has tendrils spread everywhere, the ‘ndrangheta which is in Calabria and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia) which are all active [especially camorra and 'ndrangheta] and whose actions have direct impact (negative) on our economy and on our society. Actually mafias are one of the main reasons we’re currently economically fucked up, and if I start talking about how mafia culture keeps some areas literally backwards I could talk about it for three months.
  • There are still people who are killed for standing up against them. These days the most prominent personality is Roberto Saviano who is a writer who dared to put together a book documenting minutely the way camorra works and he’s been living under protection for years by this point. Like, they want him dead because he wrote a book. And I’m sorta sure that he was talking about leaving Italy and going to the US after years of sticking with it here because he can’t take it anymore but I don’t know if it was a taken decision or if it’s still debating it.
  • It wasn’t even thirty years ago that we had the stragi di mafia - in english it’d be something like the mafia slaughters, basically around the beginning of the nineties there were a number of bombs planted by the mafia targeting people who were trying to oppose it including judges Falcone and Borsellino, actually the anniversary of Falcone’s death is like… tomorrow. And they’ve killed people for way longer than that. Here is a list of only Cosa Nostra victims including the ones from the eighties/nineties. And people are still dying because of it. The slaughters I’m referring to are just the ones in the nineties which are enough of a number.
  • They also perpetuate a culture where if you testify against your mafia-employed relatives you’ll be shunned forever. There are women who testified against their families and couldn’t see their children anymore never mind that they weren’t automatically considered a relative anymore the moment they sided against the mafia. Some people have committed suicide after becoming witnesses also because our police force/justice system can be terribly non-supportive in this kind of situation so they got left on their own. Never mind that back in the day - it was the beginning of the nineties? - I recall at least a particular story of - I think, correct me if I remember wrong but I can’t remember the names for the life of me - where this guy testified against the local mafia when he either used to work for them or was forced to pay them the pizzo and in retaliation his six-year old (or five? Anyway he had a son younger than ten for sure) got kidnapped, killed and thrown into acid to dispose of the body. That happened in what, 1993? 1994? It’s pretty much yesterday. And now the camorra is doing the same - there’s a list here of camorra victims among which accidental passerbys that got killed because they were in the way which I can tell just by glancing is not complete. And I’m not even going into the 'ndrangheta. That is to say, here mafia still kills people and cripples our country.

Now, I get that it’s a word, but the point was: let’s say that instead of the Italians the Japanese came to the US first and the umbrella word for organized crime was yakuza rather than mafia and let’s say yakuza was still what it was originally in Japan while in the US it stopped being a big deal and people write yakuza!AU instead of mafia AU. Let’s say someone Japanese gets angry at that and goes like 'listen the yakuza is a real deal it does this this this and that and it’s a plague in our country so can you please at least look it up before writing your fanfic’, which is what had happened way back then when this whole mafia and fanfic thing blew up. A bunch of people told us to get over it because it’s just a word and if it’s a problem in Italy it’s not in the US so why should they care? Now, if we had been Japanese (or Chinese or Russian or Mexican) would they have said the same thing? Considering the general tumblr attitude I’m pretty sure they would have received either an apology or 'this is an important deal let’s keep that in mind’ with signal boost reblogs and stuff. 

It’s the fact that we should get over people not knowing that it’s still a real problem for us and that they can’t take five seconds to google it that is the problem imo. Especially when instead of mafia au you can just say mobsters au or tag it as organized crime and everyone is a lot happier, mostly because as the tag above explains romanticising the mafia is a good thing for them because it means they can act outside Italy with less stigma because everyone thinks that the mafia is dead or not relevant anymore, if I’m explaining myself. (And it’s active outside Italy - like, there was a mafia kill in Germany in 2007 where six people died (sorry the link is in Italian but there isn’t an English wiki page, if you look the city up you’ll find something probably) and it was because of the 'ndrangheta.

I’d really like to not get worked over it because it meant it was a thing of the past y'know, but the problem is that it isn’t and I’d rather spread some awareness in hope some of these writers look it up (because it’s a good thing that people know what mafia is since as stated they have tendrils everywhere - if you read Saviano’s book the entire first chapter is about how camorra regularly deals with Chinese import/export in Italy for one) than shrug and figure that since they’ll think everything is good for fanfic then it’s not even worth my time.*

Now, ^^^ that was the c/p-ed reply that should answer most of your doubts. What I didn’t address was:

im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.

aaaand as we say here in Italy, this is where the donkey falls (sorry we have weird sayings), because in theory there’s nothing wrong with that… except that in 99% of the mafia aus I’ve seen around the thing is that they’re supposed to be cute.

like, I see a lot of shit with TINY MAFIA BOSS STEVE ROGERS with RUSSIAN ENFORCER BUCKY (????? bucky isn’t even russian???) and the yoi thing I saw before had the japanese character being the leader of a russian mafia gang which is… like… guys it doesn’t happen it really doesn’t, and a lot of them re-use wrongly terminology taken from the godfather without context or knowing what the hell it means, and it’s always from the criminals’ pov and they’re somehow seen as criminals doing justice where the police can’t (???) and like… no. mafia bosses/enforcers/employees are bad people period, and at least here if you try to leave or repent they kill your family in retribution. like, not even ten years ago there’s been a woman who used to belong to a mafia family (or one colluded with the mafia) who testified and her entire town/family shunned her and she couldn’t take it anymore and… killed herself drinking acid if I don’t recall wrong. it’s not even special cases. this shit is not funny, it’s not cute, it’s not adorable and it’s not good fodder for your imagine your otp scenario (srsly I saw one like.. let me find it,

LIKE. just look at this shit. in a regular context, the enforcer goes to the show owner to force them to pay a monthly sum to their boss lest they destroy their shop and their lives and their family’s life never mind that mafia culture is deeply homophobic so the mafia enforcer flirting with the shopkeeper is like completely fucking out of the question. I mean, people here like to shit on the sopranos but that show was actually excellent representation of Horrid Criminals Who Were Never Supposed To Be Good People and the small arc that happened when one of tony’s friends turned out to be gay (closeted) was REALLY well done. btw, it ended that when they found out he was gay most of the crowd rejected him and thought badly of him until I think they killed him also for other reasons, but that spiraled from finding out he liked dick. and that’s american mafia that they actually based on well-done research of the culture in Italy it came from, I assure you that here it doesn’t work that differently. like. the shit above is so inaccurate and frankly offensive, it’s like… I get people romanticizing problematic stuff but the thing is that when you tell them that it’s actually offensive you get brushed off as ‘ah well you’re being too sensitive it’s just a word u__u’. now, I’m all for exploring shit we wouldn’t be into, but not like THAT, because that’s like mafia romantic comedy and that’s not how it works. now, you wanna do a fic where the mafia characters are deeply flawed and bad people and the police tries to catch them? fine, great, go ahead. you wanna do a fic where the enforcer above deals with dunno an entire life of internalized homophobia when he finds the shopkeeper attractive and feels conflicted over having to con money out of him and doing horrible shit for a living and maybe understanding that crime isn’t worth it and then he actually collaborates with the police and gets shit from about everyone he knows and loves for that? okay, awesome, go ahead. nothing bad in that.

but the shit above is not exploring things we wouldn’t/writing darkfic, it’s THINKING THAT A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION WHICH IS STILL A THING IN OUR PART OF THE WORLD IS CUTE AND ADORABLE. and that only plays in their favor because it takes the bad aura out of the word and we really should not let that happen. like. that is what is bad about mafia aus and mafia discourse, that people don’t realize the mafia is alive and well and thriving and not a thing that doesn’t exist or a generic word for organized crime.

you wanna write the shit above? okay, CALL IT CRIME AU or mob au, not mafia au.

btw, add-on: idk if I mentioned it in the above post or not, but in case I didn’t, I said that people would balk at the idea of a mexican cartel au. sadly since then I’ve found out a fandom where not only there is one but it’s also extra cutesy and people apparently love it and it has a bunch of kudos/comments and idek I’m not even touching that with a ten foot pole but like… I’ve avoided it and everything that author wrote because to me it’s just… nope. like, nope. if you do mafia aus don’t make them fucking cute. (also: in the same fandom I had to mute a v. famous fanartist whose art I actually liked but did cutesy mafia aus and.. like… haahahhaahahahahaha nah sorry. can’t go there. nope.)

Thief Pt 5 // Park Jimin

Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt 4

- Part Five: Courage

summary: in which prince jimin doesn’t know that his future wife is not only trying to steal from him, but is also trying to kill him.

words: 2,683

warnings: mentions of abuse

category: prince au, fantasy au

author note: i hope this chapter makes up for the fact that i skipped last week’s update.

- destinee

Originally posted by princejimin

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Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I would be very grateful for any tips on world-building! How can I make places and people seem interesting and genuine? xo

1) Study past/existing civilization. A lot of the fodder for my own worlds are based in ones that we can study! For example, early civilizations nearly always build up around river valleys (that we know) and the sort of political system a civilization uses is often determined by the culture/advancements that they make. (For example, peoples that forage and hunt often have greater gender equality as women are also relied upon) In a more modern context, dictatorships tend to arise with systematic revoking of rights and stretch of government control. (When doing this, make sure to study civilizations across varied areas/cultures. There’s much more complexity to civilizations that were allowed to grow without being taken over/colonized by others!)

2) Include rules, laws, and limitations. One of the biggest ways you can make your world unique is through what laws and natural laws you create. For example, if your world has a system of magic, give it limitations of what it can and can’t do. If your world has extreme technology, give it an origin (even if it’s something cheap). If you have a kingdom as a system of government, think up how much power the ruler has and what sort of imports, exports, military power that it has! This may seem like an unnecessary set of details, but it helps you have a greater understanding and unique twist to your world!

3) Feel free to put variety in your world! Not every place in your world will be the same, much like in the world we live in. Another significant way to build a unique world is by putting a variety between civilizations in your world. It can vary with political view, system of government, religious beliefs, species, or more!

9

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom

I was asked to mentor a few students in using Adobe Lightroom today. I talked them through my process of import, edit, optimise, and export. 

  1. Select file menu, select import photos and video option.
  2. Select a media source; in my image above, I have selected my College USB, then my people folder.
  3. I am then met with a screen which displays all my images from my people folder, allowing me to decide which ones I want to import
  4. I then select the import option.
  5. Then you select the develop tab at the top right of the screen, which allows you to optimise your imported images.
  6. Once you have optimised an image, press your arrow key to move to the next image.
  7. When you have finished optimising all of your images, you will need to export your images as the optimised information is just layered on top of your original image until saved properly. 
  8. To export, you select your file menu and then export.
  9. Under export location, you can choose specific folder, which will allow you to choose where your optimised images are going. Then click export.
Tea Party

Originally posted by peakyblindersbbc


“I’m bored!” Madeline whined as she sat on your bed, her sister Lillian laying on her stomach reading a book while you packed.

“Do you have to go?” Lily asked as you placed some clothes in your suitcase.

“It’s not going to be very long, plus you guys get to spend the weekend with Daddy, that’ll be fun, right?” You beamed, the looks on their littles faces making you want to stay. You and your best friend had been preparing this trip for nearly 6 years, before Lillian was born, you couldn’t ditch her now just because your girls wanted you, something you’d never thought could happen before.

Keep reading

I just want FAHC Jeremy’s alter ego alias to be exactly like they joke about in videos; Jeremy raving about the impressive antics of the mysterious Rimmy Tim while the rest of the crew flat out refuse to play along and insist on pointing out all the ridiculously obvious ways the identity of that purple and orange monstrosity was never for one moment in question. 

Alexandria (اسكندرية‎‎, Ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ) is the 2nd-largest city in Egypt, extending 32 km along the Mediterranean. 80% of Egypt’s imports & exports go through here. Alexandria was the 2nd-most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome. Its Royal Library was once the largest in the world. It’s been established that the library was destroyed by fire on a number of occasions - fires were common and replacement of handwritten manuscripts was very difficult. The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina near the old site was inaugurated in 2002.

Sims 4: How to HQ

In the following instructions, you will get the answers to questions like “what is the HQ mod?” “How do I install it?” “What problems can occur?” “How do I make CC HQ-compatible?” and many more, including how to create actions in Photoshop and how to use the batch import/export in Sims4Studio.

The HQ mod was discovered by @alf-si and you can find her instructions HERE. However, as I get tons of messages regarding the HQ mod or some aspects of it, I decided to come up with my own instructions (with permission from alf-si, of course).


What is the HQ mod?!

You may have noticed that many cc artists make HQ-compatible cc now. But what is this all about?

The HQ mod forces the game to use high resolution textures (2048 px instead of 1024 px) for CAS items which results in an enhanced amount of detail of your sims, especially when the cc was created for HQ in the first place. Some of you may know something like that from TS3 already.

Pictures of HQ/no HQ comparison here


How do I install it?

The term ‘mod’ is somewhat misleading since it’s not a game mod that you can simply install and start to play. In contrast to the TS3 HQ mod which was easy to use, there are things to be aware of when using HQ in TS4.

-  To set your game to HQ, you must change two lines in the GraphicRules.sgr file (detailed explanation HERE). You can switch between HQ and standard by changing your GraphicRules.sgr file. Simple as that!

- Every cc that is not HQ compatible will make your sim appear completely black. Yes, that sucks. Learn how to convert cc to make it HQ compatible HERE. I strongly advise you to have two mods folders (1 folder with HQ stuff and converted stuff and another folder for playing with everything, HQ and non-HQ).

- You need to have the base game texture replacements by alf-si. Find them HERE (section 2.3.1). She also did HQ replacements for several Eps and SPs.

- You must set sim quality to “very high”. If your system can’t handle that, you won’t benefit from the HQ mod.


Will HQ affect loading times/will it cause lag in gameplay?

The short answer is: most likely, it will, but that depends on your system and the amount of cc you are playing with. Since HQ textures are of a bigger size than regular textures, loading times will increase and it might slow down your game too.

My advice: Use HQ for screenshots only and play without HQ. Two separate mods folders will help with that. I personally do not see any significant difference in loading time and lag between my HQ and non-HQ game, but keep in mind that it can happen. Merging helps a lot!

How do I make my CC HQ compatible?

If you are a cc creator and want to make your CC compatible with the HQ mod, read HERE.


How do I convert CC for HQ (as fast as possible)?

You may already have a huuuuge mods folder with loads of not HQ compatible cc. Every single one of them will make your sim appear completely black, so the only solution is: convert it or don’t use it. “But it’s so much cc to convert” you may say and that’s right! But learn how to convert cc the fastest and most efficient way HERE.


What problems can occur?

Every cc that is not HQ compatible will either make your sim appear completely black or it will remove the shine from your sim. Check if these requirements are fullfilled.

How to convert CAS objects to Toddler

I was going to do a voice over but I chickened out and got too shy to do it :< sorry about that. anyway, a while ago, a few people messaged me and ask on how to convert it for toddlers, given that there isn’t much stuff for them yet. so I thought I’ll do a quick video on it. (a rather crappy one, i’m sorry, i was in a rush) BUT hopefully it helps. for personal conversion or something. I just want to point out that I’m no expert, I just figure out these stuff a while ago. and if you’re someone new that’s looking to do some cc, i encourage you to! and practice practice practice! <3 it can be a bit addicting lol, for me at least.

OKAY, instructions below. incase the video confused you guys. (or you can just ask me if you need more help)

STEP 1: getting the mesh you want to convert & the texture/specs etc

> mesh
open up your sims4studio click the cas button, search for what you want and go to the mesh tab and export LOD0.

> texture/specs etc
on the texture tab below, you can see that there’s diffuse, shadow, specular, normal etc etc. be sure to check all of it. if it’s empty you don’t have to export it. for my case, I’m doing the round glasses so I will need to export the diffuse & specular section since there’s an image on it. save with a name that you’ll know.

STEP 2: getting the toddler rig

> toddler rig
re-open your sims4studio or cancel the whole thing like i did, select clip pack > animation button then name your file, once done; go to the clips tab and you will see the export, import, rig and a dropdown bar. Click on the dropdown bar and select toddler, export and name it something you can easily identify it as.

STEP 3: appending object to rig in blender

Open your toddler rig on blender. on the top left bar; select file and click append. I’m gonna assume you guys picked the glasses as well, now look for the the child round glasses mesh, click on it and go into the object folder and select s4studio_mesh_1 & s4studio_mesh_2. then link/append to library (shown on top right)

STEP 4: mesh checking and stuff

okay so now you have the child glasses in your blender. as shown on my video, you can see that I’m checking which object belongs to which mesh by toggling on and off at the eyes in the right column section. if you want the round glass part you’ll need to keep it, but since I don’t need it, I just right click and delete it.

Also, I don’t know if anyone else does it, but I usually delete the rig01. click on the little triangle beside s4studio_mesh_1 then go to the tiny wrench section below and set the object to rig as shown on video.

STEP 5: adjusting the object to fit the rig

make sure you’re on edit mode! to check, you can select or look at the bottom part of the screen where it says edit mode. if it’s not, just click and select it.

okay, here’s some shortcuts for you to maneuver your object around.

A key: select/deselect all
R: rotate
G: moving it around
G+Z: moving objects vertically
G+X: moving objects horizontally
G+Y: moving objects back and forth
CTRL+ALT+Q: quad view
S: scaling/sizing objects
S+Z: scaling the object vertically
S+X: scaling the object horizontally (you can press x twice for another type, just try messing around and see which fits your liking)
Mouse>scroll wheel: to rotate the whole thing and view around blender

on the video, you can see me using G+Z to move the selected glasses down to the toddler’s level. (make sure you press the A button before doing the G+Z so the object is selected)

next you can see me using S+Z & S+X to try to scale it down a bit and adjust it around to fit the toddler. G+X and so on are used. basically the stuff on the shortcut section I just typed. once everything is done, click save as, name it and save as blender file.

STEP 6: putting everything together for the toddler

I’ve never typed anything this long for a very long time lol and if you actually read everything till the end, thank you for your time. seriously. anyway, final step.

open up your sims4studio or go back to it. make sure you select “create 3D mesh” then next. since I’m working on the glasses, I’m going to select one of the toddler’s glasses > click okay > name your file. if you’re working on other stuff like hat then I recommend you pick one of the items from the hat catalog. it’s easier that way. 

okay, go to your mesh tab and import your toddler glasses mesh that you just did. make sure you import it to all the LODs. which means all 0, 1, 2 and 3. NEXT, import the texture and specular that we exported earlier from the child version.

done? okay. so you probably see this blue thing on the toddler’s eyes. (remember in blender we deleted it because we don’t need it) so to fix it, go to the warehouse tab, and check on the geometry. zoom in and see which is which, and delete the glasses section (the inner part, NOT the outer rim)

now you can just go back to your mesh tab and like, click it and see if its gone or not. once done. SAVE AND HOLY CRAB I’M DONE TYPING MY HANDS HURT. i don’t have to do a recolor tutorial right?? i’m sure you guys know how.

ANYWAY, THATS IT. ENJOY, HAVE FUN, BLABLABLA QUACKQUACK. Thank you for taking the time to read my long list of instruction LOL. anything else, just ask, I’ll try to help.

NOTE: I forgot to add that you can just delete off the toddler rig package & child glasses package file. we don’t really need it since what we wanted was the meshes (you can see me deleting it somewhere in the video) but if you still want to keep it around then go ahead. ;>

well, now y’all know my name LOL. i forgot to change it <_< >_>

VOCAB WORDS

OH YA AP EURO MASSIVE SUMMARY

Ok so first this may seem scary but here are key terms and comprehensive definitions taken tom R.E.A’s AP Euro Crash Course edition book… so ya look at these and make sure you know at LEAST vaguely what each one means. Just for more credit they are literally verbatim from the R.E.A. book. No credit to me.

Key Terms—you have to know these

a.       Europe in Transition, 1450-1650

  1. Humanism: The scholarly interest in the study of the classical texts, values, and styles of Greece and Rome. Humanism contributed to the promotion of a liberal arts education based on the study of the classics, rhetoric, and history.
  2. Christian Humanism: A branch of humanism associated with northern Europe. Like their Italian counterparts, the Christian Humanists closely studied classical texts. However, they also sought to give humanism a specifically Christian content. Christian humanists like Desiderius Erasmus were committed to religious piety and institutional reform.
  3. Vernacular: The everyday language of a region or country. Miguel de Cervantes, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante, and Martin Luther all encouraged the development of their national languages by writing in the vernacular. Desiderius Erasmus, however, continued to write in Latin.
  4. New Monarchs: European monarchs who created professional armies and a more centralized administrative bureaucracy. The new monarchs also negotiated a new relationship with the Catholic Church. Key new monarchs include Charles VII, Louis XI, Henry VII, and Ferdinand and Isabella.
  5. Taille: A direct tax on the French peasantry. The taille was one of the most important sources of income for French monarchs until the French Revolution.
  6. Reconquista: The centuries-long Christian “reconquest” of Spain from the Muslims. The Reconquista culminated in 1492 with the conquest of the last Muslin stronghold, Granada.
  7. Indulgence: A certificate granted by the pope in return for the payment of a fee to the church. The certificate stated that the soul of the dead relative or friend of the purchaser would have his time in purgatory reduced by many years or cancelled altogether.
  8. Anabaptist: Protestants who insisted that only adult baptism conformed to Scripture. Protestant and Catholic leaders condemned Anabaptists for advocating the complete separation of Church and State.
  9. Predestination: Doctrine espoused by John Calvin that Gad has known since the beginning of time who will be saved and who will be damned. Calvin declared that “by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once and for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction.”
  10. Huguenots: French Protestants who followed the teachings of John Calvin.
  11. Politiques: Rulers who put political necessities above personal beliefs. For example, both Henry IV of France and Elizabeth I of England subordinated theological controversies in order to achieve political unity.
  12. Columbian Exchange: The interchange of plants, animals, diseases, and human populations between the Old World and the New World.
  13. Mercantilism: Economic philosophy calling for close government regulation of the economy. Mercantilist theory emphasized building a strong, self-sufficient economy by maximizing exports and limiting imports. Mercantilists supported the acquisition of colonies as sources of raw materials and markets for finished goods. The favorable balance of trade would enable a country to accumulate reserves of gold and silver.
  14. Putting-Out System: A pre-industrial manufacturing system in which an entrepreneur would bring materials to rural people who worked on them in their own homes. For example, watch manufacturers in Swiss towns employed villagers to make parts for their products. The system enabled entrepreneurs to avoid restrictive guild regulations.
  15. Joint-Stock Company: A business arrangement in which many investors raise money for a venture too large for any of them to undertake alone. They share profits in proportion to the amount they invest. English entrepreneurs used joint-stock companies to finance the establishment of New World colonies.

    b.       The Age of Kings, 1600-1789

  16. Absolutism: A system of government in which the ruler claims sole and uncontestable power. Absolute monarchs were not limited by constitutional restraints.
  17. Divine Rights of Kings: The idea that rulers receive their authority from God and are answerable only to God. Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, a French bishop and court preacher to Louis XIV, provided theological justification for the divine right of kings by declaring that “the state of monarchy is the supremest thing on Earth, for kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon Earth and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called Gods. In the scriptures kings are called Gods, and their power is compared to the divine powers.”
  18. Intendants: French royal officials who supervised provincial governments in the name of the king. Intendants played a key role in establishing French absolutism.
  19. Fronde: A series of rebellions against royal authority in France between 1649 and 1652. The Fronde played a key role in Louis XIV’s decision to leave Paris and build the Versailles Palace.
  20. Robot: A system of forced labor used in eastern Europe. Peasants usually owed three to four days a week of forced labor. The system was abolished in 1848.
  21. Junkers: Prussia’s landowning nobility. The Junkers supported the monarchy and served in the army in exchange for absolute power over their serfs.
  22. Scientific Method: The use of inductive logic and controlled experiments to discover regular patterns in nature. These patterns or natural laws can be described with mathematical formulas.
  23. Philosophes: Eighteenth century writers who stressed reason and advocated freedom of expression, religious toleration, and a reformed legal system. Leading philosophes such as Voltaire fought irrational prejudice and believed that society should be open to people of talent.
  24. Deism: The belief that God created the universe but allowed it to operate through the laws of nature. Deists believed that natural laws could be discovered by the use of human reason.
  25. General Will: A concept in political philosophy referring to the desire or interest of a people as a whole. As used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who championed the concept, the general will is identical to the rule of law.
  26. Enlightened Despotism: A system of government supported by leading philosophes in which an absolute ruler uses his or her power for the good of the people. Enlightened monarchs supported religious tolerance, increased economic productivity, administrative reform, and scientific academies. Joseph II, Frederick the Great, and Catherine the Great were the best-known Enlightened monarchs.
  27. Enclosure Movement: The process by which British landlords consolidated or fenced in common lands to increase the production of cash crops. The Enclosure Acts led to an increase in the size of farms held by large landowners.
  28. Agricultural Revolution: The innovations in farm production that began in eighteenth century Holland and spread to England. These advances replaced the open-field agriculture system with a more scientific and mechanized system of agriculture.
  29. Physiocrats: Group of eighteenth-century French economists led by Francois Quesnay. The physiocrats criticized mercantilist regulations and called for free trade.
  30. Invisible Hand: Phrase coined by Adam Smith to refer to the self-regulating nature of a free marketplace. 

    c.        Revolution and Reaction, 1789-1850

  31. Parlements: French regional courts dominated by hereditary nobles. The Parlement of Paris claimed the right to register royal decrees before they could become law.
  32. Girondins: A moderate republican faction active in the French Revolution from 1791 to 1793. The Girondin Party favored a policy of extending the French Revolution beyond France’s borders.
  33. Jacobins: A radical republican party during the French Revolution from 1791 to 1793. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the Jacobins unleased the Reign of Terror. Other key leaders included Jean-Paul Marat, Georges-Jacques Danton, and the Comte de Mirabeau. The Marquis de Lafayette was not a Jacobin.
  34. San-Culottes: The working people of Paris who were characterized by their long working pants and support for radical politics.
  35. Levee en Masse: The French policy of conscripting all males into the army. This created a new type of military force based upon mass participation and a fully mobilized economy.
  36. Thermidorian Reaction: Name given to the reaction against the radicalism of the French Revolution. It is associated with the end of the Reign of Terror and reassertion of the bourgeoisie power in the Directory.
  37. Legitimacy: The principle that rulers who have been driven from their thrones should be restored to power. For example, the Congress of Vienna restored the Bourbons to power in France.
  38. Balance of Power: A strategy to maintain and equilibrium, in which weak countries join together to match or exceed the power of a stronger country. It was one of the guiding principles of the Congress of Vienna.
  39. Liberalism: Political philosophy that in the nineteenth century advocated representative government dominated by the propertied classes, minimal government interference in the economy, religious toleration, and civil liberties such as freedom of speech.
  40. Conservatism: Political philosophy that in the nineteenth century supported legitimate monarchies, landed aristocracies, and established churches. Conservatives favored gradual change in the established social order.
  41. Nationalism: Belief that a nation consists of a group of people who share similar traditions, history, and language. Nationalists argued that every nation should be sovereign and include all members of a community. A person’s greatest loyalty should be to a nation-state.
  42. Romanticism: Philosophical and artistic movement in late eighteenth—and early nineteenth—century Europe that represented a reaction against the Neoclassical emphasis upon reason. Romantic artists, writers, and composers stressed emotion and the contemplation of nature.
  43. Chartism: A program of political reforms sponsored by British workers in the late 1830s. Chartist demands included universal manhood suffrage, secret ballots, equal electoral districts, and salaries for members of the House of Commons.
  44. Zollverein: A free-trade union established among major German states in 1834.
  45. Carbonari: A secret revolutionary society working to unify Italy in the 1820s.
  46. Luddites: A social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution. The Luddites believed that the new industrial machinery would eliminate their jobs. The Luddites responded by attempting to destroy the mechanized looms and other new machines.
  47. Utilitarianism: A theory associated with Jeremy Bentham that is based upon the principle of “the greatest happiness for the greatest number.” Bentham argued that his principle should be applied to each nation’s government, economy, and judicial system.
  48. Utopian Socialists: Early nineteenth-century socialists who hoped to replace the overly competitive capitalist structure with planned communities guided by a spirit of cooperation. Leading French utopian socialists such as Charles Fourier and Louis Blanc believed that the property should be communally owned.
  49. Marxism: Political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They believed that history in the result of class conflict that will end with triumph of the industrial proletariat over the bourgeoisie. The new classless society would abolish private property. 

    d.       Toward the Modern World, 1850-1914

  50. Second Industrial Revolution:  A wave of late-nineteenth-century industrialization that was characterized by an increased use of steel, chemical processes, electric power, and railroads. This period also witnessed the spread of industrialization from Great Britain to western Europe and the United States. Both the U.S. and Germany soon rivaled Great Britain.
  51. Social Darwinism: The belief that there is a natural evolutionary process by which the fittest will survive. Wealthy business and industrial leaders used Social Darwinism to justify their success.
  52. RealPolitik: “The politics of reality”; used to describe the tough, practical politics in which idealism and romanticism play no part. Otto von Bismarck and Camillo Benso di Cavour were the leading practitioners of realpolitik.
  53. Syndicalism: A radical political movement that advocated bringing industry and government under the control of federations of labor unions. Syndicalists endorsed direct actions such as strikes and sabotage.
  54. Autocracy: A government in which the ruler has ultimate power and uses it in an arbitrary manner. The Romanov dynasty in Russia is the best example of an autocracy.
  55. Duma: The Russian parliament created after the revolution of 1905.
  56. Imperialism: The policy of extending one country’s rule over other lands by conquest or economic domination.
  57. Sphere of Influence: A region dominated by, but not directed by, a foreign nation. 

    e.       The “Second Thirty Years’ War”: WWI and WWII, 1914-1945

  58. Fourteen Points: President Woodrow Wilson’s idealist peace aims. Wilson stressed national self-determination, the rights of small countries, freedom of the seas, and free trade.
  59. Bolsheviks: A party of revolutionary Marxists, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in Russia in 1917.
  60. New Economic Policy (N.E.P.): A program initiated by Vladimir Lenin to stimulate the economic recovery of the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. The New Economic Policy utilized a limited revival of capitalism in light industry and agriculture.
  61. Existentialism: Philosophy that God, reason, and progress are all myths. Humans must accept responsibility for their actions. This responsibility causes an overwhelming sense of dread and anguish. Existentialism reflects the sense of isolation and alienation in the twentieth century.
  62. Relativity: A scientific theory associated with Albert Einstein. Relativity holds that time and space do not exist separately. Instead, they are a combined continuum whose measurement depends as much on the observer as on the entities being measured.
  63. Totalitarianism: A political system in which the government has total control over the lives of individual citizens.
  64. Fascism: A political system that combines an authoritarian government with a corporate economy. Fascist governments glorify their leaders, appeal to nationalism, control the media, and repress individual liberties.
  65. Kulaks: Prosperous landowning peasants in czarist Russia. Joseph Stalin accused the kulaks of being class enemies of the poorer peasants. Stalin “liquidated the kulaks as a class” by executing them and expropriating their lands to form collective farms.
  66. Keynesian Economics: An economic theory based on the ideas of twentieth-century British economist John Maynard Keynes. According to Keynesian economics, governments can spend their economies out of a depression by using deficit-spending to encourage employment and stimulate economic growth.
  67. Appeasement: A policy of making concessions to an aggressor in the hopes of avoiding war. Associated with Neville Chamberlain’s policy of making concessions to Adolf Hitler. 

    f.        The Cold War Era, 1945-1991

  68. Containment: The name of a U.S. foreign policy designed to contain or block the spread of Soviet policy. Inspired by George F. Kennan, containment was expressed in the Truman Doctrine and implemented in the Marshall Plan and the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.
  69. Decolonization: The process by which colonies gained their independence from the imperial European powers after WWII.
  70. De-Stalinization: The policy of liberalization of the Stalinist system in the Soviet Union. As carried out by Nikita Khrushchev, de-Stalinization meant denouncing Joseph Stalin’s cult of personality, producing more consumer goods, allowing greater cultural freedom, and pursuing peaceful coexistence with the West.
  71. Brezhnev Doctrine: Assertion that the Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they say needed. The Brezhnev Doctrine justified the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
  72. Détente: The relaxation of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. Détente was introduced by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. Examples of détente include the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), expanded trade with the Soviet Union, and President Nixon’s trips to China and Russia.
  73. Solidarity: A Polish labor union founded in 1980 by Lech Walesa and Anna Walentynowicz. Solidarity contested Communist Party programs and eventually ousted the party from the Polish government.
  74. Glasnost: Policy initiated by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. Glasnot resulted in a new openness of speech, reduced censorship, and greater criticism of Communist Party policies.
  75. Perestroika: An economic policy initiated by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. Meaning “restructuring,” perestroika called for less government regulation and greater efficiency in manufacturing and agriculture.
  76. Welfare State: A social system in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens in matters of health care, education, employment, and social security. Germany was the first European country to develop a state social welfare system.