nuclear import

anonymous asked:

So I, a fool, have decided as of today to start a new story from scratch for NaNo. I've got vague conceptions of my main characters and what they're after, along with group dynamics and a vague sense of the world (i.e. MAGIC!), but that's about it. I'm usually a planner, but I usually start much sooner than now. Any advice for how to scrape up several fairly fleshed-out characters, a passable world, and a plot outline in three weeks?? (My planner brain may have to try a bit of pantsing.)

I just sent a message about developing Very Fast for NaNo and I ran into the character limit in that ask, but thank you for the help and this very nice blog you’ve got going!!

I, also a fool, share your bench on the boat, my friend. We share a lot of things in common: I’ll also be starting a new story for which I only have vague conceptions, a world with magic, and am usually a planner. And I usually start way before now. If it makes you feel any better about it, you’re not alone in your self-built boat. We both started building that boat without realizing the other was there and wound up building our halves right into each other. Hi. Let’s sail.

Luckily for both of us, we have 3 weeks to really sit down and figure this stuff out. I’ll be mildly chronicling my adventure in some upcoming posts, but the big thing for you and I will be staying dedicated to planning on a consistent basis. The time for sleeping and procrastinating our way forward is over. We both need to put all our best tactics for focusing to work. Set aside a specific time period and/or amount of time to plan each day. Maybe it’s just a half hour every day or maybe it’s every day at 7 PM. Whatever works best for your schedule, make sure that spending time with this idea is a dedicated part of your day.

Parcel out those planning weeks on specific topics. Start with characters, move to plot, move to world. Spend a portion of time specifically dreaming about those particular aspects and start to parcel out the necessary information:

Know your character’s goals, weaknesses, and tactics: These three aspects of your character will be crucial to understanding them enough to write them. Things like where they work and how many siblings they have and whether they had a pet when they were growing up are icing on the cake in these kinds of hasty planning times. What you need to know is what they’re after, what they’ll make bad decisions because of, and how they’ll first try to solve problems in their life. If you can’t figure those three things out, you’re going to have a tough time really knowing how they’ll react to things and what their direction is.

Figure out what your conflict is: I’m not talking about the climax, here, I’m talking plot. What’s wrong in the world? This comes out of the general concept. You need to know how the concept interacts with the world and the characters living in that world, AND what kinds of problems that concept would create for those living day-to-day with it. Concept is great and can start the building blocks of a really inventive new world, but concept is not plot. You have got to know what that central conflict is in order to write this story. What goes wrong? What’s causing difficulties? What is this story really about?

Whose story is it and why: Alright, so you’ve got characters and you’ve got conflict, but who’s the main character and why? This ties in with the inciting incident of your plot. Why is the main character the main character? What happens that makes them so integrally involved with the conflict that this story belongs to them? What happens to make them decide that they have to go out and take part in what’s going on?

Decide what kind of story you’re trying to tell: What’s your end-goal? Where are you headed and what’s that ending scene before the credits look like? Are there certain themes you want to play with, or a certain arc of a character’s growth you really want to showcase? Is there a feeling you want to leave the audience with at the end? Knowing that will help you mold the plot points and shape the arcs of your characters as you’re thinking long and hard about what the plot ought to be.

All the rest is icing: How many religions are there in the world? Do they drive cars everywhere or fly? Are nuclear families important? Who knows. All of that can be details that you make up on the fly if you have to. It won’t be comfortable, especially if you’re a big planner like I am, but it is entirely possible to build a world that feels real to the reader even as you’re making it up. Twelve siblings? Iguanas on their tennis shoes? Prefer lemons to oranges? Way to build up that texture building, friend!

The freedom here is that you don’t have to know every detail about everything to write an effective story. You need to know a couple of key details (character, plot, a world concept), and the rest can be made up on the fly. Feel free to mention things without actually knowing for sure the extensive world history of it. Let your characters reference their favorite foods without knowing what all it’s made from. Mention movie titles without actually knowing what the movie is. Let your characters make jokes you don’t always understand. It’s okay. This will build a depth to your world that you can work on enhancing later if you want to. Right now, your world is malleable at this point and there’s no one to tell you you can’t, yet. Don’t stall yourself. Embrace that you will have ample time to course correct later.

Nothing is set in stone: Don’t let it stymie you if the month starts and you don’t have every detail you normally do when you start a story. It’s okay. Write with abandon for now. Explore every avenue. I do advise that you write with a highlighter in hand, or a second document open. Whenever you mention a tidbit of worldbuilding, highlight it or copy-and-paste it into another document. This will let you do quick references back to it when you think you want to try to expand on it later in the month, or even afterward as you’re going back to do the deep building dive. I don’t do this all the time and I kick myself when I don’t.

I hope that’s helped a bit. Like I said at the beginning, I’ll be opening up a bit more about what I’m doing to grow my problem-child this month before November, soon, so maybe keep an eye out for that for some more ideas. Good luck, friend. Now row! -Pear

Some additional resources to think about:
The GOTE Method
Concept Is Not Plot
Three Points To Pay Attention To
Provoking Story - Inciting Incident
Fleshing Out Ideas
The Effect of More

‘What if the guys were given a motive that they had to kill someone or else their S/O would be killed? (Bonus points if they're not allowed to tell anyone)’ part 2

What if the guys were given a motive that they had to kill someone or else their S/O would be killed? (Bonus points if they’re not allowed to tell anyone)

Never ever ever ever ever again, nope.

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anonymous asked:

What's the reason why aircraft carriers have been doing consistently 31±2 knots ever since the Lexington class? Why not faster? Why not a bit slower (and cheaper)?

Simply put - because you want as much speed as possible in a carrier, and hydrodynamics cap that around  31±2 knots. 

Taking off from a carrier is fucking hard - you’re trying to accomplish in 800-1000 feet what’s usually done from a runway at least four times, and more often six times that length. And that’s assuming you’re not the first guy in the deck spot, in which case you’ve got half that room to work with. The key here, is that the carrier’s forward speed is effectively added to the aircraft’s forward speed when it takes off from a carrier

The speed at which an aircraft starts generating enough lift that it can take flight is called the “rotation speed;” so named because in a conventional (tail-dragger) gear configuration, when you hit this speed your tailwheel lifts off the runway as the wings begin to “carry” the aircraft’s weight, rather than the wheels. Most lighter aircraft will actually lift off the runway completely at this point without further control input, (depending on how they’re trimmed). Rotation speed is the velocity you need for a safe take-off, basically. It’s not the minimum speed required to actually fly - that’d be the stall speed (specifically, stall speed with your flaps out), and that distinction is quantified and observed.  Now check the v-speeds for the Cessna 182; specifically Vso (stall speed in landing configuration, with flaps out,) versus Vs, (normal “clean” stall speed,) and Vr (rotation speed.) There’s not much difference, is there? But that narrow gap defines the distance between a safe take-off, and riding the razor’s edge of being a fireball tumbling down the runway. Cessna’s might not be fighter jets, but planes are planes and they all obey the same physics - compare the F-4 Phantom, which rotated around 150 knots and stalled around 135 - still a pretty narrow spread. (V-speeds are more complex for military aircraft, since their drag and dry/loaded weight vary far more than light civil craft - I used data for 40,000 pound loading from the Navy Manual; pages 11-13 and 11-36. If anyone has a proper v-speeds chart for the Phantom, please let me know.) 

The margin between “take-off” and “fireworks show” was - and still is - pretty damn narrow. It’s not quite as bad now as it was in WWII, but other factors cropped up to mitigate against lowering carrier speeds any. I’ll explain. 

In WWII the v-speed ranges were a lot closer to the Cessna end of the scale - a few knots speed difference mattered. Plus, you would stack aircraft up in a “deck spot,” lined up behind each other, roughly to the halfway point - thus you were effectively limited to only half your deck (400 feet or so) for acceleration. The Kaga, with her 27 knot speed, posed real problems for her flight crews, especially for the heavily-laden torpedo bombers. This is also why carriers would always (and still do) turn into the wind when launching, to get a few extra knots of effective “free airspeed” over their aircraft’s wings - or at the very least, avoid any subtraction of speed. 

Another example of the narrow margins in play comes from this WWII USN training video on the use of aircraft catapults. As the video shows, they were especially important for the cheaper “jeep” carriers, which were smaller, cheaper, and significantly slower than fleet carriers, at only 20 knots. As the video’s example shows, aircraft are lined up for a traditional “fly-away” launch, until the CAG says “not enough wind, we’ll catapult.” For escort carriers, available wind alone could make the difference between a fly-away launch, or a mandatory cat launch. (Note that it was possible to do a “fly-away” launch from even a stationary fleet carrier if you had the whole deck to accelerate - but if you were launching one at a time anyway, it was far faster to have aircraft on deck rolled forward from a deck spot to be hooked up, rather than bringing them up the aft elevator one at a time. Similarly, combat loads matter here. An early-war USN steam cat could just barely put a Wildcat up from a stationary ship - I checked, for KCQ - but only with a light fuel load and a skinny pilot.) 

As the jet age arrived and aircraft ballooned in size, weight, and power, catapults soon became mandatory for launching at all - and consequently they became much, much more powerful. The few knots speed difference no longer makes as much difference, it is true (though every knot of airspeed is still a welcome margin against disaster.) The reason carriers still maintain that 30ish knot top speed anyways is more an artifact of almost all CATOBAR supercarriers being American. 

Consider: the Charles de Gaulle is a great comparison to late-war USN carriers because she displaces the same (45,000 or so, close to the Midway class,) and is CATOBAR (Catapult Take Off, But Arrested Recovery.) And her top speed is… 27 knots, because in the end, a three knot difference makes a big difference for the ship, in terms of required installed power, but not as much for flight operations, as the speed margins are wide enough now that three knots won’t wreck anything, and the catapults can be made a bit more powerful a lot easier than the ship can be made a bit faster.  Now ship speed is a bit more significant for a ski-ramp carrier (Short-Take-Off, But Arrested Recovery) as their aircraft launch in the old-fashioned way with a ski-jump at the end to assist them a bit. However, even these ships are clocking in, as you say “slightly slower, for a lot cheaper,” like India’s under-construction Vikrant-class, at 28 knots. Ski-ramp carriers pay a price in aircraft payload already by dint of the launch system, so the payload lightening required to gain back that three-knot difference is fairly minuscule compared to what’s already sacrificed. In any case, it’s not worth the hojillions of dollars to install gorillions more horsepower in the ship required for another three knots. 

And then you have the colossal super-carriers America builds - which do clock in at 30+ knots. The main reason for this is because they can. They not only have nuclear power - unlike gas-turbine ships like the Vikrant - but they also displace a staggering one hundred thousand tons, giving them truly obscene volume to work with internally. This is important - nuclear power scales up very well, but scales down rather poorly - what doesn’t make financial sense for the nuclear-powered, 45,000 ton de Gaulle makes plenty of sense for the Nimitz-class. Simply put, that 30+ knot top speed is just a lot more practical to achieve for a nuclear-powered supercarrier. 

There’s also non-aviation related reasons to prefer a few extra knots speed, if you can afford it in your displacement. The most obvious one is anti-submarine warfare. Remember this clip from Behind Enemy Lines? To quote an actual Hornet pilot; “so he escapes,  lands on the carrier, and limps into the ready room to change… and when he closes his locker door, hiding behind the door? The missile again!” This scene is what torpedo attacks are like in real life - instead of a 3,000 knot missile chasing a 900 knot plane, it’s a 46 knot torpedo chasing a 30 knot ship. A difference of a few knots can make a dramatic difference in how long it takes a torpedo to chase down a target and grape’em - which translates directly to effective range, since torpedoes only have so many minutes worth of fuel. (This is precisely why the exact top speeds of many ships are classified and expressed as “at least X knots-” like the Nimitz.) The margin also matters more for the USN because of the aircraft they operate, such as the E2-D Hawkeye, the Grumman C-2 Greyhound, and other turbo-prop support aircraft. And then there’s the issue of landing - the carrier’s forward speed is subtracted from the landing aircraft’s effective velocity as it approaches from behind, and that matters a lot when a carrier landing’s about as gentle as hitting a brick wall. Recall your kinetic energy equation: kinetic energy equals one-half the mass times velocity squared. Velocity is about four times more significant than the mass in determining how much energy the airframe is going to be jolted by when it comes to a very sudden stop; and that translates directly into overall strain on (and thus lifetime of) an airframe. 

And as for faster, well! Everyone would prefer a faster ship - for the above reasons, (torpedo evasion especially) as well as the simple fact that a small increase in speed can mean a significant increase in distance covered over time (effectively, mobility of the ship in a strategic sense - even shipping lines prize a few knots extra speed because of how significantly it can shorten trips and thus make more money per ship, per day,) but ship speeds have capped out around 30 knots since WWII because of physics. The math on this is a complex topic and I don’t pretend to understand it, but suffice to say that above 30 knots or so, the energy input required for every additional knot of speed is increasing exponentially. Consider: the USS South Dakota made 27.8 knots, and displaced 35,000 tons. The USS Iowa was pretty much the same ship - armor and armament - but trucking at 32.5 knots… and displacing 45,000 tons. For 4.7 knots more speed, it took ten thousand more tons worth of installed power (from Dakota’s 97MW to Iowa’s 158MW worth, to be precise - more than half again the power.) The curve gets really steep, which is why 70+ years of technology development still hasn’t made a dent in this. 

This relationship is why making a ship a “bit” slower makes it a lot more than just a “bit” cheaper - and it illustrates just how expensive carriers were in WWII, when that three or four knots were desperately needed for launching aircraft. 70+ years of tech development has impacted these trends, though.

[WARNING: ASK AN ACTUAL MERCHIE SAILOR IF YOU WANT SOLID INFO ON THE FOLLOWING, THESE ARE JUST MY GENERALIZED/VAUGE IMPRESSIONS]

 For starters, the modern gas turbine is impressively light and efficient for the great power outputs they’re capable of, compared to old steam turbines - which, like nuclear reactors, always scaled up much better than down. For the same reason, steam turbines are still the go-to propulsion method for big ships like supercarriers - such as the Shitty Kitty class, conventional-powered USN supercarriers using steam turbines and displacing 80,000 tons. So there’s a “cutoff point” at a certain displacement where the steam plants become more cost/volume efficient, as displacement increases. For a desired power output, that is - remember that ship speed isn’t all you need power for, especially for carriers. This is likely why the Vikrant (40,000~ tons displacement) uses gas turbines, but the de Gaulle (also 40,000ish tons) uses a nuke plant - the de Gaulle has to power its catapults (with steam, from the nuke plant’s steam turbine) but the Vikrant doesn’t. It’s also the likely reason the planned 65,000 ton(ne, fucking metric) INS Vishal is planned to use nuclear power - it’ll need the extra electrical power for radars, electronics, jammers, etc; and most of all for a proposed electromagnetic catapult system. 

And speaking of the de Gaulle again - let’s consider just how well nuclear “scales up.” One of the many things I learned touring the USS North Carolina recently was how the boilers take up much more room than the steam turbines themselves - most of the mass/volume is invested in creating that steam energy, not in harvesting it. One thing I learned really, really quickly trying to design new reactors in Children of a Dead Earth is that nuclear fuel is stupidly energy-dense - the limitation on a nuke plant’s output isn’t the size of the reactor vessel, but in how much equipment you can fit in to harness the heat it puts out (and get rid of the excess, which increases rapidly with total power output.) Thus there’s some really, really  strict “minimums” in reactor design that are damn hard to work around - you need at least this much reactor to contain X amount of fuel without melting on the spot… but you only need that much reactor to produce as much heat energy as your linked systems can utilize (and/or dispose of.) This is why scaling down is hard and scaling up very easy. Compared to Ye Olden boiler fireboxes, a nuke plant is an insanely more compact heat source; to the point that the real engineering problem is getting rid of all the heat you can’t harness! Water has a very high specific heat (ability to absorb heat energy,) which is why most nuclear power plants are sited near water for the open-loop side of the cooling system… which means the entire ocean is basically a massive, free heat-sink for a nuke ship. And since most of the cost is in the reactor itself, this means that the more volume you’ve got available for boilers to harness that energy, the more energy you can generate for your already-fixed investment in the reactor. 

And that’s why the 100,000 ton Nimitz class ships can charge around at 30+ knots, juice eleventy gigaflips of computers, radars, and jammers, and carry ninety planes, a hojillion bombs for them, and tons upon tons of fuel to juice up their own escorts - but for 40-45,000 ton ships like the de Gaulle the trade-offs are more “can you already nuclear?” and “how badly do you need catapults?” 

I see the Pence worse than Trump debate crop up here and there lately, and usually prefaced with a “Trump is more likely to start a nuclear war, buuuuut…” then explain that Pence would be horrible because of his clear hatred for the LGBTQ community. It’s offered in a kind of ‘before we want this asshole impeached, think of how much worse Pence will be.’

But I want to draw your attention back to exhibit A, the likelihood of possibly starting a nuclear war, or global cataclysm, which, I know Pence is morally bad, but nuclear war will definitely kill you…like, it isn’t ‘shucks, I guess I won’t visit China’ it’s ‘shucks, I hate having to smother my best friend to death because they’re in agony from radiation sickness, but we’re all alone in this rubble and I don’t want them to suffer.’

Pence is bad, Pence can be booted like anyone else, and can be resisted like anyone else, but has a directly inverse likelihood of causing an unintended thermonuclear war because of a bad restaurant review.

10

Ask Ethan: How Can A Nation Have Nuclear Power Without The Danger Of Nuclear Weapons?

“Could you elaborate some of the scientific background on which Dr. Moniz must have briefed Kerry for those talks? Among issues that are sometimes mentioned with little or no explanation are uranium vs plutonium; materials and technology suitable for peacetime energy production vs those suitable only for weapons; breeder reactors; and illegal technology transfer.”

In 1953, then-President Eisenhower, in the aftermath of World War II and with rising tensions between the USA and the Soviet Union resulting in a nuclear arms race, began the “Atoms For Peace” plan. The idea was that all nations should be able to reap the benefits of nuclear power, while simultaneously keeping the world safe from nuclear war. While the same ingredients can be used for both reactors and weapons, uranium and plutonium, there’s are big differences reactor-grade and weapons-grade materials. The largest difference is the concentration of fissile material. When the United States helped broker a deal with Iran to give them nuclear power capabilities while keeping their possibility of creating nuclear weapons at a minimum, it was nuclear physics that sealed the deal. In particular, it was likely unprecedented negotiation on two issues that made it possible: the U-235 and Pu-239 concentrations that would arise from Iran’s nuclear program.

Come find out how physicists are instrumental to keeping the world safe from nuclear war. At a time where North Korea has nuclear bombs, learning how to do it right is never more important!

K05/302: Gamera

The amazing thing about the very first Gamera movie is that they meant it.  By the time it died in 1971, the original Gamera franchise had become a joke even to its makers.  The lack of budget and effort were visible on screen, and the inclusion of things like Guiron, or Gamera playing his theme song on Zigra’s back, suggest that nobody was taking any of this very seriously anymore.  But five years earlier (only five years) when they made Gamera, they weren’t kidding at all.  They really wanted to make a scary kaiju film, and put everything they had into doing so.

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The Correspondent
Allison Stock
The Correspondent

THE CORRESPONDENT // This song is about Lise Meitner, a brilliant scientist who discovered nuclear fission and also happened to be a woman (a fact which shut her out of the notoriety and reverence she deserved). As always, this song packs a pretty significant punch in the sensitive spot where my sentimentality sits. Alliteration and emotions aside, I’m proud of this noise, and all the hard work we all put into it. And then, don’t even get me started on elementals’ perfect Joni Mitchell-esque vocals on this. I couldn’t NOT have her sing on this one. Some things just make sense. This is just one of those things.

music by me, lyrics by cleanwhiteroom, vocals by elementals, guitar by elementals’ son, mastered by elementals as well, the brilliant and tirelessly patient.

| Germany’s political parties | [6]

BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN

DIE GRÜNEN founded 1980 / fusion of DIE GRÜNEN and BÜNDNIS 90 in 1990s

◘ party leader: Cem Özdemir & Simone Peter

◘ ecological policy

◘ core values: ecological, economic and social sustainability

◘ general goals:

   ○ Green New Deal (= ecological and social reorganization of society)

   ○ more Investments in education, climate protection and social matters

   ○ cosistent climate protection in Europe

   ○ withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme

   ○ equality

◘ important GRÜNE politicians: Renate Künast, Jürgen Trittin, Winfried Kretschmann, Joschka Fischer, Petra Kelly, Hans-Christian Ströbele, Cem Özdemir

[ Others: CDU | CSU | SPD | FDP | DIE LINKE | PIRATEN | DIE PARTEI | AfD | NPD ]

proof that doflamingo is zoro’s dadda

this is dofla:

dick with green hair.png:

zoro:

zori:

further proof - look at the encircled areas in doflamingo’s hair they form a ‘Z’ shape and zoro’s name starts with a ‘Z’. doflamingo’s dna assimilated into zoro’s name:

even zoro couldnt escape that rich dna:

2

Uranyl-nitrate-hexahydrate under UV light. Uranyl-nitrate is one of the most important salts of uranium, it is important for nuclear reprocessing, it is made by dissolving the spent nuclear fuel rods or yellowcake in nitric acid.

An interesting use for this highly water soluble uranium salt was a fuel for aqueous homogeneous reactors. In these reactors (water boilers) a soluble nuclear salt (usually uranyl sulfate or uranyl nitrate) was dissolved in water. The fuel is mixed with the coolant and the moderator, the water can be either heavy water or ordinary (light) water. The heavy water aqueous homogeneous reactor can achieve criticality (turn on) with natural uranium, so no enriched uranium is needed for this reactor.

Even since on the box everyone could read, that this compound is radioactive, how did I survive to take this photo? The box contains depleted uranyl-nitrate-hexahydrate, what is mainly Uranium-238, what has a really long half life (4468000000 years) and it only produces alpha radiation, what is stopped by a sheet of paper, or a few cm of air.

When working with “safe” low activity radioactive alpha emitting isotopes, the most important is to prevent the ingestion, since it is highly water soluble and causes severe renal insufficiency, acute tubular necrosis and is a lymphocyte mitogen. Target organs include the kidneys, liver, lungs and brain. What does this mean? You will die from it and it will hurt very-very much. 

2

OKAY SO I’VE BEEN SEEING A LOT OF HYPE ABOUT THE DOG IN FALLOUT 4

BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT CODSWORTH FOR A MINUTE

Codsworth is a Mister Handy that was the Sole Survivor’s robotic butler before the Great War. Codsworth is reunited with the Survivor after 200 years of roaming around Sanctuary Hills.

He waited 200 YEARS for you to come back home. From what we’ve seen in the trailer and demo, it looks like your house is in pretty good shape for having been through a nuclear bombing- which means he has been protecting your house all this time.

Look at some of his lines:

“Ah, good morning, sir! Your coffee. 175.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Brewed to perfection!”
He knows how you like your coffee DOWN TO A TENTH OF A DEGREE.

“Mister Howard. Shawn has been changed, but he absolutely refuses to calm down.”
He LOOKS AFTER YOUR INFANT CHILD.

“Sir! Ma'am! You should come and see this!” (Regarding a broadcast announcing nuclear detonations)
He recognizes important news and makes sure you see it. If not for him you would not have had as much warning of the bombs falling- you would likely be dead!

“As I live and breathe! Mister Howard? Is that really you?”
YOU CAN HEAR HOW HAPPY HE IS. He has missed you so much! If he had tear ducts they would be weeping with joy!

“It’s worse than I thought. You’re suffering from hunger-induced paranoia! Not eating for two hundred years will do that, I’m afraid.”
“That means you’re, uh… two centuries late for dinner! Ha ha ha ha ha! Perhaps I can whip you up a snack? You must be famished!”

Not only does he recognize that you need food, and immediately wants to help- this implies he’s been keeping food on hand. For two hundred years. JUST IN CASE YOU CAME BACK. And he even tries to cheer you up with a joke!

And then there’s the dog.

>OWNER?
This is not your dog. This is a random stray you just met. It has not been alive for two hundred years, much less been waiting for you for that long. It knows nothing about you. It just recognizes that you are a human and you are not trying to kill it.

TL;DR Codsworth is amazing and loyal and he has not been getting NEARLY enough love in the Fallout fandom since we met him.

What’s going on in Brazil? #04 - Politics crazy week especial edition

Lots of you asked me to explain or to give my opinion about all the crazy things that are happening right now in Brazil, sooo I figured I’d put together one of these. I’ll start with a small introduction of the political scenario and names people outside the country have to know in order to understand the situation cause I’m trying to be didactic here. Written 18/03/2016. Beware, it’s big and I didn’t ever cover all I wanted.

Brazil is a presidentialism with a multiparty system, and although we have hundreds of parties, there’s three bigger ones that are the focus of this crisis: PT (stands for Workers Party, self proclaimed left-central wing, current hold of the presidency with Dilma Rousseff and before her, from 2003 on, with Lula), PSDB (stands for Brazilian Party of the Social Democracy, totally right wing, holds the government of some important states and a considerable share of congress/senate, etc. Important names include Governor Geraldo Alckimin of São Paulo, Senator Aecio Neves [who ran for president against Rousseff and lost last year]. Senator José Serra [who ran for president a bunch of times too and lost] and ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso [98-2002]) and PMDB (Stands for Brazilian party of the Democratic Movement, ironically enough, as you’ll find out through the text. Center party who will literally support anyone who’s good for them. Right now they control most of the ministries, the presidency of the Senate [Renan Calheiros] , the presidency of the chamber of deputies [Eduardo Cunha], and the vice-presidency [Michel Temer], which is to say, in case of Rousseff leaving the presidency, all possible immediate substitutes are from there. Some of them declare themselves as opposition, some declare support to the government, which makes it the most confusing and unpredictable party ever). Also, it is important to keep in mind that we had a couple of decades of real harsh dictatorship last century and that democracy as it is is a relatively new reality to the country (1985 on). 

 The political crisis, the economical crisis, and the corruption investigations

For a few years now, our economy has been going badly. But it got particularly worse after 2013′s elections (where Rousseff was re-elected with approximately 55 million votes against about 50 million votes to senator Aecio Neves from PSDB). The more the political crisis was installed, the worse the economy got. And where does the political crisis come from? Corruption scandals. Now, keep in mind that all through Brazilian history people have accused others of corruption to take government, but I’ll explain the accusations against everyone bellow because, differently from the past, this time several people were actually investigated and even arrested. And some…were not.

Accusations against Rousseff, PT, and the goverment in general

- A name you should know: Lava-Jato, literally means car wash, and it’s the name of the operation to investigate all this, by the Federal Police. PT-related politicians (and others, from many other smaller parties, and people from PMDB too) are accused of embezzlement from state companies, especially Petrobrás (brazilian petrol company), which made the company’s actions lose A LOT of value and money and the economy drop more. Also embezzlement related to the construction of hydroelectric/nuclear plants and other important constructions. Specifically, people accuse Rousseff of being negligent in the buying of an oil refinery when she was the Minister of Energy and Mines and of having purposefully belated payments to banks in order to make state’s finances look better, which are some of the arguments the opposition is using in their several fillings for Impeachment processes. More importantly for this weeks news are the accusations against ex-president Luis Inacio (Lula) da Silva: the fostering of construction companies in bids in exchange for personal favors or bribes (those being a 3-store apartment at São Paulos littoral and a country house, none of which are actually in his name, but we’ll get to that later).

Corruption in the opposition and PMDB

Although some people seem to think that PT is the root of all evil, there are, surprise surprise, A LOT of accusations against the opposition too. Here’s how most of the Lava-Jato investigation is going: people who got caught are spilling their guts in order to get reduced sentences, and lots and lots of politicians names are coming out. Remember Senator Aecio Neves, who lost the presidential race in 2013? Well, he’s been making some noise accusing the government and protesting for a better country…….He’s also been mentioned five different times just in Lava Jato. Other, previous, accusations against him include the building of a small airport in his uncle’s land for private use with public money, the embezzling of money from the state of Minas Gerais (of which he was a governor) department of health, relations to the contraband of a few thousand kilos of cocaine and others. Governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin and Senator José Serra? Accused of a gigantic scheme of cartel-formation in São Paulos subways and possible embezzling out of the money destined to food in public schools (yeah, kinda stealing kids lunch money but big). And the most important to this week: Eduardo Cunha (PMDB, but proclaimed opposition, president of the chamber of deputies), accused of hiding money in Switzerland accounts (and therefore of illegal gain) is being processed to decide whether he can keep his position in government or should be impeached… But he can still work meanwhile, and he has a lot of control in congress. Most of the processes against the opposition have been (suspiciously enough) archived, and the investigations not entirely pursued, though.

What happened this week???

So, with all that in mind, we can start listing the latest political twists and turns.

- 04/03 is the day the mess started, when ex-president Lula was forced to depose for the Federal Police, conducted by police cars and everything, for the reasons mentioned above. Another important name now is of the Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, who conducts the investigations in Lava-Jato, and ordered this after the ex-president didn’t show up for deposition a few days previously. Some jurists judge that the forceful conduction wasn’t necessary and potentially illegal, but there isn’t a consensus. Judge Sergio Moro alleges that everything he did was to protect the ex-presidents image, but when you get a 24-hour news cover of a person with helicopters in their house and at the place of deposition and literally entire newspapers dedicated to cover a deposition one might point out otherwise. But what’s the real problem against the accusations against Lula? Well, as said before, none of the houses are in his name, but in friends or families names, so to convict him, one would have to prove the ownership first. 

- 13/03, Sunday, a protest is organized around the country, summoned first by PSDB “against corruption” (you can laugh, it IS funny to have them ask for a protest like that) and for the Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. As it is, it gets bigger and several other movements join in calling for people to participate dressing green-and-yellow on the streets, and the protest is huge. The organizers estimate 6,8 million people went to the streets around the country, the police estimated 3,6 million, but, anyhow, a lot of people. My personal problem with those protests is that there ARE people there who are in for military intervention or the election of people like Bolsonaro (…think trump, then take the money away, you’ll get the figure) and that most people don’t get how their support of some of these groups might as well be encouragement for a coup. Best part of it was that Aecio Neves (PSDB), one of the main speakers summoning people, got booed when he tried to visit the manifestations at Paulista Avenue together with Alckimin.

- 14/03, Monday, the complete deposition of Lula is published, people start commenting (and making memes), and a rumor that he might take office to get privileged forum starts to arise. 

- 15/03, Tuesday, the complete plea bargain of Senator Delcídio do Amaral, regarding the corruption scandals, comes to public. Looooots of names mentioned. Most important points now were the Ministry of Education (Aloísio Mercadente, PT)  having offered money in exchange for the omission of information in his deposition and the mention again of Senator Aecio Neves related to secret Liechtenstein bank accounts.

- 16/03, Wednesday afternoon, government announces ex-president Lula will be the new Chief of Staff in order to try to make the dialogue between parties better (he’s a respected politician and that really could work, to be fair, but it also does give him the privileges of having to interrupt the investigations and proceed to take them to Supreme Court, which could take years).

- 16/03, Wednesday night, Judge Sergio Moro makes public the recording of the tapping of “Lula’s” phone (an assessor, really, but he was the one who used it)… Particularly, of his conversations with President Dilma Rousseff. Here’s the problem: As soon as it was announced that Lula was to take office, Judge Sergio Moro, supposedly, ordered police to stop the recordings, cause then they would be illegal… But the recordings take a couple of hours more to actually stop because of “problems in communicating with the company who does it”, and the Judge, allegedly not realizing there were a couple of illegal hours recorded in the bunch, publishes the whole thing. Except that in those hours Lula and Dilma Rousseff had spoken, and, especially out of context, the talk was VERY compromising. And it spread like wildfire in the media for the next few hours, making people go to the streets to protest against Lula taking office. The recordings were of Roussef telling him she’s sending him his possession term for him to sign and use “in case of need” (interpreted as “in case police knocks on your door”). Although theoretically the recordings are illegal, once they’ve been published everywhere it’s pretty hard to escape it, and obviously lots of people start accusing Moro of being partial and possibly corrupt, again, while other people are just losing their minds on the Lula/Dilma thing.

- 17/03, Thursday morning, ex-president Lula takes office and in the ceremony president Dilma Rousseff alleges that what she meant in that conversation was that it was for him to use in case he “couldn’t make it out of São Paulo, since his wife is sick”.

- 17/03, Thursday, about an hour or two later… A judge published an injunction (filled by people) that stops Lula from exercising office, based on the accusations of justice obstruction and so on. At night, the injunction would be put down, and another would would appear, from a different judge. The Chamber of Deputies starts to pick the 65 deputies who will judge the Impeachment of Rousseff process recently approved by Eduardo Cunha. All afternoon and night some people (but in smaller number than the previous days) would go to the streets.

- 18/03, afternoon, second injunction against Lula taking office is put down, no others have been approved yet. “Pro-government” (”against-a-coup”) protests happen in the country, with no official counts yet.

So far, this is it, this is the mess. People tore between a bad situation and the possibilities of worse situations and the tension of a country that at any time now might be turned upside down. And no, there is not really a “good side” to support here.

anonymous asked:

I'm messaging you because I had a thought about season 5 narrative, and your responses are so thought out, I'come to you with it. It's a little long so it might be in 2-3 parts. I was thinking about the Klaus/Caroline sex scene and from a narrative perspective, what was the point of it? I've heard it was to satisfy shippers, but after seeing Julie's interview about the build up of Steroline, it makes me wonder if there wasn't a reason for it, and it wasn't to push Kleroline, but to end Forwood.

You know what, you make a really good point. And it’s one that I have considered before. Damon also points this out to Tyler in 5x15:

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