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The Promised No-study SAT Tips

I saw that a lot of you wanted these~ Disclaimer: You still have to know English and the basics of math for these. This goes especially if you’re not a native speaker - your English needs to be at a pretty good level.

General:

  1. Read. A lot. Whenever you see a text that’s at least a paragraph or two long, take time to practice skimming. If you’re bored and have a little time, take something, for example a food wrapper, and try to find occurrences of a word (for example “Acid” for food) as quickly as possible. Hard mode: look for synonyms.
  2. Practice filling out the answer sheet. This is a massive time-sink for a lot of people, so you should practice to eliminate it. Print out an example answer sheet and try filling out the circles quickly and accurately without distracting yourself a lot. Hard mode:Try doing it while not focusing only on the circles - look away or start thinking about the next question.
  3. Check. A lot. The main goal of this strategy is to leave yourself enough time when you’ve filled out an answer for each question when you’re calm, know the questions and can focus on checking. Try and go through the questions, thinking, “This question tests this and that.” If you have the time, look at each answer and identify the error in it (harder for the math questions, but loads of fun if you can do it).
  4. Think in patterns: Whenever you’re stuck on an example question, don’t just check the answer. Try and understand how the person found it, if this question is similar to others you have seen. The SAT only uses a few different types of questions, there will rarely be something to surprise you if you know the common patterns.
  5. Rest: The SAT is a very demanding exam. Give your brain time to relax - my advice would be not to do anything mentally strenuous the day before the test. Also, something I found out from competitions - bring chocolate. The sugar in it helps your brain work better and shrug off tiredness and eating it will draw blood away from your brain, effectively hibernating it for the break to conserve energy. Also, it’s just a really tasty snack!

Writing:

  1. Use the right format for the essay. There are a lot of easy points for using the four/five paragraph system. Introduction, Reason 1, Reason 2, Conclusion. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and follow up with a story from your life or a book/movie to illustrate it. This way, even without using fancy vocab or grammar, you can get the points for structure and critical thought. Now just try not to make any obvious spelling mistakes and call it a day!
  2. Try to quickly find an argument for the essay. They don’t actually rate how intelligent your argument is. So, take a minute or two, breathe deeply, and no matter how stupid your idea is, write it out. (You might still want to take caution with sensitive topics, especially if you’re an international. A dumb mistake I made in my first sitting was bashing on American charity - that definitely did not endear me to the proctors.)
  3. Paragraphs: You have to have experience reading - look at how the topic never changes abruptly. Insert sentences that link what’s written before and after the gap. Final sentences of paragraphs shouldn’t raise more questions.
  4. Sentence questions: Skim through the questions. Try to answer most of them, the first thing that comes to mind, and fill out the answer sheet immediately. Chances are, if it sounds good to you, it’s the correct choice. Do this quickly, then try and do the paragraphs. After you’ve done this, go back to the questions and start checking.
  5. They usually test for a few broad topics. Identify if each sentence fits one of the patterns and answer accordingly. For the others, try and think what error they might want you to make. If you know you have the time, look at each answer in turn and identify the mistake in it. The most common ways for you to change a sentence would be:
  • Fragments: Try and see if each clause has a subject and a verb. Example: “In the dim light, making his way through the cave.” -> “In the dim light, he makes his way through the cave.”
  • Subject-verb agreement: Make sure that the subject is the one actually doing the action and singular/plural match. Example: “Gathering stones, the river was blocked by the men.” Did the river gather stones? No.
  • Consistency: Make sure that something introduced one way is always referred to like that (don’t switch out ‘one’ for ‘you’ or ‘they’). Make sure there are no extra linkers (”Since I was there, but he went too.”). Check if any verbs change tense when they shouldn’t. Don’t compare apples to oranges (”His homework was as good as John.” -> “As good as John’s”).
  • Adverb or adjective? If it describes a verb, it has a ‘ly’. Example: “She winked playful.” -> “She winked playfully.”
  • Singular or plural? Make sure not to refer to a plural object in singular. “Pandas, numbering in the hundreds now, is an endangered species.”
  • Prepositions, linkers, all the small words Sadly, you’ll have to know how they’re used.

Reading

  1. Word fill: Note the answers that obviously don’t make sense. Mark the one of the others that sounds best to you (in the answer sheet, too!). If you don’t know one or more of the words, aim for simplicity. After you’ve quickly answered all of the reading questions, come back to these. Look at the relationships between the gap and the sentence - are you looking for a positive or negative word? Antonyms or synonyms to something before? Try and guess what unknown words mean. This way, you will probably be able to eliminate all the wrong answers.
  2. Reading comprehension: You are not tested for understanding the text. Keep this in mind. What you are actually trying to do here is quickly find synonyms. If the question asks for “Was Anna’s family a) warm b) cold c) the spawn of Cthulhu?”, chances are that the text contains “Anna’s relatives acted chilly.” or something like that. Read the first question. Skim the text until it comes to that topic, then look for synonyms of the answers. Don’t make deductions! If you come across a ‘general message’ or ‘tone of the author’ question, skip it and answer it at the end of the text. The other questions will be in the same order as the answers are mentioned in the text. Checking: If you have time, look at each answer and try to see what in the text could mislead somebody to make that mistake.

Mathematics

  1. Calculator use: My advice would be to not bring a complex graphing calculator. They just slow you down. Try and do most operations by hand, then use the calculator only for, well, calculations.
  2. Basic topics to know: You are expected to be familiar with how to rearrange equations (ab=1 is the same as a=1/b) and solve linear and quadratics; cosine and Pythagorean theorems; number representations of lines and their intersections; median, mean and mode.
  3. Solve like a crab! One of the best things I learnt in “Fun Math” classes was that problems are solved more easily if you work from the answer back. Try and see what you would need (in terms of information) to find the answer. Then look back to the text of the problem - is what you need there? In most SAT problems, it is, or you can easily find it.
  4. Visualise: Especially for distance or geometry problems, make a small chart of what’s happening. Make lines for the distances the cars traveled or draw that pesky cylinder. Try and see in your mind how different elements move and which stay the same.

I guess this is all that I can say for now. Of course, this is my strategy so it might not work for everyone or it might not work without practice, so don’t think it’s a miracle solve-all. I’m always open for questions about ideas or specific problems, just write an ask~ And good luck to all future test-takers!

When you’re on spring break but legit every single one of your teachers assigns homework because of all the “free time” you’ll have:

You want to know the secret to college - no one makes it through without a crap ton of stress and some failures. You will break down crying on your roommate’s bed at 1:30 in the morning at least once. You will panic. You will not always get to do every reading or finish every assignment. You will “fail” or have to drop a class. You won’t always be able to eat healthy and some days waking up before 9 am will feel like a death sentence.

But you just have to keep going. If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it. If your study plan, or note taking style isn’t working - change it. Take a good long look at yourself and be honest about your weaknesses, faults, limits, and abilities. Know what you can and cannot do. I cannot pull all-nighters. Staying up past 2 am makes me feel sick the next day. So instead I go to bed by midnight and if something still ABSOLUTELY needs to be done, I get up at 6 or 7 and work on it. I write obsessively detailed to do lists bc otherwise my brain panics and exaggerates everything I have to do. I switched to bullet journaling bc normal planners weren’t working for me. And I started a studyblr bc I love this site but needed some positive academic motivation.

College is rough. It’s way different than high school and what did work then may not work now. But that’s okay. Because college is about learning who you are as an independent adult. College is a testing ground where adaptation and self-awareness are the keys to success. And trust me, you come out the other side better for it. You grow so much in such a short amount of time, but damn it’s worth it.

Inhuman || Klaroline

Klaroline Infinity Day 6 - Other Supernatural

Klaus is almost ready to break his curse, but he refuses to do so without Katerina finally doing her part. She has managed to elude him so far with the help of various allies, but the latest distraction proves to be far more interesting to Klaus.


“Funny,” Klaus noted with a smirk. “Katerina usually prefers to employ male cannon fodder.”

The little blonde merely stood before him, unafraid. She didn’t even bother to reply. Her head canted to the side as she watched the Original draw closer to the door of his hotel room, where she had been waiting.

It was something of a game for Klaus in his hunt to break the curse restraining his wolf, to allow Katerina Petrova’s various pets enough of a fight to be fun for him. The werewolf from whom she had stolen the moonstone lacked the strategy of battle; the vampire brothers she bounced between were too busy competing for her favor to put up a decent showing. Even Elijah was easily a pawn to the wily doppelganger, though at least daggering him was an actual challenge.

This girl, however, smelled young. Klaus couldn’t sense any power, as he could on a vampire, wolf, or witch. Humans were often too stupid to realize the danger he posed, but they could still feel a frisson of unease in his sheer presence. She seemed almost serene.

Keep reading

Intelligence

What is Intelligence?

  • Intelligence: mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations
  • It’s a socially constructed concept that differs from culture to culture.
  • Controversies on intelligence: 1. Whether it is one overall ability or many, and 2. Whether neuroscientists can locate and measure intelligence within the brain.
  • To reify intelligence is to treat it as though it were a real object, not an abstract concept.
  • Most psychologists now define intelligence as the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.

Keep reading

3

As part of that swag of work, I was introduced to this untitled play by the young Anton Chekhov. The literal translation arrived on my desk at nearly 300 pages in length, about twice as long as all the others I have done. Fortunately, the National’s commission did not go ahead and so I was able to revamp the play specifically for STC, to which end I had in mind most of this fabulous cast and indeed John Crowley as director. I believe an adaptation should be tailor-made to the production because, although the play itself will stand the test of time, most adaptations are only useful in relation to their specific production outing - Andrew Upton (The screenplay write and the Co-Artistic director of the STC 2008-2015)

How To Become a Pharmacist (Abridged)

Ok this is a quick outline of what you have to do to actually become an actual pharmacist. The one making the big bucks. This is more intended for people who haven’t started college yet, or people who are thinking about switching to Pharm D. If you are ANY year in the Pharm D program, you should already be familiar with this process. Again, this is a rough sketch. It looks a lot easier here than it actually is. Oh and btw this is for the 0-6 program! Not the old fashioned pathway. 

1. Bang out 1st year. This year really is easy if you put in the 15 minutes to study for your classes. Don’t take the 15 minutes thing literally. In fact take all internet blogs with a grain of salt. 

  • Just do your homework
  • Stay out of trouble

I’m not telling you not to drink and smoke. You are an adult and as far as I’m concerned these are your decisions. All I’m saying is don’t get caught, because you CANNOT be a pharmacist with even the slightest blemish on your record. Except for like speeding tickets and stuff. 

2. Romance the 2nd year. Not much more difficult than 1st year. But you WILL struggle with Organic Chemistry. This will give you an idea how some classes will be in your professional years. Not all, but some. That’s really the only thing that stands out about this year. I suggest watching the Khan Academy videos on orgo if you want a head start. 

  • Organic chem is hard. 
  • At the end of this year, you must register to become a pharmacy intern in massachusetts

This will enable you to do rotations (which we will talk about in a little). But you should find work beforehand. 

3. Shit gets serious 3rd year. This is your first Professional Year, also known as P1. Do your due diligence, balance school and social life, and try to find work in a pharmacy. You also get a snazzy new white coat that you have to wear to labs. 

  • Obtain professional white coat
  • Must get CPR training as part of a class
  • Must get HIPAA certified as part of class
  • Act professional as fuck

4. Get fucked in the ass by 4th year. Widely considered to be the hardest year. Again, deal with it, no whining, no excused, just fucking do it. 

5. Do a Capstone Project during 5th year. This sounds annoying as fuck, because it really is. Almost every graduate student has to do it. Yes, you could as a graduate student. Because when you graduate you are a DOCTOR of pharmacy, not a bachelor of science. You basically have to pick a topic to research or come up with a business model or something. And write a huge fucking paper. It’s pretty involved because you’ll probably have to create your own data via survey or something. More on that here: http://www.gradschoolhub.com/faqs/what-is-a-capstone-project-in-graduate-school/

6. Final year! You’re done with classes! You will spend this entire year doing something called rotations. I mentioned it earlier and you though I was gonna forget. Faggot. Anyway, rotations are when you actually intern at various pharmacy settings. This goes on for about a year straight. You do not have a summer break. You will go from May to the next May. You’ll spend a few months at each of the following settings:

  • Retail
  • Institutional
  • Inpatient
  • Ambulatory
  • Graduate with your PharmD!!!!1111!1111

7. Oh you thought you were done motherfucker?? NAPLEX exam bitch! What you thought you were gonna walk off into the sunset and collect your first check for $100,000??? WRONG. You now have to pass NAPLEX in order to get a license and start practicing. You can actually take NAPLEX a little bit before you graduate. But a lot of people end up taking it 2 or 3 months after graduation. Why? Because they’re burnt and they want a break before spending a month or 2 studying for this. 

Naplex consists of 

  • Science, drugs, everything you learned in school 
  • 185 Multiple choice questions
  • 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Taken on the computer at a test center near you
  • Only 150 questions are legit. The remainder are experimental questions that don’t count, but youll never know
  • It’s an “adaptive” test. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s trying to fuck you over. If you get a cetain type of question wrong, the computer will give you more of those types of questions. 
  • Need a score of 75 or above to pass. 
  • People often report feeling like they failed, even though they eventually realize that they passed. 
  • Takes 5 business days for you to see your score

8. But wait! There’s more: MPJE. I promise you, this is the end of it. The final piece of the puzzle before you never have to study for anything ever again. I achieved orgasm just writing that sentence. The MPJE is a pharmaceutical law exam that you have to pass. You cannot take this one before you graduate. Once you finish this, you are all set to practice. Unlike the NAPLEX, it is unique to each state. While some states will accept it if you took it somewhere else, you should TRY TO TAKE IT IN THE STATE YOU WILL BE WORKING IN. Don’t take it in Boston if you planned to move home to San Diego all along. And btw, it’s called the CPJE in California. 

MPJE is:

  • Unique to each state. Tests 90% state law, 10% federal
  • Reportedly harder than the Naplex
  • 90 multiple choice questions. 60 count. 
  • Questions are often very obscure state laws
  • Also questions on obscure situations that never happen
  • TAKE IN THE FUCKING STATE YOU WILL WORK IN

And on the day when you check your email and see you passed the MPJE, you can burn all your books, tear up your assignments, and invite your old pal mcphslifehack over for a drink. And then we’re gonna throw the wildest fucking party the world has ever seen. See ya later children!

No!!!

My Xbox 360 finally got the red dot of death D: No warning or anything… I tried the whole taking out and putting back in the hard drive, I tested the power adapter, and I cleaned it externally. Nothing has worked…

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (2015) Review: Has Spoilers

The AssClass fandom is really busy these days. We have an ongoing manga with interesting plot twists every single chapter, the 1st season of the anime has ended, and then now we have the first live-action film.

At least for me, this review was interesting to write. Perhaps less exciting (both to read and write) than the Kamisama no iu Toori review, but I had a tougher time doing this. 

There are spoilers. Be warned. :)


Plot and Directing

The plot was average, nothing too stellar. One thing I liked was that the jokes and comedic moments were well-timed and they were spread evenly across the duration of the film. The production team gave many nods to the source material, such as combining the mission of peeping at Korosensei and the class guys’ tank project. We had some of the guys sneaking towards the girls’ bathroom to check on their ‘development’, but it was doubly hilarious to see them snooping around with acrobatics and treating the whole thing extremely seriously like some top-secret spy mission. The 'looser’ guys were all part of the mission…and then we have Nagisa, who was made to join. xD The best part came when the girls were chasing Korosensei and the boys scrambled madly to leave when they heard footsteps, only to have Nakamura arrive on the scene mid-chase and see Nagisa alone outside the girls’ bathroom. And Nagisa proceeded to act like a girl and furiously claim that he was Kayano (*W*) while trying to hide himself. Another great scene was the Karma and takoyaki scene, which will be further mentioned later.  

It was unfortunate, however, that the film fell victim to Adaptational Distillation. Many things were either adapted out or slightly changed, which would have actually been fair if not for the fact that it compromised the plot and the pacing quite a bit. Things felt as if they were only lightly scraping the top of the pudding and it lacked a certain sense of depth and sincerity to it, resulting in me not being able to connect as deeply with the film as I liked. The class also had a lot of characters and there was a time limit, so the lack of development and focus on certain characters was a given. Certainly, there were particular adjustments that were justified, such as having Karma ace his tests, since the first test was adapted out and him aceing would have ensured that Karma received enough focus as the second male lead. However, I wished that they could have kept the original idea of getting a vacation on an island. Having the attempt in the schoolyard just somehow made it feel very scaled down. (And for Ikemen fans: Isogai the class rep took a backseat, which was really a pity, since the original character is one of the key members of 3-E outside the main trio. He had an even smaller part than Terasaka’s gang. But then the actor was quite adorable looking hahah I wanted to squish his cheeks. But I digress.) Takaoka’s revenge also felt quite forced, since it was the section of the film that was subjected to the greatest degree of Adaptational Distillation. There was no infiltration attempt, and no battle against the three pro-assassins. Fuwa didn’t get to show her deductive skills. Hayami and Chiba were given passing mention in the first half of the film when Karasuma was mentioning students with potential, but that was it. There was no gunfight, which could have been used to create tension in the story and let Hayami and Chiba grow emotionally (since they had just missed killing Korosensei). Nagisa didn’t crossdress to emphasise the fact that he had androgynous looks (Yamada has crossdressed before btw); Yada didn’t get to put Bitch-sensei’s lessons in use. Karma did not get to fight with Old Man Nu and display his fighting prowess either. There were a lot of missed opportunities for potential character development, and most of Class 3-E was relegated to background scenery, which was a pity, since some of the students had quite decent acting skills. The suspense of having to fight a unknown enemy was the highlight of the Summer Vacation Arc. Instead, we had Karma and Nagisa climb up a electricity cable tower (what do y'all call that? there aren’t any where i live so…) and fighting Itona. Why up the tower? The logic behind this escapes me. Wouldn’t that have been more dangerous than staying on ground and trying outwit Itona? Which couldn’t have been too hard, seeing that Karma and Nagisa are intelligent people. The way Itona was defeated was also too much of an easy resolution. Director-san, are you meaning to tell me that you had two middle-schoolers climb up a tower, and an electricity cable tower without any safety equipment no less, just to let rain fall sooner onto Itona? I am beginning to wonder if one of the requirements to watch this plot is to have the IQ of a preschool kid. The Takaoka vs Nagisa confrontation fell rather flat too. Yes, there was no Lovro in the filmverse, but the film could have had Nagisa successfully 'assassinate’ Takaoka on his own and thereby highlight that he possessed the overwhelming talent which it had been so diligently foreshadowing all this while. In this aspect, I think some of the manga fans might be disappointed.

[this can also be put under Effects:]

I have a bone to pick with the usage (or rather, the overusage) of certain effects too. When used appropriately during dramatic moments, #Dramatic Slow-mo heightens the tension present on screen. However, the film had multiple #Dramatic Slow-mo scenes within a relatively short period of time, and each subsequent #Dramatic Slow-mo decreased in effectiveness as the audience can’t help but go: 'Yet another one?’ And if one ever uses #Dramatic Slow-mo, be sure to offer a follow-up/resolution to the tension. You can’t build up the anticipation with the foreshadowing of Nagisa’s hidden talents, and have his greatest display of that talent to be the ability to take insults and act to drag time out for the class! Where is the 2nd assassination attempt on Takaoka? This brings me to the topic of the supposed climax. A climax is one which surpasses all the rest of the scenes; the highest point in the story. The directing disappointed me in this aspect as the plot seemed rushed toward the end, and a golden opportunity to create a second high slipped away right in front of the audience’s very eyes. My anticipation kinda fell flat as the supposed climax was of a lower energy than even the normal scenes. Putting it bluntly, it was anti-climatic. Yes, Kayano was being hung over cement with the threat of death and half of Class 3-E was down with a virus, but it all somehow felt lame after all the fights and assassination attempts peppered throughout the film. Takaoka went down wayyyyy too easily. (Blame also falls on Adaptational Distillation.) Granted, there is a dilemma between choosing the quality and flow of the story and the time limit for the film given to you, though I half-wished that they could have transplanted some of the excessive time from The Hobbit into here.

Cinematography and Visual Effects

Since the story had an octopus teacher as one of its main characters, CG played an important role in the film. I was initially worried about the CG for Korosensei, but it seemed my fears were unfounded as he was superbly done. A lot of attention was paid to detail and to make him seem as real as he could possibly be. When Korosensei was talking with Karasuma, they made him seem as if he was really physically behind the slightly grimy glass windows. Another scene I liked was when Korosensei was moving around the class, and his reflection was seen in the glass window, with the correct sense of distance and proportion displayed. This goes up and beyond the level of detail available even in mangas and animes, and I must say that the effects team really did a good job.

The cinematography for this film was rather interesting. One could tell that the people in charge of lighting and colours (what are they called lol) and the cinematographer had coordinated to tell the story by varying the atmosphere with different colours in various shades of vibrancy and intensity. But when it came to interesting cinematography and presenting methods, the scene with Karma and the takoyakis took the cake. Instead of just merely choosing to present it in a normal method, the team chose to do it in a manga-ish format, with panels on the screen separated by the famous white manga borders that moved along with the action. It added dynamism and liveliness to the scenes and emphasised the characters’ reactions further, allowing the reactions of various groups of people to be shown across the screen simultaneously. This helped to greatly propel the comedy factor in the film too, and was probably my favourite scene in the film. One seriously needs to watch this scene to fully appreciate its awesomeness. (on a sidenote: Karma and the takoyakis….sounds like a good band name HAHAH)

Acting

Ninomiya’s voice acting was unexpectedly good. I admit I was worried since Fukuyama Jun had done such a great job in the anime and Nino wasn’t a pro voice actor, but the moment I saw the trailer, I was utterly convinced about Nino’s skills. Since they were two different people, it was obvious that they would sound different. But what was most important was that the feelings and emotions of the character are transmitted across to the audience, and I believe that Nino did a pretty good job on that. His 'Nurufufufu’ was especially similar to Fukuyama’s original and it had me wondering initially whether they had Fukuyama reprise the role in the film. On the other hand, I still believe that Nino has some room for further improvement, since there were some instances where his voice lost the 'Korosensei spark’ and was a bit weak in expression. I know that he can be even better than what he had shown us, as evidenced by his Korosensei laugh; he just needs to work on it a bit more. Either way, I cannot wait to hear him again in the sequel , where I believe his skills will be even more matured than before.

Yamada as Nagisa was convincing. I agreed with him when he thought he would be getting the role of Karma instead since he had a colder characters from previous projects and his image is also the cool type. But perhaps getting a character as Nagisa would do well to help him expand and increase his versatility as an actor, since he has been doing TV for quite long and he didn’t really had many characters with similar dispositions as Nagisa. I liked how he showed that Nagisa was physically weak, and yet when he was required to reveal his 'bloodlust’, he can instantly switch to a cold and eerie smile reminescent of  Zekki from the tv series Hell Teacher Nube. Granted, there were certain expressions that still looked somewhat forced, but what probably affected the way Nagisa was shown in the movie was more due to the directing and the plot than Yamada. He still has potential for growth in him and I certainly look forward to seeing an even more strongly-acted Nagisa in the sequel.

I confess I watched the film for a couple of reasons, with one of the major ones being Karma and Suda. I wasn’t disappointed. Suda might tend to look a bit paler and less cute-sy compared to his Kamen Rider days (his facial features were more softer and rounded then), and some might have doubts about him playing the exceedingly attractive Karma, but the charm of Suda lies not only in photos (he modelled for JUNON); it reveals itself in even greater force in live-action. Suda portrayed Karma’s relaxed and carefree personality all the way down to the way he stood. Even when he was merely in the background and slightly blurred, he continued to build his character with little actions such as casually leaning against a wall, tilting his head slightly and so on. I was also really captivated by the way he used his eyes during his character building, with each look that he gives with his eyes hinting and building Karma’s backstory. Suda truly transformed into Karma and one becomes increasingly convinced of this as the film goes on as he continues to reveal more and more of his acting chops with each subsequent scene. It was a pity that he didn’t get any tougher scenes than what he is capable of since I would love to see Suda pushed even further than he was in the film. But given this is a story abt middle school students and that Matsui Yuusei’s idea of 'dark’ isn’t too extreme since it’s a shounen manga, I suppose it’s reasonable. Suda’s comedic timing is also as impeccable as ever. In the manga and anime, Karma’s attempts to ruin Korosensei’s day were funny enough, but Suda and his reaction shots upped the humour factor. He had everyone in the cinema hall roaring in laughter when he was dressed up in a frilly apron and had his nails painted by Korosensei.

Another actor (or in this case, actress) worth commenting was Kang Ji Young as Bitch-sensei. Since this is a live-action, Bitch-sensei was appropriately less 'well-endowed’, but Kang’s portrayal of her personality and mannerisms were so reminiscent of the original (how do you say 非常还原 in English lol) that Bitch-sensei seemed to have walked straight out of the manga. Bitch-sensei might appear like an easy and simple character who is always the butt of the class jokes, but one often forgets her history and the experiences that shaped her to be who she is. Kang effortlessly did this and more, making this character hers and switching between seductive, fiery, funny while still giving of the aura that her Bitch-sensei was a pro assassin who exudes danger with every move. #FemmeFatale

Music

I had always liked Sato Naoki’s work, and he had a few good pieces that I enjoyed a lot in the AssClass anime. I didn’t know he was also in charge of the music for the live-action, but I was wondering throughout why it felt so like Sato’s work, until I saw his name in the credits. His compositions had this certain grand feel to them that was extremely suited for the scale present only in films, and his choice of instruments helped to build up the atmosphere. As always, Sato’s strength comes fully to the surface especially during emotional and majestic scenes.

Overall

Come for the plot, stay for the actors and effects. 'Nuff said. :P I recommend that you first watch the movie, then the anime, and read the manga last for optimum experience.

Fangirl section (ignore if you don’t like Karmana)

KARMA AND OKUDA (and Takebayashi) WORKING ON MATH TOGETHER AS REVISION. (that was the only obvious Karmanami interaction iirc. might be wrong tho.) ASDFGHJKL. Forgive my shipper heart.

IQ Of the Nazi leaders tried in Nuremberg, really curious

The Rorschach test was administered to the defendants, along with the Thematic Apperception Test and a German adaptation of the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test  All were above average intelligence, several considerably.

  Name  I.Q.


Dönitz, Karl 138

Frank, Hans 130

Frick, Wilhelm 124

Fritzsche, Hans 130

Funk, Walther 124

Göring, Hermann 138


Hess, Rudolf 120

Jodl, Alfred 127

Kaltenbrunner, Ernst 113

Keitel, Wilhelm 129

Neurath, Konstantin von 125

Papen, Franz von 134

Raeder, Erich 134

Ribbentrop, Joachim von 129

Rosenberg, Alfred 127

Sauckel, Fritz 118

Schacht, Hjalmar 143

Schirach, Baldur von 130

Seyss-Inquart, Arthur 141

Speer, Albert 128

Streicher, Julius 106

anonymous asked:

Why is LJ putting subject lines in comments a big deal?

Sure, why not! I was there! I can mostly answer this.

First it’s important to understand that they’re not simply putting subject lines into comments, they’re putting them back.

Second, let’s backtrack a second here.

There’s a quote going around tumblr that I love. About how fandom is the most technically rigorous test you can ever give your product.

Why?

Because fandom is actually fairly large, we’re smaller than some people think, but we’re larger than most assume. AND most of online fandom makes heavy use of interaction. We don’t just create output (fic, vids, gifs, etc), we don’t just ponder meta to ourselves, we don’t just wonder in our shower if that really WAS a monster cock under those tailored trousers. We go online and ask for second, third and twelfth opinions. We bounce ideas, squee, glee, anger, sadness, righteous fury, EMOTIONS, we bounce emotions and ideas off each other in ways I think other groupings don’t.

The question that comes up often is “why did fandom nest here and not there?” Well. A lot of it is what’s available at the time. Freely. (There can be paid options as well, but there needs to be a decent network of free services and capabilities.)

Fandom is incredibly adaptive. They don’t need (or at least have historically not gotten until recently) places designed exactly for their needs and unique forms of communication. Fandom is usually pretty happy with a 60% - 80% overlap of features originally implemented for the platform’s original use and what fandom wants from its platforms.

Fandom can adjust, adapt, test the limits, break it and then come back and go “okay we can do X, but only until Y and then we have to do Z” and we can make it work for us.

What happens is, options that fandom uses are not always considered vital options. Or cause maintenance issues that the maintainers of the product never expected and don’t know how to handle, or just don’t want to.

THEN invariably, an option disappears. Maybe the product is attempting to update for the times, maybe they have new management and want to go in different directions, maybe there really is a very small hint of ‘oh god get the porny weirdos out of our hair before the buyer comes in and kicks the tires!’.

BACK to the original question now.

On livejournal, subject lines were incorporated into the workings of many fannish pursuits because they were a way of being upfront about the content of the coming comment. Subject lines could include things like: fandom, pairing, rating, word counts, kink and/or meme prompt, trigger/content warnings. THESE were all especially helpful for active posts because eventually conversation threads were collapsed to save space and loading time. Fanfic memes meant to respond in comments became easier to search on your own. Etc.

When LJ took the subject lines away it was in the middle of a series of decisions that were very alienating to fandom already, from what I recall there was no warning and the reasoning was along the lines of ‘facebook doesn’t do it’. It’s what finally caused one of the larger mass migrations off LJ to other social networks and certain memes that had been born within the structure of the LJ comment page either came up with style work arounds that were pretty imperfect, rules to help compensate which were difficult to get right sometimes or they just moved entire because they liked the format they already had.

Basically when comment subject lines were removed, it literally broke about 1/3 of the fannish infrastructure.

As usual, there were thousands of comments asking why (from what I could tell the answers never really got better) and for opt outs or reversing it, but LJ staff remained firm that it was for the good of the Empire or whatever (yeah I’m getting pretty sarcastic here, LJ was being especially empty headed in some of its decisions at that point.)

This all happened before I completely dropped out of fandom for a while, so, YEARS ago. The reason why it’s so hilarious is it’s just a bit of too little too late and it’s fairly easy to imagine that a platform designed for interaction making it HARDER and then being really stubborn and taking this long to figure maybe that’s not a great idea, IF that platform is LJ.

Basically there are a handful fans going “mwuahahah, called it!”

How tests fail to measure things properly, while measuring things properly in a weird way.

I once scored as low as it was possible to score on a test of communication. Or rather, the communication subscore of a test of adaptive behavior. I scored below the floor of the test. The test was answered completely correctly by a staff person – it was one of those tests where it asks how often you can do something and someone has to fill out how often you do it.

There were a couple things that factored into the low score.

One of them (which contributed to an accurately-low overall score on the test) is just that the test didn’t have very many options. It was like there was always/often, sometimes, and rarely/never. And there was not a single thing on the test that rose above the level of ‘sometimes’ for me, and lots and lots of things were 'rarely’ which was scored the same as 'never’. If I remember correctly. It was something like that.

But the biggest thing was the questions they asked.

They didn’t ask whether I was capable of writing long blog posts.

They asked whether I used little social words. Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, all the things I’m horrible at. I’m better at some of those things now than I was then, but I’m still pretty terrible at them.

People assume that there’s one thing that’s 'basic’ and one thing that’s 'advanced’ and that everyone progresses in an orderly fashion from basic to advanced through a particular route.

Autistic people (among other neurodivergent people) are really, really good at not following such orders or paths whatsoever, or doing them in really strange ways.

Unfortunately the tester’s response to all this was to question whether it was just that I didn’t WANT to communicate. (Why do they always go straight to motivation as the reason that you aren’t doing something you miBut given that she also wrote that I was using a wheelchair when I had walked in using a cane, and mentioned the non-existent wheelchair several times (despite supposedly having no access to other information about me, like the fact that I used a wheelchair part-time), I don’t think she was the most observant person in the world.

But as much as I can feel backwards and upside-down at times, I need to remember that for me this is forwards, and for me basic is not basic and advanced is not advanced.

uovoc  asked:

Fic prompt: Mabel takes her driving test.

Floyd Curl had worked at the small DMV in his home town of Gravity Falls for thirty years, and even before the Transcendence he had seen it all. Twenty gnomes in a trenchcoat driving a fifteen passenger van for their test. A woman wearing a fur coat in the middle of August without breaking a sweat. Endless cars that smelt sweetly skunky and scores of sweaty and terrified teenagers. Riding in an actual god damn cherry red Rolls Royce for Pacifica Northwest’s test. A car adapted for a mermaid to use. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, Floyd sat confident that he had seen the weirdest and the worst that Gravity Falls could through at him. He was the unflappable king of the Department of Motor Vehicles and nothing could faze him.

Until Mabel Pines walked in one day.

—-

“Who brought you here?” Floyd asked as he stepped into the passenger side of the impossibly old land yacht this girl would be taking her test in. The only person he saw in the waiting room was surely too old to be her father-grandfather maybe?

The young woman-Mabel Pines according to his paperwork, finished adjusting the two pillows that let her see over the wheel and buckled in. “That’s my Grunkle Stan! He’s the one that taught me how to drive!”

A cold sweat broke out over Floyd, and tried to remind himself not to be ridiculous. There were many elderly drivers on the road and they did just fine! And after all, he was getting older himself, he had no room to talk. The young lady next to him seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders, and having an older relative teach her probably meant they went through everything in the little guide book. This was going to go just fine.

Mabel turned the ignition and the old engine somehow started, rumbling and vibrating the entire car. Floyd pointed out to two concrete bumpers in the parking lot. “Okay, first thing I’d like you to do is parallel park between those two slabs.”

“Um…parallel park?”

“Yes, just ease your car between those two bumpers, and then we can go on to the next part of the test.”

An air of nervousness suddenly descended on the once cheerful girl. “Um, Grunkle Stan only showed me that once. He said I should make my own parking spaces if I couldn’t find them.”

Floyd resisted the urge to automatically demerit her for this portion of the test, instead only saying, “Well, it’s not that hard, I promise. Why don’t you give it a try?”

Fifteen minutes of jerking back and forth in the same place over and over again and easing six inches in and out of the space later, Floyd pinched his nose, then made a note.

“Let’s…let’s just go onto the next part of the test shall we?”

Mabel immediately brightened.

“Okay!”

She then gunned the engine and drove over one of the concrete bumpers, and Floyd’s head hit the ceiling.

The steel frame of the old El Diablo was rattling.

The seats, bolted into the frame, were rattling.

The fuzzy dice that hung from the rearview mirror were perfectly still, somehow.

Floyd’s teeth and bones, on the other hand, were currently being jangled to pieces.

His eyes flicked to the speedometer. Somehow, most likely by sucking the magic from the ground underneath it’s tires, the old car was doing 119 an hour. He also noticed the gas slowly but surely dropping, and of course, it felt like it was going to rattle into a million pieces at any second, but the car was doing it.

“Miss Pines, it usually takes twenty minutes on the highway to reach Bend.”

Mabel nodded, intensely concentrating on the road ahead of her, hands steady on the wheel and unperturbed by the rattling of the car.

“We should be there, by my calculation, in nine.”

Mabel nodded. “My best record is eight minutes!”

They sailed past a sign and Floyd gritted out, “You do know the speed limit is 65 yes?”

“Grunkle Stan told me speed limit signs were suggestions not like, things you have to actually follow.”

Then Mabel swerved across three lanes of traffic and Floyd’s life flashed before his eyes.

—-

While they didn’t blow through the stop signs like Floyd had feared, on the other hand….

“Miss Pines, you are aware what the word ‘stop’ means, correct?”

“Of course!” Mabel laughed. “Grunkle Stan told me that as long as I don’t see any cars coming ahead, I could do a California stop and roll through.”

Floyd was beginning to develop both a migraine and a hatred of the elderly man waiting for his niece back at the DMV.

They reached a school zone and suddenly Floyd could only see kindergarteners bouncing off of the bumper and flying into the air in the near future, bikes snarled in the fender and a road crossing guard chasing after them.  To his complete shock, Mabel slowed to twenty, looking constantly around her and stopping at every sign.

“You’re driving norm-good. Very good right now Miss Pines.”

“Grunkle Stan said I always had to be careful by schools because kids are dumb and run out in the road which I think is a little mean, especially since I never ran out in the road though that’s because Dipper usually grabbed me but-“

As Mabel rambled on, Floyd gave one begrudging point to Grunkle Stan for not fucking that up at least. Then Mabel gunned the engine once again as they left the school zone, and Floyd made a mental note to stop by the liquor store on the way home.

Forty five long, long minutes later, they had finally returned to the DMV. Mabel parked her car, taking up three spaces somehow, turned the car off, and looked expectantly at Floyd.

“How’d I do? Did I pass?!”

Did you pass?” Floyd breathed in through his nose, out of his mouth, and looked down at his sheet.

“You not once used your turn signals, half of the turns you took you went over the curb, you almost never stayed in your lane-“

“I’ve always colored outside of the lines!”

“-you adjusted your mirrors when you were on the highway and almost crashed, you slowed to forty to let a truck on and almost caused another crash, you turned left on red, you… you….”

Floyd felt his skin literally turning red.

“You have f-“

Suddenly, walking by the car window, Floyd caught the eye of an inoffensive looking young man. He was dressed more formally than even Floyd, in a dress shirt and cuff links. His fluffy brown hair seemed like it was begging to be crowned with some kind of hat. He caught Floyd’s eyes through the window and smiled.

No…noth…nothing human had teeth like that, overlapping and protruding fangs, far too many teeth to fit into a mortal mouth. The…the thing and oh Christ his eyes were yellow and the white of his eyes were bleeding black and fuck fuck pointed at the sheet full of demerits, then to Miss Pines still looking expectedly at him, then to the demerit sheet again. He grinned somehow even wider before disappearing into a puff of blue smoke.

Suddenly Floyd couldn’t get Miss Pines out of his car fast enough.

“Youvepassedgetyourlicenseinsidehaveagoodday!”

He ran out of the car, not even bothering to give Miss Pines her demerit sheet, and ran until he got to the break room, where he hid under the table and meebled.

That demon wanted Miss Pines to pass? Fine. Floyd just hoped that after never coming near him again, the other thing the demon did would be to make sure Mabel Pines didn’t kill herself or anyone else on the road.

(When it came time for Mabel to take the triplets in to get their driver licenses, she had no idea why the elderly man who seemed vaguely familiar took one look at them, and then screamed like a banshee and dove behind the counter. Maybe he ate something funny?)

 

-

2

OUT -OF -THIS -WORLD FIRST -LIGHT IMAGES EMERGE FROM GEMINI PLANET IMAGER

After nearly a decade of development, construction and testing, the world’s most advanced instrument for directly imaging and analyzing planets orbiting around other stars is pointing skyward and collecting light from distant worlds.

“Even these early first-light images are almost a factor of 10 better than the previous generation of instruments. In one minute, we were seeing planets that used to take us an hour to detect,” says Bruce Macintosh of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who led the team who built the instrument.

For the past decade, Lawrence Livermore has been leading a multi-institutional team in the design, engineering, building and optimization of the instrument, called the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which will be used for high-contrast imaging to better study faint planets or dusty disks next to bright stars. Astronomers – including a team at LLNL – have made direct images of a handful of extrasolar planets by adapting astronomical cameras built for other purposes. GPI is the first fully optimized planet imager, designed from the ground up for exoplanet imaging deployed on one of the world’s biggest telescopes, the 8-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile.

Probing the environments of distant stars in a search for planets has required the development of next-generation, high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) systems, in which Livermore is a leader. These systems are sometimes referred to as extreme AO.

Macintosh said direct imaging of planets is challenging because planets such as Jupiter are a billion times fainter than their parent stars. “Detection of the youngest and brightest planets is barely within reach of today’s AO systems,” he said. “To see other solar systems, we need new tools.”

And those new tools are installed in the Gemini Planet Imager with the most advanced AO system in the world. In addition to leading the whole project, LLNL also was responsible for the AO system. Designed to be the world’s “most sophisticated” astronomical system for compensating turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere – an ongoing problem for ground-based telescopes – the system senses atmospheric turbulence and corrects it with a 2-centimeter-square deformable mirror with 4,000 actuators. This deformable mirror is made of etched silicon, similar to microchips, rather than the large reflective glass mirrors used on other AO systems. This allows GPI to be compact and stable. The new mirror corrects for atmospheric distortions by adjusting its shape 1,000 times per second with accuracy better than 1 nanometer. Together with the other parts of GPI, astronomers can directly image extra-solar planets that are 1 million to 10 million times fainter than their host stars.

GPI carried out its first observations in November 2013 – during an extremely smooth debut for an extraordinarily complex astronomical instrument the size of a small car. “The GPI team’s huge amount of high quality work has begun to pay off and now holds the promise of many years of important science to come,” said LLNL Project Manager David Palmer.

For GPI’s first observations, it targeted previously known planetary systems – the 4-planet HR8799 system (co-discovered by an LLNL-led team at the Gemini and Keck Observatory in 2008) and the Beta Pictoris system, among others. GPI has obtained the first-ever spectrum of the very young planet Beta Pictoris b.

The first-light team also used the instrument’s unique polarization mode – tuned to look at starlight scattered by tiny particles – in order to study a ring of dust orbiting the very young star HR4796. With previous instruments, only the edges of this dust ring (which may be the debris remaining from planet formation) could be seen. GPI can follow the entire circumference of the ring. The images were released today at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington D.C. Jan. 5-9.

“GPI’s performance requirements are extremely challenging,” explained LLNL engineer Lisa Poyneer, who developed the algorithms used to correct for atmospheric turbulence, and led the testing of the adaptive optics system in the laboratory and at the telescope. “As a result, the AO system features several original technologies that were designed specifically for exoplanet science. After years of development and testing, it is very rewarding to see the AO system operating so well and enabling these remarkable images.”

Imaging exoplanets is highly complementary to other exoplanet success stories like NASA’s Kepler mission. Kepler is extremely sensitive to small planets close to their parent star and focuses on mature stars – GPI detects infrared radiation from young Jupiter-like objects in wide orbits, the equivalent of the giant planets in our solar system not long after their formation.

“GPI represents a critical step in the road toward understanding how planetary systems form and develop,” said Dmitry Savransky, an LLNL postdoc who worked on the integration and testing of GPI before moving to a position at Cornell. “While broad survey missions, such as Kepler, have revealed the variety of planets that exist in our galaxy, GPI will allow us to study a few dozen planets in exquisite detail.”

Under the Hood: Delivering the First Free Global Live Stream of an NFL Game on Yahoo

P.P.S. Narayan, VP of Engineering

On Sunday, October 25, Yahoo delivered the first-ever, global live stream of a regular season NFL game to football fans around the world, for free, across devices. Our goal was to distribute the game over the Internet and provide a broadcast-quality experience. Leveraging our focus on consumer products, we worked to identify features and experiences that would be unique for users enjoying a live stream for the first time. In other words, we wanted to make you feel like you were watching on TV, but make the experience even better.

For us, success was twofold: provide the best quality viewing experience and deliver that quality at global scale. In this blog, we will talk about some key technology innovations that helped us achieve this for over 15M unique viewers in 185 countries across the world.

On the technical side, the HD video signal was shipped from London to our encoders in Dallas and Sunnyvale, where it was converted into Internet video. The streams were transcoded (compression that enables efficient network transmission) into 9 bitrates ranging from 6Mbps to 300kbps. We also provided a framerate of 60 frames per second (fps), in addition to 30fps, thus allowing for smooth video playback suited for a sport like NFL football. Having a max bitrate of 6Mbps with 60fps gave a “wow” factor to the viewing experience, and was a first for NFL and sports audiences.

One special Yahoo addition to the programming was an overlaid audio commentary from our Yahoo Studio in Sunnyvale. It was as if you were watching the game alongside our Yahoo Sports experts on your couch. This unique Yahoo take gave NFL viewers a whole new way to experience the game.

Figure 1: High-level Architecture for NFL Live Streaming


Quality Viewing Experience

Our goal was to deliver a premium streaming quality that would bring users a best-in-class viewing experience, similar to TV–one that was extremely smooth and uninterrupted. This meant partnering with multiple CDNs to get the video bits as close to the viewer as possible, optimizing bandwidth usage, and making the video player resilient to problems on the Internet or the user’s network.


Multiple CDNs

In addition to Yahoo’s own Content Delivery Network (CDN) and network infrastructure, which are capable of delivering video around the world, we partnered with six CDNs and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The NFL game streams were available across all seven CDNs; however, we wanted to route the viewer to the most suitable CDN server based on multiple factors – device, resolution, user-agent, geography, app or site, cable/DSL network, and so on. We built sophisticated capabilities in our platform to be able to define routing and quality policy decisions. The policy engine served more than 80M requests during the game.

Policy rules to routes were adjusted based on CDN performance and geographies. For example, we were able to reduce the international traffic to one underperforming CDN during the game and the changes were propagated in under six seconds across viewers. Such capabilities delivered a near flawless  viewing experience.

During the game, we served on average about 5Tbps across the CDNs, and at peak we were serving 7Tbps of video to viewers globally.


Bitrates and Adaptation

Viewers of video streaming on the Internet are all too familiar with the visual aspects of poor quality: the infamous “spinner,” technically termed re-buffering; the blockiness of the video that represents low bitrates; jerkiness of the video, which could be due to frame drops; and plain old errors that show up on the screen.

Since we had nine bitrates available, our Yahoo player could use sophisticated techniques to measure the bandwidth (or network capacity) on a user’s home or service provider network, and pick the best bitrate to minimize buffering or errors. Such adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms make the viewing experience smooth. Since we supported 60fps streams, the algorithm also monitored frame drops to decide if the device was capable of supporting the high frame rate. It then reacted appropriately by switching to the 30fps stream if necessary.

Figure 2: Player ABR reacting to CDN that had capacity issues or errors


Testing and simulation

Manually testing adaptive video playback is very difficult, subjective and time consuming. So we built a network and device simulation framework called “Adaptive Playground” that brings automation, integration and a more scientific approach to testing and measuring video playback performance.

Figure 3: Adaptive Playground Tool UI


Another tool we developed is a “Stream Monitor” that was used to constantly monitor all the streams across CDNs, check the validity or correctness of the streams, and ultimately identify ingestion or delivery problems. During the game, the tool detected issues, helped to identify the exact problem and take action.

Yahoo broadcasts live events, news segments and concerts regularly. So these types of tools are continuously used on these events to measure, test and analyze our infrastructure and partner systems.


Player Recovery

The video playback must be smooth even if the connection to the streaming server is lost or if there are Internet connectivity issues. So, we introduced seamless recovery in the Yahoo video player. Under problematic conditions, the recovery mechanism is automatically activated, and the player reconnects to our backend API servers to fetch from another CDN. In essence, this replaces a user reloading the page or clicking the player when problems occur–an otherwise manual action that is incredibly frustrating.

During the game on Sunday, thanks to the seamless recovery of our player, many viewers automatically switched CDNs when their current CDN or ISP had issues. This resulted in a smooth watching experience. In one severe case, we had up to 100K viewers automatically switching CDNs in less than 30 seconds, as seen in the graph below.

Figure 4: Player Recovery per 5 second interval

 

Broad Audience Reach

We wanted to make sure that our global audience could watch this stream anywhere in the world, on any device so we delivered it on laptops and desktops, on phones and tablets; and finally, we wanted to reach the ardent fans on the big screen TVs, game consoles, and other connected devices. 

Our destination page, which provided a full screen experience of the game on web and mobile web, was built on node.js and React, and extensively optimized for page load and startup latency. In addition, we decided to launch the NFL experience on our key mobile apps: Yahoo, Tumblr, Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Sports Fantasy. 


Pure HTML5 on Safari

We brought users a pure HTML5 video delivery on the Safari web browser. There is currently an industry-wide move away from Flash, and Yahoo is no exception. As the first step toward achieving this goal, we deployed a “pure” HTML5 player on Safari for the NFL live stream. Making this leap had a positive impact to millions of viewers during the game.


Connected Devices & TV Experience

Our objective was to create a connected TV video experience better than cable/satellite TV. In just a few months, we were able to develop and deploy on nine different connected device platforms and on 60+ different TV models.

We wanted a large percentage of our big screen viewers to experience the 60fps streams. However, we soon realized that even on modern devices this was not easily feasible due to memory, CPU and firmware limitations. So we conducted hundreds of hours of testing to come up with the right stream configuration for each device. We developed automation tools to quickly validate stream configurations from various CDNs, as well as created a computer vision (camera automation) test tool to monitor and verify video quality and stability across devices.

Chromecast

Because NFL games are traditionally viewed on television, we wanted to provide viewers an easy way to watch the NFL/Yahoo Live Stream on their big screens. In addition to connected TV apps, we built Chromecast support into apps for iOS and Android, allowing viewers to cast the game on big screen TVs from their mobile devices.

To ensure a high-quality, uninterrupted cast, we also built a custom Chromecast receiver app with the same improved resiliency through robust recovery algorithms. Judging by the engagement on our Chromecast streams, we consistently matched or surpassed the viewing times on other experiences.

Global Scale

Yahoo operates multiple data centers across the US and the world for service reliability and capacity. We also have dozens of smaller point-of-presence (POPs) located close to all major population centers to provide a low latency connection to Yahoo’s infrastructure. Our data centers and POPs are connected together via a high redundancy private backbone network. For the NFL game, we upgraded our network and POPs to handle the extra load. We also worked with the CDN vendors to setup new peering points to efficiently route traffic to their networks.

As part of running “Internet” scale applications, we always build our software to take advantage of Yahoo’s multiple data centers. Every system has a backup, and in most cases, each backup has another backup. Our architecture and contingency plans account for multiple simultaneous failures.

During an NFL game, which typically lasts just under four hours, there is a very small margin of error for detecting and fixing streaming issues. Real-time metrics as well as detailed data from our backend systems provide a high fidelity understanding of the stream quality that viewers are experiencing.

Yahoo is a world leader in data, analytics and real-time data processing. So, we extensively used our data infrastructure, including Hadoop, to provide industry leading operational metrics during the game.


Player Instrumentation

The Yahoo video player has extensive instrumentation to track everything happening during video playback. And, this data is regularly beaconed back to our data centers. The data includes service quality metrics like first video frame latency, bitrate, bandwidth observed, buffering and frame drops.  

The beacons are processed in real-time, and we have dashboards showing KPIs like the number of concurrent viewers, total video starts, re-buffering ratio by numerous dimensions like CDN, device, OS and geo. These real-time dashboards enabled our operations team to make decisions about routing policies and switching CDN(s) in real-time based on quality metrics.

In terms of scale, our beacon servers peaked at more than 225K events/sec, handling about two billion events in total, which equaled about 4TB of data during the game.


Backend APIs

Prior to the NFL streaming event, we had designed the backend APIs to deliver at scale, with low latency and high availability. During the game, we served 216 million API calls, with a median latency of 11ms, and a 95th percentile latency of 16ms. The APIs showed six 9s of availability during this time period.

Our systems are instrumented exhaustively to obtain real-time feedback on performance. These metrics were available for monitoring through dashboards, and were also used for alerting when performance breached acceptable thresholds. 


The Take-Away

Pioneering the delivery of a smooth 60fps live video experience to millions of users around the world was a significant undertaking. Huge thanks to the team for executing against our vision - it was a coordinated effort across Yahoo.

While much of our technology and infrastructure was already set up to handle the scale and load–one of the reasons the NFL chose us–in preparation for the main event, we designed a new destination page and enhanced our mobile applications. We also enhanced the control and recovery mechanisms, as well as expanded our infrastructure to handle the huge traffic of the game. We worked hard to ensure that the experience was available on every Internet connected device. We tuned our video players to deliver the optimal video stream, taking into account device, connectivity, location and ISP. Behind everything was our massive analytical system that would measure and aggregate all aspects of quality and engagement. We conducted comprehensive tests with our partners so that game day would be successful. In the end, the game exceeded our high expectations, setting a bar for quality and scale for live Internet broadcasts to come. We’re thrilled and proud of the experience we delivered, and further, the reception and accolades from our community of users has been gratifying.  

Looking to the future, we expect live sporting events to be routinely streamed over the Internet to massive global audiences. People will expect these broadcasts to be flawless, with better than HD quality. October 25th 2015 was a significant step towards this vision. Yahoo, as a leading technology company and a top destination for sports, is proud of our role in setting a new standard for sports programming. We look forward to making other global scale broadcasts like the NFL game happen in the future.

Want to help? Email me at ppsn@yahoo-inc.com and we can talk about opportunities on our team.