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Very in-depth podcast analysis of Casino Royale (2006)

Very in-depth podcast analysis of Casino Royale (2006) submitted by cronycrypto to JamesBond [link] [comments]

What We Can Learn From - Casino Royale (The first Relatable Bond?) [Analysis:Video]

What We Can Learn From - Casino Royale (The first Relatable Bond?) [Analysis:Video] submitted by nsaaFilmPhilosophy to JamesBond [link] [comments]

This is a fun analysis of the parkour scene in 'Casino Royale' on its 10th anniversary

This is a fun analysis of the parkour scene in 'Casino Royale' on its 10th anniversary submitted by Grambo74 to JamesBond [link] [comments]

A Final Guide To Poker

Introduction
Seriously? Another poker guide? Surely we already have enough that describe optimal play. Well yes, but no . As those guides will get you 95+% of the way there, my goal was mainly just for fun, but it also allows me to share a few extra simple rules to get even more out of the game. For those who just want to know the strategy and no details you can skip until the TLDR. Before I lose your attention here are the new questions that I tackle (note: natural pair means a pair formed without the use of a joker)
  1. When dealt a starting hand with both a natural pair and 4 of a particular suit, should you keep the pair (go for 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, etc.) or keep the 4 of a particular suit (go for a flush)?
  2. When dealt a starting hand with both a natural pair and 4 cards of a straight, should you keep the pair (go for 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, etc.) or keep the 4 cards (go for a straight)?
  3. How much extra value does the card counting strategy bring in the higher-lower game?
Have These Questions Really Not Been Answered Yet?
While there are excellent guides on the overall strategy (see YANFLY) , one that calculate the odds of winning poker hands (u/PinoyEvan5), and one that calculates the expected returns of playing higher-lower (u/BillsHere1), there is still no full game solution. The probability of winning poker hands only matters when we know the expected returns of playing higher-lower for various multipliers. That is for a complete solution we need to combine and expand on the previous guides.
How Do I Answer These Questions?
I wrote code to simulate the games and then played them millions of times. For anyone interested, I wrote a ten page document that explains the entire process and shows the code. If anybody wishes to implement it themselves I can send you the R Markdown file if you DM me.
Results
Preliminaries
Before we an answer any of the questions, the first thing that needs to be done is to solve the expected value of playing the higher-lower game. Following past guides, we will be playing the 2 card higher-lower for 1000 chips. The optimal strategy is as follows:
Using this strategy, and implementing it in my higher-lower game, I ran 10 million simulations and got the following results for various multipliers (+/- gives the 95% confidence interval).
Question 1
Now that we know the expected returns of various multipliers we can figure out whether keep the pair or the 4 of a suit when dealt a starting hand with both. As there are many cases, I decided to again estimate these through running millions of simulations (see the document for details). In the end (got lazy with errors, but with this many simulations and a difference that wide should not be a problem), I got the following expected values to the various strategies:
In these situations you should GO FOR THE FLUSH
Question 2
The analysis for the straight is quite similar but here we need to consider that inside straight draws on open ended draws have different odds. Fortunately, keeping the pair is better in both cases so it simplifies our overall strategy. The following shows the expected value for going for a straight when you have 4 in a row (i.e. an open ended draw), which has a higher expected return than an inside draw
The difference here is not statistically significant and quite negligible. While one should be indifferent between the two from an expected return perspective, from a human perspective it is easier to remember that you go for the pair in all such situations.
In these situations you should KEEP THE PAIR.
Question 3
Question 3 is particularly interesting. A key part about playing the higher-lower game is that cards will not show up twice - this means card counting is a viable strategy. As has been pointed out in many guides, a simple card counting strategy is as follows:
The question is how much of a gain is this card counting? If the gain is small, then the player probably cannot justify using it if it adds extra time to playing. However, if the gains are large then it might be justifiable even if it slows down your ability to play. To test this I ran 10 million simulations using this card counting strategy for the x1 multiplier situation and go the following outcome:
The results are it adds about 1.3% to your expected return. Personally, I think using it adds well more than 1.3% to my playing time so for me personally counting cards is not a viable strategy. For extra analysis, I looked into a full solution card counting strategy (one that allows for cases when picking lower is better for a 7, picking higher is better for a 9, etc.), but these cases are so rare it adds essentially nothing (0.1% gain which is non significant).
Acknowledgements
Thanks to u/Aerdra for the crucial feedback and correcting an error in my code. This has now been corrected in both the post and document.
TLDR - Summary
Provides a summary of the optimal strategy for playing poker. Contributions added in this post are in bold, while all the rest was previously known in previous guides.
Poker Phase: General Strategy
Poker Phase: Tiebreaks
Higher-Lower Phase
In higher and lower you should play until the game ends either by losing, completing round 10, or passing the cap limit by using the following strategy:
Additionally, a +/- 1 card counting strategy can be used for additional gains of 1.3%. [A benefit which for most players is too small to justify the effort of card counting]
Happy Halloween! And grinding!
submitted by XtwoX to Granblue_en [link] [comments]

Wrestling Analysis: Brandon Cutler

Hello everyone, this is a series I will be doing daily called Wrestling Analysis, where we will analyze every wrestlers background information before AEW, what they have accomplished in their time in AEW, Their positives and Negatives, And what they could be at in the company at their peak. Tag teams will be looked at together (unless some also have success as a singles star.) Anyway this list will go in alphabetical order, yesterday I talked about Billy Gunn's son Austin, and today I will talk about Brandon Cutler.
PRE AEW
• Cutlers would start wrestling in 2005, and would be personally trained by Nick and Matt Jackson who has since formed a deep friendship with each other. He would wrestle for several promotions in the SoCal area, but his biggest appearances would be for Pro Wrestling Guerilla and ROH, however Cutler would go on a long hiatus in 2011. His Hiatus would last for 7 years, but would eventually return in 2018. A year later Cutler would sign with AEW due to his friendship with the Young Bucks.
AEW
• Cutler would make his debut at Double or Nothing as a participant in the first Casino Battle Royale. He would have one elimination, which was Billy Gunn, but would eventually be eliminated by MJF. Cutler would wrestle on the first episode of Dynamite, but lose to MJF. This would start a long loosing streak that still exists today. After loosing some matches in the singles division, Cutler would start looking for a partner in the tag division, but still wouldn't find success. Eventually Cutler would try to form a tag team with Peter Avalon, who also doesn't have a win, to form the tag team known as the initiative. They would have multiple close matches, but still hasn't managed to find a win. Eventually Avalon would attack Cutler, ending the team and starting the rivalry of the losers. They had 2 matches so far with both ending in a double count out and double disqualification respectively. The third and hopefully final match is expected to happen sometime in the near future. Besides wrestling, Cutler is also an executive content producer for AEW, and is the cameraman and a producer for the YouTube show Being The Elite.
POSITIVES
•Pretty decent shape •Great Athleticism • Has proven to have entertaining rivalries (in the case with Peter Avalon)
NEGATIVES
• Isn't the strongest wrestler with only being 170. • Can be too nice. • Sort of a pushover.
OVERALL
• Cutler is a decent athlete and is underrated for his high flying wrestling in my opinion. But the main reason he hasn't won a match yet is because he lacks muscle and will be overpowered by most opponents easily. Also he has shown to be too nice, with him getting mad at Avalon for cheating when he was part of the initiative, and has shown to be pushed around by his friends on BTE. After his rivalry with Avalon it is yet to be seen where his character goes. But no matter if he is a Jobber or a Mid Carder, Avalon will always be a fun wrestler to watch, and will make the other talent around him look good as well.
Anyway what did you think of my analysis? If you have anything else you want to add or any questions, please comment below. Anyway tommorow I will be talking about current FTW and Team Taz member, Brian Cage.
submitted by Pika-Beats to AEWOfficial [link] [comments]

Wrestling Analysis: Brian Cage

Hello everyone, this is a series I will be doing daily called Wrestling Analysis, where we will analyze every wrestlers background information before AEW, what they have accomplished in their time in AEW, Their positives and Negatives, And what they could be at in the company at their peak. Tag teams will be looked at together (unless some also have success as a singles star.) Anyway this list will go in alphabetical order, yesterday I talked about Brandon Cutler, and today I will talk about current FTW Champion and Team Taz member, Brian Cage.
PRE AEW
• Cage would begin his wrestling career in 2005. He would wrestle in several promotions, including: FCW (now NXT), Pro Wrestling Guerilla, Lucha Underground, AAA, and Impact. Cages accomplishs also include: FCW tag team champion with Justin Gabriel, Lucha Libre World Cup, Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Champion, PWG Tag Team Champion with Michael Elgin, Impact X Division Champion, and Impact World Champion.
AEW
• Cage would leave Impact In January once his contract expired, and would take time away from wrestling to recover from a surgery. Shortly after he left Impact, AEW would contact him and sign him to a contract. Since he was still recovering from surgery it would take months for him to debut, but he made the most of it once he did. At Double or Nothing it was revealed that Cage was the last man in the Casino latter match, Cage would be accompanied by Taz and would destroy everyone in the ring. Eventually everyone decided to attack Cage and bury him under a pile of of Chairs, Table, Barricades, and a Giant Poker Chip, However Cage would finally wake up and win the Latter Match, becoming the New #1 contender for the AEW Championship. Taz would becoming Cages manager, and would award Cage with the FTW Championship. Cage would wrestle Moxley at Fight for the Fallen for the AEW Championship, however John Moxley would put him in a submission where Cage had his surgery, forcing Taz to throw in the towel. Shortly after his loss, Cage and Taz would create an alliance with Ricky Starks after they would attack Darby Allin on Dark, this would be the start of Team Taz, and their Rivalry with Allin. Cage And Starks would have a tornado tag match, Moxley and Allin would eventually win with Allin hitting Starks back by jumping off the top rope with a skateboard covered in thumbtacks. This would only Fuel Team Taz's hatred for Allin. At All Out, Cage would participate in the Casino Battle Royale, Cage would get 3 eliminations, those people would be Billy Gunn, Sonny Kiss, and Finally Darby Allin. While eliminating Allin, Starks and Cage would put him in a bodybag filled with thumbtacks, and Cage would pick up the bag over his head and out of the ring. Despite his performance, Cage would be eliminated by eventually winner, Lance Archer. Recently Cage defended his FTW Championship for the first time on Dynamite against AEW new commer, Will Hobbs. Cage would eventually beat Hobbs in an extremely competitive match. Taz would be impressed by Hobbs performance and would give Hobbs the chance to join Team Taz, but Allin would interrupt, setting up an eventual tag match in the future.
POSITIVES
•Great Shape •Extremely Agile and Athletic for his size •Great heel and in ring performer •Extremley Strong
NEGATIVES
•Not the best talker on the mic
OVERALL
• Cage is a genetic freak with having the rare combination of being Extremely Strong and Extremely athletic as well. Cage doesn't have many weaknesses, but if I had to name one it would be poor mic skills, but that is covered by Taz being his manager. Cage is easily one of the top superstars AEW has, and I can easily see him becoming AEW Champion in the next 5 years.
Anyway what did you think of my analysis, if you have any questions or anything else to add please comment below. Tommorow I will be talk about Dark Order leader and the Exalted One, Brodie Lee.
submitted by Pika-Beats to AEWOfficial [link] [comments]

We got an answer to the “how is Bond never phased by his life” in Casino Royale

In 1995’s Goldeneye, Alec Trevelyian says: “I wonder if all those vodka martinis silence the screams of all the men you’ve killed or if the arms of those willing women help you find forgiveness in all those you’ve failed to protect”. An interesting analysis from 006, someone who knows 007 the best. Throughout the movies we see each version of Bond kill an absurd amount of bad guys without the blink of an eye and some of his Bond girls end up dead fairly quickly as well. Jill and Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger, Tracy Bond in OHMSS, there’s a lot and I know I’m forgetting a ton. He does all this and never mentions it, he keeps on and keeps up with his witty jokes. In Casino Royale, also directed by Martin Campbell just like Goldeneye, after Bond kills the two guys in the stairwell he goes back to to his room and chugs a glass of bourbon and looks himself in the mirror like “wtf is my life”. The weight of the people he kills and those who have died because of him (like Solange in The Bahamas earlier in the film), weigh heavy on his psyche. Booze help sooth this. They “silence the screams of all the men he’s killed”, and after Vesper dies, someone he truly loved, he becomes a true womanizer to forget about her . In Quantom of Solace he sleeps with Fields and she dies. In Skyfall with the girl on the boat and she’s later shot by Silva. He sleeps with Monica Belluci in Spectre. He sleeps with women now to “find forgiveness for all those women he failed to protect”, like Vesper. Martin Campbell answered his own question back in ‘95 and I’m all for it. He made Bond an even more complex character.
submitted by HistoryGuardian to JamesBond [link] [comments]

MegaSlot Casino - free spins, no deposit bonus, promotion

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submitted by freespinsbonus to u/freespinsbonus [link] [comments]

Your Pre Market Brief for 07/24/2020

Pre Market Brief for Friday July 24th 2020

You can subscribe to the daily 4:00 AM Pre Market Brief on The Twitter Link Here . Alerts in the tweets will direct you to the daily 4:00 AM Pre Market Brief in this sub.
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(Home Sales and Oil Rig Count Today)
News Heading into Friday July 24th 2020
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT YOLO THE VARIOUS TICKERS WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH. THE TIME STAMPS ON THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES MAY BE LATER THAN OTHERS ON THE WEB. THE CREATOR OF THIS THREAD COMPILED THE FOLLOWING IN A QUICK MANNER AND DOES NOT ATTEST TO THE VERACITY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR VETTING YOUR OWN SOURCES AND DOING YOUR OWN DD.
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9/25 - MAC's MLB Major Move Alerts + Trends/Analysis + Free Plays

9/25 - MAC's MLB Major Move Alerts + Trends/Analysis + Free Plays
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9/25 - MAC's MLB Major Move Alerts + Trends/Analysis + Free Plays

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9/25 - MAC's MLB Major Move Alerts + Trends/Analysis + Free Plays

06:05 PM - Ny Mets - R PORCELLO -R Was Nationals - M SCHERZER -R Play: (5 UNITS) - Patreon Members Only
Quick Trends:
  • Under is 5-0 in Mets last 5 games with the total set at 11.0 or higher.
  • Mets are 5-11 in their last 16 vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Mets are 15-36 in their last 51 games as a road underdog.
  • Under is 6-1-1 in Nationals last 8 home games with the total set at 7.0-8.5.
  • Under is 5-2-1 in Nationals last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Mets are 12-5 in the last 17 meetings.
08:05 PM - Det Tigers - S TURNBULL -R Kan Royals - B KELLER -R Play: (3 UNITS) Patreon Members Only
Quick Trends:
  • Tigers are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Royals are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • Royals are 1-4 in their last 5 games on grass.
  • Royals are 24-51 in their last 75 games following a win.
  • Tigers are 3-9 in the last 12 meetings in Kansas City.
  • Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Kansas City.
09:40 PM - La Angels - A HEANEY -L La Dodgers - C KERSHAW -L Play: (3 UNITS) Patreon Members Only
Quick Trends:
  • Angels are 6-1 in their last 7 overall.
  • Angels are 6-1 in their last 7 games on grass.
  • Dodgers are 5-1 in their last 6 Friday game
  • Dodgers are 49-19 in their last 68 games as a favorite.
  • Under is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings.
  • Under is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Los Angeles.
MAC's MLB Parlay - 1 UNIT 2-0 This Week - Exclusively on Patreon 1/3 - $100 pays $300

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9/25 - 8:30 PM Miami Heat vs Boston CelticsPlay: 1st Half Under 109

Celtics Top Players The Celtics scoring leader is Jayson Tatum, who averages 23.4 points per game. Marcus Smart leads Boston with 4.9 assists a game and Enes Kanter paces the squad with 7.4 rebounds per outing. Smart leads the team with 1.7 steals per game. Daniel Theis collects 1.3 blocks a game to pace Boston. The Celtics are led by Kemba Walker from beyond the arc. He knocks down 3.2 shots from deep per game.
Heat Top Players Jimmy Butler’s strong performances this season give him the top spot on the Heat scoring and assists leaderboards with 19.9 points per game and 6.0 assists per game. When it comes to rebounds, Bam Adebayo is the Miami leader with 10.2 per game. Butler is at the top of Miami’s steals hierarchy with 1.8 steals per game and Adebayo leads the squad in blocks with 1.3 per game. Duncan Robinson is tops from three-point range for the Heat, hitting 3.7 threes per game.
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OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…10

Continuing…
“Well, if that doesn’t throw the damper on things.” Dax remarks on our trip back down to the ground floor.
“Yeah. How rude. Up and deceasing your own self without bothering to tell anyone beforehand.” I noted.
“This is going to be a bloody balls-up. Trust me. This is going to be inordinately messy. A bog-standard botch job. A total dog’s dinner, just wait and see.” Cliffs adds.
“First, we have to contact IUPGS. Then what? Does Bulgaria have a consulate or embassy here? I wouldn’t think so…Then what?” I grieved. For once, I was rather low; both emotionally and on ideas.
“Let’s go back to the conference room and let everyone know. We’ll pull a brain session together. We should be able to sort out what needs to be done. The hotel already knows, so the state security forces also do as well. Be prepared for lengthy interrogation sessions, Gentlemen”, Cliff advised.
Back in the conference room, we relayed the sad information. All were taken aback and there were general notes of commiseration. However, since no one knew Iskren too well personally, it was more detached professionalism rather than overt weeping and wailing.
“Let us toast to our fallen comrade!” was accepted as both entirely appropriate and a damn good idea.
I got on the conference room phone and ordered up some more sandwiches, mixers, and bottles of booze. The moment was obviously structured that way, I reasoned.
We made our toasts to our fallen comrade and we had half a chalkboard filled with suggestions of what to do next.
The main consensus was: “Nothing.”
As in there was not much we could do. We were foreign nationals in a strangely foreign land. Our comrade was the sole member of his country, that is, Bulgaria, and the closest geographically we had aboard was Dr. Academician Ivan. No one wanted to loose Ivan on the DPRK security forces and have to deal with all that international fallout.
After some number of hours, after I suggested we all remain in the conference room as we’d (A.) be together, as in unity there is strength, (2.) we’d have each other’s backs when and if it came to interrogations, and, (iii.) this is where the free booze was.
Then there was a polite knock on the door.
I, as the den mother of this special education class, slowly got up and answered the knock.
It was a cadre of DPRK internal security forces, kitted out in their spiffy, tailor-made, and actually, quite smart-looking uniforms. Shoes and buttons polished to mirror-finishes, pants creases that could cut flesh, and enough polished brass to construct a spittoon.
“Hello? Yes?” I said through the semi-opened door.
“May we please come in? If the time is convenient.”, the head military type, very treacly asked.
“Of course”, I replied, “Please, do come in.”
Four of them entered as one. They did a quick-step, tight-march formation together and went to the head of the conference table.
“Good day, gentlemen. I am Colonel Hwangbo Dong-Hyeon of Internal State Security. First, we must offer condolences on the loss of your comrade. It must have come as a shock.” He intones.
There are mutters of “Thanks.” and “Damn right it was.”
“I have been entrusted to update you on the, ah, ‘situation’. First, Dr. Iskren Dragomirov Dinev, recently deceased, has been examined by the best medical practitioners in the country. He was obviously a foreign national and state guest, and we do not wish this to be a cause of suspicion or mistrust, especially during this auspicious Festival season.” He asserted.
We listened with rapt attention.
“I am authorized to tell you that it does not appear that the late Dr. Dinev expired of any untoward circumstances; or ‘foul play’, I believe is the western term. It has been ascertained that he expired due to wholly natural causes; namely massive myocardial infarction. Given his age, apparent health, and, ah, mass, this does seem a most reasonable explanation. This has been verified by no less than three DPRK medical professionals; one of which is the Emeritus teaching professor of Cardiology at Pyongyang Medical University. Again, you have our deepest condolences on the loss of your comrade.” He continued.
“I do remember Iskren complaining of gas pains the other night at the bar,” Joon agreed. “Thought nothing of it, given the change in all our diets.”
Colonel Hwangbo studied Joon like an entomologist examining a particularly fascinating new species of beetle.
“Which has been fine! Just rather rich compared to our usual food!” Joon hastily added.
Satisfied that Joon wasn’t making light of the ‘fine’ North Korean cuisine, Colonel Hwangbo continued, “As such, the Bulgarian Embassy here in Pyongyang has been contacted and apprised of the situation. They have taken over the case, as well as recovered the mortal remains and possessions of Dr. Dinev; all of which were conserved and authenticated by his Bulgarian national counterparts.”
“Ah, that’s good”, I said, “I’m pleased that there actually is a Bulgarian embassy here.”
“Ah. So.”, Col. Hwangbo continued, “Yes. They have already taken possession of Dr. Dinev’s mortal remains and possessions as I had noted, and will handle their repatriation to his country and family. As you can see, we have acted in the best of faith and with the utmost respect for your lately departed. Again, our condolences.”
There were some “Harrumphs”, and “Yeah, rights”, from the crowd, but since I was the team leader, it fell to me to handle this situation from here on out.
“Yes, indeed”, I replied, “We see that and do so deeply appreciate your efficiency and your keeping open the lines of communication. We have absolutely no room to complain. You, your team, your country, and your services have acted to the highest degree of professionalism and decorum. Let me extend, for the team, our heartiest appreciations in this most unfortunate matter.”
That seemed to please the Korean security forces. So much so they didn’t see the rolling eyes and smirks of grudging compliance from the crowd. I gave the evil-eye to several who were twittering quietly at my delivery of a load of over-the-top twaddle in the name of international goodwill.
“Thank you, Doctor…? Doctor…?”, he asked.
“Doctor Rocknocker.” I replied, “It’s spelled just as it sounds,”, I chuckled a knowing chuckle.
Colonel Hwangbo cracked a small smile for the first time since we met.
“As long as our orders of business are concluded, “ I inquired, “Might we offer you and your men a drink or sandwich or…”
“Cigar?” he suddenly brightened.
I smiled the sly, smirking smile of one of those used to the old duplicitous game of international diplomacy.
“Why”, I replied smilingly, “Of course.”
Col Hwangbo gratefully accepted a brace of fine Oscuro cigars. Probably more tobacco he’s seen in one place at one time since the last he rousted a snozzeled Western journalist or hammered European tourist with an overage of custom’s tobacco allowances.
His team eschewed cigars, but gladly accepted a pack each of pastel-colored Sobranie cocktail cigarettes.
It still slays me to see these battle-hardened, armed-to-the-teeth, unsmiling servants of the great state of Best Korea mincing about the courtyard smoking avocado, baby-blue, and peach-colored pastel cigarettes.
The Colonel and his team left after a couple of quick smokes, sandwiches, and surreptitious beers. I even enticed the Colonel into a couple of convivial vodka toasts when his team was otherwise occupied.
“Well, gang”, I said, closing the door, “Looks like that situation has been handled, most appropriately at that. We’ll miss ol’ Iskren, but at least he went fast and hopefully painlessly.”
I knew that last one was but a load of old dingo’s kidneys as I’ve had run-ins with cardiac disorders in the past and they are anything but painless. In any case, that was, as I noted, in the past. What was done is done. It was as it was. It is as it is.
“So, gentlemen”, I say, “Let us get back to work. Reality calls. Now, we’ve given you landlubbers the lowdown on our seismic pleasure cruise. Now we’d like to hear what you who had stayed onshore have come up with.”
Erlan, Graco, and Viv fill us in on the regional geology of Best Korea and lay out a plan to examine the sedimentary piles closest to the few paved roads in the north and east of the country.
We’ll be traveling by bus, as my request for four or five off-road vehicles was denied due to timing and lack of availability.
Yeah. Right. What a massive pile of bovine biogenic colluvium. A country with a military as huge as Best Korea’s and they can’t spare a few jeeps or Hummer reproductions?
Truth be told, they still don’t trust us and don’t want to let us out of their sight.
However, we did manage to snag some internal publications from the Central Geological Survey of Mineral Resources, which we figured as a major coup. Never before were Westerners allowed to even know of the existence of these materials, much less be able to research (read: slyly copy) them.
That ‘personal shaver’ I carried was actually a sneaky personal copier, a Vupoint ST470 Magic Wand Portable Scanner with all the external stickers peeled off, and any serial numbers abraded away.
Hey, they photograph us from every angle on the sly, listen in on our conversations, record our phone calls…hell, turnabout isn’t just fair play, it’s almost expected.
It’d be rude to refuse to play along.
Anyways, we learned that The Korean Peninsula (KP) occupies a junction area of three large tectonic domains that are the Paleo-Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Paleo-Tethyan Orogenic Belt, and the Western Pacific Orogenic Belt.
Tectono-fascinating.
To summarize:
  1. The Archean Rangrim massif is divided into the Rangrim and Kwanmo submassifs, high-grade region and greenstone belt, respectively.
  2. Early Paleoproterozoic rocks underwent metamorphism up to granulite facies, which may be correlated to the Jiao-Liao-Ji mobile belt in the North China Craton (NCC).
  3. Proterozoic rift sequences in North Korea are similar to those in the NCC with rare late Paleoproterozoic strata and more Neoproterozoic strata.
  4. Mesozoic igneous rocks are extensively distributed in the KP.
  5. The main Paleozoic basin, the Phyongnam basin in NK, have a similar Paleozoic tectono-stratigraphy to the NCC.
Of most interest is item #5. The Phyongnam basin is the only sedimentary and depositional basin of mention in the north of the Korean peninsula; and therefore the center of our attention as it pertains to oil and gas.
The potential source rocks, and possible reservoirs, include the Paleozoic Late Ordovician Miru Series was identified as the Koksan Series and subsequently renamed. The 170-meter thick limestone and siltstone centered around the P'yongnam Basin have extensive crinoid, coral, and gastropod fossils. Paleogeography researchers have suggested that corals formed in the Miru Sea-a branch of the South Yangtze Sea. At the base of the Taedong Synthem is the P'yong'an Supergroup, which lies disconformably atop older Paleozoic rocks.
In the Pyongyang Coalfield it is divided into the 650-meter sandstone, shale, and conglomerate of the Nogam Formation, the 500-meter Kobangsan Formation, 350-meter coal-bearing Sadong Formation and 250-meter chert-bearing Hongjom Formation, all typically assigned to an Upper Permian shallow marine environment.
In the Mesozoic, north of Pyongyang, Precambrian basement rocks are unconformably overlain by a Jurassic limestone conglomerate ascending to layers of siltstone and mudstone. The Upper Jurassic Shinuiju Formation northwest of Shinuiju has sandstone, conglomerate, and mudstone up to two kilometers thick.
Offshore drilling in the West Korea Bay Basin indicates these rocks are the onshore extension of offshore units. It is subdivided into fluvial rocks and Upper Jurassic black shale, limestone, conglomerate and sandstone formed in a lake environment.
There are very few Cenozoic sediments are known in North Korea, likely as a result of erosion due to uplift of the peninsula. Submarine normal faults along the eastern coastline may have driven crustal tilting. The 350-meter thick Bongsan Coalfield in Hwanghae Province on the west coast preserves and coal-bearing layers dating to the Eocene.
Further to the north, in the West Korea Bay Basin Eocene and Oligocene sedimentary rocks up to three kilometers thick unconformably overlie Mesozoic rocks, formed in lakes and coal swamps during the Paleogene.
What this meant is that we’d need to travel mostly northeast and/or southwest. This was fortuitous as the paved roads in the country were created in structural valleys formed by the primary fault trends in the country. The main trans-tensional set trended NE:SW and the conjugate set trends approximately 900 to the main set at NW:SE.
The topography was heavily dissected by drainages and the terrain consists mostly of hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east.
The plan was to take the bus north to Sunchon, then hang a right off towards Unsan and Yongha. There were outcrops between the last two towns and they appear to be upper Paleozoic to Lower Mesozoic clastics. Ideal oil and gas hunting grounds.
From there, we’d head north-northeast towards Yangwon. There appeared to be some fair to excellent outcrops of rocks that are as of yet, unidentified as to age. From there, we’d continue to follow the outcrop belts either to their termination at the basin’s edges or at international borders with China or Russia.
But, once we hit the field, time goes into relative warp. Put a bunch of geologists out on some relatively virgin outcrops and just stand back as they spend hour after hour after hour first looking for evidence of the formation’s provenance, it’s age and field relations. Then begin the heartfelt, stalwart, and sometimes vicious, arguments between all concerned about each and every one of those salient points.
We were all looking forward to it and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s our intellectual and scientific equivalent of meat and potatoes.
We all agreed on a way forward and generated a document to deliver to those in charge of our logistics on this trip. There would be a total of 11 Western geoscientists, four guides, perhaps a couple of national geologists or geophysicists, and whatever cadre the shiny suit squad wanted to include.
There would also be a driver, his relief, and a couple of extra translators. Good thing it was a large bus, as it’s going to be a huge crew.
We needed to allow our handlers a full day to arrange room and board for us while in the field, as we had to be bivouacked somewhere outside our fine hotel. It needed to be secure, pass sanctuary muster, and be ‘controllable’, referring to both Western scientists and nosy locals.
One thing we found odd was the lack of concern for long-term logistics, not to mention the end of our self-ordained indentured servitude. When this trip and all the Western geoscientists were contacted, we were all assured of an opportunity to meet with the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un once our trip was completed.
We were to personally deliver one hell of an international photo-op. A ‘hey look how progressive we are’ meeting and our findings in this wonderful and progressive country.
But lately, with what we thought was the fallout of the Festival washing out all the usual propaganda, we’ve heard nothing about Herr Comrade Leader Supremo, K1J1-Un. Nor had we heard one iota about our intended final meeting with him before we left for China.
Since there are “absolutely no” COVID-19 cases in Best Korea, it seemed, well, odd that Beijing was our only possible current exit port of call, and onward to our individual homes.
There were all flavors of rumors flying all throughout the basement bars and casinos of the hotel. One claimed that Kim was now receiving treatment at a villa in the Mount Myohyang resort north of the capital Pyongyang after cardiovascular surgery. That he was near death and that his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is already warming up in the North Korean political bullpen if her brother kacks it.
Others said Kim is believed to be staying at an unspecified location outside of Pyongyang, with some close confidants. It was said that Kim appeared to be normally engaged with state affairs and there has not been any unusual movement or emergency reaction from North Korea's governing party, military, or cabinet.
There was also one other that tries to cover up any conspiracy rumors by shouting over a raspy bullhorn: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"; but most ignored that little crank.
We all thought that rather odd, but of fairly low concern. In the final analysis, it would have little impact on our studies and their outcome. In other words, it wouldn’t affect our pay one way or the other. We all felt like we’ve given more than what was called for on missions such as this.
And we still haven’t a clue as to when this will all come to an end.
However, we all agreed to the consultation, it would have been fun to meet with him and have our pictures taken with the Supreme Leader. Dr. Academician Ivan Ivanovich Khimik. was especially cheesed that he might miss the opportunity to make finger-vee bunny ears behind the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the DPRK during one of our photo sessions.
We all agree if we do somehow find ourselves in the same room with Ivan and Kim Jong-Un, we’ll form a human shield around the latter. We want to get back home; as we’ve all heard the rumors of the horrors of ‘political realignment’ camps here in Best Korea.
So the meeting breaks up and I’m left with Dax to take the final inventory. Two loads of sandwiches gone, piles of used napkins, ketchup-y table linens, bacon rinds and chicken bones, drippy ends of ice cream cones, prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, pizza crusts, and withered greens, soggy beans and tangerines, crusts of black burned buttered toast, gristly bits of beefy roasts…
“The hell with this”, I say, I grab the last nearly full bottle of vodka and hand Dax a bottle of Royal Navy dark Rum.
“Tally’s good”, I say, not really giving two tiny shits at this point. “At least, I think it is. Let’s make like horseshit and hit the trail.”
“I’m headed back to our floor and going to zone out in front of some old, looped BBC for the next few hours with a cold drink and hot cigar.” I proclaim.
“Oh, hell”, Dax says, “I agree. It’s been a weird couple of days. Let’s go.”
And so we do.
On the way, I leave the logistics concerns and itinerary for the upcoming field trips with the front desk clerk. I slip her 1000 won as its Festival! and I had a bulgy pocketful of same. She smiled and quietly said there’s be a surprise waiting for me in my room when I got there.
“Rock, you fucking old hound!”, Dax exclaimed as he punched me lightly on the shoulder. “Taking a dip in the hotel secretarial pool?”
“Dax, you surprise me”, I said in my defense, “I have been, and continue to be, happily married for the last 38 years to the most loving, most intelligent, most well-connected, and most accurate snap-shot with a Glock .380 Automatic I know of.”
“Well, me ol’ mucker”, Dax smiles slyly, “If one has been happily married for 38 years, one must have a little something on the side. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge, ‘eh, Squire?”
“Oh, nothing like that”, I replied, while waiting the obligatory 30 minutes for the fucking elevator to arrive. “I couldn't break my word to Esme, and not because I don’t believe in a God that will send me to Hell without an electric fan or because it's not the right thing to do. I simply don't want to. A man is only as good as his word; and if he loses that, he loses too much. I couldn’t function without people thinking that I’m square and on the level. My business would crumble to dust. As would my marriage.”
“Yeah, there is that”, Dax agrees, “You say something is going to happen and God damn, it fucking happens. That’s what makes you honest and honestly scary.”
I stare intently at the annunciator that tells me the fucking elevator is stuck on 4 again.
“You’re not mob, are you?” Dax harshly whispers, snickeringly.
I turn to face Dax and smile wistfully.
Я с уважением отказываюсь отвечать, потому что я искренне верю, что мой ответ может обвинить меня”, I reply quietly.
“What the hell does that mean?” Dax demands.
“I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me”, I calmly reply.
“Oh, look. Bloody elevator’s finally here.” I note and stride aboard.
Dax gets caught up in the tsunami of the crowd and is carried bodily inside. It was so remorseless, he almost lost his grip on his bottle of Dark Rum.
Up on ‘our’ floor, I go to key open my room. Dax is just down the hall and looking around to see what special surprise might show up. I was too tired to wait so I just push in, and see all my field clothes fully laundered, pressed, and either folded or hanging.
Someone broke into my room during the day and committed a compound neatness.
“POUND! Pound! POUND!” Hmm, appears to be someone at my door.
“Yes, Dax?” I said.
“You too?” he fumed, “Everything, cleaned to within an inch if its life. They even polished my bloody field boots.”
“Oh, fuck”, I said and ran to find mine re-pristinized.
“FUCK! FUCK! FUCKITYFUCKFUCK!” I swore. They had polished my field boots and removed the fine years-of-work-to-acquire near-subsurface of the leather’s oil layer. They polished the water-proofing and conditioning out of the leather of our boots.
“OK. OK.”, I said, “Minor emergency. Cool out. I have the solution.”
I toss Dax a small can. It was brown, oily, and claimed to be “Neatsfoot oil”. It was the SPF- 500 of field leathers.
“Go ahead and oil them up with that”, I told Dax, “I’ve got another can, so don’t worry. Use what you need, don’t be shy, but if there’s any left, let me know. I’ll combine ours and offer it to anyone else in the team who had their boots steam-cleaned.”
So, a bit later, I’m sitting on my hotel room’s floor, on several sheets of newspaper, rubbing Neatsfoot Oil into my ancient, multinational size 16 EEE Vasque™ Tracker field boots.
Then there’s a knock at the door.
“It’s open. Enter carefully”, I say aloud.
It’s a bell clerk with a room service cart. On the cart are a bucket of ice, a bowl of sliced limes, I think, several gimlet glasses, some Best Korean ‘Air Koryo’ carbonated citrus drink, and a fresh bottle of “Kaesong” vodka.
“Compliments of the front desk”, the bellman says.
I stand up, tip him a few thousand won, and set a new record in mixology; a fresh brace of drinks in less than 7.3 seconds.
I offer the bellman the lighter one and he accepts with a wide smile.
I say “건배” (geonbae) literally means 'empty glass', which is similar to the expression 'bottom's up'. For you see, my Korean’s coming along a treat.
We clink glasses and send those drinks to the places that they’ll do the best.
The bellman smiles offloads the cart onto the table in my room, shakes my hand, and departs.
I finish my boots, my drink, and my cigar. After another drink or seven, I crater early. Dax was right; it had been a long, weird day.
The next day, Festival! is still going strong, but still no word on the whereabouts of El Líder Supremo. I find that odd, only slightly interesting, and since it will impact the day’s events zero, I file it away for maybe later use.
I go to the hotel pool around 0530 and there’s no one there. I’m able to get in a good 100 laps, unburdened with either small talk or by yammering kids blocking my lanes. I go early as I don’t wear gloves in the water, obviously. Statistically, there is less chance there will be others, adults and kids included, that would get freaked out by my gnarly left hand. I really don’t feel like recounting the old Russian Rig Accident story again.
After a brisk shower and double shower-scotch back in my room, I dress casually and wander down to the casino and bar level. It’s essentially breakfast time, but with the revelers not giving two hoots to AM vs. PM, it’s surprisingly busy. I find a perch up on Mahogany Ridge and order a classical breakfast cocktail of one liter of beer and 100 milliliters of chilled vodka.
I see Mr. Ho is manning the bar. I ask him to ring the massage parlor down the hall and see if Ms. Nang Bo-Hee is free sometime this morning.
He does and reports that she has an open hour and a half at 0900. Would I like it or any portion of that time?
“I’ll take the lot”, I said. “Tell them I’ll be there spot on 0900.”
“That’s great.”, Mr. Ho says, hanging up the phone, “Doctor Rock, they tell me that with the Festival discount and you taking the full 90 minutes, they can cut you a very special deal.”
“I’ll bet”, I replied, “Like what?”
“Oh, I cannot say for they did not tell me”, he smiled, “They will tell you when you arrive.”
“Marvelous”, I exhaled tiredly. “Another, Mr. Ho; make it a double, if you would please.”
The massage center here is run by a group not employed directly by the hotel. It’s a separate entity altogether. They run specials and have different discount programs that are not only not controlled nor advertised by the hotel, but they’re also not in any way beholden to the hotel, except for rent, I suppose and run it like their own little fiefdom.
Ms. Nang, my preferred masseuse, is a little, tiny Korean lassie about 5 feet tall and probably all of 90 pounds soaking wet. However, she is amazingly well trained and could probably put me in the hospital for a lengthy visit with her wiles and methods of flesh, bone, and muscle manipulation.
She offers a whole suite of different massage genres: Swedish, hot stone, aromatherapy, deep tissue, sport, trigger point, reflexology, shiatsu, Thai, and Rolfing.
Oh, fuck. I know Rolfing. I tried that nonsense back in grad school with an old east Indian lady that could have linebackered for the Minnesota Vikings. That shit fucking hurt. Today, it’d incapacitate me permanently. That’s a definite no-go.
I decide that it’s going to be the Hot Stone-treatment today. A geological-manipulation inquiry.
At 0900 I’m the only client at the massage ‘store’. It’s early, day two of the festival, and people are either sleeping off the previous night’s festivities or too wobbly to even think of partaking in a massage.
I’ve had several major back surgeries over the years, including one bilateral laminectomy about seven years ago that removed 7.5 kilos of overgrown bone and muscle from my lumbar region, so I’ve been very cautious about soliciting a massage. The masseuse has to know that area is strictly verboten and will do everything to avoid annoying that particular piece of bodily real-estate.
I’ve walked or limped out of massages before where the practitioner said they understood my reticence, but went ahead and kneaded and provoked that land of keloids and deep-body scar tissue.
However, based on past experience, Ms. Nang knows full well my reluctance as well as my desires. That’s the reason I’m returning. She’s very, very good; a consummate professional and has a never-ending series of jokes and observations while she’s pummeling you into submission.
Today, we retire to a private cubicle and she hands me a small robe or napkin, not sure which, of Korean manufacture.
She tells me to get au natural and to wear the robe while she prepares the tools of her trade.
OK, I’m not a small person; not by a long shot. This robe, however, is made for a sprite, not even for a small person.
She returns to our massage cubicle as I’m sitting there, at the end of the massage table, sipping my drink clad only in my dapper red-and-white checkered boxers.
“You need to be unclothed, Doctor. Use the robe. OK, sir Rock?” she says.
“Ms. Nang,”, I said, shaking my head, “It’s one or the other.” I show her how laughable the robe is as I can’t even get it over my upper arm. It’s not even as a tea towel when it comes to covering my expansive acres of exposed epidermis.
“I can close door.”, she says, “I’m used to it. I am professional. Does not bother me if it does not bother you.”
I lost all forms of bashfulness, timidity, or prudery long, long ago. After years and years of Russian banya, Swedish massage, Turkish baths, and surgery; well, if it don’t bother you, it don’t bother me.
“OK”, I say, using the robe as a small two-dimensional breechcloth. She tells me to ‘hop’ up on the massage table and lie down, facing the floor.
After chuckling about the fact that I haven’t hopped for decades, I wander over to the nicely padded and extremely clean massage table and lie down. She rearranges the ‘robe’ to cover my backside and tells me to relax. She’ll be right back with the stones.
I’ve never tried this type of massage before, but as a geologist, I must; if for nothing else, progress in the name of science.
Ms. Nang returns with a large parcel consisting of many sizes of steamed stones. They were river-washed and tumbled basalt from the looks of them, all wrapped in a large fuzzy towel.
Now she finds the large towels…
She selects them one by one and places them in ‘special, strategic’ spots on my exposed back. From the lower 2/3rds of the nape of the neck, down the spine, over the fundus mountains, and down the back of each leg.
It’s a warm, almost hot in some places, but not an uncomfortable feeling. She returns to adjust them, grind them in a bit in places, and flip them to extract all that igneous lithological thermal goodness.
I have to admit, at that point, it was feeling quite delightful. Relaxed; I had my drink and was being kneaded My dorsal musculature was being de-lithified by the application of hot rocks and expert point massage.
All was going quite well as Ms. Nang was building a huge tip in her ‘job well done’ bank.
Then the rocks had all attained room temperature. She excused herself to reload with another minor outcrop’s-worth and told me to flip over for round two of the process.
“In for a dime, in for a dollar”, I said, as I flipped over and use the robe as a laughable forward-facing breechcloth.
Ms. Nang mentioned that she was always fascinated by Westerners and their surplus of bodily fuzz. With my long, shoulder-length silver hair, full Grizzly Adams beard that drooped down to my sternum, and torso that picked up where my beard left off; she was quite unprepared to see the beached silver-gray panda that awaited upon her return.
“Dr. Rock!’, she exclaimed, “You are as a bear! So much hair. And silver color!”
“Yeah, sorry”, I replied, “Just the hand genetics dealt me. I guess it’s an adaptation for ethanol-fueled organisms that never feel cold.”
“I will soon return.” She titters excitedly and almost runs out of the room.
“Hmmm. I wonder what that’s all about?” I muse as I lie largely undraped in the massage cubicle.
Suddenly, the door bursts open and every female massage practitioner there herded into the room. They simply had to see the specimen upon which the delightful Ms. Nang was working.
OK, truth be told, I was a bit taken aback. Here I am lying on an elevated, and heavily padded, massage table. I’m ‘wearing’ only a crooked, worried grin and a sheet of a cotton washcloth that measures about 12x12 inches.
They Oohed! and Ahhhed!
I did feel like some form of an alien animal suddenly thrust out into public view. It was a bit disconcerting, but as usual, I just tried to deflect any unease with jokes and idiot remarks. At my age, not much is going to bother me, and this I found all the more laughable than troubling.
Suddenly, I was fielding their barrage of questions:
“You are American? All American men so…hairy?”
“Yes and no”, I replied. I also mentioned I hadn’t undertaken a study in that particular subject.
“Why you so big?” one tiny lass asked, eyes as big as dinner plates.
“Genetics”. I replied. “Just a corn-fed Baja Canadian doofus. We grow ‘em big back home.”
“Can we touch?” one particularly brave little lass asks.
“Touch what?” I asked. Look, I might be over 6 decades old, but there are still some areas reserved for my one and only betrothed.
I did tell Esme of this whole event later that evening during our nightly call. She laughed herself silly.
“Your beard! Oriental men never have such beard. We touch maybe?” she implored.
I was going to say “Go nuts”, but I decided that a simple “Sure” would be more fitting.
So they did. They were enthralled. They had never before, from what I was told, seen such a large silver-gray ZZ Top-style beard, especially here at the hotel. That part was weird enough, but when they started in on working their way south toward the equator, I had to say something to dissuade them.
“Where were you girls 45 years ago?” I laughed.
I don’t think they got the joke. They became somewhat bolder in their austral exploratory activities.
“OK! Time out! Ms. Nang! We have an appointment to keep”, I said as I shooed the rest of the lassies away, “We need to finish what we started.”
By the time that the third syllable of that last sentence came into being, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to say.
They all laughed and tittered as Ms. Nang ushered them out of the room. I could have sworn I heard the door lock behind them.
Ms. Nang reprieved her earlier stone placement therapy, with a couple of strategic detours.
She wasn’t that type of masseuse, and I wasn’t looking for that type of massage. She did, however, knead and pummel me mercilessly.
I’ve been bruised less from barroom brawls.
Finally, she announces that she’s finished. She’ll leave while I shower, as she used essential aromatic oils, and would await me out in the lobby.
After showering, I felt like a large bowl of pummeled Jello. I felt relaxed, and for the first time in weeks, my back was silent. My head was clear as a spring Sunday morn in Reykjavik.
The full 90 minutes, plus sideshow, was 4,500 won.
I paid the owner the required sum and handed Ms. Nang an additional 15,000 for a job well done. And for another anecdote that goes into the hopper.
I left the massage parlor feeling quite fine, thank you. I wandered over to the bar to see if I could augment and prolong this feeling of harmony with the universe. The mental picture even now of all those cooing Korean lassies in the massage room never fails to elicit a laugh and head shake.
A few hours later, I’m back in my room, tidying up my field notes and making certain all my paperwork was heavily encoded and up to date. It was, so I placed a number of expensive overseas calls to catch up with everyone on the outside.
I’m thinking of calling room service to have my mini-bar repaired when my room phone rings.
“Now who would be calling me at this hour?” I wondered.
It was the tour group leader. He informed me that the itinerary had been worked out and we’d be leaving tomorrow for the field at 0600. We were to arrive with all our luggage and be prepared to check out. We would spend at least a week in the field, if not two, depending on our results, and be bivouacking in different places in the interior of the country.
I thanked him for the information and said I’d inform the rest of the team. He told me that wouldn’t be necessary as they would come up to or floor, deliver the notice verbally, or by note if they were out of their rooms. If I wanted to later call each participant and ensure they were apprised of the situation, that would be most appreciated.
I assured him I would do so and that we’d be ready, to a man, at 0600 the next day.
I whip up 10 Post-it™ notes and stick one on each member’s door.
“Leaving for the field. Check out 0530. Wheels up 0600. Bring all luggage. Road trip!”
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

The Barbarian and the 7-11 Clerk

It was at the tail end of a long shift at 7-11, getting close to midnight. Business had been brisk all day but now there was only the customers going on beer runs and the night shift grabbing coffee and donuts. I manned my till, smiled at people by reflex, and swept every so often.
A man with a hoodie, glasses, and a dark green jacket approached the counter. As I started my spiel, he shocked me out of my autopilot by pulling a black handgun from his coat pocket, leveling it at my chest, and then stating his intention to rob the place.
“I see,” I said. “This is highly irregular.”
“It is,” he agreed. “Yet here we are.”
“I suppose you’ve given no thought to the long term viability of your chosen profession? Armed robbery is a notoriously unstable field. The cash in this register looks like a lot, if you grew up with little, but a simple cost benefit analysis will show clearly that the money here is almost comically small compared to the risks one must take to, well, take it. The possibility of arrest, being tackled by a bystander, the small but worrying possibility that I too have a concealed firearm about my person... sure, each individual robbery seems like a slam dunk, but in aggregate the risks are appalling and the payoff is almost the same as a 9 to 5 job. Imagine, if you will, a game of chance at a casino. You must place $200 on the table to play. The dealer takes a deck of cards and draws one at random. If it is any card other than the Ace of Spades, you the gambler earn $1. But if the Ace of Spades is drawn, you lose your $200 stake.
“Obviously,” I continued, “on any given draw you are likely to win a dollar. But in the long run, the house always wins- 1 in 52 draws will ruin you, so for every $51 you win, you have to pay $200. It is a fool’s game you are playing.”
“We are of an accord,” he said. “I am no mere thug who draws a weapon without thought. I am a man of action, but action must include forethought.
“The risks that armed robbers assume are high, as you say. But risks can be compensated for. I have cased this shop for a week- I am familiar with every route in and out. My car is parked the ideal distance away- close enough that I can get to it rapidly, far enough away that no camera can see or witness tie me to it. The camera will not show much with this hoodie and fake glasses. I specifically targeted you here because I live several towns over, so investigating cops will not patrol my own streets. And as long as I do not kill you, this remains a robbery, not a murder. Police budget is tight this fiscal year- criminal investigations must be prioritized.
“A gamble I am taking, to be sure,” said the gunman. “But a calculated one. The odds are much more favorable than your posited 52 to 200. I have adjusted them in my favor, and so roll the dice gladly.”
I nodded. “Impressive.”
“Thank you.”
“If appeals to practical costs avail nothing, let me try a new line of attack. Many people think their thievery is directed at some faceless corporation, and therefore bypasses the standard morality of ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ On the surface, perhaps; the store has an insurance policy that covers shoplifting and vandals and robbers. The money stolen from the till will indeed be replaced by a faceless insurance company a day or two after my boss fills out the paperwork. But the simple fact is that the insurance company charges a premium for its services- that cost to doing business is passed on to the consumer by way of pricing. Those bags of candy and the energy drinks in the cooler and the peanuts and the muffins and the ice cream and the beer and the chips and the sodas and the apples and the Advil and the coffee and the Mac ‘n’ Cheese bowls are all expensive as fuck. The mark ups around here are staggering. They have to be. Individuals like yourself force the high pricing to compensate for the premium; just as you have proactively adjusted the odds in your favor, so too do the insurance men. You are not stealing from me, you are not stealing from my boss, and you are not stealing from the 7-11 company, or the insurance agency for that. You are stealing from your fellow citizens. Would you not rather point that gun at an old lady as she walks down the street? Would you be willing to rob a hardworking family man who needs food stamps to get by? Would it not be easier to threaten a child of eight for his pocket change?”
“In a word, yes,” said the gunman. “I am aware that I am exploiting society as a whole, and not merely one tiny little subsection of it. But you have not considered carefully enough the structure of the world.
“Remember the great Libertarian doctrine that taxation is theft. Therefore, in mathematical certainty, theft is also taxation. Now, you apparently acknowledge the right of the government to steal your money- I suspect you are not plotting anarchist revolution in your spare time. So what line can you draw in the sand between me and the IRS?
“That question is rhetorical and easily countered, of course. I am not the government. But the line is drawn because of scale, not of type. Refusal to pay taxes will, eventually and with enough lines crossed, result in armed men visiting your home to take you to prison. I at least am upfront about my coercion. That upfrontness costs me badly, for I have no ‘legitimacy’ per se. The closest historical parallel may be this. Under the Byzantine empire, serfs- which is the closest label the situation has to wageslaves such as yourself, no offense- paid taxes to the Augustus, and considered it to be approximately dead center of the Overton Window. The Byzantines had royal pomp, army after army of soldiers to collect the taxes, centuries of tradition and shared culture bolstering them, and most importantly of all, an obligation to organize and fund large scale civic projects to the benefits of the taxed peasants.”
“I was about to say,” I interjected. “You beat me to it. ‘No taxation without representation’ was going to be how I would have phrased it, for the government spends the money to the communal good, in theory, and I get a small say in how and where.”
“I could easily challenge that,” said the gunman with a sardonic smile. “If representative democracy indeed dead in the water, what responsibilities have we to preserve the interests of the government?”
“A recognition that the government and society are distinct, and that wanton crime harms the second even worse than the first? Honestly. This seems like self-justifying sophistry on your part.”
The gunman shrugged. “It is what it is. To get back to the Byzantine metaphor. The peasant, i.e. you, does not do more than grumble when the tax collector comes, for the tax collect has that mystical property of legitimacy. But there is another faction in the world- the Mongol, the Goth, the Vandal, the barbarian from outside the known world who deals in raw violence. The barbarian holds a sword in his hand-“ and here the gunman wiggled his handgun suggestively- “and demands gold. The barbarian lacks legitimacy, to be sure, but one can hardly argue that his position is without merit.”
“At least one of us is deeply confused,” I said. “You seem to be justifying yourself by the savage and inhuman doctrine of Might Makes Right. Yet you claim to be in the right by equating your barbarism (your word, not mine) with a legitimate system of government whose very cornerstone is that Might Does Not Make Right.”
“You miss a vital piece of the puzzle, which is this: society is not on my side. That ‘legitimate system of government’ representing me and my community does not work to my prosperity. I have sworn no metaphorical oaths of allegiance to the Augustus, and I have sworn no literal oaths of allegiance to the system of government in the here and now. I deny the very concept that the Law is holy and must be obeyed for the common good, for the common good is none of mine. Imagine, if you will, standing before the Heavenly throne as a fresh soul that has never touched flesh before. God says to you, ‘Look, I’m going to send you on down there for a lifetime until you come back to me. You get a choice- you can either be a peasant who works 14 hour days and lives in a mud hut and will be abused and exploited every day of his life, or you can be a one of the Mongol horse archers who lives and dies by the sword. What’s your poison?’ I happen to find myself (quite inadvertently, for I did not as a child dream of a career as an armed robber) in such a position. Who could blame such a soul for choosing the sword instead of the plow?”
“Me,” I said. “I can blame you. I hate working for a living too. But I’m behind this counter trading time and energy for cash, and the society that gave birth to me, raised me, protected me, and will one day bury me is slightly better for it. Every impulse towards civilization starts with people like me plugging away at it and contributing to the present and the future, in a spirit of thankfulness for the past.”
“Admirable,” said the gunman. “I for one would rather cut off my right hand than to gainsay a man such as you in your lifelong devotion to civic virtue. But I won’t. You shall go your way, and me mine, and we shall both be content.”
“Shall we? Shall we truly both be content? Should a cancer patient try to live and let live with the tumor inside him? Shall a lifeboat of marooned sailors agree to disagree with the man who steals the rationed food and water while the others endure with little? Can there truly be anything but war between us- war in the abstract and at a remove, to be sure, but war nonetheless? Those Mongols and Vandals you invoked were met by force of arms, if you’ll recall.”
“Society is specialized and stratified- I’m sure you know the old rhyme. ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man-‘ “
“ ‘Thief.’ Yes, I’m familiar with it. You’re saying that society can tolerate bad actors to a degree.”
“You have a pretty firm alliance with the bacteria in your stomach, I will say that. That alliance would be imposed by the little wrigglers even if they didn’t contribute to the body as a whole. It seems to work out for everyone. And we’ve already covered how and why I’m willing to try my luck against the specialized profession that is designed to counter me. Society through the government has imposed its prohibitions and laid out its enforcement mechanism; it has done its job. If I can successfully navigate my way to profit through the tangled web of both the rule and the enforcers, well, more power to me. If you think otherwise, then may I ask why you do not descend upon the lawless life-stealers of Wall Street with fire and sword? One white collar guy playing jump rope with the law can wipe out the life savings of hundreds and thousands of families with a click of a mouse.”
I considered this thoughtfully. “I assume there is no point in pitching you the idea of meaningful education and gainful employment as surer paths to success than armed robbery.”
“I already weighed such options. The problem is that I’m good at plotting methods to attack people and places, and I’m good with guns. Hence why I’m here. Like my old man would say, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The gunman sighed. “Earlier, you accused me of sophistry. I’m afraid that is basically accurate. All the rhetoric followed after the impulse. And the impulse is as simple as any other great truth around which a life can revolve. That truth is this- I am a man. I was designed by God or by nature to stand tall, to own a permanent and invulnerable home, to set my life as I see fit, and to enjoy the fruit of my own labor. I was meant to join with likeminded folk in a spirit of camaraderie and community and to take no abuse from anyone. I am a man. I was supposed to build, to fix what was passed down to me, to fight in defense of everything that is valuable and irreplaceable.
“And I can’t. It just isn’t an option anymore. My work is done for the profit of others. The egalitarian spirit that all men are created equal- not in ability, but in worth- has been denied and sneered at for too long. The sanctity of my home has been violated; can not the police shatter my door and shoot my dog as they see fit? Even the simple assertion that a man must fight a bully has been barred by law, for honest fights in defense of self-worth and self-esteem have been banned, even as the law had banned the perverse aristocratic imitation of dueling. Were a man to spit on me and call me a faggot or a nigger or a dumb fucking chink or a retard or a sister-fucker, and I was to break his nose for the insult, the police would crackdown on me and ruin my life with an assault charge. It is too late to fight for that which is valuable and irreplaceable; that fight is over and my side lost. How can a free man with pride exist under such conditions? How can a tree grow from salted soil?
“I am a man, and I will not be a slave. I am undoubtedly better off than a slave in chains, but a slave to circumstance is still not free. Well, I will live as a warrior before kneeling as a serf. The savage liberty of the barbarian at the gates is a pale imitation of the free man in a just and democratic society, but I will take the imitation since it’s all that is left for me. If I seize not the gun, I will live for decades as a servant to ‘better’ men; and I shall not.
“If I fall into foolish logic puzzles and contradictions trying to turn this impulse into words, so be it. The impulse remains nonetheless.”
I nodded. “Tell you what-“
I grabbed a receipt someone had left behind before the gunman showed up at my store and scribbled some numbers on it, hiding my writing from him. I stuffed the number in my pocket.
“The register doesn’t open without this number. I absolutely refuse to open the till for you, but if you gun me down, you can grab that note and open it yourself.”
“I could beat you up and just take the note without killing you, perhaps? If I shoot you, well, that impacts my odds of capture.”
“Yes,” I said, “but I have a box cutter here that I use to break down cardboard in the back. I don’t know if I can win, but I can make you kill me to avoid getting slashed up. I assume you would not want drops of your blood at the crime scene.”
“Very true. And I appreciate the sporting gesture of writing the number down.”
“So here we are. You want the money, which I estimate to be about $1,200 between the two registers, you need to shed blood.”
The silence hung heavy over everything else. My chest was tight and my breathing was shallow. The gunman held his gun at a forty five degree angle aimed at the counter between us, and it wavered up and down slightly, as though he was trying to decide whether or not to kill me.
“I’m honestly not clear what your angle here is,” he said. “This is contrary to store policy, surely; you’re supposed to just give me the money.”
“My angle is the same as yours, really. I too am a man, and I too chafe under the modern destruction of liberty. And I too yearn to fight in a holy crusade in defense of all that is valuable and irreplaceable. Today, that means I’m going to make you kill me. That’s what civilized men do when the barbarians are at the gate. You aren’t an idiot, you know damn well that if you carry that gun into enough shoppettes eventually you’ll have to kill someone. You appear to have accepted the possibility. Well, it’s no mere possibility now. You want the money, kill me. Smell the gunpowder in the air, feel the gunshot ring your ears, see the dark blood pool under me spread and spread and spread. Feel your hands shake as the enormity of what you’ve done sinks in. Motherfucker, I am a man, and you don’t get to rob my store without paying the price for it.”
The gunman stared hard into my eyes, and myself not being a poker player at all I could not read the intent. “I don’t really have to, do I? There are other stores. Hell, I can come back tomorrow and see if whoever is on shift then has less spine. My plan is still basically sound.”
“Pure cowardice. If you aren’t willing to be a proper Mongol and commit to barbarism, you have no business pretending you are a barbarian. If you refuse to kill me tonight, what do you intend to do in a month when someone tries to tackle you from behind mid-robbery? Stop being a little bitch and either open fire or get the fuck out of my store.
He raised the gun in one smooth motion, leveling it in my face just far enough away that I could not lunge forward to try to grab it. He said something, but I didn’t hear it. I was staring at the muzzle too hard.
When he left, I don’t think he was truly any happier than he was before.
submitted by mcjunker to TheMotte [link] [comments]

Craig Bond's arc throughout the films - need for revenge, innocents dying because of it, resulting guilt & redemption

I don't know if it should be considered a theory or a mere opinionated analysis, but here it goes :)
I've always wondered why (in Skyfall) Bond went back, right away after MI6 was bombed by Silva. M did say 'you know we need you' to which Bond simply responds 'well I'm here'. So he never explicitly explained why he felt enough sense of duty to return. After all, he could've just lived quietly while officially dead. Also, there must've been others to send after Silva - from 001 to 006. And he should bare no guilt in losing the disk to Patrice in the beginning because he could've finished the job, but was shot down by Moneypenny. If he somehow did feel responsible, he would've gone underground to heal for a bit... and then gone after Patrice straight away to fix the mistake a la Mission Impossible (Rogue Nation) style.
But I think something else started eating away at him when he was away drinking Heinekens... Mathis. I think he felt that if Quantum of Solace he took Mathis away from quietly living somewhere, to his death, then Bond would not be able to continue living quietly without having an enormous guilt. How could he allow himself to live the life as Mathis did in Italy before Bond came along. Not to mention, other innocents who died e.g. Fields (covered in oil).
I have no idea any of this could've been intended by the writers. But seeing Craig era's continuity between films and humanizing Bond... this growing guilt for stacking up bodies due to his need for revenge in QoS and then redeeming himself is the reason why he's able to walk away with Madeleine in the end of Spectre. He feels he has done enough to balance out his sins.
Now I just hope 'No Time To Die' will conclude his arc in a manner that holds true for the realistic tone of these films. Perhaps even killing Bond, harking back to Casino Royale's line 'I understand 00s have a very short life expectancy... so your mistake will be short-lived.' I'm hoping there will be a choice he has to make e.g. either live with Madeleine but looking over their shoulder for Safin (Rami Malek) or he'll go down killing Safin to ensure Madeleine's safety. Perhaps blowing up Safin's whole base, along with himself - having one last Bond-like kaboom, but with actual stakes this time.
submitted by EosMan to FanTheories [link] [comments]

Summary of the Persona 5 Royal info from the trailer and website (includes P5 Spoilers!)

Finally, some info!
I'll divide this into details from the trailer and details from the site (there's a lot of the latter), with a few bits of speculation thrown in (I'll make it clear which details are confirmed and which are just mine though):
The trailer (in roughly the order of appearance):
Those shoulders look too broad to be Kasumi's (and doesn't seem to have long hair or a ponytail), but they have hair so can't be Shido. But those are definitely seams on the edges of the shoulders...it's Takuto, isn't it?
Maybe Kasumi talks first and Takuto hijacks the message and/ or kidnaps or attacks her while she's delivering it? Maybe they're the same person under different personas personalities? Atlus has done weirder stuff!
Edit 8: I wrote another post analysing the English fan-translation of the trailer, including some further speculation about Gnostic influences. Please check it out too if you have the time!
The website:
There's a ton of stuff here, as I said before!
From the opening "reel" of screenshots:
Section 1: Kasumi Yoshizawa and Takuto Maruki:
Section 2:
And now Lady Ann and I will finally... happy cat noises
In any case, this confirms a "Golden" ending where Joker doesn't need to turn himself in to ensure Shido gets punished. Maybe this involves the "vision" at the start of the trailer and getting Goro to confess on his behalf instead? Or maybe the Yaldabaoth situation is handled differently in such a way that gives Sae the evidence she needs to convict him (assuming the bonus dungeon is in fact the Velvet Room)?
Edit 1: But this also begs the question: what will we do in those three months? Will the Metaverse survive the final boss this time around, or will the last three months be purely for social stats and Confidants? Will at least Mementos survive, so we can complete Confidants, or will they be re-written (by default or after the end of the game) so that Mementos won't be necessary for them?
Section 3:
This details the additions to the overworld and Metaverse.
School Life
Phantom Life
Spec-Up
---
Edit 1: Thanks to the screenshot in this thread (thank you, u/ZuskatoIsR3D) we can see Kasumi's stats in relation to everyone else's. Her numbers are lower than the other three, though this could just mean she recently joined the group and needs to catch up, but her SP is less than half her HP. This could mean either:
The next batch on information will come on May 9th. However, there's also a talk show tomorrow with Joker's VA that was supposed to give P5R info, which makes me think tomorrow will just have a recap of today's stuff (along with info of an upgrade deal for existing owners, I hope).
Persona 5 Royal releases on Halloween in Japan and 2020 in the West (the English trailer also confirms the Western name drops the "The" in the Japanese title as many suspected, following P4G's example). 'til then, enjoy! I hope you found this useful!
Edit 4: Theories (marked with "(*X)" above):
  1. It's possible that the meeting between Kasumi, Ren and Akechi is where we hear the dialogue from last month's trailer ("What do you think of the Phantom Thieves?") After all, them meeting at all means she isn't restricted to only meeting him at the TV station, and this gives her more time to form an opinion on how they work - at least until finding her way into the metaverse and seeing what they do and why.
  2. u/TheReaperCreeper had a much better suggestion than me: what if Akechi is the one who turns himself in for Ren's sake? As another user of the Metaverse he can also answer questions about it to get Shido sentenced, while also paying for his own crimes. Better still, he could claim to be the leader of the Thieves to keep the law off everyone else's backs, thus getting to redeem himself while also being punished for the things he did. Thanks, Reaper!
  3. I was going to say Kasumi may only be important because she was in the right place at the right time, but this certainly hints at a more supernatural cause if true.
  4. u/hypercombofinish suggested Kasumi's Persona could be Dorothée, and since her outfit shares so many similarities to Joker's I think this is highly likely. For those who don't know, Dorothée is the lead character of the novel The Secret Tomb, the only Arsène Lupin book in which Arsène himself doesn't appear. Instead the plot is about Dorothée solving one of his "four fabulous secrets". This could be highly fitting for someone initially disagrees with the Thieves before becoming one herself and would also tie her into Joker's "mythology" the same way Marie and her backstory tied into Izanagi's (and thus Yu) - assuming Kasumi is the Aeon Arcana and not a Fool or Jester or something completely different, of course.
  5. The trailer as a whole has a small narrative running about Kasumi trying to dissuade the Thieves from their work, while Morgana tells her they won't be swayed by the danger or not getting results. This provides some early insight into her character, but maybe she eventually goes off the deep end and tries to control everything as a way of keeping everyone safe? Morgana telling her that "granting everyone's dreams is bad" and her saying she "took everyone's dreams" is also quite interesting. Maybe Wakaba and human!Morgana are just illusions? I plan on making a full post about the translated trailer tomorrow, but this is just something to sleep on until then.
---
(Just search for "Edit X" to see what each change entailed. Check the time stamp to see if I added anything you missed or want to correct!)
Edit 1: Just added a few tweaks based on stuff I've seen elsewhere on the sub and stuff I forgot to add the first time.
P.S. ...am I the only one who thinks Kasumi looks better in her school uniform? Anyone? Maybe because I like clothed people and the pose shows her off better?
Edit 2: Amended the descriptions of Kasumi's weapons.
Edit 3: Added a detail I overlooked the first time and clarifications from Persona Central's article. (Edit made at 16:53 UTC.)
Edit 4: Added translations for the new boy and a theory section, 17:31 UTC.
Edit 5: Added more translations, a correction about Joker's grappling hook and a new theory! 21:47 UTC.
Edit 5.5: Added a quick note I forgot to under the "mysterious boy's" section. 21:54 UTC.
Edit 6: Another edit, another translation! 22:22 UTC.
Edit 7: Added information from the translated trailer and u/quitethewaysaway's observation. 22:50 UTC.
Edit 7.5: Edited theory 5, 22:53 UTC.
25th April
Edit 8: I wrote another post about the translated trailer and added some new speculation there including possible Gnostic influences! Also I added a possible explanation for the alarms ringing in the Velvet Room. 9:40 (am) UTC.
Edit 9: This has nothing to do with Persona 5 Royal, but I wrote a post for P5S too! It's nowhere near as detailed as this one (since we have nowhere near as much info), but I hope you find it worth reading nonetheless! 14:39 UTC.
Edit 10: Added a shower thought inspired by Kasumi's cosplayer. 16:19 UTC.
Edit 11: Added a detail about Futaba's AOA that I noticed on rewatching the trailer. 18:14 UTC.
Edit 12: Finally managed to snag a picture of the above, and also added a scene from the trailer I didn't think worth mentioning before but have since changed my mind on. 21:13 UTC.
27th April
Edit 13: Added a new observations from the trailer. 08:35 UTC (am).
Edit 14: Added more info about a screenshot. 13:05 UTC.
Edit 15: Added some info from Twitter. I wish I knew of MysticDistance's work sooner! 13:54 UTC.
Edit 16: Added some observations from the trailer. 20:15 UTC.
Edit 17: Added a screenshot of the mystery figure on the TV screen. 20:47 UTC.
28th April
Edit 18: Added more details from Twitter, some speculation and a feature about the cutscenes I keep forgetting to add! 10:09 UTC.
Edit 19: Added speculation about when Kasumi joins the Thieves as well as a theory on Okumura's Palace. 14:05 UTC.
Edit 20: Added some speculation and further observations. 16:52 UTC.
UPDATES: This post is now too long to add to, so further updates will be added in the comments (along with text from here to show where the new details fit in.
Edit 21: Can be found here. 22:17 UTC. (Edit 21.5: Added a link to the magazine article and boldened the links to the trailer and site. 22:25 UTC).
29th April
Edit 22: Can be found here and contains some further speculation! 19:13 UTC.
Edit 23: Can be found here and details Kasumi's animations and possible symbolism of her stats/ potential playstyle. 19:36 UTC.
Edit 24: More speculation! 20:03 UTC.
Edit 25! 21:32 UTC.
30th April
Edit 26! 20:12 UTC.
(Edit 26.5: Added the above date and italicised it and the 29th for better clarity. 21:13 UTC.)
Edit 27: Added something I've been forgetting to add ever since adding the speculation of Goro (and Kasumi) joining Joker as "inmates," followed by some shower thoughts! 21:48 UTC.
Edit 28! A big one if I say so myself, about Kasumi's theorised code name, "Swan". Now I really hope we were right! 22:06 UTC.
4th May
Edit 29, 30 and 31: I was able to cover a lot over the past few days, including an analysis of Kasumi's character and name so far and translations for everything on the trailer and website! 16:49 UTC.
Edit 32: A new thought and an old thought. 23:00 UTC.
5th May
Edit 33: A thought regarding the narrative impact of the similarities between Kasumi and Joker's outfits. 10:01 UTC.
Edit 34: Wrote an analysis of the main song, Colors Flying High, and added some suggestions for the origins and implications of Kasumi's powers! 15:14 UTC.
6th May
Edit 35: More theories based on suggestions from the comments! 14:16 UTC.
Edit 36: New theories from the comments and something I keep forgetting to mention. 14:43 UTC.
Edit 37+ listed here!
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