A Publishers Weekly review is, or was (probably still is), considered rather a coup for an aspiring writer. I remember how excited my agent was for my first one; she mailed me a clipping, which should give you an idea how many years ago.
posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on June, 24
“Because I can’t carry it,” Nicholas said. “I’m not competent. And I can’t risk being wrong. So your peace of mind is what I decided to sacrifice.””
- The Spring of the Ram, Dorothy Dunnett (via myshelftoblame)
Well, not directly.
This question has been raised in United States v. Brown, a criminal case pending in Florida. In May, a jury convicted former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) on 18 of 22 fraud counts involving a bogus charity organization. The court is now considering post-trial motions, and Brown is seeking a new trial, arguing it was wrong to remove a juror who said he believed Brown was innocent because the Holy Spirit told him so.
According to the filings, after about two days of deliberations one of the jurors sent a note to the judge with concerns about “Juror 13.” (This was a human juror, not the Holy Spirit—presumably someone else had been excused earlier.) The note said Juror 13 had told the others that “[a] Higher Being told me Corrine Brown was Not Guilty on all charges” [sic] and that he “trusted the Holy Ghost.” The note-writer did not think this affected the other jurors, but was concerned about 13’s ability to deliberate and follow the court’s instructions.
Asked about this statement, Juror 13 told the court that he had indeed prayed about the matter and had “received information as to what I was told to do.” He said he had been receiving information from “My Father in Heaven” throughout the case, but clarified that the specific information that Brown was not guilty on all charges came from “the Holy Spirit.” He also insisted, however, that he was basing his decision only on the jury instructions and evidence presented in court, apparently reconciling this by saying his religious beliefs were only “going to the testimonies of the people given here,” and that he would render a decision based on that testimony and the evidence presented in court.
The judge said he found Juror 13 “very earnest” and “very sincere,” and thought he believed he was trying to follow the court’s instructions. But “there is no question,” he said, that Juror 13 believed he was getting both information and directions from a “higher authority.” “I want to be very clear,” the judge continued, “that I am drawing a distinction between someone who’s on a jury who is religious and who is praying for guidance or seeking inspiration” and “this situation, where the juror is actually saying that an outside force … told him that Ms. Brown was not guilty on those charges.” He then dismissed Juror 13 and replaced him with an alternate. The conviction followed.
Brown’s motion for a new trial is based solely on the dismissal of Juror 13. The parties agree that a court cannot dismiss a dissenting juror during deliberations unless there is “no substantial possibility” that the juror’s view is actually based on the evidence as opposed to the allegedly improper thing. Brown’s lawyer argued that, in fact, “there is a substantial possibility the holy spirit was actually the juror’s own mind or spirit telling him that one or more witnesses had not testified truthfully.” (Emphasis added.) Juror 13 did not say specifically that “the holy spirit is an external force,” the motion continued, and “it was not appropriate to presume that the juror’s reference to the holy spirit was evidence of an external force, rather than evidence of the juror’s appreciation of the seriousness of his duty…. For some, the holy spirit is not an external force, but rather an aspect of their identity.”
Given this argument, it’s surely no accident that “holy spirit” isn’t capitalized there or anywhere else in the motion. The motion also includes a footnote on Page 1 saying that Webster’s defines “spirit” as “the incorporeal part of humans, or an aspect of this, as the mind or soul.” In other words, Brown is basically arguing that this wasn’t the Holy Spirit, just a holy spirit. What’s wrong with listening to your own holy spirit?
The prosecution, of course, misses no opportunity to capitalize “Holy Spirit” and use the definite article. Which, after all, Juror 13 also used (“I said the [H/h]oly [S/s]pirit told me that”; emphasis added). He also said “my Father in Heaven,” and it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t capitalizing those words when he said them. Although he did say he could follow the law and base his vote on the evidence, there’s no getting around the fact that he also specifically said he had been in contact with two-thirds of the Trinity (apparently Jesus either abstained or was outvoted) and had “received information as to what I was told to do.” There are plenty of cases, the prosecution noted, holding that pointing out Bible passages, or just bringing a Bible into the jury room, was an improper external influence on the deliberations. Here, it argued, the influence was (allegedly) even more direct.
I think this is a tougher call than it might seem. Conviction requires a unanimous verdict, and so removing a juror who is plainly going to vote not guilty is a big deal. Religious beliefs and other values are necessarily going to inform jurors’ decisions, and this juror did say he could stick to the evidence and jury instructions. But that just doesn’t seem consistent with his admission that he thought he was actually being “told what to do” by a divine power. That’s the distinction the trial judge drew, and it’s probably right. If you believe you’re getting divine instructions, you couldn’t exactly follow the judge’s instructions instead, assuming there were a conflict.
There is also the fact that all the other jurors seem to have believed Brown was guilty as hell, but I’m not sure that’s directly relevant to the motion.
Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing.
Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:
So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.
Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:
I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."
Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...
Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.
Note: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did Jen and john really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Question: Are Jen and john complete and total idiots?
Question: Do they...
Question: Would they...
Question: What about...
That is all.
My distant friend Sally and I went out to dinner and she started asking me about my past relationships. I’ve known Sally for over a decade and she’s never pried into my dating life. I told Sally I wasn’t interested in dating anyways as I am looking for a job and like to online date or meet people through work. She tried to reason me out of all of this which seemed troubling.
A couple weeks ago Sally had a birthday party. She had put the event on Facebook. After our dinner, Sally texted me that her friend John saw me on the invite list and became “interested” in me. She said he might hit on me at the party ( he did not show up). This made me uncomfortable as I hate flirting with strangers. It’s odd but I’ve never even flirted with someone who’s become my boyfriend.
I also don’t trust Sally’s judgment at all. To be blunt I’ve met her friends and they aren’t horrible but they’re the “I don’t suffer fools gladly” type.
John has also been asking Sally about me. He wants to know when I’ve found a job and want to meet him. I have never indicated I want to meet John. I’m refusing, there’s something odd about a person in their late twenties being this invested in someone because of their FB profile. I rarely if ever post on FB. He is also asking me out through my friend which seems manipulative.
Do you have script suggestions?
– No thanks stranger ( female pronouns)
Dear No Thanks, Stranger!
I do have script suggestions! And other suggestions!
Step 1: BLOCK that John dude from Facebook and then go ahead and find him on all social media platforms you use and preemptively block him there. Not unfollow, not unfriend, not “hide feed” – BLOCK. Also, consider temporarily changing publicly visible avatars to something other than your face, and locking down security/visibility of any photos of you that are out there. Make sure there is nothing out there to feed his fantasies.
If that seems mean or harsh or unfair, let’s remember: You’re not interested in him at all, you’re already vaguely creeped out by his attention, you are losing nothing from your life by cultivating your internet garden as you see fit. The way he’s monitoring you, asking for updates about your life, and trying to get Sally to set the stage for him but not talking to you directly is odd and he needs to stop it right now, so, help him out with that.
And if this is all projection/matchmaking by Sally, oops, you blocked a total stranger who doesn’t actually know who you are. Not a big deal at the end of the day.
Possible Reaction: John will get the message and leave you and the entire topic of you alone. Good news everyone! This Choose Your Own Adventure Story ends here!
Probable Reaction: John will notice what you did immediately and he will contact Sally to see what happened. Sally will then ping you to talk about John and his Johnfeels of rejection. (If this happens, please keep reading Step 2)
Step 2: Tell Sally that the whole John thing made you really, really uncomfortable and you don’t want her to set you up for any more “hitting on” scenarios or act as your romantic go-between. Also you’d prefer to keep your information completely private where John is concerned, so, you’d appreciate it if she didn’t update him on your job search or your life or pass on requests from him.
Possible Reaction: Sally will say, “Oh wow, sorry for making you uncomfortable, I get it, don’t worry about a thing.” If this happens, keep enjoying whatever you enjoy about your “distant friendship” with Sally! Here endeth this Choose Your Own Adventure Tale! Yaaay!
Possible Reaction: Sally will be hurt that you didn’t appreciate her matchmaking efforts or feel bad for John and think you’re mean for rejecting him and she’ll double-down on John advocacy. If this happens, please continue reading Steps 3 and 4.
Step 3: Do not give Sally reasons for your rejection of John. “I prefer not to.” “I’m just not interested.” Don’t pick apart his actions or his undesirable qualities or give excuses about being busy – she’ll use whatever you say to convince you to “give him a chaaaaaaaance.”
Step 4: If Sally continues sharing your info with John and trying to play matchmaker in your life after you’ve said “no,” block Sally or, if you’re reluctant to do that after 10 years, put her in that Facebook-Jail thingy where she can’t see any of your posts for a good while.
If you miss Sally you can always dig up her number down the road (and get her a copy of Austen’s Emma for the next gifting holiday). If John wanted to ask you out he could have come to the party, had a normal conversation with you and said “Hey, want to grab a drink with me sometime?” without all the fanfare. He could have also asked Sally straight up for an introduction (and respected your resulting “no thanks” when and if it came). He could have sent you a friend request and a note that says “I’m a friend of Sally’s, I saw you on the invite list, mind if we connect here?” Even if he’d chosen a less creepy and roundabout method of getting in touch, you’re not interested, so, farewell, John, we hardly knew ye.
For those who like to matchmake (I sometimes like to matchmake, especially “you live in the same city and I think you’d make good friends” matchmaking), I recommend asking the people in advance, like, “Hey, I’d love to introduce you to a friend of mine who lives in your city/does what you do for a living/reminds me of you/keeps sending me the exact same Twin Peaks memes that you send, I think you’d really get along, would that be cool?” and then if it is cool with both people I make a quick introduction and then I get out of the middle of things – the people will either find their own conversation or they won’t. If it’s not cool, I drop the subject. The matchmaker’s ego and investment in the outcome < the interest and wishes of the matchmakees.
#TFG = #thatfuckingguy
I would appreciate any advice you could give on supporting a friend (female pronouns) who is not yet ready to leave an unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend. This has been an ongoing issue for about 2 years, but something happened a few days ago and I could use an outside perspective.
I would describe the boyfriend as coercive (in past conversations she has alluded to having sex with him just so that he will stop begging, even when she doesn’t want to) and one of my big concerns is that Friend will be extremely isolated in our current city without me. I think he looks through her phone and computer, so I pretty much assume that he could read any written communication I send. I censor myself in written communication with her and we only have frank conversations when we go for walks in the nearby park. He often invites himself along to things we have planned and it feels like he is monitoring our friendship. He also makes controlling comments, but when I call them out, he always says, “I was just joking. [Friend] knows I’m just joking. She’s amazing and the best thing ever…etc.” They live together, but he does none of the domestic work and will only do paid work (freelance) when she nags him.
A couple times a year, she will reach a boiling point and tell him to shape up or she will leave. He will improve for about 2 weeks and then go back to the status quo. Her work/school schedule has been grueling the past few years and she hasn’t had the energy to deal with the inevitable fallout of a breakup. Most of our one-on-one conversations end with me reiterating an offer that she is always welcome to stay at my apartment when she is ready to leave. She’s not blinded by love or anything, just doesn’t feel like there is a good way or time to exit the relationship. He is currently estranged from his family and not really working, so she feels like if she dumps him, he will have nothing. One of my priorities is staying in her life, so I don’t want to overstep and give her boyfriend ammunition for isolating her further. Her parents think her boyfriend is fantastic and her other close friends live in other cities and are busy with newborn babies.
A couple days ago, I ended up spending about 30 minutes alone with her boyfriend while we were stuck in terrible traffic, on our way to pick her up and go to an event. I don’t enjoy his company and generally avoid spending time with him. Our one-on-conversation (mostly him doing a monologue) was frightening. He was delusional, paranoid, and unable to remember things I had said 5 minutes earlier. I had to repeatedly remind him where we were going and why we were going. He was extremely animated in his conversation and was looking at me while he talked and not the road, often swerving at the last minute. His ranting mostly focused on how the [creative] industry was scared of his success and how “they” wanted to keep his [art] away from “the people” and that this was a huge mistake because “the universe was going to revolt” if they didn’t get access to his [art]. At first I thought he was joking and just being overly full of himself, but he was completely serious. He then segued into how his estrangement with his family was a concern of the Catholic Church. Apparently, him “stepping out of line” is crumbling the foundation of the church by upsetting the established hierarchy. At several points, he referred to himself as royalty and referred to his lifelong “fame” that comes with being part of his family. Before you wonder, you have no clue who he is. His “fame” comes from the local and state politics his family is involved with in one of the poorest states in the country.
This grandiose sense of self and paranoia about “the establishment” trying to prevent him from success is worrisome. There were also times when he said things that I know for a fact aren’t true, but he seems to have fully convinced himself of this alternate version. I have considered that he may have been on drugs during that conversation, though that possibility does not alleviate my worry. He does not believe in therapy, though Friend has suggested it to him many times over the last two years.
I have already sent Friend a vague text and we are getting together this weekend for a walk where we will be able to speak more frankly. I just feel powerless to help and that my support has fallen woefully short. I don’t know how to be a supportive friend in this situation and I’m really worried that he is acting like this with her on a regular basis. It was exhausting for 30 minutes, I can’t imagine what it is doing to her longterm. I don’t think he is violent now, but think he could become violent if she breaks up with him. I feel like Friend is the frog in the pot of water, slowly boiling to death. She’s been unhappy, but the decline has been gradual so there hasn’t been a catalyst for her to jump ship.
I know I can’t make her leave, but I do want to make sure I am there for her if she needs support. Any words of wisdom to help me be a good friend in this situation?
-Helpless & Worried (female pronouns)
Dear Helpless & Worried,
I think you’re doing as well as you can with this. You’ve figured out how to communicate with her around his possible monitoring of her electronic conversations. You’ve made it clear that you’ll be a landing place when and if she leaves him. Let me refer you to some past posts that deal with the issue of being a good friend in a basically impossible situation.
Let’s address the elephant in the room:
Without diagnosing this dude (seriously, no “It sounds like x!” comments, please, we don’t actually have to narrow it down), the grandiosity, short-term memory slips, and erratic driving behavior he displayed might correlate to a number of mental health conditions that all have one important thing in common: They will not get better and will most likely get worse without focused regular psychiatric care & medication. You and your friend both might benefit from calling or texting the support folks at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), describing what you experienced with this guy, and seeing what they recommend. Your friend can’t make him get treatment, nor can you, but their support resources for “family members and caregivers” might be able to walk her through what she’s dealing with and have checklists and methods for coaxing reluctant people into treatment.
Important: If you’re ever dealing with someone who is having the paranoid sort of delusions and they are getting very upset and agitated, it doesn’t help to try to convince them of what’s real or deny the truth of what they are describing. They are experiencing whatever it is as if it’s real, so it’s better to validate their feelings until you can get them to Help or Help to them. You don’t have to participate in the delusion yourself, so try “I don’t see any spiders, but that must be a truly awful sight” or “I don’t hear anything, but that must feel really strange and scary.” Be honest about where your own perceptions differ but validate and comfort the upset feelings the person is having without arguing them out of feeling them. Source: A NAMI-created education session for friends/family/loved ones I went to back when Mr. Awkward was hospitalized a few years ago for a bad episode with his bipolar disorder .
It’s a sad, true fact that one can be a clingy, controlling, abusive jerk who needs to be dumped and have some pretty serious mental health stuff going on. Correlation is not causation. Even if he gets treatment (unlikely, since he “doesn’t believe in therapy”), your friend will most likely be better off without this guy in her life, and I don’t want to suggest that she’s responsible somehow for making this happen or that she needs to stay until his mental health is stabilized. Just, knowledge is power, and also, support resources who are not you are useful things to have.
I’m now going to stuff that elephant back into a tightly sealed container, because he didn’t write to me and she didn’t write to me and this is about you and the limits of what you can do here.
If you ever witness an episode like the one you did, when you’re safely out of the car it’s okay to say, “You are not making a lot of sense today, and your driving was very erratic. You seem really not okay to me, like, maybe there’s something going on that a doctor should take a look at.” Say it directly to him as gently and directly as you are able. He may argue that he doesn’t believe in therapy or “Big Pharma” or whatever, which, okay, cool. Don’t talk about therapists or psychiatrists, use the generic catch-all of “doctor.” “I think you should make an appointment with a doctor and tell that person you’re having problems with memory and concentration, especially when driving. Dude, get yourself checked out – if it’s nothing, then why not rule it out?” He sees you at least nominally as a friend, so, use that and speak to him the way a friend would.
He 99.9% won’t go. On some level he suspects that if he goes to a doctor then “They” or “The System” will know there’s something bigger going on. That’s okay. Say it anyway, offer to be the driver on the way back – “I just don’t feel safe with you behind the wheel after what I just saw, and it’s even more worrying that you don’t remember what happened, why don’t you let me get us home, I’d feel much more comfortable” – and if he won’t budge, definitely find your own transportation home. Don’t make it about all future rides or ultimatums, just take it one ride at a time – Right now, you’d feel more comfortable if someone else drove. And in future conversations with him, if those happen, you can keep referring back to that particular night that you personally witnessed (instead of the shitty behavior you know about). “You don’t remember, but when we were in the car that night, your behavior was very disturbing. I really, really hope you’ll talk to a doctor about it. There’s no shame in trying to get to the bottom of something like that so you can feel better/drive safely/put my & girlfriend’s mind at ease.”
If he doesn’t listen to you or seek treatment, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Sometimes speaking up about an issue isn’t about convincing the other person, it’s because it’s good for you to not stay silent. It’s good for you to name what’s happening, to remind yourself that it’s not normal, to remind yourself what you witnessed and experienced, and to put that out there in the world and not just silently fret about it.
When you next talk to your friend, another thing you can do is accurately and honestly describe what you saw. Talk about the behaviors, especially the scary driving, and talk about how they impacted you. You won’t be riding in a car with the boyfriend as the driver any more and you recommend that she doesn’t, either. He could have killed someone. He could have killed you. He could kill her. This is a very big deal and it can’t be waved away.
You can also talk about the grandiosity and the memory lapses and the other strange behavior you observed. Message: “I think there is something very serious going on with him, and he needs serious help – more help than you can possibly give or be expected to give.”
He doesn’t believe in therapy so of course he won’t want to go and she’ll doubtless raise that objection. Your script is: “I think this might beyond our friendly neighborhood therapist, even. This is serious doctor stuff.” Then give her the NAMI resources or whatever else you’ve found and that our nice commenters recommend.
Then, here’s your script for the one big serious talk:
“You are my friend forever, and I always want to see you. If you ever need a place to stay, a listening ear, a ride, whatever I can give, it’s yours. I will keep making communication safe between us and making time for these walks when I can see you.
I am seriously worried about you the longer you stay in this relationship. I think it is draining the life out of you, and I don’t think it’s your responsibility to support and help this guy even one minute longer than you already have. I think that he needs help that you can’t give, and the longer he tries to make you his girlfriend/mommy/financial support/mental health care substitute/pacifier, the longer he will delay seeking that care. I think it’s okay for you to call in medical professionals here, or think about contacting his family to see if they can help somehow – I think things are that serious and that they’ll only get worse from here. I know that’s overwhelming to contemplate, but if things stayed just like they are now and didn’t get any better, how long would you stay? Another year? Another 5 years? Forever?
In the end, only you can decide what’s right for you, and I trust you to take care of yourself and make a good decision about what to do. You don’t owe me a breakup with him, you don’t owe me anything but being my friend. You do what you need to do, and if you need me, I’ll be there, no questions asked.
That said, I can’t ride in a car with him anymore, anywhere. I have to make that boundary for my own safety. And I can’t pretend the way he behaves lately is normal or okay with me. I also don’t want him inviting himself along on our plans anymore, so what do you need from me to help make that happen?”
Your friend will have some stuff to say, so, listen to her.
And then, in the aftermath of this talk, as you go forward in this friendship, here’s what I want you to do:
Make your friendship about something other than “helping” and “supporting” her in regards to him. Make your friendship about how much you like her and want her company in your life. In practice, this means:
- It’s okay to redirect conversations about him. “You already know what I think, so, what are you asking?” “What do you think you’ll do?” “How do you want to handle that?”
- It’s okay to nope out of some conversations about him and not make all the time you spend together time that you chew on the gristle of her relationship problems. “Ugh, that sucks, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that, but I’ve reached my Dude-talk limit for the day.” U R Not The Asshole Whisperer.
- It’s more than okay to recommend that she see a therapist or counselor. He’s the one with big, dramatic issues, but if she’s being drained dry by him, her having a safe place to talk and an advocate for herself within the mental health system is not a bad thing at all. You don’t have to be her sole outlet.
- I know you’re worried about her becoming isolated from having other friendships and relationships, but I’m serious about not getting in a car with him again, not ever. It’s okay to keep that boundary. “If Dude is driving, sorry, I can’t make it, but I’ll see you at the usual time for our walk.”
- Get out of the role of being the only mentor/advice-giver/”the okay one” or whatever. Make it a point to ask her advice about things that she’s good and knowledgable about. Ask her for help with things that she’d be good at helping with. You can’t make “getting her out of the relationship” the project of your friendship with her for a lot of reasons, not least because it takes the average victim multiple attempts to leave before they actually do.
- Make sure there is a fluffy/fun/positive/enjoyable thing that you share and talk about, whether it’s trading books or watching a favorite show together or a shared hobby or your weekly walks or texting cute animal photos. If he’s monitoring her communications (BAD, VERY BAD, RED FLAG) you having an innocuous conversation topic is a good thing, but it’s also important that you enjoy your friendship with each other as much as possible.
- I hate that this is a thing, but referring to your time together as Girl Time!!! and planning really female-coded activities for when you hang out can help somewhat in minimizing how much he tags along to your plans. “Sorry, this is Lady Time! No boys allowed!” sometimes translates better for misogynists than “Steve, you’re not invited!”
- Lady-Time Expanded: Is there a way for the two of you to join an all-woman choir or sport or other hobby group that meets periodically? Community for her, community for you, no That Guy.
If you’re doing that stuff, you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances.
While this is all going on, I also want you to take excellent care of yourself. Don’t neglect your other friendships and your social life. You need friendships without this abusive jerk hanging out in the background all the time. Don’t neglect your career, your finances, your education, your housekeeping. Above all, don’t neglect your own enjoyment and pleasure in life. Taking care of people and supporting them is great, but when your power to change a situation is as limited as it is here, making sure you can disengage is healthy.
This is all so imperfect. The mental health system is imperfect. Someone else’s relationship troubles are completely unfixable by you, and abusive people poison everything around themselves and the person in their grasp. You can’t make yourself like him, there’s only so long you can lie and pretend around him, and there’s only so long you can make vague soothing noises. There is no great, wonderful, awesome, brilliant way to handle this, there is only telling the truth and offering what you can safely offer.
From Hannah, the organizer:
We will meet in the Michaeligarten beer garden in Ostpark on Wednesday
28th June at 18.00. If it is raining, we will postpone and meet on
Friday 30th instead. If the weather looks bad, we will discuss on the
“Munich?” thread on the forums whether or not to postpone, so check in
there for a decision.
The nearest U-Bahn station is Michaelibad on the U5. You can bring
your own food into the beer garden or buy food there, although you
won’t be able to bring in drinks.
I will bring a teddy bear to put on the table so people can find us.
If you need to get in touch, you can post in the “Munich?” thread on
the forums or email me on email@example.com.
Thanks so much!
Have a good time!
I believe that all new scientific discoveries should be announced via cake, don't you?
[pushing back glasses and consulting clipboard] Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present...
The Majestic Bagel-Nosed Falcon of Uganda!
Or it might be a fish. Fish...falcon...you know. Whatevs.
[Shuffling papers] Next we have...
The Majestic Happy Chicken-Footed Spiny-Backed Slime Devil.
(Watch out; they spit.)
We're still working on the scientific name for this one:
So for now let's just call it the Majestic Coiled Crap Hound.
(I think that has a real ring to it, don't you?)
Here we have a particularly colorful specimen:
The Majestic Disco Newt! Let's pause a moment to admire his beautiful plumage.
Right. That's long enough.
And finally, we have...
The Majestic Three-Toed Four-Eyed Whiskered Zebra Toad.
(Yeah, you heard me. ZooBorns, eat your heart out.)
Thanks to Kelly D., Kit R., Caitlin B., Jordan J. and Donald L., who are all, er, majestic.
Target platforms: Android, iOS, Steam.
License: Proprietary and commercial project ( but with sometime CC-By material , the case of the beautiful illustration above )
Currently, the game is still in early development stage and new team members are welcome to grow the X-paws team: artists, Unity/C# dev, etc... It's a no-budget demo project with plan to share incomes after the game starts doing profit. The core of X-paws was funded by core contributors and translators of Pepper&Carrot, so I'm trusting this team and their project to keep the mood of the universe and I'm sure they work on it with passion. I'll keep updating this blog-post to follow important milestone of the Hereva Adventure project.
Follow the project and discover more visual done by the team here:
FB community page: https://facebook.com/peppercarrotgame
VK community page: https://vk.com/peppercarrotgame
Contact X-paws by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So Shawna A. asked her bakery to make a cake just like this one from Pink Cake Box:
To make it easier, she even brought in a print-out of this picture. And, since she wanted her cake to say "Welcome Little Monkey" instead of "Happy Birthday," she was sure to cross that bit out. That way, there could be no confusion whatsoever, right?
All in favor of banning the edible photo printer for all eternity, say "Oy VEY."
I think the "veys" have it, Shawna.
As you probably know, the officer who killed Philando Castile was acquitted of manslaughter and two other charges last week. (This was the incident where Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.) The squad car’s dashcam video was made public yesterday for the first time, and watching that makes it even less possible (if that’s possible) to understand the jury’s decision. But even more astounding is the transcript also released yesterday showing that the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, told investigators last year that he smelled marijuana as he approached the car, and that just before he opened fire, the thought going through his mind was that Castile was a dangerous man because he had been exposing others to secondhand smoke:
That is actually something an adult human said: I was afraid this person would be willing to murder a police officer for no reason because it smelled like he had been doing something that might slightly increase the risk of disease to others if he kept it up for another decade or so. (At least according to some experts.) If this man is willing to subject others to secondhand smoke, certainly he would not hesitate to murder me.
This deep concern that Yanez had about the health of Castile’s five-year-old daughter, supposedly, is part of what led him to fire seven bullets at Castile, the driver, while the girl was sitting in the back seat in the line of fire:
Or maybe he was pulling out a pack of smokes? We shouldn’t second-guess officers when it comes to using deadly force to protect citizens from potential long-term health risks.
In fact, Castile had just volunteered the fact that he had a gun in the car (a gun he was licensed to carry), which doesn’t seem like something you’d do if you were just about to reach for it and try to shoot someone. It actually seems like something you’d do if you didn’t want anybody to get hurt, especially yourself. But according to Yanez, it was secondhand smoke, not this, that went through his mind just before opening fire.
Of course, I don’t know what other evidence was presented to the jury. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has put the transcript, videos, and some other key evidence on its website, so you can see that if you want and decide for yourself. But I assume the jury saw the transcript of this interview, and frankly I don’t know how you hear somebody give that ridiculous explanation and not vote to convict him of something. (The jury was apparently split 10-2 in favor of acquittal, but eventually the two holdouts gave in.)
I guess if you wanted to, you could argue that now we know the risks of secondhand smoke really are substantial, because among other things it might frighten a cop into putting five bullets in your chest. You might as well give it a shot, because the risks of making stupid arguments appear to be virtually nonexistent these days.