What Are Binary Options Trading? - Binary Options ...

BeliCEX aims to minimize the conventional boundaries and provide its users with a comprehensive platform for trading various kinds of digital assets across multiple trading ways, including binary options.

submitted by MyOyin to altcoin_news [link] [comments]

2019 Hyperpop Rate (Slayyyter / 100 gecs / Dorian Electra / Hannah Diamond)

Hello ladies, gays, enbys, and other pots-and-pans enthusiasts and welcome to the 2019 Hyperpop Rate! I'm your host, quenched, and am here to guide you through this month's rate full of boundary-pushing, experimental, over-the-top bubblegum bass, or as it is more commonly called, hyperpop. The genre has come a long way since it's humble PC Music beginnings and has grown to boast a large cult fanbase, majority of which is made of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Here are the cling clang bitches we will be rating:
In case you're impatient like me and already know the drill...
HERE is the link to the Spotify playlist
HERE is the link to submit scores

Slayyyter - Slayyyter

Up first, we have Slayyyter, queen of high-budget-sounding-but-actually-low-budget Grindrcore music, with her self-titled debut mixtape. After releasing a string of singles starting in 2018 with BFF, featuring hyperpop legend Ayesha Erotica, she has held the attention of gays and hyperpop fans everywhere, propelled by her dominating stan-like presence on social media. While not every loose single made the cut for her mixtape, she still has a versatile discography with zero misses, whether making filthy, horny bangers on songs like "Candy" and "Daddy AF", braggadocious bops "Cha Ching" and "Celebrity", or glittery bubblegum pop such as fan-favorite "Mine". Warning: you will become slightly gayer upon album completion.

Tracklist:

  1. BFF (feat. Ayesha Erotica)
  2. Mine
  3. Alone
  4. Candy
  5. Cha Ching
  6. Devil
  7. Ur Man
  8. Daddy AF
  9. Motorcycle
  10. Celebrity
  11. Tattoo
  12. E-Boy (feat. That Kid)
  13. Touch My Body
  14. Ghosttt

100 gecs - 1000 gecs

This rate marks the first time in Popheads rate history we have cut an album from a rate and replaced it with another. LIZ's album "Planet Y2K" was supposed to be in the rate initially, but it came to my attention that she is a transphobic Trump supporter with NO apology or backtrack ever given. So, I posted this comment one day in a Daily Discussion post, and after 72 votes, 65% of you wanted LIZ to be replaced with 100 gecs (which honestly is better anyways musically speaking).
100 gecs are definitely one of the more well known hyperpop acts. The critically acclaimed duo are one of the few hyperpop acts to reach well beyond the LGBTQ+ audience. Consisting of Dylan Brady and Laura Les (who is trans!!!), the duo's debut album, especially money machine, has gone semi-viral within the music sphere and TikTok alike. If you can say one thing about this album, it's that you never know what to expect or what crazy sounds you're going to hear next! They also released a phenomenal remix album called "1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues", reimagining every song on this album and featuring many Popheads favorites such as Charli XCX and Kero Kero Bonito.
gecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgecgec

Tracklist:

  1. 745 sticky
  2. money machine
  3. 800 db cloud
  4. I Need Help Immediately
  5. stupid horse
  6. xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx
  7. ringtone
  8. gecgecgec
  9. hand crushed by a mallet
  10. gec 2 Ü

Dorian Electra - Flamboyant

Challenging heteronormativity and the gender binary, Dorian exploded onto the scene with many loose singles, beginning with Clitopia in 2016. These singles led up to Flamboyant, an abrasive, electropop album that doesn't have a single skip! The album also features some production by Dylan Brady, who is one-half of 100 gecs, also present in this rate. Beyond the songs themselves all being bangers, lyrically Dorian explores different aspects of their sexuality and masculinity in songs such as "Emasculate", "Flamboyant", and Adam & Steve, a song which is sure to resonate which any religious gays participating in the rate. Dorian has already released their second album "My Agenda", which I also definitely recommend everyone streams after doing the rate!
Note: Dorian uses they/them pronouns so I'm gonna be mad if I get any ballots using anything otherwise!

Tracklist:

  1. Mr. To You
  2. Career Boy
  3. Daddy Like
  4. Emasculate
  5. Man To Man
  6. Musical Genius
  7. Flamboyant
  8. Guyliner
  9. Live By The Sword
  10. Adam & Steve
  11. fReAkY 4 Life
  12. Tool For You
  13. Under The Armor
  14. Guyliner, Pt. 2
  15. Your Kinda Guy

Hannah Diamond - Reflections

Lastly we have Hannah Diamond, who has been around the longest of the artists in this rate, releasing her first song in 2013. She was one of the first names in PC Music, taking her until 2019 to release her debut album (giving Sky Ferreira a run for her money as far as album waits go). Featuring A.G. Cook production and dreamy vocals from Hannah, this album was definitely worth the long wait!

Tracklist:

  1. Reflections
  2. Invisible
  3. Love Goes On
  4. Never Again
  5. True
  6. Concrete Angel
  7. The Ending
  8. Shy
  9. Fade Away
  10. Make Believe

BONUS RATE

Unfortunately for this rate, we couldn't include the queen of hyperpop, Emily Montes, as she did not debut until 2020, therefore not fitting the rate theme. At only 5 years old, she is already receiving fairly decent critical reception. She has two projects on Spotify, the self-titled debut album, Emily Montes and the also self-titled EP, Emily. Featuring experimental production, lyrics that touch on serious topics such as COVID-19 and BLM, and never-before-seen insight into a 5 year old's life, both projects are masterpieces. Despite the seemingly large amount of songs, the bonus rate only lasts 7 minutes and 47 seconds so I definitely recommend setting aside this short amount of time to participate and experience a true visionary.
This part is completely optional and is just for fun. You may rate as many or as few songs as you'd like. No 0's or 11's, and and no minimum artist average. Here are the songs for the bonus rate:

Emily Montes:

  1. EmiLy
  2. Emily montes
  3. Emily rose
  4. Emily montes (Breakup)
  5. Emily montes (Corona Is Crazy)
  6. Frozen
  7. Untitled
  8. Emily From The West
  9. Untitled 2
  10. If you know you know if you don't you don't
  11. Take me away
  12. Roblox is my life
  13. Give me my crown
  14. Roboticy

Emily:

  1. Brand New - Intro
  2. Haters / BLM George Floyd / Dark
  3. Hungry / I Like to Go Outside

The Rules

  • Listen to EVERY SINGLE SONG in the main rate! Any ballots missing scores will not be accepted.
  • Scores should be between 1-10, with only one decimal place if desired. Anymore will crash the program!! (i.e. 5.5 is accepted, 5.55 is not)
  • You may give ONE song an 11, and ONE song a 0. Reserve these scores for your favorite and least favorite songs in the rate, respectively.
  • Submit scores via the prepared link at the bottom of this post.
  • If you let some of the songs marinate and end up wanting to change up your scores throughout the rate period, feel free to PM me at any time!
  • Scores will probably be due sometime early to mid-December, but try and have them in by the end of the month if you can!
  • Sabotage is NOT allowed, so leave the stan twitter mindset at the door! I reserve the right to question any seemingly over-the-top low or high averages.
  • Here is the only format accepted for scores and comments (you may also leave comments for the albums as a whole if you'd like):
Mine: 1 oh me oh my this song is shit
Album: 1000 gecs: the lil piss babies did THAT
Any other format for scores/comments is incorrect!

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

SUBMISSION LINK

(Just in case the preprepared link doesn't work, here is a pastebin of the submission format. Just copy and paste it to me via DM with your scores and comments)
Happy rating!
submitted by DaHumanTorch to popheads [link] [comments]

It's been 4 Days since my Spouse Came Out as MTF - Here are Some Random Thoughts I've had!

I (cis-f, 33) have been a bit of a hot mess the past week and my mind has been all over the place. Because this is so new (and subject to change), we aren't telling anyone else at the moment, so I don't have a sounding board, so thank you, internet, for giving me an outlet to talk about my feelings thoughts. I am sorry if any of this is triggering. I'm new and still learning what this means.
  1. My spouse told me that it would be easier to buy them a Christmas gift this year (more options!). "Do you want Bath and Body Works Products? - That was like *the* default "girl" gift that I received when people started getting gifts when I was becoming a 'woman'." -- They said that they would be into that.
  2. If we stay together and they go through a full social-transition, I was thinking that it would be exciting to do a renewal of vows, like a small thing with both of us in dresses, with like a small beach ceremony and just super supportive people around us (I know I am WAY ahead of myself).
    1. This was immediately followed by fear about them being "prettier" than me and getting so many compliments and me being the ugly one. I am also really not interested in being masculine in any way and I have this weird insecurity about not being seen as feminine or "good enough" at being a girl.
    2. My spouse is good at a HUGE range of things. They are really remarkable in that regard and I am afraid that the more feminine they express, the more competition I will feel with them and they will beat me because they are going to be better at those things.
  3. "Maybe you should try one of my bras, it's not like *I've* worn one since the beginning of this quarantine." Haha
    1. I am a little insecure that we are similar size width-wise (they are definitely taller) but I've been struggling with my weight, so they can wear some of my dresses, for example, but they may be a little short. I wish I was small enough that we couldn't just interchange clothes so easily, but I guess we could both share double the wardrobe.
    2. It is nice that they can try on clothes that they don't have to buy right away. Definitely cheaper.
  4. My in-laws already hate me for other unrelated reasons and I just *know* that they will blame this situation on me. I am unsure how my parents would respond, but they have definitely expressed low-level homophobia. They are in the "I don't want to see it" camp. I am also fairly certain my mom will believe that this is a "mental health illness" and means that my spouse is a sexual deviant.
    1. This viewpoint scares me because it resonates with my internalized transphobia. That being "born in the wrong body" is an illness or some sick and twisted sexual fetish. If anyone has any ways to combat this initial reaction to this, I would love to know how to de-condition myself. Unfortunately, I associate transgenders as being a bit "weird" and now I'm having cognitive dissonance because I don't want to believe that my spouse is a weird sexual deviant.
    2. I also know that I have a hard time with emotional boundaries and self-doubt, so if someone comes at me with a strong opinion, I have a hard time not letting that get to me. Plus I'm a people-pleaser and I'm sure we will meet with some awful people along this journey.
    3. I'm afraid that this will reflect "poorly" on me and it gives me a sense of shame -- then I feel shame about the shame in a shame-spiral.
    4. If my in-laws disown them, I wonder if my spouse will change their last name. Should I change my last name? Should we pick a whole new name together? -- I do not feel "non-conformist" enough to do this.
  5. It's only been 4 days since they came out to me and they have already just skipped over the non-binary phase. Weirdly my spouse has expressed discomfort in the "in-between" space and has gone right to the feminine.
  6. I was super stressed about the election a week ago and now it is barely on my radar. The nice thing is I can hide my volatile emotions in election-stress, but for how long?
    1. I am like the worst secret-keeper in the world and this is definitely the biggest secret I have ever been asked to keep. I feel like it is written all over my face and I just hate it so much. I do NOT want to out them, but I am so scared I will CRACK under this pressure.
    2. This is interesting in that I have been working on healing an eating disorder. Today my nutritional coach called and asked how I was doing and that was hard for me. I don't want to completely derail my progress or really get into "this" with her, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't eaten/drank irresponsibly during the last week because of my strong emotions.
  7. Will *I* be accepted into the LGBTQ community? What IS my sexuality? I haven't really had to think about it before. Can I be a "real" bisexual/lesbian? Would I ever be viewed that way?
  8. Are we moving too fast? My spouse is like in a dress, one of my padded bras, makeup, and shaved their legs/chest already. They seem so happy. I feel happy that they are happy. I actually feel honored that they feel safe enough with me to explore so fully so quickly. It makes me feel like our marriage is stronger than I thought.
    1. They used some body spray and women's deodorant and now they smell different and that is unexpectedly disorienting for me.
  9. I don't like the rhetoric of "dead" name because I don't want to believe my spouse is "dead" -- their current name is one of those names that is generally used for a boy, but every once in a while is used for a girl (which is weirdly cool and hot and edgy to me). They aren't sure they want to actually change their first name, but I think I need something to call them so I can get more into the space of mentally viewing them the way they are presenting.
  10. I have this weird fear that when people find out they will be more upset about it than me. I haven't cried for example, but I just know someone else will, even though it won't affect them as much as it will affect me. That's weird and gate-keeping, I know, but I just feel like if I can "keep it together" so can they.
    1. I have some issues with emotions/emotional expression (especially sadness) and maybe this triggers me because it sometimes feels like I have "robot" feelings and that if I don't cry/mourn then "I don't care" as much. Believe me. I care. This intimately affects me.
  11. If they go on hormones will their sexuality change? Is that a common thing? If they start on hormones, how would that change their personality? They are one of the most chilled-out, contented, calm people I've ever met, but will hormones make them overly emotional?
  12. When I first thought about my sexuality, I thought/believed that the reason I could never be a lesbian would be 1) I want to be unequivocal 'the girl' and I was afraid of sharing that role and 2) I wouldn't want to deal with the over-emotionality of women. I have believed that I could probably be sexually attracted to women, but would be hesitant to be in a romantic relationship with them because it seems harder to be with a woman (both socially in society) and I am much more aligned with the "receiver" / the one who is cared for rather than the "provider" / the one who cares for the other. <-- I don't even know HOW to do that effectively.
    1. Let me clarify, I care for my spouse but it's generally the emotional care, not the "let me get rid of this spider" type of care. I can hold space for them to explore themselves, but I'm not gonna be able to protect them from a violent predator. I still want them to hold me.
So yeah, that's all pretty random. I'm very "heady" and just think a million-times a minute, so this is just the things that have been standing out to me. Thank you for listening.
submitted by meshsock to mypartneristrans [link] [comments]

I FINALLY UNDERSTAND IPV4 SUBNETTING

I wanted to share this post I found in this subreddit from around 4 years ago. I have tried at least 10 different videos, 2 books, and 2 Udemy courses and IPv4 Subnetting made no f***ing sense to me. I didn't want to memorise a table, especially as I only have an option to take my CCNA test at home and Pearson doesn't allow writing on paper when testing at home. This is simple enough to do in a matter of seconds, as long as you can memorise the powers of 2 up to a power of 8. (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.)
(I copied and pasted the comment as the embedding didn't work. Credit goes to u/dalgeek)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No idea, but it looks overly complicated.
The most important thing to remember about subnetting is that networks always fall on binary boundaries, so multiples of 1, 2, 4, 8, etc. If someone gives you CIDR notation it makes things really easy: 10.10.10.57/28.
32 - 28 = 4 bits for hosts, 24 = 16
What multiple of 16 is closest to 57 without going over? 48, so the network address is 10.10.10.48 and the broadcast is 10.10.10.63 (48 + 16 - 1)
It gets a little more tricky when you cross octets, like 10.10.57.10/21. As as shortcut you can just ignore the last octet and pretend you're only dealing with 3 bits (the last octet is all 0s). 23 = 8, the multiple of 8 closest to 57 without going over is 56, so your network is 10.10.56.0 and broadcast is 10.10.63.255 (56 + 8 - 1 = 63)
Now let's reverse it. You need a network in 192.168.10.0/24 that contains 17 hosts. The smallest binary boundary that is larger than 17 is 32, which is 25 , 32-5 = 27, so 192.168.10.0/27 can be a network, and if you keep adding 32 you can use 192.168.10.32/27, 192.168.10.64/27, etc.
As for translating between network mask and CIDR, that is pretty easy. For a CIDR of /26, you do
32 - 26 = 6 2^6 = 64 255 - 64 + 1 = 192 
So your network mask is 255.255.255.192. You add the 1 here because when you're counting boundaries you include the number you start on. For a CIDR of /17, you do the same as above where you ignore the last octet because they're all 0s.
24-17 = 7 2^7 = 128 255 - 128 + 1 = 128 
The last octet is all zeros so the network mask is 255.255.128.0
Hope that's not too confusing!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you're having as much an issue with IPv4 subnetting as I was, I recommend this method and practising along with this link:
https://subnetipv4.com/
I hope this helps everyone, and happy testing!
submitted by dhick33 to ccna [link] [comments]

CMV: Cosmetic Genital Surgeries on Intersex Children Shouldn't be Legal

Nature doesn't follow the boundaries that humans have created to define male and female. Internal and external genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, and hormones don't always align with the binary classifications. And this is not a rare occurrence. According to what is thought to be the most accurate study to date (Blackless, "How sexually dimorphic are we? Review and synthesis"), approximately 2% of the population is born with differences in sex development, aka bodies that don't align with what is typically male or female. That is the same as the percentage of people with green eyes or red hair- ~156 million people. Differences in sex development aren't anomalous, they are an expected biological variation on the spectrum of sex development.
But western/modern culture doesn't recognize this and actively erases the existence of intersex traits because they don't conform to the binary model we created. Due to the pressure to fit in with the social understanding of male and female, "gender normalizing" surgeries are often performed. These are rarely medically necessary and take place even when the infant is perfectly healthy. These surgeries didn't start because medical professionals were didn't know the sex of the infant, they started because they thought society wouldn't be able to accept their bodies' differences as the sex they were. Essentially, they are only done to enforce gender norms. Even when they present no harm to the infant, doctors pathologize intersex traits and present them as a medical emergency. For the majority of cases, the only "medical emergency" is that intersex traits challenge the sex binary of modern society and the medical professionals' ideas of gender and sex.
Infants and children cannot consent, so these surgeries also violate their right to autonomy over their bodies and futures. They are irreversible and can have lifelong consequences. When it is done with parental consent, the parents who make the decision for their children are often uninformed and pressured by the doctors. The surgical procedures are also an issue in and of themselves. They often only focus on heteronormative sexual performance. For example, the surgically constructed vaginal canal just has to be “a hole big enough to fit a typical-sized penis. It is not required to be self-lubricating or even to be at all sensitive” (Dreger). Clitoridectomies (the removal or reduction of the clitoris) are associated with permanent nerve damage, scarring, incontinence, loss of sexual function, and painful intercourse. Studies done by C.L. Minto and Peter Lee found that almost 80% of people who received clitoridectomies as an infant had difficulty experiencing sexual pleasure, 56% had dyspareunia, and approximately 40% had complete anorgasmia. Under the U.S law, female genital mutilation is considered to be barbaric and a human rights violation that's illegal even when a consenting adult requests it. Yet when it happens to infants with intersex conditions that cannot consent, it's apparently fine. Also, unnecessary gonadectomies in infants makes them sterile, taking away their choice to have kids and forcing them to rely on HRT for the rest of their life. There is also evidence that genital surgery on infants has worse outcomes than for adults. The results of vaginoplasties tend to be be more successful when the patient has higher estrogen levels and there is a reduced rate of vaginal stenosis when performed in adulthood. The scar tissue can also limit the options for genital surgery that the patient might want/need in the future
I'm completely pro cosmetic genital surgery once the intersex individual is old enough to consent and has been fully informed on the risks and benefits of the procedures. I'm also not against assigning a gender to an infant at birth, I just think that can be done without surgical intervention. I just don't see what's wrong about waiting and seeing how the child develops (because doctors can attempt to predict this, but it is not 100% accurate) and what gender they end up identifying as (which cannot be predicted). The lack of consent for an irreversible surgery, violation of body integrity, risk of assigning the wrong gender, loss of sexual function, and nonconsensual sterilization are all huge red flags for me.
The main arguments I ever see against this is that it makes things easier for the parents and the child's future "psychological health", but even those things have been disproved. Actually, research shows that besides physical harm, the surgeries can cause significant mental harm as well, including PTSD, gender dysphoria, iatrophobia, body dysmorphia, genophobia, depression, trust issues, suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, self-loathing, etc (Tamar-Mattis). I suppose I do somewhat understand why it happens, especially since our society that cares so much about appearance and people tend to fear things that are "different." But that's not really a logical explanation and also doesn't mean it is ethical and should be legal. Also, society is much more accepting of differences now (as compared to the 1960's when these surgeries became popular) and sometimes even celebrates them. I can't think of any legitimate, evidence-backed reason as to why cosmetic genital surgery for infants with intersex conditions should continue to happen.
I must admit that I have bias, as I am an intersex male who was subjected to cosmetic feminizing surgery as an infant and I'm pretty salty about it. However, I want to hear more from those who believe it should be done and am open to revising my views on the issue. I would like to ask that you include credible sources when mentioning statistics, etc. I am happy to dm my bibliography of sources to anyone who requests it.
submitted by Pineappleexpress73 to changemyview [link] [comments]

Opening up Demisexuality as a Possibility

(This is kinda lengthy, but a TL;DR can be found below.)
I, 25F, just got out of my first ever relationship about three months ago. The relationship wasn't anything to write home about and although my ex is not a bad guy, I am glad the relationship is over. In saying that, for the short time we were together, it also opened my eyes to a lot of things. One of which being my sexual and/or romantic orientation, something I've been pretty nonchalant about nearly my whole entire life.
Thinking back even before this relationship, I have had a few instances in my life where I've questioned my sexual orientation because for me it feels like such a grey area. If I talked about this from day one, I'd be writing you guys a book because it's amazing how clear things become when you finally find something you identify with. When you finally find something that let's you say, okay I'm not weird and this is actually a thing and there's a word for it. I guess that's how I'm feeling now. Over the past 2-3 years, I have been trying to be more open and honest with myself as I am currently on a journey of self-discovery and introspection. I have opened up to the possibility that I might not be Straight despite identifying myself as such by default when the topic is brought up. It just never felt right and as someone who comes from a household with parents that are religious, being anything other than Heterosexual just wasn't an option.
So I guess, here's kinda my thought process and what went into me basically going through every single orientation to get to Demisexuality because... apparently, nothing else made sense.

  1. Homosexuality or Bisexuality? I ruled these two possibilities out because although I have had small crushes on two of my female friends (one of which I'm no longer friends with) in the past, I did not realistically see myself pursuing a romantic relationship with them. I realized that I only really questioned my feelings for them when we started getting close and had established a strong emotional connection. I liked being around them because I felt like I could talk to them comfortably about anything and they appealed to my mind. However, I did not want to have sex with them nor did I want to make out with them or... be physical with them in any sort of way. It was merely a "friend crush" aka alterous attraction, a term I discovered after trying to google how I felt.
  2. Pansexuality? I've never really indentified with any aspects of this, despite me joking to my friends that I just won't have a sexuality and I'll be attracted to whatever. However, on a more serious note, while I can like both women and men romantically on some level, I don't see myself dating someone who is Transgender or Non-Binary. With those affirmations in mind, that automatically ruled out pansexuality as an option for me as I figured that was the only distinction between that and Bisexuality. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here!)
  3. Asexuality? I definitely still feel as if I might be somewhere on this spectrum, but I am not particularly sure where or if I am. I don't have enough sexual experience to confidently say that I am asexual, but I'm not ruling it out as a possibility. For as long as I can remember, I've just never been an overly sexual person. Actually, I've never really seen myself as a sexual being in general and my thoughts are rarely of sex. I do enjoy the occasional dirty joke or NSFW meme, but anything outside of that realm and I'm completely uninterested. I don't ever feel the need to pleasure myself or have others do it for me. I don't think I've ever been "sexually frustrated" and I'm not even sure that I've ever found someone sexually attractive. With that said, I have also never had sex before and I feel that I won't truly know how I feel about sexual experiences until I actually cross that threshold... if I ever do.
It's been a long time coming, but I think I can almost confidentally say that I am most likely Demisexual. I didn't come to this realization until a few hours ago after getting out of a call with one of my guy friends. I told him the story of a guy I met two years ago on Tinder that I grew to really like and compared my feelings for him to my feelings with my most recent ex.
With Tinder guy, we met and hit it off right away. However, he made it clear that he was not open to a serious relationship as he'd just gotten out of a long term one. He said that he was looking for a FWB arrangement and I admitted that I wanted something more serious, so we agreed it would be best for us to be friends. He tried on several occasions throughout our friendship to pursuade me to take up his offer, but every time I would say no. He was never pushy about it and always respected my boundaries. Although I found it somewhat annoying that he would ask from time to time, it wasn't overbearing to the point of ruining our friendship and that aside, we had a pretty good friendship. In the few months that we were friends, we would go out to eat and play games together. I even went to his workplace a couple of times (he owned his own restaurant) and help him clean up or just talk to him to pass the time before closing. Although I did find him very physically attractive, it wasn't until we were chatting one day that he said, "you know, I think we have really good chemistry" that I realized it was much more than that. I felt 110% comfortable with him as a person and looking back, we had an amazing emotional connection too. The more we hung out and got to know each other, the more I found myself wanting to take up his offer to become his FWB. Even though that was not something I was initially interested in, because our emotional connection was so strong (and a combination of other boxes he checked), I was genuinely considering having sex with this guy.
When it came to my ex, we had a lot of things in common as far as interests go and our values seemed to line up for the most part. He was a total gentleman and I felt that he would have done anything for me if I asked him to. We spent a lot of time together trying to get to know each other and after about a month, decided to get into a relationship. From the start, things felt a little off to me but I wasn't particularly sure why. I didn't have a spark when it came to him and although I was somewhat excited to see him, I was also very nervous and when we were together it just felt very lukewarm. We continued seeing each other and even tried to get intimate a handful of times and I just wasn't feeling it... at all. I quickly realized that while I did find him physically attractive, we lacked any sort of chemistry or emotional connection. I feel like the average person would have probably been jumping for joy to get him in bed or at least be somewhat intimate with him, but for me because we had no emotional connection... I just couldn't feel anything for him past friendship and even now, I don't know that I would be friends with him either. He didn't make me feel the way the Tinder guy did and even though I had ample oppurtunity to have sex with him, I didn't want to because he didn't give me those urges.
This is what made me realize that I may be less of an asexual and more of a demisexual. To me, being sexual with someone is almost like a glass. Only after that glass has been filled up (with comfort and emotional connection) can I see people in a sexual light. It doesn't matter how physically attractive I might find them or how many of my boxes they check. If the emotional connection isn't there or if it doesn't manifest within a certain amount of time, no attraction will develop and if it does, it will merely be aesthetic.
TL;DR - I've always known that I wasn't Straight and considered the possibility of being Asexual but that didn't feel right either. After accessing my relationship with both my ex and a former friend I met from Tinder, I realized that I am most likely Demisexual. This realization was made when I realized that I was not sexually attracted to my ex-boyfriend mostly because we did not have any sort of emotional connection with each other.
If anyone has anything to add or has been in a similar situation, please feel free to comment and let me know. I'm still new to all of this and I'm still trying to figure myself out, so any words of wisdom or stories from personal experience are welcome.
submitted by Manaequinn to demisexuality [link] [comments]

Best Practices for A C Programmer

Hi all,
Long time C programmer here, primarily working in the embedded industry (particularly involving safety-critical code). I've been a lurker on this sub for a while but I'm hoping to ask some questions regarding best practices. I've been trying to start using c++ on a lot of my work - particularly taking advantage of some of the code-reuse and power of C++ (particularly constexpr, some loose template programming, stronger type checking, RAII etc).
I would consider myself maybe an 8/10 C programmer but I would conservatively maybe rate myself as 3/10 in C++ (with 1/10 meaning the absolute minmum ability to write, google syntax errata, diagnose, and debug a program). Perhaps I should preface the post that I am more than aware that C is by no means a subset of C++ and there are many language constructs permitted in one that are not in the other.
In any case, I was hoping to get a few answers regarding best practices for c++. Keep in mind that the typical target device I work with does not have a heap of any sort and so a lot of the features that constitute "modern" C++ (non-initialization use of dynamic memory, STL meta-programming, hash-maps, lambdas (as I currently understand them) are a big no-no in terms of passing safety review.

When do I overload operators inside a class as opposed to outisde?

... And what are the arguments foagainst each paradigm? See below:
/* Overload example 1 (overloaded inside class) */ class myclass { private: unsigned int a; unsigned int b; public: myclass(void); unsigned int get_a(void) const; bool operator==(const myclass &rhs); }; bool myclass::operator==(const myclass &rhs) { if (this == &rhs) { return true; } else { if (this->a == rhs.a && this->b == rhs.b) { return true; } } return false; } 
As opposed to this:
/* Overload example 2 (overloaded outside of class) */ class CD { private: unsigned int c; unsigned int d; public: CD(unsigned int _c, unsigned int _d) : d(_d), c(_c) {}; /* CTOR */ unsigned int get_c(void) const; /* trival getters */ unsigned int get_d(void) const; /* trival getters */ }; /* In this implementation, If I don't make the getters (get_c, get_d) constant, * it won't compile despite their access specifiers being public. * * It seems like the const keyword in C++ really should be interpretted as * "read-only AND no side effects" rather than just read only as in C. * But my current understanding may just be flawed... * * My confusion is as follows: The function args are constant references * so why do I have to promise that the function methods have no side-effects on * the private object members? Is this something specific to the == operator? */ bool operator==(const CD & lhs, const CD & rhs) { if(&lhs == &rhs) return true; else if((lhs.get_c() == rhs.get_c()) && (lhs.get_d() == rhs.get_d())) return true; return false; } 
When should I use the example 1 style over the example 2 style? What are the pros and cons of 1 vs 2?

What's the deal with const member functions?

This is more of a subtle confusion but it seems like in C++ the const keyword means different things base on the context in which it is used. I'm trying to develop a relatively nuanced understanding of what's happening under the hood and I most certainly have misunderstood many language features, especially because C++ has likely changed greatly in the last ~6-8 years.

When should I use enum classes versus plain old enum?

To be honest I'm not entirely certain I fully understand the implications of using enum versus enum class in C++.
This is made more confusing by the fact that there are subtle differences between the way C and C++ treat or permit various language constructs (const, enum, typedef, struct, void*, pointer aliasing, type puning, tentative declarations).
In C, enums decay to integer values at compile time. But in C++, the way I currently understand it, enums are their own type. Thus, in C, the following code would be valid, but a C++ compiler would generate a warning (or an error, haven't actually tested it)
/* Example 3: (enums : Valid in C, invalid in C++ ) */ enum COLOR { RED, BLUE, GREY }; enum PET { CAT, DOG, FROG }; /* This is compatible with a C-style enum conception but not C++ */ enum SHAPE { BALL = RED, /* In C, these work because int = int is valid */ CUBE = DOG, }; 
If my understanding is indeed the case, do enums have an implicit namespace (language construct, not the C++ keyword) as in C? As an add-on to that, in C++, you can also declare enums as a sort of inherited type (below). What am I supposed to make of this? Should I just be using it to reduce code size when possible (similar to gcc option -fuse-packed-enums)? Since most processors are word based, would it be more performant to use the processor's word type than the syntax specified above?
/* Example 4: (Purely C++ style enums, use of enum class/ enum struct) */ /* C++ permits forward enum declaration with type specified */ enum FRUIT : int; enum VEGGIE : short; enum FRUIT /* As I understand it, these are ints */ { APPLE, ORANGE, }; enum VEGGIE /* As I understand it, these are shorts */ { CARROT, TURNIP, }; 
Complicating things even further, I've also seen the following syntax:
/* What the heck is an enum class anyway? When should I use them */ enum class THING { THING1, THING2, THING3 }; /* And if classes and structs are interchangable (minus assumptions * about default access specifiers), what does that mean for * the following definition? */ enum struct FOO /* Is this even valid syntax? */ { FOO1, FOO2, FOO3 }; 
Given that enumerated types greatly improve code readability, I've been trying to wrap my head around all this. When should I be using the various language constructs? Are there any pitfalls in a given method?

When to use POD structs (a-la C style) versus a class implementation?

If I had to take a stab at answering this question, my intuition would be to use POD structs for passing aggregate types (as in function arguments) and using classes for interface abstractions / object abstractions as in the example below:
struct aggregate { unsigned int related_stuff1; unsigned int related_stuff2; char name_of_the_related_stuff[20]; }; class abstraction { private: unsigned int private_member1; unsigned int private_member2; protected: unsigned int stuff_for_child_classes; public: /* big 3 */ abstraction(void); abstraction(const abstraction &other); ~abstraction(void); /* COPY semantic ( I have a better grasp on this abstraction than MOVE) */ abstraction &operator=(const abstraction &rhs); /* MOVE semantic (subtle semantics of which I don't full grasp yet) */ abstraction &operator=(abstraction &&rhs); /* * I've seen implentations of this that use a copy + swap design pattern * but that relies on std::move and I realllllly don't get what is * happening under the hood in std::move */ abstraction &operator=(abstraction rhs); void do_some_stuff(void); /* member function */ }; 
Is there an accepted best practice for thsi or is it entirely preference? Are there arguments for only using classes? What about vtables (where byte-wise alignment such as device register overlays and I have to guarantee placement of precise members)

Is there a best practice for integrating C code?

Typically (and up to this point), I've just done the following:
/* Example 5 : Linking a C library */ /* Disable name-mangling, and then give the C++ linker / * toolchain the compiled * binaries */ #ifdef __cplusplus extern "C" { #endif /* C linkage */ #include "device_driver_header_or_a_c_library.h" #ifdef __cplusplus } #endif /* C linkage */ /* C++ code goes here */ 
As far as I know, this is the only way to prevent the C++ compiler from generating different object symbols than those in the C header file. Again, this may just be ignorance of C++ standards on my part.

What is the proper way to selectively incorporate RTTI without code size bloat?

Is there even a way? I'm relatively fluent in CMake but I guess the underlying question is if binaries that incorporate RTTI are compatible with those that dont (and the pitfalls that may ensue when mixing the two).

What about compile time string formatting?

One of my biggest gripes about C (particularly regarding string manipulation) frequently (especially on embedded targets) variadic arguments get handled at runtime. This makes string manipulation via the C standard library (printf-style format strings) uncomputable at compile time in C.
This is sadly the case even when the ranges and values of paramers and formatting outputs is entirely known beforehand. C++ template programming seems to be a big thing in "modern" C++ and I've seen a few projects on this sub that use the turing-completeness of the template system to do some crazy things at compile time. Is there a way to bypass this ABI limitation using C++ features like constexpr, templates, and lambdas? My (somewhat pessimistic) suspicion is that since the generated assembly must be ABI-compliant this isn't possible. Is there a way around this? What about the std::format stuff I've been seeing on this sub periodically?

Is there a standard practice for namespaces and when to start incorporating them?

Is it from the start? Is it when the boundaries of a module become clearly defined? Or is it just personal preference / based on project scale and modularity?
If I had to make a guess it would be at the point that you get a "build group" for a project (group of source files that should be compiled together) as that would loosely define the boundaries of a series of abstractions APIs you may provide to other parts of a project.
--EDIT-- markdown formatting
submitted by aWildElectron to cpp [link] [comments]

My most convincing experience while ghost hunting

I haven't posted here before, but I have this one interesting experience that I haven't been able to come up with an explanation for ever since it happened. I like to think of myself as a cynic when it comes to the paranormal. I want to believe in it, however I am not religious and will not convince myself until I know for certain that there is no scientific explanation for the happenings, and this is the closest I think I have ever gotten.
My family decided we would go on an organised ghost Hunt at the neighbouring town. It was late at night and there were 3 sections to this. The first involved using ouja board type things with a glass. Nothing happened on this one. The second involved trying to reach out to spirits in a dark room. Nothing happened in this one either. The experiences come from the third section, which was a very old court room, and we used technology.
Firstly, there were digital thermometers set up, and one of our family members was sat below one. These thermometers flashed when temperatures spontaneously dropped from room temperature, supposedly a sign of ghosts. All of a sudden this family member jumped up, sort of spooked, and moved seats while the organisers were explaining to us what we were going to do. He proclaimed he suddenly felt extremely cold and tingly. Lo and behold, the thermometer was also flashing, and showing very low temperatures right by where he was sat. That was odd enough, but the second experience was just as odd.
I was in a room by myself with my uncle, I had an EMF metre that lit up in the presence of an electromagnetic field. I do know these devices work, however I don't know how legitimate the specific one I was holding, was. I have my own at home and it does react to real electrical sources, such as my PC and the plug sockets, etc. The other device I had was something called a "spirit box" which was supposed to detect words ghosts were saying and read them out. This device didn't convince me at all, and I'm still not fully convinced by it, but certainly more curious about it. I was asking questions and the EMF metre was flashing in accordance to these questions. It seemed to work, bit there was no telling whether it was legitimate or not. However, I wanted to push the boundaries of "yes and no questions" to see how realistic it all really was. If a ghost was real, surely it can answer any binary question as long as I give it two options and the corresponding amount of flashes on the EMF metre for the answers, not just yes or no. So I did. I asked aloud, "Are you a man or a woman? Flash once for man, flash twice for woman." At the time I wasn't convinced this would work as I was skeptical, however the EMF metre flashed twice, and then within five seconds of that, the spirit box displayed and read out the word "female".
Two completely independent device simultaneously confirmed the answer I supposedly got. That was a big deal for me, and still is to this day. I can't figure out an explanation for that, and the two devices remained consistent for that entire session. I hope for the existence of something beyond life, and I hope this was my first glimpse at some actual proof for myself.
submitted by meepgofish to Paranormal [link] [comments]

My worldbuilding framework

This is the framework that I follow (somewhat loosely) while worldbuilding:
submitted by TheMuspelheimr to worldbuilding [link] [comments]

Maybe what I’ve always thought was gender dysphoria is actually internalized sexism? (24F)

EDIT: Thank you all SO MUCH for your perspectives and advice! You’ve all given me a LOT to think about. I have a lot of self-work to do but you’ve all encouraged me so much, I feel like I can do this. I will take your advice and do what I can to find a good therapist that specializes in gender issues. I will learn to be ok with uncertainty and reject labels... and most importantly find out what makes ME happy and what I want out of life.
I didn’t think I would get so many great and loving responses. I’m very very grateful for all of you and for this experience. I’m feeling much better now.
Thank you all so very much ❤️
I’ve been having a hard time dealing with this and I am exhausted. If I don’t explain something coherently please let me know and I will try to do better.
Some important background: I was raised in Puerto Rico in an independent fundamental baptist cult, specifically the Bob Jones University kind, so I was not only subjected to horrible teachings about gender roles from toddler age until my junior year of college, I was incredibly isolated from any other kinds of people, ideas, and ways of life.
My earliest thoughts on gender started when I was eight and found myself wishing that there was something I could be other than a man or a woman. Something in-between. I think I might have been frustrated, as my little tomboy self usually was, over the unfairness of always having to wear skirts and dresses and having to put up with playing Princesses or Tea Party with my sisters instead of Knights and Dragons like I wanted to.
From the wife training classes I was made to take at 13, to always having my physical boundaries disrespected, to being taught that everything bad that happens in the world happens because a woman made a decision for herself, to watching independent women be called Jezebels, to having older men asking my father to “court” me (as a minor) and my parents seeing no issue with it aside from the fact they didn’t want me to “court” anybody regardless of age until halfway through Bible college, to being encouraged by my Bible college professors to adopt anti-feminist ideology, and not to mention the trauma from sexual abuse... It’s no wonder I’ve had issues with my femininity.
Once I left Bible college and the cult and started educating myself on feminism, I started to feel much worse about myself. I hated my body. Seeing myself naked and being reminded that I have a “feminine” figure with breasts made me sick. Male attention made me uncomfortable. Seeing women sexualized in any and every context made me mad, despite being attracted to women myself. I still experience these things now but I’ve gotten a little better at stuffing them away. But no matter what I’ve done, the depersonalization and hatred of my body and the agony of being seen as a woman have continued to haunt me.
I’ve cut my hair, I started binding and wearing men’s clothes, and for a while I told everyone I was genderfluid. It helped for a little bit but I then realized that my “dysphoria” wasn’t as bad as what real trans people go through and I stopped. There are also things about being a woman that I like now. I love having breasts in a sexual context, I love being feminine in the bedroom, I learned to love wearing dresses and makeup, and I really want to be a wife and mom someday. I feel like I couldn’t have these things if I was trans. Maybe that’s internalized transphobia, maybe not. I don’t know, and I don’t really care. Being trans isn’t an option for me. With the way that trans people are treated in our society, specifically non-binary trans people who choose not to undergo HRT or gender affirmation surgery, why would I make my life harder than it has to be?
But the feelings I’ve named “dysphoria” for so long still haven’t gone away. Women being sexualized or sexualizing themselves still makes me uncomfortable. Being referred to as a woman still seems fundamentally wrong to me. I still hate my body for the most part. I’ve never felt I belonged in groups of women and I don’t have any friends who are cis women. I can’t tell if these feelings are because I may still subconsciously believe that to be a woman is bad, or if I’m simply not a woman at all. And I don’t know how to find that out.
I’m just tired of feeling this way. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this even gender dysphoria? How do I become comfortable in my womanhood?
Thanks for reading this. Even if there’s no solid solution, it’s a relief to just vent and get this out here and see people’s responses to it.
TL;DR: I was raised with toxic gender roles and suffered sexual abuse, now I have what appears to be gender dysphoria but might just be internalized sexism. Which is it? How do I get rid of it?
submitted by InfernumGnosis to AskFeminists [link] [comments]

💎THE RESULTS: r/RomanceClub Community Survey!💎

💎THE RESULTS: RomanceClub Community Survey!💎
First of all, thank you very much to everyone who took part in the second ever Reddit Romance Club community survey! We mods were absolutely amazed by the high number of responses, so thank you for making this such a vibrant and engaged community! You all rock.
After grinding the (many) numbers, here are the results, which we hope you will find as interesting as we did.
Just a note: this survey was opened at the end of May and closed shortly after the June release, hence its questions only barely included Legend of the Willow and did not include Dracula: a Love Story. For this reason, we have not counted the (very few) replies that have been given in the "other" boxes mentioning characters that were not yet available as Lis/known as LIs in the May release (think Leo, Vlad, Kazu etc) as this would have not been fair to those who had answered the survey before the June update.
Having said that... buckle up for the ride! Lots of interesting info ahead.
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💎Question 1: Which RC story is your favourite?

https://preview.redd.it/rlq02ktm0y951.png?width=1890&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ac99dcf156eba4a1e7a25e118cedb51ed21847c
No one will be surprised to find out that Heaven's Secret is the top story in this community right now, chosen by over 45% of the respondents. Our nostalgic heart is very happy, however, to see some old favs still make the podium - albeit trailing significantly behind. Moonborn and Shadows of Saintfour score second and third place, only separated by a handful of votes at around 11%, but newer release Chasing You is already breathing on their neck at 10.7%.
A healthy mix of new and old stories follows: Sails in the fog is in fifth place with 7.8% of the preferences, while Legend of the willow, after only a few episodes, already scores a very good sixth place, in a tie with Seduced by the rhythm at 4.3% of the votes. Queen in 30 days is seventh with 3.5% and My Hollywood Story is eighth with 1.2%.
Last place goes to Wave Patrol at 0.4%, which sadly doesn't come as a shock given the general feeling that the romantic/reputation points system was too complicated.
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💎Question 2: Who are your favourite LIs?

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HS being the most popular story unsurprisingly propels some of its main LIs onto the podium with supersonic speed.
Bad boys rule, with Lucifer taking the crown with a whopping 65.7% of the votes and Alexander (CY) taking silver at 49.3%. The nice guys are not too far behind, though, with Dino in third place at 47.4% and Max (MB) only just about missing the podium in fourth place at 45.3%. We go back to bad boys with Brandon (SBR) in fifth, but soft spoken Sam (CY) is ready to balance things out again with his sixth place.
The most surprising result on top of the rankings is Jake (WP) who makes the top ten with a very healthy seventh place. He is really hard work, but obviously we all think he's totally worth it!
Old favourites Michael (SOS) and Victor (MB) still hold onto the hearts of their fans by scoring eight and ninth place respectively. First among the women - and the only female LI to make the top 10 - is the delightfully devilish Mimi (HS).
Waves' mate Sebastian misses the top ten only by a hair, placing himself in 11th place with a healthy 20.7%. Bodyguard Adam is the most favourite LI in Q30 in 12th place, followed by a row of SOS boys, with John, Derek and Aaron scoring very similar percentages in 13th, 14th and 15th place respectively. Sweetheart Ray is no longer the most favourite LI to come out of MHS, as in this round he ends up in a tie for 16th place with none other than his almost polar opposite, rough and ready Captain Jeff.
Leonard from Q30 (17th place) ties with Cherry from SOS but at least he beats his brother Richard (20th place) in the heart of the readers - and we all know that he'd be pretty pleased with that. Claire (SBR) is the second most favourite female LI in 18th place, while mysterious Luke (SOS) completes the top 20 in 19th place.
Here are the rest of the Lis who placed lower than the top 20:
(21) Carlos (SBR) 9.2%
(22) Justin (SBR) 8.6%
(23) Benny Bart (MB) 8.4%
(24) Tarino (MHS) 8.1%
(25) Gino (MHS) tied with Stephanie (SOS) at 7.8%
(26) Dante (MB) 6.9%
(27) Andy (HS) 6.3%
(28) Mike (MHS) 6.1 %
(29) Alek (WP) tied with Dante (CY) at 5.9%
(30) Kayla (WP) 5.3 %
(31) Alex (MHS) 3.9%
(32) Chris (SIF) 3.4%
(33) Frances (MB) 3.2%
(34) William (SIF) 3.1%
(35) Trisha (MB) 2.6%
(36) Charles (SBR) 2.1%
(37) Orlando (SBR) 1.8%
(38) Chris the bodyguard (MHS) tied with Adi (HS) at 1.6%
(39) Ellen (MHS) tied with Manta (SIF) at 1.2%
(40) Masked Man (SOS) 1.1%
(41) Ellia (CY) 0.8%
(42) Mermaid (SIF) 0.6%
(43) Simon (MB) 0.4%
(44) Charles (WP) tied with Emma (Q30) and Jackie (SIF) at 0.2%.
These lower rankings include some LIs that, based on the discussions we see on the subreddit, we were not expecting to get as many votes as they did - and vice versa. Dante from CY has more votes than Orlando from SBR? And Chris the bodyguard (MHS) beat the Masked Man (SOS)? Say what... Also: Jackie (SIF) definitely deserved a lot more votes! We might have to start a hashtag or something.
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💎Question 3: Which non-LI character you’d romance in a heartbeat?

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Here are the top 15 most desired LIs in this community:
To absolutely no one's surprise, Geralt (HS) takes the top spot with 39.1% of the readers eager to unbuckle his sexy neck belts at the first occasion. Dreamy Xander from MB takes a very respectable second place with 23.2%: we will forever long for his full lips and crisp linen suit. Another MB favourite, Prince Ethan Wood completes the podium with his Matrix-style coat and intense eyes, but sassy and sexy demon Austie (HS) is not very far behind in fourth place.
Vampires Dustin Chase in fifth place and - although at quite a distance - Sophia in sixth join the ranks of the many LIs who sadly never were in MB. Cute lifeguard Zoey from WP ranks seventh, and no worries if you don't remember who she is: her screen time was about 5 minutes total - but enough to end up in a tie with angelic mentor Misselina from HS. Frenemy Candy from SOS makes eighth place, while evil stunner Monica from MB clutches ninth. To complete the top 10 is no one else but grumpy Angel Fencio (HS) - we obviously all want him to show us his collection of talismans - tied with Bean from MHS, who sadly had the audacity to get married to someone else.
In 11th place is SOS great friend Bobby, whose bravery in the face of untold horrors gave him a special place in all our hearts, in a tie with another WP lifeguard, Ryan (yeah, we have little recollection of him as well). Party-loving and OSHA nemesis Anthony Wood (MHS) is in 12th place, while scheming yet gorgeous Julia (Q30) takes 13th.
In 14th place is no one else but our dear Sailor Bobby - an option that was added as humorous but instead raked up a fairly respectable 14% of votes. As they say, if you are not handsome you should be handy, and no one is a better dress maker than Bobby! Plus, how can we forget when he disguised himself as a tribesman to save Adelaide from becoming soup? He ends up in a tie with a fan favourite, sweet angel Sammy (HS). Completing the top-15 is another HS angel, the ethereal Leeloo.
This question also had an "other" box, where people could add names that were not included in the list. For all those (quite a few!) people who wrote Dino (HS), Sam (CY) and Orlando (SBR)... we choose to believe you misread the question, but if you didn't... oh boy, have we got good news for you!
A few people also wished for Rachel (CY) and Hiro (SBR) to be LIs, so that's another happy ending there as per the latest release.
Some also wished for Diego, Baron Samedi and Jackie from SIF, and Joseph, Christian and Gustavo from SBR to be LIs, and we are happy to say that, although their routes might be a bit hidden and not all of them can be endgame LIs, you can most definitely already hookup with/romance all of them. Check the wiki for details!
A few people asked for the coffee shop owner in CY... we have the feeling that we know who at least one of them is, and truth be told, that beard is dreamy so we can see their point! More bearded LIs please!
Those who asked for Fyr... far from us to kink shame here, but let's just hope he turns out to be human at some point! We also have some Seraph Crowley (HS) and Angel Mora (MB) fans amongst us, as clear proof that no one is ever too old for love, plus WP Agent Phillips' manbun has also scored him some eager fans.
But that one person who asked for Sean from MB... we hope for your sake you are also about 12 years old because otherwise you need an old priest, a young priest and also a police officer.
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💎Question 4: Which LI do you think is overrated, and why?

https://preview.redd.it/nea26zpyj2a51.png?width=855&format=png&auto=webp&s=dfeefda0ad627357d4a76c4e2fef0f3b4a42deca
Here are the top 10 most overrated LIs in the game according to our community.
You know how they say never rest on your laurels? In a surprising (or maybe not?) twist of fate, some of the most liked LIs also topped the most overrated rankings, which goes to show that the beauty of our community is that we all have different (and sometimes opposite) opinions! So please let's not fight in the comments, haha.
The most overrated LI crown goes to Lucifer with the 21.9% of the votes, (which is almost as him winning an Oscar and a Razzie on the same evening) mostly due to his behaviour, which many identify as "toxic", "abusive" and "triggering". Many readers are "not comfortable with his choking/manhandling of MC", and his "lack of respect for personal space". "Being treated poorly in the hope to finally reach a hidden soft side does not seem worth it". Some think "he needs therapy", and wonder "why he's still behaving like a teen while he's possibly thousands of years old". A reason why many dislike him however, is also "the daily flood of fanart that features him": we might all be a little Lucifered-out here on the subreddit!
Tied in second place (pun fully intended!) are Alexander (CY) and Victor (MB) at 11.5%: the reasons given for both of them are surprisingly similar. Both boys are into BDSM but neither seem to "truly know the rules of consent" and people think that they "overstep boundaries a little too often". Both have been described as "creepy", "controlling" and "plain weird". Victor is also guilty of being "boring" ("I asked for a tea not for your life story in India!" - someone wrote). Both have been invited to "drop the Christian Grey act" and some people think "they would be arrested in real life if they acted this way". Oh boy.
Justin (SBR) completes this unflattering podium at 9.1% because of his "obnoxious outbursts" and the way he treats MC. He is "rude" and "mean" and people seem to be willing to "pay diamonds to put him in his place". Hopefully that won't be necessary!
Jake from WP is fourth at 7.8%, the main reason being that he is "too difficult to romance", "too expensive and still rude", and that "we have to solve the Da Vinci code to get him" - as someone hilariously wrote.
Bad boy Brandon (SBR) scores 6.1% of the votes landing fifth place, with the word "jerk" being the most recurrently used to describe him. He is "arrogant", a "vanishing act", and "he is never nice to MC for long". Come on, Brandon! You can do better!
Unclaimed Andy (HS) takes sixth place with 4.5% for being "jealous" and "annoying" - although we would maybe argue that he's not really that overrated, as far as we can see from the sub...
In seventh place is Max (MB) at 4.1% but we are confused by the person who mentioned "his abs being too perfect" as a reason for disliking him. Of course, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, so... fair enough? Other words used are "too boring", otherwise many people voted for him but did not really give a reason why. Max needs to work on his PR clearly!
Another tie in eight place sees Adam (Q30) and Dino (HS) score 3.7% of the votes. The Royal bodyguard is described as "a barbarian" and his behaviour as "possessive" and "controlling", while the main complaints against Dino seem for the vast majority to be directed to his looks: comments range from "his eyes look disproportionally big compared to his head" to "his hair seems separated from his face" to some people calling him a "Fabio lookalike". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder indeed!
Gruff Captain Jeff (MHS) makes ninth with 3.3%, mostly because of "the dodgy power dynamic between him and MC" and his "bullying": "I like puppies is not a free get out of jail card!" someone wrote. The fact that SOS Luke "drugged MC" bags him unanimously the tenth spot with 2.8% of the votes.
Not in the top ten but voted often enough to deserve a special mention are John (SOS) because of his "murderous tendencies", Derek (SOS) because "people only likes him for his glow-up", and Leonard (Q30) as "he took Emma's spot as the third main LI in the story" and "that was a cop out!" Plus "he seems so good only because the other two are the worst", someone quipped.
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💎Question 5: Which LI do you think is underrated, and why?

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Let's all cheer ourselves up with the opposite end of the spectrum! Here are the top 10 Lis that the community think deserve more love! The answers in this question were a lot more fragmented, with a lot of random characters getting very few votes, so the ranking percentages are significantly lower than in other questions.
A few people chose to write "every female LI" as this question's answer, and this is reflected in the rankings below, where way more female characters are mentioned compared to other questions. So RC, we need more screen time for badass, gorgeous, interesting female LIs!
HS still carries its weight as the most popular story, with three of its main LIs topping the rankings, all lamenting the fact that they are "unfairly overshadowed by bad boy Lucifer". Andy tops the list with 8.5% of the votes: players think he is "a really good guy", "sweet", "cute", "caring", "thoughtful". They admit "he has flaws" but he "will help if you need him" and "will stand up for those he cares about". It's nice to see him getting some love!
Devil cutie Mimi ends up as a close second with only a few votes of difference, at 8.1%. She is "cute", "badass", and "so cool". Many people wrote they don't usually romance female Lis but they chose her nonetheless because she is "a great LI in every way". Someone wishes RC would "flesh her out a little more" and "give her more screen time". Third spot is for Dino: a "sweetheart" and "the cutest man in the game".
Jake from WP nabs fourth place with the 4.9% of votes. Players thinks the focus is too much on how hard he is to pursue, while "he is totally worth it", because after the initial coldness he becomes "sweet", "kind" and "caring". His "love for his family is another big plus", and he is always "supportive", "mature", "loyal" and "intense". Someone also wrote that "his sex scenes are amazing".
Gorgeous dancer Carlos from SBR is in fifth place: he is described as "cute", "great personality", "respectful" and "the sweetest". One to watch for sure! Prince Leonard (Q30) ties with Claire (SBR) in sixth place. Leonard is "complicated", "interesting" and "clever", while Claire is "sweet", "mature" and "loyal". Seventh position is for Michael (SOS) - "cute", "affectionate", "funny" - and Kayla (WP) who's "really nice" and "one of the first female LIs that didn't seem like a complete afterthought".
Eight place goes to Sam (CY) - "wholesome", "the right amount of naughty and nice", "a sweet and likeable guy" - in a tie with Chris (SIF) - "funny", "strong", "loyal", "always has your back". Ninth place is another tie between Sebastian (SIF) - "sweet" and "supportive" - and Alex (MHS) - "amazing personality", "really helpful".
Last but not least the tenth place is a foursome: William (SIF) gets some love for being "good", "solid", "loyal" and "fun", in a tie with Charles (SBR) - described as "perfect", "romantic" and "caring", as well as "hot", "sexy" and "gentle" - Jackie (SIF) - "an under-appreciated king", "handsome" and "fun", and Frances (MB) - a "real badass" and "one of the best LIs in MB".
So, time to replay your favourite book and try out one of these Lis instead than your usual one!
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💎Question 6: If you could eat or drink one thing from the RC universe, what would you choose?

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Max (MB) might no longer hold the crown of most loved LI in the game, but his cooking skills still hold strong. A whopping 37.2% of the people in this community would eat anything he prepares. Getting drunk on Glyft at the HS Academy takes second spot with 23.1% of the preferences, while a sugar rush after a light BDSM session in CY is all what the 13.2% of us want, completing this delicious podium.
In fourth place is pizza with a bunch of MHS friends, fifth is potential death - as long as ice cream and Jake from WP are involved - and sixth is Anthony Wood's juice at one of his epic MHS parties.
Dinner at the SOS circus is seventh, chosen by a fearless 3% of the community, while canapés at a jewellery fashion show in Q30 score the eighth and last place.
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💎Question 7: If you could spend a weekend in any RC story, would you:

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An entire weekend in the RC universe! What mischief is our community planning to get up to?
It looks like HS is once again top of the list, with over 38% of players willing to test their wings and get some strange and possibly corrosive blue liquid down their unclaimed throats. But LOW's gorgeous backgrounds and atmospheric setting have convinced the 16% of us to go explore a Japanese village, and possibly meet some mysterious cutie. Adelaide and her SIF crew navigate steadily in third place: 10.7% of us would follow them over the edge of the world and beyond.
In fourth place is a spot of murder mystery fun in CY, as 10.3% of us would happily explore a British family mansion - bloodshed possible but not guaranteed. A diplomatic trip with the Q30 Sagar Royal Court appeals to the 6.1% of us, especially if a romantic sunset is on the bill. The quaint and frankly unsettling SOS woods do not scare the 5.7% of us, but as long as no one picks up a nice bouquet of flowers, we should all be ok. In seventh place is our favourite vampire popstar Benny Bart (MB) performing at the Taste of the Night, while eighth is a dance marathon in SBR, inclusive of a trip to romantic Paris. Tarino's somewhat unusual directorial skills in MHS score ninth place, while hot surfers in WP's Miami end up last.
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💎Question 8: If you could get more episodes of a series that has now ended, which one would you choose?

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It's time to go down memory lane! We loved all the stories that RC has now completed, but which one we miss the most?
Side note: SIF and WP were still ongoing when this survey was first opened hence they are not featured in this list.
Horror story SOS takes a clear lead, with over 47% of our community wishing we could get more adventures with MC and her friends. MB is second, with a healthy 34% of readers wishing to spend more time in the company of vampires and werewolves. Q30 is third, with 13.3% of readers missing its Royal Palace and all the intrigue coming with it, and last but not least is comedy MHS, which is missed by 5.4% of this community.
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And now, some questions about this community's gaming habits:
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💎Question 9: How do you usually approach LI relationships?

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This question had a fairly split response between those who date a few LIs but ultimately choose only one (48.9%) and those who are fiercely monogamous from the start (42.4%). A healthy 8.7% of the readers prefer instead to play the field and date as many LIs as the gameplay will allow. And with so many great characters to choose from, that's hardly a surprise!
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💎Question 10: Would you play a book that has a male MC?

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We all know that at the moment all RC stories are gender-locked with a female MC. But what does the community think? Would we play a book with a male MC? The majority is in favour, with 61.9% of the responders answering with a resounding YES.
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💎Question 11: Do you use the RC wiki on Fandom?

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Our amazing fan-written Romance Club wiki recently celebrated 100 pages!
It sounds like a whopping 78.8% of this community uses the wiki, while about 14.1% did not know it existed (so we hope you are using it now!) and 7.1% are true daredevils who play without any wiki help.
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💎Question 12: What genre of story do you enjoy the most?

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With new stories always coming up, we were curious to know which genres this community enjoys the most.
Despite the game being called Romance Club, the top of the genre ranking goes to Fantasy, with a striking 74.1% of preferences. But no worries: Romance is a steady second with a great 70.8% of the votes. Third place goes to Mystery with 65.7%.
Adventure comes fourth with 55.2%, followed by Horror (42.5%), Historical (35.1%), Science Fiction (29.1%) and finally Comedy (26.4%).
A very small number of people (too little to make percentage) also asked for drama, thriller, detective/crime, heist/spy, high school/teens, superheroes, zombies and time travel. All great ideas!
The community has spoken though: RC, give us elves and gnomes and medieval tales of debauchery and magic!
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💎Question 13: How long have you been playing Romance Club for?

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We were curious to know for how long we all have been playing this game we love. The survey showed a good mix of old and new readers, with a clear tendency towards long-term reading, which makes us so very happy to know we are all just equally addicted.
36% stated that they have been playing for over a year, 23.6% for more than six months, 17.8% for more than three months, 16.1% for more than one month and 6.4% for less than a month. Welcome one and all, we hope you are all going to be here for the long haul!
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💎Question 14: How did you find out about the game Romance Club?

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The main way in which our community has found out about RC is through the app store/google play store (70.9%). Another subreddit is a source for 13.5% of us (we probably have to say thank you to our friends at Lovestruck and Choices!) while a friend recommended the game to 8.7% of us.
Instagram (3%) and Facebook (1.5%) are also popular sources, but 2.4% of us arrived to the game through adverts, which is to us the most interesting data since in the mod team we haven't personally seen any adverts for this game - ever - so if anyone has screenshots, please post them in the comments, we are super curious!
Some users (too few to make percentage) also mentioned videos and memes on TikTok or Youtube, Google Search, Tumblr, Twitter, Vkontakte or even their own sister(s) as a source.
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💎Question 15: Which operating system do you play the game on?

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The majority of this community plays on Android (57.7%) while 42.3% play on iOS.
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💎Question 16: Which other story games do you play?

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Here are the top-10 story app games we play in this community, aside from RC.
Unsurprisingly, market leader Choices comes first with 53.3% of the votes. Another giant in the field, Episodes, comes second - although with quite a substantially smaller percentage of votes, clocking at 28.1%. The top-three is completed by UK TV show-inspired Love Island with the 24.6%.
Chapters is the fourth most played game at 24.2%, followed by Lovestruck and Love Sick - tied at 16.1%. Moments is sixth at 13.1%, new entry on the market Stories: Love and choices follows in seventh with 5.3%, Journeys is eighth with 4.7% and The Arcana is ninth with 2.6%. The top-ten is completed by Tabou Stories: Love Episodes in a tie with Originals - both at 1.2%.
Some also reminisced about Storyscapes (gone too soon but not forgotten!) and many other game apps were mentioned but by too few people to make up for an accountable percentage. We surely discovered some games we had never heard of before, though, including: Fictif, Heart's Choice, Everlasting Summer, Fancy Love, Romance: Stories and choices, Secrets: Game of choices, Fictions: Choose your emotions, Mystic Messenger, City of Love and many, many more... so thanks everyone for all these new suggestions!
And to that one person who selected half a dozen games and then commented with "it is a problem!" ... trust us, you are in very, very good company here!!
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And lastly, some demographics:
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💎Question 17: Where in the world are you from?

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We are a very international bunch, that's for sure! Here are the numbers:
45.5% of this community lives in Europe, 24.3% in North America, 16.9% is in Asia, 5.7% is in Central/South America, 5.3% is in Africa and 2.3% is in Australia/New Zealand. Welcome one and all! We are so happy you are here.
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💎Question 18: How old are you?

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How old are we? The survey has spoken: 44.7% is between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.1% is between 25 and 35; 21.1% is 17 or younger; 6.1 % is 36 or older.
We must admit that we did not expect so many people to be on the younger end of the spectrum! But we hope everyone - of all ages - will always find this subreddit to be a safe, welcoming and friendly place where to discuss this game we all love. We mods work hard every day to keep this the most relaxed and fun RC space on the net and we feel so lucky that you are all as awesome as you are!
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💎Question 19: What is your gender identity?

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The overwhelming majority of this community (93.5%) identifies as female, while 4.6% identifies as male, 1.3% is non-binary, 0,4% identifies as genderqueer and 0.2% marked themselves as confused.
The fact that MC is gender-locked female and that LGBTQ routes are limited in the game is certainly one of the reasons why our community is not more diverse. Hopefully RC will expand their stories to include more diverse gender choices in terms of MCs and LIs, so to allow more people to enjoy their great storytelling skills.
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💎Question 20: What is your sexual orientation?

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Here's the sexual orientation of our community:
70.1% identifies as Straight/Heterosexual
22.5% identifies as Bisexual
1.9% identifies as Lesbian/WLW
1.7% identifies as Pansexual
1.5% identifies as Gay/MLM
0.4% identifies as Aromantic
0.3% identifies as Aromantic/Bisexual
0.3% identifies as Asexual
0.3% identifies as Demisexual
0.2% identifies as Asexual/Biromantic
0.2% identifies as Asexual/Heterosexual
Once again, we hope that future plots featuring more diverse MC/LIs will attract more diverse players to our community.
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That's all folks! We hope you found these results interesting and we look forward to a new survey once we hit 5000 users! Until then... happy gaming and thanks for making this awesome community as great as it is! :)
💎 RomanceClub mods 💎
💎u/LauraVi 💎u/swankytutu 💎u/directormmn
💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎
submitted by LauraVi to RomanceClub [link] [comments]

Gravity's Rainbow Group Read | Sections 13-16 | Week 5

Well folks, this was a doozy of a week, wasn’t it? Some of these sections are quite challenging, for a variety of reasons. But we also see some pretty critical plot developments, and some genuine hilarity at poor Slothrop’s expense, too. Gotta love that cubeb.
This is also where the book really takes off in terms of it’s story arc (especially Slothrop’s origin story), as well as its embrace of sexual deviancy in all its forms, so I’m very curious to see the reactions from the first-timers. It’s a lot to take in.
Anyhoo, I’ll start this with a broader summary of themes, then break the summary and analysis down by section, and include some discussion prompts at the end. There’s a lot to work with this week - this section was twice as long as previous weeks. This analysis is going to be lengthy, but I’ll try to keep as focused as I can.
Several broad themes start to crystallize by this point in the narrative, especially opposition, which takes a multitude of forms: 1-0, white-black, death-life, social control-anarchy, Capitalism-black market, division-unification, colonizer-colonized, domination-submission, Elect-Preterite.
My ordering of items in those pairings is intentional. This book (and Pynchon) sees white, Euro-American colonial culture as intimately tied to a need for control, domination, and a belief in salvation (everyone likes to think they’re part of the Elect, nicht wahr?), which results in a culture of death and division. The War is the embodiment of this. Pynchon repeatedly takes the side of the Preterite - the anarchist, the minority, the colonized. Pigs, which Pynch clearly loves, seem to be emblematic of this noble-yet-humble Preterite.
Related to that is the idea of resisting baser desires and human nature vs accepting them vs sublimating them into full-blown pathologies (e.g. colonialism, Crutchfield the Westwardman). Many of the worst symptoms of society stem from our artificial divisions and denial of the natural order.
So, if we have deadly, pervasive, controlling systems, what are us poor folks stuck inside them to do? How do we free ourselves from the System? From Them?
Pynchon brings up at least three options in this week’s reading:
1.Escape (Katje leaving, vs Gottfried’s passive waiting for salvation) 2.Enjoy the good and ignore the negative (Jessica trying to live in her bubble with Roger, vs. Roger’s unhappy focus on the negatives without being able to change them) 3.Blow it all up (Katje’s option for Schußstelle 3, which she decides against, vs what? Death, perhaps?)
Finally, I’d like to discuss an underlying theme based on a separate work that has strongly influenced Pynchon, and Gravity’s Rainbow: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I never realized this before, but I’ve read the poem probably 75 times since I last read GR, so I’m pretty familiar with it by this point.
I highly recommend reading it, but it’s primarily about the decline of Europe after WWI into a wasteland and the death-and-rebirth cycle. A central theme relates to the ancient belief that the harvest god (or later, the king, such as in Arthurian legend) was fundamentally tied to the land. If the king was young and vibrant, the land would be fertile. As the king became old or fell ill, the land would become barren. Thus the king (or harvest god - see the Hanged Man of the tarot) would be sacrificed, either literally or symbolically, so he could be reborn and the land could be restored. “Death is a debt to nature due…” as ol’ Constant Slothrop’s epitaph read. We see this concept explicitly addressed in section 16 (p. 131):
If he’s not in fact the War then he’s its child-surrogate, living high for a certain term but come the ceremonial day, look out. The true king only dies a mock death. Remember. Any number of young men may be selected to die in his place while the real king, foxy old bastard, goes on.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
So how does this connect to our broader themes? Remember earlier when we discussed the invisible hand of the market, and how the economy and even social order are now hidden, directionless systems with no ruler?
If the king is the land and the land is the king, what do we think would happen to the land, to society, if we replaced the king with an invisible, incomprehensible force that operated under its own rules, outside human control? The chaos of WWII? The mass death without clear cause? The markets taking on a life of their own?
I think that’s what Pynchon’s getting at here. Would love your take.
On to our section summaries…
Section 13
YouTube Recording by u/ShisusBolton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69MV1vafocs
Here we delve further into formal psychology and it’s specific application not just on dogs, but humans.
We are finally shown the origin of Slothrop’s unique ability - psychological conditioning by Professor Jampf on poor “Infant Tyrone,” in an experiment that echoes the very real “Little Albert” experiment. We also learn why the connection is sexual - a simple matter of binary practicality to make it easier for lab assistants to measure the response to stimulus x. But what IS this mysterious stimulus? More importantly, was Infant Tyrone properly de-conditioned? It would appear not. Here we get a direct quote from Pavlov, the source for this part’s title. The concept of a “silent extinction beyond the zero,” the failure of which is the source of Slothrop’s rather intimate connection to the V2.
Slothrop is part of the psychological Preterite - a poor sap doomed from the beginning to be abnormal, no chance for salvation here. Controlled entirely by outside forces he’s not even aware of.
Apparently Slothrop’s “talent” is pretty damn precise, since his stars line up perfectly with the rocket strikes. We see some competing explanations for how this could be - from psychokinesis to some echo back through time of the rocket’s blast. We see characters all desperate to figure out why so they can predict where next? Maybe find out if they’re part of the Elect or not. The one possibility none of them consider, cannot consider: what if it’s all random? That’s too terrifying to contemplate for people who believe in predestination. Of course, only Jessica has the empathy to wonder if the women have all died or not.
As a slight aside, on p. 85 we get a linguistic exploration of the concept of “beyond the zero” by Mexico that I really loved:
Odd, odd, odd - think of the word: such white finality in its closing clap of the tongue. It implies moving past the tongue-stop - beyond the zero - and into the other realm. Of course, you don’t move past. But you do realize, intellectually, that’s how you ought to be moving.
The play on “ought” as the extension of “odd” beyond the zero is delightful. Here we also see “white” (remember our many examples of opposition?) being tied to finality. No death-rebirth cycle here.
We are then witness to a discussion between Pointsman and Mexico where the opposition of their personalities comes into sharp relief. Pointsman seeks binary cause/effect, Mexico seeks alternative between the 1 and the 0 - he proposes to “strike off at some other angle.” That scares Pointsman - it undermines not just his science but his fundamental worldview. His is one of predestination.
This also ties into the broader idea of how everyone’s actions and beliefs are consistently shaped by their (often unconscious) fundamental view of the nature of reality and how the world works. Thus, every character’s actions reflect not just their personalities, but distinct assumptions about the nature of causality, of human behavior, of society, of life and death.
Misc. notes:
The abbey near the White Visitation is described as a ruin on a cliff (p. 86) - it brings to mind the Tower from the Tarot and the related imagery of the Castle Perilous (both referenced in The Waste Land).
On p. 90-91 - I’m not positive, but this jumped out to me as an allusion to the play Waiting for Godot. The phrasing and pace of the segment starting “Why do you need me” and ending on the next page with “Help me” sounds very similar to an early scene in Godot, and the works share the themes of purposelessness, meaningless, invisible control, and the question of salvation.
Section 14
YouTube Recording by u/BodinethePig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6RFKZPX8rQ
Back to the mansion of the opening scene’s banana breakfast. An anonymous cameraman (is it us, the reader?) lends an element of voyeurism, as Katje models for the camera - but why? Meanwhile, Osbie Feel is busy making psychedelic cigarettes from mushrooms grown on the roof.
Pynchon notes Katje’s dress, and I suspect the focus on the name used for that particular cocoa shade is a subtle example of England’s casual racism and colonial past. A derogatory term repurposed for a product.
A view of Osbie’s oven triggers a flashback for Katje, to her time as a double-agent reporting to Pirate on the rocket battery Schußstelle 3, under the command of the sadistic Captain Blicero. We first heard of him back during the seance. His true name is Weissmann (literally white man), and his code name, Blicero, is the Teutonic name for death.
I mentioned the theme of opposition at the beginning of this increasingly-lengthy post, and Blicero is emblematic of one pole - literally white, male, colonizing death. But his teeth reveal hidden decay behind the white exterior. If Blicero is the personification of white Euro-American colonial culture, Pynchon’s saying there’s rot there, and it ain’t pretty.
Here’s where S&M comes into the narrative, in a darkly graphic way. Pynchon is fully willing to make the reader uncomfortable by confronting the parts of life that we normally avoid talking about or acknowledging, including those on the fringe. On top of that, we get the image of Der Kinderofen, echoing both Grimm’s fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel as well as the ovens of the concentration camps.
The house that Blicero, Katje, and Gottfried inhabit is a microcosm of colonialism and/or modern society. It’s literally referred to as “their Little State.” If that’s the case, Katje and Gottfried represent two responses to such a scenario: Katje decides that quitting the game is only way out, whereas Gottfried waits for salvation. Gottfried is confident he’s part of the Elect, but Katje isn’t so sure, and takes matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, the oven looms in the background - both the base of the State, and its ultimate destruction (p. 99). Is Pynchon implying that the modern state is fundamentally self-destructive? It would seem so.
We also get our first look at the other end of the arc: the rockets being fired. Interestingly, we realize they’re not as all-powerful and precise as they first appear. Deadly, sure, but many are exploding right after launch, even on the launchpad, killing the operators.
The flashback to Blicero’s history in colonial Africa introduces us to the Herero people, including Blicero’s lover, Enzian. Enzian represents an entirely different worldview from Blicero - a non-European, non-binary, non-Christian perspective. One of his gods, Ndjambi Karunga, represents the merging of the opposing forces that are so disconnected in the European’s worldview.
Back to the house, and we get more insight into Gottfried’s character. He’s clearly a passive participant, submissive, willing to do as he’s told. “If you cannot sing Siegfried at least you can carry a spear.” (p. 103). He accepts the suffering he endures as part of the system, a normal stage in life before moving on to some career of his own, some form of autonomy. But he doesn’t see any action required on his part to make this happen. After all, “He knows, like everyone, that captive children are always freed in the moment of maximum danger.” (p. 103). That’s the faith of one convinced he’s part of the Elect.
Here we see one of the most well-known quotes from the book - “Don’t forget the real business of the War is buying and selling…. The true war is a celebration of markets.” (p. 105). In the interest of brevity, I’ll leave it to y’all to delve more into this critical section, but at least on the surface, it gives one of Pynchon’s more direct statements on the nature of war, its function, and its objectification of human life.
We also get a fascinating aside on Katje’s ancestor committing avian genocide against the dodoes, that most unfortunate of birds. Yet again, we’re examining the conflict of Preterite vs Elect, and how the fantasy of salvation is is a way to pacify those who are doomed in their current lives. If not that, then all is chance and the dodoes are “only our prey. God could not be that cruel.” (p. 111). But couldn’t he? The evidence doesn’t appear in god’s favor, does it?
Last but not least, we see Katje’s film being put to use to condition good ol’ octopus Grigori. But again, to what end?
Section 15
YouTube Recording (by yours truly): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPgiptRr-W0
Mrs. Quoad! One of the funniest scenes in the book, and one of my favorites. It showcases both Pynchon’s visceral descriptive abilities as well as the insanity of prewar British candy.
Before the Disgusting English Candy Drill, we see Slothrop’s exit from a controlled, laboratory setting and instead being released “into the wild” for observation. He is moving toward Pointsman’s Rorschach-esque experiment, the nature of which is as-yet unknown, but which occupies much of Book 2.
This also marks the beginning of Slothrop’s (fully justified) paranoia. In the words of my father, “it’s not paranoia if they’re actually watching you.” Slothrop senses he’s being followed, observed, and starts to get a bit jumpy. Wouldn’t you?
My analysis is already far too long, so I’m grateful for this mercifully short and simple section. I think we all needed some levity after Blicero, no? Something tells me Pynchon was thinking the same thing in granting the reader this reprieve.
Section 16
YouTube Recording by u/DanteNathanael: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NapZnTK3TRU
In this section, we see more of Roger and Jessica’s history together, and the contrast between his more fearful, negative recognition of the System in which they live, and Jessica’s more carefree willingness to focus on the moments of joy she can find. But even nihilistic Roger finds some beauty on this Christmas eve walk.
An aside: the line, “who are all these people…. Freaks! Freeeeaks!” absolutely cracks me up.
The rest of this section alludes heavily to another poem by our friend T.S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi. It’s fairly short and accessible, and a truly beautiful work. It’s told from the point of view of one of the magi, looking back on his journey:
All this was a long time ago, I remember, / And I would do it again, but set down / This set down / This: were we led all that way for / Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly / We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, / But had thought they were different; this Birth was / Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We get glimpses into how the War has worn down the population, drained them, recycled even the most mundane objects (e.g. toothpaste tubes) into material for the war. But we also see a reversal of this, with Spam tins recycled into toys for children. An echo of the death/rebirth cycle we previously saw with the king and the land, and in the poem above. A glimmer of hope?
Pynchon discusses how the War relies on the illusion of unity but in fact is founded on disunity, on division. Society and the System depend on broad perception of rational, ordered, mechanistic system. Surrealism, the removal of this illusion of borders, en masse is societal suicide. But also an inextricable part of it. As with the microcosm of Blicero’s oven, the end is baked into the origin. The ordered reality of the System is a facade - even time’s sped up thanks to the War. In fact, Roger’s first moment of optimism, of faith, comes after the choir’s act of “minor surrealism” - the removal of artificial boundaries between race, culture, language (p. 129).
The War destroys the death/rebirth cycle: its death is a finality, with just a gold start as a consolation prize for the dead who lay buried under the snow in a bomb crater, and humans subdivided to the point of being individually numbered. But for a second, for just a second on Christmas eve, people can forget that - even Roger, who enters the ultraparadoxical phase when sound of the choir overcomes his knee-jerk nihilism and actually brings him back around to hope, if just for that night.
Questions
  1. What are your thoughts on Professor Jampf’s experiment on poor Infant Tyrone? What might be variable “x”? Does that even matter?
  2. Is Slothrop “sensing” the rockets before they are launched? Are the rockets somehow drawn to the locations of his sexual forays? Is he reading the minds of the rocket operators? Or worse, and most terrifyingly, is it all somehow coincidence?
  3. What was your initial reaction to the section with Blicero, Katje, and Gottfried? Did your perspective change after you finished the entire section?
  4. Why didn’t Katja give up location of Schußstelle 3?
  5. How does “the Change” that Blicero is fixated on play into our larger themes? There’s an allusion here to both Ovid’s Metamorphoses and several Romantic poets. How would you define Blicero’s desires?
  6. The Mrs. Quoad scene seems to largely be a light aside to break up some pretty heavy material. But is there anything more to it? Any other insights to be pulled from the candy jar?
Well, if you made it all the way to the end of this, thank you. I think I put more energy into this than several college essays I turned in, but it was a lot of fun, and I’m blown away by how much I gained from this exercise. I’m excited to see what insights you have!
Addendum: great discussion so far! Thanks for the excellent insights and observations!
submitted by KieselguhrKid13 to ThomasPynchon [link] [comments]

Day 14: It's in the cards (Tarot and other Cartomancy) PART 1

I've devoted a day to tarot because, like meditation, it can be a great tool for anyone on any path, as well as non-witches.
To keep this from being it's own book, I'm going to skip the history of tarot (which is interesting but easy to look up) and I'm not going to go in depth about any specific style. When I say the word tarot here, I mean specifically divination using a tarot deck with a total of 78 cards, including 22 major arcana (or "trump cards") and 56 minor arcana consisting of 4 suits (much like a deck of playing cards.)
It is, however, perfectly fine to "misuse" the word tarot to mean any form of cartomancy that involves the use of "spreads." It's not going to offend anyone (except pedants) and it can be useful to add the word "tarot" to an inquiry or search, especially when looking for a deck online.
There are three major variations of tarot deck- Rider-Waite, Tarot de Marseille, and Thoth. Most of the tarot decks available are based on the imagery of these three. There are differences, but generally they could be used interchangeably, so I'm not going to get too in depth about it. When you buy a deck, it can be helpful to know which style it is so you can be aware of how the creators meant them to be used. (You can usually find out online in stores or the official webpage, but you can also search for the differences and find out what style your deck matches. There are also versions that are unique to the deck/creator.
As I said, tarot is for everyone. There is very low risk of cultural appropriation. (Decks are often themed and some decks can be considered cultural appropriation.) There are a surprising number of myths that are nothing more than gatekeeping bs. I'm going to get into it, but the first thing to know is that you do not need anything but a tarot deck to begin doing tarot. I've make a deck from a pack of index cards, it doesn't have to be an expensive deck or anything fancy.
Which brings me to a strange myth I keep seeing lately in reference to tarot as well as other practices. Outside of specific religions, there is nothing in magic that MUST be given as a gift to "work." The best theory I've found to explain this floating garbage is that it was started as basically a "gift with membership" or "foot in the door" technique by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There's no basis in it. Divination is about your ability to interpret symbols in context. It doesn't really matter where they came from.
Another myth is that you can't let other people touch your cards. You might not want to LET people touch them, and that's okay. It's a good idea to have boundaries about your tools and possessions. But someone touching the cards won't break them, you don't need to burn them, and if you don't mind any energy that does affect them (like love, awe, or open-minded curiosity) you don't need to cleanse them. You might choose to cleanse them after they are touched if you don't like the energy that comes from the person or anytime you feel like you need to. Just like with anything that isn't yours, please do not just touch or grab someones tarot cards without asking. It is rude.
Tarot does not require the use of elaborate spreads. They are one option of many. It's okay to use them like a "magic 8 ball" and ask yes or no questions and pull one card. You might get an answer that means "ask again later," or that indicate you should do a more elaborate spread, but you'll often get a yes or no.
Because divination, carotmancy, and tarot are about interpreting specific symbols in a specific context- there aren't TRULY any beginner (or "beginner friendly") decks. It really doesn't matter if you have a single word, a detailed image, an emoji-style simple symbol, a color, or a paragraph- you still have to interpret it. You cannot get around doing the work. If you find yourself connecting to a deck that is considered "advanced," you will still be able to read with it. If you need to look up meanings every time you use it or write down your own meanings or you realize you've gone way off from any "usual" meanings, that's okay. If it works- it doesn't matter what "level" other people have assigned to it.
There is no "One True Way" to shuffle, full, place, or read the cards of any deck. You do not even have to use all of the cards for a reading. It is okay to use only major or minor arcana if you want.
I'll mention some quirks that can happen with decks in part 2.
There are other common styles and decks designed for cartomancy.
Lenormand cartomancy (often referred to as "Lenormand tarot") was named after a famous cartomancer from the 1800s who published several works related to cartomancy. The cards and system bearing her name were created after her death. This system uses 36 cards with images of animals, objects and people. It doesn't work very well for single card spreads or less linear spreads. Each card gives context to the next.
Kipper cartomancy (also referred to as Kipper tarot) also uses 36 cards and creates very linear readings, and the imagery is not really meant to be interpreted as much as the reading is meant to basically be complete ideas. This deck is best for interpersonal affairs since the cards depict mainly people and actions.
Oracle cards are other decks of varying styles with any number of cards. There is no standard oracle deck. Some have a lot of text, some have only a card title, some are only images. Like tarot decks. you can find an oracle deck that works for you. You can use tarot spreads with oracle cards without (extra) difficulty. You can do "yes/no" single card pulls with them. If you do not want to worry about 78 cards or you want a deck personalized to you and your needs without the baggage of generally accepted meanings, an oracle deck might work better than tarot for you.
Playing cards are also a valid option. They can usually be obtained easily and inexpensively. The suits and numbers can correlate with tarot minor arcana or you might find regional meanings for playing card cartomancy. Playing cards are great for use in spells as well.
If you do not own a tarot (or other cartomancy) deck but are interested in buying one, here is what I think you should consider:
My first tarot deck ever was a very small "Tarot Nova" deck. It came in a very small box (about the size of a post-it note.) It was perfect for my needs which were mostly hanging out with the other witches and their pendulums at school. It was portable and very inexpensive at the book store checkout line in a rotating display of tiny novelty kits. I have so far lost all of my tarot cards to small children, complications from homelessness, and moving frequently as a younger adult. Now I am in a position where I don't have to think about those things. My next deck will represent my values of simplicity, intuition, and quality. My needs now are different from when I was 16 or 25. Your needs are different from 5 years ago and will be different again in 5 years. It's okay if your deck changes too.
I am just going to touch on some common quirks that you might encounter.
I really thought I'd be able to trim tarot down to a one day event, but even without talking about the history of tarot or even how-to tarot, I can't. So tomorrow will be cartomancy, continued. I'll talk about where the answers come from, what to do if your spread isn't giving you answers, and non-divination ways to use cards in witchcraft.
So today, your optional assignment is to think of a deck you would like, then look to see if a version of it exists. It might help you find a deck you like, or just demonstrate how many options are out there.
Then tell me
  1. Do you already use tarot or other cards for divination? What are some things you've noticed or learned about your personal relationship with your cards?
  2. What do you currently think you'd like to look for in a deck, if you plan to get one? (Remember that there are no wrong answers. If your main concern is that it be free- that's okay. If you just want something beautiful- that's okay. If you have a 12 point checklist, it might be a little restrictive but I'll assume you put thought into it, so that's okay too.) Or do you think you'll pass until/unless cards come into your life? Or do you think you'll pass on card divination altogether?
  3. How are your other practices going? Are you meditating regularly, adding herbs to your BoS, are you still using your BoS? How are you feeling right now? Even if you don't want to comment and check in with me, check in with yourself and make a note of where you are in this moment.
We've been going through a lot of information very quickly, thank you all so much for sticking with me so far. If you've fallen behind, don't stress. Catch up when you can. See you tomorrow!




All information presented is copyrighted material, you may not reproduce any part in any way except as permitted by US Copyright law. For info about reproduction permission, DM me.
My current goal is to turn this into a book, and perhaps repeat this type of "course" in the future. I truly believe there is no cost of admission to witchcraft and I will never ask you to buy anything (from me or otherwise.)
If you would like and are comfortably able to leave a tip, I do have CashApp, Venmo, and Paypal. (Starving artist is a lifestyle choice, but not-starving artist is great too. And no, I'm not actually starving, but I am looking at paying some money to get this project turned into a book and I've got my eye on this tarot deck...)
submitted by Alarming-Biscotti to 30daywitch [link] [comments]

Post-Top Surgery Care Recommendations

I'm just now beginning the process of looking into top surgery consultations, and thinking longterm about after-surgery care. I had breast reduction surgery two years ago and know that having good care post-surgery is really important for healing. Last time my mom stayed with me for a week and that close care was really great. Fast-forward 2 years and turns out that breast-reduction sparked some neat non-binary gender feelings and now I want top surgery.
Right now I have two options for post-surgery care. I could ask my mom (who I am out to, but she's not supportive of "permanent surgical changes") who is a nurse, and pretty great at providing care. But in this case, emotionally it might not be so healthy. I'm 25 and have been taking care of myself as an adult for a long time now. So there are already some decent boundaries in place with my folks about my identity, albeit relatively new. I'm lucky my mom would be willing to provide that care even if it's not affirming. Most likely, she would be going through a lot of emotions about my surgery versus her gendered expectations for me being shattered in front of her while she takes care of me. From what I've ready it's already a really emotional experience to heal, so I don't want to complicate things too much.
But I'm curious: from the perspective of those who have had top surgery, would it be unwise to get post-surgical care from someone who is unsupportive of my identity, especially when this is such a big emotional time?
I could also ask a local friend to help, and she is willing, but she is having a baby soon, and I don't want to inconvenience her. To be honest the care can be pretty intimate, and I don't want to ask her unless it's really bad idea to get that care from an unsupportive source.
TL;DR - Is it a bad idea to ask my unsupportive nurse mom for post top surgery care even if she's a nurse and my best option?
submitted by notabirb to ftm [link] [comments]

Partner Wants My Feedback on Her Appearance - Help?

Hi all, I've run into something that makes me uncomfortable right now with my GF's transition and I'm hoping to crowdsource some potential solutions. My GF is fully out socially and going girlmode full time, which is great! However due to sorting out fertility options she's not yet on HRT. She doesn't pass yet, and it's really weighing on her. When we're out and about, she'll often ask me to tell her if I think she looks "more like a man or a woman" today, or whether or not I think she's passing and why. When we pass other gender ambiguous people on the street, she'll ask me what I think their gender is and what makes me think that. I never know how to answer these things and kind of just go "ummm" until she acknowledges that I feel uncomfortable and we move on.
I have so much empathy for this but I feel like she's ultimately asking me to make judgements based on a pretty stereotypical, binary way of thinking about gender. I myself am non-binary and have a lot of baggage regarding gendered expectations, so it just doesn't feel right. My gut instinct is to focus on confidence boosters, like what I love about the way she's styled her outfit/makeup, her confidence, her walk etc etc, and she's appreciative of that but will always turn it back around to how I think she can "improve" and I just don't know how to answer that. I can tell it frustrates her that I'm not giving her what she wants in terms of feedback. In general it feels like something I need to set a boundary around but I don't know exactly what it would be? Any advice would be great, I'm still pretty new at all this!
submitted by SpecialistBird12 to mypartneristrans [link] [comments]

Video Encoding in Simple Terms

Video Encoding in Simple Terms
Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine a field of human activity, in which, in one way or another, digital video has not entered. We watch it on TV, mobile devices, and stationary computers; we record it with digital cameras ourselves, or we encounter it on the roads (unpleasant, but true), in stores, hospitals, schools and universities, and in industrial enterprises of various profiles. As a consequence, words and terms that are directly related to the digital representation of video information are becoming more firmly and widely embedded in our lives. From time to time, questions arise in this area. What are the differences between various devices or programs that we use to encode/ decode digital video data, and what do they do? Which of these devices/ programs are better or worse, and in which aspects? What do all these endless MPEG-2, H.264 / AVC, VP9, H.265 / HEVC, etc. mean? Let’s try to understand.

A very brief historical reference

The first generally accepted video compression standard MPEG-2 was finally adopted in 1996, after which a rapid development of digital satellite television began. The next standard was MPEG-4 part 10 (H.264 / AVC), which provides twice the degree of video data compression. It was adopted in 2003, which led to the development of DVB-T/ C systems, Internet TV and the emergence of a variety of video sharing and video communication services. From 2010 to 2013, the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) was intensively working to create the next video compression standard, which was called High Efficient Video Coding (HEVC) by the developers; it ensured the following twofold increase in the compression ratio of digital video data. This standard was approved in 2013. That same year, the VP9 standard, developed by Google, was adopted, which was supposed to not yield to HEVC in its degree of video data compression.

Basic stages of video encoding

There are a few simple ideas at the core of algorithms for video data compression. If we take some part of an image (in the MPEG-2 and AVC standards this part is called a macroblock), then there is a big possibility that, near this segment in this frame or in neighboring frames, there will be a segment containing a similar image, which differs little in pixel intensity values. Thus, to transmit information about the image in the current segment, it is enough to only transfer its difference from the previously encoded similar segment. The process of finding similar segments among previously encoded images is called Prediction. A set of difference values that determine the difference between the current segment and the found prediction is called the Residual. Here we can distinguish two main types of prediction. In the first one, the Prediction values represent a set of linear combinations of pixels adjacent to the current image segment on the left and on the top. This type of prediction is called Intra Prediction. In the second one, linear combinations of pixels of similar image segments from previously encoded frames are used as prediction (these frames are called Reference). This type of prediction is called Inter Prediction. To restore the image of the current segment, encoded with Inter prediction, when decoding, it is necessary to have information about not only the Residual, but also the frame number, where a similar segment is located, and the coordinates of this segment.
Residual values obtained during prediction obviously contain, on average, less information than the original image and, therefore, require a fewer quantity of bits for image transmission. To further increase the degree of compression of video data in video coding systems, some spectral transformation is used. Typically, this is Fourier cosine transform. Such transformation allows us to select the fundamental harmonics in two-dimensional Residual signal. Such a selection is made at the next stage of coding — quantization. The sequence of quantized spectral coefficients contains a small number of main, large values. The remaining values are very likely to be zero. As a result, the amount of information contained in quantized spectral coefficients is significantly (dozens of times) lower than in the original image.
In the next stage of coding, the obtained set of quantized spectral coefficients, accompanied by the information necessary for performing prediction when decoding, is subjected to entropy coding. The bottom line here is to align the most common values of the encoded stream with the shortest codeword (containing the smallest number of bits). The best compression ratio (close to theoretically achievable) at this stage is provided by arithmetic coding algorithms, which are mainly used in modern video compression systems.
From the above, the main factors affecting the effectiveness of a particular video compression system become apparent. First of all, these are, of course, the factors that determine the effectiveness of the Intra and Inter Predictions. The second set of factors is related to the orthogonal transformation and quantization, which selects the fundamental harmonics in the Residual signal. The third one is determined by the volume and compactness of the representation of additional information accompanying Residual and necessary for making predictions, that is, calculating Prediction, in the decoder. Finally, the fourth set has the factors that determine the effectiveness of the final stage- entropy coding.
Let’s illustrate some possible options (far from all) of the implementation of the coding stages listed above, on the example of H.264 / AVC and HEVC.

AVC Standard

In the AVC standard, the basic structural unit of the image is a macroblock — a square area of 16x16 pixels (Figure 1). When searching for the best possible prediction, the encoder can select one of several options of partitioning each macroblock. With Intra-prediction, there are three options: perform a prediction for the entire block as a whole, break the macroblock into four square blocks of 8x8 size, or into 16 blocks with a size of 4x4 pixels, and perform a prediction for each such block independently. The number of possible options of macroblock partitioning under Inter-prediction is much richer (Figure 1), which provides adaptation of the size and position of the predicted blocks to the position and shape of the object boundaries moving in the video frame.
Fig 1. Macroblocks in AVC and possible partitioning when using Inter-Prediction.
In AVC, pixel values from the column to the left of the predicted block and the row of pixels immediately above it are used for Intra prediction (Figure 2). For blocks of sizes 4x4 and 8x8, 9 methods of prediction are used. In a prediction called DC, all calculated pixels have a single value equal to the arithmetic average of the “neighbor pixels” highlighted in Fig. 2 with a bold line. In other modes, “angular” prediction is performed. In this case, the values of the “neighbor pixels” are placed inside the predicted block in the directions indicated in Fig. 2.
In the event that the predicted pixel gets between “neighbor pixels”, when moving in a given direction, an interpolated value is used for the prediction. For blocks with a size of 16x16 pixels, 4 methods of prediction are used. One of them is the DC-prediction, which was already reviewed. The other two correspond to the “angular” methods, with the directions of prediction 0 and 1. Finally, the fourth — Plane-prediction: the values of the predicted pixels are determined by the equation of the plane. The angular coefficients of the equation are determined by the values of the “neighboring pixels”.
Fig 2. “Neighboring pixels” and angular modes of Intra-Prediction in AVC
Inter- Prediction in AVC can be implemented in one of two ways. Each of these options determines the type of macroblock (P or B). As a prediction of pixel values in P-blocks (Predictive-blocks), the values of pixels from the area located on the previously coded (reference) image, are used. Reference images are not deleted from the RAM buffer, containing decoded frames (decoded picture buffer, or DPB), as long as they are needed for Inter-prediction. A reference list is created in the DPB from the indexes of these images.
The encoder signals to the decoder about the number of the reference image in the list and about the offset of the area used for prediction, with respect to the position of predicted block (this displacement is called motion vector). The offset can be determined with an accuracy of ¼ pixel. In case of prediction with non-integer offset, interpolation is performed. Different blocks in one image can be predicted by areas located on different reference images.
In the second option of Inter Prediction, prediction of the B-block pixel values (bi-predictive block), two reference images are used; their indexes are placed in two lists (list0 and list1) in the DPB. The two indexes of reference images in the lists and two offsets, that determine positions of reference areas, are transmitted to the decoder. The B-block pixel values are calculated as a linear combination of pixel values from the reference areas. For non-integer offsets, interpolation of reference image is used.
As already mentioned, after predicting the values of the encoded block and calculating the Residual signal, the next coding step is spectral transformation. In AVC, there are several options for orthogonal transformations of the Residual signal. When Intra-prediction of a whole macroblock with a size of 16x16 is implemented, the residual signal is divided into 4x4 pixel blocks; each of them is subjected to an integer analog of discrete two-dimensional 4x4 cosine Fourier transform.
The resulting spectral components, corresponding to zero frequency (DC) in each block, are then subjected to additional orthogonal Walsh-Hadamard transform. With Inter-prediction, the Residual signal is divided into blocks of 4x4 pixels or 8x8 pixels. Each block is then subjected to a 4x4 or 8x8 (respectively) two-dimensional discrete cosine Fourier Transform (DCT, from Discrete Cosine Transform).
In the next step, spectral coefficients are subjected to the quantization procedure. This leads to a decrease in bit capacity of digits representing the spectral sample values, and to a significant increase in the number of samples having zero values. These effects provide compression, i.e. reduce the number and bit capacity of digits representing the encoded image. The reverse side of quantization is the distortion of the encoded image. It is clear that the larger the quantization step, the greater is the compression ratio, but also the distortion is greater.
The final stage of encoding in AVC is entropy coding, implemented by the algorithms of Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding. This stage provides additional compression of video data without distortion in the encoded image.

Ten years later. HEVC standard: what’s new?

The new H.265/HEVC standard is the development of methods and algorithms for compressing video data embedded in H.264/AVC. Let’s briefly review the main differences.
An analog of a macroblock in HEVC is the Coding Unit (CU). Within each block, areas for calculation of Prediction are selected — Prediction Unit (PU). Each CU also specifies the limits within which the areas for calculating the discrete orthogonal transformation from the residual signal are selected. These areas are called the Transform Unit (TU).
The main distinguishing feature of HEVC here is that the split of a video frame into CU is conducted adaptively, so that it is possible to adjust the CU boundaries to the boundaries of objects on the image (Figure 3). Such adaptability allows to achieve an exceptionally high quality of prediction and, as a consequence, a low level of the residual signal.
An undoubted advantage of such an adaptive approach to frame division into blocks is also an extremely compact description of the partition structure. For the entire video sequence, the maximum and minimum possible CU sizes are set (for example, 64x64 is the maximum possible CU, 8x8 is the minimum). The entire frame is covered with the maximum possible CUs, left to right, top-to-bottom.
It is obvious that, for such coverage, transmission of any information is not required. If partition is required within any CU, then this is indicated by a single flag (Split Flag). If this flag is set to 1, then this CU is divided into 4 CUs (with a maximum CU size of 64x64, after partitioning we get 4 CUs of size 32x32 each).
For each of the CUs received, a Split Flag value of 0 or 1 can, in turn, be transmitted. In the latter case, this CU is again divided into 4 CUs of smaller size. The process continues recursively until the Split Flag of all received CUs is equal to 0 or until the minimum possible CU size is reached. Inserted CUs thus form a quad tree (Coding Tree Units, CTU). As already mentioned, within each CU, areas for calculating prediction- Prediction Units (PU) are selected. With Intra Prediction, the CU area can coincide with the PU (2Nx2N mode) or it can be divided into 4 square PUs of twice smaller size (NxN mode, available only for CU of minimum size). With Inter Prediction, there are eight possible options for partitioning each CU into PUs (Figure 3).
Fig.3 Video frame partitioning into CUs is conducted adaptively
The idea of spatial prediction in HEVC remained the same as in AVC. Linear combinations of neighboring pixel values, adjacent to the block on the left and above, are used as predicted sample values in the PU block. However, the set of methods for spatial prediction in HEVC has become significantly richer. In addition to Planar (analogue to Plane in AVC) and DC methods, each PU can be predicted by one of the 33 ways of “angular” prediction. That is, the number of ways, in which the values are calculated by “neighbor”-pixels, is increased by 4 times.
Fig. 4. Possible partitioning of the Coding Unit into Prediction Units with the spatial (Intra) and temporary (Inter) CU prediction modes
We can point out two main differences of Inter- prediction between HEVC and AVC. Firstly, HEVC uses better interpolation filters (with a longer impulse response) when calculating reference images with non-integer offset. The second difference concerns the way the information about the reference area, required by the decoder for performing the prediction, is presented. In HEVC, a “merge mode” is introduced, where different PUs, with the same offsets of reference areas, are combined. For the entire combined area, information about motion (motion vector) is transmitted in the stream once, which allows a significant reduction in the amount of information transmitted.
In HEVC, the size of the discrete two-dimensional transformation, to which the Residual signal is subjected, is determined by the size of the square area called the Transform Unit (TU). Each CU is the root of the TU quad tree. Thus, the TU of the upper level coincides with the CU. The root TU can be divided into 4 parts of half the size, each of which, in turn, is a TU and can be further divided.
The size of discrete transformation is determined by the TU size of the lower level. In HEVC, transforms for blocks of 4 sizes are defined: 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, and 32x32. These transformations are integer analogs of the discrete two-dimensional Fourier cosine transform of corresponding size. For size 4x4 TU with Intra-prediction, there is also a separate discrete transformation, which is an integer analogue of the discrete sine Fourier transform.
The ideas of the procedure of quantizing spectral coefficients of Residual signal, and also entropy coding in AVC and in HEVC, are practically identical.
Let’s note one more point which was not mentioned before. The quality of decoded images and the degree of video data compression are influenced significantly by post-filtering, which decoded images with Inter-prediction undergo before they are placed in the DPB.
In AVC, there is one kind of such filtering — deblocking filter. Application of this filter reduces the block effect resulting from quantization of spectral coefficients after orthogonal transformation of Residual signal.
In HEVC, a similar deblocking filter is used. Besides, an additional non-linear filtering procedure called the Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) exists. Based on the analysis of pixel value distribution during encoding, a table of corrective offsets, added to the values of a part of CU pixels during decoding, is determined.
In HEVC, the size of the discrete two-dimensional transformation, to which the Residual signal is subjected, is determined by the size of the square area called the Transform Unit (TU). Each CU is the quad-tree of TU’s. Thus, the TU of the upper level coincides with the CU. The root TU can be divided into 4 parts of half the size, each of which, in turn, is a TU and can be further divided.
The size of discrete transformation is determined by the TU size of the lower level. There are four transform block sizes in HEVC: 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, and 32x32. These transforms are discrete two-dimensional Fourier cosine transform of corresponding size. For 4x4 Intra-predicted blocks, could be used another discrete transform — sine Fourier transform.
The quantization of spectral coefficients of residual signal, and entropy coding in AVC and in HEVC, are almost identical.
Let’s note one more point which was not mentioned before. The quality of decoded images, hence the degree of video data compression, is influenced significantly by post-filtering, which applied on decoded Inter-predicted images before they are placed in the DPB.
In AVC, there is one kind of such filtering — deblocking filter. It masking blocking artifacts effect originating from spectral coefficients quantization after orthogonal transformation of residual signal.
In HEVC, a similar deblocking filter is used. Besides, an additional non-linear filtering procedure called the Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) exists. Sample level correction is based either on local neighborhood or on the intensity level of sample itself. Table of sample level corrections, added to the values of a part of CU pixels during decoding, is determined.

And what is the result?

Figures 4–7 show the results of encoding of several high-resolution (HD) video sequences by two encoders. One of the encoders compresses the video data in the H.265/HEVC standard (marked as HM on all the graphs), and the second one is in the H.264/AVC standard.
Fig. 5. Encoding results of the video sequence Aspen (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Fig. 6. Encoding results of the video sequence BlueSky (1920x1080 25 frames per second)
Fig. 7. Encoding results of the video sequence PeopleOnStreet (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Fig. 8. Encoding results of the video sequence Traffic (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Coding was performed at different quantization values of spectral coefficients, hence with different levels of video image distortion. The results are presented in Bitrate (mbps) — PSNR(dB) coordinates. PSNR values characterize the degree of distortion.
On average, it can be stated that the PSNR range below 36 dB corresponds to a high level of distortion, i.e. low quality video images. The range of 36 to 40 dB corresponds to the average quality. With PSNR values above 40 dB, we can call it a high video quality.
We can roughly estimate the compression ratio provided by the encoding systems. In the medium quality area, the bit rate provided by the HEVC encoder is about 1.5 times less than the bit rate of the AVC encoder. Bitrate of an uncompressed video stream is easily determined as the product of the number of pixels in each video frame (1920 x 1080) by the number of bits required to represent each pixel (8 + 2 + 2 = 12), and the number of frames per second (30).
As a result, we get about 750 Mbps. It can be seen from the graphs that, in the area of average quality, the AVC encoder provides a bit rate of about 10–12 Mbit/s. Thus, the degree of video information compression is about 60–75 times. As already mentioned, the HEVC encoder provides compression ratio 1.5 times higher.

About the author

Oleg Ponomarev, 16 years in video encoding and signal digital processing, expert in Statistical Radiophysics, Radio waves propagation. Assistant Professor, PhD at Tomsk State University, Radiophysics department. Head of Elecard Research Lab.
submitted by VideoCompressionGuru to u/VideoCompressionGuru [link] [comments]

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