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Neverglades logs 4: Humans of the Neverglades
In todays log we will discuss the fluffy’s second most common killer. Humans. But before we do that I would like to explain more of the fluffy’s biology. The nutrition of the fluffy in the Neverglades is actually quite good. They are omnivores believe it or not. Meat does have some vital vitamins that they require to sustain good nutrition. However, they can have a full vegetarian diet and survive, however, their muscles and digestive system will not be up to par. Fluffy’s from the north tend to have lots of diarrhea, that is what happens if their only food source is just milk or just grass. Grass is low in fiber and nutrients compared to other vegetables so it is no wonder northern feral fluffy’s defecation is mostly liquid. In Florida, they can eat pond apples. A very bitter but still nutritious cousin of the apples we know and love. Fluffies don’t seem to mind the bitter taste, however, that is because they are feral. Pond apples were given to domestic fluffies and they rejected it. As ferals they will make the most out of any flavor. Other fruits they can eat are seagrapes, coconuts, and the thousands of orange, lime, and peach trees left over from the farms. Such trees are now spreading all throughout the Neverglades. As for meat, they have 2 main sources. Other fluffies, foals, and insects. They will munch on the countless grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and any other small arthropod. So I guess fluffies are above at least bugs in the food chain, however there are plenty of insects that can eat them if they have large numbers. With such a balanced diet, mares rarely have stillborns or defective foals! Also these Neverglade fluffy fecal matter is solid. Their rear ends still get covered in the stuff however… The Neverglades have countless factions that scour the land. Keep in mind fluffies are biologically programmed to love humans unconditionally. Most feral fluffies have never seen a human and yet they still crave their love. Our drones have caught them murmuring to themselves that they want a “hooman huggies.” Humans are practically mythical gods to them at this point. When they do see one, they will become overjoyed and charge towards them asking for “huggies” and “gib upsies.” The human almost always kills them. After a few foul encounters with a human a fluffy will learn to fear us, unfortunately, they can’t seem to teach other fluffies that lesson. In parenthesis is how their standings are with fluffies, from most friendly to least it goes Loving-neutral-aggressive-hostile. Researchers (Neutral): Us, we do not kill fluffies unless required for an experiment or if we are low on food supplies. Rangers (Aggressive): These are the park Rangers, they are one half invasive species hunter, one half SWAT team. They will kill any python, boar, Nile crocodile, or iguana they come across. As for fluffies, they used to kill on sight, but the fluffy population always seemed to bounce back. They were spending countless dollars on ammo and trying to club a whole herd to death could take hours. And again, the fluffies always bounced back, always. They deemed it pointless unless using them for target practice. Also, they will kill them if bored. (Video plays, it seems to be from a phone) Filming Ranger: Duuuuddee got the ‘nade? A herd off fluffies are running to them in the distance, feint “huggies” and “upsies” can be heard. Other Ranger: Yeah dude! Fuckin’ watch. (Now Shouting) HEY FLUFFS, PLAY WITH BALL! He pulls the pin to the grenade and throws it at the herd. The fluffies shout “yay baww! fank 'ou.” They played with the grenade for only a second before it went off, causing blood, shit, fur, and dead foals to coat the surrounding land. The explosion was followed by the roaring laughter of the Rangers. (Video Ends) Armed with assault rifles and large artillery, the Rangers are also in the Neverglades to stop the Cuban Cartels, Brofluff Cultists, Anarchists, malfunctioning robots, and any other nefarious activity in the Neverglades. [Redacted] Man (Extremely hostile, even to [Redacted]!): [Redacted] Man is [Redacted], im*e#sely da^ng3r&s [Red4c1ed] d0 4OT A9pr0c#----- Squatters (Hostile): Not everyone took kindly to evacuate all land south of Lake Okeechobee order. Many demanded to say, and the governor obliged, however, he warned them that there would be no police force or fire fighters to protect them, or corporations to supply jobs. Over the years many Squatters moved back to the inhabited parts of Florida such as the pan handle after life got too rough. Not only that, many Squatters have been killed by the Cartels, Anarchists, and even panthers and black bears. The Fort of Fort Myers was completely destroyed by [Redacted] Man. Which used to be the largest Squatter stronghold. Now they are sparse and no longer live in large communities, instead they live more of a hermit life. Fluffies are their main source of meat. They will hunt them; such a task is easily done with fluffies prancing to them. But they will also construct traps. The most effective is a Comfortfluffy. Think of it like a scarecrow but opposite. It is human effigy that it is made to attract Fluffies. As they approach the comfortfluffy, the fluffies will try to hug it. At the base of the comfortfluffy is a large mouse trap device hidden under pine needles. Such a device can kill 5 fluffies in 1 activation. (Video starts) A Comfortfluffy is erected in the backyard of an isolated house in a grassland. Around the Comfortfluffy is tan palmfrawns that hide the killing mechanism. There is even a small radio hidden in the chest of the Comfortfluffy playing songs one would hear on Fluffy TV. A small pack of 5 adult fluffies with 2 mares with foals on their backs happily waddle towards the comfortfluffy shouting “huggies!” They begin to nudge the pants of the comfortfluffy and although metal creaking sounds could be heard, the trap does not activate. Then one of the fluffies begins to jump while singing “upsies!” The jump was just the pressure needed to activate the trap. A rusty screech is heard as the trap activates and 4 mouse trap-like bars swing down around the comfortfluffy. The cheers of the fluffies turn to a quick shriek, a loud crack, followed by some meek crying. 3 of the fluffies died on impact, their scull or chest cavity popped like a pimple. The 2 that survived had their hind ends crushed and their entrails shot out their rear. “Big owwies!!!” They meekly cried as the life in them slowly drained. The Foals that got hit by the bars were completely obliterated. The ones that were not hit were completely unscathed, however, they began to cry about everyone taking the “foweba sweepies.” As shadow then looms over them. “Sandra! Were havin’ foal stew tonight!” (Video ends) Cuban Cartels (Hostile): Even after the legalization of marijuana the Cartels did not slow down. They are still quite in business thanks to the ever-growing demand for cocaine, heroin, and opium. The Cartels will make landfall in the Neverglades if the make it past the heavily patrolled Keys Atolls. They even have some bases the Rangers can’t take out unless they get military assistance. The Cartels will actively lure fluffies into their bases. They will put signs featuring happy looking humans with arrows pointing at the base. The fluffies will gladly follow the signs. Once lured into the base the Cartel henchmen will slaughter them for food. Anarchists (Loving to Hostile): True to the definition of their namesake, they have no set rules or governance, and most anarchist groups have no relation to one another. You’ll have the ones who come to the Neverglades to abuse its low surveillance to torture and murder Squatters, other anarchists, and any other poor human that gets in their way. They will of course have their way with any and all fluffies. Then you’ll have the more hippie kind who just want to have a nice little commune away from corporations. These are usually very loving to the fluffies, most wont even hunt them with the amount of vegans they have. However, these communes don’t last long due to attacks from the Cartels, other anarchists, [Redacted] Man, and even large animal attacks. We’ve even witnessed a massive pack of coyotes kill an entire commune. Brofluff Cult (Loving): This all male cult worships some sort of female equine pantheon. Part of their religion is to be subservient to all fluffies. They will come to the Neverglades and build small fluffly sized homes. They will cook countless spaghetti for the fluffies. They will protect the fluffies, even going as far as killing any human who dare hurts a fluffy. However, do note they will… mate… with a mare they call their “fluffu.” They will also breed fluffies in hopes of reincarnating the “Daughters of the Goddesses.” The Rangers will keep a close eye on them, if they make any aggressive move towards other humans the Rangers will rout them. Pirates (Hostile): Basically anarchists that patrol the seas. They will commonly go ashore to restock on fluffies unless the find a drifting boat full of fluffies. Fathers of Freeport (Hostile): Please remember, when I write “hostile” I only mean to fluffies, these men are actually very kind. The name of their faction was dubbed by me, they are simply Bahaman refugees searching for food. After sea level rise the Bahaman government disbanded, taking the upper class with them to live in Florida’s panhandle. The rest of the civilians were left to fend for themselves. Food is now critically short over in the Bahamas. What little land is left can’t grow food and the coral reefs have been overfished to depletion. However, some savvy fisherman have learned about the fluffy situation in Florida. They sail over to the east coast and collect a hulls worth of fluffies to take back to the remnants of their starving country. This particular group I was monitoring always stocks up at an atoll building at Hallandale Reef. This building is completely surrounded by water and somehow stuffed to the gills with fluffies on all dry floors. I was even able to intercept and question the captain of the fishing boat. (Start of transcript) Researcher: So what brought you to Hallandale Reef? Captain: The reefs ova’ by Miami have too many pirates scoutin’ the seas. But here it is close enough to Seminole Territory dat da pirates shy away. Researcher: Has the Seminoles have any qualms with you? Captain: Nah, dey know we mean no harm. We take only the fluffy ones. Dey seem to not care fo’ them. Researcher: Are you afraid this building will run out of fluffies? Captain: (Laughs) No, no, no. Dees tings have many many babs’. If anyting we be doing them a favor and stoppin’ them from ending up like our own home. Researcher: Have any of your men gotten hurt trying to farm these fluffies? Captain: Yes, a greenhorn died. The floors of dis building be covered in shit. Poor greenhorn slipped and fell down stairs. Researcher: I see, have you encountered [Redacted] Man? Captain: Oh no lord Jesus, nonono! We be going now, good day! Researcher: But… Captain: Our hulls are full, and you reminded me of why our people can’t immigrate here, goodbye! And may lord Jesus protect your soul, science man who pokes tings dat need not be pokin’! (End of Transcript) Seminole Tribe (Neutral): A very powerful faction on par with the Rangers when it comes to control in the Neverglades. With the rising waters the Seminoles have lost lots of their ancestral lands and the USA did not grant them any more territory. However, they adapted. Their crowing hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel was a casino and hotel that is shaped like a giant guitar. Now that it is surrounded by water, they modified it to work also as a yacht club and dock. They even built an underwater hotel near it. People from all over the world fly in to West Palm Beach to take a cruise to their establishment. They also rule the area with an iron fist, killing any pirates, cultists, Cartel, or any other undesirables that try to make a footing in their territory. To fluffies, they are indifferent. See them as nothing more as a pest. They will kill any feral fluffy that is found in the halls of their hotels. But for any fluffy roaming the marshes of their territory, they know culling won’t really solve anything, so they let nature take its course. They also breed fluffies for desirable colors and will even have Fluffy Shows where breeders exhibit their fluffy show-pony. Fighters For Florida (Or the FFF) (Neutral to Hostile): With the right permits and go aheads from government bodies, civilians can enter the Neverglades. The FFF is a hunting force of civilians that is organized to hunt invasive species such as pythons, Nile crocs, and any other invasive threat. However, ones hunting for pythons and such do not target fluffies because they know it will make no difference and their reserve ammo is better spent fighting any human threat that tries to harm them. That being said, some… questionably moraled FFF hunters that call themselves “abusers” come to the Neverglades to only torture fluffies to death. Since fluffies are labeled as invasive animals “to be removed by any means necessary” the abusers are 100% in legal right to… “hunt” fluffies in any way they want. That about covers the humans of the Neverglades. Now we shall talk about native fluffavores, aka native animals that can eat adult fluffies. The Black Bear: This animal is an omnivore in which 80% of their diet was vegetation. Not anymore, now their primary food source is fluffies. Because they are easier to hunt then to forage for fruits. If a heard of Fluffies spots one, they will usually shout and panic and try to quickly waddle away. The Black Bear will make chase and usually eat the one that trips, or it will swipe at the slowest one and kill it. Black Bears can even take out a nest by themselves. Even if the fluffies try to hide in a burrow the bears can dig down to them, but they usually go after easier fluffy prey. Black Bears in human ruins have learned that pushing open doors or breaking into boxes, cars, trash cans, and other containers have a good chance of revealing a hiding fluffy. Also note, fluffies also tend to think ALL land animals fear the water like them and will rush into shallow water to escape the black bear. They will then tease the bear, until the bear effortlessly charges into the water and kills them. Panthers: We have talked about the general hunting habits of the panther in log 1, however I’d like to add on the habits of an alpha male panther. Alphas will patrol a large territory and basically kill any animal it does not want in its territory including other male panthers. One alpha has been documented killing 125 fluffies in a mega herd. It only ate 2. Florida Gar: This fish can grow up to 3 meters in length. It used to be a very rare sight this far south in Florida after overfishing from humans. Now, they have made ma huge comeback thanks to the Neverglades low human population and fluffies as a food source. Unlike smaller gar or bass, these fish can eat an adult fluffy. They will glide into the shallows and scoop up a fluffy wading through the water and then use its serpentine body to slither back into the depth all while the fluffy begs to be let go. If the initial bite does not kill it that is. Raptors: Hawks, Eagles, Osprey, Falcons and any large bird that hunts with talons. The red shouldered hawk is very common predator of the skies. “Wingie munstah” as they are called by fluffies are common throughout all habitats and thus Raptors have the largest kill count of fluffies if you don’t count humans. Our camera drones must always use its cloaking device not only to not spook the fluffies, but to hide from raptors. (Video starts) A Red Shouldered Hawk sits on a tall cypress branch as it spots a herd of fluffies waddling into the dried cypress dome. “Fluffy so thiwsty… need some wawas…” They then come across a puddle and joyously begin to drink. That is when the hawk makes its move. It glides down under the branches and before the fluffies can even cry out in warning. The hawk snatches up a small adult fluffy, as it flies the fluffy shits on everything below. The hawk waits for it to stop shitting and carries him up to a branch. All fluffies scatter in fear but one, the victim fluffies mate and her foals. “Wingie munstah! Pwease gib speshuw fwend back!” The foals also cry for their mother’s mate. The hawk then lands on a branch and holds the fluffy down with one talon that has dug into his flesh. The hawk begins to peck at the fluffy’s side and the fluffy begins to cry out “biggest owwies!” The hawk rips out the fluffy’s liver, then a kidney, then more chunks of flesh until the fluffy dies of organ failure. Stated, the hawk then pushes the fluffy off the branch. Its corpse hits multiple branches on the way down until it lands and the mare and her foals begin to cry at his corpse. The mare then is snatched up by a bald eagle and the cycle repeats. The video then shows a clip of two ospreys fighting over a filly midair. It should be noted that not all Raptors kill fluffies by consumption, sometimes they simply drop them. The osprey continue to fight until they drop the filly into the brackish water below. She screams and shouts until she drowns and disappears under the tea-like waters of the estuary. The video then shows a clip of a bald eagle migrating high in the air. The fluffy it is carrying then shits so hard it startles the eagle and it drops it. The video zooms in as the fluffy splats on the abandoned parking lot below. (Video ends) Alligators: These ancient predators are a fluffy’s worst nightmare because it is a “wawa munsta” that can exit the water and kill them. It is immensely rare for an alligator to hunt on land. They are almost entirely ambush predators, laying low in the water, hidden until a land animal needs to take a drink so it can immediately bite the prey’s head and pull it into the water. Such a perfect strategy is why alligators have been relatively unchanged since the time of dinosaurs. Such a strategy is perfect to eat fluffies, to no surprise. However, why wait? Alligators will leave the water, charge at a herd and scoop up one that did not run away in time. If they see trapped fluffies, they can devour multiple. (Video starts) There is a large abandoned Olympic sized swimming pool that has essentially turned into a marsh. Ten fluffies have entered the pool on the shallow end where sediment pile up from draining rainwater has made a ramp. They waddle to the diving well of the pool which has become a small pond within itself. The fluffies begin to drink from the pondwater and a massive alligator from the kiddie pool scurries into the pool marsh. The fluffies finally see her but it is too late. The walls of the pool got them trapped and the alligator blocks the only way out. The alligator slowly gets them to back up into the corner of the pool as they meekly cry and whine and shit. She lunges forward and bites one, then a second, then another! She shallows 3 fluffies down as they scream and defecate. The rest of the herd use this time to escape. However, more alligators enter the marsh pool as their cries altered the whole waterpark. A new video clip starts to show off how some mares will sacrifice foals to save themselves. A mare is cornered in a sewer as a 50cm juvenile alligator hisses and harasses the mare. The foal on her back shouts “Mummah! make wawa munsta go 'way!” She lets out a sad cry “Am sowwy bestes' babbeh.” And drops the foal on the ground, the alligator scoops it up as the mare escapes. (Video ends) Seagulls: Alone they can eat a foal, but a flock can peck a lone adult to death and eat small chunks of them. Those are all the native fluffavores we have for today. Next log we will talk about defective robots that are scattered throughout the Neverglades. And how their glitched programming makes them a threat to fluffies… unless their programming was to kill them in the first place. Then they are not glitched.
[Discussion] 25 great albums you might have missed from 2019. Spotify playlist included.
Spotify playlist is here Google Play playlist courtesy of u/TimeFourChanges is here Apple Music playlist courtesy of u/LegoWaffles is here Last year I listened to over 800 albums and posted a few of my favorites. This year I did the same thing, and I’ve had some people asking me to post again, so here goes. These are not my top 25 albums. These are just 25 albums that I felt were sorely overlooked. Last year some people rightly complained that I included artists which broke the sub’s popularity rules. I’ve done my best to ensure that none of these artists have more than three songs with 500,000+ plays on Spotify, nor 250,000+ listeners on Last.FM. I apologize in advance if something was overlooked. Hopefully we can help get these artists and albums some of the credit they truly deserve! Without further ado, here are 25 great albums you might have missed in 2019: 1. Peter Cat Recording Co. - Bismillah (Released 6/7/19, India) I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m a huge Tool fan, so my choice for best album of the year is definitely biased. But Bismillah by Peter Cat Recording Co., my second favorite album of the year, sounds nothing like Tool. In fact, it’s pretty much as far as you can get from extended prog metal jams. The music defies classification, drawing from a breadth of influences including rock, folk, jazz, and electronica. The vocals are rich and smooth, reminiscent of classic pop stars like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. So far, no one I’ve introduced to this album has disliked it. At this point, I’d go so far as to say it will likely appeal to anyone who just plain loves music. Please do yourself a favor and listen to this incredible album! Standout Tracks: Where the Money Flows, Memory Box, Freezing, Heera 2. Mdou Moctar - Ilana, the Creator (Released 3/29/19, Niger) There’s a lot of incredible music coming out of African countries that goes virtually unnoticed in the west. Mdou Moctar is one of those artists, a king of desert rock guitar whose psychedelic jams draw heavily on Tuareg folk music. There is an infectious energy to this album that doesn’t let up from beginning to end, and every time I listen, I find myself wishing it were a few songs longer. Despite the fact that I can’t understand a word of the lyrics, it’s one of those albums that makes me feel like I can hear colors and taste sounds. The next time I get my hands on some LSD, this will be my go-to record. Standout Tracks: Kamane Tarhanin, Tarhatazed, Tumastin 3. Flamingods - Levitation (Released 5/3/19, Bahrain) In a year with new albums from Pond and the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, not to mention two new albums from King Gizzard, I never expected this album from a little-known Bahraini group to blow the Australian psychedelic scene out of the water. It’s unpretentious and unassuming, playing it safe rather than pushing the limits of studio experimentation, but Levitation needs no gimmicks. The melodies are catchy and memorable, backed by tight instrumentation with lots of guitar noodling. The influence of traditional Middle Eastern music is audible, but usually subtle. Though there is still room for the band to grow in its sound, this album is nearly perfect as it is. Standout Tracks: Astral Plane, Peaches, Mantra 4. Bruno Bavota - RE_CORDIS (Released 1/18/19, Italy) Winter is usually the slow season for new album releases, but the mood of the season perfectly matches the mood of RE_CORDIS. It’s a fairly straightforward album of instrumental compositions enhanced by the lightest accents and effects that demonstrate the delicacy with which Bruno Bavota hones his work. The instrumentation varies from song to song just enough to stay engaging, and while it does encourage wandering thoughts, there are many subtleties to actively listen for. It’s one of those albums that sounds best as you’re just drifting off to sleep, when the silence and darkness of the room allows each note to stand out. Standout Tracks: Passengers, La luce nel cuore, The Man Who Chased the Sea 5. Cykada - Cykada (Released 3/29/19, England, UK) For a debut album, Cykada is pretty impressive, and that’s because the musicians behind it are already well established in the London jazz scene. Which of course means jack shit in the world of pop music, so I hope you’ll forgive me stretching the rules of the sub just a little to show off this “supergroup” ensemble. There are only five songs on Cykada, but with the shortest clocking in at just under six minutes, each one feels like a journey in and of itself. If the opening of the first track doesn’t immediately hook you, then perhaps this isn’t the group for you. But if it does, I think you’ll find yourself hanging onto every note until the end of the nearly 12-minute jam that closes out the album. Standout Tracks: Creation, Ophelia’s Message, Third Eye Thunder 6. Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine (Released 4/26/19, California, US) There’s a tropical undercurrent to the songs on Claude Fontaine, which shamelessly dips into Carribean and Latin American influences, but the tone of the album more somber than sunny. The vocals come across as wistful, at times loney, and the lo-fi production adds a degree of separation that feels like listening to a memory of a bygone summer. There’s nothing technically impressive about this album, and in fact the opposite is often true, but something about the raw introspection coupled with atypical Latin grooves feels like slipping into a dream. Standout Tracks: Hot Tears, Love Street, Pretending He Was You 7. Iguana Death Cult - Nude Casino (Released 10/25/19, Netherlands) By the time Iguana Death Cult released their album Nude Casino just before Halloween, I was expecting the year to more or less be over, musically speaking. Then I found myself playing this album on repeat at work, and it quickly shot up into my top 20 on the strength of every song being an absolute jam. The band is so clearly having fun that it’s all but impossible not to join in. The bouncy, dance-like energy reminds me a bit of early Arctic Monkeys. As an added credit, I’d say they’re a strong contender for the best band name/album name combo of the year. Standout Tracks: Nude Casino, Liquify, Nature Calls 8. Saor - Forgotten Paths (Released 2/15/19, Scotland, UK) This album feels cinematic, on the scale of Lord of the Rings or The Avengers. It’s an overwhelming experience, like watching thunderheads roll in over the plains, except instead of thunder and lightning it’s blast beats and metal screams. There are moments of symphonic grandeur, but also passages of graceful simplicity that draw inspiration from folk and chamber music. Even if you aren’t generally a fan of distorted vocals, it’s worth a listen for the instrumentals alone. Standout Tracks: Forgotten Paths, Monadh, Bròn 9. Sandro Perri - Soft Landing (Released9/6/19, Canada) I’m not really sure how to describe or categorize Sandro Perri’s music. Google suggests he’s been classified as “post rock”, “ambient”, and “folk”, but none of those terms really see to fit. His music is experimental if nothing else, exploring the simplest ideas to the fullest extent and crafting entire songs around short musical phrases. Despite the peaceful vibe, Soft Landing isn’t really background music. The pieces of the puzzle all sound familiar on their own, but Sandro Perri assembles them in a way that sounds strange and unique, and might cause you to involuntarily cock your head to the side as you listen. Standout Tracks: Time (You Got Me), Wrong About the Rain, Soft Landing 10. Uluru - Acrophilia (Released 2/8/19, Turkey) One thing that I love about the explosion of psychedelic rock over the past decade is that it’s largely transcended geography. Uluru is another example of the intersection between Middle Eastern and psychedelic music, but unlike Flamingods, Uluru tends more towards the crunchy stoner rock end of the spectrum. This album is also different in that it’s entirely instrumental, but that doesn’t make it feel incomplete. At just seven songs, each between 3-8 minutes, Acrophilia is just the right size to leave an impression without wearing on into endless jam sessions. Standout Tracks: Şark, Constantine, Aeternum 11. Jimmy “Duck” Holmes - Cypress Grove (Released 10/18/19, Mississippi, US) Some music ages like fine wine, but the blues ages like whiskey. Like many underappreciated blues pioneers, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes didn’t start recording studio albums until fairly late in his life. Despite going unnoticed by the music industry, Holmes is a fixture of Mississippi blues history, and deserves every bit as much acclamation as his contemporaries. Cypress Grove doesn’t features surprising new compositions. It’s the work of a true artist interpreting old standards, and though it sticks keenly to tradition, there’s nothing quite as genuine as an old blues master pouring a lifetime of experience into an acoustic guitar. Standout Tracks: Catfish Blues, Goin’ Away Baby, Little Red Rooster 12. Julian Taylor Band - Avalanche (Released 3/29/19, Canada) This album exemplifies the meaning of “groove”. Lyrically it doesn’t offer any hot takes or great philosophical depth, but it will make your foot tap and your head nod whether you like it or not. It’s music for late summer evenings, for grilling out and driving to the beach. But if you like magic mushrooms and hackysack, this album might touch you on a deep emotional level. Standout Tracks: Time, Back Again, Never Let the Lights Go Dim 13. Modern Nature - How to Live (Released 8/23/19, England, UK) How to Live didn’t leave much of an impression when I first heard it back in September, but as I was going back over my top albums at the end of the year, it suddenly connected with me. Maybe it was the funky beats, or the flawless blend of electric and acoustic instruments. Maybe it was just the large quantity of marijuana edibles I’d ingested. But there’s something fascinating and engaging about the delivery of these songs. It’s not just the vocals, which are hardly above a whisper. Even the instrumentals sound stealthy, as if the band recorded at night and didn’t want to wake the neighbors. The songs also stick with you, but not in the sense of a Top 40 earworm. More like a ghost haunting from just over your shoulder. Each time I listen to this album I find something new to like about it. Standout Tracks: Footsteps, Peradam, Nature 14. Fvneral Fvkk - Carnal Confessions (Released 9/27/19, Germany) Everything about this band seems intentionally offensive, from their conjunction of religion and sexuality to their egregious misspelling of the word “fuck”. But when you’re through clutching your pearls, check out the rich vocals and heavy riffs that make this metal band’s debut album stand out. If you’re into heavy rock but don’t care for unclean vocals, this should make you a happy camper. Unless you’re a member of the clergy, then perhaps give this album a pass. Standout Tracks: Chapel of Abuse, A Shadow in the Dormitory, The Hallowed Leech 15. Dommengang - No Keys (Released 5/17/19, California, US) Dommengang aren’t breaking down musical barriers, but I can’t find a single song on this album that I dislike. In the era of music streaming, there’s something to be said for a collection of solid singles that can each stand on their own. But No Keys is more than just a collection of singles. The sum of its parts is a cohesive album that touches on blues rock, psychedelic, and metal without committing to any one style, all following a current of driving rock guitar riffs with plenty of flourishes. Standout Tracks: Wild Wash, Kudzu, Jerusalem Cricket 16. Magic Circle - Departed Souls (Released 3/29/19, Massachusetts, US) Magic Circle is a bit like the Greta Van Fleet of Black Sabbath wannabes. Unlike Greta Van Fleet, however, these guys have serious musical talent and songwriting ability that make Departed Souls more of a respectful tribute than a piss on the legacy of 70s hard rock. There is also a good bit of originality to this album, and while it’s obvious that vocalist could pull off a flawless Ozzy impression if he tried, there’s a modicum of restraint that suggests the incorporation of broader influences. In fact, some of the albums best moments are when the band isn’t directly emulating the classics. Standout Tracks: Departed Souls, Valley of the Lepers, Nightland 17. Obsequiae - The Palms of Sorrowed Kings (Released 11/22/19, Minnesota, US) The Palms of Sorrowed Kings is an album of stark contrasts, catapulting back and forth between brutal, howling metal and languid, acoustic folk. The end result is an emotional journey with moments of triumph, rage, introspection, heartbreak, and tranquility. While the vocals accentuate some of the album’s more powerful moments, they aren’t highlighted above any of the other instruments, instead blending into the cacophony like the voice of a commander shouting orders across a field of battle. Fans of tabletop RPGs might want this album playing in the background of an adventuring session. Standout Tracks: Palästinalied, Morrígan, Lone Isle 18. Black Peaches - Fire in the Hole (Released 5/17/19, England, UK) Black Peaches have a sort of jam band aesthetic, drawing on the musical influences of the southern US to flavor their brand of psychedelic indie rock. Despite the frontman’s tangential involvement with Hot Chip, the band is firmly rooted in drums and guitars, with a sound more comparable to Phish or Widespread Panic than any synthpop outfit. Whether cranking along to frantic percussion or grooving smoothly over funk textures, the songs on Fire in the Hole are wild and dynamic from beginning to end. Standout Tracks: Fire in the Hole, Black Peach Boogie, Pillars of Hercules 19. YĪN YĪN - The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers (Released 10/18/19, Netherlands) As much as I try to be objective when approaching new music, I can’t help but love what I love. The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers checks a lot of boxes for me: psychedelic atmosphere, unique instrumentation, lengthy jams, danceable rhythms, incorporation of world music styles - even the artwork instantly attracted me to this album. While perhaps it’s not a perfect record, it has a lot of relistenability, and no other album released in 2019 sounds quite like it. Standout Tracks: One Inch Punch, The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers, Dis̄ kô Dis̄ kô 20. Red Rum Club - Matador (Released 1/11/19, England, UK) What’s the easiest way to make your generic indie band stand out? Add a trumpet! Seriously, that’s pretty much what makes the album work. Fans of alt pop bands like Neon Trees, Catfish and the Bottlemen, or Young the Giant will recognize the rather formulaic approach to songwriting - powerful vocals, straightforward lyrics, and hopelessly catchy hooks. But regardless of how many sound-alikes you’ve heard, the soaring brassy tones on Matador imbue the songs with an irresistible dancefloor spirit. Standout Tracks: Hung Up, Honey, Calexico 21. Ouzo Bazooka - Transporter (Released 1/11/19, Israel) Ouzo Bazooka isn’t the first group to combine the raw energy of garage rock with the experimental songwriting of psychedelia, but they play it with such skill that any lack of originality should be forgiven. Like many contemporary bands inspired by the music of the 60s and 70s, Ouzo Bazooka isn’t picky about the sources from which they draw influence, and their music benefits from that open-mindedness. At times they appear to be firmly planted in unassuming rock n roll, only to blast off to the cosmos at a moment’s notice, taking you along for the ride. Standout Tracks: Latest News, Space Camel, Killing Me 22. Konradsen - Saints and Sebastian Stories (Released 10/25/19, Norway) Konradsen makes a lot of interesting musical decisions in the songwriting on Saints and Sebastian Stories. These songs aren’t likely to hook you on your first listen, and might even seem off-putting as they meander slowly over layers of studio effects. The album follows the precedent set by experimental indie artists like Bon Iver, combining disparate elements from jazz percussion lingering piano chords to shy-sounding horns. It’s the type of album that takes a couple songs to warm up, but then continues escalating and improving as it unfolds. Standout Tracks: Dice, Baby Hallelujah, Red to Rhyme 23. Black String - Karma (Released 9/27/19, South Korea) Generally speaking, jazz isn’t my favorite genre. That said, Karma doesn’t sound like what most people first think of when they hear the word “jazz”. The improvisational aspect is there, but the songs are structured around traditional Korean music in a way that subverts western expectations. Fortunately for us westerners, the group has provided a sort of jumping off point in their brilliant cover of Radiohead’s Exit Music (For a Film), reworked until only the bare bones are recognisable. Standout Tracks: Sureña, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Exit Music - For a Film 24. the one and only PPL MVR - THE CHOSEN (Released 6/4/19, California, US) There’s this crazy theory going around that the one and only PPL MVR is actually just the members of Brand New dressed in yeti suits. I’m operating under the assumption that the theory is bunk, and that this gimmicky band is just an underappreciated power trio with a flair for the dramatic. While the band’s prevailing sound can best be described as heavy rock music, they certainly don’t feel the need to pigeonhole themselves. From power chords to autotune, nothing is off the table. Standout Tracks: NML, MOVE, THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS 25. The Garifuna Collective - Aban (Released 9/15/19, Belize) The Garifuna Collective is ever so slightly outside the normal popularity parameters for listentothis (their third most popular song has 524,000 plays on Spotify), so I beg your leniency for this incredible group of musicians who are widely unknown outside Central America. It’s so outside the spectrum of my normal listening habits that I don’t really know how to classify this kind of music. All I do know is that the rhythms are infectious and the melodies compelling. I’m always somewhat surprised when a group of musicians who speak a different language and live in a place I’ve never visited can reach me through music in a way that transcends culture. The combination of predictable patterns and unfamiliar elements is precisely why I pause to listen. Standout Tracks: Wiya Waist, Ideruni (Help), Magidu (The Market) As in 2018, I’ve also been keeping a spreadsheet to track my top 500 favorite albums throughout the year. If anyone’s interested, you can view it here, as well as a 500 song playlist including one song from each album (link is at the top of the spreadsheet). Keep in mind that most of my top 500 albums don’t meet the popularity rules of this sub, nor is it the focus of this post. Since people asked for it last year, I just figured I’d share it again.
https://preview.redd.it/qbziq400rka51.png?width=1500&format=png&auto=webp&s=5f99e2edeeb22f62524e1345db1fca8870d02d73 We're proud to announce the winners of the seventh contest, Theme Park Festival. It's been exciting to see your creations and we look forward to seeing more from you all! 1st place: The Funpark, created by CHEESEatYT2 https://worlds.frvr.com/w/78284 "Come one, come all to Worlds FRVR's All-age Theme Park, The Funpark, A place for everyone!" Funpark's overall theme draws from the past Build Contests held by Worlds FRVR, notably "Your Dream Summer Getaway", which inspired the whole park's design, hence the Palm Trees that are scattered in the whole Park Area as well as the attraction "Gokart Xtreme". For the theme "Looking to the Future", there is a futuristic-inspired area near "The Needle", which homes one of the large Roller Coasters inside Funpark, "Cyber Shuttle" and futuristic-themed Buildings and Skyscrapers that gives a CybeFuture feel. Next is the theme "Heroes vs Villains", which inspired the Castle near the Park's Central Hub. The Castle is a depiction of Fairhaven's Frost Castle, which is the home of Dearcaz, the Frost Knight from by Build Entry for Build Contest #3. Funpark also drew from the theme "The Untamed Frontier", which inspired a Wild West attraction on the left side of the park that has the ride called "Wild West Chase", a Merry-Go-Round. Lastly is the theme "Treasures of the Ancients", which inspired the Ferris Wheel ride named "The Dentreian Eye", which was also inspired from my Build Entry for that Contest, hence the scattered Treasures I called as "Gems and Crystals" from that Build can be seen on that area. Other areas, attractions and rides are also themed, such as the "Town Square" and the "Witch Hut" which draws from a Medieval/Fantasy theme, as well as the "Sailing Swings" ride, which draws from a Pirate theme. In total there are over 15 Rides and Attractions inside the Area. Have fun checking it all out! "Here at Funpark, The Fun awaits, so see you there!" 2nd place: Coconut Island by Linard & BUCA https://worlds.frvr.com/w/61656 Coconut Island is for the Rich and Famous. Millionaires and billionaires visit this place to rest and have some fun. The Island is full of choices when it comes to playing, sleeping, or eating. The island is accessible only by plane, helicopter, or a yacht. You can rent a room in the FRVR Hotel for a price or take chances in the Star Casino. If the beach is not enough, you can swim in pools or slide down the waterslides. You can go drive go-karts or take a ride on the roller coaster. 3rd place: Planet Jurassic by Rage and Battledroid http://worlds.frvr.com/w/53739 Jurassic Park and Jurassic World have long captured our imaginations of what could be, but never should; an amusement park beyond any centered around real life dinosaurs with rides that put us close to these magnificent creatures that once where. Planet Jurassic is the embodiment of this vision from my perspective so I welcome all to come and see. Honorable mentions (in order of submission):
原文载于1990年3月刊（点此可获取原刊PDF） 转载请注明翻译者@hhgztom 图片源自网络 PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: DONALD TRUMP a candid conversation with the decade's most flamboyant billionaire on deal making, self-promotion, world affairs and how much is enough 《花花公子》专访:唐纳德·特朗普 与十年来最引人注目的亿万富翁的一次坦诚对话 谈交易、自我推销、国际事务以及多少钱才够 Donald Trump sits alone. He hasn't slept in 48 hours. At six A.M., perched high, in the bronze-coated jewel of his empire, Trump Tower; he is bent over a mammoth Brazilian-rosewood desk, scrutinizing spread sheets. No insomnia, no growing worries. "Pressure," lie surmises, sipping an iced Coke, "doesn't upset my sleep,'' a standard four hours nightly. "I like throwing balls into the air— and I dream like a baby." Three hours later, blond hair marshaled, he announces, with standard chutzpah, his seven-and-a-half billion dollar bid to gobble down the nation's premiere airline, American. On the strength of his $120-a-share bid, the stock vaults from $16 to $99.The 43-year-old billionaire, who owns huge blocks of American Airlines stock ,smiles broadly. A week later, with the market lumbling190 points, he withdraws his offer, perhaps temporarily. Despite some reports that insinuated his American raid was only cardboard, a poly to rattle up his stock, Trump stares into space: "Nope, I want it." Yup, If it's the best, and it's for sale, Donald Trump's stomach begins to growl. He captured troubled Saudi financier Adnan Khashoggi's onyx-and-gold-plated yacht for a mere $29,000,000—now it's worth $100,000,000. Then he bought the Eastern shuttle for $365,000,000 and transformed it overnight into the Trump Shuttle, complete with comfortable cabins and stewardesses rustling in virgin wool and pearls. 唐纳德•特朗普独自坐着。他已经48小时没休息了。 早上6点，高耸的特朗普大厦，上面镶嵌着青铜涂层的宝石;他俯身在一张巨大的巴西木紫檀木办公桌前，仔细查看着那些表格。 没有失眠，没有烦恼。 “压力，”他一边喝着冰可乐一边揣测，“不会影响我的睡眠”，标准的每晚4小时。 “我喜欢把球扔到空中——我睡的像婴儿一样。” 三个小时后，整理了一下金发，用那标准的狂妄口吻，他宣布，以75亿美元的价格吞并美国航空公司。在他每股120美元的出价下，这家公司的股价从16美元升至99美元。这位43岁的亿万富翁拥有美国航空公司的大量股票，笑容满面。 一周后，当股市暴跌190点时，他撤回了自己的报价，或许是暂时的。尽管有报道暗示，特朗普的美式突袭只是一种叫“硬纸板”的保利，但他的目光却盯着天空： “不,我想要它。” 是的，如果这是最好的，而且是待售的，唐纳德·特朗普的肚子开始咕咕叫了。 他仅以2900万美元的价格买下了陷入困境的沙特金融家阿德南·卡舒吉的镶有码瑙和镀金的游艇，现在这艘游艇价值1亿美元。然后，他以3.65亿美元买下了东方航天飞机，并在一夜之间将其改装为特朗普航天飞机，配备了舒适的机舱，空姐们穿着纯净的羊毛和珍珠沙沙作响。 A year earlier, he had bought the Plaza Hotel for $400,000,000 and is now lovingly restoring her without a name change. Her make-over will be surprised by the Czech mistress of Trump's kingdom, Ivana, a former Olympic skier and fashion model. At home, Ivana presides over a 100-room Trump Tower triplex, recently expanded from 50 rooms ("Better closet space, "she jokes). Trump proud of the salmon-marbled atrium of Trump Tower, where no expense was spared, says, "I bought the whole damn mountain! You've never seen that color before. Ivana suggested it because it makes people look better." The couple also has a 47-room country house on ten acres in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the well-publicized 118-room Mar-a-Lago Marjorie Merriweather Post estate in Palm Beach, their commute time shortened by the 727 jet and the French-made military Puma helicopter. The Trump Princess, or the Khashoggi" boat", as Trump now calls it, has gotten cramped, so a Dutch shipyard is confecting not a Princess but a full-fledged Queen costing more than $175,000,000. 一年前，他以4亿美元的价格买下了广场酒店，现在，他很高兴在没有改名字的情况下恢复了它的光辉。它的装饰一定会让特朗普王国的女主人伊万娜大吃一惊的，她曾是捷克奥运会滑雪运动员和时装模特。 在家里，伊万娜管理着特朗普大厦一套有100个房间的三层公寓，该公寓是最近从50个房间扩建的(她开玩笑说，“壁橱空间更大了”)。特朗普对着大厦里鲑鱼似的大理石中庭感到自豪，他说，“我买下了整座山!你从来没见过那种颜色。伊凡娜建议这样做的，因为这样可以让人看起来更好看。” 这对夫妇还在康涅狄格州格林威治占地10英亩的乡间别墅中拥有47个房间，以及众所周知的位于棕榈滩的马拉歌庄园，拥有118个房间。727喷气式飞机和法国制造的军用“美洲狮”直升机缩短了他们的通勤时间。 “特朗普公主号”(特朗普此刻叫它卡舒吉的“小船“)已经变得破烂不堪，因此一个荷兰船厂现在要做的是要把这位公主打造成一位丰满成熟的价值超过1.75亿美元的女王。 Such ostentation, despite a catalog of charities and good deeds done for sick kids, has predictably yielded a rich crop of snipers. Spy magazine, the New York-based humor monthly, cheerfully carries a scabrous vendetta against the Trumps, comparing them to Dickension monsters. Time did s cover story on the decay of Atlantic City and chided Trump for helping create a crime-plagued urban blight divided between welfare cases and high rollers. On the upper West Side, Manhattanites attack him for his proclaimed desire to build an enormous complex, Trump City, complete with a 150-story skyscraper; Phil Donahue charges that Trump’s casinos pillage the gullible; an aide close to outgoing mayor Ed Koch calls Trump ”the most arrogant s.o.b who has ever stepped onto the earth. Ah, well, To be young, blond and a billionaire. It doesn’t seem to matter. The most daunting entrepreneur since the Astors, Vanderbilts and Whitneys, Donald John Trump has made his ”art of the deal” work—not just for making money but for crushing adversaries, too. Case in point: Merv Griffin. Ten months after Griffin bought Trump’s Resorts International Inc for $365,000,000, for which Trump had paid $101,000,000 the year before, Griffin found himself holding a busted balloon. Not only had he inherited the hotel-casino’s $925,000,000 debt but he embarrassingly had to report first-half losses of $46,600,000. There’s now talk of a possible bankruptcy for Merv and a possible lawsuit against Trump. Looking beyond his one-billion-dollar Taj Mahal opening in Atlantic City next month, Trump has plenty to consider. There are tumors of his building casinos in Nevada and his buying Tiffany’s, NBC, the New York Daily News or the Waldorf Hotel (“I’ve got to have the Waldorf,” he coos jokingly into the phone. ”I can’t sleep without it”).And the Presidency ?No, that takes an election, and it is clear that Trump is not that patient. Too much to do! 尽管为生病的孩子们做了一系列的慈善和好事，这样的炫耀还是不出所料地产生了大量的攻击者。总部位于纽约的幽默月刊《间谍杂志》兴高采烈地对特朗普家族进行了激烈的报复，将他们比作言辞恶毒的怪物。《时代》杂志做了一篇关于大西洋城衰败的封面报道，指责特朗普帮助打造了一个犯罪猖獗的城市颓势，这个颓势在福利案件和豪赌客之间一分为二。在上西城，曼哈顿人抨击他宣称要建造一个巨大的综合体——特朗普城，包括一座150层的摩天大楼;菲尔·多纳休指责特朗普的赌场掠夺易轻信的人;一位接近即将离任的市长埃德·科赫的助手称特朗普是“有史以来最傲慢的人。“ 嗯，好吧，年轻的金发亿万富翁。 这似乎无关紧要。唐纳德·约翰·特朗普是继阿斯特尔家族、范德比尔特家族和惠特尼家族之后最令人畏惧的企业家，他的“交易的艺术”发挥了作用——不仅为了赚钱，也为了粉碎对手。 梅尔夫·格里芬就是一个很好的例子。格里芬以3.65亿美元的价格收购了特朗普的国际度假村公司，而特朗普在前年支付了1.01亿美元。10个月后，格里芬发现自己手里拿着一个破气球。他不仅继承了酒店赌场9.25亿美元的债务，而且还令人尴尬地报告了上半年4660万美元的亏损。现在有传言说梅尔夫可能会破产，特朗普可能会被起诉。 除了下个月在大西洋城开幕的泰姬陵酒店，特朗普还有很多事要做。他在内华达州建赌场，购买蒂芙尼(Tiffany)、NBC、纽约每日新闻或华尔道夫酒店，每件事都会有“麻烦”(“我一定要拥有华尔道夫酒店，”他对着电话开玩笑地说。“没有它我睡不着”)。那么总统职位呢?不，那需要一场选举，而特朗普显然没有那么耐心。要做的事情太多了! “There has always been a display of wealth and always will be, until the depression comes, which it always does. And let me tell you, a display is a good thing. It shows people that you can be successful.” “炫富一直存在，也总会出现，直到大萧条来临，大萧条也一直都有。”让我告诉你，炫富是件好事。它人们展示你可以成功。” “We Americans are laughed at around the world for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped out in about fifteen minutes if it weren’t for us. Our “allies” are making billions screwing us.” “我们美国人因为毫无意义地保卫一些富裕的国家而被全世界嘲笑，如果不是我们，这些国家在15分钟内就会灭亡。我们的“盟友”正从我们身上赚取数十亿。 “I’ve always thought the ultimate job for me would have been running MGM in the Thirties and Forties. There was incredible glamour and style that’s gone now. And that’s when you could control situations.” “我一直认为，对我来说，最佳的工作应该是在三四十年代经营米高梅。那些令人难以置信的魅力和风格现在已经逝去了。那个时候你可以控制整个局面。” The billion-dollar baby was born in the exclusive Jamaica Estates in Queens, New York, on June 14,1946, to a mere millionaire, real-estate developer Fred Trump, who had racked up his $20,000,000 fortune building low-to-middle-priced homes and apartments in Brooklyn and Queens. Among the five little Trumps, only Donald seemed to have a passion for mortar and bricks, riding around construction sites with his father—“who ruled all of us with a steel will”—and showing younger brother Robert, now a low-profile V.P. in the Trump organization, who was boss in their 23-room house. At the age of eight, little Donald borrowed Robert’s cherished toy blocks, glued them together into one giant skyscraper and never returned them, thereafter exercising his fantasies about changing Manhattan’s skyline. His father, who harped on the importance of ”knowing how to make a buck,” regarded mop-haired Donald as “rough and wild,” shipped him off to the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson and, some say, forever instilled in him a gnawing sense of inadequacy that fueled the boy’s ambition. There followed two years at Fordham and two years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance, then a few years diddling in middle-income housing until, at the age of 28, Trump delivered the punch that launched him. Taking a hard look at Manhattan’s troubled fortunes, he fastened onto the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad as his ticket into the big time and nimbly plucked options on Penn’s Hudson River Railroad yards, now the site of New York’s Convention Center, and its 59-year-old Commodore Hotel, now the Grand Hyatt. The coup was in his persuading bankers to lent him $80,000,000 and in talking politicians into awarding him a $120,000,000 tax abatement. Persuasion, hype and chutzpah thereafter defined the Trump style, welded to a scrupulous management technique. 1946年6月14日，这个亿万富翁宝宝出生在纽约皇后区的牙买加豪宅里，他的父亲是房地产开发商弗雷德·特朗普，他在布鲁克林和皇后区建造中低价位的住宅和公寓，积累了2000万美元的财富。 在五个小特朗普中，只有唐纳德似乎对灰泥和砖块很有激情，他和“用钢铁般的意志统治着我们所有人”的父亲骑行玩耍在建筑工地周围，并向弟弟罗伯特炫耀。罗伯特现在是特朗普集团一名低调的副总裁，掌管着他们23个房间的房子。 八岁的时候，小唐纳德借走了罗伯特心爱的玩具积木，把它们粘在一起变成了一座巨大的摩天大楼，从此再也没有归还，从此实现了他改变曼哈顿天际线的梦想。 他的父亲曾反复强调“知道如何赚钱”的重要性，认为头发乱蓬乱的唐纳德“粗鲁而狂野”，把他送到了位于哈德逊的康沃尔的纽约军事学院。有人说，父亲永远给他灌输了一种痛苦的不足感，助长了他的抱负。接下来在福特汉姆大学待了两年，在宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿金融学院待了两年，然后又在中等收入家庭的住房上瞎忙了几年，直到28岁时，特朗普打出了让他成功的一击。他认真审视了曼哈顿陷入困境的命运，选择了宾夕法尼亚中央铁路公司的破产作为自己进入大时代的入场证，并灵活地选择了宾夕法尼亚哈德逊河铁路公司和拥有59年历史的康姆多酒店，即如今的君悦酒店。这里现在是纽约会议中心的所在地。 他的妙招在于说服银行家借给他8000万美元，并说服政客给予他1.2亿美元的减税。 此后，说服、炒作和厚颜无耻定义了特朗普的风格，并融入了一丝不苟的管理技巧。 In 1979,at the age of 33,he snapped up the Fifth Avenue site of the old Bonwit Teller for $20,000,000,won a $140,000,000 tax abatement and three years later finished Trump Tower, a 68-story dazzler that includes a six-story atrium and today draws 100,000 visitors daily, with residents such as Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg. Amassing a fortune his father never dreamed possible—a cash hoard of $900,000,000,a geyser of $50,000,000 a week from his hotel-casinos, assets thought to total 3.7 billion dollars—Trump soon became as captivated by mystique-making as by money-making. As the snooty ads running around New York proclaimed,”Everything does seem to be very Trump these days.” There are his residential buildings, Trump Parc and Trump Plaza and the soon-to-be-finished Trump Palace; Trump Castle in Atlantic City and the soon-to-be-finished Taj Mahal; his book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” written with Tony Schwartz, which held on to the number-one spot on the New York Times best-seller list longer than any business book since “Iocacca”;his high-rise board game named—you guessed it—Trump(reported to be flop);his upcoming TV game show—you guessed it again—“Trump Card”; and the bike race named Tour de Trump, which, as he points out, sure beats its old name—Tour de Jersey. And—well—you get the picture. “Vision is my best asset,” he says without a shred of modesty, ”I know what sells and I know what people want.” Along the way, Trump even found time to attend the 1976 Montreal Olympics, marry his match, Ivana Zelnicek (who has vowed never to look a day over 29),and produce his own little Trumps—Donald Jr,12,Ivanka,eight,and Eric, six. Notwithstanding the good fortune that seems to have attended Trump’s business moves, he and his family have not escaped life’s darker side. While sisters Maryane, a Federal judge in New Jersey, and Elizabeth, an administrative assistant for Chase Manhattan, have found their niches, Trump’s older brother, Fred, hated the real-estate business, became an airline pilot, took to drink and died an alcoholic in 1981 at 43. Trump was also recently shaken when, last October, three key executives died in a helicopter crash; the boss reportedly narrowly missed death, deciding at the last minute that he was too busy to travel. ”I never realized,” says Trump today, ”how deaths outside the family could have such a profound effect on me. It’s a tragic waste.” As for himself, he’s fatalistic: ”I work, I don’t worry and I protect myself as well as anybody can. But ultimately we all end up going to hopefully greener pastures.” 1979年,33岁的他以2千万美元的价格收购了第五大道的老旧的保罗·邦威特百货商店,赢得了一份价值1亿4千万美元的减税和三年后完成了特朗普大厦,一座68层的焦点,包括一座六层楼高的中庭和现在每天吸引10万名游客,名人如约翰尼·卡森和史蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格。 特朗普积累了一笔他父亲做梦也想不到的财富—9亿美元的现金储备，每周从酒店赌场中获得的5000万美元的进账，以及估计总计37亿美元的资产—很快，他就像对着迷赚钱一样着迷于创造神秘。 正如纽约四处流传的八卦广告所宣称的那样，“这些日子，似乎一切都很特朗普。”“到处都有他盖的住宅,特朗普公园，特朗普广场和即将完成的特朗普宫殿,大西洋城的特朗普城堡和即将完成的泰姬陵;他和托尼•施瓦茨合作的书《特朗普:交易的艺术》紧紧锁定《纽约时报》畅销书排行榜第一的位置，除了“艾科卡”的书以外，比任何商业书籍都要长;他的高层棋盘游戏，取名“你猜-王牌”(据说失败了);他即将到来的电视节目，“你再猜-王牌”;和以他的名字命名的自行车赛“环特朗普”，他说，肯定比原来的名字“环泽西”要好。嗯，好吧，你已经有画面了。 “远见是我最好的资产，”他毫不谦虚地说，“我知道什么能卖出去，也知道人们想要什么。” 即使如此，特朗普还是抽时间参加了1976年蒙特利尔奥运会，迎娶了他的另一半伊万娜·泽尔尼切克(她发誓永远不让自己看起来超过29岁)，还生下了自己的小特朗普——12岁的小唐纳德、8岁的伊万卡和6岁的埃里克。 尽管特朗普的商业举动似乎好运连连，但他和他的家人并没有摆脱生活的阴暗面。特朗普的姐姐玛丽安是新泽西州的一名联邦法官，另一个姐姐伊丽莎白是大通曼哈顿银行的一名行政助理，她们都有自己的事业，而特朗普的哥哥弗雷德讨厌房地产生意，后来成为一名飞行员，开始酗酒，并于1981年因酗酒去世，享年43岁。 特朗普最近还受到了打击，去年10月，三名关键高管死于一场直升机坠毁事故;据报道，那位老板侥幸脱险，他是在最后一刻做的决定，因为太忙没时间旅行。“我从未意识到，”特朗普今天说，“家庭以外的死亡怎么会对我产生如此深远的影响。这是可悲的浪费生命。至于他自己，他听天由命:“我工作，我不担心，我像任何人一样保护自己。”希望我们最终都会去天堂。” To check out his present-day pastures, we sent New York Daily News celebrity interviewer and syndicated columnist Glenn Plaskin to talk with him. This interview had long been in the works, including two earlier starts. But Plaskin finally got Trump to sit down with him over a period of nearly 16 weeks. His report: “For our first session at Trump Tower, after being visually frisked by a troop of basketball-player-tall bodyguards, I entered the inner sanctum. There was Donald Trump, as he would be for most of our sessions, slumped behind the cinnamon-colored desk, slung comically low in his chair, clipping his fingernails. “I think best this way,” he’d deadpan. “As the weeks went by, I found I liked poking through the hooded dare-me eyes with rapid-fire changes of topic, watching for surprise. Often he parried with rehearsed answers, but we spent enough time together that we entered genuinely fresh territory. When I asked for his stand on abortion, he frowned, pouted and asked ne to turn the recorder off. He didn’t really have an option—what the hell was mine? It was a very human moment. “Supervising his office like an exceedingly well-run vaudeville show, executive assistant Norma Foerderer would wander in with another gold-framed magazine cover to put up on his wall—or with a seven-pound cheesecake or a stuffed skunk. Trump would take calls during our interview—never for more than a few minutes—that invariably ended with, ”Ok, baby, you’re the greatest.” Then secretary Rhona Graff would walk in, bearing little yellow slips of paper announcing calls waiting: down-on-his-luck financier Adnan Khashoggi, asking to have lunch; a hotel executive, dickering to sell yet another big hotel……By the time Duchess Fergie called about borrowing his brand-new accident-proof helicopter, and Don Johnson to borrow his city-size yacht, I was dizzy. “To get away from it all, we began our first session hovering above the East River in the cobalt Darth Vader helicopter. Donald Trump was strapped into taupe leather, good-naturedly hyping his empire below.” 为了了解他每天的生活，我们请了《纽约每日新闻》的著名记者和专栏作家格伦·普拉斯金来采访他。这次采访已经进行了很长时间，包括之前的两次。但是普拉斯金终于让特朗普和他坐下来谈了将近16个星期。他的采访报告: “关于我们在特朗普大厦的第一次采访，在被一群篮球运动员般高的保镖“虎视眈眈”之后，我进入了内部密室。那就是特朗普，在我们的大多数采访中，他都是这样的，耷拉在肉桂色的桌子后面，滑稽地低靠在椅子上，剪着指甲。 “我觉得这样很好，”他面无表情地说。 几个星期过去了，我发现自己必须从裹着头巾的瞪着我的眼睛里，并在话题的快速变化中，观察有没有惊喜。他经常回避事先排练过的答案，但等到在一起的时间足够长，我们进入了真正新鲜的领域。当我问他对堕胎的立场时，他皱着眉头，撅着嘴，让我把录音机关掉。他真的没有选择——我这是到底在干嘛?多么人性化的瞬间啊。 行政助理诺玛福尔德勒把他的办公室管理得就像管理得非常出色的杂剧表演，她会拿着另一个镶金框的杂志封面走进办公室，把它挂在墙上——或者拿着一个7磅重的芝士蛋糕或一只塞满臭鼬的什么东西。特朗普会在我们的采访中接听电话——从来不会超过几分钟——最后总是说:“好吧，宝贝，你是最棒的。”“然后秘书罗娜格拉夫会走进来,晃着小黄色便笺告诉他有电话在线上:倒霉的金融家阿德南·卡舒吉约吃午饭;一个酒店高管嚷嚷着要再卖一个大型酒店……同时，菲姬公爵夫人打电话要借他全新的直升机，唐·约翰逊借他的城市大小的游艇。我有点头晕了。 为了摆脱这些，我们开始了第一次空中采访，乘坐深蓝色的天行者直升机在伊斯特河上空转了一圈。唐纳德·特朗普被灰褐色皮革紧紧裹着，善意地炒作着他的帝国。”
List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened Over the years there have been several casinos and resorts planned for the Las Vegas Valley that never opened. The stages of planning may have been just an announcement or groundbreaking. Asia Resort and Casino Where the Palazzo Casino and Resort currently stands (adjacent to the Venetian Hotel and Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center), an Asian themed casino was proposed but was rejected for the present Palazzo project. Alon Las Vegas A proposed luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip on the former site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, announced in 2015. The project was put in doubt after Crown Resorts announced in late 2016 it was suspending its involvement in the development. Crown announced in December 2016 that it was halting the project and seeking to sell its investment. The remaining partner Andrew Pascal announced he was seeking other partners to proceed with the project. However in May 2017, the land went up for sale. The land was later purchased by Steve Wynn. Beau Rivage Steve Wynn, who had purchased and demolished the Dunes hotel-casino, had originally planned to build a modern hotel in the middle of a man-made lake. He later built the Bellagio with a man-made lake in the front of the hotel. The name was later used by Wynn for a resort built in Biloxi, Mississippi. Caribbean Casino In 1988, a sign for a proposed casino was erected on a fenced vacant lot on Flamingo Road. Standing near the sign was a scale model galleon. For several years, that was all that stood on the property. The empty lot was the source of many jokes by the locals until the ship, which was later damaged by a fire started by a homeless person, was torn down in the 1990s and the lot became the site of the Tuscany Suites and Casino co-owned by Charles Heers, who has owned the property since the 1960s. Carnival In 1990, the Radisson group proposed a 3,376-room hotel next to the Dunes, with a casino shaped like a Hershey's Kiss. Cascada A proposed resort that was to have been built on the site of El Rancho Vegas. The parcel is now partially taken by the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Las Vegas Festival Grounds. City by the Bay Resort and Casino A San Francisco-themed resort was proposed for the site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. The project was rejected in favor of the Swiss-themed Montreux, which was also eventually cancelled. Countryland USA A country music-themed resort was planned for construction of the site of the former El Rancho Hotel and Casino. For some years, the El Rancho sign stood with the words "Coming Soon - Future Home of Countryland USA." Craig Ranch Station Main article: Craig Ranch Station A Mediterranean-themed hotel-casino for North Las Vegas, proposed by Station Casinos in March 2000. The project faced opposition from nearby residents, which led to the proposed location being changed to a vacant property on the nearby Craig Ranch Golf Course. Residential opposition to the new location led to the project being rejected by the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee in March 2001. Station Casinos still had the option to develop the project on the initial site, but the project was cancelled entirely in July 2001, following a weak financial quarter for the company. Crown Las Vegas Main article: Crown Las Vegas Formerly known as Las Vegas Tower, the Crown Las Vegas was to have been a supertall skyscraper built on the former site of a Wet 'n Wild water park. In March 2008, the project was canceled and the property was put up for sale. Desert Kingdom In 1993, ITT Sheraton purchased the Desert Inn casino, and had announced plans to develop the large parking lot into a Balinese themed resort to complement the Desert Inn. The project was never developed and the site is now the location of Wynn Las Vegas. DeVille Casino After building the Landmark Hotel and Casino on Convention Center Drive and selling it to Howard Hughes, developer Frank Carroll built the DeVille Casino across the street from the Landmark at 900 Convention Center Drive in 1969. Chips were made for the casino (and are sought-after collectibles), but the casino never opened. The building was renovated in 1992 as a race book parlor named Sport of Kings which closed after nine months. It became the location of The Beach nightclub, which was demolished in 2007 to make room for a planned 600-unit tower that was never built. The land sits currently empty. Echelon Place Main article: Echelon Place An announced project by Boyd Gaming planned to have a hotel built on the property of the former Stardust Resort & Casino. Construction was suspended on August 1, 2008 due to the Great Recession. In March 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the proposed site for $350 million to the Genting Group, which is redeveloping the project as the Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas. Fontainebleau Las Vegas Main article: The Drew Las Vegas Located on the Las Vegas Strip and originally known as Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Construction began in 2007, and the resort was to include a casino, 2,871 hotel rooms, and 1,018 condominium units. Construction on the $2.9 billion project ceased in 2009, the year of its planned opening. Investment firms Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC purchased the unfinished resort in 2017. In 2018, Witkoff and Marriott International announced a partnership to open the renamed project as The Drew Las Vegas in 2020. The resort will include a casino and three hotels totaling nearly 4,000 rooms, with the condominium aspect removed from the project. Harley-Davidson Hotel and Casino A resort themed after the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson was proposed, complete with hotel towers shaped like gigantic exhaust pipes, but was never built. Jockey Club Casino The Jockey Club is a condominium and timeshare resort at 3700 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It was planned to have a casino, and chips were made for its use, but the casino was never opened. Kactus Kate's By April 1994, Gold Coast Hotel and Casino owner Michael Gaughan was interested in building a hotel-casino in North Las Vegas, at the northeast corner of North Rancho Drive and Carey Avenue. In January 1995, the city planning commission approved the rezoning of the land for use as a hotel-casino. The resort, to be named Kactus Kate's, would be built by Gold Coast Hotel/Casino Limited. The hotel would include 450 rooms, and the casino would be 105,000 sq ft (9,800 m2), later decreased to 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m2). The resort would be located directly north of the nearby Fiesta and Texas Station resorts. In December 1998, Coast Resorts, Inc. received approval from the planning commission for a use-permit relating to the undeveloped property. In November 2000, the planning commission unanimously approved a two-year extension on the permit, giving the company more time to decide whether it would build Kactus Kate's. Because of a 1999 Senate bill that placed restrictions on casinos in neighborhoods, Coast Resorts had a deadline of 2002 to build the casino. The hotel would measure over 100 feet (30 m) high, and Coast Resorts was required to notify the Federal Aviation Administration of its final plans, due to the site being located less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from a runway at the North Las Vegas Airport. In January 2001, Station Casinos purchased the 29-acre (12 ha) site for $9 million. Coast Resorts president Harlan Braaten said, "As we saw the competitive nature of that area intensify, in terms of the size of competing facilities, we just felt we would have to build something much bigger than we had intended to compete with Texas Station and Santa Fe Station. It was just going to be a very expensive project, and we didn't feel the returns would be that good." Station Casinos planned to sell the property as a non-gaming site. Las Vegas Plaza Main article: Las Vegas Plaza Not to be confused with the Plaza Hotel & Casino. This was to have been modeled after the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The project was announced shortly before the demolition of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, where the new hotel would be built. Las Vegas Plaza was cancelled in 2011 due to the Great Recession. London Resort and Casino This announced project was to have been themed around the city of London, and featuring replicas of the city's landmarks. The project was to be built on land across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino. A second London-themed resort was to be built on the former land of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. Neither project ever began construction. London, Las Vegas This was a proposed three-phase project using London as its design inspiration. When completed, the 38.5-acre (15.5 ha) property would have featured 1,300 hotel rooms, a casino, a 500-foot-tall (152.4 m) observation wheel named Skyvue (partially constructed), and 550,000 square feet (51,097 square meters) of restaurants and shops — all of which would be architectural replicas of various British landmarks and neighborhoods. The project was to be constructed on land across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, where — as of November 2019 — the partially-constructed Skyvue still stands. The wheel was to be "Phase I of London, Las Vegas". Montreux Resort This Swiss-themed resort was to have been built on the property of the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino, but was ultimately cancelled. Moon Resort and Casino Proposed by Canadian developer Michael Henderson, this is a planned 10,000-room, 250-acre (1.0 km2) lunar-themed casino resort. Gaming experts doubt it will ever be built in Las Vegas, simply because the space planned for it is too large for the Las Vegas Strip. NevStar 2000 Further information: Craig Ranch Station § NevStar 2000 Proposed by NevStar Gaming in 1998, the NevStar 2000 entertainment complex in North Las Vegas would have included a hotel and casino, but the project faced opposition from nearby residents who did not want a casino in the area. The project was cancelled when NevStar Gaming filed for bankruptcy in December 1999. North Coast/Boyd Gaming project In May 2003, Coast Casinos had plans for the North Coast hotel-casino, to be built at the southwest corner of Centennial Parkway and Lamb Boulevard in North Las Vegas. The project would be built on approximately 40 acres (16 ha) of vacant land, surrounded by other land that was also undeveloped. At the time, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission was scheduled to review requests for zoning changes and approvals for the project. The project was not scheduled to be built for at least another four years, after completion of a highway interchange at Lamb Boulevard and the nearby Interstate 15, as well as the completion of an overpass over nearby railroad tracks. Bill Curran, an attorney for the land owner, said, "We're going through the zoning changes now so everybody knows what's going to be out there." The North Coast would include a casino, a 10-story hotel with 398 rooms, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a parking garage. In June 2003, the Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to approve preliminary applications necessary to begin work on the North Coast. Boyd Gaming, the owner of Coast Casinos, announced in February 2006 that it would purchase the 40-acre site for $35 million. Jackie Gaughan and Kenny Epstein were the owners at the time. Boyd Gaming had not decided on whether the new project would be a Coast property or if it would be similar to the company's Sam's Town hotel-casino. At the time, no timetable was set for building the project. In March 2007, the project was put on hold. At the time, Boyd Gaming had been securing construction permits for the project but decided to first review growth in the area. Construction had been scheduled to begin in mid-2007. In August 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the undeveloped property for $5.15 million. Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino This was to have been built on the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark site. Conceptual drawings included yacht-shaped towers that housed suites, a casino resembling the Sydney Opera House and a 600-foot (180 m) tall Ferris wheel-type attraction dubbed a "Sky Wheel". It never left the planning stages. Paramount Las Vegas A casino and hotel and condo resort with more than 1,800 units that was planned by Royal Palms Las Vegas, a subsidiary of Royal Palms Communities. The project was to replace the Klondike Hotel and Casino at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, beside the Las Vegas welcome sign. The resort was approved in October 2006, but an investor pulled out of the project in August 2007, and the land was put up for sale in May 2008. Pharoah's Kingdom Pharoah's Kingdom was planned as a $1.2 billion gaming, hotel and theme park complex to be built on 710 acres (290 ha) at Pebble Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, five miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. Construction was approved in October 1988, with Silano Development Group as the developer. The project would have an Egyptian theme, including two 12-story pyramids made of crystal, with each containing 300 suites. The hotel would have a total of 5,000 rooms, making it the largest in the world. The 230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2) casino would include 100 table games and 3,000 slot machines, while an RV park, mini-golf, a bowling alley, and a video game arcade would be located beside the casino area. Three of the project's various pyramid structures would house the 50-acre (20 ha) family theme park. Other features would include sphinxes, man-made beaches, waterways resembling the Nile river, an underwater restaurant, a 24-hour child-care facility, a 100-tenant shopping promenade, and a repertory-style theater that would be overseen by actor Jack Klugman. Additionally, the resort would feature an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course, and a monorail located within the theme park. The project would have one mile of frontage along Las Vegas Boulevard. Frank Gambella, president of the project, stated that financing was in place, with groundbreaking planned for March or April 1989. Gambella said the project would be financed by several entities, with the money coming from a Nevada corporation, suggesting the entities would be grouped together as an umbrella corporation. Gambella stated that the project could be opened by Labor Day 1990. The resort was expected to employ 8,000 people. Following the completion of the resort, Gambella said a complex of 750 condominiums would be built on the land along with 900 retirement-care apartments. The project was cancelled shortly after it was announced, as authorities became suspicious of developer Anthony Silano's fundraising efforts for the project. It was discovered that Silano and his associates hacked into the Switzerland bank accounts of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos following his death in 1989. Silano pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges. Another Egyptian-themed resort, Luxor Las Vegas, would open on the south Las Vegas Strip in 1993. Planet Hollywood Resort (original plans) Not to be confused with the current Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Originally planned to open in the late 1990s on the site of the Desert Inn, it was to be one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas. Because of the bankruptcy of Planet Hollywood Restaurants, the hotel was never built. However, in the 2000s, a group of investors bought the new Aladdin Hotel and Casino and remodeled it with a modern Hollywood theme. Playboy Hotel and Casino A proposed casino resort themed after Playboy magazine was rejected in favor of a nightclub and suites built at the top two floors of the new Palms tower. The planned location for the Playboy Hotel and Casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, was later used for the Cosmopolitan resort. Santa Fe Valley Main article: Santa Fe Valley Santa Fe Gaming, which owned the Santa Fe hotel-casino in northwest Las Vegas, had plans for a second Santa Fe property in 1996. The Santa Fe Valley would be built on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot in Henderson, Nevada, adjacent to the Galleria at Sunset mall. The start of construction was delayed several times because of poor financial quarters for Santa Fe Gaming, and because of the company not yet receiving financing for the project. Site preparation started in July 1998, with an opening date scheduled for December 1999, but construction never began. In 1999, the property was sold to Station Casinos, which sold the land a year later for use as a shopping center. Shenandoah Hotel and Casino A project by Wayne Newton. Although the hotel operated for a short time at 120 E. Flamingo Road, the management was unable to get a gaming license. After years of floundering it was sold to a Canadian company and became Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino. Silver City proposals By January 2000, Luke Brugnara was planning to build a San Francisco-themed resort on the site of the closed Silver City Casino. Brugnara intended to give Silver City a multimillion-dollar renovation, with plans to have a fully operational hotel-casino by 2002. In March 2001, Brugnara's request for a gaming license was rejected. In May 2002, it was announced that Brugnara had sold the casino while retaining six acres located behind the building. In 2003, Brugnara was planning to build a 24-story, 304-room hotel and casino resort on a portion of the Silver City property. The resort, to be named "Tycoon", was to be designed by Lee Linton, with an expected cost of approximately $100 million. Starship Orion International Thoroughbred Breeders (ITB) announced plans to demolish the El Rancho and construct Starship Orion, a $1 billion hotel, casino, entertainment and retail complex with an outer space theme, covering 5.4 million square feet (501,676 square meters). The resort was to include seven separately owned casinos, each approximately 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters). Each potential casino owner was to contribute up to $100 million to own and operate a casino within the complex. The complex would have included 300,000 square feet (27,871 square meters) of retail space, as well as 2,400 hotel rooms and a 65-story hotel tower. ITB hoped to begin construction later in 1996, with a planned opening date of April 1998. Sunrise This was to have been located at 4575 Boulder Highway. Property developer Michael Mona Jr. built the hotel-casino and stated that he was going to break tradition by starting a "casino without a theme". He failed to get an unrestricted gaming license when suspicions arose concerning his associations with alleged organized crime figures. Chips were made for the casino, but were never used. The building was opened as Arizona Charlie's Boulder. Titanic In 1999, Bob Stupak was planning a 400-foot-high (122 m) resort themed after the RMS Titanic, to be built on a 10-acre (4 hectares) property he owned near downtown Las Vegas. The resort would have included 1,200 rooms, 800 of which were to be used for timeshares to help finance the project. That year, planning commissioners rejected Stupak's request to change the zoning to allow for a hotel. The project was later planned for the former site of the El Rancho Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, but was rejected by the Las Vegas City Council. W Las Vegas Main article: W Las Vegas W Las Vegas was proposed in August 2005, as a $1.7 billion joint project between Starwood and Edge Resorts, with a scheduled opening in 2008. The project would include a 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) casino and approximately 3,000 hotel, condo hotel, and residential units. The project was cancelled in May 2007, after Starwood pulled out of the deal. Wally's Wagon Wheel Wally's Wagon Wheel was to be developed by Walter Weiss through his company, Magna Leisure Partnership. The project was proposed for 2200 South Boulder Highway in Henderson, between Wagon Wheel Drive and Roberts Road, near Henderson's Old Vegas western theme park. Manga Leisure Partnership purchased the 15.5-acre property in late February 1988. Weiss, at that time, had tentative plans for a western-themed, 112-room property known then as the Wagon Wheel Hotel and Casino. The Wagon Wheel was expected to cost $15 million, and financing had yet to be obtained for the project, which Weiss expected to open in early 1990. The project, which would include a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) casino, was to be built in two phases. By October 1991, Wally's Wagon Wheel remained unbuilt due to difficulty obtaining financing. That month, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to give Weiss more time to make progress on the project. At that time, the project was to include 204 hotel rooms and would be built on 13.30 acres (5.38 ha). Weiss noted that the nearby successful Sam's Town hotel-casino opened with 204 rooms, and he believed his project would be successful if he opened with the same amount of rooms for good luck. By the end of 1992, Weiss had still not acquired financing for Wally's Wagon Wheel. At the time, the project was the largest of five casinos being planned for Henderson. The three-story project was to include 200 rooms, two restaurants, a theater lounge for country and western entertainment, and a large bingo room. Weiss stated that groundbreaking was scheduled for May 1993, with an expected opening in June 1994. The hotel-casino would employ approximately 600 people upon opening. Weiss met with nearby residents to discuss the project, and he had the original design changed to include a larger buffer zone between homes and the hotel-casino. In November 1994, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Weiss' requested zone change as part of the redesign. The project, at that time, was to include a one-story casino and a four-story hotel with 400 rooms. In December 1994, the Henderson City Council rejected Weiss' plans for a 200-foot (61 m) buffer. In July 1997, the unbuilt project received its sixth extension from the Henderson Planning Commission for a use permit and architectural review. In August 1997, the Henderson City Council approved the sixth extension, but denied Weiss' appeal for a one-year extension, instead giving him six months to make progress on the project. Up to that time, $1.7 million had been invested in the project by Magna Leisure Partnership. As of 1998, the project was expected to cost $80 million and employ at least 1,200 people, and the proposed site had increased to 19 acres (7 ha). At that time, Weiss stated that he was close to obtaining financing for the project from a casino operator. The project was never built. Wild Wild West Not to be confused with Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel. As of 1993, Station Casinos owned a 27-acre (11 ha) site on Boulder Highway with the potential to be developed as a casino. The site was located across the street from Sam's Town hotel-casino. In January 1998, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. announced plans to purchase Station Casinos, which had intended to sell the land prior to the announcement. By March 1998, Station Casinos was planning to develop a hotel-casino complex on the land, which was occupied by a vacant strip mall. The complex would be known as Wild Wild West, with local residents as the target clientele. Crescent's purchase of Station Casinos failed in August 1998, and Station Casinos subsequently slowed its plans to build the project. By the end of the year, the project had received approval from the Clark County Planning Commission for a 273,000 sq ft (25,400 m2) casino and a 504-room hotel. No timetable for construction was announced, and Station Casinos had already decided by that point not to start any new projects prior to 2000. Station Casinos sold the undeveloped land for $11.2 million to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in April 2004. World Port In 2000, Howard Bulloch, David Gaffin, and their partner Tom Gonzales transferred ownership of the Glass Pool Inn property to their group, known as New World, with plans for a megaresort. New World purchased several other nearby motels to accumulate a 77-acre (31 ha) parcel located on the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Mandalay Bay. In January 2001, plans were announced for World Port Resorts, a megaresort consisting of hotel-casinos, a convention center and a fine arts facility. The project was to be built on the 77-acre (31 ha property, a portion of which was occupied by the Glass Pool Inn. World Trade Center To have been located at 925 East Desert Inn Road. Leonard Shoen, co-founder of U-Haul truck rental, purchased the property of what had been the Chaparral Hotel & Casino in 1996, renovating it into the World Trade Center Hotel. A gaming license was applied for, but when it was discovered that two of Shoen's closest partners were convicted felons, the application was denied in 1998. He withdrew his application, and died in a car crash in 1999 that was ruled a suicide. Cards and gaming chips were produced for the World Trade Center Casino, but were never used. The property has since been demolished and is now a parking lot, part of the Las Vegas Convention Center Annex. World Wrestling Federation A casino resort themed after the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was proposed for a property near the Interstate 15 freeway across from Mandalay Bay. The project never went past the proposal stage. The land where it would have stood is now Allegiant Stadium. WWF also proposed to open the project on the property once used by the Clarion Hotel and Casino, which was demolished in 2015 to become a parking lot. Xanadu In February 1976, the Clark County Commission approved the 23-story Xanadu resort, to be built on the Las Vegas Strip at the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The resort would include approximately 1,700 hotel rooms and a casino, as well as convention facilities, a showroom, dining, and indoor tennis courts. The resort was to be developed by Tandy McGinnis – of Bowling Green, Kentucky – and his Xanadu Corporation, and would be built on 48.6 acres (19.7 ha) owned by Howard Downes, a resident of Coral Gables, Florida. The Xanadu would feature a pyramid design, and was expected to cost $150 million. It would have been the first themed mega-resort. Much information and many artifacts of the project are housed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas library. The Excalibur Hotel and Casino ultimately opened on the property in 1990. See also Category:Defunct casinos in the Las Vegas Valley List of Atlantic City casinos that never opened
Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos. Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%. The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women. For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text: By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers. Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited. He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape. Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail. Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers. The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein. In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.” Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again. Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works. 7 men and a headless parrot The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford. Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.” After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk. In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive. All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real. In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.” Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said. Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing. “Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?” A victim becomes a hacker Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California. But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015. Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.) By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued. On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia. Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras. Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail. “This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit. A chance to sway the Israeli election Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal. According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.) “Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote. Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out. “Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked. “Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered. Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images. “Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning. Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening. Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.” ‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’ The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish. You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business. One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos. Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements. Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said. Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.” Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men. “I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew. “Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.” “I call it our hot list,” he added. Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men. Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.” The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women. Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans. Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O. Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims. The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents. Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it. ‘We keep it. We keep everything’ Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men? Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room. “I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’” During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found. Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011. The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern. After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story. “I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed. A Weinstein cameo On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls. The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion. The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back. While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz. ‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’ One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies. “The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.” “Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.” “Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?” “Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.” “And you don’t have anything on me, right?” “I do not, no,” Kessler said. “Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.” What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed? Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too. “You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said. Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3. Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct. Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage. On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv. Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.” In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent. In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.” “No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.” “Thank you very much,” Kessler responded. Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”) Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients. ‘I just pulled it out of my behind’ The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. “I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.” Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines. Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion? Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.” Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them. By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse. Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said. But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands. In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.” The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler. As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said. Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.” He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
Tournament Review #2: Seminole Hard Rock June Big Stack Special $100,000 Guaranteed (Background + Hand Reviews Included).
Hello everyone, I'd like to add some content to the poker community in the written form on an ongoing basis. I'm not a Vlogger and have no idea how Brad Owen, Doug Polk, or Dnegs do their videos with background music, graphics, and such (however, I am a huge fan of all of them), so for me, the best way to share content is in the written form with potentially a couple of pictures sprinkled within. Please let me know how I can improve my posts (and my game, lol!) for the future, and I hope you enjoy the read! This tournament review will essentially be my second one, as I sort of reviewed the Seminole Hard Rock Deep Stack Series Event #1 last month. Background / Details: Seemingly, every poker player and their mother is out in Las Vegas for the WSOP and having a great time. However, the "working man" like myself can't make it out there this year - fortunately, living in West Palm Beach, FL provides me the opportunity to compete in many well-structured and large-fielded tournaments throughout the year. For example, the Seminole Hard Rock series runs four times a year, whose Main Events have become legitimate "stops" in the professional poker circuit. However, I'll have to wait until August to review one of those tournaments. Today's tournament review covers the Seminole Hard Rock June Big Stack Special. Buy-in / Structure: This NLHE tournament is a two-day, multi-flight event with a buy-in of $130. There are unlimited re-entries up until the start of Level 9. Players start with 15,000 in chips with blinds at 100/100 (Structure Sheet). Day 1 ends at Level 14 and the Day 2 restart is on Sunday. There are 7 starting flight total - I played in Flight E. Pre-Tournament: I drop off my kids at Summer Camp and head down the Florida Turnpike. I'm a hard rock / heavy metal kind of guy, so today's playlist is all Metallica. The very first song that comes on via shuffle is "Master of Puppets" - that's got to be a good sign of things to come, right? I arrive at the SHR and for those of you whom have played at the property before, I predict that you'll have a hard time recognizing it after the guitar-shaped hotel is 100% built. The property is being completely revamped, inside and out. Even the Hard Rock Store is now relegated to a temporary, uncomfortable corner of the hotel as this massive construction project continues. Nevertheless, everyone is very excited about the project, and I for one can't wait to see the end of the rebuilding phase of one of my favorite properties for playing poker. When I get to an event early, I like to play a little cash, to further put me in a poker-like mindset and, hey, who knows, you can get lucky and hit a high hand or double-up. There aren't many tables running at this time as it's early, so I get seated at a $1/$2 NL table and buy-in for $300. There's only one hand in 90 minutes that's worth mentioning: I have about $275 and I pick up two red Aces in UTG+2 and raise to $15 (there was a $5 Straddle on the button). The SB calls and has roughly $100 behind, and we're heads up to the flop. The flop comes A23, with two spades. I continue for $25 and he again calls. The turn is the 8s, and see that he has a little over $50 left that he's playing with in his hands. I put him all-in and he snap calls with Ks9s for a turned flush. The river bricks out for me, and he wins a nice pot. I take it on the chin, as this is about the fourth or fifth cash game session where I lose 1/2 a buy-in and then work the whole session to either even up or at least not go broke (I will detail this in another post sometime in the future). It's now 20 minutes before the start of Day 1E, so I pick up my chips and cash out for about $200, which is salvageable. I buy-in for the tournament, and after taking a break, I make my way over to table 35, seat 3. Levels 1 and 2: The tournament starts and in seat 6 is a familiar face that I've played with a few times before. He's an older gentleman who is very friendly and has run hot in a few tournaments that I've also competed in. He immediately says hello to me, and we chat it up a little bit. I then begin to recall some hands that we played together and wonder if we'll get involved in some crazy situation at some point today (Spoiler Alert: It happens). Only one hand of particular interest to report: In Level 2, blinds are 100/100/100 (That's the Small Blind, Big Blind, and the Big Blind Ante), and I'm in the SB with T8o. I check, and there are 4 of us to the flop. The flop comes J96 rainbow, and I decide to lead out for 300. I get called in two spots, and the pot is now ~1,300. The turn brings the Ks, so I have a double gut-shot straight draw. I bet again, this time I believe I bet 1,100, hoping to just take the pot down right here without having to sweat out a river card, and in the hopes that this board really connects with a hand that a player in the Small Blind (namely, myself) could have. I get called by the player in the CO, and there's now ~3,500 in the pot. The river is a big giant brick for me, but I continue with my story that this flop hit me and that I did fill my straight. I bet 2,800, and the CO immediately calls with QJo, but tells me "very nice bet". It's a small consolation, but does put the table on notice that I am not weak/tight and am willing to put my opponents to the test. Honestly, at this point, I am already thinking about firing bullet #2 as I'm down to about ~8,000 from my starting stack of 15,000. Levels 3 and 4: This is where the tournament really gets interesting for me. Remember the older, nicer gentleman that I said hello to earlier? Well, we're about to have one hell of a hour in these next two levels. The blinds are now 100/200/200, and my elderly friend raises to 500. The HJ and D both call, and I look down at Ah5d. I consider a 3-bet for a split second, but the table has been very loose/passive and I can't recall a 3-bet before the flop as of yet. So I pay the extra 400 chips and make the call, as does the BB. There are 5 players to the flop with 2,500 in the pot. The flop comes 2h3h3d. I really like this flop, but check to see what my friend will do. The BB checks and my friend bets something in the neighborhood of 1,200. Action folds around to me and I consider my options. Folding here is not an option for me for a couple of reasons. For one, it's very early in the tournament and if I do bust, I can go re-buy and start fresh (and at a $130 buy-in, it's not a big deal). Second, even though I'm most likely behind, I have a a backdoor flush draw and any 4 will do just fine for a wheel. After 20-30 seconds of deliberation, I move all in for ~6,500 more. I get snap-called by my friend whose name I should really know by now. He flips over KK. I say "That's a nice hand", and the dealer whose name is Brittney starts to burn & turn. The turn card is a 5d, to which I say "That's not that bad", or something to that effect. The river is the magical, miracle, improbable 4c, giving me the straight and boosting my short stack back up to ~18,000. The older gentleman and I laugh a bit about it, and we move on. During Level 4 now, I win a few small hands and then, with about 15 minutes left to go in the level, I start to run super red hot. All of the following action happens within the last 15 minutes of Level 4, where blinds are 200/300/300: i. I pick up 66 in mid-position and make it 700 to go. I get two callers and the flop comes K65, with two diamonds. A player (I think the BB in this hand) makes it 2,500. A bit scared of the flush and to protect my hand, I raise to 6,500. I showed a very small bluff to the table a few hands ago where I had complete air, but bet into 2 players on the button, so I am convinced this player in the BB is thinking about making a move. He ultimately sigh-folds, and I show my hand to the table. ii. On the very next hand, I pick up KK. I raise again to 700. My friendly nemesis whom I doubled-up through calls, and it's heads up to the flop, which is 7-high with two hearts. I bet 1,200, he snap calls. The turn is an 8h, so we're looking at a super-connected board with three hearts now. I bet again to 2,200, and he instantly raises it up to ~8,000. Even though I have a big over-pair, this player knows what he's doing and would not be raising light in many spots. There is so much that can beat me, and I had just ran up my stack to a decent level again. I start to count my remaining chips behind after my 2,200 turn bet and I have about 22,000. I tell him "I just feel like this hand [as I show the table] is not good here", and muck it. My friend says "whoa!" and says "that's a really good fold - we were about 50/50 going to the river!". He didn't tell me exactly what I had, but by his statement he must have had 15+ outs (any heart, any straight-card, and possibly whatever lower-paired card he was also holding for 3 additional outs). We start discussing the hand and chat back and forth a bit about probabilities and if he could have made that lay down, when all of a sudden.... iii. ... I look down at 7c7s UTG. I again raise to 700, the player immediately to my left calls (he has a stack around 18k-20k). The CO calls and both the SB and BB complete, so we're five ways to the flop. To my amazement, the flop comes T97 with two diamonds, so I flopped bottom set and am loving life. The SB and BB both check and I decide to get cute and set the trap, with a plan of check-raising anyone who dared throw any chips in the middle of the table. That's exactly what winds up happening - the player to my immediate left throws out a bet of ~3,000. Action folds to me and I get a feeling that I may not want to play coy for too much longer, as the table, like I mention previously, has been very limpy and "call-ey". I look at the player, look at his remaining chips, and I move all-in. I can sense that the table is getting annoyed with my constant aggression, so all eyes are now on me and the player to my left. He asks me "Show if I fold?", to which I don't respond. He tanks for over a minute and finally grabs his stack, picks it up off the felt with one hand and drops it forward. I flip over my bottom set and he shows JJ. The board run-out is clean and honestly I don't even know what my chip count is, but I eliminated the player and I think I'm around 40,000. The dealer begins to shuffle the deck and the tournament clock is almost at zero for the first 15-minute break of the day. Players start to get up and fold and I'm in the BB on the next hand... iv. ...My older friend makes it 800 from UTG+2, and action folds all the way back around to me in the BB and I look down at KsJs. I make the call and we're heads up to the flop. The dealer tells other players that if they're not in the hand, to please leave for the break, so there's a lot of commotion and movement around me, but I'm in a hand so none of this matters to me. The flop comes T95 - ALL SPADES. My eyes must have been as big as watermelons popping out of my skull at this point. I check and my buddy in seat 6 leads out for 3,500. He started the hand with around 30,000, and for some reason I'm thinking I'm drawing to one out, the Qs, because I somehow convince myself that he's had enough of me and has AsXs for the Ace-high flush. I think about it for a little while and I call. The turn is some brick and I ask him how many of the grey & yellow 5,000 chips he has behind. He sort of mumbles something unclear, and I don't know what possessed me to do this but I say "OK - I'm all in". I think I was running so hot and I was still all jazzed up about the previous hand that I just let it rip. He exclaims "Are you serious?!?!?", and makes the call. He flips over pocket 5's for a flopped set, and I turn over my hand to reveal my flopped King-high flush. He says "pair the board", and I say "no, please don't pair the board". The dealer burns and flips over a 8, which doesn't pair the board, winning me a monster pot and busting my older friend from the tournament. We get up, shake hands and shake our heads at my crazy run and wild turn of events. We kind of just stand there for a minute chatting about the last 10-15 minutes - he reveals to me that he saw me running so well that he thought there was no way I could have had it every time, otherwise he might have folded his bottom set. I then sit back down and take a minute to get organized and count my chips. I took a picture of my stack, shown below - the count after level 4 was 78,200, with blinds in Level 5 going up to 200/400/400. In other words, 195 Big Blinds! 78,200 (195BB) after a wild Level 4. Levels 5 through 8: My remaining table-mates are shocked to find out I've busted another player during the break, and I'm obviously having a great time with the table talk. In the second hand of Level 5, I pick up TT from late position and raise to 1,200. The player on the button shoves for ~10k, and action folds back around to me. I call, and he flips over AJo. The board runs out without an Ace or a Jack, so I bust yet another player and run the stack up to nearly 90,000. The players are bursting out in laughter as this is a pretty insane run. However, as many of you know, there can be large swings in poker, specifically in tournament poker and even more specifically at the lower buy-in tournaments like this one. So this moment winds up being the high point of the event for me, even though at the time I wasn't thinking about anything else other than the fucking Mirage (bad Rounders reference there) :) Other than one spot where I called an all-in with my A4 vs. an AJ (the AJ held, so I lost about 11,000), nothing too consequential or significant really happens to me until the break, so we head into the break and through the end of the registration / re-buy period with 80,500. Although, the last hand of level 8 had a 4-way all in that many players of our table and about 10 players from other tables stopped to watch. Because of the crazy action, it took a few minutes to get all of the counts and side-pots going. After it was all said and done, a pair of pocket Kings held against a lower pocket pair and two other Broadway cards that I can't remember, and off we went to break. Level 9: Table #35, in the back row of the poker room, breaks. The dealer runs out an unnecessary high-card (I'm actually not sure why this is done as we're randomly given seat cards...but whatever), and I get moved to Table #28, seat #3. A player whom had bought in later and was at my original table was also moved to this table - I had raised pre-flop in level 8 with a KJo and he called with a raggy-Ace, hitting his Ace on the turn, to which I joked with him that he'll "play any Ace". This does become important later on. In Level 9, blinds are 500/1,000/1,000 and about halfway into the level, I get into a hand that is my favorite of the tournament and I'm very proud of how I played it. I have about ~80,000, and the action folds around to me in the CO. I look down at Jh8d, and decide to raise it up to 2,500. At this point, I haven't been very active since my meteoric rise to nearly 200BB a few hours prior, and haven't opened a pot yet since being moved to this table, so I specifically went into this hand with a plan of applying pressure to my opponent if I thought that they were not very strong and if the board + player(s) involved favored such a strategy. The BB calls, and the flop comes T76 with two spades with 5,500 in the pot. The BB checks and I lead out 3,000. The BB thinks about it for a bit and calls, so the pot is now 11,500. The turn is a off-suit 5, giving me some additional outs. The BB checks again and I think he is in check-call mode with something like a pair of tens, some Broadway cards (over cards), or some suited-connector hand like 87 (but I do block some combos of 87, 98, or T8 with my J8 holding, and also take away some of what he could call a raise in the BB with - hands like KJ, QJ, or even JT). I think about what bet-sizing I want to use, knowing full well that, at this point, I am going to be triple-barreling no matter the river. I bet 5,500, and again he tank-calls. There is now 22,500 in the pot and the river is the 3s. So now, there is a flush on board and hands like 64 get there as well. The BB once again checks and I lead out for four grey & yellow 5k chips. This was a big, nearly pot-sized bet at this point in the tournament. The BB goes deep into the tank and I can see the pain on his face. I honestly thought he would eventually fold, but after well over 2 minutes of deliberation, he does pull the trigger and tosses out 20,000. I immediately say "Good call, you got it", and he turns over AT for top pair. He lets out a huge sigh and complements my play, telling me how "polarized" my river bet was and he got very lucky in how we played the hand, that he almost nearly folded, etc.. While his compliments on my play were nice as the other players were hearing his comments, his hero call cuts my stack in roughly half, lower than the tournament average. I definitely give the player a lot of credit for making the call - a call I did not think he was capable of making under the circumstances. Winning that pot would have put me up to over 100,000, which would have been very nice and on a good pace to make it to Day 2 with a nice stack. Unfortunately, I am now below average and the blinds are once again going up soon. However, I am very proud of the way I played this hand. In the past, I would have never considered anything other than a check/fold or possibly checking it down to see a cheap run-out. But I've been working on my game and am continuing to improve, finding spots just like these to put opponents to high levels of stress and decision-making. In the long run, I should continue to find these bluff spots as I do believe that they will work more times than not, in key situations against players likely to fold to high-pressure spots. Level 10: Blinds are now 500/1,500/1,500 and I'm roughly at ~35,000 chips at this point, when the player that "Plays any Ace" from my previous table raises it to 3,000 from UTG, with about ~10,000 left behind. The LJ (Low-Jack) calls and the action folds to me in the SB. I look down at AKo, and with my 25BB-ish stack, I have one and only one viable option - I shove. The player snap calls and almost flips his hand over, until he realizes that the LJ is still in the hand. He thinks about coming along for the ride, but ultimately decides to let it go. The Any-Ace aficionado flips up AJ, and is dominated. The board run out is very nice for me, as the dealer reveals the other two aces left in the deck and I knock out the player and build my stack back up to over 50,000. I start talking to the player on my left who is a nice younger guy with noise-cancelling headphones on, and we start talking about the tournament structure, that we're both going to make a comeback in this event, and other poker-related hopes and dreams. The remaining tables are being broken, player stacks are getting much larger than mine, and we're now down to 4 tables in this flight. I'm once again in the SB, and the player in the CO who was recently moved to our table makes it 4,500 to go. I don't have any specific reads on this player and have never seen him before. The action folds around to me and I look down at AQ. I really want to play this hand and am not really in the mood to fold it at this point, given that I was once a monster stack in this tournament and I'm now trying to hang on and survive. I definitely don't want to call, even if I do decide to lay it down, so I'm left with two viable options: Fold, or Raise. In regards to a raise here, I also think my options are quite limited to a shove. I have exactly 52,500, so if I do three-bet, I can't really make a min-raise to something like 9,000 as I'll be out of position for the entire hand. So I start thinking about what amount to three-bet with in this spot, and I'm thinking that a bet of 16,000-17,000 might be good. The problem is then that I'll have like 35,000 left, which will really put me in a tough spot the rest of the way if I don't connect with this upcoming flop. I ultimately decide that if I shove, I can double-up if I get called and win, or I can take the pot down right here and be up to ~60,000. So I do decide to shove with about 35BB and the player in the CO does make the call with KK. The flop isn't very helpful, and neither is the turn. I'm down to a 3-outer...an Ace from Space as Tony G says...the river card had other plans, though, and it bricks off and I don't win the pot. We count up the chips and amazingly, we had the exact same chip stack at exactly 52,500. That actually made me laugh. I wished the table "GL", and that was that. Due to family commitments and the fact that I do want to spend time with my wife and kids whenever possible, I am not able to play in any of other two Day 1 flights, so my Seminole Hard Rock June Big Stack Special is over and I'm off to the next one. Final Thoughts / Up Next: Obviously, I'm disappointed that I was not able to survive to Day 2. Looking back, I think I could have folded that AQ hand that I busted with and found a better spot - hopefully in a later position - to reclaim some lost chips. So for future tournaments I'll definitely want to try to avoid playing for stacks and out-of-position with hands exactly like AQ or lower pocket pairs, given that my opponent could have woken up with a big hand, which happened exactly as described. However, I do think I played well overall, met a lot of nice people and had a great time. I'm also looking forward to having all of the regular tournament grinders back in town after the summer, as I'll be able to do some good name-dropping in future posts :) Looking at the upcoming schedule, there's a really interesting Seminole Turnpike Series event, a $250 buy-in, $250,000 guaranteed, multi-day tournament where players can qualify at either the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood or the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, as Day 1 flights will run simultaneously at both properties. Day 2 of this event will be at the Hard Rock (probably due to logistics - Coconut Creek's Poker Room can't handle the volume, unless they were to bring in tables and use the pavilion like they did for the WSOP-C series back in February. There's also the Florida State Poker Championship event at the end of July at the Isle, in Pompano Beach, FL. I really hope to be able to play in the Main Event of that tournament, with a $300,000 guarantee and, I believe, a Day 3 final table (I've made Day 2's in tournaments but never a Day 3 - so that alone would be really cool). Final Results: Entered For: $130 (1 Bullet)Position: ~35th of 153 on Day 1ENet: -$130 TL;DR:Played in the event described above where, after running like Robert Varkonyi in the 2002 WSOP ME Final Table, I ultimately busted in Level 10 of Day 1E. Edit: Fixed a couple of things.
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