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Have casual sex partner, how do you ethically treat new potential dates?
Started seeing a woman in April and from the beginning she has made it clear she wants FWB. I closed my OLD account after the first day, which sparked her to define the parameters, and she has kept profiles open on two sites. We typically meet three times a week for a couple hours, usually she invites me over to her place. She has a higher libido than me, is very sex positive and is not vanilla in the bedroom. What is an old guy like me complaining about? Actually not much. Despite my efforts at planning, we don't go on traditional date activities (yes curtailed by pandemic) and we are carrying on like it is an affair. We are both on the same page of not wanting to get married or move in together or being step parents. I have met some of her family members and friends, but nobody in my circle has met her - though I am totally open to that. We do text frequently each day and when we both are kid free (like once a month), we do sleepovers and spend the day or weekend together. I think she is awesome but would be interested in something more serious, for example, some integration of social lives. For example, like our similarly aged kids going out together on my boat on the lake for a Saturday of fun. It may evolve to that over time. My brother tells me I should have a online dating profile up just on general principle and that I should be open to other possibilities. I am hardwired to focus on one person so it not something I am urgent to jump into. Anyway, short of ending things with a FWB, how do you ethically and effectively date new people if you maintain a casual dating relationship? I have no interest in a one night stand or another casual dating situation. If you are trying to find a LTR to replace a FWB, posting it right on the your profile that you have a current casual dating partner would be the most transparent, but I personally would swipe left on that and I assume the majority of people would also. If you talk about it on a first date, seems like that would kill the attraction / chemistry you hope to build. Waiting any longer seems like an egregious omission. The only effective way seems to just never tell the new person about it and - go on a bunch of dates, have safe sex to see if there is any chemistry and determine if there is a mutual interest for a future together (but then the whole thing is based on a lie). I know many people assume early in dating, that their prospective partner is going on dates with others and maybe even having sex. It sounds like many daters in our age range don't have a DTR until a couple months in. I guess at this DTR, if you want to proceed with the new person, that is when you would disclose the FWB, your intention to end that, and desire to be exclusive with the new person. But who wouldn't feel hurt, jealous or insecure about that news at that juncture? I don't see how you can be honest and respectful unless you end the casual dating situation first before dating others. Am I thinking about this wrong? I would appreciate gender neutral responses without bashing or stereotyping of men or women (or me, lol).
I Read It So You Don't Have To: Little Kids, Big City (by Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen)
Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response to my previous 'book report' on Ramona Singer's Life on the Ramona Coaster (seriously, thank you all -- truly supporting other women 🙏🙏), I decided to try my hand at writing up yet another of the embarrassing number of Housewives books in my personal collection: Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City with Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle. After reading just the title of this book, I'm already exhausted. It's pretentiously long and awkwardly phrased while somehow still managing to be entirely devoid of meaning. In other words, a perfect encapsulation of Simon and Alex. The summary on the back cover describes the pair as the "breakout stars" of RHONY, an assessment that I would charitably call 'debatable,' before going on to inform me that I can look forward to "informative and often hair-raising stories of life in the urban jungle," and that "Alex and Simon use their own hard-won experience as a springboard to discuss a host of parenting topics." I anticipate that this content will be quite useful to me, the guardian of four cats that I spoil endlessly and treat like my actual children. One of the pull-quotes on the back cover allegedly comes from our very own Bethenny Frankel. I say 'allegedly' because I refuse to believe that the following passage would ever come out of Bethenny's mouth (or keyboard or whatever):
Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously, which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh 'he said, she said' perspective on parenting is both humorous and insightful!
Please, take a moment and do your very best to picture mention-it-all, betting-on-horse-races-at-age-five Bethenny unironically using the phrase "fresh 'he said, she said' perspective." To describe Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord. Right, didn't think so. My experience reading Little Kids, Big City started on an unexpected high note when I opened the front cover to find that my copy (purchased used through Better World Books for the low, low price of $5.31 with shipping) had been signed by Ms. you-are-in-high-school-while-I-am-in-Brooklyn herself, Alex McCord! Truly a gift I do not deserve. Samantha and Debbie (whoever and wherever you may be), thank you for your service. I am forever in your debt. Unfortunately, as would soon become painfully clear to me, after starting off on such a promising note, I would have nowhere to go but down. The book, which is written in alternating passages from Alex and Simon, begins its introduction with a chronicle of Alex's "fashionably nomadic" early adulthood. Ever the proto-edgelord, she recalls, "I did all those things our mothers warned us about and had fun doing them." We switch to Simon's perspective to hear the deeply embarrassing story of the couple meeting through a dating app while Simon was on a business trip in New York City. No, there is absolutely nothing embarrassing about meeting someone on a dating app. But there absolutely is something embarrassing about using the profile name "Yetisrule" to meet someone on a dating app. To clarify, this was apparently Alex's username, and I remain hopeful that we will get a more thorough explanation of her connection to the elusive Yeti as this book continues. Alex tells us that, while she and Simon hadn't initially planned to have children, they eventually started to have "clucky feelings." I have never heard this phrase in my entire twenty-five years of life, but based on context clues and also a Google search, I learned that it means they wanted to have a baby. Don't worry, though! As Alex tells us, "You can be eight months pregnant and wear a leather miniskirt." Personally, this is life-changing news -- I had always believed that I couldn't have kids unless I was willing to compromise my 90s goth aesthetic! Maybe I'll rethink this child-free thing after all. The next bit of advice seems like it actually could potentially be sort of helpful. "No one is a good parent all the time -- nor is anyone a bad parent all the time," they reassure the reader. "You can become a parent without losing yourself." Unfortunately, as soon as I catch myself nodding along, the modicum of goodwill I'd built up is promptly trashed by a gag-worthy line from Simon: "If you take nothing away but a wry smile after reading our little tome, then we've done our job." I immediately vow not to smile until I'm finished reading this book. Excuse me, this little tome. The book starts in earnest with Chapter 1: "Does a German Shepherd Need a Birth Plan?" To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting a riddle at this juncture, but I am nevertheless excited to hear Simon and Alex tell us "why childbirth is not an intellectual activity." First, however, we get a passing reference to "Park Slope, home of the ParkSlopeParents.com message board made famous in 2007 with a so-ridiculous-it-got-headlines discussion on gender-specific baby hats and where feminism can be taken to extremes." And despite the lame alarmist allusion to ~*XTREME feminism*~, this line did manage to lead me down an interesting Internet rabbit hole, so thanks for that, I guess? Jesus Christ, I am on PAGE 4 and I am already so done with Simon. Presented without comment:
With the Park Slope OB-GYN, we had the first sonogram and saw the little blip on the screen -- our child-to-be. They say seeing is believing and as nothing was happening inside me, seeing confirmation on the video monitor that indeed my spermatozoa had penetrated and infiltrated one of Alex's ova made me aware that my days as a footloose and fancy-free guy might be coming to an end.
Y'all, I am currently working on my PhD in Molecular Biology. Which, if you were not previously aware, gives me the authority to decree that Simon is never allowed to use the word "spermatozoa" ever again. And so it is. I was about to say that Alex's passages are at least more tolerable, but it appears I spoke too soon.
The stats they quoted referenced a 40 percent cesarean section rate in the city, and I wonder how that can be acceptable? Are we heading toward Brave New World, where babies are scientifically created in petri dishes and gestated in artificial wombs? Oh wait, we're already there. Are we heading towards a Wall-E existence, where we ride around in carts everywhere and do nothing for ourselves so that our bodies break down and we're all fat, oozy blobs drinking protein from a straw? Somebody slap me, please!!
Truly, Alex, it would be my pleasure. As a Type-A person, just reading the story of Alex's first pregnancy and delivery gave me anxiety. She says that she just never really "felt the need to establish a birth plan" and that she "gave in to any craving [she] felt." Don’t worry, though -- "If I had suddenly craved chalk, ecstasy or Elmer's Glue, I'd have thought twice." I feel like there is some symbolism here to unpack (Could the Elmer's Glue be a metaphor for the childlike spirit of connection and unity???). Simon describes himself as "a learn-on-the-job guy" and tells us that he and Alex "failed to attend the last couple of [birthing] classes as by then we both just wanted to let instinct take over when the time came." As someone who has never trusted my instincts even once in my entire life, I cannot relate. Twelve days after his due date, baby François is born. Except it turns out that he actually was born right on time, but Alex "didn't keep regimented track of [her] periods" and miscalculated. What a bummer that modern medicine hasn't advanced to the point where doctors can guide you about that sort of thing. I don't even know what to say about this next bit, but God help me, I still have 215 more pages of this book to go.
Although the final stages of labor were very, very painful, I [Alex] never used our code word (tin can) for "game over, give me drugs." I definitely recommend using a code word, because it was kind of fun to scream, "I want drugs, give me drugs" through a contraction and have the midwife, nurse and Simon all know I wasn't serious. Once he [François] was finally out of my body, I experienced a tsunami of endorphins that was almost orgasmic, and I understand completely the stories other women have written about ecstatic birth. Simon was sitting behind me at the point of birth, and later when we untangled ourselves he discovered he'd actually ejaculated though hadn't felt any of the normal lead-up to that. It may seem distasteful to some, and definitely neither of us was thinking of sex at the time, but with the rush of emotion and my lower nerve endings going crazy, it's not too far a stretch to say that it's a profound experience.
Johan is born two years later, although it's unclear from the text whether either parent reached orgasm during the event. The chapter ends with a top-ten list entitled "10 Things We'll Remember That Happened During Pregnancy." These include useful tidbits like
Best advice I heard: men's genitals grow and change shape regularly, then go back to the way they were before. Don't worry about your female delicate bits being able to retract.
Which is…a lovely sentiment. But one that is slightly undermined by phrasing the first part in the grossest way possible, as well as by the use of the phrase "female delicate bits." I do like the idea that they "retract," however, because I think it's very cool to imagine the vagina as an SUV sunroof. By the grace of God, Chapter 1 comes to a close. In Chapter 2 (titled "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, What's My Name Again? and Who is This Alien?" -- seriously, were they padding their word count with chapter titles?), we get more questionable parenting advice from the McCord-van Kempens. They glibly dismiss concerns about co-sleeping ("Simon and I both slept with cats and dogs our whole lives without squishing them"), which I honestly would be more annoyed about if I hadn't immediately gone on to read Simon's account of "the midnight race to the 24-hour pharmacy to buy a breast pump as Alex's breasts were seemingly engorged with too much milk and she thought they were about to explode and fly off her chest." As it stands, I'm truly too defeated to care. Again, just to be perfectly clear: no shade to having issues breastfeeding, all shade to using the word 'engorged.’ And also for giving me the mental image of Alex's breasts desperately struggling to flee from her body (though to be fair, who could blame them?). Proving that she does not inhabit the same world as the rest of us mortals, Alex tells us that she expected that her state of sleep-deprivation as she raised two young children would "spur [her] creativity with graphic design." For some reason, this does not seem to be the case. Alex is puzzled. Finally, we've come to this chapter's top ten list ("Top 10 Memories of Random Things We Did While in the Post-Birth Haze"). While these lists have so far been utterly irredeemable, they also mean the chapter is coming to a close, so I can at least take some solace in that. This particular list ranges from the irritating…
We subversively took sleeping babies to as many non-child-friendly places as possible to prove the point that children can be seen, not heard and not bothersome, such as dinner at the Ritz in London, the Sahara Desert, shopping on Madison Avenue, Underbar in Union Square and film festivals.
…to the truly unnecessary.
While changing François' diaper on day one or two, we both stood mesmerized by the changing pad as meconium oozed out of him. It was really the most bizarre and fascinating thing I'd seen to date.
With the couple's general backstory and credentials now under our belts, Chapter 3 ("The Screaming Kid on the Plane is NOT Mine! (This Time)") focuses on advice for traveling with children, which Alex admits "can be a complete pain in the you-know-what." I cannot describe the rage I feel at the fact that she has -- in no fewer than 50 pages -- forced me to read about both her newborn son's excrement and her husband's ejaculate, but cannot bring herself to use the word "ass." Alex, we're really far beyond that at this point, don't you think? Not to be outdone, Simon shares a conversation he had with François that is remarkable not for its content, but for the fact that one of Simon's nicknames for his son is apparently "F-Boy." Thanks, I hate it. This chapter's list ("Alex's Top 10 Travel Memories") includes the entry:
Both boys charging down Saline Beach in St. Barths like something out of Lord of the Flies.
So, like a horde of primal sadists? I'm wondering if Alex and Simon have inadvertently confused Lord of the Flies with the hit 2007 reality show Kid Nation. I really hope that's what's going on here. Chapter 4 ("'Mommy, Johan is Gone!'") promises to teach us how to handle accidents. I'm not sure how comfortable I feel taking emergency advice from the authors of this particular book, but (in large part due to the fact that I have slept since reading the previous chapter, giving the pain a chance to dull somewhat), I am willing to at least hear them out. After relaying a story of François needing emergency surgery after a foot injury, Alex tells us that at one point, she and Simon realized they had spent "nearly $5000 on Indian takeout" in the past year. For the mathematically averse, this works out to a monthly budget of roughly $100 worth of Indian food per week, making my quarantine Uber Eats habit seem downright quaint by comparison. The chapter-ending list walks us through the "Top 10 Things We Do in a Crisis," and fortunately, the tips seem pretty benign.
Knowing what calms the children down, such as making silly faces or reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards.
Wait, hang on. What?
reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards
I'm sorry, please forgive me if I have missed some recent, paradigm-shifting development in the field of early childhood education, but what?? As in, "ends sidewalk the where?" "Sdne klawedis eht erehw?" I am truly befuddled. Maybe the next chapter ("'Is Today a Work Day or a Home Day, Mommy?'") will have some applicable wisdom for me, as I will, in fact, be working from home every other week for the foreseeable future. And, I cannot stress this enough, I am a psychotically overinvested cat mom. Alas, we are instead treated to an unnecessarily detailed breakdown of how important it is to delegate, and specifically that Simon cleans up vomit and Alex cleans up "feces in the various forms that come out of children's bottoms at appropriate and sometimes inappropriate times such as the middle of Thanksgiving festivities." As if we needed another reason to consider Thanksgiving problematic. The chapter takes a brief commercial break…
When an everyday product can do double duty such as Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty, a dish soap that seals in moisture while I'm tackling cleanup, sure, I'll buy it.
…before closing out with a list of the "Top 10 Things We Do Because We Were Here First." I am happy to confirm your worst suspicions and tell you that item number one is indeed "Have passionate sex." In Chapter 6 ("I Saw Your Nanny…Being Normal?"), I find myself actually sympathizing with Alex for the first time in this book. Which is mostly just because the chapter starts by talking about all of the awful, catty parental competitions that seem endemic to a certain crew of white Manhattan moms, and it makes Alex come off at least slightly less irritating in comparison. That is, at least until a few pages later, when she starts to complain about a previous au pair:
She was sullen, melodramatic and kept a blog about how she hated Americans, hated France, hated us and the children but loved New York. I think she must have thought we were idiots, and when she asked us to leave early we were only too happy to get her out of our home.
I would love to meet this woman. I think we could be great friends. This chapter's list is even more difficult to parse than previous ones, because while it's titled "Top 10 Things Caregivers Have Inadvertently Done to Amuse, Annoy or Thrill Us," it's not at all clear which descriptors apply to which points. When a babysitter "accidentally used a household cleaning wipe when changing a diaper," were the McCord-Van Kempens amused? Annoyed? Thrilled? The world may never know. In Chapter 7 ("'Putting To Death Is Not Nice,' a Duet for Two Boys and A Guitar"), Alex and Simon share some of their hard-earned childrearing wisdom with us. Which basically amounts to Alex telling us that, while normally misbehavior from the kids incurs a warning followed by a time-out, she has also developed an ingenious new strategy where she actually steps in to intervene when the stakes are higher. Let's listen in:
A third permutation is when there's a behavior that has to stop immediately, say if Johan has a big blue indelible marker and is running through a white hotel suite. I swoop in and grab the marker as to risk a three count [warning] would be to risk decoration of the sofa.
Take the marker from the toddler immediately instead of trying to reason with him? Groundbreaking. Side Note: At this point in my reading, I am incredibly satisfied to report that I have discovered my first typo in the book, and in one of Simon's sections no less! ("These toads secret [sic] a poison…"). This is wildly pedantic of me and proof that I am a deeply sick person. We run though a list of "Top 10 Things We Never Thought We Would Have To Explain" ("10. Why hot pizza stones do not like Legos.") before moving right along into Chapter 8, "Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons." Strangely, I have a very vivid memory of Alex saying "I have a chapter in my book called, 'Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons" in some distant RHONY episode or reunion. I guess she was telling the truth. The chapter opens with a series of passages in which Alex and Simon respond to various comments that have been made about their parenting over the years. I think this device is supposed to be a bit of lighthearted snark on overbearing strangers, but instead just comes off as weirdly defensive and passive-aggressive. A few examples:
"My daughter is perfect. Her table manners are excellent, she never speaks unless spoken to and we've always had white sofas at home since she was a child, with no staining." -A woman with one preteen daughter, no sons Your daughter sounds boring. I wouldn't want my sons to date her..
"Why are you outside?" - A bagel seller in Montreal, in February I'm hungry and the stroller is well protected under the plastic cover. Johan is warm and cozy, the others are asleep in the hotel and I'm going stir-crazy. Is that enough, or should I buy my bagel from someone else?
"Excuse me, your baby is crying." -- Someone said to Simon as they peered into the stroller to try and determine the cause of said noise. You don't say! Do you think, you stupid idiot, that I don't hear that? Do you think I think it's just loud music? Do you think I don't want him to stop and that I like it???
Sorry, did I say 'passive-aggressive'? Let's change that to just 'aggressive.' But despite bristling at being the recipient of unwanted advice, far be it from Alex to shy away from giving her opinions on the shortcomings of other parents.
There was a mom at another table who wore all black and told her hyperactive daughter that they had to have a family meeting to decide what to do next. The type of woman who might ask her daughter to "process her feelings" about which color to choose. The type of woman who wanted make [sic] a big huge hairy deal about including her daughter in the decision-making process and "negotiating" the next best step for the family to take in the pottery shop. Pardon me while I shoot myself.
I'm sorry, but I just cannot respect this take coming from a woman who calms her sons by reciting comedic children's poetry backwards. We next learn that there are "many websites out in cyberspace," some of which offer child-rearing advice. Simon summarizes their useless "vitriol" as such:
They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, whereas for the 21st century surely hell no longer hath fury, as it's all been hurled at the belittled and scorned Internet mom.
I'm honestly not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, and my confusion continues all the way through this chapter's "Top 10 Ways We Make Ourselves Feel Better When It's All Getting To Be Too Much." We begin reasonably enough…
Check to see whether the person offering advice has children. How old are they?
Do they have a point? Are they right? It is entirely possible.
…before quickly losing all sense of self-awareness and flying completely off the rails.
Will we ever see this person again? If not, can we get away with unleashing our fury on them? Note, if you're reading this and decide to try it for yourself, go big or go home.
The last few chapters have been a bit Alex-heavy, but never fear -- Simon pops back up in Chapter 9 ("If I Wouldn't Eat That, My Kid Won't Either") to tell us a charming story about how the family refers to his Bolognese sauce as "Dead Cow Sauce," and this is because his children are incredibly enlightened and understand the circle of life and where food comes from. Or something along those lines. This chapter also provides a lot of really incontrovertible proof that, even though you may swear that your kids say the most hilarious things all the time, you are wrong. I love kids. I can play cool aunt with the best of them. But this "recipe" for "Johan's Concoction" tries so hard to be cute and funny ("whisk violently -- making sure to spill a little out of the top") that I could barely stifle my groans. For anyone who happens to frequent RebornDollCringe, I am strongly and inexplicably reminded of Britton. A list of "Top 10 Things We Don't Like About Children's Restaurants" culminates with
Where would you rather be? A bistro devoted to race-car driving, with 1950s toy cars on the walls, or T.G.I. Friday's?
Excuse me, ma'am, you must be unfamiliar with the concept of Endless Apps®. The title of Chapter 10 is "You'll Give in Before I Do!" and although the subtitle lets me know this is referencing "the art and warfare of bedtime," it's hard not to take it as a personal taunt from the authors. Most of this chapter is just transcriptions of 'cute' things François and Johan have said to try to avoid going to bed, but we do get this gem:
Slaying the dragon is our family euphemism for using the toilet (drowning the dragons that live in the sewer) and is fun for the boys to talk about, though probably not forever.
Before giving us a chance to adequately process this revelation, Alex goes on to reflect:
Hmm, perhaps I should delete this -- I don’t want obnoxious classmates getting hold of this book in 10 years and asking the boys if they need to slay the dragon in the middle of geometry class.
Alex, I assure you, you truly have nothing to worry about. Any self-respecting bully will be far too focused on the fact that Simon ejaculated at the moment of his son's birth to pay this comparatively trivial factoid any attention. The authors shake things up and end this chapter with lists of both "Top 20 Bedtime Stories" and "Top 10 Lullabies," both of which are thankfully inoffensive. In Chapter 11 ("Children Like Shiny Objects"), we follow Alex and Simon as they purchase the townhouse we see them renovating on RHONY. Although other (read: lesser) parents might store breakables out of reach or limit children's toys to playrooms and bedrooms, Alex and Simon were blessed with two boys whose aesthetic sensibilities are already quite developed:
One kind of funny thing that I noticed recently is that the toys the boys tend to leave upstairs in our red and black living room often tend to be red and black as well. I'm not sure whether that's intentional, but it's funny that the room always seems to match regardless of its contents.
The list of "Top 10 Craziest Places We've Found Objects" is mercifully absent of any orifice-related discoveries. After reading just the title of Chapter 12 ("Raising Baby Einsteins"), I'm bracing myself for the self-satisfied smugness to come. This preparation turns out to be duly warranted. Baby sign language is dismissed as "a scheme dreamed up by ASL experts who wanted to sell classes to easily influenced new parents," Mommy and Me classes are "not really for teaching anything," and we learn that Alex and Simon have instituted a bizarre family rule that "if a talking toy came into our house, it had to speak a foreign language or speak English in an accent other than American." We learn that Simon apparently does not know what antonyms are (for the record, Simon, the word you're looking for is homophones) and that New York City is replete with "wailing, nocturnal, type-A obsessed harridans willing to sleep with persons not their spouse if they think it will help their child get into THE RIGHT SCHOOL." Uh, yikes. After a tediously long description of François' pre-school admissions process, Alex informs us:
As a former actor, I've always gotten into play-acting and dressing up with my children. Perhaps a little too much. But I've taken the opportunity to show off a few old monologues, complete with bounding around like a puppy. If you have knowledge, why not share it? If you happen to know Puck's speeches from a Midsummer Night's Dream by ear with tumbling and staged sword play, why the heck don’t you share that with your boisterous boys, who love it and run around shouting, "Thou speakest aright!"
I am suddenly compelled to call my mother and thank her profusely for never making me put up with anything like this. Maybe I'll also get her thoughts on one of the tips listed in "Top 10 Favorite 'Developmental' Things To Do": "if they want something that you want to delay giving them, make them ask in every language they can before giving in." To me, this seems like an effective way to encourage your children to learn how to say "Fuck you, mom" in French as early as possible. In Chapter 13 ("Urban Wonderland"), Alex and Simon promise to share their unique perspective on "taking advantage of raising a child in the urban jungle." But mostly, we just get a rant about how everyone thinks their kids have weird names, and that makes Simon mad. This chapter's "Top 10 Reasons New York is the Center of the Universe to a Kid" list reminds us what truly matters: "there are more songs with NYC in their titles than any other city." Immediately after telling us how great it is to live in a city (excuse me, urban jungle), Alex and Simon switch tack and spend Chapter 14 ("'Daddy, a Cow! And It's Not in a Zoo!") expounding on the importance of exposing kids to nature. Sounds great, I'm on board. Unfortunately, we almost immediately take a hard left turn into a story from Simon's childhood where he and his brother are "befriended by this old guy, Dick, who lived on the outskirts of town in a small tin shed." We hear that Dick "occasionally pulled out an early Playboy magazine back from the days when the lower regions were airbrushed out," and that "there had been pretty strong rumors of pedophilia," before promptly returning to the main narrative with no further explanation. I can only describe the transition as 'jarring.' I can tell how exhausted I am at this point in the book by how hurriedly I skimmed the list of "Top 10 Differences We've Noticed Between City Kids and Country Kids." To be honest, I'm almost annoyed when a particularly bizarre quote manages to catch my attention, because that means I have to think about it for the full amount of time it takes me to transcribe from the page. I'm beginning to think that my initial hope that I could glean some useful cat-rearing advice from this experience may have been overzealous. Chapter 15 ("You're Such a Great Parent, You Should Be on TV (LOL)") is the only chapter to directly address the family's time on RHONY. It starts with this (attempted) comedy bit in which Alex and Simon pretend to be hilariously self-aware and self-effacing (Alex: "Look up 'Mommylicious' in the dictionary and you will see a photo of me in a ball gown, breast-feeding an infant while making Osso Buco and directing carpenters to build a bookcase for my Dickens and Shakespeare."). This posture would be infinitely more believable if I hadn't spent the previous 205 pages watching these two take themselves deadly seriously. But rather than share any juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits (or, indeed, convey anything of substance at all), Alex and Simon spend exactly 3.5 pages blustering about how it wasn't harmful for their children to be on TV before giving us a list of "Top 10 Hilarious Things The Boys Have Done While Filming or at Photo Shoots." Spoiler alert: none of them are 'hilarious.' Chapter 16 is literally titled "The Light at the End of the Tunnel," which makes me feel like this whole experience may have just been Alex and Simon playing some sort of twisted game with me. Alex tells us this is "the chapter of hope," but given that she then tells us about a time when she "spent one full hour discussing why magic markers cannot be carried around with the caps off, particularly in a hotel suite with white couches and walls," I'm not sure exactly where this hope is coming from. Also it seems like this markers-in-a-hotel-room thing happens weirdly frequently. We are then treated to Alex and Simon's "Top 10 Moments of Getting It,'" which includes
Apropos of nothing, Johan said, "You give us time-outs because you are teaching us to be good grown-ups."
This is a thing I'm sure Johan said completely organically and not in response to hearing his parents say "we're giving you a time-out so that you learn to be a good grown-up" approximately seven zillion times. This brings us to the book's Epilogue (a mercifully short two pages) featuring the line "If you made it to the end of this book, we salute you." Honored to accept this hard-earned accolade, I can finally close the book and start figuring out a way to erase the memory of Simon busting a mid-childbirth nut from my aching brain. Wish me luck!
At the end of the Second World War, Europe realized that their hold on their colonial holdings was slipping fast. Most of them began to draw up plans to gradually grant independence. The people within these countries however had different priorities. They saw their chance to break from the colonial masters and took it. In 1950, only Egypt, Liberia, Ethiopia, and South Africa could be considered independent, by 1965 the vast majority of nations were on their own. Some flourished, some languished, but almost all improved with their newfound freedom. At this time, the world was locked in a struggle between Western Democracy and Communist Dictatorship. With little warning, a new theater opened in the Cold War. Africans were given the decision of who to side with. As an enemy of their former masters, the Soviet Union made a natural ally, and Socialism's anti-imperial (theoretic) stance appealed to people in post imperial regions of the world. Since independence, seventeen African nations have had a government which self-identified as socialist, six of those as Marxist-Leninist. Like Africa itself, socialist movements in the continent were varied and diverse. Ranging from self described socialist Nelson Mandella becoming celebrated world wide for his devotion to peace and equality to Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose violence and economic mismanagement killed thousands. The purpose of this post is to describe the ideological origins and tenets of African socialism, with a look at what makes it distinct from mainstream Communist movements. On this map red shows those states which identified as Marxist, yellow shows those which identified as with a variety of other forms of socialism, and green shows those which more closely fall under the Arab Socialist movement and will not be discussed here.
Broadly speaking, African Socialism drew inspiration from two main sources, the traditional body of socialist literature and that of the Pan-African movement. Socialism Both the ideological tenets of socialism and the practical concerns socialist nations played a role in African nations adopting socialism. Most of the nations of Africa were in a struggle for freedom from capitalist European countries and found a natural ally in the Soviet Union. Following WWII, it was in many ways a binary choice to side with the US or USSR. Those who led rebellions or coups against US backed leaders had few options other than the USSR. Political concerns aside, there were many reasons why socialism was ideologically attractive to educated Africans. Socialism is at its base revolutionary. "Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries unite!” With even a cursory glance at Marx, it doesn't take much imagination to see why people oppressed for decades would turn to him. The anti-Imperial rhetoric of socialism (regardless of the actual aggression of the USSR and PRC) was another motivating factor. In this case, I point to Vladimir Lenin's Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this work, Lenin points towards imperialism as a symptom of the capitalist system. However, one of the reasons this work remained applicable after the collapse of most overseas empires is due to his characterization of imperialism. One example he gives in the book speaks of US domination of the Argentine beef industry. According to Lenin, though the US never carved out a concession area or installed a governor general, they used economic power to dominate the industry and exert control over the country. This characterization rang true for many people who looked at the efforts taken by former colonial powers looking to retain their economic stakes in their old colonies. One of the problems socialists face in implementing their policy is that Orthodox Marxism is heavily based on the conditions of 19th century Western Europe, and when applied outside of those conditions, thinkers need to reconcile the inconsistencies with the conditions on the ground. While we will look at how various African leaders adapted the ideology, one sub-ideology which played a major role in African Socialism was Maoism. Orthodox Marxism focuses heavily on a revolution based around industrial workers. Early 20th century China, much like post-colonial Africa had little in the way of industry. Mao re conceptualized the idea of the proletariat to include peasant farmers and made the revolution as agrarian as it was industrial. For example, the first president of Socialist Madagascar released an ideology book heavily inspired by Mao's Red Book. China also served as an alternative source of support in the event of a conflict with Russia; Somalia received aid from the PRC when they were at war with Soviet aligned Ethiopia. Pan- African Movement The Pan-African movement did not solely influence the African Socialist movement. In fact, almost all post-colonial governments took inspiration from many of the tenets of movement. Nor were all the central figures socialists, indeed Emperor Halie Salassi of Ethiopia was about as far from socialist as could be. However there was a degree of mutual influence in a number of places. The start of it can be traced to Jamaican thinker Marcus Garvey. The Pan-African colors and the icon of the Black Star both came from him. Kwame Nkrumah mentioned him directly as an influence. This remained on the nationalist and pan-nationalist side of African socialism. This and racial empowerment remained a constant theme in African socialism, with many African thinkers rejecting class reductionism. African's tended to be acutely aware of the role of race in world politics and used it in conjunction with class and capitalist interest to explain the world. Another major thinker was American W. E. B. du Bois. One of the founding members of the NAACP and author of one of the first sociological works about African Americans, Du Bois is one of the most important figures of the American Civil Rights Movement. Du Bois was in reality a Social Democrat, who often saw world communist governments as a means to an end for black people. In Socialism and the American Negro, he referred to the New Deal as a America's foray into Socialism. Though a stalwart supporter of democracy he visited Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin personally. He was a strong opponent of colonization and spoke to young leaders in the 1945 Pan-African congress. There he met future President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah. He would become a mentor to Nkrumah and move to Accra in his final days.
Many of the most interesting and successful movements in Africa were non-Marxist-Leninist. They took local beliefs and attitudes and molded socialism to fit them. These were incredibly diverse, ranging from forms of social democracy to far more authoritarian structures. The leaders ranged from educated elites to guerrilla leaders. The first socialist governments sprang up at independence and continued through the Cold War. These are some of the more notable ones. Consciencism Few other thinkers have had near the lasting influence on African politics and philosophy as Kwame Nkrumah. Born to a poor family in the British Gold Coast, Nkrumah was sent to school by his family where he excelled. Interested in Politics and Philosophy, he saved money to pay to visit the United States. He worked menial jobs to put himself through school at Lincoln University and University of Pennsylvania. In the US he became close to expat and American leftists as well as enjoying African American culture. After graduating he went to the London School of Economics. This is where he began political organizing. He returned to the Gold Coast where he founded the Convention People's Party. When the British began increasing local rule, his party swept. When the British did not meet the demands of the Ghanian people, he became a champion of the people with his down to earth nature and organization of general strikes. When Ghana was given full independence, he was the overwhelming choice. A strict empiricist, Nkrumah sought to make an organic political philosophy that was designed to change as the material needs of the country changed. He determined that the welfare of the individual was the most important concern of the government and society. It was from this lens that he criticized capitalism, contending that it reduced man to a means to achieving the goal of profit. He pointed to traditional African values, Islam, and European influences as the three ideological tides that shaped Africa. The latter two he condemned, though admitted their merits where he saw them (such as the French education system), and gave qualified approval to the first. African society was to be, in spirit but not practice the driver of society. This meant that pan-Africanism and historical study were to be focused on, but the actual institutions such as tribalism, traditional monarchy, and class hierarchies were to be abandoned. This is where socialism came into Nkrumah's Consciencism. It was not out of devotion to Marxist thinking, but out of a belief that socialist economic structures would be the most effective way of leading the country to prosperity. In a 1967 address he gave in Egypt he stated "Socialism is not spontaneous. It does not arise of itself. It has abiding principles according to which the major means of production and distribution ought to be socialized if exploitation of the many by the few is to be prevented; if, that is to say, egalitarianism in the economy is to be protected. Socialist countries in Africa may differ in this or that detail of their policies, but such differences themselves ought not to be arbitrary or subject to vagaries of taste. They must be scientifically explained, as necessities arising from differences in the particular circumstances of the countries themselves." To Nkrumah, Socialism was not prescriptive, but rather a process where one used communal ownership as needed to create a better society. He was a believer in the idea of scientific socialism in believing that socialism came from the natural needs of the people, rather than an ideological devotion. Ujamaa If Nkrumah was a product of the study of Philosophy, Julius Nyerere was a product of the study of anthropology and history. Unlike Nkrumah, Nyerere was the product of elite lineage. His father was a chief who earned the favor of both the German, and later British Administrations in Tanganyika. He was chosen by the British to receive education to be a local leader and studied at Makerere College before finishing his post graduate work at University of Edinburgh. Upon returning, he founded the Tanganyika African National Union, which pushed for independence from the UK through non-violent protest. His philosophy of Ujamaa, meaning familyhood in Swahili, became the guiding ideology of the party and independent Tanganyika (and Tanzania after their unification with Zanzibar). In this ideology, Nyerere posits that socialism is the natural state of African people. Before the introduction of Western influences, African people lived in an equal and communitarian society. While he admits the existence of elites he countered that the relative equality of means meant that there was no comparison to modern economic structures. For Africans to be prosperous, they had to return to the social structures as well as the spirit of pre-colonial Africa, while accepting modernizations that would benefit the common man. He posited that African society had a natural social value attached to work, and this work was done, not to the benefit of a capitalist elite, but to the benefit of society, thus with the fruits of labor belonging to society, they could be considered socialist. Through a return to these structures, they could have a socialist society that was structured on the needs of Africans, rather than those of 19th century Europeans. He regarded Marxists as rigid and dogmatic, stating that, "The works of Marx and Lenin are regarded as holy writ… We find them condemning others actions because they do not accord with what the 'priests of scientific socialism' have decided is the true meaning." His ontology marked the community as the basic unit. He believed in socialism through consent of the people, but not necessarily through democracy.
Marxist-Leninist nations in Africa tend to fill a different niche that those of non-Marxist states. Non-Marxist states tended to grow from movements within the countries with a locally based variant of socialism guiding the development of government structures. Marxist states on the other hand tended to come from the geopolitical needs of the nation. They tended to lean heavily into the support of the Soviet Union or People's Republic of China. These governments tended to be criticized by Orthodox Marxists both within the countries and abroad for simply slapping a Marxist aesthetic on a run of the mill authoritarian state. This is not universal, and depended on the leader and movement. Thomas Sankara (referred to as the African Che Guevara) is celebrated by leftists for his attempts to organize Burkina Faso, whereas his successor Blaise Compaoré simply co-opted Marxist symbolism until the end of the Cold War when it was dropped entirely. The two states I will profile show a best and worst case for African Marxists. Benin Nothing I write would be complete without me mentioning Benin somewhere. The Republic of Dahomey gained its freedom from France August 1st, 1960. At that time Hubert Maga, a school teacher turned politician from the North was named first president. Benin is divided into three broad super-cultural groups (though there are a total of 64 ethnic groups). The Fon in the South, the Yoruba in the East, and the Bariba and other Muslims in the North. The Maga government was soon overthrown and the country rapidly switched between a number of governments, each dedicated to giving as much as possible to their constituent area before being removed from office. This changed in 1972 when a young army officer named Mathieu Kerekou led a successful coup. Kerekou was different in the sense that he had no real ties to any of the political families that had been competing for power. He also ended the system of clientism that had defined Dahomeyan politics to that point (though some contend he showed bias against the Fon. Strongly nationalistic, Kerekou made his hatred for the French clear early on, pointing to them as the cause of many of the country's problems and the patron of the old regime. In 1974, Kerekou changed the country's name from the Republic of Dahomey to the People's Republic of Benin and formally adopted Marxism-Leninism as the guiding ideology of the nation. Oil reserves and refineries as well as the banking system were rapidly nationalized and Kerekou made overtures to international communist nations for aid. Austerity programs were also quickly ended. The North Koreans were particularly close allies. Curiously, Kerekou worked to retain warm relations with the United States. Peace Corps remained in operation through his entire presidency and working in the American embassy was considered a strong stepping stone. The practical effects for the average Beninese person varied from urban to village. Local leaders were required to be members of the People's Revolutionary Party, and extreme corruption and inefficiency meant that few resources radiated outside of population centers. Instilled with a strong labor union tradition during French occupation, the national labor movement was consolidated into a single approved union that was basically mandated to follow government orders. Unionized workers as well as students were the chief opponents of the regime and faced significant surveillance and harassment. This started to change in the mid 80s as it became clear that the regime's economic reforms weren't working. Benin was lagging behind its neighbors Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria. On top of this, student groups and workers in unofficial unions were demanding change. Simultaneously, the election of Francois Mitterrand in France opened a new era in Franco-Beninese relations, shifting the nation back to Western alignment away from the moribund USSR. Under mounting pressure, Kerekou agreed to a constitutional referendum and free elections. Upon his loss, he gracefully stepped down in 1991, but was reelected in 1996. Having dropped Marxism, he led his second term as a moderate liberal, doing little to harm the economic and political reforms of the early 90s. Ethiopia Ethiopia, on the other hand, faced the fullest horror of Communism and likely suffered to a similar extent to Ukraine and China. In 1970, the Solomonic Dynasty leading the Empire of Ethiopia was one of the oldest royal houses in the world dating back to 1270 and drawing its lineage back to the Biblical King Solomon. Their last Emperor was Halie Selassie, celebrated among Pan-Africanists as one of the only African leaders to resist colonization. Though celebrated by the diaspora, Selassie's rule was authoritarian and secretive. In 1973, a famine hit Ethiopia. Rather than petition for aid Selassie covered it up, and only accepted aid on the contingency that it was given in secret. The inaction of the Emperor prompted a revolutionary council known as the Derg to take over. This council quickly moved to numerous industries. Eritrean, Tigre, and Somali nationalists took advantage of the situation to launch offensives against the government. When the Carter Administration warned the Derg to cease the human rights violations they were committing in the crackdown, they cut ties with Washington and invited East-German and Soviet military advisors. In the Tigre region, the Ethiopian military embarked on a scorched earth offensive to quell the rebellion. Using such tactics in a nation with food security concerns was probably ill-advised. The offensive in the North consumed around two thirds of the national budget. The problems the Derg had created were compounded in 1983. In 1982, the rains failed and there was risk of another great famine. Having become an international pariah due to the extreme violence of Derg forces, the international community was reluctant to give aid and the Reagan administration lobbied heavily against it as part of his campaign to halt Communism in the Horn of Africa. When the famine hit in earnest, the Derg mobilized to create collective farms. These farms were incredibly inefficient, consuming 82% of imported fertilizer while contributing only 15% of grain production. To staff these farms, people from offending areas, particularly Tigre were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped to location. Africa Watch estimates that around 50,000 people died on these farms alone, comparing conditions to the Ukrainian farms in the days of Stalin. In total, as many as 1.2 million people were killed, 2.5 million displaced, with Human Rights Watch estimating that around half could be attributed to government actions.
Socialism is a phenomenon that struck the African continent in many ways across the Cold War era and beyond. Its incarnations were as diverse as the groups it affected. This is by no means an exhaustive look at African socialism, but simply a chance for the reader to find a starting place for further study and give context to an under studied part of the world. Indeed, there were many important people and thinkers left out, such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Walter Rodney, and Siad Barre. Please let me know in the comments what if anything you would like to learn more about. If you found the philosophical analysis or historical fact more interesting, I would be happy to write more about it. Sources African Socialism Revisited- Kwame Nkrumah Ujamma – The Basis of African Socialism- Julius K. Nyerere Drought, War, and the Politics of Famine in Ethiopia and Eritrea- Edmond J. Keller Applying the weapon of theory: comparing the philosophy of Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah- Tomáš František Žák Three African social theorists on class struggle, political liberation, and indigenous culture : Cheikh Anta Diop, Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah - Charles Simon-Aaron Socialism and the American Negro- W. E. B. Du Bois Benin- Chris Allen
[OC] 5 breakout seasons you might have missed this year:
This season, most of you have probably heard or read at one point or another about Luka Dončić soaring into the MVP conversation as a sophomore, the many all-star jumps (Ingram/Trae/Sabonis/Mitchell/Siakam/Booker), Bam Adebayo making a name for himself as an all-round stud in Miami, the Hornets' Devonte' Graham's heartwarming vault into NBA relevance, Ben Simmons's All-Defensive leap, and Jayson Tatum's long-awaited superstar transformation mid-season. This post, then, will be talking about some breakouts around the league that you might have missed this season, coming from players on less talked-about teams, or simply improved aspects of certain players' games that may have flown under the radar for whatever reason.
1: Jonathan Isaac, defensive savant
[Note: Please read this fantastic and highly detailed two-part post by Jonathan Chen, from which I pilfered the vast majority of the clips that I've linked below: Jonathan Isaac: A Unicorn on the Defensive End] Jonathan Isaac broke out as an early Defensive Player of the Year-candidate for the Orlando Magic this season - only an unfortunate season-ending left knee injury 32 games in stopped him from achieving a well-deserved All-Defensive spot this year. While Isaac's gaudy per-game averages (7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 2.4 blocks) are useful shorthand, they actually underplay his overall impact because of how truly unicorn-ish and all-encompassing his defensive profile is.
It all starts with Judah's elite rim protection - opponents shoot a sizeable 10.2 FG% worse within 6 feet of the rim (50.9 DFG%) when Isaac is the closest defender, where his savant-like shot-blocking instincts kick in as the Magic's defensive anchor. Whether he's the primary defender or the weak-side help, he's got fantastic footwork and is very quick off his feet, possessing a mean second-jump. Combined with his 6-11 frame, 7-1 wingspan, and an excellent sense of timing, Isaac is an athletic, long, and relentless roadblock at the rim to thwart otherwise high-percentage opponent shot-attempts in the paint. He's able to tussle with larger behemoths as well - here he is denying Embiid at the rim with one hand. In addition, Isaac remains quite disciplined, managing to consistently remain vertical on his contests and averaging only 2.5 fouls/game, impressive for a 3rd-year defender just 22 years of age.
He can gamble at times for steals (which does work out more often than not thanks to his length and instincts) and occasionally foul on shot contests, he can get caught out-of-position in the post sometimes, and he can be a bit overly twitchy in the paint, falling for pump-fakes from time to time.
Box- and non-box advanced metrics all think very highly of Isaac's overall defensive impact - he has a +4.8 D-RAPTOR (3rd in NBA), +3.2 D-PIPM (4th), and a +2.9D-BPM (3rd).
So what's next for Isaac?
Isaac is slowly starting to get the benefit of the doubt from referees:
"I thought they were going to call it, I thought they were going to call it goaltending,’’ said a relieved Isaac after his Magic notched their fourth straight victory – this one a gritty 93-87 defeat of Cleveland. "I just tried to get (Thompson’s hook shot) at its highest point, and they gave it to me. I think the refs are starting to let me slide a little bit and I like it.’’
It probably won't be very long before Isaac will be able to run rampant as a full-blown terror on the defensive end, and combined with his decent ancillary offensive numbers as a tertiary scorer / potential floor-spacer (12.0 PPG, 2.8 3PA, 33 3P%), Jonathan is already a truly indispensable part of the Magic rotation for the foreseeable future. (Bonus clip that perhaps summarises the entirety of Isaac's versatile skillset: Hisnear-5x5 performancein a 1-point loss vs the Dallas Mavericks' historic league-leading offense on November 6, putting up13/10/5/6/4while tormenting Porzingis all night long (10 pts, 2 TOVs, 29 FG%) and holding Luka and KP to a combined 37 points on 35 shots (47.5 TS%) and 8 turnovers.)
2: Christian Wood, the NBA's newest unicorn
After 49 games of being an overqualified backup to Andre Drummond (averaging 10/5/1/1/1 on excellent efficiency), Detroit finally moved Christian Wood into the starting lineup after Drummond got traded to Cleveland for their final 13 games before the NBA suspended its season.
"Sooo.. who is Wood, and why should we care?"
In his final 13 games, Christian Wood has played like a bonafide star, averaging22.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals, and 1.7 threeson 66% True Shooting (56 FG%, 40 3P% on 4.2 3PA, 76 FT%). He's been remarkably consistent as well, scoring fewer than 17 points only once during this stretch, and showing up against a variety of good teams - 3 of his final 4 games were against stout opposition, and he rose to the challenge admirably, with outputs of 29/9/3 on 91 TS% vs OKC, 30/11/2 on 56 TS% vs the Jazz and reigning DPOY Gobert, and a career-high 32/7/2/3/2 on 81 TS% v.s. Philly.
"He's on a bad team though, and Detroit lost all but one of those 13 games. Aren't these just empty numbers?"
There's exists some evidence that these aren't empty calorie numbers. For one thing, Wood is an advanced stats darling - he ranks in the top-20 to 30 range in most box- and non-box metrics: +4.5 RAPTOR (18th), +3.1 BPM (BBRef) (27th), 0.184 WS/48 (24th), +2.98 PIPM (26th), +2.82 RPM (ESPN) (22nd), +2.09 RAPM (20th). For another, the Pistons are a whopping +10.9 points better with Wood on the court, with their defensive rating improving by +3 and their offensive rating getting a ridiculous +8 boost.
"So, what makes him so effective?"
Offensively, Wood is particularly special, able to shine as either a PF or a C. When he plays the 5, he is an elite roll-man in the PnR (97th percentile); his potent roll-gravity often distracts defending bigs to get teammates easier looks at the rim. His athleticism and feathery touch allow him to finish at an elite rate at the rim (77 FG% in restricted area), either skying for lobs or shedding defenders with power and speed. Wood is very aggressive in the short roll too, bullying defenders with unflashy but effective bumps, pivots, fakes, and his leaping ability, not shying away from contact either, affording him a healthy free-throw rate overall (6 FTA/game as starter, 76 FT%). Wood is also a highly capable offensive rebounder (3.2 ORB/game in final 13 games, top 20 in ORB%), adept at following up on both teammate misses and his own. Of course, Wood is also a remarkable shooter for his position (40 3P% on 4.2 3pa/game in final 13 games), with a quick and high release off-the-catch that's unbothered by all but the longest of perimeter defenders, opening up driving lanes for teammates with his gravity. "Wood is the rare stretch-4 who doubles as a rim-running 5", allowing coaches a high level of versatility when designing offensive sets. Wood possesses a smooth dribble, too, which lets him attack closeouts and slash to the basket.
"What about on defense, though?"
Defensively speaking, Wood has tremendous physical tools: 7-3 wingspan, excellent feet, highly athletic, making him a highly versatile defender capable of guarding speedy guards on switches (68.9 versatility index). He's a decent rim-protector - opponents shoot 6% worse within 6 feet of the hoop when Wood is the closest defender, and Detroit as a whole are +4.4 points better defensively when Wood is on the court. His pick-and-roll defense is actually quite decent, knowing when to drop and timing his contests well. Overall, he's likely a slight positive on defense.
"Does he suck at anything?"
Wood can't power through larger defenders, and his post game is highly limited. To quote Jonathan Tjarks, "his ability to score one-on-one is still mostly theoretical—he’s in the 22nd percentile of post scorers this season and the 10th percentile in isolations." Wood is also a subpar playmaker - he had a 2.0/2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in his final 13 games. He can make basic reads out of double-teams, but has yet to truly weaponise his own scoring threat to get teammates easier looks on a more consistent basis. Defensively, his awareness as a team defender has room for improvement, and his motor can be sloppy (seen in some mediocre box-outs or close-outs). He also has trouble against heftier post players, and some speedy guards can blow by him. Finally, Small Sample Size alert! Some regression is very likely expected for Wood's gaudy shooting numbers once more teams learn more about his abilities and begin to throw more defenders (and better defenders) on him.
"So what's the future like for Christian?"
Wood is trusting his teammates more on both sides of the ball. He’s not forcing things on offense... Wood is scoring by giving the ball up and trusting it will come back to him when he’s open instead of constantly hunting for his own shot.
Wood doesn't demand touches and is highly efficient in his role, something that will let him scale well on good offenses, something that bodes well for his future as a Piston but also makes him an attractive addition for a playoff side - he's an unrestricted free-agent this summer. If he carries or builds upon this level of production into next season, he'll easily be a Most Improved Player contender with All-Star potential.
"Hmm, I'm actually kinda interested in knowing more about him!"
3: Jaren Jackson Jr, one of the best volume-shooters in the league
Jaren Jackson Jr (17/5/1.5 on +2.6 rTS%), is a proper unicorn, and easily the 2nd most important offensive piece on the Grizzlies, mainly due to his elite floor-spacing opening things up considerably for their offense - he's frighteningly adept at his role, hitting 40% of his 6 to 7 three-point attempts per game.
"Surely the section title is clickbait or hyperbole, though, right? He's just a big, after all, he can't be that good"
The fact that Jackson can take and make so many different kinds of threes enables the Grizzlies to deploy him in so many different spots on the court. He has no obvious sweet spot, which means there’s rarely a worry he’ll catch the ball somewhere he doesn’t belong. He can toggle between playmaker, primary scorer, screener, and floor spacer, depending on what the Grizzlies need at that particular moment. Better yet, he can do all four within the same play, which ensures Memphis’ sets always have secondary options. A pick-and-pop that the defense covers effectively can quickly swing into a dribble handoff, post-up, or second-side screening action, and it’s difficult for the defense to peg exactly where Jackson fits in to those sequences. In an instant, he’s flipped from the big man screener that gets a guard open into the primary option on a flare screen to get him a three. [vid] And if that shot isn’t there, he can quickly flow back into being a screener for a guard curling up from the corner. [vid] Or — and this is spicy — he can invert the traditional big/guard setup and act as the ball-handler immediately. [vid]
Well, overplaying JJJ's shooting is unwise - he possesses a decent handle for a big (relatively few turnovers considering he drives quite often) and is excellent at attacking closeouts and finishing at in the paint (65 FG% in restricted area). Some of his long strides and wrong-footed finishes bring to mind Pascal Siakam. His post scoring is well below-average (26th percentile), his ISO scoring is decent (65th percentile), and his shooting in the non-restricted area of the paint (floaters and such) isn't anything to write home about (39.5 FG%). Interestingly, he rarely takes midrange shots, with a James Harden-esque 16 midrange attempts over the entire season. Defensively-speaking, Jaren is very versatile and has incredible length, athleticism, footwork, and timing, able to switch onto bigs and guards alike with equal ease and possessing preternatural defensive instincts as a help defender. However, he is still some way from fulfilling his All-Defensive, even DPOY potential, as he's haunted by persistent fouling issues - he's averaged 5.2 fouls/36 in each of his first 2 seasons. His rebounding rate is anemic for a player his size, too (3.7 D-Rebs/game) - part of this might be due to him playing out on the perimeter a lot, part of it might just be due to his rebounding being naturally poor. (In case you were wondering, JJJ's lack of rebounding isn't a Steven Adams issue because he's just boxing people out all the time, either - he's 109th in the league in defensive-box-outs/game.) His current overall defensive impact, therefore, is quite neutral at the moment - most advanced numbers don't think highly of it. Memphis have the 16th ranked defense in the league, and their defensive rating actually improves with JJJ off the court (some of this might just be noise, or perhaps a case of Grizzlies' backups shining against weaker bench units). In any case, these current defensive shortcomings are something Grizzlies fans will likely gladly live with, considering JJJ's offensive value and the promise of future improvements in his defensive impact once he learns to foul less.
4: Kris Dunn, the modern-era Tony Allen?
This season, the Bulls' dogged guard slash forward Kris Dunn has graded out consistently as one of the very best and most impactful defenders in the NBA, regardless of position. For the first time in his career, Dunn's team is A) excellent at defense with him on the court, and B) much better on defense with him on the court than without. First, though, let's get the numbers out of the way:
2nd in Steals/game (2.0), 1st in Steal %by a wide margin, 4th in Deflections/game (only player in the top 11 averaging fewer than 25 minutes a night), 8th in Defensive loose-balls recovered/game
2nd in Defensive Box Plus Minus (BBRef)
5th in Defensive PIPM
7th Defensive RAPTOR, which incorporates player tracking data
7th in Defensive RAPM / Luck-adjusted RAPM
13th in Defensive Real Plus-Minus (ESPN)
Bulls have a 106.4 Defensive Rating (-4.0 rDRTG) with Kris Dunn on the floor, which would rank 4th in the NBA over a full season. The Bulls defense also improves by a massive +6.2 points when Dunn enters the game.
67.8 Versatility Index, guarding positions 1-3 at least 19% of the time each, and spending 15% of his possessions guarding PFs and Cs
"Among those who logged at least 20 minutes per game, Dunn led all players in the percentage of his points that came off a turnover, at a whopping29.3 percent.It’s reminiscent of prime Tony Allen — who used to live near the top of the league in this category — and more than doubled his production from the previous year."
On the night Kris Dunn suffered a knee injury that will likely end his season, I sat by his locker to chat about defense. Considering no guard in the NBA has been better at it this season, the topic made sense. We talked about... The dark arts that go into learning his opponent’s specific tendencies: “A lot of guys who are righties like to go left to be able to get to their jump shot, and a lot of people who are righties like to go downhill to their right side. But if you’re a righty, most likely you like to go left. I just feel like you just have, you know, more in your bag of tricks going left. If you’re a lefty, most of the time they like going right. It’s just how they do it. I like to break down to see what’s their go-to move. Some people when they come down the court, if they have the ball in their left hand, they’re getting ready to shoot. If they have the ball in their right hand, they’re ready to drive.” ... And player comparisons: “I feel like Tony Allen, he just fits what I do. He’ll pounce on you. He was strong, physical. I think he could guard 1 through 3, even fours. I feel like I can guard some fours sometimes. I feel like that’s a good comparison because he’s got that dog, he’s got that bloodhound in him.” Dunn’s season-long defensive impact was, to be frank, spectacular. He thrived in Jim Boylen’s tight-rope-walk of a defensive scheme, torpedoing passing lanes, living in his man’s jersey, and never giving up on a possession. For most defenders, including Dunn, a majority of his defensive possessions are spent off the ball, and it’s here where his knowledge, instincts, and timing swirl up into a typhoon that the offense then has to navigate. “He’s an all-defensive defender if I’ve ever seen one, and I’ve seen a few of them,” Boylen said right before the injury. “Paul George, Kawhi Leonard. He’s an All-Defensive guy.”
Indeed, Kris Dunn should receive some serious consideration for an All-Defensive spot. He may not get it because the Bulls are bad and his offensive role is limited, hence he likely won't be well-known to most voters, but he's clearly been one of the best guard defenders in the league this year, and one of the most impactful defenders in the league, period.
A fun and relevant stat- Kawhi only has 10 TOTAL career games (regular season and playoffs combined) with 8 or more assists, and a whopping 7 of them came in the 2019-20 regular season. (source)
In previous years, Kawhi has had a few high-assist games in the playoffs, mostly as a result of making basic passes out of double-teams when teams commit multiple defenders to slow down his monster playoff-scoring, but he's never been a proficient playmaking wing like LeBron/Kobe/MJ, often lacking accuracy and velocity on many of his passes, and very rarely making more advanced reads (throwing skip passes out of a Pick-and-Roll/PnR, for example). After developing into the amazing ISO scorer we now know him as in 2017, Kawhi was generally in score-first mode for the vast majority of his possessions, generally only trying to find teammates when his own attack had fizzled out. This slightly limited his team's and his own ceiling as an offensive force, unable to punish help consistently and effectively. This season, though, Kawhi burst out of the gate as a shockingly comfortable and effective passer and playmaker, averaging 8 APG in his first 4 games. Far from his probing, soft, and hesitant passes late in the shot clock to teammates in previous years, this version of the Klaw tries to keep his head up and his offensive options open, always tracking where his teammates are. He consistently hits the Clippers' bigs Zubac and Harrell in the PnR with crisp high-speed bounce-passes, throws no-looks and skip passes to shooters, and even manipulates defenders by freezing them with his eyes before rapidly lasering the ball to open teammates under the rim. To quote Zach Lowe:
He already has developed chemistry with two very different dance partners in Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell. Zubac is more laborious, and so Leonard navigates with zigzaggy, start-and-stop patience until Zubac rumbles free: clip Harrell can zip to the rim or mirror Leonard's pitter-pat. Harrell also is a master at re-screening at different angles, and Leonard is learning to bob and weave behind him -- and use the threat of a handoff to slice backdoor: clip
His passing leap shows up on film, too, where he rarely looks lost anymore, knowing where his teammates are at all times, but it also shows up in the numbers: easily a career-high 5.0 assists/game (previous high was 3.3 in 2017), 27.0 AST% (previous high 18.9% in 2017). The rest of the league should be worried - one of the finest scorers in the game has finally upgraded his passing game to match. That's it for today, thanks for reading!
This is a collection of the information we have so far on the PlayStation 5.
1. Case design and Cooling system
7. Tempest Engine, Audio
2. Titles confirmed for PS5
8. New controller
3. Physical Media
9. HDMI, USB ports and others
4. Backwards Compatibility
5. The SSD, Flash controller and I/O COMPLEX
11. PlayStation sizes
6. CPU and GPU
1. Case design and Cooling system The PS5 uses a black/white futuristic design. There is currently no confirmation that there will be any other color options on launch, but for the future this is to be expected. With its size it seems it will be the second largest of the PlayStation family*. Like previous models, it can be set up both horizontal and vertical. https://imgur.com/gallery/Ui66YNN There will be 2 models at launch, the “regular” PS5 and a PS5 Digital Edition. The digital model has no 4K Blu-ray drive, and is therefore sleeker than the regular PS5. There is no other difference between them. Before the final reveal, patents and leaks of the developers’ kit gave an insight in Sony’s work on creating a new innovative cooling solution to address the noise/heating issues from the cooling system of the PS4/PS4 Pro. It’s still unknown how exactly the new cooling system works. For this we need to wait for the tear-down video for more information. ^(\See 11. PlayStation sizes)* 2. Titles confirmed for PS5: For a list of all confirmed titles, see Wikipedia. Cross-buy for PS4 and PS5 is up to developers to support. 3. Physical Media Physical PS5 games will be distributed on 4K Blu-Ray discs called PS5 game discs with up to 100GB of data. The Digital Edition does not have a 4K Blu-Ray drive to use these discs and will be dependent on games to be purchased from the PS Store (or via code). 4. Backwards Compatibility The PS5 is fully compatible with PSVR. The overwhelming majority of the PS4 4000+ titles will be playable on the PS5*. In March they already tested the top 100 PS4 titles. You can play together with PS4 users online. Save games can already be transferred between consoles, so it’s safe to assume this will work exactly the same for PS5. Meaning through PS Plus (cloud saves) or USB drive. Sony has not yet confirmed if the PS5 will or will not be BC with PS1/PS2/PS3 games. It’s assumed the PS5 will not be BC with PS1/PS2/PS3 games. ^(\There is no reason to think this applies only to discs or digital versions. For disc games, you do need the PS5 with a blu-ray drive)* 5. The SSD, Flash controller and I/O COMPLEX The biggest request from developers for the PS5 was a fast SSD. The engineering team found that a very fast SSD can mean a lot of difference in game performance, both graphic fidelity and game design, so not just loading times. For this reason, they invested a lot in a fast SSD and dedicated hardware to eliminate all the I/O bottlenecks. The SSD is a custom 12 chip/channel M.2 design, here they added 6 true priority levels in the custom flash controller instead of the of 2 true for regular M.2 drives. The SSD has 5.5GB/s Raw data transfer speed. The I/O is done completely by dedicated hardware, nothing is using any CPU power. Most notable are:
The Hardware decompressor which allows game data to be loaded from the SSD at 22GB/s, with 8-9 GB/s being the norm. Which otherwise would require about 8-9 Zen cores of CPU power.
Coherency engines to optimize caching.
GPU cache scrubbers, that clean up cached data on the GPU itself to improve efficiency and ensure the cache isn't filled with redundant data.
Co-processor for SSD input-output bypassing file read bottlenecks.
Another co-processor for memory mapping.
On chip SRAM for faster access to cached memory.
Dedicated DMA (direct memory access controller further reducing data-streaming bottlenecks.
To optimize price vs performance, they used 1 chip for each of the 12 channels it has. So, 12 times 512Gbit (chip size) equals 6144Gbit, and that divided by 8 (bits to bytes) equals 768GiB which equals 825GB (824.6GB). Information about GB and GiB here. The SSD will make the use of duplicating assets for streaming no longer necessary, this combined with the use of Kraken as the default compression will reduce the install size of games relatively speaking. There is a PCIE 4.0 M.2 port inside the PS5 for storage expansion. However, an SSD to be used in the PS5 will require to be much faster than 5.5 GB/s to compensate for the lack of 6 priority levels in PCIE 4.0 M.2 SSD’s. Sony will be making a list of drives compatible with PS5. 6. CPU and GPU The CPU has 8 Zen 2 cores with variable frequencies up to 3.5Ghz with SMT, and shares it’s power budget with the GPU via AMD’s SmartShift. The GPU uses a customized GPU from AMD based on the RDNA2 architecture, and so supports the RDNA2 features*. It has 36 Compute Units (CU), the amount of Render Output Units (ROP’s) or cache size is unknown. The GPU is clocked at a max 2.23Ghz clock rate. More info how the clock rate works here. The PS5 has a unified memory architecture using 16GB of GDDR6 RAM memory, with a Bandwidth of 448GB/s. Keeping in mind the minimum CU’s for the easiest BC and cost efficiency, Sony has opted for a lower CU count (36 exactly like the PS4 Pro) but higher clock speed. This because the clock speed effects both the CU’s, ROP’s (rasterization) and cache speeds. RDNA1 based GPU’s have has seen better performance with higher clock speeds than CU’s, for more info see my post here. ^(\Not every RDNA2 function has been specifically confirmed, for example VRS. They have confirmed RayTracing and the programmable Geometry Engine.)* 7. Tempest Engine (Audio) It seems that Sony has chosen not to use/license existing technologies such as Dolby Atmos for 3D audio in games. This because of the limited amount of sound sources supported. Although they might still support it for 4K Blu-Ray playback. For 3D audio in games Sony has created the Tempest Engine which supports ray traced 3D audio with HRTF support. The PS5 will launch with 5 standard HRTF profiles, and there looking for a way to create you own profile based on your ears. A way they might do this, is use a camera to make a recording of your ears. It is best used with headphones, but they already support stereo speakers for 1 person/location. They will be expanding support to surround sound systems. The chip powering the Tempest Engine, uses a customized CU. Which was modified in such a way as to make it very close to the SPU’s in the Cell processor used in the PlayStation 3. 8. New controller The new controller for the PS5 is called the DualSense controller. It features a new design and new features like haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and a built-in microphone array. The share button has been replaced with the “Create” button. The DualSense charges via USB-C, with the port located on top of the controller or “wirelessly” with the connectors on the bottom. It has a microphone mute button beneath the PlayStation logo/home button and will still have a built-in 3.5 mm headphone jack. We have not yet seen the back of the controller accurately, it seems the controller will not be featuring back paddles. The bottom is partially in view here. 9. HDMI, USB ports and others
On the front side Explanation on USB 3.X Generationshere.
1 x USB 3.x type C port
The PS5 does not have an analog audio/video output, there is however a 3.5mm audio Jack in the DualSense controller. No details are known for the I/O on the rear side of the PS5, so there are no details yet for additional USB ports, Ethernet, TOSLINK (optical audio), and the Auxiliary port (used for the PS4 Camera). There is also no information on what WiFi and Bluetooth version the PS5 will support. 10. Peripherals The PS5 will be able to use external HDD/SSD’s for PS4 games and storage expansion, PS5 games however will need to be installed to an internal SSD to play. The ability to store PS5 games on an external hard drive is assumed to be possible as well. Sony has announced new wireless headphones called the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, a new Camera for the PS5, dual "wireless" controller charger and a new media remote. There is no information on the exact specifications of this new HD Camera for the PS5, or if it will be required for PSVR. It isn’t known which PS4 peripherals besides PSVR are compatible, but for PSVR to work, the DualShock 4 as the new DualSense controller has no light bar for the camera to track. The Move controllers and Aim controllers are also expected to work. 11. PlayStation sizes:
Dimensions w × h × l
274 x 99 x 325 mm
250 x 90 x 380 mm**
290 x 66 x 290 mm
295 × 55 × 327 mm
275 x 53 x 305 mm
178 x 79 x 302 mm
PS3 Super Slim
230 x 60 x 290 mm
265 × 39 × 288 mm
185 x 45 x 260 mm
144 x 38 x 193 mm
152 x 28 x 230 mm
https://i.redd.it/zttaoq9tph451.png ^(\calculations do not take the shape into account, here the 3 dimensions are calculated as a rectangular box.)* ^(\*Dimensions of the PS5 are)* deducedroughly from availablepicturesand guesses, and therefore not accurate. 12. Footnotes:
There is no word on pricing yet, or the difference in price between the regular and digital edition
The exact release date is unknown, so far Sony has said: Holiday 2020
The PS5 has a complete overhaul of the user interface, but very little is known how this looks like
State of the Subreddit - July 19th, 2020 - Addressing the Past Month's Allegations and Where We Go from Here
Hey Everyone, This has been a tough time for everyone and now that most of the dust has settled it's time that we address the subreddit and the broader Smash Community about what happened, specifically the series of sexual misconduct allegations. For almost an entire week the subreddit was filled with post after post about allegations of sexual misconduct from many high profile community members, most notably Nairo, Cinnpie, D1, Kietaro, Jtails, ZeRo, and many more. News outlets picked up the story as allegations kept rolling in, leaving all of us to try and put the pieces together to find the truth and wrestle with all the feelings in our heart. Who are we? How could this have happened? Is that all we were? What do we want to be? And finally, how can we get there? I won't beat around the bush, that week was hard, very very hard. We on the modteam had to grapple with the state of the scene, ruined memories, and feelings of intense anger & betrayal that everyone was feeling while we put in time moderating the conversation here on Reddit. And there was a lot of conversation. At our peak we saw 8,525 comments posted in a single day and on July 3rd smashbros ranked #21 in comments per day across all of Reddit. In the 11 day period between 6/27 and 7/08, we removed 1,975 posts, 5,070 comments, handed out 240 user bans, and performed 15,361 total mod actions. By comparison, the entire period between 6/01 and 6/27 only had 5,630 mod actions. itsIzumi, RedrickSSBU, JFMV763, and Blablablablitz all performed over 1,000 mod actions with itsIzumi leading the pack with an outstanding 3,447 mod actions. Redrick wasn’t too far behind though and all four of them put in serious work. Ban Appeals Since we handed out a lot of permanent bans during that spike in activity, we’d like to remind everyone that you can appeal your ban by sending a modmail about it. Most of the people we banned don’t have a comment history on the subreddit prior to their ban, we suspected that many of those users were just here for the drama. As always, the preferred way to contact the moderators is through modmail.
Misconduct Allegations Megathread
Following our last update a week ago, the Megathread has remained down as we waited for some form of communication from Reddit. We haven’t just been sitting on it though, we got in contact with the CoCP and sent them one of our backups to make sure that they and their signatory TOs had a record of everything that happened while that post was being updated. We believe that we did the right thing making the megathread, and while it was up it served as the primary public record of all the allegations and was cited on multiple news sites. There’s a strong possibility that it was the most important document in the scene’s history (blowing evidence.zip out of the water) and would like to thank JFMV763 for all the effort he put towards compiling everything. Since we have received no official response or ruling from Reddit’s admins as of the time of posting, we’ve decided to restore the megathread so that the community as a whole can have access to it once again. You can access it by following the link here, comments have been locked for posterity. We would also like to remind everyone that the megathread is merely a public record of all the allegations and their responses. Inclusion on the megathread is not a declaration of whether an allegation is true or false, each case should be examined individually.
Subreddit News and Changes:
smashbros Misconduct Allegations Policy Our policy going forward is to only allow allegations that are already public to be posted on Reddit after they go through modmail for some precautionary vetting and review. Allegations that are not yet public should be referred to the SSB Code of Conduct Panel, Tournament Organizers, or the police. If you would like to make a report to the CoCP, you can find a link to the report form here. Any allegations regarding private matters (Ex: Hbox cheating) should be dealt with outside of the subreddit, only allegations that directly impact the community are allowed. We’ll elaborate more on that point later on this post. In relation to allegations: Not every opinion deserves its own thread and we removed a large majority of those. smashbros is not your personal blog! New Anti-Drama/Bait Rule In the interest of preventing drama leaking over from Twitter onto smashbros, we’ll be introducing a new rule that will give us better grounds to remove posts that consist of simple drama, bait users into arguments, or otherwise create hate against players and community members. This policy has existed for the past 10 months following the controversy surrounding this post, and having a formal rule will help us enforce our policies more evenly and better justify removing drama. Right now we’re still figuring out the exact wording of it so expect to see the final version of it in the subreddit’s rules section in the near future. Note that this does not apply to newsworthy information, if it’s considered news instead of just simple drama, this rule does not apply. Montage Rules have been Changed We’re now going to allow well edited montages on smashbros that might not have clips that are considered to be stunning (or “pog”). A montage is defined as a combination of clips from different matches that are edited together. Generally speaking, we want content that’s high quality and it always helps if you try to do something interesting with it, even if the included clips are mediocre. Two great examples of this are Infinity Dorf, a montage from all the way back in February 2019 with some superb editing, and No Pichu’s Perfect, which instead of featuring a bunch of great clips opts to tell a story. Basically, just have fun with it but keep the post quality high. Note that this does not apply to Meme Montages, those are still against the rules Removal Reasons have been updated to line up with the rules Needs no explanation Subreddit FAQ Our Wiki is extremely outdated at the moment; we have begun the process of updating the Wiki, starting with the FAQ section. If you would like to go through and laugh at how old a lot of it is, you can find it here Mod Order Reshuffle The order of mods has been shifted to place more active moderators on the sidebar of the sub (old reddit). Both old and new reddit list just the ten oldest mods on the sidebar; mobile does the same though it lists them on the "about page", which shares the same information as the new reddit sidebar. Because of this reshuffling, superstreambot was down for a day and a half. In addition we’ve also submitted a mod removal request to Reddit for lampiaio since he’s been inactive for years and impossible for us to reach. Considering the size of the subreddit and the role it’s taken within the smash community, it’s important to make sure that our top mod is someone we can contact. smashbros Discord Server Update After many discussions where we explored a multitude of options, the modteam has decided not to create a new official smashbros discord server due to the difficulties in recruiting a modteam that could effectively run it and prevent the major problems that ultimately led to the old smashbros discord’s deletion. Instead, we’ll be partnering with Smashcords and including a link on the subreddit’s sidebar very soon. There is also room for us to partner with additional discord servers in the future, so be on the lookout for that. Rivals of Aether Definitive Edition To celebrate the upcoming release of Rivals of Aether of the Switch this Summer, we’re going to have some kind of subreddit event for it. For those who don’t know, Rivals is an indie platform fighter game that puts its own unique spin on Smash’s gameplay and in some ways even surpasses it. While they’ve yet to announce an official release date, we highly recommend giving it a shot if you’re a fan of Smash and want to explore other games in the genre. We’ll announce more details in the future, depending on when they finally announce its release date on the Switch. 800k Users! We actually crossed this milestone a while ago and it was supposed to prompt a state of the Subreddit on its own, but we had to hold off on that once everything started going down. The subreddit has been going through outstanding growth since the release of Ultimate and we suspect that we’ll hit a million users within a year. It’s good to have you all here! Lastly, it’s time to discuss the state of the Smash Community one more time. Everything that came out over the past month has been a long time coming, and abuse that was swept under the rug for years was finally dragged out into the sunlight for all to see. #MeToo finally reached Smash and made problems that have plagued the scene for years and years impossible to ignore. We’ve failed at protecting women, we’ve failed at protecting minors, and we’ve failed at holding abusers accountable and keeping them out of our community. The abusers cannot have a place in our community ever again. As long as they’re around, we’re no longer safe, and their victims will be denied justice. While they’re gone, we’ll miss the people we thought they were. What we have left is our love of the game and an opportunity to build something better moving forward, a community that succeeds where the old one has failed. Even now, while the wave of allegations have subsided Tournament Organizers and other prominent community members are working to make sure that when events open again they are safer and are better equipped to help survivors of abuse. If you think this is over just because we cancelled a bunch of people and no more allegations are currently coming out, you’re mistaken. This is going to be a constant, ongoing effort and we encourage you to do your part, no matter how small, to make this community a better place. Until Another Day, smashbros
Chrome OS Stable channel got promoted to Chrome OS 84. Here is everything that changed!
All right crew! The Chrome OS Stable Channel got promoted to milestone 84 last week on Tuesday - from 83.0.4103.119 to 84.0.4147.94. As with every new milestone update, this bringsmassive changes to the table, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to better improve your Chrome OS user experience. In light of the global situation, Google decided to defer the features from Chrome OS 83 to 84. This means this update is packedwith major features. Fun fact: exactly 10,000 commits landed in this build of Chrome OS, excluding platform specific updates. Here is everything new I found in this build of Chrome OS!
Like my content and want to buy me a coffee? You can support me on ko-fi using this link or by using the link in my Reddit profile. If you want to be kept up to date with everything new to Chrome OS, feel free to give me a follow. Thanks in advance for your support!! :)
This section showcases changes I believe to be the most significant to this build of Chrome OS.They make a massive impact to the user experience and may be something to look forward to when upgrading your system to this build. These changes will also be listed in the "Notable changes" section of the post.
Ash: You can now snap app windows to the top of the screen to maximize, and unsnap a maximized window by dragging down from the top bar. Small change, HUGE productivity booster.See my demo on Reddit here.
Multi-display overview and snapping windows in clamshell mode is enabled by default. This means you can snap windows in overview mode without needing to go into tablet mode.See screenshot.
Files app: The completely revamped file manager built with Google Material theme and WebUI is enabled by default. This features a nice white theme, outline iconography, and native RAR archive support. This replaces the old files app on Chrome OS.See screenshot.
Linux (Beta): The new Terminal system app that features a cool black theme, tab UI, and new settings page is enabled by default. To find terminal settings, right click the terminal icon on the Shelf.See screenshot.
Linux (Beta): Linux apps can now use your Chromebook’s microphone, which opens the door to multimedia apps such as Audacity. To enable, head to Chrome OS Settings > Linux (Beta), then enable the “Allow Linux to access your microphone” toggle. Chrome OS settings will require you to restart the Linux container to apply changes.See screenshot.
You are now able to resize the disk size of Linux (Beta) out of the box. The setup installer also bakes the disk resize tool in it. By default, the disk size is dynamically allocated, but you can change it to a fixed size if you need more/less space.See screenshots.
Explore app: The brand new Help SWA app, called “Explore”, is enabled by default. It completely overhauls the Help app experience, featuring a slick Google Material theme with nice Google-y illustrations. This app aims to help people get set up and take full advantage of their Chromebook. It also merges perks from buying a Chromebook, like free Google One storage for 12 months (YMMV).See screenshot.
Notable changes in this build
The following is everything I found with this version of Chrome OS. There may be more things I might've missed - please let me know in the comments if you find a significant change not listed here. Bullet points inboldare changes I believe are the most significant. Interested in trying out cool new Chrome and Chrome OS features that didn’t make it in by default? Click here to see my recommended flag list. (link coming soon) Ash
You can now snap app windows to the top of the screen to maximize, and unsnap a maximized window by dragging down from the top bar. Small change, HUGE productivity booster.See my demo on Reddit here.
Multi-display overview and snapping windows in clamshell mode is enabled by default. This means you can snap windows in overview mode without needing to go into tablet mode.See screenshot.
You can now use a 3-finger swipe gesture to switch tabs in tabbed apps, including the new Linux terminal app. Previously, you could only scrub tabs in Chrome windows.
New feature flag to scale down Shelf app icons in tablet mode when there is no more room left on the Shelf. Requires chrome://flags/#shelf-app-scaling to be enabled.See screen recording.
Fully gestural navigation in tablet mode is enabled by default for Kukui (Lenovo Duet), Eve (Pixelbook), Nocturne (Pixel Slate), and Hatch (Acer Chromebook 712, Asus Chromebook Flip C436FA, Samsung Galaxy Chromebook) boards. Fully gestural navigation hides the back arrow, home, and Overview mode buttons from the Shelf when in tablet mode. Other Chromebooks will need the chrome://flags/#shelf-hide-buttons-in-tablet feature flag to be enabled.
You can now drag and drop Chrome tabs on the right or left side of the screen to create a new window while in tablet mode. Note: only applicable on some devices. This is useful for quickly viewing Chrome tabs side-by-side.See my reddit post about it here.
New feature flag that brings moving partial screenshot with magnifying glass to Chrome OS. This allows you to quickly resize the viewport before saving changes. To get this feature, enable chrome://flags/#movable-partial-screenshot-region. See screen recording.
Chrome OS will now block notifications on displays with a fullscreen window. Previously with multiple displays in Chrome OS, if any one of them was fullscreen, then notifications were not shown on any displays. This update will block notifications on the display with the fullscreen window, but will show notifications on the other display.
New feature flag that enables search results for OS settings in the launcher. This feature adds several shortcuts to the launcher search bar when search for a setting (e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth). Note: this depends on chrome://flags/#new-os-settings-search to work. Not all part of Chrome OS settings is searchable in this build. Test this feature out by enabling chrome://flags/#launcher-settings-search. See screenshot.
Lock screen media controls will hide when you close the Chromebook’s lid, or when the Chromebook suspends. This is done as a privacy preserving feature.
Fixed context menu appearing when right-clicking the Virtual desk name.
The tablet mode back gesture will be suppressed when web pages or web apps use touch-action:none in their CSS. This helps address an issue where users would accidentally trigger the back gesture when interacting with stylus-driven apps.
Login/Lock screen: fixed enterprise management disclosure message mistakenly showing up for family-link accounts due to developer confusion between management and enterprise management.
Fixed fullscreen Android apps preventing users from revealing Chrome OS’ Shelf set to auto-hide.
Fixed Chrome OS not remembering if restored windows are minimized or in view.
Significant Alt + Tab performance optimizations with multiple windows.
Huge polish to the upcoming Ambient mode that’ll eventually overhaul the lockscreen experience. In the previous milestone, the ambient lockscreen had performance problems, no animations, and random visual glitches. In this build, all of the three are fixed. Despite this, I don’t recommend daily driving it yet due to its incomplete nature. To get a preview of how this feature looks like, enable chrome://flags/#enable-ambient-mode.
New Managed icon "badge" next to the avatar in the lock/login screen. See screenshot.
Fixed a visual bug where the user can trigger the Virtual desk gesture bounce animation in the login/lock screen.
Fixed a bug where shortcut apps pinned to the Shelf do not have radio buttons for “New Tab/New Window”.
The Bluetooth Handsfree profile (version 1.7) feature is now enabled by default. This new bluetooth profile adds indicator support to report events like headset battery level. It also includes wideband speech, which allows you to enjoy hands-free interaction with your bluetooth devices with improved voice quality and better noise reduction.
Bluetooth suspend notifier is enabled by default. This feature allows you to wake up your Chromebook with a bluetooth mouse or keyboard.
Bluetooth wide-band microphone priority lowered. This prevents your Chromebook from auto-selecting bluetooth microphone when there is another audio input option.
The Chrome OS Camera app will now save video captures as MP4 (H.264) instead of MKV. This will help users make it easier to use recorded videos in other apps.
Camera video recordings will use the recording’s start timestamp as its filename in the file manager. This also improves the thumbnail load speeds when recording a long video with your Chromebook.
Pressing the volume keys in the camera app will now take a photo or record a video.
Chrome will now reduce CPU and power consumption when it detects that a window is occluded by other windows. It will also suspend work painting pixels. This feature is rolling out to some users, with a full roll-out planned for Chrome OS 85.
WebUI tab strip’s tab counter has a new progress throbber to better visualize that a new background tab was created.See demo by Google.
Chrome will now show the quiet notification permission UI for sites known to trick users into accepting the notification permission.See screenshot.
Fixed an annoying issue with dragging and dropping files into Chrome. Rather than navigating the current tab away and losing data of the page, dragging a file into Chrome (example: photo.jpg) will open a new tab instead.
Fixed Chrome on Chrome OS using the wrong scale factor on a secondary display when site isolation is applied.
Fixed regression that caused a tab to shrink after adding to a group when only one tab is present.
New chrome://conversion-internals page. This page allows developers to understand the state they are modifying while developing the Conversion Measurement API. The page shows tables of active impressions and their metadata, and conversion reports and when they will be sent.
New chrome://app-disabled page to show a demo of what it looks like when a managed user tries to launch a restricted app.
Simple info bar to opt-out of WebUI tab strips.
Chrome OS Settings
The new Chrome OS settings fuzzy search bar can finally search through your settings. Before this update, the fuzzy search only found Wi-Fi settings. Ctrl + F will also activate the search bar. To get the new fuzzy search instead of exact string matching found in the old Chrome OS setting, enable chrome://flags/#new-os-settings-search.See screenshot uploaded here.
When attaching a Chromebook to an external monitor, enabling chrome://flags/#display-change-modal will split the resolution and refresh rate into two drop-downs. See screenshot.
Port forwarding status should now be updated in Linux settings when Crostini shuts down.
Changed and added a few outline icons to search and in Chrome OS settings UI.
Fixed a bug on some devices that caused cursor images to be drawn in the wrong orientation due to the screen orientation being reported incorrectly to clients.
The brand new Help SWA app, called “Explore”, is enabled by default. It completely overhauls the Help app experience, featuring a slick Google Material theme with nice Google-y illustrations. This app aims to help people get set up and take full advantage of their Chromebook. It also merges perks from buying a Chromebook, like free Google One storage for 12 months (YMMV).See screenshot.
New native dialog that triggers when a child attempts to install or enable an extension or app and the parent has turned off the "Permissions for sites, apps, and extensions" setting in Family Link.
The completely revamped file manager built with Google Material theme and WebUI is enabled by default. This features a nice white theme, outline iconography, and native RAR archive support. This replaces the old files app on Chrome OS.See screenshot.
The new Terminal system app that features a cool black theme, tab UI, and new settings page is enabled by default. To find terminal settings, right click the terminal icon on the Shelf.See screenshot.
Linux apps can now use your Chromebook’s microphone. To enable, head to Chrome OS Settings > Linux (Beta), then enable the “Allow Linux to access your microphone” toggle. Chrome OS settings will require you to restart crostini to apply changes.See screenshot.
You are now able to resize the disk size of Linux (Beta) out of the box. The setup installer also bakes the disk resizer in it. By default, the disk size is dynamically allocated, but you can change it to a fixed size if you need more/less space.See screenshots.
The disk resize dialog now recommends at least 5GB for Linux. If there is less than 5GB available (when leaving 1 GB headroom on the physical disk), the string changes to a warning that tells the user they should try to free up space. Minimum disk size for Linux is 2GB.
Fixed a serious bug impacting some devices (HP x360 is one) where Linux (beta) would automatically reinstall when restarting the device without user intent.
Fixed a crash bug that would happen if a user cancels the Linux (Beta) install window at just the right moment.
Internationalized terminal strings.
You can now resize the onscreen keyboard floating by dragging from each corner of the keyboard.
Added yawning, ear with hearing aid, and sari emojis to the Virtual keyboard.
Chrome OS now supports High resolution mouse scrolling out of the box. This allows users with a free-spinning mouse scroll wheel (like Logitech G502) to scroll with pixel-level precision. Previously, if you move the wheel less than a click, it won’t scroll until you move it by more than a click. Supported mice include a broad range ofMicrosoftandLogitechmice (any mice that report REL_WHEEL_HI_RES from the Linux kernel).
Initial printer server support for CUPS. You will be able to configure connections to external print servers and print from the printers on servers using CUPS. To add a print server, go to Chrome OS settings > Advanced > Printing, then Add a printer > Print server.
The nitty-gritty stuff
This advanced section is a long list of things changed that impacts web developers and enterprise users. There are some nitty-gritty stuff in the full changelog linked below, but this list coversthe most important Blink and Chrome changesintroduced in this release cycle. Disclaimer: because of how enormous the changes are between Chrome OS 83 and Chrome OS 84, I decided to omit a large amount of blink and v8 changes.However, I made sure to pick the most important blink and v8 changesintroduced in this release cycle. That said, this is everything I found with this version of Chrome OS. If you find a mistake, discover something new that's not on this list, or have feedback, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Chrome
Websites that do not support TLS 1.2 and above will show a full-page warning to users that the connection is not fully secure. If users have sites affected by this and need to opt out, they will need to use the SSLVersionMin policy to disable the security indicator and warning. See the Google blog post for more information.
DTLS 1.0, a protocol used in WebRTC for interactive audio and video, will be removed by default. Enterprise users who need additional time to adjust can use a policy to temporarily extend the removal.
Extensions: fixed declarativeNetRequest chrome extensions failing to install from the Chrome web store.
Insecure downloads will be blocked from secure pages. The change will roll-out gradually. Users will be warned about insecure executables in Chrome 84, and files will be blocked in Chrome 85. Refer to this rollout chart by Google.
In effort to reduce websites’ ability to track users, Google is reducing the granularity of information from user agent strings by exposing the information through user-agent client hints. See this explainer for more information.The User-Agent Client hints is currently rolling out to some users, with a full roll-out coming to Chrome OS 85.
Chrome will protect users against extensions that attempt to change their preferences without their consent. After an extension changes the default search engine or the new tab page, Chrome will confirm the change with the user, and allow them to keep the change or revert back to the old settings.
New media feeds API to allow a user agent to discover a media feed provided by a website. When fetched by the user agent the site will return a feed of personalized media recommendations for the user. This feature is behind a feature flag: chrome://flags/#enable-media-feeds
The new Screen Wakelock API is here! It provides a way to prevent devices from dimming or locking the screen when an application needs to keep running. This is HUGE for web developers! Previously, there was no standard way to prevent any aspect of a device such as screen or cpu cycles from going into power saving state. Some web developers use hacks such as adding very tiny video elements to the page and keep looping until some timeout. The Screen Wake lock API was heavily requested since it reduces the need for hacky and potentially power-hungry workarounds.See the Google web.dev blog for more details.
Fixed a bug that caused textarea font size to flicker when font-size and transition CSS properties are both applied on a textarea.
Fixed intrinsic size invalidation for canvas elements. This bug caused some photos and elements to not have the correct aspect ratio or size.
Fixed a race condition that caused Gmail loading in offline mode to get stuck when devtools are open.
Fixed form submitting broken with multiple submissions. This bug caused one window to be broken and the other one to be okay instead of opening two windows with the same URL.
Fixed an async form submission bug that broke sites due to Chrome expecting the first load event for just-created iframe to be for the form submission.
New QuicTransport API that allows Web applications to connect directly to remove servers using QUIC. QuicTransport provides a client-server API that supports bidirectional transfer of both unreliable and reliable data, using UDP-like datagrams and cancellable streams. See this web.dev article for more information.
Correct silence detecting condition in Web Audio. The silence detection should be activated when there are no automatic pull nodes, or the local destination node has an active input connection.
Fixed positioned SVG backgrounds unstable with zoom or transitions due to sub-pixel snapping.
Fixed form reset failing to visually update a shadow node with the default option label.
Fixed inset box-shadow invisible in composited scroller with solid color background
Fixed Cross-origin-embedder-policy: require-corp breaking HTML pages from extensions.
Fixed pointerrawupdate incorrectly reporting mouse X/Y values when pointer is locked.
Fixed submitting form that targets an iframe randomly failing silently.
Fixed form submission taking precedence over window.location navigation
Fixed SVG elements with filter not updating when manipulated outside of DOM and then appended back into DOM.
Initial support for CSS Flexbox gutters. This addresses an issue web developers had when the grid shorthand resets gaps. See this developer discussion for more details.
New row-gap, column-gap, and gap CSS properties that allows you to specify spacing between flex items and/or flex lines. Having this feature would reduce the need for extra "wrapper" divs, negative margins and other hacks. See this developer doc for more information.
User-Agent Client Hints and the Client Hints Feature Policy infrastructure are enabled by default. This aims to provide developers with the ability to perform agent-based content negotiation when necessary, while avoiding the historical baggage and passive fingerprinting surface exposed by the vulnerable "User-Agent" header.
Initial implementation of the new Virtual Keyboard API. Previously, developers had control over the displayed shape of the Virtual Keyboard through the inputmode attribute, but have limited control over when the keyboard is shown or hidden. This API will broaden this control. Developers cannot use this API yet. See design doc for more information.
New Layout instability API to help developers identify unstable pages caused by DOM elements shifting around due to content loading asynchronously. It reports a value (the "layout shift") for each animation frame in the user’s session. This change is incredibly useful for web developers to sort layout problems on their websites. See this explainer for more details.
WebAssembly SIMD support that will expose hardware SIMD instructions to WebAssembly applications in a platform-independent way. SIMD can boost performance by exploiting data level parallelism and is also useful when compiling native code to WebAssembly. See some documents on github for extra details.
New Idle Detection API notifies developers when a user is idle, indicating such things as lack of interaction with the keyboard, mouse, screen, activation of a screensaver, locking of the screen, or moving to a different screen. See this explainer for more details.
New revert keyword to allow authors to roll back the cascade to the previous cascade level for a given CSS property. For example, on a
CSSStyleSheet.replace() has been removed. Calls to replace() will throw an exception if `@import rules are found in the replaced content. See developer discussion here.
Enhances the Intl.DateTimeFormat API by adding a fractionalSecondDigits option to control the format of fractions of a second. Useful for web developers who need to output time information with millisecond precision. See developer document for more details.
Web Animation API has been extended to include support for promises, replaceable animations, and read-only access to animation timeline. See updated specs here.
New HTMLVideoElement.requestVideoFrameCallback() that registers a one-shot callback, called when a video frame has been presented for composition. It also provides useful metadata about that frame. See this explainer for more information.
New origin isolation implementation. This allows web developers to opt in to giving up certain cross-origin same-site access capabilities — namely synchronous scripting via document.domain, and postMessage() the WebAssembly.Module instances. Reasons why a site may want better isolation include performance isolation, allocations of large amounts of memory, side-channel protection (e.g. against Spectre), and improved memory measurement. See this document for more details.
Enterprise and Admin Console
Admins are now able to configure additional update policies for Chromebooks that are managed by Chrome Browser Cloud Management, such as allowing updates, roll back to a previous version, set relaunch notifications, or control when the Chromebook checks for updates.
Admins can now configure network files shares for users using policies that allow configuring SMB settings such as NetBIOS discovery, NTLM authentication, and preconfiguring file shares so users can see them in Chrome OS’ files app.
Timestamps in the device list’s CSV export file are now in human-readable format.
Admins can now configure Chromebook’s screen resolution and UI scaling for displays.
Admins can now re-enable the Dinosaur game for users to play when Chrome cannot connect to the internet.
CORS enterprise policies CorsMitigationList and CorsLegacyModeEnabled will no longer work.
The ForceNetworkInProcess policy will no longer take effect.
Users are now able to select “always allow for this site” when opening an external protocol in Chrome OS 84. This feature is only available for secure origins and limited to the current origin.
Requested by several IT admins, Chrome will be able to remember approval for launching external protocols. Users will be able to check "always allow for this site" when opening an external protocol.
The URL Allowlist policy will not allow you to allowlist external protocols anymore. To improve security, this change was reverted back.
This part of the list covers the most significant platform changes I found in this build, from platform version13020.87.0to13099.72.0. This includes low level changes, including kernel and driver updates and bug fixes. There are a ton more nitty-gritty stuff between these changes that lives outside of chromium/src.Note: due to the sheer volume of changes in this section, I am likely missing a lot of changes. Disclaimer: I'm still learning how to read these changes! ADHD
Fixed a bug that causes audio stutters when casting desktop to a Chromecast.
Fixed a bug that caused audio to stop playing after some time (e.g. YouTube in Firefox)
a2dp: fixed bugs related to connections dropping out due to “Device or resource busy”.
Dnsmasq: fixed security vulnerability CVE-2019-14834 in net-dns/dnsmasq . The CVSS severity score is rated 5 out of 10, 10 being the most severe.
Fixed a bug where xhci host controller would stop responding if the crosvm emulated xhci device fails to trigger an interrupt for the event ring.
Virtio net: added multi queue support to improve network bandwidth.
Nocturne: enabled Type-C Port Manager v2 / Power Delivery 3.0 on the Pixel Slate
Fixed intermittently large, janky scrolling on web pages when using Bluetooth mice. This is caused by Bluetooth connection going to sleep, and the initial Bluetooth packet on wakeup being delayed, resulting in excess acceleration and page scroll.
nassh: fixed ssh mini console not echoing input
Terminal: minor theme styling changes to the Terminal settings page
Terminal: update the context menu using material design. See some screenshots.
Terminal: fixed a bug where chromevox does not launch using Ctrl + Alt + Z when the terminal is focused
Terminal: increased opacity to 50% to cursors so that you can see characters that it is hovering over.
Terminal: switched to HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) color model for the color picker.
Terminal: ensure that there is room for scrollbar by adding 12 px on the right margin when the user sets the scrollbar to visible.
Terminal: added optional border around terminal to make it easier to select/copy text that starts on the edges.
Fixed critical security vulnerability CVE-2019-20636 in the Linux kernel related to input having out-of-bounds writes via a crafted keycode table. The CVSS severity score is rated 10 out of 10, 10 being the most severe.
Fixed critical security vulnerability CVE-2019-20636 in the Linux kernel related to input having out-of-bounds writes via a crafted keycode table. The CVSS severity score is rated 10 out of 10, 10 being the most severe.
Fixed critical security vulnerability CVE-2019-20636 in the Linux kernel related to input having out-of-bounds writes via a crafted keycode table. The CVSS severity score is rated 10 out of 10, 10 being the most severe.
Fixed critical security vulnerability CVE-2019-20636 in the Linux kernel related to input having out-of-bounds writes via a crafted keycode table. The CVSS severity score is rated 10 out of 10, 10 being the most severe.
Lowered the bluetooth suspend interval and window to use less power
Soraka: Fixed HP Chromebook X2 rotation sensor broken after suspending
Fixed a bug that would cause instant tethering to break when pairing to a Pixel device.
Updated Linux kernel to 4.4.223
Fixed Pixelbook not able to achieve 5120x1440 at 60hz on a Samsung CRG9 display. Previously capped at 3840x1080.
Lowered the bluetooth suspend interval and window to use less power
Updated kernel to Linux 4.14.180.
Fixed kernel crash when extending Chrome OS desktop to a UDL 2.0 monitor and rapidly pressing the up and down keys to change UDL resolution in Chrome OS display settings.
USB Serial: added support for ASKEY WWHC050, BroadMobi BM806U, and Wistron Neweb D19Q1
Lowered the bluetooth suspend interval and window to use less power
Fixed Pixelbook not able to achieve 5120x1440 at 60hz on a Samsung CRG9 display. Previously capped at 3840x1080.
Fixed a bug that would cause instant tethering to break when pairing to a Pixel device
Updated kernel to Linux 4.19.122
Lowered the bluetooth suspend interval and window to use less power.
Updated kernel to Linux 5.4.40
Termina VM: fixed termina/container not maintaining the correct time and date when the Chromebook lid is closed or when device is suspended.
Chaps: temporarily increased RLIMIT_MEMLOCK from 1 MB to 32 MB to prevent a crash bug occurring to some users using chaps.
Sommelier: relanded copy transfer optimizations, but with bug fixes to copy transfer that prevents black boxes and graphical corruptions from covering Linux apps. The workaround that prevented the black boxes from showing in Chrome OS 83 just disabled copy transfer completely.
Authpolicy: added readv to the allowlist to prevent various crashes due to the updated samba library’s authpolicy using new syscalls.
SMBFS: fixed directory listing on SMB showing only a small number of files due to an issue with readdir() on 32-bit platforms (e.g. elm boards with kernel 4.19).
SMBFS: Fixed slow directory loading speeds when navigating to a large directory on the SMB share using the files app (500+ files)
Eve: fixed “random cursor movements” issue on the Pixelbook by swiping on the touchpad, lifting the finger, and swiping again.
Updated Linux (Beta)’s kernel from Linux 4.4 to Linux 5.4.
Amor is a world famous pop star and currently a fugitive. She holds concerts and tours at secret locations around the world. "Don't let anything get in the way of love."
Full Name: Alessa Díaz Age: 23 Sex: Female Species: Human Alias(es): Amor Affiliation(s): None Occupation(s): Dancer, Singer, Music Producer Base of Operation(s): Unknown
In-game name: Amor Role: Damage Base Health: 200 Base Shield: 0 Base Armour: 0 Movement Speed: 5.5 m/s Hitbox: Similar to Sombra's, but with slightly wider waist, legs and hips.
When Amor is near 2 or more teammates, her primary fire does 25% more damage.
Damage increase: 25% Number of teammates required: 2 Affected ability: Primary fire An icon will show next to the healthbar indicating the number of allies nearby. If there are a sufficient number of allies, the icon will glow white. If not, it will be greyed out.
Projectiles from the primary fire will glow slightly brighter than normal if the passive is active.
The passive allows for Amor to deal higher damage, which is effective because she normally does not deal high damage. It also encourages Amor to attack and defend with her team, rather than running around on her own.
Primary Fire: Photovoltaic Pistol
Amor fires a semi-automatic photon-powered pistol. The gun shoots fast, linear electrical projectiles.
Damage: 40 Aim type: Linear Projectile Projectile speed: 70m/s Projectile size: Same as Mercy's projectiles. Fire rate: 2 rounds/sec Ammo capacity: 20 Reload speed: 1.5 secs Headshot: ✔️ Amor's primary fire is similar to Mccree's revolver, as both have a similar fire rate. The projectiles look similar to Mercy's and Baby DVa's bullets, but travel much faster and deal higher damage. Amor's primary fire deals relatively low damage. If combined with her passive, she can easily kill 200hp targets. Her fire rate is slow, but the high projectile speed makes up for it. Amor generally plays in the midlines, usually providing a constant source of damage with her primary.
Secondary Fire: Ultrasonic Wave
Amor activates an ultrasonic amplifier on her pistol, sending a wave towards her enemies. Enemies hit will be stunned for a short duration and receive damage.
Damage: 75 Aim type: Linear Projectile Projectile speed: 55m/s Projectile size: Slightly smaller than Pharah's concussive blast. Stun duration: 0.4s Cooldown: 12s Charge time: 0.5s Amor will charge her pistol for 0.5s before firing the ultrasonic wave. The wave looks like Pharah's concussive blast. It is a deep purple colour. It is not explosive and will only hit one enemy. Ultrasonic wave is a very powerful ability. Because Amor does not deal high damage, she is very vulnerable if caught alone. Her ultrasonic wave fixes this, providing high damage, which can finish off low targets, and a stun, which gives her time to kill off enemies or make a quick escape.
Ability 1: Noise Cancelling Headphones
Amor activates her headphones, cancelling out any CC dealt to her for 6 seconds.
Duration: 6s Cooldown: 10s When activated, a circle timer will appear in the crosshair. During this time, any knockbacks, stuns, sleeps or boops will not affect Amor. Noise Cancelling Headphones are used mostly defensively, when being attacked by a hero that utilises a lot of CC (Brigitte, for example). It is used in a similar way to Orisa's fortify.
Ability 2: Windmill Sweep
Amor sweeps her enemies with a windmill, knocking them down for a brief moment.
Damage: 10 Stun duration: 0.7s Cooldown: 8s Range: 6m Movement speed: 12m/s Windmill Sweep is an ability that makes Amor windmill on the floor, moving forwards 6m. Any enemies that are caught in the path of the windmill get knocked down and receive damage. Windmill Sweep can be used as mobility, or it can be used to take down enemies quickly. It is incredibly useful against flankers, either for getting away or taking them down for a kill.
Ultimate: Dance Floor
Amor creates an electric field, boosting speed and jump height for allies, and slowing enemies within the field.
Ultimate type: Cast Time Duration: 12s Ultimate Cost: 2310 Max Cast Range: 30m Field Area: 20m×20m Speed boost: +25% (6.875 m/s) Jump boost: +100% (1.96m) Slow: -25% (4.125 m/s) Amor needs to choose the location of the field before activating her ultimate. If she is CCed during this time, she does not lose her ultimate. The field is a square, 20m on each side. Dance Floor goes through walls. Any allies within the field once it has activated can move 25% faster and jump double the height. Any enemies within the field will move 25% slower. The field lasts 12 seconds. Dance Floor is a very versatile ultimate. It can be used to initiate a push by providing mobility to your allies. It is also great for point defence, as it allows for your tanks to reposition quickly and efficiently. The slow effect can be used for area denial, which is good for clearing out a choke or defence point. On control points, the ultimate can provide a quick, brief advantage over the enemies. Dance Floor is not especially useful on payload maps, as the field cannot move.
Self and enemies:
"¡Hora de subir el volumen!"
"Get on the dance floor!"
Playstyle and Strategy
Amor is a team player. If she were to have a subrole, she would be a defence or utility. Her abilities revolve around protecting her teammates from flankers and divers. She generally stays in midline, providing consistent damage during pushes, but she can also linger back with the supports if the enemy team have a Genji or Tracer. She works well with Zenyatta and Ana, as she is able to protect them from backline enemies. Her Headphones allow her to play well against any frontline enemies that extend too far into her team. She is also strong with Reinhardt and Orisa, as her ultimate allows for aggressive offensive and defensive attacks. Because she sticks with her team, her passive should be active for the majority of the match.
Alessa Díaz started dancing, singing and martial arts since young. At 14 years, she grew famous from producing her own music. She was dating Alicia Calvo, a LumeriCo security worker, during the Sombra Leaks. LumeriCo wrongly framed Alessa for being Sombra, and convinced the Mexican and Peruvian governments that she was guilty. Sombra leaked to the public that Alessa was wrongly accused. Alessa was now a fugitive. Calvo broke up with her and gave her a photovoltaic generator as a parting gift. Alessa turned it into her pistol. She goes under the name of Amor and performs at secret locations worldwide. LumeriCo is still after her, but with her new weapon, she is able to defend herself.
Since she was little, Alessa Díaz loved dancing. She would dream of becoming a world famous dancer, while the audience would cheer for her. She took every dancing class possible: ballet, contemporary, even breakdance. From there, she went on to learn martial arts, learning to use her grace and passion in combat. From the age of 14, Alessa began singing and producing music. She became famous years later, and started growing fans worldwide. During the Sombra Leaks, Alessa was dating Alicia Calvo, a security worker at LumeriCo. LumeriCo was suffering numerous cyber attacks and leaks from Sombra, and wanted to capture her so they could regain control and respect over the public. Alessa was on tour in Mexico, so she visited her girlfriend at the Dorado plant. On that day, LumeriCo's CEO, Guillemor Portero, wanted to make the public think that they had the Sombra situation under control. He framed Alessa for being Sombra, as she was the only visitor on that day. He was able to convince the Mexican and Peruvian governments that Alessa was guilty of numerous cybercrimes, including data alteration and breach of privacy. This way, he had an excuse for the leaks and he could regain support from the public. Calvo wrote a letter to Alessa while in prison. She was breaking up with her, but as a gift, she had sent a photovoltaic generator. Alessa managed to escape from prison and became a fugitive. She modified the generator, fitted it into a pistol and attached an ultrasonic weapon onto it. Sombra leaked the news to the public, exposing LumeriCo's scandal. Alessa went under the name of Amor, returning to her career as a pop star. Even though she was upset about the breakup, Amor was able to accept Calvo's decision. She started performing at secret locations worldwide. Every now and then, LumeriCo would try to capture her, but would never succeed. Every time they try, they lose a few members.
I chose Boombayah because it is an upbeat, flashy song, which matches the style of music Amor produces. Amor's dress choice is inspired by the members of Blackpink in the MV. Amor's primary fire's rate of fire matches the BPM of the song as well. Lore wise, there are parallels between YG Entertainment and LumeriCo. The message of Boombayah is to not be shy of love; it may be scary, but you shouldn't cower away. This is the baseline to Amor's story. Even though her girlfriend broke up with her, she didn't let that stop her from continuing her career.
500 Character Or Less Dating Profile Examples. This character limit is perfect for apps like Tinder, or on sites like Match.com or PlentyOfFish if you want to keep your profile short and sweet. Check out these 3 good dating profile examples for guys: The longer your dating profile is, the more chances you have to inadvertently turn her off. Dating Profile Examples on Zoosk. What Works: A short (or long) paragraph with details about who you are. What Doesn’t Work: Random statements or asking people to message you to learn more. Zoosk is one of those dating apps that is part old-school, part new-school. (Full disclosure: The Date Mix is owned and operated by Zoosk.) Now let's take a look at a few longer dating profile examples for men… Match.com Profile Example. Match is one of the most popular mainstream dating sites, and it’s a great place to meet attractive, intelligent people. But since it’s so popular among successful, career-driven singles, your profile is up against a lot of competition. Writing your profile is the first step of online dating, but it’s also the most important, and sometimes the most stressful, part. This is what singles will use to determine if they’re interested in you, and if your profile doesn’t attract them within those initial 10 seconds or so, they’ll move on to someone else. For dating online, both men and women need to have a good knowledge about how to write a dating profile. This profile will help people know what kind of person you are and what are your interests and expectations. How to Create a Dating Profile. The most important of all tips is that the profile must be short and concise.
The 5 Types of Online Dating Headlines that SNAG Attention [With Examples]
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